The final exams were over.
It goes without saying I did awful.
It’s a shame for me who loves getting average marks.
＞Where do you want to meet?
I sent that mail to Mia yesterday.
I got a reply the moment finals were over.
Bearing the urge to want to see Mia, I concentrate on my cell phone’s screen.
＞After two hours, please come to my house. -Mia
I took a sidelong glance at Mia leaving the classroom.
I want to immediately start running to try and chase after her.
However, I was suddenly able to remain calm.
The classroom was wrapped in a commotion.
Being liberated from exams, there’s just one term before summer vacation.
From tomorrow on, we have two days off, after that feels like throwaway days.
「Ooki has come to school」
When I raise my head, Ebara and Kawauchi were standing there.
Ebara looks at me with a serious expression.
「He’s become a monk」1
「It seems Touta asked a bunch of questions but you were the one to go and get him right?」
「Is that so?…at any rate, I’m glad」
Ebara walked away.
The remaining Kawauchi whispered to me.
「You too, Okutani. Come to club」
「Yeah…sorry for taking a break」
Lightly waving his hand, Kawauchi also left.
I knew Ooki had returned home from the mail Rino-chan sent me yesterday.
＞Onii-chan came home!
＞After this I will be scolding him!
And then she sent me a picture of Ooki doing a seiza.
It seems to be a goofy picture of Ooki somewhat smiling.
Immediately after, I got a mail from Ooki.
＞Okutani-senpai, thanks for what you did this time.
＞I had already planned on heading home but the timing wasn’t right…
＞At that time the one who finally came was you.
＞There’s no way I would think Rino would bring you along but
＞I think it’s good it was you, senpai.
＞You didn’t say anything unnecessary and just told me「Let’s go home」
＞you really helped me out.
It was a polite sentence.
It’s the first message I received from Ooki.
And then, he added one more thing.
＞Okutani-senpai, I’m already fine.
＞You can worry about yourself without worrying about me.
＞If I can help, let me know whenever.
During the『Mountain Priest Gathering』, it seems he somewhat fell prey to an evil spirit.
In just that moment, there was just an open exchange between me and him.
He was afraid I was off somewhere stealing Mia for myself.
When she first joined the Human Culture Research Club, there were many guys that liked her.
Out of all of them, he was only afraid of me monopolizing her feelings.
I’m not very manly.
There was no mistake with that.
In other words, it’s not about whether or not I like Mia.
I was running away from the weight of the responsibility I needed to carry out when I attained Mia.
For instance, Ooki liked Mia. And that made him waver.
It’s not like he actually confessed.
However, Ooki realized Mia couldn’t separate her feelings from me.
That’s why, he went up the mountain and did ascetic training.
It’s his own choice.
While thinking that, I felt responsible for Ooki’s actions.
If Mia didn’t like me, then perhaps he probably wouldn’t be hurt so bad.
And then, I thought even further. Deep down in my heart.
I am sure if I try to make Mia mine, the amount of guys who will be hurt will grow even further.
「I tried to escape from the responsibility」
The biggest reason is probably because I have no confidence in myself.
There’s a point in time where I somehow thought I was beyond helping.
However, I told Mia that but if you tell that to a person who likes you, it’s a rude conversation.
I have no intention to become arrogant.
But it’d be better for me to have a little bit more confidence in myself.
And I should take responsibility for the girls that have come to like me.
It’s no good to let these ambiguous relationships continue and run away from the responsibility.
After all, if I let it continue to be ambiguous I’ll end up hurting them.
After making an appearance at club, I arrived at Mia’s house on time.
I pushed the apartment number in front of the self-locking door.
There wasn’t a reply, the glass door just opened.
It was like they were saying come on your own.
I head towards the stairway.
I go down the long corridor and rang the doorbell.
With the sound of the door unlocking, the door opens from the inside.
「Long time no see」
Even though we meet at school, it’s a strange greeting.
「You cut your hair」
「More or less」
I cut my hair yesterday.
I didn’t go to the barber I always go to. I got it cut at a salon in front of the station.
I repeated the same failure of not wanting to enter a well-known place and got a「modern」haircut.
「I think it looks good」
She lets me in.
Slippers were already prepared for me.
「Where’s your mom today?」
「Both my parents are at work」
「Is that so?」
Even though I heard that, my sexual desire didn’t explode.
「I heard Ooki-kun came to school? I heard from Ebara-kun」
「Seems so. I’m glad」
We pass through the living room.
Previously, I had only been to Mia’s house once.
Everything started from the day where we met and had a conversation.
Mia was in her uniform.
It was too perfect, rather, I end up searching for some kind of fault.
However, even if I were to search further, I’d only notice Mia’s perfection.
And she was thrust before such a person so far from perfection like myself.
Standing in the center of the living room, Mia has her back turned towards me.
Like that, Mia let out her voice.
「I heard everything from Eda-san…」
「She apologized quite a bit. She said she invited you all on her own and forgot that I would come…She was engrossed with you」
It seems to be different from what I thought Eda’s strategy was.
Her being in a daze about my penis was the truth. Eda was probably also flustered about what happened.
「But she’s amazing…After apologizing, she boldly faced me and proposed sharing you」
Then, Mia turns around.
Even though she had tears in her eyes, it’s not like she was mad at me.
Slightly smiling, she just had an expression overflowing with affection.
「She had not even the slightest of doubt that her own thinking was correct. She said it’ll go absolutely fine. Does she seriously believe in proposing that for you? That person has no common sense. It’s important to her to only want the most optimal solution, it seems everything else is an afterthought」
As expected of the guest speaker on Eda’s behalf for the student council election.
「Making such minute plans, she was focusing on just gathering supporters…she was tempted by your body, so she got together with Shirota-san and started to persuade me」
「But as I thought, I couldn’t agree with it」
Eda’s and Shirota’s conversation was quite unconventional.
They decided that multiple people will share one guy.
If it was like in the past, there was probably stuff like that.
In today’s world it is a strange and different heresy.
「Eda-san has quite the quick wit as the student council president. I think she could end up as something like a politician. No, maybe she’ll be a revolutionary? At any rate, since I recognized that, I was her supporting speaker but when it comes to matters of love…that’s a different conversation」
In the meantime, I had immersed myself in listening to Mia talk.
「I took distance from the two in worry…I had already decided to end it with you…And then I met them…」
Saying that, Mia starts walking down the hallway.
She was most likely walking towards her bedroom.
There were several white doors. Mia opened up one.
And then, there was a single girl sitting on the bed in the room.
There was my childhood friend dressed unusually in her gray uniform dress.
That Mikoto was sitting on Mia’s bed in her room.
- Pretty sure he is referring to his haircut ↩