Ch 42 Like
As I walk down the corridor, where the air is relaxed after class, I look out the window.
It had been sunny during the day, but before I knew it, the sky was covered with dark clouds and it was raining.
Students passing around me were talking about how they didn’t have their umbrellas with them and how they could borrow one from the club room.
When I left in the morning, I didn’t expect it to rain at all, so I didn’t bring an umbrella.
However, I always have a folding umbrella in my bag.
I personally like this because I don’t have to check the weather forecast every morning or worry about whether or not to bring an umbrella.
When I told Ageha about this, she reacted unsatisfactorily, saying, “Well, you’re going to have more baggage.”
… Well, if she forgets it, I can just put it in mine, and she’ll probably press me to do so more than anything else, so it’s certainly an extra piece of luggage for her.
I thought about various things while watching the rain, but today I’m supposed to go home alone.
Ageha seems to have something to do in class.
I thought about waiting for her in the library, but I was busy with other things.
Specifically, I have to make final checks for the weekend picnic.
Also, I have to study for my exams.
“I hope it doesn’t rain, but…”
Of course, the picnic would be cancelled if it rained.
As I approached the entrance to the school, thinking seriously about picnic, my eyes met those of Karen, who was taking off her shoes.
“Yeah. Haru too?”
“It seems that Ageha has something to do.”
I caught up with Karen, who had left the classroom earlier.
I changed my shoes as I stood next to Karen.
After talking with Saijo-senpai, I’ve been trying to keep an eye on Karen, but even so, I haven’t noticed anything.
If there is anything, it would be to leave the classroom quickly after homeroom, just like today.
“Did you bring an umbrella?”
“That’s right. I always have a folding umbrella.”
In response to Karen’s question, I took the opportunity to pull out a folding umbrella from my bag and show it to her.
Then, Karen smiled and said, “Oh, by the way, that’s right.”
“What about Karen?”
“I’m the same type as Haru.”
A little proudly, Karen also took out a pink folding umbrella.
Without a word from either of us, we left the school building together.
It’s no big deal.
It was a natural thing to do since the Aizawa family is also on the way home from school to my house.
When it’s raining, we both use umbrellas, so naturally the distance between us makes it difficult to talk.
When I suddenly looked next to me, Karen tended to look down.
I stopped thinking about it when I was at… lunch break, thinking it might be none of my business, but I still want Karen to be smiling.
Saijo-senpai was so worried about Karen.
I think my fears that things aren’t going well may be groundless.
The questioning voice came out more easily than I expected.
“How is Saijo-senpai these days?”
“Suddenly, what happened?”
The response is surprise, bewilderment, and an equally shaky voice.
Anyone would be puzzled if suddenly asked about his or her relationship with his or her lover.
I continued to listen to the sound of the rain as I felt a presence looking up at me.
“I wanted to hear from someone who has been in a relationship for a while. You know, what they did or what they should have done.”
I think I did a surprisingly good job of mending the situation.
…Half of it was my true feelings.
“I see… yeah, that’s right.”
Karen lowered her head again with a small smile, and took some distance from me.
With that movement, I also noticed a large puddle in front of me.
“It’s dangerous. I hate it when it rains like this. My socks get wet.”
While saying that, I also keep my distance from Karen and dodge the puddle.
Karen opened her mouth when she turned around and returned to her original position.
“Haru, what did you like about Ageha?”
“That was sudden.”
I smile wryly.
But when Karen looked up at me, her eyes serious, I kept my mouth shut as I was about to say the cliché, “Do you answer a question with a question?”
“What is it about Ageha that made me fall in love with her…?”
I look up at the cloudy sky and sort it out.
I don’t know why there is no hesitation or shame in speaking out.
I think it’s because… probably because the person I’m talking to is Karen.
We’ve known each other since childhood, we’ve been together forever, My girlfriend’s older sister, my first love.
I think that’s why I have no hesitation in being open about my feelings.
I listened to the regular sounds of nature for a while, reflected on the past six months in my brain, and then put it into words.
“To tell you the truth, I myself am surprised. Until recently, Ageha was like a younger sister to me.”
“But I gradually became attracted to her. I was attracted to her because of her innocence and energy and her ability to honestly express her feelings in words. I think it’s a simple thing to put into words, but it’s very important to me.”
“So Haru came to like that aspect of Ageha.”
“Hmm. I don’t know.”
I shrugged my shoulders at Karen’s words.
When I had confessed my feelings for her on the Ferris wheel, many emotions had welled up inside of me.
At the time, I wondered calmly what the other me in me liked about the girl in front of me.
Everything I said to Karen was true, and I do like that about her.
However, I feel that it is a little different from “liking” her.
“I think I admired that kind of place in Ageha. Yes, I admire it. I like admiration.”
I feel like I’m saying something that I don’t really understand, but Karen ruminates a little.
“The love I longed for was probably the trigger. I noticed what I liked about her, so I started watching her more closely, and before I knew it, I fell in love with her.”
Just as it is said that the opposite of love is indifference, feelings cannot begin without interest in the other person.
I noticed that kind of thing about Ageha, and started to look at her seriously, and before I knew it, I had come to like her.
So, when asked what I like about her, I have no choice but to answer that it’s everything about Ageha.
“I may have said it in a roundabout way, but I want to be with Ageha. I want to experience and share many things together. I’m sorry, I don’t even know if it’s the answer.”
“… No, I think you’re right Haru. To be honest, I didn’t really understand, but I could tell that Haru really liked Ageha.”
“It’s a little embarrassing to be told that again.”
I spoke uncharacteristically passionately.
If the rain wets your cheeks, it probably feels good.
…That’s right. It’s no good if you forget your original purpose.
“What is it about Saijou-senpai that you fell in love with?”
Six months ago, I would never have asked this question.
If I could find out what Karen liked about Saijo-senpai, I might be able to use that as a starting point to find out how the two of them got along.
I asked the question in a natural way, and Karen was silent.
It wasn’t something I wanted to rush into, and she might be too embarrassed to answer.
Just as I was thinking about changing the subject, Karen suddenly said.
“I don’t know.”
“Hearing Haru’s story, I started to get confused. I don’t know what it is to like…”
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Oh ho ho ho, by the time she notices her feelings it’s already too late 😂
uff, thats rough to saijo-san