“…..Fuu finally done, damn it.”
“Hey, you got paint on your cheek.”
“Oh, you’re right.”
As the summer vacation entered its second half, the paintings for the sports festival were finally completed. While the art club members were the ones who put in the most effort, the contribution of classmates who, despite their laziness, never abandoned their duties, was also significant. There were still other things to take care of, but for now, the burden of the main task had been lifted.
As everyone admired the completed painting with satisfaction, I broke away from the group and headed towards the vending machine to buy juice because I was thirsty. That’s when Shu and Somiya joined me.
“By the way…”
“What is it?”
I observed the two who followed me. Although they now get along and have conversations together, there was a time when Somiya didn’t like Shu. I still remember vividly when Ayana and I had to mediate between them.
“It’s refreshing to see you two getting along.”
As I honestly expressed my thoughts, the two exchanged glances. Shu chuckled, but it seemed that Somiya had something on his mind as he scratched his head with a slightly apologetic look.
“…I really think I was an idiot back then. What made me think I had the right to meddle in other people’s relationships? Looking back, it’s really embarrassing.”
“Hahaha, I found out about that incident later, but… It’s all good now.”
“Sorry about that.”
And that’s how they’ve built a good relationship. They’ve had many conversations as fellow classmates working on the same task, and I believe it’s also the result of Shu initiating more interactions with our classmates. Recently, he has been helping Ayana with her work just like before, and it seems they sometimes go out together. The atmosphere between them is nice.
As we walked, Iori happened to pass by in front of us. She looked at each of us in order, and the moment she noticed Shu, a delighted smile appeared on her face. Yep, it’s definitely confirmed now.
“Hello, everyone. Did the preparations go well, judging by your expressions?”
“Well, we still have other things to take care of.”
After observing Shu and Iori engrossed in conversation, both Somiya and I decided to leave the scene together. We arrived at the vending machine we were aiming for and each bought a drink to quench our thirst.
“It was their own little world, huh?”
“Yeah, just like you and Otonashi-san.”
“If that’s the case, then you’re also in a similar situation with Kashiwagi-san.”
Oh, right. Since then, Somiya also found himself a girlfriend. The girl he was invited to karaoke by when Ayana and I intervened is named Kashiwagi. They started talking more often after that incident, and just recently, Somiya confessed to her, and they became a couple.
“Well, Sena and I just started dating, so we’re not quite like that…”
By the way, Sena is Kashiwagi-san’s given name. Somiya gives off a slightly flashy impression, while Kashiwagi-san has a gal-like appearance. I think not only I but also our classmates see them as a well-suited couple.
“Well then, shall we head back soon?”
Shu… I wonder if he’s still caught up with Iori.
It’s not like we have anything else to do today, so I guess we can leave him be. I’m heading back to the classroom with Somiya, but on the way, we spot Ayana and Kashiwagi-san.
“Sena? And also Otonashi-san.”
“They seem to be having a conversation.”
While they were talking, gazing into the distance from the window… I noticed that Somiya had a slightly serious expression. I thought they might be discussing something, so I slowly approached to listen to their conversation.
“Hey, Ayana, are there things you need to be careful about when being in a relationship?”
“Things to be careful about?”
In situations like this, it might be better to quickly show ourselves, but I think it’s unavoidable to pause for a moment. In fact, it seems that Somiya was also curious and stopped with me.
“Well, I’ve never been in a relationship before, even though I’m like this. I often listen to my friends’ love advice, but I don’t have any personal experience… and I’m still a virgin.”
Somiya’s body twitched, and then he let out a sigh as if relieved.
“I accepted Shogo’s confession because I enjoy being with him… but I still don’t really understand what it means to be boyfriend and girlfriend. So I wanted to ask Ayana for some advice on what I should do.”
“I see. …… but it’s a little surprising. I never thought Sena-san would ask me for advice like this.”
“W-Well, it’s not a big deal… I’m just glad he started liking me. I want to be the kind of girl that makes him glad he fell for me.”
…To be honest, I was a bit surprised. Kashiwagi-san has a flashy appearance and a lot of friends, and she’s the type of girl who talks with boys without any barriers. I thought she had a fair amount of dating experience, so it surprised me even more.
“…you are crying.”
Somiya shed a few tears. Well, I can understand how he feels. It’s the most gratifying thing for a boyfriend when the girl he’s dating feels that way about him. After that, Somiya and I continued to eavesdrop on their conversation from the sidelines. Kashiwagi-san was listening attentively to Ayana’s words, as if she was listening to a teacher.
“I see…Fumu fumu.”
“And also, I think it’s important to avoid actions that could lead to misunderstandings.”
“Yes. Small misunderstandings and suspicions can sometimes lead to significant cracks. How would you feel if Somiya-kun went out with another girl, even if it was just as friends?”
“…I wouldn’t like that.”
“Yes. Just like how we women feel, the other side feels the same way. We want to believe, but we might imagine things and worst-case scenarios… and it’s not that those things can’t happen.”
Not only Kashiwagi-san, but Somiya next to me was nodding vigorously. You should go there and listen to the conversation too… No, that would be counterproductive.
“Even if you’re careful, there are things in the world…?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I felt like Ayana glanced at us for a moment. Well, after years of knowing me, she probably realized… most likely, no, she definitely noticed that Somiya and I were eavesdropping. Even so, Ayana continued speaking without stopping.
“In the world, there are also despicable people who infiltrate relationships between men and women. So even if you see something unbelievable, the first thing to do is to have a proper conversation and confirm it. Then, make judgments and take action. That’s what I think is important.”
“….Yeah, yeah, Ayana, that’s enlightening!”
“Oh,……, I’m glad I learned something from you too, Otonashi-san!”
…This guy is just being blatant.
“By the way…”
“Yes, what is it?”
“I understand the mindset and all that. But… well, how does casual intimacy, like being naked together, feel like–“
The idiot made a loud noise and I instinctively put my hand on his shoulder and pulled him towards me. Kashiwagi-san noticed the sound and looked over, but she didn’t seem to find anything. On the other hand, taking advantage of Kashiwagi-san’s gaze being averted, Ayana chuckled softly.
“Are you talking about s*x?”
“Why are you being so straightforward!?”
“Fufu, I’m sorry. I can’t say much about that because it’s up to the pace of the individuals involved. Oh, but I have done some research on things that might please them in that area. For example…”
Ayana whispered something to Kashiwagi-san, who blushed bright red and moved away. I wonder what’s going on. Is it just my imagination, or does this exchange feel like sparks are flying even between me and Ayana…?
“Even though Ayana is a beautiful woman with an elegant image… you are quite knowledgeable about those things.”
“I wouldn’t say I have an elegant image, but it’s a joyful thing to be desired by someone you love. Of course, I also have my own desires, you know.♪”
So don’t look at me and wink, Ayana.
…I feel exhausted from all this. I kept holding onto Somiya’s shoulder and we headed back to the classroom. Their conversation should be wrapping up soon, and once Ayana returns, we’ll go on our date.
“If someone tries to come between you and Yukishiro, Ayana, what would —–“
“I’ll kill them.”
“…You’re joking, right?”
“Of course, it’s a joke, you know.”
“R-Right, it’s just a joke. Haha… (I can’t say it, her eyes were serious…)”