“The coast was clear,” Kashima thought. This was another chance to buy strawberry milk in the vending machine since Hori-senpai was busy talking with Nozaki and Sakura. She tiptoed towards the door, not wanting Hori to notice her. Good thing he was distracted on talking with them about the script.
She sighed with relief as she exits the door. Running away at times like this is surely fun for Kashima. It’s not that she really wanted Hori to chase her from corridor to corridor but actually, she really like being the thought of Hori on fetching her. She remembered the nickname for Hori, the renowned “Prince Hunter.” She giggled from the thought as she was nearly close to the vending machine.
“It was surely breezy out here”, she murmured as she fished for her wallet in her pockets. Staring at the vending machine, she decided to get something for Hori-senpai.
“Wait a minute, does Hori-senpai wanted chocolate or the classic one?” she instantly took out her phone, but perished the thought because it might let her senpai, once again, look for her because she ran away from practice.
She sighed knowing that even after buying one for Hori, he will still scold her for leaving the practice again. Still, she bought her favorite strawberry milk and a classic one for her senpai. “I guess he needed the classic one for growth.” She giggled not realizing Hori was behind her.
When she turned around, she gulped at the annoyed face of her senpai. She almost dropped the cartons on her hands as she braced herself on the words coming from her senpai. But then, she was shocked because Hori just sighed in front of her. “Maybe he was tired on looking for me because he was getting old?” Kashima thought to herself.
“The next time you ran away from me, make sure Nozaki didn’t see you,” Hori told her, still annoyed. Hori saw that Kashima was holding another carton of milk. Kashima saw him staring and immediately gave at him.
“This one’s for your growth, senpai!” She smiled but suddenly Hori smacked her head. Kashima just laughed at what Hori did.
“God, at least be happy, senpai! I got something for you.” Kashima rubs her head then sits on the nearest bench. Without a second glance, Hori just mindlessly followed her. Sitting beside Kashima, it was unusually this peaceful, Hori thought as he stared at Kashima who was humming while she was drinking her strawberry milk.
Still holding the milk Kashima gave him, he thought what he told Nozaki the other day.
“My ideal face is definitely Kashima.” That’s what he remembered.
“Hey Kashima.” He asked her.
“Hmm?” she did not look at Hori, but Hori was sure she was definitely listening to him.
“If someone told you that their ideal face is your face, how would you respond?” He did not look at her, but he will never admit that his face was heating upon asking her.
“Wait? What???” she stood up, still holding her unfinished milk. “Why would you ask that senpai? Did you want a pretty girls face?” Hori expected that this would be her reaction, yet immediately regretted asking her this.
"Here goes nothing," Hori thought.
“You really have a pretty face, Kashima.” Still not looking at her kouhai's face but he was sure that she was really embarrassed right now after what he said.
Kashima was speechless. She did not know what to say. Even though she was really good at using flowery words on most girls in school, but when it comes to her senpai, her mind seems to stop.
“I… Uhm…” she is stuttering right in front of her senpai. "Shit, I do not know what to say," she whispered to herself. She felt her cheeks heating. Then, suddenly something came into her mind.
“Well, you too, senpai. I like how… I look at your face.” Kashima blurted out. “I… I wanted to say that… I really like you for a really long time, Hori-senpai!” she quickly covered her mouth, dropping the carton of milk that she was drinking.
No one made another move.
Both of them were surprised. It was like time was stopped between them. Even Hori was shocked on Kashima’s sudden confession. Well, to be fair, he confessed, too. "Wait, what? I just confessed at Kashima???" Hori just realized what he told at her kouhai.
“Shit, just forget what I said, senpai.” It is not unusual for Hori to hear Kashima cursing, but hearing what she said after, he doesn’t want to forget what she told him. “It’s not like I do not like like you, but it was really embarrassing that I told you that without thinking,” Kashima told him.
As Kashima was about to go back, “Wow, first time of not chasing after her,” Hori told himself. Hori abruptly grasp her hand, not wanting her to be back from their club.
Kashima was the first to break their silence.
“Senpai, this is the first time you didn’t chase after me, huh.” Kashima joked even though there was slightly an uneasy tension between them, but still Kashima stopped on leaving.
“I like you, too. No, I guess. This is what shoujo manga called it. Is it love?” Hori didn’t hesitate on telling Kashima what he feels. This was yet one of the cheesiest lines he told somebody, and this was not a play they were working on, it was real life.
Kashima can’t hide her embarrassment as her senpai told her. Her face suddenly turned red, not knowing how to respond to her senpai’s sudden confession. She turned around to face Hori, she can’t read Hori’s face whether he was being serious or not.
“Look, Senpai.” Kashima looked at him. “Are you being serious? Do you really like me?” she asked him, pressing to know more whether his words came from him and not from anyone, even Nozaki.
“Do I look like I’m joking?”
“Well, even if you are not joking, senpai, being cheesy does not suit you.” She laughed breaking the tension between them. “Wait, is that true? You’re not joking?” she asked him.
“Well, if you say so, yes, I’m not joking, Kashima.” Still holding her hand. “I like you, not just a friend, but you really are my special kouhai,” he pressed his lips on the back of Kashima’s hand.
“This is real,” he said to the flustered Kashima.
Standing away from the two, there was Nozaki, Chiyo and Mikoshiba behind the bushes.
“Man, after all these years, they got to confess to each other!” Mikoshiba pouted as he saw his best friend with Hori-senpai near the vending machines.
“Shh, Mikorin! They might hear you!” Chiyo shushed him. Meanwhile, Nozaki started making a draft for another plot for his shoujo manga based on Hori-senpai and Kashima.