After a Heartbreak, My Bitter Childhood Friend is now Sweet Like Sugar - V2 Chapter 5.6
The sound of rice noodles being slurped could be heard in the small restaurant.
It was a small and beautiful family restaurant, which was supposed to be old, but it didn’t look like one.
We were at Ten-Ten Diner, close to my house, whose signature dish was Shoyu Ramen.
“I feel at home. I want to eat here at least once a month.”
“I can see why. I haven’t eaten it for a while, so now I’m getting an irresistible craving for it.”
“Let’s hope there’s nothing bad in it…”
“No way. That’s rude to a familiar restaurant.”
Kokoa got a bit mad.
“But that’s what the poster girl said herself.”
Kokoa followed my gaze.
In front of me, the store’s signature girl, Hourei Ten, was comparing the split chopsticks while groaning, “Hmm.”
“What is she doing there…?”
“I wonder. Let’s ask her. Tenten…”
She turned to me and walked over to our table with two chopsticks in her hand.
“What are you doing?”
“I was thinking about these two chopsticks, which one is the aggressor and which one is the receiver. This one is thicker and more fragile, so it should be the attacker… No, the thicker one is the receiver.”
“I think so.”
Kokoa nodded in agreement.
“Indeed, the ramen in this store may have something that makes people go crazy.”
“You think so?”
“Tenten does not make them crazy. It’s because of that that the love between these two disposable chopsticks has gone wrong…”
Well, it doesn’t matter if there’s something weird in the ramen. It’s still delicious.
“So your sports festival is over?”
“I am relieved that it is finally over.”
“You sure are quick to say things like that. Enjoy your high school life more sincerely. I was able to sew Yu’s headband. So, for me… it was the most fun I’ve ever had.”
“Is that so…”
Kokoa, perhaps embarrassed by what she had said, sipped her ramen in silence.
If I think about last year’s, Senpai was still around, and I slacked off behind the club building. She also used to come looking for me.
“Well, I’ll sew your headband next year, too.”
As I was thinking about it, Kokoa said something strange.
“Wait. Isn’t it too early to start?”
“I’ve made up my mind. I’m making reservations before there are any other candidates.”
“Reservation… I don’t think there’s going to be another candidate.”
“You never know… I used to think that as well.”
Kokoa said, stopping herself from saying anything else.
“Don’t worry about it. I won’t be bothered by that topic anymore.”
I replied with a smile.
Kokoa looked uncomfortable, but at my words, she smiled again.
On our way home, we decided to stop by the park.
It was a shabby little park near our house, close to a shrine. We used to play here since we were kids.
I had stopped coming for a while, but ever since Kokoa and I started hanging out again, we would stop by from time to time to talk about old times.
As usual, I sat down on the swing and talked with Kokoa, who was on the swing set next to me.
I heard the familiar creaking sound from it.
“Hey Kokoa, do you remember that tree?”
I said, looking at the giant cherry tree at the corner of the park grounds. It has been the largest tree in the park since we were kids, standing over ten meters tall.
“Once, when I was trying to climb it, you got scared. Saying what would happen if I fell and died, so your crying would stop me from doing it.”
“When are you talking about? Maybe before we went to elementary school.”
“No, I was in elementary school. I was about ten, I think.”
“How old was I?”
“Kokoa, are you still scared of heights?”
“I’m afraid. I can’t help but imagine falling, and it makes me shiver.”
“I don’t usually imagine that, though.”
I got off the swing and headed toward the tree.
“No, Yu. You can’t climb that tree!”
“I mean, I’m just going to see the view from there. I was thinking how much I miss it.”
“I don’t even want to look at it! Oh my god, I don’t even understand people who ride roller coasters and stuff at amusement parks! Anyway, please stop! I don’t like it. Just thinking about Yu falling and dying to make me…”
Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Ah, Okay, I get it. I won’t go up there. I’m sorry.”
I was just trying to tease her, but I didn’t expect her to get so serious.
I came back and apologized to Kokoa.
Kokoa was still not very good at heights.
“You’re tired from the sports festival. No matter how well you think you are, you could still fall if you’re not careful.”
“Well, I suppose it depends on the point of impact.”
“Anyway, please don’t do anything dangerous. You still have to do the relay race again next year.”
“Yes. I wanna see you looking cool.”
“… I’ll do my best.”
I answered casually, but Kokoa nodded with a satisfied smile.
Seeing her smile made my heart thump a little, but then it hurt. It was my fault that I haven’t responded to Kokoa’s feelings yet.
──How sloppy, isn’t it fine to go out with her?
──No, no. Who am I to go out with her?
──But still, it hasn’t been that long since Senpai passed away. Isn’t it too soon?
──There’s no such thing as too soon or too late. Didn’t she tell me to find another love if we were to break up?
──But it’s not like we broke up.
These kinds of thoughts kept popping in my mind over and over again.
The only thing I knew was that Kokoa had become even more important to me than before.
“What’s wrong? Yu.”
“No, it’s nothing.”
Our current relationship is good as it is, but it’s insincere.
──I need to move on.