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 - Chapter 23
- 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
- Chapter 23 - Living in Solitude
Hayato was alone, heading for Haruki’s house where Himeko had taken her.
The asphalt was covered in flames, and the occasional breeze was lukewarm without a hint of coolness.
Hayato couldn’t decide if it was the uncomfortable weather that was making him feel a little queasy, or if it was just childish jealousy.
He simply moved his feet sluggishly. It was as if he was hesitating to give an answer.
Nevertheless, he eventually arrived at Haruki’s house as he was walking on scorching lands.
It was an ordinary house in a residential area that Hayato had visited several times. It should be.
He was about to press the intercom as usual, but then he remembered Haruki, who had returned to this house the other day as if she had been sucked into the darkness, and somehow he hesitated and stopped.
“…Ah, shit, it’s hot!”
Hayato scratched his head with his hand, as if to cover up something, and pushed the intercom with his momentum.
The doorbell rang out.
After a moment of silence, the door was thrown open with a loud bang.
“Look, Hayato, Hayato’s here! See!?”
“Onii, get Haru-chan!”
Haruki came flying out of the front door like a bullet, and Hayato did as he was told by Himeko and caught her in a hug.
“Kuh, you betrayed me Hayato!”
“I don’t know what’s going on here, but calm down Haruki.”
Hayato was bewildered in many ways.
He had no idea what was going on with Haruki and Himeko, and the fact that he could fit into their arms so much better than in the past, the softness and heat of the arms he grabbed, and the feel of Haruki’s breasts and thighs against his chest as she flailed, left him confused in many ways.
“You can go ahead and take Haruki in, Onii.”
“I’ll kill you!”
There was something strangely powerful about Himeko that made him think it was best not to go against her. It was a contrast to Haruki, who was sagging. She was taken back without saying a word.
However, she seemed to have a lot of time on her hands when she said something like “stick around”. He guessed that this was just another form of messing around.
As Hayato was about to step into the room he had recently become accustomed to visiting, he couldn’t help but take a step back.
The fashion magazines lined up on the desk and the cosmetic products that he had seen in Himeko’s room were spread out in a fashionable space that was just like a girl’s room that boys should stay away from.
No wonder Haruki ran away.
Then, as if to make an example of him, plain and tasteless tacky shirts, shorts and pants were laid out on the bed, and Hayato couldn’t help but look at Haruki’s face.
“Onii, what do you think of those private clothes that are far from fashionable and sexy?”
“That’s a tough look, even for me.”
Haruki couldn’t believe it and looked at Hayato as if she was looking at a traitor, but Hayato looked back at her as if she was looking at a sad creature. This time it was Haruki’s turn to flinch.
Then Hayato and Himeko both started inspecting Haruki’s ruined sense of personal clothing.
“Haru-chan, these are all black, cheap, plain and often worn out, and this shirt doesn’t fit, does it?”
“These are clothes that can get dirty and remind me of the ones I used to wear as a kid.”
“So that thing you were wearing the other day was the result of a miracle…”
“Yeah, it was a miracle…”
Haruki’s tears welled up in her eyes and she sagged as her two childhood siblings gave her a hard time. “Eh, that’s not good enough either?” Haruki even made a faint whimpering sound.
However, Himeko’s eyes looking at Haruki were extremely kind.
“Don’t worry, Haru-chan, even if you don’t want to walk around with me in your old, ruined sense of style, Haru-chan is Haru-chan. I won’t abandon you.”
“I-I’m that bad!?”
Then Himeko gave a refreshing smile, giggled and softly whispered to Haruki.
At first, Haruki was startled by the suddenness of the question, but then her face became more and more serious, and she smiled that mischievous smile she always showed Hayato.
(What in the world… is she brainwashing her?)
Hayato watched the two girls with a dumbfounded look on his face, as if they were playing a different kind of trick.
The way she glanced at Hayato from time to time was something he had seen several times in his childhood.
“―So… What do you think? Doesn’t that sound interesting?”
“Very well, then―”
Himeko nodded her head in satisfaction as Haruki raised her right hand.
With Himeko at the center of the class, a fashion lecture unfolded, using magazines as textbooks.
To be honest, Hayato didn’t understand what was going on, and Haruki didn’t react well either. Even so, Himeko’s lecture went on as if she didn’t care.
(Oh, this is the same as when I was a child.)
When he was a child, he would sometimes get pushed around by the selfish Himeko. When he realized that this was the same scene as then, Hayato couldn’t help but chuckle deep in his throat.
Himeko’s monopoly continued, and Hayato became a nodding machine to the occasional comment, while Haruki became a device that rolled her eyes and blew smoke out of her head.
But when they looked at each other, they were all smiling.
“―That’s all. Ah, I’m so thirsty from all the talking.”
“Well, I haven’t offered you anything. Would you like a cup of tea?”
Haruki got up and headed downstairs to the kitchen.
Hayato let out a big sigh and stretched.
Himeko gave her brother a reproachful look.
“Onii, Haru-chan is indeed Haru-chan, but she’s also a girl, you know?”
“That’s a terrible thing to say.”
“Come on, you should go help her.”
While replying absent-mindedly, Hayato stood up.
He remembered the feeling of Haruki on his arm and other parts of his body when Himeko told him to help her. He also didn’t want his sister to see his face.
As he descended the stairs, he scratched his head to cover up the complicated feelings that were swirling in his chest.
Thinking about it, he had never been in a room other than Haruki’s, but he knew immediately where the kitchen was. The door was slightly open, letting in some light, and it was easy to see.
“Haruki, I’ll help you carry it.”
Haruki’s voice leaked out, and Hayato’s eyes caught a glimpse of what lay behind it.
It was a typical LDK, with the kitchen overlooking the living room.
However, despite the common shape, the living room could not hide its alien atmosphere.
There were stacks of flyers and paper bags scattered about, the shutters were closed even though it was still light, and the furniture was covered in dust despite being very tidy.
It was obvious that the living room hadn’t been used by anyone for a long time.
Returning his gaze to the kitchen, he saw a large number of lunch containers and garbage bags filled with frozen food packaging.
It was an eloquent testament to her current situation.
Hayato’s mouth leaked words that were hard to describe.
But Haruki only smiled in a troubled way.