“What is this…?”
When I arrived at school this morning, I found something unexpected inside my shoe box. It was a cute envelope with pink colored edges and cat prints.
The opening of the envelope was sealed with a cat sticker.
Is this, no way—!? Isn’t this a love letter!? N-no one saw, right…?
Taking a quick look around, there wasn’t anyone that seemed to be interested in what I was up to. In a panicked state, I headed to the nearby restroom and locked myself in a stall. After undoing the seal, I opened the envelope. Maybe because the stationary used came along with the envelope as a set, there were a few cute deformed cats printed on it.
“T-this, it can’t be, right…?”
There shouldn’t be anyone who would write a love letter to me…
Sorry for this sudden letter. It came to this because I was unaware as to any of your contact information. We were in the same class in our first year, and talking with you was really enjoyable. Your looks are also my type. You might not remember me very well, but I have something I want to tell you. After school today, I’ll be waiting behind the school building.If you do decide to come, it would make me really happy.
2-E Hamana Yui
——It’s most definitely a love letter!? A hundred out of a hundred people would determine this to be a love letter. That’s how much of a love letter it is!
Class E’s Hamana-san…? Most of my memories involving my first year of high school have become quite vague, but I do remember Hamana-san. If I remember correctly, she was in the concert band. She was a free-spirited girl that talked frankly with everybody, and her smile gave the impression of a cute girl.
Staring closely at the paper, marks could be seen from using the eraser over and over again. It seems that while thinking of how she could convey her feelings, she had rewritten it multiple times. Since I don’t have any female friends, even if she asked other girls, she wouldn’t be able to find my mail address.
This was the first time I’ve received something like this since I was born. W-what should I do? I would normally be happy about this…
“Uuaaaaaaaaah!? Is this really happening?”
Don don, I hit the door. Reading it over again, I can see that she might have had feelings for me since our first year. This would mean that Hamana-san favored me.
Of course, the previous time, I hadn’t had an event like receiving a love letter, which is a perfect representation of youth. I guess this would be the thing where a sheep doesn’t look attractive on its own, but when a wolf is aiming for it, it’s charm is suddenly raised.
Which means, me dating Hiiragi-chan, I don’t really know, but is there some sort of pheromone that’s associated with that? A-anyways, that doesn’t matter. I have to turn down Hamana-san’s feelings.
“… Is this really happening…?”
Even if I’ve been rejected before, I have never thought that I would be rejecting someone else.
If both people were put on scales, this would be obvious but Hiiragi-chan would stand out as the stronger.
My excitement cooled down in a moment.
I am going to respond to Hamana-san with sincerity. Tell her that I’m sorry.
I might make her cry. Other girls might also talk behind my back, calling me terrible for rejecting her.
“… Sanada-kun, you don’t seem to have much energy. What’s wrong?”
During lunch break, when the four of us gathered in the home economics room and ate our lunch boxes, Hiiragi-chan peered over at me worriedly.
“No… it’s nothing.”
If I tell her about the letter, Hiiragi-chan will definitely feel anxious and start to worry.
During the afternoon classes, the teacher’s explanations came in one ear and out the other. Not even one bit of it entered my brain. As the end of school hours closed in, I became nervous. However, Hamana-san’s nervousness was probably significantly higher than mine.
When I first confessed to Hiiragi-chan, I didn’t know when I would return to the present time, so it was partially in the heat in the moment and a part of me that knew there was nothing to lose. I was embarrassed and nervous.
However, when a time and place is decided, a different feeling of nervousness overcomes you. Her preparing the letter, placing it into my shoe locker and then waiting for school to end. That is amazing.
The last bell of the day rang, and everyone left the classroom.
Now should be alright.
With my indoor shoes still equipped, I head towards the back of the school building. The area where the tea room was also located had no people around as usual. Under the eave of the tea room, Hamana-san was waiting.
When our eyes met, my heart rate suddenly increased.
A-as a guy, I should say something first.
“Umm. About the letter, thank you… I appreciate it.”
“Yeah. Sorry for calling you out so, suddenly… I-if you have plans, w-we can finish this quickly.”
Her voice and way of speaking was quieter and faster than I remember it to be. The tone conveyed her nervousness.
“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind since I didn’t have anything planned.”
What did you want to talk about? Should I start it off with something straight-forward like that…?
I’ll just wait for Hamana-san to start talking…
“T-the sports festival, you had great success didn’t you. I was watching.”
“A-ahh… Yeah, it wasn’t really that much of a success… There were just a lot of things that happened.”
Hahaha, as I laughed dryly, I was troubled about where to look with my eyes and ended up looking down. I noticed Hamana-san tightly clutching her hand into a fist.
“U-ummm——During the borrowed item race… the person you like… you brought Hiiragi-sensei, right? About that——what does it mean…?”
“Aaah, that… I just thought that it would be safe to bring a teacher… Me included, everyone likes Hiiragi-sensei, right?”
It was a response that I had thought of beforehand in order to answer anyone’s questioning. In reality, I was asked similar things by the girls in our class after that.
Whether she thought of it as a joke, or whether it was because of something else, Hamana-san’s expression slightly softened.
“That’s true… D-do you have anyone else you like?”
Why are you asking that——I won’t say something dense like that. If I wasn’t handed the letter, then I would think that it would be weird to have been asked that though.
“There’s no one else.”
Other than Hiiragi-chan, there is no one else that I like. That isn’t a lie.
“…Umm, you know.”
Dokin, my heart jumped.
Hamana-san cut off her words, and pursed her lips for a while.
“Since before… since our first year, I’ve always liked you.”
Gripping the hem of her skirt, Hamana-san said that while looking straight at my eyes.
This confession, if we were still in our first year, I would have easily answered her and dated her.
I mean, it’s normally impossible for me to date a teacher.
That’s something that everyone knows as common sense. No matter how deep or shallow those feelings are, the chance of it happening is zero.
If a girl in front of me liked me, and that person was also a girl that I felt like I could like… there would be no reason for me to refuse——There would probably be some jealousy directed at me from Fujimoto though I think.
Even if that is something that might happen, it’s still just an if.
This time, I don’t understand how it happened, but that supposedly impossible if, has now occurred.
After my word of thanks, I spoke again to Hamana-san who was waiting.
“However, I’m sorry. I’m really happy to receive your feelings, but I cannot reciprocate them…”
After a breathtaking silence, Hamana-san opened her mouth.
“I… I see… Your reason, can I ask you for it…? Is it because you don’t have much interest in romance…?”
It seemed like she would cry at any moment, but still, she asked me straight on.
Just telling her that I have someone I like would just be passing it off. Thinking that, I didn’t do it. Most likely, if I did, she would accept it, but after receiving a love letter for the first time, towards the girl who while nervous squeezed out her courage to confess to me. Running away from that with some vague statement? Is that really me being sincere?
“… Sorry. Earlier, when I said ‘Everyone likes Hiiragi-sensei, right?’ it was brushed over a bit, but… I was serious. I seriously like her. Hiiragi-sensei that is.”
I left it with the nuance that I liked her one sidedly though.
“… Yeah… I thought that might be it… When we went on our school trip… you seemed to be really enjoying it after all.”
Good luck, saying that with a tearful voice, Hamana-san ran off.
Haaah… as I let out a sigh, I sat down on the spot. This was good. However, my chest hurts. If I hide the fact that it’s Hiiragi-chan and announce that I have a girlfriend, this probably wouldn’t happen, right?
She might have been watching the whole thing from the start. Normally, Hiiragi-chan would tell me that she likes me, and look completely happy, but right now she had a slightly complicated expression.
Hiiragi-chan also sat down beside me.
“You were confessed to by Hamana-san?”
“Yeah. I rejected her though.”
“I see… Last week, I was asked by Hamana-san. Do you like Sanada-kun? She held the determination of a maiden in love.”
It seems that Hamana-san had asked her when Hiiragi-chan was alone. At that time, Hamana-san had apparently revealed that she liked me and declared war on Hiiragi-chan.
“How did you respond?”
“I like him, you know? I said it with a really light tone. I didn’t lie. I don’t know how Hamana-san interpreted it though.”
“It seems that she somehow had a feeling that I liked you.”
“You naturally end up chasing your eyes the person you like, and then you end up knowing a lot about them. And so, she was probably wondering what I thought of you I think.”
That means, Hiiragi-chan knew that I would be confessed to at some point.
“Dating at school means that this type of thing would happen… You’ll end up making every girl other than me cry.”
“Every girl? That’s an exaggeration. There probably won’t be anything like this from now on.”
“Is that really true? I can think of at least one more person.”
Who would that be?
“… You know, I’m actually a little worried.”
“That I would two-time?”
“That you would change to liking someone younger than me.”
I smiled wryly.
“The only person I like is Haruka-san.”
Hiiragi-chan placed her hand on top of mine.
“Thank you. Me too.”
That day, for dinner, I was called over by Hiiragi-chan. The number of words exchanged between us were few. However, it was just that the number of kisses we shared had increased.