Chapter 26:


Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

Now at my seat in the classroom, those thoughts lingered on to an extent where I could feel all my senses reducing with each passing second. Apparently they didn’t, though, as when I felt a tap on my shoulder, I knew exactly who it was.

“Hey, Yuuki-kun. How’s it been?”

“It’s been good.”

“Why is that?”

“Well, I’ve been talking to Ayane-chan more.”

“Ew, your love is infecting me.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“So what if I am!?”

Well, that came out of nowhere. With a yell so loud, the rest of the class started to pay attention to us, meaning that I’d have to diffuse the tension in some way.

“C’mon, man. It’s just a joke. Play along.”

“Sure… sure…”

Satoshi quieted down, but he couldn’t look me straight in the face anymore. I didn’t know how to react to this, so I decided to keep joking around.

“So, do you want me to document every interaction I had with her?”

“Why are you acting like this? It’s scaring the hell out of me.”

“I can’t be that much different.”

“Are you even listening to yourself? You used to act like nothing mattered, but now you’re so positive it’s pissing me off.”

I could feel us drifting apart when he said this. I didn’t exactly know what I could say to him. Anything I could say would just piss him off. I was the reason he was so pissed, after all. In this state, my mind rewinded back. I remembered the same thing happening on an earlier date. I made the same mistake, didn’t I? Satoshi’s sitting alone again because of me. At least I’d have Ayane to talk to though.

Turning my attention toward her, I said something while I poked her shoulder in an attempt to get her to stop reading her book.

“Hey, Ayane-chan.”


We stayed silent, as she continued to look at her book. We’d been dating for over a week, and yet we were so bad socially that we couldn’t keep a conversation going for more than two sentences. I guess, in that case, I just needed something to actually talk about, so I decided to bring up something we’d glossed over.

“I guess I haven’t told you about my dad yet,” I said with my hand on my neck.

She finally looked back at me, ready for me to elaborate.

“We finally hashed things out. It turned out that he regretted what he did. We just spent all of these years being unable to deal with the same trauma. Thank you for letting me talk to him again. I needed it.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’m glad he brought up the idea of living with you, though. Life will surely be more fun now.”

For whatever reason, Satoshi jumped out of his chair.

“Sensei, may I use the restroom?”

The teacher turned around with his eyebrows raised.

“Huh? But class hasn’t even started yet.”

“Does it look like I care!” Satoshi yelled.

The teacher put his hand on his face in disappointment.

“Fine then. Do as you please, class president.”

I didn’t know how to process what just happened. Why did he leave the classroom so abruptly, and so passionately at that? The longer I hung out with him, the less I felt like I understood him.

I couldn’t pay much attention to this, though, as the class went on as normal. I flirted with Ayane a bit to shake up the monotony, but even then, I couldn’t shake that uncomfortable feeling I had around Satoshi’s behavior. With my head on my desk, I couldn’t ignore that something was up with him.

I stuck with those feelings until the last bell rang. With my stomach clawing at me with anxiety, my emotions hadn’t been heightened anymore before, and they would finally reach their peak. Sliding the door of the class open, Satoshi showed up in front of me and grabbed my shoulders.

“Meet at the school rooftop once your club’s done. We need to talk.”

Now being back with Ayane, I didn’t know what to think, so I came back to my old habits when I began talking to her.

“Well, that’s just one more pain in my ass today.”

My hands were in my pockets while I took long and frantic steps that required Ayane to walk extra fast to catch up.

“Yuuki-kun, this is clearly bothering you more than you think.”

I didn’t respond. I simply kept on walking, annoyed by how effortlessly she could detect my lies.

“You need to do something about this, Yuuki-kun.”

“I know. Can’t you tell that’s all I’m thinking about!”

“Of course I can tell. You wear your emotions on your sleeve.”

I just kept on walking, trying to ignore the conversation, only for Ayane to hold my hand and stop walking. I tried to keep walking, dragging her with me, but it didn’t work. Despite her low weight, she wouldn’t budge. I could tell she was serious.

“You don’t need to worry. I’ll help you if anything goes wrong.”

For the second time today, she showed her support for me in full confidence.

“Fine then. I’ll stop worrying about it. The drama club is more important anyway.”

Conveniently, we were in the clubroom by the time I said this. Opening the door, I decided to ask Ayane a question.

“Are you excited for your audition?”

“I’m nervous but excited.”

“I’m just glad I was able to convince you.”

“For sure.”

Taking a seat, we now waited for the club advisor to enter the stage. I was content spending it quietly, but I knew that wouldn’t last for long with Satou around. Feeling a poke in my back, I knew he’d say something to me as he relaxed his arms against the edge of my seat.

“You’re sitting in the same spot as yesterday? Why the hell’s that?”

“I’m sorry. I felt too tired to be an asshole today.”

“Honestly, I’m glad.”

Wait… what the hell? That wasn’t the response I expected. It wasn’t like I could show my surprise, though. I had to keep the conversation going.

“Are you excited to finally get the role?”

“It’s hard to feel excited when it’s pretty much guaranteed at this point.”

“I see.”

I was content not talking by this point, but Satou, as always, found another way to continue the conversation.

“By the way, I heard you talking about Ayane auditioning. There’s no way that’s true, right?”

“It is. I convinced her.”

“I bet you used that funny thing down there.”

While saying this, Satou smirked while pointing at the thing he referred to. Pretty much as soon as he did this, I got off of my seat and grabbed onto his shoulders, shaking him as I yelled.

“Again, I did not sleep with her!”

“What are you, a tsundere!?”

Taking my hands off him, I stood up tall, trying to make my intentions as clear as I could.

“Just you wait. I’m sure she’ll get the leading role!”

“I just don’t think she’s getting in. It’s nothing that serious.”

I clenched my fist.

“God damn you!”

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