THIS IS A FAN TRANSLATION, THOUGH THE WEBSITE NAME…HAS MTL IN IT…
Touko and Kazumi at the Coffee Shop
After we met with Isshiki-kun and Ishida-kun for our first meeting with all four of us, Kazumi and I entered a coffee shop, the two of us alone. Once I had bought a grande size sweet coffee, I arrived at my seat and immediately noticed that Kazumi, who had already seated herself before me, was looking at me with mischievous eyes as she rested her chin in her hands.
I asked her first, to which Kazumi grinned even more.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking that it was very odd of you, Touko~.”
“I’m talking about the meeting from just now. Isshiki-kun, was it? It was my first time seeing you talk so frankly and without worry with a man, Touko.”
“You think? I thought I was talking like I normally do.”
I answered her shortly before bringing the cup of coffee to my lips.
“Are you interested in him? That boy?”
Mmgh!! The coffee I had in my mouth threatened to go down the wrong pipe for an instant.
However, never showing any sign that that had happened, I answered her.
“This has nothing to do with my being interested or anything… Isn’t he my kouhai in university? I have no special interest or anything like that for him.”
“That so? But the normal Touko I know wouldn’t speak like that with any normal kouhai.”
“That’s because Isshiki-kun is in the same position as me; we both share that we were betrayed by our lovers. We’re partners who’ve decided to get our revenge together in the future.”
“But, y’know, the Touko I know would deal with things on her own even in that situation. Rather, wouldn’t it be enough just to corner Kamokura with questions until you make him confess about his cheating?”
“We’re talking about them cheating on us. There’s no way it’ll all be over with a simple ‘sorry’ from them.”
“If that’s not enough for you, you could always just slap them in the face and break up with them. If you don’t want to break up with them, you could always make them buy you some expensive purse or shoes as compensation or something. Not to mention that the Touko of always would think something like, ‘even if it was my partner who cheated, the reason for it may lie in me’, and then she’d simply remain silent, no?”
I pondered it for a moment. Surely enough, what Kazumi had said may have had some truth to it.
“This is only my guess, but… I might feel something like guilt with Isshiki-kun. After all, he ended up being hurt because Tetsuya cheated with Karen…”
Kazumi looked at me with half-open eyes, almost as if she wanted to say that she was seeing right through me.
“Is that really all there is to it?”
“What do you mean? What else could there be?”
“You sure it isn’t that you simply want to meet with Isshiki-kun, Touko?”
Pff! This time the coffee did enter my trachea. I had a coughing fit as a result.
“No matter how much I hit the mark there, you shouldn’t get so flustered by it!”
Kazumi spoke as she laughed and offered me a tissue.
I took the tissue while I glared at her.
“It’s not as if I choked because you hit the mark. It’s because you say some very weird things, Kazumi.”
“I got it, I got it. Then, the important thing is that you don’t have even the slightest bit of interest in Isshiki-kun, right, Touko?”
Having wiped my mouth with the tissue, I replied to her.
“Of course, isn’t it obvious? Do you really think I would do something like look for the next boy on whom to lay my sights so soon just because Tetsuya cheated on me…?”
“Ok, then. In that case, right now, what kind of position does Isshiki-kun hold for you, Touko?”
… Isshiki-kun’s position?…
I was naturally remembered of that Saturday night when Tetsuya and Karen’s love affair was clarified before me.
“Please let yourself be spoiled by me today at least.”
At that time, I ended up crying in his chest.
Regardless of how shocking a thing happened, I don’t think I would be able to do something like that with another man.
Certainly, I may have felt some special sort of comfort from him which allowed me to feel safe.
“You did tell me before that Isshiki-kun was a fellow comrade-in-arms who fought together with you but…”
Kazumi stared at me with great interest.
“I suppose I feel like he is…a little brother?”
Kazumi threw her body on the back of the chair in boredom.
“A little brother, huh… You escaped that one pretty well, Touko.”
“What? I wasn’t really escaping from any…”
Kazumi straightened herself again while she waved her right hand.
“Oh well. If you yourself haven’t noticed it, Touko, then that’s fine in its own way. Let’s leave it at a little brother for now.”
“What do you mean by ‘haven’t noticed’!? It’s almost as if you were saying that I!”
“Touko, let me tell you that whenever you’re with Kamokura, it always feels like you’re on guard.”
Kazumi began to talk without even hearing a word that I said.
“The same goes for when you talk with other men. It feels like you’re always drawing a line somewhere or as if you were lowering a transparent curtain between you and them.”
Silently, I took a sip from my coffee. I paid close attention not to choke on it this time.
“However, I don’t get that feeling coming from you when you’re with Isshiki-kun. It seemed that you were facing him as candidly and openly as you can be, Touko. In all the time I’ve known you, this is the first time that has happened.”
“You… You may be right about that.”
I had to give her that point. Just as she had said, I got the feeling that I was able to be myself whenever I was with Isshiki-kun.
“A love in which you’re constantly having to keep your act up is fine and all, but the kind of love that lasts for long is the one in which you act naturally without having to worry about anything. Touko, you have the bad habit of carrying too much by yourself in everything you do.”
“It’s not as if I was looking to have that kind of a relationship with Isshiki-k…”
However, Kazumi stared at me with a serious expression.
“Leaving aside what your opinion is, Touko, the truth is that Isshiki-kun is in love with you. And this too from the bottom of his heart, even more than he himself realizes. That’s why it may be possible that when this matter has been settled, you may need to find some answer of your own with respect to Isshiki-kun. Touko, it may be for the best that you’re prepared for this.”
… Some answer of my own, with respect to Isshiki-kun…
I turned my line of sight down at the coffee cup in an attempt to escape from Kazumi’s eyes.