Love Advice From A Childhood Friend. - V2 Chapter 6.5: Changing Everyday Life. (Part 5)
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Changing Everyday Life. (Part 5)
Hinagata confirmed via message that I could call her.
Once again, I was a little nervous about the phone call.
It had never happened before.
I replied, “Sure,” and the message was read immediately.
I waited a bit, and then the call came in.
I clicked the answer button and listened attentively.
“Ryunosuke… good evening.”
If anything, she wanted to say hello.
“Good evening… It’s been a long time since we’ve talked on the phone, it’s making me nervous.”
It’s past ten o’clock at night. I’m not going to bed yet, but Hinagata, who is an early riser, will probably be in bed in a little bit. When I asked her before, she said she would be in bed by this time.
“Good luck for the test.”
“What are you bad at, Hinagata?”
“I’m not good at English.”
“Ahh, I can understand that.”
The conversation took two turns.
I began by telling her that I was bad at both math and English and that I had somehow managed to avoid extra classes at the end of the last semester.
“Yes, I know.”
I heard a laugh like an exhaled breath in my ear.
“Ryunosuke, you’re quite talkative today.”
“Talkative, I mean…”
I thought it was one thing for Hinagata not to talk, but I also wondered about the fact that the phone calls were silent for so long.
Then we started talking about the places to play that we had talked about during the study session, and then went back to talking about studying, and so on and so forth in an unremarkable conversation.
There was nothing interesting, nothing surprising, and very little content on the call, but I wondered why we were having so much fun.
Before I knew it, we had been talking for almost 30 minutes.
“You wanted something from me, didn’t you?”
I cut her off as I remembered, and I felt her taking a small breath.
“Yeah …It’s hard to say… face to face.. so…”
“What? Repeat again.”
That day… could it be…
I knew it was me. It was about me, right, Hinagata?
If it’s hard to say it face to face…
I-I think this is a …confession…
When we were both silent, I heard a small chuckle that resembled an exhale that punctuated the pause, followed by a blank moment in which she seemed to be choosing her words.
Before I knew it, my heart was beating so fast that I could feel it pulsing around my temples.
“I thought I’d consult with you again, Ryunosuke.”
“…Oh. I see.”
I plopped down on the bed.
Don’t do weird pauses, seriously…
I’ve swept the meter of expectations off the table…
“What kind of consultation?”
When I responded in a hushed voice, Hinagata seemed to have summed up what she wanted to say and told me what she was thinking in a faint voice.
“When I get conscious of the fact that I like someone, I can’t speak well.”
“I’m not a good talker like Honma-san…”
Homma. If there was a pentagonal chart that showed the ability of the opposite sex, she would be as close to a perfect pentagon as possible.
“Certainly, Homma has quite a cheerful character, Hinagata.”
The fact that she’s asking me for advice again like this means they haven’t made much progress, right?
Unlike my inwardly pleased voice, Hinagata’s voice was downcast.
“He seems much more popular than I imagined, so I have a lot of rivals.”
…That’s not me.
…That’s definitely not me!
I wish that guy would get together with one of her rivals.
“Hinagata, you have your own good qualities, so I don’t think you should compare yourself to Honma.”
“Ehh… Is that so?”
When I said this unexpectedly, her voice became tense.
“Wh-what do you think? …About my… good points…”
I thought about it for a while. She’s the opposite of Homma in a good way, so why don’t I just mention that?
“Compared to Honma, you are beautiful.”
“Uuu… that’s embarrassing.”
I can hear the sound of something hitting the cushions.
“Also, it’s fun to talk to you even if you’re not a good talker is what I thin- no, you are indeed fun to talk to…”
“If so, that’s good…”
Even over the phone, I could hear from her voice that she was bashful.
“Compared to Honma, you have a reserved, ladylike quality to you.”
“Fuee~. Ahh, I made a funny voice…”
“Regardless. It makes me happy to think of you, Hinagata, that way… but…”
I checked my cell phone, which I was holding to my ear, and saw that the call had ended.
“Ehh?? Did it get disconnected? Did she hang up…?”
I tried calling back, but Hinagata didn’t pick up the phone.
Did I say something bad….?
Was it wrong that I praised her for being different from Honma?
Did she take it the wrong way, that I was looking at her like… (eyes like looking at trash)?
Or did she hang up because she got contacted by that guy and had to prioritize him…?
“No, that’s not it!”
As I hurriedly sent a message in my defense, I received a message from the other side as well.
“I hung up because I got surprised.”
What── the…? Is that what happened? I made a hasty thought without knowing….
I breathed a sigh of relief in my room alone.
“What do you mean by that’s not it?”
Damn. Bad timing, me. I quietly canceled the message.
A stamp of a cat tilting its head was sent.
I ignored it and asked her a different question.
“Why did you get surprised?”
“…I won’t tell.”
What the hell?
I didn’t feel like I’d done a good job of giving advice, but Hinagata didn’t seem bothered by it, so I decided to let it go.
It was a bad idea to start going to a driving school during the test period, and my test scores were terrible.
The reason I managed to avoid the extra classes was probably because the questions were taken directly from what Sugiuchi had taught me in the study sessions.
“Heyyー? Results are given to you right? I can tell.”
Sugiuchi was smugly blustering to me about the math test that had just been returned to him.
That pissed me off, so I didn’t say ‘thank you for helping me avoid extra classes.’
“If I hadn’t gone to driving school, I would have scored higher.”
I said with an excuse.
It was only natural if you think about it, but the driving school required me to study for the test, and ever since I started going there, I had to learn the rules of the road every day.
I was so preoccupied with that that I didn’t get around to studying for the test.
“Hey…. Tonomura, you look like you’re having fun, kind of.”
Sitting across from him, Sugiuchi bites into a loaf of bread he bought at the store.
“I think driving is fun. Studying is a pain in the ass, though.”
Yesterday, I rode a motorcycle in the driving school as part of the practical training.
“Is there a college student or something?”
I had never paid attention to them, but now that I think about it, there are a few girls who look like them.
“I see them from time to time.”
“Oh, No wonder you are having fun.”
That’s not what I’m enjoying.
Lunch break these days is just me and Sugiuchi. Hinagata and Uchinokura-san are not in the classroom.
With the inter-high school qualifying rounds coming up, they have morning practice and after-school practice is also going on until quite late. Lunch seems to be an activity called a meeting, and they spend time together as club members.
The club is active all day, even on Saturdays and Sundays. The spring league games are said to be over, but now they are having practice games against other schools.
Mise-san is always spending quiet time alone in a secret place. When I ask her where she goes, she never tells me.
“Now that the test is over, I guess we’re going to the amusement park on Saturday.”
During the study session, we couldn’t decide on a place to go out, so we made a group chat and exchanged ideas there.
It was Sugiuchi who suggested the place, which was just right for several people to play without getting bored.
“Hinaga-san and Ucchi were both a little tense.”
That’s usually the case with sports clubs before a tournament. The day of the tournament, the women’s basketball team was off the field for the first time in a long time.
“I was hoping it would help them vent.”
That’s a nice thing to say, coming from Sugiuchi.
The group consisted of two boys, Sugiuchi and I, and four girls, Hinagata, Uchinokura-san, Mise-san, and Honma.
There was no complaint about the three of us working at the same part-time job taking a day off at once.
I have not called Hinagata since then. In fact, we don’t talk much at school since we don’t go to and from school together anymore and she is also very stressed out, according to Sugiuchi.
Because of this situation, I was a little excited to go to the amusement park this weekend because I would be able to talk with Hinagata for the first time in a while.