Chapter 2:


Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

With my eyes closed, I heard the obnoxious thump of a stick being beaten right next to my ear. Attempting to shut it out, I hid my head in my sleeping bag, only for the noise to get louder. However, as it came closer to my head, I finally opened my eyes.

“You’re finally up.”

Having just woken up, I could barely see what surrounded me as I began to escape my sleeping bag.

“Is that you, Satoshi-kun?” I asked.

“It seems your eyes do work.”

“When I wake up, I’m gonna kick your ass.”

Not being in the mood for existence, I shut my eyes again as I zipped my sleeping bag back on. Clearly annoyed by my rebellion, Satoshi placed his arms on my shoulders and slammed my body to the ground several times in a desperate plea for me to wake up.

“Hey! Don't fall asleep! We gotta go fishing!”

I bolted up onto my legs.

“Goddammit! Fine! I’m awake!”

Being forced to exit the tent, I groaned as loudly as I could in defiance of my friend's bizarre cruelty. I still needed to figure something out though, so I asked Satou a question.

“Hey, Satou! Did you even agree to this?”

I found him sitting on the log, starkly contrasting the way Satoshi stood tall in front of the tent. I guess it only made sense that the nonchalant way he’d sit would translate to his response.

“Not at all. Fishing’s lame as hell.”

“And yet you keep complaining about the cafeteria food being made for us,” Satoshi noted.

“Why wouldn’t I? It tastes like that marshmallow you were cooking.”

“Are you sure your taste buds are off then?”

“Certainly not.”

“Then fish with me!” Satoshi yelled as he stomped loudly onto the dirt.

“Alright, I’ll go, but it’s only because I want a good meal.”

With Satou now on his feet, I had to start moving with him. Granted, it was Satoshi who took the lead. That reminded me of how I noticed the differences in how Satou and Satoshi carried themselves. While walking to the small waterfall on a smooth dirt pathway provided by the campsite, I got to look more closely at them. While Satou had his arms relaxed against his neck, as his steps seemed to lack any sort of control, Satoshi kept his posture tall as he took each step the same way every time. With how different they appeared even on the surface, I suppose the argument they had yesterday was inevitable. Thankfully then, neither of them had anything else of note to say as we arrived.

Once we were there, we sat down, content with our legs dangling atop a cliff as our fishing rods reeled their way to the abyss of the river. We continued to stay silent, although this time, we did so to focus on our fishing. That might be why I yawned shortly after thinking about it.

“Why are you so tired?” Satoshi asked.

“Because I’m used to waking up later.”

“What? Are you sure you always wake up at lunch?”


“How the hell do you arrive at school on time?”

“Satou-kun wakes me up.”

All I felt afterward were the strong winds around me and the sun blinding my eyes. I’ve always adored this kind of weather, although I still wished the school would’ve had us spend our break at a more interesting location. Uninteresting must have also been how Satou would’ve described our lack of conversation.

“You asked her out yet?” he asked.

He gave his full attention to me, either forgetting about or ignoring the fishing rod in his hand. I expected this though, so I entertained him with a response to get it over with.

“I’ll do it later,” I told him.

“What’re you scared of?”

The nudging of his elbows almost made me sigh in disgust, but I tolerated it.

“Nothing. I have a plan. It just can’t be executed in the middle of the day.”

“And you’re leaving me in the dark about it? Hey, Satoshi-kun, are you annoyed about that?”

He didn’t make eye contact. He focused entirely on his fishing, which made his response rather reasonable.

“Huh, me?”

“Yes, you!”


As Satou pried him, I noticed Satoshi’s fishing rod dangling. I had a feeling something important would happen, and I turned out right.

“Dammit! Got a bite!” Satoshi yelled.

Satou bolted up.

“Help him get it with me, Yuuki-kun!” he told me.

I looked down and sighed.


As I pulled the fish, I thought about my bizarre predicament. Satou rarely put in this kind of effort, especially since he didn’t even want to go do this. Satoshi didn’t even need our help either. The fish may have been large, but I still think he would’ve been strong enough to handle it on his own.

We never saw that happen though, as once we all pushed our bodies back, we caught the fish.


Back at our campsite, we reignited the flames of our campfire. By we, I mean Satoshi. During all of this, Satou and I just sat down on the logs nearby. As such, when letting the fish heat up, Satoshi had a question to ask.

“Why did you help me get the fish?”

I didn’t want to bother responding, so thankfully, Satou took my place.

“Isn’t it obvious? I don’t wanna eat that dogshit cafeteria food.”

Satou’s response sounded almost offended, and he looked the part too with the rapid tapping of his leg. Regardless, Satoshi wouldn’t let that get to him.

“So, what about you, Yuuki-kun?”

“Same reason as him.”

“It confuses me, though. You put all that effort into your marshmallows, but you didn’t seem to do that with your fishing.”

“It’s because I knew you’d catch the fish anyway. I didn’t find the reward significant enough to put in the effort.”

It took Satoshi a bit to respond to this, but I didn’t expect what he said next.

“You’re still unfathomable, even after all these years.”

“Huh? I don’t think I am. I do what I feel is right for me.”

“So why are you asking out Ayane-chan then?” Satou asked me.

“Because it’s more convenient for me to do so than for you to keep bothering me about it.”

“I don’t understand that logic. Wouldn’t it be harder to maintain a relationship if she does say yes?” Satoshi asked.

With each response, I felt more cornered as I began to grip my hands together more tightly. Somehow, I hadn’t considered any of these possibilities, but I still had to find a rebuttal.

“I don’t think it’d be.”

“Are you even into Ayane-chan?” Satou interrupted Satoshi and I.

Speaking only became harder to do. Instead of giving Satou my eye contact, I instead looked down, placing my right arm on my neck. My responses only worsened as a result.

“I said she’s cute, right?”

“That’s not love, though!” he yelled.

Now he stood up. At least it took longer than usual for that to happen. Granted, I couldn’t be in any position to talk. I felt just as worked up, and instead of remaining in my seat, I finally snapped.

“I don’t care about love!”

Instead of yelling back, Satou placed his right arm on my shoulder, and in a mellow tone, he spoke.

“We know. We want you to, though. Ain't that right, Satoshi-kun?”

“Huh? Yeah… Yeah…” he said with a hand on his arm.

That left it down to my response.

“I’ll put my trust in you then. I’ll ask her out tonight!”

With a smile on his face, Satou closed our lunch saying, “Good for you, man. Whatever your plan is, I hope it works out.”

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