Chapter 1: Confession should be made within 3 months

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■Chapter: Takane Saki■


…Have you ever heard of the “3-Month Confession Rule”?


<”The “Super Love Psychology Course”, also known as “Imamote”.”>


According to Chapter 1, ” The Mechanism of Love You Don’t Understand”…



(I really was so surprised I fell out of my chair.)


The longer you wait after meeting someone, the less likely you are to succeed in confessing your feelings to them!

This was truly a revelation out of the blue.


(I was really, really surprised and let my mind drift for a while.)


It was a revolutionary concept.

Because usually, the longer you know each other, the better you understand each other, don’t you think?


Then you can fall in love with each other more, right?

Beginners in love like me might think so… But this is a theory backed by data…


According to statistics by Imamote, the most successful pattern of confession is “within 3 months of the first meeting”.


The success rate peaks in the third month and then declines steadily.

In other words…


“…I have to con-c-…confess my feelings to Mashima-kun within the next three months!”

“You can’t even say the word ‘confession’ properly, can you?”


Yuka pointed this out to me in a half-amused tone, and I felt my face heat up.


…By the way, this was my room, where Yuka and I were having a meeting after school to reflect on the painful failure of that morning’s rumor campaign…


Yuka-chan and I were sitting on my bed reading manga.

…Well, I can’t say I had the right to complain because I was asking her for advice on my love life, but she could have helped me out a little more.
I’ve known her since junior high school, after all…


…I need to get back on track.


“I have less than two and a half months to go, to be exact.
It was April 7 when I spoke with Mashima-kun at the bicycle parking lot, and today is April 25, so…”

“How short~!”


Yuka-chan said as she flipped through the pages of her manga.

Is it really that interesting? The manga…


“…Hmm? But didn’t Mashima-kun go to junior high school with us in the first place? I think it’s been more than three months since it happened.”

“Back then… I didn’t know much about romance or anything like that, so no thank you!”

“The longer you wait, the more like a friend you’ll become, rather than a romantic partner.
I agree with you that it’s better to settle things early and sometimes that stinky book of yours has some good things to say.”

“I! Ma! Mo! Te! It’s not some stinky book!”

“Saki Saki won’t ever confess unless we set a deadline.”

“Oh… You can’t be so sure about that…”

“I can bet on it.”


Yuka-chan looked at me with a sideways glance.


“We’ve been at Kamimura High School for a year now… Saki Saki, have you been able to speak properly with anyone in high school other than me?”



My eyes involuntarily started to move around, as I was struck in a painful spot.
She was completely right.


Yuka-chan let out a deep sigh.


“Do you know what Mashima-kun thinks of you?”

“W…W-what!? What Mashima-kun thinks of me!!”

“Close, close, close, close!! Mysterious! He thinks you’re mysterious!”

“Eh!? Could it be that he also likes… me?”

“Congratulations! Kora! Don’t smirk! It’s not a compliment! I’m perceived as ‘someone who doesn’t know better’ because I’m so outspoken at school!”



I was unintentionally subjected to the Windsor Effect myself.

I was too shocked to find the next words to say…


“Look! That’s it! Whenever you don’t know what to say, you immediately shut up with a serious face! Unless you fix that, you’ll be mysterious for the rest of your life!”


“No, it seems that it’s impossible.”


Yuka said in a dazed manner and went back into the world of manga again.

I know that, too…


If I am just shy and timid, it’s okay, but if I don’t even talk much like this, even the things that are supposed to be communicated don’t get through…

But still…


“I think it’s much better than spouting mindless words…”


That was my true feeling, which I squeezed out over a long period of time.




Yuka-chan looked at me again with a sideways glance.

Phew… and she let out a long sigh and said.


“…I get it! I get it!”


After all, Yuka-chan has been my only close friend since junior high school.

Although sometimes she says terrible things.


“Well, let me hear it!”


In the end, we always end up going along with my selfishness.


“Imamote” says “How do we get that obtuse, serious, public morality freak to fall for it?”

“…I have a plan… And please don’t call Mashima-kun strange nicknames.”


I’m sorry for the long introduction, but the time has finally come for me to unveil the plan.

I’ve learned from Imamote, my winning strategy to win in love.


The day after the meeting (two of us), during the slightly longer break between 2nd and 3rd periods.


I was watching from the shadows, trying to carry out the winning strategy that I had stressed to Yuka-chan yesterday.

It was not very difficult to find Mashima-kun on campus.


Because his voice comes through so well, and his imposing stance is one-of-a-kind.

…It’s purely because he stands out.


“…There! Yuya Kotani, Class 2C! The student handbook’s dress code, section 4, “Ornaments” states that ear piercings are forbidden!”

“Geez! How can you see them from that distance!? But these are ear cuffs! Too bad!”

“Well, okay then! But change it to something a little less conspicuous, and take it off during class! Wait there! Class 2A, Yashiro Shinaraya! Using your phone while walking and using your phone in the hallway are both forbidden!”


Even if it was recess time, Kengo Mashima, the Discipline Committee President, was in full force.

Walking down the corridor, Mashima-kun would instantly spot anyone violating school rules with his blade-like sharpness and cut them down with a wry smile.

I could not help but let out a sigh when I saw his serious expression…


“…I can’t get close to him.”


…What should I do? The gap is too big.

I was second-guessing with all my might here.


“Rika Kanaya! You’re folding your skirt again! How many times have I told you that in the Student Handbook Dress Code, Section 1, “Clothing,” the skirt length should be knee-length…”


…Mashima-kun seemed to be busy, so I’ve decided to try again some other time.

The winds of timidity have begun to blow.


But… I shook my head vigorously to rid myself of my cowardice!

Imamote says, ‘Action is the only way!’


Look! Now is my chance, now that there are no more people around Mashima-kun!

I gathered up all my courage and jumped out from the shadows!


“Hello, Mashima-kun!”



When he turned around, his gaze was as dignified as ever.

As soon as he turned to me, my heart leapt and I felt a choking sensation in my throat…

I tried to keep a poker face in accordance with the teaching of the Imamote, which said, “Avoid revealing your love for someone at an early stage as much as possible.”


“Oh, Takane Saki.”


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Mashima-kun called my name.

As usual, in a quiet but clear and calm tone of voice.

His expression, behavior, and mood were extremely… usual.


“…What’s wrong?”


Why doesn’t he care a little bit about me after what happened the other day?…

It’s kind of unfair that I’m the only one who’s upset!

I almost pouted, but I must have a poker face, a poker face…


“Can I help you?”


Mashima-kun wrinkled his eyebrows in a suspicious manner.

And I have been waiting for this very moment!


“No, it’s nothing serious…”

I also put all my energy into my eyebrow roots and wrinkled them!


…The mirroring effect.

Also known as the “tuning effect” or “postural echo” it is a psychological term.


According to Imamote, “Humans unconsciously perform the same behavior as people they like.
It refers to the psychological effect of unconsciously feeling a sense of familiarity and liking toward people who perform the same actions as oneself.”


There is a psychological technique to shorten the psychological distance between a person and another person by intentionally mirroring (imitating) the other person’s behavior, aiming for this effect!


In other words, if the other person crosses their legs, we cross our legs too.

If they scratch their cheek, we scratch our cheek.

If they wrinkle their eyebrows, we wrinkle ours, too!


By simply imitating the other person’s movements and gestures, the other person will feel a sense of familiarity with you… Next thing they know, they’re in love!


This is a winning strategy that even an awkward girl like me can execute!


I call it the “Mirroring Strategy”!


It was supposed to be like that, but…


“… Did I do something to offend you?”



I was at a loss for words because of the unexpected response.

I felt like we were even a little bit further apart, rather than closer to each other’s hearts.

That’s ridiculous…? That’s not what I was planning…


“If it’s about the incident in front of the school gate the other day? I thought I was doing my duty as the Discipline Committee President, but if I have unknowingly hurt you, I’m sorry.”

“Oh, no, no, no, it’s not like that.”

“Then why are you glaring at me with such intensity?”

“No, it’s not that I’m, you know, staring at you, it’s just that, you know, it’s not, you know, a mirror.”



Mashima-kun tilted his head curiously.

Ah! Mirroring!

I inwardly panicked, but I ritually tilted my head at the same angle as Mashima-kun’s!

I tilted my head 30 degrees to the right, glared upward at Mashima-kun and started fidgeting…


It would be a long time before I would notice how terribly strange it looked from another person’s point of view.


“No, I, well, I, I wanted to talk to you today, Mashima-kun.”

“What do you want to talk about? If it’s something you don’t want people to hear, we can move to a different location…”



Mashima-kun suddenly looked around, and I followed his lead.

And then… before I knew it!


There was no one here a moment ago, but now a crowd had gathered around me and Mashima-kun!


“Oh, Takane-san is getting tangled up with Mashima again.”

“Could it be that he’s trying to confess again?”

“Wow, he’s so passionate.
I thought Mashima wasn’t interested in romance.”

“Isn’t Takane-san staring at him?”


I heard such voices from the crowd, and I felt my face heat up.

I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m attracting attention!? Perhaps a confession!?


I don’t understand, but am I going to get a confession from Mashima-kun!?

I’m trying my best to keep a poker face, but inside my head I’m already in a complete panic!


“You really do get people’s attention.”


Mashima-kun said sincerely and scratched the area above his temple.

No, that’s not it! It’s Mashima-kun who stands out, not me…!

…Oh! Or rather, mirroring!

I reflexively tried to imitate Mashima-kun and scratched my head…




…I stop my hand just in time.


Careful! The bangs I worked so hard to style in order to talk to Mashima-kun were about to be ruined!


But if I don’t do the mirroring, the strategy I’ve learned from… Following Imamote is a winning strategy!




After such a struggle, my fingertips scratched at the empty void.

It doesn’t make complete sense anymore.


“What are you… doing?”


“What am I doing, I…”


I finally spoke up.

I’m getting a lot of attention from everyone, and my embarrassment has long exceeded the boiling point.

I bet Mashima-kun thinks I’m weird…!


Oh, if this is what it’s like, I shouldn’t have done the mirroring in the first place.

In front of everyone watching me, I was…




Embarrassed, embarrassed, embarrassed!

As soon as I became aware of the gazes around me, I felt so much embarrassment that my eyes were burning.


It’s no good.
I know I shouldn”t be doing this, but I”m supposed to be doing this.

Regardless of my intentions, a hot drop of water started to trickle down from the back of my eyes, and I couldn’t…




I did it.

I finally lost control and a large drop fell from my right eye.

At that moment…


“…Don’t move.”


I thought I heard a small whisper from Mashima-kun.




The next moment, a handkerchief was placed on my right cheek.

The people surrounding us all burst out in unison, “Oh!”


I could do nothing but stare wide-eyed at Mashima-kun and freeze.

Huh? What happened to me just now?…


“I’m sorry, it was a spur-of-the-moment conversation.
I don’t know what happened, but I don’t think you want to be seen.”


Mashima-kun muttered in a volume that only I could hear.

…That calm tone of voice, as usual.

His right hand, held behind a handkerchief.

It was so warm.


“The handkerchief is cheap, don’t give it back, let’s just move somewhere else for now.”


I just…

My right hand…


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Mashima-kun raised his voice.


“What is it?”


Everyone around us peeled their eyes away.




And I just froze, unable to comprehend the scene before me.

Time passed slowly, in slow motion.

And in the slow motion of time, I remembered a sentence from Imamote.


─ ─ The mirroring effect.

─ ─ Humans unconsciously perform the same behavior as those they like.




I finally understood the situation and my face turned pale.

Perhaps it was because I had unconsciously placed my right hand on his cheek, just as Mashima-kun had wiped away my tears with a handkerchief.


What a strange scene!

A man and a woman facing each other, each with their right hand on the other’s cheek…


“Takane Saki…?”


As expected, Mashima-kun could not hide his bewilderment at my strange behavior.


“Ah… eh, it’s different, Mashima-kun, this is…”


What is the difference? I don’t know either.

The only thing I am sure of is that shame and embarrassment like hot magma is bubbling up from the bottom of my stomach…


“…Eh? Are those two going to kiss?”


…The moment I heard such a voice from somewhere, the magma inside me finally erupted.


“…Kesaran Pasaran.”


“Kesalan Pasalan is on…”

“Kesalan Pasalan is on…?”

“Bye, goodbye!!”

“Saki Takane!?


(TLN: Kesaran Pasaran… This is that white seedball from dandelions that floats.
In some cultures you can make a wish with it.
Japan treats them as living things… idk what to say.
She probably wanted to say there was one on his cheek.)


I couldn’t stand even one more second under the eyes of the people around me, especially the curious eyes of Mashima-kun.

I turned on my heels as quickly as I could and ran down the hallway.



“…Saki Takane! Don’t run down the hallway!”


I heard Mashima-kun’s voice calling out to me from behind.




Even in my panicked state of mind, I had enough time to think about the fact that Mashima-kun would hate me if I violated the school rules.


I panicked and applied the emergency brake, but this was not a good idea.




I fell down in the middle of the hallway in front of everyone.

There was a huge gasp among the gathered crowd.


“Ugh!? She fell!?”

“It looked like it hurt…”

“…What happened to Takane-san?”


I could hear everyone

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