Ch 24 Well-known facts (Kanae’s POV).
The morning after Souta left for his short-term study abroad program.
As usual, I was busy getting ready for school.
I washed my face, ate my dinner, brushed my teeth… packed my lunch, checked my sleeping pattern and the wrinkles on my uniform again, and then put on a little makeup…
I’ve heard my mother say things like, “Well, it’s different when you have a boyfriend.” “What is it? A homemade bento?” “I’m really grateful to Yuki-kun that Kanae has been a maiden since this morning.” She would follow me from behind and tease me.
“Why have you been following me since morning?”
I’m too busy! I protested to my mom, but she just smirked.
“You know, that sleepy little Kanaye wakes up early, makes her lunch and even dresses up. It’s beyond unusual, it’s mildly horrifying. I mean, I have to watch her, don’t i?”
It’s just too much!
In the meantime, it was time for the appointment. My phone rings to let me know that Yuki-kun has arrived in front of my house.
“Ugh, I’m running out of time…”
I was a little teary-eyed, wondering if everything was okay, if there was anything strange.
“It’s fine, Kanae.”
My mom put her hands on my shoulders.
“You’ve become very cute since you realized that you like Yuki-kun… You should have confidence in yourself.”
“…What are you talking about? That’s not what I just said. I’m talking about the fact that mother shouldn’t have interfered.”
My mother is so rude, whoa, whoa…!
“Well, well, well, can you keep waiting, Yuki-kun? Or, if it’s going to take a while, I’ll just go to Yuki’s place and talk to him to make him feel better.”
The other day, when Yuki and I reported on our relationship, She asked him if we had been on a date yet. Have we held hands yet? Have we kissed yet? All I could think of was how cute and embarrassed Yuki would be! You have to do that in a place where I can see it!
“Ugh, I’m leaving now!”
I really don’t want to make Yuki-kun wait–I want to see him as soon as possible… What is your mother blushing about? Are you muzzled? But I don’t care!
“I’m off then.”
I greeted her by turning away from her.
But my mom doesn’t care at all.
“Oh, yeah, like I said before, I’m going to visit your sister with dad next time, and I won’t be back for two weeks, okay?”
I have a sister who is older than me, and she is already married with a second child on the way.
That’s why my mom and dad go to see me regularly, and although it’s the first time they’ve been away for two weeks, I do get to stay home by myself from time to time.
“Oh, yeah, I’ve been hearing that for a long time and I know.”
“I won’t be back for two weeks, okay?”
I can’t help but nod my head at the reminder.
Then, mom lets out a sigh.
“Well… Kanae, that means that when you’re the only one in the house for two weeks, we have no control over who you bring or who you bring into the house to live with you. Do you know what that means?”
The words startled me.
Mom didn’t say anything more, but silently held up her thumb.
I gulped and left the house.
“Oh… Yuki-kun, good morning.”
“Oh, good morning.”
I’m getting nervous because of mom!
“It’s so strange to be going to school with Yuki-kun at this hour!”
“Haha, that’s right, normally I have morning practice…”
A few days ago, as punishment for skipping school to chase after Souta, we were given a written reflection and banned from club activities.
But as for me, I went to a cafe or something with Yuki-kun to write the reflection letter together, and since Yuki-kun was banned from club activities, we can go to school together every morning like this.
And as I walked to school, hugging Yuki-kun’s arm for good measure, there was a crowd of people in front of the school’s elevator.
I said similar things at the same time and felt a tickle deep in my chest.
Then some people started to look at me and said, “Isn’t that the two guys in the picture? “Isn’t that you two in the picture?” And “Hey, that’s Yukiya!” The atmosphere was a bit scary…
“Oh, Kanae senpai! Yukiya-senpai!”
Then came Rinka-chan.
“In fact, this is the reason for the commotion, there are pictures like this posted in various places in the school building.”
My face instantly heated up when I saw the A4 printout presented to me.
Because that’s a picture of me doing the “woo-woo” thing to Yuki-kun a few days ago – or rather, it looks like I’m kissing him in the picture. We haven’t done it yet…
“Now, the student organization led by Senior Azaka is out of the way, but maybe both of you will be called to the staff room.”
I was surprised by the crowd, but judging from the way Rinka-chan was talking, I guess it wasn’t that serious.
“Well, there are a lot of people who know that you two have started dating, so you might get a little warning from the teacher, but after that, I think you’ll get a lot of cold shoulder from everyone.”
Since I’ve been going out with Yuki-kun, I like being chilled because it feels good.
Besides, when I think about the fact that now everyone knows about my relationship with Yuki-kun, I feel like I’m officially recognized, which makes me happy.
When I think about it, I feel a little gratitude in my heart to the person who took this photo print and the person who put it up.
While I was thinking about such cash, I was called to the staff room with Yuki-kun.
But there was no warning or punishment, and we were asked if we had taken this picture ourselves? They just asked us if we had any idea who took the picture. I don’t know.
What is it? It’s like he’s more concerned about the source of the photo or the person who took it than what Yuki-kun and I did.
“What was it all about, anyway?”
“Uh, I heard a little bit of something about ‘voyeurism’ as I was leaving the staff room…”
“And the police…?”
“It doesn’t feel real! But I wonder if that’s how it’s supposed to be?”
“Oh, I mean, I’m sorry… for what I did to you…”
I’m so sorry and embarrassed I want to disappear…
“No, no, no! It’s because of Kanae’s thing that I didn’t have to keep my distance, in fact, it even saved my life!”
Ugh, Yuki-kun, you’re so kind – but distance?
“Yuki-kun, what distance?”
“Ugh, no, it’s a long story…”
“I want to know? Would you be willing to tell me more?”
As we walked into the classroom, we were greeted by the other thing that Rinka-chan had told us about.
“Hey, Kanae, what’s that?”
“Now, Kanae, why don’t you tell your sisters how far you got?”
The girls in the nearby seats were grinning and getting involved.
I can’t help but grin as I say things like “secret~” and “there’s nothing here~”. It feels good to be the subject of rumors with Yuki-kun.
But while my side is peaceful, Yuki-kun’s side seems to be in trouble…
“You! You’re not an armor, you’re a freak!
“Take ’em down, take ’em down!”
Yuki-kun was engaged in extreme joking around, with other boys jumping on his back.
I think about it as I watch it from afar.
During the next two weeks when no one is around, how will I ask Yuki-kun to come home?
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