Chapter 2:

Ayatsuji Reika's Daily Life

Vitriolic Life With My Ex-Girlfriend!

Ayatsuji Reika was not one to settle for second place. Ever since she could recall, she had been the top of her class in every subject, and the pride of her various teachers, though she disliked the teacher's pet label. She was markedly more average in sports, but physical ability was largely bestowed and not earned. Reika was confident that she worked harder than anyone despite her slim build; her 100m dash time was certainly fast enough to join the track team at both her middle school and high school, though not quite fast enough to be a star runner. In fact, Reika never did join any clubs. It was too much commitment when she had already been trying so hard in multiple areas of life. To work so hard just to be close to the top and yet never utilize such skills must seem strange to the average person, but for Reika, there was simply never any other option to consider. It was just how she was.

In the first year of middle school, Reika met a boy she could call her equal. He was academically gifted and well liked by others. He was the kind of boy who seemed to have a guidebook on life, he did as he was supposed to, made friends with the right people, and did right by the school. Yet for all his straight edged posturing, Reika could feel something different about him, a sarcastic tint to his tone and a candid, frank personality. Reika liked this boy, for a while.

Recently, Reika regretfully found herself thinking more and more about this boy. For example, she was now contemplating deeply on how to ruin Sakamoto Kouhei's life as she ate her breakfast. In a few short years, love and affection had given way to spite and malice, and Reika often found herself wondering how she could've been so wrong about him. Hurriedly, Reika swallowed the rest of her toast before she could become any more agitated and started off for school.

Arriving at the school entrance, Reika exchanged her outdoor shoes for her school pair at the shoe lockers. She stopped for a second to have her customary daily wince at the fact that Kouhei's shoe locker was just across the aisle from hers, though thankfully they didn't run into each other very often. Reika considered briefly whether this was an opportunity for revenge she could take advantage of. Their shoe lockers being so close, and the fact that Reika usually arrived on campus so early would grant a good opportunity to mess with Kouhei's shoes without looking suspicious or being noticed. Then again, while the usual cliche of thumb tacks in shoes would make for some good physical pain, it would do nothing to ruin Kouhei's image. Plus, that was such a barbaric tactic, resorting to violence, and yet being so cowardly as to not even directly inflict it with your own hands. Perhaps a better way to utilize this opportunity would be to catch Kouhei here when more people were around and use it as a public stage for confrontation. It was guaranteed, after all, that he would be here sometime before the beginning of class every day. Reika made a mental note of that and promised herself she would think about it more in depth later.


"... and please read chapter five and complete the reading questions before tomorrow's class, we'll be discussing them." As Reika listened halfheartedly, Ms. Nakamura concluded the lesson by tapping on the blackboard with her chalk twice for emphasis. Normally, Reika would be in a state of absolute focus, right up until the bell; she could easily enter a state of deep concentration and focus which had served her well so far in life. However, today, Reika's gaze drifted toward the back corner of her pencil box, where an oddly shaped eraser laid covered in pencil lead. The old eraser shaped like a curled up cat was a gift from Kouhei a long time ago. Supposedly it had been from a shrine, and Kouhei had told Reika that it reminded him of her. Reika herself was not sure of why she kept such a small insignificant reminder of that time with her; it was not the first nor by far the most significant gift the two had exchanged, and besides, she didn't particularly want to remember that period of her life anyway. Indeed, Reika had ignored the existence of the eraser in her pencil box for the last year. It wasn't that she didn't know it was there, she just didn't pay any particular attention to it. But now that Kouhei was back in her life in an unpleasant way, the eraser seemed to be almost mocking her from its tiny overlooked corner.

Reika stood up silently with the eraser in hand and walked towards the front of the classroom. She held it over the garbage can and watched it fall. That was that. As she turned to walk back to her seat, she heard a voice call out her name from the direction of the door.

"Ayatsuji-san!" It was Kouhei, who had walked the short distance over from class 2-B during the break.

"Yes? Do you need something?"

"Ayatsuji-san, I need those planning forms for the cultural festival, the school administration needs them for the meeting with the neighborhood association today."

"Planning forms? You never said anything about that-"

"Ayatsuji-san..." Kouhei frowned, a look of disappointment swept over his face. "I was quite clear during the last meeting that we needed those today."

"No... I don't remember you saying anything like that." Reika looked around, and found that her classmates had started to crowd around, sensing some sort of commotion.

"Look, Ayatsuji-san. I know we all make mistakes-" Kouhei lowered his voice slightly, though not enough so that others couldn't hear. "You don't have to lie to me, okay? We can still do something about it. I'll have to go reschedule the meeting and explain the situation to the school, but it's no the end of the world."

"Well that's all good and all, but you never told me about the forms-"

"Okay, okay. I know. If you forgot, you forgot. Anyway, I'll go let the admins know-" Kouhei turned to leave, his objective complete.

"You didn't let me finish." Reika interrupted. "You never told me about the forms, but I made sure to check by myself all the work that needed to be done by the student council." Reika scrounged around in her bag, digging up a stack of papers. "So anyway, here are your forms."

Reika beamed as she handed Kouhei the completely documents. Kouhei took the stack of papers with a nod and left the room without further elaboration. Reika looked on triumphantly, enjoying the satisfaction of a well earned victory. Though it would've been even better if he had kept digging himself further.

"Gonna have to get up pretty early to fool me with that one."