“Kento ! Shall we go home together?”
As soon as homeroom was over, Maki came to my seat at once.
Perhaps because she cried in front of her classmates during lunch break, I could see from behind that she was looking down in embarrassment throughout the rest of the class, but she seemed to have gotten over it.
“Sorry, I have a student council meeting today.”
“I see……good luck with the student council……”
Maki was clearly shocked.
I feel like I’ve done something bad when she’s so down about it…….
“Let’s go home together again next time. Let me off the hook for now.”
“It can’t be helped. I’ll forgive you if you say that much.”
Maki puffs out her cheeks and turns away, as if to show that she’s sulking.
But the melancholy that was in the air just a few minutes ago is no longer present.
“Thanks. I’m going now.”
When I entered the student council room, Maria senpai was the only one inside.
I’ve been ignoring her until now, but it feels awkward when it’s just the two of us.
It seems like she’s the same way, and ever since I arrived, she hasn’t look at me.
Just as I thought that, she suddenly raised her head and looked at me with her clear eyes.
“Sada Kento kun, I have something I want to tell you……and I don’t mind if you don’t respond as usual…..but I would like you to listen to me if you can……”
Since I’ve been ignoring her so much, she’s started to use honorifics to me completely.
There is no sign of her former arrogant attitude, and she looks a little weak.
Normally, I would continue to ignore anything she says to me, but not this time.
“…I’ll listen to you. So please talk as much as you want.”
Maria’s eyes widen in surprise.
I’ve not spoken to her since I declared my to ignore her, so it’s understandable that she’s surprised.
“What is it? Don’t you want me to listen?”
I decided to listen to her, but the fact that she had been abusing me didn’t change my mind, so I couldn’t help but become sarcastic.
“I-I want you to listen to me ! So here’s the thing.”
She turned her body toward me.
It looks like her body is somewhat stiff.
I think she’s nervous.
“…First of all, I’m sorry for abusing you. I knew you were really hurt, but I couldn’t stop…..I’m sorry.”
I had a vague inkling that she had something to tell me, but it was quite a shock for me to see her, who had so much pride, apologize, even if it wasn’t as bad as Emiko.
“……Why did you abuse me?”
That was the question I was able to squeeze out of my mouth.
I understand that she is sorry.
But if I didn’t resolve this question, it would be a matter of reconciliation or not.
“E-erm, u-um, that’s…..”
Maria was getting upset.
Just then, for some reason, her face started turning red and she looked away from me.
“…..I won’t understand unless you tell me what it is.”
Suddenly, Maria showed an attitude of embarrassment, but there was no way I could find out the reason from there, as if I were a detective…….
Inevitably, I will have to wait for her response.
“Right……you won’t understand unless I tell you……actually, what I’m going to tell you now will be the other thing I want to tell you, okay?”
“You’re gonna have to be quick about it.”
“O-okay,……erm, the reason I abused you is,…….a-a-a,……”
Maria covers her face with both hands in embarrassment.
I’m a little fed up with her stammering again, but I’ll wait patiently and silently.
Perhaps she couldn’t stand my silent pressure, so she finally spoke up.
‘Ugh, I get it,……the reason I abused you,………………….Oh, uh……………………………………………….because I loved you !”
I was so upset that I didn’t care about her biting her tongue in an embarrassing way.
She continues talking while looking at me, her face turning bright red.
“K-Kento kun may not have noticed, but I’ve always liked you and approached you even before you started dating Maki san, okay?”
“……I didn’t notice at all.”
“I was ashamed, but I tried my best to get close to you, and I wanted to be with you as much as possible, so I helped you with the work you’d piled up…….”
……Was that all an approach?
I thought she was someone who was originally very close to me to stick close, and as for the matter of her helping me with my work, I thought she was simply a good person,…….
But there’s a part of me that’s not convinced by that.
“…..Suppose you did like me, how would that lead to abuse?”
I asked, and she turned her face away, looking flustered.
“……Jealousy, the very ugly one. I was hitting hard at you for not choosing me, even though I didn’t even confess……why you chose that woman when I was trying so hard to approach you.”
Jealousy because you liked me……
Is that why she started abusing me about three months ago when Maki and I started dating?
Leaving me silent and thinking, she continues.
“I cursed you over and over again and took it out on you. Part of me felt pleasure in doing so. ……But, but ! I couldn’t turn away from these feelings after all.”
“I, Shimazami Maria, still love you.”
Both of us kept our mouths shut in unison.
“……Maria senpai, I’m sorry. I can’t look at you that way.”
The answer I finally managed to squeeze out was still refusal.
Then, she looked sad for a moment, but surprisingly, her expression quickly returned to a gentle one.
“I understand. It’s true that I hurt you, and I think it’s only natural that you can’t look at me that way right now. But from now on, I will do my best to appeal to you, even though it may be annoying. If I can meet your expectations, I would like you to make me your girlfriend…….”
“…If you can do it, why not try it…”
I realized that my face was turning red, perhaps because I had taken advantage of her straightforward kindness, and I answered bluntly to disguise it.
“Or rather, please stop speaking in such a way that you’re confused between honorific language and formal language. You can speak to me as usual.”
I feel uncomfortable when a senior speaks to me in honorifics.
“I see……I see ! Okay !”
She broke into a full-blown smile, perhaps realizing that the distance between us had grown closer because she had been pushed to use the casual language.
“…..I haven’t said I forgive you yet.”
I was somewhat frustrated that I seemed to be bonded by that adorable smile, so I nailed her.
…..It may be too late to say that though.
The process of reconciliation with Maria senpai has, oddly enough, turned out to be similar to Maki’s.
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