Chapter 5 – Tap Dancing in the Minefield of Love
“…Ah, I’m so happy.”
As soon as he arrived at school, Chinatsu muttered to himself as he held his bag with great care.
He hadn’t seen what was in it yet, but it was a lunch box he got from Madoka.
He was really curious about the contents, as he had never had a packed lunch besides ones from his mother.
“…Oops, I’m going to look weird if I grin too much.”
The place where he was now was a classroom, where students gathered.
That’s why Chinatsu managed to tighten his expression, as he would have been looked at strangely if he had grinned by himself.
But as soon as he thought of Madoka, his cheeks relaxed.
While Chinatsu was fighting against his loosening cheeks like this, two people entered the classroom.
The man and woman put their bags on the desks as they greeted their friends, and walked naturally right up to Chinatsu.
“Good morning, Nacchan!”
They both were very good-looking.
They were that fateful couple who he hung out with yesterday before meeting Madoka, who had tried to kill herself.
The boy was a tall, handsome man with a prominent and very well-developed face, named Asakusa Ryoma, and the girl was another beautiful girl with a complex about her slightly small b*****s, named Minase Shirayuki.
“You’re looking kind of happy.”
Hey, what’s going on”
The two asked him that, and Chinatsu wasn’t sure how to answer, but they seemed to sense that it would be better not to ask him so many questions.
They were often involved with each other, so they knew the line of what was appropriate to ask each other.
“Well, something happened… But that’s about it.”
So that’s the end of this story.
Not to change the subject, but Chinatsu, who turned his attention to Shirayuki, opened his mouth with a slight pout of his lips.
“Hey, Shirayuki, can you stop calling me Nacchan”
Shirayuki expressed her honest suspicion at Chinatsu’s words, and Ryoma, who had an idea why, put his hand over his mouth and laughed.
Now, why did Chinatsu say this …It was, in a sense, his complex that had continued for a long time.
“That makes me sound like a girl.”
“But it’s cute♪”
Yes, Chinatsu was a rather girlish name.
He wouldn’t go so far as to say that he didn’t like it because it was given to him by his parents, but he was bothered by it because he was toyed with a bit in junior high school because of it.
“I think it’s cute… Ryoma thinks so too, doesn’t he”
Well, this exchange happened quite a few times already.
Ever since Shirayuki and Chinatsu got to know each other, the way she called him hadn’t changed.
She liked it so much that she would come up to him and call him Nacchan, Nacchan whenever she saw him.
When Chinatsu replied to Shirayuki, who was staring at him, Shirayuki shook her head.
Hey Nacchan, if you have any problems, you can rely on me, okay Both Ryoma and I will help you.”
“…Yeah, I got it.”
The atmosphere was a little strange, so Chinatsu tilted her head at Shirayuki, who shook her head as if nothing in particular was going on.
Well, the morning started with such enjoyable exchanges with friends, and some time passed.
It was finally time for lunch break.
“It’s lunchtime, Nacchan!”
“Right! Let’s eat immediately!”
Chinatsu couldn’t wait to eat his lunch box, and they rolled their eyes at him, but he didn’t have time to worry about that.
As usual, they put their desks together and Chinatsu opened the lid of his lunch box.
“Whoa, what’s this”
“That looks delicious.
How did you make… No, there’s no way you made that.”
Their voices fell on deaf ears.
The contents of the lunch box were just an ordinary rice ball and assorted side dishes, a perfectly ordinary lunch box.
But he could tell it had been carefully prepared and the nutritional content was well thought out.
It was just a bento, but it looked so delicious that it was like the bento was telling Chinatsu to eat it as soon as possible.
Chinatsu, who was half impressed that this was the bento Madoka had made for him, slowly picked up his chopsticks.
First, he took the egg omelet into his mouth… Then, the exquisite sweetness spread out.
“Nacchan, who made this”
“So delicious… Munch… Ohh♪”
“Nacchan… Hey Nacchan.”
No longer did any voices from the outside come in .
It was just that the bento Madoka made for him was so delicious.
They were typical bento dishes, egg omelet, fried tofu, sausage… But they all tasted so good.
“Ryomaaa! Nacchan is ignoring me!!!”
Eventually, Shirayuki cried to Ryouma.
But even so, Chinatsu didn’t seem to mind at all and ate his bento all up.
“…Phew, thanks for the food.”
Chinatsu poured the last of the tea from the canteen down his throat, and with a satisfied look and a big smile on his face, he clasped his hands together.
Finally, he noticed Shirayuki’s teary eyes and called out to her.
“…I hate Nacchan!”
“Hmph… You couldn’t even look at me, huh”
“What’s with you” Chinatsu’s mutterings were drowned out by Shirayuki’s tantrum.
Well, as you can see now, Chinatsu and the couple are quite close.
They met in high school, spent a year together and were now in their second year.
Their relationship is good.
That’s why, they often have fights like this and they make up quickly.
“Alright, alright! I got this bento from the older sister who lives next door to me!”
He finally confessed, but it didn’t matter if it was known or not.
Although Ryoma and Shirayuki were saying disturbingly that they would check it out the next time they come to visit, Chinatsu could only hope that such a day would never come.
Then time passed and it was the long awaited after school.
After hanging out with them for a little while like yesterday, Chinatsu left them and went back to his flat.
It was past five o’clock and Madoka had already returned.
“Let’s do this!”
Chinatsu was still nervous, but he was determined.
As soon as he rang the intercom, he heard footsteps and immediately saw Madoka’s face… but Chinatsu widened his eyes at one particular spot
“Welcome back, Chinatsu-kun!”
“Ah, yes… I’m home…”
He managed to reply, but Chinatsu’s gaze was focused on Madoka’s cheeks… They were red as if someone had slapped them.
“…Ah, I see.
It’s still red.”
Madoka looked happy when she saw Chinatsu’s eyes sharpened a little, but he didn’t have time to pay attention to that.
Madoka then invited Chinatsu into her room and told him what had happened.
“…Is that what happened”
Well, but to be honest, it doesn’t really matter to me anymore.”
At university, she met her ex-boyfriend and his current girlfriend and got involved with them, but the woman got angry at Madoka’s lack of reaction and slapped her on the cheek.
There was a big commotion and the other party thought the situation turned bad and left.”
For worrying about me.”
Fortunately, the swelling on Madoka’s cheek was not that bad, and it would go away completely in a few hours.
However, Chinatsu was filled with a feeling of helpless anger toward the person who had involved Madoka in such a way that she had to go through all that trouble.
Chinatsu was trembling with such anger, but was soon enveloped by a softness that washed it away.
“…You really care about me, Chinatsu-kun.
I’m happy… I’m so happy.”
“–That’s of course, that’s what you were going to say, right Ah… Chinatsu-kun♪”
Firmly, Madoka hugged Chinatsu.
Chinatsu, whose face was buried in her bosom, did not notice, but Madoka’s smile was a little distorted.
It was partly because she was glad to hear that he was concerned about her, but more than anything, it was because Chinatsu looked like a master who had his possession damaged.
“How was your lunch”
“Ah… It was delicious.
It was really delicious!”
“I see, that’s good.
Hey, Chinatsu, if you like, I’ll keep making them for you.”
Madoka muttered with her face close to his ear.
Madoka’s smile deepened further at the sight of Chinatsu, who was bewildered but could not hide his happiness, and she moved her mouth so softly that no one could hear her.