Episode 70: Ranko’s Suspicion
“What were you and Saki talking about?”
The school building was completely quiet, something wholly unique to the time after classes had been let out. Ranko asked me this while we watched Honoka, Yuzuriha, and Saki playing together a short distance ahead of us. Personally, I would have liked to see how such an interesting match-up play out. Those two random girls with a soft tsukkomi thrown into the mix. But I gave Ranko my full attention and turned my face towards hers.
“What did…..um, who?”
“Sa · ki, the girl standing in the window with you? It looked like you two were talking there for a while.”
Did something catch her attention since she’s expressly asking about it? Well, I can guess what that thing would be. While thinking to myself how perceptive this girl is, I tried recalling the conversation I just had.
“We were talking about today’s cooking class. Saki was really good at handling those knives.”
“Well, that’s true”
Ranko pursed her lips. In this hallway on the fourth floor where there were no other students, the only noise that could be heard were the playful voices of the girls far ahead of us.
“Sorry, may I reword my question?”
After quietly hesitating for a second, Ranko asked,
“You told me to wait a minute, and then just before you and Saki left the window, the wind picked up the curtains…..what were you doing?”
She jumped right to the heart of the matter.
Hah….. Ranko walked right over to Honoka and Yuzuriha when she entered the clubroom, so I figured she didn’t care about us, but perhaps she had been keeping an eye on us the whole time….. Ranko’s right to be suspicious, but I wish she wouldn’t poke at that.
“Hmm? Back then, I accidentally looked directly into the sunset, and it hurt my eyes. I couldn’t see anything, so I couldn’t move.”
With an expressionless face, Ranko appeared to have taken my words as the truth and averted her gaze away from me. Maybe she could see our outlines through the curtain? She’s already suspicious, so I will have to keep that possibility in mind and act carefully with what I say in the future.
“It would be nice if we could all get along with each other.”
After a quiet pause, she added that. While looking a little lonely.
“With Honoka and Yuzuriha……and Saki”
“Well, that’s true—. We’ve only know each other for a short time, but everyone is so unique and interesting.”
As if to reinforce my point, the three people having fun in front of us…..I point my hand towards Saki who is being swung around by the other two children.
“I’m including you and me when I say that too of course.”
“But didn’t I join in with the group after everyone else? And since I always just say whatever I’m thinking, sometimes I worry about whether I’m accepted here and if the others don’t like being around me.”
“I’ve never once thought that.”
So the girl herself knows she has a rough personality. Since she is a narcissist with a bit of chuunibyou, I was wondering whether she was satisfied with her unbending, straight-forward personality.
“Things were just a bit rocky in the beginning. These days, it feels like everyone looks to you like you’re our parent, and they’re opening up.”
“You think so?”
“Don’t worry about it. Just look at how innocent those two are up there.”
I waved my hand towards Honoka and Yuzuriha who were having a grand time putting Saki on the spot while asking a barrage of random questions.
“And besides, you and Saki have become great friends over these last couple of days.”
I purposefully pouted a bit as I said that to knock Ranko off kilter.
“I…..don’t know what she’s thinking.”
I think I know how Ranko might feel. As soon as we leave school, Saki begins acting chummy and sticking close to her. It would look like she is aiming for Ranko over these past couple days, but Saki keeps showing she might have feelings for me too. And with what just happened in the clubroom……
“Well, her feelings look to be positive at the very least. She’s trying to be friends.”
“Even if you say that…..”
Ranko’s expression was mixed, and she turned her eyes away from me. Hmm? What’s with this atmosphere? Could she not be good with Saki? That’s how I’m reading that.
“Putting Saki aside, it was fun eating curry and joking around today, don’t you think?”
“That…..I was being a bit serious then…..”
Do you mean when you said you wanted me as a pet? Is the ‘Ranko-chan is secretly a sadist’ theory gaining traction?
I shook my head to desperately deny my thoughts. She was serious? I don’t want to speak on anyone’s hobbies…..well, Yuzurin has vaguely suggested she’s a lesbian already, and I’m not bothered by the fact that the others are all weirdos…..I think?