I'll carry you
The day had arrived. We would be leaving for two days and one night for our class trip. I was holding a duffle bag in my hand. I passed on having a coffee because I was planning on sleeping on the entire bus ride to our destination which were the mountains. It was a trip where we supposed to make bonds and interact with everyone in our class and year. The whole goal was to end up with fond memories and stronger connections with the people around you, according to Mrs Ito. My goal was to avoid everyone as best as possible while having a peaceful and quiet weekend. I was nervous to leave my house and younger sister behind. My father was on a business trip as well. It was the perfect timing. He insisted for me to go on this trip and have fun with Akimitsu who was running late. I looked around the train station, but I couldn’t see his messy, dark brown hair anywhere. His head or his body were nowhere to be seen.
“Are you by any chance looking for me?” he asked me, who suddenly appeared next to me. He was wearing a big backpack on his back.
“I was stretching my neck,” I said and grabbed my duffle bag with both of my hands. It was heavy but I didn’t want to place it on the dirty floor. There was also the chance that I would forget to pick it back up again. The wind was strong and forceful.
“Have one,” he said, offering me a sweet while holding out his hand towards me. I grabbed one and he simultaneously grabbed my duffle bag from me.
“I’ll carry it for you. I can tell from your face that it is too heavy for you,” he said and held it with one hand. His fingers were long and slender.
“It’s not heavy but I let you carry it until we arrive at school. I just don’t like carrying stuff,” I admitted and walked over to stay in line to get on our train that had arrived. It started raining. The sky had turned grey. The sun was hiding behind the clouds. The train slightly swayed from one side to the other. Akimitsu was standing in front of me and looking outside of the window as well. He had not mentioned anything about the encounter with my father. I guess for him it was normal to meet a fellow student’s parent. I wondered how different our worlds were but then I didn’t really know much about him either.
The buses were parked in front of the school. The teachers were counting their students and told them to form a line. In each bus, about one and a half classes fitted inside. That meant that some students from our neighbouring class joined our class. And with my luck the overly shy girl was sitting next to me and Akimitsu and his best friend were sitting in front of us. The girl kept apologising who knows for what and the guy was staring back at me through the space between their seats. He had the face of a delinquent and blonde hair. Apparently, he was really good at sports, especially football. He was on our school team. I found out about all of this from the girl who was sitting next to me. She had wavy, black hair that reached to her hips. Her bangs were kept out of her face with a pink, heart shaped clip. She had freckles on her face and was wearing a brooch in the shape of a flower on her blazer. I placed my head against the window and increased the volume of my music. It looked like my plans of sleeping throughout the entire trip were cancelled. I was able to see the back of Akimitsu’s head. He was also leaning his head against the window. I was lost in thought and did not realise that he had turned his head around and was looking at me like a stalker from the space between his seat and the window. I tried to turn my head around but hit my head against the glass. The girl got scared and asked me if I was okay with a worried expression. She rummaged through her bag. I didn’t know what she was looking for. The other guy started staring at me again as well.
“Sorry if my friends are annoying,” Akimitsu whispered and gave me a big smile. Don’t look at me like that, stupid. I sank into my seat and closed my eyes. My mind was showing me things that I didn’t want to see. The time went by fast and we had arrived at the inn we were going to stay for the next two days. The teachers told us to freshen up and leave our bags inside our rooms that we were sharing with a couple of other students. There were about four to five students in each room. The groups were chosen randomly, and I ended up being with the same girl who sat next to me in the bus and some other students that I had never seen before.
“You can call me Yumiko or Yumi-chan,” she said to me while her eyes were closed. I figured that she might be nervous.
“Okay,” I said and agreed to her suggestion. I didn’t know what she wanted from me but calling her by her name should do me no harm. We walked around the town and visited different places. To end the day, the teachers suggested to stop by a shrine. The girl kept talking to me even if I would not give her any responses. She just continued on and on. I found out that the delinquent and her were boyfriend and girlfriend. While she was telling me that, she started slapping me repeatedly. Akimitsu came between us. He sensed that I was getting irritated and angry. The only task that was left, was to take a bath. I waited for everyone to finish, to then go by myself. The girl clearly did not understand that and patiently waited with me. In the end, it was me and her.
“I don’t know you and I don’t really know what the relationship between you and Aki-chan is but please give him a chance. He is a person you can trust,” she said, breaking the silence between us. I kept quiet. “And if it’s okay with you, I really want to be your friend as well. I always see you all by yourself. Trust me if I say that I don’t mean to upset you by saying this, but you sometimes have a lonely look in your eyes. I am sorry if I am pushing myself onto you.”
“So, you feel bad for me and you want to be my friend to make yourself feel better because you are pitying me?” I asked her. She stood up and started running towards me. It startled me and out of reflex I stood up as well.
“No! That is honestly not my intention, but it would really make me happy if we could become friends,” she said and without a warning hugged me. My body froze. I was in shock.