June, when the change of seasonal clothes is over and everyone wears short sleeves.

I had been thinking recently, and it dawned on me that Yuuri was spending a lot more time at my house.

In addition to supplies for Kanon and Himari, Yuuri had been bringing sweets as gifts.

Although I was grateful, I also felt a little bad that each time I got some.

However, I was not displeased, because I like sweets. I was quite delighted.

Besides, that kind of candy has reasonable sale prices.

The snacks Kanon used to buy, as expected, were somewhat expensive sweets, so Yuuri didn’t bring those.

So, the present Yuuri brought this day was cream cakes.

Apparently, she had picked them up at a bakery near my office.

The store’s name was printed on the box, yet it was the first time I heard of it.

Well, just to be fair, I had never made any conscious effort to remember these stores’ names.

Sitting on the couch in the living room, we wasted no time before taking our first bite of the cream cakes.

“Huh… My…? This is delicious!” Kanon took a bite and exclaimed in an admiring voice.

Himari continued to eat silently with cream all over her cheeks.

Was she absorbed?

I savored every single bite. The pastry was filled to the brim with both mellow custard cream and a not-too-sweet whipped cream.

Plus, the crust was crispy and delicious. This was, as expected, a flavor that no convenience store candy could compete with.

It climbed right away to the top of my candy ranking.

I glanced again at the store’s name printed on the box.

“I see… I’ll drop in secretly on that store next time.”

As soon as she finished eating, Kanon went to take a bath.

It was the day that Himari entered second.

“Hm…” Yuuri, who was preparing to leave, touched her forehead with a kind of mysterious expression.

“Yuuri-san, what’s wrong?” Himari modestly asked Yuuri.

Usually, Kanon was in the middle, but when Himari and Yuuri were alone, there was still a distant atmosphere between them.

Well, both were somewhat reserved in some respects.

“It’s nothing, it seems I got some acne on my forehead… It wasn’t there this morning, hey,” Yuuri replied while smiling bitterly.

“Ah, I got a pimple on my chin yesterday.”

“Fufu. We’re in the same boat now, aren’t we?”

“Yuuri, at your age, I wouldn’t call it acne. Pimples-” my words were cut off by a sharp, knife-like glare Yuuri gave me. “I said nothing.”

“Hm. Okay then,” Yuuri said, turning back to her usual smile.

From the side, Himari made a panicked face and said to me with her eyes, “Logically, that was insensitive, Komamura-san…”

Indeed, it was stupid.

No matter how close childhood friends we are, you never talk on a woman’s age… I carved in stone that warning inside me.

Honestly, that expression of Yuuri’s was the scariest thing I have ever seen…

The bathroom door opened at that moment.

“No way, I got a pimple.”

“…”

We all simultaneously looked at Kanon, who came out of the bathroom complaining in a nonchalant voice.

“Ehh…? What’s going on with you all?” Kanon was perplexed as she was bathed by the sudden intense stares.

What the hell? Very bad timing.

Or rather, how did each of them sprout pimples at such a similar time?

Was that cream pie too much for all of them?

“Uh, it’s nothing…”

“So nothing… Are you sure? Obviously, something happened, right?”

Kanon, don’t probe any further than that.

Yuuri, smiling amicably, looked a bit scary again.

※※※

(Narrator changes)

As she spread out the futon in the living room and as if she suddenly remembered something, Kanon muttered:

“That reminds me of the omoi, omoware, furi, furare thing back in middle school. When you got a pimple, it was a shock to everyone,” Kanon said as her cheeks blushed slightly. Still, Himari just put on a puzzled expression. 1

“What’s that?”

“Eh… Really? You haven’t heard it?” At Himari’s answer, this time it was Kanon who was puzzled.

“Hmm… What does this have to do with pimples?”

“It’s like something to predict love… The place where the pimple comes out reveals your position to the person you like…” said Kanon while scratching her cheeks with her fingers. She looked embarrassed.

Apparently, she was embarrassed to say the words “person you like.” Contrarily, Himari’s eyes sparkled with interest.

“I-I want to know!”

“Hey, calm down. I’ll tell you,” Kanon quietened Himari’s too direct reaction.

I was a little jealous of that side of Himari.

“Then, let’s take it easy, okay?

“A pimple on your forehead is ‘omoi.’ It means that everything is in your mind; that is, a one-sided love.”

“Really…? So, what about the chin?”

“‘Omoware.’ That means someone is thinking of you.”

“Huh…?” Himari traced the pimple on her chin with her finger.

Perhaps out of some thought at Himari, who was blushing her cheeks, Kanon then pointed to her own chin.

“By the way, I have it on my chin too.”

They looked at each other and smiled bitterly.

Maybe…no, definitely, they were thinking the same thing, so they both were a little dejected.

“The ‘omoware’ of this pimple is probably that. Family love? It looks like that kind.”

“Yeah. I think so…”

But it’s not like they weren’t considering it. Both girls forced their thinking to the good side.

“What do the other two mean, by the way?”

-“Let’s see. ‘Furi’ is the left cheek, and it’s ‘furare’ for the right cheek.

“That… Then, you have to do anything so that they don’t sprout on the right cheek, understand…?” When Himari said that with a severe expression, Kanon, reflexively also ended up dragging her will to the same side.

No one wants to have a pimple on their right cheek.

The thoughts of both of them were so serious that their hearts were deceived by an unfounded superstition.

“Okay. Then we must take care not only of the face washing but also of the food and not stay up late, okay?”

“Yes! That’s right! Kanon-chan, let’s go to bed right away!”

It was funny to see Himari rushing to the futon, so Kanon almost ended up bursting into laughter involuntarily.

It was true that she had been having mixed feelings ever since she realized that they liked the same person.

But all in all, Kanon didn’t hate Himari.

  1. “Omoi, omoware, furi, furare” was a 1980s advertising slogan about acne that became popular among schoolgirls. There is a shoujo manga that took it as its title. The translation the manga gave it was “Love me, love me not”, although it could be translated as “to think (or love) of  [sb], to be (loved) in [sb] thoughts…; to abandon, to be abandoned.”