“Here you go.”
“Oh, thank you. Makoto-san.”
Just as Miyamoto-san finishes reviewing the exam, Makoto-san comes over to us and calls out to us. Two cups of coffee and tea are placed on the table.
“I’ll bring you the rest soon.”
After saying that, Makoto quickly went back to the counter. ……Huh?
“The rest? Did we order anything?”
“Yes. Let’s …… see what it is.”
Obata-san answers my question. Before we sat down, Miyamoto-san and I ordered coffee, and then Yuki and Obata-san ordered tea. I don’t think we said anything else at the time. Are you saying they ordered without me noticing?
….I didn’t order anything, or did I….? No, I don’t have a weird menu.
“Here you go.”
“Thank you …… eh?”
Makoto immediately came over and put down what he brought to the table. What was placed on the table was three cakes.
“Then, please take your time.”
After placing the cakes one by one, Makoto-san then left.
“Yes, that’s why!”
“Ishikawa, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
“Happy birthday, Ishikawa!”
“Shota, happy birthday!”
They wished me happy birthday and I just said thank you but I haven’t caught up with the understanding at all. It’s been over a month since my birthday.
“Ishikawa, can you eat cake? Abe said you couldn’t eat cake. You’re missing out on about two percent of your life.”
“Oh, don’t worry. ……. There is nothing in particular that I don’t like. ……”
“Then, Ishikawa, please have whatever you like. ……!”
Miyamoto-san said so and put three cakes in front of me. From left to right: cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate cake.
“Let’s see,…… then,…… with this one.”
After taking the cheesecake, Miyamoto-san and Obata-san talked and took the shortcake and chocolate cake respectively.
“A surprise birthday party just like that!”
“Lower your voice a little. It’s fine to be excited, but look around you.”
“Uhm, congratulations again, Ishikawa-kun.”
As I listened to the conversation, the ratio of confusion to happiness gradually shifted to happiness, and when I repeated the phrase “surprise birthday party” to myself again, the realization that I was being celebrated finally fell into my heart.
When I was in junior high school, I was only told “Happy Birthday” in the morning and dinner was a little extravagant, so it was a little refreshing to be celebrated in this way, with a place created specifically for it. Cake was also never served because my mother didn’t like it. On my sister’s birthday, Haruka asked to have a cake bought for her because she liked cake, but on my birthday, it was normal for there to be no cake.
“Well then, here, here.”
I was rushed and put the cake in my mouth.
It had been a long time since I had eaten cake, and it tasted so good that I almost burst into tears.
After that, we talked normally and ate cake. Obata said, “If you had told me properly, we would have had the party on the same day.”
And Yuki said, “I was wondering if I should bring a birthday cake hat and a tusk from home, but I decided against it because I didn’t want to make you wear them when we were going to have the party here.” I’m so glad he didn’t do that. If he had, I’m sure Obata would have worn it.
Miyamoto-san said, “I decided to do it yesterday, so I didn’t have a birthday present …….”
No, Miyamoto-san just gave me a key chain two days ago. Does she like to give gifts ……?
These three finished their cake and left with the bill for me as I returned to my bite.
“You have good friends, you know.”
Makoto says as I change back into my uniform.
‘Yes, ……. Such a waste of time for someone like me.”
“What do you mean by “a waste of time”……? See, as they say, kindred spirits bring friends, right? Good people gather around good people.”
If that’s the case, I think those three are the exception. Friends who are really miraculously formed.
Today is the day after the exam return, we have normal classes until 5th period, and the closing ceremony is in 6th period. After that, it will be summer vacation.
I don’t think I’m looking forward to it because I won’t have anything to do when there’s no school and I’ll have less chance to see Yuki and the others. …… I don’t want to turn on the air conditioning at home because of the electricity bill, and the lack of school is inconvenient in many ways. I’d like to go to the library, but I don’t know where the nearest library is. I wish there was a good library close enough for me to ride my bicycle to.
I entered the classroom, thinking that I would check it out later.
I exchange greetings as usual with Yuki, who had arrived earlier, and put down my bag and take a seat.
…… I feel like I’m getting more looks from people around me than usual.
……Ah, Miyamoto-san came to my classroom yesterday. I wonder if it is related to that. …… I don’t like it when people know the results of my exams, because they might make it difficult for me. ……
Well, it’s no use if they don’t like it. I’ve got to be proud of the result I got by my own effort.
“….. something being said?”
I asked Yuki, and he made a subtle face and swept his eyes. He then told me, looking as if he was having a hard time saying it.
“Ah,…… I feel like I’ve been listening a little too closely,……, and it seems they’re saying something like Miyamoto wasn’t able to concentrate on her own studies because she was teaching Shota how to study.”
Eh? What’s that?
“You guys go home together, or rather, you often leave school together, so it seems like there’s a connection there as well. ……”
It seems like it’s only been mentioned in this class yet.
That might be true. If a story like that spreads throughout the school year, in my experience, it will always be a sore spot on that grade level, but today it was in this class.
…… I mean, people say that Miyamoto-san couldn’t concentrate on her own studies because she was in second place? That’s amazing.
Even the fact that we’re going to the coffee shop together, I haven’t been in there with Miyamoto-san since a week before the exam because she said she wanted to concentrate on studying for the exam.
Poof, I look up to look around the classroom, and several people look away as if in response.
It’s not something to talk about in a normal voice, so I whisper and turn to Yuki.
“Is it already known that Miyamoto-san came in second this time as well?”
“It’s known, that’s why these rumors are happening, isn’t it?”
Well, I see that. Well, what can I say …… it’s going to be like that.
When I looked at Sumika, who probably knows me next to Yuki in the class, she was sitting in her seat and talking with her friends as usual.
“…What should I do”
“What do you mean?”
“No, I thought it would be better to deny it.”
When I say this, Yuki’s eyes widen and he freezes.
“Eh, what’s wrong?”
“No, I wasn’t expecting it, …… I thought you’d say leave it be.”
“No, I thought Miyamoto-san might not like it.”
” Ah……, that’s what you mean.”
It’s a story that involves Miyamoto-san, too, and if Miyamoto-san doesn’t like it, I should deny it. ……Well, I don’t think it’s that much of a story to say that she hates it so much. …… It’s just that either the story of my defeat will spread or the story that I wasn’t serious will spread.
“…..Well, I don’t think Miyamoto likes it.”
“Eh, you think so?”
“It’s like being told that you really tried, but you were out of touch. I don’t like it.”
“Oh, I see…”
What’s up with that? Nothing was said about me, and I’m a bad person for being first place……
I was wondering what to do to deny it when the chime rang.
……It’s summer vacation starting tomorrow, and if Miyamoto-san doesn’t like it, I have to do something about it today. …… Hmmm…….