Chapter 18:

Wavering Feelings

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

“I'm beat...”Bookmark here

“Finally!”Bookmark here

“I've a good feeling!”Bookmark here

“No need to study anymore!”Bookmark here

A great sense of relief was spread across the classroom as each student submitted their last papers of the final exams.Bookmark here

“You know what time it is, right?Bookmark here

“Do you already have plans?”Bookmark here

“I'm so excited!”Bookmark here

For the last couple of days, they were all busy with doing the exams. Now, those depressed faces turned into faces full of excitement due to the next big event which awaited them.Bookmark here

“Summer holidays!” they all yelled in unison.Bookmark here

The summer holidays. Every teenager circled those days of freedom red in their calendars. It is a month where they enjoyed their youth. Hanging out, sleeping over, traveling or visiting festivals. During that period, one could do anything.Bookmark here

Amidst the crowd of excited students, Kazuma stood up from his seat and left the room without speaking a word.Bookmark here

“Hey, hey, wanna go to Kyoto?”Bookmark here

“Let's play games all night!"Bookmark here

”Me? I'll visit my grandparents.”Bookmark here

While Kazuma walked in the hallways, he would always hear the conversations between his school mates concerning the summer holidays.Bookmark here

In the beginning, he appeared to be calm but the more conversations he heard, the more annoyed he became.Bookmark here

“Geez, can they shut up already?” he muttered after heaved a sigh.Bookmark here

He arrived at the lockers where he changed to his outdoor shoes.Bookmark here

“Summer holidays, huh? It's been years since I had plans for that period.” he said to himself as he stared into the clear sky.Bookmark here

He smirked melancholy.Bookmark here

Kazuma left the school ground and was on his way home.Bookmark here

Pow.Bookmark here

“Ouch!”Bookmark here

Someone hit his back with a large object.Bookmark here

“Why didn't you wait for me?!”Bookmark here

“Yui?” he stroked his back.Bookmark here

He turned around and saw Yui who was currently puffing out her cheeks.Bookmark here

“Sorry, I forgot. But did you have to hit me with your bag?!”Bookmark here

“Huh? You deserved it.” she tilted her head in confusion.Bookmark here

“...” he burst a vein.Bookmark here

“Oh, how about going to my house today? Let's celebrate the end of the exams!” she changed the topic.Bookmark here

“Ugh, another celebration...?” he was put off by the idea.Bookmark here

Kazuma remembered the last time they had a celebration. It was after he was discharged.Bookmark here

It may have been lots of fun and he was genuinely happy about it. However, after the Nagisa household left, he stormed the bathroom and occupied the toilet for more than two hours. It was truly a painful memory for Kazuma. He swore to himself that he would never eat so many things again.Bookmark here

“Don't worry. My family is away today which means that mom won't prepare the food. This time I'll do the cooking!” she patted his shoulder to lessen his worries.Bookmark here

“I see...” he sighed in relief as he stroked his stomach.Bookmark here

“Well, let's go buy the ingredients then.” he said.Bookmark here

“No need. Everything is already prepared.” Yui replied.Bookmark here

She grabbed his arm and dragged him.Bookmark here

“Now let's go!” she smiled happily.Bookmark here

Thus, they walked home.Bookmark here

They talked about random things on their way until they arrived.Bookmark here

After entering the house, they took their shoes off and went to the kitchen. There, they prepared dinner together while they continued their chitchat. After they were done, they took a seat at the table and began to eat.Bookmark here

It was times like these when Kazuma truly felt like a teenager who experienced youth normally.Bookmark here

“And have you met Emma yet?” Yui asked him suddenly while they were still eating.Bookmark here

“Emma? No, not yet. I thought it would be better to talk to her after the exams are over.”Bookmark here

“I see. So you're really fighting...” she looked down.Bookmark here

Since Kazuma was discharged and went back to school, he did not met Emma whereas Yui was still eating lunch with her together. But Yui was still in the dark about the current situation between Emma and Kazuma because nobody of those two told her about it.Bookmark here

“Geez, don't look like that. After tomorrow, everything will be normal again.” he tried to cheer her up.Bookmark here

“Really?” she looked at him with an innocent gaze.Bookmark here

“I promise.” he smiled slightly.Bookmark here

“It's a promise!” she said as she returned back to her happy self.Bookmark here

“You know, you've missed so many funny stories from Emma! Like that time when...”Bookmark here

She started to retell some of the conversations between her and Emma.Bookmark here

Then, they were done with dinner.Bookmark here

Yui began to clear the table.Bookmark here

“Oh, let me help.” Kazuma stood up and tried to reach out for the plates.Bookmark here

“It's fine. I can do this alone! Just sit down and relax!” she declined his offer while she pointed at his seat.Bookmark here

“A-alright...” he sat down again.Bookmark here

He watched her as she cleared the table and washed the dishes. He felt a little bit guilty for not helping her. But this feeling faded soon after he remembered that she was the one who insisted that he should just relax.Bookmark here

“Girlfriend, huh...?” he suddenly murmured.Bookmark here

In that instance, Kazuma's face began to blush madly.Bookmark here

Why did he say it? Was it because the two of them looked like a married couple right now? She was wishing the plates while she wore an apron whereas he just sat there and watched her. But was this situation enough to think about the term 'girlfriend'?Bookmark here

They knew each other for more than a year and eating dinner at her house with just the two of them was nothing new. So why was he blushing today?Bookmark here

“!”Bookmark here

He realized it. Kazuma slowly began to be conscious about the fact that Yui was also a girl. Usually, he saw her just as a friend whom he could hang out with but he always ignored the fact that they were a girl and a boy.Bookmark here

Yet he did not know since when he saw her in that way.Bookmark here

Kazuma shook his head in denial aggressively.Bookmark here

He did not know what was wrong with him. He had eyes only for Emma. Even though it was currently awkward between them, he was still madly in love with her.Bookmark here

He visualized all the moments he shared with Emma in his head.Bookmark here

“Ehm, everything alright?” Yui asked him.Bookmark here

“!”Bookmark here

He did not realize that Yui was already done and stood beside him because he was fantasizing about Emma.Bookmark here

“N-n-nothing, why are you asking?!” his voice cracked a little.Bookmark here

“Because you were constantly muttering Emma's name like a creep.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

Kazuma did not notice that he was doing that.Bookmark here

His face became even redder than a tomato.Bookmark here

“Y-y-you must have misheard!” he tried to lie while he was sweating nervously.Bookmark here

“I see...” she said with a not completely convinced look.Bookmark here

“Whatever. Want to watch TV?” she did not pursue the topic further.Bookmark here

“Oh, yeah! Let's watch TV!” he agreed of course.Bookmark here

Kazuma and Yui continued to hang out at her house until the sun was gone.Bookmark here

“I guess I'll go home now.” Kazuma said while stretching his body.Bookmark here

“Ah, I didn't realize that it was already that late!” Yui commented.Bookmark here

The two went to the entrance where Kazuma put on his shoe. After he was ready, he turned around to say goodbye.Bookmark here

“Huh? W-what are you doing?” he was surprised.Bookmark here

Yui was currently on her knees with her hands in front of them and bowed so that her forehead touched the floor.Bookmark here

“I haven't had the chance yet to clearly express my gratitude so let me do this. Kazuma, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for rescuing me! So let me repay you in the way you wish!”Bookmark here

“Raise your head, Yui. It's fine. I mean it.” he said with a soft and comforting voice as he smiled at her.Bookmark here

At his words, she slowly raised her upper body.Bookmark here

“Kazuma...”Bookmark here

Tears began to form in her eyes.Bookmark here

“I... I was so scared! Thank you, truly!” she wiped her tears away as she cried.Bookmark here

Kazuma crouched down so that their eyes were on the same level.Bookmark here

“It's alright... Everything is over...” he patted her head to comfort her.Bookmark here

“Sniff... Kazuma!” she hugged him.Bookmark here

Yui appeared to be unaffected by that incident but she was also a fragile girl. Something like that would naturally affect one's mind. And Kazuma realized it now.Bookmark here

“This may sound embarrassing and I want to cringe at myself for saying that but hear me out.” he hugged her back as she continued to cry.Bookmark here

“You are really important to me. Therefore, I will always be on your side if you need me. If you are in such a situation again, then I will find you. I don't care if it's a trap for me. I don't care if 20, 40 or even 100 people want to beat me up. I will see to it that you will be safe. So don't be scared. I've got you.”Bookmark here

Yui calmed down a bit and slowly let go of him. He also let go of her.Bookmark here

“...sniff...”Bookmark here

“I... sniff... I will try...” she said with a still crying voice.Bookmark here

He nodded his head with a warm smile.Bookmark here

“I guess you need time for yourself right now. Now hurry and go to bed.” he said as he stood up again.Bookmark here

“Yeah...” she also stood up.Bookmark here

“If you still want to talk or write just contact me. Otherwise, see you tomorrow!” he waved his hand as he stood outside now.Bookmark here

“Yeah...” she walked to the door and held the doorknob.Bookmark here

“Kazuma?” her face reddened a little.Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“You are also important to me!” she said in a rush and closed the door.Bookmark here

“Huh?” he blushed again.Bookmark here

With the door separating them, each one of them stared at the door.Bookmark here

Both faces were red.Bookmark here

And both hearts beat faster than usually.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.