Kei is sitting in my room with a frown.
From her neat and charming appearance ..., it seems it's true that she plans to go out after this.
"So, what's up?" She turned a look of displeasure at me who did not immediately start the conversation.
I can't help but talk about anything ..., even though I called her myself.
"What do you mean?"
"No .. What is it? Didn't you remember what you want to talk about?"
"Oh Well, Yeah..."
In my bad way of speaking..., Kei displeasure eyes became sharper and darker.
"So, ... What's the matter..?"
"Well, there's no need to hurry ..."
"I said that before, right ... I plan to have a meal at Keyaki Mall with my friend at 7. Understood?"
"There's still enough time. It's fine."
"Somehow it feels a bit creepy ... More like... It feels like you are restless and in a hurry..." Kei started to feel suspicious of my different behavior, unlike usual.
"... By the way, I have to complain to you this time."
I'm the one who doesn't talk about my business either, Kei starts talking about her various complaints.
"What do you want to say?"
I honestly don't know what Kei would say, so I obediently listened.
"Sato-san has suspected various things about my relationship with you, you know ..."
I haven't met her lately, but Sato is my classmate who has confessed her feelings for me.
"I thought I hated after refusing her love... What's wrong with that?"
"I broke up with Hirata-kun ... That's because I wanted to date you... She used such implied words to try to confirm it."
That is She said that although she didn't say it directly, her speech could be understood like that.
"Of course I have denied it ... But I doubt how far she believes me..."
"I see ... I have the same story as that too."
"Huh? What's the same story?"
"From Matsushita ..., She suspected my relationship with you and asked me if I was dating you ... That's how it was." When I told my conversation with Matsushita a few days ago, Kei's face turned pale.
"Eh? What? Is that a lie? Really? Not kidding?"
I nod ... Of course, this is a joke. I will explain the details of the story. Matsushita is the type that hides her abilities the same as me ..., who has good observations about doubts about my relationship and Kei. Then ... She also has doubts about my other abilities.
"WA-wait a minute... I can't keep up with all that in my head."
Looks like she's having a headache ... Kei is holding her forehead ...
"I think this will be something very bad ... Will you do something about it?"
In the current situation ... She asked for my opinion. No ... She asked for a plan to deal with the problem.
Yes ... This is also related to my calling today, should I answer it honestly here?
"Isn't it better to just ignore it?"
"No, no, it can't be like that! First of all, we really ... have nothing to do right ..."
"That is to say, there is nothing, but people are regarded as us ... Do you hate that? For example, if Matsushita spreads rumors about it... It's okay to let whatever they want to talk about... "
"Huh ...? Let them talk as they wish? You can't let her know, like that... Tell Matsushita-san right away ... Tell her that you and I are not related..."
"If I say that to Matsushita now ... Then that will have the opposite effect."
"That's because you didn't say it from the beginning right ... Then why did you lie half-heartedly?"
"No matter how you talk ..., the situation will not change. Sato is suspicious of my relationship with you right? If it's Matsushita, who is none other than Sato's good friend, sooner or later she will definitely hear it from Sato's mouth that the relationship between me and Kei isn't ordinary. No, it's highly likely she moved because she heard that. "
It can be thought that she made contact with me after receiving opinions from the surroundings.
"... Yes, that's possible ... But..." Making contact with Kei was definitely inevitable.
If I strongly deny it there, then ... ... From suspicion it will turn into certainty. And if she knew that they were all lies, She might spread rumors around.
If so .., it would be better to inform it at an early stage ... And it can also be for something that will come next. But it didn't seem like that was what Kei was worried about.
"But ... If the rumors about me breaking up from Hirata-kun... That's... You know... Because I want to date you... Spread throughout the class... I mean school ... That... It will be difficult for me, you know... . "
"Why does it bother you?"
"The reason is ... If it spreads, it will have a great impact on me afterwards. "
She looked very upset ... When she emphasized her complaint.
"Regardless of boys and girls, if there is a scandal of the opposite sex, the chance of falling in love will be reduced. Understood ?"
Understand? Kei put her index finger in front of me.
"In other words I will prevent you from starting your new love story ... Is that so...?"
"Yes, that is so..."
From a third party's point of view ... I understand what she's trying to say. For people who know that Sudo likes Horikita ..., they must be having a hard time approaching Horikita. Yes ... Something like that...
"Do you really understand? Oh yeah ... For a moment, is that okay?" Kei, who doubted me whether I understood or not ... Started talking one after another.
"You ... Are you on good terms with Shiina?"
"Shiina? Oh, you mean Hiyori?"
"Hiyo ...?" Someone called by first name.
Of course, there are others I call by their first name, including Kei, Haruka, Airi and others. She also knew that.
But it seems like she didn't think that someone might be in another class too.
"Of course we have a good relationship. We also have the same hobby of reading. Then why does it matter?" When I said that, the color of Kei's face changed.
"Heh ... The same hobbies ... heh ... Read ya... heh ... That's really different from me." Of course, she's a completely different type from Kei. Kei must understand that well too.
"No ... I mean ... ah ... I forgot what I wanted to say ..." Angry ... Kei folded her arms and looked the other way ...
After that, She calmed down for a moment by breathing in and starting to talk while remembering what she wanted to say.
"If the rumors about dating me spread ... It's hard for you to approach Shiina-san again right ..."
"I understand ... Yeah... it's possible ..."
Kei stood up when I accepted that fact.
"I don't care who you will get on with, but ..." Saying that ... Kei turned her back.
"Sorry ... can we ... talk next time? I want to go to the Keyaki mall faster. Maybe there are boys from other classes who came to play, I have to dispel the rumor too right ... There is no time to get involved with you. "
"Because I broke up with Hirata-kun, so I want to find a new boyfriend ... Can't I?"
"I don't mind."
"Well, then I'll go."
Looks like I'm too cruel to her huh? I stand with her too. Kei might have thought that I would drive her to the door.
"No need ... It's okay." Kei, who refused with a strong tone, I will call her name.
"What else ...?"
"It's simple ... If you don't like it... You can ignore it."
"Hah...?" It was a voice response as if in disbelief. She was unaware of what I was going to say next.
"Want to date ...?"
Not understanding well what I meant, She turned around with a frown.
"What the heck? I mean .. Where to?" She assumed that my words were wanting to take her somewhere.
(Tln: the word date in Japanese can be interpreted as a courtship or asking to go out.)
"That's not what I meant ... I'm asking you if you want to date me?"
"No, I don't mean ... I don't ... Understand... what ....."
More than this no more words are needed. My eyes looked at Kei. Kei's eyes received my eyes. I don't know if our relationship was weak, but if we both matched our gazes, at least my feelings could definitely be conveyed to her.
"Wait a while, huh, huh, huh !? What a joke is this? It's too bad ...!"
"If only it were a joke."
"B ... but ... Didn't you just mention Shiina-san right?"
"That was a joke."
"So all this time....."
"It's just me ... Yeah... I guess it's because I want to test Kei and see if you're jealous or not ..."
Call Kei to come to the cafe ... And let her see me talking to Hiyori. Of course, there is almost no need to do that.
But this is one of my ways to show that I am indeed immature in love.
"Ji ... If it's a lie, I will really end my relationship with you... But if you want to withdraw the lie of your love statement, then this is your last chance ..... You really understand that, right..? "
Kei, who was already suspecting me ... Wanted me to say... Either 'Yes or' No ' but This is a situation where it can't be answered.
"Of course, this is no joke. Please tell me the answer."
"Wa ... Even... - even if you say that."
"I said that earlier ... If you don't like it, you can ignore or reject it... It's up to you."
"I didn't say I'd ignore it, right ... After all, why the heck!"
"'Why', what do you mean by that?"
"Yes ... That's... Like... Why me...? First of all, why today?"
The previous question was unclear, so I can only answer the latter question.
"Why today? I can't explain why that is ... But now I can explain it well. It's because I want to stop you from wanting to be someone else's girlfriend. "
"What ... Does that mean... You... Like me...?"
There were no questions from Kei ... Other than this question... That included a strong feeling in it. I want to shake my heart at this moment, or the moment before, and give a firm answer.
"Yes ... I like you Karuizawa Kei."
That statement of love has definitely become one of the big events in my life.
The moment where I bumped into my true feelings.
I'm waiting for an answer from kei .., will she answer it from true feelings? Usually ... The act of saying love to someone is... Short of all motives because you like it.
The act of dating is out of a desire to make the intended couple your own ...
"What is your answer?"
I handed the ball over to Kei. All I have to do is wait for it. Kei tried to regulate her confused mind with all her might ... And was desperate to return the gaze that wanted to escape.
"I, I ... Will... Date you..."
"Does that mean you like me?"
"Th-that ... Should I say that too?"
I understand the feeling of confusion, but this is the part that cannot be removed as a form of confirmation.
With that answer, certain changes in relations between two people will come for the first time.
"Yes ... Say that..." When I asked for this, surprisingly... Kei didn't say so bluntly.
Not that there is a third party listening, nor is it about signing a contract.
Only two people talk ... Only two people know... A promise that will only be protected by two people.
"Can't answer it, huh...?"
If she can't answer it, it seems like I have to suggest what she should do.
"Wa-wait a minute ... Now... I'm in a hurry to regulate my feelings!"
She told me with a gesture from her hands to urge me to stop and wait for a while.
I decided to wait calmly while looking at the situation calmly.
After a few tens of seconds of deciding ... Kei's eyes looked into mine.
"Well ... That ... How should I say?..."
Even though she made a decision, She still has a hard time saying it.
Maybe because I see an adorable figure like that ..., it's not a problem for me to wait for her.
"I ... That... I ..."
Although she struggled with all her might with difficulty in being able to put out a lot of courage ..., but she never looked away from me.
That might be strong evidence of the determination Kei decided.
The strongest part of Karuizawa Kei. If she decides to do it, She will be determined to get through it no matter what the situation.
"I ... I ... I ... too ... I mean." While her voice became calmer, She kept trying to say it even though She stammered.
"I too ... like ... you ... are annoying indeed ..., but I ... Admit it... Yes, I admit it..." For some reason she looked angry... but even so. , Kei still said she likes me.
I reached out my hand and gently took Kei's arms.
"Tu ... tu ... wait ... wait a minute ... Don't tell me you want to kiss me...?"
Kei reacted more fiercely than when I told her I liked her.
Even if I kissed her here, Kei would definitely not hate it ..., but I didn't mean to go deeper.
"I won't do it ... Not today..."
"Not ... Today... this ... means ..." That means, the action will be in the future.
Imagining that, Kei stiffened as if she was frozen.
With Kei like that ..., I gently hugged her ... This is also proof that the relationship between the two of us has taken a big step.
"At least it's okay if it's just like this?"
"... Yes ... It's fine if it's just like this..." I can understand that... Without looking at her face.
Kei right now must be confused, nervous and happy ... Her face showed a expression that can't be expressed with smiles or anything else.
"Hey, did you grow a little taller?"
"I think so..."
When taking measurements before entering school, it's 176 cm. It's not strange that I've grown in one year. That must have happened to other students too.
Humans are creatures that can grow.
It can also be said that creatures who like to learn. This is instinct.
It's like learning to remember how to ride a bicycle and swim. Learn to remember also how to hold chopsticks and suck a straw.
I will learn about love through Kei.
That is something I have not learned in my life so far. Something I can't learn in Whiteroom. Driven by a spirit of curiosity. And the object that has important meaning is none other than Kei.
Because this love is needed for the growth process of Karuizawa Kei too.
When I see one year to come, my relationship with her will become something important. If Kei remains a parasite that can only live depending on the host alone. Sooner or later she will become useless.
This step is very necessary ... To prevent that.
I ... What kind of face do I have right now? Do I look like laughing?
Or I make a face that looks like remembering embarrassing things?
Or do I look confused and smile? I do not know...
I don't know what face I'm making now.
No..., Not. Actually, I already knew that. What kind of face does I have now...
What I'm thinking and what I'm trying to do ... I know it.
People who are happy because they can learn. It's the same ... Whether it's studying academically, playing sports, or playing games. If you feel that your abilities have improved, you will enjoy whatever they are.
Likewise Love. I do not know what love is.
I do not know love, I do not know affection. I do not know the relationship between men and women.
I don't know the different types of feelings of pleasure and shame. In the near future, I will definitely know every answer to that question one by one.
But ... Nothing will change.
I just study. Then I will grow and walk forward.
In other words, Kei is a text book called one of the opposite sex for me.
If I have finished reading it ... Then the [Role] will end. Or maybe......
A future like that... Will be waiting for me?
Will she become an existence that I cannot leave? I do not know.
There is myself who hopes that and there is also myself who realizes that it's impossible. I pray.
Right now ... I am hugging someone who is very important ... Pray that I become a young student who vows to look after and respect the person I love. While hugging Kei softly ... I hope so.