61-Then, Shirana Namiki takes a step forward....

Shirana designated the former teacher's office, or former rose garden.

My steps toward the former rose garden were very heavy, and I stopped and made a U-turn many times. This suspicious movement would be a target of arrest by motorcycle policemen.

I don't know why I chose the rose garden.)

There are many places where we can be alone, but I think he chose the rose garden because of his connection to Alina. I know that Alina didn't put something in my head, and I know that she is not the kind of person who would meddle in someone's love life.
That's why I guessed that her choice of the Rose Garden, which was a space only for me and Alina, implies that she is challenging Alina. It may not be a challenge, but it is definitely a statement of some sort to me. I can't deny that I was smug. But I couldn't think of anything else.

I stopped by the store for the first time in a while.
The girls of the sports club are at war again today. Mainly in the bread section. The bread I'm looking for is now behind the wall of women's bodies they've built. I remember that I was treated like a pervert by the cranes when I made a suicide attack before. As I recall, that was the first time I exchanged words with cranes.
As I reminisce about such things, the bread is gradually being consumed. Like a lion devouring its entrails. This corner is now reduced to ribs.
Can't Uncle Jam just move in here? Hold a bake sale.

'You, I see you around after school. Do you want this?

A loaf of bread offered to me. I moved my gaze from arm to shoulder as if tracing it, and looked at the owner of the voice. Hmmm...a girl I don't know. She is of average height, and her thin wrists indicate that she is slender. She has a light chestnut-colored short bob, which at first glance makes you think that she is a lively girl, but her sleepy, half-open eyes make your judgment erroneous. She would be cute if she smiled. However, she seems to be out of her mind.

'Hello, that's very kind of you. How much do I owe you?
'Seventy thousand.'
'Aha! Astronomical numbers!

He tilts his head to show some reaction, but the corners of his mouth do not rise at all. No. He's not my type. I mean, the joke doesn't work.

I mean, why me? I'm soooo sorry, but I don't know you, and I don't know you. ...... Have we met somewhere?'
'We haven't met. I just thought I've seen you around a lot.
'So you're one of the warriors fighting for bread ......?'
'Maybe he's the thief.'
''What do you mean?''
'The moment the winner heads to the cash register, he's robbing you.
'Wow ...... what a guilty pan ......'.

I politely declined. He assured me that he had paid for it, but I, with a pure heart, recognized that it had become something unclean, so I raised my hand and refused to accept it.
Then, like a snake, he approached me. The distance between us was only a few dozen centimeters. Don't you have any personal space?

'Ahhh. You must be the comet.
'Yes. I am Comet Sakakiki. Why me?
'What a coincidence.
What's that?
'To unexpectedly, coincidentally, and unexpectedly run into the love of a cute junior...'

Pretty junior? Who are you referring to? I mean, time is running out. I'm sure Shirana's already in the rose garden. I didn't want to keep her waiting, but coming to the stall was a serious contradiction in terms.

It's her. Hakuna Namiki. I think she's in the same grade as you.
'I'm a third-year student. Comet?
'You're a senior? ...... You never know, do you?'
'You're upset. What's going to happen now?'
'We're going to save the Earth. A meteorite 500 meters in diameter will fall in a few hours.
'Yes, yes, Shirana is right, you are a strange man. I see. You've finally made up your mind.
'Wait a minute. The context is so wild that I can't figure out where my senpai stands. ...... if he's a god?'

The mysterious senior gave one big yawn. He looks really sleepy.

Sorry, sorry. I'm sleepy. Oh well. I'm Kozue. Kozue.
'Pleased to meet you. Kazawaguchi-senpai?
It's an unusual name. Google the kanji.
I understand. I'll take that as--'

I took a natural step back and tried to leave. But Kazawaguchi-senpai did not stop the conversation.

What do you think of Shirana-chan?
'I don't know how to say it, but I think ...... he's a cute guy.'
''That's it?''
'Yes. I think he's a cute guy.

'Oh, no. Don't you have a girl you like?'
'Wait, what? That's a sudden leap, isn't it!
'What do you think?
'Oh no, I don't have ......'.
'Oh, you're that type? I'm sorry, I'm just not that careless...'
I love girls. Don't look at me like a girl staring at a BL.'
'I'm sorry. I think it's ideal.
'That's why I'm a fag.
'Shirana and comet couple.

It's a gut punch.
Kazawaguchi-senpai, do you want me and Shirana to get together? It seems that there is a burning love for the younger students that is not apparent from their sleepy expressions.

Wahahaha. I think it's a good idea. Wahaha-ha-ha.
''So you want to go out with me?''
'Kazawaguchi-senpai. Has Shirana told you anything?'
'Well, I'll get to the bottom of it. I'm so sleepy.

So I guess you know a little bit about Shirana calling me.

Then I'll go. You know what's going on, don't you?
'Fluff. Yeah.'
Then we're done. I have something to do.

This time I turned my back and walked away.

'Hey! Do you like Alina-chan?
'Gah! What is this out of the blue? '

I had to react to the shocking words that roared from behind me.

'Isn't that right?
'Why would you do that!
'Think about what I meant when I said that. Geez. See you later.

Kazawaguchi-senpai disappeared, shaking a piece of bread in one hand.

'It's a new kind of crook. ......It might be on the level of Alina. ......'

I run up the stairs and down the hallway I used to frequent. All the while, I thought nothing of it. It was because of a mysterious senior student, Kazawaguchi-senpai, who had suddenly encountered me. I was bothered by the relationships swirling in my blind spot.

Former teacher's office.

The staff room that lost its name.

I put my hand on the door and opened it.
Alina had removed the many flowers from the room, and the tidy desks and chairs that were the last remnants of our time here were still in the same permanent arrangement as the day we left.
Shirana was sitting where Alina used to sit, her shoulders tense. When she saw me, she stood up awkwardly with impatience in her eyes.

'Hey--oh, comet. You came. ......
''You have my word.''

Cutting conversation. It makes me feel itchy and nervous.


I took a seat directly in front of her, just as Alina had been. Shirana turned her head slightly to the side and looked up at me with a faint reddish tint on her face as if she had made up her mind to do so,

'Um,...... I like comets,...... like comets,......'