The third quarter of school began and during that time, I continued to worry over my issues, in contrast to Hiiragi-chan, who continued to proceed as normal.
“Third quarter is… super busy… there’s so much work to do…”
Over the weekend starting on Friday, she was exhausted as usual, and was in a state where both her HP and MP were almost at zero.
She showed herself less and less at club activities, and she also started going home later on the weekends.
Still, it’s not like our club activities were anything like real club activities. It was mostly us three gathering up after school and talking, and everyone in a while Rei-chan would stop by and we would add her into the conversation.
That was the situation, and yet I wasn’t able to open up about my worries. Even if I were to tell people that we were going to break up in a month, no one would believe me.
The reason that she is so busy, is because in a short span of time, there will be both midterms and finals. Due to that, the work needed to prepare for tests is considerably compressed into a short amount of time.
“I’m not great at organizing things, so it can’t be helped.”
Or so Hiiragi-chan’s expression turned from tired to a smile. As she was concentrating on work, it was hard for us to have a serious conversation about our relationship.
Once things calm down for Hiiragi-chan more—
While thinking that way, a month passed and midterms ended. Continuing to look for a chance to talk again, we rushed into the second half of February.
“Hey, Sanada. Are you going to get chocolate?”
“I don’t know. Getting something even like 2 obligatory pieces would be a huge win.”
Fujimoto spoke again while trying to hide his voice.
“That’s not it, I meant real chocolate.”
I played innocent, but from the way he was speaking does he think that I’m guaranteed to get one?
“…No, it’s nothing.”
“Hey, Fujimoto, do you possibly…?”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I haven’t said anything yet.”
“Even if you were to date someone, that isn’t something that concerns me. It wouldn’t make me popular after all.”
He made it as if he was speaking to himself, and then soon changed the topic. Talking about things like, who confessed to who.
Maybe, he knows about Hiiragi-chan, and he’s been following up for me at various points in time without me knowing.
“Fujimoto, how about I get you some chocolate. Filled with my everyday gratitude.”
“That’s disgusting. I don’t need it.”
Fujimoto looked at the hallway and made a small sigh.
“…Geez, Sanada. You made my heart skip a beat there.”
He pointed outside with his thumb.
“Sanada, over there. They’re calling you.”
Fujimoto was pointing at two girls. When our eyes met, one of them nodded.
I stood up and walked over to the hallway, the girl that nodded asked me for a moment of my time. I recognize her, but I don’t remember her name. I shouldn’t have had many interactions with her.
The other girl was Ougoshi-san, from one of my elective classes.
After telling her okay, the two of them walked down the hall towards an area with less people. Perhaps this was planned already, as neither of them spoke to each other as they led me out of the school building in front of the tea ceremony room.
Without saying anything, the other girl patted Ougoshi-san on the back before turning on her heels and leaving.
There was silence for a while, with the tension of the moment even being transmitted to me.
…A little bit later, Ougoshi-san opened her mouth to say something, and then stuck out her hand, which was gripping onto a small paper bag.
I couldn’t quite hear what she said very well as her voice was very quiet, but I was able to hear the most important part of it.
That reminds me, the previous time, this also happened around this time…
I gave a reply refusing Ougoshi-san. I was hesitant on whether to accept the chocolate or not though, and as I was wondering what would be ruder, Ougoshi-san forcefully handed it to me, before running off.
It was like this the previous time as well, however, I can never get used to this indescribable sense of punishment.
◆ Hiiragi Haruka ◆
When should I hand him the chocolate?
Should I call him out after school—I was thinking of such a high school student-like plan.
While walking down the hall and worrying about a good timing, I found Seiji-kun walking behind two girls. Dokun, my heartbeat started beating harder.
This feeling of pain within me was on a different level from before.
I can’t explain it very well, but it was different from jealousy or even anxiety.
Seiji-kun will definitely be confessed to. I wasn’t worried specifically about that, as he will definitely turn her down. I trust him.
——Sensei is an adult, you should just have a romance with other adults. Why are you with Nii-san.
——Sensei, Nii-san is just caught up in the moment. There are definitely a lot of other people out there, he’s just in a state where he isn’t looking at them.
The words that Sana-chan said at the end of the year resonated within my mind.
At that time, I argued with Sana, however that blade was constantly stabbing into my chest.
Am I limiting Seiji-kun’s choices…?
I wouldn’t like that…
I stood there in the hallway, as if time had stopped for me. After a while, one of the girls came back and returned towards the classrooms, and a little while after that, another girl passed by with red eyes looking downwards as she ran.
He’s dependable, although sometimes perverted. Even at work, he’s excellent and kind.
Being caught up in the moment and not looking elsewhere. That’s something that also applies to me. Wanting to monopolize him, to prevent him from being taken by anyone else, I may have unknowingly blocked out Seiji-kun’s ears and eyes.
Seiji-kun’s best option, might even be someone other than me.
Do I happen to have any charm in being an adult woman?
I’m bad at work, and often clumsy. A terrible drunk as well.
Your charm is only in your body and family—I can’t laugh at that.
In the end, I couldn’t hand over the chocolate that I had poured my love and gratitude into.
“…Seiji-kun, sorry, I thought to prepare one, but I got busy with work—”
I ended up lying to Seiji-kun. Something inside me seemed to grind down.
“I see. It seems like a lot of hard work after all.”
Well, it can’t be helped, Seiji-kun said over the phone. As usual, he’s a student but it helps that he’s very understanding when it comes to work.
That’s why, an even larger amount of guilt flooded in.
It was a waste to throw it away, so I gave it to Natsumi who came to hangout over the weekend.
The beautiful wrapping that I gave it was thrown away as it would have given it away.
Without being able to have a proper conversation with Seiji-kun, we headed into the final testing period.
For the final exam results, Seiji-kun scored an average score as usual.
Finals testing ended, and the last thing that was left for school was graduation, filling the school with a relaxed atmosphere.
Before final exams, I was absorbed into work as if I was running away from my problems. However, after that was all done, I ended up thinking about it. About Seiji-kun.
What would be best for Seiji-kun? What would be best for me? What would be the best for both of us?
An amazing person likes me. Loves me. That’s something that I’m very happy about, but a shadow is cast over it.
I’m fine with it, but is he really fine with just me?