Chapter 1:

The Cutest Boy is Also the Loneliest

My Girlfriend Was Delivered by 2-Day Shipping

My name is Daiki Kenjimaru. Sixteen years old. I go to Kanagawa Regional High School where I am in my second year. Throughout my average elementary and middle school life, I have been told that I’m one of the cutest-looking boys at school and have the best manners. After all, my parents always taught me to be polite and respectful. I do my best every day to be kind to people and I help them out in any way that I can. No matter what the problem is, I always try to find a solution just to see that person happy. Someone like me should be a top-tier catch but there’s just one little problem…Bookmark here

“No,” said one girl.Bookmark here

“Sorry, but I don’t even want to be friends,” said another girl.Bookmark here

“I… uh… don’t think so,” said another.Bookmark here

“Drop dead!!” said, yet, another girl.Bookmark here

For some reason, no girl ever wants to date me and I don’t know why. All I really want is to make one special girl happy because that would make me happy in return. In alchemy, they always talk about the law of equal exchange and I think there is no greater exchange between two people than love. For some reason, though, love doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. All of this started for me when I was in middle school. Something happened and ever since then, it feels like I have been cursed but I never knew the reason. Instead, every girl I ask out ends up rejecting me harshly without even having the common courtesy to tell me why!Bookmark here

This is the curse I am forced to live with.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

It was like any other Friday at Kanagawa Regional High School… with one exception – It was the Friday before Spring Break. While all of the other students were making plans with each other, Daiki, for the second year in a row, was left with quite a bit of free time and was doomed to spend another week-long break alone. Bookmark here

The mystery surrounding his misfortune haunted him day after day. After all, he had everything a girl could ever want, including money. Daiki came from a rich family where his parents co-owned several businesses. Unlike most wealthy parents in Japan, they were kind enough to allow Daiki to make his own choices and have the freedom they felt he deserved. Then again, they spent most of their time traveling all over Japan to attend to business matters. Bookmark here

This meant that he grew up and matured a lot more quickly than most kids his age. The weight of responsibility was heavy but Daiki always faced those challenges head-on with a smile on his face. Becoming a responsible “adult” while still being a teenager was a valuable lesson that he felt would help prepare him for whatever life would eventually throw his way. That self-independence at such a young age should have been another high-quality point to attract a girl into his life, but nevertheless, it was just another factor that was ignored.Bookmark here

This Spring Break; however, Daiki had become determined to not spend it alone. He decided to make a list of all of the girls he was interested in but every single one of them shot him down in a soul-shattering fashion. With reach rejection, his spirit leaked more and more from his body until it floated away, bags packed, waving goodbye in the process. Bookmark here

After experiencing this for years, Daiki acquired a rather unfortunate nickname – The Undateable One.Bookmark here

Oftentimes, he would daydream in class. Each time he did, it always ended with the same scene: “Please date me,” he would meekly say; however, a crowd of girls instantly scattered upon hearing those words, muttering short phrases of disgust in the process. This was followed by a massive boulder falling on his head with the word “REJECTION” painted on the side. At that point, he would snap out of it and sigh as even his own imagination betrayed him.Bookmark here

As if being rejected by nearly every girl in school wasn’t enough, another rumor began to circulate. Since it became common knowledge that no girl should ever date him, the girls began to feel that an ill omen would befall them should any of them make an attempt to. That omen often told of bad spirits that would come and haunt you should you accept his offer for a relationship, leading to a life of hardship and misery. It is quite amazing how things can spiral out of control due to the whim of one person’s imagination. Bookmark here

What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment!?” Bookmark here

People have a limit of tolerance for various things. Daiki's limit was much higher than others but even he had a breaking point. He swore to himself that he would find a way to make this Spring Break different but the only challenge was finding someone he could talk to that didn’t know about the rumors and at his school, the pickings were slim.Bookmark here

As he thought about it, a glimmer of hope popped into his mind.Bookmark here

The new transfer student!Bookmark here

She had moved to the Kanagawa region just one week ago and often kept to herself. The chances of her succumbing to the rumors were rather low as he had never seen her interact with anybody outside of a typical greeting. Every day during her short time at the school, she could be seen eating lunch alone. Daiki had also seen her come and go from school by herself as well. Bookmark here

In his mind, he felt that all she really needed was a friend and this opened up an opportunity to solve his problem. The best part was that this girl was also in his class so all he had to do was wait until the bell rang and then put his plan into action.Bookmark here

Many people are familiar with The Friday Crawl. On the last day of the workweek, one would spend the majority of their time staring at the clock, hoping for the seconds, minutes, and hours to tick by so that they could rush home and enjoy the weekend. Even though Daiki was still a student, that same painful, agonizing, slow passage of time struck him just the same as he was excited to execute his plan. Bookmark here

Despite how slow the time moved in these situations, it still moved at a constant pace and as a result, the final bell before Spring Break mercifully sounded. That simple sound that they had heard countless times before became the symbol of freedom for everyone in the classroom. One by one, Daiki’s classmates stood and congregated into their little social groups.Bookmark here

“They have these amazing crepes on sale during Spring Break! I think they make them just for students because they know they will sell! It doesn’t matter because they are so yummy! We should go try and get some!” said one girl to her group.Bookmark here

“I think I’ll get my homework done first. This way, I can spend more time enjoying the break. I’d hate to have fun and then forget about the assignments. There’s nothing worse than rushing to get work done,” said a boy to his friend. “You’re such a bookworm! You really need to just forget all that stuff and focus on having fun!” his friend replied.Bookmark here

It was your typical fare of banter; however, one conversation really stuck out and grabbed his attention.Bookmark here

“Hina! What are your plans for next week!?” said a girl to her friend. Bookmark here

“My boyfriend Riku and I are planning on going to the cultural festival,” Hina replied. Bookmark here

“Can I come, too?” said Hina Sawamura’s best friend Akari Chitose. Bookmark here

“I don’t see why not. Hey… why don’t we make it a double date? Maybe you can bring Daiki with you? I hear he’s looking for a girlfriend,” replied Hina with a sarcastic tone to her voice. Bookmark here

“Eh… Hina… why would you suggest something like that? After all… weren’t you the one who told me… um… never mind.” she said, her tone changing a bit to a more meek and timid inflection.Bookmark here

Akari is usually pretty quiet. She seems a bit more lively today for some reason but the fact that I haven’t even asked her out before and she’s there indirectly rejecting me is kind of insulting…Bookmark here

Daiki had become so perturbed by that conversation that he had forgotten why he had been staying behind, to begin with.Bookmark here

He suddenly remembered that he wanted to talk to the new transfer student. He shot up out of his chair and quickly grabbed all of his books, figuring that she had already left. He stuffed them into his backpack, not really paying much attention to his surroundings as he focused on rushing to catch up to her.Bookmark here

Once everything was in order, he slung the backpack over his shoulder and went to take a step forward; however, he noticed that he wasn’t alone in the classroom. A few seats in front of him sat the girl that he had hoped to talk to.Bookmark here

Her name was Kairi Hayashi. Like Daiki, she was sixteen. She had long, flowing brown hair with very subtle highlights throughout. It gave her hair a nice two-toned sheen to it that really captivated your attention. Suddenly, she stood up out of her chair which put her around five feet, four inches tall. She brushed back her hair as she grabbed her book bag. She turned her head and suddenly, her dark amber-colored eyes met Daiki’s. A small gasp escaped from her mouth as if she had been caught off guard.Bookmark here

That subtle look of surprise gave way to an attempt to form words. “Um… I… I thought I was alone. Sorry…” she muttered with a bit of a tremble in her voice.Bookmark here

Oh my God! That’s so cute! Bookmark here

He did his best to put a warm smile on his face as he scratched the back of his head. “Haha, sorry if I startled you. I don’t bite. I promise!”Bookmark here

Even with Daiki’s words, Kairi was unsure of how to proceed. Realizing how awkward the situation was for her, Daiki continued to lead the conversation. “My name is Kenjimaru, Daiki. It’s nice to meet you!”Bookmark here

“Ha-Hayashi, Kairi,” she replied sheepishly as she looked away, her face becoming a bit flushed.Bookmark here

Soooo cuuuuuuute!!!!  He couldn’t let his emotions grip him too much. After all, this was just the beginning. He needed to remain calm and inviting so that Kairi wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable. “You just moved here, right?”Bookmark here

“Mmm…” she replied with a slight nod.Bookmark here

“I grew up in this town so I don’t really know what it’s like to move somewhere. But, I’m sure if I had to go somewhere new, I would be a bit scared. I wouldn’t know anybody and I would always wonder if other people liked me. I would also wonder if I could make any friends. It must be a lot of pressure to move to a new place.”Bookmark here

Kairi opted not to respond verbally. She only nodded in agreement.Bookmark here

Well, the first step to overcoming that would be to know if someone liked you and, right now, you’re so adorable! Bookmark here

There was a bit of an awkward pause. When he realized how lost in thought he was about to become, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.Bookmark here

“Say, would you like to walk home together?” he said before a sudden jolt rattled his brain. He immediately went back to getting lost inside his head. Why did I ask that!? Oh no! That must have been too much for her to handle!Bookmark here

Daiki quickly waved his hands in front of him as if to convey that she shouldn’t get the wrong idea. He quickly followed that up with an explanation. “Sorry! I just thought that with you being new here, maybe you could use a friend? I thought maybe if we walked home, we could talk and I could tell you about the town or something!”Bookmark here

It appeared as if Kairi bought his quick thinking. Her eyes widened as if she couldn’t believe that after a week of being ignored at school that someone would offer up their friendship to her. To her, Daiki seemed like a nice boy. He certainly had the looks and that alone made her heart beat just a little bit faster. The soft and warm tone of his voice reverberated throughout her mind and while she was nervous at first, there was just something about the way he sounded that soothed those nerves. She stood there unsure of what she should do and Daiki caught onto it rather quickly.Bookmark here

“Ah, maybe asking that was a bit too much? If you’re more comfortable walking home by yourself, that’s fine. I don’t want to pressure you or anything,” he said with a feeling of defeat. He excused himself, turned to leave, and was stopped when he heard Kairi’s soft voice.Bookmark here

“Um… Kenjimaru-kun? I… I will walk home with you… if you want…”Bookmark here

Daiki became frozen. Many emotions had begun to run through his head. The moment he had waited for this whole time finally presented itself to him. If this played out, it would be the first real friend he had made since the rumors had begun to circulate. If he didn’t have to turn and answer her, he would have pinched himself just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.Bookmark here

He turned to face her only to see that her cheeks had become flush with a lovely hue of rose. He couldn’t help but be mesmerized by how cute she looked. “O-Okay!” he replied with a bit of excitement.Bookmark here

Kairi walked over and stood beside Daiki. The pause was but brief and momentary. Once they were side-by-side, Daiki led the way out of the classroom and out into the hallway. Their class was on the second floor of the school so they had a bit to go before they would arrive at the main gate.Bookmark here

One would think that they would strike up a conversation; however, they remained completely silent. Daiki wasn’t quite sure what to say. Even though he had taken the lead in their conversation, he had lost the ability to find anything of worth to say to her. Kairi wasn’t any different, though. She, too, was in disbelief that a boy as cute as Daiki would take the time to offer his hand in friendship to her.Bookmark here

The only sounds that could be heard were the sounds of their footfalls as they made contact with the floor. Since the majority of the students had already left, their lone footsteps echoed throughout the empty halls. Their volume only increased as they walked down the stairs to the first floor.Bookmark here

With each step, Daiki had begun to grow nervous. As they approached the front gates of the school, his lips slowly parted, and were about to speak when suddenly Kairi felt a sudden tug at her wrist. She was pulled away with force as a voice rang out. It was one that Daiki recognized from earlier.Bookmark here

“Hayashi-san! Are you okay!?”Bookmark here

Daiki turned around and saw that Hina and her friend Akari had intervened and positioned themselves in front of Kairi. Daiki’s heart sank as he feared for the worst.Bookmark here

“Sa-Sawamura-chan?” Kairi said with shock and confusion.Bookmark here

“You mustn’t hang around him, Hayashi-san! Hasn’t anyone told you!?”Bookmark here

“Told me what?”Bookmark here

“Daiki acts all sweet and innocent but he’s actually someone you need to avoid at all costs! Don’t let him try and sweet talk you. The next thing you know, you’ll just become some plaything to him!”Bookmark here

“Huh? But that’s not true–” Daiki tried to retaliate but Hina cut him off before he could make his case.Bookmark here

“Ignore him. He’s been trying to deny it all this time but he’s nothing more than a liar! He’s just trying to get you to fall for him and when you do, who knows what he has planned? No girl in this school is dumb enough to date him. Heck, most of the guys just use his kindness to their advantage. Every time somebody needs help, we all turn to Daiki because we know he’s just too gullible to resist. Plus, he needs to atone for the kind of person he is so we keep using him over and over but he doesn’t realize that it’s a debt that he will never be able to pay back!”Bookmark here

“D... Daiki…” muttered Kairi in disbelief.Bookmark here

“Hayashi-san. Please, let me explain!”Bookmark here

“Why?” interrupted Hina. “So you can fill her head with more lies? I’m willing to bet that you asked her to walk home with you! The two of you walking out of here side-by-side made it so obvious! That’s how it starts, Hayashi-san. Next thing you know, he’ll try to hold your hand, and then you’ll be his next victim!”Bookmark here

“V-Victim!? What are you talking about!?” asked Daiki, genuinely confused.Bookmark here

“Daiki is the kind of boy who deserves to be alone for the rest of his life! You’ve already made peace with it, haven’t you? Little Daiki Kenjimaru… the loneliest boy in all of Kanagawa! Although, I admit… even loneliness is too good for someone like you!”Bookmark here

“B-But…”Bookmark here

“You should run away while you can, Hayashi-san. Don’t worry, we’ll keep Daiki here so he won’t follow you.”Bookmark here

“H-Hayashi-san…” said Daiki with a pained expression on his face.Bookmark here

Daiki reached out with his arm. He hoped that maybe he could try to convince her but he didn’t get the chance. It wasn’t as if he would have gotten one anyway. With Hina standing right there, it would have been impossible for him to get a word in.Bookmark here

Kairi took a couple of steps backward before she turned and ran. With each footstep growing fainter and fainter, the smile on Hina’s face widened.Bookmark here

“She’s better off. We all are. Come Akari, let’s go.”Bookmark here

Akari, who had remained silent this entire time, walked away along with her. As they passed through the school gates, Daiki’s eyes began to well up with tears.Bookmark here

This isn’t fair… All I wanted to do was make a friend. All I wanted was for my loneliness to end! Why? Why does this keep happening to me!? What did I do and why can’t anyone just tell me what I did!? How or why did these rumors even get started!? I was so close and yet…Bookmark here

Daiki balled up his fists as he could no longer stop the tears from coming. Drop by drop they fell to the ground, staining the pavement. What Hina said didn’t make any sense to him whatsoever. Lost without an answer, Daiki did realize one thing. He had been doomed to spend another Spring Break by himself. With that realization in hand, he turned and walked through the school gates, his heart crushed once again.Bookmark here

Little did Daiki know, that this weekend was about to change everything.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.