I am in love with my childhood friend, Yusei Shinzaki.
We have been growing up together since before we entered kindergarten until we became high school students.
So, there was no clear moment when I fell in love with him, but as I was with him, I gradually became attracted to him.
I thought that Yusei and I would always walk together from now on.
Until Yusei got a girlfriend.
I called out to the boy who seemed to have just arrived at school.
He turns around and gives me a kind look.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
As I thought, Yusei is so cool…
Ha! I can’t! If I let my guard down, my face would immediately break into a smile.
I regained my nerve and talked to Yusei.
“Yesterday, I was looking for you to come home with me, but you weren’t there…”
Yes, I tried to go home with him yesterday and looked at his seat.
But he was not there and seemed to have already gone away.
So I looked around the school for a while, but I couldn’t find him anywhere.
Assuming that he had already left for the day, I decided to go home as well.
This morning, I was asking Yusei where he had been.
“Where were you?”
I ask him a frank question.
And I regretted asking him this question.
Yusei paused for a moment as if he was thinking.
“Actually, Shiraki confessed her feelings to me.”
The moment I hear those words, I am struck by a shock as if my head had been hit with a blunt instrument.
It was a little difficult to breathe.
“Eh, i-is that so?”
I could barely manage to answer.
I turned my back to him and left the place as if I was running away.
“Eh hey, Himari?”
Yusei was calling me from behind, but I ignored him and kept walking.
Painful, I want to cry out right now.
I was not going to let Yuisei see my crying face.
I was heading for the rooftop.
This school has a padlock on the rooftop, but I had recently discovered that the padlock was broken.
Since then, this has become a place I often come to when I want to be alone.
I let out a sound that could have been either a whine or a moan, and let a large tear fall from my eye.
“I’ve been waiting for a long, long time.”
I cried out loudly and without shame.
The tears were so much that I was afraid that all the water in my body would come out of my eyes.
“Higuu, gusu, why didn’t Yusei come after me?”
This is just an act of anger.
I couldn’t stop myself from voicing it even though I knew that.
I couldn’t suppress this feeling.
My nose made a sniffling sound.
I calm down a little and let my thoughts wander.
Shiraki-san is a good person, isn’t she?
She’s kind, cute, and someone I couldn’t possibly be a match for.
“But, but, I can’t give up on Yusei.”
There was no way I could give up on these feelings that had been nurtured since I was a small child because of something as trivial as this.
“I don’t know how I’m going to look at Yusei from today onward…”
I should go back to the classroom.
That is what I thought and went back.
After returning to the classroom, I glanced at him with my eyes.
He looks at me, as if he is worried about my gaze.
I turn my head and turn away, thinking that I can’t face him now.
Ah, that wasn’t very nice, I thought to myself.
The chime for the end of fourth period rings, and it’s time for lunch break.
I usually eat lunch with Yusei, but that day I felt awkward for some reason and tried to eat with the other girls, so I put my desks closer to theirs.
I look at Yusei so that he doesn’t notice me.
“Shinzaki-kun, would you like to have lunch with me?”
Shiraki-san called out to him.
He replied with a slight blush on his cheeks.
I felt an inexpressible sense of defeat.
Apart from that, a whirlpool of dark emotions was swirling inside me.
This is… jealousy.
On the one hand, I thought to Yusei, “Why are you being so dere-dere,” and on the other hand, I felt self-loathing at my own heart for being jealous of Shiraki-san.
After school that day, I called out to Yusei,
“Yu-Yusei, let’s go home together.”
I looked into his eyes as if clinging to him and said so.
“I’m sorry, Himari, I’m going home with Shiraki today.”
Of course, that’s right.
I laughed dryly in my mind.
“Right, I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry too.”
“D-Don’t worry about it.”
I even made Yusei feel sorry for me.
I’m really the worst.
I tried to smile brightly so as not to make Yusei feel uncomfortable.
“Let’s go home, Shinzaki-kun.”
Suddenly, I heard a voice from beside Yusei.
Shiraki was the last person I wanted to see right now.
Yusei answered Shiraki’s voice and started to walk away with her.
“Then Himarii, see you tomorrow.”
“Y-yes, see you later.”
I answered him, suppressing this feeling that I was about to start crying at any moment.
After he disappeared from sight, I cried a little.
For the next week, I was so uncomfortable seeing Yusei that I avoided him.
I can’t do this!
I must apologize properly.
So I came to school this morning.
There I found him changed.
The classroom was in an uproar from morning.
The reason, of course, was probably because of the broadcast he played.
The Yusei I knew would never do anything to hurt anyone.
How could this happen?
I felt incredibly sad about it and was furiously angry at myself for not being able to do anything about it.
I turned to Yusei.
He was smiling and looking happy.
I had to help him.
I decided that day.