“Mikami-san, would you like to walk home together with me?” Hana asked at the end of the afternoon class. As it stands, Kyashii will go home all by herself since it’s Monday, a day for Yuyo’s literature club.
“Sure~... I’d love that, Nazumi-san.” Kyashii smiled as she stuffed her things into her bag.
“Ah! W-Wait... Would you like to h-hang out with me instead?”
“Ooh! Why not? I’m down with it. It’s been a while since I hung out after school.”
“Huh? You don’t get to hang out with Shibasaki-san after school?”
“Ehh? No… We only walk home together. Apparently, she has a lot of household duties and schoolwork waiting for her at home, so she’s always been eager to return to her place.”
“Really? That’s a shame… As well as that, I assumed Shibasaki-san isn’t the type to handle household chores.” Hana half-suppressed a laugh.
“My thoughts exactly. The impression she gives off is more like a potato couch with books in hands.” Kyashii giggled. “So, what should we do?”
“How about we grab some food somewhere?”
“Oooh! I like that! Let’s do that.” Kyashii nodded as she rose from her seat.
“Take care, Kyashii... I’ll see you tomorrow.” Kyashii was taken aback by Yuyo’s gentle pat on her head, one that came out of nowhere. “I’ll see you then as well, Nazumi-san.” Yuyo smiled as she swiftly left their classroom through the back door.
“Ahh… And she’s gone….” Kyashii’s tone betrayed a hint of disappointment when she wasn’t able to give a response to Yuyo’s kind regards. “She just popped up out of thin air and was gone in a flash. Hmph!” Nonetheless, the head pat Yuyo gave her before they parted for the day made her feel warm inside.
“Mikami-san, you seem to like Shibasaki-san a lot, right?” Hana smiled as they walked out of the classroom.
“Of course I do! I am best friends with her. What kind of friendship can you have with someone you don’t like? Oh... And I also like you, Nazumi-san.” Kyashii smiled innocently at Hana.
Hana chuckled while keeping a smile on her face. “I appreciate that, Mikami-san. I feel the same way.”
“Ahh… Why not just call me Kyashii, and I’ll call you Hana? We can relax our formalities now that we’re hanging out. Does that sound okay?”
“S-Sure… I wouldn’t mind at all.”
“It’s Hana then. So, where to?” Kyashii asked as they strolled up to their lockers.
“How about visiting the shopping district?”
“Ohh. Yeah, sure... A lot of— Uuhh...” Another stack of love letters fell on the floor as Kyashii opened her locker. “Gaah... A new round of love notes. I don’t even answer any of it, so why does it keep coming? Gosh!”
“This seems a real struggle for attractive girls, isn’t it? Boys can’t help but be attracted to you since you’re so pretty, Kyashii.”
“Thank you for that, Hana. But I have no desire to respond to any of these. I feel bad for the trees that had to go down to make these papers that I ended up throwing away. Haah…” Kyashii exhaled a long sigh.
Hana laughs. “Oh, so that’s what concerns you? Mmm... Are you still not interested in getting with someone at the moment?”
“Yeah... I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
“Why not? You’re not even remotely interested in finding a boyfriend just yet?”
“Umm... It’s just that at this point, I don’t feel a need for a boyfriend. Things are pretty good for me right now. Plus, Yuyo has no interest in romance. So, I’m fine. Spending time with her would be more enjoyable than going on dates.” Kyashii smiled.
“Mmm… Isn’t that a lot like going on a series of dates with your best friend?”
“Almost, but it’s more like hanging out with a best friend. Ooh~... I forgot to let you know that I invited her to hang out with me this weekend.” Kyashii told Hana with excitement.
“Oooh... Are you two going somewhere?”
“Yes! Thanks to the leaflets distributed on sidewalks, I stumbled upon a beautiful botanical garden. It looks stunning in the pictures. Then the idea of going with Yuyo just came to me. Surprisingly, that jerk agreed even though she bullied me right away after saying yes. Hmph!”
“Ohh... Well, that’s great, Kyashii. But wait... Mmm... You were saying the moment you saw the place, your mind went straight to Shibasaki-san, right?”
“That’s right... I thought it would be nice to show her that fascinating place. Since Yuyo’s interests are mostly indoors, it’s unlikely that she’s much of an outdoor person. So I’m hoping dragging her outside sometimes will be a refreshing change of pace for her as well.”
“Wooah... That’s very thoughtful of you, Kyashii. Is Shibasaki-san the first person you think of when you want to try something new, or anything along those lines?”
“Umm… Quite a bit, actually. For instance, the other day, my hair was trimmed and treated, and I was hoping that she would notice and flatter me, but hmmph.…. As expected, she doesn’t say anything about it!” Kyashii pouted. “Honestly, the last thing I expect from her is heaps of compliments. She will likely just make fun of me instead of praising me.”
That’s certainly the case. Yuyo isn’t the kind of person who freely hands out praises to others. It would be nice to hear her do that more often, wouldn’t it?
“I see… Kyashii, this is just a random question, so it’s okay if you don’t answer.”
“Yeah. What is it?”
“I’m curious if you’ve ever considered romantically liking a girl?”
Hmm… That is, indeed, strangely random. Is she into girls as well, like Mizuno-san?
“No… I’m straight. Why? Do you like girls, Hana?”
Hana smirked. “Mmm… I’m not into girls, but you can say I’m fascinated by how these girls into girls work. I find it intriguing and exciting since catching signs of girls who are into girls is trickier than of boys who are into boys.”
“Eeh?! Seriously?! In what way? Isn’t it challenging to spot either of those without admitting it outright?”
“Mmm... It may be true in some cases. But according to my way of thinking, a few gestures like holding hands among girls are almost universal, but not for boys. Whenever girls do those, most people assume they are just good friends, but that’s not the case with the boys. In the case of two males holding hands, one might think they are gay right away. Furthermore, we girls are pretty complicated, aren’t we? So, to be more specific, I enjoy watching girls who like girls mainly because I enjoy a good and entertaining challenge.”
“Oohhh~! Waah... Hana, you seem to have mastered the subject matter to the level of a seasoned expert!” Kyashii appears to have a subtle sparkle in her eyes. “And that watching girls who like girls sounds like a lot of fun! Umm... Wait... Then, do you think something like that is worth watching in our class?” She was wondering if Hana was keeping an eye on Tomoka.
“Yeah... Our class certainly has that going on. You can be sure of that.” Hana smiled inexplicably.
“Ehh? Would you mind letting me know? I’m also curious! Oh! And how could you possibly spot those small details again?”
“Ahaha! There have been references to all of this in a number of manga and novels I’ve read. Well, I guess I can pick them up without much trouble.”
“I see... It’s almost as if you’re putting what you’ve learned so far into practice?”
“It’s something like that.”
“Then, do you know anyone in our class who is interested in girls? In my head, I feel like I know someone, but I’m not so sure.”
“Are you talking about Mizuno-san?”
“Huh?! So, you think that too?”
“Mmm... I guess you could say my seventh sense is already at its optimal efficiency.” Hana grinned.
“I just made that up for the times when I get a distinct impression that certain girls like other girls.”
“Ohh… Ahaha! That’s quite clever. So, wait... Do you think Mizuno-san is gay?” Kyashii has always been intrigued about Tomoka’s sexual orientation.
“Mmm… Perhaps she has an interest in both genders. But it’s clear that she has a thing for girls. Yet… There are other people besides her that I’ve been keeping tabs on. Possibly one more intriguing than Mizuno-san.” Hana’s smile spreads out as she stares at Kyashii.
“Really?? Do you mind telling me who she is?”
“Are you sure you want to know, Kyashii?”
“Yes, of course! I’m on pins and needles to find out!”
“Ohh... Let’s get ourselves first to a café. I don’t think we can have this conversation in the open air.”
“Uhh… I never imagined there was a proper setting for that. You’re quite conscientious about this, Hana.” Kyashii laughed.
Hana’s face regained its mysterious grin and said nothing further.