Chapter 27:

An old friend

Bonded by Music

That guy was displaying the same arrogant attitude that made Eloy not hesitate in helping Genta back then. At least it seemed that the guy was alone that night. And so they were, since apparently the girls had got separated from them while dancing.

“You know, when the guys told me that you were participating in a music contest, I thought that they were joking.” The guy crossed his arms before shaking his head. “And damn, until watching tonight’s program, I didn’t believe it.”

Genta gritted his teeth and finally released Eloy’s hips to face the guy, with his hands turned into fists on either side of his body. “What are you doing here, Taichi?”

“Well, looking for you, of course! Last time we saw each other you didn’t even let me say hi.”

“You mean when you started stalking me and pursuing me with your lackeys?” Genta sarcastically said, causing the guy to laugh.

“Okay. I admit I was a bit pissed off with you, so I wanted to give you a small scare. But it was not my fault, man. You’ve been ignoring all my messages, as if you didn’t want to see me again.”

“Yeah, because I don’t want to. I thought I had left that clear the last time we talked.”

Taichi clicked his tongue. “Nah, that time doesn’t count. I mean, you had enough with the debt, and your old man falling sick after that for sure didn’t help–”

Don’t talk about my father,” Genta hissed, causing Eloy’s eyes to open more.

Since Genta had never talked about his father, Eloy had assumed that the man might not have been a good father, that maybe he had left Genta and his mother on their own. Based on the emotion tinging Genta’s tone, it seemed that his guess had been completely off.

“What I’m trying to say is that you weren’t thinking straight back then,” Taichi said in a tone that perhaps tried to sound understanding, but that sounded extremely condescending. “And I get it, man, but it’s been three years already. So I hope that you can now listen to reason–”

“Nothing has changed, Taichi,” Genta interrupted him. “My mother and I don’t want anything to do with that company anymore, and neither with your family. So I’ll ask you once again: leave us the fuck alone, or next time I see you, I’ll really beat the crap out of you.”

Eloy swallowed slightly. It was the first time that he saw Genta so angry. He really did look capable of turning those words into reality.

He was debating whether he should try to convince Genta to ignore that guy and come back with the rest when Taichi took a step towards Genta, his eyes showing now a harshness that contrasted with his slightly frozen smirk. Taichi was pretty tall, even taller than Eloy was, which forced Genta to raise his face to look at him.

“I see. So now that you have a new ‘best friend’, you think you don’t need me anymore.” Taichi finally spared a glance towards Eloy, who tensed but held his ground. “Tell me, is this guy the one who has convinced you to participate in that contest? Or make you dress like a girl tonight? He looks like the type who would gladly drop to his knees for other guys, if you know what I mean–”

Eloy wasn’t expecting the way Genta grabbed the front of Taichi’s expensive, patterned shirt.

“Leave him out of this,” Genta snapped. By then a few people surrounding stopped dancing to throw curious glances in their direction.

“Let go, Genta. It’s not worth it,” Eloy muttered, placing a hand on Genta’s shoulder, but Genta kept glaring at Taichi, who now raised his chin while staring down at him.

“Oh, so now you play the honorable guy and don't like that kind of comments anymore?”

“Shut up,” Genta hissed, but Taichi’s grin only widened.

“Because I don’t remember that you played the defender of that little freak we used to tease at school. How was his name: Haruki? No, Hikari. That was it.”

“Shut up,” Genta repeated, a threatening hint appearing in his tone while grabbing Taichi’s shirt with more force.

“Yeah, we had quite a lot of fun with him. It was a pity that he got transferred, the lunches his mother prepared were super tasty, do you remember that–?”

Somehow, Eloy managed to grab Genta’s arm before his fist impacted against Taichi’s face.

“Genta,” Eloy said, rapidly placing himself between the smirking jerk and Genta, now grabbing both of Genta’s arms. “Genta, please.”

Even if he had to use almost all his strength to prevent Genta from lunging against Taichi, he talked in a soft tone that finally made Genta look at him. And the shame and guilt that Genta’s eyes showed at that moment made Eloy gulp.

“Oh, there they are! Jeez, guys, how can you get lost in such a tiny place–?”

The interruption came from Cara, who together with Mako and Narumi had finally managed to find their way back to them.

“Guys, is everything okay?” Mako inquired, obviously detecting the tension in the air.

“Damn, I’ve gotta admit, Genta, that at least you know how to surround yourself with good company,” Taichi said, interlacing his ringed hands behind his head. “Is any of those ladies single?”

“Genta, who is this guy?” Narumi asked with a soft concerned tone that made Taichi chuckle.

“Oh, I’m just an old friend who passed by to have a quick chat.”

“Really?” Cara said, not bothering to hide her irritation. “Well, I think he isn’t interested in talking to you, so why don’t you go back the way you came?”

“Wow, she talks back! I like it.”

“Well, I hope you also like my heel in your ass, because that’s what you’re going to get if you keep bothering us.” Cara brusquely pointed towards the exit without stopping glaring at Taichi. “So piss off. Now.”

Taichi didn’t look very impressed with Cara’s threat, and Eloy feared for a moment that the guy insisted on staying. However, Taichi eventually exhaled a deep sigh and raised his hands in a peaceful gesture.

“Okay, as I’ve said I was just passing by anyway. I have some people waiting for me in an actual decent club.” Taichi looked at Genta then. “If you ever get tired of living like a vagabond let me know. Unlike you, I haven’t blocked your number.”

Taichi then rearranged the shirt that Genta had wrinkled after grabbing it and finally went away, leaving a heavy silence in the group.

“You can let go now.”

Eloy hadn’t noticed that he was still grabbing Genta’s arms. “Sorry. Are you okay?”

Genta nodded, but was avoiding Eloy’s eyes before talking again. “I’m sorry about this.”

“Hey, it’s okay. It wasn’t your fault,” Mako immediately said while Narumi softly patted Genta’s back.

“Damn, that guy really looked like a total jerk,” Cara looked at Genta with confusion. “Was he really your friend–?”

“S-So, why don’t we go order again?” Mako interrupted with an excessively cheery tone, obviously trying to make the awkwardness disappear. “I’m sure a good drink will help lift the spirits again.”

“I think I’m going home.” Genta’s sudden announcement caused everyone to stop when they were about to go to the counter. “I wasn’t planning to stay until late anyway. So have a drink for me, yeah?”

Eloy had almost forgotten Genta’s ability to disappear until he used it right then.

“Wait!” Eloy managed to reach Genta before he mingled with the crowd, and grabbed his shoulder. “Please, Genta, don’t go yet. Don’t let that jerk ruin the night–”

“Eloy,” Genta turned around, and Eloy’s heart sank when seeing that Genta was clenching his jaw, as if he was making an effort not to break down. “I want to go home.”

Eloy gulped thickly. He really wanted to hug Genta, but he felt that doing that would only make things even more awkward.

“Okay, but I’m calling a cab for you.”

The fact that Genta didn’t even complain showed that his mind was really far from there.

At least there was no trace of Taichi when they left the bar to go towards the main street. The night was nice, and an agreeable breeze was blowing, but Eloy could only notice that the silence surrounding Genta and him as they waited had nothing to do with the comfortable ones that Eloy had got used to. It felt as if they were back to square one, which made a disgusting pressure appear in his chest.

He was about to break the silence, despite not knowing what he could say, when the cab arrived.

“I’ll pay it back to you,” Genta said, only meeting Eloy’s eyes briefly to wish him a good evening.

Needless to say, Eloy was unable to enjoy it. 

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon