She said the same thing to me on the day of the entrance ceremony.
—-Will you join a band with me?
Her sparkling, straight eyes shine like the Milky Way in midsummer. Everyone who meets her eyes will be captivated by their cloudless beauty.
But when I saw them, I was struck with a choking pain. It was as if I had just witnessed the unfathomable mystery of the universe, as if I had been caught in a timid wind for no reason.
“Sorry, Ari chan. I still can’t bring myself to play in a band after all…….”
The soft spring night breeze caresses my cheeks.
The cherry blossom petals carried by the wind fell between me and Sora-chan.
Ari chan was looking down sadly.
I let her down again.
In the past, I tried my best because I didn’t want to see that look on her face. But I knew that the harder I tried, the bigger the snowball of disappointment would get, so I stopped trying.
Life is moderate.
My way of getting by is to get a position where I’m not so much as to be a disgrace with my current potential and moderate effort.
It is obvious that I would be a liability even if I joined Ari chan’s band.
Besides, I have nothing but bad memories of music.
“I’m sorry, I’m an uncool senior. But I have no intention of going back to music. I’ll support you because I enjoy listening to you. I’ll definitely go see you when you perform.”
“There is no need to say that ! I’m sorry I persisted even though you turned me down ! I’ll try not to talk about it anymore.”
Ari chan bowed her head and clearly promised me that.
I’m still an uncool senior to make a junior pay so much attention to me…….
The party was at its height as the night was deepening, but the party was over.
“For the after-party, we’re going to karaoke ! Those who want to participate, please gather here !”
The organizer of the party, or perhaps a participant who had not had enough of the party, led the music, and about half of the students went to that side of the room. They were all in high spirits, making so much noise and singing.
“Azekura san, shall we go to the after-party?”
“Let’s go together !”
The guya in the group who are considering joining the party gather and begin to make noise. The guys who had not had enough of chatting with Ari san were making a fierce approach to her.
Spring is the season of encounters. The anticipation of meeting new people in a new environment can make people get all worked up.
It is obvious that these guys are especially eager to make Ari san fall in love with them.
I knew how they were feeling, so I was afraid to interfere with their love affair.
Ari san has always had a fearless personality, and Silk Road is a place with a great atmosphere, so maybe it’s time for me to stop acting like a guardian.
If she wants, I’ll let her go to the after-party.
“Hmm, I think I’ll stop today. I’m a little tired from all the chatting.”
“Don’t say that! ! “
“Isn’t it fun just listening to people sing?”
“Let’s go together !”
……I take back my previous statement. No matter what happens, I’m taking Ari san back with me.
“Then I’ll take—“
“Ari san, I’m heading home too, so I’ll drop you off.”
“Yeah, let’s go home together then.”
I interrupted the guy who had his nose up in the air. The guy stared at me for a moment with a hint of annoyance, but then turned a blind eye. He too, in front of Ari san, could not speak harshly and quietly backed away.
We walked side by side to the exit of the park, looking up at the nighttime cherry blossoms. The long winter this year meant that the cherry blossoms were late blooming, and even in April they were still at their best.
The petals were falling from the branches tossed by the night wind, foreshadowing the end of spring. The best time to see the cherry blossoms is only for a moment.
“Ahh, it was over in the blink of an eye. But it was fun talking to all kinds of people!!”
Her skipping like a bunny really showed how she felt.
Ari san is an open-minded and energetic person, so a place to socialize is a perfect fit for her. I’m sure she had a great time interacting with students of all grades and faculties.
“Did Kingo talk a lot?”
After Ryoko left, I was disheartened by Haruna’s annoyance with me.
When Haruna found out that I had nothing to offer her, she started digging into my love history. Thanks to her, I had to tell her about my ex-girlfriend, Yua, who was cheating on me.
She ended up asking me, [Which of these girls do you like the best?] I was exhausted.
Anyway, I have a concern.
“Did you talk to Ryoko?”
“Yeah, I did. I tried to ask her to join the band again, but it didn’t work out.”
The moon is hidden by clouds and the pale moonlight is blocking the view of Ari san’s expression. However, the tone of her voice gave us a glimpse into her state of mind.
“Ryoko san doesn’t intend to do music anymore.”
“I know. I was told the same thing before. I thought she would change her mind if you asked her out, but she didn’t.”
“No, I couldn’t. Ryoko-san used to play piano, right? She didn’t enjoy it much?”
“I guess so……. I told you that Ryoko and I went to the same piano class, didn’t I?”
“Yeah, you did.”
The beginning of me and Ryoko’s acquaintance goes back to the early elementary school years. We went to different schools at that time, but we got to know each other when I started going to a class in the next school district.
We were not as close then as we are now. We hardly talked to each other at all.
“Ryoko at that time was somewhat under pressure and…..no, she was devoting herself to piano practice in an uncanny way. I don’t know what made her that way, but at least she didn’t seem to be enjoying the music.”
“I see…….. But wouldn’t she be interested enough to play in a band for fun?”
“……That would be difficult, too. Nobuhiko once scouted Ryoko as a keyboardist.”
Ari san frowns and listens.
Nobuhiko is a former friend of mine who used to be the leader of Lycoris Darkness. We went to the same high school and I knew Ryoko well.
“Ryoko used to show up not only at the live music club, but also at the light music club room, and she cared about Lycoris Darkness. So I guessed that she might want to join us, and I invited her to join us.”
“But she refused.”
“Yes. She said she likes watching the band but didn’t want to be a part of the band.”
I’m not sure how serious she really is, but since she doesn’t step in even if I open the door, I guess she has no intention of doing so. Both now and in the past…
That’s why I didn’t dare talk to Ryoko.
After that, we walked homeward wordlessly, got on the train and got off at the destination station. We got off the train at the destination station, and I was going to see her off to her neighborhood.
“Well, what should we do about gathering the band members? I thought things would go smoothly now that we’ve secured a guitarist.”
“Gathering members is always a problem. Just finding people with musical experience is a challenge.”
“I guess that’s true. We’ve put the keyboardist on hold for now, but now we need a drummer.”
“Do you have someone in mind?”
“Yeah ! I’ll ask Shino san !”
Misumi senpai? I don’t even have an image of her doing music, let alone drums, but…….
“For now, if Shino san joins and I play bass, the three-piece band will be complete! ”
It’s too much……
Well, this inquisitiveness is Ari san’s specialty. Her thought process of taking action rather than worrying about what to do will be a plus for her future activities.
The band led by Ari san. I was looking forward to seeing what kind of band we would become and what kind of music we would play.
In the meantime, we arrived at Ari san’s apartment. It is a newly built, two-story, beautiful apartment where she has been living since this spring.
Although it is an apartment, the entrance is auto-locked, making it an ideal place for a woman who has never lived alone before. But what concerns me is…..
“You don’t have to move all the way to my neighborhood…….”
“Eh, why not? Isn’t it easier to visit if I live closer.”
For some reason, Ari san moved into an apartment in the same neighborhood as mine. I was surprised when I first found out.
“Also, this place is halfway between Kingo and Ryoko san’s rooms, so it’s easy to go there as well. I’m really glad I found a good place to stay !”
She had no intention of concealing her intention to come. Normally, this would be considered brazen, but with the friendly Ari san, it’s easy to forgive.
However, what would it be like for a girl of that age to casually go into a man’s room?
No, it is a sign of her trust in me.
Ari san used to be a fan. She admired my performance on stage. I was a rock star who played on stage to the best of my ability.
Then I became a tutor for various reasons, and now we’re in a band.
I had put on a good face up until now, and I didn’t want to hurt her by having strange feelings for her now.
Besides, I’ve already learned my lesson about love affair within the band……
I’m going to be casual with Ari san as a friend and fellow band member.
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