Volume 7.5 Short Story
Originally Posted Here
I have made a big decision. Even I think so myself. I can no longer take back the words I have said.
"I'm going to break up with Yousuke-kun".
That was, for Karuizawa Kei, the greatest extreme, an option that would never have been chosen normally.
"I'm sure everyone in the class will be surprised when the 3rd semester starts".
Feeling restless like that, I silently whispered those words.
"I suppose that's true".
It's very likely that almost immediately, a battle between girls over Yousuke-kun will be expected to begin.
"That guy, do you think he'll go out with someone else?".
"Even if you ask me that, I don't know Yousu.........no, it's not like I know Hirata-kun that well either. But in some places, like Kiyotaka, he can be cool. As long as he's pretending to go out with me, he won't be able to date another girl too, and he might not even be that interested in romance".
Even though it was a lie, we'll still be breaking up. If I mess it up and remain close to him as usual, I'd feel bad for the other girls too. In order to get into the habit from now on, I've decided to no longer call him 'Yousuke-kun' but rather back to 'Hirata-kun'.
"Even though you're going back to calling him Hirata, you're still calling me like this?".
Before I had realized it, I had unconsciously started calling Kiyotaka by his first name. By going back to calling Hirata-kun like that, Kiyotaka threw an obvious question like that at me.
"Ahh........I see. Is it better if I change it back?".
"That's not what I meant. You're free to call me whatever you like".
After saying that, a short pause, then Kiyotaka continued.
"This might be a good opportunity".
Towards being continued to be called by his first name, Kiyotaka did not show any signs of disapproval. And then, a moment that felt like destiny to me, suddenly occurred.
"I'll also just be calling you 'Kei' then".
I'll also just be calling you 'Kei' then. I'll also just be calling you 'Kei' then. I'll also just be calling you 'Kei' then.
Those words reverberated and repeated inside my heart like sacred words.
Hyuruhyuruhyuru~. Just like that, a single arrow fell from the skies. That was, the arrow that was aimed towards Kiyotaka from Satou-san. That arrow was supposed to have flown off somewhere after being released. And that
Of all things, it pierced my heart.
Kiyotaka heard and repeated the mysterious word that flew out of my guts.
"N-n-n-n-nothing! Why is Kiyotaka also calling me by my first name?".
"If one side uses the surname and the other side uses the first name, it wouldn't feel right".
No, no, no. That might be so but! You didn't give any prior notice or anything!
My throbbing, no, soaring heartbeat continued to beat on and on. The sound of that was immense to the point I wondered if Kiyotaka would end up hearing it. And without even minding the panicking me, Kiyotaka continued to talk.
"By the way......just to get things straight. The original proposer that set up the double date was not you, but Satou right?".
As expected, I should say. Kiyotaka was already aware of the double date trick. Desperately suppressing my feelings, I answered the question.
"W-What's that supposed to mean, set up?".
Just in case, I'll try and deceive him.
"Your acting was pretty much spot on but here and there, Satou's actions were strange you see".
"Ahh---....as I thought you realized it? I also thought Satou-san was being suspicious".
My heart had somehow managed to calm down. Fuu, fuu. It should be fine now.
"That's right. I also have a Christmas present for you".
"Ehh? No kidding?".
As I thought that, my heart once again leaped up and soared.
"Huh? You want to get beaten up?".
After the sudden climb came the nosedive, and I glared at Kiyotaka.
Could it be, am I just being teased?
"More precisely, it's just a normal present. I think it may be an unnecessary product for you but".
".....wait, what's up with that pharmacy bag? Are you mocking me?".
Even if he gives me such a thing, I'm not one bit happy. As I thought that, I received it, and checked the contents. The bag is what it is but the truth is the contents were---I was expecting something like that. What came out from inside it was.
"Cold medicine and a receipt........?".
Such fleeting expectations were betrayed simply to the point it was almost disappointing. But, I realized something strange. Why give me this?
"Don't mind the receipt, please throw it away".
But by hearing that, it only made me more unnecessarily curious. I pored over the details on the receipt. And then realized my question.
"Hey, this receipt has 10:55 am on the 23rd written on it though.....".
It's not something that was bought today. Normally cold medicine is something you buy only when you need it right away.
"On my way back after buying it, I saw you and Satou together at Keyaki Mall. That's how I realized that the double date was a set up from a relatively early stage. I had thought your health would have deteriorated, but it seems that prediction was spectacularly off the mark".
"So.....that means the reason you didn't call me out of worry was.....".
Does it mean he wasn't being cold towards me, or had forgotten about me?
"You weren't wearing a mask either, even from a distance I could see that you were healthy".
W-what's that mean? I didn't hear anything about that!
"I-If you're this worried about me.....instead of doing things in a roundabout way like this, do things like visiting me earlier or at least giving me a call. You could have confirmed it that way".
"In such a conspicuous dorm, I can't afford to directly visit your room. Contacting you via phone would be an effective means of doing so, but I also took into account that you'd act tough in that case. Because you hate showing your weakness after all".
What, what, what, what, what is that supposed to mean! I felt the sudden urge to hide my face which was rapidly becoming red.
That day, ever since that incident on the rooftop, that means Kiyotaka's always been worried about me!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaa, mou, aaaaaaaaaa! Inside my heart there was another me who was squealing while running around. There's no more mistaking it. I just have to admit it now. Seriously, seriously, seriously, my heart's seriously been stolen away. The arrow which had pierced my heart. The arrow of love which I could no longer take out. Is this even possible? Is it even fine for me to fall in love with someone who's been partly bullying me? But it's already too late. The power of this arrow is tremendous.
I have, I have towards Kiyotaka-----really, seriously, I've fallen in love with him.