Chapter 1:

The Story of a Drama Club President

The Story of a Drama Club President

The Story of a Drama Club PresidentBookmark here

My experience with love? Bookmark here

Oh! I can tell you all about it if you want! We’re just getting to know each other, so it’s only natural to share our pasts with each other right?Bookmark here

Truthfully, I haven’t had much experience with love, but I can tell you a story.Bookmark here

Sit back and relax, it’s a long one.Bookmark here

This is a story of love from years ago. A story of love that I myself orchestrated. Bookmark here

But unfortunately for me, I am not the main character of the story I’m about to share with you.Bookmark here

I was in my last year of high school, and my passion for scriptwriting and acting led me to becoming the president of our school’s drama club for the second year in a row. Bookmark here

I had been paying very close attention to two people who had just joined our club a few months ago. Bookmark here

Riku and Ichika. Bookmark here

Riku was a proud honours student with a dashing hairstyle who took his work very seriously. This extended to his performances in the drama club. His unwavering dedication to the script and his role made him one of the best actors I had ever seen in my life.Bookmark here

On the other hand, I had known Ichika since middle school. She had always been a genius, and was also in Riku’s honours class. She had a kind, angelic heart that radiated warmth to anyone lucky enough to be around her, and she was the only one that could keep up to pace with Riku’s acting. She was a beauty nominated by all the boys in our year. Bookmark here

Around others, these two were easily the most dominating personalities at our school. Bookmark here

However, around each other… They acted like flustered, lost children. Bookmark here

Despite being so popular, neither of them had been in a romantic relationship before. I had noticed them slowly developing feelings for each other, like whenever they accidentally bumped into each other and their faces flushed bright pink. Bookmark here

It was frustrating that they had not moved past that. It was already the beginning of the month of February. They were both accepted into the same university, but if this kept up, nothing would change.Bookmark here

And so, I decided that I was going to do something about it. Bookmark here

Our club performs a short play every month, so for our February play, I decided to make those two the main leads of the show. Bookmark here

Of course, I wasn’t going to tell them everything about the play. That was going to be a surprise.Bookmark here

First, the script.Bookmark here

I meticulously prepared the script to be as innocent as possible, and I handed it to the two of them during our club meeting. Bookmark here

“Riku and Ichika, you two will be playing the main roles of our February play, so you two will have a few more lines than usual to memorize.”Bookmark here

They nodded, and started reading through the papers. Bookmark here

With the exception of my title as the club president of the drama club, I was not known for anything else. And so, I yielded no social power. Due to an inability to decipher numbers, I didn’t even make it into the honours class. Bookmark here

At least they respected me as the club president.Bookmark here

“Let’s give it a run through, shall we?” I proposed.Bookmark here

“Sure,” Riku nodded half-heartedly. Now they just need to get into their roles for the plan to begin.Bookmark here

“Get out, will you?” Riku roared.Bookmark here

“Not happening! You’re going to have to come in here yourself if you want to finish me off!” Ichika yelled back.Bookmark here

To them, this was going to be similar to a gang fight scene, where Riku’s members have Ichika’s members cornered into a dead end, but out of respect for each other’s courage, they end up merging into a large gang.Bookmark here

A heartwarming story, indeed.Bookmark here

“I can’t do that, that would conflict with my morals.” Riku shook his head.Bookmark here

“I see, so you’re that type of man. But what would you want of me now? You’ve got me cornered.”Bookmark here

“How about this, out of respect for you, I propose a compromise. What if we joined up, and split it fifty-fifty?”Bookmark here

“Hm… You seem trustworthy, alright, I’ll do it.”Bookmark here

Of course, here they’re talking about splitting the city power in two. It was a quick agreement from both sides. Bookmark here

I had also added some lines in between signaling to them that in between their lines their gang members would be cutting in with lines of encouraging or skeptical opinions, to distract them from the fun that was about to begin.Bookmark here

Slowly, Ichika walked up to Riku, who had extended his arm. Ichika’s arm reached out to accept the handshake, but she realized what was going on and froze before the deal was sealed.Bookmark here

“W-w-w-w-w-what is the meaning of this?” Ichika flusteredly fired at me.Bookmark here

“It’s just a handshake.” I calmly repliedBookmark here

“Oh! Right.” Ichika took a deep breath, and closed her eyes and she shook Riku’s hand. Riku, on the other hand, was already frozen in place by embarrassment. Bookmark here

“Good, next scene!”Bookmark here

“What say we head there for some food?” Riku scratched his head as he tried to understand the meaning of the line.Bookmark here

“Sounds like a plan.” Ichika had probably reached the conclusion that they were going to eat at a shady bar of sorts.Bookmark here

“NEXT SCENE!” I yelled.Bookmark here

“Alright boys, I’ll be good from here.” Riku disbanded his gang for the day.Bookmark here

“Likewise.” Ichika’s members left as well.Bookmark here

I’ll have some of the club’s members play these parts later. Right now they’ll just have to rehearse by themselves.Bookmark here

After these lines, they will walk into the bar, and be served by the waiter.Bookmark here

“Did you two end up making up?” I asked with a napkin as a make-shift cloth around my arm.Bookmark here

“Yep, out of respect for each other.” Riku nodded.Bookmark here

“He’s proven himself a trustworthy man.” Ichika shrugged.Bookmark here

“Great! Have you finally decided yet?” Bookmark here

“Yes we have, we decided to split it half and half.” Riku declared proudly.Bookmark here

“You won’t be getting a lot then.” I chimed.Bookmark here

“It’s only fair that way.” Riku sighed.Bookmark here

“That’s true.” I nodded.Bookmark here

“Oh, and two beers please.” Ichika ordered.Bookmark here

“Coming right up.”Bookmark here

They have faced each other countless times, and Riku always had the upper hand. However, he could never finish off a fight without retreating due to his morals. But now, Ichika had agreed to a compromise, and even the waiter is worried Riku is getting less out of it than he should.Bookmark here

I smiled to myself: neither of them had yet realized the inconsistencies in the script yet. They could be caught up in the pressure of being the lead roles. It’s their first time, so it’s understandable.Bookmark here

“Here you go, have a nice dinner.” I bowed. At this point in the play, I had already completed my objective. They were to both thank me, and I would then leave the stage.Bookmark here

“You first,” Riku insisted.Bookmark here

Ichika would take a bite into the grub, and they were to start discussing their plans for the future. The town would now be peaceful, as there would be no more fights.Bookmark here

“Now, the future is bright, isn’t it.” Bookmark here

“It’ll be peaceful for us, yes.” Ichika replied. Bookmark here

And here, I’ve purposely left some lines blank. Since they were to be both eating, I thought it would be a good idea for them to think of the lines themselves. It’s not important, anyways.Bookmark here

“I’m going to skip to after we finish the long meal - I’m glad we were able to compromise. Wait isn’t this getting a bit repetitive?” Riku asked.Bookmark here

“Me too - Yeah haven’t we said this already?” Ichika pursuited.Bookmark here

“Ah, it’ll be useful later on.” I calmly brushed it off. Bookmark here

From this point onwards, I wrote in some legitimate fight scenes between the second-in-commands from each side that disagreed with the agreement. Bookmark here

Those won’t be important.Bookmark here

After they had rehearsed a few times and memorized their lines, we were prepared to bring this onto stage. They did complain that the play was rather dull in the beginning, but at least they were satisfied with the action that followed suit.Bookmark here

I had purposely had them practice alone in the club room at times, often taking the initiative of shooing dense personalities out of the room. With this project, I hoped they’d learn to get along a bit better with each other before the play.Bookmark here

This was going to be a play that the first-time main roles were not going to forget.Bookmark here

Next, the execution.Bookmark here

It’s been two weeks since they first received their scripts. And even now, they still blush when they reach the handshake. Bookmark here

The day of the show was here, and I checked in on the props crew to see if they’ve set everything up the way I planned.Bookmark here

I had made sure to prevent Riku and Ichika from seeing the stage props. I admit it made them uneasy, but they trusted me enough to obey.Bookmark here

“Ichika, can you come here for a second. Riku you just wait for the cue outside.” I beckoned.Bookmark here

“Sure.” Ichika followed me behind the curtain where it was dark.Bookmark here

“Can you take a nap right here in this bed?” I pointed to the bed I had carried all the way on stage.Bookmark here

“Wha?” Bookmark here

“Shhhhhhhh.” I whispered. Bookmark here

“I- what?” Bookmark here

“Hurry, we don’t have much time, the play’s starting.” I urged.Bookmark here

“THE PLAY WILL NOW BEGIN.” My friend announced to the small audience of students that had gathered.Bookmark here

“Okay okay okay,” Ichika panickedly listened and covered herself in the blankets.Bookmark here

The curtains opened and Riku said his lines facing the crowd.Bookmark here

“Get out, will you?” Riku roared, before turning around and seeing the scene I had set up.Bookmark here

Ichika was in bed, and the stage was designed to appear as if it was her room.Bookmark here

“Wha-what!???” Riku flushed red, and suddenly realized what was going on.Bookmark here

Ichika poked her head out, turned her head around and realized where she was. She turned around at me and I glared back at her. I was offstage, and I mouthed at her to play her part while pointing to the audience.Bookmark here

“I- alright.” Ichika had no choice but to take a deep breath. When these two have started the script, it’s impossible for them to stop. “Not happening! You’re going to have to come in here yourself if you want to finish me off!” Bookmark here

Riku flushed an even darker shade of red, as the audience roared with laughter at his evident internal struggle.Bookmark here

“I-I can’t do that, that w-would conflict with my morals.” Riku eventually spat out.Bookmark here

“I-I see, so you’re that type of man… B-but what would you want of me now? You’ve got me cornered.” Ichika recited helplessly as she hid underneath the blankets.Bookmark here

“How about this, out of respect for you, I propose a compromise. What if we joined up, and split it fifty-fifty?” Riku now had his eyes closed.Bookmark here

“Hm…” Ichika looked at me again, but this time with pleading eyes. “You seem trustworthy, alright, I’ll do it.”Bookmark here

“I-uh, do we still have to do the handshake???” Bookmark here

“YES!” I yelled from backstage.Bookmark here

“Ahhhhh.” He slowly walked up to the bed, and extended his left arm as he kept his eyes covered with his right.Bookmark here

“I’m fully dressed, please don’t make it seem like I’m not will you??” Ichika pleaded in a quiet voice, as she slowly accepted the handshake with a shaking hand. Bookmark here

The crowd cheered as I motioned to darken the stage and close the curtains. Ichika swiftly got out of the bed and stood in one spot next to Riku. Both frozen in place by the presence of each other.Bookmark here

The curtains opened with the spotlight on them.Bookmark here

Go for it! I cheered quietly to them.Bookmark here

“What say we… uh… head there for some food?” Riku said awkwardly.Bookmark here

“Sounds… like a plan.” Ichika mustered.Bookmark here

I signalled to remove the spotlight to reveal the new background, which was a fancy restaurant.Bookmark here

“Of course it is,” Riku muttered under his breath. Bookmark here

“Alright boys, I’ll be good from here.” Riku recited robotically. Two boys beside him patted his shoulders and gave him a thumbs up before running off. “What? When did you two get here?” Bookmark here

“Likewise?” The two girls beside Ichika giggled and ran offstage as well, leaving behind a confused Ichika.Bookmark here

I had set up three tables with comfy chairs around them with two couples occupying two of them, leaving an empty table in the center of the stage. Fortunately for me, our club had a lot of members at my disposal, and they all agreed to follow my plan.Bookmark here

“Did you two end up making up?” I walked up and asked them with a big grin on my face.Bookmark here

“Yep… out of… respect… yes… respect… for each other.” Riku said slowly.Bookmark here

“He’s proven himself… mmm… a… trustworthy man.” Ichika stammered.Bookmark here

“That’s fantastic? Have you finally decided how to split the cake this time?” I chortled.Bookmark here

“Yes…” Riku had realized what his next line would now refer to in this context. “... we have, we decided to split it half and half.” Bookmark here

“You won’t be getting a lot then, it’s a small cake.” I winked.Bookmark here

“It’s only fair that way.” Riku sighed defeatedly. Bookmark here

“Oh, and two beers please.” Ichika ordered.Bookmark here

“Getting drunk tonight? How about just some amazake instead? Coming right up!” I made sure to give the audience a big smile before walking offstage, and a few of them applauded. Bookmark here

What followed was a beautiful moment of awkwardness, as Riku and Ichika looked first at each other, then at the crowd. They’re so not going to forgive me for this.Bookmark here

After I got the slice of chocolate cake I had bought, I brought it to their table with only one spoon. Bookmark here

“Sorry, due to budget reasons, we could not afford a second spoon. But have a nice dinner!” I teased, before leaving them again.Bookmark here

“Oh… uh… You… first?” Riku asked. “Why do we have to do this in front of so many people???” He yelled at me.Bookmark here

“JUST DO IT!” The crowd yelled as one. Of course, I had carefully planned all of this, including the audience. It wasn’t very hard, as almost the entire school shipped them.Bookmark here

After a few moments of stammered remarks, Riku smiled. Bookmark here

“If it’s alright with you, Ichika.” Riku scooped a spoonful of cake, held it out in front of him, and closed his eyes.Bookmark here

Seeing his warm smile managed to snap Ichika into a calm state as well. “Ahhh, alright.” She piped before reaching forward and eating the cake. Bookmark here

Now, the future is bright, isn’t it. I smiled to myself backstage as I dimmed the lights and closed the curtains. The audience members quietly shuffled home, and I took one last look at the blushing couple before leaving them to themselves.Bookmark here

This was the most I could do for you, my dear Ichika. I hope you cherish it in the years to come.Bookmark here

Jio Kurenai
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