A Solution for Jealousy epilogue
A Solution for Jealousy (Epilogue)
Thanks for waiting! Here’s the final, epilogue chapter of the novel adaption of HoneyWorks’ “Yakimochi no Kotae (A Solution for Jealousy)“! Enjoy!
＊If you can, I highly encourage supporting the creators by buying the book for yourself at Amazon!
With the end to Yuu’s story being nowhere in sight, Souta forgot about even nodding now and then to show he was still listening.
Natsuki, who was sitting next to Yuu, was engrossed with chatting with Akari, who was sitting across from her.
’If only Akarin was sitting where Natsuki was, instead.’
As he thought about how he wanted to join in the conversation that he could hear bits and pieces of, Souta drank what little was left of his soup. Souta could almost see the bottom of his bowl, but as for Yuu, there were still some noodles left.
’At first, I was super happy about sitting next to each other, but I can’t even really see her face like this!’
But he was too shy to bring up switching seats now.
Deciding to use his own power to make this situation even just a bit more bearable, Souta stared hard at Yuu.
“And she even put on all this makeup, too. When I realized she looked different from usual, it felt really weird….”
Overcome by Yuu’s assertiveness, Souta quickly fell back to taking the passive role in the conversation again.
“But she still wears my favorite hoodie as pajamas at home. She’s already treating it like a hand-me-down, even though it’s obviously men’s clothing.”
“….Mochita, you’re not even listening, are you?”
The moment Souta realized he’d messed up, Yuu was already stretching a hand towards his forehead.
Unable to avoid in time, he took the flick to the forehead, which, naturally, made Souta retaliate.
“Hey, this is your own fault, you know? Talking on and on about Hina like that~”
Yuu’s younger sister, Hina, was a first year at Sakuragaoka High School.
Among Souta and his childhood friends, she was very precious to them, and Haruki, in particular, loved to spoil her.
’Well, we’re no match for her real older brother, of course.’
It wasn’t like Souta wasn’t interested in hearing about Hina, but there was a limit for everything.
Worst of all, even though Akari was here, the fact that he couldn’t talk to her was just too much.
’I guess I have no choice but to say it clearly.’
Settling on this fact, Souta made an effort to speak calmly.
“Won’t she start to hate you if you’re too annoying?”
“No, /she’s the annoying one. Even when I’m busy studying, she’s always bugging me.”
He’d answered right off the bat. And gone straight back to talking about Hina, too.
’This is hopeless….’
Souta shot Natsuki a “please help me” look, but she only shrugged.
“I’ve already heard all of this before, so it’s probably Haruki’s turn after you.”
“Ugh! Was Hina putting on makeup really that shocking?”
“Yuu, the moment you started high school, you started buying different magazines and going to a different hair salon and things like that too, don’t you remember? Kotarou’s going through that same kind of phrase right about now.”
Natsuki shook her head as she brought up her younger brother, who was a first year like Hina.
Souta also vaguely remembered something similar, and couldn’t help laughing a bit.
“W-well, guys go through a lot during that time.”
“Girls do too, you know. That’s why Yuu’s probably worried that Hina-chan got a boyfriend or—….”
It was unclear at first whether he was denying the fact that he was worried or the fact that Hina had a boyfriend.
Before Natsuki could finish her sentence, Yuu cut in, shouting, “There’s no way she of all people could have one!” while holding his head in his hands.
“Even when women don’t have a reason for doing things, it’s said that men who try to seek a reason will suffer heartbreak.”
“Is that a quote from a movie?”
Souta had tried to sound solemn as he said the line, but he was shot down when Akari asked her innocent question.
“….Y-yeah. I haven’t seen the movie it’s from yet, but it was in a scenario book….”
’I shouldn’t have been so cocky saying that. She probably thinks I’m so lame now.’
Hesitantly turning to look at Akari, he was surprised to see her smiling at him.
“I see. Then would you like to go see it together?”
As Souta shouted together with a victory pose, Yuu said with a knowing face,
“Yeah, once you enter university, you’ll definitely be working part-time at an izakaya.”
“Ahaha, I bet Yuu and Haruki would be going there all the time.”
Hearing Natsuki’s cheery voice, Souta immediately looked over at Yuu.
He was sure that Yuu noticed, but was deliberately choosing not to look back.
That reaction confirmed Souta’s suspicions.
’….Natsuki doesn’t know about Haruki’s study abroad.’
“Anyway, the ramen here is really good!”
“Yeah, it’s too bad that Miou-chan and Serizawa-kun couldn’t come.”
Yuu and Souta were silent as the two lamented over the absence of their other friends.
The two of them didn’t know anything about Haruki’s study abroad, or the reason why Miou and Haruki weren’t here.
There was a possibility that Miou didn’t know, either.
Souta wasn’t sure what was true anymore.
But he knew that his feelings of wanting his friend’s relationship to go well were real.
’Good luck, Haruki….!’
As he sent that mental cheer of encouragement, black hair flitted into his vision.
“So, Mochizuki-kun, when should we go see that movie?”
The destructive power of Akari peering up into his face so innocently made Souta catch his breath.
’So cute! So unfair! But that’s the best part! Wait….’
“Eh? When? We? Movie?”
“….Sorry, were you only joking about that?”
As Akari’s shoulders slumped in disappointment, Souta frantically shook his head.
“N-no, of course not! I was serious, completely serious….!”
“Oh, you had me worried for a second.”
He was relieved that Akari was smiling again, but he didn’t like how the other two were shaking. It looked like Natsuki and Yuu were holding back their laughter at how desperate Souta had been.
’Laugh all you want! Just don’t say anything.’
Souta ordered in his mind, glaring daggers at the two of them.
His childhood friends gave Souta a thumbs up each to show that they got the message.
’Don’t make it so obvious! Akarin’s going to catch on!’
Becoming worried, Souta glanced over at Akari, but she was busy looking for something in her bag.
“Ah, found it. Let’s decide on a day.”
As she spoke, Akari set her phone on the table. With a delicate finger, she navigated the screens and pulled up a scheduling app.
’Akarin, you’re more serious about this than I am.’
Souta pinched his own cheek to make sure this wasn’t a dream, causing his eyes to well up with tears of pain and happiness.
“O-oh, right! The movie theater by the station is doing a special romcom collection screening this weekend. There should still be tickets left. What do you think?”
Akari thought it over for a moment, then tilted her head slightly.
“….I’d like to watch anything but romcoms.”
Souta’s heartbroken cry echoed through the restaurant.
Akari giggled, while Natsuki and Yuu sighed with disappointment.
’How much longer am I going to keep making a fool out of myself….?’
The moment Souta laughed dryly, he felt a light tap on his shoulder.
“I’m free on Sunday afternoon.”
Akari whispered to him, making Souta’s face light up immediately.
“A-Akarin! I love you!”
The last person you want to talk to at the end of the day is surely the person you want as your lover.
As Souta remembered that line from his favorite movie, he basked in the happiness of having found such a person. It was painful to be in a one-sided relationship, but he was still happy to have found someone to have those feelings towards.
’I hope that one day, I’m the last person that Akarin thinks about at the end of the day.’
It would be a while before Souta learned that Akari had written the details of their movie plans in her phone under the title “Date.”
Until the day that their feelings for each other were realized—