I’m a veteran.
The toilet was still out of order. Are they really going to fix it?
No, let’s give up.
If only a few people are using it, then it’s not that urgent to restore it. I might be the only one in trouble.
As I turned on my heel from the bathroom door, I heard a dry clinking sound in my pants pocket.
“Loners help each other.”
As if on cue, the memory of yesterday flashes back. An invitation I hadn’t heard in a long time.
The kind words that made me feel as if she was expecting me to come.
…No, I am thinking too much.
What Futaba-senpai is feeling towards me is a sense of kindred spirit, that we are both lonely.
Either way, I needed a place to eat lunch, and the only place I could think of was that rooftop.
Under the bright blue sky, Futaba-senpai was chewing on a piece of yakisoba bread in the same place as yesterday.
She raised her hand quickly.
“I’ve taken you up on your… offer.”
“Of course. Come here.”
I sat down a little farther away from Futaba. When I glanced to the side, I saw that she was chewing on the same yakisoba bread as yesterday.
Then the silence begins.
My mouth starts to dry up just thinking about what to say. I can’t finish my food.
It’s not good.
I should give up.
It’s poison to the mind.
Turn on your phone so that I can hide. Put the earphones in my ears and shut out Futaba-senpai next to me.
Let’s watch the live game.
“…What are you listening to?”
I looked to the side and saw that Futaba-senpai was sitting quite close to me.
The phone falls from my hand.
She sat down and leaned her head to look at me.
“Did I scare you? I’m sorry.”
I’m not okay.
“Pigs! Let’s have another party tonight!”
The earphones came off and the opening of the Maporin channel was blasted into action. It’s over.
“Give me your ass!”
Futaba-senpai was stunned and frozen.
“‘Um, this isn’t…’
“It’s Maporin! Do you like her?”
“What? You know…”
“I love it! Just so you know, I’m an old-timer.”
When she said that, Futaba-Senpai took out a small notebook from her pocket with a smug look on her face.
“It’s… Tarot of Fate Notes.”
“Yes, yes! It’s a limited edition listener gift!”
A rare item that was so unpopular that the entire project was quickly lost.
I didn’t know there was anyone in this school who had it.
And I didn’t know it was next to me.
When I couldn’t hide my surprise, Futaba-senpai smiled, ‘Kufu’ and hid the notebook with her hand.
“I’m not giving it to you. It’s my treasure.”
“…Oh, that’s not what I meant.”
“I can’t help it. It’s only for a little while.”
What’s more, Futaba-senpai has been bragging about it.
“…hasn’t lost a page yet.”
“I don’t use it. It’s a treasure.”
“You like it, don’t you?”
“Yeah. How long have you been listening, Narumi-kun?”
“Since I was in elementary school. A local… radio show.”
“I knew it! Me too!”
Futaba-senpai shouted loudly, as if she was excited.
The conversation gradually grew.
I’m able to talk to people properly.
Before I knew it, the corners of my mouth seemed to have loosened up completely.
Suddenly, Futaba-senpai looked at me and said,
“…Narumi-kun, you’re mushy, but you’re cute when you smile.”
The distance between us was close.
It was so close that if I got even a few inches closer, then our faces would stick to each other.
I was so upset that I slumped backwards and landed on my backside in a hapless heap.
“Wow, are you okay?”
Senpai looked down at me and said with concern.
“I’m sorry. I got carried away.”
She held out her hand to me apologetically. My body froze again.
Just at that moment, the bell rang.
“…then… I’ll take this.”
Without taking her hand, I stood up on my own.
“Will you come back tomorrow?”
Futaba-senpai calls out to me, a little reservedly.
I don’t know.
I was about to say, but my mouth stopped.
The words “expectation” are written in her eyes.
I can’t look away.
“…I’ll come, maybe.”
Futaba-senpai nodded with a happy face.
I walked away from the rooftop, trying to escape. Finally alone, I calm my breathing.
I rubbed my bruised buttocks.
“…What the hell is…?”
Futaba-senpai’s face quickly flashed through my mind.
I kept seeing faces that smiled, faces that talked happily, faces that even came close to me.
I can’t control my emotions. It’s like a poison, circling my head and spreading through my body.
“…you’re too cute…”
It’s poison to the mind.
It clung to me and would not leave. The poison was a dazzling pink color.
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