Chapter 4:

Give Your All

Spring Flower on the Sidewalk

I can't believe this... Please, tell me this isn't true.Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

This is... not true at all.Bookmark here

"Harada-san, Hachisaki-kun, do you understand?" Hiro-sensei was speaking in front of the class.Bookmark here

My mind was too preoccupied to understand what he is saying. My mind can't take this!Bookmark here

Aaaaaaah! My mental health is at its limit! Poor me...Bookmark here

"Huh?" I tilted my head in confusion.Bookmark here

Sensei and the whole class literally facepalmed at me being an airhead.Bookmark here

To imagine that everything will come to this, I'm pretty sure that Mitsuki-chan can read the future! She jinxed this!Bookmark here

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."Bookmark here

Mitsuki, you... you planned all of this!Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

That innocent smile of her have some different effect on me right now!Bookmark here

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...Bookmark here

"As I was saying, Harada Tsubaki-san and Hachisaki Haruki-kun, you two are the class representatives of 1-B."Bookmark here

Did you get my point now? Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

My life is done. It's over!Bookmark here

*Sniff* Send my thanks to Oba-san and say that I want my ashes to be thrown in the ocean.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Hachisaki-kun, who seemed like not to mind at all, fixed his glasses in his face and briefly answered, "I understand, sensei."Bookmark here

Waaaaah! My life is done! Class 1-B is done! The normal high school life that I want is done!Bookmark here

I feel like I fell on my knees and I want to shrink on the ground right now. Make me disappear!Bookmark here

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!Bookmark here

The teachers will give you orders. The students are relying on you. In short, you are the slave of the class! Bookmark here

Give me a break!Bookmark here

"Sensei!" I slammed my hand in the table catching all of them off guard.Bookmark here

Silence. Utterly silent.Bookmark here

Swooosh!Bookmark here

Uhm... Did I just heard the wind?Bookmark here

"Harada-san, if you have to say something, say it now." The person beside me whispered.Bookmark here

I was taken aback by Hachisaki-kun's words as I snapped back quickly.Bookmark here

"A-ah! I'm sorry, it was nothing!" I said while looking down as my face flushed in embarrassment.Bookmark here

I'm making a fool of myself right now.Bookmark here

Hiro-sensei took a deep sigh.Bookmark here

"With that settled, I'm looking forward to your work."Bookmark here

I nodded and my fellow representative mumbled a "yes."Bookmark here

When we took our seats, Hachisaki-kun said to me, "Give your all, Harada-san."Bookmark here

What was that supposed to mean?!Bookmark here

I was about to ask him but sensei started doing homeroom and I never got the chance to talk to him again.Bookmark here

_*_Bookmark here

When lunch break came, I and Mitsuki-chan decided to have our lunch in the rooftop.Bookmark here

"Mitsuki-chan! It's about time you explained to me what you just did!" I pointed her out with full of conviction.Bookmark here

She gave me a shrug and pouts innocently as if saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."Bookmark here

I pulled my hair in frustration, she's this hard to deal with!Bookmark here

"Then how can you explain that?!" Bookmark here

"Explain what?" She calmly said while munching her food.Bookmark here

"That you foresaw that I'll be a class rep!" Bookmark here

"Oh, that?"Bookmark here

"Don't 'Oh,that?' me there!" I furrowed my eyebrows to her.Bookmark here

She let out a small laugh and beamed at me, "That was basic!"Bookmark here

Eh?Bookmark here

Is she playing with me?Bookmark here

"Okay, you don't look like you're believing me."Bookmark here

"Of course. How would I believe you? You look like you're fooling me." I seriously said with my eyes squinted at her.Bookmark here

"Ahehehe. Sorry about that." She scratched the back of her head playfully.Bookmark here

I didn't retract my eyes from her as she stopped playing dumb and started fiddling her fingers.Bookmark here

"Etto... I just thought that it will be expected, that's all!" She said clasping her hands in front of her face.Bookmark here

I decided to take a bite from my lunch as I carefully watched her.Bookmark here

"How so?" I asked while silently tasting my food.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

I don't exactly got her point and I felt like some of my braincells died just now.Bookmark here

"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?"Bookmark here

Huh? Ah! Oh no! I didn't realize that I fell asleep!Bookmark here

"Huh? What are we talking about again?" I asked her in panic.Bookmark here

She sighed in disappointment. "This is hopeless... It was nothing, Tsubaki-chan."Bookmark here

With that, we finished our lunch and go back to the classroom. And yet again, Hachisaki-kun skipped afternoon classes.Bookmark here

'What a responsible class rep...' I thought sarcastically.Bookmark here

_*_Bookmark here

"Tsubaki-chan, Tsubaki-chan, are you really sure about this?" Mitsuki-chan asked worriedly while reading the music sheet that I gave her.Bookmark here

I made an evil smirk and she flinched at me.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Scary! You're scary, Tsubaki-chan." Mitsuki-chan freaked out.Bookmark here

"It's fine. It's fine. A little change of plans like this was nothing." I said proudly.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"That's not my point, Tsubaki-chan! Look, I'm thankful that you are hyped for this but..." She said timidly.Bookmark here

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! Bookmark here

Tomorrow was the judgement day and I'm not going to bow down without giving a fight! Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Uhm... B-Break his face?" She retracted in fear.Bookmark here

"Hmm?" I tilted my head in confusion.Bookmark here

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!"Bookmark here

She also raised her fist in the air to go along with my flow.Bookmark here

When we arrived in the music room, I opened the door and the two of us paused for a second.Bookmark here

There's a student sitting on the floor and strumming a guitar.Bookmark here

I stared at him. He stared back at us. This is awkwardly silent.Bookmark here

"Ah! Sorry for barging in!" I said and bow at him to apologize.Bookmark here

"N-no! That was..." He stood and faced us.Bookmark here

When I look at him closely, I think I've seen him somewhere. Hmm, am I forgetting big-time?Bookmark here

"A-re? You're Reiji-kun from yesterday, right?" Mitsuki-chan spoke which made me shock.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

He's a very polite person, that's for sure.Bookmark here

"Ah! No need to be that formal, Yukimura-kun." I said and asked him to not bow at us.Bookmark here

"So, do you mind introducing yourselves?" He said with a gentle smile while scratching his nape timidly.Bookmark here

"Yoroshikuu~! Akane Mitsuki from 1-B, at your service!" She introduced as cheerful as ever.Bookmark here

I just deadpanned at her. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Akane-san."Bookmark here

As expected, Yukimura-kun put his hand on his chest and lowered his head slightly.Bookmark here

"And you are?" He looked at me.Bookmark here

Is he talking to me? I looked behind just to confirm if he was really talking to me.Bookmark here

"Uhm. Harada-san, right?"Bookmark here

So he really is talking to me.Bookmark here

"Oh, sorry about that. I'm Harada Tsubaki, a class rep of 1-B. Nice to meet you too, Yukimura-kun." I introduced myself.Bookmark here

He bowed slightly like he did to Mitsuki-chan and faced us later on.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

"Uhm... I actually want to talk to the two of you about Haruki."Bookmark here

Oh, so that's it. Just as expected. Bookmark here

I was about to give him a lecture that he's not going to make his way on us as Hachisaki-kun's spy.Bookmark here

"About Haruki-kun? What is it?" Mitsuki-chan's eyes twinkled in anticipation.Bookmark here

I sighed at her.Bookmark here

She's really interested to Hachisaki-kun. I can't help but think about the reason why she liked that ice man.Bookmark here

"You see... He was thinking of playing the violin again."Bookmark here

?Bookmark here

My eyes widened on his statement. Bookmark here

"For real?!" I raised my voice in disbelief.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Yukimura-kun nodded at me. "That's right. As a friend of him, I want to personally show my gratitude."Bookmark here

He bowed at me again.Bookmark here

What's with this people thanking me for prying to Hachisaki-kun's life? I don't get them!Bookmark here

"W-why are you t-thanking me?" I stuttered at him. "I j-just want to make Hachisaki-kun pay, that's it!"Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"H-hey! Stopped bowing already!" I scolded him.Bookmark here

When he raised his face, he gave me a charming smile and for some reasons, I feel like my cheeks heated up.Bookmark here

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?"Bookmark here

He nodded in agreement. Bookmark here

"Now, Yukimura-kun, we will start practicing so if you may excuse me." I said and walked pass him.Bookmark here

"Harada-san, can I stay here to watch? I promise I won't become a nuisance." He pleaded as he bowed at me again.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

"Okay, I get it. You can stay but please don't tell this to Hachisaki-kun." I sighed in defeat.Bookmark here

"Precisely."Bookmark here

This guy is too stiff for his own good. Why don't he try to loosen up just a little bit?Bookmark here

Mitsuki-chan, who finally snapped out of it quickly clings beside me as she gave me music sheet that we borrowed on the library.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Now, now, Mitsuki-chan, there's no need to throw daggers without evidence, okay?" I reassured to her as I faced the piano again.Bookmark here

She just sighed and nodded to me in agreement.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

_*_Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I wiped my sweat and faced the two people watching me.Bookmark here

Mitsuki-chan was giving a small clap while Yukimura-kun is clapping loudly like a child in a circus. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Woah, that was a great performance, Harada-san." Yukimura-kun said in awe as he was still clapping his hands.Bookmark here

"Thank you, Yukimura-kun."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"O... Okay." I just said to her as I started tidying up.Bookmark here

"Oh? You're done?" Yukimura-kun asked.Bookmark here

"Yeah, I'm pretty beat up." I said with a chuckle as I picked up my bag from the floor.Bookmark here

He also stood up and dusted his uniform. "Can we walk together?" Bookmark here

I don't know if I'm just imagining or something but I can feel Mitsuki-chan throwing glares at him from my back.Bookmark here

"Okay, sure." Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

As planned, the three of us walked together. Mitsuki-chan was clinging to me while maintaining a distance to Yukimura-kun.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"He's not a bad guy." I explained to her.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"That's okay, Mitsuki-chan." I reassured her. "Look, this is your street. See you tomorrow!"Bookmark here

I waved goodbye to her and walked forward alongside Yukimura-kun as we part ways.Bookmark here

She was about to catch up to us but I dragged Yukimura-kun with me and walked faster away from her.Bookmark here

When I think we lost her already, I took a sigh of relief and started walking normally.Bookmark here

"Harada-san, are you alright?" Yukimura-kun asked while giving me a worried look.Bookmark here

"Yes." I briefly said.Bookmark here

"Why are you avoiding Akane-san?" He asked and leaned closer to me which caught me off guard.Bookmark here

I took a step back and wave my hands in panic. "T-that was..." Bookmark here

"Hmm?" He looks at me and waiting for my response.Bookmark here

Without a way to dodge his line of questioning, I started walking alongside him and said, "You can drop the act now, Yukimura-kun." Bookmark here

It can't be help but approach him bluntly.Bookmark here

"What are you talking about, Harada-san?" He asked while smiling innocently.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"H-Harada-san..." He mumbled.Bookmark here

Of course, he think that my performance was a trash. Compared to Hachisaki-kun's performance, I barely stand a chance. Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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. Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Are you really sure...?" He asked skeptically.Bookmark here

I nodded at him.Bookmark here

No matter what he said, I will gladly accept it.Bookmark here

"I honestly think..." He started.Bookmark here

"Hmm?"Bookmark here

"I think..."Bookmark here

I gave him a serious look and expecting for his answer.Bookmark here

"Uhm..."Bookmark here

I've finally got enough of his dawdling and I snapped at him.Bookmark here

"Come on, Yukimura-kun! Don't beat around the bush!" I raised my voice at him.Bookmark here

"Okay! I think it was no good!" He retorted back with his eyes closed tightly.Bookmark here

I looked down in that instant. Bookmark here

I'm expecting this to happen in the first place... But why am I dismayed? I can't really understand myself.Bookmark here

"Harada-san... I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. I'm really sorry." He started bowing at me frantically.Bookmark here

"I knew it..."Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

"I'm really hopeless, right, Yukimura-kun?"Bookmark here

He straightened himself and I forced myself to gave him a smile.Bookmark here

"Ah, no... That was..."Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"R-right, I'm sorry..." He said and looks down apologetically.Bookmark here

Urk! When will he learn?Bookmark here

"Can you please stop saying that you are sorry? You did nothing wrong okay?" Bookmark here

"Okay... I'm sorr---"Bookmark here

"Stop!"Bookmark here

"Right, sorry!"Bookmark here

"You said it again!" I pointed his face with my pointing finger.Bookmark here

"Sor----"Bookmark here

"Argh! What's with you, Yukimura-kun?" I facepalmed in frustration.Bookmark here

I may be hopeless when it comes to performance but he's also hopeless! Much more hopeless, I may say.Bookmark here

"Sor---"Bookmark here

I flicked his forehead as I have enough of his words.Bookmark here

"Apologize again and I'll make your forehead bleed with this." I showed him my fingers ready to flick his forehead.Bookmark here

"Okay! I won't say sorry again!"Bookmark here

I flicked his forehead for another time.Bookmark here

"Itai! What was that for?!"Bookmark here

"You said it again, didn't you?"Bookmark here

His shoulder shook intensely. I think he was going to get angry but instead he....Bookmark here

"Hahahahahahaha."Bookmark here

Did he gone insane?Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

"Good for you." I smiled back at him.Bookmark here

"Say, regarding your performance..."Bookmark here

"Oh that? Don't bother! I can manage tomorrow." I said and waved my hands in the air.Bookmark here

"No, I want to say something real."Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Eh? I'm not." I said confusedly.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"Are you lying?" I squinted my eyes on him.Bookmark here

"Whaaa? Of course not!" He said covering his forehead in fear.Bookmark here

I think I've gone overboard on my forehead flicking festival. Nevermind that.Bookmark here

"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."Bookmark here

I furrowed my eyebrows at him. "You're not making sense."Bookmark here

"I know." He said innocently.Bookmark here

I just took a deep sigh, "No matter what, I know I won't stand a chance."Bookmark here

"But I think there's still a chance."Bookmark here

"What is it?"Bookmark here

"Your music has the charm to captivate the audience. If you work with that, I think you can manage."Bookmark here

I realized that my apartment was just near so I think this might be the right time to say goodbye.Bookmark here

"Thank you, Yukimura-kun. I really appreciate it." I smiled at him.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

I can feel my cheeks flushed to what he said to me.Bookmark here

"Give your all, Harada-san!" He cheered me up while smiling widely.Bookmark here

I just nodded and waved goodbye to him and he also returned it with a wave.Bookmark here

When I enter my home, "Tadaima..." I tiredly said.Bookmark here

"Okairi. What do you want for dinner, Tsu-chan? Vegetables or meat?" Oba-san asked from the kitchen.Bookmark here

"I'm not having dinner." Bookmark here

I gloomily go to my room and closed the door. I fell on my bed the instant I got in.Bookmark here

With my slumped face on the pillow, I muffled a scream.Bookmark here

'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.'Bookmark here

With a weary mind and body, I drifted to sleep quickly. This is hopeless…Bookmark here

________________Bookmark here

Kokoro: Hello everyone! If you have comments and questions, feel free to say it. I'm not gonna bite you, I swear... HeheheheBookmark here

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... (╥﹏╥)Bookmark here

Anyway, reactions and suggestions are highly appreciated. Yaay! ✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧ See you next chapter!Bookmark here

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