Ch 41 Extra Care
“Come to think of it, there’s a midterm exam at the end of the month, right?”
“Yes. So we should start studying for it next week or so. It will be Ageha’s first big test in high school.”
Lunch break. As usual, we were having lunch on the rooftop, when suddenly, Ageha asked me about the regular examinations that were coming up at the end of the month.
When I answered, she looked really uncomfortable and let out a hearty squeal of disgust.
“You don’t look so bad. The first exam is important. People who don’t get good marks here seem to lose the will to study for the exams after that.”
“… I know. Well, I can handle it! Maybe.”
“I wonder if it’s true…”
I looked at her with a dubious look on my face as she puffed out her cheek.
Nonetheless, for some reason, Ageha is a child who does it properly when it should be done.
It was the same when she was studying for the entrance exam.
I don’t think I have anything to worry about, and I can’t talk about other people either.
The second year grades will be important for the university entrance exam, and above all, if you don’t study, you will stumble when studying for entrance exams.
I haven’t decided on any career path at the moment, but because of this I should be prepared for any kind of career path I may choose.
While thinking about that, when I suddenly turned my gaze to Ageha, she was doing something.
I pretended that I didn’t notice her expression and pointed my chopsticks at the rice sprinkled with sesame and salt.
From next door, I felt a terrible gaze, but I decided to immerse myself in the meal.
When Ageha makes this kind of expression, I usually feel like I’m involved.
Basically, I’m not the type to poke my head into troubles, so I won’t get close unless the troubles come to me.
Of course, if they come to me, it’s a different story…
Along with a familiar voice, Ageha peered in.
“Haru-kun, you’re one year older than me, aren’t you?”
“I guess so.”
“So you know what kind of problems we’ll have, don’t you? Right!”
She peeked at me, her eyes sparkling with hope.
I was so overwhelmed by her energy that I unintentionally turned my head slightly and responded with a sigh.
“As expected, I don’t have enough memory to remember the test questions from a year ago, and above all, I have a different teacher than Ageha. I might be given a completely different range.”
“Uh, that’s right…”
As if to say that all hope is lost, she slumps her shoulders.
She was saying something quite natural like, “I guess I have to study hard,” with a pout on her lips, as if she was dissatisfied.
I was about to face my bento again, thinking that this topic had been settled, when again, Ageha shouted, “Oh!”
Then she hesitantly peeked at me.
“Then, why don’t you tell me what I didn’t understand…?”
“That’s fine, but maybe you can ask Karen to teach you.”
It is a common story that older sisters teach their younger sisters how to study, and in fact, when I was in junior high school, the Aizawa sisters did the same thing.
I sometimes studied with them.
When I said this, she beamed with embarrassment.
“Th-That’s right, but… I thought girls would yearn to have their boyfriend teach them how to study.”
“Oh, that’s what it is.”
“…Yeah, that’s what it is.”
Ageha’s expression and gestures were so cute that I couldn’t stand it and turned my face away.
The blue sky spreads out.
While looking up at the sky, I whispered, “Then, let’s study together.”
I hurriedly added while feeling the presence of Ageha nod next to me saying “Yeah!”.
“Aside from that, I hope you don’t forget about the weekend picnic.”
“What is it, Haru-kun, are you really looking forward to it?”
With a slightly mean smile, she asked with a voice that contained joy.
I answered while turning my face away.
“Well, yes. A man would dream of going on a picnic with his girlfriend.”
“… that’s right”
A strange sense of shame came over us both, and we silently proceeded with our chopsticks.
As I chewed the familiar flavored side dish, my mind suddenly replayed yesterday.
Saijo-senpai called me out of the blue and asked me to tell him if I noticed anything strange about Karen.
I could only nod in reply.
I looked at Karen in the classroom today, but I don’t think I could find anything funny about her.
“Haru-kun, what’s wrong?”
“… No, I was just thinking–“
As soon as I heard the sound of Ageha’s caring voice hitting my earlobe, I felt something tugging at my heartstrings.
I thought silently, trying to figure out what that strange feeling was.
Then, I saw Ageha looking at me more worriedly.
What in the world was I caught in?
Saijo-senpai’s agitated look. I was wondering if there was anything strange about Karen. And then there’s the way she’s acting right now.
–Oh, I see.
“Ageha, what would you do if I looked strange?”
At my sudden, irrelevant question, Ageha froze for a moment, blinking her eyes as if she had been caught in the void, and then tilted her head in wonder.
“What are you going to do… I think I’ll ask Haru-kun what’s wrong? Just like now.”
“That’s right. I’m sure I would do the same…”
Even close friends would do so, and couples even more so.
Of course, there are some things that close friends can’t say to each other.
But if you notice something funny about the other person, you will speak up.
If they are someone you love and care about.
If I notice that something is wrong with Ageha, I will ask her about it.
I confessed to Ageha precisely because I wanted to have that kind of relationship.
I wonder if… maybe Karen and him are not getting along?
It may be none of my business, but that’s the kind of question that comes to mind.
If so, I would like to support them in some way so that they can get along.
It may be really none of my business to say so.
“Eh, it’s already this time!?”
At that moment, a chime rings to announce five minutes before the start of fifth period, and Ageha hurriedly puts away her lunch box.
I followed suit and got ready, but she got up before I did and said, “Come on, come on, you’ll be late if you don’t get going!”
I couldn’t help but laugh at her as she stomped her feet like a child, which was a little funny.
I guess she misunderstood my laughter and said, “I don’t know about you anymore, Haru-kun. I’ll leave you alone, okay?” I apologize to her and stand up as well.
After some reason, I met up with Ageha who was waiting for me in front of the stairs to get off the rooftop, and we went back to the school building together.
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