A little while after the summer vacation started, Takayuki and I decided to hang out alone for the first time in a while.
That’s the first time we’ve hung out together since the last maid cafe.
Compared to that time, I think both Takayuki and I have changed a lot in our surroundings.
I found out that Saegusa-san was once Shi-chan, which brought us closer together, and Takayuki got a girlfriend, Shimizu-san, who is considered one of the two most beautiful girls in the school.
It’s really funny to see how far we’ve come in our lives since then.
“Hey! Thank you for waiting!”
As I waited alone in front of the station where I was to meet him, Takayuki came dashing in with one hand raised.
“Oh! It’s been a while.”
I replied, and we quickly met up and started walking towards our destination.
We were going to have dinner and talk for a while, so we decided to get together on the spur of the moment.
So, Takayuki and I went to the same barbecue buffet restaurant that Shi and I had visited the other day.
“What is it? Are you and Saegusa already on such good terms that you come here together?”
“Well, we just happened to meet in front of the station and went together.”
“No, no, even if I happened to see Saegusa-san in front of the station, no one would normally take her out on a date, right?”
To my reply, Takayuki laughed funny, telling me not to make a fool of myself.
Indeed, I couldn’t imagine Shi-chan accepting another man’s invitation to go out with him at all.
…… And I thought, I’d hate it so much if that happened.
“Well, I guess Takkun is the only one Shi-chan will accept.”
“Shut up, let’s eat meat.”
While Takayuki smirked as he said this, I quickly laid out the meat I had taken on the griddle to hide my embarrassment.
After that, we continued to eat the meat at a fast pace while talking about nothing for a while, and in less than half an hour, my stomach was pretty full.
“We had eaten a lot. It’s nice to be able to eat with other men without worrying.”
“That’s right. Hmm? Takayuki, are you coming to this kind of place with Shimizu-san?”
“No, Sakurako doesn’t come to all-you-can-eat places because she’s a small eater, but I can’t eat a lot in front of her.”
“What’s up Takayuki, you’re quite the maiden despite your appearance.”
We started laughing.
Well, it was true that I would feel uncomfortable gobbling down food in front of a girl with a small appetite, so I could not help but understand how he felt.
The last time I came here with Shi-chan, we enjoyed the meat at her eating pace, so I can’t say the same for others.
But after I ate, I realized that Shi-chan’s way of eating was probably the right one, because if I ate slowly, I was able to fill my stomach without filling it up like now.
“So, what are you going to do this summer?”
As if to bring the conversation we had just had to a head, Takayuki asked me that question again.
What are you talking about? I didn’t say anything.
I knew right away that this meant something with Shi-chan.
“I’ve invited her to the upcoming fireworks display…..”
“A fireworks display. By the way, did you guys go to a fireworks show together when you were kids?”
“Yeah, so I’m going to tell her what I didn’t tell her then.”
Takayuki’s eyes widened in surprise when he heard my words, and then he nodded deeply and smiled.
“I didn’t expect Takuya to be so determined. There’s nothing for me to say then. Well, if you do end up losing, I’ll console you, so go ahead!”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll see what I can do.”
We laughed as we looked at each other again.
I was happy to hear Takayuki say that, even in jest, and it made me feel much better.
I was going to confess my feelings to Shiorin, the former national idol, as an ordinary person.
Just thinking about it brings up all kinds of negative thoughts, and I still don’t have the confidence to do it.
But I still wanted to tell her how I felt.
I don’t intend to fight a losing battle to the point of hopelessness.
But I decided to give it a try with the spirit of “hit and miss”.
Because I wanted to tell her the words I couldn’t say then.
And if I can, I want to spend the rest of my life with her. ……
“…… Maybe this isn’t the right thing to say, but…”
Takayuki, who must have noticed my condition, opened his mouth slowly after saying so.
“It seems that Sakurako and Saegusa-san went out together the other day.”
“Oh, really? That’s great.”
Takayuki laughed at my honest impression, “Right?” He laughed.
Just thinking of the two most beautiful girls in school going out together was precious to me.
“And then, Sakurako and Saegusa talked about love, or rather, if there was someone she liked. That’s what they talked about.”
I was picturing Shi-chan and Shimizu-san playing together, when an unheard-of topic came up, and I was instantly confused.
“Oh. I also heard that Saegusa-san is also interested in someone right now. She didn’t explicitly say who it was, though.”
Seriously? …… I wonder who that person is.
At any rate, it wasn’t so much a concern for me as it was for the person I was about to confess to.
If you think about it conveniently, it could be me …… who is always with her.
But I was talking to Shiorin, the super idol.
I’m sure there are a lot of famous people out there that I don’t even know about, and it’s not like me and a bunch of famous hot guys are going to match up, right?
When I thought about it, negative thoughts swirled around in my mind.
I had already been consumed by negative thoughts to the extent that I told myself, “You should know your place.”
“Wait, Takuya. I haven’t finished my story yet.”
As if reading my feelings, Takayuki continued to speak while restraining me.
“To be honest, Sakurako and I both think Takuya will do well. But, as you just thought, she’s that Saegusa-san. Even if things go well for now, there is no guarantee for the future.”
Takayuki had a good point.
It was really encouraging that they both thought my confession would go well, but as they said, I had to think that I would always have to face the same situation that I had just thought about.
If the handsome guys I usually saw on TV could be my rivals, what chance did I have? That’s why I’m here now.
That’s why he’s telling me to act quickly while I’m probably the closest to her.
“So, I now have four tickets to the amusement park that my parents gave me. I don’t have to tell you now, do I?”
He took out four amusement park tickets from his wallet and showed them to me.
…… No, seriously, I wonder who Takayuki’s parents are.
But leaving that aside for the moment, I nodded once as I immediately understood what Takayuki was trying to say.
“I nodded once and said, “Okay, I’ll give Takuya two tickets. So you should invite Saegusa-san. Let’s make it a group date for the four of us.”
Then Takayuki smiled and held out two tickets to me.
“I-Is it okay…..?”
“What are you talking about, of course it’s okay! In return, you have to make sure you do what you have to do!”
Seriously? …… I knew Takayuki was too good looking.
I took the ticket and nodded deeply this time.
“…… Okay, thanks again for everything. I’ll give it a try.”
With so much encouragement from my best friend, I couldn’t back out now.
So I made up my mind to tell her how I felt on this double date, not just at the fireworks display.
–I had no idea at the time that the decision I made at that time would have a real meaning later on.