ete stop, and as soon as the doors open, several passengers get on and off.
When the train started moving again, Ageha muttered to herself overhead.
Today is a date… right?”
“…If meeting with the opposite sex on a set date and time is called a date, then I guess it probably is.”
“Mmm, what’s that?”
When I responded with a flinch, she puffed out her cheeks in dissatisfaction, then suddenly relaxed her expression and looked up at me.
Feeling her gaze, I looked back at her.
Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and I was surprised to see her blush.
“After today is over, will you still date me again…?”
The difference in sitting height makes her look up.
Her eyes, slightly moistened, are shaking with a lonely, anxious look.
Her sweet voice, which I should be used to hearing, has a different resonance than usual and quietly shakes my eardrums.
I repeat to myself over and over again, I love Karen.
Even now that I know she has a boyfriend.
I don’t think I can return her favor.
She said she would definitely make me fall in love with her, but it would be heartless of me to take her at her word and keep her by my side without pushing her away.
That’s what I think…
A deep, serious gaze is fixed on me.
Even though she was rejected by me, she still likes me.
I once again looked up at the advertisements in the car.
There were advertisements for hot spring trips, which is typical for this time of year, and even a campaign for watching the first sunrise of the year on the train.
I felt her move next to me.
I looked back at her again and let out a small breath before answering.
Poof, a flower blooms on her face.
Even though I know my response is cruel to her, my cheeks naturally relax when I see that face of hers.
Cute, I thought.
Feeling a little embarrassed about that, I open my mouth to drown out the shame.
“But only after you finish your exams.”
“If that’s true, students usually have to study even today, right?”
“No, it’s important to take a break…”
The face of the Ageha is scrunched up and looks in the direction of the day after tomorrow.
However, she immediately turned her head and looked up at me again, as if she had just thought of something.
‘Well, then! Let’s go on a date after the exam.
I’ll hold out until then!”
“You’ll finish your exams in March, right?”
“I’ll wait until March!”
She tried to persuade me like a child, and I nodded my head and said, “Okay.”
“If you pass the exam, let’s go somewhere to celebrate.
Then, unlike today, I can think about all kinds of things.”
“Yes, yes! It’s a promise!”
I hurriedly controlled the joyful voice of Ageha, who was shouting.
This is a public institution.
Even though there are few people here, we have to be quiet.
She shrank back and held her mouth, but after muttering “date, date” repeatedly, she looked up with a big smile on her face.
“Well, I’ll be your escort today.”
“Yeah, I’m glad to have you.”
As I responded to her words, I suddenly realized something I shouldn’t have.
From the… side, I thought this was a conversation between a couple.
“What? What’s wrong?”
Perhaps noticing that something was amiss, Ageha tilted her head.
I shook my head hurriedly and said in a slightly hushed voice, “It’s nothing.”
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