The most auspicious time for new beginnings and a fresh start.
With this season comes the start of a new academic year in Japan. This is also the time of year for cherry blossoms to bloom, creating a breathtaking scene that evokes an emotional reaction in students. One could say cherry blossoms herald the beginning of a new school year. Thus, most students look forward to the start of each new school year with enthusiasm and excitement.
Well... Most but not everyone.
Apparently, this isn’t the case for one student in Osaka who knows that the start of the school year doesn’t spark equal excitement for everyone.
Kyashii Mikami, a pretty but shy incoming first-year student at Gakoumori High School, is battling butterflies in her stomach on her way to her new school. She already gets the uneasy sensation that she’s going to make a terrible blunder today.
Kyashii has been clutching her omamori charm, a good luck charm she bought at a temple the day before in preparation for this pivotal moment of her life. That lucky charm is a perfect metaphor for her anxiousness as her daily existence is about to take on a new chapter.
Why can't I just stay at middle school? Gosh! New beginnings, new surroundings, new adjustments, but no new me. Hmph! Poor me... Kyashii complained to herself as she boarded a second train to her new school.
Since I’m in high school now, I shouldn’t be nervous about new experiences like this. I know I will be okay. Yes, that’s right! I don’t need to worry about a thing with my good luck charm here! Yeah, I’ve got this! She clenched her fist as she tried to find herself a seat.
Ooh! It’s gotten pretty crowded in here. It’s not yet rush hour. Uhmm... Alright, let’s try to look for a better spot. I might be able to get a seat.
With a little bit of luck, she was able to get a more desirable spot with fewer people. However, no more available seats were in sight, leaving her with no choice but to stand near the train’s door.
Well, it’s no big deal. It’s only three stops away from here anyway.
Kyashii then began to picture what her high school life would be like when her indigo eyes landed on a girl in front of her. The girl was leaning near the door, deeply engaged on her phone. A wireless earbud is still visible on her ears, almost disguised by her ash-gray shoulder-length hair.
Oh wow~… That’s one cool, expressionless face. She looks calm and collected. Kyashii could not help but stare at the girl in front of her.
Ohh...! We’re wearing the same uniform. But she seems so level-headed that I’m uncertain if she is my senpai or we are in the same year.
Mmm… And she’s cute too... I bet she could charm the pants off anyone just by having that air around her.
Despite Kyashii's unwavering stare, the ash-gray haired girl pays no attention to anything but her phone.
How nice... Living in your own little world must be blissful. Wouldn’t it be great if I could bring that attitude to school on the first day? Unggh... this is so nerve-wracking! Do I have a good chance of making friends right away? ...Please help me, omamori-chan. I’m confident you’ll do the trick.
Kyashii was still in the midst of her mental preparations when the voice notification chimed in for the next stop. And as a bunch of people rushed towards the door, some unintentionally shoved her forward.
“Oow! Waah!” She instinctively stretched her left arm towards the door frame to support her balance. “Phew! That was close.”
Hmmph! What’s wrong with these people pushing and shoving others just to get off?
“Are you all right?” The girl she had kept an eye on asked.
“Huh?!” Kyashii’s realization that something was amiss came a bit late.
The way her hand pressed against the door frame made her look like she pinned the girl between her body and the train wall.
Waahh! Isn’t this... Isn’t this what they call a kabe-don?! Oh my gosh! I’m doing an unintentional kabe-don to a stranger! What’s more, to a girl?! How embarrassing! Kyashii’s face grew red as she slowly peered into the girl’s seemingly inquisitive eyes.
Gosh! Does she think I’m weird? I sure am acting strange now, don’t I?! …Has my disastrous first day of high school officially begun? This incident has already struck me as a bad omen!
She summoned her intestinal fortitude to speak while gracefully pulling her arm away from the doorframe.
“Aherm... Y-Yes, I-I’m okay.” Kyashii stuttered as she flipped several strands of her almond brown hair that had become entangled on her face. “Thank you for asking. I’m s-sorry for that.” She’s crossing her fingers that this girl wouldn’t think of her as weird.
“It’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Things like that happen sometimes. I hope you didn’t hurt your arm.” A faint smile twisted the girl’s lips.
“. . . .”
She’s really cool! That isn’t even a flashy smile, but she managed to make it look cool nonetheless. A tight-lipped smile can look surprisingly charming on some people, huh?
Even her voice is soft, making her sound even more empathetic.
“I’m fine. I a-appreciate your concern.” Kyashii blushed a little.
The girl just nodded at her in response.
Aah- I guess I’ve made a fool of myself in front of a cool girl like her.
But I think she’s really charming. It would be great if we can be friends. Hmm… Maybe I can, right? This is a step for being a high school student. Making friends…
Though, asking her to be my friend here might seem awkward, wouldn’t it? Mmm... She attends the same school as me, and I’ll probably run into her later. It may be possible for me to ask her then.
With her mind elsewhere, Kyashii missed yet another announcement that the train had arrived at the next station. Consequently, when she got accidentally pushed again, she failed to react in time and got knocked directly into the girl.
“Waahh!” Kyashii's face crashed into the girl’s right shoulder. “Ouch! My nose!” she whimpered, grabbing her nose in reflex.
Shucks! My first day of high school has already been miserable. What's up with my luck? I defy you, lucky charm! Why aren't you doing anything?!
A sense of misery kept Kyashii from noticing what was happening around her.
“Please refrain from shoving others. You might hurt someone.” Her ears filled with the girl’s voice once more.
Only then did Kyashii realize she had been hurled directly onto the girl. And to top it off, the girl had her right arm wrapped around Kyashii’s shoulder.
Huh?! Ah-re?! Haah?!
“. . . .”
Oh my gosh!
She has her slender arm around my shoulder right now! She... She’s pretty much hugging me! And… She smells just like sakura. Does she wear perfume or bathe in those sakura salts? That’s a scent I really enjoy, uhmmm~...
I’m taking back what I said earlier. I’m not trying to defy you, omamori-chan! You did a fantastic job!
She slowly stepped away from the girl and bowed her head. “Ahm... I’m t-terribly sorry. This is the second time that I have bothered you. I sincerely apologize.”
“No, it’s fine. You didn’t do anything wrong. I just hope your nose stays intact this time.”
Even though the girl doesn’t seem to be smiling, Kyashii can’t help but notice the amusement in those cobalt green eyes.
“Ah! Aha-ha. Y-Yes, I still have my nose. Thank you.”
How embarrassing! Now I’m undecided about defying my lucky charm!
“I’m glad to hear that. It’s still the first day of school, so I hope you make it through the day unscathed.” A gentle smile curled at the corner of the girl's lips.
“. . . .”
Uwaah! That’s it! I promise from now on, omamori-chan, that I will never ever defy you again! Your luck must be working since she finally gave me a genuine smile. It might look like she’s teasing me, but I couldn’t be happier. She’s got a cute smile! Kyashii appears to be blasting sparkles from her eyes.
“Y-Yeah... I hope that too. Thank you.” Kyashii responded with a shy smile.
The girl simply smiled again and said nothing.
However, it appears that even lucky charms wear out over time, as Kyashii's luck seemed to run out when she got off the train and lost sight of the girl in the crowd.
Well, it's all good... I'm hoping to see her at school soon.
Hmm... It would be interesting to know what her year is. What a shame her uniform jacket hid her skirt's badge. I could have figured out her year.
Please, omamori-chan, make your luck work again and let me run into her at school.
Taking a nervous walk to her new school, Kyashii has to rely on her omamori charm yet again.
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