Ch 5 Definition of date and its promise
“It’s been so long since me and Haru-kun went out alone together, right?”
The train was relatively empty at this time of the day, perhaps because there were still few people on the train.
As we sat down on our seats and let out a breath, Ageha suddenly asked me something that made her happy.
“Yes… usually, Karen is with me.”
In response to Ageha’s question, I went through the memories I have in my mind.
Hatsumode, each birthday, the beach, Bon vacations, amusement parks, Christmas.
Whenever I went out with Ageha, Karen was always with me.
On the other hand, it was rare that only one of the Aizawa sisters would be next to me, and they were always there.
In retrospect, it is a bit strange.
It is a little strange to think that even the Aizawa sisters were playing with me, let alone Karen, who is the same age as me.
Perhaps sensing my doubts, she laughed mischievously and said, “I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do that again.”
“I was frustrated that my sister was monopolizing my favorite peson, Haru-kun. From Haru-kun’s point of view, I was probably intruding.”
Again. Ageha was happy and embarrassed about the first half. And the second half apologetically.
Her eyelashes drooped. Looking at the small size of her body, I found myself opening my mouth to say, “No.”
“I liked Karen, but that’s not the same thing. I also had fun playing with you, didn’t I?”
“…That kind of thing, it’s really not fair.”
She turns away from my bewildered gaze and looks out the car window at the scenery.
The town where we live, Kashiwabama, is neither rural nor urban, and is rich in nature.
Mountains, forests, and fields spread out on the inland side, and the beautiful sea spreads out along the coast.
There is no inconvenience in living here, and there is more than a minimum amount of entertainment.
You can have most of your fun by train.
I don’t know if I have lived in other cities, but I like this town.
The view from the train window of the trees, the rows of houses, and the ocean in the distance flows by, and soon after, it goes completely dark.
My ears perk up.
Perhaps because we had entered a tunnel and lost sight of the scenery, Ageha straightened her stance as she removed her gaze from the car window.
“When was the last time me and Haru-kun went out alone together?”
“As I recall, we last went out together to pick out a birthday present for Karen, so… four months ago?”
“Oh, you remembered.”
“Of course I remember. I was just going to buy a present, but on the way home, you forcefully asked me to go to a movie.”
“I can’t help it! I was so happy to go out with Haru-kun alone!
It is still embarrassing when someone directly expresses a favor to you.
I gave a vague reply and let my gaze wander over the advertisements swaying on the ceiling.
The light outside the window brightens.
We have passed through a tunnel.
The announcement in the train announces that we are arriving at the next station.
The train decelerates. The reaction of the train’s deceleration causes Ageha’s body to lean against my shoulder.
When I glanced down, I saw her mouth was tightly knit.
The train eventually comes to a complete stop, and as soon as the doors open, several passengers get on and off.
When the train started moving again, Ageha muttered to herself overhead.
“Hey, Haru-kun. Today is a date… right?”
“…If meeting with the opposite sex on a set date and time is called a date, then I guess it probably is.”
“Mmm, what’s that?”
When I responded with a flinch, she puffed out her cheeks in dissatisfaction, then suddenly relaxed her expression and looked up at me.
Feeling her gaze, I looked back at her.
Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and I was surprised to see her blush.
“After today is over, will you still date me again…?”
The difference in sitting height makes her look up. Her eyes, slightly moistened, are shaking with a lonely, anxious look.
Her sweet voice, which I should be used to hearing, has a different resonance than usual and quietly shakes my eardrums.
I repeat to myself over and over again, I love Karen.
Even now that I know she has a boyfriend.
I don’t think I can return her favor.
She said she would definitely make me fall in love with her, but it would be heartless of me to take her at her word and keep her by my side without pushing her away.
That’s what I think…
A deep, serious gaze is fixed on me.
Even though she was rejected by me, she still likes me.
I once again looked up at the advertisements in the car.
There were advertisements for hot spring trips, which is typical for this time of year, and even a campaign for watching the first sunrise of the year on the train.
I felt her move next to me.
I looked back at her again and let out a small breath before answering.
Poof, a flower blooms on her face.
Even though I know my response is cruel to her, my cheeks naturally relax when I see that face of hers.
Cute, I thought.
Feeling a little embarrassed about that, I open my mouth to drown out the shame.
“But only after you finish your exams.”
“If that’s true, students usually have to study even today, right?”
“No, it’s important to take a break…”
The face of the Ageha is scrunched up and looks in the direction of the day after tomorrow.
However, she immediately turned her head and looked up at me again, as if she had just thought of something.
‘Well, then! Let’s go on a date after the exam. I’ll hold out until then!”
“You’ll finish your exams in March, right?”
“I’ll wait until March!”
She tried to persuade me like a child, and I nodded my head and said, “Okay.”
“If you pass the exam, let’s go somewhere to celebrate. Then, unlike today, I can think about all kinds of things.”
“Yes, yes! It’s a promise!”
I hurriedly controlled the joyful voice of Ageha, who was shouting.
This is a public institution. Even though there are few people here, we have to be quiet.
She shrank back and held her mouth, but after muttering “date, date” repeatedly, she looked up with a big smile on her face.
“Well, I’ll be your escort today.”
“Yeah, I’m glad to have you.”
As I responded to her words, I suddenly realized something I shouldn’t have.
From the… side, I thought this was a conversation between a couple.
“What? What’s wrong?”
Perhaps noticing that something was amiss, Ageha tilted her head.
I shook my head hurriedly and said in a slightly hushed voice, “It’s nothing.”
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