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 40
- See you tomorrow.
It was the night after Haruki’s sleepover. After having dinner at Hayato’s house as usual, she went home with the lights off.
She never failed to say, “I’m home,” even though she knew she wouldn’t get a reply back. It was like a kind of ritual or a habit.
Sure enough, Haruki’s voice was just sucked into the darkness, and there was no one to blame, even though yesterday was just an unauthorized night out.
She muttered something small like that.
It was obvious. She even laughed to herself.
Haruki had always hated this moment.
It’s a process that confirms that you’re alone after all, even if you’re a good girl.
But today, for some reason, she felt a stirring in her heart.
She remembered what happened at Hayato’s house, the place where she had just been yesterday.
Today, Hayato and Haruki were about an hour late because she had to help out with the various committees and so on.
『Excuse me…』 [PRN: These lines were from yesterday/past]
It was the first time for her to visit alone, so she was slightly nervous and her voice trembled.
『Ah, welcome back.』
What came back were the voices of Hayato, who seemed somewhat unhappy, and Himeko, who was lazily melting on the sofa.
This was not a welcoming attitude.
Hayato, in particular, seemed to be sulking, partly because Haruki made fun of him with her photo prank that morning.
But the reason why Haruki had done that was because she thought it was natural for her to do that since they’ve known each other for a long time.
That’s why Haruki was aware of her own mouth loosening up.
『Mou~, I’m sorry, Hayato. I’ll be helping you, so what should I do? What would it be today? Meat?』
『Shogayaki, grate that down for me. Man, I really had a rough time this morning.』
[TL/N: Shogayaki means grilled ginger (Shoga = ginger, yaki = grill or fry). It was mostly paired with pork (beef is also good but pork is popular). Shogayaki is the second most popular food in Japan (first is Tonkatsu). I wish I could eat this someday.]
『Hey, what, what? Did something interesting happen?』
『Hmm, it feels like Hayato really loves Hime-chan?』
『Please give me a break…』
At first, Hayato was blunt and grumpy, but as they talked, he seemed to have no choice but to start laughing.
When Haruki thought about it, she had countless fights with him over the past years.
They’ve made up more times than she can count.
That’s why she always finds herself smiling when she’s with them.
(It’s been fun today.)
Remembering this, Haruki stared at the dark hallway in front of her.
No matter what Haruki does, she can’t help but compare it to her best friend’s house from earlier.
Once again, she muttered quietly.
The result was the same, the voice was only sucked into the darkness, the same as before.
It was the same thing as usual. However, Haruki couldn’t shake the strange feeling of discomfort that had arisen within her.
Not only that, but she could feel a chill spreading through her heart.
Ridiculous. This is just a misunderstanding or something.
Haruki told herself this as she left her bag at the door and headed directly to the bathroom.
She was in a good mood just this morning.
She decided to take a hot shower to wash away her mopey mood.
But instead of washing away the hollow feeling that had formed in her chest, it only enhanced the feeling of a gaping hole of emptiness.
In the end, she ended up taking a longer shower than usual that day.
After finishing her shower, Haruki, with her hair still damp, retrieved her bag and headed back to her room.
This morning, she came to change into her uniform, and her summer dress that was still undressed on her bed.
And when she saw it, she couldn’t help but remember what happened yesterday, as her chest quickly tightened up.
At the same time, Haruki had some thoughts about this room.
(Huh, I didn’t know my room was this big in the first place…)
The room was still the same size as yesterday, about six tatami mats.
But she doesn’t know why she thought of that obvious info.
That was also the discomfort that Haruki was feeling.
Feeling somewhat unsettled, Haruki spread out her textbooks on her desk and went through her assignments and review, as if it was her usual routine.
By nature, Haruki is not particularly fond of studying.
It just came naturally to her because of the obsession that she had to do it for the sake of being a good girl… and the thought that she didn’t have to think about anything else while she was cramming her mind with studies.
[TL/N: Ah yes, typical Asian parents be like.]
But today, she felt restless even when she was at her desk. So she booted up the game console instead, or started the plastic model she was working on, but she didn’t feel like doing it.
There was something swirling in her mind that could be called emptiness or craving, something that she couldn’t seem to put into words, and she was confused by it.
At that moment, Haruki’s phone announced a notification.
The number of contacts that Haruki had registered was surprisingly small, so it was natural that the number of people she can get in touch with is limited.
Haruki picked up her phone as if she had been playing, and quickly checked her messages.
『Do you have any requests for tomorrow’s dinner?』[PRN: Messages through phone using this format from here.]
The message that came was from Hayato.
Haruki’s face quickly changed into a smile as she heard the words that sounded so simple, but which made her believe that she would naturally come back tomorrow. Even though it hadn’t been that long since they’d parted, she couldn’t help but want to hear his voice again.
『Oh, you surprised me!』
“I thought it would be faster to talk about it. I’m fine about anything.”
『Hmm, that’s the worst part. It’s pretty hard to think of anything every day.』
“Oh, I see. It’s been so hot lately, so I think I’d like something light and refreshing. Also, I’ve been eating too much meat, so I’ll have fish for dinner!”
『Something refreshing with fish. Let’s see what I can find.』
“Yes, thank you.”
This was the beginning of their chatting.
They started talking about dinner, that morning’s prank incident, school work, how they spend their time together, and so on.
But Haruki enjoyed talking about it so much that her heart was so full of joy that she forgot about time and became absorbed in it. It was as if she was filling in the gaps of seven years.
『I’m sorry. I’ve got to go in, too, since Himeko said she’s finished bathing.』
“Haha, it’s been so hot today, you’ll smell like sweat if you don’t go in.”
『Right. I’ll see you tomorrow at school. Bye…』
“Yeah, see you tomorrow…”
The number 15 minutes and 23 seconds appeared on the screen of her phone after she hung up the call, indicating the duration of the call they had.
Only 15 minutes. But 15 minutes was enough to change Haruki’s heart.
Unlike in the past, right now she can always hear his voice and talk to him.
When she thought about it, Haruki had noticed that the anxiety and the gaping hole in her heart that had been there until then had disappeared before she knew it.
Haruki, who somehow thought that it was Hayato’s fault for turning her into this state, frowned regretfully with a smile on her face.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She muttered quietly into her phone.
Still, the smile was back right again on this maiden’s face.
It was more like an extra, or a quiet story.
This is the end of chapter 1 completely. Chapter 2 will start next time
Proofreader’s Note: Welp, reading this chapter was sad. Also, what the author meant by Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 were volumes. So yes, this chapter is the last for Volume 1. Finally Matsu finished the backlogs for this series kekw. Waiting game again for Galado to finish a new one.