“Nah, I won’t,” I uttered a resounding reply. As much as I wish to find out who Kyashii has eyes for, hearing it from her would be more fitting rather than from someone else.
“Shibasaki-san, this is what I expect of you. Let me guess... You want your best friend to break the news to you, right~?” Komatsuda-san tittered.
Miraculously, this gyaru appears to have some degree of common sense. “That’s right... You know the answer, but you still asked, huh?” My lips distorted into a lopsided smile. Is she trying to pull a fast one on me?
“Well, well... I was hoping you might reconsider. Out of a clear blue sky, I offer sympathy to the best friend, the only one with no idea who her best friend likes.” She emitted a caustic laugh.
Am I the only one who doesn’t know?!
Aah… No... W-Wait…
Yuyo, you can’t just blindly trust this gyaru.
In light of what she told me, I wonder how Komatsuda-san and Ezaki-san got Kyashii’s crush name. Does it mean that Ezaki-san is indeed the one Kyashii likes, and he revealed it to this gyaru when he noticed Kyashii’s interest in him?
Does that sum it up?
But I don’t think Ezaki-san has the arrogance to assert that without Kyashii openly confessing to him. That doesn’t seem like something he would do. Moreover, Kyashii made it clear that she was not interested in dating Ezaki-san.
It wasn’t Ezaki-san the whole time, right?!
“. . . .”
Then who is it??
Above all else, just how did Komatsuda-san and Ezaki-san get to know this guy in the first place? Kyashii wasn’t a friend to them from the outset.
Is there anything else going on here?
“Are you second-guessing, Shibasaki-san?” This gyaru managed to keep her condescending grin on. “Do you wish to find out right now?”
I then locked eyes with her. “Komatsuda-san, what I want is to grasp how did you even learn who this person that Kyashii likes.” One can tell by the tone of my voice that I mean business.
“Simple... Because I’ve got more brains than you do, pinhead!”
“Whaatt??” Alright... I’m getting a little miffed. “Hold that thought... Is it possible that you are just making stuff up about knowing who this person is, yet it is the other way around?”
How did I come to believe that this gyaru really knows who Kyashii likes?
Back then, Komatsuda-san had just mentioned she had an inkling Kyashii had a crush on someone, and Kyashii’s reaction at the time confirmed that assumption. However, that does not necessarily imply that this gyaru knows who it is.
“Ooh~… Now you think I’m stretching the truth about what I know?” Komatsuda-san giggled. “Shibasaki-san, are you creating excuses because you don’t want to admit that I know more than you — the best friend?”
“I’m not.” This gyaru is starting to flip my lid. “I’m just throwing up some possibilities here. There are times when it is easy for me to tell when my friend likes someone, but I don’t exactly know who this someone is. What’s more, it’s not like you personally know Kyashii, so I have my doubts about the credibility of what you say. With your reputation, I don’t think you can blame me for having reservations about you, do you?”
She hooted with laughter. “Hooh... My reputation, huh? Well, if you say that, the more I see no reason why you shouldn’t be asking me who they are. And you, Shibasaki-san, will have to decide for yourself if that’s true or not.”
“. . . .”
H-Her reasoning is spot-on. Regardless of the name this gyaru will give me, nothing more than Kyashii’s confirmation will turn it into truth, right?
Should I ask? And... Is it even appropriate to ask someone about the secret my best friend keeps?
“Come on, Shibasaki-san. Stop pussyfooting around and ask what you truly have in mind~. Tick-tock tick-tock...” The gyaru threw me a wink while spinning her index finger aimlessly.
Uhh… Is it really okay for me to ask?
W-Well, I think asking isn’t a bad idea. In any case, the truth is still not there. I mean, it’s not yet the real deal unless it comes from Kyashii. And even if Komatsuda-san’s response was a ruse, I might be able to glean some hints from it.
Guuh... Am I even making any sense here?
I felt a crushing pressure in my chest as I breathed in deeply. “Alright, Komatsuda-san. I’d like to know what you know. Who is it?”
“Ahaha!” There was an unrestrained fit of laughter from the gyaru. “Shibasaki-san, so you did ask after all! Funnily enough, your desire to know about it runs deep inside you that the rules in your book hardly hold a candle to your curiosity, eh?”
It was another taunt that made me grit my teeth. Trying to get information from someone like her almost makes me feel pathetic. “You know I’m not going to take your word for it. I will only trust Kyashii’s word at the end of the day. Nevertheless, I am curious as to what you know.” I can feel my patience eroding. “So then, let me have the name at once, Komatsuda-san.”
“Ah-ooh...” Her steps drew closer to me. “Didn’t I tell you to ask nicely? To me, you have an authoritative air, Shibasaki-san~….” In a soft voice, she traced the outline of my chin with her index finger.
“Eeh—!” I recoiled from her in a snap. “What are you doing?!”
What’s up with her touching me like that?! That’s a little creepy.
“Oooh... So you’re repulsed by gestures like that?” She laughed. “You had a kiss from your friend the other day, so I figured you wouldn’t mind that kind of touch.”
“That’s a completely different story. And you’re not one of my friends.” I sent her a cold stare.
“Another ouchie! How can you be so cruel to me~?”
An enormous sigh escaped my throat. “Do you plan to give me a name, or are you just playing a joke on me?”
Komatsuda-san shot me a baffling smile following a brief pause. “What was your question again, Shibasaki-san?”
She’s just playing me for a fool, isn’t she?
If this gyaru refuses to answer my question directly after this, then I’m done. “For the last time, could you please tell me the name of the person you think Kyashii likes?”
“Yuyo…” I was stunned for a moment when Kyashii’s voice echoed behind me!
Oh, my goodness!
D-Did she hear me asking this gyaru about the guy she likes?!
After a moment of hesitation, I turned around and saw Kyashii and Minori staring intensely at me. “Ahh… Ha-ha?” There was an uncomfortable chuckle on my part. “I- It’s not what you think—”
“Our bus is almost about to leave, yet you’re still here chatting with someone else,” Kyashii said in a detached tone.
“R-Right! I’m sorry. I lost track of time. We’re done here.” Komatsuda-san had a large grin on her face when I turned my attention back to her. “Thank you again for your time, gyaru-san,” I stressed that moniker as I took a step away.
“Shibasaki-san, I hope you got an answer to your question!” I heard Komatsuda-san holler.
Answered?! There was no response to my question at all!
“What are you two on about?” Kyashii lifted an eyebrow as she held onto my arm.
So, I take that she didn’t pick up on anything? “Nothing of note, Kyashii. Just a few loose ends.”
Still, I’m cheesed off at how that gyaru had me under her thumb back there that Kyashii almost caught me trying to pry into her love life. Even worse, I didn’t get a hint, either.
Sheesh! How could I have let that gyaru play mind games with me?!
It’s hard to guess what that gyaru is up to, but I hope we will never run into each other again.
“May we please have two bowls of Tonkotsu ramen? Thank you so much.” I heard Minori tell the waitress as I was busy clutching my sleepy head tightly.
After an hour-long trip, we arrived back here in Osaka at about seven o’clock. When we parted ways with the others in the central station, Minori asked if I wanted to eat dinner with her at this nearby family restaurant. That sounded good to me since I planned on buying my dinner somewhere before heading home anyway.
“Do you still feel sleepy, Yuyo?”
“Hnngh... You could say that. I was sleeping through the entire trip and wouldn’t have known when we arrived in Osaka if you hadn’t woken me up.” I slowly opened my eyes and lazily stared at Minori. “I swear, our visit to Asuka village drained me utterly.”
“Yeah~... You were dead asleep not long after we got on the train. It’s a shame you missed all that fun on our way back here, Yuyo.” Minori beamed a warm smile.
“Heeh~… Did anything interesting happen?” I asked despite myself.
“Yes, there is quite a bit. You should check our group chat on LIWE to catch up. I’m sure you’ll find it fun.”
“Huh? What group chat? Since when did we even have that?”
“Ooh… Nazumi-san created it while we were on the train. It’ll be more convenient for us to go over the specifics of our group study this weekend. We’ve already added you, so just confirm it when you open your LIWE.”
“Hmm… I see. I’ll go through it while we wait for our meal.” I sluggishly open my phone and scroll through the app.
I wasn’t planning on checking the most recent chats just yet after joining, but a weird message with my name distracted me.
‘Believe me, that is supposed to be Yu-chin’s deepest, concealed passion! Guys, I hope you’re ready for this sleepover. I’m going let my guard down like a hot potato!’ Tomoka’s recent message made me squint.
What exactly is that deep, concealed passion she’s referring to??
After scrolling up a bit more, I realized Nazumi-san had shared that wicked photo in the chat! “Wha—! What’s the deal with this image being in here?!” My eyes switched to Minori, who was holding her smile in silence.
“Ooh… I believe the girls are keeping track of how often you do that, Yuyo.” She has her lips pressed together, deliberately trying to conceal her laughter.
“What do you mean by how often?? That first time would be the last. I refuse to sleep next to anyone from now on, not even in this planned sleepover!” I growled.
“Ara~... You didn’t scroll up any further, did you?” She gaily put her hand over her mouth.
“What?” I turned to scan the chat messages a bit more and regretted it on the dot.
“. . . . . .”
There I am again... Minori shared another photo of me dozing off on the train. This time, I’m cuddling Kyashii around her waist while comfortably using her chest as my pillow!
In the name of all that is holy, what the heck?!
“Minoriii!” I shrilled, almost forgetting we were in a family restaurant. “I can’t believe you took and uploaded that shot! You dare poke fun at me while I’m sleeping! Guuhhh!”
But...Oh my goodness, that’s just too much!
W-Why... Just what makes me keep doing that to Kyashii in my sleep?! Does my subconscious enjoy her breasts that much?!
“Oh, I’m sorry, Yuyo.” Minori’s laughter broke through. “The moment seemed worth capturing, so we decided to take a photo of it.”
“Haaah?! What happened to the idea that it’s rude to take photos of people while they’re asleep?!”
“But Kyashii-chan wasn’t sleeping, and she said it was fine for me to grab a snapshot.” She grinned.
Uhh... Wait... She’s right.
Taking another look at this shot, Kyashii definitely didn’t mind me as she was fully awake and simply scanning her phone at the time!
Whaaah! This is so embarrassing, whichever way you look at it! “Regardless, that doesn’t mean you—”
“…can bring a blaring volume inside a family restaurant.” A voice I know reached close to my ear.
In no time, my gaze shifted toward the source of the voice. “Onii-chan?!”
“Hmm?” My brother fixed his icy stare on my phone for a second before plucking it from my grasp.