The next day.
Kokono was alone in a convenience store near the university.
She stood there in the snack corner with a blank expression on her face.
Standing in front of her favorite strawberry milk candy, she recalls what happened a few days ago.
(This is where……I first met him)
Just as she was about to put the candy into her shopping cart, a man reached out her hand at the same time…..her step brother, Yuuto.
The thought of him being her step brother never crossed her mind.
And such a step brother, the eldest daughter, and the second daughter meet with Yuuto more than she does.
It is exactly a situation where one person is excluded.
(If I want to see him, I will……but it’s difficult……)
Visiting the café where Yuuto works part-time is very difficult for her. On the other hand, it is difficult to invite people by email.
Meeting alone is difficult, and the most realistic option for Kokono is to ask for Mashiro or Miyu’s cooperation and meet with more than one person.
This is not very desirable.
She would like to meet him alone, just as he did with the eldest and second daughters.
At the place where she met Yuuto for the first time in 10 years, she was filled with such thoughts.
——A hand reaches out from the side and a bag of strawberry milk candy is taken away. In addition, another bag was taken at an undeniable speed, and it was sold out.
Kokono’s eyes widen and harden like a stone at the momentary occurrence. A large shadow falls over her small face.
She had originally intended to buy it, though she had not picked it up right away.
But this is all her own fault for not picking it up.
She cannot complain. She is not the type of person who can complain, but this reality is not easy for her to accept.
Like a marionette, she slowly and deliberately turned her head in the direction of the hand that was reaching out to her, and that was the moment she saw who it was.
“–It’s been a while, Kokono san.”
–A person she had not expected was standing there and smiling.
“Ah, I’m not trying to keep all of this to myself, you know !? I just thought it would be better if I paid the bill !”
Maybe he thought she was thinking that he was monopolizing the strawberry milk, so he rushed to explain himself.
In reality, she was just surprised that she could meet him.
“I’m glad to hear that. Are you shopping, too, Kokono san?”
“Y-yeah. …….It will be crowded at lunchtime, so now is the time.”
“Eh? Are you planning to have lunch at the convenience store?”
He asked curiously, but she returned the question in a strange way. Kokono lives this life everyday.
“How about eating with Mashiro san or Miyu san at the cafeteria?”
“Well…… We’re all in different faculties, and each of our schedules are different…..so I’m here by myself.”
“Ah. I see.”
The conversation ends and they fall silent.
Although she hoped to meet him, and wanted to talk to him, she wasn’t ready for his sudden appearance.
(Something to talk about……)
If you turn your head desperately and try to get around without being awkward, there is someone who will lead the way.
“So that means you haven’t had lunch in the cafeteria yet?”
“….. yeah, not yet.”
She is interested, but that place is too much for her to handle. She shake her head and answer honestly, and he was surprised to hear her answer.
“If you don’t mind, would you like to go with me today? The cafeteria’s food is cheap and delicious, so I don’t think there’s any harm in taking advantage of it.”
” ! I-is that okay……?”
“Of course. Then let’s have lunch at the cafeteria.”
Along with that voice, Yuuto made a smile and took out his smartphone from his pocket.
It was a natural flow and there was no sense of discomfort, but it was as if the schedule that he had earlier had been canceled.
“Y-Yuuto Onii chan……. Did you have something planned by any chance?”
“No, no, no, I don’t. It’s not that important.”
She didn’t see any suspicious behavior.
She knows this because he is just a kind person. If it weren’t so inconvenient, he would have said so.
When she looked a t him. he began to look around as if he was in a panic.
She could tell from this reaction.
“Thank you, Yuuto Onii chan….”
“Ahaha, I didn’t do anything you should be thanking me for.”
She didn’t say it, because she was happy
“Ah, that’s right. Since we’re having lunch in the cafeteria, why don’t we invite Mashiro san and Miyu san?”
“Well, um, you know……they both said they had things to do today.”
“Oh, well, let’s go to the cafeteria together.”
“Just the two of us.”
At this time, she felt a mixture of various feelings of guilt. But–
(Mashiro Onee chan and Miyu Onee chan both had Yuuto Onii chan all to themselves…….)
They should be able to forgive me for this……. It was Kokono who overflowed with such thoughts.
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