A change suddenly occurred one day.

Even so, it had a sign and a cause. In other words, it wasn't unexpected, but inevitable.

It was something that wouldn't exist if that didn't happen.

...I should've predicted this.

"Welcome! What would you like to order?"

As usual, I offered my sales smile to serve the customer. It's weird for me to say this, but I was pretty confident in serving customers. I only had to plaster a smile and did some acting... yup.

Truly a great part-time job!

I could finish my work without having to use my emotions unnecessarily. Handling troublesome customers and doing annoying tasks were also manageable since I would get paid for this.

That's why, you wouldn't see even a tiny amount of my usual listlessness during my part-time job. If I were diligent, my salary would go up. Working like this was a lot more meaningful than studying.

Even so..., my smile might be a little cramped right now. No, I'm sure that I didn't have the usual beaming grin, but an obviously fake smile.

I desperately put up with this situation, ending up unable to make up anything but such a forced smile.

The cause was——

"Hmm, right... I'll have A-set hamburger, L-size fries, and lemon tea for my drink, please."

The customer's voice was clear, just like the one I heard some time ago...

Yes, the person who placed her orders in front of me was Wakamiya Rin, the Goddess of my school. I just sent her home yesterday, but this time, she was in the store.

Weird. This situation was too weird.

Did she come by chance? Or did she have any demands? Did she come here to tell me not to say anything about me giving charity to her?

I didn't understand. Furthermore, Wakamiya was looking at her smartphone, not even glancing at me.

Well, I was wearing my part-time job uniform and a hat. Maybe she only came here to eat normally. She didn’t look like she had noticed me too.

Phew...

That's right. Wakamiya was just ordering food... I should stop suspecting people of having ulterior motives.

I was just tired. I didn't have anything to do with her, so don't mind her... yup.

I took a small breath and adjusted my expression.

"Thank you very much! A-set hamburger, L-size fries, and lemon tea, right? Is that everything?"

"Yes, that's it."

"I understand. That'll be 550 yen!"

After Wakamiya paid for the food, she took the tray and sat by the window.

I tried not to look at her as much as possible, but her position was obvious from the cash register. Even if I didn't want to see her, she kept entering the field of my vision.

Well, she would go home after she finished eating. Endure, endure.

—One hour later

Wakamiya spread her study tools on the desk and started to do something, entirely focused. That thick book... mathematics textbook?

As expected, the honor student could study anywhere, eh. It's impressive.

By any standard, it's hard for me to say that this store's environment made it easy to study. The music was playing in the store, and many students were chattering loudly.

For her to be able to concentrate in such a situation proved that she was talented after all.

——Three hours later

"I would like to have two donuts and a coffee. The smallest cup, please."

"I understand. S-size it is! Please choose the taste of the donut from here."

"Hmm... I'd like it plain. Ah, for both of them."

"That'll be 350 yen."

"Um... can I have milk and two sugar cubes?"

"Yes, right away!"

"Thank you."

——Five hours later

"Customer, it's time for high school students to go home..."

In the end, Wakamiya was studying until 22:00, the time limit for high school students to stay in the store. The manager asked me to notify her that, so I had to call her out...

"Huh? Tokiwagi-san? Right, you're working part-time here... And it's already this late... Oh no, I did it again!"

"Just what are you doing..."

This already came to my mind yesterday, but she was unexpectedly careless... Also, she even forgot that I was working here. Just how thin was my presence, really? It made me feel a bit sad...

"Please give me a moment to make a call..."

Deja-vu...

When Wakamiya called her parents again, her body twitched every time she got scolded.

"I'm sorry... Tokiwagi-san. May I ask you to send me home again today...?" Wakamiya said, her eyes teary. Apparently, her parents scolded her even more sternly than yesterday.

Unable to refuse her, I could only say, "Got it..."

Hey, that expression was a foul play, okay?


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