On the way home, I visited a convenience store with Hoshimiya.
After shopping, I wandered around the store looking for her.

“Oh, there she is.”

She was reading a magazine in the book section.
There was no one around.
Hoshimiya was alone.

I approached her and talked to her.

“What are you reading?”

“Hm? Fashion magazines.
Just looking at them is fun.”

As expected of Hoshimiya, a gal on the surface, she seems to have her antenna up to date.
I remember that the clothes I saw before were quite cute.

“Hey, Kuromine-kun, is there anything you want me to wear?”

“Hmm~, maybe a maid outfit…?”

“That’s cosplay.
That’s not what I was thinking about.”

“No, no, maids are a man’s eternal dream.”

“Is that what it is? Then, I’ll think about it.”

Eh, you’ll wear it?

It was meant to be a joke……

“Will you wear the clothes I requested?”

“Un, as much as I can.
Maybe next holiday or something——Oh, isn’t this outfit cute?”

Hoshimiya points to the clothes in the magazine and asks me to agree.

I was a little puzzled by this all-too-natural distance.

“…It looks like we are dating.”

“Eh!? What are you talking about all of a sudden, Kuromine-kun!?”

“I just thought like that.”

I was understood by Haruno, and my friends at Hoshimiya made some mischievous remarks.

And so is the conversation we just had.
It seemed like a couple flirting.
…I don’t know what couples are like.
And I was rejected by Haruno.
Every time I suddenly remember, my mood sinks.
I don’t want to be rejected by Haruno alone.

“Hoshimiya?”

“”

“…….”

Hoshimiya didn’t speak and looked down at the magazine.

But even her ears were turning red.

Stop it, I’m going to blush if you react so stiffly.

I know it’s a little late for this, but Hoshimiya blushes easily.

“So, then…You’ll really go out with me?”

Without looking at me, Hoshimiya said such a thing.

“That’s…I don’t want that.“

“….A, ahaha.
That’s right~.
There’s no way we would go out, right?”

“No, it’s not that I don’t want to go out with you or anything, I just fell for that kind of light-hearted flirting.”

“…Eh?”

“Maybe I’m taking it too seriously, but if we’re going to go out……I would need to confess first……something like that?”

“”

What am I talking about seriously?

In the middle of speaking, I suddenly felt embarrassed and my voice became shrill.

“Th, then…From Kuromine-kun’s point of view…am I the girl you want to confess…your feelings to?”

Her voice shyly shaking, Hoshimiya looked up from her magazine and gazed at me with an upward glance.
Her reddened face looked somewhat expectant.
What is the correct way to answer this…?

If I nod to this, it is already like a confession.

On the other hand, if I deny it, that would be like saying that Hoshimiya is not attractive.

“Wh, what is it? Why do you have to think so much about it?”

She puffed up her cheeks and complained.

…Sometimes you’re a bit of a pushover, aren’t you, Hoshimiya?

“That’s right…I….”

Immediately after, a woman in a suit who was walking while touching her phone crashes into Hoshimiya.

“——”

“Ah, I’m sorry!”

Hoshimiya lost her balance and fell down on me, and I quickly caught her with my chest.

“I’m so sorry! Are you okay!?”

“I’m fine.
Hoshimiya is not hurt, right?”

“….U, un.”

“I’m really sorry! I’m in a bit of a rush……”

“We’re fine over here, it’s okay.”

They did not appear to collide that strongly.

Hoshimiya was probably pushed because she was also distracted.

The woman in the suit bowed her head repeatedly, then made a mad dash out of the store.

…Adults seem to have a hard time.

“Hoshimiya, are you ok?”

“……”

For some reason, Hoshimiya maintains her position leaning against me.

This makes it look like I am hugging Hoshimiya.

“…Um?”

She was clutching the chest area of my uniform and turned over to hide her face.

What’s going on?

“…Um, thank you for…catching me.”

Finally, Hoshimiya pulled away, turned her head down, and in a pouty little voice, uttered her thanks.

“I think it’s time to go.”

“O, oh…”

Hoshimiya picks up the magazine she has dropped on the floor, takes it to the cashier and buys it.
…She buys it properly.
Still, something seemed off.
Her movement was awkward.

Did she hurt herself somewhere? Or…is she aware of me?

“No, of course not.“

Cut down the naive ideas with your own words.
Even if she were aware of me, it would not be a romantic feeling.
My desire made me think so…….My desire? Do I want to be liked by Hoshimiya?

“Kuromine-kun? What’s wrong?”

“No……”

The look on Hoshimiya’s face when she casually asked me, was cute……It made me nervous.
I wanted to stay close to Hoshimiya with the intention of protecting the person who saved my life, but maybe I’m actually wrong.
Reflecting on the past few days, it all started when Hoshimiya saved my heart.
Since then, she has given me a carefree smile many times and even supported me in my daily life.
Hoshimiya is kind to me without any other motives.

“……”

Once I realised it, I couldn’t stop.
I might have fallen in love with Hoshimiya too.
In fact, it would be strange if I didn’t.
I thought I wanted to protect Hoshimiya as a way of repaying her kindness, but I wonder if that’s really the truth.

“Kuromine-kun, your face is bright red.”

“I, it’s nothing…Let’s go home.”

“Un……?”

I felt embarrassed that she could see my face and urged her to go outside.
Hoshimiya tilted her head curiously, as if she thought my reaction was funny.
I think even that reaction is cute, so I might be in a serious condition now.

 

 

“Hugging——!”

I was hiding behind a telephone pole, and watched.

I was staring at them in the book section of the convenience store from the outside.

“I’m frustrated……I’m so frustrated……!“

The more I said it out loud the more irritated I was.

It’s so much more than just unconsciously gnashing your teeth.

“Ahh……”

When I see them coming out of the convenience store, I quickly hide myself behind a telephone pole.

I stared at their backs as they walked down the sidewalk in a row, and slightly regained my composure.

“……Huh? Why am I so frustrated?”

Riku-chan is just being friendly with other girls.

Thinking back, I could not clear my chest from the moment I saw them in the city.

The image of Riku-chan hugging Ayana was stuck in my mind for a long time.

And now——they hugged again.

………

“Ah, mou! I’m so irritated!”

For some reason, I’m so angry I can’t stand it.
In any case, I’m restless.
I was irresistibly curious about their behaviour, and found myself following them.

“Riku-chan…looked so kind.
That face was only ever shown to me, and yet……!”

My cherished childhood friend is spending quality time.

That makes me very happy.

If that’s supposed to be the case, then why…?

I don’t want to see——Riku-chan now.

I don’t want Riku-chan to have fun with girls other than me.

But I can’t help but wonder what they are doing.

“I wonder where those two are going.
That’s the train station over there, right?”

Come to think of it, does Ayana go to school by train?

No way———!

“I have to check.”

Living together——That should not be the case.

I didn’t even want to think about it, so I couldn’t ask Riku-chan directly.

But I want to know about it.

I shook off the bad feeling and followed them again.

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