Chapter 3:

This Romance I Yearn For.

A Reverie for Another Eternity


"If love truly comes in all shapes and sizes, then why is mine so empty?"Bookmark here

- MiyoriBookmark here


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In an abandoned classroom overlooked by bustling crowds, four girls sat around each other. Bookmark here

The girls were spread out; some sat at their desks, while others stood around and assumed other postures.Bookmark here

It was their usual routine, a meetup that had persisted throughout the long years at the academy. Sometimes, it ended without a single word, with only the taps and vibrations from their phones making any sound in the otherwise desolate classroom. Yet, merely having each others’ presence in the vicinity was comforting and enjoyable.Bookmark here

A tall brunette with a casual side braid spoke up, interrupting the silence.Bookmark here

“Hey, so are any of you guys a masochist by chance?”Bookmark here

“Nope.”Bookmark here

“Negative.”Bookmark here

“What’s that?”Bookmark here

The three girls slowly turned their heads towards the innocent blonde, looking at her with unsure eyes that questioned if they should explain the logistics of what they meant.Bookmark here

“Are you joking right now?”Bookmark here

“I forgot that was her character.”Bookmark here

“Sheesh Miyori, you really don’t know huh. That’s hilarious.”Bookmark here

Suddenly, the brunette had shot up from her seat, with an evil grin attached to her narrow face.Bookmark here

She walked over with an intentionally stupid gait and put her lips next to the innocent girl's ear.Bookmark here

Miyori obliged by extending her neck towards her; her right hand cupped around her ear.Bookmark here

“It’s when… Some like to… It’s just a play in bed really.”Bookmark here

The latter half of the explanation was unheard, as Miyori's ears steamed with embarrassment. She slid even lower onto her desk, face down on her desk without so much as a peep.Bookmark here

“I think you just killed her, Akari. You know how prude she is.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, it’s always cute seeing her like this.”Bookmark here

“Pretty sure we’re just a bad influence.”Bookmark here

The girl with a small slender build, a rough bob cut of black hair with green streaks, and menacing yellow eyes got up and started snuggling up against Miyori's back after seeing her wholesome embarrassment.Bookmark here

With Miyori short-circuited, she didn't - or rather couldn’t - respond in her usual manner to the unsolicited touching. So, the girl, unsatisfied with not getting a reaction, reached under Miyori's armpits and started fondling her c-cup breasts.Bookmark here

“Oh, you’re definitely getting bigger alright.”Bookmark here

Miyori's relaxed arms clamped down onto her sides in surprise; the ticklish sensations from her chest region serving as a warning of the situation.Bookmark here

“Stop mhmph!”Bookmark here

"Hai hai. Don't be so dramatic over a little tease."Bookmark here

The assailant's hands shot out under, as she innocently whistled soon after. Her eyes looked away as Miyori took a mock offense to her action, covering her arms across her chest.Bookmark here

“That’s what we call sexual harassment, Kaoru.”Bookmark here

Kaoru let out a mild chuckle in response.Bookmark here

A girl with auburn curls, who lazily laid sideways on the teacher's desk in front, formulated a question of her own. “Anyways, have you confessed to him yet?”Bookmark here

Her dark eyes penetrated Miyori's, as life suddenly returned to her eyes full force.
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The duo of loosely clothed girls huddled over a dazed blonde-haired girl with the same question in mind. In lieu of steam, bubbles now seemingly came out of her ears. It wasn’t often that she thought about something other than herself and her friends, but for once she did.Bookmark here

For someone like her, who was neither the smartest nor the dumbest, someone who had what would be called average talent, it was the only dream she secretly avoided and revered in silence.Bookmark here

At the mention of him, her cheeks turned bright pink. Once again, her friends began to question her; not that it was inherently a bad thing of course. She usually participated in almost every conversation that went down: romances that others had talked about, and dreams of the future. But, she did not want to participate in the ones involving her ideal romance. However, the very notion of wanting to hide it away was stupid since it was already obvious to everyone. Besides, they were her close friends; they had the right to tease and know her dreams just as much as she did.Bookmark here

But, Miyori didn’t want to talk about this particular topic about herself today. She simply wanted to continue on with the bland and uninteresting days she lived for; the topics of others' romantic interests, their futures, and academia were all of which comforted her. Maybe if she replied coolly they’d let down their pursuit. Bookmark here

She lowered her gaze as she pretended to be unaffected by the question.Bookmark here

“I think I just have to find the timing for these kinds of things.”Bookmark here

She had hoped that her response would’ve ended the conversation, but in a world where love was as plentiful as the untouched nature sceneries left on this earth, it was obvious that their romance-starved nagging would press on.Bookmark here

Akari started pulling on Miyori’s pinkened cheek as she let out a surprised yelp.Bookmark here

“Oh come on, you’ve been saying that for the past three years!”Bookmark here

“Damn chicken, tomorrow is the perfect time to confess!”Bookmark here

Kaoru pointed to the holographic school newspaper in the hallway, which listed the showings of the academy and its events. One of which was a bright orange infographic presenting the annual showcasing of fireworks, using live gunpowder, from last year. It was an archaic tradition from a time before hers, but the situation could possibly be romantic given the chance.Bookmark here

That idea was one they all shared once they got the gist of what Kaoru meant.Bookmark here

“It definitely could be a thing!”Bookmark here

“Imagine how romantic it’d be with someone as pure as her. Makes me feel squeamish.”Bookmark here

“Maybe it's time for us to find someone to go with besides ourselves.”Bookmark here

The two girls chortled at this thought.Bookmark here

The gang’s idea of romance was heavily influenced by the manga and Japanese light novels buried within the archives of the physical library. It was painful to search by genre for decent reads since those were lost beneath mountains of scientific articles and mass-produced journalism. Good entertainment involving romance was a rare sight in this day and age.Bookmark here

Miyori sighed heavily, her head lolling on her desk. It wasn’t as simple as not being able to confront one about their love from embarrassment, but rather a fear of destroying the trust and relationship that was built up prior. Even in the past when they attended the showing, all the pair did was admire the various explosions in the sky that illuminated the ground with shifty shadows. She had only realized these feelings three years into their six-year relationship after all. It was probably - no, most definitely - too late to profess her feelings. And, it was honestly discouraging that he hadn’t reciprocated her weak attempts from before.Bookmark here

She sighed even more deeply, her forehead in full contact with the desk, and her mind swirling with the cringe memories of these so-called attempts. She wanted to disappear like the holographic leaves who aimlessly danced in the artificial winds, disappearing at the height of its journey before hitting the ground.Bookmark here

Maybe this love is just meant to burn without requiting.Bookmark here

“Guys stop pestering her about it. She’ll do it sooner or later.”Bookmark here

The trio turns back to the girl with auburn-colored curls, now cockily sucking on a fat lollipop.Bookmark here

“Mitchii, you’re not supposed to eat indoors.”Bookmark here

“Yes yes, but let's not get off-topic here.”Bookmark here

She took a pause from sucking; the strand of spit glistened as a loud popping sound echoed throughout the classroom. Her knitted eyebrows formed a sadistic expression at the thought of her next words.
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“But seriously Miyori, if you don’t do it, then some other girl is gonna snatch him up.” Miyori gulped at the horrifying prospect. “Maybe someone like me~” She gave a sarcastic wink at the obviously agitated Miyori. “I kid, I kid.”Bookmark here

A pause ensued as Miyori realized how defenseless she was. “I-it's not like I care or anything.”Bookmark here

She could feel her friends smirk at this tease as her face became flushed with embarrassment.Bookmark here

But, there was an ounce of truth to what she said. If Miyori were to never go past the notion of family in exchange for her ideal love and relationship, then she’d never be able to fulfill that longing wish of hers. Bookmark here

“You know what, fine. I will do it today. I’ll ask him out for the fireworks viewing tomorrow.”Bookmark here

Her friends stopped in surprise, soon filling the room with loud cheers and nods of agreement.Bookmark here

“You totally got this!”Bookmark here

“Took you long enough.”Bookmark here

The bell interrupted their celebration, a reminder to go to their next class.
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“Don’t screw it up”Bookmark here

“Don’t forget about the fireworks show.”Bookmark here

One after another, they left the class, until it was only Michiru and Miyori who remained.Bookmark here

Michiru stopped in the doorway, her right hand pressed firmly against the right side, seemingly lamenting about something.
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Miyori, however, was too caught up in her own thoughts to properly observe her friend's conspicuously erratic behavior.Bookmark here

For a few moments, nothing happened; the classroom was dead silent.
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As her hand slowly slid down, Michiru let out a melancholic sigh. “You know. I really am happy for you."Bookmark here

"Hope everything goes well.”Bookmark here

Unhearing of Michiru's defeated words and brisk departure, Miyori's eyes were glazed in a unison of fear, panic, and excitement for what was to come.
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I will do it. I WILL DO IT.Bookmark here

Those were the thoughts that screamed repeatedly in her mind, blocking out anything she might've learned in the day as the last period began to wrap up with the usual questioning from its usual students.Bookmark here

Usually, she was never concerned with what her friends said about her and her feelings, but as the period went on, she thought more and more about the validity of that rash decision; as if her feelings were only speaking out in pure limerence without a drop of genuine, agape love. Her emotional turmoil was comparable to typical textbook romances.Bookmark here

Let's see… Asking him out for the fireworks viewing and for someone to tell him to meet me back here today.Bookmark here

She remembered asking Takeshi after the end of the second to last period to fetch Takumi for her. The three of them were very good friends who hung out every day till a year ago, when he had suddenly stopped coming to mess around with the two. Despite this hiatus, she harbored no ill-will or suspicion of Takeshi and his reasons for doing so.Bookmark here

After all, it only meant more time for the two to spend aloneBookmark here

Only one thing left to do...Bookmark here

The bell rang ominously once more, indicating the end of school.Bookmark here

The crowds that spewed onto the hallways outside grew even more lively, as every class on the floor rushed out of their classes to the extracurriculars and other important events. Everyone headed towards their expected destinations, paving the way to the things they needed to do.Bookmark here

Miyori sighed again, wishing she'd never made such a commitment.Bookmark here

In the end, she wanted to stay in that stagnant reality of hers. Never-changing, and never-moving, she would've happily continued to spend her days riding behind his back, eating the same rations under a common roof, and to live in a blissful world she could label as familiar. It was a solace she wanted to call home.Bookmark here

Wasn't it me who decided to live for a newer tomorrow?Bookmark here

Her frame leaned back against the seat, the lower back of her head hung over the top rim of the chair as her chest faced the ceiling. There, she sat alone, the thoughts of her potential rejection and ruining her current relationship being everso heart-wrenching.Bookmark here

Maybe it's just not meant to be...Bookmark here

No no no no. It must be. it would simply have to be.Bookmark here

Furious at her pessimism, she violently rocked her chair back and forth, wishing that her confession wouldn't go wrong.Bookmark here

Stop thinking so negatively, cmon. Be more optimistic. You got decent looks and a nice… body.Bookmark here

Miyori quickly stood up and stuck her head out through the open windows; an attempt to avoid the embarrassment that came as a form of self-preservation.Bookmark here

The insincere winds blew softly on her face, mocking her as she stared off into the distant cyan skies, littered with the fluttering holograms and the oddly-shaped metal structures that gazed down from above.Bookmark here

Though it was only a late afternoon, Miyori already knew that the blue and green hues of the familiar sky would fade to black.Bookmark here

She quickly snapped out of her thoughts upon hearing the encroaching footsteps to the classroom door.Bookmark here

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Take a deep breath. Be as cool as a cucumber. You got this.Bookmark here

She stood strong amongst the maelstrom of emotions that cut into her emotions and nerves, waiting to be called on by him.Bookmark here

The footsteps in the distance became louder with each step taken towards the classroom, sending out what felt like magnitude eight earthquakes until, finally, she felt a firm presence behind her.Bookmark here

Or not.Bookmark here

“Why didn’t you meet up with me?”Bookmark here

The tensions that held her up throughout the day sent a jolt of electricity that coursed through every fiber of her being.Bookmark here

Her legs weakened, she turned around; not knowing what face she should've been making.Bookmark here

“Weeeeeeeell, I kinda wanted to talk about something in private y’know?”Bookmark here

Takumi looked slightly annoyed - scratch that - he looked very annoyed at this response.Bookmark here

His disappointed and degrading looks sent shivers up and down her spine. But, in a comforting way that sent pleasurable chills. Maybe she was a masochist.Bookmark here

Takumi sighed in annoyance.Bookmark here

“Wait till we go home, yeah?”Bookmark here

“It's urgent so… no.”Bookmark here

“Well? Go on.”Bookmark here

He suddenly started to look uncomfortable; maybe it was because of the hopeless surge that coursed throughout her body at his question.Bookmark here

Maybe it was because she just needed a breather.Bookmark here

“Would you mind walking around a bit with me?”Bookmark here

“I thought this was urgent?”Bookmark here

“It can wait.”Bookmark here

Seeing that he was about to complain yet again, she instinctively shot her finger up to his lips, much to the bewilderment of both him and her. Nevertheless, she didn't drop her facade and pressed onward.Bookmark here

“I won’t take a no for an answer~”Bookmark here

She did her best to put on a convincing smile.Bookmark here

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