Chapter 5: I know

I know

Hayasaka-san has a best friend. Aya Sakai, a girl with fringed glasses and bangs that hang over her face.

She is a very quiet girl, but her appearance is nothing more than a facade. It was early in the morning, I was late, and I was about to enter the school through the back door. As I was climbing up and jumping over the iron gate, a car stopped a short distance from the back door.

The body of the car was shiny silver. A girl got out of the passenger seat, approached me, and climbed over the gate. 

-Just in time. Kirishima, help me.

I helped the girl through the gate. When she landed, her fringe hung down for a moment, and I realized for the first time that it was Sakai.

-You’re unrecognizable without your glasses. 

As I said this, Sakai hurriedly took a case out of her bag and put on her glasses.

-I wear them to school, just in case.

It’s a pretty flimsy excuse, as if she just made it up.

-How much did you see, by any chance?

-Enough to see you making out with that boy.

-But it’s not strange for siblings to kiss each other. According to Western values, it’s something normal.

-Who knows.

Sakai brushes her hair and takes off her glasses.

-Well, he’s actually a college student.

She said it without hesitation. I can’t imagine her saying that in a normal situation.

-I won’t tell anyone.

-Thank you, let’s talk a little.

We went to the bicycle yard and stayed there for a long time.

-By the way, there was a third grader in your class the other day.

-Yeah, he was a pretty loud kid, yelling that his girlfriend was missing.

One of the third year boys had fallen in love with an unknown girl who was a sophomore. The third year girls tried to warn him not to get involved with her, but he seemed to turn a deaf ear. 

-It was you, wasn’t it?

-Yes, I was afraid to face him.

Without her glasses, Sakai’s image changes radically, to the point where she could be someone else, so maybe that was the reason.

-I like to try different things.

Sakai says.

-Do you think you can find your perfect partner after only one love? That’s a little vague. I think you have to fall in love over and over again and date a lot of different people before you find the one.

-I read in a book that according to a social experiment in the U.S., a company has to meet a hundred people to hire the right person.

Maybe it’s the same with love. You have to fall in love with a lot of people to find your ideal partner.

-That’s why I try to get to know a lot of people really well. 

-You’re a free spirit when it comes to love.

-That’s the kind of love Kirishima is experimenting with, isn’t it?

A warm summer breeze blows across my body. The pool is clearly visible from the bike yard. Through the fence, girls in navy blue bathing suits were soaking themselves.

Tachibana-san stood by the pool. The blue sky seemed to absorb her like a summer mirage.

She turned her eyes to where I was standing, as if she felt my eyes on her. We looked at each other for a moment. Then she jumped into the pool.

-Did Hayasaka-san tell you about us?

-She didn’t say anything. But Akane is not good at hiding things.

I see, so she doesn’t know yet.

-Hey, can you tell me about it?

-I can’t talk about it with other people.

-You know my secret, so it’s time for me to know yours.

Sakai continues to speak carefree.

-Kirishima, you’re very fond of Tachibana-san, aren’t you? She just looked at you.

-I don’t know.

-That must be why a girl goes to a club alone with another guy.

-But she’s engaged.

-It doesn’t matter. From what I’ve seen, Tachibana-san only cares about Kirishima.

-If it weren’t for the fact that she’s engaged, I would have thought so too.

-I don’t think so. But I do know that she’s been learning to cook lately. She says she wants to be a good friend.

-Yes, she does that for Yanagi-senpai.

-Kirishima, what’s your favorite food?

-Boiled eggplant.

-Akane is learning to make it.

-Still, I’m still the second, these feelings have been very clear from the beginning.

Sakai removes the ribbon from her chest and unbuttons her blouse. She had a small bruise on her collarbone.

-Are you serious?

-Yes, it’s a hickey.

I imagine the man in the driver’s seat putting his mouth on Sakai’s neck. But in reality, such a scene took place in the morning on the bed in the room where the student is staying.

-Kirishima, your face is red.

-Sakai, you are more reckless than I thought.

– I don’t know, I think it’s normal. I think it’s a very natural feeling to want to touch and be touched by someone you like. Even boys want to touch girls.

-Is that what you think about girls?

– Yes, and I doubt that Akane and Tachibana-san are exceptions. But from a girl’s point of view, you’re the kind of guy a girl would want to arouse that kind of interest in.

-Huh?

What do you mean by that?

– Do you think I’m cool?

– You might be… If it weren’t for your glasses.

I think it’s time to come clean.

– And why do you think that?

-Because you’re too shy.

– Is that all?

-It is important. A guy like you can keep a secret better than a guy with a pretty face and good looks. That’s why we feel more comfortable with men who exude an air of security and secrecy.

Next, Sakai buttoned her blouse neatly, put on her glasses and let her fringe hang down. The usual bored-looking girl had returned.

-So, Kirishima, you might have a hard time from now on.

******

In movies and dramas, girls are often portrayed as innocent. But in real life, girls can be a little more complicated.

“I’m not a good girl,” Hayasaka-san usually tells me every time she wants me to touch her.

Maybe Sakai is right, maybe girls do have these interests. But what about jealousy and possessiveness?

I had told my first love not to be friends with another guy. I wonder if girls ever feel that way.

I lay on the couch in the club room and thought about it.

I was seduced by the effect of Sakai’s progressive love life. But in the meantime, I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the second period to feel something wet and soft against my ear. It was the same feeling I had one day. A pleasant feeling ran down my spine.

-You’re finally awake.

She leaned over and looked at me.

-I’m sorry. I have a habit of licking you.

When Tachibana-san tried to lick my ears again, I quickly sat up.

-I have many things to say, but first I want my glasses back.

Tachibana-san was wearing my glasses, which she must have taken while I was sleeping.

-You will damage your eyesight if you wear them too long. 

-No, I want to wear them a little longer.

-If you don’t give them back, I won’t be able to see.

Tachibana-san discreetly touched the glass with her finger and then handed them back to me. I quickly wiped off the fingerprints with a cloth.

– I thought you were in class.

– I thought the same thing.

– I mean, why are you here, Tachibana-san?

– I saw you in the bike yard, and when I went to the classroom, you were nowhere to be found.

– I see. Now that I remember, I saw you too.

– Why were you with Sakai-san?

– We met by chance. But how did you know it was Sakai? She doesn’t look like herself without her glasses.

– The way she stood, the way she held her elbows when she spoke, everything was the same.

Tachibana-san’s powers of observation are frightening.

– Well, it doesn’t matter, let’s resume our club activities.

Tachibana-san takes out the Love Guide.

And the title of the page where it was located was “Basic games without hands”. It was another erotic product created by the author’s imagination.

– Tachibana-san, I told you that we can’t have club activities during exams.

Besides, this is the Investigation and Mystery Club, not a romance club.

– It’s okay. I want to learn more about love.

Tachibana-san pushes the notebook at me and I push it back.

– You’ve been avoiding me lately.

– I haven’t.

– Yes, you have. You suddenly decided to cancel club activities.

– We’re supposed to be in finals week.

– I asked you to help me study and you refused.

– That’s not…

– And yet Hayasaka-san asked you, and you accepted. You can’t imagine how much that hurt me. 

My heart began to ache when I saw Tachibana-san’s sad expression. 

– President, you like Hayasaka-san.

– You’re wrong.

– It’s true. And Hayasaka-san likes you too.

-What makes you think that?

– The way she treats you is very unstable, sometimes she’s kind, sometimes she’s rude. It’s like you love someone else.

-But you’re forgetting something very important. Hayasaka-san loves someone else.

-That. That’s the hard part. I’m sure Hayasaka-san has someone she likes, but she also seems to like the president.

Tachibana-san had a serious expression on her face when she said that to me.

-The president seems to like Hayasaka-san, but he also seems to like another girl. Who is the other girl?

-I…

Those words went straight to my head. Tachiaban-san’s question was too direct.

– Don’t you like me?

She asked me that question. Very calmly, very matter-of-factly, surprisingly emphatically. I answered as calmly as I could.

-If everything Tachibana-san feels is true, then it’s a very crowded situation, with many people pointing the arrow of love in different directions.

– Yes, that’s why I want you to answer me.

Tachibana-san brings her face close to mine.

– Tell me the truth. Who does Hayasaka-san love? Who does the President really like?

– Well…

Of course, I couldn’t tell her the truth even if I wanted to. So I decided to change the subject and make it up as I went along.

-What about you, Tachibana-san?

-Do you know who you’re really in love with?

– I’m trying to find out. I’m almost at the point where I know who and what makes me feel the way I do.

Tachibana-san holds the Love Guide in her hand.

-Let’s play this game. I want to explore my feelings more.

-No, that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

– What? Why not?

– I’ve told you before. When you’re engaged, you can’t do these things with another man.

– And who decided that?

– The people, it’s not right to do that.

– Is it the people or the president?

She hit the nail on the head.

– It doesn’t matter. 

– If you don’t do it, I won’t let you go to class.

– The only thing you’re going to do is make me very angry.

When I say that, Tachibana-san energetically replies, “I want you to be angry.

– I put my fingerprints on your glasses because I want to see your angry faces. I want to see the different expressions you make. I want to know how you feel when you do this.

I can see that Tachibana-san wants to push this situation to the limit.

– Are you sure you don’t want to? You say that, but it doesn’t seem that way.

She can see right through me. It’s true that I would like to play that kind of game with her.

But I’m still prevented by the fact that she’s engaged. If it has a negative effect on her family environment and makes her unhappy, it would be very bad for everyone.

So I’ve decided to fight my impulses for now.

-Okay, let’s do it.

I grab her hand and pull her toward me. Our faces are so close that I could kiss her at any moment.

– But let’s not do the basic, let’s do the advanced.

There is not only a basic version, but also an advanced version of “The Game Without Hands” in the Love Notes. Of course, the advanced version is more extreme.

-Are you sure?

Tachibana-san’s eyes widen and her face turns red.

– Of course I am!

After all, Tachibana-san is strong on defense, but weak on offense. To make matters worse, I stroked her hair and blew in her ear.

– Kyaaa!

Tachibana-san made a strange sound, shook off my hand, covered her ear, and walked away from me.

Lately, I always defend myself by embarrassing her like that. But Tachibana’s blush only lasted a few minutes before she quickly put on a straight face.

– President, that was a dirty tactic.

– Do you really think so?

– I just want to know who the President really likes.

Tachibana-san is trying to understand love. Hayasaka-san’s feelings, your feelings, and my own feelings. But…

– Love is not easy to answer. The human heart is difficult. That’s why we all try to imagine how the other person feels.

-Yes, I agree.

Tachibana regained her composure and said.

-Then I will answer it for you.

-How?

-Emotional test

Sounds pretty disturbing.

-The fault is yours. You refused to help me study, but you helped Hayasaka-san. It makes me pull away from you, and at the same time you get closer to her, even spending time with Sakai-san. That’s why I do such things.

After saying that, Tachibana-san left the club room. I wiped my glasses again and straightened my uniform collar, which had been disarranged when I fell asleep.

What the hell are you up to, Tachibana-san?

That’s what I thought, and at the next break there was a scream from the guys who were fans of Tachibana. The reason was that she was wearing a tie around her neck, an indication that she had a boyfriend.

That was the beginning of Hikari Tachibana’s emotional ordeal.

*****

In the morning, Tachibana-san calls me at the school gate.

-Good morning, President.

Her boyfriend’s tie is tied around her neck.

-What do you think?

-It looks good on you. Cooler than a bow.

-How do you feel now, President?

-The same.

He didn’t seem amused by my reaction, so he said “hmm” and walked away. The truth is, it didn’t seem like a big deal to me.

I found the combination of a summer morning and Tachibana-san refreshing. Meanwhile, the guys who were fans of Tachibana-san sighed in sadness.

All their hopes of being with her and winning her over were gone in a second.

-Kirishima-kun, are you okay?

Hayasaka-san approached me in the hallway. First period was Chemistry, and I was about to enter the lab.

-Why do you say that?

-Well, it’s because Tachibana-san seems to have taken things to the next level with her boyfriend.

-Ah, well, I don’t care what happens to them.

-Are you feeling sorry for yourself again?

While we were talking, Tachibana-san appeared across the hall. She was holding a cardboard cup of black tea.

-Hayasaka-san.

Tachibana-san called out to Hayasaka-san. Since they met at the station, they seemed to get along quite well.

-Do you like the president?

-No, I don’t like him.

When asked a direct question, Hayasaka-san is quick to answer.

-Hmm, I see.

-We are just good friends.

Then Tachibana-san clung to my arm. At that moment, Hayasaka-san’s face became tense.

-Hey, Tachibana-san, we’re at school.

-I know.

-And you have a boyfriend, right?

-What’s wrong with that?

-I can’t believe you’re trying to get close to Kirishima-kun if you have a boyfriend.

-Contact between the president and club members is normal.

-Oh, right. It’s good that you’re so nice. I’m glad you get along so well.

Hayasaka-san had an awkward smile on his face. This is bad, it shouldn’t be so obvious. 

Tachibana-san is just testing us, because the expression of satisfaction after seeing Hayasaka-san’s reaction was too obvious.

-Oh, class is about to start.

She put a straw in her drink and took a sip as she entered the classroom.

-Kirishima-kun, let’s go back to class.

Hayasaka-san still had a tight smile on her face.

-Come on, let me see your face.

Hayasaka-san said with a tense smile, “Let me see your face,” and we returned to the empty classroom.

*******

-It seems you don’t get along with Tachibana-san.

-I am sorry.

-It’s okay, I know it’s hard for you.

But Hayasaka-san’s hand is gripping the textbook so tightly that her fingers have turned white.

-Kirishima-kun, you look calmer than usual.

-Really?

-Yeah, but what happened all of a sudden? She gets along well with her boyfriend, but she sticks to Kirishima-kun.

-I think I know why.

I explain that Tachibana-san started testing our feelings for each other.

-Hmmm, so she was trying to make me jealous.  

-Maybe.

-Well, I don’t mind that at all.

Even though you say that, it’s obvious that you do.

-The expression on your face says otherwise. You’re struggling to smile. 

-I know I’m number two. You don’t have to worry so much about my feelings. 

After a short pause, Hayasaka-san looks at me seriously.

-By the way, Kirishima-kun, you bought a new hair conditioner, but you don’t use it much, do you?

-I don’t have much time in the morning, so it’s inevitable that I forget.

-It shouldn’t be like that, you need to pay more attention to your personal care. Come on, I’ll help you.

She took out her own hair cream from her bag. She brought it with her because she has a swimming class today.

Hayasaka-san stood up, reached out and put some cream on my head.

-It is done. You look very nice now.

It has a floral scent of cherry blossom and lily of the valley. It’s the same scent as Hayasaka-san’s hair.

-When you’re in front of Tachibana-san, try to stay calm.

*****

During the lunch break, I was lying on the sofa as usual. I wanted to listen to music, but I lost my headphones, so I tried to sleep, and then Tachibana-san came in.

As soon as Tachibana-san approached, she touched the lens of my glasses with her finger again.

-I said, “That’s not going to make me angry.

-I just want to see another side of you.

Then Tachibana-san sniffed me. The next thing I knew, she grabbed my head with both hands and started sniffing me.

-Hmm, how strange.

She says with a cold expression.

-This is a challenge for me, isn’t it?

-Tachibana-san has a good nose.

-Hayasaka-san’s sweet smell doesn’t suit you, President.

Then, out of nowhere, Tachibana-san took out her own hair conditioner and roughly rubbed it into my hair, replacing the floral scent with a citrus-mint scent. 

I couldn’t even wash my hair, so I had to stay there. After lunch, we passed each other in the hallway and Hayasaka-san got mad at me.

-It smells like Tachibana-san. Did you let her use her own hair conditioner on you?

When I turned around, Hayasaka-san looked at me and smiled.

-Good for you.

Her smile was very scary, and at the same time her eyebrow was trembling.

-I don’t mind at all. I knew from the beginning that I was number two. I won’t get jealous. I’ll be fine.

Hayasaka-san was muttering in the hallway with blank eyes.

-Why are you messing with my Kirishima-kun? You already have a boyfriend… Just because you’re beautiful, you think you can do whatever you want…

******

Tachibana-san is a music lover, so she was wearing a pair of white wireless headphones with a gold logo, which are famous for their bass sound. 

Students say they are her boyfriend’s headphones. I also heard her humming alternative rock songs I never thought she would listen to.

The sharp sound is penetrating. It’s a common belief that a girl’s taste in music is influenced by the man she’s dating.

-What do you think?

-Your headphones look good. 

-Hmm.

Tachibana-san frowned, took two pencils from my pencil case on the coffee table, and left. 

I can make a poker face if I want to. But Hayasaka-san wouldn’t be able to because she reacts instantly.

*******

-How could you give your pencils to Tachibana-san?

During the break, Hayasaka-san came up to me. She saw that Tachibana-san was using my pencils in class.

-So I wasn’t the only one you gave them to. 

-I’m sorry.

-It’s okay, I don’t care!

This doesn’t look good at all.

-By the way, Kirishima-kun, can I borrow your gym uniform?

-My gym uniform?

-I need it for a technical class, but I forgot to bring mine.

-But I’ve already used it for gym class. And it’s all sweaty.

-It’s okay, it doesn’t matter.

******

One of Hayasaka-san’s fans screamed at the top of his lungs when he saw her wearing a boy’s gym uniform that wasn’t even her size.

There was no way the innocent Hayasaka-san would do such a thing. The conclusion everyone came to was that she had borrowed a gym uniform from the infirmary. But why a boy’s uniform?

On the other hand, Tachibana-sana, who has a keen eye for observation, had not missed it. After gym class, she surprised me in the hallway. 

-Those clothes Hayasaka-san was wearing are the president’s, aren’t they?

-Maybe.

-Hmm, so she’s trying to get attention, huh?

-Don’t provoke her anymore.

-She started it when she took your pens. 

Is that why Hayasaka-san asked me for the pens? 

-In the meantime, can I borrow your gym clothes? 

-I don’t think that’s possible today.

-Take her home when she’s done. 

-What are you going to do?

******

The mysterious battle between Hayasaka-san and Tachibana-san became more intense every day.

Tachibana-san took my deodorant spray from my bag, sprayed some on her blouse in front of me, and then deliberately walked in front of Hayasaka-san.

Hayasaka-san said she forgot her textbook and used mine. The two of them were doing all sorts of things, so I finally ran to the student council room during recess.

-Kirishima, you’re pathetic.

Says Maki.

-Seriously, how far are you going to go with this?

-Those girls are going to finish me off. I don’t think I’ll come out of this unscathed.

So I explained everything that was going on between the two girls.

-Everyone was talking about Tachibana being in love with her boyfriend? Was that a clue for Kirishima?

-She is testing her feelings. She doesn’t even know who she’s in love with.

-Hayasaka is weak, so she was easily provoked, and Tachibana is surprisingly belligerent, so they got into a fight. No wonder all your things keep disappearing.

Maki had noticed it the whole time. Pencils, sports clothes and much more.

-In girls’ schools, it’s a status symbol to come to school with a boy’s backpack. I guess it’s a way to show off to your friends. That’s probably your situation.

-What do you think I should do?

-There is nothing a man can do when two women are fighting. But I won’t leave you alone.

Suddenly, the classroom door opens, and behind it stands Saki, Hayasaka-san’s best friend.

-She will help you with your problem.

It’s probably because Sakai and Maki look a bit alike, I thought, but I didn’t say it. Sakai doesn’t want people to know who she is. 

Then Maki leaves, leaving me with Saki.

-You were talking about Akane, weren’t you? This fight with Tachibana-san is going too far.

Saki seems to be aware of the situation as well.

-If it continues like this, Akane runs the risk of being a yandere with you. Personally, I think it’s cute.

-Is she really that unstable?

-When we walked home together, she kept talking to herself. She said things like, “Tachibana-san, why are you doing this? Kirishima-kun is only mine. Stay away from him… Wait, is it okay if I get angry? I’m supposed to be his lover… No, Kirishima-kun is mine. Uh, wait, ah, yes, I’m the mistress, I should keep quiet…” For me, it’s interesting to see women fighting, but as Akane’s friend, I wish Kirishima would tell Tachibana to stop. Akane is mentally weak. She doesn’t have the mental capacity to be a lover. 

-But I’m not sure Tachibana-san will listen to me. Maki said that a man can’t stop women from fighting.

-Normally that would be true. But Tachibana-san will listen to what Kirishima says.

-Why do you think that?

-Because Tachibana-san is testing Akane’s feelings, but not Kirishima’s.

Sakai says Tachibana-san has never been in love.

-You knew it all along, didn’t you?

-Knew what?

-Kirishima, I think you’re getting more and more stupid.

Sakai says.

-Have you really not noticed that the tie and headphones Tachibana is wearing are yours?

*******

How could I not notice when she showed off the tie and the headphones? And the alternative rock she was humming is one of my favorites.

-About time you gave them back.

-I don’t think so, I really like these new possessions. 

Tachibana-san touches her tie. In her breast pocket is an MP3 player with a headphone cord wrapped around it.

Tachibana-san is supposed to wear low-tech headphones that aren’t wireless, but when I was sleeping in the club room, she snatched them from me.

“I think she really wanted to wear her boyfriend’s stuff and see the jealous look on Kirishima’s face.” As Sakai analyzed it.

“But she was afraid that Kirishima would hate her because she had a good relationship with her partner. So she could only test Akane’s feelings.”

I don’t know what the truth is in all of this. But right now, all I’m interested in is getting my things back.

Maybe Hayasaka-san knew whose tie it was, and that must have caused all kinds of conflicts in her emotions. And she also liked the fact that I always wore a tie, even in the summer.

-I’ll give it back to you.

She says as she holds out the Love Guide.

-But first you have to play with me.

-I told you I don’t do that.

-But it seems to me that the President wants you to.

-You are wrong.

I said firmly, and Tachibana-san suddenly shut up.

-I’m sorry, I was being selfish.

-No, I’m sorry for being so abrupt.

-I won’t ask you again.

He takes her bag and starts to leave the club room. She still has my tie and headphones on.

-W-Wait!

I stood in front of Tachibana-san with my hands behind my back.

-President, you have a lot of energy.

-I’ll play the game, but I want my tie back.

-Okay, I promise.

Tachibana-san smiles at me. She looks a little happy. Well, I’m glad she’s happy.

-Okay, let’s do it.

-Yes, let’s do it.

It will be a simple game without using your hands.

*******

The No-hands game is one of the silliest games included in the Love Guide. As usual, it is obvious that it depends on the player’s taste whether the game is fun or not.

The rules were simple: we had to stay in a closed room for 20 minutes without using our hands. Tachibana-san and I sat on the couch in front of the coffee table.

As soon as we had both hands behind our backs, the game began. But there is very little we can do without using our hands.

And there are so few rules that we don’t even know what to do. Time passes in silence. Despite being a game created by an author with an IQ of 180, it’s a real failure. And then it happened.

-My hair is bothering me.

Tachibana is referring to a lock of hair hanging down her cheek.

-President, help me put it over my ear.

Well, there you go. This is the essence of the game. You ask your opponent to do what you can’t. But you can’t use your hands, so you have to use other parts of your body.

-Okay.

-Hurry, my hair is tickling.

I approached Tachibana-san and could smell a nice fragrance.

Then I brushed a strand of hair from her cheek with my mouth. As a result, my lips brushed her cheek, but Tachibana-san kept her face still.

I slowly tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. It’s not too difficult. But I find myself tracing the outline of my ear with my tongue.

This is just like what Tachibana-san used to do to me. No, it wasn’t because I was fascinated by the beautiful shape of the ears or the complexity of the shape.

I wanted to make Tachibana-san feel embarrassed and end it sooner. That’s true. That’s not an excuse. But Tachibana-san doesn’t seem embarrassed at all. 

-Thank you. Oh, and I’m thirsty.

A paper cup of water is carefully placed on the table. The paper is soft so you can nibble on the rim with your mouth.

-Tachibana-san, it looks like you came prepared. You understand this game well.

-Yes. Let’s start.

I put the paper cup in my mouth. Then I put the rim of the other side of the cup into Tachibana-san’s mouth. Our faces are close again, as if we were facing each other.

Tachibana-san’s face is still beautiful, and when I look at it closely, I feel uncomfortable. The screws in my head start to loosen.

Tachibana-san puts her mouth on the rim of the cup. My mouth is on the other side, of course. We are connected through the paper cup.

It is not an indirect kiss. Our lips are on the rim of the cup at the same time. A bridged kiss, so to speak.

An existential act of kissing. No, it’s almost a kiss. It’s a connection. It’s like a deeper, more intimate acceptance than a normal kiss.

I tilt the glass to give her a drink of water. But because of the sudden movement, most of the water spills out. Ms. Tachibana’s pale lips and white blouse get wet.

-I am sorry.

-I have to clean up.

There were also towels on the table. So I grabbed one with my mouth.

I immediately went over to wipe her. Her skin is so white and delicate that you can almost see the veins, so I wipe her very gently.

-My lips are still wet.

-Okay.

The towel is thick so there is no direct contact.

******

But my lips and Tachibana-san’s lips definitely touched through the towel. I was surprised by this fact.

Tachibana-san’s cheeks blushed. As I wiped her, I felt Tachibana-san press her lips to mine.

How would it feel if we didn’t have these towels?

-I already wiped all the wet areas.

-Okay.

I move my mouth to her neck and wipe it. Next, her blouse. It’s wet and a little transparent. It smells nice. No matter what part of her body I clean, Tachibana-san doesn’t resist at all. My heart begins to fail.

She sighed sweetly. I want to hug her slender body. The impulse comes over me, but I suppress it.

I had to get away from her before I lost my mind.

-I’ve finished cleaning up.

-Thank you.

Tachibana-san has a kind of ecstatic look on her face. She’s also breathing shallowly. Maybe she’s starting to lose her mind like me.

-President, is there anything you want me to do?

-Now that you mention it, I’m getting a little hungry.

There is a small silver bag of Pocky on the table.

-You can eat that.

Tachibana-san takes one end of the bag with her mouth, and then I reach over to take the other end, so we both pull at the same time to open it.

After opening the bag, Tachibana-san took a pocky stick with her mouth and held it out to me. I took a bite of the end, and so on, until the pocky got shorter and shorter.

There was a small part of the pocky left to bite, which means that if I do, I can give her a kiss? Is that what you want?

Tachibana-san nods and lifts her chin while offering her lips to me. Finally, the moment I’ve been waiting for the longest.

But just as I’m about to kiss her, she drops the cookie in my mouth. A mischievous smile appears on her face.

I was so looking forward to this. I’m like a child who has just been tricked. I was so looking forward to feeling her lips.

I can’t stand it. I want to take Tachibana-san’s lips, even if I have to use force. But… I started to feel something strange in my mouth, and then I quickly understood Tachibana-san’s true intention. The part of the cookie that Tachibana-san had in her mouth was moist and soft.

It’s a truly forbidden act, something dirtier and more perverse than kissing someone. The moment I swallowed it, an inexplicable feeling of pleasure ran through my whole body.

-What do you think?

-Tachibana-san, you are very cunning.

-Are you still hungry?

-A little.

We did it again and again until we ran out of pocky. The satisfaction I feel now is greater than anything. 

We decided to go for the second bag. Maybe next time I can get a kiss. With such expectations in mind, I was ready to do it again.

Tachibana-san’s wet cake broke my brain and caught me. She was also breathing hard and her eyes were ecstatic.

*******

After several attempts, we reached the last bag.

I had a hunch that this would be the one. With high hopes, we worked together to open the last silver bag. 

But…

Then the timer went off, telling us that 20 minutes had passed. With a silly sound, a feeling of emptiness set in. We were ourselves again and began to think about what had happened. What the hell were we thinking?

-I knew I shouldn’t have played Forbidden Games so lightly.

-You are right.

We were in an embarrassing situation. Her skirt was disheveled and her thighs were exposed. If it was Hayasaka-san, I would have thought she did it on purpose. But coming from Tachibana-san, it’s hard to tell. ….

-Hey, the game’s over, give me back my tie.

Tachibana-san takes off the tie and puts it around my neck. I’m a little nervous, it’s like the classic newlywed scene where the wife helps the husband.

-And I want you to stop bothering Hayasaka-san.

-Okay.

Tachibana-san nodded at these words.

-I have no reason to do it anymore.

-What?

-Hayasaka-san is in love with two people, isn’t she? I don’t understand, because I only have one favorite. And the President likes two people as well.

Tachibana-san stopped talking. Instead, she touched my cheek.

-Hey, let’s kiss. I’ve never done it before and I’d like to.

She comes closer to my face and I stop her by grabbing her shoulder.

-I can’t.

-Why not?

-You shouldn’t do that if you have a boyfriend.

-He’s not my boyfriend.

-What?

-He is a relative. He’s just pretending to be my boyfriend so that no man will come near me. 

This confession came as a complete shock to me.

-And the engagement?

-It’s real, but to someone else. 

-And you’re not going to break it off, are you?

It was a very direct question. Tachibana-san nodded,

-My mother’s company is doing well thanks to his father. According to the agreements between both families, I have to marry her son after I graduate.

Tachibana-san turns away from me and stands up.

-So the President doesn’t like girls who are engaged.

-That is not true.

-But you won’t kiss me.

-That doesn’t mean you should do it with just anyone.

-I see. Then I can’t kiss anyone for the rest of my life.

-Why is that?

-Hey Shiro-kun

Tachibana is suddenly calling me by my first name.

-What?

-Remember when you talked about your first love in the karaoke room?

When I was little, I told the first girl I liked that I didn’t want her to be friends with other boys.

-How can you remember what happened ten years ago?

-It was my first love.

-But the facts are a little different. To be precise, Shiro told the girl, “I don’t want any other boy to touch you.”

-That’s even more embarrassing. 

-Yes. And the little girl took it too seriously. Even now, ten years later, she can’t touch another boy, she doesn’t want to be touched, and she can’t get excited about anyone but him.

Tachibana’s glassy eyes catch me and hold me.

-Hey

A cold hand touches my cheek.

-Did you know?

-Know what?

Tachibana brought her face close to mine so that if I moved even a little, our lips would meet.

-Did you know that girl was me?

I was speechless.

I know that if I say anything here, our relationship will change drastically. But for some reason, Hayasaka-san’s face came to mind and I couldn’t say anything.

Maybe I was afraid of the changes that would occur if she left me. After looking at each other for a while, Tachibana-san turned away from me.

-It’s okay.

This time, she prepares to go home and just leaves the room. When I was left alone, I looked at Pocky’s bag, grabbed a piece and put it in my mouth.

It’s not enough. I can’t seem to be satisfied without cookies that Tachibana-san has moistened.

While I was eating the Pocky, I remembered what Tachibana-san said, “Did you know that girl is me?

That’s why Tachibana-san is so special. And no matter what happens, she will always be my only love.

I’m fine with being the second girlfriend

I’m fine with being the second girlfriend

わたし、二番目の彼女でいいか
Score 8
Status: Ongoing Author: Artist: Released: 2021 Native Language: Japanese

Kirishima and Hayasaka are two classmates who have a secret relationship in public.

In their school life they pretend that they don't know each other, but behind the scenes there is much more to them than people can imagine. The two get into a relationship that is difficult to break and ends up being impure, unhealthy, and complicated, as the relationship between them was nothing more than an affair that simply created a love triangle before Kirishima's first love and his second love.

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