V1 Chapter 2 | Encounter on the Way Home From a Part-Time Job


The alarm on my phone goes off.

It’s time for my part-time job. I changed my clothes, had a quick breakfast, and got on the train to go to my part-time job.

The place I work is a coffee shop near the station where my high school is located. The hourly wage is good, and they treat me well.

I can use my commuter pass to save money on transportation, and I can do my shopping here before going home, so it’s convenient.

I got off the train and headed for the ticket gate. I was a little early, wasn’t I?

I walked out of the ticket gate and on my way to my part-time job. That’s when I spotted a familiar face on a bench in front of the station.

It was Himekawa. She was carrying a large Boston bag in addition to her usual schoolbag.

What a big bag at this hour. Is she going somewhere?

Putting Himekawa aside, I headed to my part-time job as soon as possible.

I usually work from 11:00 to 18:00, and they serve lunch.

What’s good about this is that you can freely make and eat your own meals and coffee.

So my part-time job was over, and it was past my regular time of 18:00.

I cut my time card and headed for the arcade opposite the station.

The arcade has a variety of stores, including pharmacies, food stores, game centers, and karaoke bars.

I usually go to the arcade on my way home from work and then go home.

I don’t follow fashions or trends, I wear random clothes, and I must look like a dorky guy.

My hair is also not appropriate.

I bought a copy of the new book that came out today and headed for the station.

I looked at my watch and saw that it was almost twenty-one o’clock.

As I started to walk towards the station, I looked at the bench in front of the station.

There was Himekawa, sitting there just like in the morning.

Huh? Why is she still here?

It’s exactly as I saw it this morning before I went to work.

Not a single thing has changed. Her clothes, her belongings.

Has she been there this whole time?

Should I talk to her or pretend I didn’t see anything?

What a pain in the ass. If I get involved in something like this, it’ll look like my fault.

I walked right up to Himekawa and called out to her.

What are you doing here at this hour? Come on, go home.”

She looks at me and bites her lip as she answers me.

“Tendo-san? It’s none of your business.”

“Well, have a safe trip home”

—I’ve talked to her and I’ve warned her, you know.

I’m not responsible for that.

As I turned away from Himekawa and headed for the station’s ticket gate, I heard a voice behind me.

“Oh, sweetheart, what are you doing out here by yourself at this hour? Running away from home, perhaps?”

When I turned around, I saw a red-faced businessman-looking man calling out to Himekawa.

“No, it’s not. Can you please leave me alone?”

Himekawa refused in a rather strong tone of voice and it must have offended the man.

“I asked you to come over. Just karaoke with me, okay?”

Forcibly grabbing Himekawa’s arm, Himekawa was blatantly disgusted.

It would have been easy to just turn a blind eye and leave.

But I saw it. Suddenly, my eyes meet Himekawa’s.

It’s so troublesome. I told you so…

I was walking towards the ticket gate, but I switched directions and came back right in front of Himekawa.

I took the arm of the man who was holding Himekawa and looked at the man.

“Sorry. She’s with me. I’m late for the meeting”

The man walked away from us quickly with an embarrassed look on his face.

Himekawa didn’t say a word to me and sat down on the bench just like before.

“I told you. Hurry up and go home. What if something like that happens again?”

Himekawa grabs her bag, looks at the ground and starts talking to me in an inaudible voice.

“I can’t go home, so don’t worry about me”

‘I don’t want to go home. No, I can’t go home’ Did something happen to her at home?

What a pain in the ass. Just go home. There’s someone at home, isn’t there?”

I sat down next to Himekawa and talk to her while looking at her.

Himekawa is clutching her bag and looking at the ground. On the ground, there are marks that look like water has fallen.

The marks gradually increased, and the color of the ground changed.

“I have nowhere to go. So leave me alone.”

“Why would you do that? Why don’t you just go home?”

Himekawa’s cheeks were red and her voice was hoarse.

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and glared at me with hard eyes.

“I don’t have a home to go back to anymore. That’s why I’m here.”

What the hell is she talking about? I couldn’t understand what Himekawa was saying.

Just then, I saw a police officer walking toward me from afar.

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