“I’m Rin Katayama. I’ll be working here for about two months. Nice to meet you.”
The group of people in suits they saw in the afternoon turned out to be members of the support team that the head office sent over to help them during the busy period until the New Year. There were seven of them, one of which smiled and introduced herself in a bright and clear voice.
As she finished her work in the afternoon, Hina muttered in a voice no one else could hear.
She had never heard Hasegawa call any other women by their first name. It seemed like Rin had a deeper relationship with Hasegawa. Hina felt depressed at that thought.
(I remember Hasegawa used to work at the head office before. Did they meet during that time? What kind of relationship do they have?)
The word “ex-girlfriend” came to her mind. Hina desperately dismissed the thought and tried to concentrate on the text in front of her screen. However…
(Ms. Rin is a very beautiful person. She looks exactly like Hasegawa’s ideal type.)
Hina slammed her desk as she tried to stop her depressive train of thought. She couldn’t concentrate at her job. Like a fool, she kept beating herself up about Hasegawa’s relationship with Rin.
She grabbed her mug and headed for the pantry.
(Let’s just drink some coffee and calm down. They may not be in a relationship after all.)
As she opened the door of the pantry, a familiar voice entered her ears. She could hear two voices talking from the other side of the pantry. One was Hasegawa and the other was Rin.
(They’re talking alone together…)
She placed her hands on the door and pressed her ears against it. The hallway was deserted. She didn’t have the habit of eavesdropping but she was worried and curious about the relationship between the two.
Behind the door, Hasegawa sounded grumpy as he spoke. “Jeez, I was really surprised. You should’ve told me if you were coming.”
“Sorry! I just learned about it a few days ago myself!”
Hina blinked her eyes as she listened. The voice was certainly Hasegawa’s but he spoke quite casually. No matter who it was, he always made sure to speak in a polite and courteous manner.
“Okay, fine but let me remind you…”
“I know, I know. Our relationship remains a secret, right? It’s also a problem for me if we’re found out so don’t worry, my lips are sealed.”
“That’s good, then.”
After hearing his exaggerated sigh, Hina withdrew her ear from the door. She didn’t want to listen in anymore.
The relationship between them has to be kept secret. And she was someone who Hasegawa can speak to casually. Although she didn’t hear it explicitly, she was sure that Rin had some relationship with Hasegawa.
Hina left with a melancholic feeling as the two continued talking inside the pantry.
After work, she and Hasegawa went home together as usual. They were now eating inside Hina’s room. They’ve been swamped with work so they could only prepare simple dishes.
(Rin is probably Hasegawa’s ex, right? I wonder if there’s a possibility they’d get back together…)
Laid in front of Hina were appetizing dishes. She scooped a mouthful and started eating. As she ate, she couldn’t help but worry about Hasegawa’s relationship with Rin.
Since it bothers her, it would be better to ask him directly, but she was somehow conflicted.
(I wasn’t able to tell him my feelings…)
Because Rin and the others suddenly appeared, Hina wasn’t able to convey her feelings to Hasegawa. To put it simply, she and Hasegawa are not lovers yet. She wasn’t qualified to question him about other women. And even if she asked, the unpleasant feelings may not go away.
In that case, it might be better if she confessed first and they transitioned to lovers. However, if she confessed and Hasegawa told her to wait, she doesn’t think she can recover from the blow.
(The possibility of Hasegawa getting back with Rin is not zero either…)
The thought scared her and she stilled. If she doesn’t say anything, their relationship can stay the same and she can enjoy it a little longer.
No matter how many times she thought about it, Rin was very beautiful. Judging from the reaction of the people around her, it seemed like she had a pleasing personality too. If they were pitted against each other, Hina would unlikely win. She doesn’t plan on giving up, but if Hasegawa chooses Rin, there was nothing she could do about it.
(She’s also a lot like Hasegawa’s ideal type…)
“Hina, are you listening?”
Pulled out from her thoughts, Hina looked up and saw Hasegawa staring at her. The moment their eyes met, Hasegawa dropped the smile on his face and was replaced with a look of worry. Hina shifted her face away to avoid his gaze.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you.”
“What’s wrong? You seem out of it. Are you not feeling well?”
Hina shook her head as she answered but Hasegawa placed his hand on her forehead to check her temperature.
“Really, I’m fine. I don’t have a fever. I was just caught up in my thoughts…”
“If that is so, then it’s fine.”
Hasegawa wasn’t convinced but since she didn’t have a fever, he didn’t press further and withdrew his hands from her forehead. Then, in her usual tone, Hina asked.
“What were you saying?”
“Ah, for quite some time starting today, we won’t be able to use my room because of certain circumstances. So is it okay if we just eat here in yours? In exchange, I’ll handle all the cooking.”
Hina wanted to know what the “certain circumstances” mean. Other than that, she had no complaints so she nodded.
“I don’t really mind. We can also have the same food as before.”
“Really? That’s a relief.” Hasegawa said with a smile.
(That means I have nothing to worry about for now? It doesn’t look like Hasegawa’s feelings have changed… Is it too late if I tell him my feelings after Ms. Rin has gone back to the head office?)
She sighed and a sense of relief overwhelmed her. Hasegawa’s words somehow lightened up her spirit.
However, from that day on, Hasegawa never made a move on her again.