When I went back to the classroom in the afternoon, there were a lot of guys looking at me with white eyes.

But no one asked me anything.

I wanted to ask, but I was afraid to touch them.

All through the uncomfortable afternoon, I was waiting for the phone in my pocket to shake.

I wonder if Chifuyu is okay.

I wonder if Chifuyu is still sleeping.

All I can do is worry more and more.

Now I want someone to listen to my feelings.

Perhaps my feelings were understood, because soon after school, Madoka san came to pick me up.

“Hey there, Kouhai kun!”

All the boys in my classmates were paying attention to Madoka san as she waved her hand in my direction.

I heard that Sakuragawa Madoka is so popular that even though she is not as popular as Chifuyu, there is no one in hometown who doesn’t know about her.

I’ve heard such stories, but for me, she is not one of them.

She is Chifuyu’s best friend.

And she is the only other person Chifuyu has allowed herself to be with besides me.

I never had a chance to talk to her because of Chifuyu’s presence, but I wanted to ask her about various things.

“Excuse me, Madoka san, Chifuyu is”

“Chifuyu’s mother called me just now and said she was still sleeping.”

“I see. ……”

“Shall we go check on her together?”


I’m leaving school with Madoka san.

I’m sure Chifuyu would get angry if she saw me like this.

“I already explained to the teacher about Chifuyu. The person who got carried away and provoked her is also responsible, so it doesn’t seem like there will be any problems with her behaviour.”

“Good… But why is Madoka-san so nice to Chifuyu? Even though you are friends.”

“My situation is similar to Chifuyu’s.”

Madoka-san looked up at the sky while walking three steps ahead of me and muttered that.

After stopping, she glanced at me who had caught up to me,

“My father isn’t here. However, Chifuyu’s family is divorced and my family suffered. There were quite a few things going on, but Chifuyu supported me during those times.”

She continued.

“Chifuyu supported …… Madoka san?”

“Well, I can’t think of it now. When my father died, Chifuyu cried as if it was her own life, and when my mother started working and I felt lonely at home, she was with me every day. She said she could understand how I felt. She is really a kind girl who understands people’s pain.”

Again, my halted feet moved forward.

I asked her one more question as I followed her.

“…… Why did Chifuyu’s parents get divorced?”

“…… Well, I can tell you. It’s a common story, adultery. Chifuyu saw the scene of the affair.”

“You mean he brought a woman into the house?”

“Yes. Well, it seems like she was quite attached to her father, so it was a big shock. Since then, she started to think that men are trash and the worst.”

“……That’s what happened.”

Chifuyu had a traumatic experience.

I didn’t know that because she never told me anything about it.

No, I didn’t even try to know.

I had given up on Chifuyu, thinking that it was inevitable because she was always like that.

“However, I was shocked to hear that she had found someone she liked.Maybe it was a reaction to being attacked, or maybe it was a suspension bridge effect, but I was also really glad that it was Kouhai-kun.”

“Oh no,……, I’m always having Chifuyu do things for me.”

“That’s not the case. I can’t believe how much your existence has supported that girl. Well, this case went a little too far, but I hope that this girl will take this as an opportunity to change a little.”

“Yes, that’s right. I think Chifuyu is a person who can properly reflect on her actions.”

“Yeah, trust me. If you were a scumbag who was just after her body, I would have threatened you and told you to stop because you’re like that. But I’m really glad it was you.”

Over and over again, Madoka san nodded her head and said

She said she was glad it was me.

That’s what she said.

Encouraged by those words, I couldn’t find the words to reply, but I made up my mind.

I will stay by Chifuyu’s side no matter what.

No matter what Chifuyu does wrong, I should scold her properly, I decided.

I arrived at Chifuyu’s house just in time.

“Excuse me, this is Sakuragawa.”

Madoka san called at the door, and to her surprise, Chifuyu came wobbling in from the back.

“Toma-kun,…… and Madoka too.”

“Chifuyu, have you calmed down yet?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry, both of you, for worrying you.”

“It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m going home now that I’ve seen Chifuyu’s healthy face. Take care of the rest, kouhai kun.”

Madoka quickly leaves without taking off her shoes at the entrance.

After that, I look at Chifuyu.

Chifuyu was in tears.

“W-What’s wrong? Are you still in some pain?”

“No,……, I’ve put everyone through a lot of trouble. I’m sorry, I’m going to change.”

“Chifuyu ……”

“Tomorrow, I’ll be patient. I’ll stay at home by myself and wait for Toma-kun to come home… Because I have to change.”

I supported Chifuyu, who was crying and collapsed at the entrance, and went straight into the house.

Then, when I went to the living room, her mom came and said, ’she is taking the day off from school tomorrow.’

The teacher contacted her earlier and said that she is going to be suspended from school for the day tomorrow.

Tomorrow I won’t be able to see her.

Chifuyu says that’s why she doesn’t want to be away from me today.

“…… I’ll put up with it tomorrow, so will you stay with me today?”

“Of course. And also tomorrow, after school, I’ll fly in.”

“Yeah,……, will you come to my room today?”

“Sure? I’ve always wanted to try it.”

“Yeah. I love you, Toma kun”

I’m going to visit Chifuyu’s room today with her.

The room is nothing more than a bed, a desk and a bookshelf, but it has a sweet scent that makes you think that this is Chifuyu’s room.

But today Chifuyu doesn’t ask me for anything even though we are alone in the room.

Maybe she thinks it’s inappropriate to do that kind of thing at a time like this.

“……Toma-kun is with me. I’m happy.”

“Yes, I’ll always be with you. But you must never do anything like this again.”

“……I’m a bad girl. If I do something bad, I want you to scold me properly.”

“Of course. That’s what I and Madoka san intend to do. However, when it’s hard for you to get mad at Madoka-san, I’ll take care of you. And when I’m having a hard time, Chifuyu takes care of me. I also want to be pampered by Chifuyu.”

“Toma-kun ……yeahm I will pamper you a lot and spoil you.”

I sat on the bed and gently laid my mouth on her lips as if to support Chifuyu, whose body was shaking a little.

Then I remembered a little of what Madoka san had told me.

Maybe I can be a support for Chifuyu.

But after all, I can’t do anything on my own without the cooperation of many people.

I need to be strong enough to protect Chifuyu by myself.

I have to do my best so that Chifuyu doesn’t have to worry about anything.

“Chifuyu, let’s do our best tomorrow.”

“Yeah. ……”

Chifuyu is also trying to do her best.

I can’t lose either.

After that, I took a shower with Chifuyu in turn, then returned to her room and immediately went to bed.

But without doing anything, we fell asleep together holding hands.

Believing that in this way, we can gradually become a relationship that is not dependent on each other.

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