It was exactly the time of season to change clothes.
For that reason, the next day Kurusu came to school in a white shirt without her blazer.
Two days have passed since then.
In class and during break, Kurusu’s behavior hasn’t changed from before.
Midterms were five days away so club activities were on break.
Since I didn’t really have anyone to talk to, I promptly returned home after school.
I haven’t gone home with Kurusu. We haven’t talked either.
But, our relationship definitely improved.
Sometimes, Kurusu’s eyes and mine meet.
Since I end up immediately turning my gaze away, Kurusu smiles at me.
Furthermore, her smile looks different compared to when she does it with everyone else, it’s somehow childish. It’s a smile like it came from a mischievous child.
And then we come to now.
I was riding the bus.
I open my math textbook for the midterm exams.
On that occasion, I was called out to.
When I raise my face, Shirota Yotsuba from my class stood there.
Like me who does not have much experience talking with girls, she had very few conversations with the opposite sex.
Shirota was also in the same committee as me.
We were members of the Environmental Protection Committee.
The committee got together once a month after school to clean.
It was a committee where we went around the school grounds and the surroundings with a garbage bag and tongs picking up garbage.
Similar to club activities, Hashidzume High School makes it a duty for all students to be apart of a committee.
For that reason, there were a lot of unimportant committees like the health committee.
Getting lucky drawing lots, I became a member of the Environmental Protection Committee, and the one who joined me was Shirota Yotsuba.
Together, we have only done cleaning twice between April and May.
「Sorry for calling out to you so suddenly」
「It’s no big deal, what is it?」
Somehow, Shirota had a feeling like she was trying to be sneaky.
She is a lively girl and is a member of the softball team.
Her tan skin was dazzling and her short hair was forcibly tied up into two.
Her hand had a wristband around it. Her legs that were exposed from her skirt were tight with muscles.
Her eyes were big, her nose was high, and the freckles on her cheeks were kind of cute.
「Okutani, is math your forte?」
「No, I mean, look…there, that textbook」
She is talking about the textbook I have open.
「It’s not necessarily my strength but I’m not bad at it」
I who love getting average marks don’t have a subject I am strong in.
Incidentally, I also don’t have a subject I am especially bad at.
If I had to say one, my weakness is art.
My drawings are hopelessly bad.
「Is that so? Then nevermind」
Shirota turned her face to look outside the window like her interest was shattered.
Making up my mind, I tried to continue the conversation.
「Is Shirota bad with math?」
「Eh? Well, yeah」
「So then you tried to find someone to teach you how to study it」
“How did you know?”, Shirota asked me with only her eyes.
No, well anyone would probably understand.
「Can’t you ask a friend you are close with?」
「I could, but…」
And then Shirota cut off her words and stuck her tongue out for just a bit.
「Isn’t it uncool? I am seriously weak with math. So, I want to avoid my friends finding out」
「Then why did you tell me?」
「After all, you’re not my friend」
With the amazing Shirota Yotsuba.
Since I am not friends with her, even if I found out she is super bad at math, she won’t be uncool.
Is it fine if I cry a bit?
「Also, it’s because Okutani isn’t a bad guy」
I was confused at her unexpected remark.
Shaking her hand in front of her face, Shirota told me.
「Don’t misunderstand, I don’t really like you or anything, okay?」
Who is this tsundere?
「I mean, when we collect garbage after school, you pick up garbage with your utmost effort.」
「You do. Even when everyone irresponsibly finished early, Okutani just silently picks up trash」
I was not aware of that.
That’s right. Everyone finished early.
From now on I will do that.
「When I saw that I thought, “Aa, this guy isn’t a bad person”」
「Well thanks for that. But, I am not strong with math」
「That’s why I said it’s fine already. Since I will do my best by myself」
Muttering that, I caught a glimpse of impatience somewhere in her face.
「Nee, if you get a failing grade, will it be bad?」
「Well aren’t you a part of a sports club? If you get a failing grade, won’t you no longer be a regular member?」
「Okutani, are you an ESPer?」
I just predicted it using statistics and human observation.
That’s a lie. It was intuition.
「That’s right. This time, if I get a failing grade, I will be dropped from the regulars…」
So that’s why you’re in a hurry?
If that’s the case, I can probably help.
「If you don’t really need to aim for a high grade, it’s fine for me to teach you」
「What do you mean?」
「Since I won’t lose to anyone in getting average grades」
「That’s nothing to be proud about but, okay」
And then, the bus arrived in front of the station.
Since Shirota took the train going the opposite direction, After we passed the ticket gate we separated.
As we parted, we exchanged contact addresses.
「Is it fine if I ask for help starting tomorrow?」
I will contact her tonight about the details.
On the train ride home, I constantly stared at the contact address I received from Shirota.
Shirota Yotsuba. Other than Mikoto, this is the first girl my age whose contact info I knew.
Which reminds me, even though I became friends with Kurusu, I don’t know her contact address.