Chapter 37:

Untold Secrets Exist

Unconsciously Interested



Ara~... I apologize if my words upset you, Kyashii-chan. I’m not suggesting you’re being unreasonable in any way.” Minori offered an apologetic smile. “You are also right; if Takashi-san can obtain something from Yuyo, even more so if it’s you since you’re the best friend. So…. Ahem... By all odds, I believe Yuyo doesn’t mind if you have one of her belongings.” She then turned and glibly smiled at me. “Don’t you think so, too, Yuyo?”

Minori, I think it’s time for me to reconsider that expectation about how I’ve always assumed that you’d be on my side when we have variances over things like this!

She was on my side for a short second before switching over to theirs. This wasn’t the first time she’d done this to me.


A soft sigh escaped me. “Y-Yeah, I suppose...” Kyashii and Tomoka’s sudden interest in obtaining my personal things may be a little strange; nonetheless, I am not at all bothered by it.

“R-Really?!” Kyashii’s bitter smile melted on the double. “So, you’re gonna give me something, Yuyo?!”

“Considering that expression you were wearing earlier and the ruckus you’ve made for this— yes, Kyashii-chan, I will.” I cocked an eye at her. “You don’t have to be mean-looking or sound so heartrending just for that, though.”

“Hmph!” Tucking her arms around her chest, Kyashii scowled at me. “It’s because that underclassman you just met is already getting something from you, yet I’ve been friends with you for over a year, and you’ve never given me anything. I’ve got good reason to act that way!”

“What?? How can I give you something if you never asked for it? Besides, there were times when I gave you food and snacks. Surely that must amount to something, right?”

“Certainly not! You can just hand out snacks to anyone! I want something personal and s-special from you!” She glowered.

This girl…

In no doubt, her intrinsic tendency towards being high-maintenance is back in full force. “Then, on the off chance you want something from me next time, just let me know. It’s not like me to hand stuff over without being asked.”

“Yeah... Same old you. Sorry, I totally forgot you’re a dummy. Hmph!” Kyashii replied with an eye-rolling.

“Haaah?! Don’t you think that’s uncalled for, Kyashii??” How can she say that when I have already agreed to it?

“Hey, guys! You can find me right here!” Tomoka waved her hand in between our faces. “Please don’t rub it in my face that my presence wasn’t enough to put an end to this forbidden love fight!”

“This is not a love fight!” Kyashii and I snapped in chorus.

“Oww!” Tomoka grinned as she took her arm off Kyashii’s shoulder. “If you say so... He-he! So— does this mean I’m also expecting a personal item from you, Yu-chin?!”

“Yeaahh… Sure…” Another sigh came out of me.

“Yoossh! So, when can I have it?! Now? Tomorrow, or what?” Tomoka’s excitement radiated through her eyes.

“It could be any day this week. I would appreciate a little time. I need to go through my stuff when we get back to Osaka.”

“Yeaaah! I’m looking forward to it, Yu-chin!”

“Uhmm...” I rubbed my brow with my forefinger as my mind began to mull over what I may need to give Kyashii and Tomoka. They said it would be fine if it were my handkerchief, necktie, or keychain.


On a related note, should I still wrap the items if I’ve already used them? I mean, I’m not exactly giving something relatively new that needs wrapping in all that fancy paper, right?

Uhh... Should I ask if they want those wrapped?

“. . . .”

Never mind... Let’s scrap that idea.

On second thought, perhaps wrapping them makes sense after all. To give those things unwrapped doesn’t sit well with me, either.


In this instance, I think coming up with unique presents for friends is more complex than just buying them a souvenir, huh?


“Yu-chin! We should sit together again!” Tomoka grabbed my arm as we made our way out of the hostel.

It is almost time to return to Osaka. Just as quickly as it had begun, this school trip had come to an end. Heh… Time sure marches at a breakneck pace.

“I’ll sit next to her and even on the train, Mizuno-san,” Kyashii asserted.

“Boo-hoo! Not again, Mikami-san! The two of you have been so close on this trip since you made up that you have barely been apart!” Tomoka whined. “So now, my chance of sitting next to Yu-chin on the ride back home has been dashed! Haaa... Unforgiving world, feel free to take me already!” She let go of my arm as she turns to Nazumi-san and Minori. “You should consider yourselves extremely lucky, Hana-chan and class rep. The opportunity to sit with me is a rare one!”

Ara~… That’s an excellent antidote for the wound of rejection you sustained, Mizuno-san.” Minori smiled sweetly at Tomoka.

“Haaaa?!” Tomoka wrinkled her nose. “Okay… After some quick thought, I’ve chosen Hana-chan to sit with me. I’m putting you on your own, class rep!” She gripped Nazumi-san’s shoulders.

“B-But Tomoka-chan.... Kamiwaki-san and I agreed to sit next to each other since Kyashii and Shibasaki-san will most likely sit together,” Nazumi-san explained.

“Whaaatt?!! You can’t be serious, Hana-chan! I can’t believe you chose class rep over me!” Tomoka squawked. “So you’ve turned your back on me, too??!” Although Tomoka maintains a lighthearted attitude, her dismay oozes out of her eyes.


“I-I’m sorry, Tomoka-chan. I thought the three of us could sit together. Hopefully, that can’t be as difficult as it sounds, is it?” Nazumi-san retorted with measured politeness. “And once we’ve boarded the train, all five of us are able to sit next to one another.”

“All right! I wouldn’t even concern myself about this if class rep had been a tad kinder!” Tomoka loured at Minori, who merely shrugged with a thin smile of victory stuck on her lips.

For some reason, this situation with who sits next to who is quite amusing to me. As trivial as it may seem, I can’t help but wonder why some girls make such a big deal out of it.


Just when we stepped out of the hostel, I caught sight of the gyaru and the two other girls who were with her when we got into that confrontation in the hallway.


“I’ll be right back, you guys,” I quickly said and trotted towards the gyaru.

“Where are you going, Yuyo?!” I heard Kyashii asking behind me, but I simply gestured for her to wait.

There is something I need to tell Komatsuda-san. I might as well tell her now while I still have the chance, given that I’m not sure whether we’ll ever cross paths in the school again, regardless of whether we’re on the same floor.

“Uhmm… Excuse me, gyaru-san. Can I get a second of your time?” I called out.

Komatsuda-san blinked in surprise while the two other girls looked at me disgustingly, but I paid them no mind. In any case, I’m not here for them.

“Who are you talking to?!” The gyaru’s face curled into a frown.

“Uhh… You... Who else?” I replied indifferently.

“I won’t talk to you unless you call me by my name!” She made a wry face.

Heh? We’re already talking, aren’t we?

I guess she really dislikes being referred to as that. “Right… My apologies, Komatsuda-san.” I allowed a feeble smile to escape. “So, can we talk for a moment? It would only take a few minutes.”

“Okeydokey. One moment, ladies.” Komatsuda-san said as she pulled me away from her friends by my wrist.

Hold on…

What’s up with her casual grasp on my hand?!

“Okay, Shibasaki-san… Better be quick about it.” Komatsuda-san’s lips puckered as she fluttered her fingers in the air.

“Uhh… Sure. But could you please let go of my wrist first?”

“Oopsie! I’m sorry!” She playfully let go of my hand. “So, what is it?”

“Alright, I’m not going to skirt around the matter. There is no doubt in my mind that you know who this person is that my best friend likes, right?”

“Ahuh?? And?”

“In that case, I am asking you to keep that to yourself and not to tell anyone about it,” I said with grave seriousness.

A strange grin gradually emerged on Komatsuda-san’s face. “So, Ezaki-kun was right all along~...”

“About what?”

Also, what gives with that odd grin?

“That you don’t even know who it is. Interesting…” Her grin broadened in an unfathomable way. “Shibasaki-san, I find it weird why didn’t Mikami-san bother to tell you who is the one she likes? Best of friends shouldn’t have to keep secrets from each other, do they~?”

“Haaah??” I snickered. “Maybe that’s the case for some, but not for us. My friendship with Kyashii doesn’t mean we have to reveal any secret we would rather keep to ourselves. Besides, untold secrets exist within each of us.”

“Meh~!... That’s so lame if you ask me. What I think is that if two people are true friends, they shouldn’t feel the need to keep secrets from each other, Shibasaki-san~...”

Where is she going with this?

I let out a sigh. “Look, Komatsuda-san, whatever you believe is yours, not mine... From a personal standpoint, regardless of how long you’ve known a person or how much you care for them, no one knows everything there is to know about each other, alright?” I’m not sure where this conversati—


Wait a second...

What is going on?? How did I even get into this sort of discussion with this girl again?!

“Okay, if you say so. But you know what... As soon as I saw you two together, I figured you already knew everything there is to know about Mikami-san. Some things have been in front of your nose the whole time, yet, you still can’t see the forest for the trees, can you?” Smirk curled the gyaru’s lips. “Your brain cells are not as excellent as I expected, Shibasaki-san.”


“Hey... I don’t exactly understand your point here, but here’s the logic behind that; even those who say their lives are open books have chapters no one else knows about. And although I can read such chapters, that doesn’t necessarily mean I have a full grasp of them unless the author goes into more detail.” I then pursed my lips.

“Weee! What a clever approach to excuse yourself...” She gives off a taunting grin.

Sheesh! This conversation isn’t worth my time anymore.

“Well, whatever... Back to my main point... Komatsuda-san, I am seriously asking you this - don’t make any move with the thing you know about my best friend. Let’s get to our third year without any trouble and graduate together, shall we??” I held a slow smile this time.

“O-ohh…” She wiped her grin. “Hmph! …Fine! Is that all?”


“Okay, fine! That was also a promise I made to Ezaki-kun, so whatever. Are you satisfied?”

Really, huh?

And she agreed to Ezaki-san just like that?


Then again, given that this gyaru has a reputation for spreading rumors, there’s no guarantee she will actually follow through with her promise.

“I see... That’s great to know. I hope you will keep your word, Komatsuda-san. I would appreciate it if you could please respect my best friend’s private life. Plus, she’s not into the guys you like, so don’t pry into her life any further.”

“Owh~… Believe me, Shibasaki-san, I knooww~… Which is why I’m going to leave her alone. However, I don’t know if I can do that with you.” She resumed her annoying grin.

“Huh?! What do you mean??” My brows furrowed in question.

“Oh my gosh, you’re so serious!” She chuckled. “Well, I think you’re a little intriguing. So, who knows, I might find you at school and chat with you if I get the chance.”

“Please don’t.” The reply came out of me almost instantly. “It does not feel right to have you around me, and I am certain you share my sentiments.” I flashed her a cold gaze.

“Ouchie!!” Her face went grim. “Shibasaki-san, you’re so plainspoken! Do me a favor and give me some credit where it’s due! I’m just trying to be friendly with you!”

“Naah... According to my memory, you said you don’t see that happening, so why even bother?”

“Whaatt?! You…!”

“Anyway, that’s all I have to say. I’m going back to my friends now. Komatsuda-san, thank you for your time.” I bowed and immediately took a step away from her.

“Shibasaki-san…” Komatsuda-san stalled my pace.

I turned to look at her once again. “What...”

“Do you not want to know who your best friend likes?” She posed the question with a straight face.

“. . . .”

“Why not just ask me about it, instead? Perhaps you will find out Mikami-san’s secret crush if you ask nicely. That way, no one can say I’m revealing it to anyone without your knowledge. As a result, I’m also standing by what I promise, right~? Come on~... Let’s not be shy, Shibasaki-san. Just ask me already.”