The Monday after I talked with Yoshi-chan in the park, I met her at school.
“Oh, Yuuri-senpai! Good morning.”
“Oh, yeah. Good morning, Yoshi-chan.”
Until now, when she saw me, she would jump up and down to me, but today, Yoshi-chan and I had changed our distance to that of a friendly senior and junior. I see. Yoshi-chan has already looked forward to the future. It may be presumptuous for me to say this since I had hurt her, but I was very happy to see that.
“Isn’t there something a little different about Yoshi-chan?”
“Hmm? Is that so? You look as cute as usual.”
“Nn~! You can’t call a girl cute right away like that!”
With that, Kanade puffed out her cheeks and strode quickly into the classroom. As I watched Kanade’s back, thinking how cute she looked, Satoru came up from behind and squared his shoulders.
“Morninn! What are you grinning at while looking at Miyama-san’s backside this early in the morning?”
“I don’t want to be told by you, the lovey-dovey bakauple!”
“We’re not a bakauple. Well, I don’t disagree that we’re in love.”
“Isn’t that the same? I’d rather not see it.”
And so, while having a silly conversation with Satoru, I went into the classroom and school life began again as usual.
I was walking Kanade home after school when I saw someone standing in front of my house.
“Huh? Someone came to see me?”
“Oh, Yuuri-kun. I had some business with you today, so I waited for you.”
In front of the house was Hazuki’s mother, Sakuya-san.
When Hazuki and I were dating, I often visited her house and we talked almost every day, but after we broke up, we never saw each other at all, so it had been a really long time since I heard Sakuya’s voice.
“Huh? Something with me?”
“Yeah. Would you mind stopping by my place for a minute?”
“That’s okay, though. Is… Hazuki home?”
“She hasn’t come home yet.”
Then I thought, okay, I stepped over the Sakashita family’s door threshold and entered the house for the first time in a long while. As far as I could see inside the house, nothing seemed to have changed since I last entered. I sat on the sofa in the living room and waited for Sakuya-san, who came over with a tray of coffee and cookies.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to call on you so suddenly.”
“I didn’t have any plans or anything, so I’m fine.”
“Thank you. You’re as kind as ever, Yuuri-kun.”
“No, that’s not true.”
Sakuya-san looked at me nostalgically. I couldn’t bear the look and reached for a cookie.
“I somehow know that Yuuri-kun has broken up with that girl.”
“Eh? You hadn’t heard?”
“I never asked her directly. But whenever she came home, she always talked about Yuuri-kun, but one day she stopped. So it would be impossible to not notice that.”
Well, I don’t really care that Hazuki didn’t tell everyone that we broke up, but what is it that you still want to talk to me about, Sakuya-san, when you know that we broke up?
“So, what is it that you want to talk to me about?”
“Ah, I’m sorry. She’s been acting strange ever since she broke up with Yuuri-kun, but lately, she’s been acting especially strange.”
Is there something wrong with Hazuki? There didn’t seem to be any change at school. Well, it’s not like I’m observing her, and there’s no way I can understand the subtleties of Hazuki’s state of mind right now.
“I was wondering if you could ask her what is going on with her. When I asked her, she just said, “Nothing happened.” I know it’s not the right thing to ask Yuuri-kun, who broke up with her. But I have no one else to turn to but you when it comes to that girl…”
I see. Sakuya-san is worried about Hazuki, isn’t she? To be honest, I don’t like it, but I owe Sakuya-san a debt of gratitude for being so good to me up until now, so I thought it would be good to pay her back here.
“Yes, I understand. But I don’t think she’ll talk to me even if I ask her directly, so from now on I’ll try to pay close attention to Hazuki’s condition.”
“Oh, thank you. Thinking about Yuuri-kun’s feelings, I know it must have been uncomfortable, but thank you so much.”
She must have been very worried. For the first time, Sakuya-san put a smile on her face and shook my hand. I simply said, “Don’t worry about it,” and left the Sakashita house. It would probably be the last time I would enter this house.
When I got home and was studying, I decided to tell Kanade what Sakuya-san had asked me to do earlier, so I sent her a message on RINE. Then, as I was about to put my phone down to resume my studies, I received a call from Kanade and stuttered.
“Yuu-kun, what do you mean?”
“No, it’s just like the message, but Sakuya-san asked me to check on Hazuki for a week or so.”
“Hmmm. As for me, I’m against it. I think it would be better for you not to be involved with Hazuki anymore.”
“I don’t think I would have been able to do it right after the incident, but now, thanks to Kanade’s support, I don’t think anything of it, so I’m fine.”
“I see. But what are you going to do about it?”
“I’m thinking of following her around a bit after school.”
“Hey, follow her for a bit… It smells like a crime, Yuu-kun.”
Even through my phone, I can feel Kanade’s dismay.
“Well, that’s a subtle way of putting it, but I figured I could just study at a family restaurant or something while she’s at cram school, and I could manage for a week or so.”
“Uuuuuu. Okay then, I’ll go with you!”
“Eh, that’s fine. You don’t have to go out with me too.”
“No, it’s not fine! Yuu-kun has some things he’s missing, and if I were there, he would definitely have a better chance of success.”
I have to admit that I can’t even deny it if you put it that way. If it had not been for Kanade, I might still have been betrayed.
“Well, can I ask you to come with me tomorrow?’
“Yes, that would be great! I’ve been studying a lot lately, so it might be a good distraction!”
After that, Kanade and I talked on the phone for a while, spending time between studying.