It’s been a while since I’ve been harassed.
I had been with Haruka for a while now, and everything had been fine.
So I was caught off guard. I was suddenly sprayed with water.
My shoes were thrown away.
Don’t worry, I have an iron will. Besides, I have Haruka.
That’s why it’s okay to be harassed like this. Maybe they’ll get tired of it and it will end.
Haruka-chan, you were having a hard time–
Shinjo-kun’s friendship with Shinozuka-san gradually changed into a softer atmosphere.
Shinjo-kun, who hadn’t even made eye contact with me before, called Haruka by her name.
At karaoke, he protected Haruka.
Haruka-chan didn’t seem to know how to interact with Shinjo-kun because of her old guilt, the fact that she had said she wouldn’t get involved, and the fact that it was a time when she was wracking her brains trying to figure out how to solve my misunderstanding.
Haruka-chan is stupid and rough and looks like she doesn’t think about anything, but …… she’s really very kind and sensitive.
That’s why I want Haruka-chan to be the only one who gets along with Shinjo-kun.
I have Shinjo-kun in front of me.
There’s definitely something wrong with this brother and sister. …… Why do you have to step into my heart so much?
Shinjo-kun’s single word almost broke me. “—-Use this.”
He said that and tried to push the towel to me.
My iron will was about to break.
My mind raced back to the middle school days I spent with Shinjo-kun.
Ordinary daily conversation. A simple greeting. What a simple exchange …….
–I was enjoying the time I spent with Shinjo-kun without calculating …….
Shinjo-kun, with his cold eyes, gradually changed to a softer expression with a troubled look on his face.
I loved …… watching it.
No, I was aware of my own mind even then. But I was so vain at that time that I pretended not to see it.
I couldn’t wipe off the cold uniform with my handkerchief—-
The sand in my shoes was disgusting—-
I was embarrassed that Shinjo-kun could see me looking so dirty—
But more than that, more than anything, I can’t forgive myself for breaking Shinjo-kun’s heart.
So my mouth was moving on its own.
I don’t know what I’m saying, I’m so incoherent.
I just thought that if I hated myself, everything would be fine.
Shinjo-kun just listened quietly with his towel in his hand.
Before I knew it, I was breathing on his shoulder.
That’s it. I won’t be a part of this anymore.
With that in mind, I turned my back on Shinjo-kun and was about to leave, but…
But then Shinjo-kun’s voice pierced my heart—-
“—- Karaoke, I’m glad you invited me. It doesn’t matter now why you couldn’t come. …… Nanako-san is Haruka’s dearest friend. –Please be good friends with Haruka.”
I felt a soft touch on my back. Shinjo-kun draped a towel over me.
It destroyed my iron will into pieces.
I couldn’t see ahead …… because I was hazy with tears.
“Higg, Higg ……, Ugh, Ugh, Ugh …….”
Emotions stirred my mind. My heart, which was fortified with an iron will, is being destroyed.
Why am I being bullied? Why couldn’t I get along with Shinjo-kun? Why are these siblings stepping into my heart so much?
I heard the sound of slapping footsteps along with a familiar voice.
“Nanako—-! Aah, mou, you idiot!! I told you not to wander around after school by yourself!? I’ve got to wipe, I’ve got to wipe, I’ve got to wipe ……, ayayaya, I’ve got to take off my shoes…….”
Haruka flew over and scrubbed my body and hair with a towel.
It hurt, it was a little painful, but it felt good.
It’s as if she’s sweeping away the stagnation in my heart.
I don’t know how I got into this situation.
I had thought that Nanako had betrayed me.
But after seeing Nanako’s reaction, I began to think that this was not the case.
I met up with Anri and Haruka, and we were sitting on a bench in the courtyard, basking in the sun.
The summer-like sunlight was comfortable.
Nanako’s wet uniform was beginning to dry.
Anri was combing Nanako’s hair. Haruka was next to her, holding Nanako’s hand for a long time as they continued their idle conversation.
“You’ve got beautiful hair. ……, it will look great when you do it properly.”
“Y-yeah, ……, thank you. I’m so embarrassed when people look at me like this……”
“What are you talking about, Nanako! You’re actually super cute, you should be more confident! Go set your hair properly tomorrow!”
“…… Haruka-chan ……, I ……”
“Hmm? This is the perfect opportunity for you to tell Onii…..Ni-chan the truth!”
“B-but that’s my subjective opinion, and it doesn’t change the fact that …… I hurt Shinjo-kun.”
Anri smiles at me. I felt as if she was telling me to listen to her.
I stood up from the bench and stretched.
Then I turned to face Nanako.
“—- Tell me honestly. Whatever it is, I’m okay with it now.”
“—- I see, I understand the situation.”
When I said that simply, Nanako-san had a surprised look on her face.
“Eh……, y-you really believe me …… B-but, i-if I went to karaoke date as promised, ……, and if I didn’t invite anyone I know …….”
“You got it wrong. It’s all over now. …… Nanako told me everything honestly. The past shouldn’t matter now, but you faced it. That’s enough for me to believe you.”
Nanako told me all about her time in middle school.
How she had approached me out of calculation. Things I really wanted her to enjoy at karaoke.
The incident that happened to Nanako-san …….
I had no idea that Nanako, who was so cheerful, was being bullied.
I didn’t notice it at all.
For some reason, Nanako-san, who had cleared her tears, had a calm face.
Yes, she was a girl who smiled like this.
I had sealed the memory away and forgotten about it.
Anri beside me had a stern look on her face.
Maybe she was remembering her own middle school days.
Anri muttered in frustration.
“…… It’s really not fair to those who flock together, isn’t it? I can’t stand it. What do you want to do, Makoto?”
It’s very sensitive to get involved in a problem between girls.
If I say something to the girl who’s bullying Nanako, it’ll only make it worse.
“…… I can’t do anything about it. –However.”
They all turn to look at me.
I just tell them how I feel.
“I just want to see Nanako-san as bright as she was in middle school.”
Nanako-san’s face turns bright red.
Haruka grabbed Nanako’s hand, looking somewhat happy.
I stood up from the bench and took Anri’s arm.
Anri stands up too. It’s not my turn any more.
I looked at Haruka. Haruka didn’t escape my gaze this time.
Strangers don’t change the environment.
I am influenced by the people I love, and that changes me.
Haruka slaps herself in the face with a bang.
…… N-no, that’s going to hurt like hell.
“UUSHYAA! Nanako, let’s get into it! We’ve got a ball game coming up soon, let’s play well and make friends with our classmates! Let’s start practicing right now!”
“Eh W-wait I-I-I have a new otome game.–Uwawa”
Haruka pulled Nanako’s hand and ran towards the gym.
Nanako was confused, but lightly bailed on us and left. Her face was somewhat refreshed.
We were a little stunned.
Anri and I naturally cuddled up together.
“……It will be fine, right?”
“Yeah, Haruka’s an idiot.”
It’s a little bit different than usual.
“You’re a big idiot too, right, Makoto? You should take care of me, a yankee who’s been twisted up like this. ……, ehehe.”
“…… Now you’re talking.”
Anri is right, I’m sure Nanako will be fine.
Let’s leave the rest to Haruka.
I felt as if something that had been holding me back had lightened.
We started to walk towards my grandfather’s house.