Chapter 2:


Couple That Can't Touch

I told Kawahara-san what happened that morning.

I had never been late for school and I didn't want to start now, so I ran to the high school. Everyone else was late too, but they walked as if it didn't matter. They didn't care.

I had to run between them to arrive at the entrance. As I neared the checkers, I realized that my student ID was still in my backpack. I moved it in front of me to take the ID out while I continued to run.

Not even a second later, I bumped into someone and fell to the ground. My stuff scattered all over the place. I had to pick it up before I was late.

"Are you okay?! I'm sorry. I was standing in the middle of the way," Kozue-san apologized while reaching forward to help me.

At that moment, I didn't remember who she was.

I began to stand up. "Don't worry, it was my fault—"

Before I could see her, she suddenly hit her head against mine, knocking us both to the ground.

There was something heavy on my lap. I opened my eyes and saw Kozue-san's face above mine, red from the forehead to the chin. Her eyes twitched as she stared at me.

It took me a few seconds to become aware of the situation. Her arms, next to my head, propped her body over mine on the ground and her ponytail brushed my cheek. My face suddenly grew warmer as we stared at each other.

A lot of people had crowded around already.

We jumped out of the position and began again to pick up my stuff.

"It was my fault," I quavered. "I didn't see where I was going."

"No, I was standing in the middle of the way, i-it's my fault!" Kozue-san stuttered.

We continued to pick up everything without seeing each other's faces for a minute. The people who had started to gather went away after seeing that nothing interesting was happening.

"We should get going or we'll be late," Kozue-san said. She stood up and ran to the entrance. "I'm sorry!" she apologized one more time.

I didn't tell Kawahara-san this, but, for some reason, I stared at Kozue-san as she hurried to check-in with her ID. I then snapped out of it and ran to check-in too.

"So, you are the kind of person that arrives late. I understand," Kawahara-san said after I finished telling her about the incident. She pushed her glasses up a little.

"No, I just told you that I never arrive late!" I yelled.

The school bell rang and the break ended.

"That's unfortunate," Kawahara-san said and stood up from the stool. "Let's meet after class, under the big cherry tree, near the entrance."

It's not like we have another choice right now I thought.

"Fine. I guess we'll have to survive for the rest of the afternoon, Kozue-san."

She was curled up on the floor. Her lifeless eyes stared at a distant void. I couldn't blame her after recalling what happened.

Kozue-san, inside my body, returned to my classroom and Kawahara-san walked with me to her—and Kozue-san's—classroom. I went straight to my seat since I already knew where it was.

Rem-san turned around in her seat and yelled in a whisper, "Why didn't you tell us?!"

I didn't know what to say. It only took me one day to learn that, no matter what you replied, whoever was asking was going to take the answer however they wanted.

Fortunately, the teacher arrived and started the class.

All the subsequent teachers arrived on time, preventing Hashimoto-san and Rem-san from asking too much. It was the first time I hoped that a teacher wouldn't stop talking.

I took as many notes as I could since I saw a lot of them in Kozue-san's notebooks—although I didn't understand her writing.

Classes ended after a few hours. I kept everything in Kozue-san's backpack and tried to leave discreetly.

"Kozue Suzuka," Hashimoto-san called and grasped my arm. "Where do you think you're going?"

I knew it was coming.

"Yeah, you've been acting weird," Rem-san added.

I stood still.

How would Kozue-san respond? I asked myself. We've barely talked, how am I supposed to know?

"Su-chan!" Hashimoto-san yelled.

"Yes!" I replied in reflex.

"I asked where you are going."

"I'm going… with Araki-san. He wants to talk with me alone…"

Hashimoto-san's grasp got tighter. Too much.

How is she so strong?! I thought.

"Then what are we waiting for?! Let's go!" she said and pulled me.

"Wait!" I shouted and stopped her.


"Are you going to spy on us?"

She took a little pause before replying, "What? Of course not!"

But her exaggerated tone, shaky answer, and the quick movement of eyes told me that she was lying.

I stared at her with furrowed brows until she confessed.

"Fine," she sighed. "Should we wait for you?"

"No need. I'll go home after we finish."

"Okay. Let's go, Rem."

"Good luck, Su-chan. You'll have to tell us everything tonight," Rem-san smiled and left the classroom with Hashimoto-san.

Her smile didn't feel like a smile out of kindness.

I walked out of the classroom and down the stairs from the third floor. I headed to the entrance of the school, where Kozue-san and Kawahara-san were already waiting for me next to the tree, some distance away from the walkway.

"How did it go, Araki-kun? Did you ruin my reputation?" Kozue-san smiled at me.

Should she smile while asking that? I thought.

"I talked a couple of times. Mostly when I was heading out. But I think you're fine," I replied. "And why did you call me Araki-kun?"

"Why not? I think we're already quite close."

She wasn't wrong. But just how close were we? It wasn't an easy question to answer.

"What about you, Kozue? Did something happen?" I asked her.

"What can you tell us, Kawahara?" she said, avoiding my question.

"Hey, what the—"

"Let's see," Kawahara-san responded, ignoring me. "I have already heard some rumors about the two of you being a couple."

"What?! Why?" Kozue exclaimed.

She shook me by my shoulders.

"Just what did you tell Hisa?!"

"Nothing! Only that I wanted to ask me something and that I wanted to talk with me alone." I answered.

"And did you blush just like you did right now?!" she yelled.

"Wait, I'm blushing?"

I touched my cheeks and they were hot.

"It's not my fault that your body is very sensitive to these things!" I yelled back.

"Yours too, b-but in other ways!"

"Not only that," Kawahara-san interrupted. "Araki Koji-san, being controlled by Kozue Suzuka-san, called Kozue Suzuka by her first name."

My head hurt trying to connect the names with who we were at certain points.

"They, also, saw both of you entering the laboratory together," Kawahara-san added.

Kozue and I stood still, silent.

It was our fault.

"Well, do you have any idea how to get us back to our bodies?" I asked Kawahara-san.

"I have one."

"Really? What is it?!" Kozue happily shouted.

"Hit your heads," Kawahara-san bluntly replied.

We stared at her for a moment.

"No, seriously. What is it?" Kozue asked again.

"You hit your heads this morning before it happened. Doing it again may have the same effect, swapping you back to your original bodies," Kawahara-san responded.

"Yeah, but…" Kozue sighed.

"Let's do it," I said.

"What? You think it'll work?" she doubted.

"At least we should try, right?"

Kozue looked at me and stuttered, "… Sure."

I pulled her by her arm.

"Let's do it behind the tree, so people don't think we're some weirdos."

"Make sure it's as hard as this morning," Kawahara-san noted.

"But that hurt!" I complained.

"Do you want to get back to your bodies or not?"

"Fine," I sighed.

We hid behind the tree, opposite the path walk where everyone was walking to leave.

"Do it," I said to Kozue.

"What? Why me?" she questioned.

"I don't want to hit a girl."

"Huh?! Are you saying I'm weak? And you're the girl here, you do it!" she yelled.

"What? I'm not! I mean, I am, but I'm not!"

My head hurt more. I didn't know who we were talking about anymore.

"Fine! We'll do it at the same time at the count of three," Kozue said.

"Fine," I agreed. "One…"



Our heads crashed together right as we said it.

We then writhed in pain and rubbed our heads.

"Are you done?" Kawahara-san asked as she approached.

"Yes. That hurt," I replied.

"Good. Oh, one more thing," she said and took her phone out of her shirt pocket. "Let's exchange numbers."

"Why?" Kozue questioned.

"If it doesn't work, you will need to help each other out," Kawahara answered and smiled.

"Wait," Kozue said. "That means he would need to sleep in my room!"

"And you in mine," I added.

That wasn't the problem. Having to interact with people we were supposed to know was the problem.

Kozue jumped at Kawahara-san and grabbed her by her shirt. "Please, tell me it'll work!"

"I will create a group chat. Share anything that happens as soon as you can," said Kawahara-san, ignoring Kozue.

"It makes sense. Here's my number." I replied.

We exchanged our numbers.

"Great," Kawahara-san smiled. "I shall leave now. I will wait for your messages."

"Sure. Goodbye," I said.

"Talk to you soon," said Kozue.

We were alone. Sunset had just started and not as many people were still coming out of the school.

I could hear the wind blowing the leaves on the trees by how quiet we were.

"G-Give me your phone," Kozue requested me.

"Why?" I questioned.

"I'll mark the location of my house in your maps app."

I gave her her phone. She tapped the screen quite a few times before giving it back.

"I always take the train in the nearby town, so you'll have to walk for ten minutes. Once on the train, it will take you half-an-hour to reach the station I get off at. Then just follow the path shown here."

"I see. Thanks," I said.

"What about you?" she asked.

"Oh, my chauffeur should arrive any second now."

"Your what?"

And I was right. Yoshimura-san, my chauffeur, arrived in our black SUV at the same time I said it. He stopped in front of the gate and honked.

"There he is. Well, see you tomorrow," I said.

"Wait! What should I know? Does he talk a lot? Should I talk a lot?" Kozue quickly asked.

"We don't talk much on the way home. He usually asks me about my day and I ask him about his," I replied. "His name is Yoshimura-san."

"Okay. I'll try my best," Kozue said. "Goodbye."

I stared at her as she approached Yoshimura-san, holding the door open for me. Or her.

She hopped in and they drove away. I was nervous. How couldn't I be? But there wasn't much more we could do.

I left the school grounds and walked to the nearby town with my phone in my hand. It had been a long while since I walked outside on my own. My father wouldn't let me go out alone and he would ask someone to get what I wanted most of the time.

The breeze was cool. More students were also walking to the town. The woods surrounded most of the path leading to the train station.

I was by myself. It was refreshing. So refreshing that I got sleepy.

I reached the train station after fifteen minutes because I walked slower on purpose. I was surprised I had forgotten how to get in.

Fortunately, there were some students I could copy.

They got a card out of their backpacks or pockets and slid it in a machine, or they inserted coins in the same machine. They then walked through some rotating gate and headed upstairs.

I began to see some people looking at me weird, so I hurried to do it.

I looked inside Kozue's backpack and found the same card. Then, I joined the short queue to slide the card in the machine.

The light turned red and I couldn't get the gate to rotate. I tried a couple of times before a guy behind me told me, "Excuse me. Looks like you ran out of credits."

"Oh, yeah," I nervously giggled.

I didn't want them to suspect me, so I quickly tapped my skirt like it was a pair of pants and I actually found enough coins.

I put them in the machine and the light turned green. The gate unlocked and I was able to get in. I sighed in relief.

Not even five minutes later, the train arrived and I hopped on along with quite a few more students. Fortunately, there were still a lot of free seats, so I sat down.

The sleepiness hit me instantly.

I hope Kozue is alright I thought. I struggled at first, but now I just need to sit on a train, while she…

I yawned. I didn't notice when my eyes closed.

The next thing I knew, Yoshimura-san woke me up.

"Araki-sama. Araki-sama, we've arrived."

I opened my eyes and we still were in the SUV. I jumped out and saw my house. I was at home. In my body. I touched myself to make sure it was true.

It actually worked! I thought. My shoes, my pants, my hands, my—

"Is everything alright, Araki-sama?" Yoshimura-san asked me after he saw me pat myself down while I stared at the house, smiling.

"Yes, don't worry," I replied and walked inside.

The sun finished setting a couple hours later. I continued with my daily routine, happier than usual, and the night arrived. I went to bed.

My phone vibrated on the nightstand next to me.

"Did something happen? Are you back in your original bodies?" Kawahara-san asked through the chat group.

"Yes! I'm really happy," Kozue replied, accompanied with a smiley emoticon. I never expected her to send emoticons.

She deleted the message instantly.

"Yes, I fell asleep and woke up back in my body," she sent.

Did she just replace her message? I thought.

"Me too. Should we meet tomorrow?" I asked.

"Yes. Come to the laboratory at break again, I want to ask both of you a few questions about everything that happened," Kawahara-san responded.

"Okay, cool," Kozue replied. She played it cool.

"Good. See you tomorrow," I sent.

I put the phone back on the nightstand and stared at the ceiling.

What did just happen today? I asked myself. Isn't this a dream? And what did Kozue do to my body?! I didn't do anything to hers.

My phone vibrated again. I grabbed it and read on the screen, "Kozue left the group."

What? I thought. I navigated to the contacts tab to find no trace of Kozue's contact.

Did she delete me? I wondered.

The next morning, I managed to arrive at school on time. I saw Kozue walking to the entrance, so I reached out to her and pulled her aside by her arm.

"Kozue! Why did you leave the group and delete me?"

Her eyes were wide open. Some people around stared at us.

"Because the problem is already fixed!" she stuttered. "And we'll meet today again, so it wasn't necessary anymore."

Maybe I overreacted, I thought.

"You're right. Sorry…" I apologized.

"See you during the break," she said and rushed inside the building. She probably hated me at that point.

Everything was normal in class. But, once again, I felt very sleepy.

The bell rang and I woke up with my face hidden between my arms.

I fell asleep again? I thought. Two days in row… Oh no.

I looked down and saw a set of modest breasts hanging from my chest. Again.

You have to be kidding me.

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