I Became Friends with the Second Cutest Girl in My Class (WN) - C.253Oct 16, 2023

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Nitta’s PoV

Up until now, there were no such things as a ‘best friend’ in my life.

I had always kept my relationship shallow and broad, so I knew various people whom I’d see once in a blue moon and friends whom I’d see once or twice a month. I never had a relationship with anyone I could confide my problems with.

Of course, I didn’t hate living this way. People badmouthed me behind my back, saying that I lived a ‘lonely’ or ‘empty’ life, but I didn’t care. Having a casual relationship while talking about random things without any care in the world felt liberating for me.

It wasn’t like I held no feelings towards my friends. If they were to come to me and ask for my help, I’d do my best to help them and give them my advice (Especially when it came to love).

Even so, I never involved myself too deeply. I kept a clear boundary so that other people wouldn’t get across easily.

That was how I, Nitta Nina, lived my life until I was in middle school.

And I thought that I would stay this way forever.

* * *

“—I’m home.”

The Sports Festival, that had been going on since the end of Obon, had finally ended. When I got home, I let out a sigh of relief. My body was completely exhausted from all the activities I did under the scorching September sun. The school would be closed tomorrow and the day after, but at this rate, I’d be spending the next two days sleeping at home.

This would be the only Sports Festival I’d ever join in my high school life. It was fun, but at the same time, there were a lot of things going on behind the scenes.

“Ah, welcome home, Nina. I’ve already taken my bath, so go and take yours, wash off your sweat. If you want to eat— From the look of it, you haven’t eaten yet, have you? Hm? Could it be? Your friends left you out of their after party?”

“As if… Everyone’s too tired to do something like that, they’re postponing it to a later date. The fireworks festival next week.”

“Now that you mention it, I saw something like that in the fliers somewhere. Anyway, Nina, who’ll you go with? Maybe with that quiet boy? Who did you call him again? Rep or something?”

“I. Am. Go. Ing. With. Every. One. You dummy. Didn’t I tell you that we’ll do an after party or whatnot at a later date? It’ll be during that fireworks festival. I know your brain got fried because of your upcoming exam, but try to read between the lines.”

“I know, I know, I was kidding.”

“…”

Maybe she was stressed from all the studying, but my sister had been teasing me a lot lately.

Usually, I’d just casually brush off this topic, but it hit a little too close at home this time, so I was caught off guard and couldn’t come up with anything to retort her with.

…Back then, it should have only been me, Asanagi and Maehara…

“Hm? Your face is getting red, Nina, what’s up~?”

“…Shut it, just focus on studying, you idiot!”

I went to my room on the second floor to run away from my sister, who was grinning from ear to ear after seeing my face. After changing into my shirt and shorts I went to the bathroom.

Normally, I’d just grab the clothes and walk around the house in my underwear, but today, I felt too embarrassed to do so.

…The reason for that was my out of character behavior just a few hours ago.

“Ah, jeez! What the hell was I thinking?!”

I let out a deep sigh, muttering to myself as I soaked my body in the bathtub filled with hot water.

Somehow, I asked my friend to go on a date with me.

Not only that, I did it right in front of his girlfriend.

I had a good reason to do so, but I still wasn’t sure that this was the right thing to do.

What could I do to smoothen out those three— No, those two’s relationship?

They have known each other since they were children, they were literally best friends.

And those two managed to fall in love with the same person, though they did at different times.

What I was gonna do would be a one hell of a stunt.

That girl had come up with her own answer; trying her best to suppress her feelings, yet I planned to prevent that from happening.

“That won’t work, Yuuchin… You’ll only get yourself hurt…”

While reaching out to the orange light that dimly lit the steamy bathroom, I called out to my ‘friend’ who wasn’t here with me at the moment.

I never thought that Yuuchin’s decision was wrong. Maehara and Asanagi were couples, a lovey dovey one at that, and it was impossible to come between them. That was why I understood her decision; to stand back and watch them from the sides while supporting their relationship, like a good ‘best friend’ should do.

That was the kind of development that would make ‘Asanagi Umi’ happy. But, what about ‘Amami Yuu?’

Yuuchin probably didn’t want to do something outrageous like stealing her best friend’s boyfriend. I knew she had fun teasing those two from the side while supporting their relationship all the way through. I had hoped that things would stay this way.

But, Amami Yuu had fallen for Maehara Maki.

Those two’s relationship progressed from acquaintances to a friend of a friend and eventually, before she realized it, her eyes would wander to his side all the time.

She was staring at him more often than at her own best friend, Asanagi.

And I noticed, whenever Yuuchin was talking to Maehara, she looked just like a maiden-in-love.

This was why I wanted her to cherish her feelings more.

‘First love’ was something that only happened once.

Also… I had a feeling that if I didn’t do something, she’d end up all alone…

“But still, seriously, Rep? You snatched the prettiest girl at school’s first love? And I thought it was surprising that you went out with Asanagi…”

He was a boy whose name and face I couldn’t remember until exactly last year. Somehow, he became the center of attention of three beautiful girls, including me.

It wasn’t like he was handsome or anything. He had a dull face and personality, but I gotta say that he had this mysterious charm. Personally, I wouldn’t see him as a love interest, but I could definitely see why the other two were head over heels for him.

Not only was he genuinely kind, he was also a ‘busybody,’ someone who’d go out of his way to help out others. 𝘣𝘦𝑑𝑛𝘰𝑣𝘦𝘭.𝘰𝘳𝑔

Honestly, he was the only person I knew who’d do something like that… Rep— No, Maehara Maki…

“Wait, does this mean that I somehow got influenced by him before I realized it? …Jeez, what a cheeky guy.”

I let out a chuckle as I remembered how clumsy, yet strangely spirited he was during the sports festival.

…Maybe that was the reason why those two fell for him.

After I washed my fatigue and sweat away, and gave my skin a proper care, I got out of the bath for a late dinner.

I made some onigiris from the leftover rice and opened up a cup of instant ramen. We were supposed to have dinner together at a family restaurant, but because Asanagi was sulking, we ended up postponing that plan for a week.

Well, that was all because of me being a ‘busybody.’

“…Nina.”

“What is it, Yuna-nee? I won’t tell you anything about the fireworks festival. Also, his name isn’t ‘Rep,’ it’s Maehara, Maehara Maki.”

“Maki-kun, right, that’s what his name is. Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. It’s about your hair.”

“What? I haven’t changed my hairstyle.”

“Yeah, I know. I wanted to ask you, why are you keeping that blue scrunchie? The threads are frayed, it’s already worn out.”

“…Ah, this thing, huh?”

My sister pointed at the blue scrunchie I’ve always worn.

It was a cheap scrunchie I bought back when I first entered high school because I wanted to change my hairstyle somehow. Prior to that, I had always let my hair down.

…This blue scrunchie somehow became one of my prized possessions though.

“Eh, who cares, just leave it alone.”

“Huh, that’s unusual for you. Did someone praise you when you wore it?”

“Something like that. It was one of my friends who did, though and she wasn’t a boy.”

“I see. That friend of yours has a good taste.”

“…What are you scheming? I won’t give you anything even if you flatter me, you know?”

“Hehe, I’m just being honest. What? Is it wrong for a big sister to think that her younger sister is cute?”

“…Well, not really, but still…”

Even though I found her annoying most of the time, moments like this were the reason why I couldn’t bring myself to hate my big sister.

Thanks to her pestering me at home and Yuuchin, Umi and Rep pestering me at school, I haven’t been feeling like ‘myself’ these days…

Well, I gotta admit that it was more fun this way.

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