Chapter 3 - Rina's Elf
I gazed from the school building at the members of the track and field club training on the practice field.
It was the shape of my little elf in particular that had my attention.
Nagisa is the greatest♡
Ahh, the way those slender legs of hers extend like a gazelle's is like poetry in motion!
And it's more than just her legs. Her slender body is unbelievably dashing, and cute to boot!
And it's more than just her looks. I love what's on the inside every bit as much♡
I hope she likes the lunch I made for her...
Oh, she looked at me♡
Nagisaaaa~~~~~! Great job at practice!! I brought you a little something!
Nagisa turned away with an uncomfortable look on her face.
Aww, she embarrassed so easily♡
I started to race toward her...
...and tripped over my own two feet.
Rina, are you all right?! Did you hurt yourself?!
Hnnh... I'm all right...
But... your lunch... The lunch I worked so hard to make for you...
Who cares about that? You aren't injured, are you? Does anything hurt?
Nagisa, never one to mince words, focused all her concern on me.
That alone was enough to make me forget all about the pain from my skinned knee.
Sure, she had totally dismissed the lunch I'd poured my heart and soul into making, but that was just how she showed her concern for me.
Nnh... I'm all right. Don't worry about it, Nagisa.
She looked so worried.
As she leaned in and closed the distance between us, I gently pecked her on the cheek.
Hey, I'm fine, okay? Don't make that face.
You're fine, so that means you have to k-k-k-kiss me...?!
Your mother once told me that was the best way to convey your feelings to someone.
B-But... we're in the middle of the practice field...
You don't like it when I kiss you?
It's not that, it's just... We're talking about two different things here...
So you do like it?
Hngh... Like I said, we're on the practice field...
Ohhh, Nagisa, why can't you just say how you feel?
Can't you just pretend like no one else is looking when we're being mushy?
...So that means people are looking.
So, can I have another kiss?
I don't think we're having the same conversation here...
Going just by her expression, you'd think she was upset.
But I could tell she wasn't really that upset.
Because when I put my face close to hers, she didn't push me away.
The truth was, she didn't hate it at all.
I'll make you another lunch tomorrow.
Sorry for interrupting your practice.
I quickly took the overturned lunchbox, its contents practically spilling out, and stuffed it back in my bag before rising to my feet again.
....I'd really wanted Nagisa to try it.
I'd gotten up extra early just so I could make it.
The pain in my chest from that was worse than any skinned knee.
What is it?
I'll go too... to walk you home.
Huh...? But what about your practice?
I'm worried about you. So I'll walk you home.
As I watched her walk away to tell the club president that she was leaving early, all I could think of was how much I liked her.
We'd been raised together, grown up together, and now we were developing feelings together.
The girl I liked could be a little brusque, it was true, but she really was crazy about me.
And because I knew that, I was able to pursue her without fear.
Nagisa took the bag from me that had the ruined lunch in it, and walked slowly alongside me.
She carried not only her own things, but mine as well.
...Sorry for making you carry my things.
It's just to the parking lot. It's not that heavy. I'll make it.
Come on, don't make that face.
She gently brushed my cheek with her hand.
I knew she liked me.
She really liked me.
I wanted to kiss her more than anything right now, but kisses were for consoling, so I had to restrain myself.
It was so hard to let her know how much I liked her.
...What did other girls do in this situation, I wondered.