Riko's two friends in this story are probably not going to be deeply involved in the main story.
One day in the afternoon when the summer vacation is almost over.
At a rather expensive family restaurant near the school, she, Sashiro Kanako, is chatting with her usual friends for the first time in a long time, and her suspicions turn into conviction.
To tell the truth, Kanako had been paying attention to that girl while carrying on a normal conversation ever since sitting here today.
That girl is Nishizaki Riko, a classmate of hers with dyed blond hair that bounced lightly and a rather rough outfit.
Riko is a rather cute and eye-catching girl.
Although it would be harsh to compare her to a full-fledged beauty like the new student, Fukami Maria, she is at least much better than someone like her, Kanako, who is of average height, average weight, average looks and average breast size.
Especially, Kanako is not the only student who has a faint admiration for her courage to show off her showy colored hair.
Today, Riko ordered a salad set with tomato cream-based pasta. From the drink bar, she chose a cup of tea.
By the way, Kanako had a Margherita, a cup of cocoa, and another girl had a meat doria, a cup of orange juice... but that's not important. The problem is Riko's choice.
As they've been "hanging out" since April, Riko basically prefers Japanese style menus. When it comes to drinks, she is often concerned about the absorption of oil, and considering that, she might order a Japanese hamburger steak and oolong tea.
However, it was unusual for her to order a Western meal with black tea.
When Kanako asked her why, she replied, seemingly unconcerned.
「Ah, yes. I've been into western food lately. I thought it would be nice to have something like this」
It's true that they hadn't seen each other since the start of the summer vacation, so it's not surprising that their taste in food has changed on a mere whim....
「You've been wearing it for a while. Is it important to you?」
Kanako ask casually while eating pizza.
It's been almost two months since Riko started wearing a brown choker around her neck. From the looks of it, the item is pretty good, probably costing no less than five digits.
The taste is definitely Riko's, but it takes a little courage to spend that amount of money on an accessory instead of clothes. Also, she hasn't seen a day when Riko didn't wear a choker since then. Even if it's her favorite, it's too heavy to wear.
So from the beginning, Kanako thought it was a gift.
...probably from a guy.
But no matter how many times she asked, Riko just muddled her words.
Riko is still with Kanako and the others at lunchtime, and when she's not, she's just being called by other girls like Takatsuki Aika. She is sometimes late in replying to e-mails, but to be honest, this has happened many times before.
There is no proof.
However, from the accumulated circumstantial evidence, it is probably true.
For example, her behavior has become softer since a while ago.
The most striking example is her behavior toward Izumi Chihiro, their male classmate. Riko used to make an enemy of him until around June, but one day she suddenly took a few days off and stopped attacking him completely.
『I decided to ignore him because it was too bothersome to care about him』
That's what she said, but it's clearly unnatural.
Her taste in food has changed, she wears a present-like accessory every day, and she has become more friendly.
In addition, her hair, which was black at the roots until the last day of school, has been re-dyed gold. When I asked her when she went to the salon, she said it was more than a week ago. That's too early for the start of school. There must have been someone she wanted to show it off to.
And the only reason why a girl would change so suddenly is because of a man.
Most likely, she is adapting to her boyfriend's taste. It's not clear who the other party is - if it's a student or a teacher of the school, there seems to be too little movement.
So is it an outsider?
It could be a guy from the same middle school. After all, Riko seems to have had a lot of fun in middle school.
「Ah, I also want a boyfriend...」
At first, Kanako observed Riko while lamenting deliberately.
Riko is a little upset. Apparently, she is attracted by my use of the word "also".
「Why don't you just make it happen? Our school doesn't have many couples」
Shibahou Academy's school rules are loose, and as long as students "live a moderate life", dating is not prohibited. But despite this, only a small number of students become boyfriends or girlfriends, probably because they are busy and relieve their stress by exercising.
In other words, there are many students who are free.
「Don't make it sound so easy. I'm not as pretty as Riko」
「It's not true. I mean, you're pretty, but if you're too pretty, you won't get a boyfriend」
It seems she's talking about Maria.
It's true, she's surrounded by girls. But the boys don't seem to talk to her aggressively, perhaps because they feel intimidated.
Besides, Riko is right that it is easier to get along with someone who is suitable to some extent.
For example, it would take a lot of courage for Kanako to confess her feelings to Kamishiro.
「Well, maybe I'll go for Kamishiro」
「Huh? There seem to be a lot of rivals. Are you okay with that?」
Kanako tried to be casual, but Riko looked puzzled.
...She thought it was a possibility that Kamishiro would be the one Riko couldn't make a big deal about being in a relationship with. For example, Kamishiro and Chihiro seemed to be getting along well around the sports festival, so maybe she stopped tormenting Chihiro out of consideration for him.
But this is not the case.
If so, there is another possibility.
「Kamishiro is cool, isn't he? He's a little hot」
「Oh, you're right」
The third girl, Reina, made a well-timed comment, helping to distract Riko's attention. Just in time, Kanako joined in.
「You know, that's the kind of guy who doesn't let you do things easily」
「You mean, you've been thinking about it since before you started dating?」
She's still very conscious and pure as usual.
「Of course not. It's important to know if I want to do it with him or not. Right, Reina?」
「Hmm... Maybe you're right」
Reina Uno nodded and poked at her meat doria.
Reina is a little taller than Kanako, with a slender figure. She keeps her hair long, saying it's too much trouble to cut it, and keeps it groomed to the point where it doesn't look untidy.
Kanako and her friends know that she has a boyfriend in her hometown, although at first glance he doesn't seem very masculine.
Her carefree, laid-back attitude is a kind of leeway, an unconsciousness of those who have it.
「But, in the end, you can't tell from their clothes alone. Maybe, he is sturdy and reliable, but his penis can be small and boring」
「...You're so direct」
Reina is so frank that even Kanako is turned off by it.
Moreover, Kanako is not that interested in love itself, and she's still a virgin, so she doesn't really understand this kind of thing. Still, Kanako continued to ask.
Thanks for reading...