Chapter 36: stagnation – Soafp Translation
” Ah, good morning.”
” Ah, yeah.
The next day, I went to school and met Fukumura at the main gate.
It wasn’t like we were meeting up or anything, it was just a coincidence.
”Thanks for yesterday.”
“Well, I felt better after talking to you, too.
So, I guess it was a mutual thing.”
In fact, I felt like I was able to blow off a lot of steam, or rather, I was able to confirm the stance that I should take.
”….I didn’t have much to say, though, did I?”
”That’s… I’m sorry.”
As a matter of fact, it is.
After all, because of Itakura’s intrusion, her original purpose had not been fulfilled.
“Shall we make time for you again? I’m totally free when I’m not working part-time.”
I wonder if it’s okay to accept it.”
She then shook her head and did not accept my proposal, but her expression did not seem particularly pensive, so I let it slide.
” Ah, but if there’s anything you need to… well, do you want me to talk about it?”
She said this with a slightly upturned look in her eyes.
She seemed to be embarrassed.
I mean, don’t a lot of people around me look down at me? Is it my imagination?
Let’s do that”
It would be best if that didn’t happen, but since I’ve decided to face it, I won’t be able to avoid it.
Also, I’ll tell you this… I’m not being shunned or anything like that right now.
I appreciate your concern, but don’t worry too much about that, okay?”
I’m still concerned about it, though.
She probably knows that, too.
I know, I know, I asked.
To tell you in a roundabout manner she said, “I’m fine.”
That thoughtfulness made my heart warm.
”Then, see you later…”
”Yeah, bye bye”
We enter our respective classrooms.
Strangely enough, the uneasiness I had been feeling was lightened.
That reminds me.
Shinohara and Sonoda are dating now, right?
I honestly felt as if it was a bit of a calculation on their part, and I knew that I had to be careful in case they might do something to me.
I was prepared to deal with any other harassment or anything else that might come my way.
Nothing happened without any approach from Shinohara, and after 6th period class ended, it was after school.
Shirakawa did not visit me today.
I was a little surprised, but if nothing happened, that’s fine with me.
Nothing to bring anyone down.
All I care about is protecting the position of Fukumura, who believed in me.
But somehow, the fact that the harassment stopped at this point in time is also too well timed.
He’s a pain in the a*s because of his belief that he’s being humiliated by me.
It is a complete false accusation.
But assumption is a terrible thing, and it blinds him from seeing his own faults.
He must have reached a point where there was no turning back.
But it was after school.
I decided to go home quickly and picked up my bag.
That’s when my phone rang.
My cell phone alerted me to an incoming call.
[Please let me know when you are available.
I’d like to meet and talk with you if possible.”]
It was Miyajima who sent that message.
Did something happen? No, she had said she wanted to talk to me again in the first place, and perhaps there was something she had left unsaid.
Now that I know her feelings, there is no reason for me to refuse.
However, I did ask her for a favor.
She agreed to it with two words.
Suddenly, the time was after school today.
I had a part-time job tomorrow, and I wanted to talk to her as soon as possible.
So I headed to the meeting place.
Before that, I visited the class next to mine.
”Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Of course, it was for Fukumura.
”Do you have time after this?”
”….Heh!? W-well, but here…?”
What’s wrong? She was suddenly flustered.
I decided to cut to the chase.
I’m actually meeting someone after this…Do you want to….here?”
“Eh, aah that is what you mean.
No, it’s nothing! So? What kind of person?”
Her answer was vague, but there was nothing I could do.
I explained a little about Miyajima as requested.
”I’m going! But is she okay? Even if I go.”
She answered immediately after I finished explaining about Miyajima.
But she seemed to be concerned about the other side’s convenience.
I’ve already confirmed it.”
“I see, then I can rest at ease.”
The two of us headed for the place together.
Fukumura and I were making our way to my part-time job.
After all, that’s the most convenient place to discuss things.
On the way there, our eyes met with Shirakawa’s, although Fukumura did not seem to notice.
I was bracing myself for something to be said, but he just looked at me sharply and didn’t do anything.
I was surprised.
I had expected him to come at me more since his target was Fukumura.
However, it was still best to maintain the status quo.
If he does not do anything to us, it is best that I do nothing to him.
”Ya, it’s nothing.”
I was lost in thought when Fukumura, walking next to me, asked me that.
I thought it was nothing to talk about with Fukumura, so I just brushed it off as appropriate.
But she didn’t seem to like that attitude.
So that’s how you hide things from me.”
I was embarrassed.
”It’s not that I’m hiding anything…”
I was joking.
Did I embarrass you?
She was teasing me.
Of course I knew I was in trouble.
”—Let’s keep going.”
I said and walked a little faster.
Fukumura followed me without complaint.
And so we arrived at the restaurant.
I looked around the restaurant.
Miyajima was already seated.
She seemed to have noticed us as well.
”….Could it be Mai-chan?”
They looked at each other and muttered in surprise to each other.
Ah, I see.
Could it be that these two are…?
”Hey, Kitami, come here.”
”Eh…? Whait, Fukumura?!”
Suddenly, Fukumura pulled my arm and led me out of the store.
“Why is Kana here!”
“No, she’s the one who said she was going to meet me today….
I mean, do you know her by any chance?”
”Yes! We went to elementary school together… well, we drifted apart in middle school, but we were good friends.”
I don’t know about “good friends,” but it was a normal possibility that they knew each other.
Fukumura said that she and Sonoda separated in junior high school, so it’s not surprising that they had been friends up to that point.
”Hmm, something wrong?”
Fukumura was fidgeting, trying to say something.
”—What kind of relationship do you have with that girl? Well… Are you close with her?”
Oh, I see.
I didn’t tell her what kind of person I was going to meet yet.
I thought it would be better to meet her face to face, but if she’s an acquaintance, well, that’s okay.
Either way, I’m going to let Fukumura know.
“It’s the evidence of the case,.
Well, I’ll let you three know the details, okay?”
”Eh, the evidence? Oh! That’s what you mean!”
Fukumura was clearly shaken up.
I could also see relief there.
What was she fearing?
Oh, could it be…?
”—-It’s not like we’re dating or anything.”
Thinking that was an excuse for something, I said that.
But my guess was probably right…
Well, that’s fine.”
It’s okay depending on how you look at it, I guess.
Well, I guess it was just my imagination.
That’s what I’m going to think.
I didn’t want to spoil her mood by saying something unnecessary.
So I looked away.
Let’s go in.”
”Hmm, you’re right”
After saying that, Fukumura and I went to the seat where Miyajima was sitting.
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