Why Does Nobody Find Us Attractive?
"Alright, I'm out."
Various voices called back in response.
The sun was high up, blinding Juzo as soon as he stepped out the door. He made his way to the next block, reaching an apartment complex. After climbing up the outside stairs, he leaned against the wall beside a door. After a short wait, the door swung open. Reina emerged, fumbling around as she tried to lock the door behind her.
Reina jumped back, spinning around to see Juzo.
"Oh, it's just you. Good morning."
The two proceeded quietly as they travelled through town. After getting on the train and arriving at their stop, they took a short detour to stop off at Nikko’s house. As always, Nikko had unlocked the door for them after he woke up. The two entered to see Rinako as she was about to leave.
“Oh, Reina and Juzo. Hello!”
Juzo decided to respond with a question.
“Mornin’. Have you broken up with your boyfriend yet?”
Reina slapped Juzo on the arm.
“Why the hell would you ask her that!?”
“Because her boyfriend looked like an asshole.”
Rinako laughed uncomfortably at the exchange.
“Well, me and Kenshin are still dating, so you don’t have to worry. Now, if you’ll excuse me...”
Rinako pushed her way past to get out the door, hastily fleeing from the encounter.
“Oh good, you chased the pest away.”
Nikko appeared from the stairwell, waving at his friends. Juzo leaned against the wall, waiting as Nikko grabbed his stuff.
“Yeah, people in relationships are so annoying.”
"Alright, I'm ready. Let us commence forth."
The trio strolled down the road towards school, discussing yesterday's events. Nikko remained in disbelief with Juzo's unexpected moves.
"Man, I still don't understand how you, who's claimed to never talked to a girl other than family or Reina, was able to talk so confidently with those two."
Juzo smiled at him.
"Easy. Because you two were there."
Nikko was taken aback.
Juzo scratched his head in thought.
"Well, I guess that knowing that you and Reina were nearby made me more comfortable. I don't think I could've talked to them if I was alone."
"Well, that makes sense, but it's not a good thing. Me and Reina can't tag along with you on a date."
"I'll figure it out."
Nikko shook his head.
"I will never understand how you act so laid back."
The short trip ended as they reached the school. Reina remained quiet through most of the morning, seemingly reflecting back on the embarrassment of the previous day. As lunch break arrived, Reina smuggly announced an idea.
"Okay, so I figured out why yesterday went so badly."
Nikko eagerly patted her shoulder.
"Oh, good. I thought I was going to have to tell you how intimidating your personality is."
Reina slapped his arm off.
"What the hell are you talking about!? I'm not intimidating at all!"
Reina took a breath to regain her composure.
"Anyways, the problem was that we talked to random people. If we went for someone who we already have some sort of relationship with, it would be much easier."
Juzo started slowly clapping to her idea.
"My goodness, what an idea! Why didn't I think of that?"
Reina picked up on the sarcasm.
"What are you on about?"
"Well, Reina, if you didn't notice, the majority of the school hates us. Rumours spread about us have destroyed our reputations, that's why we talked to people who didn't know us yesterday."
Reina started to get agitated.
"Yeah, I know! What I'm suggesting is that there might be some people who didn't believe the rumours."
Nikko chimed in with his skepticism.
"I highly doubt that."
"Well, you two try to think of a girl who you had some sort of mutual respect for. Maybe she'll give you a shot."
Juzo slammed his arms on the table.
"I got it!"
Quickly, he turned to Reina.
"Reina, I love you."
Instantly, Reina’s water bottle had spilled its contents all over Juzo's head.
"I hate you."
Suddenly Nikko snapped his fingers in epiphany and also turned to Reina.
"Reina, I also…"
He was cut short by the back of Reina's hand travelling into his cheek.
"Stop it. But seriously, isn't there anyone that comes to mind?"
Nikko thought about the question for a bit.
"Well, all my friends were guys, so I never really talked to any girls. And Juzo just had no friends at all."
"You guys are useless. But luckily, I do have someone in mind."
The two boys paid no interest in Reina's revelation, and continued to eat. Reina irritably slammed the table to try and grab their attention.
"Hey! Don't you care about what I'm trying to say!?"
Both Nikko and Juzo turned to look her directly in the eyes.
Reina's patience was gone, and she grabbed the boys by their shirt collars.
"Oh, I thought we had an agreement to help EVERYONE find a relationship. Or did you two lie to me?"
The look in Reina's eyes no longer had any humanity in them. Juzo decided he wanted to live.
"Alright, we'll hear you out. But please let go of me."
Reina released the two and cleared her throat.
"Okay, so in my first year, before everyone hated me, I was kinda friends with this guy. His name was Kunio Ogara, and he was a nice guy, but didn't have many friends. After all the rumours were spread about me, Ogara was the only person who talked to me in my class. Honestly, I think I might have a shot with him."
The two boys took time to ingest Reina's news, and Juzo was first to express his thoughts.
"Well, this is the best lead anyone has come up with, so there's that. However, this guy probably only talked to you 'cause he wanted some action."
Nikko nodded along with Juzo's comments.
"Yeah, the way you described this guy, he's obviously a desperate virgin. Trust us, me and Juzo would know."
Nikko stuck his fist out, to which Juzo confidently bumped, both wearing smug grins. Reina, on the other hand, continued to be aggravated by the two.
"Listen up, you bastards. Neither of you have done jack shit, and I've found a potential opportunity. I'm gonna at least try and make something from it."
Reina's speech made Juzo and Nikko huddle up beside each other to have a whispered discussion. After breaking up, Nikko delivered their verdict.
"After deliberation, me and Juzo still both think that this guy is probably a sleazy pig. However, it's not on us to make the decision, so we'll support whatever you end up doing."
Reina couldn’t hide her relieved smile.
Juzo remained skeptical over the idea.
“So what’s the plan? Are you just gonna waltz over and ask him out, or do something more casual first?”
Reina thought about it for a while.
“I guess I’ll go find him after school and ask him to eat somewhere with me. Or is that not a good plan?”
“It’s not bad, but don’t make it obvious that you were looking for him. You gotta make it look like a coincidence.”
Reina nodded at the idea.
"Yeah, that sounds like it would work well. I remember seeing his name in class 3-5, so we're heading there after class."
The two boys gave her some thumbs up, but the bell soon summoned them back to class.
After a few more hours of class, the bell rang, signalling the start of the operation. Quickly throwing all of their things into their bags, the trio dashed out of the room and down the hall. They arrived outside of 3-5's classroom as the students began to flood out. Reina anxiously searched for Ogara in the crowd, but he didn't appear. After all the students cleared from the doorway, Reina peeked inside. Ogara was talking to the teacher, so she spun back out.
"He's talking to the teacher right now."
Juzo, along with Nikko, rushed to peer in the class to get a look at Ogara.
"That's the guy? Well, I guess we're not in a position to have expectations."
Reina was offended.
"Shut up. You two couldn't have done better if you…"
"Oh, shit! He's coming!"
The trio ducked away from the doorway and hid near some students conversing in the hall. Ogara emerged from the door and began to walk past the group. Reina began to panic and turned to the boys.
"What should I…"
Out of nowhere, Juzo shoved Reina into Ogara, causing him to drop his books. Reina was quick to apologize.
"Oh, I'm so sorry."
She glared murderously at Juzo, who gave her a thumbs up.
"That's alright. Are you okay?"
Reina turned to see Ogara, who'd already picked up his books. He quickly recognized her.
"Oh, Iwayama! It's been a while. How are you doing?"
Reina gave him a generous smile.
"I'm doing good, Ogara. It's nice to see you."
"That's good to hear. I haven't seen you since first year."
Ogara's excitement wore off of his face after remembering what happened.
"Oh, sorry. Our class that year wasn't very kind to you."
Reina forced herself to smile through the uncomfortable memories.
"Don't worry about it, I'm past all that. But back in that class, you were the only one who was still kind to me. Thank you for that."
"Hey, I just wanted to be a good friend."
Reina pretended to come up with an idea.
"Since it's been so long, how about we go somewhere and catch up?"
Ogara's face lit up.
"Really? That'd be great. But I am busy today, so how about tomorrow?"
"Yeah, that works. How about we meet at the seafood restaurant down the street?"
"Awesome! I'll meet you there tomorrow!"
Ogara waved goodbye and set off towards the entrance. Both Juzo and Nikko came up and wrapped an arm around Reina. Nikko patted her on the head.
"Nice work. We'll help you out to make sure tomorrow goes smoothly."
Juzo chimed in.
"Yeah, tomorrow's the big day, but good job setting it up."
Reina shoved the two off of her, but couldn't hide her embarrassed smirk.
"See? I told you it would work. Now let's get going, I got a lot to prepare for my date."