[I caught a cold.]

That’s what Rika wrote in the message she sent me.

Three days had passed since the end of the festival. I had two days off. This was because the festival was held on Saturday and Sunday.

After two consecutive days off, I finally went back to school…….

Rinka seemed to have fallen ill after not seeing me for two whole days. She has been taking care of me recently. I could say, too much. I’m partly responsible for that.

I received a message from her first thing in the morning, so I replied to it immediately without even eating.

“Are you okay? You think you can recover?”

[I guess it’s still tough. Can you come and visit me?]

“Of course.”

There was no reason to refuse. I’ve been relying on Rika for a long time now. It was my turn to support her.

Rika sent back a stamp. She was expecting me.

When I arrived at the school, the class was excitedly talking about the school festival.

On the blackboard, there were traces of the day of the festival. There were doodles of characters and messages. Some of them were written by volunteers. The things I wrote were still there.

[That was a lot of fun〜] [The party was fun] [The best〜!]

I did not participate in the class party. It was held on Monday, the day after the festival, and apparently many of my classmates had a good time.

Why did I not participate?

The reason was simple. I had been summoned to the party not long after Kisaki dumped me. I didn’t want to see her, and above all, I was feeling a bit discouraged about the whole thing.

The meeting was circulated in a class group message. Dozens of photos had been added, and I skimmed through them.

Normally, I’m not the type of person who looks at people’s pictures. The notification noise was so loud that I started up the app to mute it temporarily. It was then that I looked through them.

I assumed it was just a photo, but there was one thing that caught my attention.


Amongst all the people enjoying themselves, there was one girl who stood out from the crowd.

It was Kisaki.

It wasn’t just because I was aware of her. Her expression was awkward. She didn’t look like her usual smiling self.


I looked through most of the photos, but there were very few of her looking happy.

Maybe she was having a bad day, or was in a bad mood. I thought at the time that it was nothing to worry about, since the condition comes and goes in waves……

A girl opened the door and entered the classroom with a rattle.


She was silent. It was a bit gloomy. It was an irregular situation that was the complete opposite of the excitement of the class.

Her face was that of a terrified predator. Her eyes were devoid of life.


I blurted out in my seat. It was almost involuntary.

[Saki, aren’t you looking pale?] [Don’t push yourself too hard. You could have taken the day off if you weren’t feeling well.]

Even though Kisaki was surrounded by girls who seemed to be on good terms, she didn’t react well. Her forced smile didn’t change either.

She was even more dejected than in the photo taken at the party.

We had been in a close relationship for several months. All I can tell is that he’s in a worse situation than the rest of her classmates think.

But that didn’t stop them from asking her if she was okay. As long as I didn’t know the cause of the problem, there was no point in digging deeper. Besides, we are no longer boyfriend and girlfriend.

I know it sounds like I’m cutting her off, but we’re just classmates.

“I’m fine. I’m fine.”

We didn’t last long because of this.

Before lunch, I was sent to the nurse’s office in the middle of class.

“……It’s not sunny.”

As usual, I ate my homemade lunch.

The taste is the same, just the way I like it. But I couldn’t taste it.


Because of Kisaki. If it had been a little earlier, I would have blamed her from the bottom of my heart.

But now, I couldn’t feel that way. I don’t feel good.

–That girl…she’s a poor child.

Are Kisaragi’s words still stuck in my mind? Am I conflicted that I can’t blame her at all?

The afternoon class was over without a clear picture of what I was feeling.

“I’m leaving now. Wait for me.”

[Yeah. I’ll be waiting for you.]

The read and reply to my message were quick. I guess she has nothing to do except to sleep on the bed.

I headed for Rika’s house. I was walking a little too fast.

The weather was clear and there was no sign of rain. It was a perfect day for walking.

“This is Nagai.”

The intercom rang for more than ten seconds. I heard a rattling vibration as I came down from the second floor.


Rika’s voice was a little dry.

“Welcome to my home.”

She extends her arms outstretched. It was the same as the waiting posture for a hug.

A cooling sheet is attached to her head. She was dressed in a loose nightgown and her hair was shaggy, so I knew she had a cold.

“It’s been a while. Though it’s been three days.”

“Before, it’s been a year, right? Three days is just a moment.”

“I hope Rika’s cold goes away in an instant, too.”

“Hope so. I didn’t think I would be sick for three days.”

“You should have told me earlier.”

There was no contact between Saturday and Sunday. Before that, we had been in touch with each other every day since we met again.

“I was confident that I would get better soon, and I didn’t want to bother you.”

“You’re not bothering me. If you’re in trouble, just ask me.”

“Masatoshi……I guess there is a point in trying.”

“I don’t know what it is, but you’re going to have to go easy on me, right?”

“Yeah !”

That’s a good answer.

Just like that, Rika pulled me. It’s been a long time since I last visited Rika’s house since the hug.

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