Chapter 7:

A Smile Like That (Part 2)

Unconsciously Interested

“Yuyo, would you like a bite of my crepe?” Kyashii happily offered me her snack. She went for a strawberry crepe and a milk tea with a matcha green tea flavor while I indulged in browned cheese waffle and a soda. Unlike her, I am not particularly fond of sweets.

“That doesn’t even seem to be enough for you, so I decline. Thank you very much.” I smiled wryly. She’s aware I’m not fond of sugary confections, so I don’t get why she offers me one.

“Well… I noticed that you were a little less energetic than usual, and sugar helps boost your mood, you know.”

I see... So that’s why. “Point taken.” I replied, ignoring the thought of taking a bite.

“So here you go.” Kyashii handed me her half-eaten crepe.

Uhh…? There are times when I am not even sure if she’s being nice and considerate or if she’s just being pushy.

Haah... Anyway, a little bite isn’t going to hurt. I should be glad she’s concerned instead.

I accepted her crepe and took a small bite. But Kyashii is keeping a close eye on me, making me feel self-conscious, so I immediately give her crepe back. “Thank you.”

“You only had a tiny bite, so it’s fine!” Kyashii smiles sweetly as she munches on her crepe.

I was about to continue with my waffle when I realized I hadn’t offered mine. Since Kyashii offered me her snack, it’s only natural that I should return the favor. “Kyashii, want to try my waffle too?”

Kyashii’s eyes brightened as she nodded repeatedly. “Feed me!” She said, flashing a big grin.

“Huh…?!” What's up with that? “Nope... Eat it yourself!”

“Don’t wanna. You feed me, Yuyo.” Her smile refused to fade.

She really does a fantastic job of being a needy friend. And I'm already anticipating her trump card - the best friend card! “Not happening. Besides, you didn’t feed me, so why would I do it?” I shoved my plate towards her.

“Aww…~ I didn’t realize you wanted me to feed you? You should have told me.” Kyashii teased.

“What?! No…! What I said makes perfect sense. You didn’t feed me, so there’s no reason for me to feed you.” I glared at her.

Jeez! Kyashii has a knack for catching me off guard with my own words. I need to think more carefully about my responses next time.

“There’s a reason behind this, Yuyo. And that’s because I want you to feed me. What’s the harm in feeding your best friend?” She flashed a sneaky smile.

There you have it! She pulled her trump card on me once again.

The best friend card seems to maintain its winning streak since she uses it wisely in her own favor. It seems I’ll need to devise a counterattack against it!

Though, if you think about it, she had a point. The act of feeding your best friend is quite normal. I have seen a lot of people do it.

The problem is I don’t feel comfortable doing it with Kyashii, but I can’t tell her that. Gaah…!

“You better stop pulling out that best friend card on me, you sneaky one. Fine… I’ll do it. Lean forward.” I said with a glare.

Yatta!” The smug Kyashii leaned forward and opened her mouth.

My hand gets tensed when I put a piece of waffle into her mouth. I watch her as she savors it with a triumphant smile. “You’re such a high-maintenance friend.” I sighed.

“Yummy! Thank you, Yuyo!” she ignored my remark.

Shaking my head, I continued eating while watching her constantly smile.

Man… She’s such a handful one.


Having finished our snack, I noticed her lively smile had vanished, as her attention was riveted to the top of my left shoulder.

When I turned around to see what she was staring at, I saw a familiar face approaching us.

“What a pleasure to see both of you here, Shibasaki-san and Mikami-san,” Ezaki-san greeted us warmly as he stood next to our table.

Kyashii just nods and stares relentlessly at Ezaki-san.

“Ezaki-san, hello. What a fortunate coincidence.” I returned his smile. “Are you already out for dinner?” I asked, noting that he was wearing casual clothes.

“Ah… No. I was already here when both of you came in. We couldn’t miss two beauties entering the café, so I just came by to say hello,” he smiled, flitting his eyes between Kyashii and me. It may just be me, but that smile seems a little mysterious to me. “I was with some friends,” he pointed at a group of young men seated catty-corner from us. They wear different uniforms, which is why I didn’t notice earlier that a classmate was there.

“I believe you are referring to a single beauty, and that’s Kyashii.” I reacted to his flattery. “Moreover, I thought you didn’t have friends?” I asked with a grin. I must say, I have no problem teasing this guy.

I heard him laughing softly. “You remembered, huh? So, I don’t have friends at school, but I have some close friends outside of school. Although it is not as close as the friendship you share with Mikami-san here,” he turned to smile at Kyashii.

Kyashii gave Ezaki-san a casual smile, but she’s still staring at him intently.

Hmm, she might be crushing on him? In the same manner, Ezaki-san stares intently back at Kyashii.

Uhh… Has this turned into a staring contest?

Wait… Are they both attracted to each other now?


What an awkward situation this is.

As I was trying to think of something to say, I noticed the time on my phone.

Oops! It’s starting to get late. I still need to get groceries, or else my brother will nag me. “I’m sorry, Ezaki-san, but we need to get going. I still need to make a trip to the grocery store.” My apologies for interrupting your staring contest, guys.

I glanced at Kyashii, who looked as if she had returned to the real world.

“Ohh… I apologize for holding you up. Then, I’ll excuse myself, Shibasaki-san, Mikami-san.”

“It’s fine, really. We’ll catch up at school… Then, see you later, Ezaki-san,” I replied with a smile while taking Kyashii’s hand since her movement seemed too slow. I had to hurry.

“Of course,” Ezaki-san cast a quick glance at my hand holding Kyashii’s before he turned to face her and smiled. Kyashii followed suit.

Yep, it seems they’re into each other.

There’s no doubt that they’ll make a perfect match, given that Kyashii is quite beautiful and Ezaki-san is pretty handsome.

“. . . .”

However… Uhh…

I think something is wrong with me.

The thought of Kyashii and Ezaki-san as a couple saddens me!

Urgh…! What gives? I’m really weird!

Nah… Wait… I’m not weird.

I’m sure there’s a reason for this unwarranted feeling. Let’s be rational about it. Once Kyashii gets a boyfriend, she won’t bother me to hang out with her as much as she does now, which I find rather disheartening.

Sure, she can be a handful sometimes, but I’m already used to her excessively insistent nature. Dealing with her pushy behavior is almost second nature to me.

So, that might be the case, right?

Yeah… That’s why I’m feeling murky.


This really gets on my nerves since matching up friends is supposed to be fun. I feel like I’m violating some sort of moral code here.

“Yuyo?” Kyashii waves her hand across my face as we walk out of the café.


“You’re lost in thought. What’s on your mind?” Kyashii looked into my eyes with a grave expression on her face. “Or maybe I should ask who?”

“Huh??!” I was totally caught off guard by that question.



“Aahh… I was just thinking of something about Ezaki-san, ha-ha! Nothing important.” I chuckled awkwardly. I have no plans on telling her that I’m thinking of pairing her up with someone else. “Anyway, it’s getting late. You’d better go home. I’ll go grocery shopping by myself.” Let’s quickly move on to something else so that we don’t have to get into romantic stuff about Kyashii and Ezaki-san.

“What is with Ezaki-san? Do you like him?” Kyashii asked, she's looking stern.

Sheesh… I guess she's not yet done with that matter, huh?

"What do you mean by like? Personality-wise?"

“In a romantic sense,” she said in a flat tone.

I laughed out of surprise as my arms crossed in rejection. “Hahaha! No! Where did you get that? You’re talking about things that aren’t in my realm yet, and you know that.” But Kyashii didn’t seem amused by my response. “Err... Umm… Alright. It’s a no. I don’t like him that way.” I calmly reaffirmed.

Is it just me, or does Kyashii look a bit menacing right now?

“Could you then tell me why you’re thinking about Ezaki-san?” Kyashii asked with a dead-serious expression on her face.

Ah-re? My senses seem to pick up an ominous aura emanating from her.

Hmm...I wonder if she sees me as a potential rival for Ezaki-san?

Ohh…! Of course! That’s it!

Perhaps that’s what she was thinking, which explains her expression. Okay... Let’s get this straight before it gets out of hand. There is no way I want Kyashii to view me in a bad light, let alone as a rival in her romantic life! It’s the last thing I want her to think of me.

“Kyashii-chan~,” I took Kyashii’s hands in mine so she could feel the sincerity of my words. It made her flinch a bit, as she looked at my hands in confusion. She must understand that I’m not a rival for her affection for Ezaki-san.

“What?” she's staring at me with a cold glare.

Does she really regard me as a rival?

Urgh… What a pain. Allow me to set the record straight.

With a sincere smile, I clasped Kyashii’s hands and focused my gaze on her eyes. “Kyashii-chan, I don’t have a romantic interest in Ezaki-san, so don’t worry about it. I don’t think there’s a rivalry in those deep feelings you may have for someone. Your feelings don’t get in the way of anything, okay?”

“Ahh…?! Uhh... We-well, I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying, but I think I’m getting the gist of it,” Kyashii mumbled with a bashful smile.

That’s a cute smile. I love it.

So, I’m guessing the coast is now clear? She doesn’t seem to see me as a rival anymore, does she? “I’m glad.” I tried to release Kyashii from my grasp, but she just gripped mine tightly instead. “Anyway, I wanted to ask you something, and I hope you don’t mind.”

I’m a tad fidgety, but I’m curious.

“What is it?”

“Ahh, right, y-you know, since I’m your best friend– Err...” Ohh, just great…! My subconscious also pulled out the best friend card!

Now that I think about it, isn’t this card really handy?

Kyashii is staring at me, paying attention to whatever I have to say.

“We-Well, it’s just that I’m curious if you have someone you like that way?” I tried to sound natural, but I’m really mortified by my own question! Not that I have any interest in romance; I just wanted to know since it’s Kyashii.

Kyashii’s hand grew stiff in response to my question. It felt as though her fingers were crushing mine. I gazed at her intently but she avoided eye contact with me as I awaited her response.

I think I already know the answer from the way she’s reacting. Maybe she’s just embarrassed enough to confide in me.

“Uhm… I think, I really li-like so-someone,” she faltered, almost tripping over her own words, but I managed to catch it this time.

Although I already knew the answer, hearing her say it made me feel strange.

How do I describe this feeling? Am I feeling dejected? Disheartened? If so, for what reason? It's pretty common in our age to have crushes on others.

“. . . .”

On second thought, it could be that I am feeling this way because I think there's a possibility that Kyashii may get herself a boyfriend soon. In this regard, I feel like the day won't be far off when I don't have to deal with her pushiness anymore.

And that's a sad thing because I will certainly miss her.

I smiled bitterly as I pondered the thoughts racing through my head.

This is not how I should react. Instead, I should be happy for Kyashii. As her friend, I can't let my selfish interests get in the way. I want to support her in whatever she desires in life, especially those that lead to her happiness. When it comes down to it, all that really matters is that she’s happy.

“That’s awesome, Kyashii...” I gently squeeze her palm against my hand.

She peered into my eyes as if she was looking for unspoken words. Is there anything more she wants to hear from me? Hmm…?

Ohh…! Of course, there is!

I must cheer on her.

“I really hope you end up with that person, Kyashii.” I flashed her a gentle smile.

Suddenly, Kyashii’s cheeks turned bright crimson.

Oh boy, she’s really into that person, isn’t she?

“A-ahh… Y-yeah. T-Thank you, Yuyo. I hope so as well.” she looked down, embarrassed.

She’s really adorable. I like seeing this side of her. It might be best to enjoy this while I still can because she’ll soon show someone else this side of her. “Heeh… Young maidens in love sure are adorable.” I teased Kyashii.

Someone you like, huh?

Maybe someday there will be a time when I will also have someone to like that way.

However, how will I know that I feel for someone that way if that time comes? I find it amazing when people, like Kyashii, understand that they have feelings for someone in a romantic sense. The thing I don’t understand is how they arrived at such a conclusion in the first place.


“. . . .”

Welp! Forget it… No matter what, it won't happen anytime soon.

“Anyway, it’s getting late. You should get home, Kyashii. Let me walk you to your station.”

“Uhmm…” Kyashii simply nodded as we walked towards the train station with our fingers interlocked.

-End of Chapter 1-