Thursday early evening. I caught a glimpse of Ichinose’s back on my way back to my room.
Ichinose is always surrounded by students both girls and boys, however, today to my surprise she seems to be alone.
Somehow I can not sense her usual driving spirit. Maybe it wasn’t by chance the fact that she was not surrounded by her friends, but rather she intentionally kept away from them.
Besides, for now, she is the most talked about person of our school year.
Well, if other people are thoughtlessly involved in your own gossip, you may suffer collateral damage.
If it is Ichinose, then it would not be surprising to end with that conclusion.
I remember the conversation between Kanzaki and Hashimoto the other day.
Should I call out to her? That’s what I thought to do, but…
I felt a presence behind me and decided to stop.
I took out my cell phone and turned on the camera.
I am changing the camera activity from the front to the back lens and I am looking casually to what’s going on behind me.
Similar to me, two first years are returning to their dormitory. One of them is Hashimoto.
Although, he is just walking normally, given what happened the other day, it’s difficult to think of this as a coincidence.
Is he following me?
But before confirming that, another student approached me.
The student is getting closer to me without hesitation. I immediately close the camera and put my cell phone in my pocket.
“Umm…Ayanokouji-kun. Do you have a moment?”
The person who called out to me from behind is my classmate, Mei-Yu Wang.
Because her name can be difficult to pronounce we call her “Mii-chan” although calling her like that even in my head is embarrassing.
“After this, can you lend me some of your time? I would like your advice about something”
My advice? We have barely talked to each other so far.
This is actually the first time she talked to me face to face
And I do not think that there is anyone else with Mii-chan, either…
Ichinose walked away without noticing me. Following her at this point would make me look suspicious.
“I am sorry. You are busy, after all”
“No, I was just heading back. It’s okay”
After saying this Mii-chan let out a sigh of relief looking happier.
While talking to Mii-chan Hashimoto passed us by and headed back to the dormitory.
Neither did he look nor speak to me.
“So, you need my advice about something?”
“Talking about it here, is a little…”
She is looking around nervously. It seems that whatever she wants to tell me is something not to be talked casually while walking back at the dormitory.
As expected, it is hard for me to say ‘Since the dorms are quite close, would you like to talk in my room?’.
Moreover, suggesting going to Mii-chan’s room, is out of the question, too.
“What do we do, then?”
Instead of making the decision myself, I let Mii-chan decide the place to go.
After thinking a little bit about it she made her suggestion.
“How about a cafeteria… if that’s alright with you? Although we might be late in heading back home afterwards.”
If she wants to go to a cafe, then there is no reason for me to decline.
Even we get late by heading back, it is only a difference of 5 to 10 minutes. It’s not a big deal.
By Mii-chan’s proposal, we end up to the cafe of the Keyaki Mall.
As I’ve said before, we’re just two people who don’t know each other very well.
So, we ended up walking somewhat of a distance away from each other instead of side-by-side.