She loves me, she loves me not.
Takemoto had picked the flower to give to Hagu-chan, but instead had decided to twirl it in his fingers, picking at the petals idly. He wasn't exactly sure when he'd begun the childish ritual of chanting 'she loves me, she loves me not', but now...'she loves me not'. And he hadn't been able to fight the frown that spread across his face as he spoke the words. Surely it had just been chance- the number of petals on the flower. Surely if he had picked another one the results would have been different...but Takemoto didn't chance it that day.
Now, lying by himself in a field with his bike beside him, Takemoto picked a flower once more, twirling it in his fingers and staring at it intently. One by one he began to pick at the petals, chanting 'she loves me, she loves me not'. And then...he stopped, as two petals were left hanging from the stem of the flower. And he couldn't fight the small frown that crossed his face as he spoke the words. Back then, when he'd first fallen in love with her...it would have been too much to handle, accepting that she might not have, couldn't have, returned his feelings. But now...he almost expected it. And as he twirled the stem of the flower in his fingers...he smiled, and plucked the last two off the stem.
"She loves me."
"She loves me not."
And maybe, just maybe...that would be okay, too.