Jaku-chara Tomozaki-kun - Volume 1 - Chapter 3
We exited the station and began walking on the street. I had the feeling that nervousness was even causing my walking to be awkward.
「It’s our first talk between just the two of us, right! Wait, in the first place, isn't it only recently that it started being ordinary for us to talk?!」
The first to speak, Mimimi slapped her forehead while going *tahaー!*.
「Whaat are you being so nervous for? Straighten up! Yeah!」
With a thump, she hit my back with quite a bit more strength than was appropriate.
「Ow! That was too much power!」
*Ka ka ka*, laughed Mimimi spiritedly. It felt like she was being more cheerful than usual. Might this be her way of being considerate to me?
「Q-quite cheerful, aren't you, Mimimi……」
「Righhht～? My plan is to get by in life with only with cheerfulness and smiles, after all.」
「Ahaha, I'm not sure if I should say that's amazing……or that it sounds tough……」
「Sounds tough?」She looked at me with a face as if I said something strange.
「W-well……like, there are also times when you can't become cheerful or smile……right?」
Mimimi blinked confusedly.
「Whaaat are you saying! It's precisely in difficult times that you should smile! Otherwise it'll become even more difficult for you, you know!」
「Ahー」Hinami had also said something like that. The mind and body are linked together, or something.「Certainly, people do say that. That if you make things like your posture and face cheerful, your heart will follow, or something.」
「Yep yep! That's why I think that it's definitely more fun living with cheerfulness and smiles!」
Heeh. Even as I thought to myself, Isn't she amazingly positive?, at the same time…… the thought, Isn't it also fine to not have everyday be a fun day? also ran through my mind. No, perhaps I had become numb in my outlook after going through so many not-fun experiences in my everyday, but it was more like, Surely humans can manage just fine even with a number of not-fun instants in their life. Or rather than that, something like, It's much more important to protect one's own world.
As I was thinking such things, silence continued to fill the gap in conversation. Now it was probably my turn to talk, un. Right, of course.
「Hn, you don't seem to feel that way, though? Well, it depends on the person, right～」
「Ah, sor… T-that's true, isn't it.」
For a moment, the atmosphere got awkward. Arrrrrrrgh!Sorry! Even though she was trying to fill in the silence with a follow-up, I gave a pointless reply! Is this all the presence of a communicationally challenged has to offer!?
「Hey hey! Can I ask something I've been wondering about?」
However, Mimimi continued the conversation with a smile as if I hadn't really messed anything up. Yep, she's amazing.
After I answered with a「Eh? What is it?」she formed her hand into the shape of a microphone and raised it close to my mouth.
「Answer frankly, Tomozaki-senshu! You have a suspicious relationship with Aoi, right!? 」
I suddenly spluttered and began to cough.
「Ohh! That reaction is de-fi-nite-ly suspicious. What's going on!? Come on～! Won't you tell Onee-san? Hmm～?」
「No, there's nothing going on!」
「Is that really true? It feels like you've been exchanging mysterious eye signals, you know? Yesterday too, you called her Hinami. From the beginning, she was the only person you were about to call without any honorifics, you know?」
……Had there been something like that? Or rather, even if there was, was it something you'd normally notice? I had been made to think that riajuu were just cheerful, but it seemed like they could read the mood and feelings very well too, so I had to be careful. Since she was so perceptive of everything, even if I made an attempt to fool her, it would probably be exposed.
「Not at all! Well, it's true that we don't have a bad relationship, but, look, Hinami gets along with everyone, right?」
「Ohh! You just called her without any honorifics! Definitely suspicious! Tomozaki-senshu! Why did you try to hide it back then? Is there anything you feel guilty about? Frankly! Please!」
「Like I said, there's nothing! In the first place, there's no way the school idol Hinami Aoi would have some guilty relationship with someone like me, right?」
「Hey!」I retorted at Mimimi, who had been much too quick to agree there.
「Ahahahaha! That's great! As expected, you can be interesting once in a while, Tomozaki!」
「Shut it, I'm not trying to be interesting in the first place, also, that『once in a while』was unnecessary.」
For whatever reason, my nervousness had faded away. Was it down to Mimimi's flair for conversation? Or was it because the topic of conversation had turned to that foul-mouthed gamer?
「Even though if you behaved like this you could always have fun. You're always so gloomy, you know, Tomozaki.」
「It's not something you need to care about. ……Rather, I'm fine with having not-fun times too.」
「……Ehhh!? What do you mean? Why is that?」
She latched onto my reply with great interest. Uhh, what should I say here.
「Ah……How should I put it, the right answer may not be limited to fun things……Probably.」
「Ehh!? It's the first time I've heard someone say that! Please explain! Kay-double-you-ess-kay!」
「Kay-doub……?」……Ahh, kwsk? It's not really something you say out loud, is it. 「Ah, how should I put this? Look, for example, I like ATAFAMI, among other games……」
「Ahhー! You do look like you're really strong at that! And then? And then?」
「Yea, err……But those things are, like, completely unrelated to having fun at school or the like. However, I still want to give some time to ATAFAMI……」
「Hmm. Even so, isn't that because ATAFAMI is fun?」
「Ahh……well that's also true, but, I mean…… It's not like I play ATAFAMI because I'm looking for something fun, but because I like ATAFAMI and try my best at it, the fun just comes naturally as a result.……err, sorry you probably don't understand what I'm saying.」
「Hmmー, no, I understand.」
「Well, it's like that, you know. Tomozaki, in that sense, you might be a little bit like Tama.」
「……Eh? Like Tama-chan?」
I'm not making the connection at all. ……Now that I think about it, Hinami also said something similar.
「Nnn, how should I put it? Like, that girl doesn't give in, or rather, can't be made to give in. Ahaha, well that's a really good characteristic to have, though. Well, there's those kinds of things.」
「Hmm, that's true.」
「Ah, Tomozaki also gets it? For example, like, even at a time where giving in would make the situation more enjoyable, if she's not convinced, she won't ever give in. I think that's amazing. So much that I respect her for it.」
「Well, yeah, that's unusual for a young girl these days.」
「Ahahahaha! The variety show old man came out!」
「Hahaha! ……well, anyway, when I look at her, I think that part of her is amazing, but at the same time, I also think it's something I don't have. You see, I'm someone who will always give in! Give in, give in, give in, doing anything to make the situation fun. So much that it's like I'm all crunched up.」
「Eh, so it was like that, huh?」I had thought that doing that was part of her natural talent.
「Yup, that's how it is, you know～? Actually I'm a maiden with too many worries…… well, having said that, it's the same for everybody. Compared to what Tama has to worry about, it's really nothing. My worries are really really small!」
「True, that girl…… seems to have her fair share of difficulties.」
「Riiight? You get it, right? But because of that, I, who always gives in, have to protect her, or something like that, that kind of feeling! My position! Any thoughts!? Tear-jerking!? Admirable?」
Mimimi, standing right in front of me, suddenly stretched out her hands.
「So it's like that.」Because I was still in thought, I unconsciously ignored her.「So……what does Mimimi think? Like, do you hate it?」
「Eh? Ignored!? Err, do I hate it? Of course not! It's something I'm doing to have fun, so of course it's fun! Well, there are times when I'd rather not give in, but it can't be helped. You can't get a perfect score in life! If I don't give in, it'll end up harder for me so I give in! Move towards a more enjoyable future! Right!?」
「……I see, something like, the right person in the right place?」
「Yeah, that, the right person in the right place! You say some good things, Tomozaki! It's my job to give in, and it's Tama's job to not! That's just how we function!」
「So, you're supporting each other.」
「Right, right, we're supporting each other! Tomozaki, you really do say some good things! Well, though if you had to say which, you know, it really feels more like I'm supporting Tama! That's why I'm okay with the way things are right now!」
Saying this, *tahaー* Mimimi laughed once again.
「Hmm, to me……」
「Ah! I'm going this way! Ah, did you say something just now?」
「Ah, err, it's nothing.」
「Is that so? Then, see you later, Tomozaki!」
「Ah, yea, see you.」
Just like that, Mimimi gave a big wave and left like a storm. Well, I hadn't managed to finish off what I was saying, but that was probably fine. It was just something I had surmised on my own without knowing the full situation, so it was probably the right decision to not to say it.
──That, to me, it felt like Mimimi was the one being supported.
 A bit like an honorific, -senshu is often appended to the end of an athlete/gamer's name in a commentary or interview. Literal translation of 選手 is player.
 kwsk = short for 詳しく (ku wa shi ku), i.e. tell me more, in more detail.
 Original makes use of ボキボキ: cracking/crunching sound.
 What he actually says is something called a yojijukugo, where four kanji make up an idiom. Can be very meaningful stuff. The exact one he uses here is 適材適所.