Chapter 14:

Teenage Fever

Being a Girl Online Made Me Become a Girl in Real Life

“Maika! Maika! I found Touma!” She exclaims loudly even though she is standing right in front of  her friend. Bookmark here

“I totally thought you were gonna ditch us today because Saya isn't gonna be here.” She barely looks up from her phone to acknowledge our presence.Bookmark here

“Wait, Saya won’t be here later?” Touma says, seemingly sounding very surprised. Bookmark here

“No, you didn’t read the group chat- but before that who’s this girl you're holding onto Haru?” Bookmark here

She is looking directly at me and I can’t tell if she is angry or simply has a bad case of resting bitch face. I look away immediately, I can’t risk getting on her bad side. Or should I stare back at her, after all I don’t want to seem like someone she can just walk all over.Bookmark here

“Oh, this is Shinobu, I saw her with Touma just now!” Bookmark here

“Hey random girl, cat’s got your tongue? Can’t speak for yourself?” Bookmark here

I take a glimpse in her direction and her eyes are still as sharp as ever. Is this how she acts towards every new person she meets? What is wrong with some people! Being polite doesn't cost you anything, you nasty woman. Bookmark here

“...” I chose the stay silent dialogue option. Bookmark here

“Hey be nice, she is just a bit shy!”Bookmark here

“Tch, why are you hanging with this loser Touma?”Bookmark here

What’s with all this hostility, is she trying to pick a fight with me… I just met her and I already hate her. Bookmark here

“You can simply ignore her, that’s just how Maika acts sometimes haha.” She says as she guides me to sit down and she takes a seat across from me, beside her friend. Bookmark here

“Hmm... Hey Touma, planning to order any food? You should do it now, we are about to leave soon. ”Bookmark here

“Ah alright, I’m starving so I guess I'll do it now. Do you want anything Shinobu?”Bookmark here

I gently shake my head no to Touma. Bookmark here

Please don’t leave me alone with this girl Touma. I’m going to be eaten alive.Bookmark here

“Hey, you didn't ask us if we wanted something!” Haru says sarcastically and pouts.Bookmark here

“Cause I know you girls will ask me to order almost every item on the menu.”Bookmark here

“Pretty pleaseeee.”Bookmark here

“No chance.”Bookmark here

Pien~Bookmark here

And with that Touma heads back downstairs to order food leaving me to deal with the worst position I can possibly be in.Bookmark here

Maika puts her phone down on the table and focuses her attention on me. Nobody says anything so I stare down into my hands on my lap. Haru seems excited and is leaning forward on the table smiling at me.Bookmark here

“So Shinobu! What school do you-” Bookmark here

“Okay cut the act out now that he is gone.” Maika cuts off Haru before she finishes. Bookmark here

What act is she talking about?Bookmark here

“You shy and quiet types are deadly. I know you can speak, I need you to listen to me closely. I know you don’t know her but our friend Saya, she has been getting close with Touma recently and you better not get in the way of that!”Bookmark here

“Maika, she has nothing to do with that. What if they are only friends!”Bookmark here

“I don't wanna hear it from you Haru! Didn't you just get with him a few months ago because you were bored.”Bookmark here

Haru backs down and her smile is wiped off of her face. Bookmark here

I’m not even surprised, her stupid looks kinda match her personality.Bookmark here

“Heh, do you really think I would stop because you said so? You don’t know anything about me or him.” I don’t hold back as the thoughts in my mind slip out under my breath. Bookmark here

“There it is, I knew you were holding something back… the tiny dog does have a bite after all.”Bookmark here

I hate that she is looking down on me. She knows nothing about the situation I’m dealing with. What am I even afraid of, she seems to be onto me in one way or another regardless. Bookmark here

“I’ve had this boy wrapped around my fingers since I first met him. You don't even know how bad he’s fallen for me.” I finally look directly back at her without looking away.Bookmark here

“I see… I would probably feel the same way if I was in your position. No other girl can stop me from getting the guy that I want haha.” She gives out a small giggle.Bookmark here

“Guess it only took a little poke for you to show your true colors.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what's going on but let's just all be nice okay?!” Haru interjects in a futile attempt to calm the hostility. Bookmark here

“Shinobu was it? Honestly, I was just trying to support my friend Saya but it seems like you deserve him more.”Bookmark here

“But don't worry about it too much, all the girls have probably gotten with Touma at one point and time…”Bookmark here

“So, why are you worried about what Saya feels”Bookmark here

“She’s not too much like us, not that into boys and stuff. Figured we let her have her little moment and get her to be with Touma.”Bookmark here

“But do what you want, at the end of the day you and Touma can make your own decisions”Bookmark here

“So are you gonna tell that Saya girl about this?”Bookmark here

“We are her friends and all but sometimes I worry about her, she might lose her shit if she finds out. Though it would be funny to tell her some girl is stealing him from her haha.”Bookmark here

“Yea she has her moments where she seems a bit crazy. So best not to make her upset. Besides, she will probably figure out on her own that she isn't really into him.”Bookmark here

Wait, we are talking about the same Saya right? They are right about the fact she's not really into guys but her being crazy is new to me.Bookmark here

“I want to know more about her, she is my competition after all.”Bookmark here

“She is still my friend so I don't want to talk behind her back about anything. Maybe next time you can meet her.”Bookmark here

“Maybe I will haha...”Bookmark here

Maybe I won’t!Bookmark here

If there would be someone to instantly recognize me it would be my mom or Saya. As well disguised as I am, I probably should do everything I can to avoid her seeing me. Even me being here now is quite risky as they mentioned she was supposed to be with them today.Bookmark here

“Haha already getting along well I see?” Touma comes back with a tray full of food.Bookmark here

“Shut up idiot!” Bookmark here

“As polite as ever I see Maika.” He rolls his eyes.Bookmark here

Touma now I wish you were gone a bit longer. I need to know more about Saya, this is all new to me! I can’t just keep talking about it now it would just be weird. I wonder if I would ever have another chance like this to talk about Saya with her friends.Bookmark here

“Where did you meet the tall dummy anyways?” Maika asks me while taking some of Touma’s fries.Bookmark here

“I’ve never seen you at our school before, and I guess you don’t go to the same as Maika’s.” Haru adds to the question while also taking some of Touma’s food.Bookmark here

“Where I met him... We uh…” I look over to Touma, maybe he wants to answer this one.Bookmark here

“Don't tell me you picked her off the street you weirdo!” Maika grills at Touma.Bookmark here

“No no nothing like that, we met online.Bookmark here

“Like a dating app? Touma seriously?”Bookmark here

“We actually met from playing video games.” Bookmark here

“Ew, video games. I know you are kinda into that kinda stuff so I guess it makes sense.”Bookmark here

“Oh wow that sounds super cool! I have never met anyone off the net before!” Haru’s reaction is the complete opposite of Maika’s.Bookmark here

“Though Shinobu, you are more than meets the eye I see. Pretty bold meeting someone off the internet.”Bookmark here

“Well, Touma was a really nice guy to me so I didn’t mind. We often played together and spoke with each other till late into the night. So it’s not like he was a complete stranger to me.”Bookmark here

“Heh is that so…” She smirks at Touma’s direction. Bookmark here

“W-what? Why are you looking at me!”Bookmark here

“Hmm? Nothing!” “Hey Shinobu, add me on InStarGram!”Bookmark here

“I don’t have one...”Bookmark here

“What how?! Oh yea, you are a nerd that’s why haha.” Bookmark here

“So what do you have then?”

“I’ll just give you my phone number...” Bookmark here

For the next hour I have some small talk with Touma’s friends and occasionally listen to some random drama they have going on in their lives. All I had to do was keep it simple and brief when talking about myself and react accordingly when they told stories. Bookmark here

After we leave and finally part ways the rest of the day goes by pretty smoothly. It only takes a few minutes inside the electronics store for me to find a new mouse to buy. Instead of heading home right after Touma insisted we go to Nipponbashi a few minutes away where there are a bunch of otaku stores.Bookmark here

Anime, video games, you name it and there is a store for it here. It’s my natural habitat. When I talk with Touma about this stuff I don’t really need to put on an act. As we browse around the stores we talk about the anime and games we like. It’s easy as we both are kinda into the same things. I mostly just let him show me around and talk about the things he likes. He gets really into his explanations and what he likes about his favorite shows. Honestly, it’s kinda nice to have someone who can share their favorite things with. It feels like I'm learning personal things about themselves that I wouldn’t if we didn’t share a common interest.Bookmark here

Society doesn't view him as a loser like me even though we like the same nerdy things. He has a bunch of friends and from what I’ve gathered, even gets with a bunch of girls too. What is it that makes him like that and me so much worse than him? I don’t feel any jealousy or hatred towards him because of it. Actually, if I was to have friends in real life I wouldn’t mind having one like Touma…Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Before I realize it it’s pretty late and it’s starting to get dark. Despite the detour we had at the beginning of the day, I honestly had a fun time. I never go outside to begin with so it was nice as it's something I’ve never really done before and especially not with someone else with me. Bookmark here

“Which train do you take home?”Bookmark here

“I take the Kintetsu-Osaka Line”Bookmark here

“We kinda go in the same direction so mind if I take you home?Bookmark here

“Sure, if you would like to then that would make me feel safer.”Bookmark here

The trains were very busy so we didn't really talk much on the way home. Touma always kept me close to him by holding my hand as he didn't want me to get swept away in the crowds. God I hate when I have to be shoulder to shoulder with strangers on the train. Bookmark here

As the train gets emptier the more stations we stop at we finally can sit down and relax. It feels like I can finally breathe and let my guard down. I close my eyes and focus on my breathing to calm my nerves…Bookmark here

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...Bookmark here

“Hey, wake up. This is your stop next right?” Bookmark here

“Huh? Yea I think so… Wait, was I sleeping?” I say as I struggle to open my eyes.Bookmark here

“You were out cold on me for a few minutes, sorry to wake you up.”Bookmark here

“I’m so sorry I’ve never fallen asleep on the train before!”Bookmark here

Touma requests to walk with me home as he didn’t want me to go alone being this tired and everything. Still a bit drowsy from my half nap that I took, I lean on Touma as I walk for extra support. Bookmark here

We walk halfway to my house where the vending machines are at. I can’t risk walking any closer to my home than this.Bookmark here

“Up to here is fine, thank you for following me out this far!” Bookmark here

“Before you go… want anything to drink?” He points over to the vending machines beside us.Bookmark here

“Huh?” I’m a little confused on why he is asking me that now.Bookmark here

“Let’s sit down at that bench over there at the park. For some reason I feel a bit sad that we need to end our time together.”Bookmark here

“S-sure, just get me anything.” I hesitantly agree as it’s a bit strange but I don’t see any harm in staying with him for a bit longer.Bookmark here

I head on over to the bench and wait for him to come. There is only one lamppost near the entrance of the park that barely illuminates the small wooden bench I’m sitting on.Bookmark here

About two minutes later he comes back with a bottle of green tea and gives it to me. Bookmark here

We sit in silence and sip on our drinks for a moment and bask in the nighttime spring breeze.Bookmark here

I look up at the sky and get lost for a moment as I can see a few stars in the sky. I never really notice the night time sky as I'm usually cooped up in my room playing video games or something. From the corner of my eye I notice Touma is staring at me, I kind of forgot about him for a moment.Bookmark here

“See anything interesting up there?” Touma asks while looking up, trying to see if I saw anything.Bookmark here

“Haha not really. I was just thinking I’ve never really noticed the night time sky often… Simple things like that I miss out on from being…” I stop myself as I don’t know where I was planning to say after that. I should reveal too much of my real thoughts. Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

We return back to sitting without saying anything. The only sounds are the buzz from the lamppost and the wind blowing on the leaves behind us.Bookmark here

“You know I really like spending time with you. As you can tell, you are way different than the other girls I usually hang out with. There is something calming to me about someone with no drama and I can relax around.” Touma pauses for a bit and continues on.Bookmark here

“I’m not the one to go around chasing other girls but Shinobu... you feel different. I don’t like to take things slow but I didn't want to mess up any chance I had of getting close with you.” Bookmark here

“Ah… wow I’m not really sure what to say about that…”

I look down at the bottle in my hands as it feels like he just told me something really intimate. Something you would only tell to someone you really trust and care about. Bookmark here

“What do you think about me?”Bookmark here

“I dunno I have never ever been close with anyone before!” Bookmark here

“Shinobu, I really like you. What do you think about me?” He places his hand gently on my Bookmark here

shoulder and looks directly into my eyes.Bookmark here

What do I think of him? I think I have gotten everything wrong about him since I was using him for free stuff in video games. Even when Saya mentioned him, maybe I jumped the gun about his character. After spending all this time with him he is a nice person after all.Bookmark here

“Yea... of course I like you too.” I say it truly from the bottom of my heart. Bookmark here

For some reason I felt the need to be completely honest with the answer I gave him. I usually am only acting when I’m around him but since meeting him in person sometimes it feels like it's all for real.Bookmark here

“I’m really glad you feel the same way.” He leans in closer to me. His cheeks have a slight red tint to them and his eyes seem to never break contact from mine.Bookmark here

“W-wait what do you-”Bookmark here

I try to ask him what he’s doing but before my brain tries to process everything, Touma’s face comes directly in front of me and he gently presses his lips against mine.Bookmark here

Yuri was right all along… What did she say again? Something like I wouldn't refuse? I can’t remember right now.... This is definitely my first kiss for real and my first one is from a guy of all things! I’ve definitely gone way past what my original mission was! Now what I think about it, my mission is complete, right? Is this why it feels like something good is happening?

I guess I will close my eyes and let it happen as honestly it's not that bad. My heart is still racing but I feel a bit more at ease the longer it continues. I don’t really mind this after all...Bookmark here

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