＃ ＃ ＃
The cultural festival and the cleanup after that were over.
After this, the remaining event for this semester would only be the final exam.
My usual school life began again today.
And also, I returned to my usual school commuting time while talking with Kouhai-chan.
Although this might not be polite for some people, I greeted her back with both of my hands in my coat pockets. It was cold anyway. We almost reached December, and I could even call this season as “winter” now.
「It’s still Tuesday, you know?」
But I’m sleepy. It’s not like I can do anything about it.
Also, when I thought about how I would take classes from now on, I felt even more lazy.
Ahh, there were also some important things that I need to prepare before the exam, but apart from that, it would only be study, study, and study. Yup.
「It’s Chu-sday, senpai!」
Kouhai-chan puckered her lips, saying a stupid pun.
The sound of the train arriving at the station was noisy, but I could hear her loud and clear.
＊ ＊ ＊
「I was wondering what you would say back then, and yet…」
Senpai sighed as we got on the train.
Just like that, we settled in our usual position.
「But I’m not saying anything wrong!」
「Well, you certainly didn’t say anything wrong about anything, but…」
I didn’t plan to say those words as well.
It’s because senpai said Tuesday, so that pun came to my mind naturally.
「Senpai, you never kissed anyone before, right?」
I remembered that we had this talk before a long time ago.
It seemed like it happened when he wasn’t wearing the cardigan yet.
「How about you, Kouhai-chan? Did you ever kiss anyone before?」
「Oi, don’t answer me like that after asking that question to me as well.」
「Fufu. Senpai, what do you think?」
Nn, or so senpai began to think.
「Well, let’s leave that aside. Here’s my『today’s question』.」
「Huh? What about the answer?」
「The answer is within senpai’s heart.」
But if you used your「today’s question」for this matter, I will tell you, senpai.
「Senpai, do you want to smooch me?」
＃ ＃ ＃
I have to answer the question asked as「today’s question」honestly. That’s the rule Kouhai-chan and me had decided. I didn’t remember the details from the moment when we decided this though.
Then, there came this question.
This was troubling.
「Please answer me quickly.」
When I looked at Kouhai-chan, she was averting her eyes a little from me, and her cheeks also dyed red in embarrassment.
「Oh? Are you shy?」
She is definitely shy, eh.
「Nn, well. It’s not like I don’t want to, maybe.」
「Then, will you do it?」
「You shouldn’t say that so casually.」
I stopped Kouhai-chan who was closing our distance by taking one step closer to me.
It would be bad if we did something like that on the train, okay?
「I told you before, but I have no interest in kissing someone who I have no relationship with.」
「Then, it means you don’t want to kiss me, right?」
「Then, I… nothing. As I thought, forget it.」
I imagined Kouhai-chan’s speech continuation, and both of us became silent for a while.
The noise of the train reached my ears, making me remember what we were talking about just now.
「Then, I will also ask you my『today’s question』.」
After all, our conversations starts from this『one question』.
「Kouhai-chan, in the end, did you ever kiss anyone before?」
Kouhai-chan answered me with a very calm and practical response.
So she hasn’t, huh. I thought she would have done that at least once.
「Did you ever think that you want to kiss someone?」
Kouhai-chan smiled as she said, “Isn’t this the second question already?”
「Can’t you give me a bonus service there?」
「Unfortunately, that’s not possible.」
「Come on, can’t I use my savings for the question I failed to ask?」
「We already decided that it’s invalid, right?」
Uh huh. I remember.
「Then, it’s fine.」
「Oh my, it’s fine?」
「It’s important to know when to give up.」
「Well, I can give a bonus service to this kind of senpai~」
She holds the cuff of my uniform. No, it might be more accurate to say that she was grabbing it.
「Hey, let’s kiss?」[1. Kouhai-chan is making a pun, 熱中症 (Necchushou/Heatstroke) which is similar to ねえ、ちゅうしよう？(Nee, chuu shiyou / Hey, let’s kiss?).]
Kouhai-chan said that, as she approached me lightly with upturned eyes.
I felt like I was about to collapse for a moment. Really just for a moment. It was dangerous.
Since I had a feeling that something bad will happen if I look at her directly, I answered while averting my eyes from her.
「It’s currently winter, though.」[2. See previous footnotes if his answer doesn’t make any sense.]
It would be a lie if I said that I was currently not sweating.
Conversely, I wouldn’t get heatstroke while sweating. I didn’t know why I am nervous, but I didn’t have to worry about getting fever since I was sweating for the time being.
「Err. Senpai, you sure understand it well, eh.」
Kouhai-chan cleared her throat and returned to her original position.
「Well, I was expecting it after all.」
It’s funny for Kouhai-chan not to use polite speech. She always used it after all. [3. Another one lost in translation. Nee, chuu shiyou? is using casual speech. If it’s Kouhai-chan, she will say, Nee, chuu shimashou? which is how she usually talks]
When we were about to reach the nearest station to the school, she turned her face to me again.
「About the question whether I ever thought about kissing someone…」
Apparently, she would answer the second question as the bonus service.
Kouhai-chan met my gaze, and stuck out her tongue.
「It’s definitely more fun, teasing senpai like this.」
The things I knew about my senpai 73
It’s more fun teasing him than kissing him.