Watching The Game And Making Promises.
(Part 4)

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Sugiuchi got up from his seat.
When I asked him where he was going, he said, “I’m getting hungry too, so I’m going to get something to eat”.
I tried to give him one of the rice balls I had received, but Honma looked sad, so I decided against it.

The game was going well, with repeated intervals and halftimes.

Hinagata was replaced at halftime, and after a while she took the court again.

As I was thinking about the freshness of the substitution system, which I had never seen in baseball, Honma asked me about Hinagata.

“How long have you been friends with Hinagata-san?”

“I don’t know how long exactly, but since kindergarten.
We used to play together a lot.”

“In junior high school, you didn’t have that kind of atmosphere at all, did you?”

“Well, we were both busy with club activities, and it was much more fun being with boys than with girls.”

“With Sugiuchi-senpai?”

“Not only with Sugiuchi, but also with other guys.”

“Boys are like that, aren’t they~?”

Honma let out a single sigh of dissatisfaction.

“Aren’t there any girls like that? Isn’t it more fun to be with girls than with boys?”

“Yes, but it seems like a lie.
Someone who professes that kind of thing even though one hasn’t asked.
It’s like they’re trying to enclose you.
It’s like they’re saying that anyone who runs away is a traitor, and I didn’t like it.”

“I think I understand.”

The score of the game was almost the same, and the game continued to go back and forth between the two teams, making it hard to get bored.

And then Honma came into my view.

“Don’t you like her? Hinagata-senpai?”

“What’s with this out of the blue?”

“You entered the same high school a year late, and now you’re getting closer.
I’m sure something happened.”

“There’s nothing going on.”

We started to talk about various things after the romantic consultation.
But that’s all.

The fact that we were in the same class for the first time in a long time must have pushed her over the edge.

I think part of it was that I was going home together with her and had more time on my hands.

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I pushed the head back that was blocking my view back into place.

“I’m just conforming, aren’t I~”

“What’s going on with you and Sugiuchi? I saw you going into the physics room yesterday during the lunch break.”

Honma’s eyes lit up when I said it.

“…By any chance, are you jealous?!”

“What? No.”

The shining eyes lost their light in an instant.

“You don’t have to deny it so clearly….”

“I was wondering what you were talking about.”

“It’s a secret.”

She then gave me a very nice smile on her face, as if she enjoyed being pestered by me.

I guess you could say it’s a man’s best interest to be pestered by a junior who looks like an idol, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to it than that.

“I really wanted to be the manager of the baseball team.”

“Why don’t you become one? It’s a den of b******s, so it doesn’t matter how many female managers there are.”

“Become a manager, support, ace, and eventually they’ll fall in love…..”

I laughed at the theatrical tone, and Honma laughed, too.

“I… had a blueprint of what it would look like.”

“It’s not too late for those blueprints, okay?”

“I’ll never make it.”

As she watched the game, Honma chuckled.

“…I wish I was the same age as senpai.”

It was a sad murmur that seemed to be filled with real feelings.

I didn’t know what to say, so I watched the game for a while, and Honma was entranced, as if she was watching an idol on TV.

“Hinagata-senpai, she’s so cool and cute.
She’s white, thin, and has a tiny face.
She’s tall for a girl, and her hands and feet are long and beautiful, and she has great style.”

I was afraid to say I agree with her, so I let it slide.

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“Is that what you like about her?”

“You know what….”

What do you want me to say?

I was getting sick and tired of these kinds of questions.

“Ah.
I understand, I understand.
I won’t ask anymore!”

Honma said and changed her attitude completely.

I’ve had several chances to talk to Honma since junior high school, and she was very good at keeping her distance.

She would step in or step out, depending on the mood and color of the person she was talking to.

It’s no wonder she’s popular with both men and women.
She is the complete opposite of the clumsy and uncommunicative Hinagata.

Eventually, the match ended in victory, and they seemed to have taken a short break.

“What do you want to do after this, senpai? Do you want to come to my place?”

“I’m not coming.”

“You’re not coming? That’s a shame.”

I heard footsteps and thought it was Sugiuchi, so I looked towards the stairs and saw Hinagata and Uchinokura-san in their club jerseys just coming up.

“Hmm?  Wasn’t Sugiuchi here?”

Glance glance, said Uchinokura-san while looking around.

“That guy, he went off to get something to eat.”

Fuun, as Uchinokura-san snorted, Hinagata gave me a questioning look.

“….”

What the h**l? What’s with the staring?

“Thank you for your hard work, both of you.
You guys won! It was my first time seeing it properly, but it was really cool!”

“What are you doing here, Honma-san?”

When Uchinokura-san asked, Hinagata seemed to be asking the same question, and gave a small nod in agreement.

“I was just visiting the club activities.
Because there was a game going on in the gym.”

“”Just?””

“Yes, just.”

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“Are you coming to girls’ basketball? It’s hard though.”

“Ehh—.
Then I won’t!”

Both Uchinokura-san and Honma were smiling and talking, but even I could tell It was obvious that they were talking while hiding their true feelings.

Good grief, said Uchinokura-san while shaking her head and then she sat down next to Honma.

The only remaining vacant spot was next to me.

“Shiori, come here too.”

When invited, Hinagata shook her head, purring.

“…..
Right now, sitting next to him is not good….”

I’m sure she wants to sit down after the game, but she refuses to.

“Hinagata-senpai, I don’t think you smell like sweat, so it’s okay.”

“Huh!?”

I’m not sure if Honma had guessed her true intentions, but Hinagata shrugged her shoulders.

Oh, that’s what you’re worried about

“Sit down here, Hinagata.
I don’t mind.”

“Senpai, senpai.
That’s not the part where you say, ‘I don’t mind,’ but where you whisper, ‘Everything smells good when it smells like you~.'”

That girl is crazy.

“That’s why… Well, should I sit down?”

I patted the space next to me.
She whispered and then sat down quietly.

All I could smell was the lingering scent of her hair from when she walked and the smell of the Hinagata’s fabric softener from her jersey.

Uchinokura-san began to ask Honma questions in a caring manner. What club activities are you going to join? And so on.

While they were having this conversation, Hinagata, who was sitting on the edge, said—

“….We have one more game and then we’re done.
So if you’re bored, you can go home.”

“No, it was fun.”

“Glad to hear that.”

“You’re a pretty good basketball player, aren’t you?”

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“Eh? Now?”

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now…

“I thought about it the other day, but… You were cool.”

“~~~!”

I’m not sure if it was an unexpected impression, but Hinagata’s face was reddening as she made a V shape with her mouth.

The number of blinks were unusual.

Is she embarrassed? Is that it?

“….Ahh, um…”

“What?”

“Umm….”

Even though I waited, Hinagata did not follow easily.

Uchinokura-san got up from her seat.

“Shiori, we have to go downstairs now.
I’m going first.”

Oh, ah, Hinagata started to get impatient as she looked at her watch and me.

“Uhm.
Uhhh—”

“Calm down, Hinagata.”

There There, I calmed her down with both of my hands.

“C-Can I contact you at….
when I get home?”

“Yeah.
Sure.”

Her expression cleared up.

“Okay, bye.
See you later!”

With a small wave of her hand, Hinagata walked down the aisle with a bouncy step, caught up with Uchinokura-san, and went down the stairs.

…..Hmm? That’s it?

“Huh~ … What’s that, really really, cute.”

Honma absentmindedly took a deep sigh, at loss of words.

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