The flower garden that was this store’s pride—at a seat on the terrace that can look over it, was one high school girl.
「No…… pull back, if the photo taken is from further back, will it be good, I wonder……? No, close-up photograph…… needs dazzle……」
Across the screen of her smartphone, she was staring at a freshly made pancake.
While looking at that girl from a distant view, I mumble a few words.
Sato Koharu is in the same class as me. She has the nickname Salt-God Sato-san. Soft black hair cut into a bob cut that was skirting her shoulders, long slitted pupils, and a passing nose. She was a girl who was exactly in the middle of cute and beautiful, and because of her appearance, she draws a lot of attention. Koharu, with that name being cute, also helps, and up until now, the kinds of people who try to get closer with her, their amount is unknown.
However, now, there isn’t one classmate she’s gotten close with, and for what reason?
—In the first place, I wasn’t that close with her.
As for ikemen in the other class, the moment they recklessly invited her for a date, from Satou Koharu, they were bestowed the legend-like reply.
From when ikemen call out to her, a little seconds after the event, in that time she didn’t move her facial muscles. She didn’t move her facial muscles at all, or something like that. ……Did she not understand?
For Sato-san, her facial expression, of course, there was no favor between men and women, and no matter who, she always had a cold reception to them.
「No」 「It’s bothersome」 「So what」 「Can you leave already?」
And so on……, there is a lack of warmth and only uses set phrases, but because of the complete lack of expression, it’s like a shotgun was fired. [T/N: Literally “recorded language”, which I took as “phrases she prepared beforehand”]
Even still, as for drawing in people, it’s wholly the work of this girl’s overly-prepared appearance.
Maa, to this, people recognized the achievement of systematically shooting down anyone who could successfully get close, and in the end she was given the nickname 「Salt-God Sato-san」.
Apart from that……
「Sato-san, what are you doing there alone……?」
That girl, now, previously in my eyesight, while staring into her smartphone, was swinging her upper body, repeating something like 「Ah」 or 「Hm」 over and over again.
I guess, because of the situation, she is trying to take a picture of the pancake, it seems……
「……such a serious face for taking a picture of a pancake, really.」
It seems she’s concentrating greatly, and from just a little ago, when I was delivering the pancake here, she didn’t recognize me.
No, this is Sato-san, so if it’s not recognizing a classmate, the possibility is very high, but. If you hear it from the person in question’s mouth, your heart will be broken, so she also pretended not to recognize me.
By the way, this innocent high school boy’s name is Oshio Souta. Here, I am at my part-time job in “cafe tutuji”, a hideaway-like garden cafe in Sakura Niwaba city.
From my experience as a part-time worker—although as for that part time job, I’m the only one, however—a guest coming to the store alone is unusual. For high school girls, even more.
「From which angle is the best to take a picture……?」
……what, she’s even mumbling an interesting monologue. Not noticing it is unreasonable.
Nonetheless, this girl right now is a customer, it’s not good to listen too much.
I change my mind, and then draw back to the inner parts of the shop, and at that time.
「—Hey girl, what are you doing?」
Somehow, I’m disgusted, the reason being that manufactured sweet voice that could be heard, and when I look back over my shoulder I see that at the adjacent table three college guys are trying to establish a connection with Sato-san.
Sato-san is a little bewildered at the abrupt greeting, but immediately recovers her usual beautiful lack of expression.
「Do I have a relation with you?」 [T/N: Literally “Relation, exists?” I could have done “Do I know you”, but this one sounded more distant.]
At the cold voice like one’s spine freezing, I unconsciously let out an 「Oooh…..」 of admiration.
Salt-God Sato-san, even out of school, is going strong.
「Haha, that’s cute, being on guard like that, you know.」
「You’re taking a photo for Minsta, right? Lend me your smartphone, I’ll take the picture for you.」
「Incidentally, let’s exchange MINE contact info. Sharing, you know, sharing.」
The college boys carelessly laugh while not paying attention. Sato-san’s cold reception isn’t getting through.
On the contrary, against her will, Sato-san’s smartphone is snatched from her.
As one would expect, Sato-san is at a disadvantage.
I promptly turn on my heel, and rapidly draw close to the college students, and standing ahead of them—
「This isn’t that kind of store.」
Saying that, I point to the poster at the entrance of the store prohibiting picking up women.
「Because this girl will be troubled, it’s good if you stop.」
For Sato-san it’s unnecessary, but with her clear tone she had plainly asserted herself.
The three college students with Sato-san play stupid while looking up at me.
「Hahaha, not a chance, part-timer, you’re only standing and talking, aren’t you?」
「Yeah, yeah, quickly go back to work, you want our money, don’t you?」
……looking at that grinning face, it seems there is no intent to stop.
Then, I also have a thought.
I inhale, and then turn towards the kitchen, and shout.
「—Daaaaaaad! There’s a customer saying your pancake is beautiful and tasty!」
At my abrupt, eccentric behavior, one of the college students leaks out a voice.
However, the foolish boys instantly turn pale.
The reason is in the next moment, from the inner parts of the store they see something come out like a Western movie, a muscular man with a strong face, shoulders square looking directly this way.
This is only a theory, but their fear was an appeal to instinct.
「Oi, this is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous!!」
「Is he going to kill us!?」
The rest is very quick.
The other person is a high school student, therefore they could look down upon them, were the faces of the college students, but they scattered and ran away, and in an instant, disappeared.
For the late-arriving muscle daruma, seeing this, the literal daruma firmly frowned and barked.
「—they escaped again! I thought today for sure I could reach them!」
By the way, the name of this muscle daruma is Oshio Seizaemon. He is the owner of “cafe tutuji”, and my father.
Because his appearance is excessively Western, usually he is withdrawn in the kitchen, but his dream is someday a customer will say to him directly 「This beautiful pancake is delicious」.
He’s run this shop for seventeen years, but it seems his dream has not come true yet.
Anyways, I rush over to Sato-san, who had been taken aback.
「Sato-san, are you okay?」
I wasn’t noticing it, forgetting how to call her, and accidentally carelessly called her by her name. Though I can’t call her name, she looks up at me, surprised.
Ah, she remembers my name…… I’m probably happy but my chest is filling with something like an arrow, when Sato-san suddenly hugged me.
From Sato-san’s pupil, warm droplets are supplied to my shirt. Then ,she,
「U, uuu…… that was scary……!」
……Salt-God Sato-san, what is this?
That Sato-san buried her face in my chest and is crying. At that attitude outside my predictions, freezing up for a short while is my failure.
—Am I an idiot? With what reason I have, the expectation that a shop with a crying girl outside is good doesn’t exist, it seems.
「Dad, sorry, but I’ll be bringing her inside for a bit!」
「It’s fine! Your dad will do his best!」
Dad doesn’t ask for any particular reason, and with that reply he understands, incidentally showing off his front double biceps.
……is leaving it to me okay, or is it just a nuisance?
No, that sort of thing……!
「Sato-san, this way.」
I lend the no longer sobbing Sato-san a shoulder while, for now, guiding her from the part of the house that is the cafe—that is to say, I guided her to my room.
Sato-san, who was sitting on a chair, turned red, closed her eyes, and let out a breath.
In her hand is a teacup with rising steam.
「It’s Earl Gray, it’s the one I always drink.」
Sitting down on the bed on the opposite side of the room, saying that much I tasted my portion of black tea.
You can smell the showy aroma of Bergamot oranges and refreshing citrus mixed together.
Maa, cutting out the difficult parts, I’ve heard it’s a flavor that naturally calms you down like taking a breath.
Sato-san, right after, several times, little by little lifts the teacup to her mouth—finally it seems like she’s able to sort out the circumstances. Trying from the teacup, with apologetic upturned eyes, she stares this way……
「Oshio-kun…… do you know about me……?」
Someone who doesn’t know Salt-God Sato-san who goes to the same school, likely there aren’t any, I think, but.
「I know, I thought of calling out but hesitated, but since Sato-san was making a very serious face while looking into the smartphone, I stopped.」
The truth is, I can say with confidence, that it’s just scary that I would not be recognized, but it’s somewhat of a lie of an innocent high school boy’s circumstances……
「With such a serious face, what were you doing?」
She didn’t want to be asked, it seems.
Sato-san let out a noise and blushed, flustered. On the edge of the tea cup, restlessly both of her thumbs fidgeted.
……truthfully, what was Salt-God Sato-san?
「No, if you don’t particularly want to say it……」
「……O, Oshio-kun! Here, won’t you look!?」
During the time she was fidgeting with her thumbs, it seems she found some kind of determination. Sato-san says she was eating, and presents her smartphone.
The smartphone cover is really one sold as Yen shops and is plain, and because of that any decorations are missing, you wouldn’t think it’s a high school girl’s with its appearance.
Sato-san isn’t as cold as this phone.
「What happened to your smartphone?」
「That…… that, a photo……」
Saying that, Sato-san timidly pointed to the smartphone’s display.
There, photograph files are displayed in a row.
「…..is it okay if I look?」
Looking into the photo folders of a high school girl, what kind of crime would I be accused of, I wonder?
That is the only reason I timidly asked, and while her face was red like an apple, moment by moment she repeatedly nodded her head.
I leave my hesitation behind, although, when I look into the display,
「…what is this」 I say unconsciously, my voice leaking out.
No, of course I understand the contents. From end to end on the screen, amassed photos of sweets taken until now are displayed.
Maaah, if it’s to this extent, 「Heeh, you have a sweet tooth, that’s fine, isn’t it, I think that’s cute」 and so forth, making a comment like that is safe.
「Sato-san, for taking photos, you’re a little unskilled, huh……」
My straightforward thoughts unconsciously leapt out from my mouth, and Sato-san face, up to her ears, was dyed bright red.
No, a little bit more…… it was incredibly unskilled.
To a girl I don’t usually talk to, I would say it confidently, but it’s hopelessly bad.
The shine, among other things, was a problem.
For example, this photo of cake, it was entirely too dark, and then if at first you can’t recognize it as food, the feeling of it looking delicious, there isn’t one millionth of it.
And this is especially cruel, but…… this, this kind of photo I don’t really understand.
With frail backlighting, far from food, on the whole screen white is leaping out, in the first place what is even being shown, it isn’t definite.
Eh, what is this? The moment the shutter closed, did a meteorite fall down?
—when I try thinking about it, as for having just been taken, just some time ago, Sato-san took pictures of my house’s pancakes. This is a joke, it seems.
The numerous shocking photos, from the top of the folder to the bottom, were crammed in and completely filled it.
When I am completely dumbfounded, while Sato-san’s shoulders shake little by little, she slowly opens her mouth.
「It’s embarrassing to say but, the truth is I…… don’t have friends……」
「Eh? Surely, you……」
Surely, I thought she had no interest in other people. I was about to say that, but I shut my mouth in a panic. That was dangerous! As expected, that’s too rude!
「I, is that so…… it’s unexpected, isn’t it?」
「I, when the talking seems like it’s boring…… I immediately separate and leave……」
Wrong, you’re wrong, Oshio Sota. This isn’t something like a lead up to a joke, therefore I absolutely wouldn’t tsukkomi. Sato-san, now, is honestly confiding her troubles to me……! [T/N: Tsukkomi is basically the punchline in a Japanese 2 man comedy, where the “boke” does something dumb and the tsukkomi reacts to it. Basically, the straight man.]
「But, as expected, because I’m also a high school girl, I also want friends…… so……」
「If I became a Minstagrammer, then can I make friends, I thought…….」
I tightly hold my mouth in a straight line.
You mustn’t laugh, you mustn’t laugh, Oshio Sota!
「……I, I like sweet things, and so something like after school or on the weekend, I often go to eat sweet food alone. So, if I submit it to Minsta, I can have such things like a topic of conversation with everyone……. 」
「Mi, Minsta, huh, yes, that’s something high school girls do……」
…..now then, more or less, it’s a compliment.
Minsta is an SNS application where the main submissions are photos, and is the abbreviation of Minstagram.
Highschool girls nationwide use it along with a great number of celebrities—-in plain words, you aim for communicating with a large number of people with stylish photos, it’s that kind of app.
Then, a Minstagrammer is a person who uses this app.
「G, that’s good, isn’t it! If you submit photos to Minsta, everyone’s public opinion of Sato-san will change, right!?」
That was my real intention.
Well, already my opinion changed and made a comeback.
After all, that Salt-God Sato-san, is visiting stylish cafes on holidays, and is indeed uploading pictures of sweets onto Minsta, right?
If it bears fruit, because how others looks her changes, it seems, she’ll make friends immediately…… when I thought that, Sato-san speaks with a voice that could vanish at any moment,
「But, I’m a little unskilled at taking pictures…..」
「If I put that photo on Minsta, from the next day, I’ll encounter fierce teasing, won’t I, and that makes me anxious…… they’ll hide my indoor shoes and put thumbtacks in them……! When I think about that, I can’t make an account…..!」
Saying that, Sato-san’s face turned pale.
Sato-san, I thought you were at the top of our grade, but, in reality, are you an idiot……?
—however, haaaah, I understand the main point.
Sato-san’s troubles are that she’s a girl called Sato-God Sato-san by everyone, but the reality is she’s a girl not like that at all.
Then, for that girl, the present condition is something she is making an effort to change.
「Can I borrow this for a bit?」
「Eh? I, it’s fine, what are you……」
Holding onto her smartphone, I start up the camera application.
After that, with an accustomed hand, I make changes to the lighting, select the filter, and then the sound of the shutter going pikon is heard, the photo is saved.
「Yep, here you are.」
Sato-san who was originally suspicious, right after she looks at the screen, her pupils that were wide as it is opened up wider—
Ahead of the surprised Sato-san’s sight, on the smartphone display, now, was a picture of deep red tea like one on Minsta.
「You’re more skilled than me…..!」
That’s the case, isn’t it
「H, how……! T, this…… Oshio-kun!?」
Sato-san says my name, but I wonder if it isn’t from excitement.
I take out my own smartphone, and reply to that question.
「—I also do Minsta…… more exactly, I run “cafe tutuji”’s official account.」
Displaying on my smartphone is Minsta’s main page.
My father is unfamiliar with SNS, so there the photos I’ve collected of “cafe tutuji” until now are arranged in a row.
A menu signboard for pancakes, limited time flavored teas, and then the flower garden in full bloom.
Overall, with the submitted photos, the follower amount……
Sato-san sees it, but as if she couldn’t believe it, her gaze keeps going back and forth from me to the smartphone screen, whispering,
「You’re a Minstagramer……」
……I see, Minsta was part of those guys’ diversion in their strategy of picking up girls, although it seems I wasn’t entirely mistaken.
At any rate, Sato-san’s opinion of me had changed into someone completely respetable.
With that one hour, there are two things I understand concerning Sato-san.
First, Sato-san is cold, but the reason for that is she has no interest in strangers, but the reason isn’t a lack of emotion towards them, rather towards other people she is extremely nervous.
According to the person themselves, 「I, from back then, when I would chat with people, the nervousness would make me freeze up, and the number of words I spoke became less and less…… ah, if it’s my mom, I’m fine, you know!」 If you look at her condition and examine it, it isn’t as much as expected. Salt God Sato-san’s true character was a mere extreme fear of strangers.
Then, one more.
Her taste in taking photos is catastrophic.
「Th, this time, how is it, I wonder, Oshio-kun!?」
I scowled at the girl’s smartphone that was presented to me so full of confidence, groaning softly.
More or less, if I prepare to say it, this doesn’t mean I can judge if the photo is good or bad.
How can I do that, as if that’s the case, I’ll break this girl’s dainty heart, if I tell her that this photograph is the worst?
As for the words I’m selecting, still— 「 ……No, it’s terrible, I don’t understand how」 In the end, I decide to honestly report it.
No…… already, I don’t have a sense of art. I wonder how you can take a picture of ordinary black tea to make it look like it isn’t delicious at all…… is that her one and only talent……?
With that sort of feeling, at the time my thoughts even started to break into that area of philosophy, I recognize that Sato-san since some time ago has been silent.
Suddenly coming to my senses I lift my face and when I look—Sato-san is close to crying, and her shoulders trembling, aren’t they?!
「Eh, wait…… Sato-san?」
「I…… it’s fine if you don’t say it, isn’t it……?」
My lips are sharp in her eyes, and her large eyes shake.
—this is dangerous.
「—Ahh! No, but, um…… yes! You’re better than last time…… I think!」
「Really!?」 [T/N: Nice save, Oshio.]
At that moment, Sato-san’s facial expression brightened.
……for lies that don’t hurt people, they’re a gentle lie.
Or perhaps I should say, just what is Salt God Sato-san!
She’s extremely full of emotion?!
「If I keep practicing a little more, I wonder if I can become a famous Minstagramer.」
Ah, hold on, it was only a little praise and yet in an instant she got carried away.
As it is, that disgusting photograph will be released onto the seas of the internet. That much, I must absolutely avoid. For her sake, and for the sake of the world.
I was spurred on by a sense of duty, and from my bed went around the girl sitting in the chair.
「But, doing it this way is better, I think.」
「Start up the camera app.」
「Eh…… y, yes,I did it…… h, hya!!?」
When I, from behind, extended my arm, accompanying her hand on that was holding the smartphone, Sato-san let out a high pitched scream. It screeched in my ears.
「Uwa, you’re surprised.」
「S, susususu, I’m surprised!? Your hand…… is also close to my face……!」
「In this way, it’s easier to teach you because we’re looking at the same screen, isn’t it…… it’s because Sato-san can’t focus.
Kaaaaa, from behind, Sato-san’s face looked like it turned red like blood.
I’ll say it again to confirm, but Sato Koharu is a beautiful girl.
Because she’s already in the top five of the school, I’ve heard her figure is good for amateur modeling.
……so, when that sort of reaction came out of her, I only just became conscious of it.
From her rustling hair, something like the faint smell of shampoo, the white nape of her neck, her rough breathing…… not good.
I shake my head a little and block out my worldly desires, and concentrate on the screen of the smartphone.
Then, I teach the way of taking an attractive photo for Minsta, and at that time.
Sato-san calls my name with a delicate voice.
Maybe because of the tension, her voice became heated, and when was affected by this heat, somehow I stopped.
「……what is it?」
「This time….. this, this, however……」
For a while she took a few breaths, in order to prepare to say something—
「—um, thank you for a little bit ago…… it was really cool.」
Sato-san’s smartphone rang out with that idiotic sound.
After a delay, Sato-san and I each let out an 「Ah」 that overlapped, and immediately, the door to my room opened.
「Soutaaa! A dangerous group has come! Help me a little…..」
As soon as my father looked here, he froze in place.
Then, after the unpleasant, short silence, my father like a brilliant flower, with a back lat spread and the appeal of the inverted triangle on his back, left with the words, 「I’ll do my best on my own!」, strongly closed the door and quickly left. [T/N: So the “inverted triangle” in this case is not panties, but what really guys with really broad shoulders look like, as they look like an upside down triangle.]
Again there was silence, and then a late overwhelming embarrassing feeling descended.
Now that doesn’t mean it was only her, but for me as well, up to my ears my face was blushing.
「Ha, haha, a group, he says…… if I don’t go back, it might be bad.」
「T…… that’s right, it might be bad, right! Ahaha……」
Sato-san and I make distance between ourselves as if a bullet was repelled.
We were sensing each other. Already there are various boundaries.
「Th, then, then! I’ll go home! Sorry for the trouble! I’ve cause all sorts of trouble! Um, if you send my apologies to your father as well, I’ll be happy, I wonder!? After, after…… after school, would you like to meet again!?」
In order to leap up from the chair, she stood up, and then Sato-san hurriedly ran up to the door.
Then, 「—Then, I’m sorry for the bother!」 Practically as if she were shouting her goodbyes at the end, Sato-san left my room behind.
I, left behind, inevitably…… soundlessly let out a 「Ahhhhh…..」, and in that situation, fell down.
My heart was still making a thumping noise.
Surely, now, in the cafe, my father is busily running around, it seems, but…… sorry, it’s impossible.
I lean against my bed, with shaking hands, I use my shaking hands to drink from the teacup.
The black tea already cooled down.
「……until just now, Sato-san was here, huh.」
I can’t believe it, it was completely like a dream, but it seems like I saw it.
—impossible, my first love until just now was in my room, and the two of us were having a conversation.
「I didn’t say anything strange, did I……」
While thinking a little anxiously, I finish the remaining black tea.
Then, at the moment I put the emptied teacup on the table, I discovered it had fallen under the chair.
With a cover that was certainly bought from a yen store was unusually plain, with the expected decorations missing, the owner who isn’t as cold as you would expect—
「……Sato-san forgot her phone.」
I sprinted with all of my might.
For some reason I didn’t understand, I recklessly ran.
Each person who was walking down the road turned their head, suspicious of me, but that’s outside of my thoughts.
Now, there was only one truth that occupied my mind.
That was……. 「I entered the room of my first love……!」
With my face that felt hot, I’m swirling with regrets at the numerous blundered I committed today, and also because of the tension, I talked too much.
Could I have been skillfully talking, or did I say something strange, I wonder!? It was probably because I was thinking only about that sort of thing.
As for having noticed my fatal blunder, it was only after it started to get dark.
—I forgot my smartphone.
When I noticed it, while recalling my other various blunders, I was burying my head in my pillow and yelling.
Today was only one day, but I there is the feeling as if I used up all of my mistakes for a year, and in the end, even next year’s mistakes have been used up with my momentum.
……compared to that, why did I forget my smartphone at the house of the person I like……
But, there’s no use crying over spilled milk. For now, the choice is whether or nt to return for my smartphone.
This, for me, was a difficult question. Because it might already be the time the cafe is closed, visiting late would cause trouble for Oshio-kun.
Besides, above anything else, if I try to meet him again, I don’t know what extremely embarrassing thing I’ll accidentally do next time!
I was worried.
Maybe I’ll be worried until the year after the next one.
Then, around the time I’ve developed a fever that grows my intelligence, after my troubles—
「……after taking a bath, let’s go back」
I calmed down and reached that sort of conclusion.
After carefully taking a shower at 7pm, watching me put on makeup, my mother is very curiously watching me, however somehow I dodged the question.
Therefore now, I return down the roads I came from, and finally come back here.
While concealed in the lukewarm summer night, I, Sato Koharu, tightly hold my painfully beating chest.
If I turn right there at the corner, I can see “cafe tutuji”, that is to say, Oshio-kun’s home.
—after all, Oshio-kun is my first love.
I can never talk to him in class, and in order to not be noticed the best I can do is watch him from a distance, but still his coolness was seared into my eyes.
His slender legs, his eyes that looked a little drowsy, soft looking hair, dimples that would come out during the times he would smile……
Then today, with him being a stylish cafe employee, moreover I discovered the new reality he was a Minstagramer!
Certainly unlike me, he was extremely popular, I wonder……
When I thought that far, I examined and then accidentally reconfirmed my miserable self, and my legs became considerably heavy.
As expected, it’s better to go home, isn’t it…… such feelings started to rise up.
「……I came this far.」
I told myself that and took a deep breath. I resolved myself, and finally went around the corner.
Then, at the scene spread out in front of my eyes, suddenly my breath was taken.
There’s a light turned on at “cafe tutuji”, which was expected to be closed.
It seemed like it was glittering, however the decorative warmly shining lights were faintly shining on the flower garden, filled with a fantastic beauty. It’s a child-like example, however, it’s completely like I’ve gotten lost in the world of a picture book.
As if it I was invited, I took one step, then one step again, and advanced into the flower garden.
Then, even if I passed through the flower arch into the center of that wondrous world, I recognized his appearance.
Holding a teacup with one hand, on one of the terrace seats, Oshio-kun was there, legs crossed.
Unconsciously, I mumbled his name.
That voice reached—I don’t think it was the case, but Oshio-kun who noticed me, put down his partially finished cup of tea, and with a gentle smile— 「 Sato-san, I’ve been waiting, you know」—the moment I heard that voice, with my heart that was beating that fast, I seriously thought it had stopped.
My face becomes pale, and my next words won’t come out.
Unable to just watch that sort of me, Oshio-kun stands up, and relaxedly walks towards me.
Wait, right now is dangerous! Right now is dangerous, now is dangerous, because—!
「You forgot your smartphone, right? Here you are.」
I finally opened up my frozen throat, 「M, maybe, you’ve been waiting for me?」
「Yep, will she return to pick this up, I thought, and then I turned on the lights and waited. Something like leaving your phone at a guy’s house isn’t pleasant, right?」
Buruburuburu! trembles my head.
This isn’t good, even if you try to behave smartly, in front of Oshio-kun I panic and words don’t come out…….!
Seeing that sort of me, Oshio-kun sweetly smiles, 「Is your house closeby? It hasn’t become completely dark, but be careful returning home, you know?」
Finally leaving with those words, he turns on his heel.
Ahh, Oshio-kun left—
From my mouth words sprung out, regardless of my intentions.
Expressing my thanks, and for saying see you tomorrow at school.
That would be good, right, and that would be the best, beautiful ending, right?
Although I understood thoughts, my mouth conveniently—
「Then—it’s okay if I take a picture!?」
The moment those words came out of my mouth, I felt a sensation of going completely pale from my body.
What, what did you say, me!?
「Ah…… th, that’s not right! That, the cafe’s garden is very, um…… it’s because it’s beautiful! Look! It’s because I’m aiming to become a Minstagramer!? Really, it looks beautiful!?」
「……You want to take a picture of my house’s garden? That, of course, is fine, but……」
「Y…… yes! H, hooray! I’m sorry!? I’ve caused so many troubles for you, ahaha……」
What do you mean, ahaha.
I hold up the horizontally held smartphone and then unnaturally say, 「I’ll take a picture now—」, pausing.
However, the insides of my head were already in chaos.
My hand holding the smartphone, it can’t be helped that it’s trembling. It shows itself before my eyes, as what’s reflected on the screen, I can’t understand.
This is impossible for me, truly… truly impossible.
Mou, I immediately wanted to disappear.
—at that time, from behind, a hand stretched and was put on top of mine.
It’s slender and beautiful, but I understand that it certainly is a boy’s, that sort of hand.
It’s several seconds or several minutes or several hours, I think, with how much the time is stretched, he speaks with an always kind voice.
「I’ll help you.」
At that moment, he guided my finger, and tapped the button.
That is the button that changes the inside camera and outside camera.
That is to say, now, on the smartphone display I, and Oshio-kun who is placing his hand on mine, is reflected, and—pikon.
Our voices saying 「Ah」 overlap a second time, and the two-shot of us together is saved onto the smartphone.
The two of us drift into a short silence.
「……Ah, so, sorry…… I took a picture of ourselves, should we redo it?」
「N, n-no! You took a good photo! T, thank you, Oshio-kun……!」
After I watched Sato-san’s retreating figure vanish, I fell down to my knees.
Already, from a long time ago, there were various limits.
Together with a beast-like roar, from the inner parts of the branches a muscular Daruma—er, rather, my father jumped out.
When my dad rushed up to me, with those big hands he patted my back while putting a towel on me.
Then for the first time I realized it, but my back had become drenched in sweat. My throat had also become parched.
I, with a trembling hand, drink from the teacup in one gulp.
「What is it, Souta!」
「I, did I say something strange……!? Or disgusting……!?」
「It’s fine! You were like a cool guy! Like an extremely handsome guy!」
My father wiped my back with the towel, while from the bottom of my heart I let out a relieved sigh.
Truly, I thought my heart stopped.
AND WE ARE BACK!
Man, that was a LONG chapter, holy moly. But here we are! It’s good to be back, even if we’re mostly covering ground that was previously covered.
Either way, not too much else to say, other than it’s going to be a while. Hopefully we can hit something like a normal cadence, but yeah, these chapters are long, and on Google Docs where I keep this, the chapter hits 20 pages post-translation. My goodness.
For everyone who’s been holding out for this one, I thank you for waiting. As always, though, please make sure to go and buy the original, even if you can’t read it, to support the original author!