Spring Flower on the Sidewalk
I can't believe this... Please, tell me this isn't true.
There's no way this is real! My mind is just imagining things! Fate must be playing a trick on me... This is an illusion! I-L-L-U-S-I-O-N!
This is... not true at all.
"Harada-san, Hachisaki-kun, do you understand?" Hiro-sensei was speaking in front of the class.
My mind was too preoccupied to understand what he is saying. My mind can't take this!
Aaaaaaah! My mental health is at its limit! Poor me...
"Huh?" I tilted my head in confusion.
Sensei and the whole class literally facepalmed at me being an airhead.
To imagine that everything will come to this, I'm pretty sure that Mitsuki-chan can read the future! She jinxed this!
I gave her a glance and she gave me a happy-go-lucky smile as if saying, "Sorry I jinxed it, just as I told you. Teehee."
Mitsuki, you... you planned all of this!
No matter how much I want to wring her neck right now for making this happen, I can't afford to lay a finger on her.
That innocent smile of her have some different effect on me right now!
Okay, some of you might be thinking, what got into me and I felt utter remorse to Mitsuki-chan now. I can understand you all, so to make the long story short...
"As I was saying, Harada Tsubaki-san and Hachisaki Haruki-kun, you two are the class representatives of 1-B."
Did you get my point now?
Being a class representative is a job that I can't do at all. And much worse... I'll be working with Hachisaki-kun from now on!
My life is done. It's over!
*Sniff* Send my thanks to Oba-san and say that I want my ashes to be thrown in the ocean.
Standing in front of the class beside the ice man, Hachisaki-kun, must only mean that I may die of hypothermia any second from now.
Hachisaki-kun, who seemed like not to mind at all, fixed his glasses in his face and briefly answered, "I understand, sensei."
Waaaaah! My life is done! Class 1-B is done! The normal high school life that I want is done!
I feel like I fell on my knees and I want to shrink on the ground right now. Make me disappear!
Now, now, this is really a big deal we're talking about! Why you may ask? Because being a class rep is the worst thing of all!
The teachers will give you orders. The students are relying on you. In short, you are the slave of the class!
Give me a break!
"Sensei!" I slammed my hand in the table catching all of them off guard.
Silence. Utterly silent.
Uhm... Did I just heard the wind?
"Harada-san, if you have to say something, say it now." The person beside me whispered.
I was taken aback by Hachisaki-kun's words as I snapped back quickly.
"A-ah! I'm sorry, it was nothing!" I said while looking down as my face flushed in embarrassment.
I'm making a fool of myself right now.
Hiro-sensei took a deep sigh.
"With that settled, I'm looking forward to your work."
I nodded and my fellow representative mumbled a "yes."
When we took our seats, Hachisaki-kun said to me, "Give your all, Harada-san."
What was that supposed to mean?!
I was about to ask him but sensei started doing homeroom and I never got the chance to talk to him again.
When lunch break came, I and Mitsuki-chan decided to have our lunch in the rooftop.
"Mitsuki-chan! It's about time you explained to me what you just did!" I pointed her out with full of conviction.
She gave me a shrug and pouts innocently as if saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."
I pulled my hair in frustration, she's this hard to deal with!
"Then how can you explain that?!"
"Explain what?" She calmly said while munching her food.
"That you foresaw that I'll be a class rep!"
"Don't 'Oh,that?' me there!" I furrowed my eyebrows to her.
She let out a small laugh and beamed at me, "That was basic!"
Is she playing with me?
"Okay, you don't look like you're believing me."
"Of course. How would I believe you? You look like you're fooling me." I seriously said with my eyes squinted at her.
"Ahehehe. Sorry about that." She scratched the back of her head playfully.
I didn't retract my eyes from her as she stopped playing dumb and started fiddling her fingers.
"Etto... I just thought that it will be expected, that's all!" She said clasping her hands in front of her face.
I decided to take a bite from my lunch as I carefully watched her.
"How so?" I asked while silently tasting my food.
"Let's see... By the process of elimination, I can say that you and Haruki-kun have that highest possibility to be class reps." She explained as if it was common sense.
I don't exactly got her point and I felt like some of my braincells died just now.
"You see, because of what happened on the first day, all of our classmates became intrigued about the two of you. Some of them might think that the two of you will be great for the position. However, all of them not knowing the feud between, are all aware of your presence now. Judging by that, you have much popularity on class which ended up with you having the position. On the contrary, if the election was held later, like next week for example, I can say that the result was different because when that time comes, all of our classmates must have known each other. With the given circumstances, I can deduce as much... Hey! Tsubaki-chan, did you fall asleep?"
Huh? Ah! Oh no! I didn't realize that I fell asleep!
"Huh? What are we talking about again?" I asked her in panic.
She sighed in disappointment. "This is hopeless... It was nothing, Tsubaki-chan."
With that, we finished our lunch and go back to the classroom. And yet again, Hachisaki-kun skipped afternoon classes.
'What a responsible class rep...' I thought sarcastically.
"Tsubaki-chan, Tsubaki-chan, are you really sure about this?" Mitsuki-chan asked worriedly while reading the music sheet that I gave her.
I made an evil smirk and she flinched at me.
"Of course... I'm pretty sure that Hachisaki-kun will be left speechless." I said while rubbing my palm and looking like I'm about to do something wicked.
"Scary! You're scary, Tsubaki-chan." Mitsuki-chan freaked out.
"It's fine. It's fine. A little change of plans like this was nothing." I said proudly.
We just came from the library to borrow some music sheets. I've actually thought of something last minute and I decided to try a different piece.
"That's not my point, Tsubaki-chan! Look, I'm thankful that you are hyped for this but..." She said timidly.
Since the classes are done, we are going to the music room now to practice again. I can't afford to be fooling around now!
Tomorrow was the judgement day and I'm not going to bow down without giving a fight!
"Ne, Mitsuki-chan, there's no reason for you to be sad okay? If I can give Hachisaki-kun a taste of his own medicine... I'll break his face!" I said with enthusiasm as I raise my fist in the air.
"Uhm... B-Break his face?" She retracted in fear.
"Hmm?" I tilted my head in confusion.
She took a sigh and gave me an awkward smile. "I don't really get what you said just now but... Let's do this!"
She also raised her fist in the air to go along with my flow.
When we arrived in the music room, I opened the door and the two of us paused for a second.
There's a student sitting on the floor and strumming a guitar.
I stared at him. He stared back at us. This is awkwardly silent.
"Ah! Sorry for barging in!" I said and bow at him to apologize.
"N-no! That was..." He stood and faced us.
When I look at him closely, I think I've seen him somewhere. Hmm, am I forgetting big-time?
"A-re? You're Reiji-kun from yesterday, right?" Mitsuki-chan spoke which made me shock.
This is the Reiji-person from yesterday? Oh, I see... Now that I think about it, he indeed looks like him. Maybe since it was dark from the theater hall, I didn't pay too much attention to him.
"Yes, it was me. Sorry for late introductions, I'm Yukimura Reiji from Class 1-A, nice to meet you." He politely said and bows at us.
He's a very polite person, that's for sure.
"Ah! No need to be that formal, Yukimura-kun." I said and asked him to not bow at us.
"So, do you mind introducing yourselves?" He said with a gentle smile while scratching his nape timidly.
"Yoroshikuu~! Akane Mitsuki from 1-B, at your service!" She introduced as cheerful as ever.
I just deadpanned at her. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Akane-san."
As expected, Yukimura-kun put his hand on his chest and lowered his head slightly.
"And you are?" He looked at me.
Is he talking to me? I looked behind just to confirm if he was really talking to me.
"Uhm. Harada-san, right?"
So he really is talking to me.
"Oh, sorry about that. I'm Harada Tsubaki, a class rep of 1-B. Nice to meet you too, Yukimura-kun." I introduced myself.
He bowed slightly like he did to Mitsuki-chan and faced us later on.
He won't ask for our names if he doesn't need anything. That's positive. What might this be? Is he spying on us to give a tip on Hachisaki-kun?
"Uhm... I actually want to talk to the two of you about Haruki."
Oh, so that's it. Just as expected.
I was about to give him a lecture that he's not going to make his way on us as Hachisaki-kun's spy.
"About Haruki-kun? What is it?" Mitsuki-chan's eyes twinkled in anticipation.
I sighed at her.
She's really interested to Hachisaki-kun. I can't help but think about the reason why she liked that ice man.
"You see... He was thinking of playing the violin again."
My eyes widened on his statement.
"For real?!" I raised my voice in disbelief.
Mitsuki-chan was left speechless so I won't expect her to react about this. After all, she really wants to see him play again.
Yukimura-kun nodded at me. "That's right. As a friend of him, I want to personally show my gratitude."
He bowed at me again.
What's with this people thanking me for prying to Hachisaki-kun's life? I don't get them!
"W-why are you t-thanking me?" I stuttered at him. "I j-just want to make Hachisaki-kun pay, that's it!"
"No matter what are your motives, you can't change the fact that you helped Haruki greatly." He said as he continued bowing at me.
"H-hey! Stopped bowing already!" I scolded him.
When he raised his face, he gave me a charming smile and for some reasons, I feel like my cheeks heated up.
I cleared my throat to remain focused. "Ahem! So as what I'm saying, there's no need for you to bow your head. If you're that thankful then I will respond, 'you're welcome', is that fine?"
He nodded in agreement.
"Now, Yukimura-kun, we will start practicing so if you may excuse me." I said and walked pass him.
"Harada-san, can I stay here to watch? I promise I won't become a nuisance." He pleaded as he bowed at me again.
"Okay, I get it. You can stay but please don't tell this to Hachisaki-kun." I sighed in defeat.
This guy is too stiff for his own good. Why don't he try to loosen up just a little bit?
Mitsuki-chan, who finally snapped out of it quickly clings beside me as she gave me music sheet that we borrowed on the library.
"Ne, Tsubaki-chan, I don't know what's going on but I don't want you to trust that Yukimura-kun." She said in a very serious manner.
"You see, I think he was hiding something. We can't fully trust a guy like him." She explained while giving a side glance to Yukimura-kun who is now sitting innocently on the floor as if observing him.
"Now, now, Mitsuki-chan, there's no need to throw daggers without evidence, okay?" I reassured to her as I faced the piano again.
She just sighed and nodded to me in agreement.
With that, I started practicing with audiences watching me intently. I don't know if Mitsuki-chan was right but I can also feel Yukimura-kun's observing eyes looking at me.
I finished practicing and I was freaking tired. I want to keep going but I don't think that I can play the whole piece anymore.
I wiped my sweat and faced the two people watching me.
Mitsuki-chan was giving a small clap while Yukimura-kun is clapping loudly like a child in a circus.
I know what Mitsuki-chan was trying to say, a small clap means that I need improvements. That was to be expected because I changed the piece last minute and I'm still not used to playing this.
"Woah, that was a great performance, Harada-san." Yukimura-kun said in awe as he was still clapping his hands.
"Thank you, Yukimura-kun."
Mitsuki-chan stood from the floor and slings her bag in her shoulder. "Let's call it a day, Tsubaki-chan. You don't look like you can still go on." She said with a sigh.
"But Mitsuki-chan... I can still---" I was about to appeal to her but her mood suddenly became serious and that scared me to the core.
"O... Okay." I just said to her as I started tidying up.
"Oh? You're done?" Yukimura-kun asked.
"Yeah, I'm pretty beat up." I said with a chuckle as I picked up my bag from the floor.
He also stood up and dusted his uniform. "Can we walk together?"
I don't know if I'm just imagining or something but I can feel Mitsuki-chan throwing glares at him from my back.
Mitsuki-chan dramatically fell on her knees with tears on her eyes. "Tsubaki-chan was deceived by that rascal." I can hear her crying in the back of my head.
As planned, the three of us walked together. Mitsuki-chan was clinging to me while maintaining a distance to Yukimura-kun.
"Tsubaki-chan, what's wrong with you? I already warned you about that guy!" She whisper-yelled to me while Yukimura-kun was walking in front of us and looking above on the sakura trees.
"He's not a bad guy." I explained to her.
"Did he deceive you? Did you fall for him? I'll beat him to death and wake you up in reality!" She said while emitting a dark aura.
"That's okay, Mitsuki-chan." I reassured her. "Look, this is your street. See you tomorrow!"
I waved goodbye to her and walked forward alongside Yukimura-kun as we part ways.
She was about to catch up to us but I dragged Yukimura-kun with me and walked faster away from her.
When I think we lost her already, I took a sigh of relief and started walking normally.
"Harada-san, are you alright?" Yukimura-kun asked while giving me a worried look.
"Yes." I briefly said.
"Why are you avoiding Akane-san?" He asked and leaned closer to me which caught me off guard.
I took a step back and wave my hands in panic. "T-that was..."
"Hmm?" He looks at me and waiting for my response.
Without a way to dodge his line of questioning, I started walking alongside him and said, "You can drop the act now, Yukimura-kun."
It can't be help but approach him bluntly.
"What are you talking about, Harada-san?" He asked while smiling innocently.
I may not be as good as Mitsuki-chan that can read a person's ulterior motives, but I realized that Yukimura-kun was suspicious the moment he gave me that empty praise.
"There's no need for you to give me a false flattery, is there? Now, tell me what you really think of my performance." I said while looking down.
"H-Harada-san..." He mumbled.
Of course, he think that my performance was a trash. Compared to Hachisaki-kun's performance, I barely stand a chance.
"You can insult me now. I intentionally left Mitsuki-chan so that she won't hear what you have to say." I explained to him.
I don't know what Mitsuki-chan will do to him if ever he spoke ill of me in front of her so I decided to confront him by myself.
I bet Mitsuki-chan is thinking that I fell for this guy but that's not gonna happen, I just want to have a one on one talk with him regarding my performance.
"Are you really sure...?" He asked skeptically.
I nodded at him.
No matter what he said, I will gladly accept it.
"I honestly think..." He started.
I gave him a serious look and expecting for his answer.
I've finally got enough of his dawdling and I snapped at him.
"Come on, Yukimura-kun! Don't beat around the bush!" I raised my voice at him.
"Okay! I think it was no good!" He retorted back with his eyes closed tightly.
I looked down in that instant.
I'm expecting this to happen in the first place... But why am I dismayed? I can't really understand myself.
"Harada-san... I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. I'm really sorry." He started bowing at me frantically.
"I knew it..."
"I'm really hopeless, right, Yukimura-kun?"
He straightened himself and I forced myself to gave him a smile.
"Ah, no... That was..."
"Stop, Yukimura-kun!" I showed my palm at his face signaling him to stop. "The worst thing that I hate the most is lying in front of my face just to make me feel better."
"R-right, I'm sorry..." He said and looks down apologetically.
Urk! When will he learn?
"Can you please stop saying that you are sorry? You did nothing wrong okay?"
"Okay... I'm sorr---"
"You said it again!" I pointed his face with my pointing finger.
"Argh! What's with you, Yukimura-kun?" I facepalmed in frustration.
I may be hopeless when it comes to performance but he's also hopeless! Much more hopeless, I may say.
I flicked his forehead as I have enough of his words.
"Apologize again and I'll make your forehead bleed with this." I showed him my fingers ready to flick his forehead.
"Okay! I won't say sorry again!"
I flicked his forehead for another time.
"Itai! What was that for?!"
"You said it again, didn't you?"
His shoulder shook intensely. I think he was going to get angry but instead he....
Did he gone insane?
"You're an interesting girl, Harada-san." He said while wiping the tears on the side of his eyes. "I've never felt like this again for so long."
"Good for you." I smiled back at him.
"Say, regarding your performance..."
"Oh that? Don't bother! I can manage tomorrow." I said and waved my hands in the air.
"No, I want to say something real."
"It might not be logical but I can say that you're not giving your best at all. You aren't holding back, are you?" He said while looking up in the orange tinted sky.
"Eh? I'm not." I said confusedly.
"Really? But I think that you have more potential in you. I don't think that I'm mistaken either." He said to himself while he rubbed his chin, deep in thought.
"Are you lying?" I squinted my eyes on him.
"Whaaa? Of course not!" He said covering his forehead in fear.
I think I've gone overboard on my forehead flicking festival. Nevermind that.
"Let's see... For a second there, I think I feel like you're a professional but as soon as I get to hear more, you feel like an amateur. I don't get it, there's a point where you are a professional then there's a point that you are an amateur."
I furrowed my eyebrows at him. "You're not making sense."
"I know." He said innocently.
I just took a deep sigh, "No matter what, I know I won't stand a chance."
"But I think there's still a chance."
"What is it?"
"Your music has the charm to captivate the audience. If you work with that, I think you can manage."
I realized that my apartment was just near so I think this might be the right time to say goodbye.
"Thank you, Yukimura-kun. I really appreciate it." I smiled at him.
"Hey, Harada-san. I know I've already said that I'm thankful for what you did to Haruki but I'm actually rooting for you!" He smiled back at me.
I can feel my cheeks flushed to what he said to me.
"Give your all, Harada-san!" He cheered me up while smiling widely.
I just nodded and waved goodbye to him and he also returned it with a wave.
When I enter my home, "Tadaima..." I tiredly said.
"Okairi. What do you want for dinner, Tsu-chan? Vegetables or meat?" Oba-san asked from the kitchen.
"I'm not having dinner."
I gloomily go to my room and closed the door. I fell on my bed the instant I got in.
With my slumped face on the pillow, I muffled a scream.
'The charm to captivate the audience, huh. I don't think I have some kind of skill. Besides, I don't really think that I can stand a chance against him. Might as well wait for a miracle tomorrow.'
With a weary mind and body, I drifted to sleep quickly. This is hopeless…
Kokoro: Hello everyone! If you have comments and questions, feel free to say it. I'm not gonna bite you, I swear... Hehehehe
For those who managed to get this far, I commend you for your efforts. Sorry for the 3000+ word count, I just really can't feel calm when I need to split the chapters so please bear with me... (╥﹏╥)
Anyway, reactions and suggestions are highly appreciated. Yaay! ✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧ See you next chapter!