I Became Friends with the Second Cutest Girl in My Class - Chapter 238
T/N: Sorry no extra chapters for this series this week because the editor got caught up with irl stuffs. Regarding the extra chapters, I could post the unedited chapters for now if you’d like to, or do you prefer to wait for the edited ones instead? Just comment what you want. Also, happy early birthday to the editor!
Chapter 238 – Advice for a Friend (2)
“Eh? Is that… So? Do you think what I’m doing is bad, Maki-kun?…”
“Yeah. Sorry, that’s just my opinion. Did I say a little too much?”
“No, you didn’t. It’s better for me if you tell me about it bluntly like that. Anyway, that’s how it is, huh?…”
Amami-san’s previously bright face became clouded after hearing my words.
After all, she went out of her way to stay late for something that she thought was correct. But, here I was, telling her that she shouldn’t do it. She was probably quite shocked.
I regretted being so blunt about it. I should have said it differently so that she wouldn’t get hurt. Well, it needed to be said. As her friend, I shouldn’t lie to her.
“Um, can I ask you something, Maki-kun? Why do you think I’m doing something bad?”
“Hmm, maybe I’m just overthinking, but…”
After saying so, I looked over the part that Amami-san corrected.
At first glance, the part was colored blue, but when I took a closer look, there were a lot of different colors splattered there, creating shades that made the part look more three-dimensional.
Seeing how it looked after she corrected it, I could say that she improved it.
“Before I say anything, I want to confirm something, Amami-san. This painting was painted by everyone in your team, right? Not just you?”
“Ah, yes. I can’t do it on my own because it’s too big, so everyone has their parts they are working on. Since I made the sketch, I’m instructing everyone on what to do. Also, I help out on the various different parts of the painting, like the dragon’s eyes.”
“So, you aren’t doing everything by yourself?”
“Yes! The senpai and the kouhai took the initiative to do the work themselves, they are really nice! Of course, Ooyama-kun and the rest of the second years are doing their best as well!”
“Alright, that means that this work was made by everyone.”
“Yes, but why does that matter?”
When I tried to avoid touching the main point of the matter, Amami-san tilted her head in confusion.
I knew that I was talking in a round-about way, but this was the best thing that I could do in the current situation.
If it was Umi, she’d immediately give Amami-san an earful after seeing this.
“Amami-san, think about it this way. You’re painting under the guidance of someone, you are doing what you were told, drawing and coloring it as instructed. But suddenly, the next day, the painting had turned into a whole different painting. How would you feel?”
“You understand? Now if someone comes up to you and tells you that they redrew it because they think it’d look better this way, how would you feel?”
“…I see. I don’t know how other people would feel about it, but I wouldn’t like that. It would make me think that I did something wrong…”
Her body trembled as she answered my questions.
It seemed like she was beginning to understand what I meant.
“Amami-san, did you tell everyone in your team about this?”
“I noticed the weird part right before they left… Since I didn’t want to trouble them, I…”
Saying this, she shook her head sideways.
I understood her feelings. She just wanted to improve the quality of the painting. After all, the better the quality of our backboard was, the more points our group would get.
However, even if it was for the greater good, the other member of her team wouldn’t feel good if she were to modify the painting arbitrarily like this.
Of course, some people might not mind it. After all, it was Amami-san’s decision, she was popular and charismatic enough that people’d follow her decision without question. At least on the surface, she wouldn’t get any backlash because of it.
However, as she herself stated, there might be people who’d find her actions unacceptable.
“I see, that’s why you said that what I’m doing was bad. I was too focused on the painting to notice…”
“I understand, Amami-san. You know, I found that you lose track of everything else once you focus on something. It isn’t a bad thing of course, but Umi and I would be happier if you were to have the same attitude toward your studies.”
“Maki-kun, you’re a meanie! I tried my best in my studies too!”
“Did you really?”
“U-Um… Y-Yeah? I-I don’t fall asleep within thirty minutes when I start studying now…”
That was her doing her best?
“Uh… Try telling Umi the same thing.”
With a bright smile, she made an ‘X’ with her arms in front of her chest. Alright, let’s pretend that this conversation never happened.
I really hoped that the thirty minutes was properly spent on studying. Or else, Umi will unleash hell on her.
“…Thank you, Maki-kun. I didn’t expect you to say something like that to me, so I was a little surprised, but now I know that you are worrying about me in your own way… I’ll do my best so that I won’t unnecessarily hurt other people from now on!”
“Mm, well, to be honest, I don’t care about them. I mean, I didn’t say all those words for their sake. Rather, it’s for your own sake, Amami-san.”
I continued to tell her my concerns.
“You see, you can just tell them about this later. If the results turn out to be good, I doubt that anyone will mind.”
“Well, if things were to go in that direction, you’ll end up doing everything by yourself, Amami-san.”
If it was Amami-san, she would be able to do it on her own, I didn’t doubt it. But, it would be hard for other people to follow her.
Let’s say that she modified the sketch. The scale between the sketch and the actual work was different, so a minor change to the sketch would involve a lot of work. Also, only Amami-san alone could reproduce the ‘feelings’ she had when she modified the sketch, the other people wouldn’t be able to.
That was only if she were to make minor changes. Eventually, she’d have to make more changes as she went and she’d end up doing a lot of work on her own. This was another reason why I told her that she shouldn’t do that.
“Even so, I don’t doubt that you could do everything alone, Amami-san… But still, there will be times when you’ll break down if you keep doing that.”
Just like what happened to me last Christmas.
Because of how she usually acted, it was easy to forget that she was a normal high school student like me.
“So, uh… It’s okay to work hard, but you don’t need to work that hard. In the end, it’s just a school event.”
I knew that I could say something like this because I wasn’t in her position. But still, I didn’t want to see someone overworking themselves for something like this.
…Especially if that someone was the best friend of my girlfriend, and also my own friend.
“It’s just a school event, huh? …That’s a horrible way to put it, but it sounds like something you’d say, Maki-kun.”
“Well, Umi and I had to put up with your antics last year, so I don’t want anyone to suffer through what we went through.”
“E-Eh?! R-Really?! I-I saw you two doing your best, so I thought that I should go all out too…”
“The end result wasn’t bad, but there were some details that were awful. Because of the revisions, we ran out of cans. We had to make do by using dirty cans we found in the trash cans.”
Amami-san didn’t seem to notice it back then. To her, as long as it followed the sketch somewhat, it would be fine. Thanks to that, we managed to finish it before the deadline.
Even so, to her, it was probably one of her precious memories.
“…Maybe you think that as long as everyone is working together on it, everything will be fine. But you forgot that you can’t expect everyone to push themselves as hard to meet your expectations.”
“Because it’s just a school event, right?”
Even if the end result wasn’t that good and we didn’t end up winning any awards, as long as everyone enjoyed the process, it would become a memorable event for everyone.
After the festival was over, the next year afterwards, after graduation, and later in their lives, they’d be able to look back at the memories fondly.
“Hehe. I see, I understand. I’ll try not to overdo it, Maki-kun. I’ll redo what I did and apologize to everyone later.”
“Mm… Sorry for being meddlesome. I even gave you a long sermon over this…”
“Don’t worry about it. I like this part of you a lot, Maki-kun.”
If it was any other person, they probably wouldn’t take my words well and lash out at me. But this girl thanked me instead.
This was also the case with the rest of my friends, mom, Sora-san, Daichi-san and even Riku-san. Everyone around me accepted this troublesome personality of mine.
I was truly blessed, surrounded with kind people like them.
“Alright, since I don’t want to make you worry about me anymore, I’m going to go home now. I’m hungry. My mom is probably waiting for me too.”
“Ah, why don’t you go back with us? Umi is about to be finished with her work anyway.”
Umi texted me just now. She had already left the council room. We could meet up with her if we were to go back together.
“Nah, I have to pass today. I have a lot of things to do. Besides, I don’t want to intrude on your sweet time together~”
“W-What do you mean our sweet time together?!”
We were just going to walk home together, nothing more. Besides, we were going straight to Umi’s house, we won’t do anything excessive there…
“Anyway, I’m going home now. See you tomorrow, Maki-kun~”
“Alright, see ya–”
“Ah, wait, Maki-kun!”
When we parted ways, Amami-san suddenly approached me and brought her face closer to mine.
“There’s something in your hair.”
“At the end of your bangs… Let me brush it off for you.”
She gently reached for my hair and removed what seemed like dried paints that somehow stuck on my hair.
It had been a while since I saw her face close like this, but she looked as pretty as ever.
Her golden bang swayed left and right and below them were a pair of clear blue eyes. I could see why Nozomu fell over heels for her.
“Alright, all done! Now Umi won’t see your clumsy side~”
“She’s seen it more than enough times… Anyway, thank you.”
“Hehe, don’t mention it~”
After parting ways from Amami-san, who waved at me with a bright smile, I went to the place where Umi was waiting.
When I was waiting for Umi on my own, time went at a snail pace, but when I talked with Amami-san, it passed by quickly.
I sent a text to Umi before walking down the dark hallway.
“Today was rough… I feel like dying… Haha, it sure was…”
I muttered the words that the girls I passed by a while ago said and let out a quiet laugh in the middle of the dark hallway.