The incident occurred on Sunday after 9 am, when I tried calling Chii-chan and Arioka-senpai answered the call sleepily.
I apologized profusely for waking him up, and hung up the phone.
I reflected on disturbing his precious sleep, but when I checked the contact I called, it was indeed Chii-chan.
I didn’t have to apologize, I thought. Then I realized what the real problem was.
What? …Wait, what?
Why did Arioka-senpai answer Chii-chan’s phone?
What’s going on?
My brain froze and went completely blank.
That silence was broken by the siren of a police car passing by.
Huh? What? What’s going on?
Arioka-senpai answered the phone? Even though it’s not his phone?
It’s common to call the wrong person, but did I really call the wrong person?!
My thoughts rumbled on. I realized how much of a panic I was in and calmed down.
I decided to ask the clear-headed sweets detective for assistance.
I sent him a text message asking if I could go to his place. He replied with 『Egg Tarts』, so I made a dash to the nearest station.
I got on the train, which was rocky as usual, and made another dash from the station.
During that time, a famous detective TV drama resounded in my head. Although my mind was completely blank, I couldn’t keep my cool.
The moment he opened the door, I tugged his shirt and shouted:
「Listen, Chii-chan and Arioka-senpai…!!!」
Right now, I’m making sweets as an apology.
I was in such a hurry that I don’t know or remember how much force I had exerted, but Mizuhara’s clothes look stretched by a few inches.
We were equally shocked by my loss of self control.
By the time I realized it and let go in a hurry, it was already too late.
His shirt was stretched and crumpled. There was an awkward silence.
「I’m very sorry!」
I made a full bow in apology.
Mizuhara was wearing an Elf T-shirt at that time.
I pulled back and apologized again, not daring to take another step.
「Sorry! I’m really sorry! I’ll wash it! There’s a good chance it’ll shrink if I do!」
Then I noticed that only the front was stretched. It’s probably impossible to fix it.
I broke out in a cold sweat and asked Mizuhara if he was upset.
He let out a long sigh.
「So, what happened between your cousin and Arioka?」
He changed topics somewhat casually.
He didn’t seem too angry.
I was somewhat relieved.
「Huh? Oh, yeah.… I’ll talk about it after I make some snacks…」
Thus I decided to make snacks as an apology.
After that, I would tell him the full story and get to the bottom of the truth.
I made egg tarts as requested.
I used 2 egg yolks to make some rich egg tarts. I made 8 in total, then served him some coffee and asked him about his mood.
「I’m fine now. At least you didn’t ruin my arms. I was lucky you only grabbed onto my shirt. Also, a long-faced elf doesn’t look bad either.」
I probably used enough force that I could’ve dislocated his arms. I wonder how his shirt wasn’t ripped… but I stopped myself from asking unnecessary questions.
The elf’s face on the shirt he was wearing became enlarged.
I had pulled on the bottom part of the shirt, so the elf ended up having a long chin instead of a long face. I’m glad he’s not angry.
I explained the incident about Arioka-senpai answering Chii-chan’s phone.
The situation itself was simple, so it took no more than 3 seconds to explain.
The only complicated part was concluding what actually happened.
「So, a sleepy Arioka-senpai answered Chii-chan’s phone. That means they’re a thing, right?」
「I’m 95% sure that’s the case.」
「What about the other 5%?」
「There’s a 0.5% chance that the lines got crossed, another 0.5% chance that they somehow switched phones, a 1% chance that your cousin was mimicking him, another 1% that you were just dreaming, and finally a 2% chance due to inexplicable reasons.」
I let out a deep sigh.
It’s only natural to assume that they were together on Sunday morning.
Chii-chan uses her phone as an alarm, so she has the habit of leaving it next to her pillow.
If Arioka-senpai answered it by mistake, then they’re definitely in a relationship.
Chii-chan lives alone, so there’s the possibility that they were both at Chii-chan’s place… I let my imagination run wild, then calm down again.
「Sigh… ugh… I was just curious because they were both being suspicious, but now that we’re pretty sure… it’s a little shocking…」
I was suspicious for a while, but Chii-chan told me that they didn’t have that kind of a relationship, so I took her word for it.
I groaned, then took the stuffed elf with big eyes and began hugging it. Without realizing it, I started pulling and squeezing its face, until finally Mizuhara took it away from me.
「Chii-chan has never kept a secret from me… Maybe it’s difficult for her to tell me because it’s Arioka-senpai…」
My feeling of panic subsided, and loneliness took its place.
「No… we’re all adults now, so I understand if she’s keeping 1 or 2 things from me…」
I lay my chin on the table.
I threw out my arm loosely to get a snack, but he only gave me 1 egg tart.
「I know you love your parents, but I never knew that you love your cousin too.」
「I know I’m bordering on a sister complex. …sigh… To think that… Chii-chan said nothing about it… Ugh… Argh, no! Should I make one more snack to cheer up? The egg whites are still there.」
「It’s a good way to cheer up. How about cream puffs, egg yolk pudding, or ice box cookies?」
「What am I gonna do with the extra egg whites?」
「Make an extra large chiffon cake.」
I put on the apron and headed to the kitchen to make a chiffon cake as he requested, but I stopped when I heard a familiar ringtone.
The ringtone wasn’t for a text message, but a call. I opened the app.
It was Chii-chan’s name on the screen.
It was the first time I got nervous getting a call from her.
Was it about Arioka-senpai in the morning?
It was her voice.
I was at a loss on how to ask her about what happened in the morning.
「Saa-chan, I’m really shocked.」
I was about to say that.
「Huh? What? That’s my line.」
「I never thought you would keep anything a secret from me…」
「What? That’s my line too!」
She sounded a little angry, and she stole all my lines.
I wondered why, but they say that the early bird gets the worm. I tried to think of something to say.
「It’s about your good pastries friend you met last year…」
「Huh? You mean Mizuhara?」
Mizuhara looked up at me when he heard his name. I signaled for him to wait.
「Yeah… that guy. The Mizuhara who loves sweet stuff and elves?」
「I heard from Arioka-kun today. Mizuhara is a guy?」
「Huh? Yeah, that’s right. That aside, what about you and Arioka-senpai…」
It definitely sounds like they’re close!
「I always thought Mizuhara was a girl! I heard you’ve been going to his place often, but I never thought he was a guy… Well?! What kind of relationship do you have with that guy?!」
I was the one who wanted to ask her what kind of relationship she had with Arioka-senpai….
She stole my line again.