“You seem more depressed than ever today.”
“…… Oh, Takase.”
In the classroom.
The purple aura of the classroom was overshadowed by the voice of Takase, a bad friend of mine.
Takase settles into the one seat in front of me and gives me a frivolous look.
“Well, you told her that you didn’t like her, and that’s why you started going out with her, right? There’s no need to be so anxious about it.”
“But I could have chosen not to go out with her, and in the end, I was selfish.”
I told her how I felt and broke up with her.
The relationship lasted less than a month.
For that reason alone, she asked me for more time, but I realized my feelings for Asuka.
So I couldn’t make the choice to continue dating Sakura-san.
“I see. But she agreed to it, right?”
“Yes, I think so”
She was a really good girl.
That’s why I felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest.
Takase brought his body close to mine and looked at me.
“Hiroto, you must be thinking about purification, right?”
“No, I’m not thinking about purification.”
“I’m thinking about not getting involved with girls for a while.”
“Oh, I knew it. Is that okay?”
Takase let out a loud sigh and scratched the back of his head roughly.
“You found out that I like Asuka-chan, didn’t you? And you decided to tell her how you feel, right? But you said you’re going to stay put for a while. Then Asuka-chan might get a boyfriend.”
That’s a good possibility.
Asuka tends to be hostile toward men, but she is not completely a man-hater. If she hated men, she wouldn’t be going out with me.
“I know, but…”
“You’ll get caught flat-footed if you keep thinking about unnecessary things.”
Takase advises me.
What’s the point of stepping on toes here and now?
It is already December. The year is almost over.
I thought it would start next year at the earliest, but that’s not right.
After a moment of silent contemplation, I looked up and declared.
“I’ve made up my mind. On Christmas Eve, I will ask Asuka out on a date.”
Takase’s eyes widened and he looked perplexed.
“O-ou. On Christmas Eve, you’re pretty aggressive, huh? I mean, Hiroto seems to be giving more importance to the event than I thought.”
“Is that so?”
“Was it during the fireworks at the summer festival when you confessed your feelings to her?”
“Yeah. Well, it didn’t go as planned.”
Even with careful preparation, mistakes are bound to occur.
Especially when Asuka is next to me, things don’t go the way I want them to.
But I liked that kind of routine.
“Christmas Eve, huh? …… Oh, wait a minute.”
Takase returned to his seat and began to fish around in his bag.
Holding two pieces of paper, he came back to me again.
“Here, this is for you, Hiroto.”
“Tickets for the illumination.”
“You were planning to go with someone.”
“I was going to invite someone, but I didn’t have any plans. You can have it.”
I held the ticket tightly in my hand and decided to accept it.
“You have a good friend, right? Hiroto.”
“I think you’re ruining it if you say it yourself.”
Takase smiles frivolously, and for some reason, I feel foolish and even the corners of my mouth relax.
Let’s try to hit it and crush it.
December 24. Christmas Eve.
No snow is falling, but the cold weather is covering the metropolitan area, which is no wonder that it is snowing.
Equipped with the handmade scarf Asuka had given me, I tried to calm my quickening heart tone.
“Brother. Are you going somewhere?”
As I’m getting ready to go outside, my sister Reina calls out to me.
I’m going to go out.
I’ll make sure to let Reina know.
“Yes. I was going to confess my feelings to Asuka.”
“Eh? Confessing? …… Are you serious, brother?”
“Yeah. Well, I’m going to go.”
“You’re going to Asuka’s place, right?”
“Well, Asuka-san, she said something about having a Christmas party with her friends today.”
“Did you not make any plans for Asuka-san?”
What am I doing?
I didn’t make any promises.
When we were dating, I reported any plans I had to her and we shared a calendar.
So I knew what Asuka’s plans were without having to ask her.
But now we are broken up.
I needed to confirm in advance whether Asuka had any plans on Christmas Eve.
“What shall I do?”
It was completely my mistake.
I had forgotten something important.
“Did she say whose house she was going to?”
“Oh, yes. She said she was going to Mami’s house.”
It’s a friend of Asuka’s.
I have only interacted with her through Asuka, but I am acquainted with her.
But as far as the location of the house….
“Jeez, you are really careless, brother.”
“I just got in touch with Mami. I think the address is here.”
Reina forwarded the address to my phone.
I wonder what is going on with Reena’s exchange relationship.
If it’s related to Asuka’s friends, she seems to be more intimate with them than I am.
“No, ……, but I can’t interrupt a Christmas party. I’ll call it a new day.”
Although there is the matter of illumination, I should give up today and change the date to another day.
It’s because of my lack of confirmation.
And then my phone starts shaking.
It’s an unknown number.
“Please pick up.”
Reina urged me to pick up the phone and I did.
Then a familiar voice comes over the phone.
“Yaho, this is our first time calling, isn’t it, Hiroto-kun?
On the other end of the line through the phone was Asuka’s friend – Shinozaki Mami.
Reina and I make eye contact.
But her eyes were immediately averted.
It seems she gave my phone number to Shinozaki-san.
“So. So, what do you want? Asuka is at my house right now, but…”
It was possible to tell a lie here.
Shinozaki-san probably doesn’t think well of me.
If she knew that I was going to tell Asuka how I felt, she might say something negative about me.
“I want to invite Asuka to the illumination.”
‘Hmmm. Asuka might not be interested in you anymore, Hiroto?”
“Even if that’s the case, I don’t want it to end like this.”
“Haa….. I’m really tired of all this trouble, both Hiroto-kun and Asuka.”
Shinozaki-san says, with a slight chuckle, as if she’s taken aback.
“Fine. Come to my house. I’ll make it easy for you.”
“Yeah. but you better come early. The house is in a strange place, so it’ll be hard to find.”
“I’ll see you later.”
The call was cut off with a pause.
I put my phone in my pocket and turned to Reina.
“Thank you, Reina. I appreciate it.”
“No, I wish you good luck.”
“Yes, I’m off.”
“See you later, brother.”
When I put on my shoes, Reina waved at me with a flutter of her hand.
Blessed to be surrounded by people, me.
Grateful for the environment in which I was placed, I raced off.