I rode the train towards Ichikura Station with Mikoto.
We arrived at the meeting place earlier than planned but Mia was already in front of the ticket gate.
The rainy season has ended and it is now summer.
Even though it was still in the middle of the morning, the heat was steadily chipping away at my stamina.
Mia waves at me and Mikoto.
She was wearing a linen shirt and a emerald skirt.
It was casual clothing but the organic feel to it fits her.
She was different from Mikoto who got herself fired up. I was used to her dressing stylishly.
「Ah, eh? Shirota…?」
I couldn’t recognize her till now.
She was standing next to Mia wearing a baseball hat.
When I notice, she lightly raised her hand and gave a strained smile.
I felt bewildered at the somewhat distant feeling.
When she looks at Mikoto, she lightly nods her head.
「Nice to meet you」
「Nice to meet you. I’m Ando Mikoto…You’re Shirota, right?」
It felt like when a big dog gets scared by a small one.
「Why is Shirota here?」
I looked at Mia.
Mia, who was looking cool with her chestnut-colored hair in a ponytail, smiled.
「From the beginning, we planned to play together with Shirota-san…Mikoto didn’t tell you?」
Mikoto looked at me with the face of a mischievous child.
I tried to say something back but seeing Shirota shrinking back stopped me.
「Now, let’s go! It’s time for the bus to arrive!」
Somehow Mikoto took charge.
It seems Mia also had no objections as the two started heading out.
I, who was left behind, look at Shirota.
「For now, shall we go?」
Her hat is pulled down all the way to hide her eyes.
She was wearing a navy blue T-shirt and jeans fitting for a sporty girl.
Her light brown tanned skin is dazzling.
「You were supposed to meet with Mia today?」
As we head out, I asked Shirota.
「Yes…I don’t have club today and tomorrow」
「I guess so…」
Mia and Mikoto, who went on ahead, were talking to each other with a smile like sisters.
Occasionally, they’d stop talking and look over towards me.
Shirota looks at me as if having resolved herself.
Because she slightly raised her chin I could clearly see her eyes.
It made me feel tense.
「What is it?」
I unintentionally stop walking.
I had somewhat of a hunch.
Shirota also stops and looks straight at me.
「I heard from Kurusu-san but…are you going out with both of them?」
I see. So that’s what she wanted to talk about.
Both her and Eda proposed to share me with Mia.
That’s why, when Mia sorted out her feelings she told Shirota.
Shirota opens her mouth in an unusual fluster.
And then as she was continuing to say something else, Mikoto’s voice came in first.
「Hey, you two! The bus is here!」
Even though she was interrupted, Shirota let out a sigh as if she was relieved.
「It seems we have to go」
When I mutter that, Shirota starts walking after nodding her head.
We get on the bus and naturally sit all the way in the back.
Mikoto and Mia sit on my left and Shirota sits on my right.
「I’ve been looking forward to this, Koumei」
Mia turns to me with a perfect smile.
「…Didn’t you not originally invite me though?」
「That’s because I didn’t know how yesterday’s talk would go」
「And yet, you made a promise with Shirota?」
When I turn towards Shirota, she gives a small nod.
She ends up being more ashamed than earlier.
「I thought I would try to inform Shirota-san no matter how it ended up…I know if I were the one left hanging like that, I would hate it. All in all, I think it was a good course of action to take」
「What about Eda?」
I tried asking what I was curious about.
Mia shakes her head, smiling.
「I wonder…she couldn’t match up with her efforts. Plus, it doesn’t seem like she actually likes you」
Mia’s remark just now seems to implicitly say that Shirota likes me.
When I look at her, her face was bright red as she was staring out the window.
「Look! Look! What vegetables are those?」
Mikoto said while looking out the window.
The bus already started heading out. It headed down the street with farmland on both sides.
Just as Mikoto thought, the bus heading to the outlet mall was pretty empty.
It was just us, a mother with a stroller and an elderly married couple.
「What do you do for club, Shirota-san?」
After that, the conversation turned into Mikoto and Shirota kind of introducing each other.
Mia and I act as supplements to the conversation as we are acquainted with both of them.
It seems Shirota’s tension gradually dwindles as she smiles occasionally.
I was happy Shirota was returning to her usual self.
「Ah, there it is」
Lured by her voice, everyone looks out the window.
A huge building suddenly appears from inside the farmland.
There was quite a line of cars as they were gradually being absorbed into the parking lot.
Before long the bus reaches the bus stop.
Mikoto gets off the bus first.
The sun’s rays were strong and the temperature was high.
I could hear the cry of the cicadas in the forest nearby.
The modern building in front of me felt weird being in this environment.
Also, there were three beautiful women heading towards that building.
Mia is first, followed by Mikoto and Shirota.
Furthermore, each of their beauties is its own kind of wonderful.
Whether they like it or not, they attract attention.
「Hurry, let’s try and get inside. It’s hot」
Mikoto quickly goes through the entrance.
For just a moment, Mia looks at me and smile meaningfully.
When I incline my head to the side, Mia looks at Shirota.
「I’ll give you guys an hour to yourselves」
Shirota and I both let out voices at the same time.
After a bit of silence passes, Mia looked at me.
「Today, we were really supposed to get together without you, Koumei, but do you understand why?」
「Well…I somehow get it」
The ones receiving my favor are Mia, Mikoto and Shirota.
It is essential for these three to get along in order to share me.
If they end up quarrelling, this setup will end up completely crumbling.
Mia and Mikoto already get along with each other. There’s also no issue between Shirota and Mia.
「It was in order to let Mikoto and Shirota meet…in order for them to get along, right?」
「There’s no need to forcefully have them get along, though」
Mia looked at Shirota with a sweet smile.
Smiling, Shirota replied.
「I was nervous at first but I think I can get along with her」
「Thank goodness. Then, Shirota-san, about that thing you wanted to try in the future…Wanna try to do it today?」1
It seems before we met, Shirota and Mia had a conversation.
Shirota nodded powerfully.
「Yeah, I thought to try and finish the thing from earlier but…」
Tired of us taking forever to come, Mikoto calls out from inside.
Mia looked at us both and said.
「For one hour, anymore and I think Mikoto-chan will get mad」
Saying it as if she was looking forward to something, Mia heads out towards Mikoto.
Somehow explaining things to Mikoto, Mia enters the building.
Mikoto sent fleeting gazes over here.
「So, what was that about trying to do something in the future?」
After I couldn’t see the other two, I asked Shirota.
“Yeah.” After nodding her head, Shirota put her hat back on.
This time, I could clearly see her eyes and understand her expression.
「Can I treat you to some drinks?」
She had an extremely healthy smile.
- No fucking clue man ↩