A Neat and Pretty Girl at My New School Was a Childhood Friend Whom I Used to Think That She Was a Boy and Played With Her (WN) - Chapter 22
The school building in the late afternoon, the sound of PE on the ground, the early summer sun shining through the window.
Hayato was in the middle of an ancient literature class when his mind relaxed and sleepiness took over him.
He, too, had soon fallen asleep. But suddenly, a folded notepad came flying in front of him.
Hayato could only think of one person who would do such a thing. Sure enough, he looked over to the seat next to him and saw Haruki’s face, smiling at him with a mischievous look in her eyes.
The way she glanced at him, it seemed she wanted him to read the contents of the note.
“Meet me at my place after school! Himeko-chan is coming, help me!”
Hayato read the contents and tilted his head.
It’s fine for him to visit Haruki’s house, he’s been there often and it’s a regular thing.
He could understand why Himeko would be there; she and Haruki had known each other since childhood, and they seemed to have had a great conversation last night.
But the “Help me!” part wasn’t clear to him.
He looked at Haruki to see what she meant, but she just made a troubled face and raised one hand as if to worship him.
Not knowing what to say, Hayato wrote a reply on a piece of note paper and threw it back, being careful not to be seen.
“I don’t get it when you said you wanted help. Did you have a fight with Himeko?”
Haruki saw Hayato’s note and immediately wrote a reply and threw it to him, and Hayato immediately wrote a reply and threw it to Haruki.
In the early afternoon, during a somewhat sleepy class, Hayato and Haruki repeat this secretive exchange.
“To tell you the truth, Himeko-chan found out that I don’t have a single skirt for my casual clothes, and she scolded me a lot.”
“That’s just like Haruki, or is there something wrong with that?”
“She decided to come over and check things out, but do you think I’m capable of the kind of cackling conversation that requires girl power?”
“That’s… of course not. In fact, I think it would be more fun to talk about how to make charcoal at a barbecue.”
“Right? I’m curious about that, but I want to have a barbecue! Ugh, you need a big place like the ones in the countryside to do that.”
“Ah, you have to make the coals stand up in a cylindrical shape so that the air can spread easily.”
“Hee~! Ah, is the meat still all boar and deer?”
“It depends on who’s caught in the traps we set for raiding the fields, but there are a lot of boars. Other than that, there’s also badgers―”
For Hayato and Haruki, it was fun to talk about such trivial things.
However, while they were getting excited, they were also becoming less cautious of the eyes around them.
“Nikaido, what’s wrong with Kirishima for a while now?”
The teacher’s voice brought the two of them back to their senses, and their shoulders jerked involuntarily.
Looking at the surroundings, it seems that they had attracted a lot of attention from other classmates. A few of them seemed to have noticed that there was something going on between Hayato and Haruki. They couldn’t help but be interested.
The two looked at each other, but for a moment, Haruki made a really sorry face and raised her hand.
“Um, Sensei. Kirishima-kun has been acting strangely fidgety for a while now… I thought he might’ve wanted to go to the bathroom…”
“What’s the matter Kirishima, if you want to go, just say so. Go to the bathroom. Also, make sure you go before class next time.”
A burst of laughter spread through the classroom. Some of the boys laughed in secret, saying, “How long have you been holding back?” “What an embarrassing fellow.”
Haruki Nikaido is an honor student who is popular for her neatness and dainty, literary and military qualities. No one doubts her words.
(This person just used me as an excuse!)
When Hayato looked at Haruki, his face dyed with shame, she closed one eye and showed him the tip of her pink tongue.
“(Damn, you definitely owe me one!)”
Unable to argue with this trend of holding out for the bathroom, Hayato made his way to the bathroom with a red face, as if he had been holding out for the bathroom until the last minute.
A chime rang, signaling the end of the school day.
As if on cue, the entire school building began to buzz, and the bustle returned from every classroom.
Everyone, freed from the boredom of their classes, talked about their plans for after school and called out to the people they wanted to see.
“Um, I’m sorry. I have an appointment with a friend today.”
It was the kind of refusal you could hear anywhere.
But the mere fact that it was Haruki Nikaido who said it caused an uproar around them.
“Nikaido-san promised her friend… but who?”
“I don’t imagine she’s hanging out with anyone…”
“Isn’t that the childhood friend she mentioned this morning?”
Such voices can be heard here and there.
(It’s sure tough being popular.)
Hayato watched them whispering to each other as he left his seat, planning to head home separately from Haruki.
A mere transfer student and a popular beautiful girl, they should have no more contact than sitting next to each other, and this should be the normal flow.
As he walked up to the gate, he heard a voice that was attracting attention in a different way.
“Who’s that girl, that uniform is from a nearby middle school, right?”
“Isn’t she pretty!? I was in the same middle school as her, but I’m sure I’d remember her if she was that pretty.”
“What’s a middle schooler doing here… could she be waiting for her boyfriend?”
“A girl of that level is coming to pick me up… What kind of guy is he? I want to see his face!”
Hayato also wondered what was going on and saw that it was someone he knew well. It was his little sister. It was Himeko.
She was exposed to the curious eyes of a number of people she rarely saw in Tsukinose in the countryside, and she was almost crying halfway through, scurrying around as if she was nowhere to be found.
(Himeko, she wasn’t thinking about getting attention…)
Hayato looked at his younger sister’s disappointing appearance, pressed his temples and let out a sigh.
The way she was waiting for someone who was anxious was nothing more than a little sister who was acting suspiciously to Hayato, but to the people around her, it looked like she was anxious, but also healthy and anxious to see if anyone would come.
As soon as the frightened little animal spotted the person she was looking for, she ran up to him with all vigor like a puppy wagging its tail when it found its owner.
Himeko ran up to Haruki and took her arm forcefully, as if she didn’t care about Haruki’s situation, and urged her to hurry up and go.
For Himeko, all she wants is to get out of here as soon as possible, but for those around her, she is the girl who pulls the arm of Haruki Nikaido in a friendly manner.
Himeko had also put a lot of effort into her hair and makeup, even in her school uniform, since she was coming to high school. The two of them looked as good as they did when they stood side by side. “Who’s that girl?” “Isn’t she high level?” “I heard from a guy in the same class as her say that they were childhood friends who just met again,” whispering to one another, attracting more and more attention and making him feel uncomfortable.
Hayato watched them walk away with the whispers around him, and walked to Haruki’s house a little later. For some reason, his heart was in turmoil.
His face was tinted with a color that was somewhat unexplained.
Curling clouds covered the early summer sun that was still asserting itself high in the sky.