Chapter 21: Disaster strikes.

“Yuu, Momiji-chan’s here.”


I was immersed in my own world when Sayu barged into the room, pulling me back to reality.
I was so out of it, I ended up not telling Sayu to lie about me being home beforehand.
So I did it now.

“Yikes, she’ll hate that.”

“But I’m not here, am I?”

“I told her I’d get you already.
Give up.”

Even though I wouldn’t hang out with Momiji, I’d still feel bad reading some novels in front of her.
I had no choice but to study while she was there, as I said I would.
Opening the front door, I saw her standing there a bit fidgety.

“C’mon in,” I said begrudgingly.

“You’re here! Excuse me, it’s just been so long since I’ve last been in your house! I used to come here all the time.”


If possible, all I want is for you not to come here ever again.

“So, what do you want?” I asked.

“The usual!” She quipped.

“Huh?” I didn’t get it.

“Aw! Well then, a soda if possible.”

“Is Coke fine?”


“Okay, I’ll grab one.
Just go up first.”

“No, no, I’ll go with you.”

“Hm,” I gave a slight response.

My sister is a soda junkie, so we always have something carbonated on hand.
I remember Momiji once said that fizzy drinks taste even better when you’re thirsty.
After preparing both of our drinks, we walked into my room.
She looked around nostalgically.

“Wow! It’s been so long! You haven’t changed at all, huh? Oh, where’s that picture you had?”

“Oh, I’m a high schooler now, so I thought I’d put up some new photos here and there.”

“Gotcha,” she said, looking at the corkboard on which I used to stick up my photos up until my middle school days.

Why should I keep up a photo of you? I thought.
The one she was talking about was a selfie with both of us in it, and I couldn’t help but wonder what this insensitive girl thought of it missing.

“Looks like we’ll have to take another picture!”

She’s not happy there are no photos with both of us pinned to the cork.
And I don’t want that to change.
If I keep this up, I’ll get caught in her pace.
I should just move on.

“I’ll get to studying now, so just make yourself at home.”

“Can’t we talk for a bit?”

“Why don’t you go and talk to Sayu? You used to be pretty good friends.”

I’ll sacrifice Sayu for some peace and tranquility.
Sorry, sis! I thought so, but suddenly—


What the—, a wall slam? Are you deaf or something? I couldn’t leave since she blocked my exit.

“No, since we broke up, my relationship with Sayu got kind of iffy.
She uses honorifics again, and I feel a bit distant from her…”

Don’t you realize you’re iffy with me? I thought.
I mean, sure, I haven’t distanced myself from Momiji as clearly as my sister, but I think I’m being obviously awkward when I talk to her, even more so when compared to other classmates from that time.
I think even I could have noticed that, to be honest.

“I was just thinking, how’s your club going?” She started talking normally again.
I’m trying to study here, you know?! I say so, but she probably knows and is trying to continue regardless.

“Fine, I guess.”

“I know the sophomore that presides your group.
Is it just the two of you?”

“No, there’s one more.
She’s from class D.”

“Who’s she?”

“Some Yuki or whatever.”

“So, why did you choose the excursion club?”

What is this, Chicago P.D.? You’re scaring me.
I mean, how do you even know ‘boss’ in the first place? I thought you went straight to the tennis club after school, but doesn’t this mean you’ve gone elsewhere instead? Don’t tell me as soon as you heard my club’s name, you checked things around…

“A bit of an interest in the outdoors.
Plus they didn’t seem busy.”

“I see, I see! So you’re interested in camping! I’d like to do that with you someday!”

And I don’t!

“I don’t know much, really,” I tried.
“For real, we’ve just introduced ourselves, and proper activities haven’t even started yet.”

“I see, so you haven’t made friends with anyone yet.”

Are you trying to pick up a fight or something?!

“Yeah, that,” I was curt.

“You’ve changed, haven’t you, Yuu?”

“I’ve learned to enjoy some me-time.


She went silent, so when I turned around to look at her, I saw her nod with a satisfied expression.
As if she’s had enough, she reached for the Coke on the desk.

“Oh, what’s this? Manga?”

“Nope, a light novel.”

“Wow, I didn’t know you started reading those.”

“Trying to develop a new hobby here.
It’s pretty interesting, so why don’t you give it a read, hm?”

This morning, I immediately went to the bookstore and bought the latest volume, which I left on my desk.
That’s pretty much it, so grab the volume, read, and please be quiet.

“Well, you do have to study too.
Hey, where’s the first volume of this?”

“I only have the fourth up.
It starts from where the anime left off.”


She seemed lost, but she eventually started reading from volume four.
At the start, she asked me “who’s this character?” or “what is this thing?”, but after getting it to some degree, we were each in our own separate worlds.

The sun was about to set when I realized, and she reached a point where she was comfortable stopping. Finally, it was time for her to go home.

“Well, that was way more interesting than I thought! I didn’t stop midway through.”

“I know, right? Well, it’s nice to have something to kill time with.”

“Yup! I’ll come back tomorrow to read the rest then!”


I guess he doesn’t tell her to just leave because of a few things.
It may be a mix of the Japanese culture of being too polite and his own current issues, but that’s my take.

Either way, I just want her to shut the hell up and leave.
Dude can’t catch a break.

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