◆ Hiiragi Haruka ◆
Recently, the duration of my calls with Seiji-kun have gotten shorter. With me being me, I’m somewhat tired so during our conversations, I usually don’t think about it too much and kind of just talk about random things. There isn’t much to our conversations but he only responds with standard phrases like “Eeeeh”, “Is that so”, or “I see.”
“Seiji-kun, do you not like calling at night like this?”
“Eh? Why do you ask?”
I was on the dark road back home from school. Autumn has deepened into a season that required cardigans and stoles. My breathing was slightly haggard from talking while riding a bike. While trying to hold it back and not let Seiji-kun sense my uneven breathing, I continued the conversation.
“I mean… the amount of time we spend in silence has increased… Seiji-kun, you also don’t seem to be that interested in our conversations…”
“It’s just that we see each other every day, so it’s inevitable that I can’t think of anything to say.”
That’s true, but… Having the late night calls that we’ve had since we started dating neglected makes me feel a little sad.
The wind blew by as I was riding on the bike. Today was especially cold.
Before, he seemed to enjoy it so much too…
“When we meet during the day, it’s as Hiiragi-sensei and Sanada-kun, and it isn’t me that’s your girlfriend. Calling each other is, is…”
“Ah, sorry, wait——What are you doing? Barging in however you want.”
“I already knocked multiple times and Nii-san didn’t even respond.”
Geez. Sana-chan. Don’t butt in like this when we’re trying to have a serious conversation.
He hung up. He probably hung up since he thought his talk with Sana-chan was going to take a while. But still, we weren’t able to have a proper conversation in the end.
“Is this… because we’ve been stuck in a rut?”
Returning home, I turned on my laptop, and started a search on the internet.
[Boyfriend Stuck in a rut Countermeasures]
Oh. There are quite a few related sites that came up as a result. It isn’t just me, but the other girls in the world are worrying over the same thing. I accessed a headline that interested me.
[Lessening contact! Phone calls are short and cold! A countermeasures manual for a situation like this ☆]
This is it!
First, do not make any complaints about your current interactions——
…Earlier, I even mentioned that meeting face to face and talking over the phone was different. It says that if you do something like that, your boyfriend will be even less willing to interact with you. Is that so…? I guess similar to the situation where you’re told to study by your mother while you’re already trying to study.
——When we were dating, it wasn’t like this. This is NG. You can’t say that.
Uwaaaah, I was about to say that! If Sana-chan hadn’t butt in there, I would have ended up saying it!
Other than that, there were more countermeasures that were worth some consideration.
I should write them down.
Alright! Now, all that’s left is to put them into practice!
◆ Sanada Seiji ◆
During last night’s phone call, Sana had forcefully barged into the room, so I accidentally hung up. Afterwards, I sent a text as a follow up. Her reply came back as [It’s fine, I don’t mind], but with the content of that phone call being what it was, I took a break from my part time work at the HRG company as an apology, bought some cake, and headed to Hiiragi-chan’s place.
When I rang the doorbell, Hiiragi-chan stuck out her face.
Hmmm…? Everything’s normal. She had said that she didn’t mind by text so that’s what it would be, but it could also have been just obligatory politeness.
“Umm. I bought this, so how about we eat it together?”
“Eh, really? Thank you!”
Hiiragi-chan’s expression shined like a child.
However, when I tried to enter, I was made to wait.
“Wait a bit. Let’s go outside today! Home dates are forbidden for now.”
“It’s nothing! Let’s have the cake later, okay? I’ll stick it in the refrigerator.”
Hiiragi-chan turned around and walked inside while holding the cake box.
Is she planning something…? If that’s the case, she isn’t really good at hiding things, so I should be able to notice it.
This time, Hiiragi-chan came out dressed in nicer clothing. She had lowered her hair that was tied in a ponytail and was now wearing her fake glasses.
“Here. Glasses and a hat for Seiji-kun as well.”
As I put on the cap that I was handed, Hiiragi-chan put on the glasses for me.
“Yeah, it looks good on you.”
“When you say outside, where are we going?”
“I think you’ll like it, you know?”
Something I’ll like? As I tilted my head, Hiiragi-chan walked out while taking my hand.
We piled into the car and left. She turned the steering wheel towards the city.
I wanted to talk about the contents of last night’s half-hearted phone call, but it’s hard to bring it up… Hiiragi-chan may have also thought that, as we were both silent in the car.
Once the car was parked stopped at coin parking and I got off, a game shop caught my eye.
“Something I like… Ah. Games?”
“Yeah! I’ve recently gotten a little bit interested in them.”
I see, so that’s what it was.
“Seiji-kun, you sometimes talk about games, right? So, I thought I might try it out a little bit.”
“If that’s the case, then leave it to me! But Haruka-san, without even considering the software, you don’t even have the hardware, right?”
“I’ll just buy them together, so it’s fine.”
Let’s go, Hiiragi-chan said as we held hands and went inside the game shop.
“The last time we came, Haruka-san, you were secretly watching Sana and I from far away, right?”
“Ah, as I thought, you noticed?”
“You were letting out quite a lot of miasma after all.”
It seems she wasn’t aware. She was letting out enough miasma to let vegetation wither around her.
There were many middle and high schoolers in the store, but at first glance, there didn’t seem to be anyone I recognize. We were wearing disguises, so I don’t think we would be found out, but I can’t help being a little worried.
“Haruka-san, what type do you want to play?”
“What type of games are there in the first place?”
We’re starting from there!? Aaah… well I guess she was a sheltered lady of sorts, so there probably wasn’t many chances to touch something like it.
I picked up some gaming software in my hand and went from section to section while explaining each genre.
“Hmmm. I’m fine with Seiji-kun’s recommendation.”
After thinking about it for a bit, I grabbed two, and asked her to pick one. When that happened,
“Then, let’s go with both!”
“Such an adult!”
“Fuufuun, I know, right?”
With a smug face, Hiiragi-chan lined up at the register, and bought the hardware along with the software.
Once I left the store and waited, she came out with a paper bag.
“Let’s go home and play!”
“Two people can play cooperatively together, so I can even help you.”
“Two people can play!? Then let’s do it together ♪”
Walking she walked in an excited manner, I got into the car with a triumphant Hiiragi-chan.
But, why did she suddenly get interested in games? I’ve talked about games a few times before, but with this timing…?
As I was having those questions inside of myself, we arrived at her place, and entered her room.
While Hiiragi-chan was busy preparing the cake that I had bought with some tea, I prepared the gaming machine. At that time, I noticed a small piece of paper, caught underneath the laptop located on the table.
I tried pulling it out, and noticed that it was a memo written in Hiiragi-chan’s handwriting.
[Escaping a rut with your boyfriend!]
I returned the note underneath the laptop, as if I hadn’t seen it.
The weird feeling that I had today, was probably this. Let’s act like I didn’t see the memo. Even I want to get closer to Hiiragi-chan. I want to enjoy spending every day with her. I’ll reflect on the fact that I’ve been a little cold over the phone.
“Seiji-kun? For the cake, which one do you want?”
“Haruka-san, you can pick first.”
“Really!? Then, I’ll help myself…”
After enjoying the cake and tea, we started playing the game. Hiiragi-chan, who seemed to be playing for the first time, raised her voice, going “Yaah! Hooh, haah!” while she tilted and moved her body as she held the controller.
Seeing such a picture-perfect beginner, I raised my voice and laughed.
“It’s my first time, so it can’t be helped, right?”
While inflating her cheeks and pouting, she now started to occupy the space right in front of me while staying engrossed with the game.
“Haruka-san, thank you.”
“Eh? What are you saying? Fuwaa!? This is bad, this is bad!”
“You’re so bad.”
Bishi bishi, Hiiragi-chan hit my lap.
“Why don’t you help me?”
“If you can’t clear it, I’ll kiss you.”
“If I do clear it?”
“I’ll kiss you.”
In the end, we’ll still do it.
This continued on for about two hours, but Hiiragi-chan, who had zero sense, seemed to make no improvement, and didn’t seem to be able to clear anything without me.