Rino-chan was visibly shaken.
Her bright red face got even brighter and her eyes got wet.
「B-b-b-b-but…Don’t you have a girlfriend?! Did you break up with Kurusu Mia-san?」
「No, we haven’t」
Rino-chan stops in her place.
It’s a natural reaction. That’s why, this is the time for me to properly explain.
I explained how I had three girlfriends, a new one of my classmates may become one and how I want her to be my girlfriend.
If she refuses then that’s that.
I thought Rino-chan wanted to be my girlfriend.
Then there is only one method.
「That’s not normal, ya know?」
After nodding, I said.
「You have three girlfriends…and there’s another person…eh?」
I take Rino-chan’s hand in order to help with the chaos.
When she stares at me slightly drawing me in, she frowned.
「Wait…even if you tell me something so suddenly」
After agreeing I told her.
「Everyone’s meeting up this Saturday. If you want to become my girlfriend…I want you to come then」
「Please wait. Hold on for a second」
Rino-chan moved slowly through the river.
She retreats as if to put a distance between us.
And then she slips.
Her short shriek reached my ears.
My body unconsciously moved.
I got closer to Rino-chan who was falling on her butt.
I wrap my hands around her back and somehow keep ourselves up.
Our eyes met.
My heart let out one big thud.
Perhaps Rino-chan’s did as well.
There was silence as we stared at each other.
The far away sound of children’s voices passed by.
It’s a good time. It should be time for the kids to go home.
「Please let me go」
I let go of her while being careful to not have her fall.
Rino-chan properly conveys her thanks.
And then, deeply hanging her head she gets out of the river.
「Ah, I have a towel in my bag」
Silently nodding her head, she takes out the towel from my bag.
And then she wipes her feet and puts on her socks and shoes.
When she looked at me in the river, she had a somewhat artificial smile.
「I’ll think about it…」
After that, she said goodbye in a small voice and left.
I left the river and wiped my feet then put on my shoes.
I took out my phone and messaged Rino-chan the time and place for the meetup on Saturday.
＞They’ll be waiting at Okunashi Station at 11am
There was no reply.
I headed home.
「Wait, eh? What are you doing here?」
Mikoto’s jersey clad form raised her voice.
Right now, I’m in my bedroom. My childhood friend was sitting cross-legged on my bed.
When I talked about Eda, she gave an obvious reaction.
「Do you know Eda?」
「I don’t, I don’t」
She shook her head back and forth.
Her short black hair drew an arc.
She’s really easy to understand.
「Well it’s fine but since that’s how it is, you’ll be meeting at Eda’s house on Saturday」
「He-hee…I-is that so, hee」
Mikoto nods with a cramped face.
And then she timidly stands up and leaves my room.
Stopping her feet in front of my door, Mikoto’s body shook.
「Another person might come…」
「I was confessed to today and gave her an explanation」
After a bit of silence, Mikoto slapped the back of my head.
「You increase them to quickly!」
After turning around, I tilt my head towards Mikoto.
「But, she probably won’t come」
「That should be obvious! There shouldn’t be a human out there that would want to become your girlfriend after being told of this abnormal situation」
But, Rino-chan wanted to become my girlfriend.
If she doesn’t come on Saturday, it’ll be obvious I’ve been turned down.
While it may be true I have other girlfriends, it’s not like it won’t hurt me.
「Rather if she comes, I’ll give her a test to see if she is an appropriate girlfriend candidate」
「Yes, simply that thinking she wants to be your girlfriend is a grave mistake!」
I give a bitter smile to the somewhat excited Mikoto.
「I wonder if Eda is fine with it?」
Did she just call her ‘that person’?
Really, what happened.
There are things I want to ask but it’ll be troublesome if she hesitates to reply.
Mikoto left in a somewhat flustered state.
I was left alone in my room to worry endlessly.
How long has it been since nothing has happened?
I need to review physics. Even though I thought that, I couldn’t start working.
My phone rang at such a time.
I picked it up thinking it was from Rino-chan.
It was a message from an unexpected person.
＞Thanks for the work today.
＞This is Eda Fukiko.
＞There should be another girl besides me that wants to be your girlfriend coming on Saturday.
＞Or at least that’s the rumor on the wind.1
Rumor on the wind, she says…
Didn’t Mikoto absolutely tell her.
＞I have no issue with it.
＞It’s just that I’m worried it’ll interfere with your physics studying.
I’ve been found out.
Is it obvious?
＞Page 44 and 45 in the textbook is a vital place to study.
＞Since I will be confirming if you did tomorrow, I’d be glad if you would.
It was formal like a business message.
It wasn’t a mail that a high school girl would send.
But, knowing her it fits very well.
＞I’ll be doing it right now.
After giving that reply, I head towards my desk.
If it wasn’t for Eda’s message, I probably wouldn’t have reviewed.
- Similar to the “heard it through the grapevine” ↩