“I think I like Segawa-kun.”

As soon as she said this, I felt time stopping around myself.

Without even blinking, I froze on my spot like a statue.
Seeing me like that, Sakuramiya-sensei continued.

“I’m sorry for saying it all of a sudden, but I can’t bottle up my feelings anymore.”

“No, it’s not like that…”

“Can I tell you a little bit about myself?”


I could only reply with a few words.
I can’t think straight because of the unexpected turn of events.

I am in a state of detachment from reality, the feeling was eerily similar to when I have a fever.
Sakuramiya-sensei smiled wryly when she noticed that I was still stunned and said, 

“You know, until High-school, I hardly talked to any boys.
I went to an all-girls school, and my father was too overprotective so he wouldn’t allow any boy to get close to me.
It was only after I became an university student that I finally talked with someone of opposite s*x properly.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, of course.
I’ve never been in love with anyone before, so I was really interested to feel what love is… Oh, do you know what a circle is?”

“It’s like a club, right?”

“That’s right.
So, in order to fall in love with someone no matter what, I participated in many of the club’s welcome parties for freshers.
I wanted to meet that someone special, so I didn’t really care what the circle was about.
And fortunately I was able to attend many of these gatherings.”

While reflecting on the past, Sakuramiya-sensei tells her story.
To be honest at this point, I was a little worried about the end of the story.

“You know, all the guys were nice to me, and some of them were good talkers and entertainers, so it was a lot of fun.
Once, I even drank alcohol as they asked me to…”

“You were breaking the laws at that time, right?”

“Haha, well let’s keep it a secret from everyone.
Back to the story, it turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
Someone almost violated me, because of the influence of alcohol I was barely able to resist him.
I mean, I didn’t really understand at that time what was about to happen to me…”


I didn’t know how to respond to her, so I decided to stay silent.


“Fortunately, I didn’t cross the line thanks to my father who was worried about my late return… After that I started to have traumatic experiences with men.
I get easily scared when they tried to approach me… because I knew all of those ba***rds have ulterior motives when they approach me.”

Having been surrounded by people of the same gender since she was a child, Sakuramiya-sensei had almost no immunity on how to deal with men.

If she suddenly came across such a situation, it would be no wonder that she would be suffering from such a traumatic experience.

Sensei looked up at the clear blue sky and smiled troublingly.

“From that point on, all men who were close to my age and older became a no-go.
I naturally began to keep my distance from them and could hardly talk to them except for clerical conversations.
But I knew I couldn’t go on like this, so I became a high school teacher.
Partly because I liked teaching, but also because I thought I could talk to younger boys in a normal way.”

“Well, that was definitely unexpected.”

“Yeah, well, at first I had problems talking even with younger boys, but with time I got used to it.
I didn’t feel that usual disgust or fear anymore.
When I noticed it, I thought if I had put more effort while talking with men of my age, I wouldn’t have gone through ‘that’.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know about that… and yet I recommended you to go for dinner with Hanamura-sensei.”

“I’m not accusing you of anything.
I just couldn’t see Hanamura-sensei as an object of romantic interest.
I guess my dislike for good looking guys is also influenced by my past trauma.
I’m really sick of being stuck in the past forever.”

She scratched her cheeks with her fingers and laughed.

I had no idea that the situation would have been this serious, my first impression of her was that she was easy to talk with everyone, men and women alike, in a cheerful and friendly manner.

I didn’t have the impression that she was traumatized.

Suddenly, I remembered being hugged when I had rescued Sakuramiya-sensei from a pick-up.
That must have been the effect of a past trauma.
Considering that, it finally made sense to me.

“But now I’m already thirty years old and if I don’t do something, I’ll miss my chance to get married.
I’m gullible, so I might end up in a marriage scam in the future.
That’s why my mother wants me to get married.
And If I don’t get married, I’ll be single for the rest of my life.”

“You are a good person aren’t you, Sakuramiya-sensei?”

“I guess so.
Though I’m not really aware of it.”

“How could you not even realize something so simple?”

Haah… If someone with ulterior motives approaches her in the future, I don’t know what would happen to her.

If a man of the same age or older is bad, but a younger man is no good either.
He might approach her for money and later cheat on her, hurting her feelings in the end.

If this is the case, it is no wonder that her mother, Kiyoka-san, wants her to marry someone as soon as possible.
It would be safer if she knew in advance the personality of the person she was going to marry through an arranged marriage.

“Well, anyway, what do you actually mean?”

Sakuramiya-sensei clasped her hands together to bring the conversation back on track, and then she swayed her dark brown hair, and looked straight into my eyes.

“I’ve never been in love before, so my strike zone is someone who is younger.”

“I see.”

If she will say it that straightforwardly, then the impact will be devastating for me

“Segawa-kun is so cool, so it’s not appropriate for me to court you, right? And it’s not easy to fall in love with a sullen auntie.”

“Sakuramiya-sensei, you are not an old lady.”

“Ah, see if you say those kind words again and again then it will be bad for my heart.
I fell in love with you because of that kindness, the moment when you helped me when I was running away from the forced marriage, the moment when you saved me when I was getting picked up.
And I fell in love with you, without even being aware of it… It is seriously no good.”

“…I see.”

It seems that the reason she has been talking about her past up to this point was to tell me why he confessed to me and said, “I love you.”

At first it definitely came as a surprise but now, I can accept it honestly.

“Haha, but I can’t really ask you to take responsibility and date me for real this time.
I said all of it, to finally put an end on my feelings.
From now on, I’ll properly look for a marriage partner… I’m sorry for my selfish confession.
I always cause trouble for you Segawa-kun.”

She laughed awkwardly after saying those words.
I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths to get my thoughts on track.

And when I was finally resolute, I looked at Sakuramiya-sensei again.

On my knee, my right hand is clasped tightly in nervousness.
All this time she was acting cheerful and stoutly, but now I can see a variety of emotions, including nervousness.

I put my left hand on her right hand, which was shaking slightly.

When Sakuramiya noticed the touch of my hand, she let out a stuttering voice, “Huh?”

However, without being distracted by that, I started to speak seriously, while trying to appear calm outside.

“It’s really selfish to say something like that, Sensei.”

“I’m sorry.
I should have kept it in my mind and not said it…”

“No, I’m not talking about that.
It’s about how you confessed to me and then suddenly backed away like nothing had happened.”


“You’re not very perceptive, are you?”

“Are you really going to say that now?!”

Sakuramiya-sensei raised her voice in surprise.
I’m not sure if I’m being too blunt.

I know I’m very insensitive.
But still I feel like Sauramiya-sensei is also the same.

With a slight smile on my face, I looked straight into her eyes while putting some strength into my left hand I said,

“If it’s okay, Sakuramiya-sensei, then please make me your boyfriend.”

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