Summer is in full swing.
Tokyo is also experiencing an unprecedented heat wave, and more than usual, heat stroke prevention was said in response to the temperature outside the borders.
“What’s wrong? You look tired from the looks of it. ……”
“Haha, well, a little. ……”
I was in a cool room, but as I was lying on my desk like a college student with May sickness, Kasugai-san called out to me.
I was in the university library. There were quite a few people in the library, probably because many of them were staying at the boarding house as a summer resort.
In the library, Kasugai-san and I were in a discussion space where we could study while talking.
“Are you having trouble with your graduation thesis?”
“No, that one is going rather well itself. ……”
“So, what about your work?”
What? With Kasugai-san’s face, I nodded with the last bit of power I had left.
As for Kasugai-san, her experience as a part-time broadcaster may have helped her to land a job at a broadcasting station.
She, too, seems to be making steady progress in her preparations for graduation.
“Hmm, work …… well, I guess so …….”
“You seem a bit choppy, don’t you?”
Kasugai-san laughs as if troubled.
If it weren’t for her healing, I’m sure I’d be dead by the side of the road right now. To put it simply, Kasugai-san was healing. How many times do I have to say “healing”?
“Well, maybe it’s just that I’m a little unfamiliar with a lot of the work I do. ……”
That was definitely one of the causes.
These days, I not only write songs, but I frequently appear on television. Such an unfamiliar job is physically and mentally exhausting, it seems.
“Ah, by the way, I saw you on TV the other day.”
“Basically, it’s not so much on TV, but more on TV programs that are distributed through a TV distribution service.”
It is more accurate to say that I am becoming a little more well-known on the Internet, not in the sense that I have become a celebrity that grabs the attention of the public.
Since changing my name, I’ve finally become more well-known, and my TV appearances have increased along with it.
“Do you find that kind of work tiring?”
“Well, I’ve never been good at public speaking.”
“I guess I can understand why.”
I choked up for a moment, but I think that probably means that Kasugai-san could relate to me.
I would like to believe that she did not guess from my appearance that I am not good at speaking. Right, right?
“So that’s why you’re tired?”
“No, that’s not the direct cause. ……”
“Not that one? Not because of your TV appearances?”
“That is the cause, but the main cause is rather co-star …… than appearing on TV.”
Saying that makes me sick to my stomach, remembering what happened the other day again.
“Co-star? Was there someone you didn’t get along with?”
“‘Hmm, I don’t think it’s like that, …….”
“Then what’s wrong?”
After wondering whether or not to talk, I decided that it would be better to say what happened the other day, so I told Kasugai-san what had happened the other day.
The previous Saturday. I was in Asakusa for a recording session.
I was supposed to wait in front of the Kaminarimon, a perfect location, and when I drove up after my meeting, many staff members were already getting ready.
“It’s amazing in such hot weather, isn’t it?”
When I said something like that, the cameraman laughed at me and said, “Well, the performers are the performers, so they are all fired up.”
I waited for a while, thinking that was how it was supposed to be, and eventually someone came in with a thump, thump, thump sound that seemed to seep into the rocks.
And as soon as all the staff recognized her, I could feel the tension in the otherwise relaxed atmosphere.
“Sorry to keep you waiting~.the previous recording ran a little long.”
She said this and immediately went to a nearby place to change her makeup and closed her eyes while being held under a parasol by a staff member.
Just this. And yet, the temperature in the surrounding area seemed strangely refreshing.
Shirakawa Kotoha. She is now one of the country’s leading actresses and has charmed many people with her beauty and acting ability.
She is not the kind of person who usually shows up with a playful attitude, but with a serious face, which made me tense up and straighten my back.
Kotoha is amazing, after all. I felt like a child.
“Okay, then, let’s get started~!”
The cheerful producer shouted, and the recording began.
The content of the program we were about to shoot was a normal program in which we would eat our way around Asakusa and have a national actress promote us.
However, the accompanying announcer, Momoyama-san, had gained popularity for his good speaking skills and his willingness to step into the guests’ shoes, and the show had been running for years.
“Okay, I am pleased to have this group with me today.”
After a brief self-introduction, we walked straight into the Kaminarimon.
“How are you doing these days~? I know you’re busy with your acting career, but do you actually have time to practice as an artist?”
“Well. I’m grateful for the work I’m getting, so I’m giving it my all. As for singing, I only study with a voice trainer during my free time.”
We chat until we get to the restaurant we want to go to. we went in, ate some sweets, gave my impressions, chatted a little more, and left the store.
Kotoha also looks calm and answers questions honestly, sometimes smiling and sometimes making a troubled face. Perhaps she was making a face for the camera.
After repeating the same thing for about two more shops, I guess.
At the third restaurant, just as we were approaching the latter half of the program, Momoyama-san suddenly went into a more private conversation.
“By the way, Nagishiro-san, don’t you have a girlfriend or something?”
The topic was so sudden that I almost choked on the white bean curd I was holding in my mouth.
I was saved because Kotoha hurriedly took the tea away from me, but what a sudden topic of conversation!
“Oh~? Is that a pattern of response?”
“No, I’m not! I don’t have!!”
“Is that so~. That’s good news for the fans!”
No, fans are ……. My fans are usually just people who think well of my songs. ……
I was thinking about this, and then Momoyama-san naturally asked Kotoha about the same topic.
“Then what about you, Shirakawa-san?”
Maybe this is what he was after.
First of all, after a short break with me, I’m going to the main circle. Momoyama-san, I knew you were an announcer with a long history of experience. ……
“Hmmm, I’m afraid I don’t have one either.”
“Though I think it would be more of a shame if you were!”
Momoyama-san laughs and says ahaha~. That would be a shock if Kotoha had a boyfriend. If it had been a regular guy, I would have told her to take that place. Well, if she had a boyfriend, she wouldn’t have come over to someone’s house like that and got drunk and sloppy.
But that was not the end of it.
That’s when my stomach started to hurt.
“I’m looking for a boyfriend.”
Our reactions to this unexpectedly shocking statement were in stark contrast.
I, who had been listening to the conversation in a daze, was so surprised that I questioned Kotoha’s sanity, while Momoyama-san, who is an expert announcer, thought this was funny and raised the corners of his mouth.
“What kind of person is your type?”
“I don’t really know what your type is~……?”
“Then a celebrity! If you were to say a celebrity, who would you say it is, to be honest?”
“I’m not sure if I’d call him a celebrity~”
The conversation proceeded at a brisk pace.
Kotoha, who is so service-oriented and talks about anything and everything, is unexpected and makes us wonder if it is her or not.
But her bombshell wasn’t the only one.
“Eh, who is it? who is it?”
“If I had to say ……, I would say …….”
Saying this, Kotoha turned to me.
Then she turned her head to look at me and smiled.
“Nagishiro-sensei, is it~?”
“Hey~, are you all right, Sensei?”
“Goohon gohon gohon, I’m sorry, I’m fine.”
What the heck is this person talking about out of the blue?
I mean, would she say such a thing even if the TV is not rolling?
“Excuse me, excuse me.”
The waitress hurriedly brought me a hand towel.
The waitress opened the mouth of the hand towel bag, but Kotoha snatched it away from the side as if she was snatching it from me.
“Are you okay~? Your face is bright red you know~?”
Kotoha says with a smirk on her face, holding my mouth with a hand towel and patting me on the back. Of course, after positioning myself perfectly so that my voice would not be picked up by the microphone.
“Here, take a slow breath.”
When I tried to protest, she shoved a hand towel into my mouth. I can’t talk. ……
And while I couldn’t do anything, Kotoha followed up on her earlier words.
“As expected, I gave too much lip service, didn’t I?”
“Oh, you are indeed joking, aren’t you? Ah, I’m relieved ……”
Momoyama-san patted his chest. That’s right, if it were true, we wouldn’t be talking about a broadcast accident or something.
But I wonder why. When I am told that it is a joke, I feel relieved and also somewhat a little bit sad.
As I’m thinking this, Kotoha steals the camera’s eye, brings her face close to mine once more, and whispers,
“Well, maybe that’s not true either~. I like you, Seen-sei?”
I take back what I said before. I don’t feel lonely at all. This girl is a nasty person after all.
The next day, Kotoha’s face immediately returned to that of an outgoing one.
But she seemed to be in a slightly better mood.
–I’ve seen something like this not only with Kotoha, but with Azusa and Mirei as well.
Azusa, like Kotoha, was asked what type of person she likes, and she gave specific characteristics like “someone who knows a lot about music,” “older,” and “180 centimeters tall,” which was pointed out in the program as “Oh, isn’t Nagishiro san a perfect match! and it became what is called a “hint”.
In Mirei’s case, she simply said something like, “I had dinner with Sensei the other day,” so I ended up clearing up the misunderstanding. Even if I said it was a misunderstanding, I was really invited to go, so I added a little lie and decided that it was a meeting, but the announcer gave me a gray judgment on the host comedian.
“You must be …… popular, aren’t you? Nagishiro-kun is.”
I would have immediately denied it, but I was not in the mood to do so now.
I had been thinking about what senpai had said to me.
These words were the words that I had heard from senpai,
“Do you have any dissatisfaction with your attractiveness to such beautiful women?”
“Oh, no, I’m not dissatisfied or anything.”
I smiled and said so to Kasugai-san, who asked me curiously.
I shouldn’t have felt dissatisfied.
I just wondered if I could really think that I was well-liked. That’s all I can think about.
I had my first love in high school and senpai rejected me outright.
She said she dumped me to protect herself, but from my point of view, I think I lacked something in terms of attractiveness and manliness.
I don’t have anything in particular, and until now I haven’t made any efforts to be proud of others, I’ve just been doing what I like and running away from things I don’t like.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry to talk like this.”
“No, no, you can talk to me anytime you want, Nagishiro-kun.”
I’m going to end the conversation at the right place because I’ve been talking about myself for a while now.
Kasugai-san really doesn’t mind and tells me not to worry about it. I really appreciate it. ……
“Come to think of it, I’ll have a chance to meet with Harushita-san next time, and maybe we can talk about it then. ……”
Harushita-san might be able to give us her opinion as an entertainer.
She might have an idea about how these girls feel. Aren’t they self-conscious? Or maybe they are starving for a man.
Maybe I shouldn’t do this.
And that’s when I notice that Kasugai-san’s expression is noticeably cloudier than before.
And then, in a voice like a mosquito.
“……I’ll consult with you as much as you want, but I don’t want ……you to consult with other people!”
I couldn’t understand her very well, so I asked her again.
This time, she said in a loud and angry voice
“Please don’t talk to other women about it! That position is …… mine ……”
From there, Kasugai-san made a mysterious assertion. I didn’t quite understand what she was trying to say.
“It’s okay to say that much right⁉”
“No, that much ……”
“………… at least that much, I want to be special too……”
“That’s enough! Anyway, it’s my role to act as a consultant! Do you understand, this, uh, insensitive and deaf protagonist!!!?”
“Y-yes. I understand.”
I didn’t understand what she was trying to say until the very end, but I nodded my head in agreement since there seemed to be no choice but to accept.
I mean, the insensitive deaf protagonist. I knew a word that only appeared in romantic comedies like that…
I also wanted to say back out loud that it was just Kasugai-san’s voice being low rather than hearing loss.
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