Miki Yamamura’s Short Story
A Subtle Change
EARLY IN THE morning, the second-years were enjoying themselves with a snowball fight.
I couldn't hide the confusion in my heart as I blended into the light. I was supposed to live a low key, quiet, solitary life. But he, as a matter of course, found the inconspicuous me and approached me.
"It's so lively."
He took the initiative to say hello…
This is also a change in itself.
"Well, it does look fun for sure."
Ayanokoji-kun replied while glancing at my bare hands.
My heart started beating faster and I purposely exhaled hot air into my hands.
"Did you forget your gloves again?"
After answering, I couldn't bear the nervousness of lying and confessed immediately.
"I'm sorry, I'm just kidding. I'm carrying them with me."
Without thinking about it, I had already blurted it out.
"I didn’t realize you were a comedian."
Ayanokouji-kun spoke with his unchanging attitude, without a smile on his face.
"Sure enough… does it not suit my style?"
After asking back uneasily, he shook his head in denial.
"No, it's fine, isn't it? It's good to form a group and then slowly develop a bond."
That's great... The confusion in my mind wasn't an illusion.
"I… feel the same way. My presence is weak and I am rarely noticed no matter what I do. But Kushida-san, Nishino-san, Amikura-san and everyone in the group watched me and saw me as a companion. Thanks to this group, not only the girls, but the boys as well. It was a completely different experience from what I thought it would be like before."
I said that much at once. It was as if I had said all the things that had been in my heart until now.
"What I thought would be a long school trip is coming to an end today."
It's been a long school trip.
A school trip to investigate the enemy.
But now… I’m questioning whether I still feel that way…