Chapter 9:

Blame It On The Dustbins

Unconsciously [SHORT]

Not this again? Ugh!

Kyashii’s eyes were drained of life as she opened her locker to change from her indoor shoes, yet all she found was an endless pile of love letters inside.

I wish guys would stop doing this. Watching their faces go from anticipation to disappointment over my rejection is painfully exhausting.

Kyashii exhaled a sigh as she made her way out of the school grounds. Yuyo has been very busy with her club and student council activities, so she has to go home by herself today. As days passed, she grew to realize it was more challenging to get a hold of Yuyo and Minori owing to their school commitments.

“Mikami-san! Please hold on a second!” Kyashii heard a voice calling out to her from behind. Upon turning around, she found someone unfamiliar approaching her with a smile.

Who’s this guy again?

“Y-Yes? W-What is it?” Kyashii wasn’t sure how to respond. Talking to other students from her school hasn’t become second nature to her yet.

Ahh... His badge shows that he is also a first-year.

After having to focus on the young man’s uniform, Kyashii slowly turned to peer into his handsome features.

Umm... One can’t help but notice the charm and height of this guy.

“Uhurm... Hello, Mikami-san. I'm Jio Tanada from class 1-D. So… Uhh… Do you mind me walking you home?” The sweet smile on the guy's face did not fade away as he stared at Kyashii.

“Ahh… Nice to meet you, Tanada-san. B-But I’m sorry, I have to decline. I can go home by myself just fine.” Kyashii slowly took a step back.

It’s already clear to me where this is going. Oh, my goodness.

“Ah… Yes, of course. That’s a given. I just thought you were too lovely to be walking by yourself.” Jio smiled sympathetically at Kyashii.

“My friend is just too busy right now, b-but I usually walk home with her.”

“Oh... Is that so? If that’s the case, would it be possible to be friends with you as well, Mikami-san? That way, I’ll also be able to walk home with you, right?” Jio is adamant.

Is this guy totally oblivious to the obvious? Should I tell him straight up or what?

“I’m sorry. But… Wait, c-can I ask you something instead?”

“Sure, of course. Anything, Mikami-san.” Jio beamed smugly, thinking Kyashii was finally showing interest in him.

“A-are you just looking for friendship or... Umm... S-something more?”

Although I don’t like to make assumptions, this happens to me quite often. Most of the time, guys claim nothing more than friendship, but what they actually desire is something more. 

“What do you mean? I just wanted to be your f-friend.” Jio’s smile wavered a little. He realizes that gaining Kyashii’s total attention is a little challenging.

“Simply friends? So, you don’t plan to ask me out after that, do you?” Kyashii’s expression shifted from shy to weighty in an instant. Denying things even when caught red-handed is one of her pet peeves.

Jio grinned. “I guess denying such a fact would be a waste of time. I’d rather take my chances now that you’ve brought it up... So, uh, Mikami-san, would you be interested in going out with me?”

Kyashii let out a quiet sigh.

I knew that much already. So... Again, I'm at it. My existence is a continuous circle of confession.

And this sidewalk conversation feels even more awkward now that someone is trying to pursue me right here!

“I’m sorry, Tanada-san. I don’t have an interest in dating anyone at the moment.” Kyashii wished to put an end to the conversation.

“Ahh...” Jio’s face is dejected. “Is there a way I can understand that more clearly?”

Waah! Why does he ask that of me?!

“Umm… That’s all there is to it, Tanada-san. I’m just not interested. Right now, I’m comfortable with the way things are in my life.”

“Ah, I see now. Nevertheless, wouldn’t you want to give it a shot at least once, Mikami-san? Please? You can go out with me and decide if it’s not really something you want to do. I’ll take it in stride.” Jio is giving it another try. He has a thing for Kyashii. He worked up the courage to approach her today; now is not the time to miss out.

This guy just won’t give up. Unlike other guys, he doesn’t get discouraged after I turn him down.

What an inconvenience... I want nothing more than to go home at this very moment.

“I’m not really into it right now. B-Besides, I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of going out with anyone.”

I want to go home already, please!

“Please, Mikami-san... You had my undivided attention ever since that fateful afternoon when I first saw you. I can’t get enough of your cuteness, even when you seem to be having a hard time on that particular day.” The earnestness in Jio’s voice seems like a plea.

“Huh? ...Having a hard time? Ermm… I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”

“Oh! On that particular afternoon, your friend seemed to be making fun of you while you were struggling to drag dustbins. Ahh… When I first saw your expression, it was so endearing that I couldn’t get it out of my head till today.”

“Haaah??” Kyashii tried to recall Jio’s mention of the event.


The memory of it flashed back to her in the wink of an eye.

Ah! He was referring to the time Yuyo made me drag dustbins as punishment for telling her I wouldn't choose her as my best friend if I were picky!

The thing is, when I apologized at that time, Yuyo made it clear she would only accept my apology if I also hauled the trash receptacles she was holding. I bought it in the mistaken belief that she would take it back after I had it for a minute, but she never did!

She let me lug two bins of garbage the entire distance! That jerk!

And no... Wait… Is this guy telling me he has a crush on me because of that?!

“You’re telling me that you started liking me because I was dragging dustbins?!” Kyashii couldn’t help but exclaim when she had that silly thought, but at the same time, her volume caught the attention of some passersby. “Aah!” She felt utter humiliation at once.

Gosh! I had a feeling this would happen! Dealing with confessions like this when people can just stroll right past us is unbearably inconvenient!

“Yes, that’s right, Mikami-san. Your charm is too overwhelming at that moment!” Jio wholeheartedly smiled and nodded.

Kyashii rubbed her right brow. There’s a headache brewing in her head because of this guy.

“Look, Tanada-san... There’s nothing cute about that. Those were the times my jerk best friend punished me!” Kyashii roared.

Gaah! An annoyance after another!

I don’t care whether I’m being unkind at the moment. My feelings are so mixed that I am unsure which to prioritize.

“And please accept my apology, but I can’t go out with you, Tanada-san.” 

“Hmm… Is it because you already like someone else, Mikami-san?”

“No… I don’t have someone I like.”

How many times should I tell him that I just don’t want to date at the moment?!

“I see… I understand. It looks like you’re not indeed interested in dating at all, Mikami-san.”

“That’s right. I’m very sorry.”

“It’s fine.” Jio smiled sadly at Kyashii. He really likes Kyashii and he believes she’s actually a good girl, considering how she handles him and his persistent manner. If it’s other girls, they’ll already be calling him weird and obnoxious. He’s been there before; it’s just a bad habit he gets into when he gets very excited about something.

In the same way that he has in the past, Jio acknowledges he can’t push Kyashii to do something she isn’t comfortable with. “But I think you’ll have a better time in high school if you challenge yourself to do something outside your comfort zone, Mikami-san. We only get one shot at being high schoolers, which is why we should make the most of it. So why not have a little fun?”


“Then, I’ll leave you now, Mikami-san. Please be safe on your way home.” Jio managed to give Kyashii one last warm smile before walking away.

Hmm?? That was kind of weird. How did that have anything to do with me?

Is there anything I should try that is out of my comfort zone? I'm comfortable with the way I am. My high school life is going well, and I am having a good time with it all. Is dating in high school a must if one wishes to claim they enjoyed their high school days?

Umm... Am I missing something important?

Kyashii is not quite sure whether anything is missing so far; all she knows is that she is not in the market for a boyfriend at the moment. It would be more enjoyable for her to spend time with her friends, especially Yuyo. In her mind, dating someone would mean she'd have less time with her friends, and that's something she'd rather avoid.

On a different note, I think I need to get even with Yuyo for that punishment! The only reason some guy likes me is that I lugged trash bins?! Just what was that?? Is Tanada-san attracted to dragging-trash-bins types of girls?!

“. . . .”


I can tell Yuyo’s actions led to this embarrassing situation! I’m starting to doubt whether or not she’s truly my best friend! Had she not let me drag those bins, that guy wouldn’t have thought I was cute, and he wouldn’t have confessed on the sidewalk!

Hmph! My revenge is sure to come, Yuyo Shibasaki! Just so you wait!  With gritted teeth, Kyashii walked toward the train station as she clenched her fists.

Meanwhile, on the school campus, Yuyo was constantly sneezing from the chilly air blast that assaulted her as she headed back to the student council room.

“Hachuuu! ...Ufft! What was that?” She shuddered. “Now, that’s strange... Cold air is slamming into my face like a sledgehammer… It’s as though someone has deliberately sent this icy gust to strike me.”