Investigating the cheating —Preliminary arrangements—
Like this, Touko-senpai and I began our preparations in order to ‘determine Karen and Kamokura-senpai’s love affair site’.
The next day, at another rendezvous with Touko-senpai.
Today, we were at a different coffee shop from yesterday.
“Oh, right. There’s something I need to tell you before we start.”
Today too, I had arrived before at the place, and as Touko-senpai was taking her seat, I spoke out to her.
“Touko-senpai, I know you told me at the beginning when I first called you by cellphone, ‘make sure not to tell others about this’, but…”
“Did you tell someone?”
“I’m sorry. I told Ishida Youta. I just couldn’t hold back my feelings anymore after that…”
“Ishida? The same Ishida-kun from our group, right? The one who’s a first year like you?”
“Yes. He’s from the same Kaihimmakuhari High as, Touko-senpai, Kamokura-senpai, and me.”
“Can you trust him?”
“There shouldn’t be any problems there. Ishida has been a friend of mine from way back in our middle school days. I can even call him one of my best friends.”
I’m certain about this.
I attended a different middle school than Ishida, but our cram school was the same.
We sort of hit it off immediately after we first met, and after discovering our first choice for high school was the same, we encouraged each other by saying, ‘Let’s do our best both’, which in turn led to our present relation.
Even during the university entrance exams, we both applied for the same university and the same major.
Add to it that, the truth is that Ishida too hates Kamokura-senpai.
“The way that senpai shows off his coolness, it just grates on my nerves. It’s true that he’s cool, but can’t he be a little more normal about it!?”
Nonetheless, this is something that is best left unsaid to Touko-senpai, who is ‘Kamokura’s girlfriend’.
Listening to me, Touko-senpai made an expression showing mixed feelings.
“If you’ll say that much, I’ll just have to believe you… But still, be careful. Make sure to make it clear that he mustn’t ever let this out to any other person. Also, you can’t tell him that you and I are working together on this!”
She then started to emphasize each of her next words.
“I believe you already know but, our circle is one that a graduate from Kaihimmakuhari High started, and as such, around a third of its members are from that same high school. You can never know who and who are connected and how, nor who’ll speak to whom or about what.”
Touko-senpai and I, along with Kamokura Tetsuya and Ishida Youta, belong to the same group, ‘Wakiaiai’.
Like Touko-senpai said, a graduate from our high school, the Prefectural Kaihimmakuhari High School, established it around six years ago.
It started as a group for trekking and camping, but it has now become one that makes any and all kinds of events.
Because of the plethora of previous test answers and information on easy courses that give credits, most graduates from Kaihimmakuhari High join our group.
By the way, Mitsumoto Karen’s high school was Saitama High School.
“Touko-senpai, you haven’t told anyone about this?”
“That’s right. For the time being, at least. However, in light of this, I also have a friend I can trust, so maybe I’ll speak with her.”
“Who would that be?”
“She’s a girl you don’t know. Ever heard of Kanou Kazumi, a second year in economics?”
“She’s from the same middle school I’m from. Our houses were also close to each other, so we’ve been close friends since then. She didn’t go to Kaihimmakuhari High for high school; instead, she went to a private school. It’s like, we got together once again here in university.”
Based on what she said, ‘Kanou Kazumi’-san isn’t in our group nor are there many opportunities for her to meet with anyone from there.
If she’s a close friend of Touko-senpai, that means she must be in a position to know Kamokura-senpai too.
“For me, it’s Kazumi; for you, it’s Ishida-kun. If it’s someone we can truly trust, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to have them help us in this.”
So murmured Touko-senpai as she pondered.
“Isn’t that so? I also thought that better than myself taking action, it would be best to ask someone like Ishida to do so!”
“Wait! It’s still too soon to be drawing conclusions. Not to mention, more than asking someone else from the get-go, it’s more effective if we start investigating a bit by ourselves, and only rely on them for a decisive move.”
Now that she mentioned it, she’s right.
I should make an effort to be a little more prudent.
It may be that, in order to escape from the pain of having had our lovers cheat on us, we instinctively search for someone who would listen to us.
And we expect from said person to take our side and say together with us, ‘What a horrible girlfriend and senpai!’.
I looked at Touko-senpai once again.
Without deforming her fine-looking facial features, she continued to matter-of-factly work out the plan ‘Securing evidence of the love affair’.
She must have been under the same pain of having been cheated on.
Even so, she maintained her composure, not letting any of that show in her outward appearance.
Someone who was not only beautiful in appearance, but who was also mentally strong.
“Understood. Then, what should we start with?”
“Tomorrow’s Thursday, right? The two of them seem to have already met this Monday, so there’s a chance they won’t meet tomorrow; but still, try to casually ask for her plans for it. I’ll also try asking Tetsuya for his plans for tomorrow too.”
“And if it happens to look as if they’ll meet?”
“You’ll make plans together with Karen-san for Friday. During that time, you’ll pay attention and see if there were any changes in her speech or attitude, ok?”
“As a first step, that’ll be enough. If you insist, go no further than finding out at approximately what hour they’ll leave school or what direction the two of them go. If you start making too many moves, they’ll start to get suspicious of you. Also, do you call Karen-san or contact her via SNS messages every day?”
“Until Monday, I called or messaged her almost every day. This is because from the first days we started dating she told me, ‘It’s only natural for you as my boyfriend to call me every day’. However, after that happened, I simply couldn’t find it in myself to call her, so I haven’t contacted her.”
“Which means that, you neither called nor messaged her yesterday, huh. That makes it precisely after Tetsuya’s SNS arrived, then. Not good, that’s not good at all.”
Touko-senpai’s expression clouded.
“Anyhow, contact her today. Give her your most sincere apologies for not contacting her these days.”
I’m supposed to apologize to Karen?
Despite her having been the one who cheated?
She must have surmised it from looking at my face.
Touko-senpai continued to explain.
“We must endeavor to keep the habits we have kept until now. You can’t change them. Depending on whether she answers immediately or not, we can even make a guess on if she’s alone during that time or not.”
“Remember, we’re only pretending to act normal. Increasing the number of times we contact them, calling them at times we normally wouldn’t do, those are the kind of things we mustn’t ever do. When it comes to cheating, the key lies in making the first move to grab hold of the evidence. If the cheating party finds out they’re being suspected of, that’s the end of it.”
“Yes, I understand now.”
“It may also be in our best interests to not meet face to face like this for a while after this. That said, we should still contact each other at least once every day.”