–Tomoya Fujiwara (me) is dating his childhood friend Ayumu Takato.
The sound of the flute from the music festival could be heard coming from somewhere.
I was waiting for someone on a bridge bustling with the noise of a summer festival. The person I was waiting for was …, yes, my girlfriend Ayumu.
Ayumu and I had known each other since we were children. We grew up together like relatives, like two close siblings.
Ayumu was one year younger than me, and I had always been conscious of her as a member of the opposite sex.
It was just three months ago that I confessed my feelings to Ayumu, who had entered the same high school as me. She accepted my confession with open arms and we became lovers.
It should be …
It was just before the start of summer vacation; I was chatting with a friend after school.
As usual, we were talking about stupid things, such as which of the gravure idols were cute and which were erotic.
“… Tomoya is good. With Ayumu-chan’s figure, you can flirt with her during the day and bond with her at night… Damn you Riaju.”
The well-behaved1 Taichi teased me as he nudged my side. .
By the way, my friends knew that Ayumu and I were dating.
“Don’t get any weird ideas.”
I lightly chopped Taichi on the head.
While holding his head protectively, Taichi pouted.
“It’s true. You know how popular Ayumu is among the boys, right? She’s ranked number one in the school among the juniors who would like to have a girlfriend.”
“I don’t know, where did you get that from? I don’t know. …… And I haven’t done anything that you’re expecting me to do yet.”
Then Taichi looked at me as if he were looking at a rare species.
“… What’s with that look, Taichi?”
“No, no, no, no. Are you kidding me, Fujiwara-san?”
“I-I’m not kidding.”
I flinched and looked away as I replied, and Taichi began to overreact and joke around.
“Don’t be silly, it’s Ayumu! What kind of healthy high school boy goes out with a cute girl like that and doesn’t even fuck her?!!”
… Oh my god, this guy.
You’re a lot better looking than I am, so if you were just a little more careful about what you said, you could have a girlfriend in no time. Look at this, the girls in my class are looking at me with furrowed brows.
“… You know, Taichi. That’s because you read too many erotic manga. You’re a virgin, aren’t you?”
“I-I-I-I-I’m not a virgin. … So you’re not a virgin?”
“I’m a virgin. …”
I placed my hand on my forehead and looked up at the sky.
How long do I have to go along with his farce? … While I was thinking about this, Taichi regained his composure and continued talking.
“Then what are you always doing with Ayumu?”
“That’s … We go home together after school.”
“We go shopping on weekends.”
After listening up to that point, Taichi gave an exaggerated sigh.
“You haven’t changed at all since you started dating.”
“Well, that’s true, but …”
When I was stumped, Taichi suddenly turned serious and asked.
“You know, you’re――”
I was immediately pulled back to reality when I heard a voice in my ear.Before I knew it, Ayumu was standing next to me.
“I’m sorry. I was just thinking about something. ….”
I was at a loss for words after saying that.
Going to the local summer festival was a regular event during this season. It was not the first time that I saw Ayumi in a yukata.
Ayumi had tied her hair up high, which she always left down.
Even though it was just that, Ayumi looked more mature to me, as if she was a different person.
“Ayumi, your hair …”.
“Uh, yeah. My mom tied it up for me. Is it weird ….?”
She touched the nape of her neck, which was usually hidden by her hair, as if she was unsure of where she was, and looked up at me to see if I was looking at her. The little animal-like expression that made me want to protect her was that of the Ayumi I knew.
“No, it’s not that. It looks great on you.”
When I replied while trying to gather my inner turmoil, her anxious face broke into a smile.
“Really? I’m so happy!”
Ayumu’s happiness was filled with innocence as she did a spin on the spot. When she stumbled back, I supported her as usual, and she smiled as if to cover her embarrassment.
“You’ll fall down if you get too excited. Come on, let’s go.”
Ayumu squeezed my hand, which I held out with a dumbfounded expression. Checking the warm, moist palm with my right hand, I start walking towards the shrine grounds.
- person who gets easily elated (when praised, etc.); person who readily chimes in with others; person who gets carried away easily.