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 25
It was a 20-minute walk from the apartment.
Unlike in the countryside of Tsukinose, the school is not lumped together with the elementary school, and instead of a one-story wooden building, it is a three-story reinforced concrete building. That was the middle school Himeko attended.
The school uniform is not the wild jumper skirt of the past, but a cute checkered skirt and sailor uniform with the same pattern on the collar, which she loves.
Himeko was a beautiful girl, even in this urban school.
Her eyes are bright and sassy, her hair is wavy and loose, and her figure is not bad at all, except for a few parts that she expects to grow in the future.
As a transfer student, she was very popular and attracted a lot of attention.
When Himeko ran into the classroom on the verge of being late and let out a sad sigh, “Haa~…” it was very noticeable.
A classmate of hers, Honoka Torikai, who has quickly become a good friend of Himeko, comes over to talk to her.
“Himeko-chan, what’s with the sigh… Did something happen?”
“Ah, yes, a little.”
“Did you get upset because the TV broadcast date was off again?”
“I made a fuss about missing a week, but I’m fine now.”
“Like not being able to find the wooden telegraph pole?”
“I think I’m getting used to it.”
“Like the fact that you didn’t see any dead frogs or lizards on the road today?”
“I really don’t see any― but then again, I’m not a countryside bumpkin!”
“Ahaha, that’s true.”
Himeko’s face turned bright red and she stood up to deny it desperately, but Honoka Torikai and everyone around her watched her smilingly.
Himeko tries to hide the fact that she is from the countryside, but on her first day at the new school, her disappointment is exposed when she is surprised to find out that there are no coin-operated rice mills, and she doesn’t know the concept of private railways.
Since then, she has become a mascot to be teased. Incidentally, Himeko herself thinks that she hasn’t been exposed as a country bumpkin yet.
“So, what’s the matter? Was there something that surprised you about the difference from your old place?”
“Yeah, something like that. Not things this time, but people.”
“An old friend of Onii’s. I hadn’t seen her in a few years, and she’d changed so much that it was kind of bothering me.”
“What was she like?”
“Well, she used to be the kind of bad boy who ran around the fields and mountains with Onii, who liked to play pranks, who got angry a lot, and who still cared about me and took care of me, but now she looks like an honor student.”
“Fuun~… you liked her?”
“Ah… yeah, maybe. Did I really like her?”
These words fell into Himeko’s heart.
It was a vague, faint feeling unique to a young child. It was a vague feeling that she hesitated to call her first love. Still, when she applied the word “love” to it, she felt them subside.
She must have liked her. She doesn’t know what kind of feeling that is. But Himeko did like Haruki, even though she thought of her as a boy.
But even if it was a genuine feeling, Himeko’s feelings would never come true.
A sweet, sad pain throbbed in her chest. Unbeknownst to Himeko, her hand was resting on her thin chest.
“That’s not fair.”
When she met her again, her childhood friend had changed into something she had never imagined. There was no trace of the bad boy, and even though she was from the same gender, she looked so innocent and pretty that it made her sigh.
However, when she saw him standing next to her brother as what he had done in the past, she couldn’t help but feel a sense of injustice.
When Honoka Torikai saw Himeko muttering sadly, she did not feel like making fun of her.
Rather, the romantic maiden sensor in her reacted vigorously, making her want to meddle. The rest of the girls in the class seemed to agree, and one by one they gathered around Himeko.
“Kirishima-san, tell us more about that person!
“Do you have any stories that tell us more about this person!?”
“How do you feel about that person now!?”
“That’s the thing, if you don’t tell her how you feel, you’ll regret it later!”
“Eh, umm, uh…regret, later…”
In the countryside of Tsukinose, Himeko had never experienced being surrounded by girls her own age, so she was swarmed by them all at once, and they would call out to her in turn, making her look around.
However, there was one word that she couldn’t miss hearing.
There was one thing that Himeko regretted terribly.
Tsukinose’s best friend in the countryside, and the only one of her generation. She was the girl she had grown up with.
Because of the sudden move, she hadn’t been able to tell her until right before she left.
“I wish you had told me sooner! I wanted to do more with Hime-chan, and I still have a lot to do with Onii-san too…”
It was a sobbing fit. She had a hard time quieting down. In the end, they cried and screamed together.
She laughed and forgave her, and they were still in touch, but the physical distance was still unmanageable.
For some reason, Saki and Hayato remained awkward for a long time, and they ended up moving out of the house with that awkwardness still intact.
When Himeko thought about Saki, she felt even more regret.
(Saki-chan, it seems like she still cares about Onii.)
When she thought about it, Himeko felt that she couldn’t stay like this, she had to do something. Then she slapped her cheeks and stood up.
“All right, I’ll do my best! First of all, I’m going to talk to Haru-chan and get to know her! We’ll be best friends!”
And then she raised her fist in the air, and Honoka Torikai and the others around her shouted, “‘Ooohhhh,'” and clapped their hands. These girls had the eyes of predators who had found their prey.
“Yeah, yeah, let’s talk about the future, Himeko-kun.”
“Why don’t you tell your Onee-sans more about it? We’ll help you.”
“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had to have a meeting over tapioca.”
“So, a tapioca meeting now? Isn’t there anywhere that sells it anymore?”
“Oh, umm, that… tapioca!? Tapioca is all the craze now!? No way, I want to try it!”
The season for tapioca has long passed. Even though it was just a joke, Himeko had a good ear for it.
In the countryside, fashions are slow to catch up― and Himeko was the perfect example of this.
“Yes, yes, that’s exactly what Kirishima-san is.”
“All right, Onee-san will buy you a drink!”
“Himeko-chan, stay as you are, okay?”
“Eh? Huh, everyone?”
Himeko was confused by the reactions of those around her.
The faces in the classroom were kind and smiling. Some of them were even shaking their shoulders and holding back their laughter.
In this way, Himeko further established her position as the class mascot.
Translator’s Afterword: Welp, that turned out sad all of a sudden. Alexa, please play some despacito.