“Why don’t you check with Kokonoe-kun?”

“…… Are you serious?”

Serika gives a stern look at my suggestion.

“Sana wants us to leave her alone about this. If Sana is relying on us, it’s still fine, but if you move on your own, you’ll only make her angry.”

“But ……”

I appealed to Serika.

“It’s that Sana, okay? That girl is so pure that she doesn’t even notice the favor from Shirakawa-kun,……. I don’t know much about Kokonoe-kun, but that’s why I’m still worried about her.”

Hearing my words, Serika let out another sigh.

“….. I can understand Akane’s feelings a little myself. Where Sana is concerned, I do.”

“If that’s the case,…….”

“But,” Serika continued

“This is Sana’s problem. Just because we are Sana’s friends and we are worried about her is no reason for us to step in.”

“Then, Serika, would you be okay if Kokonoe-kun was a bad guy and Sana was being cheated on?!”

The people around me reacted to my pissed off voice and looked at me.

Some of them were frowning in annoyance.

“I’m sorry, …….”

I apologized quietly and shrugged.

Serika said to me in annoyance.

“Calm down. You don’t have to judge Kokonoe-kun as a bad person. Besides, we haven’t even found out yet that the other party is Kokonoe-kun. ……”

“……, so why don’t we go check that out?”

I was so pissed off that I talked back to Serika.

We were silent for a while and our gazes met.

Eventually, Serika opened her mouth, looking annoyed.

“If it comes to this, I won’t listen to you even if I want to. ……I won’t say anything to Sana. But I will just pretend I don’t know, and I won’t cooperate either.”


When I sounded happy, Serika gave me another hard look as if she was nailing me.

“Don’t get me wrong. I stopped you.”

“Yes, I know. Then when Sana comes back, ……”

I told Serika how I was going to go see Kokonoe-kun without Sana noticing after this.

After a while from there, Sana came back again.

It has been more than an hour since Sana left.

“…… Sana, are you alright?”

“… yeah, I’m fine. I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry I’m late.”


Sana, forcing a smile at Serika’s concern, clearly looks depressed, and my suspicions about Kokonoe-kun increase.

“Hmm, we were thinking of taking a break soon too, so why don’t you take a little break too Sana?”

“……Yeah, I guess so.”

Sana weakly nods at my suggestion.

“Did you get to see Kokonoe-kun?”

When Serika asked that, I noticed that Sana’s expression became even more intense.

“…… I saw him, but I don’t think he recognized me either.”


…… absolutely, something happened.

I’m convinced of that, and hiding my anger towards Kokonoe-kun, I do exactly what I told Serika to do.

“……I’m going to go to the washroom for a bit. And while I’m at it, I think I’ll go for a walk for a change.”

Sakurae returned her friend and I opened the book again.

But the work that I had thought was so wonderful was now completely lost in my mind.

My headache is still persisting, though it has gotten better.

(No good. ……)

I closed the book and let out a deep sigh.

–This was all for the best.

I just can’t believe Sakurae’s fondness for me.

If that’s the case, it’s just going to be hard for both of us to be together.

No matter how many excuses I make to myself, I can’t get rid of the thorn in my heart.

It seems like Sakurae has already become a huge presence in my heart.

[I can’t answer your feelings after all,…….]

[… Eh?]

[I don’t care if it’s a deal or not anymore. You’re bothering me, so get away quickly…….]

When I said that, Sakurae’s face is burned into my eyes and I can’t get rid of it.

[……. absolutely, I’m going to help Kokonoe kun]

I didn’t understand the meaning of what Sakurae said when she left. …I didn’t want to think about it.

Sakurae is still……

“Damn …….”

When I think about it, the headache strikes again.

Sakurae is not alone.

I’m sure she has a lot of friends now, and someday she won’t give a damn about me.

I’ll be in her way. ……

I managed to stifle the pain and stood up with dazed steps.

I put the book in the return box and decided to just go home and rest for the day.

“…… are you leaving already?”

As I was leaving the reading area, I bumped into Sakurae’s friend.

I had no time to look at her, and I answered shortly, “…… ah,” and was about to walk away.

But …….

“Wait a minute. Then it’s just as well. I need to talk to you about Sana, so hang out with me for a bit.”

I finally look up at the mention of Sakurae’s name.

This girl’s expression is easy to see.

I could clearly see the anger and tension on her face.

“…… got it. Let’s go outside.”

This is why friends are so …… difficult.

I also didn’t have the luxury of hiding the troubled expression on my face.

‘Akane’ and I walked to the vending machine that we met when Sakurae and the others came.

We both sat down on a bench by it.

“So ……, first tell me your name.”

“Kobayashi Akane, ……. The other girl who was there, by the way, is Takagi Serika.”

“We are classmates and you don’t know our name?” Ignoring Kobayashi, who seemed to want to say something like that, I continued talking.

“I see. Anyway, I’m Kokonoe Shota. …So, what is it?”

When I asked that question, Kobayashi’s eyes suddenly became hard.

“I said it was about Sana, right? Don’t you understand?”

Sakurae, no matter how much I told her that the deal was off, I don’t think she would immediately tell Kobayashi and the others about what has happened so far.

At any rate, when Sakurae came back, she was acting strange, so I guess she thought I was involved, since she knows I’m here. ……

I thought, whipping my head against the headache that was preventing me from working properly.

Kobayashi didn’t miss my attempts to pass it off as fooling around.

“You were meeting Sana just now, weren’t you! Quit messing around!”

I quickly countered.

“If you don’t make it more clear what you want to ask me, I can’t answer your question. ……Sakurae certainly came this way, but nothing happened.”

Kobayashi choked up at my words.

Kobayashi exhaled as if to calm herself down, then thought about something before saying

“…… Sana said there’s someone she likes. Does that ring a bell?”

I answered, wondering if Sakurae would have told Kobayashi and the others that much.

“I’m not sure. The only connection between me and Sakurae is that we’re both on the library board. I’m not sure how that’s possible.”

“…… damn.”

Kobayashi’s face contorted in frustration.

Kobayashi still continues to point out the leap in thinking.

“When I asked Sana who it was, she got very angry. She told me not to bother that person. …… So, even if that person is Kokonoe-kun, I don’t think she would answer honestly.”

Kobayashi seemed to have reached a conclusion in her mind, which I found troubling again.

It is because she is not mistaken ……

“I don’t care what Kobayashi thinks, but there is no such relationship between me and Sakurae.”

“Then why did Sana come back with such a pained look on her face! If Sana looked like that because of Kokonoe-kun, then ……, and if Kokonoe-kun is hiding it, then I, I can’t forgive him!”

I glared at Kobayashi.

“……What are you going to do when you find out about it?”

“…… Eh?”

I pursued Kobayashi, who showed no sign of having thought about my reply.

“No matter what happens, it seems like you want to make me the bad guy. I just asked. Even if the relationship between Sakurae and the person she loves is stale, what does that have to do with Kobayashi?”

“Because! I’m friends with Sana, ……!”

“Friends, so what? Are you going to join Sakurae in degrading him? Or are you going to seek help from those around you and persecute him?”

“No, ……! I’m not ……!”

Kobayashi starts to panic at my words.

I do not stop attacking her.

“Kobayashi ……. It’s nice of you to be her friend, but all you’re doing right now is just stirring up trouble.”

“Ugh ……! not! After all, Kokonoe-kun… you were the one who seduced Sana! Otherwise, Sana would never look at you like that! ”

“…… what are you doing?”

The voice was small and trembling, yet it easily reached the ears of me and Kobayashi, who were strangely heated.

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9 months ago

No, cliffhanger….

3 months ago

God I want to punch her.