Chapter 5: Lover rotation

Lover rotation

It was a weekend morning. 

I was with Hamanami, standing in line at the entrance of a sneaker store before it opened. 

—Sorry for making you come so early. 

—Don’t worry, it’s okay. 

Yoshimi-kun, Hamanami’s boyfriend, seemed to have a hobby of collecting sneakers. And today, an exclusive limited edition model was released from abroad, but Yoshimi-kun had to practice with the basketball team. That’s why Hamanami and I came instead. 

—Kirishima-senpai, take this. — Hamanami said, handing me a can of coffee — This is my way of saying thank you.

The sneakers we are looking for are popular models and can only be bought if you win the lottery. So she insisted that I participate so that I would have a better chance of getting a pair. 

—Honestly, I admire that you’re going through all this to give your friend a gift. 

—Um, thank you. — Hamanami replied with a slight blush. 

She straightened her posture and proceeded to adjust her cap while her cheeks turned red and he exhaled white steam. 

It was a winter morning with clear skies and extremely cool air.

—By the way, Hamanami, is there something you want to ask me?

—No, there is nothing special. — Hamanami said as she looked away indifferently.

—I’m sure you’re lying. I have no doubt that you have heard these rumors before.

—I have no idea what you’re talking about~

—Just ask me what you want to know.

—Let’s buy the sneakers and come back quickly.

—Well, I’ll tell you… After Yanagi-senpai entered the classroom…

Before he could finish my sentence, Hamanami covered her ears.

—I can not hear! I can not hear! I cannot hear you!

 

****

 

Yanagi-senpai announced in front of everyone that he was dating Tachibana-san. 

He had been in love with Tachibana-san for a long time, so he persuaded her to stop dating me. And since Hayasaka-san was depressed about that, he tried to cheer me up, and that’s how we started dating. 

Or at least that was what he wanted everyone to see, and the atmosphere in the classroom changed, and everyone assumed that things were like that. A clear conclusion was reached, and there seemed to be nothing more to say about it. 

In front of all the students in the classroom, the couples had completely changed. 

Hayasaka-san and I are together now, while Tachibana-san was with Yanagi-senpai. 

In theory, social norms would be restored, so no one would be branded as a womanizer, or in Hayasaka’s case, a girl who stole other people’s boyfriends. While Yanagi would be the only one who would carry the label of having courted a girl who already had a boyfriend, he was not the type of person to be influenced by what others said, and besides, he would soon graduate as a junior. 

It was a convenient solution to keep up appearances in society. And the situation would be solved until that moment.

However, only one person was completely surprised: Tachibana-san, who was in another class.

After school, we met at a cafeteria far from the school.

We sat at a table for four; I and Hayasaka-san on the side, and Yanagi in front.

After a while of silence, Tachibana-san entered the cafeteria with a cold expression on her face.

She hurried over and, without saying a word, picked up the glass of water on the table and threw it directly at Yanagi-senpai.

—I deserve that. — Yanagi said as he wiped his face with a handkerchief — There are things we need to talk about, can you sit down?

Tachibana-san continued to stare at Yanagi without saying a word.

—Are you going to let Kirishima spend the rest of high school as a cheater?

At these words, Tachibana-san abruptly put her bag on the table and sat down.

—Maybe you should tell me what’s going on. Kirishima was supposed to go out with you. But now it turns out that she is with Hayasaka-chan. Why did things end like this? I deserve to know. 

—Well, you see, the person I liked at first was you… Yanagi-kun.

In view of the disbelief and doubt that plagued Yanagi. Hayasaka dropped a bombshell that left his face blank.

—But I thought that our love could not be reciprocated, so I asked Kirishima-kun for advice. As time went on, I fell in love with him, and our relationship… Grew stronger. But he was in love with Tachibana-san, and unlike me, he was able to be with the person he loved from the beginning.

The situation became more and more complex. 

Hayasaka-san went on to tell her the truth, perhaps to keep Tachibana from realizing that she was the object of his affection. 

After Yanagi finished listening to the story, she sighed, as if trying to comprehend everything that had happened. 

—So that’s how it happened, huh?

—I am sorry. — Hayasaka replied sadly.

—Tachibana-chan, did you know that Kirishima was with Hayasaka-chan? — Yanagi-senpai asked.

Tachibana did not answer this question. She really liked to show off her relationship with me and she was quite angry now that it was taken away from her.

An uncomfortable silence fell over us. But Yanagi was the first to speak.

—How about we continue this lie for a while?

—Absolutely not!

Tachibana objected firmly. But Yanagi didn’t give in.

—Please. It is my last request. — He said bowing.

Tachibana-san was confused. When someone gets close to her without fear of breaking her pride, she tends to become vulnerable.

—It will only be until I graduate. I only want you to be my girlfriend for a limited time. I know this may seem cowardly, but I feel that I have done something to save you and Kirishima from a bad situation. So I am asking you to give me a chance. If I don’t win your heart by the time I graduate, I will never appear before you again. I swear. 

Tachibana stood at a dead end, frowning and looking away in confusion. But after a few minutes, she answered. 

—I want you to be honest… Were you aware of the feelings Hayasaka-san had for you in the past? 

—Yes. 

—And if I had rejected you, what would you have done with Hayasaka-san? 

After this question, Yanagi felt a little embarrassed.

—I probably would have asked er to go out with me. — He replied while lowering his head.

Tachibana-san frowned for a moment, but then spoke calmly. 

—Understood, thank you for your honesty. I would like to talk to Hayasaka-san alone for a moment. 

Following Tachibana’s request, I and Yanagi left the cafe and stood at the door, both of us silently looking at our cell phones. 

After a while, Yanagi broke the silence. 

—I think Hikari-chan will accept this proposal.She will do it to protect your reputation and to return the favor by erasing me from her life. 

Even if it is only temporary, if Tachibana becomes Yanagi’s girlfriend, some will probably think that she is not faithful. But that didn’t seem to matter to him. 

—In the next two months, I will make sure that Hikari-chan falls in love with me. — Yanagi said confidently. 

But the conclusion the girls came to was completely unexpected. We both received a message on our phones and went to the cafeteria to talk to the girls. That’s when Tachibana spoke. 

—The first month, I will be the one going out with Yanagi-kun, and the next month, Hayasaka.

—Huh?! — Yanagi exclaimed in surprise. 

I was also surprised and looked at both of them. Tachibana-san remained calm while Hayasaka nodded determinedly.

In other words, they were proposing a rotation to be her girlfriend.

 

****

 

—Uaah uhaaaah!

—Hamanami, why are you crying?

—Isn’t it obvious after hearing your horrible stories?

We reached the counter in front of the sneaker store. Hamanami wasn’t lucky in the lottery, but I was, so I was able to buy the sneakers.

—It’s really scary?

—Of course it is! Why do you have such a puzzled face?! Have you forgotten ethics and common sense somewhere?

Hamanami was visibly shaken by the horror stories I had told her.

—This is too decadent! Don’t make Tokyo a city of depravity! It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah! — Hamanami shouted, showing her usual energetic character — How will Tachibana-senpai and Hayasaka-senpai feel about taking turns as Yanagi-senpai’s girlfriends? And will they really be committed to this rotation?

—There are rules for that.

—Oh, sure! Wonderful rules! Are they the same kind of rules that they both made when they agreed to share you? Of course. What could go wrong?

I don’t blame Hamanami for making fun of this situation, as there were more than enough reasons to be suspicious based on past events. Still, we thought it would be best.

The first rule is that the rotation will last until Yanagi graduates in two months. For the first month he will be with Tachibana and I will be with Hayasaka. So next month, I will be with Tachibana and he will be with Hayasaka.

The second rule is that we will do nothing but hug each other. Kissing is forbidden. This rotation is just a test, and daring things are forbidden.

The third rule is that we will try to date the four of us together whenever possible. If we have to go out separately, we will send pictures to the other two on a regular basis to make sure that the second rule is being followed.

Even though Yanagi made a proposal where only his feelings and intentions would be valid. It turned into a situation where each of the girls had her own motives. 

—Kirishima-senpai, are you using this situation to have an easy way out? As if by allowing Tachibana-senpai or Hayasaka-senpai to naturally fall in love with Yanagi, you would end up with one of them without anyone getting hurt. That’s what you’re planning, isn’t it? — Hamanami asked curiously. 

I remained silent and just nodded. 

—You haven’t learned anything! Absolutely nothing! You have never been successful in your attempt to get what you want!

—Maybe I’ve been making mistakes over and over again just to find the key to success. They say that failures are experiences that help you get what you want. 

—But what you don’t know is that with you, failure is always guaranteed! 

Hamanami was very upset, but then she began to breathe easily until she calmed down. 

—Seriously, I can’t even imagine how this is going to end. 

—In fact, the four of us went out together yesterday.

—What…?! And where did you go?

—The pool.

It was a hot water pool for recreation. It was quite wide and even had an area where the water flowed.

If you entered the water with a float, you could lie back and relax while the current carried you along.

—And I guess both girls were wearing bathing suits, right?

—Yes.

Both Hayasaka-san and Tachibana-san were wearing swimsuits that were very stimulating to look at.

 

****

 

That day, we met at the train station and went to the pool together.

Although the four of us were together, we were not on a double date. We were simply sharing the same space to act as a deterrent and make sure each couple didn’t break the rules or get too forward. 

So when we met at the edge of the pool, we quickly went our separate ways. Hayasaka-san was excited about the waterslides. 

—No problem if you take me by the arms. 

Hayasaka said as she hugged her from behind and we slid down the slide. It was the first time she had seen her in a bathing suit. 

But my eyes always went to Tachibana-san when she distracted me. 

She was in the other part of the pool with Yanagi, practicing swimming. Tachibana couldn’t swim very well. 

Yanagi held her hands while she dipped her head into the water and kicked her legs.

Tachibana-san used to feel bad when other boys touched her, but she seemed to have gotten over that aversion with Yanagi. 

He could hold her hand or touch her shoulder without her feeling bad. 

What really hurt me was to see the pained expression on Tachibana’s face when she raised her head to breathe.

Usually, she never showed any expression other than her serene attitude. But now, in front of him, she showed other facets of herself. Her wet hair, her soaked skin… All that had once been mine alone.

I found myself thinking about those things.

The last straw was when Hayasaka-san hugged me as we walked together in the stream pool. My mind was completely focused on his body when he said something that brought me out of that state.

—Look, she’s practicing breaststroke.

As I looked in that direction, I saw Tachibana holding on to the edge of the pool while Yanagi held her ankles from behind.

She was moving her legs in the form of a stroke with her hands.

—That is an interesting position. — Hayasaka commented.

That was certainly a hard blow for me.

While they were practicing breaststroke, Tachibana repeated the movement of spreading her legs while looking behind him. In addition, Yanagi’s hands force her to spread her legs even further.

—Don’t you think they both look a little embarrassed? — Hayasaka whispers in her ear — Yanagi-kun is sure that he knows the position she is in. What are you thinking about? Those white legs? Or maybe her waist? Or maybe… Tachibana-san’s bikini is so tight? With her legs so boldly spread, is she not moving or sliding?

 

 

Tachibana and Yanagi looked like a real wedding couple. 

The girl that only I can touch, the skin that only I can see, the territory that only I can approach… Yanagi had completely invaded her… That girl was supposed to be all mine… 

Although Hayasaka is by my side, and she is my girlfriend now, all I can think about is Tachibana. 

And again, not knowing if she knew it or not, Hayasaka whispered something else in my ear. 

—Don’t you think Tachibana-san is easy to persuade? Possibly Yanagi-kun is really wanting to do all kinds of things with her by having her in that position. 

Hearing that, I remembered that night in Kyoto and what I did to Tachibana. 

—Who knows, maybe she will forget everything she did with you when she does it with Yanagi-kun. 

A sea of ​​tears invaded my mind just imagining that something like this could happen. 

I imagined Tachibana-san, in her thin swimsuit, being forced from behind, with a pained expression as she gasped. 

Capable was something that never could happen. But who knows, in this life anything is possible. Possibly Tachibana does fall in love with Yanagi. 

I still remember what Yanagi told me when we were alone. 

—I just want you to know that I’m not the type of person who follows the rules. And if I see an opportunity to attack Tachibana, I will not limit myself. 

 

****

 

—Hey! Come back, Kirishima Shiro! Wake up!

—Huh?!

After being lost in thought, Hamanami shook my body.

—What happened to me…?

—You were talking the whole time with your eyes lost. You didn’t even notice when we paid… By the way, thank you for your help. — Hamanami said as she hugged the box of sneakers.

I guess I got too caught up in what happened that day at the pool.

—Kirishima-senpai, you’ve been looking at your phone the whole time, what are you doing?

—Looking at photos of Tachibana-san and Yanagi-senpai on their date.

When we are forced to go on dates together, we have a rule of sending pictures between both partners regularly. 

Since Yanagi has a limited amount of time to win over Tachibana, they constantly go on dates together. As a result, photos of the two of them together continue to accumulate. 

There are photos of them in a bookstore, watching a soccer game, and even taking selfies while holding hands. 

They look like a happy couple. Although Tachibana kept a neutral expression. 

—I don’t know why, but when I look at these pictures, I feel a strange emotion. It should be uncomfortable, but I keep wanting to see more. Of course, I know I shouldn’t see them, but something stronger than me won’t let me stop. 

—You’re a big idiot! — Hamanami said as she took the phone away from me — You’re doing a lot of damage to your brain! This is really dangerous. You really have no idea what you are doing to yourself, this is more dangerous than drugs! 

Hamanami scolded me as I looked at the photos one by one.

But receiving pictures doesn’t prove that they’re doing anything, right? Look at Tachibana-san in this photo, don’t you see her cheeks flushed? It looks like she’s been doing something physically demanding… Her clothes look messy too… Ah, here’s a pic of them eating cheese risotto. It must have been very hot. She is crying and something white and thick is coming out of his mouth. But is it really cheese risotto? Yanagi-senpai is with her, right? 

Since this strange rotation of partners started, I feel very drunk. Hamami says my brain is being destroyed, and maybe she’s right. 

Right now, I’m walking, but I don’t feel like I’m moving my own legs. My thoughts quickly turn to Tachibana-san. Tachibana-san, what are you thinking? Tachibana-san, Tachibana-san. 

—Ah, Tachibana-san, there you are. I wanted to ask you something. 

—I’m Hamanami! 

Tachibana-san cries out in her characteristic style. She has a great sense of quick answers.

—Restore your sanity, please, restore it! Tachibana-senpai is not here. 

—That’s not true! Look over there! She is holding those colorful sneakers…

—What? But Tachibana-senpai isn’t the kind of girl who wears those sneakers.

Ignoring Hamanami’s words, I approached Tachibana-san.

—Hey! Kirishima! Don’t bother decent people, idiot!

I went up to Tachibana and put my hand on her shoulder.

—Hey, Tachibana-san.

Tachibana, who for some reason had short hair and a youthful appearance, turned around and replied to me.

—Oh, are you Kirishima-san? What a coincidence to meet here.

But to my cruel reality, that person turned out to be Miyuki-chan, Tachibana-san’s sister… Well, theoretically it’s Tachibana-san as well, right?

 

****

 

Hamanami, Miyuki-chan and I walked down the main street. 

The reason was that Miyuki-chan wanted to ask Hamanami for help to buy some new sneakers. For some reason, she had a certain lack of spirit. 

—Are you sad because you did not buy those sneakers? — Hamami asked while we were walking. 

Miyuki had seen some colorful sneakers in the store that looked like they were made for children, but in the end, she didn’t buy them. 

—It doesn’t matter, it’s not like I really wanted them. I used to like wearing sneakers that looked like what boys wore, but now I really want to wear something more feminine. 

Miyuki’s obvious concern was a makeover. She had never imagined it. 

—Ever since I was a child, I was always active and had many male friends. But lately, no one wants to play with me. In fact, just now I tried to talk to some guys in my class while they were going to the arcade, and they said: “We don’t want to play with you.”

Of course, they don’t bully or ignore her. 

—On the other hand, many guys invite me to play with them alone. I want to continue playing with everyone as before, but they don’t want to have that kind of relationship with me anymore. What should I do? — Miyuki asked with uncertainty in her voice. 

Hearing Miyuki’s concern, Hamanami became emotional when she exclaimed: “That’s so sweet~!”

Miyuki was the kind of girl who radiated pure youthful innocence. So I’m not surprised that she had such worries. 

—It is not my fault. After I quit the track team in the summer, my skin became whiter and my hair grew. Since then, the boys began to treat me with distance. — Miyuki explained.

The reason was obvious and she wasn’t even aware of it, but the truth is that these guys are starting to see her as someone of the opposite sex. 

In other words, they feel intimidated. 

—I also started to look too much like my sister, so I decided to cut my hair. 

When we first met at the indoor soccer field, she had her hair in a ponytail. But now her hair was short. 

So when Miyuki took the sneakers in her hands, she wondered if she really wanted to dress in the same sporty style as before. She was no longer sure of herself. 

And I think that even if Miyuki tried to dress like herself again, with a more masculine appearance, she would not be the same as before. Because the boys had noticed something now. They had realized that their friend they always played with was a girl and that they had romantic feelings for her. 

They couldn’t just be friends anymore. It was something impossible. 

But this conclusion shouldn’t come from what others told her, but from her own understanding. 

Hamanami understood it too, that’s why she tried to advise her. 

—I think it comes down to what you want. Do you want to go back to being a girl with a more masculine appearance? That’s okay, you’re free to do that. But also remember that you once decided to grow your hair, which may mean that you also had desires to look more fashionable or to have a more feminine appearance.

The truth is that it was good advice, that way she does not pressure Miyuki in any way and urges her to explore her feelings on her own. 

—Why don’t you try it just once? Try to dress extremely masculine and then another time try to dress extremely feminine. Maybe you will discover which one you feel most comfortable in.

—You’re right, probably. Now I feel a little confused about my appearance. So since I didn’t like the sneakers too much, maybe I should try a really feminine outfit this time. 

—Leave the style to me! I will turn you into a super cute girl! You will be Cinderella and I will be the fairy godmother. — Hamanami exclaimed enthusiastically. 

Hamanami is a girl with a great ability to use bright colors in her clothes. She gave the impression that she was about to start a fashion shoot. But… 

—I’ve always wanted to dress like that. — Miyuki said as she pointed to a shop window. 

What was displayed in the window was an elaborate Gothic Lolita dress.

Hamami prepared herself emotionally, making some movements and then changed her expression, and then shout. 

—Say no more! I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time! — Hamanami exclaimed with a smile on her face. 

As part of her rite of passage towards turning fifteen, Miyuki chose the Gothic Lolita outfit. This kind of clothing is usually quite expensive, but there is also the possibility to rent it. 

—Wow, Hamanami, I can see that you know a lot about it. — Miyuki replied in surprise. 

—Actually, I have friends who like this kind of clothes. There are quite a few girls who are curious to try it. — Hamami commented as they entered a shop with an almost renaissance appearance. 

Inside the store, they discovered that they were offering a one-day experience course where they would be provided with makeup, accessories, and shoes to rent. 

So they decided to sign up for the class. After waiting in the lobby for a while, Miyuki-chan came out.

—What do you think? — she asked embarrassed. 

She was wearing a black dress with white lace around the collar and sleeves. Her platform shoes were made of patent leather and she had a diadem on her head. She was one hundred percent Lolita. 

—It takes courage like that, so if you have anything to say about it…

Miyuki-chan expressed her concern while waiting for Hamanami’s reaction. 

—I think it looks great. The lily printed on the dress is very elegant. The lily, also known as ‘fleur-de-lis’, used to be the coat of arms of the old Merovingian dynasty in France, and is also a popular symbol in the Japanese hip-hop scene…

Miyuki-chan blushed and quickly interrupted Hamanami.

—Okay, thank you very much, you are very helpful.

Hamanami didn’t want to be left behind, so she decided to try on a dress as well.

They had decided to wear the dresses together to support each other. And Hamanami’s dress was blue and white.

—How do I look? — Hamanami asked.

—Oh yes, you look very good.

There was a professional photo service on site, so we decided to go to the studio inside the store.

—Wait, Kirishima-senpai, why don’t you say something? — Hamanami asked before going into the study.

—Hamanami-san, you look really lovely. — Miyuki replied in my place.

—No, Kirishima-senpai should say it. Hey Kirishima!

Hamanami exclaimed, looking like a character from “Alice in Wonderland”. However, the role of calling Hamanami “kawaii” belonged to Yoshimi-kun, not me.

I prefer not to say anything and keep my mouth shut.

After that, we left the store and enjoyed a meal and some shopping. Both girls, feeling more confident thanks to their outfits, bought more feminine soaps and perfumes, and I took charge of carrying all the bags.

—How about next time we go to an amusement park dressed like this? During Halloween season it would be great. — Hamanami suggested as we walked down the street.

—Yeah, you’re right.

 

****

 

[Hamanami’s Perspective] 

 

The day was coming to an end and Miyuki still had something to say. 

—Weren’t you embarrassed, Kirishima-san? 

—Not at all. You wore the outfit you wanted. It’s something to be proud of, and besides, you look very pretty. Walking next to you made me feel like a lucky boy. — Kirishima replied. 

—I see… — Miyuki-chan whispered quietly. 

Miyuki-chan seemed to understand why her sister had fallen in love with Kirishima. Since then, Miyuki-chan’s hand began to stroke Kirishima’s, barely touching it from time to time. Eventually, her little finger hooked into his. 

—Miyuki-chan, let’s walk hand in hand as well, okay? — I suggested enthusiastically. 

I took Miyuki’s hand and we walked together as if we were good friends. 

—Apparently I finally look like a girl in these clothes. — Miyuki said with a smile. 

—Well, even if you didn’t use them, it would still be noticeable. — I replied with a smile. 

Miyuki looked down and continued to speak. 

—I also realized that I can’t go back to the way I was with the boys. And I… Today, I might have understood something about what they call love… 

—Really…? — I asked as she gave Kirishima a piercing look.

 

[End of Hamanami’s perspective]

 

For some strange reason, Hamanami gives me a fierce look.

—I think it’s time for you to go, Kirishima-senpai. — Hamanami said.

—Huh? But…

—There are things that girls have to do, and it is not good for you to be here…

Just as he was about to finish his words, Hamanami’s phone vibrated.

—I’m sorry, excuse me for a moment. 

She picked up her phone and read the message. 

—Sorry, it seems that Yoshimi has finished with his club… And he… Aaah, I don’t know what to do, I want to give him those sneakers, but I don’t want him to see me like this… 

—You shouldn’t be afraid to show yourself as you are, even though I know you’re a little… 

—Say no more. I know I’m a coward in love! — Hamanami exclaimed — That doesn’t matter now, but the important thing is that both of you must go straight to your respective homes. And don’t go anywhere else! 

After saying that, she ran off to meet Yoshimi-kun.

—Is something wrong, Miyuki-chan? 

—Well… 

Miyuki seemed to have wanted to say something for a long time. Her words were stuck in her throat and her face was completely red. 

—Uh, umm, would you please come to my house now? — she said with a trembling voice — I–It’s nothing to do with me, but my sister has been very depressed… So I thought maybe you could cheer her up a bit. 

—Count on me. — I replied automatically. 

Tachibana and Yanagi are dating now, so that would be against the rules. But I really wanted to know what Tachibana thought about this situation.

So I accompanied Miyuki to return her suit and we got on the train to go to her house.

We reach the highest floors in the elevator and Miyuki opens the door with her key. She invites me in and I take off my shoes.

This is the second time I come here. The first time was after futsal, when Tachibana-san threw up on my clothes.

—Is your sister’s room this way?

Guided by that memory, I went to Tachibana-san’s room. But…

—Kirishima-san, please come to my room. — Miyuki said, looking away and pulling at the sleeve of my coat — My sister went to her piano lesson and won’t be back for a while.

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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