It was late at night and the clock was already halfway past eleven when my phone made a quiet beep to alert me to the call.

I looked at the name on the display. It was indeed Suminodo Ageha’s name on the display.

I was genuinely surprised because I did not expect her to call me so late. I had thought she would not call today since she did not show up around nine o’clock.

When I pressed the call button and put it to my ear, I heard her dignified voice sounding nervous.

“G-good evening.”

“Ageha, good evening.”

I responded, and the silence fell. What shall I do now? This was, in a sense, an exercise for her, and if she was too nervous to continue the conversation, it would raise the bar for her own “next time I call a friend”. When I was about to open my mouth, Ageha, who opened her mouth first, asked me, restating the question several times. I could tell she was trying pretty hard.

“Uuuuu-Ummm Yyy-you know. Hii!”


“H-Hisanobu san, today. What were you doing today?”

“Oh, I was out with Yuisa san at noon to look for a part-time job downtown.”

“Ah, you and Yuisa san, umm, you know, just the two of you?”

“Hm? That’s right. Yuisa san and I were talking about getting a part-time job. I didn’t think about it when I was in junior high school, but I started thinking about where would be a good part-time job.”

“……I see.”

Ageha’s nervousness disappearing, for some reason her voice sank as if she was disheartened.

She may be in a position where she doesn’t have to work a part-time job, or she may not be able to do it even if she wants to, but if Yuisa and I go out to play with Ageha, we end up not having enough money in our wallets. It’s good to hang out to get better friends, but it’s such a waste.

“So, the coffee shop I used to use occasionally in middle school is looking for a part-time job, so I’m thinking about doing it.”

“Is that together with Yuisa san…..?”

“I don’t know what Yuisa san is going to do, but I think I might just go with her since I think I can fit in.”

“..I see. …… Um!”

“What’s wrong?”

“Um, well, um, what kind of coffee shop is that?”

“I think it’s just a regular store, yeah…”

After a little trouble, I quickly understand. It is already late. I haven’t heard anything about Ageha yet, so we probably can’t talk for too long.

“If Ageha is okay with it, I’ll go with you tomorrow around fourteen o’clock?”


“If you don’t want to…”

It took a little time for Ageha to reboot after hermysterious voice.

“No! I’ll go. I can go! Tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah, and it’s already past midnight.”

“Well, I’m sorry it’s so late.”

“No, I’m fine, but my sister might complain that it’s too late at night, so can we call it a day? Tomorrow, wait it’s already today, at fourteen o’clock, you can tell me about Ageha’s Saturday. Right in front of the station downtown, okay?”

“I-I understand!! I-I’m looking forward to it!”

It was louder than I had imagined, and my ears perked up. I was surprised. Laughing at her, I told her it was okay and hung up, saying I’d see her tomorrow.

I arrived a little early and waited for her in front of the station at fourteen o’clock. A girl ran out of the station in a flurry and appeared in the square in front of the station.

She scurried around, and when she recognized me, she gave a small wave and came in front of me in a short run. There are men around who glance at her, flustered and beautiful, which is inevitable considering her appearance.

Her brownish hair is pulled back in a half updo. She was wearing a neat lace blouse and a long skirt, and the colors were beautifully put together.

“I-I’m sorry to keep you waiting.”

“You’re right on time, relax.”

“But the train arrived at fourteen o’clock!”

“I’ve just arrived myself, so after I catch my breath, let’s head to the store slowly.”

When I entered Marumiya Coffee accompanied by Ageha, I was greeted again today by the petite head of the photography club, who looked like a junior high school girl with an astonished expression on her face.

“Huh, is that the head of the photography club?”

“Hello, Manager, are there any seats?”

“…… yeah, I’m hopeless, Orikawa-kun. Please take a seat here.”


Ageha had a hatchet on her head when she didn’t quite understand what the maanger said. After guiding us to our seats with no strength like a wobbly ghost, the manager head put down the menu and left silently. After looking at her curiously with her head tilted back, she asked

“Um, why is the head of the photography club here?”

“Ah, it seems that this is a coffee shop run by the head of the club’s family.”

“Is that so? Did you choose this place as your part-time job because it is owned by her?”

“No, that’s not what I meant. For now, can I have a cup of tea?”

I don’t quite understand what Ageha wanted to ask, but I ordered it anyway so as not to cause any trouble to the manager.

I ordered coffee, the same as yesterday, and I asked for today’s recommended snacks and extra sponge cakes. Since we didn’t go out to eat today, it would be fine if each of us ordered an additional sponge cake itself.

“Speaking of which, why do you have a part-time job, Hisanobu san? A-are you in need of money?”

“Why is it that when I try to get a part-time job, I’m treated like someone who is in need of money?”

“Eh!? Isn’t that what it means to be a student and get a part-time job? Struggling students desperately trying to earn a little money for living expenses including tuition fees.”

“Maybe you watch too many dramas and cartoons. The only reason I want to work part time is to do photography trips. I think it’s selfish of me to always get money from my parents from an ordinary family for what I want to do with my hobbies.”

“Selfish, me. ……”

Her face falls. I didn’t mean to make her look like that. While reflecting on my poor choice of words, I spoke in a bright voice.

“No, I’m talking about the case of an average family. If Ageha tried to get a part-time job, her family would probably stop her.”

“Well, I don’t know. I have never suggested it, so I don’t know.”

“I can see Ageha being stopped even if you don’t suggest it, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“But if you insist, Hisanobu-san.”

“I’m sorry to say this to the daughter of the Suminodo family, but as expected, we don’t need more than one person from the same school.”

“W-Why not?”

The Manager, who had brought coffee, tea, and sweets, interrupted. When Ageha was dissatisfied with the Manager’s tone of voice, the manager looked at her

In the first place, Ageha kept quiet even though she knew that Ageha would not be approved by her guardians and that the Manager did not need to stop her.

“Because if we hire only students from the same school, we’ll have to cover the holidays if there are school events during the week or on weekends.”

“I-it’s true!”

The Manager nodded her head in a great manner, saying that Ageha’s face like a startled fact was cute or so it must be. The Manager, satisfied with this, told us not to make too much noise and went away.

After ordering sweets and tea, we both commented to each other on the sweets and tea and took a breather.

“These sponge cakes are very delicious,”

“I personally liked it very much when I ate it yesterday. I’m glad it suits your taste.”

“Ah, yesterday.”

For some reason, Ageha was shrugging and nodding her head again.

“No, it’s nothing at all.”

“Is it? So I talked to you on the phone, but I want to hear your story too.”

“My story?”

I wonder if she has forgotten all about what we talked about on the phone yesterday.

“No, you told me that you were coming to the coffee shop today and that you were going to tell me about Ageha’s story on Saturday.”

“Ah! T-That’s right. W-Wait, I was just thinking about going to a coffee shop.”

“Were you really that interested in the coffee shop? I’m glad. I don’t know of any shops that Ageha frequents, but as I’ve been going to since I was in middle school, the prices are affordable even for students. Instead, it’s better not to stay too long.”

“I think it’s a very nice place! I have not been walking around off the main street much myself, or rather, I have not been out with friends.”

People around me seemed to be having fun in middle school. The air gets heavier and heavier with sad Ageha’s comments such as the following. When I think about the stories that sometimes come up about the distance between her middle school classmates, I wonder what it is about them that makes them relatively friendly as classmates at school, but when they get closer to their personal lives, the topics of conversation instantly decrease.

The other day at a gathering of class council members, a woman named Ito-san showed her face, and I thought she seemed like the type who would come on strong. However, when I think about it, I’m a little sad that I haven’t seen Ito-san, who is the type to come on strong, show her face to Ageha in another class after entering the school ……, so I dismiss the thought. I can’t speak for others in my middle school days either, but I mocked myself before speaking to Ageha in as gentle a tone of voice as possible.

“Anyway, I don’t know if it’s rude of me to say, but is it okay if I say that I hung out with my friend today on my day off?”

“N-no! Nothing rude about that! Thank you very much. I am very happy.”

“I’m glad. I didn’t have many friends in junior high school, so I’m going to make a fresh start in high school and have fun with Ageha. It hasn’t even been a week since high school started.”

“Yes, that’s right! It hasn’t even been a week since we started school, but the days have been very intense.”

“Haha, I had many intense days too. I was running in the morning and saved a Shiba Inu.”

“A Shiba Inu? Did something happen?”

I told her about my first encounter with Yuisa san and she responded, “That happened to you?” After I had finished my story, I went back to the topic that had gone too far off to the side.

I’m here today to share Ageha’s Saturday story. Maybe I talked a little too much.

“I’m talking about me all the time, aren’t I? What happened to Ageha last Saturday?”


“Yes, that’s what I was talking about originally. …… Did you have a bad day?”

“N-no! I was at a party on Saturday, and I just talked with the adults there! And nothing really weird happened, it all went off peacefully!”

“I see.”

“Y-Yes, that’s right!”

Then the conversation stopped as the words were cut off. Now that Ageha had cut off the conversation like this, did nothing really happen?

Rinen herself didn’t bring up the subject of the party, either when we met or when we saw each other on our morning run, so I myself don’t know what happened at the party on Saturday. However, considering that Rinen told me that condescending old man went out of his way to call me, I think it’s impossible that he didn’t bring up something about Ageha.

Hmmm… I thought about it a little too long. As I looked at her, a very dejected Ageha squeaked.

“Ugh, I’m sorry. I don’t have anything interesting to talk about.”

“No, no, no. Aren’t there people your age at the party? Does it seem hard to talk only to adults?”

“Yes, it is. This time there was Shijonawate-san, but the rest would be probably the vice president of the tea ceremony club. I didn’t have a chance to talk to her myself. At the gatherings of the Suminodo group, there are often people of the same age, perhaps because their parents are careful, but yesterday, well, it wasn’t the Suminodo group.”

“I see. The vice president of the tea ceremony club is also from a family that shows up at such gatherings. “

When I glance at the head of the manager who is taking orders from another table, she may have noticed my gaze, and she looks at me and tilts her head cutely like a doll. I shook my head and appealed that it was nothing.

“I see. But I was jealous.”

“You were jealous?”

“Yes, the way she talks with Marumiya-san is very friendly. But when I saw her at the party yesterday, she still didn’t show a bit of that appearance. I am very jealous that you have a friend at school whom you can talk openly with.”

“I see.”

“That’s right.”

Ageha ate the remaining pastries and then finished drinking the tea. Looking into the empty cup, she muttered a small “Yes” once again.

Looking at the time, it’s already a good hour.

I tapped Ageha’s hand softly with my finger and made her look up.

“It’s time to go, let’s get out of here, shall we?”

“Eh!? It’s already this late?”

I paid the bill and walked out, being escorted out by the manager. Just before I left, I was told not to use the room in such a way as to get me into trouble, but I simply replied that it was out of my mind. There was no way that would happen when we were using it among friends.

In fact, when I used it with Rinen in junior high school, I never used it in such an atmosphere. After I got dumped and the atmosphere got bad, I stopped using it.

The manager told me with her eyes that she couldn’t trust me, but nothing more was said about it.

I went outside and slowly walked alongside Ageha toward the station. Ageha would look around and then say, “I’m curious about that place over there,” to which I would respond to her request and enjoy peeking into the stores.

Because we had to stop to meet Ageha’s interests, it took us much longer to get back to the station than it would have taken us to go straight home. But I was glad to see Ageha really enjoying herself.

“Um, I’m sorry I got curious and took a detour.”

“I also enjoyed seeing what you like,. Thank you.”

“!!! I also enjoyed spending time with Hisanobu san. Thank you very much!”

She and I are going in opposite directions. After passing through the ticket gate, Ageha heads for the train that has just slipped onto the platform. She waves shyly and prettily, and the train doors close just in time. I waved her off, too, and boarded a train headed in the direction of my home, which had just arrived.

I met Rinen for dinner, but she still didn’t talk about Saturday’s party.

I save a number of photos I took today. Ageha was shy but not reluctant to accept them, and many photos were saved, even though they were on her phone. I looked back at the photos, satisfied, and fell asleep.

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