“Kyashii, could you please come here for a second?” Nazumi-san called out to Kyashii as we stood waiting outside Todai-ji Nandaimon Gate for other groups to arrive from the temple.
Within the next few minutes, we’ll be heading to Asuka village for the next stop on the final day of our school trip.
“What is it?” Kyashii let go of my arm and walked over to Nazumi-san, who was only a few steps away.
Nazumi-san sent me a glowing smile before turning to Kyashii. “Here, check this out.” She toned down her voice and passed her phone to Kyashii.
“Whaaah—!” Kyashii let out a startled squeal in a strikingly loud voice, drawing attention from other students. “Ahh! I’m sorry…” She hastily covered her mouth and dragged Nazumi-san away from us.
“I wonder what those two are up to?” I asked despite myself.
“If Kyashii shrieked at the top of her lungs, Nazumi-san must have some really interesting information in her phone.” Minori giggled as she watched Kyashii and Nazumi-san go through the phone with excitement.
“Those two seem suspicious!” Tomoka made a face. “What’s the point of not sharing what they’re looking at? They’re just hoarding the fun for themselves and share none...” She bellyached. “What, we’re not friends in their eyes? This offends my delicate feelings!”
I just looked at her with half-shut eyes.
“Mizuno-san, their choice to keep things for themselves does not mean you’re no longer a friend. Friends are not required to share everything.” Minori twitched her brow. “Nevertheless, I don’t think that will come as a surprise if your friends do that and ditch you for real.”
“Class rep, no one would ever consider dropping me as a friend! Maybe it has slipped your mind how well I get along with everyone at school. Even with our senpai~...” Tomoka threw out her chin and grinned cheekily.
“Oh, is that right? Then the idea of a friend you have must be from another world.” Minori smiled a wan sort of smile.
They only made me crack a smile. Even though they seem to have trouble getting along, watching them interact with each other is fun.
“This is why I can’t stand being around you, class rep! You aren’t kind enough to me.” Tomoka sulked. “I have to be with my Hana-chan, or I’ll die as a consequence of your verbal aggression!”
“Ara~… Nobody is forcing you to be near me, Mizuno-san.” Minori glowered.
“And that look in your eyes is so scary! I wouldn’t even let you get within ten feet of me if you weren’t always with my wife.” Tomoka flicked her tongue at Minori as she moved beside me.
“What?!” Minori got in a snit. “I don’t think I heard you clearly, Mizuno-san.” Her sinister smile is back.
“Oh-uh!” Tomoka took hold of my arm. “Ah! ...Hey, hey! Hana-chan, would you please take a picture of my wife and me in front of the gate?!” She yanked me towards Kyashii and Nazumi-san.
I couldn’t help but snicker at her attempt to flee Minori.
“Aah… Sure, Tomoka-chan.” Nazumi-san smiled as she fiddled with her phone. “Here... Say cheese~.”
A casual smile spread across my face as Nazumi-san snapped a shot from her phone.
“One more!” Tomoka strikes another pose.
“How about taking a selfie without me?” I muttered to Tomoka. Unlike others, I’m not a big fan of taking selfies.
“Come on, Yu-chin~! Here’s my chance to collect lots of lovely memories from our school trip date.” Tomoka beamingly threw her arms around my shoulders and squeezed me tight.
“Haah… Fine.” I sluggishly replied.
“Yosh! One more time, Hana-chan~.” Tomoka grinned as she didn’t bother to take her hands off me.
Nazumi-san nodded. “Alright... Here we g—”
“Achoo!!” Tomoka’s hair strands brushing against my face made me sneeze in a flash. “Sorry! Please excuse me.” I reached for my handkerchief right away.
Flipping heck! The timing could not have been worse! Was that captured on camera?
Within a few seconds, Tomoka let go of me with a giggling chuckle. “Did you catch that, Hana-chan?” She dashed over to Nazumi-san.
“Ahh… Y-Yes.” Nazumi-san is showing me an apologetic smile, but her eyes are clearly twinkling with amusement.
“Let me see it~!” Tomoka scooched next to Nazumi-san to check the phone. Kyashii also peered in.
“Ooh~!” Tomoka has her fist pressed over her mouth. “Ahem! …Yeeha! I think it looks great, Yu-chin!” She grinned and flashed me a thumbs-up.
Yeah… Great, huh?
Do you really think you’re fooling anyone with that look? Even Kyashii has covered her mouth, yet her eyes hint she’s giggling behind those hands.
They’ve just turned me into a laughingstock, haven’t they?
“May I also see it, Nazumi-san?” I asked for her phone with a nonchalant smile.
“Wait, Yu-chin… You’re not going to delete it, yeah?” Tomoka looked at me with suspicion.
“Oh, no, I won’t. If I look great in the photo, there’s no reason to get rid of it, right?” My phony smile at Tomoka lasted a fraction of a second before I turned my eyes to Nazumi-san, who was hesitant to hand over her phone. “Don’t you think so, too, Nazumi-san?” I put on a laid-back smile. “So, may I, please?”
Nazumi-san glanced at Kyashii as if seeking permission, but Kyashii responded with a simple shrug. “O-Of course, Shibasaki-san. H-Here…”
“Wait! I ask you not to delete it, Yu-chin! I don’t have a copy of it yet.” Tomoka pressed her palms together and grinned.
I simply glared at her for a second before taking a look at the photo.
“. . . .”
This image of me looking like I’m having a hard time giving birth to an oversized baby is absolutely great.
Great to put on display at Halloween events, that’s it!
“Nah… Let’s delete this, instead.” I made a sneaky smile. “It’s fine, right, Nazumi-san? It’s a photo of me, after all.”
“Ah! Mmm... Please h-hold on a moment, Shibasaki-san...” Nazumi-san turns to Kyashii yet again, but she just shrugs each time.
It looks like Nazumi-san would prefer not to have the photo deleted, huh? Is this something she and Tomoka want to share through social networking sites?
“Nooo!” Tomoka quickly seized my right hand that was holding Nazumi-san’s phone. “Don’t delete it, Yu-chin! I want that photo of us!”
I move my arm here and there. “Hey! I’m pretty sure you’re up to no good with this horrible photo of me. Don’t think I’ll let you get away with that.” I screwed up my eyes at her as she tried to take the phone from my grasp. She may be more athletic, but I refuse to hand over this phone until I get rid of that horrifying photo.
“But I look cute in it!”
“Oh, well. I guess we’ll have to crop it then.”
“No way, Yu-chin... It must be the whole thing! Why are you like that? I’m telling you; you look incredible in that shot!” Tomoka now clings to the phone, but I have no plans to hand it over just yet.
“Aa-h… G-Guys… I would appreciate it if you would be more c-careful with my phone. You might d-drop it...” Nazumi-san had both hands on her chest and was anxiously staring at her phone in our hands.
Of course… Anyone would feel that way if their phone was caught in a tug-of-war situation.
“Err… I’m sorry, Nazumi-san.” I looked back at Tomoka. “Give up the phone, Tomoka.”
“No, Yu-chin! You let go.”
“Sheesh! I’m not deleting it, okay?”
“Then why are you gripping it so tightly? It will be I who will give this phone to Hana-chan.”
I curled my lip. “I’d like to see the first shot as well. That’s why.”
“Is that so? You mean that, don’t you?? Are you sure you won’t erase the second shot?” A dubious Tomoka asked.
“Yeah… Yeah… I reeeeally mean it.”
“Well, let’s take a look at it together! I haven’t seen the first one yet.” Tomoka snickered as she maintained her grip on the phone.
Argh! She doesn’t seem to believe me, does she?
She is perfectly justified in doing so, nonetheless. I haven’t changed my mind about getting rid of that photo. “Fineee…”
With the phone firmly in our hands, both of us swiped the screen at the same time. However, since our fingers were in an inconvenient position, the photos shuffled in a weird direction when we tapped in opposite angles.
I was prepared to see yet another unflattering likeness of myself in the first photo, but... what I saw next on the screen almost made my eyes and mouth fall out of my head!
“Whaa—!” Tomoka exclaimed wide-eyed, her mouth agape.
“. . . .”
I could only stare at the screen, stunned.
My chest felt like it was reverberating with a drumbeat…
Right now, I guess I don’t have the mental soundness to process w-what I’m seeing!
“Ahh!” Nazumi-san suddenly nabbed the phone from our hands as if she realized the reason for our reaction. “I… I am sorry, Shibasaki-san!” She frantically moved closer to Kyashii as though she were trying to escape from me.
“What’s the matter, Hana?” Kyashii’s gaze flitted between us.
“Urk... Mmm...” It took Nazumi-san a few moments before showing Kyashii her phone.
“Waaahhh!” Kyashii blushed on the spot and instinctively covered her face.
“Err… W-Wait, Kyashii!” Having a rapid heartbeat makes me unsure of my next move. All I know is that I’m embarrassed beyond belief! “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that… I mean… It’s undeniably obvious, r-right? A-ha-ha…”
“Yu-chin! What a shocker! So, you are capable of sexually harassing someone while you’re sleeping?!” Tomoka covered her gaping mouth with her fingers as she stared at me with amusement and disbelief. “I’d like to sleep next to you, please!”
“Whaatt!? That’s not true! There’s no such thing as that!” I snarled in embarrassment!
“What’s with all the fuss, girls?” Minori came over to us. “It's time to go to Asuka village. We need to get moving.”
“Class rep! You should see the photo of Yu-chin cheating on me!” Tomoka grumped.
“What are you up to this time, Mizuno-san?” Minori stared at Tomoka before turning her attention to me.
“Show her, Hana-chan!” Tomoka hurried over to Nazumi-san and plucked the phone out of her grip. “Here, class rep! There are no words to describe how my heart feels! It leaves me shattered! It’s too much for me to bear.” She pretends to sob as she hands the phone to Minori.
“Ooh my~…” Minori’s eyes widened as they were transfixed on the photo for a moment, then turned toward Kyashii and me. “Ara~, Ara~! You two… Just because I sleep facing the other way doesn’t mean you can do this kind of thing~...” Her puckish grin is beaming with a great deal of delight.
“Argh! Not you, too, Minori… I h-honestly had no idea I’d done that, alright?!” I blustered.
Goodness me! That photo makes me feel like I’m going into a heart attack before I know it! It’s embarrassing in so many ways!
I mean… How could I not have an egg all over my face when I saw a stolen snapshot of Kyashii and me cuddling in our sleep?! What’s worse, my l-lips were practically pressing against Kyashii’s cheek while my h-hand was g-groping one of her br-breasts!!