Chapter 5:


Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

As my alarm buzzed, my arm clawed with all its might to turn it off. No matter how close I might have come, the right spot just couldn’t be hit. As the noise tugged at my eardrums and my hands failed to turn it off, I snapped, bursting out of my bed and slamming my clock to the floor.

“God dammit! God dammit! Let me sleep!”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t anymore. My anger had already gotten me out of bed, so even though the alarm had broken, it didn’t really matter. The harsh, ear-piercingly annoying sound should have rejuvenated my energy, but it just couldn’t prevent my blood from boiling each second. Granted, I couldn’t even stick to that frustration as the frequency of my yawns began to make my eyebrows twitch almost as much as when I first woke up.

Regardless, I still opened the door out of my bedroom and into my living room after having put on my school uniform, only to sink head-first into the couch. I thought about how much more peaceful it sounded to stay napping here for an eternity. After enough time, it felt as if magnets pulled my body down. I guess for the metaphor to work though, my body needed to be made of steel, but as I would soon find out, it most certainly would not.

As a screech of the door slamming open reached my ears, I heard the yells of a familiar voice.

“Yuuki-kun, wake the hell up!”

“I’m already awake, idiot!”

“Then why are you on the couch!?”


Humiliated, my silence permeated through the outdoors. I guess we could add the outside

world to the list of things that pissed me off. The cold, Hokkaido winds of the fall season would continue to bother me as always. Even through the multiple layers of clothing, I could still feel the tips of my body hair pointing upwards. To call it all bad, though, would be a vast mischaracterization. The gray-filled sidewalks and roads nicely contrasted with the green bushes to the right of me. If anything could truly make up for my bad mood, it would be the beautiful sense of quiet I felt. Predictably, though, Satou interrupted it.

“Did you do anything after our camping trip?”

When I looked at him, the stark contrast between us became obvious. While he stood tall and relaxed, with his hands freed from his pockets, I hunched over, hiding my hands to give comfort in the chilling conditions. The rate at which this pissed me off only furthered the speed of my steps. I couldn’t dwell on that, though. Unfortunately, I had to respond.

“I played video games.”

“You could’ve told me to join you then. I play a ton of shooters.”

“I’ve never liked shooters.”

“Still stuck on platformers then?”


After this, silence filled the area, but only in our voices. The sounds of our shoes clacking along the concrete could still be heard after all. While the anger held beforehand still beat in my heart, I found that those sounds helped dissipate it. I suppose I found peace in it as my steps began to slow and my posture stabilized, although the noises of the other students tried to disrupt that.

Those noises only furthered as we arrived at the giant gate of the entrance. Strolling past it, I found myself back at the same building I had visited for so many years. Nothing about this school could be considered interesting. It looked like the exact kind of thing you’d see in an anime and not one of the good ones.

On our straight path to the inside of the building, Satou’s body language felt familiar. Instead of leaning forward with his hands in the air, he leaned back while his hands attempted to cover the yawns that sprouted out of his boredom. With each and every time his shoes slammed the floor, the greater his motivation to talk to me was. Finally, he couldn’t hold back.

“Have you talked to Ayane-chan again?”


With my response so anticlimactic, it prompted Satou to lose his chill. With him attempting to hide his head which he had held to the sky, he yelled, “You’re killing me, man!” loud and proud.

To be fair though, nothing surprised me about his response. I simply sighed and gave my explanation.

“What do you expect? She didn’t exchange any contact info with me. Not only that, but I don’t even see the rush in talking to her anyway. We’re both in the tech department of the drama club, so I’ll be seeing her soon regardless.”

After hearing this, the pathetically over-dramatic expression he had held throughout this ordeal had dissipated. Putting his hand on his chin which he had tilted leftwards, he finally felt a calmness required to respond.

“I suppose that makes sense. What a mess of a girl.”

I shrugged at this remark.

“I mean, why else would she say yes to me.”

Satou didn’t truly respond, instead preparing to say something else as his smile followed his pursuit to find another place to rest his arms.

“If only I knew. I could’ve caught her too.”

“I thought you didn’t like her.”

His smile then evolved into a smug smirk.

“I don’t. I just have to take any opportunity I can get.”

“Okay, virgin.”

His reaction to this somehow eclipsed the level of pride I felt in coming up with such a remark, as the calm and cocky exterior he built up that morning had melted away. Putting his hands into fists, Satou ground his teeth, possibly trying to prevent an outburst, but he couldn’t help himself. Letting his anger take over, he slapped his chest with his right hand before yelling.

“Shut the hell up!”

I sat on that thought as Satou used the momentum of his heightened emotions to slam the doors to the school wide. Now inside, we’d now only have to walk up to the final floor before arriving at our classes.

On the first layer of stairs, Satou yawned once again, allowing me to sense his boredom with ease. Not only that, but even the increased speed of his steps, or rather stomps, said it all. Not only that, but his eyes closed sporadically. I think he tried to come up with something to say, but nothing could come out. Seeing him act so pitiful made me wince more than I would’ve thought, with that feeling of annoyance forcing me to start a conversation.

“Any luck with Mio-san?”

His steps slowed when we reached the second floor with his expression subtly changing. I could see his frown alongside his lowered eyebrows, although only slightly, with him choosing to respond with a bit of snark.

“You think, asshole?”

Well, more like offended. I forced a response.

“Well, I guess I got my answer there…”

I didn’t know how to process what happened, with us both sitting in silence for a bit. I couldn’t face him, yet I also didn’t want to keep the silence, so I thought about asking another question.

“What about our play? Any news on that?”

“No news yet. We only just got back to school, after all.”

“I guess that makes sense.”

Now having arrived at the third floor, we saw a straight line pointing us to a classroom located either left or right. Satou’s class was on the opposite side of mine, so we parted ways without saying a word.

Walking in the halls without him, I could better hear all the chatter, laughs, and shouts coming from the other students. I never enjoyed being around so many people and so much noise, so school never felt like a good fit for me. Despite this, I had to carry on through the traffic-like feel of the hallway as I entered my classroom.

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