…… Nakahara-kun. I think you were very strong.

Even though you were in such a difficult situation, you tried to hold on to your ego. I don’t think that is an extraordinary mental strength.

So you should be more proud of yourself. You underestimate yourself, but that’s not true.

You are strong. You are strong, no doubt about it. It doesn’t matter what the outcome was, or if you did well or not.

You fought hard under the circumstances. You should be proud of that.

I guarantee it, Nakahara kun.


……The break between classes.

While my classmates were sitting next to each other chatting and laughing, I was alone on my cheekbones, absentmindedly recalling the words that were said to me in the past.

“What’s wrong? Nakahara-kun.”

Higashino-san, seated next to me, calls out to me. I don’t know why, but she is always concerned about me in some way.

“It’s nothing, Higashino-san. I just remembered something from …… the past.”

“The old days?”


“When was that? Junior high school? Elementary school? Or was it a long time ago?”

“…… just recently. Last year when I was a …… freshman. That was before I transferred to this school.”

“Eh? Nakahara-kun, you were a transfer student?”

“I came to this school in June. Everyone was still feeling like a new student, so I adjusted rather easily. Of course, it was because everyone in the class was kind to me.”

“Really? Why did you change schools at such a sensitive time, Nakahara-kun? You mean you were only at your previous school from April to May, right? Did you remember that school?”

“No, I wasn’t attending anywhere at that time.”


“…… Well, what can I say, it’s a long story.”


“And it’s not as interesting a story as you’d like me to tell you.”

“….I see. I’m sorry, that’s a weird question.”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind.”

Higashino-san looked a little punished. Maybe she heard something she shouldn’t have? She had that look on her face.

Well, I don’t like to talk about the past either. It’s not a big deal to talk about it, but it definitely makes the other person feel uncomfortable. ……

“…… Ah! Oh, by the way, Nakahara-kun…”

She changed her mind earlier and spoke cheerfully with a slight smile on her face. I felt her concern to change the atmosphere.

“Is there anyone else in the counseling department right now besides Nakahara-kun?”

“No, it’s just me.”

“Eh? Don’t you want to increase the number of members? Members of the club.”

“‘……Hmm. Oh, I see. I think so”

When Higashino-san pointed this out to me, I finally realized that I hadn’t been recruiting club members or anything.

Up until now I had this weird stereotype that I was the only one who had to listen to counseling properly ……. I thought I couldn’t divulge any personal information and that I had to handle it by myself.

But sure enough, the other day when Nishida-san and Kitagawa-san came to the clubroom, I wasn’t sure which one I should prioritize. Normally, I would have gone for Nishida-san, who had a prior engagement, but I felt that it would be unwise to leave Kitagawa-san alone after she had been crying so much.

Perhaps that was not really a good idea. It was more reassuring for the girls to hear me talk to them one-on-one, and more importantly, it was sincere.

So in a situation like that, it would definitely help a lot if there were other members of the club besides me.

(Recently, the number of consultants has been gradually increasing, …… so maybe it’s time to gather more members.)

As I was groaning with my hand on my chin, thinking that, Higashino-san said in a brighter voice than before, “Hey, hey.”

“Can I join the club?”

“……? Higashino-san?”




“No, no, not that, but …… eh? Higashino-san, aren’t you in another club?”

“Yes, I’m the manager of the basketball team.”

“I’m sure our school doesn’t allow you to be a member of other clubs. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, I’m thinking of quitting the basketball team.”

“Eeh? Really?”


Without any hesitation, Higashino-san simply and easily …… replied, as if she had been asked to lend an eraser and she had said, “Okay”. If anything, I was more puzzled than.

“If you don’t like it, you can tell me you don’t like it, okay? Nakahara-kun.”

“No, no, really, it’s not that I don’t like it. I just …… was a little surprised.”

“Fufu, I like listening to other people’s stories, too, though not as much as Nakahara-kun. I also like to make people smile, and I think it fits with my policy of making people smile.”


“I also joined the basketball team as a manager because I felt that way,……, but somehow, I didn’t feel comfortable with it.”

“I see,……, I get it. If Higashino-san is satisfied with it, I’m fine with it.”

“Really? Thank you!”

Saying that, she laughed so brightly.


…After school that day, I came to the counseling club’s clubroom with Higashino-san.

“Hee! So this is the club room!”

Higashino-san looked around the room carefully from the floor to the walls and ceiling.

Both she and I were sitting on the wooden floor, facing each other across the table.

“Originally, this room was just a storage and rest area,”

“I see~ it certainly looks like that.”

After observing the area, she turned to me. Then, with a smile on her face, she rested her elbows on the table… and rested her chin on her hands.

“What kind of feeling are you getting here, Nakahara-kun?”

“What kind of feeling?”

“Always one at a time?”

“……Well, there is usually one person who consults with me at a time. Sometimes more than one.”

“So you sometimes get one-on-one with a pretty girl?”

“Sometimes it’s just the two of us.”

“Does that make you nervous?”

“I’d be lying if I said I don’t get nervous ……, but I don’t really feel that way because I’m focused on the advice I’m giving.”

“Fufufu, I see”

Higashino san kept smiling with some meaning. She narrowed her eyes and looked at me as if she was trying to see right through me.

“How are things going with the girls?”


‘Nakahara-kun listens to advice, and it makes them happy and ……. And gradually, Nakahara-kun starts to look cool.”


“Maybe there are girls like that.”

“…… No way, I’m not making a big deal out of it. I just want to make them feel a little bit better about their suffering. ……”

“But, you know, maybe it’s a “big deal” to that person.”

“Stop making fun of me, Higashino-san.”


……What in the world is she thinking?

I couldn’t help but look away from her seemingly elusive smile.


…… As soon as the after-school chime rang, I was on my way to the Counseling Department again today.

Recently, more and more people have been coming to visit me at the counseling department. Because of this, I have less time to spend with Nakahara-kun.

(I want to increase the amount of time we can spend together …….)

Of course, I don’t want to interfere with Nakahara kun’s work as a member of the Counseling Department. So, I would like him to at least look at …… me when he is free.

I was on my feet even faster than usual because of this thought.

“…… Ah”


…… but in the hallway on the way to the counseling department, I bumped into that twin-tailed girl with the amber hair. As I recall,…… Nakahara-kun called her Kitagawa-san.


We both stopped dead in our tracks and stared at each other. She is slightly taller than me. That alone somehow makes me shy away from her.

Considering where we were going down this hallway, I felt like we both somehow knew that we were probably going to the counseling department.

“…… are you going to the counseling department, too?”

I asked, and she nodded.

“I …… wrote a letter.”


“A letter about what I wanted to say to Nakahara.”

She then took an envelope out of her bag. The envelope was slightly wrinkled, perhaps because of the way she had put it in her bag.

“I was afraid that if I said it out loud, it would be too long and I would say something unintelligible, so I wrote it in a letter. I’m just going to give it to him.”.

“…… I see.”

“What about you?”


“Why are you going to the counseling department?”


“Because you want to see Nakahara?”


The moment she asked me that, my heart started pounding.

“Yes, I was thinking of going…………… to ask Nakahara-kun for some advice.”


In contrast to my nervousness, she seemed to be not very interested in it.

She ignored me and went on her way.

(Ah …… she’s getting ahead of me).

Somehow I didn’t like that, so I took a little short run and got alongside her.


We walked steadily down that corridor without any kind of conversation with each other.

What was it that she wanted to say to Nakahara-kun? Perhaps a …… confession?

No, no, no, but if that were the case, she wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of telling me, whom she had never met before, that she had written a letter to him.

(But really …… what kind of content is it?)

Even as I walked quietly, my mind was noisily occupied with thoughts about it.


We arrived in front of the club room and knocked lightly on the door. Then there was a reply in a girl’s voice, “yees”

“…… eh?”


Kitagawa-san and I involuntarily looked at each other. Is there someone other than Nakahara-kun inside……?

With a strange sense of tension, I put my hand on the doorknob.

“Ah, please come in~. Are you here to discuss your problems?”

The one who spoke to me was a dark-haired girl sitting face-to-face with Nakahara-kun.

(Waa! ……!)

To be honest, she was really amazingly cute. Kitagawa-san next to me is cute, but this black-haired girl has an aura besides cute.

Long, silky hair, clear skin, and adorable eyes. She had such a face that even I, a person of the same gender, froze with nervousness.

Even if she had told me she was a celebrity, I would have been tempted to reply, “Yes”

(Why is such a pretty girl in the counseling department ……?)

Perhaps I am the ugliest person in the room right now.

The thought of being compared by Nakahara-kun to these two made me want to run and run already.

“Hi, Nishida-san, Kitagawa-san.”

Nakahara-kun said to us and waved his hand, and the dark-haired girl asked him, “Do you know each other?”

“Yes, Nishida-san is a friend of mine who often comes here to visit me. Kitagawa-san has been visiting recently, too.”

“Hee, friends.”

The dark-haired girl smiled and waved her hand at me and Kitagawa-san, saying, “Hi~”

“H-hello …….”

I stammered and replied to her. But Kitagawa-san did not answer and instead asked Nakahara-kun a question.

“Nakahara, are you in the middle of a consultation?”


“Are you in the process of consulting with this woman?

(‘This woman’….. something, a chilling language.)

I was secretly puzzled by Kitagawa-san’s mannerisms. It wasn’t that she was being quarrelsome, but she was being quite blunt.

Nakahara-kun replied to Kitagawa-san’s question, “Aah, it’s not a consultation.”

“She is Higashino Madoka. She joined our counseling club today.”

“Joined the club ……?”

“Hi, nice to meet you.”

The dark-haired girl …… Higashino-san was smiling again.

(club ……! I see, there was a way to join the club……!)

At this time I was shocked to my core. In order to spend time with Nakahara-kun, I had to join the counseling club. Why didn’t I notice such a simple thing before?

(Yes, I …… me too …… into the counseling club ……)

As I stood there fidgeting with this thought,…… Kitagawa-san said to Nakahara-kun

“Nakahara, can anyone join the club?”

“EH? Well,……of course”

“Then, I’ll join too.”



I was inwardly very surprised. I never thought Kitagawa-san would say such a thing here,…….

I was staring at Kitagawa-san’s profile, which was unusually smothered.

“Oh, Kitagawa-san? Was it? Are you going in too?”

When Higashino-san spoke to her cheerfully, Kitagawa-san frowned and looked down at her.

“What……? Do you have something to complain about?”

“No! I don’t have anything to complain.”


“But you seemed to have made up your mind pretty suddenly, so I was wondering what happened.”

“….I’m frustrated.”


Kitagawa gritted her teeth as hard as she could, and her expression didn’t look like she was frowning, but more like she was glaring.

“I don’t know what it is, but it’s frustrating.”


Seeing Kitagawa-san’s face at that moment, I kind of guessed it.

(Kitagawa-san also …… maybe about Nakahara-kun ……)

No, that’s not all. Even this Higashino-san has that …… possibility.

(W-What should I do? ……Maybe it’s a very twisted ……!)

My heart is racing and won’t stop.

(W-what should I …… do, I should go with the flow and ask Nakahara-kun …… about joining the club.)

But my mouth was very heavy. The strange tension in this place was stimulating my timid habit.


[Nishida-san is a friend who often comes to visit me here.]

……But, but even I ……I want to be near Nakahara-kun, too.

Nakahara-kun clearly told me that he is my friend.

He didn’t reject me.

He is the only one who can give me a place …… to stay.

“U-um, …… me too.”

Finally, I squeezed the words out of my mouth.

Then everyone present turned their gazes in my direction.

(Hiiiii! I’m getting attention, …… attention!)

I am really not good at standing out, so this was nothing but a hardship for me.

Kitagawa-san was scary with her pouty look, and Higashino-san was scary with his “Oh, well?” I was so nervous to be watched by these two.

“…… Nishida-san?”

But I managed to keep my composure as Nakahara-kun called out to me in a kind, concerned tone.

I took a deep gulp, tried to look at Nakahara-kun as much as possible, and said clearly

“Please let me join the …… club, too.”

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