"Fwahh~ Towa, you look even more sleepy than usual."
"And look who's currently yawning here."
I looked at Katou Kenichi, my classmate who was sitting in front of me, stretching his back. You could say that he was my partner in crime.
Like what he pointed out, unbearable drowsiness was certainly attacking me. What came in my mind first as the cause was that recently, I had been going to bed late at night.
If I had to return late from my part-time job, my bedtime would inevitably get delayed as well. Well, this was unavoidable.
As a result, I became sleepy at school and couldn't even concentrate on the class at all.
But well, I rarely listened to the lesson seriously, so I couldn't really say that anything had changed from the usual...
However, Kenichi and I had been friends for a long time. That should be why he said, "more than usual."
By the way, even if I called our relationship to be 'friends', we got close only because our class were the same from elementary school to high school. We're not in the relationship where we would play together or do such things.
We were just stuck with each other.
Not to say, our circles were utterly different. Kenichi was good looking, and he belonged to the A-group. Having a lot of topics to talk about, Kenichi was always in the center of his circle of friends. And for me, I only spoke to Kenichi and... the teachers. Not to say, that's only when they were scolding me.
Well, Kenichi had many acquaintances since he was a guy who could communicate with anyone without choosing his friends. Instead, he was as famous as the Goddess in our grade.
But it was only natural.
His personality was bright. He was good looking. He was smart. He was athletic.
Above all, he took good care of other people.
What's with this perfect superman?
There was a saying, "Heaven does not grant people more than one talent," but I'm sure it was a lie. Rather, heaven gave him too much!
Anyway, such a person would give me a cheeky grin every time our eyes met during the lunch break before he approached me. I didn't know if it was because our inseparable relationship as an undesirable friend had deepened that much. His behaviour was a mystery for me.
He didn't have to leave his group to come to me, really...
"Speaking of which, Kenichi, can I ask you something?"
"Hm? Sure. It's rare for Towa to ask me a question."
Kenichi tilted his head, his sleepy face from before disappeared like a lie. On the contrary, his eyes were shining brightly.
"Hmm, well. How's your girlfriend recently?"
"Ohh! So it's a love story!! Great, great!"
"Ah, yeah, yeah. A love story..."
Looking at how Kenichi became even more excited, my face unconsciously stiffened. He was too close! Too close!!
Probably curious about what Kenichi just said, everyone around us strained their ears, listening carefully to our conversation.
...I guess people would care about a talk concerning a good-looking guy. Even more now since we were talking about his lover.
But I had a reason why I brought up this topic. I had something that I wanted to know.
"I'm on good terms with her! We also played together yesterday!"
"...Did you really play with her yesterday?"
"Huh? Did I say something strange? Ah! If you doubt me, I'll show you the proof!" Kenichi said. He took out his smartphone and started playing around with it while whistling.
"Hmm, where is the picture..."
Did he take so many pictures to the point that yesterday's photos weren't displayed immediately... After all, the socially-active guy was different from me. By the way, what's inside the gallery of my smartphone was just a few images of my home screens I accidentally screenshot.
"It's this! Here, take a look!"
I looked at Kenichi's photo.
"Eh... Your girlfriend is Fuji-san...?"
"Yeah! She's so cute in this picture, right? She was so happy that she made her first strike at bowling~ By the way, this is the picture of her a few seconds later."
Her big smile turned into an expressionless face as if nothing had happened. Fujo-san was always such a cool beauty, huh. She also had an atmosphere that wouldn't let anyone get close to her.
But this gap... was undoubtedly cute.
"It's like she turns into a different person."
"I know, right? But I like this side of her. By the way, I'm supposed to delete these photos, so keep it a secret!"
I agreed without thinking much of it.
In the end, it's pointless for me to keep this a secret. Everyone around us had been listening to us attentively. It's only a matter of time before this matter reached Fuji-san's ears.
Pay it no mind... Kenichi.
"Anyway, Kenichi. You should immediately move those photos to some other place. That's if you want to keep it..."
Feeling guilty for bringing up this matter, I gave him a piece of advice just in case. I hope he could make it in time...
"Thanks for the advice. But I already save the data on my computer at home. Don't worry!" Kenichi whispered, then he grinned.
Ah, so this was a premeditated crime? He purposely told me to spread a rumor about that.
That way, after Fuji-san heard the rumor, she would think, "I should erase the data on his smartphone." This handsome man was smart, eh.
"Kenichi, how long have you been dating with Fuji-san? I heard that you're dating another person."
"I think around May. It's what we call as the GW Magic! Also, what you heard are just groundless rumors."
[GW Magic: The magic of Golden Week. Golden Week is a series of four national holidays that take place within one week at the end of April to the beginning of May each year in Japan. By 'magic', Kenichi probably wants to say that "We started dating during the Golden Week. The Golden Week is blessing our relationship!"]
"Ah, is that so?"
"Yeah, it's not true at all. I'm not dating Wakamiya Rin. But well, we talk from time to time!"
Yes, this was what I wanted to ask Kenichi.
'Katou Kenichi and Wakamiya Rin are dating.'
This rumor had been passed around for a long time. If this was the truth, I wanted to explain what happened between me and her before and apologize.
It would be awful if he found out about it later. Not to say, it wouldn't be good for me to turn Kenichi from A-group to my enemy. The worst-case that might happen was making a needless misunderstanding that I was 'making a move' on her.
But in the end, it was all needless anxiety.
"What is this, Towa~? Are you aiming for Wakamiya~? Well, if you do, then do your best! I will support you!"
"No, no. I'm just curious about the rumor."
"Hmm. By the way, it seems like Wakamiya is single right now, you know?"
"Is that so. Rather, what's with that weird grinning face... That’s really not it, so give me a break. Also, it's still good if an A-group like Kenichi to aim for her, but it's impossible for a low class like me."
"You're still abasing yourself like that, huh."
"People of the low class has to act like this."
"Haha. Well, regardless, I'm still supporting you, Towa!"
I bitterly smiled at Kenichi's toothy smile. However, his smile immediately disappeared the moment he saw someone's figure.
"...Kenichi, come here for a while."
"Eh, wait!? Kotone!?"
"Have a safe trip~"
I waved to my buddy with the sales smile I had mastered in my part-time job.
"Traitor~!" Kenichi said with a pitiful voice. Her girlfriend was dragging him out.
I looked at them, following their figure. However, I reflexively averted my eyes when I noticed the person standing by the door.
"...Rin, help me take this idiot away. I'll educate him."
"Kotone-chan, I don't think you can drag him forcefully like this. You should sincerely talk to him..."
"...For a brat who won't be obedient, violence is also a form of sincerity."
"No! I'm going to make this photo my heirloom!"
The appearance of my buddy was miserable. However, when I recalled that his desperation was also an act, I honestly thought that he was amazing.
I watched the exchange of these three people from the corner of my eyes. For a moment, I felt like Wakamiya and I made eye contact...
But that's definitely my imagination.
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