“Yuu nii-chan! It’s morning! Hazuki-chan came to pick you up!”
My sister Hanaka comes to my room and wakes me up, patting the futon firmly.
“I overslept! I’m sorry, Hanaka! Tell Hazuki to wait for me inside the house.
“I can’t help it now, Yuu nii-chan!”
Hanaka is so excited that she runs to Hazuki, who is waiting at the entrance.
I made a mad dash to brush my teeth, wash my face and change my clothes, then headed for Hazuki’s place waiting in the living room.
“Good morning, Yuuri. You’re a total sleepyhead.”
“Good morning. Well, sorry for keeping you waiting…”
Hazuki, smiling and greeting me in the morning, is having a very elegant time with a cup of coffee in her hand. I, on the other hand, managed to finish my preparations while gasping, but what’s this difference? Is Hazuki the daughter of some noblewoman?
“Mmm-hmm. It’s okay. We’ll just have to go to school a little faster than usual today.”
“Oh, yeah, right. I’m sorry, I’ll leave the house unlocked.”
“Moou, Yuu nii-chan!”
When I opened the door with Hanaka’s reproachful voice at my back, I found Hanaka’s friend, Konomi Yoshino, coming to pick up Hanaka in front of me. She suddenly hugged me, saying “Yuuri-senpai,” but we were short on time, so I brushed her off and headed for the station.
I heard “Yuuri-senpai no baka” from behind me, but I didn’t care. Still, I didn’t expect to be blamed by my sister and Yoshi-chan in the morning…
We were in a hurry and managed to get on the train just in time to not be late. Despite the fact that it was still cold, the two of us were sweating thinly.
“Huh, looks like we’ll make it in time.”
‘Yeah, I guess so. But I’m sorry I got Hazuki involved too.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s okay to have mornings like that once in a while. It was fun. By the way, it was so cute to see Yuuri coming down the stairs in a hurry that I got a little nervous.”
Hazuki was recalling how I had just woken up, and she was smiling a small reminiscent smile. I look at Hazuki like that and feel that Hazuki at the Hanasaki Park we went to the other day is still different from usual and strange.
(I wonder what Hazuki was like at that time…)
Hazuki and I had been spending a lot of time together for quite a while, but she had never been upset by what I had heard. I felt a small lump forming in my chest and continued our conversation naturally, trying not to let Hazuki know about it.
Then we arrived at school, and after the first period, Kanade came to my seat.
She said, “Yoo-kun. After our club activities are over today, do you want to go to a café and talk for a while?”
“Okay, let’s go.”
After club activities, Kanade and I often go to a café in front of the station and have a kind of meeting to talk about our club activities.
After club activities, Kanade and I often go to a café in front of the station and have a kind of meeting to reflect on our club activities. Hazuki knows this, so it’s no problem at all.
But still, what’s up with the mood today?
Most of the time when I make plans with Kanade to go to the café, it’s usually after club activities, and I’ve never been asked to go after the first period.
(Kanade was acting a little strange the other day, so maybe that’s what’s going on?)
I remember when the four of us played together, Kanade was a little down in the second half of the day.
“Did you get your thoughts straight about what you were thinking then?”
“Un. I’m not sure yet.”
“I see. I honestly don’t know if I can help you, but it helps to talk to someone else so you can get your thoughts straight. If I can be of any help to you, I’m always willing to lend a hand, so don’t hesitate to do so in the future.”
Kanade is still troubled, or perhaps she has a complicated expression on her face as she expresses her gratitude and returns to her seat.
(Kanade had an uneasy look on her face. I hope talking to me will clear things up. Oh, if there’s enough time, I’ll ask her about the discomfort I’m feeling toward Hazuki, too.)
I was thinking about this in an optimistic way, not knowing what kind of problems Kanade was having.
“You couldn’t concentrate at all today, did you? It’s the first time I’ve seen Yuuri make consecutive mistakes like that!”
“Oh, shut up! Even I have my bad days too.”
I was thinking about Kanade’s advice and Hazuki, and as Kanade pointed out, I wasn’t really concentrating on club activities. Not to mention the classes.
“I’m so sick and tired of you zoning out in class and still getting good grades.”
“I’m studying at home, too. The manager seems to be very busy these days.”
“That’s right! You know, we have a match coming up soon, right? So we have a lot of work to do for that, like analyzing the opposing schools.”
“There are no third-year seniors here, so Kanade and the others have to take the lead.”
When I said, “Do your best!” I ruffled Kanade’s head, and she laughed at me while saying, “Stop it already,” but she didn’t really reject me.
“Okay, so what was Kanade’s problem?”
We arrived at the cafe and after taking a sip of our drinks I asked Kanade the question. Kanade still seemed to be struggling to say.
“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to, okay? I’m on your side even if you don’t say anything.”
“Un, I’m fine. I’ll tell you everything.”
Kanade took a sip of her drink, then took a deep breath and began to speak.
“Hazuki-chan, I think there’s something going on with Kouki-kun.”
“What? What do you mean by… something?”
I suddenly heard the names Hazuki and Kouki mentioned, and my heart jumped a lot. In order to avoid having Kanade realize how upset I was, I managed to squeeze out my voice.
“I understand that I’m saying terrible things. But I need you to listen to me and not get angry… please.”
Kanade’s voice was small. If I look closely, I can see that she is trembling a little. Perhaps I look very horrible right now.
“I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you, I just want to hear the rest of your story.”
“Yes. Let’s see… The other day, when the four of us were playing in Yuu-kun’s room, we went to buy cake rolls and forgot something, so we went back to our room, remember?”
“And then, don’t you think they were acting strange? They said they saw a big bug, but it’s strange to see such a bug in this season, and they said they dumped it outside, but the window wasn’t open. And the bed didn’t look disturbed at all.”
“But maybe they cleaned it up by the time we got back to our room…”
“Yes. That’s a possibility. But what made me seriously suspicious was the fact that Hazuki’s clothes were in disarray. Her clothes, which she had worn properly before we left the room, were in disarray when we got back that time. But when we came back from the store, her clothes were no longer in disarray.”
I was surprised at the extent of Kanade’s vision. Did Kanade see that much at that moment?
“So Kanade was wondering if the two of them were doing something shady behind our backs, right?”
“Yeah… I’m sorry, Yuu-kun. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“No, it’s fine. Actually, there was something I was going to talk to Kanade about, too.”
So I told Kanade about the feeling of discomfort I had felt with Hazuki the other day at Hanasaki Park.
I was surely feeling uncomfortable with Hazuki, and there was certainly a part of me that agreed with what Kanade had felt.
But I just couldn’t believe that Hazuki would cheat on me and have an affair.
“But there is no way to actually confirm the discomfort I’m feeling. I don’t know what to do about this fuzziness.”
Kanade listened to Yuri’s story in silence until the end, and then came up with a proposal that went beyond what he had expected.
“I’m not sure what to do about it. Yu-kun, would you like to go shopping for a surveillance camera with me next time?”