……Anyway, I think that I am weird this year.
Lumping together the good and the bad things, why do I experience so many first times? Did I do something wrong? Even if I ask, the person who can answer me has already gone.
I was left standing alone beneath the red sky for a while.
* * *
This started during lunch break.
As usual I had lunch with Senpai, and when I got back to the classroom with a slightly happy mood, I was called out by my male classmate, who seemed to be waiting for me. I know his name, but I don’t talk to him unless I have something to tell him. In other words, a boy that has no relation to me.
“What is it? You have something to tell me?”
“Do you have plans after school today?”
Senpai and I haven’t made plans today, as well as with Monica and my other classmates. Shaking my head after thinking for a while, he said an unbelievable thing with a clear and relaxed expression.
“Actually, Senpai asked me a favor. Will you come to the fountain at the middle of the courtyard after school?”
『A favor by Senpai』
From the beginning those words were spoken, memories that I do not want to remember very much were evoked. As soon as I became pale, he continued talking to me in a nonchalant manner.
“U-Uhm . . . I’m sorry. Can I ask you what business does your Senpai have with me?”
“I understand, but . . . I’m sorry, I can’t say it. Just ask Senpai directly.”
It became more doubtful now that the matter is ambiguous. If I’m not mistaken, Eliza was supposed to have been forcibly sent home. However, even if it is not her, there is a possibility that is her friend who holds a grudge. Or other people… There are a lot of women who likes Gilbert-senpai without a doubt.
…I should refuse, right?
Low level students should not put themselves in danger. While thinking how to refuse him, who was waiting my reply with a relieved expression, in a nice way, a hand tapped my shoulder.
“Hey, what is this person’s name? You should at least tell her that.”
Her large glasses shined beneath her fluffy flaxen hair. My best friend seems to always show up at the best timing. So cool.
“Oh, I haven’t told you, have I? My bad. Do you know Knox-senpai from the third year?”
Surprisingly, I answered readily . . . Unfortunately, he seems to be a stranger to me. Well in the first place, I only know one or two people in the third year. Unlike me who has more question marks floating in my head, it seems that Monica was informed so she remembered. After showing a little thought, she lowered her eyebrows and asked him again.
“But there is only one Knox in the third year.”
“Yes, yes. That person. He looks after me in the dorm so I cannot refuse—!”
I tried to reply in a light tone but it fairly sounded like a surprised response. Does Gilbert-senpai also have relationship with men? No, except for matters about attraction, is he the master of that man?
But if it’s about the Kralvane family, why am I summoned?
I don’t want to hear that the matter about my “constitution” is made public. Could it be that he is asked to serve as a middleman?
…Yeah, I can only feel an unpleasant premonition.
Anyway, it’s safe to reject the summon of someone you do not know.
While I was considering my options, Monica talked to him. When I was about to interrupt their conversation, both of them turned towards me with a warm, incomprehensible smile.
“Wh-What is it?”
“Nothing. He doesn’t intend to harm you so why don’t you meet him?”
“Eh!? Monica, you agree?”
What’s this? My best friend betrayed me. To my surprise, their smile deepened more. It’s more of a grin than a smile. The heck, what’s with them?
“He also asked me about your appearance! You only need to meet him!”
If you ask others for a favor, I’d like you to stop that naughty little laugh. Well, since Monica agreed, I guess Mr. Knox is really harmless. I just hope that it won’t be the repeat of the other day.
I don’t want to be used even if there is no actual harm…
* * *
And after completing classes without any problems, the disturbance of after school came (after all this time).
Monica saw me leaving the classroom, still laughing in the end. Really, what’s with her?
By the way, in this very big school, there are two places called “yards”. One is the “courtyard” which is interposed between the our classroom building and the special building that was connected with the corridor, and the other one was the “backyard” which is a little far away behind the special building. The “courtyard” is wider and sunnier, coupled with the fact that there is a matching fountain before the front gate, so more people come here. I wouldn’t have gone if I was summoned to the “backyard”.
While calming down my reckless heart, I inspected the state of the fountain from the corridor. Although I planned to hurry as much as possible, apparently the one who summoned me was earlier.
…Yeah, a stranger as I expected.
But it’s true that Knox is a man. Though he is shorter than Senpai, he has quite a height, and his thin green hair is extended to his shoulders. From here, I can only see his back but I can see a firm physique that is masculine.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
When I tried to speak to him, his face turned scarlet at once. His eyes were dark blue. In contrast to Senpai, his slightly drooping eyes have gentle shapes.
“Foster, thank you for coming.”
“Don’t mention it. Uhm, you’re Knox-senpai, right?”
When I confirmed his name, he smiled happily. He has a well-built physique but his smile can be perfectly described as “pretty”.
…Perhaps cuter than a woman like me.
“I apologize for calling for you suddenly. I’m really glad you came.”
“It’s nothing. So what can I do for you?”
The sky changed beautifully from blue to red. A white stone fountain complements him and it feels like a fairy tale.
………No, how should I put it, what is this atmosphere?
A strange atmosphere… A man and a woman, alone. Huh? Could it be that?
For a moment, I shook off my head for the disproportionate delusions and waited for him to speak. His ears appear to be somewhat red, but it is probably because of the setting sun, yeah.
“……I’d like to confirm one thing. Is it okay?”
“Y-Yes. What is it?”
After waiting for ten or so seconds, my attention was brought back. The eyes of the Senpai that I just met for the first time stared at me seriously.
“Foster, are you going out with Kralvane-senpai?”
“Eh? Going out……”
I was asked too seriously, so I could not understand what I was told for a moment. That’s what he meant by going out, right? A relationship between a man and a woman, being lovers, right?
“Eh, ah, I see.”
Surprising, my heart ached due to my reply. That’s right. We are just eating lunch together. Sometimes, he tells me he wants to hold me, and I am imprisoned in his embrace once in every three days.
We are not going out.
I have never heard such a thing from Senpai. Alas, our “just having lunch together relationship” has not changed. To confirm and be overwhelmed again, I guess it would make me appear that I am wishing for that relationship.
I unconsciously let out half a sigh. Even if I don’t have the title “lover”, I guess I can stay by his side but…
While I keep on thinking about stupid thoughts, my hand was suddenly taken. There is another man in front of me.
My reaction was delayed. Feeling the unfamiliar hand, I raised my flustered face. As the rays of the setting sun hit his very red face, Mr. Knox looked at me intently.
“Then, will you go out with me? I have been watching you for a year.”
I didn’t know what to say. Will you go out with me, he said. I was told by someone who is not Gilbert-senpai……?
My brain can’t catch up. What is this? Maybe the continuation of the previous delusion? Or . . .
“Y-You can reply anytime! Well then, thanks for today!!”
……It looks like this is reality.
Saying just that, Mr. Knox grasped my hand tightly for a moment and ran away like a startled hare.
In the courtyard where the atmosphere remained, I was left all alone.
“………What was that?”
What on earth should I say in this situation?
In the end, after school only brings events that make my head ache.
I, Meryl Foster, 17 years of age, for the first time since I was born, I was confessed to by a man today.