Note: The first chapter is double-length. (6.7K words) the chapters after should be around 3k words or 1k for SS except for more important chapters in which case it will probably have a few thousand more words. Secondly, the names are written with the surname first, then the first name. e.g. Katsuragi Yuugo, Takahashi Alice.
They say that Youth is the most critical stage of one's own life. It’s what we decide to do in this period that will influence our future. The choices we make, the actions we decide to take, and the path we choose to follow. The things we learn in school and in real life, our experiences, our successes and failures, our struggles, and the hurdles we face, it’s all of these that shape our future and help prepare us for the eventual adulthood.
It's no exaggeration to say that this period is the make it or break it of our entire life, we only get one shot, no do-overs, as it is only during this youth that we can be the most free in our entire life, once we pass that and that freedom is taken away from us we become adults bound by the chains of rules and laws.
However, people take their youth for granted. Some worry too much about the future and before they know it their youth is gone in the blink of an eye. Some are not so fortunate and are forced to fend for themselves at a young age. Some are foolish and enter into adulthood earlier than the rest, and most waste their time by indulging themselves in sloth, but is this all… wrong? Is it wrong to worry? Is it wrong to be pitiful? Is it wrong to be foolish? Is it wrong to be lazy?
How can you say that the life you lived has been "correct"? Is there truly such a thing as correct choices we must make? Correct actions we must take? And the correct path we must follow? Can you say that your life is correct if you’ve achieved your life-long goals? If you’ve lived a life without shame? If you’ve lived a life with no regrets? If you’ve lived a life doing what you want? If you’ve lived a life that’s satisfying and fun?
What is your "ideal" way of living? What is the life that you wish to live? The answers to all these questions are different for each and every one of us, after all, we are our own person, living our own lives. But throughout my life until now, I’ve never found an answer. How do I want to live? I’ve repeated that question over and over in my head, for the remaining 3 years, I have left of high school…
—I, Katsuragi Yuugo, resolved myself in finding an answer to that question.
2"Good morning Yuugo!" As I was walking down the school hallway, I hear a sudden shout come from behind me. Stopping for a moment, I turn my head behind to face the owner of the voice. I see a figure of a boy with spiky blond hair running towards me. Waving his right arm in the air, the sunlight from the outside hitting the windows and refracting onto his golden hair, shining like the morning sun. He, Sugiwara Kyousuke is a good friend of mine.
"Hey Kyou, how you doing?"
"Not good, me and Himiko-chan got into a fight recently..." He said."Poor Kyou, there, there," I said, whilst patting his head.
"I don’t care. It’s your grades, not mine." I said firmly. I decide to ignore him and make my way to my seat until— I felt a weird sensation coming from my legs.
"H-hey, the hell do you think you’re doing?" I said as I looked down at my legs, Tetsuya was holding on to it like his dear life depended on it. Does this guy have no shame? "G-get off me dude." I tried shaking him off, to no avail.
"Come on just this once! Just this once! I’ll study from now on so just this onceeeee!"
"Y-you, say, that, every, single, time, now get off me already!" I said while continuously trying to shake him off, every attempt resulting in failure. At this point, I was getting annoyed at this pathetic display.
"Noooo!! I’m begging you! My reputation as a proud virgin in riding on this math test!"
"You never had any, to begin with, you virgin! After this cringy stunt, you pulled you’re definitely never gonna get laid! Also, what does that have to do with the math test exactly?!" I can feel Tetsuya getting more and more desperate as his excuses become more and more nonsensical.
"Argh! Y-You, want a girlfriend right?! I know some upperclassmen interested in cute underclassmen like you! I’ll introduce you to some hot singles in your area so please, please, pleaaaaaaseee!!!"
"Alright, alright, I get it, now get off me already!"
"Good grief, is there something wrong with that head of yours?"
"Yeah yeah now just let me copy it, please! So I can show you off to some hotties."
"No need, in the first place you don’t even know any!"
"Oooooh, Yuu! You break my heart!" Looking around, it seems Tetsuya’s cringe-worthy display has attracted an unwanted audience. Not only were our classmates looking at him like he was something less than human but students from other classes also witnessed the embarrassing situation with disgust on their faces. I quickly ran off to hide from their gazes, my face turning beet red from embarrassment.
"Stupid Tetsuya…" I mumbled.
I reached my seat located in the back row beside the window. I sit down and slam my forehead against the desk.
"Ughhh, this is the worst"
After some time passed, it was now lunch period. The talk about the
incident from this morning started to die down a little and I was eating with my friends in the cafeteria, with a new addition—Okamoto Daisuke, he is the only one
from a different class than the rest of us. Daisuke has peach-colored hair and is in Class 1-1. He would usually
join us during lunchtime. We all have been close friends since middle school.
"They are apparently releasing the year rankings later this afternoon," Takuya said. It quickly caught my attention as I turned my attention away from eating my bento and focused my gaze on him.
"Do you think Yuu will be able to top the entire year?" Asked Tetsuya
"Of course, I’ve got faith in Boss," Takuya responded confidently.
Our school has a special ranking system based on academics. There is the normal class ranking. Then there is the Year Rankings which rank the entire school year, and finally, there is the School-Wide Rankings which rank the entire student body, because of this, the students are very competitive.
"You guys really think I can top the entire year? That's impossible." I denied.
"Nothing’s impossible, you got 3rd last time losing only to Takahashi Alicesan and Akase Ryouma-kun from my class who are the 1st and the 2nd respectively." Daisuke said.
"Alice huh..." I murmured her name to myself. Then I feel someone poke on my shoulders, I turned to my right and saw Kyou who was seated beside me look at me with a mischievous smile. I was confused but when I found out what it meant I was already too late—
"Heh. Yuugo's too busy being hopelessly in love with Takahashi-san to ever beat her." Immediately after hearing that I reached out to him trying to silence him.
"Shut your mouth, before anyone hears us, Kyou you little..."
"What it's true isn—"
"Ahh!" I lunged at him and our chairs fell on their side causing both of us to fall as well. The rest of the boys began to laugh at us.
"You should really make your move Boss, I heard she's into some upperclassmen." Takuya teased me then holds out his hand to me. "Oh shut up... Not you too." I take his hand and stand up, then I give Kyousuke a hand as well. We both clean ourselves off, fix our chairs, and return to our prior seated position, and just like that, as if nothing happened, we continue the conversation.
"She's like the star of the entire 1st year, there must be a lot of guys that are into her. You’re gonna have a lot of competition Yuugo-kun but I’m rooting for you." Daisuke took my side.
"Nah, she's waaay outta your league Yuu, I mean you just freeze in place whenever a girl speaks with you, who knows what would happen if it was Takahashi-chan. Don’t worry though there's plenty more fish in the sea." Tetsuya snarked.
"Why are you saying that like she's rejected me!?" I shouted.
"I get it, I really do alright? But actually doing it is easier said than done…" I added.
"Hehe..." I hear weird laughter come from Kyousuke, I turn towards him.
"W-what is it?" I asked.
"It's nothing, just leave it to me."
"Wait, leave what to you?"
"Hehe, you'll see my dear Yuugo." He said with his arms crossed.
I have a bad feeling about this... but before I could ask anything else, the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch period. I put what Kyousuke said in the back of my mind for now as we pack up our things and prepare to go back to class.
Later that afternoon I decided to go check the ranking that was posted on the large bulletin board located in front of the school building's entrance. When I arrive I notice that not a single person was there, which makes sense since it's class hours and I just used an excuse to use the bathroom to check the results. I go to the bulletin board and began to search for my name.
"No changes huh," I said to myself, sighing in disappointment. The rankings were the same as before for the most part. I was at 3rd with Alice and Akase at the top 2, though the rest shifted quite a lot. Kyou went from 64th to 44th, Takuya from 29th to 23rd, Daisuke went down from 15th to 17th, though not by much, and then there’s Tetsuya… He used to be at 112th now he is even further at 144th, that guy is just hopeless.
"Well that was mostly uneventful" I sighed once more with a defeated expression and decide to go back to class, but then—I turn to my side, and I catch a glimpse of something familiar from the corner of my eye. There, I notice it—
I turn back and notice the sight of long white hair pass by me. Long white hair..? The sight was distinctly familiar to me but I couldn't exactly remember until... it hit me.
Wait a minute! I yelled in my head.
I glance back at the bulletin board. In front of the bulletin board stood a beautiful young lady with long untied white hair reaching up to half of her back, a small petite frame, and is hugging a clipboard to her small chest. She was wearing her school uniform, consisting of a short-sleeved black blouse with a red ribbon attached and a knee-length matching black skirt and black shoes.
She's really cute. Is all I can think of at this moment as I gaze at her figure, it was like time had frozen all of a sudden in her presence, her beauty enough to even force the strongest of men to submit to her, I could probably go on and on and list a thousand more things to describe her but it wouldn’t be enough. I didn't even notice that I've been staring at her for a weirdly long time now. It's her! it's Takahashi Alice.
What should I do? I repeat that question over and over in my head. Should I talk to her? Should I leave? Should I stare at her some more hoping for a reaction? What the hell am I even thinking about?!
What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? What sho—
"Uhm, excuse me."
Wha..? I hear Alice’s soft and gentle voice call out to me.
"Y-You're Katsuragi Yuugo-san right?"
S-she's actually talking to me..? Come on me, say something, just do it, talk to her. Come on, say some—
"I must have mistaken you for the wrong person, I’m sor—"
"N-no! T-That's uh..."
"Is there something the matter?"
What the hell did I just say..? This is so embarrassing, I can't even look at her face anymore, she must be thinking I'm some weirdo or something.
"S-sorry! T-There's something I've got t-t-to d-do..!"
"Ah... Alright then, sorry for—"
After leaving the ‘conversation’ there. I got out of there as fast as I could, in the opposite direction. What's wrong with me?! I’m running like my whole life is depending on it.
But... "You're Katsuragi Yuugo-san right?" Hearing her say my name, in that cute voice... I could die a happy man now but... what the hell?! I blew it! I blew my chance to speak with her! Ugh, I’m so hopeless…
After running and running, I finally arrive back at my class, "Hah..." "Hah..." "Hah..." Panting heavily like I just ran a marathon… I don't think I ever ran that fast before... not even during Sports Festivals...
I open the door and— "Woah Yuu what the hell happened to you? It seems like you just ran a 5-kilometer marathon in under 20 minutes." Joked Tetsuya seeing my sweat-filled body and ragged breathing.
"Hah... S-something... like hah, that... hah..." I said in response.
"You're seriously drenched dude, gross!"
"Oh shut... hah.. up… you... hah..."
"That's enough, Kondo-kun, Katsuragi-kun please return to your seat now." Said Ms. Kawasaki, our science teacher reprimanding us.
"Y-yes... hah... ma'am..."
I practically dragged my entire body across the room trying to get back to my seat. The fatigue and weight of my body is unbearable, it’s like I was carrying the entire world on my back.
I eventually reach my seat and welcomed the feeling of relaxation from sitting down, almost passing out right then and there. "Psst, seriously man what were you doing?" Whispered Kyousuke seated in front of me. "It's a long story…"
"Pffft Hahahaha, seriously?! You chickened out?" I was met by a barrage of laughter from my friends.
"You really messed it up big time Boss."
"Come on Taku don't be so hard on him, we should be there to mend his broken heart. It's alright Yuu boy."
"Again why are you saying that like I got rejected?! Also, you have no room to talk about that after laughing at me so much!"
"Yeah. Yeah. Sorry, bro."
"So now we'll have to wait for Dai-kun, huh? He’s taking quite a bit of time." I said, attempting to change the topic.
"Also has any of you seen Kyou? He's nowhere to be found as well." I added.
"Commander does have his soccer club, so maybe that’s it?" Responded Takuya.
"Hey! Sorry for making you guys wait, cleaning took a bit longer, also you're here too Yuugo-kun, that's great." While talking about the missing members of the group, we hear a shout come from behind us, it was Daisuke, with that only one person was missing.
"Do you need anything Dai-kun?" I asked him
"Kyousuke-kun is asking you to meet him in the Film Club room, he says there's something he wants to talk to you about."
"The Film Club Room? Does he even have any permission to enter it?"
"Sorry I don’t know, he never told me anything other than to tell you to meet him there."
"If I'm not mistaken, his girlfriend Ueno-chan is a member of the Film Club. Maybe he got permission from her." Tetsuya interjected.
"Is that so?" I replied.
"Well hurry up Boss, Kyou must have been waiting for a long time already," Takuya said, slapping my back.
"Oww, jeez. Fine."
There’s something really fishy about this, what does he want to talk about? And why the Film Club Room? Why not just talk to me directly? Thinking to myself then I sighed.
Walking up the stairs I continue to ponder about the circumstances of why he requested me to meet up with him. I arrive on the 3rd floor and began to walk towards the Film Club Room, it's the 3rd rightmost room of the floor. I arrive in front of the room and checked the sign. 'Film Club,' it says on the sign, after affirming I place my hand on the handle.
Hesitating for a moment, I took a deep breath and slid the door open, I entered the room then closed the door behind me. Oddly no one was there, Kyou didn't even call out to me when I entered. At that moment, my mind started sending out distress signals, nothing made sense. I scanned the room and then there… I saw it—
A figure of a white-haired girl sleeping with her head resting on the table using her arms as a pillow.
—Alice Takahashi was sleeping in the Film Club Room.
Thinking what I just saw was simply my imagination, I blink my eyes, over and over to make sure if what I’m seeing is real, but once the reality of the situation caught up to me, all I could do is panic.
I quickly motioned for the door handle all the while keeping an eye on Alice as to not disturb her. I tried to be as quiet as possible to not wake up the sleeping beauty, however, as if the numerous problems weren’t enough, more and more start to pile up. The door handle was…
It's locked?! I screamed in my head. Why? Why? Why? Why is it locked? I don’t remember ever locking it! I couldn’t properly process everything that’s currently happening, questions upon questions floated in my head, but not a single answer ever came.
I desperately try to open the door again and again but to no avail. Once again attempting to slide the door open however, my feet slips and I slide on the concrete floor making a loud thud when my whole body crashes against the table, in turn causing the table to violently shake. I saw Alice's lower half body suddenly move in reaction to the frightening sound then from under the table I peek my head over to see if Alice woke up.
There I saw her head raised still groggy from being violently woken up, her messy face scanning the entire room for the source of the sound then she looks in my direction, our eyes meet for a moment before she freezes then suddenly jumps out and screams, causing the chair she was sitting on to fall on its back. Then from her frightened and frail figure, slightly shaking from shock and bewilderment, the words came out—
"W-who are y-you, w-why are you here?!" She said this in an angry and embarrassed tone, with her clipboard, pressed up on her flustered face, covering her head up to her nose.
—And this is the unusual start of my relationship with Alice Takahashi.
My whole entire life, all I ever did was run away. From my problems I ran away, from the things I feared I ran away, from everything that bothered me I ran away.
My whole life all I ever did was leave things behind. The so-called friends that held out their hands to me, I shunned them and left them behind, the place I once called home I deserted it and left it behind, the me that everyone hated, I threw it away and left it behind.
At this point, the only thing left for me is an ever-growing mountain of regrets, ever since that day, I decided to run away and leave everything behind. I wanted to restart my life, to do it over again, that’s why I ran away and left everything behind, to start a new life.
And so I decided to live this life in the way that everyone wanted me to, if that’s what it takes so that I don’t repeat the same mistakes, then I’ll do it, I’ll lie to myself, and I’ll continue to lie to myself over and over until this lie becomes the truth.
Is it wrong to live a life of lies? Lies that I’ve repeated again and again that I’ve convinced myself that they are the truth. Is it wrong to want to forget? To forget about my past full of regrets. Is it wrong to wish for a new life? A new life where I can enjoy myself more and where everyone can accept me.
All I want is to be accepted, and if lies are what’s necessary to achieve that then I’ll use it. I’ll leave behind my past full of regrets, forget about it all, burn it away from my mind, abandon myself in the process, and start an entirely new life, crafting an entirely new me that everyone can love and accept. I’ll put on a mask that no one, not even myself can ever remove, and slowly that mask of lies will eventually become my true face.
—That is what I, Alice Takahashi have decided.
Walking past the Samija High School’s front gates, I lay my eyes on the familiar sight of the large school building. I’ve grown accustomed to walking to school by now, it was difficult when the year first began but I became more used to it by now, looking around I set my sights on the many figures of students walking to school, some with their friends and most alone.
"Ah, Alice! Good morning!" As I was enjoying my pleasant walk on the school grounds while basking under the morning sun, I hear a familiar cheerful voice call out to me, she quickly ran up beside me then slowed down to match my pace, it was a good friend of mine, Ueno Himiko. we’ve been through a lot, and she’s honestly the closest friend I’ve ever had.
"Good morning to you too Himiko," I replied to her greeting with my own.
"I heard from the Prez that they will be releasing the year rankings today," Himiko said.
"Not a worry for you I bet? I mean you blew the competition out of the water last time." She added.
"It’s true that I topped the rankings before, but I don’t want to get the rug pulled from under me, and besides, there are some really talented students in this school, I need to work harder if I want to maintain the top spot," I said in response to her, and admittedly, it was true, this school is famous when it comes to its competitive nature. I’ve never studied so hard before until now, and I didn’t know that with enough effort and hard work I can even achieve this much. I was ecstatic and in disbelief when I first learned that I became the top student of my year, but I shouldn’t let myself get conceited and let my guard down for even a second.
"That’s true, in the top 5 last time there’s you, Akase-kun, Shiori and Sayuri from our class, and then there’s also Katsuragi Yuugo-kun from Class 1-2." Katsuragi? That’s a familiar name, it’s the same surname as the Student Council Vice President.
"Katsuragi? Is he perhaps related to Katsuragi Yuuto-senpai in some way?" I asked.
"Yep, he’s the vice prez’s younger brother."
"I see, I wasn’t aware of that, though it’s quite odd that I haven’t heard much about him considering his big brother is quite a big deal here, the rest of the top 5 from our class on the other hand are well-known and quite popular."
"I had the same thought too but apparently, Katsuragi-kun is more popular than we thought, he recently ranked as the 3rd Most Good-Looking 1st Year Guy in the poll we made, beaten only by Daisuke-kun and Akase-kun."
"Oh really? The results are quite surprising indeed."
"Want to meet him? My boyfriend is good friends with him so I can get you two to meet up."
"No need." I turned her down, "Although I’m particularly interested in meeting him, the chance will present itself eventually." Regardless of whether I want to or not, there will probably be a lot of chances for us to meet, there are still, 2 semesters and this is just the first year of High School, I’m also going to be busier especially with the Student Council Election in less than 3 weeks and a meeting regarding the election this afternoon.
"Hah… I guess so" Himiko sighed and said sounding defeated.
"Well anyway, I’ll go on ahead, I have something else to do. See ya in class Alice!" Himiko said while waving her hand.
"Yeah, see you at class" I replied and wave back at her.
I continue to make my way to class. I reach the 2nd Floor where my classroom was located, turning the right corner and proceeded to head towards the Class 1-1 Room.
As I pass the Class 1-2 Room I hear a sudden shout. "Jeez Yuugo what took you so long?—" I was shocked for a moment then the name the boy said out loud caught my attention almost immediately after I hear it, Yuugo. I turn around to look and I could see four boys standing between the doorway of the Class 1-2 Room.
The person who blurted out that name was a brown-haired young man, beside him was a short boy with a hoodie, Eh seriously? Weird fashion sense, especially since summer just finished. I thought to myself. Then there are two other boys facing them, one is a blond-haired young man, who is Sugiwara-san, Himiko’s boyfriend. I’ve met him once before, and the last person who was beside him is a plain black-haired young man, I assume he must be the Yuugo the brown-haired guy called out to. Looking closely he does resemble the Vice President a bit but his build doesn’t match at all, he’s tiny in comparison and he seems very messy.
I continue to observe the group when all of a sudden the brown-haired boy grabbed onto the black-haired boy’s legs, I could vaguely hear what they were talking about, something about Math homework and copying. Then the other students outside started noticing the commotion and some took a peek inside the room to see what was going on.
After a while, the Class 1-2 room had maybe 10 to 15 students gathered outside watching the spectacle unfold. I sighed at the embarrassing situation and left to make my way to my original destination, the Class 1-1 Room just beside it.
I kept pondering about that Yuugo person. At first glance, he doesn’t seem to be the intellectual type, rather he seems like a lazy person, in fact, his hair is a mess and his actions and the way he speaks is rather crude, though if I would say, he is kind of good-looking, now I can understand a little bit why he ranked 3rd in the poll.
What am I doing… this is really a bad habit of mine… I said in my head. I have a bad habit of analyzing others and making judgments purely on external factors and you know what they say, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’
I eventually reach the door in my classroom that’s just beside it, I took my mind off that Yuugo person for now and I opened the sliding door, after doing so I am immediately greeted by a barrage of welcomes.
"Good morning Takahashi-san!"
"Morning class rep"
"Alice, good morning!!"
Greetings of all kinds came one after another, "Thank you, everyone, good morning to you all as well." I said in response to their warm greetings.
Entering the classroom, I close the door behind me not before taking one last glance over the Class 1-2 room which now had a lot more people gathered than a minute ago.
Then I’m approached by my friends Himiko, and with her was Shimizu Sayuri and Shinomiya Shiori.
"Good morning, Alice-san" Sayuri greeted me politely bowing.
"Heyo Alichi, whassup" Shiori saying this in her usual weird dialect while licking a lollipop, I also noticed she was wearing a yellow sweater, which I found rather odd.
"Why are you wearing a sweater at this time, isn’t it hot?" I asked tilting my head, her attire reminding me of the boy from Class 1-2 who was wearing similar clothing in the sense that both are unusual choices of clothing for this time of the year.
"Ah well, whas wrong with wantin’ to wear a sweater sometimes y’know? Though it’s pretty damn hot now did ya mention it." Shiori admitted while crossing her arms.
"Ah I see, but why wear it if it’s hot..?"
"Jeez, cuz I wanna alrite? Nothin’ deeper than that." I gave her a strained smile and a short laugh. It’s interactions like these that I value a lot, and I was grateful I was able to make a lot of friends this early on in High School.
I proceeded to go towards my desk located at one of the front rows. I place my bag down and took out my election candidacy form and started filling it out.
It was now currently lunch period. Me and my friends are getting ready to eat together inside the classroom. We bring our desks together, then take out our bentos, placing them on the desks and we started to eat.
"Alichi, your bento looks uber good as usual, I’m jealous… Alichi is really a good cook. I don’t even know how ta cook, my sis does all the lunches."
"P-Please, it’s nothing special, I already told you I just know the basics! If anything, I’m the one who’s jealous here!
Being able to eat the food made the student council president every single day is really enviable!" I exclaimed.
Shiori is the younger sister of the current Student Council President, Shinomiya Kyouko, who is also the most talented student in the entire school, and has been the case ever since she first enrolled, everyone knows about her and looks up to her as a role model and as a rival, she’s the definition of a genius.
"Huh?! My sis is terrible at cooking! Why would ya be jealous over her trash?! I have to put up with this every single day!" Complained Shiori.
At Shiori’s complaints, I gave a short laugh then we all moved away from that topic and continue eating lunch. We would start to talk about anything like we always do, eventually losing our track of time as we immersed ourselves in idle chatter, time continuing to flow, second by second, minute by minute.
"Any guys you interested in Alichi?" Shiori suddenly shot me with that question.
"So we’re going to talk about that now? No, no one really, I think I want to focus on my studies first right now."
"How about Akase-kun? You two seem like a good match. Both of you are reaaally smart." Himiko chimed in.
"I already told you I want to focus on school right now but Akase-san? No, I don’t think so." I briefly looked towards Akase-san who’s a few seats ahead of us, he was casting us a sidelong glance with a seemingly disgruntled look on his face, he probably wasn’t happy being in our conversation.
"Eh Akase? Ya mean that loser? He ain’t nothing like Alichi."
"S-Shiori-san that—" Sayuri tried to interject.
"Heh, if that’s the case, then why not Katsuragi-kun?" Himiko suggested.
"Eh?? What suddenly brought on that suggestion? I haven’t even met him." I responded with a shocked expression on my face.
"Wha? Katsuragi? You mean my sis’s boyfriend?" Shiori asked.
"You don’t know? I’m talking about his younger brother, Katsuragi Yuugo from Class 1-2"
"Had no idea."
"Also why are we only talking about me here? How about the rest of you? You Shiori-san, wouldn’t Katsuragi-san be a good fit considering your older sister Shinomiya-senpai and Katsuragi-senpai are dating." It wasn’t fair that everything up to this point was to make fun of me, so I threw one back at them
"Hah? Haven’t I already said I have no idea who that musclehead’s younger brother was?!" She screamed seemingly annoyed.
"Stop! Stop! That’s enough you two!" Himiko said then hitting me and Shiori’s heads with a chopping motion using her hands. Shiori clicked her tongue in response.
"Now that’s settled, how about you Sayuri-chan?" Himiko then passed the baton over to Sayuri.
"Do you have anyone in mind?" Himiko continued to press forward. For a moment Sayuri flinched as Himiko threw her that question, I notice Sayuri’s eyes wander around for a second before returning to face us.
"Not really…" Sayuri replied as she cast her gaze down.
"Eh. Boring." Shiori said, resting her head on her hands.
"Anyway Alice, shouldn’t you be preparing for the meeting this afternoon?" Himiko reminded me.
I take out my phone to check the time. It was already 12:40 PM. "It’s almost 1!" I said. I quickly rise up from my seat and began to pack up my things. I promptly took my chair and desk and returned them to their original position. "Sorry to leave you all like this but I got to go now," I told them.
"Nah, it’s fine Alichi."
"Please take care Alice-san."
"See you, Alice."
"Also Alice, the meeting ends at around 2:30 right?" Himiko added.
"Yes, that’s right."
"You can go rest up in my Club Room then if you want, I don’t think it’s required for you to go back to class after the meeting. Take a nap if you want and I’ll wake you up after class."
"But I would like to make it back if possible, I can’t just skip classes just because I’m allowed to."
"Don’t sweat it, you need to rest up and take care of yourself or you’ll lose your cute points, you know?"
"I get it. I get it. Well, I’m off now. Also Himiko can you look after my things while I’m gone? You can bring it to the Club Room after class."
With that, I put my bag on my chair then set off to the Student Council Room where the meeting was going to be held, waving goodbye to my friends in class as I was leaving the classroom.
Some time has passed and the meeting just concluded, it was now around 2:45 in the afternoon. "Haaaah…" I yawned and stretched out my arms. The meeting was more exhausting than expected considering it was just talking for the most part.
"Well that’s that, now I just have to rest, I’m feeling really sleepy," I said to myself. I thought of heading to the Film Club Room to rest when I remembered something.
"Come to think of it, Himiko mentioned that the year rankings are supposed to be released this afternoon." With that, I decided to head off to check the rankings.
After walking for a few minutes I arrived at my destination, in the building entrance, the rankings are supposed to be displayed on the large bulletin board just up ahead. Looking around, the place is silent, there was next to nobody there apart from a single black-haired boy in front of the bulletin board, I assume he is looking at the rankings.
As I was making my way towards the bulletin board, the boy seems to lose interest as he turns towards my direction and heads off, we pass by each other for a moment, I cast him a sidelong glance. Where have I seen him before? He seemed familiar but I can’t seem to put my finger on it, I decided to leave it for now.
I reached the bulletin board and took a look at the rankings. "No changes huh," I said to myself feeling relieved. The top 3 were the same as before, I was at the top then Akase-san then Katsuragi-san, then it clicked to me. Katsuragi, Katsuragi, Katsuragi Yuugo!
"The black-haired boy I saw before…" I turned towards the direction he went, expecting disappointment, he’s probably long gone by now but—
W-Why is he staring at me..? I said in my head at the sight in front of me, I felt a weird feeling inside me and my skin started to crawl. Weirdo. Is what I thought of the person standing a few meters away from me, intently gazing at me.
"Uhm, excuse me." I decided to break the silence.
"Y-You're Katsuragi Yuugo-san right?" I added.
N-no? Did I perhaps get the wrong person? No, I’m sure I saw him before from the incident inside the Class 1-2 Room, there’s no mistaking that, or maybe I misunderstood and he wasn’t actually Katsuragi Yuugo, in the first place it was simply an assumption of mine so—
"I must have mistaken you for the wrong person, I’m sor—"
"Something?" Something? What is this guy talking about? This is really creeping me out.
"N-no! T-That's uh..."
"Is there something the matter?"
"S-sorry! T-There's something I've got t-t-to d-do..!"
"Ah... Alright then, sorry for—"
After saying that, the boy runs off. What was that? I thought to myself, I don't know what to think of this situation, who exactly was that person? Being filled with the feeling of perplexion and frankly disgust I choose to depart immediately, in the opposite direction that he went. I decide to just go and rest in the Film club room, it was a tiring day and the situation that just unfolded mere moments ago was still fresh in my mind but I just wanted to forget about it entirely.
While heading towards the Film Club Room I made sure to keep an eye on my surroundings to make sure I wasn’t being followed by any suspicious black-haired guys. I arrived and before opening the door, I made one last look at my left then after confirming that no one was there I open the Club Room door, entering the room then hurriedly closing the door behind me.
I take one of the chairs and sit myself down. I stretched my arms and relaxed my body, I was feeling really sleepy at that moment so I surrendered myself, and I passed out then and there on the table.
What awoke me was the sound of a loud thud coming from inside the room. It made my body jump in reaction to the sound. I raise my still groggy head, my hair was all over the place but I was more concerned about the source of the sound, I scanned the room to see if anyone else was there. Then that’s when I saw it.
I saw an eye looking at me just over the table. I couldn’t hold back so I stand up and scream as hard as I could. The chair I was sitting on falling when I stood, I take my clipboard on the table and used it to cover my embarrassed face.
At that moment, all sorts of emotions well up inside of me. Confusion, perplexity, bewilderment, fear, anger, frustration, disgust. In my frail voice nearing tears, I said. "W-who are y-you, w-why are you here?!"
—And this is how I first met the unusual young man that is Katsuragi Yuugo.