Chapter 8:

Drama Club!

Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

As I opened the door to the club, Ayane asked me a question.

“We’re cleaning the theatre before our next show, right?”

“Yep, so the tech department will be especially helpful today.”

“So that’s just more work for us…”

Instead of being thankful when she heard me say this, her response communicated the same level of apathy as mine.

If that’s the case, then why was she even here?

I didn’t put much thought into it, though, as once we appeared in the theatre, it looked about how you’d expect. To our north, the stage made itself the center of attention. With the floor black, the curtains red, and the set still needing to be put under construction, it looked like it always did before we’d start a play. Outside of the stage though, were the many rows of chairs occupying the area.

Before sitting down though, I figured it would be a good idea to relate to Ayane a bit.

“Yeah, drama’s a pain alright.”

“You don’t like drama?”

“Not really. Satou-kun just would’ve been lonely without me.”

That was the only response I could muster. The surprise of us not sharing an indifference toward the drama club didn’t allow me to say much else, really. Despite this, she carried on.

“You two seem close.”

“Not particularly. We’re just the only people we have. The dude acts tough, but I think that’s because of how awkward he is.”

“I never saw him that way.”

“You never would. He always gets the starring roles, after all.”

After saying this, just before I found a seat in the particularly bland middle row, I felt the arm of a strong man on the shoulder behind me.

“What'd ya say about me, asshole!?”

“I was just being honest about you, Satou-kun.”

“Don’t gimme that shit!”

Upon hearing this interaction, Ayane laughed. Maybe we really did have the same sense of humor.

Instead of getting offended, though, Satou used this as an opportunity to tease me back.

“So it looks like you finally got buddy-buddy with your girlfriend.”

“Well, it’s not like I have anyone else to talk to.”

“But you have me!” he said, flailing his arms.

“I’m sure you’ll be fine without me.”

Instead of getting offended when I said this, Satou instead took a deep breath and quietly said, “Asshole,” before walking away.

With Satou having found a seat elsewhere, the room went quiet. Ayane didn’t have anything to say, so she remained in her seat. Her posture straightened up while her hands held themselves together near her skirt.

Just as my eyes came close to closing, the club advisor, Rie-sensei, came up on stage.

“To prepare for our next show, we must clean the theatre. Actors, along with the tech department will be required to help in some way.”

Having gotten out of my seat shortly after she finished speaking, I heard Satou’s loud footsteps behind me. As he placed his arm on my shoulder, I knew he’d begin to speak.

“Hey, Yuuki-kun, how’d it be?”

“Same as always.”

“So depressingly unenthusiastic.”

“That about sums it up well.”

I thought I killed the conversation with that statement, but Satou kept on going, perhaps out of boredom. I could be wrong, though, as instead of speaking loudly, he whispered to me.

“Hey, you should just go and ask Ayane-chan out on a date. I think you really need to.”

The surprise of his down-to-earth statement prevented me from speaking. I thought about how he acted during our summer camping trip when this subject came up. He acted the same then too. If he genuinely wanted to support me, then I couldn’t say no.

“I’ll take you up on that. It’s not like I have anything else to do.”

That didn’t satisfy me, though. I wanted to return the favor.

“I think you should ask Mio-san out too.”

For a split second, Satou’s posture changed from his usual calm yet powerful position to a more nervous one. After quickly perking up, he’d then hold his chin, and while he tried to look cool doing it, I knew how he felt.

“C’mon, you know how she feels about me. I don’t think she’d say yes.”

“You don’t mind getting rejected by everyone else. At least give it a shot.”

“Easy for you to say.”

“Really? I actually did it.”

Hearing this really got to him, as instead of maintaining those nervous mannerisms, he instead put his hands in his pockets while raising his voice.

“I don’t care how you did it. You just got lucky with that weirdo. She would’ve said yes to anyone.”

“I don’t see what that has to do with anything, but you do you. I’m sure she’ll love to hear yet another one of your pathetic attempts at conversation.”

“I’m sure she will. I’ll show you.”

Satou angrily stomped toward Mio once our exchange finished. Noticing this, I grabbed the same kind of broom Ayane had been using to help contribute to the club. Once I caught up to her then, I figured it would be wise to say something.

“Sorry about all that. Satou-kun is a real hassle.”

“Are you sure he’s gonna be fine without you?”

“Probably not, but I want you to look at this. It makes me laugh every time.”


With our eyes set on Satou, we saw his attempt to speak to Mio. Placing his hand on the wall, attempting to corner her, Satou relaxed his other arm on his hip as he played the same old routine he always did.

“Hey, Ms. Club President. It must be hard setting things up.”

“Please stop talking to me.”

Nothing about her looked any different from the last time he tried this. Her eyes, sharp as a knife, only being hidden by her glasses, should have been enough to push most people away, but her curvy figure suited Satou’s tastes well enough for him to not mind it. In fact, it probably made her more appealing to him, so he only proceeded.

“You know I like it when you play hard to get.”

“Seriously, shut up.”

“That just makes me want to talk to you more.”

She kicked him on the leg hard enough to let her go as she walked away from him. As I laughed hysterically, I couldn’t pay any attention to my surroundings, until I noticed a lack of noise from Ayane.

“Not your sense of humor?” I asked.

“I just feel bad for him.”

“You don’t have to. He’ll get back on his feet.”

After this, the room went silent. The noise that was made by our brooms drowned out the sounds of the other students talking. This put me in a good enough mood to say something again, so I did.

“I’m glad you’re here with me, Ayane-chan.”

“I feel the same way.”

“I forgot to ask why you said yes to me during our camping trip.”

Instead of saying anything, Ayane looked down. I didn’t want to pry into her any further. I didn’t need to see her face to know how she felt. I could ask her when she’d be ready.

“It’s okay. You don’t need to say anything to me. What I actually meant to ask is if you’d go out with me after we’re done with our club work. Would you?”

Saying this, I found myself firmly holding my broom as my fingers struggled not to move. After getting to know her more, I found myself feeling that same beat in my chest as before, but it was stronger this time.

I didn’t think I’d be able to ignore it, but when Ayane responded with, “I’d love to,” I felt like I could tuck that feeling away.

When she said this, she let out the same strong smile as when I confessed. It gave me a sense of comfort large enough to give a response.

“Where do you want to go then?”

“I tend to go to the local library after school.”

I smiled.

“Sure, we can go there.”

With that planned then, I continued sweeping the theatre until we were called off by our advisor. With us soon being out of school then, I began strolling to the library with Ayane by my side.

Patreon iconPatreon icon