Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
TL Note: Found this one while browsing Syosetu. While short, this 8-chapter story is a nice read with a beginning, middle, and end. Honestly, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed by this one. It only gets better!
Ah, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and join our discord server so you won’t miss an update! Also, the discussions over on our server are quite enlightening. The good and the bad kind of enlightening, lol.
Another thing, I’m translating names like this: FIRST NAME → SECOND NAME, just for reading’s sake.
It was the spring of my fifteenth. I walked along a street lined with blooming cherry blossoms, yet felt so nervous I swore I might collapse under my shaky feet.
Determined to spin my life around as the hopeless introvert I’ve always been, I desperately studied just so I could enroll in this prestigious school. I’d managed to keep my cool up to yesterday, but a wave of anxiety crashed over me just as I left my house today. Just as I looked around.
One glance left, one right. Among the outstanding and shimmering freshmen, I couldn’t find a single soul I knew. As if it weren’t difficult enough for a socially anxious person like me to meet someone new, I hadn’t made a single friend in my three years of junior high. Could a guy like me even survive in this new environment?
This ever-familiar anxiety prevailed over my hope for a fresh new start; I was on edge, to say the least.
Be that as it may, I continued trudging along this new path. Still, it didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t completely surrounded by strangers. It wasn’t some newfound source of hope as much as the opposite, unfortunately.
“Hey, Amane! Good morning!” There came a slightly boyish voice whizzing past me. Her glistening black hair, cut just above her shoulder, complimented her slender build quite well. And there was this striking blend of will and cuteness flourishing from her eyes.
She was none other than Fuuka Kiyami, the girl I held an unrequited crush on from the very first day of junior high up to graduation.
Cheerfully, she skipped up and tapped on a shoulder. Unfortunately for me, that was done on the guy walking right a few steps ahead. No way she’d do that to Kakeru Taiga — to me.
“Heya. What a surprise seeing you here. So we’ll go to the same high school, hm? What a coincidence.”
The guy she addressed had stylish dirty blond hair and was tall and strikingly handsome. Amane Imataka was his name, and he’d also come from the same junior high as me. While we hailed from the same place, the difference between us was as stark as day and night. Maybe even as the sky and the deepest sea.
By and large, he was not only the charismatic ace of the soccer club but also a likable, popular guy. Meanwhile, I was the representative of the introverts.
I later realized he and I were actually classmates. ‘Oh, if only it had been Kiyami!’ I thought to myself, mind filled with delusions. I digress.
Still, there was one more thing that couldn’t be left out when talking about these two. They were not only close but had been for ages. Yeah, they were childhood friends.
Truth be told though, I couldn’t care less about him; I had always admired Kiyami though. We were never classmates, and we never even talked for that matter, but it didn’t stop my heart from beating faster. Sure, she wasn’t the type of beauty who stood out as some sort of ethereal being, but she was still the cutest to me.
All this is to explain why this situation was painful. The long road to school was crowded with strange faces, causing some kind of pedestrian traffic jam. Hence, I could only walk at a snail’s pace while being forced to watch this handsome dude and her chatting happily five steps ahead. Just witnessing the two was mental torture.
“What’s wrong? Can’t you be happy that someone from the same junior high is here?”
“Well, yeah. Having you here makes it a bit better.”
“Whaddya mean a bit better? Be more honest; turn that frown upside down!”
Kiyami’s slender, seemingly soft fingers pulled on cheeks. Oh, how lucky he was. I couldn’t help the little gargle of bitterness in my gut. Hey, you two, I’m right behind you! Look, I went to the same junior high as well, y’know?!
By the way, she had this boyish flair to her speech I just found charming to a tee. Was the term ‘gap moe¹’ invented just for her? I couldn’t help but nod at the theory.
However, it didn’t take long for it to worsen and become even more frustrating to watch: Imataka reciprocated, tugging her cheeks as she did his, interacting with words and playful touches.
I couldn’t bury the envy born from watching the scene. Once again, I was reminded of Kiyami’s overwhelming cuteness and slight tomboyish flair. She was too much of an extraordinary presence.
1 — “Gap-moe means affection born of inconsistency between different aspects of the character. The classic one is tsundere, where the gap is between romantic affection and violence (physical or psychological).” — From Google.
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