The Cute Girl Sitting Next to Me is a Manipulator but I'm Smarter
Past the wave of students who rushed out of the school. I stood at my locker, waiting for a specific person.
Since when was I the type of person to go out to a cafe after school with a friend? Never in my life, have I ever experienced this.
A few minutes later, as the area quietened down, a happy, smiling Fujiharu-san approached me. As she made her way over, I felt more than just a few more gazes from the distance. She sauntered over, bouncing on her feet.
"Are you ready to go? Mizuhara-kun~"
The two of us walked side by side as we left the school premises. Even still, I still felt gazes on my back. It was annoying. A normal person might have been able to ignore them or they might not even notice them. However, I was extra sensitive to being watched and the uneasy feeling never left my body.
"How was school?"
"It was alright."
"Aw~ come on, you can say a bit more than that."
"Uh, I don't really know, I read my novel for most of the day."
"Ah, Murder on the Orient Express, I was also reading through it, it was quite enjoyable."
"Hercule Poirot is really cool, I love how cold he is."
When you look your most innocent is when you are up to something—that was a phrase that I took great interest in, a quote from Hercule Poirot himself.
"Hehe, aren't you excited to be going to this new cafe?"
Despite my apathetic tone, she was still cheery and joyful. I was honestly impressed by how sociable this girl was. Even, in theory, I wouldn't be able to achieve something like this, no matter how hard I'd try to.
Suddenly, she turned and hooked her arms around my neck.
"Come on, cheer up! Surely you should be happier about this."
"Don't worry, I am enjoying this."
"You don't look like it~"
She pulled herself closer to me, it was to the point where my nostrils were filled with the deep aroma of her perfume. She looked up at me with wide-open eyes and a bright smile. Her hair swayed gently in the wind as she waited for my response.
Gradually, I pulled her arms off of me and responded, "it's fine, I am happy."
She giggled a little before she moved back and walked by my side once again. She seemed to be somewhat disheartened by my response.
As we made our way closer to the cafe, I noticed quite a large number of couples gathered there. It was very new and modern, with bright signs and overly simplistic designs. To be fair, this is my preferred type of atmosphere. I enjoyed staying around modern architecture.
The two of us walked through as a couple hugged each other and passionately kissed right beside us.
Suddenly, Fujiharu-san leaned to my ears and whispered.
"—maybe if it was you, I wouldn't mind... just kidding~"
The two of us continued walking into the cafe. She appeared to be somewhat embarrassed that her teasing didn't have much of an effect on me. It was a little awkward afterwards as the two of us walked in silence to the counter. Eventually, she spoke up to the server.
"Um, table for two please."
We were led to a table by the window and we sat down opposite each other.
"Sorry, I probably went too far just then..."
"It's alright, I don't really care."
She pouted and looked away.
I decided to have a look at the menu and see what was for sale. The prices for the food were quite high, probably due to the location and design of this cafe. I didn't exactly have a lot of spare cash lying around so I didn't want to get anything expensive. In the end, I decided to just order a latte.
Fujiharu-san was still observing the menu, choosing between the plethora of different meals.
"So, Mizuhara-kun, what are you having?"
"I'm just going to have a coffee."
"Are you sure that's all?"
"Yeah, I ate plenty at lunch."
I seemed to have unintentionally impacted her choice of food as well. As the waiter came over to take our order, she only ordered a small orange juice and a salad.
"Hey Mizuhara-kun, let's take a photo!"
There was a photo stick that was stuck with all of the cutlery. It was just another method to promote the business, but it was probably quite trendy with the visitors here.
Fujiharu-san took out her phone and leaned across the table. I moved in a little closer and she made a cute hand gesture. With a click, the photo was taken and she slowly returned to her side of the table.
"Aw, you didn't even smile, do you want to take another?"
She tapped her phone a few times before sliding it back into her pocket.
After a few minutes, the waiter brought over our orders and placed them on the respective sides of the table. The two of us thanked him as he turned to serve another table. I looked at Fujiharu-san who was clearly somewhat disappointed with her order.
I should probably do something... this was quite awkward.
It wasn't like I was broke or anything, I felt a bit weird to be indirectly pressuring a girl to eat less than she wanted. After taking a sip of the latte, I gestured for the waiter to come back over.
"Can I order a serving of fried chicken as well?"
A few minutes later, he returned with my extra order.
"Y-yes?" She looked up just as she was eating another bite of salad.
"I don't think I'll be able to finish this, do you want some?" I saw her face visibly light up.
"Uh... a-are you sure?"
"Yeah, I kind of bought it on a whim but I don't want it to go to waste."
"Well, i-if you insist."
I slid the serving of chicken to the middle of the table and she reached in, grabbing a drumstick. She was happily eating her extra meal as I continued to slowly drink the coffee that I had ordered. I didn't really want to eat any of the chicken anyway since I wasn't that fond of junk food.
It was somewhat nice to see Fujiharu-san happily eating the fried chicken.
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