Recently when it comes time to go home, I leave immediately.
Even if I left quicker there wouldn’t be a problem but that gives me a slight feeling of loss.
It was my stance in resistance against Kurusu to the very end, the clubroom is irrelevant.
Kurusu called out to me at the shoe rack as her breathing was a bit rough.
Did she run here?
It is quite a distance from the Human Culture Research clubroom on the fourth floor of the old school building to the shoe rack.
「Hurry up, let’s go! Other people will end up chasing us!」
Kurusu put on her shoes and began to run.
Confused, I also put on my shoes and chase after her.
「Don’t you always go home with everyone else?」
I was talking about the other four male members of the club.
In order to be with Kurusu as much as possible, they follow her all the way to the shoe rack.
「Today I was thinking I wanted to try going home with Okutani-kun, so I ended up running away.」
When I overtook her, Kurusu slightly showed her tongue.
My heartbeat quickens. I kept thinking it wasn’t good to get my hopes up but even so my imagination wandered.
Perhaps I can hold her hand.
Perhaps I can embrace her.
Maybe we can kiss.
Maybe we can do erotic things.
Although I know it is impossible, I don’t know how to restrict the wild delusions of a male high schooler.
「Nee, say something. Ah, did you have plans?」
「No, I don’t have any but…」
We already reached a place where we could no longer be followed and we both walked.
Somehow I can’t walk next to her so I walk a little bit behind Kurusu.
「Okutani-kun, where do you live?」
Kurusu creased her eyebrows to my response.
「Sorry. I, still don’t understand.」
「Oh, that’s right…」
I should be the one who apologizes.
It hasn’t even been over a month since Kurusu came here.
「It’s about 20 minutes by bike from Mikura Station.」
The closest station to Hashidzume High School is Ichikura Station.
From there, Mikura Station is the one after next.
Mikura Station is the closest station to Nishisonochou where I live.
Incidentally, the station between Ichikura Station and Mikura Station isn’t Futakura Station.2
It is Kitaichikura Station.3
「Ah, if that’s so then it is close… Since my house is close to Mikura Station.」
We stopped at the bus stop near the station.
There is usually other students here as well.
However, since we left early when school got out, there isn’t that many.
There was no sign of the club members catching up.
「Nee, what is there to do in Nishisonochou?」
「Let’s see… there is a reasonably famous park. Nishisono Park. It’s known as a historic ruins park.」
「Historic ruins park?」
「It seems they found some type of historic ruins from the Yayoi period and then they wanted to do an inspection at that park. Rather than the historic ruins, nowadays the wisteria4 there is more famous…」
“Hee”, Kurusu nods her head seemingly in admiration.
Since the bus came, both of them got on.
I thought I should try standing but Kurusu sat down and called out to me.
「Here, it’s free.」
This bus is pretty much only used by Hashidzume High School students.
There is no need to take the elderly and children into account.
When I return home by myself, I sit down unreservedly but if it is next to Kurusu…
The miraculous Kurusu inclined her head to the side.
Eh, what do I care!
I sat down next to Kurusu.
In that instant, a good smell wafted off of Kurusu.
It seems to be coming from her long chestnut-colored hair.
Just that might make me pass out.
「I still don’t know much about this area…」
「Th-th-that’s right… of course」
「Is that so? The park is famous for the wisteria it has… If I knew that when I moved here, I still could have seen it.」
Oh, that’s right.
The season for wisteria is the first third of May.
It is already the last third of May. The season for wisteria is over.
「Ahh, I wanted to see it…」
She made her cheeks puff up to look frustrated and looked at me.
「Therefore it’s Okutani-kun’s fault!」
「That’s right, you know? If you had gotten closer to me, I probably would have known about the wisteria and gone to see them!」
That is an irrational reason to get angry.
There are other guys that live at Nishisonochou.
And if she searched a bit, she should be able to gather enough information to know that.
I felt a strange sensation here.
Somehow Kurusu’s tone, actions, and her slight expression.
Everything completely feels like a borrowed thing. 5
Kurusu looked into my face like she was cursing me.
「Nee, why aren’t you trying to be friends with me?」
「I am now though.」
「That’s not what I mean, in the classroom and in the clubroom.」
「It’s not a big deal, right? It’s not like I didn’t want to be friends with you, it just seemed like no one was bothered by being your conversation partner.」
「What’s that? For me, I usually want to become friends with you.」
Is this what is known as the flexibility of people standing at the top?
If such a thing is said, then do they end up coming to like them?
“Ah, maybe if it’s me…” is that what I am supposed to think?
That’s why before I come to like her I will build a breakwater.6
Kurusu stares at me with clear eyes.
Staring at me like that, the feeling to get closer to Kurusu ends up getting larger.
But I must say what I have to.
If the weird feeling I felt earlier was nothing then there is no problem.
「I-it’s not like I hate Kurusu or anything so feel at ease.」
「Eh? What do you mean?」
As I thought that weird feeling was right.
「…You don’t have to try so hard to get close with everyone. Anyone can see that you’re exhausted so you should just relax.」
When I look at Kurusu, her eyes opened like she was a bit surprised.
She probably needs time to digest the meaning behind my words.
- Could be West Garden Neighborhood. Let me know if you want it changed. ↩
- A thing in Japanese. The name of the stations use the kanji for 1, 2, and 3. Ichi = 1, Mi = 3, Futa = 2. ↩
- North 1 Station ↩
- It’s a flower ↩
- Possible slang? Probably means fake based on context. ↩
- A thing built offshore to stop waves before they reach the shore. ↩