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My summer break was busy. Jogging in the early morning, going on trips, sometimes going out with my group or Sakura-chan too. Sometimes Otousama or Okaasama would drag me here or there. And then heading to the library between that. My goal there was, of course, the boy who looked like Naru-kun.
I tried to sit as close to him as possible but things didn’t always work out. When it didn’t I would sit somewhere else and study properly, but when a seat freed up I would move to shorten the distance.
The times when I was lucky and the seat next to him was free, I could feel my heart throbbing in excitement.
I had leered at his belongings once to see if I could get his name but it didn’t work out.
I was pretty much one step away from being a stalker wasn’t I? I vowed to never follow him at least. If I did that I think it would be over for me as a human being… So for now I’d stick with being a stalker in-the-making.
I didn’t have much time left to make my dream come true either. What on earth was I doing…
Since my previous life, my dream was to have a date in school uniforms. Walking together in uniforms, going home together after school! And awkwardly holding each other’s hands… Kyaaah!
How niiiice, how cuuuute~ Oh, and it would be dreamy to ride on the back of their bicycle too. Sitting sideways on the bicycle rack… Waahh!
In the past when I had ridden on the back of Naru-kun’s bicycle I liked to imagine that we were lovers. Oh boy. When it came to romance I hadn’t aged mentally at all, had I.
Speaking of which, when Naru-kun was in high school, I received quite a shock when I saw him walking with what seemed to be his girlfriend. When I asked my aunt about it, she said that her son was dating a girl from his school. It just left me in a slump though. I was in primary school at the time. Aah, curse the age difference!
Because Obasan had told all our relatives about it, at New Years Naru-kun was teased to death by all the uncles and aunts. Large family gatherings will never stop being a bane for young people…
Anyhow, the date in school uniform. I only had about a year left with my uniform. Please, God! Grant my romance spring before then!
The President wanted to show off the Pivoine’s power, so they put in extra effort for the Pivoine Summer Party this year. A result of that was an abundance of old boys and old girls in attendance. Besides the alumni were the Petite of course, and anyhow it was just a lot of people.
When I arrived I went over to greet the President.
“My, what a wonderful dress, Reika-sama. The kimono from the firefly party suited you as well, though.”
“Thank you very much, Youko-sama. The way your pearls look against the colour of your dress reminds me of the moon in the summer dusk sky.”
“I inherited these pearl earrings from my mother,” she smiled happily.
“By the way, Reika-sama,” she began, “Has Maihama-san from Yurinomiya said anything to you since then?”
“No, but thank you for your concern.”
Since everybody else was arriving to greet her, I decided to take my leave. After looking around a little I spotted Sarara-sama, so I headed over with quick steps and called out to her.
Although I knew she wasn’t some aloof loner anymore, unfortunately I still didn’t talk to her at school so much. Still, I really admired the way she firmly lived in her own world. That’s why whenever we met at a party or the salon I’d take the initiative to speak to her first.
“How have you been spending your summer holiday, Sarara-sama?”
“I haven’t been doing anything really worth mentioning. Although, I did manage to get my hands on a book that was out of print.”
Ever the bookworm. She only ever brought up crazy-complicated titles. I honestly never had a clue. Usually I would just smile along.
We were still chatting when I noticed a brightly smiling Mao-chan, coming my way with Yuuri-kun in tow.
“Mao-chan! And Yuuri-kun too.”
Tonight she was wearing the lemon-yellow party dress that Okaasama bought her.
“Mao-chan, you look so cute in that dress!”
“Thank you very much. Yuuri-kun complimented me too.”
The two of them smiled at each other. My, what a gentleman you are, Yuuri-kun!
I’d better keep the incident with Imari-sama a secret from him.
I was listening to the pair talk about their summer holiday when suddenly things grew noisy. Eh? What was happening?
I looked towards the entrance where it was the noisiest and saw Yurie-sama being escorted in by Kaburagi. Ehhh!?
And then in behind them came Aira-sama escorted by Enjou. What was the meaning of this!?
Whether it was because she was avoiding him or simply because he was being considerate of her, the two of them hadn’t been seen together in public since that winter.
Nobody openly discussed it, but those of us in the Pivoine, and even people outside of it could more-or-less sense that something had happened between the two. And little wonder. Kaburagi who had always been by her side for one reason or another had stopped chasing after her entirely. And neither hide nor tail of Yurie-sama hadn’t even appeared at the firefly-catching party.
On top of that once you consider that this all coincided with the drop in his marks pretty much everybody wanted to know what had happened. Treading clumsily around the topic would have just enraged Kaburagi though, so everybody kept their speculations silent.
That was the situation when the two of them showed up at the summer party. Everybody was focused on them.
They paid it no heed though, chatting amiably with drinks in hand as they had always done so in the past.
Before long Kaburagi whispered something in Yurie-sama’s ear. After looking surprised for a moment, she smiled and the two joined the rest of the dancers doing the waltz, Kaburagi leading skilfully. His expression was gentle, and his eyes were filled with affection for her.
Could it be that Kaburagi’s long-time love had finally borne fruit!? Now that he was in 2nd year, both his face and physique were mature and I could even see the two of them looking good together.
Enjou and Aira-sama joined the waltz as well, and with four of the most attractive people in Zui’ran dancing there, the whole hall felt dazzling and fantastical.
“It’s so magical… I wish I could be down there,” Mao-chan sighed dreamily.
“Then shall we dance too?” asked Yuuri-kun.
Mao-chan seemed shy so I placed my hand on her back and pushed.
As I watched Mao-chan dancing with an excited expression, I thought back to my waltz with Oniichan when I was her age.
“Are you not going to dance, Reika-sama?” asked Sarara-sama.
Did she think I wished I was down there? Hmm… The waltz? Oh!
“If you wish to see me dance then I ask for the head of Jokanaan~” I said, holding out a silver platter, posing like Salomé.
“…I see,” she replied without a change of expression.
The best literary joke I could come up with was a complete dud…
I put the platter down on the table and pretended that this hadn’t just happened.
That was when Yukino-kun came along. Ohh! An angel to save me from this awkwardness!
“Good evening, Reika-oneesan.”
I was in a good mood because it had been a while since I’d seen him.
“Sarara-sama, this is Enjou-sama’s younger brother, Yukino-kun!” I proudly introduced him.
“Gokigen’yoh, Yukino-san. I am Nouzen Sarara.”
“I’m Enjou Yukino. It’s nice to meet you.”
His smile was so cute!
“You aren’t going to dance, Reika-oneesan?” he asked as he watched his own brother dancing.
“Unfortunately I have no partner.”
After staring blankly at me for a moment, he burst into a bright smile.
“Then please dance with me!”
“Am I not good enough?”
Guh… Don’t look sad!
“…Then, if you are fine with me, shall I accompany you for a song?”
Yukino-kun immediately beamed, before taking my hand.
Sarara-sama saw us off as the two of us joined the dancers.