Chapter 4:

Confess, Yuuki-kun!

Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

On my way back, I didn’t have any noteworthy dialogue with Satoshi. I don’t think we could’ve, given how the pressure of the moment piled up. For him, at least. I didn’t care how it went. I just wanted to get it over with.

I’d be able to do it soon as well, as the trees surrounding the hill faded and revealed Ayane near my tent. Unsurprisingly, I felt a bump on my elbow from Satoshi.

“I’ll be waiting behind the tent.”

“So you’re gonna eavesdrop on me?”

“I suppose. I just wanna make sure Satou-kun doesn’t cause a big scene when he sees you making your move.”

“Oh yeah, he takes his time eating.”

“Yep. He’s always going on about savoring his food.”

“It’s ridiculous how he does it. Like, even he thinks the food is terrible.”

“I think he just has an inherent respect toward artists.”

“If only he could extend that to you.”

Satoshi chuckled.

“I wish. Anyway, I’ll give you some space.”

“Thank you.”

Ending our conversation, Satoshi began to pick up his pace as I slowly jotted down the hill. My tent resided nearby, so I knew I wouldn’t take too long to get there. With nothing else on my mind, I continued to relish in my time alone, until I made it to my tent and met eyes with Ayane.

I felt a slight beat in my chest, with this being the first time it grew apparent to me. Granted, I suppose it happened earlier too. I couldn’t think of that, though. I gave myself no other choice but to get it over with, so I took a deep breath, stood tall, and let out my hand.

“Ayane-chan, will you be my girlfriend?”

Her body jumped up. Her head faced down. As soon as she felt the heat in her face, she tried to cover her cheeks with her hands. For a second, I thought she looked back at me, but she looked away not long after. As her mouth wobbled, apparently incapable of speech, the length of the moment became ever-present. Finally though, with her eyes locking mine, she gave her response with a smile.


A silence then filled the windy, mountain air. Many seconds went by without a word. Perhaps, I wanted her to say something more, but as my face looked up at the night sky, I realized our conversation had ended.

Needing to take initiative, I gave her eye contact and asked her a question.

“Do you want me to take you back to your tent?”

Moving her hands, she held them together in front of her chest. Perhaps she thought this would give her good luck. It likely did, too, as even if she may not have been able to look at me, she did respond.

“I’d love to.”

Moving step by step, my mind went to many places. I guess my friends really did have the last laugh, given how she actually said yes to me.

Regardless, I took my time to figure out how Ayane walked. Her steps were very calculated, but her head also looked down. Then glancing at her face, her frown and widened eyes communicated a fear of tripping with each step. Calling her a wreck would be an understatement. Somehow, though, I found it endearing. Especially once she broke through and opened her mouth to speak.

“I thought you would’ve said something like…”

She couldn’t finish her sentence, straight up hiding her face with her hands. Although, after slapping it a few times, she finally could finish.

“I love you!”


Sure, I knew what the context was, but hearing those words after such a wonderful build-up had my heart racing. That might have also explained why I had to gulp before speaking again, although I denied that as the cause. I had to regain my composure and tell her my intentions.

“I couldn’t have done that. I don’t know if I can love you because I don’t know you yet.”

Ayane tilted her head toward me, possibly confused, or maybe just curious.

“Then why did you ask me out?”

“I thought you were cute.”

Apparently, sudden pauses in the movement would be a recurrence with her, as when I turned around to look at her, she mumbled something.

“Me? Cute? Why?”

Was she never told that? How?

“Does there have to be a reason?”

Yet again, Ayane’s face went red, and this time, she couldn’t come back from it. As her steps grew faster and faster, I heard her final words of the night.

“Um… I-I’ll see you on our first date! Bye!”

She didn’t give me her contact info. What an odd girl. In that case, I guess I really could just go through the rest of the summer as normal. Yeah, absolutely nothing to worry about here! Nothing changed about me whatsoever.

That’s what I thought as I got back to my tent. Getting inside, I noticed Satou and Satoshi in their sleeping bags. Knowing that I’d need to say something, I did.

“Hey guys, I’m back.”

“That was so effing awkward!” Satou yelled as punched his sleeping bag.

I guess that’s what he’s defaulted to saying ever since his parents started taking away his video games as a result of his constant swearing. We were all used to that though, so Satoshi casually clobbered Satou with his hand.

“God dammit! You don’t have to be that forward about it! Hey, the walk might have been better for him anyway. We still don’t know how that went.”

Satoshi looked toward me.

“Speaking of which.”

After this, they both stared right at me. I guess they were just clambering for a response.

“I just walked her back. There’s nothing more to it.”

“So lame!” Satou yelled as he scratched his head.

“At least he has a girlfriend now,” Satoshi said.

“Yeah, ‘cause two weirdos are perfect for each other,” Satou mockingly said.

“Be a little less harsh toward Yuuki-kun, would ya?”

I loudly groaned at their idiocy, causing both of them to stop their arguing and look toward me, allowing me to finally give my two cents.

“Stop defending me Satoshi-kun. I don’t mind anyway. At least I’ll be getting laid before Satou-kun.”

Apparently, this insult cut deep enough into Satou to get right up my face.

Grabbing my shoulders, he said, “Shut your shit-eating mouth!”

“Language like that is precisely why you’ve been rejected so many times.”

Satou slammed his hands back into his pockets as he responded on the opposite side of me.

“At least I have standards.”

“C’mon, I keep telling you that Ayane-chan is cute.”

“I don’t see it. Where’s her damn chest!?”

Having enough of the debate, Satoshi turned off the lamp next to him.

“Shut up guys! Let’s just sleep.”

Following Satoshi’s request, we put our differences aside and fell asleep. Now, with our camping trip being over the next morning, I could finally return to my normal life. Well, I could only dream, as school would start back up not too long later, putting me at an inevitable second encounter with Ayane.

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