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[personal profile] tani posting in [community profile] eranda_michi
It was a said with a light tone, but a drop of sarcasm lurked within, though it was impossible to tell if it was conscious or not.

"This teacher is following me! I just want to go home and sleep!"

"You've worked hard. We're off to a group date."

"A group date?" The words were straightforward enough, but Nenene found herself unthinkingly repeating them.

"That's right. Kitazawa has some friends at West Junior High."

"Middle schoolers? Since when are you interested in that?"

"It's fine once in a while. You should let loose sometimes, Sumiregawa, instead of always worrying about school and writing."

"That's right. You'll be left behind by the times."

"What about hooking up with one of your fans?"

"That's no good. Sumiregawa's fans are mostly women."

"Well, she still might make some new discoveries..."

They looked at each other, snickering. However, Nenene was neither laughing nor angry. Instead, her face was still.


Brushing dirt off her coat, Yomiko stood. "I think that a group date could be fun."


The two girls had hardly even noticed that Yomiko was there, much less that she was a teacher, and were startled to find her suddenly participating in the conversation.

"But what about reading a book?"

"A book?" The girls looked dubious, like they'd never heard of such a thing.


Yomiko took a paperback out from inside her coat. It was a middle grade book. "This Radio Girl is a fun and light-hearted read. It's a story about a boy who gets a crush on a girl who's sending postcards to a late night radio broadcast..." Before she was even done talking about the first book, she was already taking out the next. It was a smooth move worthy of a magician.

"...Oh, and then there's Kiss Me Back. The main character is a girl who's looking for the boy who gave her her first kiss as a child. Her only clue is an old photograph, and the ending is a real shocker..."

The two girls exchanged glances, ignoring Yomiko's explanation. The nightmare (?) of the morning assembly was being revived in their minds.

"...But-but when it comes to juvenile novels, I recommend Sumiregawa-sensei's debut novel, You Know Me."


Seeing her own book being taken out, Nenene stiffened slightly.

"Oh, but since you're her friends, you've probably already read it, right...?"

"Stop it!"

This time, it was Yomiko's turn to stiffen. Nenene's shout almost made her drop the book. "...Huh?"

The air stilled. But only the air between the two of them.

For the two girls, this was their best chance.

"Ah...We'd better get going or we'll be late..."

"See you, Sumiregawa."


The Path I Chose

August 2017

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