- 9:30 p.m.
I was writhing under the covers like a caterpillar and couldn’t stand it any longer, so I slipped off my eye mask.
In the darkness, the display on my phone glowed brightly.
I see no read mark…
“…Hahaha, I care too much about it.”
I mean, it’s not unusual for someone not to get a reply for 30 minutes!
Maybe he’s having a slightly late dinner or taking a bath, or maybe he’s the type of person who turns off his phone while he’s studying.
There is even a possibility that … he may be sleeping very early!
Does he look like the type of guy who carries his phone around with him all the time!?
Ah!? Or maybe he is preparing for tomorrow!?
Mashima-kun said he was “just shopping” but if so, … it would make me … kind of happy!
I’m sure a reply will be coming soon.
All I can do is sleep now! Yes, good night this time…
- 10:00 p.m.
I lie face down in my futon and stare at my phone screen.
The cool eye mask has been cooling my forehead for a while now.
And of course, there is no read mark.
Around this point, a nasty sweat starts to trickle down my back.
Why is it that just by not having the word “read”, my heart starts to race so much?
“No, no, no, …1 hour, it’s only been an hour, if he is busy, that’s all there is, normally…”
Who am I talking about?
I care too much, really… too much, really!! Too much!
What’s scary is that I’m aware that I care too much, but I can’t stop my fingers from opening and closing MINE, opening and closing!
“Oh, yes! I should deactivate the silent mode!”
I see, this is a good idea!
Then even if I’m wearing an eye mask, I’ll be immediately alerted by the ringtone when there’s a reply!
Okay, I’m going to sleep! Let’s go to bed this time! I’ll be up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow!
- 10:30 p.m.
The eye mask given to me by my sister has now left its rightful place and was cooling the shelf on the headboard of my bed alongside the wall outlets.
Despite the somewhat melancholy coolness, my eyes are already sparkling.
The pleasant sleepiness after bathing had somehow disappeared and only impatience was in me…
“Could it be that I have upset Mashima-kun…?”
I knew it couldn’t be, but I couldn’t shake the uneasiness.
Looking back on it now, my message isn’t so good, is it…?
If you look closely, you can see that I repeat the question twice, the first question seems to be trying to find out what he does on his days off, the joke is not as funny as it should be, it’s stiff, lengthy, and in some ways it’s more of an appeal…
The message seemed so perfect at first, but now it seems to be the worst ever, with so many things to fix!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped my bad fingers from trying to send a message to Mashima-kun again!!
I am desperately trying to restrain myself by recalling Imamote’s teaching that a follow-up message when there is no reply is one of the worst things you can do…
“Well, it’s useless…! If I don’t think of something else, I’ll lose my mind!”
I’m wasting the most time turning my phone on and off in the dark!
I flung off the covers, got up, and turned on the light.
If I can’t sleep anyway, I should spend my time on other useful things to distract myself from MINE!
That way, maybe Mashima-kun will reply to me at some point… Yes, that’s right! That would be great!
First, let’s check my clothes again!
It’s not often I get to change out of my pajamas at this hour, so I’m kind of excited!
- 11:00 p.m.
“… Ah! I forgot my adhesive plaster!”
I looked up on my phone, “A must for every girl! List of Things to Bring on a Date” page on my phone.
Certainly there’s a chance of shoe slip-ups in unfamiliar shoes, and besides, in the unlikely event that Mashima-kun gets hurt, I can tend to him!
“Well, with Mashima-kun’s personality, I’m sure he carries them around with him on a regular basis… Fufufu.”
It seems likely.
And if anything, I’m the one who is likely to get hurt.
As soon as I mentioned … Mashima-kun’s name, I felt an urge to check the MINE… and I was tempted to check, but I managed to resist.
Let’s continue preparing for tomorrow until I get a little more sleepy!
And if I go to bed before midnight, I’ll have at least 6 hours of sleep… Yeah! And who knows, I might forget something like I just did! Let’s do that…
- 12:00 a.m.
Let’s see, what is it…
Ideally, a second date should be arranged within a week of the first date.
The best time is during the meal of the first date.
There is also a psychological term called the “Twilight Effect” in which people’s ability to think and make decisions is at its slowest around 6 p.m.
In other words, making an appointment for an early lunch will have the highest success rate…
“I see… I see…”
So it’s a combination of the luncheon technique.
Love psychology is a very deep subject.
“Let’s see, the best time to confess is on the third date … third date!? No, no, no, it’s too early! Me and Mashima-kun are still such …”
I was squealing and giggling all by myself as I read Imamote.
- 1:00 a.m.
While browsing Minsta, I discovered a stylish coffee shop just a few minutes’ walk from Kamimura station! Apparently, homemade hardened pudding is their signature dish!
Hardened pudding is good, isn’t it?
It looks so minsta-worthy with whipped cream and cherries on top! The glass is also decorated with orange dots and looks retro cute…
I have an image of Mashima-kun liking retro things, and I might try to ask him out here for a second date…?
- 2:00 a.m.
I feel sleepy when I’m told I’m … sleepy, and I don’t feel sleepy when I’m told I’m not.
But the only thing I was sure of was that I couldn’t sleep.
My body was tired, but only my consciousness was awake…
I feel numb … heavy …, like
Like … sweet?
How can I say it… it’s like the contents of my head have all turned to clay…
I can’t even think of a good analogy for it…
Anyway, I’ve never stayed up this late …
This is my first time…
… Cold …
I have a… stomachache…
……….Mashima-kun’s reply, I haven’t received it…
- 4:00 a.m.
………………MINE …… from
………… from the beginning ………
I shouldn’t have sent …………….. I guess…………..
- 5:15 a.m.
It’s a morning in the worst mood, as if my whole body has been soaked in mud.
As I stood there watching the pale light streaming in through the window, listening to the cool air and the cawing of the early crows.
A light electronic sound, different from the auditory hallucination from sleep, did indeed ring under my pillow.
I jump up and pick up my phone.
It was the reply I had been waiting for.
My heart was pounding so fast it hurt.
Saliva caught in my thirsty throat, and my fingers trembled as I tapped on the chatroom.
I willed myself to tap the display.
To Takane Saki.
Sorry for the late reply, I just woke up.
I usually go to bed a little earlier than other people because I have lessons around this time.
Yesterday, I went shopping with Arakawa and Iwasawa. It’s questionable whether I’m rested, but there’s no problem.
This is the first time I’m going out with the girls on a holiday.
So, 9:00 a.m. at Kamimura Station.
It is very difficult to describe in words the feeling that filled my heart at that time.
But if I had to use one word to describe it, it would be “relief”.
“Good, that’s good…”
My whole body relaxed and sank into the bed.
Ah, now I can go … on a date … without worrying.
- 11:17 a.m.
I could not understand what had happened to me.
I felt my thoughts, heavy as lead, squealing and spinning.
I didn’t get up for a while and just stared up at the ceiling.
… Morning, or is it noon …?
Huh? Wait a minute, why am I in bed…
Today, I believe, was a date with Mashima-kun…
………… Date ……?
I woke up the sleep mode of my phone with a movement that almost sunk into my body…
…My heart nearly jumped out of my mouth when I saw the history of incoming calls from Mashima-kun every 30 minutes.
The biggest, most gigantic mistake I’ve made this century.
“Hah …… hah ……!”
My body is heavy. I can’t think straight.
I am breathing hard and sweating.
My hair is flapping, my stomach hurts, I feel like crying, and my chest feels crushed with guilt…
But I can’t stop this.
I ran through the open blue sky, as if I was being targeted, and then… I recognized his figure.
I recognized him immediately, even from a distance, even though he was not in his usual uniform.
He was still standing there, more than two hours after the appointed time, waiting for me.
“Oh, so … wait, Takane Saki is here! I’ll call you later!”
As soon as Mashima-kun noticed me, it seemed he was on the phone with someone else, he put the phone away from his ear and rushed over to me.
During the time it took for Mashima-kun to utter his first words and for me to catch my breath, my mind was filled with various thoughts.
I’m sorry… I’m sorry…
I’m sorry, Mashima-kun… for inviting you out.
You’re angry… you don’t like me… of course…
I’m sorry that I ruined your day off… I’m sorry…
It’s all my fault… all my fault… really…
Anyway… I have to apologize.
“Are you okay!?”
He always acted so resolute, but as soon as he saw my face…
He looked at me and, before I could say a word of apology, he sounded terribly impatient.
“You’re sweating like crazy! You don’t even look good…! Wait a minute, let me get my handkerchief out! Can you walk alone? Can I get you a drink … or better yet, move somewhere where you can rest first?”
He started looking around for a place to rest.
Surprisingly, after waiting outside for over two hours in this heat, his reaction was neither angry nor dismayed….
He was seriously concerned for my well-being.
“You didn’t show up at the meeting place and suddenly I couldn’t reach you, so I was contacting everyone I could think of who knew you to see if you were in some kind of trouble…”
… How did I feel last night before I received a reply from Mashima-kun?
Did I upset him? Did I make him hate me?
Maybe I didn’t write a good message?
If this is the case, I should have never sent a message on MINE in the first place…?
I am a fool.
It’s all about me, isn’t it?
If he can’t get in touch with someone, he worries about them first…
In between the turbulent breaths, I force myself to say the apology in a screwed up way.
“Sorry? I don’t need an apology. You need a place to rest first.”
I repeated it even though Mashima-kun stopped me.
Really, I hate myself.
I don’t think I can be like him just by repeating the words of apology like a Buddhist prayer.
“I’m sorry-y …”
And with those words, my consciousness was suddenly interrupted.