(hi im back. im not sure if ill be able to dish out another chapter on saturday, but ill try my best. just dont take my word for it. enjoy!)
I now stood under a shadow of a tree with my hands in my pocket, staring at Miyake who excitedly grinned while standing in the bright sunlight.
Even though it was mildly freezing outside, I preferred staying in the shadow just so I could embrace the full effects of the cool weather. If I was to step outside, no matter how freezing it was, the sunlight would probably pierce my skin, and I hate that feeling.
"Okumori-kun, where should we go? Where should we go?" Miyake jumped.
I shrugged to her question.
If I'm being accurate, wasn't Miyake the one who invited me here? I mean, it'd make sense for her to make up the plans. Did she really go here without planning this out?
Miyake's eyes sparkled along with her smile getting broader, which could make me only assume that she finally found an answer to her blank-minded question. She lunged forwards inside the shadow that I hid under and grabbed my forearm once more, then pulling out to the sunlight and towards the doors of the mall.
I instantly felt the rays of sunlight hit against my clothes as they started to warm my body up. An annoyed "Tch." came out of me as I was pulled forwards.
Seeing her grab my arm without any care for the misunderstandings other strangers might think of made me slightly irritated. Either she's an absolute airhead about distance, or she's doing this purposefully and is deliberately just attempting to make me annoyed.
Both were terrible theories, and were probably both correct.
Once we had entered the mall, I had expected her to let go of me. But, I was terribly wrong. I let down my guard for a second, only to be powerfully jerked forwards by Miyake's tight grip on my wrist.
I almost fell over from her careless stunt, but luckily managed to keep my footing. She didn't halt, though, and continued to run with excitement.
Due to how fast Miyake was running, I had been stumbling every few seconds and was extremely close to falling face-first into the marble floor that we ran on. I was more concerned about the fact that I was going to break my nose instead of this 'date' itself.
I could smell the fragrant strawberry perfume Miyake had when we had first met as she ran in front of me. As the scent roamed my nose, it strangely made me feel at ease due to its sweetness and freshness. It wasn't too strong to the point where I could barely breathe, instead, it was slightly faint but still present.
Of course, that didn't make me act all amiable towards her. I simply disregarded the aroma of perfume and continued to watch my footing, so I wouldn't break my face.
Finally, Miyake stopped in front of a shop. A grateful sigh came out of me, along with a peripheral of colorful letters that was on top of the entrance doors.
"Look, look! Teddy bears! I knew it was here!" Miyake said zestfully.
A glance of perplexity from me directed towards to Miyake, before I looked over to what was in front of me.
"It's a toy store, Okumori-kun!"
I realized there was a stupefied expression on my face as Miyake informed me to what it was.
How old are you, again?
You are sixteen, right? My age? Not some twelve-year-old?
"I'll get you something, how about that?"
I slowly met eyes with Miyake's, which were twinkling and clearly overjoyed. Her hands were clasped together under her chin, and her smile was the widest I've seen.
"Yes? Yes! I'll definitely get you one!" She nodded promptly. "What do you like? Teddy bears? Dogs? Cats? No, wait, I think a trinket would suit you more! A dog trinket! A cat trinket!"
Each and every suggestion from Miyake felt horrendous to me.
Teddy bears are childish, and wouldn't make sense for a guy like me to possess one. Unless you were a woman, or some little child, then it'd acceptable by society. I'd feel like a creep by having one.
Dogs shed. They shed too much. Just the mere thought of them leaving a speck of fur on me would make me beyond infuriated. Their barks are extremely irritating and blaring, added with the fact that they bark at anything that moves. But, the thing I despised most about them was how they attack. If I saw a rottweiler running at me, I would quite literally run for my life.
Cats are the types of animals that would attack you for no apparent reason. If cats were humans, they'd be the type of people who'd wait until you're stuck in an alleyway, then beat you up relentlessly. They also shed. I hate shedding. Skinless cats wouldn't change a thing either, they look like goblins.
In much simpler words, I'm allergic to fur, along with the hatred of taking care of other things.
"Okumori-kun with a teddy bear..." Miyake muttered with an inquisitive face.
Then, her eyes widened, followed with a small giggle.
"T-Teddy bear." She whispered again. "Cute."
You're thinking of something weird, aren't you?
She looked up at me with stern eyes. "It's decided. I'm getting you a teddy bear."
"No." I instantly retorted.
"Mhm." Miyake fiercely nodded.
I pursed my lip in resentment, knowing this was a losing battle. I closed my mouth before speaking again and looked away from Miyake in vexation.
After Miyake saw my mute reply, a dubious giggle came out of her. "Don't be so sulky about it."
She then went straight inside the toy store and started searching.
I could hear swift footsteps behind me as I avoided placing my eyes on Miyake, looking upon the mass amounts of people walking by outside the shop with a surly look on my face.
Whispers of: "Ooh..." and "This looks cute..." As well as "What color should the ribbon be...?" Entered my ears, no matter how much I wanted to ignore them.
Then, Miyake decided to do something humiliating.
"What should we name the teddy bear, Okumori-kun? Poochie? Bear? Baby? Teddy?" She shouted across the toy store.
A warm feeling ran across my cheeks and ears as I watched Miyake stop in front of me, embarrassed by her inattentiveness.
Just how sanguine is she? Saying those words so nonchalantly is going to cause misinterpretations, and that's the last thing I want during this pseudo-'date.'
She hasn't even picked one out yet, but instead, was jumping up and down in the aisle ahead. Also, what's with those names? They're the most stereotypical ones I've heard. Poochie? Teddy? What's with her lack of knowledge?
I shook my head in askance to her cringe and absent-minded suggestions. If I was the one to receive the bear, it should be my responsibility for it and my choice of what I name it.
Or so I want to believe. Knowing Miyake's nature of compelling and intolerable assertiveness, she'd be the type to do tasks without other's considerations.
In this case, it was about a teddy bear's name.
"Wait, look at this one, Okumori-kun!"
I moved my eyes over to Miyake once more and saw her holding a teddy bear in two hands. It was surprisingly big and was about the size of someone's torso.
The black-beaded eyes that were present shone in the white light that came upon the bear, and its light-brown fabric body seemed soft and comfy in Miyake's small yet delicate hands. Around the small bear's neck was a ribbon that was in the color of a silky-like navy blue that was glossy and slightly tilted to the right.
She approached me while hugging the teddy bear tightly in her arms with a dainty grin.
"Aoi! It should be named Aoi!" Miyake added.
I opened my mouth to speak but closed it almost instantly. If I'm being truthful, the name Aoi made sense. Aoi meant the color 'blue.' And so, the ribbon that was wrapped around the bear's neck was well, blue.
"Cute, right?! It looks so cute! Cute!"
... Is she not able to think of another word other than 'cute?'
"Cute!" She said again, raising it a little higher.
I sighed, then realized that everyone inside the toy store was looking at Miyake with bemused eyes. It only made me feel more embarrassed. They then looked over to me, to which I responded with a shy nod.
Ignore me. I don't know her. I'm just here for something else. She's a complete stranger.
"Speaking of names, I should call you something other than Okumori-kun..." She pointed at me.
I didn't move, and only stared at her in confusement.
I don't know whether to feel worried, or surprised, or just expresionless to her suggestion.
"Oku... Ko... Ku..." Miyake mumbled, trying to find a name. Then, after a few seconds of random pronounciations, she'd finally spark with excitement. "Ki! Ki-kun! How's that? It sounds cute, doesn't it?!"
No. I hate it.
Almost instantly, my head started shaking left to right rapidly. But, it was fruitless against Miyake's profound enthusiasm.
"Ki-kun! Ki-kun. Ki-kun?" She repeated.
Stop it. You're making us the center of attention.
As she continously repeated her newfound name for me, the strangers in the toy store continued to stare at us in a variety of ways. Some were confused, some were smiling, and some had... Covetous eyes? I wasn't sure of it, but I wasn't willing to find out either.
If people were jealous of this type of human interaction, then they're some sort of a psychopath.
"Ki-kun, what do you think of the teddy bear?"
Other than the fact that I absolutely despise it's presence, as well as having a churning sensation in my stomach just by staring at it— I feel like a five year old all over again.
Once more, I shook my head.
"I'll take that as a yes."
I just have no say in what I want, do I?
I let out a grunt, then looking away from her again.
"Look at Ki-kun, being all pouty..." Miyake teased. "Here, this should comfort you!"
There was a feeling of cushion meeting with my arm, then proceeding to touch my neck as well. Before I realized it, Miyake had placed the bears arms around my neck, with its head leaning on my shoulder.
"Hehe..." Miyake giggled.
Her small chortle was followed with a clicking sound and a blinding white light as I turned over to her.
I blinked repeatedly to get rid of the purple-reddish color that was in my eyes, squinting and shaking my head from the pain my head had just recieved.
Miyake then stepped forth and shoved her phone in my face.
"Look how cute you look with the teddy bear, Okumori-kun!" She exclaimed.
I leaned back from her overwhelming close distance, then looking at the picture.
In the phone she held, was me. My wavy dark black hair reached down to the lifeless purple eyes I had, with a face that had no expression at all, and the teddy bear that clinged onto me was now almost falling off, with it's arms slowly sliding away from my neck.
Miyake attempting to support me with those fake words of encouragement didn't help this repulsed look on my face as I stared upon this mess of a picture being in front of my eyes.
Seriously, was this how I appeared like in public? It's sickening to look at.
"Okay, I'm buying it now!"
She snatched the teddy bear away from me, then joyfully approached the cashier before I could even react.
"That'll be seven-thousand yen." A cashier spoke.
I realized that the cashier had been talking to Miyake, who nodded without hesitation to her statement.
Wait, seven-thousand? How did she even get there so fast?
Miyake opened her wallet with joy and pulled out the required yen. "Sure!"
Where did you even find that much? Seven-thousand yen? For a teddy bear? How desperate are you?
Then, I realized there was anger in these questions I asked.
I approached the cashier counter briskly and grabbed Miyake's shoulder, as she stopped and looked up at me with a confused but joyous face.
"Yes?" Miyake peacefully said.
I took a deep breath before forcing myself to speak. I tried to sound confident but failed miserably.
"I-It's seven-thousand yen..." A low-toned, tense whisper left my mouth.
"I know," Miyake assuredly replied.
I then attempted to argue against her clueless-like response."Er- No- You shouldn't-"
She then raised her finger up to my lips and pushed inwards, causing me to stop talking from shock and discomfiture.
"Shh. You don't have to pay me back." She said with a smile.
There was a feeling of hotness that wrapped around my body as I perceived her words.
Because I, have forgotten how much I truly hated Miyake. This magnanimity was just one of the many things I loathed about her audacious personality.
I hate this feeling of relief. I hate this feeling of guilt. I hate this magnanimity she always gives me.
I hate how I'm getting so angry at something so minimal such as this. I feel like a bratty five-year old.
I hate it all.
I know what she's trying to accomplish, and I resent it.
I know exactly what my mom told her when they had first met, but even so, it doesn't help this antipathy I have. It just makes it worse.
"True side." My mom said. I didn't know whether eavesdropping on their conversation was either a good thing or a bad thing.
Why does she try so hard to reveal this 'true' side of me? Isn't this already my true-self? A kid with mental issues who detests relationships, who barely even speaks because of his severe introvertness and sociopathic personality, who can't even manage to let out a simple smile, and can't even think of himself as someone lovable? I can't see myself being anyone else.
Actually, shouldn't that be enough for her to stray away from me?
People don't support others because they're afraid of the problems that a certain person has. The fear of being criticized and shamed for helping an idiotic and delusional human like me, and the thought of risking their own social standing in the world for someone who is essentially insignificant to them frightens them to their core.
They always debate against themselves before doing their act of belevolence, because they're affrighted of the thought of risking something valuable to them.
So, why is Miyake doing this? Is she not afraid of risking things that she cherishes? Does she not question these choices she so carelessly makes? Why is she so cordial with me?
Isn't she just another girl who's in love with concietedness?
I don't understand it.
Why is she buying this for me? What did I do for her?
I don't understand it at all, and I hate it.
But, even if I don't understand this random act of benignity, I won't take chances either.
That's why, I'll need to do everything I can to make us complete strangers again. I don't want to be indebted to her, even if it's something as small as this. It'll just become another poor excuse to continue this mess of a relationship we have.
I don't want it. I don't need it. I don't like it.
I hate it.
"Ki-kun...?" Miyake whispered. "Are you okay?"
My lip trembled slightly, but was hidden from Miyake as I stared at the tiled floor my feet was placed on.
I looked back up and realized that my grip on her shoulder had been tightened drastically. Miyake had a pained expression on her face as I clenched onto her arm.
"It hurts, Ki-kun..." She whimpered.
"Sorry." I muttered, then pulled my hand away.
I reached in my pocket and pulled out my wallet, opening it and scanning what was inside. I pulled out the required amount of yen and set it on the table.
Miyake, realizing what I did, instantly let out a shriek.
"Huh?! No, I'll buy it! I want to get you something!"
I shook my head.
"A-Are you sure?! It's seven-thousand yen!"
I ignored her, watching the cashier awkwardly stuff the yen inside the cash register while listening to our squarrel. I could spot the sweat dribbling down her forehead while Miyake continued to berate me.
"I-Is that it?" The cashier asked politely.
I nodded, then eyeing Miyake.
She made a whining sound, with tears welling up in her eyes.
"W-What?" I muttered.
The teddy bear that I had just bought was now in Miyake's arms, whom was hugging it tightly. I eyed her in puzzlement, starting to wonder to how seriously she really wanted to buy it.
"Fine!" She looked away from me.
What are you? A kid? You're embarrassing me. Stop it.
"I'll find another way." She whispered.
I looked away from her after hearing her quiet murmur, with a slight mood of indigniation that I could feel in my body.
Whatever she's trying to do, it won't work.