Did You, By Any Chance… Fall in Love?


“Good morning! Mio-chan!”

“Oh, good morning Nanami…”

The next day, Nanami cheerfully greeted Mio who had arrived at the classroom earlier.

With a big smile and a boisterous morning energy.

“Hmm, is something wrong, Mio-chan? You seem a bit off.”

“N-no, it’s nothing…”

Nanami was her usual self.
Meanwhile, Mio averted her gaze awkwardly and furrowed her eyebrows.

“Oh, I see… Sorry for making you feel uneasy about it.”

Mio flinched and her shoulders tensed up slightly.
Nanami’s response made it clear that she had hit the mark with her statement.

“But really, don’t worry! I’m not feeling down at all after breaking up with my boyfriend! Someone gave me some encouragement, and it really helped.”

“I-is that so…?”

“Yeah! It was a guy who encouraged me.”

“Wait, Nanami… You’re not saying that you already have a new boyfriend, are you…?”

Mio had interpreted Nanami’s quick recovery from her breakup as a sign of her being in a new relationship.
However, seeing that Nanami wasn’t carrying any emotional baggage, and had previous romantic experience, it wasn’t unnatural for Mio to make that judgment.

“No, no, it’s not like I can just break up with my boyfriend and immediately find another one.
But he just supported me and, how do I put it… I thought he was popular and had a way with girls.”


“I see him as just as popular as you, Mio-chan… Hey, I have a photo, want to see it?”

Tilting her head, Nanami takes out her smartphone from her pocket and brings it to her mouth.
Using her phone to hide the bottom half of her face, Nanami smirks.

As if aiming for something, she points her phone’s screen towards Mio, her finger resting on the home button.

“Nanami, you praising someone that much means he must be an incredible person, right?”

“Well, yeah, he’s amazing.
Actually, I have his picture set as my home screen.”

“So that’s why you’re showing me your phone screen.
You are so prepared, it’s amazing.”

“Yes, here’s the photo!”

As Mio leaned closer to the phone, Nanami pressed the home button with a click.
In that instant, the home screen appeared on the screen.


“Ahaha, it’s him!”

“That’s not funny! Why do you have a two-shot photo with Toma-kun, Nanami!?”

Mio grabbed Nanami’s phone and stared at the photo, biting her pink lips as she sent a resentful gaze.

“I’ve never taken a photo like this with Toma-kun… Then why only you, Nanami…?”

The photo set as Nanami’s home screen was a two-shot of her and Toma, with Toma leaning out from behind the counter.
It was a two-shot.

“Well, it was just the mood of the moment… you know?”

“The mood? It’s not just that! Why did this happen!?”

“…I guess I have to explain that.
I was planning on telling Mio-chan today, so it’s a good timing.”

Nanami exhales and puts on a serious aura.
Mio catches the change and closes her mouth.

“… Actually, when I was in the middle of breaking up with my boyfriend, we had a problem and he grabbed my hand tightly, so I slapped him and ran away.”

“What? I-is that so…?”

“That’s why, of course, my ex chased after me… and the place I ran into by chance happened to be the shop where Toma-kun was working.”

“M-maybe then Toma-kun helped you out…?”

“Yeah, apparently it was Toma-kun who was working the shift that day, as the other employees were off.
I can’t thank him enough.”

“I’m really glad…”

With a deep breath, Mio diffused the heavy atmosphere and softened her face.
Nanami seemed a little puzzled by Mio’s expression of relief from the bottom of her heart.

“Huh? Glad?”

“It’s obvious that you were safe…”

“Mio-chan… That’s too kind of you to say.”

“Well, we’re best friends, so it’s natural, isn’t it…?”

“Thank you.
If I had been caught by my ex, I wouldn’t have been able to come to school today in such high spirits.

Nanami laughed it off, but it was true.
There was nothing scarier than someone who let their anger take over.

“Also, I was lucky.
It was only because Toma-kun happened to be working that day that I wasn’t dragged down by my breakup.”

“…W-what was Toma-kun like at that time…?”

“Um, I don’t want to say.
Mio-chan, you would definitely be jealous.”

“I won’t be…!”

“Promise? Pinky swear.”

“Okay, I get it…”

Nanami stuck out her little finger and Mio followed suit.
They intertwined their pinkies and finished the phrase “If I lie, a thousand needles will be shoved in me” before releasing their fingers.

“I’ll tell you… It felt like I became invincible just by having Toma-kun around.”


“Well, I was hiding at the store where Toma-kun works, and my ex-boyfriend barged in while I was there.
But Toma-kun dealt with him calmly and confidently.
He was so composed and reliable, even though I’m older than him… It’s a bit pathetic, really.”

“Hehe, that sounds like the usual Toma-kun.”

Mio, who seemed to be reminiscing, lowered her gaze and relaxed her posture, clasping her hands together.

“Has Toma-kun ever helped you out, Mio-chan?”

“Um… Yes.
I once had a drunk man harassing me, and Toma-kun quickly took care of it for me.”

I can imagine exactly how Toma-kun acted at that time.
He probably said something like, ‘Please stop.
I’ll have to call the police.’ Then he stepped forward and shielded you.”

“You got that right… Toma-kun really came to my aid that day.”

“He’s so dependable, it’s crazy!”

“Hehe, you’re right.”

It feels good to be praised by a friend for liking someone.
Nanami speaks excitedly, and Mio looks pleased.

“Oh, and then, and then! He put his hand on my head and said, ‘Wait a little longer,’ and he lent me his coat because I was wearing revealing clothes.
Oh, and Toma-kun’s coat smelled really good, by the way!”


At this moment, a shadow falls over Mio’s face.

“Hm, no reaction…? Hey, Mio-chan?”

“Just trip and fall, Nanami.”

“Trip and fall… Oh! See, I knew you were jealous! A thousand needles, a thousand needles!”

“I mean anyone would get jealous if someone did something like that for them, right? I mean, it’s just so envy-inducing…to have something like that done by Toma-kun…I…”

“Haha…sorry, sorry.
That’s true…”

Mio fidgets and looks around while blushing deeply, mumbling her true feelings before finally lowering her head in embarrassment.
The words “lovestruck” and “Nursing’s Angel” are just waiting to be added to her description.

“Oh, Nanami…there’s something I want to ask you…”

“What is it? Is everything okay?”




“What’s wrong?”

Mio moves her lips silently without turning her face towards Nana.
The silence continues for several seconds, and then she finally speaks up.

“Umm…I was just wondering, but…did you, by any chance…fall in love with Toma-kun?”


This line could potentially break their friendship in an instant…

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