My Sweet Encounter
"You must not do anything that would tarnish the Osaka family's name,"
"You must be kind,"
"You must look proper all the time,"
"You must engage with the society always with a smile,"
"You must stay on top of your studies,"
"You must not slack off,"
"You must respect your elders,"
"You must not mingle with the wrong people,"
There were so many rules in the Osaka household, and those were the last reminders Yuzuki heard from her mother before she was left behind in her father's care at the early age of five.
But there was one thing she could not understand, and she genuinely asked, "What do you mean by wrong people?"
Her mother's lips pursed to a thin line, and before the words left her mother's lips, Yuzuki thought she saw it quiver for a moment.
"Poor people, thugs, delinquents, low-class," her mother, whom she got her green eyes from, turned her back to Yuzuki, "…and people like me not born in money."
Her mother's voice broke as she spoke her last words. With her back turned to Yuzuki, she reached out her slender arm and patted Yuzuki's head tenderly before walking away with her large luggage in tow. Yuzuki could only watch as her mother's figure – brown hair and slender body, disappeared from her sight.
"Mama," she whispered, not realizing that moment would be the last she would see her.
Yuzuki felt a finger brush against her cheek. Fluttering her eyes open, her green orbs looked straight into a pair of hazel eyes. Feeling embarrassed and shocked at the same time, Yuzuki pushed the boy away with both hands sending him flying backwards, landing on his ass while laughing hard at her mortified reaction.
"A man shouldn't cry in broad daylight in school, you know," the boy said while propping his elbows to his knees.
'A man, huh…' Looking up at the blue sky while seated on the rooftop, Yuzuki took in a big breath. 'Yes. I, Yuzuki Osaka, a 15-year-old girl in my first year in high school, is now living as a boy by the name of Yuu Osaka,' Yuzuki reminded herself.
She mentally cursed having to wake up extra early just to prepare herself by wrapping a bandage around her chest, wearing the boys' uniform and putting on a fake pair of glasses.
"Ah, I was just tired," Yuu scratched her head. 'Why was I crying in the first place, silly woman!'
"Do you cry when you're tired?"
The boy then cocked his head to the side as if assessing Yuzuki.
"Ah, yeah… Don't you?" Yuu mentally cursed the boy in front of her, 'Why are you so nosy?!' She shouldn't stay here for too long. If she says too much, it would be all over.
"No," he answered curtly. "Hey, we're in the same class, and it has been two weeks, but I haven't seen you hang out with any of the boys."
"I don't hang out with the girls either. What's wrong with that?" Yuu glowered at him.
"Sorry," the boy chuckled, "Sure, there's nothing wrong there, but you sure you want to stay alone for the next three years?"
'Alone? For the next three years? No… I don't want that…' she answered in her mind, but she couldn't out loud. After all, it would be a sign of weakness.
Yuu, 'And weakness is not an option.' Taking a deep breath in, Yuu regained composure.
"I'm new to this school. Isn't it normal? Of course, I wouldn't make connections straight away. Isn't proving what I can do the best way to build relationships?" Yuu looked at him squarely, standing her ground.
"No. You could have made friends on the first day if you went with Ikeda when he invited you for lunch."
'So that's the orange head's name. Ikeda,' Yuzuki pondered.
"Instead, you told him to leave you alone." The boy smirked as he put his arms behind him and rested his weight on his palms.
Yuu clenched her jaw. She knew more than anyone else that she screwed up big time. If only she could turn back time, she would do it all again and maybe…just maybe… things would turn out different to what it always had been. Clenching her fist at her own miserable situation, Yuu's nail dug into her skin.
"I better go and grab a quick lunch before class resumes," Yuu said, avoiding the conversation as she stood up and patted the dust off her bottom before heading for the door. However, just before her hand touched the doorknob, the boy spoke loud enough that she could hear it from a distance.
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
'Tsk. What does he want now?'
Yuu turned around and looked at the boy who was now walking towards her.
Tall, quite good-looking, fair complexion, and has a lean body – Yuu couldn't help but check him out. 'Tsk. Damn the teenage hormones!' Yuu mentally face-palmed as she looked at him in the eyes, and with a dignified expression, responded, "I don't think so."
The boy made an 'oooh' sound as he put his right hand into his pocket.
"Are you sure?" The boy smirked.
A cool breeze blew past them, blowing Yuzuki's golden short hair over her eyes.
Just as she brushed her hair off her face, a pair of hands moved to her face making her shut her eyes. When she opened her green orbs, she realized what just happened – she made a huge mistake.
A huge mistake.
Her fake glasses – he put it on her face!
Her heart skipped a beat, and her blood all but drained off her face.
"They're distance glasses, aren't they? You never go anywhere without wearing them," the boy's voice was calculating. "…but you walked fine and about to grab the knob without a problem."
Yuu took a sharp breath in, and it felt as though the air that travelled into her lungs burn.
The boy was a head taller than Yuu, so she couldn't see his face. But he was so close that she could feel his breath on her skin. And for some unknown reason, the smell of mint relaxed her a little bit.
She looked up, and again, that was a mistake.
He was looking straight down at her; now, their faces were mere centimetres apart.
Her eyes wavered at his gaze, and she wanted to pull her gaze away, but a part of her did not want to back down.
As her heart pounded inside her chest, there was only one logical thing she could think of.
For the second time, she pushed him away, but he didn't budge this time.
"Just what are you hiding," he said as he moved his face a centimetre closer, hitching Yuu's breath and turning her mind blank. He then dragged the next two syllables that left his lips as if he was teasing, "...Yuu-chan?" With his hazel eyes dancing in amusement, the corner of his lips rose.
Heat suddenly crept up her face. Feeling cornered, with adrenaline in her veins, Yuu pushed the boy with all her might, making him take a few steps back.
Glaring at the handsome boy, she said in a deadly tone, "Leave me alone."
With that and her pounding heart and flushed face, Yuu turned around, opened the door and descended the staircase.
'Just who was that?! I should have paid attention during class introductions. Argh!'
"Kousuke Nakano," a voice came from behind, halting Yuu's steps. "Class 1A, 16-years-old. I love girls, and I have quite a bad reputation. Ah, I like cute things too. I hope we get along," the boy said.
Yuu turned on her heels and looked up at the glary light at the top of the stare case where only Kousuke Nakano's silhouette could be seen.
"…Yuu-chan," he whispered.
She couldn't see it, but it was evident in his voice – he was amused. She could already imagine that stupid smirk on his face.
Clenching her jaw and fist, Yuzuki turned away with a scowl on her face and descended the building.
'What's wrong with him?!'