Juice or milk
My name is Nishio Hayate. I’m a first year in high school and I live with my aunt in Yamanashi district. I walk to school, pay attention in class, the most of the times, and then return back home. This is my everyday life. I forgot to mention that I don’t have any friends. I enjoy in my own way being alone, but…
Anyway, right now I’m looking for the vending machine. Our math teacher told me that it is in the backyard.
Why did they put it in the backyard? It’s too far from our classrooms. Oh, here it is.
The drinks are cheaper here, so I don’t really have a choice other than to walk all this way.
There is water, milk, orange juice,… There are so many to choose from. Apple juice then.
The moment I saw him was too late. A guy was standing next to me and I have no idea for how long. Before I could ask him what he wanted, he took my juice. I need to talk to him. If I don’t say anything, he’ll drink my juice. And he did that. W-What’s his deal? Did I do something to him? I don’t remember causing problems to people today. Wait. He has coins in his hand. Why didn’t he pay to get a drink, then?
-Aaah! Was this yours?
Yes, it was.
-Ha ha! Sorry! See you later!
Eh? That’ s it?
I don’ t have any more money to buy something. In the end he ran off and I kept staring at the way he went off to.
- I’m back aunt.
- Welcome back, Hayate – kun!
- I’m going to my room.
- The dinner will be ready soon, don’t be late.
He took my juice. He took my juice. Like that. I don’t even know him. Who is he? He didn’t look sorry afterwards. But, he was really funny.
- Hayate – kun! Hayate – kun! Wake up, you’ll be late for school. I have to go to the flower shop early today too.
I woke up late again.
I didn’t have time to make breakfast, so here I am, back at the vending machine. He’s not here. Let’s get that juice! The moment I was going to pick up the can, a hand appeared under mine and took it. It’s him, again?
- Oh, hey! You’ re the guy from yesterday. I’m really sorry about what happened.
Are you not for today?
- Anyway, I’m Hamamura Shun. You can call me Shun-kun. I’m a first year. Nice to meet you!
- Ah, I’ m Nishio Hayate.
- Nishio-kun, have you eaten?
- Come with me. I’ll show you what the cafeteria has.
He is helpful, but I already know where the cafeteria is and what it has. I’ll follow him for now. Besides, he took my juice as a hostage.
- Why have you not eaten yet?
- Because you took my juice.
- Aaah! Is this yours?
- Yes. But you can keep it.
- Nice! I’ll repay you someday.
- No need.
- You have nice legs.
- Do you have any hobbies?
- I play drums.
- That means your hands and legs have nice synchronization.
- I guess…
- This is the cafeteria. It has almost anything. The curry bun is my favorite. Also, I have an advise for you. Come closer…
- What is it?
- You must never ever buy a chocolate.
I don’t eat chocolate that often, so I guess it’s fine.
- If the girls see you, they become really angry. They are like demons.
- Okay, I got it.
- This is a basic rule to survive. Don’t forget it.
- Are you in a club, Nishio-kun?
- I am not.
- Hmm, that’s good actually.
- It’s nothing!
- In which class are you?
- That’s the same as me.
- I know! I sit right behind you.
- Ah, you’ re the one who keeps kick my chair.
- I have a lot of energy.
- Shun- kun, do you pay attention in class?
- What question is that?
- Pay attention, so you don’t kick my chair. You’ re distracting me.
- You don’t seem like the guy who studies. Because of those piercings of yours.
- You saw them? I am not even wearing one now.
- I have an exceptional eye.
Look at the time. Break is gonna end soon. I spent all the break’s time talking to Shun-kun.
- I think I’ ll go back to the classroom now.
- I’ m coming too.
Well, we’re in the same class and he’s sitting behind me.
- Don’ t you have other friends, Shun-kun?
- I do. I’ m in a club, so we’re all friends there.
I’ ll continue keep a low profile.
Two months have passed since the school year started. I had not looked behind me to see who’s kicking my chair. He probably already knew my name, too. I am thinking it too much.
The classes ended and I was going to leave, when…
- Where are you going?
- I am going to the library.
- Can I come with you?
- No way.
- Why not?
- I can’t take any more of your kicks.
- This doesn’t happen all the time. I promise I will not kick anything during our time there.
I have a really bad feeling about this.
And here we are in the library. I am reading a horror novel and he is sitting in front of me reading a…
- What is that?
- Oh, this? It’s the library’s brochure.
Did he come all the way here with me just to read the library’s brochure? You’re kidding me. I want to see him study for exams and read a book seriously for once. I met him yesterday, but he is a mystery. I can’t read his mind. What is he doing in his spare time, anyway?
- You don’t have much to read in this brochure.
- Of course, you don’t.
Two and a half hours passed and he is staring at me. He is quiet at least.
Some minutes later we ended up outside the library.
- What happened?
- I can’t believe it. Ouch!
- Did you hit somewhere?
- YOU KICKED ME!
- I thought that was your chair.
- So you did it deliberately!
- I was bored. Don’t yell at me. It was just a kick. How can you stay in that building for so long?
- Eight kicks specifically. Haa… Let’s walk back.
- What will you do tomorrow?
- I have to study.
- It’s Saturday tomorrow.
- I know.
- Do you still want to study?
- What about Sunday?
- I’ll study that day too.
- You’re not fun.
He’ll get bored and leave me. This is the best for him.
- I’ll go this way.
- That way is the school.
- I know. I have something to do.
- I turn left here. Bye.
- See you on Monday!
It has to be something important to go to school at this hour. He left in a hurry. What is he thinking?
- I’m h… Aunt?
- Hayate – kun, help!
- What’s going on?
- I messed up at cooking.
- What did you try to cook this time?
- I saw a recipe for doughnuts on the internet.
- I see. So you were trying to make doughnuts for dinner.
- Yes, I thought that it would be easy.
- Aunt, stop blending this thing and turn off the burner.
- Are you sure? This way, you’ll not eat doughnuts.
- Yes, I am sure.
There is no way I could eat that even in a doughnut’s form. Sorry, aunt. I can see that you have mixed vanilla with pepper.
- Turn off the burner and lay back on the couch. I’ll clean the kitchen and throw away the trash.
This is a mess.
- Ha ha…
- Don’t laugh, Hayate – kun!
I hope it doesn’t happen anything like that again when I’m not here to help.
- What will you cook Hayate – kun?
My stomach has a hard time right now.
- Nothing. We’ll order of course. We don’t want another failure, right?
- Let’s order pizza.
In the meantime, I went to change. I saw eight bruises on my leg.
I have evidence, Shun – kun. I’ll wear long pants, so my aunt doesn’t see them. I don’t want her to worry for nothing.
- Hayate – kun, the delivery man is here.
I didn’t hear anything. I was practicing on drums.
- Okay, I’m going to the door right now.
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you.
- Aunt, let’s eat.
- Good morning!
- Good morning.
- Do you have anything to do today?
- No. I only have to study.
- I’ll be out almost all day. So, if you need anything, I have left you some money on the table and I cooked cookies. It’s a success this time! Bye!
She cooked cookies. Ah, they are on the kitchen counter.
- She made them delicious.
I was ready to start study, when I realized that one of my notebooks was missing. I didn’t pay attention to it at the time and decided to go to school in the afternoon to look for it.
I’m tired. I didn’t have any intention to go out of my house today. The weather is still nice, but I gotta hurry just in case. One more step and I’m in the school ground. Wait, my phone is ringing. It’s aunt.
- Hello, aunt.
- Hayate – kun, your dad wants to visit us next week. Is that alright?
- I don’t want to see him or speak to him.
- I’ll tell him that.
Aunt is my dad’s sister. He calls her every week to ask if there’s any day he can visit to see me. How can he do that after what happened?
- Hayate – kun, is everything alright?
- Shun – kun.
- You are standing here for a while now. Are you going in?
- Yes, I didn’t find my notebook, so I came to look for it.
- Do you need any help?
- No, I’m fine. What about you?
- I came for club activities. If you don’t find it, call me on my cell. Here is my number. I always have a paper with my number written on it, in case I need to give it to someone. Bye.
I need to find it myself. I don’t want to cause problems for him. I find myself closer to him every time I meet him. I need to keep my distance.
There is no one in the classroom. I’ll look under my desk first. It’s not here. Did someone take it to copy my notes and forgot to leave it back?
I looked for it under everyone’s desk, but it wasn’t there. I sat in my seat, closed my eyes and started thinking of where I could possibly had left it. A lot of time passed without me realising it. Then a thought crossed my mind and my chest started hurt. What if somebody tossed it in the bin? I walked towards the bin and I was taking deep breaths. I was sweating. I know that there was not anyone in the same room as me, but it’s really scary the thought of somebody hating you or knowing about your past. I wanted my notebook, but at the same time I didn’t if it was in there. I opened the bin.
- Haa, it isn’t…
I am so relieved.
- What are you doing?
Why is he appearing at such times today? He saw me stare in the bin for sure.
- You are acting weird today.
- You are imagining things.
- Am I? I am watching you for a month now. I know how you act, how your back is and how nice your legs are. Don’t lie.
I really didn’t need the last part. I agree with him. It’s true that I can’t lie to him. I feel like we spent very much time together, but we met only two days ago. No, like he said, he is watching me for a month now. But I can’t bring myself to tell him about that.
- Your notebook. I had it in my bag and I remembered it a while ago. I had taken it to copy some notes. Is this the one you’re looking for?
- Yes. Thank you.
- I should be the one thanking you. Also, I’m sorry. I took it without asking and forgot to give it back to you.
I don’t know what to say.
- Do you have something else to do here?
- Let’s leave. I am hungry.
We parted ways out of the school and I headed home, where a worried aunt was waiting for me.
- Where were you?
- I went to school, because I had forgotten my notebook.
- Don’t tell me that someone heard you calling me “aunt”.
That’s what you worry about?
- No, I think…
Shun – kun was near that time.
- How many times have I told you to call me Mizuki – san? Anyway, that’s not the matter now.
She sure changed the subject quickly.
- You are still not letting your dad come to see you.
- Did you tell him not to?
- Yes. But you should let him come sometime.
- I’m going to my room.
- Don’t play the drums too loud.
He pisses me off. He is so persistent. Why is he not doing this job of his without involving me?
A paper from my pocket fell on the floor.
It’s the one with Shun – kun’s number. I’ll save the number in my contacts.
I stared at the paper for a couple of minutes.
- You didn’t let me sleep before 2:00a.m. last night. I wonder how the neighbors didn’t yell at us. Your instructor for drums is coming today too. That’s fine. I think I can handle it. But you need to be punished. That’s why you’ll clean our garden alone. Don’t come inside if you don’t finish. Also, if you need water knock the door.
She got irritated, woke me up late at noon and left me with this assignment. It’s a lot to do. I barely can be ready in time before Ogawa – sensei comes.
- HA HA HA HA! Hayate – kun, you look terrible!
- I would look better if you had helped me.
- You have leaves and grass on your hair and mud everywhere!
- I see you are enjoying this. I am going to take a bath.
- Sure! Ha ha ha! Let’s see what the results of his work are… Wow… He pruned the apple trees, cut off the withering flowers and the ground looks so clean. I’m impressed, Hayate – kun!
Faster! Faster! What clothes to wear? I am hungry. Socks. My hair is still a little wet. Ι need a hairdryer.
When Ogawa – sensei came I was out of breath. He was shocked to see me in that state and praised my aunt for cleaning the garden so well.
- No… I am the one who did it.
- I-I’m sorry. It must have been hard…
When I went to the classroom in the morning, Shun – kun was already there. He looked like he was thinking something. After class was over, he was still thinking. I didn’t talk to him that time either and went to buy a juice.
- Nishio – kun…
- Did you go to the vending machine?
He must be bored. He has put his head on his arms.
- Give me some.
I gave it to his hand, but he didn’t open his eyes.
- Cough! Cough!
- Are you alright?
- What is that?
- It’s apple juice.
- So sweet.
- You drank my apple juice two times before!
- Those were by accident.
- How is that possible?
- Don’t buy a juice never again.
- Because they are unhealthy.
I never expected a reply like this from Shun – kun. Now that I look at him up close he seems strong. He is exercising for sure. That must be why he pays attention to what he eats.
- Milk is better. Drink milk from now on.
- Do you like milk?
- It’s my favorite drink. It’s healthy too.
- But fruit juices have vitamins.
- Packaged fruit juices don’t contain any vitamins, due to the process of heating. Also, they are sweet cause of the addition of artificial flavors and sugar. Did I convince you?
H-He looks serious.
- Do you need me to tell you the pros of milk too?
- Do you know them?
- Of course I do. I am not stupid. Listen here. Milk is source of Vitamin A, minerals and magnesium. It’s source of other vitamins too, but I decided to talk about Vitamin A, because it improves your vision.
What is happening? He is different from four days ago. He did say that he has an exceptional eye. Is it because of that?
- So? Did I convince you now?
Am I supposed to answer him? This is too much. I am trying to bottom the change of his character and the fact that he knows so much. No, Shun – kun didn’t change. I just don’t know him that well. He’s looking at me waiting for an answer. Maybe that I’ll drink milk from now on. He has a personality so big that he can’t express it all in a day. Every day I see something different from him. His answers are beyond my expectations. He is… terrifying.
- Let’s begin the lesson. Sit down everyone.
The math teacher.
I addled for a second there. After all, I didn’t answer his question.
Classes were over and I was preparing to leave, when once again…
- Do you have somewhere to go?
- Eh? I’m going home.
- You have set a very boring program to follow. Are you going to study?
What does he mean by that?
- Let’s go to the movies one day.
- Okay, bye.
- The midterm exams.
- What about them?
- You passed all the subjects.
- How do you know that?
- I was bored and my eyes accidentally looked at the paper with your grades, while you were looking for something in your bag.
- Did you pass?
- How? Mmpphh…
That slipped my mouth.
- Hey! Are you bullying me?
- Of course not!
- Hayate – kun… You should be happy.
Hayate – kun!?
- I am!
- Ha ha! I know.
- Are you coming?
- I have club activities, so no. See you tomorrow.
It took him only four days to start calling me by my first name. I’m fine with that though. Also, what club is he in? He tells me that all the time and I forget to ask him. My mind is to get home, study and play drums.