Chapter 2:

I Guess You Can Call Her My Friend

Being a Girl Online Made Me Become a Girl in Real Life

I start making my way to the station where I usually meet up with Saya. We have this rule where if we don’t see each other by 7:50am then we just make our way to school by ourselves, just in case someone decides to be late. I usually arrive a few minutes before her and wait in front of the station. I walk through the empty streets near my home, occasionally hearing the sounds of people starting their day in the distance but never actually seeing anyone.Bookmark here

About halfway to the station, I am surprised to see a certain high school girl casually sitting down on the ground, leaning against the side of a vending machine. Cardigan half worn hanging on her forearms, with a cigarette in one hand and holding a can of coffee in the other. It's certainly a strange sight to see this early in the morning, or anytime of the day to be completely honest.Bookmark here

She looks up noticing me approaching and cracks a slight smirk that she always likes to do.Bookmark here

“Yo!” With a cigarette held between her fingers, she waves her hand to greet me.Bookmark here

“Good morning, it's rare to see you this early.” I say with a puzzled tone. Bookmark here

“Woke up early so thought I’d catch you on the way to the station because you’re always so slowww.” she says while getting up from the ground.Bookmark here

“Hah really? You sure you didn’t just want someplace nobody could see you smoke?”Bookmark here

“Well…uhh... have any problem?”Bookmark here

“You know my answer... by the way, very cool of you...smoking and drinking coffee, it’s like you're a salaryman or something.”Bookmark here

She leans against the vending machine and takes a long drag of the cigarette.Bookmark here

“I mean it is pretty cool huh. Glad you noticed!” She says with a slight smile.Bookmark here

“It wasn’t a compliment dummy.”Bookmark here

Saya laughs, then she puts out the cigarette on the wall beside her and throws it in the trash.Bookmark here

I can’t think of a good response because she wasn’t wrong, I thought she looked kind of cool… but I can’t let her know that! I don't condone high schoolers smoking in any way. Honestly, anything she does would probably be cool, she just has that kind of aurora to her.Bookmark here

I let out an exaggerated sigh.Bookmark here

“Aren't you worried about someone seeing you smoking?! What if a policeman was passing by and they take you to the kōban!”Bookmark here

“Don’t be such a scaredy cat Shiki, nobody would ever catch me! Besides, look around us, do you see anyone? I’m not that stupid!” Bookmark here

She then starts to chug the rest of her coffee.Bookmark here

I took a quick glance at the area we are in, it's a small, narrow street that can only fit one car at a time, with only houses surrounding us. We are a few minutes away from the station in a residential area so there isn't anyone passing by here.Bookmark here

“Fine... let’s just get to school already.”Bookmark here

Still chugging, some of the coffee is drooling out from her mouth. Bookmark here

"Ah, whoops." She wipes the coffee from her mouth with her sleeve.Bookmark here

“Heh, see you're still just a clumsy kid no matter how mature you pretend to act.” Bookmark here

“Shut up…” She tries her best to sound angry, then starts to walk up to me.Bookmark here

“Here hold this for a sec...” Handing me over her can of coffee.Bookmark here

Saya reaches down beside the vending machines to pick up her school bag from off the floor and starts to walk towards the station.Bookmark here

“Aw nasty, it's all wet!” It must have happened from when she made her little mess. What the hell, why’d she even give me this empty can anyways?!Bookmark here

I hear her laugh out ahead of me.Bookmark here

“Throw that away for me pleaseee! And hurry up, let's get going~”Bookmark here

I try to hastily try to produce something to come back with but it's no use, she's already walked ahead. As I look over beside the vending machines I realize it's worse than I thought. The garbage can is just about overflowing with cans stuffed to its limit. Now I gotta hold her moist can of coffee all the way to the station where there are garbage cans.Bookmark here

“Tsk, this damn girl.” I crushed some of the can in frustration. Now my hand feels sticky from the coffee.Bookmark here

“Huh? Did you say something? Let's get moving!”Bookmark here

I hold the L and quickly try to catch up with her.Bookmark here

She leads the way to the station that's only a few minutes away. I walk a few steps behind her like usual as she likes to take the lead when it comes to things and I never try to fight it. The train station is a small one, with only one train line and platform. After getting on the train, it’s only a few stations away until we get off then have a walk about 10 minutes through some peaceful streets to get to school.Bookmark here

Since we are earlier than usual, the train was not busy without the rush of everyone trying to make it just on time. Without all the bustle in the streets, we take our time and stroll along our way to school after getting off the train.Bookmark here

We usually walk in silence or just have a little small talk since we don't have anything in common to talk about. But today, I know there is something on her mind that she wants to discuss since she arrived to meet me early.Bookmark here

“Any reason you were early today?”Bookmark here

“Uhm, not really...”Bookmark here

“Hmm? Usually, it’s because you have something on your mind you wanna discuss.”Bookmark here

“Ehehe, you know me well.” She giggles.Bookmark here

“Spit it out, what’s on your mind? Is everything okay?” I say with a hint of worry in my tone.Bookmark here

Saya slows her usual pace being a few steps ahead and with a sly grin on her face turns to look me in the eyes.Bookmark here

“Shiki… Do you think I’m cute?”Bookmark here

I jolt in surprise as I hear the word “cute”. How is that even a question? Has she looked in the mirror this morning? This question is like asking if the sun will rise in the morning tomorrow, the answer is obvious.Bookmark here

“Like do guys think of me as someone they would want to date? What’s so appealing about me?” she continues.Bookmark here

“You know most guys in our class would sell their soul to date someone like you Saya.”Bookmark here

“Most but not all… what about the people who wouldn’t!?”Bookmark here

“Everyone has their preferences for who they want to date. For one thing, some guys think smoking is gross.”Bookmark here

“Yea but those people are nerds, just like you Shiki haha.” She laughs and quickens her pace again.Bookmark here

Who wouldn’t want to date her? Obviously, she’s out of my league in looks and in social standing, but part of me wishes I could date her for some reason.Bookmark here

I glance ahead of me, and I admire Saya for a brief moment. Her facial expressions always have a playful hint behind them that reveals her true nature. She has long black hair and a long frame to her body that isn’t lacking in any areas let’s just say. If you didn't know her, you would think she's a quiet type that gets good grades and is mature for her age. In my eyes, she’s almost a perfect girl. So perfect of one that I feel a bit jealous about that fact.Bookmark here

She must have noticed me staring her up and down basically checking her out for about a minute now and she glances over her shoulder at me. I quickly find something to say, unsure of why she brought up such a topic I try to reassure her.Bookmark here

“I think you are fine the way you are, people who don’t like you, maybe they just don’t understand what's special about you.” I stutter awkwardly as she just stares back at me.Bookmark here

“Special huh? Aww, Shiki I’m so glad you think I’m special haha. I didn’t know you thought that about anybody!” She laughs a bit louder than her regular snarky ones.Bookmark here

I get a bit flustered at her teasing and become a bit red.Bookmark here

“You see we have known each other for a few years, right? And I guess you are one of the few friends I have and…”Bookmark here

Saya lunges at me and squeezes her arm around my head, hugging me.Bookmark here

“You are special too Shiki-kun! I don’t know what I would do without a little weirdo like you.” She says while patting me on my head.Bookmark here

I feel awkward since she’s taller than me and probably stronger too. What do I do here? Hug her back? No, she will feel creeped out. Push her off me? I have no escape and I must accept my fate. If I tried to resist she would squeeze me tighter, further embarrassing myself. It's not all a bad situation though, she smells great and there is something amazingly soft pressing on the side of my cheeks. Not knowing what to do, I just wait until she is done with me. At this point she is practically just dragging my fish-like body since we are still walking.Bookmark here

“Come onnn Shiki, at least try to fight back hahaha.” She finally releases me. I adjust my glasses and fix my uniform that she messed up.Bookmark here

I try to be upset about it for a moment, but I know she is only fooling around and we end up laughing about what just happened. We go back to walking to school as usual and spend the rest of the time talking about mundane things. Arriving at school, we usually part ways near the school gates. I probably won’t talk with her again today because we are in different classes, and I’m usually not brave enough to talk with her during the day. Then after school we don't walk home together since she's got friends to hang out with. So it's best to say our goodbyes now before she finds some of her friends to start talking with.Bookmark here

“See you tomorr-”Bookmark here

“Hey, let’s eat lunch together!" Saya abruptly said before I could finish saying bye. "I know where you always hide at so, guess I’ll meet you there… Buh bye!”Bookmark here

She runs off to some of her friends across the street that were also just arriving at school. I didn’t even get a chance to reply. What if I didn’t want to eat lunch with her!? She just expects me to agree with her demands or something!? Bookmark here

What am I saying? I want to eat lunch with her. Also, I literally couldn’t come up with an excuse if I wanted to, because she knows I’m always alone at lunchtime. She usually wants to eat lunch with me if she's got nothing else to do, or when she has got something on her mind. I have a feeling I know which one it's going to be today. I guess she has more to say that wasn't said this morning…Bookmark here

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