The new semester has begun, and the air that had been buoyant about school life for the first time in a long time has settled down in the classroom.

The indescribable feeling of discomfort after more than a month’s break is fading.

“Good morning! Shota-kun.”

“…… Ah, good morning.”

One of the biggest changes in me.

Sakurae comes to me every morning to greet me, and today she continues to do so.

“I’m on book duty from today. Don’t be late, okay?”

I was convinced that’s why she was a little more excited than usual.

“I see. …..Okay, I’ll be there.”

Sakurae’s smile deepened when I answered that.

“Yeah, I’ll be looking forward to it.”

“…… Yeah.”

I won’t say anything anymore.

I guess she can’t help but look forward to spending time with me.

Nodding with satisfaction at my answer, Sakurae left to put her luggage on her seat.

Immediately, people gather around Sakurae.

“Sana, good morning!”

“Sakurae, you’re early today, aren’t you?”

“Good morning. It’s always this early, you know?”

The circle around Sakurae, but Kobayashi is not there.

As for Kobayashi, I saw him sitting alone at a seat not too far from Sakurae, touching his phone.

(…… After all that happened, I guess everything can’t go back to the way it was.)

As I was feeling a little guilty about that, I get a thump on my back.

“You’ve been busy this morning.”

The boy in the back seat, my new friend (?) Kikuchi, was teasing me in his usual way.

Ever since I showed him his summer vacation homework, he started talking to me a lot, and even though he’s a man of few words, he only makes jokes like this to me.

“….I’ve told you many times that it’s not like that.”

“I don’t see it that way, so I’ve said it many times.”

Kikuchi’s expression didn’t change much, but for some reason I sensed a nuance of dismay.

“You know,……Sakurae is behaving like that towards everyone. I’m not special.”

“…… what? Kokonoe doesn’t seem that insensitive though.”

I brushed it off with all my might, but Kikuchi said so, seeming to have easily seen through it.

I frankly thought that Kikuchi, who looked at other people strangely often, was a pain in the ass.

“You show your face too easily.”

I responded with a frown.

“In front of Kikuchi, anyone would have a face like this.”

Kikuchi then grins, looking even more like a villain.

…..even with just a burly body and a strong face, if I were a kid, I’d be crying.

“…… you’re funny, after all.”

I was wondering if I might get into trouble by talking to Sakurae.

However, I let out a sigh, thinking that it might have been better that way, because I was really liked by such a troublesome person.

“I was waiting for you, Shota-kun.”

When I arrived at the library, Sakurae greeted me with a big smile.

“You’re too early ……. Did you eat lunch properly?”

I too had to be on duty, so I came here after lunch without talking to anyone else, but Sakurae was already sitting down.

“Yes, I did eat. Don’t worry”

When I say something as trivial as worrying, Sakurae replies happily.

“…. I see.”

I pretended like I didn’t care at all and sat down next to Sakurae and opened my book.

Sakurae stopped me and said, “Wait.”

“…..I’d like to talk to you today.”


–I’ve not been able to read much lately because of the noise from the guy sitting behind me.

For the moment, such an excuse crossed my mind, but my eyes met those of Sakurae, whose eyes were shining with anticipation, and I gave up and closed the book.

“…. I guess so.”

“Thank you!”


When Sakurae thanked me, I shook my head to indicate that I didn’t need it, but Sakurae didn’t seem to understand and tilted her head to the side.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on library duty…..I’ll hang out with you for a little while.”

I still couldn’t say, “I want to talk to Sakurae too,” but when Sakurae heard that, she looked at me with a knowing smile, so I made a disgusted expression.

“…it’s pretty easy, you know?”


I get an explanation of the mackerel stewed in miso, which Sakurae came to make for me at the end of the summer vacation.

“Shota-kun, is there anything you want to eat next? If you want, I can go make it on my next day off.”

…At this rate, if I let her, she’s seriously going to come to my house every weekend.

“I can’t think of anything right now, and you’ve only just been here. I’ll be fine this week.”

“You don’t have to be so reserved ……. You said the same thing last week, remember?”


It’s been about a week now since the new semester started, and Sakurae was a little pouty, as if she was still holding on to the fact that I refused her invitation for the upcoming weekend right away.

That being said, it can’t be helped.

Sakurae is a good cook, and she takes care of me in a worthwhile way.

She seems so happy to do that, that if I let my guard down, I feel like I’m going to get carried away without being able to decide how I feel.

….I’m not going to mention it to Sakurae because I think she’ll push me further if I tell her that.

“…I’ll refrain from doing that.. In the first place, how long is it taking you to get to my house?”

I ask Sakurae, even though I know it’s a little late for that.

After thinking about it for a moment, Sakurae answered.

“A little over an hour, I think. ……”

“…… really?”

I don’t expect Sakurae to answer honestly about the trouble, so I’m going to try to make a fool of myself.

Then, Sakurae smiled as if she had just figured it out, and said it again.

“It didn’t take ……2 hours, okay?”

In other words, you’re taking about two hours to get to my house,…….

“…..I’ll be fine for a while.”

“I knew you’d say that!”

“Of course. It takes so long, so why can’t you just call me over and over again?”

In response to my response, Sakurae became even more sullen and pouted her lips.

“…Because Shota-kun, you won’t meet me outside, right?”

“That’s …….”

For a moment, I remembered the time I refused to go see a movie.

Don’t tell me you’re still reeling from that and that I’ve been avoiding meeting you outside……?

I shook my head lightly and changed my mind, telling myself I was thinking too much.

“Whatever it is, just think about it a little more so it won’t be a burden on Sakurae.”

“…It’s not a burden, Shota-kun.”


The conversation stops at Sakurae’s response, which is difficult to answer.

Meanwhile, one person was processing the loaning of books and leaving, when Sakurae looked up.

“…… if it wasn’t your house, right?”

“What do you mean?”

I looked at Sakurae, ‘I’ve got an idea!’ was written on her face.

“Then I’ll make Shota-kun a lunch box!”

“.. huh?”

I just let out a sigh as I prepared to leave.

In the end, Sakurae just pushed, and on the days we meet once a week when I’m not on duty at the library, Sakurae makes me a bento and we eat together.

And since she hasn’t used that once this week, she’s going to make it tomorrow.

I was a little depressed because I thought that I was being manipulated by Sakurae.

…………. No, well, it’s not that I’m not happy.

As I walked out of the classroom thinking about this for a while, a certain someone stopped me.

“……Kokonoe-kun, wait.”

When I turned around at the sound of that voice, I saw an unexpected person standing there.

“Takagi …… What’s wrong?”

I asked, and Takagi looked a little nervous and said to me

“I’m sorry. I need to talk to you about something for a minute, okay?”

I couldn’t help but have a bad feeling, considering that Sakurae must have slipped out while she was surrounded by her classmates.

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