Satou and Kei
Year 2, Vol. 4.5 Chapter
TL: Pudding, Blade, Alisa
It was early afternoon. I and a friend headed towards the Terrace Cafe.
“Feels like it’s been a while since the two of us met alone like this, right, Satou-san?”
“Yeah, probably since that time.”
That time. It was when I told her that I was dating Kiyotaka.
Since then we have been good friends…… No, perhaps the distance between us was even closer than before, right now she has become an existence that could be considered my best friend.
Our group, however, was usually composed of four or five people.
Taking turns, we usually went out and had fun with this number of people. That’s why it was not often that I got to be alone with Satou-san. The situation was the same during this summer holiday, aboard the cruise ship. Moreso, private time was rarer with 7 to 8 of us always hanging out together. Even going to the pool where I was still slightly hesitant, although it wasn’t a problem as I wore a rashguard. Anyway, there was a reason why I forcibly created this situation where I could spend time alone with Satou-san today.
First thing’s first… got to find an empty seat. Satou-san and I looked around, trying to find an empty seat before we ordered. Unlike the school, the Terrace Cafe was large enough that we didn’t have to worry about finding a space.
However, due to the topic of today’s conversation, I didn’t want anyone to be around.
A place that was away from other people would be a spot with poor sunlight.
What should I do…
“A place inside is also fine with me, though.”
“Eh, is that alright?”
“I mean, you have something important to talk about, right?”
Satou-san, who figured it out, looked at me with a cute smile.
I thanked her and decided to take the unpopular seats with no view of the outside.
Turning over the tag on the table to ‘in use,’ we went to order.
“Since I was the one who called you out, Satou-san, let me treat you.”
I insisted to Satou-san who seemed hesitant and ordered two coffees before we took our seats.
“Soー what did you want to talk about?”
As soon as we took our seats, Satou-san started to ask.
I wasn’t intending to drag this out at all but…
“Hmm…. Wait a minute,”
“Somehow... don’t you feel that there's something strange about this atmosphere?”
I tried to confirm this strange atmosphere, but Satou-san just tilted her head curiously.
“Strange? I don’t think there’s anything...”
“I guess so. Sorry for saying something weird.”
At first, I didn't know why I was feeling like this.
However, maybe it’s because of him… It was probably something I’ve picked up from spending so much time with Kiyotaka. He never overlooked even the smallest details.
Be it someone’s facial expression, or emotions, or even the atmosphere of the place.
No matter what it was, he could see through them and sense the oddities.
Perhaps, I’ve become able to see these things myself…?
I didn’t know the truth, but that’s what I decided to think for now.
But what was this? Why did I feel such an unpleasant feeling?
I kept my composure while I began to quietly observe my surroundings.
“It would be great if we could continue living on this cruise ship forever ~”
As I was saying that, I looked around casually while putting the cup on my mouth.
“Hahaha, I agree. But living like this everyday will make us run out of money.”
“That’s true. With the pool, movies, and delicious food, we would run out of money in no time.”
I noticed that the strange atmosphere had disappeared, or rather, it had faded.
Was I simply mistaken? Oh perhaps, I noticed the changes too late that I had become so trapped in it and couldn't sense it anymore.
A group of three third-year girls sat at the table next to ours, chatting and laughing.
“You know, you know ~ Kisarazu-kun from Class B~?”
“No way, really? I didn’t know that~”
They were chatting happily, laughing out loud and getting excited. Ah mou... I should've spoken sooner. Even though the ocean side was more popular, it wasn't surprising for some people to choose to pick seats here to avoid the crowd or the heat and sun. They probably won’t be interested in our conversation, but they were still close enough to hear us if they wanted to. We could move and get away from them, but I didn't want to carelessly give a bad impression. If they were first-year students, it would be a different story, but they were third-years, our senpais.
I couldn't take away the possibility that they would be upset if we moved away because I didn’t want them to sit next to us.
I was well aware of how a small detail like this could lead to bullying.
“The truth is, I was thinking that I should tell you first.”
Let's not worry about the irrelevant third-year students and just focus on Satou-san here.
It would be rude to focus on things that should not be worried about.
“I think it’s about time for me to tell everyone about it. About me and Kiyotaka.”
I knew that Sato-san had almost guessed what I was going to say.
She might think there was a possibility that we “broke up” too.
No, I don't think so. If that were the case, I wouldn't be able to keep my composure.
I couldn't imagine myself being able to laugh it off and say, "We broke up ~" without a care in the world.
“That's why I thought I'd tell Satou-san about it beforehand.”
“Wouldn't they be very surprised to find out that you two are dating?”
I simulated it over and over in my head.
However, I knew that no matter when I announced it, it would probably cause a stir.
I didn’t mean to speak ill of myself, but I didn't really have a cute personality.
I was always pompous and trying to assert dominance on everyone... Before I met Kiyotaka, I was acting much more bossy than I was now because I didn't want to be bullied. I've even casted flirtatious glances on boys I wasn't actually interested in.
“So when are you planning to announce it?”
When Sato asked me that, I immediately replied.
“It's summer vacation right now, so I'm thinking of waiting until after the second semester.”
“What did Ayanokouji-kun say about that?”
"He said he would adjust the timing to my liking.”
Satou sucked on the straw and took a sip.
“I see. So, are you guys being lovey dovey to each other?”
“Oh come on, tell me!”
“Uh-huh. Well, as a couple, it would be weird if we aren't.”
“Have you kissed?”
“You guys have been dating for quite some time, right? How’s it going? ~”
She clenched her right hand into a fist and held it out to my mouth, like a replacement for a microphone.
“...J-just once, by surprise.”
After I gave my honest reply, Satou-san started smiling.
“Nice, nice, I like the idea of a surprise kiss.”
“R-right? I wasn’t prepared at all… and it was my first kiss too…”
Hearing such a murmur from me, Satou-san widened her eyes a little.
“Karuizawa-san, haven’t you done it with Hirata-kun? You guys dated for a long time, didn’t you?”
“And it wouldn’t be strange if Karuizawa-san also had a boyfriend in middle school.”
I could feel my blood draining as I listened to Satou-san’s reply.
Karuizawa Kei was supposed to be a girl at the top of caste who was constantly moving from one boy to another as a popular figure.
Informing someone that such a figure just had her first kiss was certainly a problem.
“W-well… You see, it’s because I’m a pure girl.”
I replied, trying my best to look composed.
"I mean, wouldn't you allow only the special ones out of the boyfriends to do that?"
Feeling the sudden thirst, I gulped a third of the cup of coffee down to my throat at once.
“But isn’t Hirata-kun a super cool boyfriend?”
“Well, yeah. But, I wonder if it wasn’t stimulating enough for me.”
It’s fine. I can do it.
Now that I had slipped out, I had no choice but to go with the flow and cover it up.
“Hirata-kun is a beta type, he didn’t even try to do anything. It was a little unsatisfying.”
Forgive me, Hirata-kun! I apologized in my heart as I was sacrificing him for my sake.
“I see. Well, it’s true that there may be situations where you want your boyfriend to take the lead.”
“But Ayanokouji-kun seems quite aggressive, despite his calm appearance.”
Satou-san’s words sounded a bit regretful when she said that.
“Ah, I’m sorry Karuizawa-san. That’s not what I meant!”
Today, I was just going to tell her that I was going to announce my relationship with Kiyotaka.
But now, it seems like I was just a bad girl who was merely bragging about her relationship.
When I first entered this school, I thought that it was fine that way.
I used to be an unpleasant girl who went around telling everyone about Hirata-kun without care.
But now, I didn’t think doing it that way was alright.
I should have avoided making a careless remark because now I considered her as my precious friend. I could excuse it for a defensive instinct to protect myself, but it was just selfish.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. I mean, it’s normal to fall for the same person when you think it’s a good guy, or perhaps it’s better to say it has often happened to me before. Well, in my case… I was always on the losing side though."
Satou-san pouted her lips, letting out her complaint.
But soon after that, she immediately returned to her usual cheerful state.
“Just for confirmation, if Karuizawa-san dumps Ayanokouji-kun… it’s fine, right?”
By “it’s fine,” she must mean that, right? She then continued without letting me organize my mind.
“You see, Hirata-kun is free now and he could get a new girlfriend, so it’s the same for Ayanokouji-kun, right?”
“That’s true, but…”
That’s absolutely not allowed! And I’m not breaking up with him!
I was shouting in my heart, but it was hard because I couldn’t show it on the surface.
“I mean, I think Karuizawa-san can aim for better guys.”
“Who do you mean by better guys?”
“It’s hard to answer when you ask, but… Tsukasaki-kun or Nagumo-senpai.”
For me, both of them were just out of the question.
It was true that Tsukasaki-kun was one of the best when it came to visuals, and it might apply to the Student Council President too. If we looked at the status and such, there's no doubt that they were in the top class.
But… yeah, I don’t think they could be rivals to Kiyotaka.
That guy… he could be unpleasant sometimes... but he’s strong, cool, and mysterious.
And above all else— He understands me.
“Okay okay, I understand. That was unnecessary on my part, thank you for the meal!”
“Because it’s already written on Karuizawa-san’s face, that for you, Ayanokouji-kun is the best.”
Uh.... I couldn’t keep my poker face in front of Satou-san, who knows about the details of my love life.
“Thank you, for telling me first. I’m happy.”
“I see… I'm glad to hear that.”
After that, our conversation shifted to girls’ talk.
Looking back on the uninhabited island and other things that were completely unrelated.
The two of us were able to have a good time together for the first time in a while.