Dating And Prolonged Time Out.
(Part 1)

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After parking my bike at the parking lot, I looked over to the station to see Hinagata constantly fixing her hair with a comb.

I checked my cell phone for the time and saw that I still had ten minutes left before we met.

Last night.

As I waited for the call, I received a message around eight o’clock.

Thank you for coming to watch the game, the message said.
About halfway through messaging, I was having trouble typing so we swapped to calling each other to talk.
When we were about to hang up, Hinagata said a few words. 

“I need advice… about dating.”

“Ahh, you want to practice it?”


When I asked her about her plans for tomorrow, she said she had a light practice in the morning and would be free before noon, so we decided to meet at the station.

“Yo, sorry for the wait.”

It was probably because I had called out from a blind spot, but Hinagata jumped a little.

“…I-I didn’t wait though?”

She said she was going to practice, so it was a template answer.

However, it was a bit of an awkward way of saying that.

I thought she would be in uniform since the practice was over, but she went home first.
She was wearing a small flowered dress and a denim jacket.

“Shall we go?”


We bought a ticket to the station five stops away.
We boarded the train and sat down in a row of empty seats.

“Are you sure you want to do this after club activities?””

“Yes, there was a light adjustment today.”

The reason seemed to be that yesterday had been hard and the use of the gym was limited today.

Hmmm, I guess.
I said with an appropriate gesture.

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“Did Homma-san leave after that?” 

“Yes, Uchinokura-san’s threat must have worked.”

Maybe so.”

Hinagata laughed quietly next to me.

I don’t think I have seen Hinagata wear her casual clothes since elementary school. 

I can’t help but glance at her clothes, distracted from the conversation.

Yesterday it smelled like fabric softener, but today it smells mysterious and nice.

“You could have kept your uniform on after club activities.”

I suggested that it would be less of a hassle, but she shook her head.

“I wanted to take a shower after I worked up a sweat….”

I was so embarrassed that I imagined a shower scene.

“I-I see.”

“And on top of that….
Because of the date too.”

I’m starting to feel embarrassed.

“That’s exactly what a uniform is used for.”

“I wanted to wear my favourite outfit for our first meeting.”

Hou, I made an owl-like gesture, and suddenly realized.

Our first? So, we’re going to do a few more practice dates? 

Is that what you’re planning to do?

“But there are uniform dates.”

Apparently there is.

After 20 minutes of silent train rides, we arrived at our destination station as we exited the ticket gate.

At the roundabout, several cabs were parked waiting for passengers, and I could see people lining up at the bus stop.

This station is regarded as a sacred place by the local junior and senior high school students, and is bustling with people today, as if everyone thinks of it as a place to go shopping or have fun.

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If my memory serves me right, I’m sure I’ll see someone in front of this station…

“Hinagata, are you fine with this?”


“…… If the guy you like sees you here with me, won’t he get the wrong idea?”

“Wrong idea?”

“Because he’ll think we’re… dating, but it’s just a misunderstanding.”

I didn’t think I’d be forced to say all that, so I ended up whispering a lot.

Before I could even think about it, Hinagata answered.

“It’s okay.”

You’re very clear about that.

Well, if he’s busy with club activities, there’s no way he’d be here on her day off.

I took her word for it and headed for a nearby commercial facility to have lunch.

There were cafes, food courts, bookstores, and clothing stores in the tenants, so it was an ideal place for people of all ages.

When I asked Hinagata if she thought it would be better to have a more stylish cafe, she said it would be fine.

“Have you made any progress with him since then?”

“Progress with him….” 

No,  when I asked, Hinagata snorted in annoyance.

He doesn’t have anyone he likes.
He doesn’t have a girlfriend either.
And I heard that he was injured and couldn’t play in the game.

“He’s from another school, right? If you don’t appeal to him properly, other girls will catch him…..”

“Another school?”

Am I wrong?”

She nodded, “Yes.”

“Am I wrong?”

”Yes,” she nodded again.

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“… What, I’m wrong?”

I asked in Kansai dialect, but the response was the same.

“The school is the same.”

The range narrowed quickly.

“Ohh, I see…”

W-why am I so nervous?

Coming to the restaurant floor of the commercial facility, I came to a relatively empty cafe and ordered the same lunch limited menu.

The possibility that the one she likes is me… could it be true…?

It sounded like he was someone from another school, so I thought it couldn’t be me.

When the salad arrived, we picked it up with the fork and ate in silence.
The soup and omurice were brought out shortly after, and we just remained silent while eating. 


If I expand on the information she gave me about who she likes… It also applies to me since I am injured and can’t play any games.

W—I don’t have the lightness of heart to ask, Are you talking about me?

It’s still easy to respond to things like “There’s no way,” or “Senpai, you’re too self-conscious.
Fufufu.” like Ayahi and Homma.

They would laugh at my misunderstanding, and the atmosphere would end up being light.

But for Hinagata, she’ll just say, “No,” and the air will become tense in a second.

So, I can’t ask it……

It was because the distance between us since elementary school, combined with the fact that she was asking me for romantic advice, increased the number of factors that could be misunderstood.

Imagine if it was me… That would be convenient, wouldn’t it be… probably…

As I finished my meal, Hinagata took a bite of her omelet with a spoon while I pondered

“Do you want some…?

She held out a spoon to me.

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“What? N-no I’m good!”

“You looked like you wanted to eat, that’s why…..”

The spoon in her hand was trembling slightly.

When I looked closely at her face, she looked away shyly.

Does that mean you’re practicing feeding each other with “Ahh~”?

I took a quick look around the restaurant, which had about 30 seats.
Of course, no one was paying attention to us.

“Well, just a bite.”

I took the bite that was offered to me, thinking that now was the time to eat.

“….How is it?”

“It tastes embarrassing.”

“Ryunosuke, your face is red.”

“… Yours too.”

With a shy grin, Hinagata began to eat the rest of the meal.

I began to drink water, and before I knew it, it was empty, and Hinagata noticed this and smiled modestly.

In truth, it would be better for the men to come up with more of a plan.
As it was, it would be the same as usual, just a change in clothes and location.

After all, what should we do on a date…? Is this even a practice?

As I pondered, Hinagata finished eating and we left the restaurant.

We wandered around the facility, but didn’t know where to stop.

Then, here now, We’re just walking around.

“I’m sorry, I’m not very familiar with it.

At the top of the escalator, I looked away and said, not looking directly at her.

I looked at Hinagata and saw that she was shaking her head.

“No, it’s really fun.”

Really? The thought must have shown on her face.
Hinagata nodded with a smile.


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