📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.

It Seems That Takane, the Current Girlfriend, Definitely Doesn’t Want to Lose to the Ex-girlfriend Chapter 1

The Beginning of the Current Girlfriend, The Beginning of the Ex-Girlfriend


ACT 1: The Beginning of the Current Girlfriend, The Beginning of the Ex-Girlfriend

Leaving the library, we continued walking without stopping. The light pouring in through the windows had started to turn orange.

The sound of the chime had become inaudible at some point. Near the stairs, I realized I was still holding Takane-san’s hand as we heard the voices of students from below.

“Sorry…” I said, letting go of her hand.

Takane-san gently pulled her hand away and looked down.

“I should be the one apologizing,” she said in a strained whisper. “I spoke out of turn about the situation between Chida-kun and Asatani-san, without really knowing what was going on.”

She had declared Asatani-san my “ex-girlfriend.” Reflecting on it, it felt like a leap to say Takane-san was now competing…


Takane-san started to say something, then stopped. As she brushed back her hair, her ears, clearly red, became visible.

If she now felt embarrassed about claiming to be my “current girlfriend”…

She must have said that for my sake.

“…Takane-san, you couldn’t stand to see me being swayed by Asatani-san’s words, so you said you’re the ‘current girlfriend,’ right?”

“That’s… because Asatani-san said she was Chida-kun’s ‘ex-girlfriend.'”

“It’s true, so Asatani-san is free to say that. It doesn’t hurt me or anything.”

“No… I was worried about you, but I also said it because I wanted to.”

It wasn’t just about me; it was her issue too.

If we hadn’t met Asatani-san in the library, Takane-san wouldn’t have known about us. It wasn’t fear of being known. Things like being rejected or being in a relationship are not easily shared.

But deep down, I thought if it remained unknown, I wouldn’t have to show any pathetic side.

“…I think Asatani-san wanted to tell me that she had dated you,” Takane-san said.

Even if Takane-san was right, why would Asatani-san do that?

Did she have thoughts after seeing me and Takane-san commuting together? I couldn’t understand why Asatani-san, who had defended us from friends suggesting we were dating, would act this way.

Would talking over tea mean discussing recent events or reminiscing about middle school? Such topics, normal among friends, seemed unnatural now between Asatani-san and me.

Even now, after being rejected, I still support Asatani-san. If I were to express that, it would sound hollow.


Takane-san clenched the bottom of her blazer and finally looked me in the eye.

She was angry, her cheeks flushed, her eyes moist.

“It’s absolutely wrong to make someone who has already been rejected explain why,” she said. “I don’t know why Asatani-san called herself the ‘ex-girlfriend.’ But didn’t you talk about it because you cared about her…?”

She was angry for my sake.

I felt foolish. Pretending to be a clown, as if my sincere feelings for Asatani-san and our breakup without being like true lovers didn’t matter.

Takane-san saw through my deception.

I remember—she was serious when I talked about being rejected.

“Asatani-san and I didn’t really do anything you could call dating. But the fact remains. Maybe her calling herself an ‘ex-girlfriend’ was out of a sense of obligation.”

“That’s just… taking it too easy on yourself, Chida-kun. Even when Asatani-san sat next to you and talked to you afterward, she looked happy. I don’t think all of that was an act.”

I still react to every word from Asatani-san.

I don’t understand what she’s thinking. But I’m happy when she looks back at me, even whimsically—more like a fan than a friend.

“Asatani-san didn’t deny breaking up with you. But she didn’t affirm it either. She only asked how I’d feel if we had broken up… That’s unfair.”


It’s not about feeling resentful or angry. I’ll continue to support Asatani-san.

If my feelings were truly that simple, I wouldn’t be troubled.

Why does she interact more after breaking up, after saying we’re just friends?

If she’s willing to make detours together, maybe we didn’t need to break up.

Without confronting Asatani-san with these doubts, I just let them smolder inside.

“Aren’t you angry with Asatani-san, Chida-kun? Even now, about her…”

“Not everything I said earlier was bravado or a façade. Truly believing that making it plus-minus-zero is best, that’s my genuine thought. Even if it’s hard now, I think I need to forget.”

“That’s impossible… with Asatani-san in the same class, approaching with that closeness.”

“…But I can’t just go with the flow. If Asatani-san’s and my idea of ‘friends’ is different, I shouldn’t just let things slide.”

With Takane-san’s hand in mine, I led her away from the library.

I thought it wrong to retaliate, yet my actions were no different. I believed Takane-san would follow, thoughtlessly presumptuous.

“I was helped by Takane-san today, but I’ll make sure no rumors start about us.”


“That, well…”

Takane-san’s eyes were still red but now looked puzzled.

“Like, if what Takane-san said earlier somehow spreads in class, everyone might misunderstand…”

“I don’t think Asatani-san would spread rumors. I don’t want to doubt the person… Chida-kun liked.”

At the word “liked,” Takane-san hesitated, blushing again.

Then I realized.

All this time, I had been deadly serious, and Takane-san was even more so, earnest and dignified.

She had overlooked something significant.

“That, um, being my ‘current girlfriend’ means Takane-san likes me…”

“Li… Likes…?”

“Like, likes… as in, saying you’ll date me was just for my sake, and you don’t actually have those feelings…”


Her reaction was too clear. Takane-san hadn’t realized the implications of her words.

Of course—that’s too obvious, completely without room for misinterpretation. I was happy she cared, but it wasn’t the time to feel honored.

“It’s okay, I’ll make sure there’s no misunderstanding. So don’t worry…”

What was there not to worry about? Takane-san was already overwhelmed.

“Um… I…”

“Wait, I understand. Just calm down, I’ll handle this properly…”

“…I’m sorry…!”

With her long hair fluttering behind her, Takane-san ran off—the sound of her footsteps echoing as she hurried down the stairs.

Left alone, I found myself relieved in some way, yet at the same time, I couldn’t help but laugh.

I wish I could tell myself from thirty seconds ago not to get weird expectations, to stay calm, that it wasn’t something to be bashful about.

Takane-san was just expressing her gratitude. She felt that just a can of coffee wasn’t enough and, with her earnestness, ended up doing something more significant.

She helped me because I was being swayed by Asatani-san’s words. That wasn’t a lie; it was pure kindness.

But still, declaring herself the “current girlfriend” was a bit of a leap. For a while, I might not know how to face her, but that’s inevitable.

Takane-san is, quite literally, out of my league. I’m just the guy who sits behind her, nothing more.

“…Ha. What am I even thinking?”

I might be a bit special to her. But thinking that her words weren’t just for the moment is probably too convenient.

I just happened to help a troubled Takane-san. It’s unrelated to liking or disliking, or dating.

Telling myself this is probably because I’m somewhat shocked. I feel almost as if I’ve been rejected by Takane-san, even though I never confessed.

But then, I start remembering every interaction with Takane-san since we met.

“It’s self-indulgent to think it’s not strange to misunderstand…right?”

It’s absurd to get close to another girl right after being rejected and to expect something. I’ve come to realize that I don’t even have the right to think about love or anything like that.


“Okay. I’m about to leave… Sorry. Please pass my regards to Iida-sensei.”

I received a call from Manager Kohira-san outside the library, apologizing in a hushed voice.

I could still make it to the training school’s lesson if I left immediately. But I’d delayed it for my own reasons and got gently reprimanded.

Acting coach Iida-sensei had taken a liking to me, and he would surely worry if I missed a lesson. Despite wanting to show my face there, I found myself unable to move from the spot after parting with Nagi-kun and the others.

“…Ah, what am I doing?”

I didn’t mean to interrupt them. My real purpose was to meet Watanabe-san, and if the timing didn’t work out, I planned to try again tomorrow.

So, I went to the library knowing Nagi-kun and Takane-san were together. It wasn’t a mistake, and it’s understandable if they realized that.

I should have been more straightforward, but I ended up testing them. Seeing Nagi-kun’s face, not understanding what I was thinking, made me wish he wouldn’t look at me like that, yet part of me was okay with it. My mind was full of contradictions.

“I’m the one who said to tell me, and yet it’s so confusing…”

I hadn’t expected things to move so quickly.

Just as much, I thought it wouldn’t be strange if someone else noticed Nagi-kun’s good qualities.

Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to congratulate them, only managing to mutter in a voice drowned out by the chime.

—Why won’t you get angry at me?

If he had heard that, it might have ended everything.

Since we started dating, I did things that should have made Nagi-kun angry, but he always smiled and forgave me. I didn’t even think I had done anything to anger him.

Even when I said we were “just friends,” Nagi-kun wasn’t angry. He was hurt, and I insensitively sent messages, and yet…

Compared to me, Takane-san, who hasn’t spent much time with Nagi-kun, cares deeply for him.

She went as far as saying that to protect Nagi-kun—to declare war on me.

But I won’t compete.

Because I’m the “ex-girlfriend.” Just a friend doesn’t compete with the “current girlfriend.”

So, it’s okay if Nagi-kun thinks I’m incomprehensible.

“…I wonder if we can get along. It might be difficult.”

I promised to accompany Takane-san during tomorrow’s physical test.

I don’t dislike her. Since she gave her speech as the representative of the new students, I thought she was amazing, possessing qualities I lack.

But now, I can’t just admire Takane-san; my feelings are more complex.

I can’t believe that she’s really dating Nagi-kun. Nagi-kun was surprised, and even though he took her away from me, he left with her.

If that’s the case, they would have discussed it somewhere out of my sight and gone home separately.

From the hallway window, I looked out at the bicycle parking area.

—Nagi-kun is alone.

Just as I thought. It’s too sudden for him to start dating Takane-san right after breaking up with me.

I decided to watch until Nagi-kun rode away on his bike. I’m on the second floor, but he doesn’t realize I’m here…

“…Right… that’s what he’s doing…”

A tall girl with an amazingly good figure, Takane-san appeared around the corner of the building, heading towards Nagi-kun.

Even though she doesn’t commute by bike, and they had separated earlier, she came back. There are many possible reasons, but I could think of only one.

Her long hair, bathed in the orange light, seemed to shine. Like a scene from a movie.

Her usually straight, silky hair had a slight change today—how many noticed that? It was probably for Nagi-kun to see.

Nagi-kun noticed Takane-san’s arrival. They exchanged words.


I turned away from the window before seeing more.

The reflection of my face in the window was something I couldn’t show to others.


I wondered if I was seeing an illusion.

The rational part of me insisted that it couldn’t be real. Yet, in reality, my eyes were unmistakably capturing her presence.

I could hear the voices of students engrossed in their club activities. The baseball team was on the field, the tennis team on the courts. The drama club was practicing their lines, and the brass band was tuning their instruments.

Time was moving forward, and the person I was watching was undeniably real.

Still, it was hard to believe because she, nervously adjusting her collar, seemed like an unreal entity.


Even when I called her name, Takane-san kept her eyes downcast for a while.

She might have come back to return something she thought I’d dropped. There could be any number of reasons.

But it wasn’t that.

She came back after we had parted ways earlier, not wanting to end the day like that. Could I dare to think that?

It wasn’t about dating or not dating. Regardless, there were still many things we needed to talk about.

“Sorry for saying weird things earlier. I was genuinely happy with what Takane-san said. I got carried away… A guy who just got rejected, what was he thinking, right?”


It was better than continuing a relationship marred by the seriousness and awkwardness from before.

Takane-san said she was my “current girlfriend” because she couldn’t stand to see me swayed by “ex-girlfriend” Asatani-san’s words.

That wasn’t really about starting a relationship or…

“…I’m really sorry about earlier. It’s understandable if I caused a misunderstanding.”

“No, it’s okay. Takane-san said that for me, and the idea of her actually dating someone like me is like a dream.”

“…So, therefore… um…”

Takane-san struggled to convey something, trying to look at me but unable to meet my eyes.

Something was different.

A dream-like scenario. To date the school’s top genius and beauty, who turns heads wherever she goes – such a thing should be impossible for an ordinary guy like me.

But what if it wasn’t?

What Takane-san said to Asatani-san wasn’t just for the moment.

“Earlier… when Chida-kun asked me, I panicked…”

“Ah… was it rude of me to say it like that?”

“No, no…”

Both of us were fumbling for words, equally flustered.

Then Takane-san finally looked up, and our eyes met properly for the first time in a while.

Without thinking, both of us laughed. Takane-san’s face was so red, and I was aware my face was just as hot, which was amusing in itself.

“…But I’m glad. I thought I’d brooded too much and wouldn’t be able to talk to Takane-san for a while.”

“I thought so too… If I didn’t clear up the misunderstanding, things would have stayed awkward. So…”


Takane-san took a decisive step towards me.

We were close enough that no one would think anything of it, but it felt like she was stepping into a more intimate space – yet I couldn’t back away.

If I stepped back now, it would mean rejection.

I was happy that Takane-san had come to me. There was no doubt about it, but as the distance closed, it was hard to stay calm.

“…Until Chida-kun asked, I thought I’d figure out my feelings over time.”

“Feelings… you mean…”

“I barely know Chida-kun, and just met him, but I was scared of how I felt being known…”

If she said any more, there would be no room for misunderstanding.

“But if I could have another chance…”

Yet, she didn’t hesitate.

She took a deep breath, steadying herself.

“Please let me say it again. Nagi Chida-san…”

Her eyes, glistening and shy, she said with a blush.

“Please, will you go out with me?”

All the sounds around me seemed to stop.

I thought no one would ever like me, especially after being rejected by the first person I truly liked, just yesterday.

“…You don’t have to decide right away. May I try to make Chida-kun look my way from now on?”

“That’s… well…”

“I think Chida-kun still likes Asatani-san. I don’t have experience in love, but I can tell that much just by watching.”

If it’s that obvious, then I’m clinging to the past too much.

But even so, Takane-san confessed to me.

Her saying she wanted to date me wasn’t a lie; she was serious…

Yes, she seriously wants to be my “current girlfriend.”

(Wha… what???)

A wave of belated emotions overwhelmed me.

I wondered what Takane-san had just said. She certainly mentioned she would try hard to win me over.

I never thought I had the right to choose, to begin with.

After all, I ended things with Asatani-san without ever being seen as a boyfriend, so the question of choosing didn’t even arise.

She called us friends, and I accepted that. Asatani-san told me to let her know if I got a new girlfriend.

(Did that just become a reality? When we talked in the library just now?)

“I will be Chida-kun’s girlfriend from now on, so I am the ‘current girlfriend.'”

After Takane-san said that, Asatani-san seemed to say something, but her voice was too quiet to hear.

What she thought of me and Takane-san dating, she might have been expressing that. In any case, if Asatani-san took Takane-san’s words at face value…

I introduced her as my “new girlfriend” to Asatani-san.

“I don’t expect to be liked more than Asatani-san right away. There are many memories between Chida-kun and Asatani-san that I don’t know about…”

And whether I need to confirm how Asatani-san took it depends on my answer.

Takane-san, even in this moment, is undeniably beautiful to the point of being distracting. But if I’m honest, she looks a bit intense.


I couldn’t even tell her to calm down. There’s something called a “wall slam,” and even without a wall behind me, I felt as if it was happening—my instincts telling me I can’t make any rash moves.

“I don’t understand Asatani-san’s feelings. Why she could easily say ‘just friends’ after dating Chida-kun…”

“That’s… well, maybe because I’m not attractive enough to be a boyfriend…”

“If that were true, she wouldn’t have agreed to date you even once.”

A thought smoldering in the back of my mind, but unconsciously dismissed.

She knew my feelings from the beginning. Asatani-san used that as her response to my confession.

She didn’t want to date me, so it made sense for our relationship to shift from boyfriend to friend so quickly.

That’s just how I convinced myself. Clinging to a small hope, afraid of being called stubborn.

“At that time, I thought… even if we became lovers, it would cool off immediately after spring break ended. There must be a reason. Asatani-san seemed to avoid saying it.”

“…Maybe she thought it would hurt me. Or, she feared I might get angry.”

I spoke my thoughts aloud. But for Takane-san, that was not a simple compromise.

“If Asatani-san thought so, would she tell me that she’s the ‘ex-girlfriend’?”


“She must have needed courage to say that. But to leave the reason why we became ‘just friends’ ambiguous, while still looking at Chida-kun from the position of an ‘ex-girlfriend’ seems unfair to me.”

Being “just friends” is fine. As long as she doesn’t hate me.

When she said “ex-girlfriend,” I was glad that I wasn’t completely out of Asatani-san’s mind.

Is it a weakness of being in love? I idealized Asatani-san, and even after being rejected, that hasn’t changed.

“…Don’t you feel frustrated, Chida-kun?”


“I wish Asatani-san realized she shouldn’t have let you go so easily. Unless she does, she won’t tell you her true feelings.”

“…Why are you going this far, Takane-san? We’ve only just met.”

Takane-san was angrier about my situation than I was.

Despite knowing it was inappropriate to ask, I couldn’t help myself.

She softened the air, having been angry all this while, as if telling me it’s okay to be such a hopeless person.

“It’s not easy to say you want to date someone. It doesn’t matter if we’ve just met.”

“…Am I okay for you?”

“Yes, Chida-kun is.”

I almost asked the same question again. Is someone like me really okay?

Takane-san, who had been shyly looking down until a moment ago, was now staring straight at me. I realized that given the right trigger, she could be this strong.

“The fact that you helped me, not just that, but your vulnerability, your resilience to pain, your kindness… I respect all of it. I want to know more about you, the parts I don’t yet know.”

Everything she said made me blush, not just out of embarrassment, but also a bit of concern.

What do I think? I barely know Takane-san.

After being rejected by Asatani-san, I thought there would never come a day when I could date someone else.

Beyond such rational considerations, what do I want to do now?

“If Takane-san and I date… and that makes Asatani-san’s heart move. If she ever tells the truth. Even then, I want to try to be the one Takane-san chooses… so, therefore…”

“…Thank you, Takane-san.”

“…Which meaning is that…?”

She looked anxious about what I meant by my thanks.

Of course, it’s in a good way. It’s just too embarrassing to say it out loud.

“For everything Takane-san has done. For saying you want to date me. But I’ve never been confessed to, so I don’t know what to do.”

“…We’ll figure it out together. It’s my first time, too.”

She smiled reassuringly, seeming a bit different from before.

It wasn’t a clear declaration. Still, I sensed that something had begun at this moment.

“So, as a memory of starting to date… is that okay?”

“Uh… oh, right…”

Her suggestive words made me catch on, and I took out my smartphone.

Just by bringing the smartphones close, our contact information was exchanged. Takane-san traced her finger over her screen, then smiled at me.

Ah, what an angel—such a thought almost made me giddy. But then Takane-san received a message and looked apologetic.

“Sorry, at a time like this… I have lessons today, so I need to go home.”

“Right, you should hurry… If only two on a bike was okay, I could get you to the station quickly.”

“…Um. I know it’s a lot to ask and I’m relying on Chida-kun too much, but…”

Takane-san hesitantly showed me her phone screen.

It displayed a call history from “Tennis Club Member,” with several incoming calls. This must be them trying to recruit Takane-san for the club again after school.

“…I gave my number to a senior girl, but I didn’t expect it to turn out like this.”

The initial impression of her as an academically excellent, impervious beauty slowly changed as I spent more time with her.

Her honesty, even when it led to troublesome situations, made me instinctively want to protect and support her. A desire borne out of pure feelings.

“Then, shall we head to the station again today?”

“Ah… Yes, thank you, Chida-kun… no, Nagito-san.”

For some reason, she adds ‘san’ when using my first name. As I ponder this, the realization that we’ve started dating makes me involuntarily smile.

“Sorry, I’m still not used to calling you, Nozomi-san…”

“I’m also not ready yet. I would be happy if we could change how we address each other after understanding each other a bit more.”

My attempt to call her by her first name failed, but her positive suggestion was a small victory.

When other students are around, Takane-san continues to call me as usual. It’s something we should probably be conscious of, but both of us being new to this, it’s an honest oversight.



When she speaks to me in a low voice, using my name, it honestly makes my heart skip a beat. I have no idea when I’ll get used to this.

“Nagi-kun… feels closer, right? I absolutely don’t want to lose.”

“No, Takane-san has her own unique way of calling me…”

“Nagi-san… no, Nagi-sama. This feels wrong. Perhaps Nagito-san is better.”

“Being addressed with ‘san’ is a bit embarrassing… but then, I do the same.”

“Yes… I’ll also be ready to be called by my first name.”

We seriously discuss such matters. I wonder how we appear to others.

Lost in these thoughts, we walk past the tennis club seniors near the school gate.

I sense the seniors are surprised by our interaction, but I’m ready to be Takane-san’s shield against any unwanted recruitment efforts.

“That’s typical of you, Nagito-san.”

“Sorry, maybe I should’ve at least greeted them to avoid causing a stir.”

“Not in that sense. But I think we’ve already caused quite a stir.”

Despite saying this, Takane-san looks genuinely happy, and I can’t help but be captivated by her profile.

What shall we talk about on the way to the station? It seems she’s pondering the same, and the atmosphere feels comfortably right.


The scenery looks different than usual, and I’m keenly aware of the glances from passersby.

Trying to get used to these changes feels like walking on clouds, unsettling. Since Takane-san’s confession, reality feels distant, like watching a youth movie—I’m worried about my own mental state.

Having accepted her confession, I wonder if there’s anything I should be more conscious of. But even a slight brush of our clothes makes me consciously maintain a respectful distance.

“Yesterday, when I followed behind you, Nagito-san, I thought you were very dependable.”

“Oh, it was crowded, but I guess it’s always like that at that time?”

“It seems so. I’m usually fine alone, but yesterday was a bit…”

“Yesterday was tough. From now on, let me know if you’re in trouble.”

“Thank you… I appreciate the thought.”

I almost comment on her overly formal language but manage to restrain myself.

The tension seemed mutual since we left the school gate.

Takane-san walks straight ahead, occasionally glancing at me, but quickly looks away when she realizes I’m watching. It seems my guess about her feelings is more than just a guess.

“Takane-san, do you have plans after school tomorrow?”

“Yes, I have to go home early today, but tomorrow should be fine.”

“Is it okay to make a detour after school? Like, is it against your family rules or anything?”

“A detour… should be fine. I think wherever you choose to go will be wholesome.”

“I see… How about a cafe? If you’re worried about being in uniform, we can do it on a day off.”

“Our school rules don’t prohibit stopping by such places.”

Her definitive answer implies she knows all the school rules by heart—more than even most teachers.

“Do you like coffee, Nagito-san?”

“Yeah, I finished the coffee I got yesterday before we left the station.”

“Amazing… Are you okay drinking so much at once?”

“I’ve built up a tolerance. Even if I drink coffee before bed, I can sleep fine. It’s a double-edged sword when studying.”

“That might make your sleep lighter. You should be careful. And if you need a wake-up call for studying… I can be there for you.”


Takane-san takes out her smartphone, showing me a dignified, yet modest “smug face.”

“I can call you at set intervals during your study time.”

“No, that’s too much… but, well…”


She looks worried, perhaps thinking my next words are negative.

“It’s too early for calls, right? Late-night calls might be a nuisance to your family…”

“No, that’s not it. I was just thinking it’s a bit embarrassing to say…”


Her reactions to my words fluctuate between joy and panic.

“How embarrassing is it? Is it… related to us dating…?”

“Well, yeah… I heard some couples talk on SNS until they fall asleep.”

I almost say ‘couples’ but choose a different expression. We’re both tense, so every word matters.

“Phone calls… I never thought about keeping the line open. It’s an interesting idea.”

“It’s just an idea. Could be nice for sleepless nights.”

“Wouldn’t that make you more tense and unable to sleep?”

“That was a blind spot… But I think Takane-san’s voice is reassuring, and it feels like I could sleep well listening to it… No, what am I even saying?”

Despite trying to stay grounded, I inadvertently blurt out something flippant. I really mean it, but I should be more reserved.

It’s too soon after being rejected by Asatani-san – it’s understandable if someone thinks that, but I genuinely enjoy talking with Takane-san and can’t lie about my feelings.

“My voice is kind of hoarse, I think… Nagito-san, are you just being considerate?”

“Hoarse? More like, I find it memorable and soothing. I’ve thought so since your speech at the entrance ceremony.”

Takane-san says nothing in response – it’s common to hear that our own voice sounds different to us than to others.

“Ah, Takane-san, the light…!”


I hadn’t noticed the pedestrian crossing signal turning red, and Takane-san nearly walks into traffic. I manage to stop her just in time, supporting my bike with one hand and hastily grabbing her with the other.

“I’m sorry, I just…”

“No, I’m fine… but, that…”


In stopping Takane-san, I end up catching her from behind – an old lady crossing from the other side gives us a warm, amused look.

Takane-san, having almost lost her balance, stands firmly but turns her back to me.

“Sorry for pulling you so suddenly.”

Takane-san remains silent, fixing her slightly disheveled hair and then timidly looking back at me.

“I’m sorry… I was just spacing out.”

“I should be the one apologizing, for bringing up the voice thing and going back to the entrance ceremony… It must be surprising to hear that all of a sudden.”

“Yes. I was surprised.”

Takane-san looks at the signal and gestures for me to cross.

I follow her, quickening my pace to keep up. When I catch up and walk beside her, she takes a deep breath and looks at me.

“Actually, I’ve never been confident about my voice… I didn’t like it. But I wish I could tell myself from that day that you thought so.”

“Uh, well, I mean…”

I’m too embarrassed to find the right words.

Is this what a boyfriend-girlfriend conversation is like? With Asatani-san, it never even reached this atmosphere – it was always just a “friend” distance.

When admiration is too great, even when you get close, the distance never seems to shorten.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but that thought crosses my mind.

“I like your voice, Takane-san, and I’d like to hear it over the phone too.”

“Um, but, maybe not too much of that…”

“Sorry, I might be saying too much in public.”

Takane-san touches her hair, a gesture I recognize as her being embarrassed, even for someone as unobservant as me.

“Just… don’t say too much at once, it overwhelms me. Go easy on me at first.”

“Right, okay… Good, you’re not mad then.”

“I wouldn’t get mad. I’d only be upset if you were holding back or hurting yourself for my sake.”

“I guess I’m no match for Takane-san.”

It’s not about pushing myself. Even if talking to Asatani-san hurts, I should accept it.

But I need to change that, to not worry Takane-san, and to not let Asatani-san think I’m still hung up on her.

“From now on, please talk to me without holding back. I want to know more about you, Nagito-san.”

“Thank you.”

I want to know more about Takane-san too, but I didn’t say it out loud.

I don’t want to embarrass her with my words; I want to make her laugh and enjoy our conversations.

As we walk, we approach the station square. The area gets busier here, so this is where we part.

“Thank you for today.”

“It was my pleasure. And, um, about various things…”

“Yes… various things…”

I did it again – I need to learn to stay calm and collected in these moments.

But I seriously worry if Takane-san will remember all the “various” things we talked about.


She calls my name, and I look at her.

How kind she looks, I think.

I’m probably being too cautious about myself, and I’m sure it shows.

“Can I have a bit of your time tonight?”

“Tonight… you mean…”

“Over the phone or SNS… I wanted to make a promise now.”

It’s okay if she calls me anytime or messages me on SNS.

But the desire to make a promise might be because she feels the same way as I do.

“If we don’t make a promise, it might not happen by tomorrow. It’s not out of obligation, but I want to talk to you… that’s why.”

“I’m pretty nervous too, so my voice might sound weird over the phone. So, should I call you around nine?”

“Yes, I should be in my room after my bath… I mean, at that time.”

I mentally note Takane-san’s bath time – no, just that it’s safe to call after nine.

“Then… see you tomorrow, Takane-san.”

“Yes… see you…”

“Takane-san, what time do you usually arrive in the morning?”

This time, it seems I anticipated what Takane-san wanted to ask – she looks a bit surprised.

And then she smiles. Seeing her smile makes me glad I asked.

“I try to arrive thirty minutes before the start of school. You’re usually early too, Nagito-san.”

“I see… Thanks for telling me.”

Takane-san must see through what I’m thinking – but she kindly doesn’t say anything.

“Then, see you tomorrow… no, later tonight.”

“I’m looking forward to it. See you later, Takane-san.”

Takane-san seemed a bit reluctant to leave, started to say something, but instead, she just waved her hand lightly and walked toward the station.

Her departing figure, set against the evening landscape, was picturesque, almost too much so, and I found myself wanting to keep watching until she was out of sight.

Would she turn back one more time?

I shouldn’t expect it, unnecessary as it was. I too needed to turn back and start heading home—.

That’s when it happened.

Takane-san stepped aside from the crowd—careful not to obstruct the flow of people coming from the station, as I could tell from watching.

Then, she looked back towards me. Even though there was a distance between us and our eyes met, she just looked at me intently.


With her hand near her mouth, Takane-san said something towards me.

Even though I couldn’t hear it, I somehow felt it was conveyed. Surely, it was something that would make me happy.

We waved at each other, and then Takane-san entered the station. I got on my bicycle and rode along the edge of the roadway.

At a traffic signal, I realized I had received two messages.

One was from my sister Ryuuryuu, asking me to buy some forgotten ingredients for dinner.

The other was from Takane-san, and it read:

“I was happy to see you when I looked back. I’ll call you later.”

Really, she’s more than I deserve—But I can’t keep hesitating forever.

Whether to keep it a secret or not is something we have to discuss, but even if someone finds out, I want to be able to proudly say that Takane-san is my girlfriend.


Ryuuryuu, using the ingredients I bought, was finishing up the cooking. It turned out we were missing butter for the omelet rice.

“Here, Ryuuryuu’s special fluffy and restaurant-style omelet rice! Ta-da!”

“Wow… It looks just like it’s from a restaurant. Great job, Ryuuryuu.”

“Hope it tastes as good as it looks. Nack-kun, you’re good at cooking too, so I’m worried about your judgment. Here, have a taste.”

“I’m no match for Ryuuryuu, but… yeah, delicious. It tastes like it’s from a restaurant.”

“This is the moment Ryuuryuu decides her future path is to open a small restaurant with Nack-kun.”

“Can we survive on omelet rice alone…? I like other dishes too.”

“Saying ‘like’ when you actually love them. Oh, but if you make up with Kirichan, maybe you’ll drift away from your sister?”


I choked on my words. Even if Ryuuryuu was hoping I would get back together with Asatani-san, I had to tell her that it didn’t happen.

“Ah… So, it’s not going that smoothly? Did I say something unnecessary?”

“No, it’s not that. I appreciate your concern.”

“You understand? I know we should be polite even among family, but I can’t help but worry… They say to let a dear child travel, but I just can’t let go.”

“I was rejected by Asatani-san. I wasn’t really a good boyfriend… Maybe that’s why, I’m not sure, but I think so.”

“Ah, Kirichan being a busy actress and idol, maybe her agency had some policies or something.”

I hadn’t thought about that until Ryuuryuu mentioned it—rules like no dating or not dating ordinary people.

“But she agreed to date me once… That’s what I, as a sister, can’t quite accept. Maybe Kirichan didn’t tell you everything?”

“If Asatani-san decided not to talk about it, I can’t ask her to. And now, I…”

“Is that so? Nack-kun, you seemed really cheerful when you came home.”


A sister’s intuition is frightening. I realized this for the umpteenth time in my life.

“Is it something with Takane-san from your class? I have a feeling. I won’t pry if Nack-kun decides to tell me.”

Ryuuryuu’s soft pressure… If I dodged it here, she might burst into my room while I’m on the phone with Takane-san.

Instead of always showing interest in your brother’s love life, how about worrying about your own, dear sister? I swallowed those words and, while being fed fluffy omelet rice by Ryuuryuu, I thought about how to explain the situation without being too embarrassed.


How Takane-san and I ended up in the same cleaning group, and how Asatani-san came to the library while we were cleaning.

Takane-san said she wanted to date me, but I thought she was just considering my feelings and said something not entirely true.

My thoughts were merely speculations.

Ryuuryuu listened intently, not while eating, but by looking straight into my eyes. At first, she seemed amused, but her expression gradually turned into one that made it awkward to face her.

“It’s unsettling when you look at me like that…”

“No, it’s just… I never imagined my little brother would be experiencing such youth. Not until recently.”

“Youth… You’re not that different, Ryuuryuu.”

“Say that to a girl attending an all-girls school? Well, everyone seems to go to mixers, but I don’t. I’d rather talk to you than go to karaoke with strangers and act like a different person.”

She joked like that, but Ryuuryuu could blend into any crowd. When her friends came over once, I was surprised by her popularity and thought, ‘That’s my amazing sister’—though I never said it to her face.

“Don’t sing too much in the shower.”

“The acoustics in the bathroom make the voice sound nice, and it’s relaxing. Nack-kun, you should try singing sometimes. Maybe Kirichan’s drama theme song?”

“Uh… Cough, cough.”

“Ah… sorry, that was mean of me, even as a joke.”

I was about to say she didn’t need to stand up, but Ryuuryuu came behind me and rubbed my back.

It reminded me of the time I caught a cold when I was younger. Ryuuryuu had insisted on taking care of me, even though mom said she might catch it too. That was back in elementary school.

I remember when I first started dating Asatani-san, Ryuuryuu noticed the slightest change in me and made me confess everything. She had supported me, and now, just a month later, so much has changed. Normally, one would think there’s something wrong with me.

“…It’d be good if you and Kirichan don’t get awkward, since you’re still in the same class.”

After massaging my shoulders, Ryuuryuu patted my back and returned to her seat.

“It’d be great if Kirichan and Takane-san could be friends, huh? Oh, maybe this is something girls sort out among themselves.”

“That’s… terrifying. No, not terrifying, but…”

Ryuuryuu looked at me, grinning again. It seems her default mode is to tease me for fun.

“What will you do if Kirichan and Takane-san become close friends?”

“What do you mean? If they get along, that’s fine, I guess. But for now…”

“Like a ticking time bomb? Ahh, I wish I could be there to see it. Want me to come and observe your class?”

“Please don’t, it’ll start rumors of you being a siscon.”

I knew she wouldn’t actually come, but I chose my words to keep her at bay. However, Ryuuryuu seemed unfazed, as usual.

“Someday, I’d like to greet Takane-san too. I couldn’t say ‘please take care of my brother’ to Kirichan.”

“Are you just finding this amusing?”

“No, not at all.”

I decided to be cautious when making phone calls, just in case Ryuuryuu was listening outside my room. She was probably just joking, but I hoped she wouldn’t actually eavesdrop.


8:55 PM – I had finished my bath and homework, not feeling like starting a new manga or novel, and checked my SNS. There was a message from Takadera.

“Arin’s drama is on at nine, right? I heard today’s episode is crucial, maybe even a kiss scene? I’m too nervous to watch; can you watch it for me?”

I thought to myself how surprisingly timid he was, though I wasn’t one to talk – just seeing the words ‘kiss scene’ made my heart squeeze.

As an actress, it wouldn’t be strange for Asatani-san to have such scenes. Though she wasn’t the main star, her role seemed to adore the leading actor like a brother.

I couldn’t say anything about Takadera’s request. The drama was recorded, but I wasn’t sure if I could watch it calmly.

I thought about canceling the weekly recording, but that seemed wrong just because I was rejected.

I should be able to watch Asatani-san on TV and stay calm – or is that just me being stubborn?

Ogishima messaged me later about playing games online, so I promised to log in if I could. Ogishima streams his gameplay and is quite the gamer, but there’s one game I can keep up with him.

While replying, it became 8:58 PM. Just looking at the clock made me nervous – when was the last time I felt like this?

As it turned to 8:59 PM, I began to count down the seconds in my head, berating myself for being too eager, and closed my eyes to calm down.

I felt silly for being so anxious, my thoughts a whirlwind of what to talk about and whether Takane-san might be busy. And then…

It’s 9:00 PM. I hesitated for a second, two seconds, wondering if calling right away would be a bother. I decided to wait five, no, ten seconds before finally tapping the call button in the messaging app.

The first ring. The second, the third – maybe she couldn’t answer, should I call back later? Just as I thought this, she answered.

“Hello, is this Nagito?”


We connected. She was there, not a ‘she was there’ in a bad way.

“Nagito-san… is that you?”

“Yeah, it’s me… Nagito. You’re Takane-san, right?”

“Yes, your voice sounds different on the phone.”

Takane-san mentioned the difference, but her voice also… it felt like a whisper in my ear, though I couldn’t say that without possibly startling her.

“Uh… I called right after nine, is it okay?”

“Yes, I was ready to answer anytime. Have you finished your studies?”

“I finished everything. What about you?”

“I haven’t done much… I was thinking of doing it after our call.”

“So, it didn’t get done because you were waiting for my call…” I thought, not wanting to sound self-absorbed.

“If there’s something you don’t understand, maybe we can help each other out from now on.”

“Yes… but is it okay? You’ve already finished.”

“Since I’ve finished, I can help. And if I’m not done next time, maybe you can help me.”

“Cough. That makes me more motivated. This will add excitement to studying.”

It’s reassuring to think Takane-san, the top student, might help me. But I need to keep up my studies and not rely solely on her.

“I was worried about keeping up in high school, but so far, it seems manageable.”

“Yes, for now. I’ve been trying a new way of organizing notes in high school, experimenting a bit. It’s convenient to take notes on a tablet…”

“You have a tablet? I have one too, but I only really use it for e-books.”

“It’s useful for displaying sheet music. I can rewrite as many times as needed, unlike on paper.”

“I see, that’s a good use… What kind of piano pieces do you play?”

As I asked, Takane-san paused as if thinking, and then…

“Um, if it’s okay with you, Nagito-san, I could play something I recorded.”

“Really? That’s great… let me just get comfortable.”

“Giggle… Please relax and listen, it’s a soothing piece. Just give me a moment.”

I sensed Takane-san placing her phone down. Then, the sound of a piano reached me.

A classic piece I felt I had heard somewhere before.

It started quietly, like a whisper, a gentle melody.

“This piece is…”

“Moonlight Sonata. You might recognize it, it’s famous.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard it somewhere. But this is my first time hearing it like this… I’m at a loss for words, it’s amazing…”

“…I’m glad.”

Takane-san sounded relieved, letting me listen to the piano for a while. Gradually, she lowered the volume as if wanting to continue our conversation.

“What kind of music do you usually listen to?”

“Me? I listen to anything. Just songs that catch my ear on TV or radio.”

“I don’t watch much TV, so I’m not familiar with popular songs… I’d like to hear your favorite music.”

“I can lend you a CD then. I hope you find something you like.”

“Really? I’d love that… But I’m worried about bringing it to school, considering the bag checks.”

There was a random bag check once since we started school, so it might be best to avoid exchanging things there.

“Then maybe we should meet somewhere outside on a day off to exchange it.”

“Um, Nagito-san, that’s… um…”

“Hm? Is there a better way…?”

I was about to speak when I realized something.

(Planning to meet on a day off, outdoors… What am I saying so casually? We’re dating!)

If Takane-san and I spend a day off together, there’s no doubt it’s a date.

But even after starting to date, it’s not like lending a CD would be the end of it. I can’t think of anything boyfriend-like to do. I don’t want Takane-san to lose interest in me because I’m the same person who got dumped for not doing any of these things.

“Sorry, I mean… it’s like I’m asking for a date, isn’t it?”

“T-that’s okay, I was thinking… maybe it’s fine…”

Her voice, though hesitant, doesn’t sound averse.

In this situation, as her boyfriend, should I be more forward in asking her out, or is it too soon?

(Maybe it’s not a big deal if it’s just exchanging CDs… but even a small chance to spend time together should be cherished as a date…)

My thoughts race, and I feel my temperature rising. I was trying to keep calm, but the suppressed tension erupts.

I’m not at all used to talking with girls, despite once having a girlfriend.


“Ah, tomorrow? It’s a school day…”

“No, I mean… how do people… go on dates? I was thinking of asking.”

“Oh… um, it’s okay. I haven’t really been on what you’d call a ‘date’… I didn’t do that sort of thing with Asatani-san.”

Mentioning my “ex-girlfriend” at this moment feels out of place, and I know it makes me look bad.

But I didn’t want to be insincere. If I start hiding things now, I might end up hiding important things even when we’re together.

“…If I can meet Takane-san on a day off, I want more than just to hand over a CD… I want to spend time together.”

“So, with Asatani-san, it wasn’t a date, but you did spend time together…?”

“Yeah. The Reading and Astronomy Clubs had joint activities. Even if we saw each other on days off, there were always others around.”

“I see…”

I never intended to talk much about Asatani-san to Takane-san. I thought it might upset her.


It seems my assumption wasn’t entirely wrong—on the other end of the phone, Takane-san is deep in thought.

“Sorry, bringing up Asatani-san was…”

“No, I want to hear about it.”


“I’d like to know what it was like when you were dating Asatani-san. Only if you’re comfortable telling me.”

I thought I shouldn’t, and probably couldn’t, talk about memories with my “ex-girlfriend” to Takane-san.

To be honest with her, I needed to forget what happened between Asatani-san and me. But if Takane-san herself wants to know…

“I’ll tell you when I’m ready to talk about it. I’ll be waiting.”

“Do you mind that I talk about Asatani-san…?”

“To be honest, I might be a bit concerned… But more than that, I want to understand the person you liked. Right now, I’m not on good terms with Asatani-san… but she once liked you. I don’t think you were completely incompatible.”

Takane-san often surprises me with her perspectives.

I thought she and Asatani-san might never get along, but Takane-san herself refutes that.

“Asatani-san is sociable and glamorous, a very different type from me. But since you liked her, there must be some wonderful aspects I don’t know yet. Knowing them, I want to strive not to be outdone.”

“You’re amazing, Takane-san.”

“Ah… I don’t mean I want to become a celebrity or anything… I know I can’t match Asatani-san in that respect, but I want to be someone you can recognize in my own way.”

Her flawless nature makes her wish to be recognized by me seem almost needless.

That’s why I need to express myself properly. Whether over the phone or in person, I want my feelings to be understood.

“Sorry for talking so much.”

“No, I’m glad you did. Maybe I should work hard on tomorrow’s physical test to impress you.”

“Yes, I’ll do my best too… yawn… sorry.”

Takane-san sounds sleepy. We’ve been talking for a while now.

The recorded piano music in the background has changed to a different piece, one I recognize.

“This is Gymnopédie, right?”

“Yes, my family wanted me to record it to play in the study.”

“It’s a comforting piece to listen to. Are you getting sleepy, Takane-san?”

“I’m okay. I still have to study…”

“How about we study together over the phone? I’ll stay up with you.”

“No, that would take your time…”

“I want to keep talking for a bit longer. Is that okay?”

I must be getting too comfortable with Takane-san.

“I’ll take you up on that offer then.”

Takane-san speaks with a shy voice, starting to prepare for studying while on the call. Then, suddenly…

An icon flashes on the screen, and my finger accidentally touches it. The smartphone screen switches.

(Video call… Did Takane-san press it by mistake?)

Worried my face would show up on the screen, I look at it and…

Takane-san is on the call, holding the phone to her chest. She’s wearing a camisole-type room wear with a gown over it, unfastened. Unintentionally pointing the camera in a compromising position, I quickly flip the phone over before seeing too much.

“Takane-san, the video call got connected…”

“Ah! Sorry, I must have pressed the button by accident…”

Should I mention that I saw a bit, or should I not? If I want to be honest, I should say it and apologize with my face showing.

Flipping the phone back, my face appears on the screen, and Takane-san can see me.

“Seeing your face like this makes me feel at ease. My face showing is a bit embarrassing.”

“Uh… k…”


My face isn’t what’s the issue – I saw more than that. And Takane-san’s shy gestures are almost too much…

“Ah… is your face red? Sorry, I just got out of the bath… I must look a mess.”

“No, not at all… y-your pajamas are cute.”

“…Um, is that so? Nagito-san, you’re wearing a parka, right? I think it’s cute.”

“In my case, I don’t think ‘cute’ is the word.”

“That’s not true, it’s a cute color.”

Somehow, the atmosphere was pleasant──in such a moment, I shouldn’t say anything to embarrass Takane-san intentionally.

Regrettably, the video call ended. After that, I occasionally answered Takane-san’s questions, referring to my notes.

Before the call, I was preoccupied with speaking well. But as the clock neared half-past ten, time seemed to fly by, and I reluctantly thought it was time to hang up.

“Thank you for today. May I call you next time?”

“Yeah, anytime. Good night, Takane-san.”

“Yes. Good night, Nagito-san.”

Even after hanging up, the exhilaration didn’t seem to fade. The lingering sound of the piano was comforting──I couldn’t help but want to hear more of Takane-san’s piano.


Curious, I opened the door to peek outside and, as expected, saw my sister RyuRyu sitting against the wall.

“How long have you been there…? Depending on your answer, I might have to interrogate you.”

“I’ll exercise my right to remain silent… Ah, but don’t get mad for real, I’ll bake you some sweets next time.”


I wanted to say that such tactics won’t work on me, but RyuRyu is skilled at baking, and after years of being her brother, I’m completely conditioned. I’m just like Pavlov’s dog.

“I’d love to hear Takane-san’s piano too. I can play Gymnopédies, you know? Maybe we’ll play a duet someday.”

I couldn’t muster the energy to ask when she started listening. I had to admit, I was getting carried away.

After pushing my sister back into her room and returning, I took a moment to breathe.

Tomorrow’s physical test would pair Takane-san and Asatani-san together. They’ll inevitably have more opportunities to talk.

It’s not good to worry excessively, but I can’t help it. My current girlfriend and my ex-girlfriend, in the same group—the tension. I know I shouldn’t be nervous.

If what Takane-san said is true, can they really get along?

I remembered the last time I saw Asatani-san in the library. Then, I suddenly checked the email from Takatera.

“Chida, there was no kiss scene! Noarin is still our Noarin, phew! Now I can sleep soundly!”

Feeling relieved by such a message doesn’t mean I still have feelings for Asatani-san.

Someday, if she continues acting… I almost let myself imagine that and shook my head.

I need to see her more purely, just as one of the many viewers watching her on TV.

At nine in the evening, I received a call from Nagito-san.

As the appointed time approached, I tried to act natural, but I couldn’t help feeling nervous, unable to focus on studying, and kept staring at the smartphone on my desk.

If he knew how eagerly I was waiting. If my voice over the phone sounded different than usual.

My heart raced uncontrollably, almost to the point of hyperventilating──finally, it was 8:55 PM, and each second felt unbearably long.

I hadn’t expected my mind to be so full. Being able to talk to Nagito-san, being with him, and more importantly…

“From now on, I’m the one dating Chida-kun, so I’m the ‘current girlfriend.'”

At that time, Asatani-san’s words seemed to corner him, and I just wanted to help.

──But it wasn’t just that. I wanted to say something back to Asatani-san myself.

It was evident that Nagito-san held Asatani-san in high regard. Still, I couldn’t accept her wanting to talk with him or saying it’s fine for her to be there.

Asatani-san, Nagito-san’s “ex-girlfriend,” wasn’t kind to him.

I wouldn’t make Nagito-san wear such a pained expression.

But if Nagito-san knew I felt this way…

“…You’d be surprised, right? We’ve only just met.”

I knew about Nagito-san before entering high school. However, it was such a trivial incident he might not remember.

The time Asatani-san had spent with him since middle school, being in a relationship, was something I couldn’t compare to.

I thought I couldn’t compete with Asatani-san because I met him too late. If it weren’t for the incident in the library, that’s probably what I would have believed.

After occasionally talking with Nagito-san for a year, our grades would change, and we’d have even fewer chances to interact.

I was ready to graduate, cherishing the memory of him helping me once.

That’s what I had resigned myself to, but that part of me had vanished.

“Please, go out with me.”

I want to protect Nagito-san. It might be seen as “clingy,” and I can’t confidently say I can protect him when he’s mostly been protecting me.

But still, I want to be by his side. I mustered the courage to convey that, and now, I’m his “girlfriend.”

It still feels like a dream. Maybe the call will come, and we’ll still be just acquaintances, ending the conversation formally. The more I think about it, the more anxious I get, yet I can’t wait──and can’t focus on anything.

I buried my face in my arms on the desk, waiting for nine o’clock to come. Just a little longer, a little more──and then.

My smartphone vibrated. Seeing “Chida Nagito” on the screen, my throat tightened. I took a deep breath and tapped the call button.

I wondered what to say first, almost getting lost in thought, but then I prioritized answering quickly.

“Hello, is this Nagito-san?”

“Ah… Yes, it’s me… Nagito. It’s okay to call you Takane-san, right?”

Nagito-san’s formal tone when introducing himself was endearing.

Knowing he was just as nervous as I was eased my heart. Until now, my heartbeat felt foreign, too fast.

Talking about trivial things made me incredibly happy. When the topic of studying together came up, I imagined that moment.

Nagito-san probably still sees me as a “model student.” I worried he might be disappointed if I said I couldn’t focus on my studies, but he was very kind.

He listened to my piano and agreed to lend me his CD.

If he’s going to give me the CD on a day off, I want to spend that time together. I was thrilled but had to ask.

“What would you like to do if we went on a date?”

My question was a bit stiff, but I was too nervous to phrase it differently.

“Ah… Well, I haven’t really been on a proper date… I didn’t do that with Asatani-san.”

His answer surprised me.

I thought dating involved going on dates, or that you could say you were dating because you went on dates. I had always thought that way.

“So, you’re still Nagi-kun’s ex-girlfriend, right?”

Even seeing Nagito-san and Asatani-san together, I hadn’t imagined it. I thought it was just a close friendship from the same middle school, nothing more.

It was as if I was being reminded of my own childishness──seeing Asatani-san so composed, I felt provoked.

Her use of “for now” must have hurt Nagito-san. But as just a classmate, I had no right to intervene in their affairs.

──If they shared a deep bond as lovers and separated against their will, my claiming to be the “current girlfriend” and staying by his side would only trouble Nagito-san.

This anxiety lingered in my heart until the phone call, and even as we started talking.

(The two of them never dated. But there were other times they spent together, and that’s why Nagito-san came to like Asatani-san. Is that it…?)

Nagito-san was in the reading club, and Asatani-san in the astronomy club. Their clubs interacted, and that’s how they got to know each other.

How would I react if he talked about his “ex-girlfriend” Asatani-san? Nagito-san was considerate enough to worry about that, but still, I wanted to hear more.

“What was it like when you and Asatani-san were dating? If you’re okay with it, I’d like to know.”

It might be too soon to ask, and it could trouble him. Asking might even amplify his feelings for Asatani-san over what they are now.

But more than those fears, I wanted to know why he liked Asatani-san and why they broke up.

“…Takane-san, you’re amazing.”

My fears of imposing my feelings without considering Nagito-san’s were swept away with his words.

The piano piece I was streaming switched to Gymnopédie. It was a favorite of my parents, recorded for use as home BGM from my elementary school days──listening to it always brings back nostalgic memories.

However, its relaxed D-major melody gradually brings a sense of drowsiness.

I was able to convey my thoughts to Nagito-san, and he accepted them, which brought a sense of relief. Even in the middle of our call, I started to feel sleepy, which he seemed to notice.

“Then, let’s study while we’re on the phone so we don’t fall asleep. I’ll stay up too.”

Such a suggestion was something I couldn’t have made myself, but Nagito-san did.

I started working on the study tasks I hadn’t finished yet, but then──the camera on my smartphone accidentally activated.

“Ta, Takane-san. The video call connected──”

Hearing Nagito-san’s voice, I realized what had happened. The camera was facing me, but thankfully, it hadn’t shown anything embarrassing──or at least I hoped not, as the thought was mortifying.

He thoughtfully showed his face on the camera, making it seem like we were even. Seeing his face made me involuntarily smile.

“…Seeing your face, Nagito-san, makes me feel reassured. But it’s embarrassing that you can see mine.”



I couldn’t clearly hear what Nagito-san said and instinctively asked again. But I somewhat understood and suddenly felt shy.

He might have realized I had just gotten out of the bath. The thought that I had prepared so thoroughly before the call──even if I trust Nagito-san wouldn’t think that way, it’s still embarrassing, making me say things I normally wouldn’t.

“Cute pajamas.”

“…Um, do you think so? You’re wearing a parka, Nagito-san, I think it’s cute.”

Gradually, we became more comfortable talking.

The conversation was about trivial things, but it felt like we were really behaving like a couple.

But I couldn’t let my words to Nagito-san become a lie, so I had to finish my tasks.

Even after we ended the video call, the phone stayed connected, and just knowing Nagito-san was on the other end was comforting and made me happy.

My feelings for him aren’t just fleeting.

It’s not just a competitive spirit against Asatani-san’s words──that’s definitely not it.

“…Nagito-san, how did you solve this problem?”

“Like this. It’s an application question, so look at the problems you’ve solved so far…”

Nagito-san’s way of teaching was very good. His voice was gentle and soothing, calming my nerves.

Just closing my eyes for a moment, it felt as if he was right beside me, teaching me──reminding me of the classroom where Nagito-san was teaching Asatani-san.

I had wanted to be there, next to Nagito-san, to see and talk to him more closely.

Now it feels like half of that wish has come true, and by the time I finished studying, my whole body was filled with happiness.

“Thank you for today. Can I call you next time?”

“Yeah, anytime. Good night, Takane-san.”

“Yes. Good night, Nagito-san.”

It took me a while to gather the courage to press the end call button on my smartphone.

After we finished talking, I didn’t know what to do with my feelings──I ended up hugging my smartphone to my chest. I definitely couldn’t show my family this side of me.

The call lasted an hour and a half. It felt like a dream, and slowly I started to feel lonely.

I should start preparing for bed, but my mind was full of our conversation. I tried to remember each detail, reassuring myself I hadn’t forgotten anything.

The notebook with the tasks Nagito-san helped me with during the call seemed special, and I found myself reviewing it from the beginning.

I hadn’t known what it was like to be in love.

I thought even if you fall in love, you don’t change.

──But now, I accept the changes in me, all because Nagito-san is so kind and wonderful.

“I won’t lose to Asatani-san.”

I said it as if to affirm it. Asatani-san, whom Nagito-san fell in love with, must be more wonderful than I know──still, I can’t give up.

As the “current girlfriend,” I need to understand Asatani-san, the “ex-girlfriend.” I may not become friends with her, but I want to understand her that much.

That night, I went to bed with the piano piece that made Nagito-san happy playing softly.

My heart was racing for a while, but as I remembered his voice, my consciousness gently melted into the night.

📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
It Seems That Takane, the Current Girlfriend, Definitely Doesn’t Want to Lose to the Ex-girlfriend

It Seems That Takane, the Current Girlfriend, Definitely Doesn’t Want to Lose to the Ex-girlfriend

Takane no Hana no Imakano wa, Zettai Motokano ni Maketakunai you desu / 高嶺の花の今カノは、絶対元カノに負けたくないようです
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist: Released: 2020 Native Language: Japanese
As he graduated from junior high, Nagito Senda began dating Kiri Asatani, but he got dumped when they started high school. While recovering from his broken heart, he saw Nozomi Takane, a girl in his class, being harassed by a pushy club recruiter, and decided to help her. The two quickly grew closer as they sit together in class and go to and from school together. One day, as the two were cleaning the library, Kiri comes up to Nozomi and asks, “Can I borrow Nagi-kun?” When Nozomi asked Kiri about her relationship with Nagito… “I was Nagi-kun’s ex-girlfriend” “Well from now on I’ll be his new girlfriend.” Now that both girls have declared themselves, what will be his real intention? Sparks will fly in the game between the ex-girlfriend and the current girlfriend.


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