Ch 44 Likeness
“I’ll go now. Don’t catch a cold.”
In front of the Aizawa family.
I called out to Karen, who was silently walking side by side with her head down the entire time.
She seemed to know by my voice that we had finally arrived in front of the house, and looked up at me with a bit of surprise.
Then she hurriedly slipped out from under her umbrella and started to run toward the eaves of the house.
With a snap, she opened the gate and slipped under the roof.
As I tried to leave without saying a word, Karen turned around and raised a voice that seemed to disappear.
“Well, thank you… and I’m sorry.”
Before I could say anything, Karen opened the door and went inside.
The expression on Karen’s face as she left was a fleeting smile that looked like she was about to burst into tears.
Being left behind, I can’t get that smile out of my head for some reason.
It wasn’t until the rain started to abate that I headed home again.
Passing through the front door of the empty house, I mutter a small “I’m home” without saying anything to anyone.
I take off my socks, which have been soaking wet for some time, and go inside.
As I entered my room and put my bag on the desk, I let out a natural sigh.
I wasn’t sure if it was due to fatigue or something else.
With my hands on the edge of the desk, I look out the window.
The rain, which had eased off, was once again increasing in intensity.
As I gazed blankly at the pouring rain, I was reminded of my conversation with Karen.
『Well, you can ignore this, but if I confessed to Haruーー』
She said that with an unusually nervous look.
Of course I know it’s a joke.
Or maybe it was her own way of caring to ease the tense atmosphere.
When I think about it now, maybe I should have just smiled back at that.
“What are you talking about?”
However, I suddenly became angry.
That joke was a bit bitter to me, and when I think about Saijou-senpai and Ageha, it’s unforgivable.
“Even if you do that, there’s no such thing…”
Reflecting on my attitude, I instantly felt ashamed.
I took off my slightly wet jacket and draped it messily over the back of the chair before collapsing into bed.
As I lay prone with my face buried in the pillows for a while, I felt a slight tremor in my pocket.
I left my body in the same position, rummaged around and pulled out my phone.
When he turned on the screen, I saw that I had received a text message from Ageha.
“I’m sorry today, were you lonely by yourself??”
For some reason, the image of Ageha’s face popping into my head as I typed this message made my cheeks relax.
The sound of the rain pouring down.
In a slightly dim room, the light emitted by the smartphone is a little dazzling.
When I was thinking about how to respond, I felt a sudden rush of fatigue.
I powerlessly put my smartphone on my pillow and buried my face in the pillow again.
The waves of words I was building in my head dissipated like rain, and it was just pitch black.
It was time to think about whether I should just go to sleep.
Suddenly, the smartphone began to emit a familiar ringtone.
Because it was placed by my pillow, my heart was startled by the ringing in my ear.
I jumped up and down while lying on my back and checked the screen.
It was a call from Ageha.
Pick up the phone in fear.
Then I heard a slightly dissatisfied voice.
“What’s wrong, that’s my line.”
“No, it’s Ageha who called me out of the blue, so I don’t think it’s wrong to ask about your business…”
Thinking that I might be wrong, I try to argue while tilting my head.
Through my smartphone, I could feel the mood.
“Haru-kun doesn’t want me to call him unless I have something to do.”
“That’s not what I meant! Yeah, that was my fault!”
It’s a sly question, but I have nothing to say in response.
It’s not a face-to-face conversation, but I bow my head while holding my smartphone in one hand and apologize profusely.
After a playful silence, Ageha asked in a serious voice.
“So what happened?”
“I didn’t do anything, but…”
“That’s not true. Something definitely happened! Otherwise, it would be strange if Haru-kun didn’t reply to my message while marking it as read.”
If you ask me, that was true.
Even though I was late in noticing the message from Ageha, I should have responded to it as soon as I checked it.
I was a little embarrassed when Ageha pointed this out to me because I wasn’t really aware of it.
“That means you’ve been checking Nyain since you sent the message?”
When I mentioned something that had suddenly stuck with me, I felt a hint of agitation through my phone.
A slightly itchy silence followed, different from the previous one.
It was Ageha again who broke the silence.
“Anyway! I called you because I was worried! Are you okay? You’re okay!”
“Uh, yeah, it’s fine. I just lay down and almost fell asleep. That’s right, the picnic schedule has been decided to some extent, so I’ll contact you again.”
“Well, I’m going to make a bento!”
“Yeah, please. Then.”
Trying to end the call, take the smartphone away from your ear.
The uneasiness that had been in my chest until just now was almost wiped away, and I felt somewhat lighthearted.
… I felt the need to tell her something uncharacteristically.
“Ageha. I like you.”
“～～～～, ah, I knew it, Haru-kun, you’re weird! Bye!”
The call is cut off with a panicked voice.
Looking out the window, the rain suddenly stopped.
“…Yeah, it might be strange.”
I am not myself today at all.
Including the one with Karen.
As I stretched lightly, my phone trembled.
Nyain had arrived. It was from Ageha.
“I like you too.”
This is really typical of Ageha.
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