Fukube Satoshi's POV
It's not the function of a database to draw conclusions. Its only concern is to keep a faithful recording of the facts, minus opinions, biases or anything else that could affect the data. As I'm a database, what I'm going to tell you now, are all facts - purely facts. These are things that I have witnessed first hand, and things that people only notice if they pay close attention. You can draw your own conclusions.
It all began on a normal Thursday afternoon. So normal, in fact, that I never thought something curious would happen. I was walking to the Classic Literature Club room. In my pocket were the freshly developed pictures of the Hina Doll Festival. There were several unflattering shots of my friend, Houtarou Oreki, the self-proclaimed energy-conservationist. I'm sure it would at least provide for some amusement.
I opened the door and Eru Chitanda, our president, and Houtarou himself were already seated inside. Both of them were reading in silence.
"Hey guys!" I said.
Chitanda turned from her seat and smiled, "Good afternoon, Satoshi-san." Houtarou didn't bother to wave, a waste of energy he'd call it.
"I brought the pictures from the festival. The shots turned out great thanks to the cherry blossoms."
Chitanda clapped her hands excitedly, "Really? May I see them Satoshi-san?"
"Here ya go!" I handed her a brown envelope containing the pictures. It's not my area of expertise, but I noticed that her hair was different that day, oddly styled. "Did you do something different with your hair, Chitanda-san?"
"Ahh, yes. I placed a hairpin." She was beaming as she said it.
"A purple hairpin, that's it. It matches your eyes." I paused to observe, "I could even say it's the exact same shade. Isn't that curious?"
It was meant to be a casual remark, but the effects were instantaneous. Houtarou swiftly turned to look at the window, obstructing my view to his face. Chitanda also choked a bit, and suddenly blushed a healthy shade of pink.
"Y-yes. Thank you." Chitanda said, still blushing.
I was about to press for details but Chitanda suddenly stood up, and declared that she was going to look for Mayaka Ibara. She hurriedly ran out the room.
"Well that was strange."
Houtarou gave a noncommittal grunt and resumed his reading.
"Can't say it wasn't the perfect timing though. Here, I have a present for you." I grinned as I tossed him another envelope and took a seat beside him.
"Extra copies of the photographs, for memory's sake. I know you didn't ask for them, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn't prepare them for you?"
"Why are you smiling like an idiot?"
He opened the envelope and inside were all pictures of Chitanda, and maybe two or three shots of them together. He was speechless and I couldn't help but laugh.
"I know. Some of those pictures make you look like an idiot. But what matters is the rest of the pictures, right?" I laughed again. "Do what you want with them, I'm going to the Executive Committee meeting." I grabbed my bag and headed straight for the door. Before stepping out, I realized something that's been nagging me since I saw the hairpin. "Houtarou, was Chitanda with you when you bought the hairpin?"
Houtarou turned to look at me with a difficult expression. He was, as he would later confirm, entertaining a choice between denial or feigning ignorance.
"No, she wasn't," he muttered.
"I see." He went with the truth I was almost touched. "I'm surprised you can replicate the shade of Chitanda's eyes by sheer memory. Been staring at them long enough, have you?"
"It was a lucky pick!"
"Sure." I laughed again and waved him goodbye. "Later, Houtarou!"
The accessory seemed innocuous enough. But Houtarou claimed the following day that he spent as little energy as possible in buying it. It was on his way home so he picked it up or some excuse of a similar sort. He ambushed me by the footlockers to tell me this.
"The fact that you're explaining the circumstances of the hairpin is really unsettling. Should I make a big deal out of it since you are?" I grinned.
"Don't. I just didn't want you to jump into conclusions," Houtarou said.
"I wasn't." I laughed. I traded in my walking shoes for my indoor shoes and closed the door of my locker. "Anyway Houtarou, tomorrow is Saturday right? I was thinking of running by you the content for our anthology this year. You free?"
"Ahh. Can't tomorrow. I have plans."
"Sorry to break it to you, but I don't think lounging around all day like a hermit-crab qualifies as 'plans.'"
"I have plans out, I mean."
"Ohhh, date with Chitanda-san?" I teased. I can never resist an opportunity to say that.
I turned to look at him. A full ten seconds passed before Houtarou moved to speak.
"Maybe," he said, with a deadpan expression on his face. "How's that."
"N-No way! For real? Oy! This makes me curious, where are you headed? Oy! Houtarou."