Ch 38 As a Childhood Friend
Before I know it, the calendar on the bulletin board next to the blackboard in the classroom is turned over, and the arrival of May is thrust upon us.
Until last month, there was a slight chill in the warm weather, but recently it has been getting hotter and hotter at times.
Just as I was thinking about how I would be changing my clothes next month, the chime rang to announce the end of the fourth period class.
With the command “stand up and bow,” a buzz of excitement returned to the classroom.
I put my textbook and notebook away from my desk and took out my lunch bag from my student bag.
I stood up and walked out of the classroom while my friends were pulling their desks together and talking about where to eat and how they were going to run out of bread.
I walked down the hallway, the air relaxed after the morning’s classes, and approached the stairs.
As I climbed the stairs leading to the rooftop, I wondered if the Ageha had arrived yet.
The answer was soon indicated.
Opening the door, a warm and cheerful atmosphere envelops the whole body.
On a bench set up at the far end of the rooftop, I could already see Ageha.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting. You’re early, I got here right after class.”
When I called out to her, Ageha, who was fiddling with the wrapper in the bento box on her lap, suddenly raised her head.
“I was studying on my own because the teacher was absent. That’s why I finished early.”
As she answered, she sat down next to me.
I sat there as usual without saying anything.
After confirming that we are both ready, we join hands.
Unwrapping the package and opening the lunch box, the familiar rice made by my mother appeared.
As we ate, occasionally gazing blankly at the sky, suddenly Ageha muttered something to herself.
“Hey, Haru-kun. Shall I make lunches for you every day from tomorrow…? You know, I’m Haru-kun’s girlfriend.”
Slightly embarrassed, Ageha suggested such a thing.
A boxed lunch made by the hand of Ageha… is quite tempting.
However, I politely declined the kind offer.
“I appreciate the sentiment, but I’ll pass.”
“Oh, why?… Oh, you think I’m a bad cook! In my honor, I can at least cook something edible.”
“That way of saying it makes me a little worried, but it’s not. It must be hard for you to get up early in the morning to make lunch boxes. I’m worried that it will make you sleep deprived. I mean, I think it’s a bit much for you to make lunch for me just because we are boyfriend and girlfriend.”
I said, and she puffed her cheeks out in dissatisfaction.
“Because we haven’t been able to act like a couple since then!”
“… I have no words to reply when you say that.”
When it comes to us, who decided to start dating during Golden Week, there is nothing in particular that has changed from before we started dating.
It’s been a week and we haven’t even had a lover’s connection since then.
… What can I say, I was probably weird and crazy that day with the weird tension. I was and so was Ageha.
However, if you are blamed for that, as a man, you would feel sorry for being a timid man.
I spun my words in rapid succession in an attempt to quiet down the grumpy Ageha.
“And you know what? The lunches you makes for me are only good for occasional occasions.”
“Sometimes, for example, when?”
“… Hmm, well, a date, or something? It’s just the right season now, and I think it would be nice to have a picnic.”
Speaking of picnics, I feel like bringing a packed lunch is the standard.
I am sure that a meal eaten in nature under the warm sunlight must be delicious.
When I was thinking about that, Ageha suddenly muttered meaningfully, “Picnic…”, and put down the chopsticks in her hand and came up with something.
Even I could at least understand what Ageha was thinking.
…Yeah, if you don’t show a little bit of chivalry, she’ll end up being disgusted.
“I was wondering if you would like to go on a picnic this weekend? Preferably with a homemade lunch box.”
Poof, a smile blooms on her face, and she instantly nods her head.
In reaction, the chopsticks on her lunch box almost fell off, and she hurriedly held them up.
I told her to be careful, but inwardly, my heart was racing with relief that I was able to ask her out on a natural date.
“Haru-kun, you didn’t have any pet peeves, did you?”
I grabbed a small piece of rice, put it in my mouth, and swallowed it.
“I don’t have any particular likes or dislikes. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“What do you think I am, Haru-kun?”
Since she was glaring at me with scornful eyes, I shrugged my shoulders exaggeratingly saying, “Just kidding.”
“Well, I’m going to make you a great lunch. What should we do about the… place? I’d like to go to a place we don’t usually go.”
“I’ll look into it. I’m the one who invited you. I’ll contact you on Nyin when it’s decided.”
While looking at Ageha nodding happily, I also advanced my chopsticks.
After we finished eating, we drank the tea from the water bottle and dazzled until the chimes sounded.
I feel like the number of people on the rooftop has decreased again recently.
Is it troublesome to go up the stairs all the way?
Anyway, it’s also a happy thing for us.
Occasionally, when I see a man and woman who look like a couple appear and sit on the bench and hug each other, I wonder if it’s okay for us, who haven’t changed much before and after dating.
…But, well, just being together like this is fun, and above all, I feel that the common understanding that we are dating makes this time even more special than before.
When I was thinking about such a thing, the problem that I had neglected for the past week suddenly came up in my mind.
“I was just wondering, have you told Karen about us yet?”
“Sis? No, I haven’t told her. I hope you haven’t told anyone about us.”
“Ah! It’s not that I want to hide it or anything, you know? It’s just that I don’t know what to say… it’s kind of hard for me to talk about it.”
“Don’t worry, I understand. I haven’t told anyone either.”
“Hmmm, well, there’s that too…”
When I agreed, Ageha turned away with a complicated expression and whispered.
I don’t really understand the meaning of that murmur, but anyway, it’s a bad punishment to stay like this.
Someday our relationship will surely come out.
I feel a little sorry to say that we started dating at that time.
Above all, I was told directly by Karen that she was going out with Saijou-senpai.
Even so, it’s unfair that I haven’t said anything for a long time.
“…Yeah, it’s strange not to say anything like this. I’ll tell my sister when I get home today.”
After showing some hesitation, Ageha raised her head as if she had made up her mind.
I appreciate the offer, but I shook my head slightly.
“No, I’ll tell her. As a childhood friend.”
“Hey, you’re not pushing it, are you?”
Ageha looks into me with a concerned look.
She knew long ago that my first love was Karen.
That’s why she’s worried about whether it’s hard to tell his first love that he’s got a girlfriend.
While appreciating her kindness, before I knew it, I was putting my hand on Ageha’s hand, which was placed on the bench.
“I didn’t. Besides, my girlfriend is Ageha, right? Right now, I like Ageha, so it’s okay.”
“… Uh, uh, yeah”
Looking into Ageha’s eyes, I tell her straight.
It is a disqualification for a boyfriend to make her care about other women.
That’s why, I will tell you clearly so that I won’t make you feel that kind of concern again.
Exchange glances and stare at each other.
Before long, when Ageha suddenly averted her face, she covered her mouth with her free hand.
“Th-that, Haru-kun… there are people around.”
“Oh, I’m sorry!”
When Ageha pointed it out and I looked around, I saw people on the rooftop glancing at us as if they were looking at us.
Hurry up and let go of Ageha.
When I was looking in the opposite direction from Ageha while remembering that my face suddenly became hot, Ageha called out with a small dry cough from next to me.
“Then, I’ll ask Haru-kun to tell my sister about us, okay?”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
Just then, the chime rang, announcing five minutes before the start of class.
We stand up from the bench and head towards the stairs.
Then, Ageha, who was walking in front of me, suddenly turned around.
“Don’t forget about the picnic.”
I nodded back, “Of course,” aware that my expression had relaxed at the mischievous smile on Ageha’s face.
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