Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
T/N: From here until a few chapters further, it’ll be Suzuka’s POV. Then it’ll switch to Kuraki’s.
Just a heads up :)
Recently, my school life has been smooth sailing. I’m also getting along well with my boyfriend, the ace of the baseball team, and a handsome guy by everyone’s standards.
I didn’t hide the fact we were dating, even though he was hard-lined and didn’t get anyone else’s confessions up until now. He didn’t want me to as well.
Taniguchi is a popular guy, and I have a lot of friends, hence the onslaught of congratulations we received. Some even called us “the dream couple.”
I began to always stay with him, be it on the way to and from school, or at lunch, and I even waited while he went through his club activities. He was also very attentive and kind, so I had nothing to complain about. There’s no way I could have.
Except for one thing that bothers me…
“Hey, Hinata, do you want to grab some juice with me? I’m thirsty AF.”
“Hmm, I wonder if it’s okay. Better yet, go with Taniguchi-kun. If you’re lucky, or not, he’ll buy you a drink.”
“Hinata~ It’s Study Camp right now, so let’s go! Quick!”
“I need to twinkle. Don’t you dare follow me into the men’s bathroom~!”
“Hinata, after school today, why don’t you wait for the baseball team to finish along with me? I’m bored sitting there all alone.”
“Oy, good luck there! You guys are a fresh couple!”
The way he talks to me, his attitude, and his responses, they’re all unchanged from before. Regardless, he started refusing all my invitations for some unknown reason.
At first, I thought he might be holding on to the fact I was a bit cold to him when I got a boyfriend, but as soon as I approached he’d crack jokes as he always has with me. His demeanor was just as it’s always been, and he didn’t seem to be angry or sulking.
Hmm, maybe it’s just my imagination. Still, I was a bit curious and decided to ask my boyfriend about it.
“So, y’know, my friendship with Hinata has been pretty stale these days. Why do you think that is?”
“What do I think? Hmm, he’s acting normally, isn’t he? Maybe he’s just being reserved or something.”
“Eh, reserved, that Hinata~? The guy who always says ‘sure!’ as soon as I invite him?”
“No, I don’t know much about him, so maybe I’m just guessing wrong here. You’re being too overprotective, you two are just childhood friends.”
“Just?! We’ve been together ever since I was born! If a lifelong relationship feels different, then it’s normal to be worried!”
“…Sorry about that.”
“Oh, no, I’m sorry…”
Talking to my boyfriend about it was a mistake. He doesn’t know Hinata, so it can’t be helped that I can’t convey such a slight difference in our friendship to him. I have to be careful and not bring up this subject again.
He called Hinata just a childhood friend, and that annoyed me for some reason. I couldn’t stand that insinuation.
A few days later…
“I’m sorry, but I have an important meeting today after club activities to prepare for the game, so I’m gonna go home later than usual. Sorry again about this quirk, but just go home first.”
I agreed to what he said and packed my things to go first. It was the first time I was “free” in a long time. Hmm, maybe I’ll invite Hinata over for a sweet treat or something.
If I recall correctly, there’s a new cake right by the station, but I haven’t checked it out yet since my boyfriend doesn’t have a sweet tooth like me. Because of that, it was hard to invite him to try it out with me. On the other hand, Hinata would go without a second thought, so we’re gonna eat a lot for the first time in a looong while!
“Nah~ I feel kinda bad for your boyfriend, so I’ll pass.”
His answer flabbergasted me, and for a moment, I couldn’t even understand the words that left his mouth. What do they mean? Huh? Does it mean you’re not going?
“Eh, why? Don’t worry about it!”
“No no, I do!”
“No-no-no, it’s just you, Hinata! You don’t need to feel that way!”
“Wait, that’s bad! Even if you’re fine with it, you don’t know if your boyfriend will be. Do you?”
“And besides, I have plans today too, so it’s a no from me. I should get going, so I’ll see you soon.”
“Wait, wait! Aren’t you being weird these days? Why do you keep refusing all my invitations? Are you mad at me?”
His rejecting my invites upset me, and I hurriedly stopped him as he was about to leave. Why won’t you stay with me? We were always together! —These feelings showed in my tone as irritation. Hinata seemed to sense it too, so he turned around as if in panic.
“Huh? I’m not mad. I just don’t know Taniguchi-kun well enough to know what kind of things he cares about. That’s why I’m just being careful.”
“Yeah, really! You two have just started dating, so this time is an important time for you. And you don’t want to provoke him, do you? This is for your sake, Suzuka.”
“Uu, I see, sorry. I didn’t realize you had thought that far ahead.”
“No problem, and I really have plans today, so I apologize for the bad timing.”
“No-no, I’m sorry too. I was only thinking about myself.”
“Don’t worry about it. Are you okay though? What’s frustrating you? Hmm, you two getting along well?” He asked me.
“I, it’s going great! I’m sorry for worrying you. I’m feeling better now.”
“Really? That’s great, then! Welp, guess I’ll be going for the rest of the day.”
“Okay! Let’s go on our sweets grand-prix sometime!”
Hinata waved his hand and walked straight out the classroom door. I was left with a rejected invite, but I felt better thanks to having a good talk with him for the first time in a long while.
Right now, I feel as if a gaping hole somewhere in me is filled.
Hinata, who’s been acting strange lately, was just seemingly concerned about my new boyfriend. Hmm, on second thought, this was all plausible. Unlike me, they both had no contact with each other, and given Hinata’s gentle nature, it was expected of him to be concerned about my BF.
Good grief, you’ve always put others in front of you, so I’m afraid that if I’m not with you, you’ll end up losing something. Hehe, you care too much.
I stand up, relieved and ready to walk home alone. Yeah, I’ll let them both meet so I can show my boyfriend he doesn’t have to worry about Hinata, and soon things will be back to the way they were before.
Then, I’m going to invite him out to that café by the station. I’m sure he’ll be happy since we haven’t had any fun lately.
With my mind full of plans, I inadvertently look out the window. At that moment, my mind screeched to a halt.
Through the glass, I could see Hinata on his way home after a day’s worth of classes…
But he walked happily beside Mayumi Kuraki, the class’ troublemaker.
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