Why Does Nobody Find Us Attractive?
Juzo stepped out of his front door, but surprisingly wasn't immediately hit with the humid heat that normally plagued the summer. Rather, the air was fairly cool, which left potential for a day full of activities. It was still fairly early at 7:00 am, but Juzo wanted to get to his favorite bakery and grab some items that usually sold out quickly. His path took him past Reina's house, and unexpectedly, she was also awake and outside.
"Good morning, Reina. Why are you up so early?"
Reina jolted at Juzo's sudden callout.
"Jeez, you scared me. I'm going to meet Shinobu at the station today. I got to show her to my uncle's shop."
"Oh yeah, Shinobu's moving here today. Do you know where she's staying?"
"She found a cheap hotel near the station, so she'll stay there until she can find an apartment."
"That's good. Do you want me and Nikko to tag along, help show her around?"
Reina's face suddenly became serious.
"No. This is the first time I'm hanging out with another girl in over a year. Ruin our day and I'll break your neck."
"Alright, fine. Nikko and I will find something else to do today. I gotta get going, so I'll see you later."
Reina waved as they started to walk in opposite directions. Juzo's walk to the bakery took about fifteen minutes, and he arrived in time to grab his yakisoba pan. There were a few more left, so he grabbed one for Nikko. With nothing else to do, Juzo decided to go straight to Nikko's house. By the time Juzo arrived, it was still before 8:00 am, well before the time Nikko woke up, but Juzo saw a golden opportunity. He knocked on the door, and luckily Rinako was awake.
"Huh? What are you doing here this early?"
"Do you wanna see Nikko freak out?"
Rinako let him in, and they slowly creeped up the stairs to Nikko's room. Juzo cautiously slid the door open and tiptoed up to Nikko's bed, while Rinako watched from the doorway.
Nikko was sleeping on his back, and unfortunately for him, his mouth was open. Juzo saw the perfect opportunity and pulled a package of soy sauce from his pocket, quietly opening it. Delicately, he positioned the pack over Nikko's mouth and began to pour. It didn't take long for Nikko to jolt up.
"Ughh, what the hell!"
Nikko scanned the room to see Juzo and Rinako laughing hysterically at him.
"What did you do!? What… is this soy sauce!?"
Juzo nodded his head while trying to control his laughter.
"I hate you. Get out, I'm gonna get changed."
After Nikko got dressed, he met Juzo in the kitchen downstairs.
"Could you not trespass into my house next time you come over."
"I didn't. Rinako let me in."
Nikko took a look around the room, but Rinako wasn't in sight.
"Where is she? I need to give her a piece of my mind."
Nikko slouched against the counter.
"Oh, whatever. Where's Reina?"
"She's showing Shinobu around town today."
"Really? Let's go see them!"
Juzo slammed his hands down on the table.
"No. Reina told me she'll kill us if we interfere with them, and I don't feel like dying today."
"Damn, she was that serious? Well, that's perfect because I actually have a brilliant idea."
Juzo already looked disappointed.
"And what is that?"
"Think about it. What kind of guys do lots of girls like? Athletes. Both of us, we're in good shape. We just need somewhere to display our stellar abilities in front of a crowd, so today we are going to the tennis courts."
Juzo thought about it for a bit.
"Tennis? I guess that's fine."
Nikko fist pumped.
"Yeah! I knew it was a good idea! Anyways, we'll leave in a couple hours, so let's just chill here for a bit."
A few hours passed by as the boys played video games while huddled in front of a fan. Eventually, they decided that they should get ready to go.
"Hey, Nikko, do you have tennis equipment?"
Unsure, Nikko went to check his storage closet.
"Well, my stuff is right here, and… oh, there's my dad's racket. You can borrow it."
Nikko handed the racket to Juzo, who inspected it intensely.
"Looks good. Thanks. You got balls?"
Nikko rustled around a bit more through the messy pile filling the closest. Out of nowhere, he quickly spun around and whipped a ball at Juzo.
"Yep, got one right here."
The ball hit Juzo in the stomach, and he collapsed to a knee.
Nikko beamed with a mocking grin.
"Hey, don't dump soy sauce in my mouth."
Juzo slowly rose back to his feet.
"C'mon, we should get going."
The two took the short bus ride to the tennis courts, arriving a bit before noon. While it was quite hot and humid outside, the boys had seen worse and were willing to tough it out. The courts were empty, so the two were able to peacefully practice for a while. They were interrupted by a familiar voice.
"Nikko, Juzo, hi!"
Juzo looked over curiously, but Nikko waved back.
"Good afternoon, Toshiharu!"
Juzo wasn't sure what was happening.
"Toshiharu? Why are you here?"
"What do you mean? Nikko invited me."
Juzo glared at Nikko.
"That would have been nice to know in advance."
"Doesn't matter anymore. Let's go, Toshiharu, time to run drills."
The boys practiced playing, facing off in singles matches for about half an hour until a group of people arrived. Two guys and two girls showed up and started warming up on the court beside the boys. Both sides minded their own business for a while, but then one of the girls made a comment.
"Hey, why don't you go play those guys over there? Teach them how the pro's play."
One boy, who had dyed his hair blonde, accepted the challenge.
"I guess if you want to see them get completely humiliated, we can give you a show."
The blonde boy motioned to the other boy, who had a styled, black, crew cut, to follow him. They wandered over towards Nikko, who was stretching after finishing an exercise.
"Hey, can we have a match? We want to practice before our buddies from our club arrive."
Seeing the challengers, Juzo jogged up from the other side of the court to check on Nikko.
"Hey, do they wanna play with us? I heard them trashing us earlier."
Nikko, who was stretching out his shoulders, changed position to stretch out his legs.
"A man's gotta accept any challenge one throws at him."
Nikko stuck up his hand for a high five, and Juzo excitedly high fived back.
"Let's kick some ass."
Nikko turned to the boys and pointed at them.
"We accept your challenge!"
"Alright, let's play. Give us a second to get ready."
The two boys went back to the girls, so Juzo and Nikko went to meet up with Toshiharu. Nikko quickly explained the situation.
"Hey, Toshiharu, we're gonna play those guys. Me and Juzo will start, you'll be the reserve."
"Okay. But why are we playing them? I thought we were coming here to play with each other."
Nikko wrapped his arm around Toshiharu and pointed to the other group.
"You see that, Toshiharu? There are girls."
"So? They came with those guys."
Nikko wagged his finger.
"That doesn't matter. If we can humiliate these guys, they'll come running to us."
Having a problem with what Nikko was saying, Juzo intervened.
"First of all, it's gonna be hard to humiliate these guys. They look like they play often. Second, I don't think girls who just ditched some guys because they lost a tennis match would be worth our time."
Nikko picked up his racket and rested it on his shoulder.
"We'll worry about that later. Come on, let's get started!"