Sorry guys, jet lag and tying up post-school trip loose ends sapped all my energy.
It’s been a while since Sunohara-kun turned up! Expect the unveiling of crucial plot info in a couple of chapters. Hurhur, there’s actually a hint/foreshadow in this very chapter if anyone catches it. Also, Mahiro (probably) doesn’t realise it but her thinking is unusual too.
Takamura-kun wa Norowarete Iru.
Chapter 11 – Sunohara Chiharu Goes Hunting 
“What’s your problem.”
“I want to go to Hii-chan’s house today.”
The end-of-term tests finished and the latter part of July is about to approach. It’s almost summer vacation.
Other than recovering my heart that was severely hurt due to being heartbroken over Takafumi, I was trying to forget the events of that day. The thing known as a human’s heart sure is more well-made than one would think. I was able to skillfully alleviate the events of that day, where it was both painful and tear jerking, and even my feelings of having liked him.
By now, I won’t feel like crying even if I see Takafumi’s face. It’s to the point where I can even think You have to work hard so that your girlfriend doesn’t dump you. It’s a mystery.
Well then, putting aside that matter for now, we’re talking about that Sunohara Chiharu. It feels like he’s been specially persistent and irritating lately but maybe that can be summed up as my imagination? Nah, it can’t.
The instant SHR ends, Sunohara comes running all the way to my desk and slings his arm around my neck from the back. I swiftly pinch Sunohara’s arm mercilessly. However, Sunohara does not receive any damage and rubs his cheek against the back of my head. Idiots will neither catch colds nor get wounded. That’s how it is.
“You don’t have to come.”
“I’m going! I say I’m going so I am!”
“And I’m telling you not to come.”
I think that Sunohara isn’t a bad guy.
He’s honest, cheerful and although somewhat annoying and conceited, he’s amicable. His face is also attractive enough for others to term him a ‘prince’. However, this and that are different matters. I want to interact with him at an arm’s-length. I don’t want us to become close enough for me to invite him to my house.
As I direct my gaze at the surroundings, asking for help, my classmates send looks that pretty much say: “Aah, you’re at it again?”. Kousaka, too, whistles unnaturally as he leaves to participate in the Basketball Club activities. Damn, that heartless fellow.
“Hii-chan, so mean…”
I simply stare expresslessly at the prince-sama(lol) who starts crying in anguish.
My heart will break at an incredible rate if someone treats me like this, yet, as expected, a prince sure is a prince. His heart appears to be perfectly intact and he’s even coming at me with tears.
“Hii-chan, how can you treat me so coldly when I like you this much? Even if you reject me, I want to be rejected more gently…”
Dribble dribble, his tears pour as he rubs his cheek against the back of my head, so hard so that it seems my skin will chafe.
“Well, …… Chiha, face this way.”
Pulling Sunohara’s arm, I make him stand in front of me. Even as Sunohara wipes his tears, he looks at me with an obviously happy face that’s overflowing with anticipation. What a truly simple boy.
Painstakingly putting my face muscles to work, I fabricate a smile and speak in a voice as gentle and sweet as possible.
“Sorry, Chiha. I’m busy today. Leave your visit to another day, okay.”
His light brown eyes glitters as he looks at me. You, don’t look here with blushing cheeks. The one you like is Sena Tsugumi, right.
Sena was unfortunately a guy. However, you should still be a girl on the inside. Work harder to ‘fall’ Sena. If your feelings become mutual, Sena turns into a guy when you try to kiss or whatnot and you become a boy-boy couple, isn’t it fine since you’re both good-looking?
“Well then, I’m off.”
After I’ve stood up, at the point where I pick up my belongings, my arm is grabbed and I’m again prevented from going home.
“I, have something extremely important to tell Hii-chan! So—”
“Aah, erm, you know, erm, Takamura-kun.”
While Sena speaks in a loud voice, she cuts into the gap between Sunohara and I.
She has a cunning appearance consisting of a light pink cardigan and a sailor mini skirt with knee-high socks. The slender fingers that peek out from the moe sleeve of her cardigan thrust into the gap between Sunohara and I, her watery eyes peeking at me. My heart unconsciously throbs at those huge eyes that seem like they’ll spill over and her moist lips.
“Erm, me too… I’ve something to tell Takamura-kun too. Can we go home together?”
I think it’ll be great if only Sena and Sunohara get together. Leaving Sena aside, the one Sunohara likes should be Sena.
I give up thinking for a moment and survey the classroom. There’s no one. By now, only Sena, Sunohara and I are left in this classroom.
The rays of the setting sun shafts through the window. Even taking into consideration that it’s summer, the evening sunlight becomes dazzling when it turns 7pm.
I look at Sena’s and Sunohara’s expressions one after another. While Sena looks at me with an anxious expression, Sunohara has a pondering expression as he looks at Sena and I alternately.
“Takamura-kun, … please.”
“… Um, I—”
“Hii-chan, listen to what I have to say.”
For once, Sunohara looks at me with a serious expression.
“There’s something I want to check with Hii-chan.”
“What is it you want to check, Chiha?”
“I can’t say it because Sena-san is here.”
Even as I’m bewildered, I glance at Sena.
Sena bites her lips with a face that seems like it’s about to burst into tears. She takes a small breath and her lips tremble. Then, she clears her throat before smiling.
“Nn… I got it. I got it, but let me say this at least.”
Sena wraps her arm around my head and pulls vigorously.
Towards me, who’s unable to do anything because I stiffened from the surprise, Sena buries her face at my nape and rubs her nose against it. An immensely sweet scent drifts from Sena. Is it vanilla? A ripe fruit? Or some other scent?
Sena’s face steadily approaches. I’m going to be kissed, the instant I think that, her lips touches the tip of my nose. As I’m in a state of bewilderment due to not understanding her intentions, Sena laughs innocently and clings to my body.
“Hang o—, Sena-san!! You, kissed, Hii-chan…”
“I like Takamura-kun. Very much. That’s why I won’t yield to Sunohara-kun. I won’t let you off if you lay your hands on Takamura-kun.”
“Nah… the one Sunohara likes is…”
The one Sunohara likes is Sena, right.
Or so I thought, but upon hearing Sena’s words, the left corner of Sunohara’s mouth raises up in a grin and his eyes suddenly narrow. Shone upon by the evening sun, that face with shadows cast on it appears both attractive and frightening at the same time.
“I shall believe in those words.”
“I like Sena-san, you know. I can’t possibly lie, right?”
It’s a low, low voice. A low voice that seems like it’ll reverberate directly in my mind. I got the shivers even before my heart can thump. Unlike the usual breezy and naive Sunohara, I feel truly afraid when I sense the wild tiger-like, masculine him.
Sena, too, from the usual soft and girly expression, changes to an edged expression that doesn’t fit the composition of that face. The current him isn’t some idol. Even though it’s the angelic Tsugumi-chan with cute facial features, it’s different now. Surely, I suppose, he had such a face when he was a guy.
The two are averse to each other for a moment, but Sena lets go of me first and leaves the classroom. Before exiting the door, Sena turns back. She waves at me with that usual cunning smile on her face.
“Bye bye. See you, Takamura-kun.”
“Ah, aah, see ya.”
“See you too, Sunohara-kun.”
Sunohara waves at Sena while still clinging onto my neck.
After he confirms that Sena has left the classroom, Sunohara moves from behind me to my front and tightly embraces me as though he’s trying envelop a genuinely precious treasure.
“Irritating. Go away.”
“Even though you let Sena-san kiss you?”
My feelings towards Sunohara, whose cheeks puff up into a pout, go beyond anger to incredulity.
One will not think he’s cute or cool with his cheeks puffed up and his lips tapered. I wonder which part of him does the people from his fan club sees that makes them think he’s dreamy? Seriously, it’s a complete mystery.
“That was at Sena-san’s own discretion.”
“Then I’ll also kiss at my own discretion~”
“Wha? Stop it.”
Sunohara caresses my cheek. I reflexively turn my face away due to the ticklish sensation.
Sunohara’s fingers stroke my cheeks and fall to my nape, strokes my shoulder, passes through my armpit and strokes my waist. The way he touches is indecent and embarrassing enough that I want to cry. My ears and cheeks are incredibly hot. Even the corners of my eyes has become hot and it feels like tears may fall.
“Hii-chan, you sure are cute.”
“Stop it, I say.”
I shake off Sunohara’s hand and push him away with all my might.
However, as a former female who didn’t even participate in club activities, against Sunohara who places great efforts in the Karate Club, the difference in physical strength is plain to see. Sunohara simply staggers a little, draws my waist towards him as though nothing happened, and seizes my chin.
Sunohara’s face, with a serious expression on, approaches bit by bit.
Deserving to be termed a prince, even though he’s a maddening fellow, at least his face is handsome. The thing known as a beauty’s serious expression is pretty impactful. That frightening yet pretty appearance is nearing before my eyes. It feels like I’m going to lose consciousness with this uselessly pretty face moving closer. As I retreat step-by-step to avoid the kiss, I already end up bumping into the desk. With the desk as a fulcrum, I twist my body and protect my lips.
“Don’t wanna, it’s unfair for Sena-san to be the only one. I wanna kiss Hii-chan too.”
“Why. The one Chiha likes is Sena-san, right?”
Sunohara’s eyes widen as though he’s surprised by my words. He then makes a face as though he’s enduring something painful and brushes my cheek with the back of his hand.
“If Hii-chan thinks so, that’s fine for now I guess. But you know, it’s vexing that only Sena-san kisses Hii-chan while I, your close friend, can’t kiss you.”
That logic is strange. My head is unable to keep up with the sheer strangeness of his logic.
Sunohara likes Sena but he can’t stand it when Sena’s the only one kissing me. Because I’m Sunohara’s close friend. In other words, does it mean that he wants to monopolise both Sena and I?
He’s introducing a polygamy system where you obtain everyone you want. Almost like a noble from the Heian era.
“Hii-chan really is cute.”
Sunohara’s lips touch mine lightly. This is my first kiss.
Before my heart can even throb, for an instant the thought that his lips are soft crosses my mind. They say that first kisses are sweet, sour and whatnot but there was nothing of that sort. The only impressions that surfaced in my mind were That surprised me and Is this how a kiss is like?
Perhaps I’d have a different impression if it was a kiss with someone I liked.
By the way, it’s a matter of course but I didn’t return to being female.
“Was it the first time you kissed?”
“Well, I suppose so.”
“I see~. It’s my first time kissing a guy too.”
For some reason, Sunohara seems to be having fun.
“Hii-chan… can I kiss you one more time?”
“That’s enough fooling around.”
I give a very deep sigh, carry my bag and try to leave the classroom, but Sunohara nonchalantly grips my hand.
“Let’s leave thenー. Can I stay over at Hii-chan’s place again?”
Sunohara clings to me tightly and snuggles up. He doesn’t even budge when I nudge him with an elbow.
Sunohara’s slender but he’s sturdy despite his looks. His height doesn’t differ from the current me, but he has a muscular build and is 5kg heavier.
In the end, Sunohara shamelessly follows me home and even enters my house. It’s an exceptional bother, but upon reaching home, I feel glad for the first time that Sunohara’s here.
That’s because I received a notification from Takafumi that he won’t be back today as the Astronomy Club is holding an astronomical observation.
Takafumi’s girlfriend is also in the Astronomy Club. The center of my chest pricks and, just a little, I feel like crying.
 SHR was in the raw. Refers to short home room.
 If someone treats her the way she’s treating Sunohara.
 I guess she’s indirectly calling Sunohara effeminate?
 萌え袖 moe sode