“Blackboard erasers on duty, please!”
“Good work. See you tomorrow!”
I could hear my classmates' excited voices wafting through the classroom at the end of class.
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.
Let’s head home!
“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.
Or maybe not.
Welp! My perfect afterschool plans were entirely derailed by her.
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.
"Perhaps I can help you get a weak electric shock next time instead," I quipped.
“What?! Why are you being so mean to me again?” Kyashii asked while arranging a chair beside me.
“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.”
“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.”
She had me laughing at her reaction. “It’s a fact, though. Search for it online.”
“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.
She moves closer to me so I can get a better look at the part she’s having trouble with.
“Don’t you think it’s handy having a friend who can do math well? You would not be subjected to an electric shock.”
“Yup! That’s for sure. I’m so in luck,” she replied with a grin.
“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.
“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.
“. . . .“
I think my brain has suddenly malfunctioned for I don’t really get what she was trying to say here.
Hmm… Her love implies that she values our friendship, right?
But that’s given. I mean, since we are friends, we obviously love one another, so what's the point of offering it again?
“. . . .”
Haahh – Never mind... Putting that aside, I don’t struggle with love at all!
Why does everyone seem to be talking about love today? It’s not even Valentine’s day!
“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?”
“Huh? Oh… No, not really. Let’s see.” I took her notes and reviewed them.
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.
“Kyashii-chan, do you have any plans to stop staring at me? You’re distracting me.”
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.
“You don’t like it when I stare at you, Yuyo?”
Rather than learning Math, Kyashii seems to be more interested in trivial matters.
“Hey… How about we just forget about this and go home?”
“Sorry... Sorry… Okay, let’s get back to it, just please help me,” she grinned, turning her eyes to her notes.
She seemed to be in a more cheerful disposition all of a sudden.
I must say, she really amazes me with her uncanny ability to change moods so quickly.
“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.
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.
But the thing is…
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.
Well, it’s not yet 5 o’clock, so I suppose it’s alright.
As I glanced outside the window, I noticed some students are still doing club activities. My eyes then swept the classroom.
It’s kind of weird having the entire room to ourselves.
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.
So, this is how afterschool looks from a casual viewpoint, huh?
It feels somewhat melancholic, I guess…
I shifted my gaze back to Kyashii while she’s absorbed in her writing.
Her serious look is rather charming.
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.
Kyashii seemed to notice I was staring at her. “Hmm?” She turned to me.
“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.
Her eyes widened as she immediately pursed her lips.
“. . . .”
I sense an awkward silence between us.
Wait… What gives?
“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.
“I guess I’ll continue this at home.” Kyashii starts collecting her personal effects.
“Huh? Are you sure?” I stared at her.
“Y-Yeah. Let’s just head home.”
“What’s wrong? You're feeling unwell?”
“No. I’m good, Yuyo. Thanks for helping me,” she replied softly.
“Kyashii…” I gently grab her wrist as she begins to pack her things.
“Hmm?” she hardly looks at me while she stuffs her belongings into her bag.
“I’ll tell you what… This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this.”
“What?!” She suddenly looked at me anxiously.
“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.”
“Ah! No… That’s! Uhh...” She’s at a loss for words. How adorable.
However, there’s something I really wanted to ask her.
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.
“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.
Kyashii’s ferocious glare descended on me in an instant!
Wo-Whoa! Those are some intense glares!
Did I just step on a landmine? The look on her face makes me feel like she’s about to eat me alive!
“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.”
“Argh…!! For real! I’m not sure how much longer I can put up with your dumbness, Yuyo!” She fumed.
“Huh?! What’s wrong with what I said? It’s not like I threw you a stupid question here.” I returned her glare.
What the heck is going on? Why is she acting this way again?
“Gosh, Yuyo! There’s no stupid question here! Just a stupid you!”
“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!”
I really did tread on a landmine, didn’t I? I just don’t have a freaking clue what it was.
“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.”
She made no comment as she continued to glare at me.
It’s crazy how she’s so bent out of shape with my question.
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.
“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.
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.
Perhaps I should bring it up at another time.
Kyashii sighed as she lowered her gaze.
“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.
I smiled out of relief.
“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.
“You can be quite nasty at times, Yuyo!”
“Likewise,” I smirked. “Now, come on, let’s go home. Let’s just fight another day, shall we?”
I just smiled at her.
Kyashii’s outburst is a mystery to me at the moment, but I hope to understand it one day.
But for now, let’s just go home.
This day has worn me out...
Check out the gallery to see the inserted image for this chapter.
However, please be forgiving of it. Digital art is not my forte, so that’s the only illustration I can make. :)