Why Does Nobody Find Us Attractive?
“... and because of it’s full valence, the noble gases are the most stable elements.”.
The teacher’s dull voice was lulling Juzo Kawahara to sleep again, and he found himself putting more effort into staying awake than listening to the lecture. At this point, he could no longer hold his head up and resorted to hunching over the desk and resting on his crossed arms. Sure, the position hurt his elbows, as they were sharply pressed into the wood, but at least he could rest his head. As he struggled to keep his eyes open, the piercing chime of the bell rang, sharply alerting him back awake.
"Alright everyone, remember that you have finals in a few weeks, make sure you get studying."
Juzo mumbled back in response, pulling his fingers through his long light brown hair. Stretching his arms out, he let out a grunt. As he started to get to his feet, a loud slap strikes him in the back of the head.
"An idiot like you shouldn't be falling asleep during lectures."
Juzo turned around to see Nikko Murano; a tall, slender boy with a stupid grin on his face, pushing his messy black hair out of his eyes.
"Maybe they should just teach something interesting."
Nikko gave a brief chuckle, leaning back on the desk behind him.
"Yeah, but that's just how it works. They force us to listen to all this useless boring shit, but at least we can do whatever afterwards."
Juzo slowly got up from his chair.
"Let's just go to your house already. I can't stand another minute in this hell hole."
The two boys slung their bags over their shoulders and began to walk towards the door, but a small figure stepped out to block their path.
"Aren't you forgetting someone?"
A short, slender girl stood in front of them, arms crossed with a disappointed look in her eyes, light brown hair flowing half way down her back. Nikko stared straight ahead, but her short stature fell short of his eyeline.
"Did you hear something, Juzo? I thought I heard someone, but there’s no one there. Must've been the wind or something."
The girl swiftly punched Nikko in the stomach, and he coiled over as he fell to his knees. He looked at the girl and grinned.
"Isn’t it a bit early to come out swinging, Reina?"
Reina Iwayama, the girl standing menacingly over the hunched over Nikko, stuck her tongue out at the wounded boy.
"Get up already, I wanna get out of here."
Nikko slowly got up to one knee.
"Is that anyway to talk to the person who is allowing you to spend the night at their house?"
Before Reina could respond, a group of girls nearby heard Nikko's comment.
"She's staying over at a guy's house! Isn't that a bit much for a high schooler?"
"Well, you know that she can't control herself with that kind of stuff."
Hearing the gossip, Reina clenched her fists and started to turn to face the girls, but Juzo grabbed her shoulder to stop her.
"You know it's not worth it. Just try and ignore them."
Reina looks up at Juzo and sees the calm resolve in his eyes. She is able to relax, but turns back to Nikko and grabs his arm. As she dragged the helpless boy through the long, crowded halls of the school, Juzo followed in pursuit, but got caught in the dense student traffic. After pushing his way through the cramped lockers, Juzo finally catches up to the two around the school gate. As he approaches, he sees Reina storm up to Nikko and ram her finger into his chest.
"You need to know when to shut up. All the girls already hate me, so stop making it worse."
Nikko's expression suddenly became remorseful as he looked directly at Reina.
"I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking."
Reina didn't buy it, continuing to burn a hole into his soul with her terrifying stare. Fearing for his safety, Nikko pulls out his last resort: his puppy-dog eyes.
“Please Reina, I didn’t mean to upset you. Is there any way I can make it up to you?”
A big smile grew on Reina's face.
"Now we're talking! I want your mom’s famous sukiyaki for dinner!"
Nikko agrees to her demand with a nod of his head, and Reina has a celebratory fist pump. She starts to skip away, turning back to gesture to them to hurry up. The two boys follow, and Juzo walks up alongside Nikko.
"You're lucky she's so easy to please."
Nikko showed him a cocky grin.
"Naw, it's just that I can understand girls better than they can themselves. It truly is a gift; one that separates me from the feeble little boys like you."
"You literally had to bribe her for forgiveness. If anything, the only gift you have is just how damn pathetic you are.”
"Hey man, it's a dangerous game to trash the man who's feeding you dinner. You wouldn't wanna be sent home with an empty stomach, now would you?"
"Don't worry, your mom loves me. If anything, she'll tell you to leave so you don't infect anyone else with your stupidity."
"I don't like you saying that. I know she would definitely choose you over me, but let's not give her the idea."
The two chuckle together as they arrive at Nikko's house. Reina is already in the house, talking with Nikko's younger sister, Rinako, near the front door. Past the front door is the main floor, which has a large kitchen and dining area on the left, and a living room with a large grey couch and a hideous yellow armchair facing the television to the right. The boys greet Mrs. Murano in the kitchen, and Nikko tries to explain to her that she needs to make sukiyaki for dinner. Juzo goes to the living room and flops down on the couch, trying to catch up on his interrupted nap. He is enveloped by the soft cushions and curls himself deep into its crevice. It didn't take long for Juzo to fall to exhaustion’s clutches, but it is only brief as the doorbell rings. Juzo bolted up, somewhat confused where he was before regaining his composure. Rinako goes to answer the door, and a tall boy wearing a distressed hoodie and sweatpants walks in. Nikko peaked out from the kitchen to see the strange boy.
“Huh? Who the hell are you?”
Before he can say anything, Rinako slid quickly to the boy’s side
“Mom, Nikko, this is Kenshin. He’s my boyfriend.”
The house fell into silence.
That was broken by Mrs. Murano’s screams as she embraced her daughter. Nikko, meanwhile, just stood silently with a blank stare. As Mrs. Murano starts rapidly throwing various questions at the new couple, Juzo goes to check on Nikko.
"Hey, you alright, man?"
Juzo's voice snaps Nikko out of his daze, and he responds to Juzo with a thumbs up. He briefly goes back into deep thought, but his eyes suddenly light up.
"Juzo, Reina, come with me upstairs for a sec."
Confused by his strange behavior, Reina and Juzo look at each other. Juzo shrugs, and they follow Nikko up the stairs. At the top of the staircase, they enter the first door on the left into a small bedroom. Off in the corner is a bed adorned in black sheets, while a desk cluttered with sprawled paper and pens lies in the adjacent corner. Beside the desk is a round, short table, which Nikko invites everyone to take a seat around.
"Question: how the hell did my little sister find a boyfriend before me! I'm the older sibling, and yet I've been upstaged!"
Juzo sighed at the petty comments.
"Dude, I don't think you worded that right. Unless you are looking for a boyfriend. If that's the case, I wish you luck in your search for a hunk."
Reina couldn’t control her composure and burst into an uncontrollable laughing fit. It took Nikko a while to figure out what Juzo said, but eventually realizes his mistake.
"Shut up, you knew what I meant! What I'm trying to say is that Rinako has already brought a boy home, while I haven't even gone on a date. None of you have either, have you?"
Reina's laughing stopped abruptly and her expression became stern.
"Hey, you know that's a touchy subject for me."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm just saying that we only have a few months of high school left, and yet none of us have ever gone on a date in our lives. Don't you want to experience a teenage romance at least once in your life?"
Both Juzo and Reina nod, but have become wary of what Nikko is trying to say. Juzo decided to directly address his concern.
"I get what you're on about, but I'm not paying a woman to be with me. And if you were talking about using brute force to get someone to do something with you, I'm going to drag you to the police station."
Nikko jolted up after hearing the concerns.
"What the hell do you think I am! When did I ever say I wanted to do something like that? And why would I do that when I have a reputation of being the ultimate woman respecter!?"
By now Reina had also sprung up.
"Ultimate woman respecter? Quit making up stupid shit like that, you jackass. You constantly harass me all day!"
"But you're not a woman. You're a mix between a bitchy teenage girl and an overly aggressive little boy…"
Whatever Nikko was going to add was cut short by Reina, who had charged into him, tackling him to the floor. Reina twists herself around Nikko, putting her in a position to put him into a headlock. By now, Juzo had enough of their childish behavior, walking over to the two sprawled on the floor and grabbing one of their ears.
"You damn idiots, cut it out! Nikko might have been onto something, and I think I have an idea brewing up in my head."
The two get up and sit nicely back at the table, excited to hear what Juzo has to say. Juzo takes his time to sit back down, glancing at the two to check that they have calmed down.
"Alright, so Nikko, you said that we’re all pathetic virgins who have never experienced the loving embrace of a partner, right?"
Nikko tried to raise his objection.
"Actually, what I said was…"
Juzo cuts him off and continues his speech.
"Yeah, he is right. We're all romantic failures who are about to miss out on the best time of our lives to snag a girlfriend, or boyfriend for you two."
Again, Nikko tried to interject.
"Hey, you son of a…"
Ignoring the distraction, Juzo carried on.
"Are you really okay with everything going that way? ‘cause I'm not. We all have various reasons on why our classmates don’t like us, but we can’t let that ruin our confidence. We must persevere together if we want a chance at love.”
Reina was starting to get confused by what Juzo was saying and decided to ask for clarification.
“What are you getting on about? Yeah, I already know that the class hates me, but I can’t do anything about that. How am I supposed to get over that?”
Juzo started to beam.
“With the power of friendship, my dear child!”
Now Nikko was lost.
“Friendship!? What is this, a cliche shounen anime!? How is that gonna do anything?”
Juzo flashed a devious grin.
“Well, my child, the three of us alone are nothing more than social outcasts. No one wants to talk to someone who is ostracized from everyone else. However, a group gives off a more welcoming atmosphere. If we all act as wingmen for each other, we can create situations more likely for success.”
The others were starting to get what he was onto, but Reina still was confused on some parts due to Juzo’s terrible way of explaining.
“So you’re trying to say that we should work together to get a boy/girlfriend? That’s actually not half bad.”
An ecstatic smile appeared on Nikko’s face.
“Hell yeah! Dude, that’s a great idea! It’s gonna be a breeze to land a girl with the gang helping me out. Yeah! When can we start?”
Juzo leaned forward on the table, his face beaming with excitement.
“So you guys wanna do it?”
The others responded in unison.
“Alright, as everyone here as a witness, we are officially creating the “help everyone get a girl/boyfriend pact”. I look forward to our future endeavours.”
Juzo raises his hands, looking for high-fives. Nikko responds first to the gesture.
“Hell yeah! Let’s go!”
Reina hesitates to high-five back, but seeing the motivation in the two boy’s faces changes her mind.
“Well, hopefully we can get something accomplished with this.”
And thus, their infamous plan was born.