My body has been acting strange lately.
Just talking to Anri makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. No, it’s always been that way, but lately it’s even more so.
Maybe it’s because I read Anri’s new title.
When I saw the title of her new book, I was as shocked as if it was about me.
My feelings of love for Anri are tucked away in the back of my mind.
…… We’re friends. Don’t get me wrong.
But still, I can’t help but feel a smile on my face at a moment’s notice.
Next week I will start my summer vacation, but I have no plans except to write a novel. I’m going to see Anri every day…….
Yesterday was the start of summer vacation. I’m going to meet with a potential illustrator along with Saeko-san.
Anri is Anri, and today she has a meeting at the editorial office to discuss the book project. she has an appointment to meet in the evening, but I’m feeling strangely itchy.
Okay, I’ll try not to think about it. I’ll keep my willpower strong.
I changed my clothes into the ones Anri had picked out for me and decided to leave my grandfather’s house.
“Oh, it’s Nyanta-Onii-chan, isn’t it? Mumu, Shinozuka nee-san is not here. Must be an important day.”
I headed to the station and bumped into Dojima at the ticket gate. …… Does this guy live around here? No, he must be further east in the city center, like Puggy.
“A-Ah It’s been a while since I’ve seen you, Takeru Dojima. I sometimes go out by myself too. What’s up with you and Puggy?”
“How rude of me. Chisa is shopping with her friends for the forest school. I’m not so naive as to go along with her on their shopping trip.”
For some reason, Takeru Dojima is very proud. …… He’s a strange guy. His hair has become much cleaner and he looks more handsome from every angle. And his expression has become richer.
…… So, Puggy is doing well at school. I’m glad.
“…… Fumu fumu, Nyanta Onii-chan. Puggy is doing well at school. I’ve been saved by her smile many times. Don’t worry. If anything happens, …….I’ll do my best to protect her. Uhm, I don’t want to stand around talking, so let’s head for the train platform.”
“Ah, yeah, where we are going?”
The station where Dojima answered was the same as the one I was going to.
So I decided to go with Dojima to the platform.
Dojima hummed as he walked down the stairs.
“What was Dojima doing at this station, by the way? Your closest station isn’t here, right?”
I don’t know, I feel very comfortable talking to Dojima. When I talk to boys in my class, I get defensive, but with this guy, I don’t have to. How to say…..He’s exactly as I see him.
“I’ve been looking into this station for a while. I was doing some preliminary research on the place. Although the school has a high deviation score, it has a liberal school culture and many students are careless. There are some problematic students, but that should be fine. Originally, I was going to go to brother’s high school, but I changed my plans.”
“O-oh. It’s true that there are a lot of strange students for the deviation value.”
I first thought of , my sister, Haruka’s face.
Since that day, I have occasionally talked with Haruka at school. It’s just an ordinary conversation. But for my sister and I, we hadn’t had that conversation for …… a long time.
Our relationship will be close to rebuilding.
“I’ve been able to remember some of the emotions in my current class, and for the first time, I’m enjoying school life. …… Graduation is very, very hard, but I’m also looking forward to my high school life with Chisa.”
“…… I see. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Here comes the train.”
In a short time, the train came to the platform.
The subway is empty on holidays. We sat down on a seat for two.
“I can’t remember if I liked her or not. I can’t remember what it feels like to like someone, I’ve never experienced it before so I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me what it feels like?”
I couldn’t help but blurt it out.
I-It’s too sudden!
“W-What the are you talking about?! W-Why would you—“
“No, I’ve been studying romantic feelings in a book, but I don’t really understand it. I’ve learned that it’s a feeling of tightness and warmth in the chest, but that feeling is common when I’m with my friend, Chisa. That’s why I don’t really understand it. So I wanted to ask Nyanta Onii-chan and Shinozuka Nee-san, who like each other, how it feels.”
I covered my face with my hands and looked up at the ceiling. It’s an honest expression of how he feels right now.
Puggy probably said a lot of things to Dojima. I’ll give her a lecture later. I’m going to write a novel about her and Dojima. ……
And for that matter, doesn’t Dojima know what …… he’s feeling? You love puggy right?
…… It’s not something for others to say too much about. Perhaps moving forward slowly is the right thing for these two. The air of a once-broken person that I can feel from Dojima.
Okay, I’ll be a little more serious.
“…… Listen, Dojima. Do you know what it means to love someone?”
“Nyanta Onii-chan, we’re already at the station! We have to get off the train!”
“O-Oi, I’m talking to—-“
Dojima pulled me by the arm and we got off the platform.
For some reason, Dojima started to run straight away. –I don’t know why he was running.
“Hahah, if I have a lot of problems, it feels good to run, and everything is solved. Mumu—–“
“No, don’t run at the station! What if you bump into someone? If you want to run, do it outside.……”
Dojima stops abruptly when he hears my words.
He nodded with a Fumufumu.
….Puggy, do you live like this all the time? …… I respect you, dude. I never thought I’d have to be the one to tweak it.
“Ah, i-it’s you, Dojima! Ah, I never thought I’d see you here!”
“What’s wrong? A friend from school? H-huh? S-Shinjo-kun!? Awawa w-what should I do ……”
“Eh, Nanako Onee-chan’s face is all red!”
Dojima And I looked at the ticket gate at the same time.
Nanako was there with a little girl.
“…… Mumu, she said my name, but I don’t know who she is.”
I haven’t talked to Nanako since that day. It turns out that what happened with Nanako was a misunderstanding. But it’s hard to talk about. If …… Haruka was here, it would be a little easier to talk to her. ……
Dojima craned his neck to see the girl next to Nanako. She seems to be a complete stranger.
“Excuse me, I have an appointment with someone I know. That’s…”
Dojima walked out of the station by himself. Oi, hold on?!
“Uwa, this brother is super cool too. By the way, I’m Nanako’s cousin and I’m in the same grade as Dojima-kun. Dojima-kun is famous at school, so I was surprised to see him.”
“Come on, Minami. He is older than you, so you should use proper honorifics. I’m sorry, Shinjo-kun. I interrupted something…….”
“N-No, no need to apologize.”
“Fuun, Nanako Onee-chan, I’m going to the store to get some snacks! I’ll be right back!”
The girl who was called Minami ran off. Nanako and I were left behind in front of the ticket gate.
We have some time before her errand ……. Should I make small talk with her?
I don’t know how to treat her at all. What should I do, Anri?
“Ah you know, I was showing that girl around our high school today. Ugh, she wants to get into our school. ……”
“I-I see. She’s a spirited girl.”
“I was showing her our school…..”
“…… Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that already.”
I can’t keep the conversation going. In the past, I would have built a wall with others and that would have been the end of it. But now, I’m different. I promised Anri that I would move on. I’m also worried about Nanako’s bullying. I heard that it had subsided, but there was a high possibility that it would flare up again even if she thought it was over.
Fu, Nanako suddenly chuckled.
“Fufu, ……, oh, sorry. I just remembered something from the past. …… It’s a painful memory for you, Shinjo-kun. ……”
When I was in junior high school, Nanako-san used to talk to me a lot. She kept talking to me, even when I brusquely pushed her away. As I listened to Nanako’s increasingly cheerful conversation, my heart sank.
Let’s forget about those old things. It’s the same as the case with Haruka and Mom. We can rebuild from scratch.
“No, it’s okay. It was a long time ago. Well, how are things these days? Is everything okay?”
“……Hmm. I’m fine now. I don’t get harassed as badly as before. Haruka-chan is with me, and Shinozuka-san cares about me and talks to me.”
Anri was taking care of Nanako-san. That’s right, Anri is …….
My heart feels a little fluffy. After all, Anri is a very kind girl.
It makes me smile naturally.
“Shinjo-kun, …… your expression changes too much when you talk about Shinozuka-san. Mou, when I see you smile like that again, ……”
I’m not sure why Nanako-san had a distant look in her eyes. I wondered if she was remembering the past or looking at herself now.
Then, in a small voice, she said, “Okay,” and turned to walk toward the store.
“Un, I’m so glad I met you today. Ah, I-I’m sorry, I said something strange.”
Nanako’s frilly clothes fluttered fluffily and she waved her hands.
The atmosphere has really changed somehow. Objectively speaking, she’s a very pretty girl.
I was somewhat relieved and smiled back at Nanako.
“—–Ah I-I’m going! W-Well……s-see you later…….”
Nanako muttered the last word very quietly. It was almost impossible to tell if it was hearable or not.
“Yeah, ‘See you later‘. Nanako-san. ……I’m glad I got to talk to you again too.”
“Oh, ……, Y-yeah, ……, T-t-thanks, …….”
As I said this, I headed for the exit of the station.
The last time I saw Nanako, her face was very calm.