Chapter 2:

Place in the Sun

When the Air was Filled with Petrichor

Ichiro found it very hard to focus.

His mind was swirling with thoughts that had nothing to do with what his teacher was trying to instruct the class on.

So instead of doing his best to clear his head and attempt to pay attention, he turned his face out the window of his classroom. The bright spring daylight flooded the classroom, capturing Ichiro's gaze.

Though he was not directly next to the window from his seat closer to the center of the classroom, he could still see the track field in the school courtyard. An advantage to having class on the ground floor. He watched as another class was running laps around the track for their gym period.

Some runners struggled to maintain pace, nearly tripping over their own feet, while others effortlessly surpassed them, leaving them in their dust.


As Ichiro watched the runners, attempting to keep his thoughts from drifting, he tried to enter a zen-like state and let the minutes pass by unnoticed.


But no matter his effort, his mind kept trickling back to one thought.


“Yes sir!”

Startled, Ichiro jumped up, realizing he had been called upon multiple times already.

The entirety of the class quietly snickered to themselves as the teacher, Mr. Sato, cleared his throat, redirecting their attention.

“Having trouble focusing, Ishii?” Mr. Sato asked in a gentle tone, seeking understanding rather than admonishment.

“Uh, yes, sir,” Ichiro sheepishly answered, casting his gaze down to where his arm was still cradled in a sling, “It's… kind of hard to pay attention when I can’t take notes.”

“I see,” Mr Sato nodded in agreement, “Well it's fortunate that your friend, Uchida, agreed to make copies of his notes for you. But for now, please try to keep up with the lesson. Go ahead and take your seat. Alright. Ueno, please read for us instead.”

As the girl behind him rose to read, Ichiro returned to his seat timidly. Once he was settled, the boy sitting next to him leaned in with a concerned look.

"Hey, you OK?" the boy asked, worry evident in his voice. "You haven't been yourself since the last practice. Everything alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine, Takuya," Ichiro waved off his friend with his free hand. “It’s just… my head’s not in the game.”

“Alright,” Takuya sighed and leaned back over his desk, “Just know the whole team is worried about you. We don’t want our star pitcher to be out for the whole season over this. Plus, your girl, Hina, hasn't calmed down either.”

As Takuya finished speaking, he pointed upwards to the girl situated behind Ichiro, engrossed in reading for the class. Turning his head to catch a glimpse, he noticed the poised and proper girl staring intently at him while continuing to read.

Feeling a pang of guilt for causing concern to a friend, he waved to her over his shoulder. In response, a wide smile spread across her face, and a glimmer of appreciation shimmered in her eyes before she finished reading and returned to her seat.

Believing this was enough, he calmed his nerves as nonchalantly as he could with a subtle sigh.

“I won't be out for that long,” Ichiro redirected his attention to Takuya, chuckling with a hint of exasperation in his voice. “Just two weeks of physical therapy, then two weeks of light practice, no matches. Then I will be back to 100% just in time for the first round of the qualifying tournament.”

As he spoke, Ichiro extended the hand of his non-injured arm, clenched into a fist, towards his friend. Takuya nodded and bumped his fist back with his own fist. "Sounds good, man. Enjoy your break for now. Though I wish I could have one for classes right now."

After the fist bump, Takuya leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms behind his head, eyes closing as if he could fall asleep right there.

That peaceful moment was abruptly interrupted when a sharp PWAPT resonated from the top of Takuya's head, causing him to jolt forward.

"Stop falling asleep in my class, Uchida," Mr. Sato's frustrated voice cut through the mostly muted grumblings of Takuya nursing his forehead. The teacher patted his lesson plan, still fresh from reprimanding his student, on his shoulder as he continued, "Please, take notes for Ishii as you promised. Don't let him fall behind because of your negligence."

Once again, laughter erupted in the classroom as Takuya tended to his bruise. Even Ichiro couldn't help but smile and join in the amusement at his friend's expense before his attention was drawn back to the view of the track field.

Resting his head on his hand, Ichiro gazed out the window, taking in the entire view, sky and all. His mind began to wander once more.

I wonder what Izumi would think about this view.”
MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon