After school with Rika.

We eat together, go shopping, and play at the arcade.

We do the same things we have always done. It is not a bad thing that things never change. It’s just that we have a stable sense of enjoyment.

It’s just.



Sometimes, she looks as if her heart is not in the right place.

It is quite common these days for the sparkles to disappear from her eyes. Not only that, but there are times when the expression on her face is lifeless. Something has eaten away at the roots of her heart, and she has lost her original Rika.

And she has not been able to get her phone out of her hand. I often see her typing messages at high speed.

At that moment, for a brief moment, Rika reveals her coldness and ferocity like a demon.

It is not often that I see her like this. It is hard to believe it was Rika, who’s always smiling.

“Strange. You’ve been acting a little strange lately.”

“I’m like usual, you know? It is the same as the past ten or so years. I’ve always been on Masatoshi’s side, and I’m like Masatoshi…….”

“I know, I know.”

“So you understand?”

“But ! My intuition is screaming at me. We can’t stay like this. We can’t go back.”

Recently, Rika has been consoling me for a long time. Thanks to Rika, the pain I felt when I was first dumped has been wiped away.

There are still some elements to worry about, such as the intervention of Kisaki’s true love, Kisaragi, and Kisaki herself, who I still wonder how she’s doing.

What about now?

There was a time when I hoped Kisaki would be plunged into the depths of despair.

Looking at the current Kisaki, who is on the verge of becoming a cripple, I can’t say that I want her to fall to the ground. She has been beaten too much. I thought it would clear my mind, but it’s more of a blur.

While I’m losing my anger toward Kisaki, Rika seems to be inversely obsessed with her.

Differences in direction, conflicting feelings.

A small fissure, once created, can become a big one if left unchecked.

“I just need some time.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Let’s just keep our distance.”


It was an unexpected statement. Rika froze. Her thoughts had not caught up with her and she did not even blink.

“Weird weird weird weird……”

“All I’m saying is that I just need a little time to sort things out.”

“I’m on Masatoshi’s side, on his side–“

Rika scratches her head with both hands.

“Masatoshi, do you hate me now? You don’t like me anymore?”

“I do like you. I want you to feel safe about that.”

The hand that scratched her head stopped. The usual calmness of Rika is gradually being restored.

“I think we’ve been too close lately.”

“……Now that you said it, I might have been spending all my time with Masatoshi.”

“I think there may have been many things I could have realized by being close to you. I think there were also things I didn’t see because we were too close.”

Intuition appealed to me, a sense that it was not good. I’ve gone through it, although I’ve strongly remembered it a few times. It was because it was alright as long as I was with Rika.

Is it really a good decision to ignore it? After school today, when I felt that my days were unusually dull, I found the need to take a new action.

“Can we get back before the school trip?”

“It’s up to us. We’ll see how it goes, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll extend it.”


“It doesn’t seem like you’re depressed.”

“I wonder how I can make up for not seeing you.”

“You just have to imagine it. Every day we don’t meet, you think about what will happen after we meet. I guess that’s what it’s like.”

Once again, Rika’s response was vague. She sounded more convinced than before.

“It’s a little hard, but as Masatoshi said.”

“A childhood friend won’t disappoint. I believe it’s a choice I can make.”

“Then, I’ll bet on Masatoshi’s faith in myself.”

Finally, the usual Rika is back.

“I hope you have a good time on your school trip.

“Me too.”

The way home is the same until the very last minute.

We stopped as we were about to say goodbye.

Our eyes meet.

“Can we go back?”

“Yeah. But only temporarily.”

“I don’t know if I can do that.”

“Is there something you’re worried about?”

“I just want you to remember the warmth of my body one last time.”

She hugged me lightly.

It was different from the hug I got when Kisaki dumped me. At that time, I was the one asking for it. Now, Rika is asking for it.

Now we are like two compasses with a crazy magnetic field.

We are so much influenced by each other that we don’t know which direction we should be facing. We go around in circles and even point in the wrong direction. Once we distance ourselves, the compass will break if we don’t take the proper steps.


“Precisely. I’ll remember when I’m in trouble.”

“I’ll try to remember too.

The smell of Masatoshi, the warmth, the sights I saw, the sounds, the taste of the atmosphere…….”

“You’re using all five senses, aren’t you?”

“I’m going to input it as an episodic memory. It’s the best.”

With that, we called it a day.

I felt that it would be inappropriate to part ways due to the humid atmosphere. That’s why it was a good farewell.

It’s still a long way from being able to have fun sharing the same room on a school trip.

In the next few days, I will reevaluate what is distorted now. Calmly and objectively. Before the distortion becomes so severe that it will snap and we won’t be able to get back together.

It would be a long time before I would know if this action was a wise decision or a foolish one.

I passed through the gate of the house, opened the door, and entered.

I had one thing to do.

I would write down my current muddled thoughts in a notebook and organize them. Once I had done that, I would get everything out of my head.

I would get it out, get it out, get it out. I don’t know what kind of methods Rika will use, but I can guess from my modest life experience that this is what I am suited for.

I opened a blank notebook. Page one. I grab a ballpoint pen, pull out the lead, and voila—.

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