The second exam of my high school career is finished. Homerooms are over and my classmates are quite excited about the fact that we will soon be going on summer vacation. Today is Friday and this exam will not be returned until the following Wednesday. The end-of-term ceremony will be held right after that, and the grades will be sent to the students by mail.
I don’t have any plans for today, so all I have to do now is go home. I’m going to check out a book from the library before I go back ……. It’s been a long time since I’ve checked out a book due to exams.
“Hmm? What, you look sleepy today. That’s unusual.”
A small yawn, and Yuki, who was getting ready to leave, calls out to me.
“Yeah…..This time I studied for the exam properly, so I’m a little sleep-deprived.”
“…… That’s a scary line when you know the result of that last one.”
Last time, I didn’t do any special study for the exam. Naturally, I checked the subjects I needed to memorize, but I did so only a little during my regular study time.
But this time, since I had spent much less time on my regular studies, I studied to a certain extent. Also, I told Miyamoto-san that I would not lose the next time. I didn’t want to not make the effort to do so after saying so.
“…… Well, I’m going to go to club activities. See you.”
“Yeah, good luck.”
As usual, Yuki seemed to like badminton and walked toward the gymnasium at a quick pace. He must be fired up because he mentioned that he had a newcomer’s tournament during the summer break. He said, “If you like, you can come and cheer for us.” ……Badminton tournaments are held completely closed, so it’s very hot. …… Of course, I want to cheer for him, but I feel a little uncomfortable inviting ……Miyamoto and Obata to a badminton tournament.
I don’t know if I should go alone or not ……. I might know someone from middle school …… no, in that sense, it’s better to go alone.
“Well, it’s not too late.”
There are still a little more than three weeks until the tournament in which Yuki will participate. I’ll decide by then.
With the bag in hand, I left the classroom and walked down the corridor to the library, which I used to use almost daily before the exam period.
…… I just haven’t used it for the past week or so, but it’s been kind of a long time.
When I entered the library through the open door, it was quiet and peaceful inside. It had been a while since I had been in the library.
There was nothing in particular that I wanted to read, so I looked at the books lined up and headed for the bookshelf where I had read the last time I was in the library.
……Now, which book shall I read?
I went to the bookshelf and looked at the titles written on the spines of the books.
I was wondering what to read when I noticed a female student at the edge of my field of vision. …… Oh, I’m in the way, aren’t I? The aisles in the library are quite narrow because the bookshelves are placed at short intervals. I thought I was at the end of the aisle, but it looks like she couldn’t get through.
“D-don’t be …….”
I bowed my head lightly and said so at the end of the aisle, but the person remained motionless, looking down a little. The color of the ribbon indicates that she is a sophomore. The person was a little short and wore glasses. And her hair was a bob cut, a little shorter than Miyamoto’s and a little longer than Obata’s if I looked at it as a whole, but she had long bangs and a kind of dark look to her hair.
…… eh, didn’t you want to pass me? I froze and didn’t move at all. ……
“Uhm,……, you like books, right?”
S-She spoke to me….. …..Why? Is it possible for someone to talk to someone when you’re in the library looking for books?
I answer, a little wary. If you ask me if I like it, it’s not that I like it that much. I just read them to kill some free time.
“Um, if you’re not sure, I recommend this one. R-Read it if you like.”
“Oh, …… I see. Well, since I’m here, I’ll read it. Thank you.”
I might appreciate that. Maybe she just recommended it to me because I was confused? If it was ……, I apologize for being a bit wary.
I thought so, and accepted the book offered to me.
“Uhm, I’d really like to hear your thoughts …… after you read it.”
“Eh, ……, ah, yes.”
Ah, well, if I recommend something, I’d like some impressions. …… impressions …… I’m not really moved or anything by books. ……
“No! Well, I don’t mean to force you to!”
She seemed to be disgusted and said such a thing in a flustered manner. Awawa is the perfect way to describe it, and it’s kind of funny. ……No, it would be rude to laugh at such a thought.
“No, I was just wondering if I could give you a proper …… impression of it.”
“I-I’d really appreciate any thoughts you have on that!”
“Oh, yes. If that’s the case, after I read, let’s see, …….”
“I-I’m always here after school!”
“Well, I’ll come back here when I’ve read it sometime.”
“Y-yes. I’ll be waiting for you!”
The person who said that, ran away and left.
……That’s a thick book, and I think that’s all I’m going to read today.
I head for the main entrance, carrying a bag that has become a little heavy after borrowing a book from the library that was recommended to me.
I put on my shoes and was about to go outside when I noticed a familiar figure at the end of the hallway. A familiar figure at the end of the hallway.
“Ishikawa, Good job on the exam.”
“Good work. What’s wrong?”
“Um, are you free after this? If you want, we can go over the answers to the exam.”
Miyamoto-san, who says so, has a soft smile on his face, but only her eyes are serious and …… a little scary. She must have been really disappointed with her last exam,…….
“Yes, that’s fine. Uhm,……, where do you want to do it?”
“Well, since we’re here, why don’t we go to our usual cafe?”
Normally I go there to work as a part-timer, but it’s kind of refreshing to go there as a customer.
“Sure. Then let’s go. We can have dinner over there, right. …… Oh, but isn’t it going to rain later today?”
The rainy season will end soon, I think, but the weather is not consistent yet. I think today’s weather was rain in the afternoon. I have a folding umbrella these days, so I’m okay, but I wonder if Miyamoto-san will be okay.
“I have a folding umbrella, so I’ll be fine.”
“Oh, I see. I have a folding umbrella too.”
If that’s the case, it seems to be all right.
…I’m a little concerned about the eyes around me, so let’s get the hell out of here.
“Let’s go then.”
We took the usual path and arrived at our usual cafe. Unlike usual, the topic of conversation was about the content of the exam, but I had the feeling that it had been a long time since I had seen her, partly because I had taken some time off from my part-time job right before the exam. It’s been three days since I’ve seen …… Miyamoto-san. We’ve been exchanging messages, though, so it doesn’t feel that way.
When I opened the door of the store, there were several groups of customers inside, as it was lunchtime. Then the manager notices us and calls out to us.
“Hey, Shota-kun and Mizuki-chan. Welcome.”
“It’s been a little while since I saw you two. Let’s see. ……”
“Oh, I’m here today as a customer.”
“Aah, of course you are. I’m a little surprised because it wasn’t your part-time day. A table for two?”
“Yes, thank you”
We went to an open table and sat down facing each other.
“Well then, let’s get right to it …….’
Miyamoto-san reached into the bag she was carrying and pulled out a question paper for the exam.
“Uhm, ……, why don’t we have lunch first? We haven’t even ordered yet.”
“Oh, I see. ……, you’re right.”
“Let’s just order.”
Saying so, Miyamoto-san put the clear file containing the exam questions on the edge of the desk and took the menu. Still, she’s a little fidgety, as if she’s really concerned about the results of the exam.
After ordering ……, let’s just check the answers for one subject for now.
“…… Ishikawa, do you have any recommendations as to which ones are the best?”
“Hmmm, let’s see. ……”
I know the taste of most of the dishes because I am sometimes allowed to eat them as a treat. Hmmm…… among them, I wonder if Miyamoto-san would like it. ……Not sure what would be good.