Chapter 22:


Game Gyaru

Hakuta sure was glad to get out the situation he and Shiuka got into during the weekend. Yet at the same time, he could help but feel as though something was off. It wasn’t to do with anyone around him acting funny, like how she did with him during the sports day. This time, it was something inside him that he couldn’t get a grip on. What was this all about?

He began feeling this way after seeing her get flirted with by his friend. This was where things started for him with the way he watched the scene. Maybe it was because he wasn’t used to seeing people chat around like that. After all, most of his social interactions were performed through a headset.

Then again, it was the result that bothered him more. He felt sorry for his friend getting rejected the way he did. But at the same time, he was also relieved things turned out in that manner. Did that make him a bad friend to Yuusen? Maybe that was why he felt so wrong in his body at the moment even as they went through the school day.

Though, that would also be ignoring the way he felt about Shiuka. She probably had to reject that boy because of their secret. Getting in the way of her love life was something he never intended to do upon moving in. But in reality, that was what he was doing to her ever since that fateful day.

In essence, their youth had been put on pause as a result of their father’s actions. They couldn’t get into relationships, they couldn’t even have friends hang over at the house without stressing out the entire time.

That was what had been getting him all downtrodden as his gaze slowly turned towards her as class went on. The students around them didn’t notice. They were either too focused on the lecture by their teacher or struggling to stay awake through yet another boring school day.

The way she sat by the window, the sun’s shine lit up her radiant beauty. It was no wonder so many boys at their school were so enamored with her. Even if not much stirred in him just from her physical appearance, his mind was pondering what had been going through hers. She appeared normal right now, at least as normal as she would be during class. Which was leaning back and pretty much not paying attention to the lecture. Instead, a nap seemed more important to her.

Maybe she wasn’t thinking about this as hard as he was. But the summery of it was that he wanted to apologize to her about being a block to creating high school memories. Hakuta understood that was the most important thing for her during their precious youth, as she put it.

After a long day, the bell rung. This signaled the end of another school day for the students as everyone got from their desks or chatted with their friends. He decided to come over to that girl’s desk and ask to speak in private. However, as he navigated the sea of other students going about their day, he took note of another girl who had been acting a bit off today like he was.

“Are you all right?” It was Ninka, who was still sitting at her desk, appearing to be staring intently at the board. Though seeing as he crossed her line of vision without any reaction from her, it was more accurate to say she was staring off into space. Somehow deep into thought, when he believed her to be a girl with few of them.

“Why do you care?” She asked in a hostile manner. “I know you know, so stop pretending to beat around the bush.”

“Look, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on that.” He replied. “So, please don’t be mad at me.”

“I ain’t mad.” She admitted. “But, there’s just something not feeling right.” This was the first day she had been single in about a good few months. That was her first relationship, so it did mean something. However, that shouldn’t be confused with her regretting the breakup. There were no feelings of love she held for that boy, even after sleeping on it. “You know what I mean?”

“Definitely.” He agreed. Then, another odd feeling came into his mind. Why were they chatting so casually? The two of them weren’t friends. They only knew each other because their friend groups happened to be attached. And even that was only because of his friends insisting on trying to get closer.

“I don’t know. It just feels wrong somehow. Like being single is weird.”

“It’s probably just take some getting used to after getting something in your life changed.” He knew that from first hand experience with the living situation. At first, it was strange to be sleeping in a home that wasn’t his own. Now he practically treated as so when he came home and played video games. “I bet it’ll pass in a few days.”

“Well, have you ever thought about getting a girlfriend?”


“No, I’m not hitting on you.” She put up a fist to threaten to beat him were he to misconstrue it. “I just mean, would it be weird for you to not be single?” He thought about it for a moment. Hakuta would feel a bit awkward about things whenever he was around this hypothetical girl. Though if they were romantically interested in one another, then surely things would fit in just right after a bit of time.

“I guess it’s just a transition thing.” He gave his answer. “That part’s always the worse, but we do it so we can get to changing for the better.” It made more sense to him why he felt weird thinking about Shiuka lately. Seeing her potentially get a date made him realize they were still transitioning towards a proper way to live their lives with the situation placed onto them. “Actually, I wanted to talk to Shiuka alone. So could you?”

“Heh, normally I’d call you a perv and say you’ve got no chance with her.” She responded. “But actually, you ain’t so bad seeing as you listened to me. So I’ll take care of things.” Whatever that meant, he had no clue. But he was grateful that spending some time with Ninka was more beneficial than either of them expected.

With that, students were pouring out of the room. Shiuka was prepared to leave with her friends when she noticed the larger girl pulling the small one out. On her face appeared to be a bit devious as she pointed over to Hakuta, who was approaching her desk.

“Shiuka… I have something I wanted to say to you.” He spoke first. A silence between them occurred for several seconds as she took in the situation.

“Y-you do?” Her entire body tensed up upon seeing they were alone in this classroom. “Um…” This turned her into a nervous wreck as she looked down onto the ground and tucked her hair behind her ear. “This is a surprise.”

“Well, I guess I didn’t want to wait until you got home.” They could’ve easily had this talk there without any potential people hearing onto the sensitive contents of their conversation. “It’s about Yuusen, and I just wanted to tell you that you don’t have to hold back anymore.”

“Oh, Hakuta.” She anxiously played with her hands as he spoke to her. The girl was dreading to hear the words she thought were about to be spoken. “I didn’t realize you were so forward.”

“Well, it’s pretty important.” He understood what she’d be nervous about a conversation like this. The two were going through a transition period and they’d have to figure out how to mix their lives in this situation. “I know why you rejected Yuusen, so I just wanted to tell you I’m okay with it.”

“Y-yeah.” She replied with uncertainty. “I guess, I’m okay with it too.”

“That’s good.” He was glad she was understanding. “Well, go ahead and date whoever you want then.” With that, he began to make his leave. After all, they still needed to leave at different times anyway.

“Wait, what?” She stopped him. “What do you mean date whoever I want? I thought you were...” Shiuka had completely misunderstood what he was trying to tell her. It also seemed he did the same thing with her.

“Well, that’s why you rejected him, right?” He responded. “Because I live with you, you’re probably holding back on relationships until I leave.”

“Oh…” She was a bit disappointed that was what he meant. “Um, I guess I misunderstood.”

“Clearly.” He explained the situation again. This time with more details he thought they were both aware of. “Ninka asked me if I’d ever want a girlfriend. And now that I think about it, even if I’m not looking for one right now. If I did fall in love, then I’d like to pursue that relationship.”

“I get it now.” She didn’t exactly feel the same way on the matter, but it was fair. “But, I didn’t reject your friend because of what’s going on with us.” He was surprised to hear that. It turned out his feelings of concern were misplaced all the along.

“I guess you didn’t feel that way about him.” Now that feeling of strangeness had left his body upon getting confirmation from her. It was like a massive weight was lifted from his shoulders, allowing the boy to stand tall to her.

“Don’t worry about me dating anyone, I was telling him the truth.” Which was mostly the case, with only one major exception.

“Really?” The more they talked, the more he realized how little he knew of her. “I thought gyarus always were looking to date around.”

“Fufufu.” She playful put a finger up over her lips. “Looks like you still have a lot to learn about gals.”

“Yeah, whatever.” He brushed aside her teasing. “Anyway, I’ll leave first. I guess you can come out in a couple minutes.” She agreed and then he left her alone in this empty classroom. The girl was still smiling even as he left his view.

“And I guess there’s still a lot about gamers I need to learn.” 

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