When the automated doors opened, Yuigahama stretched as she walked outside.
“Mmm! I sang my fill! Karaoke is fun when you haven’t done it for a while. We should come again, Yukinon!”
“You’ll make me sing too much if I go with you, so I’m hardly inclined… to think you made me sing five songs…” Yukinoshita said wearily as she followed Yuigahama out.
Yuigahama responded by raising her voice. “Huh?! But you were amazing, so let’s go again!” she entreated.
“Ah, me too, me too,” said Komachi. “I wanna go too!”
Then Komachi flew into step with Yukinoshita. Sandwiched between two people, Yukinoshita’s cheeks reddened slightly.
“…well, I suppose it’s all right once in a while.”
“Yep, thanks. That counts for today as well,” said Yuigahama. “I was happy that so many people celebrated with me…”
“I’m not the one you should thank. He gathered those people.”
“Y-you’re right… H-Hikki, um.”
As I was walking outside to follow the girls, Yuigahama span around to face me.
“Yeah?” I said.
“Um, thanks for tod- huh?” Yuigahama was in the middle of saying something, but then she turned her gaze behind me dubiously. When I looked behind me in turn, it was at the exact moment the automated doors opened and the figure of a person appeared.
At the same time the mechanical noise sounded, a single woman walked out.
“I spent so much time alone again,” she said, sighing. “Well, I’ll be alone even if I go home… heh.”
As she looked at the woman who was laughing at herself derisively, Yuigahama raised her voice in a puzzled manner. “Hiratsuka-sensei? Weren’t you at a party?”
“Y-Yuigahama?! Y-you guys are still here?!” Caught in a frenzy, Hiratsuka looked at each of us in turn.
Having figured out what she meant by the word party, I spoke up without thinking. “By party, did you mean a marriage hunting party?”
“…did it not work out?” Yukinoshita said, her tone laced with sympathy.
Yuigahama spoke to Hiratsuka-sensei comfortingly. “S-Sensei? Look, uh. Marriage isn’t everything! You have your job, and I bet you can take care of yourself since you’re so strong. So please cheer up!”
But the moment she heard that, Hiratsuka-sensei’s eyes started blurring with tears.
“Wahhh… I got told that a long time ago…” she muttered something that sounded very sad to me.
And then all of a sudden, Hiratsuka-sensei dashed off into the distance.
“Ah, she ran away,” I said.
Hiratsuka-sensei’s voice echoed throughout the night sky, perhaps because of the Doppler Effect.
“Wahhh… Won’t someone marry me?”
(Bonus Track “Birthday Song for You” End.)