“Hey~hey~Amane, lend me the Angel, will ya?”
Chitose called in after dinner.
Usually, they would contact each other through app, but for some reason, she called Amane, asking the latter about Mahiru. He had no idea what she was planning.
She said to lend her, but Mahiru was not Amane’s belonging. Chitose should have asked her directly.
“Don’t ask me, ask Shiina.”
“She’s next to you now, right?”
“Then ask her if she wants to go out with me tomorrow.”
“Ask her yourself.”
She doesn’t have the number? He wondered, but he remembered then that during Christmas, Chitose was fully focused on teasing Mahiru, and did not have time for that.
And also, Amane would surely have Mahiru’s contact, and was often with her. It was to be expected why he was contacted.
Chitose’s thought process was understandable, but he wanted to tell her that he was not a mail pigeon.
In any case, it would better for Mahiru to discuss this instead, so he thought as he handed the phone to an incredulous looking Mahiru next to him. “Chitose wants to talk to you.” So he said, and slumped into the sofa.
Mahiru looked a little perturbed, but she obediently brought the phone to her ear.
“I am taking over…eh, tomorrow? Y-yes, I have no special arrangements…”
It seemed Mahiru was taken aback by Chitose’s sudden rapid fire talk, and he could only watch her perturbed look with a wry smile.
She did not seem impatient, but was taken aback by the sudden suggestion, hapless, not knowing what to do.
She glanced aside to him, “Just see what you want. She wants to go out with you, not me” he answered.
Mahiru would go out with her friends once in a while, but her priority was to return home and prepare dinner hours later.
He thought she should have a break once in a while, leaving aside whether she would be getting a break going out with Chitose.
“Y-yes…erm, I will like to accept this invitation…”
She might have made up her mind after hearing Amane’s words. When she answered Chitose, he could hear the latter go “Alrighty!” over the phone, and Mahiru instinctively pulled the phone away from her ear.
He chuckled in amazement as how Chitose was being all enthusiastic, and met Mahiru in the eyes
She looked a little worried, but her lips still showed a smile of relief and joy.
Once Chitose had quieted down somewhat, Mahiru picked up the smartphone, and started talking.
She was smiling as she talked, and Amane too smiled as he looked at her.
“Thank you very much. I shall return this to you.”
She ended the call, and carefully returned the smartphone to him.
It seemed they had made plans, and she would be dragged somewhere by Chitose.
“That was sudden, wasn’t it? That’s basically Chitose.”
“W-well, that shocked me.”
“She’s not a bad person, just a little too forceful.”
Though he felt the ‘a little’ might be understating it, he gave her a mild appraisal. She definitely was not a bad person, just a little pushy.
Mahiru might have understood the personality well as she gave a wry smile, but luckily, she did not seem annoyed by that. It was a little tragic that while she was the girlfriend of his own close friend, he just could not get along with her, even though it was common.
“You don’t have to worry about me tomorrow. Just go enjoy yourself.”
While he wanted her to enjoy it, he had to remind her of something.
“If she sexually harasses you, just punch her without worrying about it. That one’s just like my mom; she likes cute, pretty things, so she probably will want to touch you all over since you’re so pretty.”
They managed to stop her the last time, but Chitose really liked cute things.
He had Chitose’s keen eyesight assist him for Mahiru’s birthday, but he was uneasy about having her remain alone with Mahiru.
Mahiru had the look of an ideal beautiful girl, her cuteness and beauty would garner lots of bystander stares whenever she walked down the streets.
It was imperative for Mahiru to be wary of anyone approaching her, and also Chitose’s demonic clutches.
“Well, you don’t have to do this if you don’t like her, but if you don’t reject her outright, she might just get cocky and harass you, so be careful…what is it?”
“…Nothing at all.”
She pursed her lips, and he found it weird, but she never stated what was on her mind, instead averting her eyes silently.
On the day Mahiru went out with Chitose, Amane was alone at home, finally getting some peace after such a long while.
Mahiru had been by his side frequently, and the only other time he got to be alone was his rest days.
Even then, Mahiru would suggest to cook lunch, and he would accept heartily, so that alone time had decreased further.
He did not hate it, of course…he might even feel at ease, but it was good to have some personal time occasionally.
Though it felt cold next to him.
For some reason, it feels like Mahiru has become completely familiar with me.
He felt it was a given for her to be next to him, but in fact, only a few months passed since their first encounter.
Despite that, it felt like they spent many years together, probably because they had so much compatibility.
They did not interfere with each other too much, shared the same air, and this bit of gap between them was something Amane was very content with.
The troubling thing was that he did not want to let go of this comfort.
I’m really a simpleton.
He felt that while he liked her, there was no such passion between them. As mere neighbors and friends however, he might be too possessive of her.
He liked her more than a friend, and at the same time, he was aware that there was only a little spark in thinking she would be a love interest; he felt an unspeakable itch within him.
If his fondness of Mahiru tilted any more on the balance, he felt there would be no turning back.
Thus, he kept the ignited heat within his heart, burying it.
If he expressed his fondness of her, she would be perturbed, it seemed.
She had expressed some level of fondness to him, but he felt it was not borne out of love. After all, there was no way she could fall for a useless boy like him who kept causing her trouble.
She had appraised him, but he felt there was no way she could fall for him. If he expressed his fondness in the wrong manner, the relationship between them would only be awkward.
He suppressed the throbbing uneasiness in his heart, and silently looked out of the window.
The winter nights came earlier, and there was already a dark veil laid around them.
It was merely past 6, but one could say it was night.
After all, Chitose would not take her out till so late at night, yet he was uneasy about having two pretty high school girls wander alone outdoors when it was dark.
“When are you done?”
He messaged Chitose, who would always have the smartphone with her, “We’re going to say bye bye soon” and received this instant reply.
It seemed Chitose too did not intend to stay outdoors for too long after school, so Amane asked when they would arrive at the station, stood up from the sofa, and went to the basin.
I still have some wax from the other day.
He was rather unwilling, but he would be meeting Mahiru, and had no choice.
He really did not want to do this, but his parents taught him how the tricks to increase his charm. At the very least, he could replicate the hairstyle from back then, somewhat.
He looked into the mirror, and saw his usual gloomy self.
So he took the wax, and personally changed the usually boorish, gloomy looking self with his own hands.