Chapter 39:

Everyone Has a Favorite

Unconsciously Interested


“Hey! That’s my phone! Can I have it back?!”

“When did you get so loud?” My brother’s cold expression melted as he settled next to me. “Hello there, Yuyo’s adorable friend.” He offered a warm smile at Minori, who was caught on the hop when my brother popped out from nowhere. “I’m Sanji, her older brother. Do you mind if I join you for a moment?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me...” I gave my brother the side-eye.

“O-ohh… I’m Minori Kamiwaki. It is n-not a problem at all, Onii-san.” Minori’s smile is self-effacing.

“I appreciate it very much, Kamiwaki-chan.”

“How did you end up here in the first place, Onii-chan? Aren’t you supposed to be at work by now?”

“I just walked into my workplace and thought I heard an unladylike voice shredding its tranquility.”

“Huh?! T-This is where you work?”

“Tsk-tsk!” Sanji-onii clucked his tongue. “Your brother will appreciate it if you show an interest in what’s going on in his life every so often.”

“You have nothing interesting in your life, that’s why.” I scowled at him.

My brother raised a grin and switched his eyes back to my phone in his hand. “Well, perhaps not quite as interesting as yours... Hmm...” He probably looked at the photo of Kyashii and me for a moment or two.

“Ahh! That’s—”

“So, this explains your shrill cries, huh?”

“Y-Yeah... It just surpris—”

“Yuyo…” His gaze steadily drifted to me.


“Are you into girls?”

“Haaaah?!” That question jolted my body almost as much as an electric shock would have! “What are you talking about, Onii-chan?!”

“This…” He shoved my phone right up to my face. “Is this your girlfriend?”

“Whaa—! Please tell me you’re joking….” Is he seriously convinced from one photo that I have a thing for girls?! “She’s my best friend! It just so happened that I fell asleep that way. I know nothing about that, and Minori took that photo purely for kicks.” I turned to Minori. “Right, Minori?”

“A-Ahh… Y-Yes… W-We ended up taking it merely for fun, Onii-san.” There was a bit of nervousness in Minori’s voice.

“Really?” Sanji-onii’s eyes scanned the shot a second time. “Hmm… So, Kamiwaki-chan, this isn’t Yuyo’s girlfriend?” He then locked his gaze on Minori as though interrogating her about a nonexistent matter.

“A-ha-ha...” Minori is tensing up with my brother’s intense stare. “N-Not y—”

“Huh?” I reacted with confusion to Minori.

“Aha~… Erm… I mean, n-no, Onii-san…”

I caught a fleeting smirk that escaped my brother’s lips. “Stop bothering my friend with your nonsense question! It’s making her queasy.” I yanked my phone back from his grasp. “Now, hold on a second... I wish to know why you even make it sound like I have a girlfriend in the first place!”

“What... Do you have a boyfriend?” My brother looked askance at me.

“That’s not it. I’m saying that you shouldn’t assume I have a thing for girls based solely on this photo. There’s almost a sense that you’re hinting that I’ve always been into girls!”

How annoying...

Besides that, what’s with this terrible coincidence running into my brother here, of all places? I really had no idea this was where my brother worked.

“Uhm. Let’s see... Clearly, you two in the photo have a tremendous level of comfort. You also have such a death grip on her that I’m no longer sure if you’re a couple or just friends.”

“I was sleeping; that much is obvious!” I grumbled.

“And that, too. If you’re anything like me, you don’t usually nod off on public transit, yet there you are, sleeping like a log. In other words, you can sleep out like that in public only when you’re at ease or comfortable around this someone.” He shrugged.

“That’s because we’re best of friends! The school trip likewise left me worn out!”

“Heh… You can’t hold it against me, Yuyo. An intimate moment between friends like that is a rare sight for me. What’s more, she’s using your phone like it’s her own.”

“What?!” I took another peek at the photo, and sure enough, Kyashii indeed had my phone in her hand. I thought she was looking at her phone at first. “Ahh… Right...” The last thing I remember was reading an e-book when I dozed off. Kyashii was likely holding it to keep it from slipping through my fingers.

“Does this mean she knows your secret code?”

“Well, yeah… My phone’s game library gets a lot of use from her.”

“Mhm… Meanwhile, your brother doesn’t even know your phone’s passcode.” That grating grin of his brushed across his features. “Are you sure you’re not into her?”

“Grr! That’s not anything I’m interested in!” I aimed a death glare at him.

“Which is it?”

“The whole romance deal! Onii-chan, you better keep your malice in your head and don’t sully my friendship with Kyashii. Sheesh! You’re not wrapped too tight!” I scrunched my brows.

“There, there…” Sanji-onii patted my head. “You need to tone down your defensiveness, Yuyo-chan. I’m totally on board with you dating her if you decide to do so. You don’t need to worry about anything except Mom.”

“Arrggh! Enough already, Onii-chan! You’re spewing nonsense.”

“Am I now?”

“By all means! Please don’t imagine I’m in need of a girlfriend the way you do. Get yourself a date before your wild thoughts get the better of you.”

“Who’s to say I’m not getting a girlfriend?”

“Huh?! …Wait. Are you dating someone?”

“Not yet. Nevertheless, that’s my plan.” He stroked his chin.

“Tch! You shouldn’t put off finding a girlfriend for much longer. You seemed desperately in need of one.”

“Ah… Right... While we’re at it, could you suggest what would make a nice present for a girl?”

“Haah?? What’s this... Did you actually meet someone you like?”

“Hm-hm! Isn’t that what I just said?” He uttered with a haughty air.

“Heh~... Whoever she is, that girl is unquestionably unlucky.” I made a funny face. “Anyways, I’m in the same boat as to what to give as a date gift. Rather than asking me, you should ask your friends. Why bother asking your younger sister about it?”

“What’s the harm in that? You’ve got a girlfriend, so I thou— Aw!” He couldn’t finish his irritating remarks when I aggressively prodded his arm.

Seriously, why does he insist on teasing me with Kyashii?


I shifted my attention back to my phone, paying no heed to anything other than the photo.


But yeah... In comparison to the previous photo of Kyashii and me, in which we are both sound sleeping, this latest shot is definitely off the wall. Kyashii is wide awake in this particular instance and doesn’t care that I’m nestled on her c-chest.

Hmm? It’s starting to make sense why my brother surmised she might be my girlfriend. Assuming I’m not the one in the photo, I’d say Kyashii is used to me sleeping on her chest, giving the impression that we are together. And her expression is devoid of any hint of discomfort while she holds me with the other hand, trying to keep me from toppling over while sleeping.

Even though I’m embarrassed by this photo, I find Kyashii’s actions sweet in this one. Her caring nature is one of her greatest strengths. Taking care of those around her is something she does naturally, at least to my eye.

“. . . .”


I was so fixated on my embarrassment earlier that I overlooked Kyashii’s subtle and thoughtful actions. Perhaps instead of feeling mortified, I should be grateful to her for watching over me while I dozed off, right? Not only that, but I also caused her inconvenience throughout the trip, yet I didn’t hear her whine about it after I woke up.

“So, Kamiwaki-chan… Would you say my sister often smiles like a simpleton when she gazes at a photo of herself and her best friend?” My brother asked another daft question to Minori that threw me off my train of thought.

“A-ha-ha… I c-can’t say for sure, Onii-san.”

“Hey…” I flared the stink eye at him. I wasn’t even aware my smile sneaked up on me! “Could you stop that, Onii-chan? It’s over for you as far as humor goes. Sheesh!”

“Excuse me, Shibasaki-san…” From behind us came a soothing, sweet voice.

“Yes?” My brother and I both turned our heads and uttered the same thing.

“Huh?” The pretty waitress, who wore her silky dark hair in a ponytail, looked perplexed as her deep expressive eyes darted back and forth between my brother and me.

“Tokumiya-san!” My brother springs to his feet without delay. “What is it?” His smile is warm and welcoming almost instantly.

“Manager-san is looking for you, Shibasaki-san.” The waitress returned my brother’s smile before her gaze went back to me. “Is she your younger sister?”

“Ahh… Yes. This is Yuyo. She’s in her second year of high school.”

“Good evening to you, Onee-san,” I greeted her nonchalantly as my eyes bored into her.

“O-ohh… H-Hello…” She regarded me with a tensed smile.


“Ha-ha... Don’t worry; she just gave off the impression of not knowing how to smile at people she had just met. You’ll see she’s a real sweetheart once you get to know her.” Sanji-onii chuckled before his eyes bugged out at me. “And this cute girl right here is her friend. Her name is Kamiwaki-chan.”

“Hello there, Onee-san.” Minori bowed in modesty to the stunning waitress.

“It’s nice to meet such adorable high schoolers as you, Kamiwaki-chan, and Shibasaki-chan. My name is Chia Tokumiya. I work here with Shibasaki-san.” Tokumiya-san had an endearing smile. “I had no trouble recognizing her as your sibling after noticing the striking resemblance between you two, Shibasaki-san.” She then said to my brother. “You share the same good looks.”

“R-Really? D-Do you think so? Hehe…” My brother’s grin was a sight of pure joy as he aimlessly ruffled the back of his ash blonde hair.

Oooh… I see what’s going on here.

“I’d hold off on the mushy romantic chitchat until later if I were you, my dummy brother.” I slackly put it out there.

“W-What?!” My brother’s eyes popped open at me again. “You little brat, this isn’t a—”

“Surely you don’t want to lose your job as it would cut your chance to go on dates, Onii-chan...” I smirked and immediately gestured to a man with his arm crossed standing a few feet behind them, whom I assumed was the restaurant’s manager. That man has been staring at these two for quite some time now.

“Aahh!” Tokumiya-san’s jaw dropped when she saw the man horn-mad. “That’s right! Let’s get to work, Shibasaki-san!”


I couldn’t contain my giggle as I watched the pair quickly leave our presence.

“You and your brother have an incredible bond, Yuyo.” Minori was smiling while staring at my brother.

“Uhmm… Yeah. That’s one way to put it. We grew up together, and it’s just been the two of us for the last four years. Moreover, I think the age and interest differences keep us from fighting over petty matters as much as other siblings do.”

“I see what you mean.” She then riveted her gaze on me. “At the same time, I believe you know each other pretty well to tell if one of you likes someone.”

“Ah... That? He’s not that difficult to read, really. That awkward expression on his face gave him away, just like yours did.” I scoffed. “I guess my sibling wasn’t joking when he said he wanted to date again, huh?” I noted despite myself.

“But what about you, Yuyo? I’m curious as to when you plan on getting one.”

“Eh?” I furrowed my brows. “Get what?”

“I mean, how long will it take you to connect with someone who will spark your interest in romance? Don’t you feel lonely when everyone close to you has found the one they like? Say, like Kyashii-chan, your brother, as well as me~...” Minori’s grin is one of childlike delight.

“Why would I be lonely?” I frowned. “Right! Since we’re already talking about it, why don’t you tell me more about your crush? I missed my chance to ask his name earlier. So, who is it?”

“Oh my~… Let’s save this conversation for later, Yuyo. I’m not in the mood to talk about it right now.” Minori winked facetiously.

“Heh...” I simply shrugged while a staff member brought our bowls of ramen to us. “Alright then, when you’re ready, Minori. I won’t be so adamant about it.”

Still and all, Minori got me thinking about her earlier remarks. It just dawned on me that almost everyone I care about has a favorite. Since I have zero desire to date or start a relationship, there is no one I would consider a romantic interest, just like them.

Yet, as I reflect on it, it’s uncanny there isn’t any guy I seem to have a crush on. Even if I’m not interested in dating or romance, I suppose there should be at least some sort of pull toward some men, right? But... How come I have never felt a physical attraction to any of the males I’ve known?

Is it just me, or am I missing something?

Then again... What if I’m already attracted to someone but don’t realize it’s this type of attraction? How can I know if I’m into them?

Hmm... Going by what I’ve read and seen, I gather that one is drawn to another person like that when their presence brings them peace or happiness, their crush’s movements appear to slow down, and they seem like a sunshiny thing.

“. . . .”

The thing is, I find those hints incredibly bizarre. Like seriously, how is it possible for anyone to see someone like that?! Rather than an attraction, it appears to be an illusion of one’s mind and eyes or a result of an active imagination.

Yeah… Something along those lines.


Just as I expected... It’s a lot more straightforward for me to navigate these romantic waters when I’m not the one who has a lot riding on the outcome. I used to, and pretty much still do, consider romance a plain sailing concept. However, I think the most challenging element of it is coming to terms with the reality that you like someone that way.


Whatever the case may be, I still have zero interest in wading into the murky romantic depths. It’s just that the fact that I don’t find boys sexually attractive stimulates my curiosity.

Oh well... If I’m lucky, I’ll eventually get a lightbulb moment and get it figured out at some point.

For the time being, I can only do my best to support those close to me and sincerely hope they get to be with those they care about most.


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I wish Honeyfeed would consider adding a feature allowing us to insert images here, just like other platforms.


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