Ichinose Honami’s Short Story
AH, I WAS nervous.
I had left Ayanokōji-kun and Mako-chan under the excuse of getting some water.
Recently, I had gotten used to the 30-minute course and was sweating enough to get a sense of satisfaction, but now…
Strange sweat and a high heart rate.
This wasn’t normal.
It wasn’t a sudden illness or whatever. It was clear that it was because of the two of them.
“Mako-chan had said something odd…”
I tried not to remember in order to stabilize my breathing, but it was a pointless endeavor.
I couldn’t help but think back to what had happened earlier.
“I mean, you’re kind of nice Honami-chan.”
Mako-chan had whispered those words after glancing at both me and Ayanokōji-kun.
“It’s probably nothing out of the norm, but did you notice you’re dressed pretty boldly?”
I had been too busy thinking about other things to be concerned about my own appearance.
I thought I’d just work out at the gym like I usually did and enjoy peace.
“So you didn’t notice, Honami-chan?”
“What is it…?”
“Oh, well, it’s just that wearing that kind of outfit can be embarrassing when you’re not used to it, right?”
Mako-chan carefully conveyed her feelings.
She likely thought that being direct about it would make it easier, but it had the opposite effect.
Due to her gentle meddling, I now wanted to hide forever.
That’s why, for the past 30 minutes, I had solely been focusing on running on the treadmill.
However, this was the situation that I currently found myself in.
“Ugh… It’s so embarrassing.”
I wanted to change out of this outfit immediately, but I couldn’t.
If I put on a modest shirt just because I was sweating a little, my intentions would be revealed.
If the other person was naive enough, it could be different, but Ayanokōji-kun would certainly realize it.
I suddenly found my throat dry.
It may have only been a reason to escape, but I decided to hydrate myself.
“I’ve calmed down a bit.”
Drinking some cold water helped me regain my composure.
“...Right. Let’s do this.”
I just needed to focus on my gym training, and everything would be okay.
However, as I returned to the crowded gym, my feet grew heavy.
As I looked in the distance, Ayanokōji-kun and Mako-chan seemed to be having fun.
“...It seems like their chat is taking off.”
I didn’t know what they were talking about, but their conversation continued smoothly.
Mako-chan’s attitude was identical to when talking to a classmate.
Was it because of the time she was together with Ayanokōji-kun during the school trip.
They seemed to be getting along well.
Even though it was good for my friends to get along, I couldn't calm myself as my heart felt uneasy.
It felt like some sort of vile emotion was clinging to me.
My feet, which should’ve felt heavy, were light again.
The feeling of being chained had vanished.
Rather, I wanted to quickly get rid of this uneasiness in my chest.
I couldn’t think of anything else.
“I guess I’m a little weird after all, er, but I'll get through this today.”
I took a deep breath as if to push myself forward.
And then, I decided to go back to the two of them as my usual self.