“…By the looks of it, you had a good time yesterday.”
It was the day after Amane’s birthday, and he got teased by Itsuki at school.
It appeared Mahiru had some matter to deal with at the staff room, so Amane entered the classroom alone, only to be welcomed by a smirking Itsuki. Incidentally, Chitose hadn’t arrived at school yet.
“Don’t make it sound like there’s something else to that. It’s just a normal celebration.”
“Again with that?”
“Just joking. Well, glad to hear that Shiina-san’s preparations went well.”
Itsuki patted Amane on the shoulder to calm him down, and nodded as though he had seen through everything. Amane couldn’t reproach him for anything, so he grumbled a little, and sighed.
“…Thanks for helping out Mahiru.”
“Well, I didn’t do anything at all. If anything, Chii and Kido-san were the ones who chipped in more, like advice or help and such.”
“And you helped cover up for them. Thanks for that.”
“Well, it’s a rare chance for a surprise anyway. Looks like you really enjoyed your birthday, and that’s great. Anyway, happy birthday.”
Itsuki, the most caring person, smiled and patted him on the shoulder again as if it was nothing. Amane bit his lips that were losing control due to joy and embarrassment, “…Yeah.” and replied softly.
Later, he would have to thank Chitose who had yet to arrive. It was likely Mahiru had consulted with her quite a bit.
He was really overjoyed in many ways that he had a friend willing to celebrate his birthday, but a classmate, upon hearing that, suddenly came over,
“Eh, it’s Fujimiya-kun’s birthday?”
“Actually, it’s yesterday.”
Once Itsuki affirmed, “Eh~!?” the classmate squealed loudly and stared at Amane.
“Why didn’t you say so? Shiina-san and the others didn’t say anything. I didn’t know at all!”
“Well, it was a surprise or something.…”
“I see. But it’s just weird that they didn’t tell us…I don’t have anything with me today…is juice fine?”
“I’ll give you this candy then. It’s limited edition.”
“Don’t do it. That’s a bad idea.”
“What’s wrong with you!? This wonderful taste is addictive!”
“Your taste buds are wonky.”
Amane was very perturbed by the classmates who seemed to have overheard, and Itsuki just smiled and whispered, “They’re all friendly, just accept them.”
Ever since he decided to change himself before everyone, Amane felt that he had become a little closer to his classmates…but it was the first time they openly went up to congratulate him, and his heart felt warm and fuzzy.
If he had remained clammed up and avoided getting involved with people, he wouldn’t be surrounded by people like this now.
“…Erm, thanks everyone. I’m really glad.”
The classmates around Amane smiled brightly as he thanked them in a voice that couldn’t hide his embarrassment, and once again, he muttered a small “thank you”.