Author: Noritake Tao (Author of Complete Novice)
Illustrator: Chiba Sadoru
“P-p-p-please go out with me!”
On our way back home.
I found myself saying this before I knew it, and as I was overly anxious, my voice was shivering so much, I felt like dying.
But I had to say this.
It was 3 years of admiration. 3 years ago, she transferred to a place far away, and I was unable to convey my feelings for her.
But now, it’s a miracle that she has returned back to our class.
And I never expected that I could be alone with her at the bus station leading home. I had been waiting for a chance to be alone with her, so surely, I wouldn’t let go of this rare chance.
“Is this what they call a confession?”
She did her best to remain calm in the face of my confession.
She didn’t look flustered or awkward in any way.
Was I being too reckless? Just when I was beginning to feel uneasy—
“Hm, is that so? Then, I want to do something…”
She calmly declared,
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to interview you to see whether I should go out with you.”
I started to panic.
Interview? What’s going on here? This is getting too weird. It’s too unexpected that my thoughts couldn’t catch up.
But this idea got me nostalgic, so I agreed. She’s been a weird girl for quite a while. When she was in elementary school, she would be saying all kinds of things like “An orange includes the core, right? Or does it include the tassel?” “why does this flower have to be called the Morning Glory?’ “whether a banana is a snack or not has to be confirmed against the calories for every grape sweet, fruit candy or sugar candy’…her curiosity had deviated in a strange direction since young.
“Hm, let’s begin.”
And then, her interview began officially.
This was an extraordinary development, but it’s a chance. I could finally say how much I really want to go out with her.
I merely had enough time until her bus ride arrived. That ride should arrive at 3.47pm…
Thus, it meant that there’s only 3 minutes left.
“Now then, allow me to introduce myself.”
This suddenly went into a completely strange development, and really rattled me.
“…Erm, don’t you know that I’m actually your classmate?”
“No of course I do. We shouldn’t be greeting each other when we meet again, no? And besides, isn’t there’s a chance you may be using a pseudonym in school?”
“That’s impossible! If I’m using one, I’ll be arrested for forging my documents!”
“Hm, that’s logical.”
It’s not about being logical here. That’s how it is.
“…Well, never mind. I’m Hayao Tōgō of class 1-6.”
“Thanks. I’m your interviewer, Riko Akiyama of class 1-6. Nice to meet you.”
She cleared her throat, and stared at me with conviction.
“Please state your motive for asking me out”
This time, my knees wobbled, nearly collapsing in the process.
It’s an interview, yet she’s asking me that question right off the bat!
“It’s not for any special reason, is there?”
“No, that’s not it! I find you cute, Akiyama, with that nice black hair of yours…and you just bonded into our class from the moment your transferred in. You’re good at all kinds of sports for quite a while, and you do say some interesting things. If we’re together, erm, I guess I’ll feel happy…”
My voice trailed off by the time I reached the end of my words. Anyway, I tried raising her good points, but I didn’t see her look embarrassed or delighted in any way.
“I guess it’s really embarrassing to be called cute so directly.”
Really? I find her expression to be as usual.
But I’ve never seen her rattled even in elementary school.
She’s always so calm, always showing that kind of expression. It’s like it wouldn’t change.
“Now then, next question. What can you do when we become lovers.”
This is the so-called ‘what can you offer when you join our company?’ question.
“I-I think, I want to bring you to all kinds of places.”
“Eh, eh? Erm, like a zoo, a theme park, a cinema, and all kinds of things!”
Woah! Even I think my answer’s too ridiculous here. We can go there together even if we aren’t lovers!
But she didn’t think too much into these improper answers.
“I see. I always stay at home during my rest days, so maybe I’ll find something new if I’m dragged out.”
She placed her hand under her chin, giving a pondering look. I didn’t give a bad answer…? No, I can’t use common sense when dealing with her.
And then, she proceeded with the next question.
“Besides me, are there any other girls you asked out?”
“No! I haven’t asked out any other girls other than you!”
“Is that so? Sorry. This question is inappropriate, but I do think that there are quite a few charming girls other than me.”
“It has to be you!”
And once I said that, she widened her eyes.
She then placed her hand under her chin to ponder again…eh? It looks like her eyes are a little frantic when I look at them.
Is she faltering? No no, how’s that possible…?
“…Ahem. I see. Now then, I forgot to ask about your last job—no, how did you go out dating with other girls before this?”
“Th-that’s no such person! I’m as old as the number of years I spent without a girlfriend! I’m breaking that record every day, damn it!”
“Is that so. Fuu…”
“No, I’m not shocked. Well…never mind. Hm, then, now as for the reason why you’re transferring jobs—hm, this question doesn’t seem right either.”
She took a short breath, and said,
“Now then, please describe yourself in any way you wish.”
D-describe myself…!? That’s the toughest part in an employment interview!
Wahhh! This isn’t the time to panic! The public bus’ about to arrive…!
Time ticked by merciless, and my face and brain were sweating.
What should I say?
Like a normal interview, I guess. If she did accept another guy’s confession—
Is there any way I won’t lose to that bastard?
…Actually, I don’t want to know about that.
But do I have to say it?
I have to say it now, right?
There’s no time to be confused on what I have to say!
“I like you!”
These words suddenly came out from my mouth.
“I always liked you! Even before you transferred out before Middle School started! My biggest regret is that I never got to confess to you back then! I kept thinking about you, hoping for a miracle to happen, that you’ll come back! That’s why I confessed to you! I feel that if I don’t do so, you’ll go somewhere far again! I liked you ever since we were in elementary school! People say you’re weird, but I do know that you’re still a good person! The only thing I can tell you is that I like you more than anyone else in the world, but this is the only thing I’m confident that I won’t lose to anyone else at! I like you! I really do! I don’t want to hand you over to someone else! That’s why it has to be you!”
With this impulse driving me, I conveyed everything I thought of.
Silence lingered between us. It should be a few seconds, but I felt it was an eternity.
And during this time, the usual calm expression she showed.
Slowly broke apart.
Her face went beetroot, her eyes swimming about, practically pleading any passer-by for help.
“It’s really embarrassing to hear you state it like this.”
“I-is that so…?”
“But that’s what I want to hear.”
“What you want to hear…?”
“The ‘I like you’.”
She lowered her flushed face. Argh, she’s too cute. What kind of a creature is she?
I never saw this expression of hers even in my elementary school days, and it basically caused me to fall for her again.
And then, she turned her face aside in a fawning manner.
“I-I did like you since back then, and I won’t lose to you in terms of that. I did find it a miracle that we met in the same high school class…though I didn’t have the courage to confess to you.”
“I-Is that so? Th-that isn’t this a mutual love…?”
She lowered her head, nodding firmly.
“Then why did you come up with this interview?”
“I’m happy that I received the confession, but you didn’t say ‘I like you’, right? And besides, I can’t force you to say it…”
Well, it was true that I did say ‘please go out with me’.
Was that why she made it so complicated? I guess this eccentric girl has a feminine side to her.
“It’s great that I managed to say it out.”
“Is the interview over?”
“I-I don’t have to say such a thing now, do I?”
“Eh? But we’re at this point, so let’s go all the way.”
I teased her.
Just then, the public bus arrived.
“This is my answer.”
I was led by her hand, and we boarded the bus together.