Honma Konatsu (Part-1)

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When I arrived at school, Sugiuchi came over to me just in time to see that Hinagata was not there.

“Yo.
How was it yesterday?”

Sugiuchi is a self-proclaimed man who knows what he’s doing.
So he must be good at whatever he does.

When I asked him about it, he began to tremble.

“Because of you…”

“What? Me?”

“Because you said something unnecessary like buying  juice, I’m….”

When I asked him about what happened, he told me that he had less than 100 yen left.

That’s not cool…

“Uchi laughed at me.”

“Isn’t that good? It’s good to laugh.”

“I Know~ But~”, he collapsed to his knees and plopped down on my desk.

“So, did  you ask?”

“You mean Uchinokura-san? ….That seemed to have created a strange misunderstanding and a whole lot of unpleasant vibes.”

Sugiuchi slipped off the desk and fell to the floor.

“I can’t do it anymore.
It’s all over.”

“Well, cheer up.”

In the first place, I think the worst thing that happened was that when I went to the convenience store with her yesterday, I got carried away and bought too many unnecessary things.

“It’s so good for you… eating a beautiful girl’s homemade lunch and going home with her…”

“Homemade lunch?”

“No? Ucchi said so yesterday.”

I knew it was home made!

It was true that there were no leftovers in the lunch box, nor did it have the air of a well-prepared homemaker’s lunch box.

All the dishes were well made, and Hinagata happily shared them with me whenever I commented on them.

“Don’t tell me she’s giving it to you again today?”

Sugiuchi, correct answer.

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“In addition to that, this is from my mother” And then she handed me my lunch again this morning.

“Does that mean,  today is another…?”

“I won’t give up… I’ll carry and accomplish everything all the boys are feeling.”

Sugiuchi stood up shakily, mumbling a curse, and went back to his seat.

Ahh, because the bell rang.

He had a serious style of getting to his seat before the teacher arrived.

“Sugiuchi-kun, what’s wrong?”

Hinagata came back.

“He seems to be carrying the thoughts of all the boys on his shoulders.”

“??”

Hinagata tilted her head curiously.

As I started my lunch break, Sugiuchi came to my seat with a small plastic bag from the convenience store in his hand.

“Sorry to interrupt.”

“I don’t mind.”

Sugiuchi had borrowed a chair from the seat in front of him and  gave Hinagata a caring look.
She was taken aback.

Yare Yare, With a sigh, Uchinokura-san sat down across from Hinagata.

“Well, sometimes it’s good.
Sometimes I want to spend lunch with Shiori.”

Hinagata nodded repeatedly with a twinkle in her eye.

I compare the lunches spread out by the two people across from me.

“…Really, it’s the same thing,” Sugiuchi blurted out.

“Hey, Shiori, when did you get up this morning?”

Twitch, then Hinagata shook her head, like she didn’t want to answer that question.

Looking at today’s bento, I think that’s the case.

There is something cute or charming about bento…

“Ku-Kura-chan, shush, shush….”

The blushing Hinagata glanced at me and tried to keep her mouth shut somehow.

“Ahh, something wrong?”

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“Ucchi, apparently this guy doesn’t know that these are handmade by Ohina-sama.”
[TN: Ohina-sama is Hinagata.]

“You didn’t tell him?”

Hinagata shrugged her shoulders and became smaller and smaller, and then whispered, like a mosquito speaking,

“Ahh, if it doesn’t taste good, you can blame my mother…”

It seemed to be a kind of precautionary measure to pretend that my aunt had made it.

“”Maiden…””

Sugiuchi and Uchinokura’s voices came together.

“How was it yesterday, Tonomura-kun?”

“The bento? It was good.”

“Told you Shiori.”

Uchinokura-san pointed her index finger at Hinagata’s beet-red cheeks with a smile.

“Failure or success, your mother gets the credit, okay? Why are you hiding it?”

“It’s my… first time, so I’m not sure…”

With a stern face, Sugiuchi pointed at Hinagata.

“Hinaga-san, you’re too cute.”

“Ryu… Tonomura-kun, I’m sorry I lied to you… I made it up.”

“It’s okay, I don’t mind.”

Relieved, Hinagata smiled.

“I came here to ruin the lovey-dovey mood, but it seems impossible now.”

“I’m not flirting.”

That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Is that what all the boys are thinking?

I heard that was the intention, but after that, we had a normal lunch and chatted about unimportant things.
It was fun.

In front of us, Sugiuchi interacted with  Uchinokura-san normally.
It was very smart, with no signs of rushing or tempering.

Oh, I see.
Why don’t the four of us have a lunch break together?

When I suggested it, Uchinokura-san looked at Hinagata first.

“…Yeah, we should do that.”

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With a smile, Hinagata nodded.

“If it’s okay with you.”

“…”

Sugiuchi stared at me with god-fearing eyes.

“Tonomura, I’m sorry….I was wrong.
I’ve… done nothing for my friend.

“It’s okay, don’t worry about it.
I don’t care if we’re friends or not.”

“I don’t want our friendship to end up being a one-way street.”

It’s futile to explain it to a hot-tempered Sugiuchi.

And thus, this is how the four of us assembled during lunch time.

After school, we had our committee meetings, so Hinagata and I went to the classroom where the committee was held.

The classroom was the one I had spent last year in, first year class C.

As I sat down at a suitable seat and looked out the window nostalgically, Hinagata, to my right, said quietly, “This is where Ryunosuke sat for the first time, right?”

How can you remember? Even I’m not sure about it.

The Beautification Committee members from each class, both male and female, were beginning to gather, as were the new first-year Beautification Committee members who were still wearing their brand new uniforms.

I spotted one of the freshmen, a girl who was my junior in middle school.

“Ahh, Senpai.”

“Honma?”

Honma Konatsu.
She was the only girl in my junior class whose name matched her face.

I don’t remember what triggered it, but we were on good terms in junior high school.

Hinagata quickly looked at Honma.

Honma smiled and gave us a small bow.

She took a seat to the left of us, ignoring the boys who were also on the Beautification Committee.

Well, there’s no fixed seat, so it doesn’t matter where you sit.

“Honma, you got into this school?”

“Yes.
I’ve always wanted to be here.”

“Oh, really? Wasn’t Homma smart? I thought you’d go to a smarter school.”

“Ehehe.
I’ve been chasing after my senpai.”

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I felt a rush of something like a killer coming from right next to me.

I was scared, so I turned my head towards her.

“Fufufu~.
I was joking.”

“Don’t say anything funny.”

Huh, I let out a breath.

Just as Honma was about to say something else, Hinagata pulled her uniform tightly around her.

She said, in a cold voice,

“Look in front of you.
The teacher is here.”

“…Yes.”

At the committee meeting, the chairperson and vice chairperson were chosen from among the third-year students, the teacher told them what they would be doing, and then they decided who would be responsible for watering the flower beds.

The meeting lasted less than 20 minutes.

“Senpai, what does the Beautification Committee do?”

“That’s what the teacher told us a while ago.”

I was about to answer, but Hinagata spoke up first.

“We clean up the school once a month and water the flower beds on duty.”

It was easy, considering all the other committees and odd jobs we were forced to do.

As the class was dismissed and some students were leaving the classroom, Hinagata and Honma were exchanging glances with me.

It was an hour in time—

That’s how it felt like… but I think it was actually less than 10 seconds.

It was rare for Hinagata to show her hostility like this.

“I was so careless, I didn’t hear it.
Sorry.”

Honma laughed in an embarrassed manner and stood up.
“Well, senpai, see you later,” she said with a smile and waved as she left.

When I was in junior high, I heard a rumor that Honma liked me, although I didn’t know if it was true or not.

“……”

I couldn’t look back at my childhood friend who wasn’t going to the club activities that she was supposed to attend and was making weird onomatopoeic sounds like GoGo GoGo behind me.

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