Ch 39 From the Heart
I started up Nyain before I could waver in my decision to tell Karen, since I had been slurping until now.
Then, I sent a message to Karen saying, ‘I have something to talk about after school, can you come to the riverbed?”
Even though we were in the same class, the reason why I didn’t talk to her directly was because I was worried about my classmates’ eyes.
If you ask someone of the opposite sex if they are free after school, they will naturally make a fuss about love or confession.
…Well, in Karen’s case, it’s already known that she’s dating Saijou-senpai, so it might be a baseless worry.
Anyway, after sending the message, I see Karen sitting quietly alone in the front seat.
It seemed that the message had definitely arrived, and she put her hand in her pocket in a panic.
However, she didn’t take out her smartphone, and I didn’t get a reply until after homeroom on the way home.
When I was about to leave the classroom while I was sitting on my seat, my smartphone suddenly trembled in my pants pocket.
‘Sorry, I’m late getting back to you. I’m fine, but I have to go to the staff room for a little while, so can you go ahead and wait for me?’
“Roger that. waiting”
Give a short reply and leave the classroom this time.
Normally, I would go home with Ageha, but today it seems that she is going to hang out with her friends.
After a long time, I will be on my way home alone.
On the way home, I’m going to take a detour to the riverbed.
Take a leisurely walk.
Even the familiar school route looks very fresh without Ageha.
Come to think of it, maybe because I’ve been looking at Ageha so much lately, I didn’t pay much attention to the scenery around me.
That’s why it’s a little fun to see the casual scenery around me for the first time in a while.
As I walked slowly, naturally, many people passed me.
When I was walking while watching them, stunned by their busy movements, I found myself on the riverbed before I knew it.
“Perhaps it’s important for people to have time to relax like this…”
As I sat down on the slope of the riverbed and looked up at the sky, I muttered something unpleasantly sentimental.
Let’s find a place where we can have a picnic as leisurely as this.
I don’t mind getting my uniform dirty and lies down.
Come to think of it, half a year ago, I was in exactly the same place as I am now, in a completely different situation.
For the first time in my life, I had a broken heart, and then cried uncontrollably.
Now I am going out with Ageha.
Once again, I am reminded that you never know what will happen to a human being.
… Ah, yes.
How dainty and what a way to cut it.
I suddenly started dating… how…
“… Ru, -Ru, Haru!”
The vibration that shook my body and the voice that hit my earlobe brought me back to consciousness.
It seems that I fell asleep at some point.
As I sat up and looked around with half-asleep eyes, the cute girl who stood next to me and was looking down at me opened her mouth in amazement.
“Yeah, You finally woke up.”
“I-I’m sorry. It just felt too good…”
At my words of excuse, Karen let out a small sigh and sat quietly next to me.
“Sorry for calling you out so suddenly. Is Saijo-senpai okay?”
“Yeah, Saijo-kun is busy with club activities right now.”
“I see. Senpai is also retiring this year.”
Connect with casual conversation.
When I think about it, it feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve had such a slow one-on-one conversation with Karen.
Karen has a boyfriend named Saijo-senpai, and I’ve been with Ageha for a while, so maybe it’s only natural.
Somehow, I didn’t feel like starting the conversation right away, so I found a suitable topic.
“Did I do something that made you angry?”
At my sudden topic, Karen’s eyes widened for a moment.
However, she seemed to remember that she was late and said she would go to the staff room right away, and nodded her head in understanding.
“Yeah, actually… it’s not like that!!”
I was surprised because she was more flirtatious than I had expected.
Perhaps she could tell I was taken aback, but Karen coughed shyly.
“Rather than that, what are you talking about? It’s rare for Haru to say something like this.”
“Maybe so. Until now, I was able to talk normally in the classroom.”
When I said this, Karen’s expression darkened.
She immediately smiled a smile that seemed to be made up, but as I have known her for a long time, I could tell.
But since Karen was smiling as if she didn’t want me to touch her, I timidly decided not to.
Karen’s eyes were fixed on me as if she was waiting for me to talk.
I was at a loss as to how to broach the subject.
After much deliberation, I decided to be straightforward and start with the conclusion.
“I think you might be surprised to hear this.”
“I decided to go out with Ageha. Or rather, we’re going out.”
When I told her, Karen stiffened with her eyes wide open in surprise.
She was stunned for a few seconds, so I became worried and gently called out to her, and Karen started to move as if she was repelled.
“I’m sorry, you scared me. I mean, you’re in a relationship, is that what you mean?”
“I don’t mean that we’re going shopping together or anything. I mean that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Are you surprised?”
“Well, that’s surprising. Putting Ageha aside, I didn’t expect Haru to look at Ageha that way, so… yeah, it was surprising.”
“I think I’m the most surprised. If I told the me of six months ago about this, I would probably be more surprised than Karen. Or maybe I wouldn’t believe me at all.”
At that time, Ageha was like a younger sister to me no matter how far I went.
Now, even if I say so myself, I love Ageha unbearably.
“Yes, since when?”
“During the Golden Week holidays. I didn’t mean to keep it a secret, but I couldn’t bring it up. We’ve known each other since childhood.”
When I finished conveying everything I wanted to convey, Karen muttered a little and put her forehead on her knees while sitting in a triangle.
I call out, but there is no response.
I felt out of place, just like I did when Karen told me she had a boyfriend.
The sun gradually begins to tilt, and the surface of the water begins to shine orange.
While I was silent, Karen finally lifted her face.
“I’m sorry. I’m feeling kind of lonely.”
“I’m sorry, I’m feeling kind of lonely. I’m Hal’s childhood friend and she’s my sister. But that’s not going to be the case from now on, is it?”
“That’s an exaggeration. At the very least, the relationship between me and Karen will not change at all.”
“…Yeah, that’s right.”
Again the voice sounded somber.
As I was wondering what was going on, Karen suddenly asked in a cheerful voice.
“Hey, so which one did you confess to first? Ageha?”
“Eh, that’s a bit… yeah, because Ageha might get angry if I say it too selfishly.”
“Eh, it’s okay, tell me.”
“I just started dating and I don’t want to break up, so if you really want to ask me, ask from Ageha.”
Karen smiles with her lips pouted and in a silly tone.
I am secretly relieved to see her back to her usual self.
“Then we’re done talking, let’s go home.”
My chest is unclenched and my body feels light.
As I stood up, I stretched and asked Karen.
Then, Karen sat down and stared at the surface of the water.
“I think I’ll just relax here. I’m still in a state of shock and I don’t feel like moving.”
“Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”
As I begin to ascend the stone steps laid out on the slope of the riverbed, Karen’s voice is thrown to my back.
I turned my head to look at her.
Karen looked at me intently and opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something.
But when I remained silent, she hesitantly closed her mouth and pulled it into a tight knot.
Then, after a spring breeze passed by, Karen opened her mouth again.
“Congratulations, Haru. Take good care of Ageha.”
“Thank you. I’m glad you’re getting along well with Saijo-senpai.”
I accepted her words of congratulations and wished for her happiness.
Unlike the other times I had spoken these words, this time they came from the bottom of my heart.
I left the riverside, feeling pleased with myself for being able to think that way.
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