In this World, I will Fall in Love with You a Second Time - Chapter 9
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On a certain bench under the shade of a tree, Arata and I sat there munching on crepes.
“This is good!”
With his cheeks stuffed with crepe, Arata sounded out to agree with me.
(Why are we even……)
Right now, we’re in the middle of our after-school date! No, not really — We went to the nearby shopping mall because of something Tahata-sensei asked us to do.
“Still… Tahata-sensei is too cruel… Since your class ended early, can you do this for me? He says…”
“And those three left everything to us.”
“Well, they have clubs, so it’s not like they can do anything about it…”
Yes — When sensei asked us to do this, Hina, Miyuki and even Kanata were there too. In fact, he asked all of us, not just the two of us. But then…
“Ah, I have club today.”
“Then, I’ll have club activities today too!”
Was what they said as they instantly vanished from our sights…
In the end, only Arata and I were left.
If you ask me, I’m glad that it’s only the two of us but…… What about Arata?
For me, Arata is my one and only—
However, for the current him, I was just a classmate that he met recently.
From his point of view… Yeah, it’s awkward for him.
“Hmm? Whatcha thinkin’ about?”
“No, it’s…… Hina and Miyuki had clubs so they had to leave but Kanata could have come with us.”
It would be better if he had his close friend with him at this time — was what I thought and meant but somehow, Arata went silent with a stiff and bitter expression.
“Hey, so you think it would have been better if he’s with us?”
“To be honest… I’m happy that it’s just the two of us…”
“Arata? Just now, what did you…?”
I wasn’t able to hear the last sentence that he said.
After replying to me, he stood up and started walking towards a nearby trash bin, crumpling the crepe’s wrapper into a ball.
(What’s up with him so suddenly……)
Not knowing what to do, I could only stare at his back as it became smaller and smaller… Until he turned around to face me again.
“Sorry! Forget about what I said! Let’s just smash this thing that sensei told us to do!”
And he reverted back to his usual smile.
After walking for a while, we stopped in front of a certain shop.
“Uhh… is this it?”
“Looks like it.”
We found a store that resembles that. — Yeah, it looks like the one on the map.
Timidly, we entered the store and were greeted by the store’s employee.
Showing her the exchange ticket which Tahata-sensei gave us, we received “It’s in the back. I’ll go get it, so can you please wait for me here?” as a reply.
“I forgot to claim the order, but I really need it by tomorrow, so can you get it in my stead?” was what Tahata-sensei said.
The thing he asked us to get was…
“This is… a hachimaki, right?” [This]
“Yeah… It’s in our class color as well so I wonder if it’s the ones that we’re gonna use.”
The color of the hachimaki was on the lighter side of blue, the color which was assigned to our class.
“He could have had it delivered… Why did he even choose to pick it up by himself?”
As we approached the register, the store clerk behind it took our exchange ticket and handed us the package… which was a lot heavier than I thought.
“Ha, it’s kinda heavy…”
“I’ll hold it,” Arata said as he easily lifted the pouch from my hands.
“These kinds of things are a boy’s job.”
“But sensei sent the two of us…”
“AAAAHHH! … Just let me look cool for a moment, okay?!” he replied as his cheeks started to get red.
Arata then started to walk out of the shop, seemingly at a faster pace than usual.
“H, wait for me!”
Even though he said that, he still stopped in his tracks and waited for me to catch up.
“… I might not be the same as Kanata, but I can do a thing or two too, okay.”
Now that I think about it, it feels like he’s been saying Kanata this, Kanata that, a lot since earlier…
Is it because— No, but…
“Did you… think I wanted to come here with Kanata?”
“… Did I think wrong?”
“— I’m, kinda happy that it was with you.”
How much should I tell him?
Because if I tell him everything, it’s no different from confessing…
“Me too, I’m glad it was the two of us!”
“So, let’s do this again someday. This time, it wouldn’t be because of sensei’s request or something, okay!”
Hearing that from Arata made me feel slightly embarrassed somehow.
Arata was also red up to his ears as he shyly looked away. Looking at him, it feels like he’s blushing this much as the result of our relationship getting closer.
We ate crepes together as we went to get an order for sensei. After that, we’re walking home, and that’s that — Thinking so while walking besides Arata, I suddenly felt lonely.
If we end it here, the next time I’ll be seeing him is when I read the diary to sleep again…
Without properly processing the thoughts in my head, I called out to him. But, there was nothing for us to talk about.
I turned my mind upside down in desperation, but still couldn’t find anything to start with …
“Uh, no… Never mind.”
In the end, all I could do was try to alleviate the awkward situation with a smile.
After staring at me for a good while, Arata looked around, his eyes darting all over the place, until—
“Hey, wanna try that place?”
His hand was pointed at a large shop that sold a lot of fancy stuff, even plastic models.
“Is that okay?”
“I asked you because I want to, you know? You’re a weird one.”
Arata smiled as he said so, but… I’m sure, it was because he saw my expression which looked like I still didn’t want to go home. So —
“Why are you thanking me? Come on, now!”
Pulling me by the hand, we entered the store. Inside the shop was an assortment of things lined up next to each other. There were things which I had never seen before and those that I knew but with a few differences.[A]
“Hey, Asahi. Check this out.”
“Hmm? What’s that?!”
“I’m the Frankenstein!”
“HAHA, and you’re gonna go to school wearing that?”
“This one’s cute!!!”
“Sometimes. I find what’s cute for girls a little weird.”
As we slowly spent our time together looking through what the store had to offer, we often giggled together as the sense of desolation I felt earlier slowly disappeared.
Seeing my bright smiling face, Arata gave me a kind smile.
“HAAAA That was fun!”
“I know, right! Anyway, thanks for today.”
“I could say the same thing to you. — Then, see you tomorrow?”
“Yep, see you!”
This time too, we split up at the junction between his house and mine.
Arata stood at the junction, waving his hand as he saw me off.
I walked home, alone.
(Back then — When it was still us… we even walked this way together…)
As if it was the most natural thing to do, Arata always walked home beside me.
(But now, we’re not there yet…)
As the feeling of solitude started to creep up on me again, Arata, still in the midst of catching his breath, placed a hand on my shoulder.
As he said that, he placed something small into my hand, something which looked like a strap.
“Uhh… I saw this in the store earlier and thought this seems like something Asahi would buy so I…If you don’t need it, then you can just throw it away! I’ll be off then!”
After handing it over to me, Arata quickly walked away, disappearing just as fast as he appeared.
In my hands now was a tiny cat model that was attached to the end of the strap.
“When did he find the time to buy this…?”
It was another memory that had never happened with the present me.
“Thank you, Arata.”
Attaching the strap onto my phone, I continued on my way home.
This time, with lighter steps.
[A] To be honest, I wanted to scrape this line entirely as I felt it was redundant but I left it in as the author wrote it.
 I remember this line from a source I already forgot… Ahhhh, the boy’s brittle pride…
 Kinda tricky to make it sound natural, but he said something like I can be useful too.
 I’m confused too, but this should be the straps used for keychains or something
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