The day after the day spent alone with Kohinata.
Unusually, Saejima came to the classroom of Class 2C with Kohinata in the morning.

Saejima greeted classmates easily and walked to the back of the classroom where Kohinata and I were. She had a very obvious expression on her face that seemed to say ‘curiosity’ on it.

Kohinata, who had pulled up behind Saejima while being greeted by her classmates, was a bit flustered, and her classmates looked at me and Kohinata alternately before giving me a warm gaze.

Hey! Stop it now! That ‘you’re so hot in the morning’ look! I’ll make you buy me a special meal!

“Good morning Sugino-kun, Karakusa-kun. –I asked Asuka about it and she said nothing happened, but judging from her reaction, that’s definitely not the truth! What’s the real story! Oh, of course, if it’s something you don’t want to tell me, you don’t have to!”

Saejima talks to me in a sneaky way that the people around me can’t hear.
When I was fed up with the strong and fast speech, a palm was quickly swung down between me and Saejima from above. It was Keiichi.

“Okay, stop. I understand how you feel, but calm down a little, Saejima. Tomoki is improving, but he is still not good at it.”
“Aaah! Sorry Sugino kun!”

Saejima claps her hands together in apology, says sorry. Kohinata also slapped her back.

“There’s nothing to apologize for. …… Well, I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t talk all at once.”

She replied with a wry smile and put her hand on her chest in relief.

“–That’s right, my best friend, Tomoki, who told me that all he did was play games and watch movies. What does this mean?”

Keiichi asks with a smirk, his good-natured moves to protect his friend completely hidden, and a teasing expression on his face.

When I glanced at Kohinata, she began to swing her face sideways with a vigorous buzzing motion. The momentum and frequency were so tremendous that I was worried that she might get sick. I am sure that this means that I should not tell him about the incident of sleeping soundly on my lap. Is the redness of her face due to the shaking of her head, or is it because of her embarrassment? ……

“Nothing’s going on. Right, Kohinata?”

While answering Keiichi’s question, I turn to Kohinata and she nods her head cockily.
I’m no stranger to this, but when I see how desperate she is, I can’t help but think of her as cute.

“……Well, looking at Kohinata, I’m pretty sure that something happened. I guess we’ll continue this during lunch break.”
“Yeah, I guess so. Maybe it’s just hard to talk about it in a class room.”

Keiichi and Saejima nodded yes and proceeded to talk on their own. I tried again to say, “There’s nothing to talk about,” but Keiichi and the others didn’t seem to take it at all, saying, “Yes, yes, sure”. As expected, they seemed to have figured out that I was hiding something from them.

I sighed quietly as I watched Saejima return to her classroom.

“……Good grief. I mean, Kohinata, aren’t you not too good at hiding things?”

It may be hard to tell from her facial expressions alone, but her movements are too obvious.
Come to think of it, didn’t Shizuka-san once say that Kohinata used to be quiet, but had a clear sense of joy, anger, sorrow, and pleasure? Did she mean that she is not good at hiding things from others?

In response to my words, Kohinata tapped me on the shoulder as if in protest. It’s not like she’s sulking.

“Well, maybe that’s just like Kohinata.”

I decided to bring the conversation to an appropriate conclusion for the time being.
I don’t know why I thought it was ‘typical’ for Kohinata, who I had the impression was quiet and expressionless, to be so easy to understand her emotions. I’m sure it’s because my image of her is still not set in stone.

The impression of Kohinata is changing, but even if she regains facial expression or becomes more emotionally expressive in the future, there is one thing that will surely not change.


Perhaps embarrassed by my words, Kohinata turned her face down and played with the hem of her own uniform. Then she moved her foot a little and poked at my jacket.
Each of her movements seemed a little out of character for the average high school student, but I didn’t feel bad at all.

Kohinata is cute – this is surely an unchangeable fact.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Lunch break came and we gathered in the courtyard as usual.

Although some of my classmates teased me about my relationship with Kohinata while we were on the move, we were not in a relationship and they had no idea that Kohinata had come to my house, so at best we talked about our matching key chains.

I was thinking that during lunch, I would probably be bombarded with questions from Keiichi and the others during lunch. ……

“Obviously that’s weird.”

I was feeling uncomfortable with the number of stares I was getting from people around me. I had been trying not to pay attention to them, but the amount of attention they were giving me was too much to ignore.

And I feel that the stares are not the warm ones from my classmates, nor are they the curious ones from other classes. Because there is not a trace of a smile on the faces of those who are looking at me. When I turned to look at them, they quickly looked away.

“It’s not me, Saejima, or Kohinata – it’s Tomoki who is being observed. And to top it off, they’re all girls.”

According to Keiichi, the person observing me is a third-year senpai.

“It’s a hassle,……again the rumors are coming from somewhere else.”

I had heard before that Keiichi and Saejima were correcting the false notoriety, but that was only about the second-year students. Other grades are naturally out of scope.

“I can only hope I don’t get a call like Saejima’s. …… As expected, the third-year senpai aren’t going to be able to ignore it.”

How much better it would have been if this had been a male senpai instead of a female one. Should I still go to the bad guys to get rid of the bad luck? Or should I rethink my behavior on a daily basis?

“If it comes to that, we’ll go with you!”
“Well, that would be good for me, too. I think that’s a good idea. I mean, it hasn’t been decided yet, though.”

I was not sure that it was going to be that easy for me. I had a feeling that my sixth sense was telling me so.

Once again, I looked around and let out a big sigh.
Then I said to Kohinata, who was looking at me with an anxious expression on her face.

“…… Well, don’t worry about it, Kohinata.”

But she did not shake her head either vertically or horizontally in response to my words.

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