It’s almost summer break.
Students would be free from school for about a month and half. Some people spend this time doing club activities, some will awaken feelings of romance, some will get a job during this time, and even more will decide to just hangout and have fun.
Of course, besides days where I have work, I’ll be spending my summer break playing games at home. Although I was thinking about my plans over summer break, there were still things that us students had to overcome before the break.
That was regular tests. Regular tests are held five times a year. The annual results are released each year, and the average is taken to determine the rankings for each student.
Normally I place around 50th, but thanks to Mamiko’s help on last time’s test, I was able to raise my ranking to around the 30th.
Luckily, I will be studying with Mamiko again this time. Starting from around noon, Mamiko and I will be going to the restaurant that I work at, Mon Pet Kuwa, to study.
Since I’ve been going home with her recently, I’m not as nervous around her when she’s in her school uniform, but that changes when she’s in her casual clothes. It was way more fashionable than the school uniform that I’m accustomed to, and the light makeup she puts on is also very pretty.
Normally, she’s already pretty when compared to those around her, but when she does makeup, her beauty rises even further above the surrounding people. Being hugged and watched by a person like that, my heart can’t help but beat faster.
I really want it to stop. But… it does make me happy.
With that, I am now standing in front of Mon Pet Kuwa in a somewhat nervous state. Now that I think about it, this is my first time coming as a customer. It shouldn’t be that different from normal, but somehow, I feel weirdly self-conscious.
As I was feeling like this in front of Mon Pet Kuwa, the front door to the restaurant suddenly opened. Standing there was Echizen in her working uniform.
She started off with the usual business smile, but as soon as she noticed that it was me, her face became serious. I’m technically coming here as a customer though… Although I thought that, I didn’t say anything because I would have the same reaction if Echizen came in as a customer as well.
“Are you alone today?”
However, in the next moment, as if she became a different person, she showed off her business smile again.
W-what’s wrong with her?
“Ah no, another person will be coming later.”
“Then, a total of two people. Go ahead and pick a random seat to sit down in.”
Since it felt like a completely different person, I was thrown off guard. I sat down in a random seat as directed to. At first, I thought of sitting at a 2-person table, but since we’re studying, I tried to sit at a 4-person table.
As for Echizen, as soon as I was shown inside, she went outside to clean the area. She was probably heading out to do that earlier as well. Well, there aren’t that many customers anyways.
It was already 12 o’clock noon, but besides me, there was only a group of 3 ladies. Moreover, they seemed like the type of customers to order some cheap coffee and talk for 5 hours. With how things are looking right now, it doesn’t seem many customers will end up coming today.
While thinking about these things, I wait for Mamiko. I was a little bit hungry, so I was thinking of ordering something, but I didn’t want to order anything before Mamiko arrived.
Then, after waiting 20 minutes. Mamiko still hadn’t shown up. I wonder what’s wrong, Mamiko rarely shows up late… If an accident was to have happened… No, maybe she decided to break her promise today and study with other people…
Once I started thinking of bad things, I couldn’t help but to keep thinking about it. As I was anxiously waiting for Mamiko, my smartphone that I had left on the table started to ring. Looking at the screen, I saw Mamiko’s name on it and quickly picked up the call.
“I’m sorry, Yoshiki-kun!! I can’t go anymore today!”
As I was trying to ask her, she interrupted and said that.
“Eh… you can’t come?”
“Yeah, I’m really sorry. My parents had an accident this morning…”
“Ehh, an accident!?”
“Yeah. Since I was worried, I decided to stay by my parent’s side for today. I’m really sorry!!”
“No, please don’t apologize, I really don’t mind. Stay by your parents today.”
“Thank you, Yoshiki-kun. I’m really sorry…”
Mamiko’s voice was trembling. Rather than feeling apologetic about me, she should be feeling more worried about her parents who had just had an accident.
Even for me, if my parents were to have an accident right now, I wouldn’t be able to stop worrying. If that’s the case, I don’t want her to think about me. I wanted her to focus on worrying about her parents.
“I’m really not bothered by it. It’s fine if you don’t worry about me.”
“Un, un, thank you…”
“Then, I’ll see you at school.”
The call ended there. Her voice at the end sounded like she was crying, and that hurt me a little bit. I’m really worried for her…
I haven’t met them before, but it is my girlfriend’s parents. It’s hard not to worry about it. Also, it seems that Mamiko took quite a bit of damage. With this, Mamiko probably wouldn’t be able to think about studying for tests. Well, Mamiko probably studies on a daily basis, so she’s probably fine. The problem is with me.
To be honest, I thought that everything would be fine as long as Mamiko helped me, so even now, two days before the test, I still hadn’t done any studying.
This is really bad.
Last time was the best thing that has ever happened, but this time, may be the worst. What should I do? How will I survive the test this time around? Worrying about this won’t change anything.
For now, I’ll open my textbook and start studying. First is English. Let’s memorize the grammar and vocabulary! I encourage myself like this, but since I’m bad at memorization, this would be a difficult task. 10 minutes after starting, I still couldn’t memorize 10 vocabulary words.
For this time’s test, I need to memorize 200 words, so doing some simple calculations, that would take me two hours at least to do memorization alone. Adding on the studying needed to practice the usage of these vocabulary words, I would need 2 days to study for English alone.
As expected, it’s more efficient to ask a smart person to teach me… As I was feeling more and more discouraged, Echizen came over to my seat.
“Umm, will you be placing an order?”
Oh yeah, I still hadn’t ordered anything yet. Not placing an order after an hour, I really am such a bothersome customer.
“One coffee and an Omurice please.”
“One coffee and an Omurice, correct? Understood.”
Unlike her usually unsociable attitude, Echizen gave a business smile. She was more friendly than usual and easier to talk to. If she was normally like this, it would be great…
While thinking for a bit about these things, I once again move my eyes back to the textbook. Then, I noticed something important. The ten vocabulary words that I had just memorized… I really hadn’t memorized them. Returning to the first page of the textbook and looking at the ‘memorized’ vocabulary words, I couldn’t say what each of them meant.
Just by talking a bit to Echizen, I had forgotten everything. What is wrong with my brain exactly? I consider myself to be pretty smart, but it seems that I’m as stupid as I think I am smart. Hit by the extent of my own stupidity, I opened my smartphone. To be honest, I don’t think there’s any sense in doing this anymore.
After all, I’ll just forget it all in the end. If it’s like that, I might as well have not memorized it from the start. Satisfied by my mysterious thought process, I start to surf the web on my phone. It was something that I definitely should not be doing during a testing period. After a while, Echizen brought over my omurice.
“Sorry for the wait. Here is your Omurice.”
“The coffee will come out in a little bit, so please wait a moment.”
After saying that, Echizen returned to the back and came back to my seat while holding the coffee. While following Echizen around with my eyes, I thought of something.
“Oh yeah, do you have tests or anything like that, Echizen?”
Echizen goes to Oumi High School, which is nearby, but our testing periods often times coincide with each other. If that’s the case, it would be weird that Echizen is doing part-time work right now… Thinking that, I decided to ask Echizen, but she turned around with a disgusted face.
“…I do have tests, but…”
Then, she replied with her usual cold response. Eh, where did her bright personality from earlier go?
“For some reason, your mood suddenly worsened, Echizen.”
“…It’s because you started talking to me.”
How much am I hated, exactly?
“You were smiling so much earlier though.”
“Since that’s how I would respond to a customer.”
I see, even if she hates me, if I’m a customer, she can still serve me properly. Then, if I’m not a customer, but a fellow part-time worker when I talk to her, she will end up giving me a cold shoulder.
“I see. Then, I’m sorry for talking to you.”
“It’s not like I’m bothered by it. Well then.”
“No, wait a second. Since I’m talking to you right now, would you mind listening to me for a bit?”
She looked around trying to find a reason to refuse, but since there was no reason available in the store, she reluctantly agreed.
“Well, it seems like you do have tests. Are you alright?”
“Since I study everyday, I’m fine.”
“Heh~, what are you ranked generally?”
Eh, did she just say first?
“Sorry, can you say that one more time?”
“I said, first.”
I unintentionally fell silent. Oumi isn’t a high school with a lot of stupid people. Rather, recently, the students there have been smarter than those at my school. Being first place in such a high school…
This person is way too smart. I’m working part-time with a person like this? Seeing me frozen in surprise, Echizen let out a sigh.
“Then, I’ll be going back to work.”
With that said, she turns her back towards me. Seeing her back turned to me, I came up with a good idea.
“Wait a minute!”
Probably annoyed at being called over and over, Echizen glares at me. Her gaze was sharp. While trying my best to receive her gaze, I desperately ask her for a favor.
“Only if you can, but would you mind helping me study?”
“I don’t want to.”
I was immediately rejected.