“Let’s enjoy the last cultural festival～!”
Shinobu san struck a gut-pose next to me. It’s just me and Shinobu san here now. In fact, the place is full of visitors and students, but I feel that we’re the only two people here. And it is probably the same for Shinobu san.
She invited me to go around the festival with just the two of us. If it’s only a man and a woman, it means only one thing. If it’s the person whom I’m going to get engaged with in the future……there’s no doubt about it.
However, according to the adult Shinobu san, there’s no possibility that we will start dating today. We didn’t start dating until we became college students. However,
“Even so,……Kouki kun, you’re incredibly popular～”
Just as we were walking down the hallway normally, Shinobu san’s voice leaks out. Due to the fact that the incident was covered in the news and because of the streaming effect, made me unreasonably well known. Even now, I heard rumors from many people and even have my picture secretly taken. I’m used to it, but Shinobu san, who’s walking next to me, must be worried.
“Could it be…….it’s a nuisance to be with me…..? You’re dating Hikari chan, after all…..”
“That’s fine. I’ve already taken care of that.”
“Taken care of……?”
“You can do whatever you want, Shinobu san. Hikari told me not worry about it.”.
“I see. I see, then, we’ll have a lot of fun ! After all, it’s the last cultural festival ! No～ I will be an old lady～”
“Hikari will be mad if you said that.”
I wonder why high school and college students say that they were old……well, I said that too back then.
“What to do～? Where shall we start~?”
Shinobu san crouched down and looked into my face. I would’ve left it to Shinobu san back then, but this is, well…..it’s like a date…….
“Well then, let’s do some target shooting over there.”
At any rate, I started escorting her as a man.
“It was fun～ !”
I spent a few hours alone with Shinobu san. It was almost getting dark and the festival was about to end.
“I’ve never had this much fun before～. If I had known it was going to be this fun, I would’ve started hanging out with you when you’re still a freshman～”
Shinobu san stretched out while leaning against the wall on the rooftop, where there’s no one here. If she’s this happy, I’m happy too. It was worth it to read the pamphlet and recalled my faint memory to make the schedule.
Raising the excitement with simple fun events such as target shooting, enjoyed the atmosphere of the festival by walking around while eating, shortened our distance by going to the haunted house, and finally enjoyed the afterglow in the quiet place. I think I was a good tour guide myself.
“Kouki kun, you still have next year～ I’m jealous～ High school life goes by so fast, so you have to enjoy it a lot, okay～?”
“……I know that better than anyone else.”
“We still have the festival tomorrow, right? Let’s do what we couldn’t do today.”
When I replied normally, Shinobu san froze. I was worried that I had made a mistake, but I could tell by the look on Shinobu san’s face that I hadn’t.
“Tomorrow as well…..is that okay…..?”
Her eyes were slightly teary, but she looked happy. And yet, her face still distorted with frustration.
“Kouki kun……you made a girlfriend,…..broke up with her right away, but then you went out with Hikari chan…… so……!”
“I’m not dating Hikari. It’s just a set up.”
“But…… even if it was a set up, Kouki kun would never….cheat…..absolutely….right……?”
I’ve already taken care of that. before I could reply, Shinobu san said,
“If you don’t mind…..! If you think it’s not cheating,…..I want you to stroke my hair,……. I’d like you to……tell me to do my best for the exam,……I’d like you to….do that.”
……I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. That would be a regret. 10 years later. I’m sure Shinobu san will regret it.
“If you don’t like it, turn your face away. If you want me to do it…..look straight at me.”
I lifted Shinobu san’s chin with my finger and pressed her to make that choice. And immediately, Shinobu san turned her face away.
“….You can’t. I have to study from now on…..”
“If that’s what you want, then it’s fine. It’s your life, Shinobu san. However, I’m prepared to respond to your feelings. I’ll tell you that much.”
Shinobu san’s body trembled. Her legs, her hands, her mouth. She tried to do something, but stopped because it’s not good. I couldn’t keep my composure either. But still, Shinobu san made that decision.
She looked up at me from the front and opened her mouth slightly. And that’s when it happened. The sound of the shutter echoed on the rooftop.
“…..This picture. I wonder if it will be a problem when this goes online.”
This bitch is everywhere. She’ll get in my way no matter where I go.
This unavoidable ghost from the past is laughing at me.
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