The day after I went to visit Asuka.
I left home at the same time as usual and was walking along the way to school as usual.
I was just passing by Asuka’s house.
Then a familiar figure appeared from the shadow of a telephone pole.
“G-good morning. Hiroto.”
Chestnut-colored hair that reached down to her waist and was tied back in a bun.
Slightly cat-like eyes and a face as small as a celebrity’s.
Asuka glanced at me, her cheeks tinted with nervousness.
“I thought you were going to stop showing up in front of me?”
“…….I, We only broke up. There’s no need for us to go that far. I mean, Hiroto said it himself yesterday!”
“You can’t play dumb.”
Asuka muffles and puffs air into her cheeks.
She comes trotting up next to me.
We continue on our way to school, taking up more space next to each other than we did when we were dating.
“…… Hey, is Hiroto thinking about getting a new girlfriend or something?”
“What the heck, out of the blue?”
Well, she asked me something similar the other day.
“I heard it from Takase-kun.”
“Hiroto is trying to find a girlfriend to move on to a new relationship.”
The purpose is a mystery, but it seems that my bad friend has been telling lies to Asuka. Damn, what a waste of time.
“W-Well, not that I care! I’m not Hiroto’s girlfriend anymore. Whoever Hiroto goes out with, he’s free to do so. …… I’m just curious..j-just chatting………”
“Takase is saying nonsense, that’s what it is.”
Asuka is flustered, but I simply explain the truth to her.
“yeah, I have no intention of getting a girlfriend at the moment.”
“Is that so….I see”
“Well, Reina was blabbering something about wanting to go clothes shopping with Asuka. When you have time, could you go with her?”
“Got it! I’ll call her later!”
When we were dating, I went to school with Asuka almost every day.
Only recently. I’ve been going to school alone.
But I can’t help but feel nostalgic about this situation.
Just because we’ve broken up doesn’t mean we have to completely cut ties.
I now understand something that anyone would understand.
As soon as I arrived at my seat, Takase, a bad friend of mine, came in with a smile on his face that was almost hateful.
“Hmm? What, are you in a bad mood?”
“Takase, you said something unnecessary to Asuka, didn’t you? About me making an effort to get a girlfriend or something.”
“Can I hit you?”
“I-I’m against violence. I mean, do you feel like maybe the two of you are going back together?”
Takase asked me that question.
“No, we’re not back together, and I don’t plan to be.”
“Did anything happen?”
“I see, I see”
“No, I’m sorry, ……. There is something.”
“Oh? Let me hear it, let me hear it.”
Takase sits down in the seat in front of me and smiles, using the backrest as an elbow rest.
“Yesterday, I went to visit Asuka. I told her that, well, I’m not going to cut ties with her.”
“Heh, you’re a little cooler now, you know. It would be sad if it was the end of the relationship.”
“I’m okay to begin with. But my sister is very fond of Asuka. I just thought it would be better if things didn’t get too tense.”
“I see I see. So, you’re back to being friends?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps Acquaintance?”
Takase ruminates over my words with a bitter smile on his face.
As I leaned forward slightly, Takase stared into my eyes.
“Asuka-chan is quite, or rather, popular with the boys, you know.”
“W-what the hell, out of the blue?”
“Now that she is free after breaking up with Hiroto, I think there will be a lot of guys who will be after Asuka.”
“That’s none of my business.”
I avert my gaze diagonally.
“Well, I see. You and Asuka are acquaintances, then.”
“Yeah, and she’s already free to go out with whomever she wants.”
“Yes. But I’m glad. If Hiroto had just let Asuka go, I had a feeling that she would have fallen for some strange guy. Even if she does decide to get a boyfriend in the future, I’m sure Asuka will choose a good one.”
Takase blurts out in an easygoing tone.
…… what’s going on, I’m feeling a little fuzzy in my chest.
Whoever Asuka is in love with is no longer an issue to me.
It’s her freedom, and I don’t have the right to condemn her for it.
But I don’t want to imagine Asuka holding hands with or kissing a man I don’t know.
It’s no good.
Incoherent, me ……
“Hey, Takase,……. What should I do?”
“What? Look at me.”
“Oh, no, it’s just that this is the first time that Hiroto has asked me for advice.”
Takase looks uncharacteristically taken aback when I start to blurt it out.
He opened his mouth with a pout and showed his dumb face.
“I wasn’t consulting that much ……?”
“Yes. Most of the time, everything is reported after the incident. Or rather, if I don’t ask you, you almost never tell me about yourself.”
Takase clearly and mercilessly tells me.
“I-Is that so ……. I didn’t mean it that way.”
I can only take a subjective view of myself.
Sometimes an objective point of view can notice things that I don’t.
Takase put on his usual frivolous expression and giggled and leaned forward.
“Why don’t you and Asuka try again?”
“Yes. Because you’re back to being acquaintances again, right? Also, you should get to know Asuka from the ground up. ……Ah, that was just a mean thing I said earlier. There’s no doubt Asuka is popular, but I don’t think she’ll be dating anyone for a while. So you have plenty of time.”
“…………. But what’s the point of knowing from the ground up?”
“That’s up to Hiroto, isn’t it? You can become friends, get back together, or remain acquaintances.”
“….I wonder if that’s okay to do. I dumped Asuka after all.”
“As long as Asuka-chan doesn’t mind, that’s all that matters. If you are worried, you can ask her directly. Hiroto, you assume too much about everything yourself.”
Indeed, he is right.
I can’t even think about it.
Don’t make assumptions.
If I don’t know, if I’m worried, I should just ask the person directly.
It’s that simple.
“Hiroto said that Asuka-chan was selfish from the very beginning, threatening to break up with you, right?”
“But if you had talked about it earlier, I think the problem would have been solved right away. So, next time, you should be more open with yourself. That’s my advice.”
“……Takase is a pretty good guy, huh?”
“What, you just noticed that now?”
“If it weren’t for your womanizing, you’d be faultless.”
“One word extra…….”
Takase looks displeased.
I naturally loosen the corners of my mouth and smile.
I have to make sure that the advice I received from Takase is not wasted.