Hasebe Haruka SS – Facing Tomorrow

Youjitsu 2nd Year V5 SS
– Hasebe Haruka –
Facing Tomorrow

School had ended and the shocking revelation was revealed to us all.

While heading home with Kiyopon, I hurriedly entered the convenience store and went for the fried food displayed by the cashier. I usually didn’t anything this fatty, but the convenience and the calories made me give in. There were no other students here so paying went smoothly.

I returned outside where Kiyopon had been standing and waited.

He looked a bit surprised by croquette in my hand, I think. Feeling embarrassed by it, I tried to cover it up with an excuse.

“You know, I got so into talking with Airi during lunch today, so I never got the chance to eat.”

This was, well, an excuse, but also the truth.

I really did receive a shock today.

To think Kiyopon was dating that Karuizawa-san of all people.

It felt like someone had pulled the carpet from under my feet as he’d never shown any hints of dating anyone ever.

Of course, my reaction can’t hold up a candle to Airi’s.

“Sorry for troubling you.”

I knew what my best friend, Airi, felt about him, and so did he obviously.

“No, that’s not it…”

People are free to love whoever they liked, and I already know that cases of mutual love were in the minority.

But still, I’d hoped Airi and Kiyopon one day would come to love one another.

… Or so I think. But there was one part of me that felt something was off, but that’s all tightly sealed up.

Eventually, I’d finished the list of things I wanted to ask him about.

Are you really dating for real? Who confessed first? When did you start dating? Confirming each and everyone of those points was my goal today.

“Trying to ask something of you now feels like bad timing on my part, but there is something I’d like you, and if possible Airi, to help me with.”

“Help you?”

I’d still only eaten half of my croquette, before he switched to a topic that surprised even me.

“It’s currently being kept under wraps for the time being, but one of the attractions we’re going to do during the school festival has been decided on already.”

“Oh, is that so?”

I’d heard nothing had been decided just yesterday so this was a bit surprising.

“Since we want to avoid any leaks, only Horikita, I and the ones planning it are in the know. So, we’re going to make a maid café.”

“M-maid café? Well, heh…? Why am I not surprised? It’s a bit unexpected though. I never thought a person like Horikita-san would ever acknowledge such an event, you know?”

“She’s probably indifferent towards all proposals, I think. From her unbiased point of view, we simply may have a chance if we go for a maid café and so she accepted it, I guess.”

Well, there are a lot of cute girls in our class, I must admit. We could probably earn a lot form those adults coming to visit the school during the festival but still, something feels a bit… but I can see why it could work.

“I see, I see. So, what’s the reason you are telling me about this?”

“Truth is, after I came to know about this, I was asked to take care of various stuff.”

Kiyopon is going to manage a maid café?

While his very image doesn’t suit at all, I could see the reasoning behind letting him take care of it.

I bet Horikita managed to string him up and pushed the task to him by force.

“She’s quite the girl since she’s able to put you into this situation.”

But since he’s telling me this, it can only mean only thing…

“And so, I was hoping you and Airi could help out in the café?”

Of course, it would boil down to this, I guess.

As for me, the first thing that popped up inside my head when I heard about the maid café was Airi.

She was shy and had no confidence to speak of, but this was a perfect chance for her.

“If you had asked me this before this thing with Karuizawa-san happened, I would have said yes even though I have some qualms about it. I don’t like to wear something like cosplay in front of many people, but I wouldn’t have refused if a friend asked me. Your timing is pretty bad, you know?”

There were no guarantees that Airi would have been able to smile while participating in this festival while being heartbroken.

“It’s a bit troubling that I can’t blame you for it, Kiyopon. I said it before but, I think people are free to love whoever they want and that I can understand there are things you can’t speak about. Airi was also free to fall for you, and you were also free to reject her…”

To tell the truth, I need courage in order to talk to her about this later.

But… yes, this may be something necessary. This was perhaps a steppingstone, a large step towards making her able to smile and move forward.

“I can’t promise you anything. But once she’s calmed down, I will talk to her.”

In fact, if this could become a chance to make her stand up again, I would try talking to her at once.

“You’re okay with it?”

He seemed a bit surprised by my answer, perhaps since he never thought I would accept.

“That girl needs to accept reality sooner or later anyway. And although I don’t know about you, having Karuizawa-san as her opponent doesn’t mean she has to give up, you know? Even though you may be gung-ho about her, there is a chance she can reject you. Right?”

Yes, that’s right. Airi still has a chance.

There is still a year and a half left.

If she can hit a home run with loaded bases at the very end, it would be Airi’s victory.

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