Even after finishing my meal, I continued to snack. The juice runs out fairly quickly, so I won’t regret buying too much.

We were watching a movie while sitting on the sofa. It’s a famous horror movie. With the lights off, the sense of realism is amazing.

“Is it scary?”

“It’s still early in the movie. How about you, Rika?”

“I’m more used to horror than Masa kun. It has a reputation for being pretty scary, but I think I can handle it.”

“The first one to be surprised loses.”


When I saw Rika casually, I felt embarrassed.

“Masa kun, we’re just like newlyweds, it tickles me.”

“You’ll get used to it eventually. I like it a lot, that you call me Masa kun.”


“I guess you could say Masa kun is more pure, and it suits my condition.”

“So you’ve thought that far ahead.”

“I’m two steps ahead of you.”

A new nickname. I’m moving away from “Masatoshi,” the nickname I kept up to now. I’m moving on to the next stage.

“I want to go closer to the center. It’s a little hard to see.”

“Isn’t this enough?”

Even now, she is so close to me that her knees are almost touching me. Even if I move to the left, there is a limit to the width of the sofa. I was confused when I saw Rika on my right.

“Your knees are free, aren’t they?”

I pushed myself up onto the sofa and lent her my knee. When I looked down, I saw Rika’s face right in front of me.

“You see?”

“You’re so bold.”

“This is perfect. I can be close to Masa kun and watch the movie from a special seat right in the middle of the screen.”

“Is it a charm to intersect with the screen at right angles?”

“I can see. I just got a little drunk.”

“But it’s still hard to see.”

“….Sometimes, when you’re looking at two steps ahead, you can’t even see one step ahead.”

I didn’t think to ask her what she was doing. Even when she’s gone, Rika is endearing. The pillow on my lap keeps me close. It’s beneficial.

As the film progresses, the tension builds. Unexplained phenomena begin to occur on screen.

The main monster may not come out until later, but I can’t help but relax.

“The time until it comes out is probably the scariest.”

“Yes, the scariest part is when they keep pushing us further and further into a corner.”

Rika was clutching the sleeves of her clothes tightly.

“Are you afraid?”

“I’m used to things like this. I’m just taking precautions.”

“That’s what being scared is.”

I was getting nervous, too. I’m not sure if I would have been able to see it if I were alone. I felt Rika nearby, which gave me the courage to continue watching.

“It’s about time…….”

I gulped and swallowed hard. The main character opens the door to a closed room. It is an abandoned building in the middle of the night. It is silent, and the only sounds are the breathing of me, Rika, and the person on the screen.

They move forward cautiously, and several suspicious scenes appear. Not yet, not yet. I’m busy adjusting the strength of my shoulders.

Just as I was about to relax, I realized it was a bluff after all.

The screen switches and a monster fills the screen.



It was short, but the volume must have been considerable. My knees were shaking. It wasn’t just for me. It was also because of Rika’s body shaking.

“Wait, wait, wait. Don’t startle me–again !”

“Oh my God, I’m a mess…….”

The second time, she was a little more relaxed. However, I was still scared.

“W-what do you think? I’m the clear winner. Who’s the most surprised championship.”

“You were shouting right away. Masa-kun was completely defeated. Thank you for the match.”

“Next time, I won’t lose. It’s round two.”

“It’s only one round.”

“I’m the one who rules.”

“Be my guest. At least I won the first round.”

“You’re a sore loser……but I’ll give you the fight.”

What kind of battle is this? From then on, I watched movies as usual. The knee pillow time was over, but the distance was so close that we were shoulder to shoulder.

There were a few more hidden points of surprise, both of which scared the shit out of me almost simultaneously. I had to laugh at the last one, the massacre.

Fin. that’s all. The end roll finally made me relax.

“I knew horror movies were the best.”

“Is that coming from someone who was freaking out on the way to the theater?”

“I’m sure it’s the same for you, Masa kun. I love to be immersed in fear. As I said when we talked about novels.”

I think she meant when we went to the bookstore together, or when we had a phone conversation about our impressions of the novel.

“Fear is slow and sudden. If it comes suddenly and unexpectedly, it will only make you feel discouraged. You keep pushing and pulling. Then, when it hits you with a bang, the damage is done.”


It seems that there is a lot to be learned from horror movies. I was in a world of self-satisfaction and was thrilled with my own insights.

“Don’t back down. It’s a good lesson.”

“I won’t deny it.”

“So, next—Kisaragi.”

“Is he going to be there?”

To be honest, I was only indirectly influenced by him. 

“Yeah. The other cronies will leave Kizaki after her fall, so there’s no problem. No matter how many there are, they’re all similar.”

“Kisaragi is different.”

“He spat at us, at Kisaki, and even at himself.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“My guts were boiling. It doesn’t matter if he was right or not. He spoiled the situation, and not only Kisaki, but also us, were harmed. I can’t say that I was right. He’s probably a strong man to some extent, so it’s not an easy road for us.””

Again, Rika’s eyes were sharp and pointed. They were fierce, like sharks hunting their prey.

“I don’t want this.”

“I know you don’t. It’s my ego. But, you know, he’s a former member of the soccer team. You could be in trouble.”

“I can’t just go around speculating, can I?”

“I know…..but I’m trying to remove any suspicious obstacles. That’s what I’m all about. In the meantime, I’ll stay put.”

“I’m glad you understand.”

I patted her on the back. A pat on the back, a signal to calm down.

“I’m not good at this. I’m getting greedy.”

“It’s okay. We are one and the same. Whenever Rika stepped on the gas pedal, I immediately stepped on the brake. That’s what being together means, isn’t it?”

“You’re very kind, Masa kun”

“Because it’s you, Rika. I’m not a good person either.”

“Thank you. Can I pat you on the head?”

“No problem.”

She taps me on the head. Tap, tap, tap.

A sweet comforting sensation pervades my brain. It was a euphoric feeling that my body remembered.

Kisaragi spat on us. I don’t care. I don’t care how people measure us. We are the only ones who are happy……

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