Chapter 11:

Finally, Okumori Toshiro arrives at the mall.


A clear vision of lilies, but a blurry vision of sunflowers.
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A clear vision of rain, but a blurry vision of sunlight.Bookmark here

And an extremely vivid image of a cigarette smoldering on an ashtray. Rays of sunlight shone upon the smoke that exited the tip of the white tobacco stick, with ashes slowly drifting down and piling up onto the tray that it peacefully sat on.Bookmark here

Each brought an uneasy feeling throughout my body.Bookmark here

I gradually woke up from my deep slumber of dreams, with the contact of a soft and pleasing cushion presented upon my face.Bookmark here

As my arms were encased around it, I noticed something strange. The pillow I had been hugging hadn't exactly felt like a pillow. The back was unusually hard yet smooth, while the front was the complete opposite. Unlike the back, the front was very soft and comfortable. Bookmark here

I pulled my head away and squinted. With my drowsy eyes, I looked at the pillow I had been hugging. My eyes slightly stung, and felt a little puffy.
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There was the mark of wetness on the pillow sheet, specifically from where my eyes used to be. I stared at it in a mystifying way as I started to theorize what had happened.
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There was one explanation I could only think of.Bookmark here

Crying?Bookmark here

But, that instantly became the least of my concern. Once I had finally regained my focus, the sight of white hoodie strings caught my interest.Bookmark here

I relocated my eyesight above me, and the sight I saw baffled me tremendously. The confusion I was experiencing a few seconds ago had turned into trepidation.Bookmark here

Above me was Miyake. She had been sleeping quietly right in front of me, her arm softly wrapped around my head.Bookmark here

My brain quite literally blew up upon seeing Miyake. The pillow I supposedly had been shoving and cuddling my face with had been her chest. Bookmark here

I became paralyzed with anxiety and shock after realizing what I had been hugging so tightly. Bookmark here

This is a joke, right? How did she even get in here? Why am I even hugging her? Multiple questions entered my head, so much to the point where I started getting dizzy.Bookmark here

I gulped, and steadily retracted my arms away from her. I then pulled myself downwards to remove myself from her arms. After a few seconds of squirming around mixed in with trying not to wake her up, I eventually was free from the intense comfortless situation I was in.Bookmark here

I now had been standing beside the bed, looking at Miyake in pure horror.
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Her blonde and wavy hair was now a frizzy mess, which covered her face. Every time she breathed out, her hair would fly upwards, showing her thin lips and intricate cheeks for a split second before falling back down and covering them again. Miyake also wore a white sweatshirt and a pink skirt, as well as some white socks to cover her feet. 
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The only question I could think of was: "Nothing crazy happened, right?"Bookmark here

She then instantly jolted up, causing me to jerk back in surprise. She blinked rapidly and looked at her surroundings frantically.Bookmark here

"I fell asleep?!" She whispered loudly.Bookmark here

She eventually spotted me and instantly presented a bright red face. I could see the steam exiting her ears.Bookmark here

"I-I-" She stuttered.
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I couldn't move an inch. The shock that flowed through my body was inconceivable, with chills driving up and down on my back as if it was a road. Miyake looked like she was in the same situation as well, staring at me in sheer embarrassment. Bookmark here

"It's not what you think..." She desperately said.Bookmark here

"Oh? You two finally woke up?"Bookmark here

We both looked over and saw my mom standing by the door with a suspicious smile.Bookmark here

"Well, it was bound to happen, so I'm not too mad. Don't worry, Toshiro, I'm lenient!" She giggled.Bookmark here

Her mood then switched to a curious one as she squinted her eyes and carefully inspected me by looking up and down.Bookmark here

"Did you use a con-?"Bookmark here

I grabbed the door handle and shut it before she could finish her immature sentence. Bookmark here

Then, instantaneously, I moved my head towards Miyake with a grimaced look.Bookmark here

"Why...?" I angrily grumbled at her.Bookmark here

"It's not what you think! I swear! Nothing bad happened! Y-You were-" Bookmark here

She stopped herself from finishing her sentence and looked away from me grudgingly.Bookmark here

"" She quietly mumbled.Bookmark here

I couldn't hear what Miyake had muttered, mainly since I was more focused towards her current appearance. Her white sweatshirt was oversized and revealed her white and smooth collarbone, and her sleeves were so long to the point where it completely concealed her hands.Bookmark here

She had been sitting on my bed with her legs shaped as a W, with her hands in between her thighs that fidgeted nervously every few seconds. Her face that was always optimistic and euphoric was now a flustered mess that hid behind her messy bed hair.Bookmark here

"N-Nothing! That's right! Nothing happened!" She aggressively stated and pointed at me. "I just wanted to... Comfort you! That's it!"Bookmark here

A sigh exited my body as I drearily stared at her.Bookmark here

I didn't know what made her presume that I had needed to be hugged while I slept just for meager consolation. Her deliberate lying only made my curiosity worse, and the wet mark that was displayed on her sweatshirt caught my intrigued eyes. It made me wonder if that was the reason for her supposed solacing actions.Bookmark here

"Was I crying?" I humorlessly asked.Bookmark here

The fidgeting on her hands instantly stopped once I had questioned her, not giving me a look nor any reaction at all.Bookmark here

I waited, but she didn't respond. Bookmark here

As if the situation couldn't get any more problematical, a voiceless atmosphere was established between us.Bookmark here

The silence that befell upon us was like of a forest. The only sounds that entered our ears were the birds chirping outside accompanied by the swaying of trees, and the sounds of leaves flying past from outside the window.Bookmark here

Yet, the feeling of despondency and grimness continued to hover around inside my body as I recalled my abnormal dream.
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Finally, Miyake opened her previously shut mouth. "Ye-"Bookmark here

Before she could even reply, a muffled voice behind my door interrupted her.Bookmark here

"You guys are going to the mall today, right? I have your clothes ready!" Bookmark here

We both simultaneously moved our heads over skeptically.Bookmark here

"Clothes...?" Miyake confusingly questioned. Bookmark here

Then, the quiet Miyake that was formerly present had vanished in an instant as her bemused look turned into a thrilled and upbeat expression.Bookmark here

"Mall! We're going to the mall! I forgot!" She exclaimed. "I'll explain everything to you when we get there, okay, Okumori-kun?! Right now, I need to get ready!" Bookmark here

What? We're leaving now? More importantly, don't try to avoid the question!Bookmark here

I was under the impression that we would arrive at the mall during the afternoon, but Miyake downright denied that thought.
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She gave me a quick pat on the head and exited the room before I could even react. My eyes set upon the white door that had a slight tint of yellow from the sunlight that entered my room.Bookmark here

I took a deep breath and looked at my surroundings nervously, then looking at my right palm. I hesitantly raised it and gently patted myself. The feeling of hair connected with my hand repeatedly as I touched my head.Bookmark here

"What are you doing?"Bookmark here

I dropped my hand down in an instant and anxiously looked over.Bookmark here

The door that I assumed was closed was now open, with Miyake's head peeking from the doorway with a perplexed look. I swiftly lunged towards my bed and tightly gripped the case of a pillow, as I turned around and hurled it towards the door.Bookmark here

She moved her head away before the pillow could hit her, letting out a small giggle.Bookmark here

"Jeez, Okumori-kun! All you had to do was say it! You like pats, don't you?"Bookmark here

I felt a flushed complexion on my face, as I ran forth and grabbed the door and closed it shut. Bookmark here

I don't like it, right? It was just a test. Do I have a thing for them? I hope not. I pray not.Bookmark here

I shouldn't have done that. Bookmark here

I eventually forced myself to get ready after debating my desires and recollecting my thoughts. Bookmark here

Soon enough, I had taken a quick shower and exited with the smell of cocunut shampoo protruding from my hair. With a towel wrapped around my waist, I hastily ran towards my room before Miyake could spot me.Bookmark here

I opened the door and shut it closed, then moving my eyes towards my bed.Bookmark here

There was a white cap that sat on top of a white t-shirt and a light blue woolen denim jacket, as well as some light blue skinny jeans with rips that exposed the knees. Beside the clothing was a shining silver necklace, which had a shark tooth-shaped pendant attached to it. And finally, on the floor, were some white sneakers that matched the rest of the outfit.Bookmark here

"W-What?" I silently muttered.Bookmark here

"Wear it."Bookmark here

My body shuddered at the voice, as I slowly looked over towards the door. My mom's head was showing from the doorway with a happy grin that also seemed petrifying.Bookmark here

"Wear it." She repeated.Bookmark here

I gulped and nodded.Bookmark here

She then disappeared from my sight.Bookmark here

She picked this out, didn't she? What's with the style? It's too attention-grabbing. I don't want people staring at me because of how much it screamed "Trendy clothing!"  Bookmark here

People would probably think I'm overdressing, which is frankly humilating. Bookmark here

The immediate thoughts of others when seeing this outfit would probably be something along the lines of:Bookmark here

"He's trying too hard."Bookmark here

"It looks nice, but did he have to go that far?"Bookmark here

"Too much."Bookmark here

Just thinking about it made me feel anxious. Seriously, I haven't even worn it and I already feel embarrassed.Bookmark here

I took a step forward and pinched the white t-shirt with my index finger and thumb, raising it up as I stared at it without any emotion.Bookmark here

I then groaned and dropped it back on the bed.Bookmark here

This wasn't the only thing that was bugging me, though. I felt more exhausted than usual, and I realized that I had been coughing a lot when I was in the bathroom. Taking a step felt oddly heavier than before, and my throat earned an itch every few minutes. Bookmark here

It wasn't anything severe, though, so I simply disregarded it and forced myself to believe that it was just my allergies acting up.Bookmark here

I forced myself to wear the over-dressed outift my mom had chosen for me after groaning internally for approximately five minutes straight. I now stared at myself in the mirror, debating whether I should wear the white hat.Bookmark here

I put the hat on, then pulled it away repeatedly. Eventually, I'd reach my decision and threw it aside on the bed.Bookmark here

I took a deep breath, then finally went to the living room. I walked with a demoralized spirit,  only to see Miyake and my mom quite literally nudging each other's cheeks with glee and exhiliration.Bookmark here

"The outfit is so good! I love it! I love it!" Miyake repeatedly said.Bookmark here

"I know, right?!" My mom replied.Bookmark here

I stared at them repulsively, cringing at their immature stunts.Bookmark here

"Okumori-kun, Okumori-kun, look!" Bookmark here

Miyake pulled away and presented herself to me.Bookmark here

That disgusted look of mine vanished almost instantly as I spotted Miyake's clothing.Bookmark here

Miyake's previously messy bed hair had now taken the form of an angelic-like wavy blonde that hid under a white thick-woolen beret, which was slightly tilted to the right.Bookmark here

She had two golden necklaces that distanced each other, with one necklace right on the collarbone height having a triangle pendant, and the other one more lowered towards the chest area and not having any pendant at all. She also wore a white turtleneck sweater and a light brown cardigan that mainly covered below the elbow area due to how loose it was worn.Bookmark here

Along with her top, was a bright white skirt that reached her knees, as well as white canvas sneakers that concealed her feet. Miyake also had a white purse that was slung on her shoulders, which was almost falling off due to her extreme excitement.Bookmark here

Seeing her in such a stylish outfit made me feel peculiar. Was this even legal? It's like I'm staring at something that can kill people. Nonetheless, linking this outfit with her elegant prettiness was like combining the best soccer players in one team. Bookmark here

To be put simply; it was dangerous.Bookmark here

"What do you think? It looks nice, right? Your mom is so cool! I love her! Oh my goodness, it's so beautiful!" She rapidly spoke.Bookmark here

My mom placed her hands on her hips and stood merrily at hearing Miyake's compliments.Bookmark here

In response, I nodded slowly.Bookmark here

"Ooh, wait, your outfit looks cool too!" Miyake then cheered.Bookmark here

She approached me and leaned in close to inspect me, letting out curious grunts and noises every few seconds, which made me severely awkward.Bookmark here

Miyake then pulled away and grinned happily, lifting her hand and placing it on my head and starting to carress my hair.Bookmark here

I instantly grabbed her wrist and pulled it away diststressfully, giving her an irritated glowering look.Bookmark here

"Fine, fine, sorry..." She lazily apologized. "You look good though, seriously."Bookmark here

A deadpan face was all I responded with. A trickly smile formed on her face as she saw my reply.Bookmark here

"Y-You look good." She uncomfortably repeated.Bookmark here

I stared at her blankly and spotted her face that was essentially screaming the words "Reply! Respond! Talk!"  which were to no avail as I disregarded her pleading expressions.Bookmark here

The awkward mood that she had from seeing my emotionless reaction was soon halted by my mother.
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"I'll drive you two there, how's that sound?"Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

Miyake quickly turned to her and nodded. "Yes! Yes!"Bookmark here

Combining these two immature females was like creating the final touches for a massive migraine to attack my head. I kept quiet, but deep down, I was praying for them to not do anything overwhelming during the ride.Bookmark here

Though, I was more baffled towards how quickly Miyake could switch her attention span as well as her emotions. It was like a switch that a little girl repeatedly flicks on and off whenever she's bored.Bookmark here

The two had a little small talk about Miyake's clothing and other unimportant things as they gaily left the house. Meanwhile, I followed after with slight dejection.Bookmark here

If I'm being truthfully honest, I was, and currently still am under the impression that this day was going to be either one: Bookmark here

Excruicating.Bookmark here

Or two:Bookmark here

Dreadful.Bookmark here

Why would someone who absolutely loathes social interaction want to go somewhere where socializing is essentially everywhere you look? Just the mere thought of the amount of people present in the mall was enough for me to already get inundated.Bookmark here

I didn't forget about the sleeping incident either. It had been bugging me the whole time, and just thinking about it made me anxious mixed in with bitterness. Bookmark here

I wonder what type of excuse she'll make up for it?Bookmark here

I only took one step outside the house, and immediately felt the urge to go back in and slam the door closed, but I fought the temptation and willed myself to go on with this torturous adventure.Bookmark here

We'd enter the car, with me and my mom sitting up front whilst Miyake sat in the back and hummed some tune. Bookmark here

I already recognized the song she was humming as soon as she started.Bookmark here

Asu No Yozora Shoukaihan.Bookmark here

Why do I know that song? Well, everyone hides something, right? In that case, I'll gladly say it. I listened to it when I was extremely obsessed with music. That's all.Bookmark here

I took a deep breath and attempted to sympathize with the off-note humming that left Miyake's mouth.
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The sight of grey powerlines, grey cars, and grey roads ran past my eyesight. In fact,, everything felt rather bland just looking at it.
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"So? What are you two planning to do at the mall?" My mom questioned with curiousness yet with elation as well.Bookmark here

Miyake's humming and noises stopped altogether, followed by a hesitant laugh.
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"Well, we don't really know." She said apologetically. "I was going going come over yesterday to talk to Okumori-kun about it, but well..."Bookmark here

"Hm?" My mom asked, intrigued by her abrupt end of a sentence.Bookmark here

"Nothing. I just didn't have the time, sorry. We'll figure it out as we go!" Miyake responded, trying to keep that confidential tone of hers to it's usual level.Bookmark here

It was clear as day that she wasn't saying something.
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Frankly, I was more irked to how desperately she was trying to hide what had happened, not much of the situation itself. Her attempts were futile, and I could sense that my mother was thinking the same.
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After Miyake's 'confident' response, my mom simply nodded and smiled.Bookmark here

"It's probably more fun that way! You both will enjoy it, I guarantee it."Bookmark here

As my head was faced towards the window, I slowly shook my head in dissapprovement.
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It was blatantly clear that my mom was trying to avoid on stepping on any landmines judging by her tone and choice of words. It seemed like she was just trying to end the conversation quickly.
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Though, how could you blame her? You don't force someone to talk when they're clearly nervous of doing so.Bookmark here

The rest of the ride to the mall was silent, with each of us not even batting a look to each other.
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Honestly, I really didnt know whether this awkward atmosphere was better than getting sensory overload from their relentless chatting.
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Eventually, we'd arrive at our destination. My mom parked in front of the mall and cheered us on.Bookmark here

"Go have fun, kids! Make sure you have fun!"
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I shut the door with a sigh, then setting my eyes upon the mall that was in front of me.Bookmark here

"Mall! Yay!" Miyake exclaimed.Bookmark here

Just seeing the mass amounts of people come and go was already making me dizzy. I really didn't know how I'll survive this.
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"Come on, Okumori-kun!"Bookmark here

Miyake then grabbed my wrist and pulled me forwards to the overwhelming sounds of socialization. Bookmark here

She dragged me happily as if she completely forgot what happened.
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And that disturbs me.
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Authors note: lol chapters are being posted every saturday now. i swear i'll try to post every saturday. Bookmark here

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edit: (^this is a big fat lie)Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.