After the game was over, I personally congratulated Takayuki and then met up with Saegusa-san and Shimizu-san, who were waiting for me in a secluded area away from the gym.
I was wondering what I was going to do now that the two of them had left before me, but then I realized how convenient Lime really is, since I had received a group Lime message about where they were.
After that, we spent some time talking about how we felt about the game, and Takayuki rushed over after the post-game meeting, so the four of us decided to go home together.
When we left the venue, we took a detour and walked along the nearby river to the train station to avoid being seen by the public, as we were worried about Saegusa-san.
“Thanks again for your support today, everyone.”
Takayuki smiled his usual smile and thanked us again.
But Takayuki looked like a hero today, even better looking than usual after such an amazing game.
When I looked next to him, Saegusa-san was smiling and Shimizu-san was staring blankly at him with reddened cheeks.
“Oh, yes, Takkun! I remembered that I really want to go to a restaurant since I came to this town! Would you like to go with me?
Suddenly, Saegusa-san stopped, picked at the hem of my clothes, and suddenly invited me to go with her.
Then, hiding in my shadow, Saegusa-san gives a single wink towards Shimizu-san.
When Shimizu-san was suddenly given such a wink, she looked stiff and had a nervous smile on her face.
“The restaurant? Yeah, okay.”
It was such a sudden invitation from Saegusa-san, but I understood what the wink meant and accepted the invitation with two words.
Now was the perfect time to accomplish the other purpose for coming here today.
“What, are you guys going somewhere?”
“Oh, yeah, but Takayuki is tired, right? So you’d better go straight home today.
Takayuki seemed to want to ask me if I wanted to go somewhere, but I went ahead of him and urged him to go home first.
When I made eye contact with Takayuki, he understood what I was trying to say and said, “Yes, you’re right,” although he blushed a little in embarrassment, and then he went on to face Shimizu-san.
“Shimizu-san, that …… if you want, can you come back with me to the nearby station?”
Scratching his head in embarrassment, Takayuki summoned up the courage to ask Shimizu-san to come along with him.
Shimizu silently nodded her head in response to Takayuki’s invitation, her face turning bright red.
Saegusa-san, who had witnessed the exchange between the two, said, “Well, I guess I’ll say goodbye to Saku-chan here today!”
And I, too, “See you next time!” I pushed Takayuki’s back lightly.
The two faced each other, their faces turning red as they realized that they were now closer than before.
“So, let’s go home.”
And so, after saying goodbye to us, the two of them walked side by side towards the station.
Saegusa-san and I quietly watched the backs of Takayuki and Shimizu-san as they hid nearby.
“…… I hope it goes well.”
“Yeah, I’m sure those two will be fine.”
I smiled and replied to Saegusa, who was smiling at me.
After that, as I was watching their backs for a while, Takayuki suddenly stopped.
When I looked over to see what was going on, Takayuki faced Shimizu-san, who was standing next to him, and bowed his head.
Then, while saying something, he held out his hand to Shimizu-san.
Shimizu-san looked puzzled for a moment, but smiled happily when he heard Takayuki’s words and gently placed her own hand on top of Takayuki’s.
The two of them laughed at each other and started walking towards the station again, holding hands.
I couldn’t hear their voices properly because they were so far apart, but I knew what had just happened to them.
“—-Congratulations, both of you.”
I muttered to myself, almost crying with emotion as I watched their backs lit up by the setting sun.
Saegusa-san, who was standing next to me, had already taken off her sunglasses and was shedding tears in a normal way while watching the two of them.
She gave me her best smile and said, “I’m happy for them.” while she was crying.
Seeing Saegusa like that, everything I had been holding back came pouring out at once, and I unintentionally cried along with her.
It is very embarrassing to cry in front of a girl, but these are tears of joy, so it is safe.
“…… Hey, Takkun.”
After that, I looked away from the happy couple until they were out of sight, and then Saegusa-san looked forward and spoke softly to me.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
“I just thought it would be nice to see them together.”
“…… Yeah, I guess so.”
I nodded my head in agreement with Saegusa.
Seeing them safely together made me want to fall in love so badly.
“So, you know. I was wondering what it would be like to hold hands like that …….”
When I said that, Saegusa-san stared straight into my face.
Her cheeks were tinged with a hint of red.
My heart suddenly starts pounding in my chest at the sight of Saegusa.
“Lets …… practice.”
“Yeah, let’s practice …… holding hands, shall we?”
As she said this, Saegusa gently placed her small, soft hand on my hand. It was tinged with red.
And with Saegusa staring at me shyly, I couldn’t stop either.
“Yeah, …… practice”
I answered and squeezed Saegusa’s hand back.
“So, let’s go.”
Then, holding hands, we started to walk slowly towards the station.
The faces of the two of us were as red as the setting sun in front of us.
“What’s the matter?”
As we walked along the river holding hands, I noticed that Saegusa was smiling happily like this all the time.
“I see, is it nothing.”
“Yeah, it’s nothing…ehehe…♪”
When I saw how happy Saegusa-san looked, I naturally couldn’t help but smile.
“Hey, Takkun, look at me.”
When she said that, I turned my eyes to where she was pointing.
There, I saw a beautiful view of the river flowing by, glittering in the setting sun.
“It’s beautiful. ……”
Saegusa-san was looking at the scenery with an innocent smile on her face.
However, I couldn’t see much of the beautiful scenery.
The reason is that the sight of Saegusa-san smiling in the evening sun was more beautiful than the spreading scenery.
And I realized that I had reached the limit of what I could fool myself into thinking about Saegusa-san.
That’s why I made up my mind to face the one feeling that I had avoided for so many reasons.
–I love Shion Saegusa.
So let’s stop using excuses like “she’s an idol” or “she’s a girl on a high peak”.
If you don’t think you’re worthy of her, then you should become a man is worth for her.
That’s what it means to face these feelings.
That’s why I made a strong vow to Saegusa-san, who was smiling next to me, that I would really grab her hand one day, even if it was just for practice.
Takayuki and Shimizu-san are now safely together.
And then there was Takkun, who decided to face his feelings and take a step forward with Shi-chan.
End of volume 1