“Yusuke. There is a word in Japanese that can easily describe your current state in a few words. That’s a saying everyone from kindergarteners to grandpas knows. Listen to me, it’s all about love.”
Taiyo’s confident tone made my whole body itch, and I retorted.
“I-It’s not like that. The fortune teller said, “There is a woman of destiny with whom you have a strong bond, and you may have an idea who she is”, and so I became a little conscious of Yuri Takase, who was nearby and whom I was somewhat interested in. …… I was the one who couldn’t take my eyes off of her every movement and expression,…… and then she really made contact with me just as the fortune told me,…… ……I thought this girl was the one for me after all, and my heart was already hot in my chest. ……It’s just that, that’s all.”
Taiyo blew out.
“That’s what love is all about no?”
He poked me in the side.
The morning after my contact with Takase on the rooftop, I was walking to school with Taiyo, whom I had met by chance on the way. It was a pleasant spring morning with clear, crisp air.
“Yusuke is in love with Takase-san, no matter what the reason is”
Taiyo said with a firm voice.
“Don’t be so stubborn, just admit it. It’ll make things easier.”
“Oi, that’s not something you should talk about out loud!”
I hurriedly looked around. It was the peak time of the school day, so the surrounding area was full of Meio students, but fortunately, none of them were listening to our conversation.
“Besides, Taiyo may be trying to be funny, but it’s not that kind of fun. My future is at stake. If I believe in fortune-telling too much, that’s one thing, but if it’s this accurate, I have no choice but not to believe in it anymore. Like anyone else, I wish for happiness in the future. To do so, it is important for me to meet my destiny, that is, the future you, and to get to know her better.”
“That sounds very dry, but that means you don’t love Takase-san, then?”
Taiyo said in a matter-of-fact manner.
“If someone confessed his feelings for Takase-san and they started going out, wouldn’t Yusuke think nothing of it?”
When I imagined it, I felt a pain as if my heart was being squeezed. The idea of that Takase dating someone is unthinkable. I don’t want to think about it.
“I mean, listening to the way Yusuke talks, even if you don’t have feelings for her, you can take anything as a good thing if it’s for the sake of happiness, for ‘future you.”
“No, that’s not …… true, by any means.”
It seems I’ve been cornered on the edge of the ring. I have to admit it now. For the past month, the fever that has been tormenting me has been love.
After the worst junior high school years, he became intensely distrustful of people, and the function of falling in love with someone had long been frozen like a Siberian mammoth, but Takase’s presence apparently melted the thick ice.
“Yes, I guess so. I like her. I like Takase.”
I felt a new burning sensation in my chest after saying it out loud. Then again, I wonder how many things I have to confess to this guy.
“Haha. You should have said so from the beginning, Kanzawa-kun.”
Taiyo said, and looked a little confused.
“But, Takase-san, you’re not a very understanding boy, are you?
“Hmm, what do you mean?”
“In the classroom, Takase acts like an honor student, but yesterday on the rooftop, you didn’t seem to be like that. It was like you were frustrated with yourself and your life. I guess you could say you were in a hurry.”
“I could say that about you Taiyo. Who would have thought that you have lost the meaning of life after seeing you in the classroom? Everyone is more or less troubled by the gap between what people see from the outside and who they really are. Takase has a lot of things going on too.”
I still don’t understand this Taiyo Hayama.
“Oh, come to think of it, I’m not like that either. Haha.”
Taiyo scratched his head with a look that.
“Well…..I am not saying this out of a desire to make Yusuke particularly happy, but I think it was Yusuke, not me, that Takase-san was mobed by.”
He smiled wickedly.
“What do you mean?”
“Because my story on the rooftop was just a complaint, to put it bluntly. The other day, Yusuke was a good critic, just as I expected you to be. However, as two men, it would be a bit of an offence if I were to single out one or the other. Takase-san was talking about someone who is the same age as me but thinks so much about life. …… I’m sure she was talking about Yusuke.”
As soon as I hear such an interpretation, my face starts to heat up. I’m not very perceptive.
“So you’ve got a chance. Good for you, you b*stard, you can confess now.”
Taiyo’s hand was rubbing my shoulder as if he was teasing me, but I brushed his hand away and said, “Idiot!”
“Hey, I want to know what Taiyo thinks about this.”
I asked him in a serious voice.
“Oh, about what?”
“When asked what Takase needed to change, she replied, “The future.” Why do you think that is?”
Aside from being excited that Takase had made contact with me, I had been thinking about it ever since yesterday lunchtime. Takase’s shadowy, dark expression, as if the world would end tomorrow, has been haunting me ever since yesterday’s lunch break.
“I don’t know” Taiyo tilted his head.
“Yesterday was the first time I had a serious talk with Takase-san. Well, for example, is it something to do with her house, like mine, ……?”
“Takase’s house…..Are they doing something?”
“Haa!? Yusuke, are you serious about that?”
Taiyo’s overly loud reaction naturally drew the attention of those around us.
“Oi, it’s not that surprising.”
“No, no, I’m surprised that there are people in Class H who don’t know about this. I mean, is Yusuke really that naive to have fallen in love with her without knowing it?”
“Unlike you, I don’t have any friends, so I don’t get that kind of information.”
“Even so, if you’re a student of class H–if you’re a resident of this town–it’s common sense, common sense. Look, over there”
Taiyo said, and pointed across the road with a racy hand. There was a certain supermarket, the nearest one to Narusakura High School.
“Eh? It’s Takaseya, right? What about it…..ah”
The feeling of pleasure, as if a puzzle had clicked into place, ran through my entire body.
“I see! Takase.”
Haha, yes. She is the daughter of Takaseya. Her father is the president of the company.”
Taiyo snapped his fingers.
Takaseya is a long-established supermarket with nine stores in the city. The name “Takaseya” is synonymous with supermarkets in this neighborhood, and older people call it ” Takaseya-san” out of familiarity and respect.
Although it does not have the overwhelming presence it once had because of the recent increase in the number of rival retailers in the city, Takaseya is still a well-known store that has acquired an unshakeable position in the city.
Since I have had to cook for myself since I was in the first year of junior high school, I have become quite familiar with the supermarket situation in this city in my first year of high school.
Incidentally, I did not often use Takaseya, which is located a little far from my house even though it is the nearest store, but used other stores within three minutes’ walk from my house. I should go a little farther next time.
“Well, you can’t go wrong with a nice lady from a nice place. Her parents are forcing her to go to college, just like me, I guess. She’s multi-talented, so maybe there’s something she really wants to do.”
Hearing Taiyo’s words, a sigh escapes out of my mouth.
“What’s the matter, sighing like you’ve had a year’s worth of depression all at once?”
“Sorry if I sounded sarcastic, Taiyo. I’m just thinking about all the bourgeoisies at Meio High School, like the doctor’s kid, the president’s kid, and so on. Our grade, I believe, has a mayor’s daughter in class C, right? I …… felt a little bit narrow-minded about it.”
As Meio High School is the most prestigious school in the area, many children of local prominent people enter the school every year.
Even a cursory glance at the first-year H class reveals a situation where a parents’ meeting could easily turn into a city social gathering.
There are probably not many students whose father is an arsonist in the history of Meio.
“Fufu. Unlike me, Yusuke entered the school in a fair and honest manner, so don’t worry about such boring things.”
Taiyo smiled self-mockingly, coughed once, and returned to the main topic.
“Well, that’s the thing. Takase-san is one of those “haves” that Yusuke was talking about before. I’m sure he’s trying to fight for the future that only the ‘haves’ can achieve. I don’t know what that is, though. Oh, we got here while we were talking.”
I found myself in front of the familiar school gate. I tried to find Takase in the crowd of many Meio students, but I couldn’t seem to find her. Like many honor students, she always arrives at school early.
“Well, now that Yusuke has admitted his love for Takase-san, I’ll cheer for you at this point. As your friend.
“I see. I’m sorry and thank you.”
Taiyo smiled, but soon made a reluctant face, “Aaah”.
“I’ve got a lazy day of classes ahead of me. I’ll give myself a reward after school today.”
I lightly shoved the congratulatory man who always dozed off during class, and I walked into the wave of students.