Chapter 5:

Definitely Not a Date

We are Supposed to be the Side Characters

Now I’ve done it. It’s been a week and the whole class probably thinks I'm seriously hitting on the transfer student on her first day at school. And somehow, it worked.


Weekend. The Date.

Now, I'm hiding behind a tree with Miya beside me. We're both hunched over, completely engrossed in what we're observing.

"You... really intended to spy on them, huh?" I ask.

"Ssst," Miya cuts me off. Her focus at that moment is on Noa, sitting by the water fountain near the station, waiting for Nikki, the guy who was supposed to meet her 30 minutes ago.

"I said it's a double date, not a secret surveillance mission. What do people think when they see us like this?" I observe the passersby, all of whom are giving us strange glances.

I'm stuck in this covert operation with Miya, spying on Noa and that flaky Nikki. Great, just great. People passing by are giving us weird looks. What are they thinking? Probably wondering why we're lurking behind a tree like a pair of detectives from some cheesy crime drama.

"Hey," I mutter, trying to bail out.

"If this is your plan, I guess you can handle it alone. Can I go home now?" I suggest.

Miya just gives me those puppy-dog eyes, begging me to stay. She's really laying it on thick with the cuteness.

Fine, fine, I'll stick around for a bit longer.

Another 10 minutes pass.

Seeing Noa still waiting there, even though that jerk Nikki hasn't shown up, irritates me. Plus, my legs are getting numb from sitting crouched under this tree. So, I decide to stand up and make a move.

"Wait," Miya interjects.

She pulls out a Walkie Talkie of all things. What's she planning now?

"Ask her where Nikki is!" she instructs.

I take the Walkie Talkie without bothering to ask questions. As if I care.

Czzzz czzzz. The Walkie Talkie connects, and I reluctantly play along with this spy drama.

The sound comes out without pressing any buttons. Figures, this whole thing is a mess.


I can't believe I'm doing this. I walk up to Noa, pretending like I actually care about this whole situation.

But I have a plan. Later at the right moment, I'll make my escape and leave them both at some fancy women's shop or something.

"Noa," I call out, trying not to sound too annoyed.

"Oh, hey Kai. You’re on the date too?" she replies with that casual tone.

“Yeah, lucky me. So, where's Nikki?" I ask.

"...Ehehehe," Noa chuckles nervously.

"Sorry about that, you are with Miya and everything…" she adds, waving towards the tree where I was hiding earlier.


"You know, you could've just left and gone home. I’ll tell it to Nikki later, don’t worry about him," I say.

Suddenly, from Noa's left side, a little girl's head pops up. She's sitting next to Noa.

"Eh? Who's this kid?" I ask.

"Well, before coming here, I found this kid wandering around in front of the station. She said she got separated from her mom, who got on the train first. Luckily, there was a phone number in her bag, so I called and now I'm waiting for her mom to pick her up here," Noa explains.

I join Noa on the other side, sitting down.


"It just… Let me keep you company," I say.

"No, no need! Go enjoy your date with Miya..." Noa protests, but she looks a bit pouty. I guess sitting here for half an hour is getting to her.

"Hey, what's your name?" I lean over to the kid on Noa's left, trying to get her attention.

But she just clings to Noa's right hand, too scared to even look at me. Figures, my face can be intimidating. I stop looking at her, and unconsciously, I glance at Noa, our faces almost too close for comfort.

My ears are starting to burn. Damn it.

"Wh-why don't we get some snacks?" I blurt out, trying to change the subject. Smooth move, me. Now Noa seems to have forgotten that awkward moment already, i think.

"I'll wait here," I tell them as they get up.

"No, come on!" Noa stands up and grabs the kid's hand, leading her to the nearest food stall.

I let out a sigh. This is going to be a long day.


"Lilia!!" The voice must be her mother. At the same time, the walkie-talkie in my hand starts making noise. It's Nikki's voice.

"Where have you been?!" Miya's voice comes through too, but she’s not talking to me.

I try to hide myself a little behind Noa, not wanting to get any more involved with the Mom. Noa deserves all the credit from her mother for finding the lost kid.

After Lilia and her mom reunite, her mom looks at Noa with gratitude. "Noa, right?"

"Yes," Noa replies.

"I don't know how to thank you. I owe you both a lot."

Now we just need to go find Nikki and Miya.

Wait a second, ‘both’?

"Oh, right. After this, we planned to go to the cake cafe to try the best sweet treats here. How about you two join us? It's the least I can do to repay you."

The kid's face lights up with excitement.

I thought I was hiding perfectly… but apparently, it's not helping when I'm staring at them from behind Noa.

I had planned to decline their offer and let Noa go after Nikki to scold him. But my feet have a mind of their own, and apparently, Miya and Nikki start moving after the conversation that I overheard between them through the walkie-talkie.


At the restaurant, Noa's back to her usual self. Thank goodness, she's not dwelling too much on Nikki.

But after we part ways with them in front of the restaurant, her expression turns blank again. Even the slice of cake she's holding suddenly feels cold.

"Nikki... went with Miya, huh?" she asks with a flat tone.

"Huh? How do you know that?"

"Before we went to the restaurant, I saw them together."

"Yeah..." I try to take the walkie-talkie from my waist pouch. "The thing is..."

"What's that?" Noa asks.

"Miya gave this to me earlier. Anyway, I overheard their conversation... The thing is, Kai's grandma fell ill, so he had to take her to the hospital. And when he was going to tell you about it, he met Miya. It seems like Miya knows his grandma. You know, they were childhood friends..."

"So... you know, maybe Miya trusted me to tell you, I just couldn’t find the right time, sorry" I continue.

At that moment, Noa's expression changes, as if she just realized a big mistake. She freezes in place, contrasting with the cake slipping from her hand.