Chapter 9:

Love, Logic & Outburst (Part 2)

Unconsciously Interested

Bing! Bong!Bookmark here

“Club time!” Bookmark here

“Blackboard erasers on duty, please!”Bookmark here

“Good work. See you tomorrow!”Bookmark here

I could hear my classmates' excited voices wafting through the classroom at the end of class. Bookmark here

Lucky me! Today is Wednesday, and I don’t have student council or literature club, so I can go home early. There’s time for me to read some of my books and watch movies before doing my homework. Bookmark here

Okay, then… Bookmark here

Let’s head home! Bookmark here

“Yuyo! I implore you! Will you help me with our math homework? It’s so complicated. I just can’t figure it out!” Kyashii was whining as she walked up to me just as I was getting ready to leave.Bookmark here

Or maybe not. Bookmark here

Welp! My perfect afterschool plans were entirely derailed by her.Bookmark here

Since I'm not planning on turning her down, I get back into my seat. When it comes to studying, helping Kyashii is not a question of second thoughts for me.Bookmark here

"Perhaps I can help you get a weak electric shock next time instead," I quipped. Bookmark here

“What?! Why are you being so mean to me again?” Kyashii asked while arranging a chair beside me. Bookmark here

“Hey… It’s not being mean. That’s pure science, you know. Research shows a mild electric shock can actually improve a person’s mathematical skills for a few months.” Bookmark here

“What?! For real?!” She exclaims in disbelief. “Anyway, who cares? It doesn’t matter if it’s based on research. I’m not getting it! Let’s not talk about that ever again.”Bookmark here

She had me laughing at her reaction. “It’s a fact, though. Search for it online.” Bookmark here

“I’m not interested in getting electric shock! Besides, what do I need it for when I have you to help me out?” She shook her head as she slid her notes onto the desk. Bookmark here

She moves closer to me so I can get a better look at the part she’s having trouble with.Bookmark here

“Don’t you think it’s handy having a friend who can do math well? You would not be subjected to an electric shock.” Bookmark here

“Yup! That’s for sure. I’m so in luck,” she replied with a grin.Bookmark here

“Heeh… But friendship is a two-way street, you know? Maybe I could use your help with something I’m struggling with as well.” I teased.Bookmark here

“Well, you’re struggling with love, then I can help by offering you mine,” she said as she flipped through her notes without looking at me. Bookmark here

“. . . .“Bookmark here

Hold on… Bookmark here

I think my brain has suddenly malfunctioned for I don’t really get what she was trying to say here. Bookmark here

Hmm… Her love implies that she values our friendship, right? Bookmark here

But that’s given. I mean, since we are friends, we obviously love one another, so what's the point of offering it again?Bookmark here

“. . . .”Bookmark here

Haahh – Never mind... Putting that aside, I don’t struggle with love at all! Bookmark here

Why does everyone seem to be talking about love today? It’s not even Valentine’s day! Bookmark here

“Okay, here we go... I’m having trouble understanding this quadratic equations and formula. Could you please simplify this for me?” Kyashii looked at me as she pointed to her notes. “Yuyo... Your eyes look glazed over. Are you tired?” Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh… No, not really. Let’s see.” I took her notes and reviewed them. Bookmark here

Hmmm…Bookmark here

While I was trying to figure out how to explain this formula, I caught sight of Kyashii's confused gaze from the corner of my eye as she stared at me incessantly.Bookmark here

“Kyashii-chan, do you have any plans to stop staring at me? You’re distracting me.” Bookmark here

“Am I?” Bookmark here

I narrowed my eyes as I glanced at her. “You are. If you want me to help you with this, keep me from being distracted.” I focused back my attention on her notes.Bookmark here

“You don’t like it when I stare at you, Yuyo?” Bookmark here

Rather than learning Math, Kyashii seems to be more interested in trivial matters.Bookmark here

“Hey… How about we just forget about this and go home?” Bookmark here

“Sorry... Sorry… Okay, let’s get back to it, just please help me,” she grinned, turning her eyes to her notes. Bookmark here

She seemed to be in a more cheerful disposition all of a sudden. Bookmark here

I must say, she really amazes me with her uncanny ability to change moods so quickly.Bookmark here

“Alright, let’s go over this one. Here, to evaluate this formula, you must multiply the expression by itself. . .” I then explained things to her.

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Kyashii looks serious when she started solving the math problems on her own. I’m glad I was able to make sense of everything for her. Bookmark here

But the thing is… Bookmark here

Instead of doing our homework at home, she’s now working on it here in the classroom. As she puts it, she feels more confident knowing that I will review her work once she’s done with it.Bookmark here

Well, it’s not yet 5 o’clock, so I suppose it’s alright.Bookmark here

As I glanced outside the window, I noticed some students are still doing club activities. My eyes then swept the classroom. Bookmark here

It’s kind of weird having the entire room to ourselves. Bookmark here

Come to think of it, it’s my first time staying late in a classroom doing nothing but sitting around. There has never been a time when I stayed behind after class because of club activities, or I just headed home immediately. Bookmark here

So, this is how afterschool looks from a casual viewpoint, huh? Bookmark here

It feels somewhat melancholic, I guess…Bookmark here

I shifted my gaze back to Kyashii while she’s absorbed in her writing. Bookmark here

Her serious look is rather charming. Bookmark here

Honestly, if I hadn’t known her personally, I’d think she’s the epitome of a perfect beauty when she’s like this. She does have a lot of pretty fascinating facets.Bookmark here

Kyashii seemed to notice I was staring at her. “Hmm?” She turned to me. Bookmark here

“Naah… It’s just that I enjoy looking at you in a serious study mode. You look beautiful with that expression as well.” I voiced out my sincere admiration.Bookmark here

Her eyes widened as she immediately pursed her lips.Bookmark here

“. . . .”Bookmark here

I sense an awkward silence between us. Bookmark here

Wait… What gives?Bookmark here

“Hey... It’s getting pretty late, hurry up and finish this already so we can go home.” I nudged when she stopped writing and turned her back on me.Bookmark here

“I guess I’ll continue this at home.” Kyashii starts collecting her personal effects.Bookmark here

“Huh? Are you sure?” I stared at her. Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah. Let’s just head home.”Bookmark here

“What’s wrong? You're feeling unwell?” Bookmark here

“No. I’m good, Yuyo. Thanks for helping me,” she replied softly.Bookmark here

“Kyashii…” I gently grab her wrist as she begins to pack her things.Bookmark here

“Hmm?” she hardly looks at me while she stuffs her belongings into her bag. Bookmark here

“I’ll tell you what… This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this.”Bookmark here

“What?!” She suddenly looked at me anxiously.Bookmark here

“Haha! Why are you looking so stiff?” I chuckled. “Anyway, what I’m getting at is that every time I praise you, you’re quickly embarrassed.”Bookmark here

“Ah! No… That’s! Uhh...” She’s at a loss for words. How adorable.Bookmark here

However, there’s something I really wanted to ask her. Bookmark here

It feels as if every time I compliment her, it makes her uncomfortable somehow. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m not cut out for this complimenting thing.Bookmark here

“Well, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t making you feel awkward when pouring compliments on you. You cheerfully accepted Minori’s praises while you’re taking mine differently. Are you not supposed to be ecstatic if your best friend sings you praises? Or I just lack the skill to compliment properly?” This is what I’m trying to figure out.Bookmark here

Kyashii’s ferocious glare descended on me in an instant!Bookmark here

Wo-Whoa! Those are some intense glares! Bookmark here

Did I just step on a landmine? The look on her face makes me feel like she’s about to eat me alive!Bookmark here

“Err… Wh-What…? Why are you glaring at me like that all of a sudden? It’s a reasonable question, I g-guess? I’m just curious.”Bookmark here

“Argh…!! For real! I’m not sure how much longer I can put up with your dumbness, Yuyo!” She fumed.Bookmark here

“Huh?! What’s wrong with what I said? It’s not like I threw you a stupid question here.” I returned her glare. Bookmark here

What the heck is going on? Why is she acting this way again? Bookmark here

“Gosh, Yuyo! There’s no stupid question here! Just a stupid you!”Bookmark here

“Hey! What the…” That sudden outburst has taken me by surprise! “Don’t you think that’s rude, Kyashii?! What is wrong with you?? That’s not fair. You just got mad at me out of nowhere!” Bookmark here

I really did tread on a landmine, didn’t I? I just don’t have a freaking clue what it was.Bookmark here

“If you find my question annoying, then let me know. It’s not like I can read your mind to figure out what you’re upset about.” Bookmark here

She made no comment as she continued to glare at me.Bookmark here

Sigh… Bookmark here

It’s crazy how she’s so bent out of shape with my question. Bookmark here

I guess I should just apologize for that. I don’t want us to get into a fight over this since it’s just a storm in a teacup.Bookmark here

“Look, Kyashii... My bad if what I asked upset you. I’m sorry. Please, don’t get mad at me. Let’s not argue over something trivial,” I gently told her. Bookmark here

While she may have totally referred to me as stupid, I couldn’t get mad at her. There must be a reason behind that remark, although I can’t put my finger on it at the moment. Bookmark here

Perhaps I should bring it up at another time.Bookmark here

Kyashii sighed as she lowered her gaze.Bookmark here

“It’s the same for me, Yuyo. I didn’t mean to call you stupid. I just… No... Never mind. I’m sorry. That’s uncalled for,” she said while bowing her head towards me.Bookmark here

I smiled out of relief. Bookmark here

“Nah… That’s fine, no worries. I don’t consider myself stupid anyway, so it’s no big deal. Rather, if I’m stupid, I can’t imagine what word would suit you.” I said in jest to ease the air between us.Bookmark here

“You can be quite nasty at times, Yuyo!” Bookmark here

“Likewise,” I smirked. “Now, come on, let’s go home. Let’s just fight another day, shall we?”Bookmark here

“Hmmph!”Bookmark here

I just smiled at her.Bookmark here

Kyashii’s outburst is a mystery to me at the moment, but I hope to understand it one day.Bookmark here

But for now, let’s just go home. Bookmark here

This day has worn me out...

Author's Note:
Check out the gallery to see the inserted image for this chapter.
Bookmark here

However, please be forgiving of it. Digital art is not my forte, so that’s the only illustration I can make. :)Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.