Ch 4 Be careful of misunderstanding (Yukiya’s point of view)
My first confession, my first heartbreak… That night, I still couldn’t sleep.
Of course I was sad about my lost love, but more than that, I was in agony until the morning over the difficult question of how I should treat Kanae from tomorrow.
In the end, without an answer, I left the house at the usual early time for my morning practice.
As I was walking to school in the early morning, carrying my student bag and club bag on my back, I could see Kanae’s house, which was in the middle of my route to school and in the neighborhood of my house.
I was almost tempted to look at the window of Kanae’s room, but I tried my best to look straight ahead and keep my composure as I walked forward.
After a while, I realized that my arms and legs were sticking out at the same time, and I felt a deep despair.
“No way… at this rate, what am I going to do in the classroom…?”
It was unfortunate that I was now in the same class as Kanae and Souta. But fortunately for me, I’m the only one sitting away from them. I shudder to think what would happen if I were seated between the two of them.
So far, I’ve been sticking to Kanae and Souta to talk with them during break time, but it’s awkward after yesterday, and I don’t want to make Kanae feel uncomfortable.
Well, I’ll just go to the club room for lunch, but in between breaks, I’ll talk to whoever is closest to my seat or take refuge in the bathroom…
And as I was making a very sloppy schedule to stay away from Kanae, I arrived at the school in no time at all.
I don’t know how much I can focus on this stuff…
Feeling really ashamed of myself, I slumped my shoulders and headed for the club room.
“I’m sure seniors will ask me about my confession.”
When I was going to confess my feelings to Kanae, I had briefly discussed it with some of the senior members of the soccer team. If I go to the club room at this time, I’m sure I’ll run into some of the seniors.
I’m not sure what they’re going to say… but when I opened the door to the club room, I saw the seniors were standing there.
“Oh, Yukiya. How did your confession go?”
“Did you get her?”
The seniors are the first to ask. Their attitude is light, but they don’t seem to be making fun of me.
“Eh~… it was a failure!”
There was no point in getting dark, so I made my report in an unnecessarily strident voice.
The seniors smiled bitterly.
“Haha, seriously? Well, go for some other girls.”
“Why don’t you talk to girls from other schools at practice games, they’ll make you feel special.”
“Well, you’ve been rejected once, right? You should get your revenge(reconfession).”
“I’ve been rejected 20 times since junior high school to get with my current girlfriend.”
I don’t know whether it’s encouragement or something else, but I received subtle words.
I mean, twenty times is amazing. If I were in the opposite situation and someone rejected that many times, I would think it was just a joke. I think she must be an open-minded person who finally accepted.
In any case, Kanae has someone else she likes, and confessing to her over and over again would just be an annoyance.
“Well, it’s awkward, and I’m going to keep my distance for a while. It’s not like I’m going to fall in love with someone else right away.”
My answer, which was neither poisonous nor medicinal, cooled the heat and the conversation turned to club activities.
After all, it was just a story about how I was rejected after I confessed to her, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing started.
But even though it was just that, I felt a little lighter after I reported it to my senior.
After the usual morning practice, I moved to my classroom.
I walked quickly into the classroom, wanting to put down my school bag and club bag, which hung on my shoulders.
The number of classmates in the classroom is still small, probably because most of the students in our class come in pretty close to the time.
That’s why our eyes met, to the point where I couldn’t fool myself.
Why is Kanae…?
Kanae was sitting in her usual seat by the window in the classroom.
It was obviously too early for Kanae to be coming to school, and there was no sign of Souta, who always came to school with her.
What, did she come alone? At this hour?
Both Kanae and I froze with our eyes wide open, and we stared at each other from afar for a while.
Eventually, Kanae turned her gaze away, and I hurriedly put down my luggage and left the classroom.
“Really, why at this hour? I mean, she was obviously looking at me, right? What do you mean?”
As I stepped out into the hallway, I was disgustingly upset.
In my brain, I thought, “Maybe Kanae’s early arrival this morning had something to do with me…” “Our eyes met, and Kanae was looking at me, too…” “Kanae seemed to be embarrassed…” “Maybe Kanae is actually thinking about me too…”, I even have an unrequited and embarrassing fantasy.
“No, no, I was rejected yesterday…”
I walked to the washroom at the end of the hallway, tsukkomi to myself. I need to wash my face and cool down a little.
When I got to the washroom and ran my face under the water a few times, I began to feel a little more relaxed.
I try to get a handkerchief out of my pocket to wipe my face, but it’s difficult with my eyes closed and my hands wet.
“Um, this is…”
Then, with a subdued murmur, I felt a soft touch on my hand for a handkerchief.
I took the handkerchief as a conditional reflex, placed it on my face, and froze.
What’s this? A towel? Why? -I mean, the voice I just heard was…!
It may sound perverse, but I remembered the scent of the towel I was pressing against my face.
I pulled the towel away fearfully.
After all, it was Kanae who handed me the towel.
She was standing in front of me with her head down.
I held back the urge to sniff the towel once more and asked Kanae.
“Well… thank you. But why…?”
Even in the midst of my great confusion, Kanae’s appearance seemed to make her cheeks relax.
“Umm… I just happened to be passing by, so…?”
For some reason, Kanae is in a questioning tone.
I mean, how can you walk by… at the end of a hallway? The riddle deepens, but it’s not good to keep poking around.
“Oh, yeah… thanks for the towel! I’ll wash it and send it back!”
“Oh, no. You can leave it as it is?”
Kanae said in a subdued voice as if she was asking me.
“Yeah, no, but…”
“Well, I’m going to use it today too…”
On the contrary, does it mean that it would be a problem to take it with me?
Convinced of this, I thanked her again and handed Kanae the towel.
I wish I could say something cool like, “Don’t act like you’re trying to get me to do something…” at this point, but Kanae’s kindness, concern, and good smell are making me happy.
Damn… my face is not tightening up…!
The corners of my cheeks and mouth naturally lift up in excruciating joy, and my jaw cocks up in an attempt to suppress it.
“Yeah, I’ll see you at…”
Kanae kept her head down and turned around to leave.
Apparently, I didn’t have to expose my funny face.
I mean, if I borrowed a towel for a while, I’d think, “Maybe she likes me.” or “Isn’t there still a chance?” I can’t stop my self-conscious, delusions of middle-school-grade.
“No, no, Kanae likes Souta. Don’t get me wrong…”
Fed up with my useless positivity, I muttered to myself as a warning.
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