The first class of the morning was physical education.

In addition, we suddenly had a basketball game without practice. The teacher said that since the students had just entered the school, he wanted them to deepen their friendship by playing a game.

I think it’s true that doing something with everyone will help build friendships.

…..That said, I used to sit in the corner in the gym all the time. People who’re being left out are left out no matter how much they’re cared for.

[Stop Misaki!!]

[Damn, he’s scoring again !]

[Let’s switch him already !? The one who’s sitting down !]

Apparently, this time, the boys in the class are actively trying to include even those who are sitting in the corner in the circle.

This is a different atmosphere from before. I wonder if I would have joined in if I had been asked to do the same thing back then.

At any rate, I got a pass from an ally, passed a couple of guys, and made another layup.

“Wow〜, you’re awesome !”

As I was heading back to my own team, I was suddenly approached by a voice.

He was a nice-looking guy with a clean-cut, short haircut. He had a smile on his face, giving off the air of a sportsman.

(I think he was Yamazami Yuuji…….I guess?)

A classmate who belonged to the soccer club and was a central figure among the boys.

He was bright and cheerful, and I remember he was in a position of being the class’ mood maker. Of course, I’m very good at this type of person and did not want to talk to him, let alone get involved with him. In fact, I had never been spoken to before.

“W-what’s up with you out of the blue……?”

“Eh? We are on the same team, right? How can you not praise someone who has done well?”

Well…..if you ask me, it’s true.

“Rather than that, but you really are amazing, aren’t you? Aren’t you the one who’s scoring the most? Are you on the basketball team?”

In the past, I was invited by my sister to get rid of my lack of exercise, but I can’t say anything like that.

Occasionally, my sister would bring people from the university’s basketball club along with me, and my caring seniors would kindly and politely teach me, so I was able to move around to some extent.

I’m still exercising to change myself, and I’m sure I’m more mobile now than I was before.

“No, not really, but……”

“I see〜! I’m jealous that you’re good looking and athletic ! I’ll curse God if you tell me you can study too!”

Well, I think I can study to some extent if I live a high school life again. In fact, I remembered the content of the classes surprisingly well.

But if I say something here, I’m likely to be told something, so it’s best to keep quiet.

[Hey, Yamazaki ! Let Misaki back off already ! This is no way to play the game !]

While I was talking with Yamazaki, I heard such a voice from the enemy team.

I didn’t intend to ruin the game that much, but….seems like it’s not going well.

“A-ah……sorry. As for us, we’re grateful.”

“It’s okay, I don’t mind. I’ll just look around.”

“Sorry, we’ll talk later !”

I took off my cloth bib and waved back at Yamazaki, who waved at me.

I’m a little disappointed that I can’t play the game.

But unlike before, I was able to talk to that guy….and he said he’d talk to me again. This makes me happy. That’s all I need to know for now.

I moved to a corner of the gym and began to watch the resumed game in a daze.

At that moment, a girl came over the net from the side.

“That was a great performance, Misaki san.”

“Ah, Sakura.”

I was able to talk to Sakura more than before.

Perhaps it was thanks to the photo shoot.

I have become accustomed to the conversation through the many times we have talked, and my heart no longer beats faster and slows down every time I speak to her.

However, it is true that I’m happy just to be able to talk to her.

Recently, I often think that it would be nice if we could get to know each other better at this rate.

“Are you good over there? You know the women’s volleyball team is playing too, right?”

“I’m taking a break too. I just finished my turn.”

I should have watched Sakura’s performance instead of playing the game.

“Speaking of which, I didn’t see Sakura until homeroom……are you late?”

“Yes, I simply overslept. I think it was because I was up late yesterday reading the script. I’m truly embarrassed.”

I asked, and Sakura sat down next to me.

…….I had never talked with Sakura side by side before.

Will I be able to put up with the joy that springs up and pretend to be calm?


“Sakura seems to be busy as ever. How many jobs are you holding?”

“Right…….I have three so far. I have a few new ones coming up, but my manager has worked it out so that I can balance it with my schoolwork, so it’s not too unreasonable.”

“I can see why you’re such a big seller.”

I can’t wait to get in line myself, but will I be able to catch up?

No….I’m meeting the manager that my sister introduced me to tomorrow, so let’s not be in a hurry. It’s not a loss even if it’s idle.

“Fufu, I’m sure Misaki san will be just like me in no time.”

“On what basis?”

“I don’t have any evidence, but I guess it’s just a hunch and a wish.”

“What’s that?”

Sakura and I both burst out laughing at the small joke.

How do we look from the side now? 

Are we good friends? Or lovers?

At the very least, we appeared to be good friends,….I’d be happy if they could see it that way.

High school lasts three years. If it gradually leads to results—

[L-look out !]

Suddenly, I hear such words.

Curious, I looked up and saw a volleyball flying toward Sakura.


The last memory came back to my mind.

If the sign had hit Sakura in the head at that time, what would have happened?

……Wouldn’t she have been injured like me?

When I remembered, my body moved as quickly as I could.

“Kyaa !”

I strongly hugged Sakura’s body and caught the flying volleyball with my body.

Perhaps because I had pulled her close to me as if to hold her, there was a small body and warmth spreading around my chest.

When a faintly sweet scent fills my nostrils—I finally realize it.

(Oh, shoot…….!)

If it was just a volleyball, I could just knock it off, there was no need to hug her.

Even so, I ended up hugging Sakura’s body.

“S-sorry !”

I let go of Sakura’s body in a hurry.

If I hadn’t remembered that time…I wouldn’t have hugged Sakura because she was in danger.

I was afraid that Sakura would get hurt and I didn’t want her to get hurt.

But if I did this now, it’s only natural that people would think I was weird.

“N-no……you’ve protected me.”

Sakura looks away a little.

That action made Sakura feel uncomfortable…it was enough to make her think so.


“S-sorry ! Are you okay, Misaki kun ?!” When I was tormented by regret, Aki in a sports uniform came over in a hurry.

I want to be depressed…but if I take that kind of attitude here, I might end up worrying Sakura.

Anyway, I pretended to be calm.


“I’m fine… was only volleyball.”

“T-that’s good. But thank you.”

“Hm? Why thank me?”

I’m the one who made Sakura feel uncomfortable.

“No, if Aoi kun hadn’t protected Hiiyo chan, it might have hit her in the face ! Putting aside her arms and body, if it had hit her nose or something, she might have broken it.”

Indeed, if you ask me, that’s true.

Even though it’s volleyball, if it has a lot of momentum, you’ll get nosebleeds.

“Ehehe, Aoi kun, you were so cool ! Hiiyo chan got a little excited ! I’ll give you a pat in the head as a thank-you !”

“H-hey you ! Don’t pat me on the head here, you’re embarrassing me !”

……Seriously, Aki is somewhat like my sister.

But the fact that she said that lightened my heart a bit.


(T-that was surprising……)

I instinctively turned my face away, but I hope he didn’t think I was being too blunt.

He was supposed to be the benefactor who sheltered me, but…I don’t know why I can’t look at his face.

It is true that this is the first time I have been hugged by a man outside of work.


(My heart is beating fast…….)

I feel as if my face is also getting hot.

Why is this happening?

I have never felt……this way before.

That’s why I’m so happy.

It seems that the number of people who are like me is increasing.

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