ng ready to up and leave, she walked up to my seat.

“Are you ready? Do you wanna go somewhere today?”

“Hmm? You want something sweet again, maybe?”

“Oh, you sure know what you’re talking about! Of course!”

She went back to grabbing her stuff looking satisfied with my guess.
We’ve known each other for quite a long time, so apart from when her friends invite her, she usually hangs out with me.
It’s in those outings when she goes down on some sweets.

“Amazing, Hinata.”

“You two are like a couple, aren’tcha?”

Classmates around us marveled at our synced conversation.

“I know right~? I’m not your childhood friend~!” She bumped her shoulders on mine, rendering a resounding ‘yay!’ inside my brain.

“Well, she doesn’t know where I wanna go, though.”

“Ugh, you promised not to say that!”

I quipped sarcastically, but inside I felt like a party was thrown for being called a couple, and to have her rub my shoulders in a flirty way like that.
Well, that’s because it felt like we were recognized by those around us.

Most students went to their clubs after school, so Suzuka and I are often alone together.
Just as I was ready to leave for home, something happened.

This was the turning point for our usual routine.

“Is Ichinose-san here?” I turned to look at the unfamiliar voice, only to spot a handsome man standing right at the classroom’s entrance.

That’s Taniguchi from the next class.
He’s the ace of the baseball team, number four there, and boasts an instagrammable physique he surely worked hard on.
His short hair, unshaven, compliments his sharp face.
While he’s said to be popular with the girls, he’s never received a confession from anyone.

What does Suzuka think of a guy this handsome? At this point, my gut was telling me some bad stuff.

“Ah, Taginuchi-kun.
What’s wrong?” She asked.

“Oh, good, you’re still here.
If you want to, I’d like to go out with you for a while after this.” His slightly nervous demeanor only made my gut churn further.
At that moment, Suzuka seemed to sense something as well.

“Something you can’t say here?”

If it’s not too much trouble for you, I’d like you to come with me.”

“…Okay, sure,” she thought about it for a bit, but in the end, she decided to accept Taniguchi’s offer.

“Sorry, Hinata.
Today’s a no-no for me, you can go on first.”

“…No… problem.
I’m off.”

As soon as I tell her I don’t mind, she grabs her stuff and leaves the classroom with Taniguchi.
A little later, the whole classroom began to buzz.

“Hey, hey, it’s gonna be a confession!”

“That’s for sure! I mean, don’t you know there’s a rumor Taniguchi-kun liked Suzuka for the looongest time?”

“Oh my! Is this the birth of a beautiful couple?”

“So I guess Hinata-kun was just her friend after all.”

I quietly slipped and left the classroom, letting all the uproar behind me.
I struggled to fight my emotions, to keep them inside and not let them show.
Even though I was the first one she invited out, even though I had done it myself, she still went with a different man.

Holding these bursting feelings was an impossible task.
Taniguchi just came out from the side unannounced.

Is it anger? Sadness? Jealousy? Is it her fault? My fault? Taniguchi’s fault? I gradually lost myself to a whirlwind of emotions, caught in the eye of the storm.

Afraid that I might take these feelings out on someone else, I hobbled out of the school.


Due to all that, I didn’t pay much attention to a certain someone’s gaze I felt through the classroom window.

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