Chapter 1:

I don't care anymore...

Spirit Chess

It's been 3 days since that day. Since my humiliating loss, my classmates have been talking behind my back. No, it wasn't just them, the whole class was talking about me, saying that I was a big talker, arrogant, and I deserved to lose. As the school bell rang, my classmates got up and grabbed their backpacks, getting ready to leave. Some were talking with their friends. Some were going out with their mates. I even heard a group of my classmates going to karaoke.Bookmark here

Me? Of course, I'm alone, in the corner of the classroom, quietly sitting. Then, I decided to get up. All of a sudden, my classmates suddenly turned their heads in my direction. Their faces were filled with disgust. Some even clicked their tongues. Not one of them felt bad for me, the smug boy who lost to a noble young man. As I made my way outside the room, I can hear their whispers about me.Bookmark here

"Look who it is. Mr. Smug." A girl with long black hair whispered to her friend.Bookmark here

"How dare he mock us." A boy with brown hair said to his group of friends.Bookmark here

"Heh. Suck it, you ****" A girl who looked like a gyaru, tied blonde hair, cackled while mocking me.Bookmark here

I didn't care about their comments, nor did I look at them. I just pointed my head down. while making my way out. When I reached my way to the front of the class, A girl with white hair blocked my way. It was Junichiro Shiro. She was the class president, and her father was the president of a huge marketing company. She had everything everyone wanted. I had no idea what she wanted with me. Well, I did have one thought, she wants to poke fun of me.Bookmark here

"Where do you think you're going?" She said while grossly looking at me.Bookmark here

I remained quiet, hoping she would stop. But she kept going.Bookmark here

"Are you deaf? Or do you want to be beaten again?" She stated, knowing that I was still traumatized by that. Bookmark here

I again didn't say a word. I wanted to get out of there. It was torture, for someone like me. I decided to run for the door, but Shiro tripped my leg and I fell to the ground with my bag. As I looked up to her, her eyes were filled with pleasure, like a sadist eyeing someone in pain. The whole class laughed loudly. While they were humiliating me, Shiro uttered.Bookmark here

"How does it feel to be looked down upon, huh?!!" Bookmark here

The whole room was filled with even more laughter. Someone said,Bookmark here

"HAHAHA. Good one, Shiro!!"Bookmark here

A group of people walked up to her and exclaimed,Bookmark here

"Hey, lemme know what it feels!!!" They said, wanting to look down on me.Bookmark here

As they looked down at my terrified eyes and shaking body, I was petrified by their sadistic eyes while they were chuckling. None of them felt bad for me. I quickly got up and grabbed my bag. I dashed out of the room while looking down. I didn't care who was in front of me. If I bump someone, so be it. I quickly got down the stairs, making my way to the exit. People were looking at me. I ignored their stares and charged through the front door. I continued running, neglecting anyone gazing at me. Bookmark here

When I reached a familiar café, I stopped running and got inside. I didn't order anything, I just quickly went to the farthest seat and sat down. While panting, I looked down at the table, contemplating the events that happened today. I took off my scarf, creased from the fall, and placed it at the table. I bowed my head and used my arms to cover it like I'm sleeping but still awake.Bookmark here

Moments later, I decided to go out of the café. When I rose my head, I saw that the cafe was completely empty. No customers, no finished plates, just conditioned air and the workers. When I was still playing chess, I always stopped by this place to take a break. At that time, I was still prideful but never bad-mouthed their dishes and drinks. I was honest when I told them it tastes good. It was the only place where I can be myself.  I felt like I have a real family. But now that I lost, they probably won't care about me anymore. The game was broadcast live in the whole of Japan, so I'm sure they watched my arrogant self and eventual loss. Since then I hadn't come to this placeBookmark here

A woman dressed in a uniform that I know spotted me at the farthest table and exhaled. She seemed to have waited for me to wake up to ask me to leave, at least that's what I thought. As she walked towards my table, I quickly stood up, grabbed my bag, put on my scarf, and got ready to leave. I didn't want to communicate with her. I didn't want to be mocked again. I tried to quickly escape but she stopped me.Bookmark here

"Um, excuse me." She spoke. I didn't respond. I again tried to run away but she grabbed my coat, preventing me to leave.Bookmark here

"Please, wait a minute." She persuaded me not to leave. Bookmark here

"Please let go of my coat. I need to leave quickly..." I finally spoke, although in a low volume, still audible.Bookmark here

"You're...Shinji, right?" She asked. I didn't quickly respond and stayed quiet. She asked again.Bookmark here

"Are you...ok? Do you remember me?" She asked. She was clearly referring to my loss. And I do know her, but again, I didn't answer.Bookmark here

"Please come with me." She said while pulling me to the front of the café. I couldn't say anything. I was dumbfounded.  When we reached the front of the café and the cashier area, she spoke.Bookmark here

"Please wait right here." Asking me before going to the kitchen. I thought, "What is she doing?" But I just stood there, waiting for her. I thought. "Whatever it is, It can't get worse than what happened today." I didn't care what she was going to do to me. Humiliate me, mock me, or injure me, I don't care anymore.Bookmark here

"Sorry for making you wait!" She exclaimed while quickly walking to me. I looked at her, not caring about anything. When she finally reached me, she quickly panted. It seems she was in a hurry doing whatever she was doing in the kitchen. She put her hands on her knees. As she did so, I saw a plastic bag with what seemed to be two slices of cake and a large cup of coffee. I thought that she was going to use this to ridicule me. But when she finally caught her breath, she handed the bag to me.Bookmark here

"Here, please take this."Bookmark here

To be continued...Bookmark here

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