I was standing right in the middle of it all like an idiot. My brain wasn’t working normally.
That was too shocking. Not once did I ever think that Michel liked me.
I liked Michel a long time ago.
He was the only one who recognized and treated me like a girl.
Because of that, I was very happy, and fell in love with him. But I knew that I wasn’t special to him.
That’s why when Kinoshita-san and Michel were dating, a part of me felt bitter, but I was able to give them my blessings.
Because I knew that she was his ideal type of girl, I completely gave up. That’s probably why my feelings toward him have changed.
And that’s why I’m feeling confused after hearing Michel’s confession.
Back when I liked him, I always felt excited when he opened doors for me, or when he kept me away from danger, as if it was natural for him.
But it’s different now.
Even as I’m visibly shaken from his confession, I manage to tell him my true feelings.
I can only see him as my junior rather than as a guy.
I have no experience in romance. If it was someone else who had confessed, I would have been at a loss for words.
But I know because I liked him, and my feelings have changed since then.
I reject him while hiding the fact that I liked him. Michel’s eyes are welling up with tears of sadness.
His tears aren’t streaming down his face, although they’re getting caught on his long eyelashes.
Still looking sad, he slowly closes his eyes. When he opens them, the tears are gone.
「I won’t give up.」
「I can’t give up. I love you. I’ve stopped thinking about you as simply my senior for a long time.」
「A long time?」
I accidentally asked out loud.
「Remember the time I gave you the marron creme?」
One time, Michel gave me some vanilla flavored marron creme containing marron glacé. His Maman had sent it in bulk from France.
They were so smooth that it felt like they were melting in my mouth, even though the taste was simple. I was shocked that such wonderful sweets existed.
I remember that lingering feeling as I went up to Michel and thanked him again.
「You’ve always been the person keeping everyone in check. I’ve always thought of you as a reliable person. But at that time, you were romping about over mere marron creme like a child and speaking to me absentmindedly. I saw you in a completely different light at that moment.」
「……I-I seemed so different…… Because I was running around…？」
I don’t remember being so excited that I ran around wildly…… I think.
The only thing I do remember is the taste of the marron creme. I’m freaking out.
Just as I’m about to apologize for acting childishly…
「It was from that moment. I began to pay more attention to you…… You always seem so adorable when you’re overcome with joy over the most minor things. By the time I realized it, I had always been looking at you.」
That was one of the words that describe me the least.
Yet he said it so plainly as if it were natural to him. I’m not used to praises like that, so I don’t know how to respond.
But I do want to say, I don’t think of the marron creme as a minor thing.
「Sagiri-san, you’re always so positive, kind, and reliable, but somewhat clueless. I’m in love with all of that. I’m in love with you.」
I’m staggering from the barrage of words that are unfamiliar to me.
I don’t know how I should react. I take a step back, but Michel grabs my hand and stops me.
He’s usually soft spoken and gentlemanly, so I’m shocked by his forceful manner. I look up at him.
「I love you.」
How many times has he told me that with such a sad expression?
Shaken by his sudden confession, I try to calm down by taking deep breaths, but to no avail.
I love you. I can’t give up.
Even as night falls, I can’t get Michel’s confession out of my head.
Nonomiya-san is calling me on the phone.
「I’ll make snacks fer Mizuhara-cchi. So leave him to me!」
I’m so busy thinking about Michel that I’ve already forgotten about Mizuhara and Nonomiya-san, even though they were the cause of this mess.
She didn’t tell me exactly what they had agreed upon, but it seems like she managed to stick it out.
When I think about it, Mizuhara has a lot to gain with Nonomiya-san as my replacement for making snacks.
Firstly, she’s a lot better at making pastries than I am. Plus, she has feelings for Mizuhara, so she’ll be more invested in it.
Unlike me, she’ll probably listen to all his requests regardless of her mood or the market prices.
Many things considered, Nonomiya-san is the ideal partner for Mizuhara.
Most of all…
Some time ago, we each talked about our future dreams.
Mizuhara has drawn up a plan to go on a world tour for sweets with the money he’ll earn from work.
He’s already doing that on a somewhat large scale, but he’s planning to get his hands on the local sweets in each country.
He even read maps of jungles while saying that certain pastries are difficult to obtain because they’re only used during traditional coming of age ceremonies.
I’m a little concerned about how far he’ll go.
During his sweets tour, he’ll scout for talents on a global scale, and retire in his forties while surrounded by snacks. That was his grand plan.
I retorted that it was too early to retire.
But the real problem is that when we start working, I’ll naturally have less time to go to his place to make snacks for him.
I’ll be too busy getting used to my new environment to make snacks, and even if that wasn’t the case, it’s going to be difficult to coordinate our free time.
But Nonomiya-san is a third year student, and still has leisure time.
She’s decided to help her mother and work in her culinary classroom, so she doesn’t have to worry about job hunting. Plus, she’s already a professional in making snacks, so Mizuhara should have no complaints.
I’ve been making snacks at Mizuhara’s place almost everyday.
I’m a little sad that it’s suddenly come to an end, but it wasn’t like we were going to continue this way after we graduate.
It was just a little premature, that’s all.
Michel’s confession, and Nonomiya-san taking my place in making snacks at Mizuhara’s place.
These were the two major events that happened before Christmas.
It was an unexpectedly major change in what little remained of my college life.