Episode 4 – My best friend’s crush resembles me

Source

https://ncode.syosetu.com/n5018if/4/

I attend class as usual, and when it’s over, recess comes around.
Reo comes to my seat, the boys gather for Reo, the gals approach the group, and finally Asahina-san, the most beautiful girl in the school, and Otsuki-san come to my side.

“……”

The conversation was lively, but Otsuki san and I didn’t speak at all.
If we do, it’s only with a friendly smile or a small nod.
This is a good way to understand the situation. We are both members of a cheerful group, and when we talk in a large group, we don’t speak at all except for a few words. But….

“Good morning, Otsuki-san.”
“Good morning, Kogure-kun.”

When we meet alone in the morning, we become talkative.
For the last week, every morning I have been talking with Otsuki-san about trivial things.
However, this is the only time we really talk, and once we enter the school, we are never alone.
I have Reo by my side, and Asahina-san is always by Otsuki-san’s side.
Perhaps Otsuki-san and I are similar to each other.
So we often talk together in the morning, and I feel comfortable in this morning time.

“Hee, you and Asahina-san have known each other since childhood, haven’t you?”
“Yes, we grew up together since we were little. We used to be the same height, but before I knew it, she overtook me.”
“I understand how great it is to have a childhood friend.”
“Kogure-kun is also a childhood friend of Hirasawa-kun right.”
“How do you see Reo, Otsuki san? I’m not trying to be serious. It’s just pure interest.”
“Well, Hirasawa-kun,…… I’m sorry Kogure-kun, but I’m not very good at this.”
“Eh? Is that so”
“I think he’s a cool guy like the other girls say, but I think he’s too bright for me.”

Then, more honestly than I expected, Otsuki san smiled and said

“And I might be scared, to be honest.”

The words, without any reservation or shit, were, of course, her true feelings. ……
And that night, I had no choice but to tell my best friend those words as they were.

“Like that, Reo”
“I’m going to be a shade. I’ll have dark hair, glasses, and a backpack.”
“That’s a terrible prejudice. It doesn’t matter what you look like, a good-looking guy will always be good-looking, no matter what he wears.”

At night, Reo comes to my room.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like a spy and reporting conversations with Otsuki-san to Reo.  
Reo is clearly not well-liked by Otsuki.
She’s avoiding him. Even if he confessed to her in this situation, it would probably be the end.

Reo was stunned with her mouth open.
He was more shocked than I had expected.
Most of the girls seemed to have a liking for Reo, and it was impossible for them not to like him, but I could understand why she didn’t like him.

I think it’s the same as how I feel about Asahina-san, the most beautiful girl in school.
It is rumored that she is liked by more than half of the boys in the school, but I honestly don’t want to get close to her.
The girl at the top of the caste is glorious and hurts my eyes. Also, there is something genuinely scary about her.

“But Otsuki-san is a better girl than I thought”
“Yes, she is!”

Reo’s cheeks break into tears as I praise Otsuki-san.

“She’s a really good girl! She comes to class in the morning before anyone else, opens the windows to ventilate, sweeps the floor, and so on. He cleans the blackboards and turns off the lights after the mobile classroom. When you see it, you can tell she’s a very diligent person.”

“Is that what made you fall in love with Otsuki-san?”
“You know, there’s a plant in the classroom,”

The school has one big plant in the back of the classroom. I don’t know what that means.

“Do you know who takes care of it?”
“I think someone was assigned the duty of watering it. …… Huh? When did that happen?”
“Actually, it looks like she’s watering it every morning.”
“Heee, I didn’t know that.”
“I found out during morning practice. When I went to pick up something I had forgotten, she was watering the plants, naming them and talking to them. It was really cute, and I was moved.”
“I guess she likes to take care of the plants as well as the fields.”
“After that, I fell in love with her, and every time I saw her in different ways, I knew she was a good girl, and I really fell in love with her.”
“I think she’s very neat because you can’t see much dirt on her clothes even though she’s working on the farm. She said she likes to cook, so I guess she’s good at housework.”
“Yeah! she looks at people. She is not just kind, but she is also attentive to others.”
“Yeah, I think she’d be good for a sloppy Reo.”
“…, but she doesn’t like …….”

He drooped again.
Reo is definitely having his first love if my memory serves me right.
I want to make it better as a best friend and childhood friend.
It’s not a reckless love, considering Reo’s level.
With all due respect, Reo belongs to the higher category.
I guess I’ll just have to patiently tell Otsuki-san that Reo is not the kind of boys he should be afraid of.
So I put my hand on Reo’s shoulder as he sinks into the triangle.

“I’ll take care of it. I’ll even get her to sit down at the negotiating table.”
“Ryomaaaaa…..”

Seeing the teary-eyed Reo clinging to me made me even more motivated. In order to make Reo’s wish come true, from the next day onwards, I started calling out to Otsuki san every morning.
Not only in the morning, but every time I saw her, I greeted her and talked to her patiently, casually mentioning Reo to get rid of her fear of him.
I don’t think I have ever worked so hard for a girl in my life.
This is the art of friendship for a best friend. So I kept talking to Otsuki san over and over again.

However, when I think about it, I may have overdone it.
I was so focused on talking to Otsuki san that I was losing my perspective.

“Hey.”
“Huh?”

One day after school, a girl approached me.
The only girl who would talk to me, aside from my teacher, was Otsuki-san, who I had recently gotten to know very well. So, it was impossible for me to be approached by a girl other than Otsuki san, whom I had recently become close to.

And it was even more impossible because the girl who approached me was Asahina Arisa, the most beautiful girl in the school.
I, who have a bad feeling about Asahina-san, backed away a little.
However, Asahina-san kept her expression unchanged and looked straight at me with her eyes.
What in the world did she, the top girl in the class caste, want with me?

“Kogure-kun, can I have a word?”
“Yes, what is it?”

I waited for Asahina-san’s words, trying not to move as much as possible.

“Will you go out with me from now on? I heard from someone in the basketball team that there are no club activities.”
“Eh, why?”

This was an unexpected invitation. The words that are completely unintelligible to me, and my voice leaks out in stunned silence.
The reason why Asahina-san called me out was not at all clear to me.

I often wondered if I had done something wrong. 
But …… I can’t think of anything at all.
The reason is that I’ve been living my school life trying to avoid getting involved with Asahina as much as possible.
While thinking about it, Asahina-san turned her sharp eyes on me. 

“You know, my cute Shizuku.”

There was a hint of anger in Asahina-san’s voice.

“You seem to be messing with her every day,……. I’d like to hear a little bit about what’s going on.”
“Ah.”

Apparently, as a result of paying too much attention to Otsuki Shizuku, the boss has taken notice of me.

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