My last day working part time at Mon Petto Kuwa was during the last stages of September when the heat was dying down I’ve got some strong feelings about it, but thoughts of Mamiko have overtaken anything else
When should I confess?
How should I confess?
I have no idea what to do…
I’m far from confessing to her after half a month, we haven’t even had a conversation with just the two of us, and yet I’ve been thinking about that nonstop.
It’s probably because I keep thinking about it that I can’t confess to her. I overthink it, and I just shut down. I guess this is the kind of thing that’s better done naturally, but if you let that push you to acting rashly, you regret it later. So, of course you overthink it.
“Setsu-kun? What are you doing?”
Apparently, I was so caught up in my thoughts, I was frozen outside of Mon Petto Kuwa. As I was standing there like that, the owner saw me and called out again.
“What? Something on your mind? Perhaps, since it’s your last day, you’re feeling sentimental?”
The truth was that I was thinking about Mamiko, but I affirmed what he said. Since he wasn’t wrong; I’m feeling emotional about this, too. Talking to the owner like this felt right, as this was the last time I’d come here for work. It was kind of sad to think about.
“Yeah, but it’ll be sad without you here, Setsu-kun.”
“I think I’ll be a little sad, too.”
“Haha, just a ‘little’? Well, Setsu-kun, good luck with your dreams!
The owner forced his sullen face up and gave me a solid pat on my shoulder.
“Okay, I’ll do my best!”
I briefly said that, and then went to the changing room in the back to change. When I had changed my clothes, I lightly looked at the shift table Apparently Echizen entered 30 minutes after my shift.
But despite today being the weekday we go back school, it’s rare that I’m together with Echizen. It’s always just me and the owner. Well, it doesn’t really matter if it’s one or two people. There aren’t any customers, anyway.
And 30 minutes afterwards, Echizen came in. It had been half a month since I saw Echizen, and she had this strange nervousness about her. I didn’t even say anything to her, but I think I’ll tell her that I quit today.
“Thanks, Echizen. Can we talk for a sec?”
I stopped her from going to sit down at the tables. She stopped and faced me.
“This is sudden, but I just quit today.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I heard it from the owner. You’ve got some other job you wanna do, right?”
“Uh, yeah. So, yeah, uh, thanks for everything.”
“Same to you.”
Echizen was just as unfriendly as usual. She didn’t even look a little sad. I mean, I guess I wasn’t expecting her to be, but even a little, “I’m sorry” would have been nice. But this is also the last time I’ll talk to Echizen like this. We go to different high schools, and I’ll probably never meet her again. It’s a little sad, but she doesn’t even give a damn, so why should I? I thought that as I watched her organize the seats like she always does.
It was an hour later in that store, where even on my last day no customers came, and with nothing to do as always, Echizen and I stood next to each other.
Even though it was the end, no conversation arose at all. I thought about talking to her, but I felt like it should end with this kind of atmosphere, so I didn’t say anything.
“You still playing Human Beast Wars?
And then, unexpectedly, Echizen spoke to me. Even though I was surprised, I responded firmly.
“Uh-huh, I’m still playing it.”
Just yesterday, I did a party member quest.
“What about you?”
“I am, too.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. I guess that means you do quests and stuff with you friends, huh?”
“Yeah, all the time.”
When she responded, she seemed a little nervous, like it was difficult for her to speak. After taking a deep breath, she slowly raised her voice to me.
“So, uh, if that friend was a girl, and she was your acquaintance or something, what would you do?”
And, red-faced, just like in manga, she said that to me.
“Hmm, well, I don’t think there’s anyone like that, but if that was the case, I’d think it was predestined.”
“Yeah. Normally, I’d think meeting someone like that was destiny, and that we were connected or something.”
“Right? So the chances of that happening, even just thinking about it, I feel like there’s no way that’d happen.”
What on earth was this theoretical situation? And why am I answering so seriously? I got a little embarrassed.
“What about you, Echizen?”
Suppressing my embarrassment, I bluntly responded.
“I, uh, hmm…”
Then, Echizen started thinking. Had she asked me without even thinking about it herself? And why does she keep looking at me? Did I do something wrong?
“I’d… probably crush on them…”
Echizen appeared to calm down considerably. I said it’d be like destiny, but of course I wouldn’t have a crush just like that. I mean, I guess if it felt fateful enough, I don’t know whether I’d develop feelings, but yeah. While thinking that, I continued the conversation with Echizen.
“Well, you might fall for someone, I guess. What’s the deal, asking something like that?”
“Eh, nothing, really.”
“Hmm, well, whatever. Anyway, have you done the current special quest? I can’t do it alone at all, you know.”
“Me neither, but I could have with a party member.”
“I could do it with a party, too, but of course I wanna do it alone, ya know?”
I spent a good amount of time talking to Echizen about games, despite it being my last day. And just like that, it was closing time, and I closed up shop with the owner, chatting lightly with him the whole time.
“Thanks for everything, Setsu-kun. Maaaan, it’s gonna be lonely!”
“Yeah, I’m sad, too!”
I said it pretty casually, but part of me felt like crying, too. Of course, one gets pretty choked up at the end like this, right? I mean, it wasn’t like I wasn’t going to see the owner again, but I still felt weird.
“Well, I’m heading home.”
“Without saying anything to Echizen?”
“I thought about it, but today she’s taking a while to change so I’m good. And I’ve more or less said what I need to, anyway.”
“O-oh, really..? Hmm, well, thanks again.”
“Same to you.”
At the end, just like always, we exchanged goodbyes as I left the Mon Petto Kuwa. And I headed to the station on the same path I always do, but the scenery looked a little different.
More than normal, it seemed like it was shining for some reason. Beautiful flowers I wouldn’t normally notice, or cute stray cats that I didn’t normally see. And I thought about how I wouldn’t be back here again, and felt a little sad.
I headed to the station at a slower pace than usual.