Chapter 1:

Toshiro Okumori refuses to lower his unassailable wall.


Toshiro Okumori

Gradually, I opened my eyes and, eventually, woke up from the deep slumber I was in. Instantly, I let out a groan.

It’s Monday.

I squirmed around in my bed, then eventually fixing my irritated eyes to the alarm that had been continuously beeping in front of me. I lifted my hand in the air and smacked my hand right on the top of the said alarm, to stop it’s constant beeping instantly.

I rubbed my tired eyes right after and slowly pushed myself up from the bed.

It didn’t take me long to mentally and physically prepare myself for the exhausting day that was about to come: brushing my teeth, washing my face, wearing my school uniform, all that boring stuff. After I finished, I made my way downstairs and to the living room in a sluggish manner, only to be interrupted by the mother, who was giving me a cheery grin.

“Toshirooo! Good morning!” She waved.

Her silky black hair that reached her lower back swayed right to left as she waved at me in glee, and her smile revealed her shiny white teeth that gleamed.

“Good morning…” I tiredly nodded to her greeting.

I continued my pace over to the table and took my seat in placidity. Then, I joined my hands together and shut my eyes.

Time to eat.

“Toshiro! Guess what? Guess what? Someone moved into the house in front of us!”

I opened my eyes and intriguingly looked at her.

"The girl there is beautiful!” She exclaimed, raising her hands in the air.

Her eyebrows aimed downwards as she suddenly stood up in excitement.

“No, too beautiful!" She declared, slamming her hand down onto the table.

I paused, startled by her immediate change of tone.

Why are you so immature? What is so stimulating about any of that? Are you a pervert?

"I just want to caress her hair! No, her body! No, anything will do!"

“Wh-What… ?” I said in disbelief.

Since she worked for a fashion design company, I understood where she came from… But I also didn't understand. Do they always boast about their model's looks? Just hearing my mom yell out such perverted words made me question her innocence.

"You have to bring her here! You have to! I need you as bait! You can walk up to her house, knock-"

“You lost me at ‘bring her here.’”

“What do you mean? You look good, and she looks good! It’s perfect!”

I didn’t want to heed any more attention to her rambling, ignoring her, and only attempting to focus my attention on the food that was in front of me. I also wasn’t too interested or keen about it in the slightest, nor was I even delighted about it.

The perception I have of alluring, elegant girls, was that they were this stunning, angelic human being on the outside but had that manipulative part of them on the inside. Being friends with such unpredictable women could only be signing your emotional death contract, and it made chills run down my spine just thinking of it.

“You should make friends with her! I think it’d work out! No, it will work out! She's like an angel! I doubt she'd refuse!” She raised her fist.

I let out a stern, silent glare directed at her in return. Of course, she didn’t notice since she was too absorbed with her elation (idea), but I took it as a chance to prepare my bag for school.

I grabbed the packed lunch she had assembled for me and calmly placed it inside my school bag. I zipped it closed, slung it over my shoulder, and then set my eyes back to my mom.

But, instead of hearing more of her incessant chattering, she was just knocked out on the table and snoring.

I eyed her in amazement.

Just how tired are you?! How did you go from screaming out words to snoring in a matter of seconds?!

I approached her cautiously and slowly reached my hand out to nudge her shoulder.

"... Eh?” She muttered, then opened her eyes to meet mine.

Her purple-colored eyes now seemed gloomy and fatigued as she sighed at me.

“Sorry, Toshiro… I stayed up last night….” She said with a weary tone.

I guess I couldn't blame her; all-nighters were indeed very tiring. That didn't excuse what she was just spouting out earlier, though. It was like she wasted the last of her sparkling energy into that one babbling frenzy of hers.

I pulled my arm away and took what she replied within consideration.

“Get some rest. I don’t want you passing out all of a sudden like this. It’ll be too much of a hassle for me,” I grumbled.

“Yes, yes,” she groaned. “Have a good day at school, Toshiro-chan.”

Then, she raised her hand and waved it around lazily.

Instantly, I already knew what she was attempting to do, and it made me slightly annoyed. I groaned and shut my eyes. I casually lowered myself to her height, which caused her to smile while she started to pat my head.

I grumbled in response. This was another thing she liked doing. Did she just like patting my head? Was my head nice to caress? What is so satisfying about it? Eventually, she’d stop and return to her snoring slumber in a matter of seconds.

While she peacefully slept, I took the time to saunter out of the house. I would exit and start to make my way towards the school at an ambling pace, only to instantly realize that something was missing not long after.

I grabbed the earbuds and the phone inside my right pocket and connected them. Then, sliding in the earbuds and beginning to search for music to listen to. I used my finger to scroll past songs, which eventually led me to this one song that seemed pleasing.

Bad example- Takayan

I clicked play. All of a sudden, the sounds of flowing winds and swaying of trees abruptly stopped as the music entered my ears, with the weariness I had been experiencing just earlier seeming to wither away in a matter of seconds.

I looked up and caught sight of the petals that had left its blossom tree parent. It was shimmering in the sunlight as they flew past my eyes. Then, I was met with gusts of winds that hit against my body, causing my hair to fly upwards and make me flinch in response. I wasn’t complaining, though, because it felt chilly and incredibly soothing.

Soon enough, I spotted some people who wore my school uniform, making their way to the school. Most went in pairs, or groups with friends, laughing and joking around with each other, while I simply walked by myself.

Something felt odd, though.

I sensed a clumsy and nervous atmosphere coming from each person who surrounded me. But, I decided to ignore it because it wasn’t my problem. I felt fine myself, and I wasn’t going to waste my time theorizing the reasons for the stiff air emanating from these people.

Soon, I reached the school. But, sadly, I wasn’t ready for the sight I was about to encounter.

As I took my first steps inside the hallways, I immediately realized what day it was.

It was February 15th. The day after Valentine's Day.

The cacophonous chattering was enough to drown out the music playing in my ears. People giving others chocolates surrounded me all around. I didn’t see what couples’ were doing, since I hurriedly walked past them. Just a glimpse at them made me cringe.

I hate this

Valentine's Day is always a mess. It’s always an exhausting day of second-hand embarrassment. Essentially, a weird laughingstock for those who watch.

However, for the strong-witted men, it is payday. And for the weak, it is a day of even more relentless belittling to their already low self-esteem and confidence.

Finally, there are the ones who don’t care. Mostly mistaken for the ‘weak’ because of their odd cynical nature about romance and inability to earn someone's trust, but are shrewder and more astute than both the weak and strong.

And, well, I couldn't care less about this day of ‘jocund’ romance.

As stated above, it is just a grueling day of watching the mistakes of others in discomfiture.

Eventually, I would reach my classroom. I slid open the door quietly, and immediately was met with the sight of multiple people conversing with one another. I scanned the room, then finally started to walk towards my assigned table.

I set down my bag beside the table, grasped the chair behind it, and pushed it back. I propped myself down and rested my right elbow onto the table, placing my palm over to my cheek and leaning forwards as I stared at the blank and spotless blackboard.

“Take your seats!” The teacher bellowed.

There was the rumbling of desks and chairs moving around instantly. In a matter of seconds, everyone had taken their seats and were now completely silent.

Then, I looked over to my left and saw the seat that was beside me. It was empty, as usual. Nobody sat there. It was something I admired in a way.

We had an indistinguishable and undeniable trait: We were invisible to everyone, which is why I appreciated it.

“Everyone! We have a new student. Treat her with respect, please!” His loud and demanding voice said.

“Miyake-san, introduce yourself.” He then nodded respectfully towards the doorway.

A blonde girl walked through the door with a big smile, making her way happily to the front of the class. Then, she fully faced us.

Oh. She’s beautiful. Oh, well.

I remembered my little monologue about my perception of beautiful girls, and it saved me from dropping my jaw at the woman’s sight. Thankfully, it caused me to stare at her blankly.

The first thing I noticed about her was the one cute fang that was present while she smiled, and it gave me the impression that she was some annoying girl already.

Then, I spotted her blonde hair, which reached only her shoulders and flew in the wind due to the classroom’s wide-open window. Her facial features were pretty delicate, too, having a well-rounded face and clean, porcelain, shiny skin.

But, as if she couldn’t get any prettier, she opened her eyes and revealed the stunning color of bright orange irises. Her eyelashes were long, too, and it made her eyes look even more attractive than they should’ve been. It was a rare eye color and a dazzling one for sure.

Soon, I realized that she didn’t have any makeup on her face, and it made me feel even more astonished as my blank stare eventually turned into a gaze of awe.

That’s all raw, authentic looks?! What the hell?!

She also wore a loose brown cardigan in front to cover her sailor shirt, which only enhanced her cuteness.

Wait, don’t get too absorbed! She’s dangerous, remember?! Dangerous!

“Hello, everyone!” The girl waved.

Another thing I could pick up was her delightful tone of voice. Almost instantly, I could tell that she was one of those extroverted girls, which only furthered my distaste for her even more.

“My name is Youko Miyake. Please call me Miyake! My dad is American, while my mom is Japanese, so I am biracial! I like communicating a lot, so I’d like to talk to you all soon! Nice to meet you all!”

I started to gaze around the room to see the other classmates' reactions.

Firstly, I set my eyes on the guys. As expected, their reactions were no different from what I had imagined. Red faces, widened eyes, and even some nose bleeds as they gazed upon this ‘Miyake’ girl.

Then, the girls. It was a mix of jealousy and happiness. Some had eager and happy looks, while the rest had jaundiced eyes aimed right at her. But, I couldn’t blame them. The girl’s presence alone just increased all the men’s desired types in this school for girls by a landslide.

I turned back around to see Miyake, only to notice that she wasn’t in front of the classroom anymore. But, even worse. As I started to search around the room in confusion, it didn’t take me long to spot her.

Because she was right in my face.

I jumped back and leaned myself back on my chair, staring at her in shock.

“Hi!” She smiled. “We sit next to each other!”


I peeked over her shoulder and saw that she had already placed her school bag on the table. But, I didn’t have time to react because she had been patting my shoulder with a happy grin.

“I hope we get along!”

She then paused and attentively stared at me.

“But, you know, you’d look pretty cute if you had a small makeover.” She said as if it was a logical thing to say.

Too careless! What did you just say?! Are you flirting with me already?!

Hearing what she said made me bewildered. I felt repulsive just remembering it. It was like she was saying, ‘You’re ugly, but you can manage.’

“That face doesn’t seem too happy….” She puffed her right cheek.

Go figure.

“Oh well, class is starting soon, anyway… I wish I could talk to you more, but maybe we can during lunch?” She tilted her head and questioned.

I sighed and looked away without responding to her.

Why is this happening now? Especially during a Monday? I expected this day to be boring and anticlimactic. Why is she even wasting her time on someone who’s practically invisible?

Nobody converses with me nor do they really notice me. Most teachers don’t even recognize me, even after being in their class for weeks, mainly because I detested talking to anyone at all.

But it’s not like I’m complaining about it, either. No one could interrupt this free space I had. I could relax and not worry about others’ opinions or people approaching me.

Yet, here was Miyake, trying to befriend someone like me.

It’s revolting to watch, really.

Class began and it consisted of writing, reading, and listening to the teacher speak. It was dreary. Too dreary. To the point where I had fallen asleep on my table. Or, well, attempted to, at least.

Soon, I was interrupted by someone’s weak grasp on my shoulder. They shook me lightly. It puzzled me and slightly infuriated.

I opened my eyes and met Miyake’s gaze, who was inches away from my face. Of course, I became very uncomfortable. Due to this discomposure, I recoiled backward to create a gap between us.

“Hi!” Her voice beamed with excitement.

I gradually regained my focus and scowled at her.

Why are you so close? Get away from me. I’m going to contract a disease.

“It’s lunch, remember?”

She raised her school bag in front of me and pulled out her lunch box, then giving me a vivacious smile.

Oh, no.

“Oh, wait!” She raised her finger.

She hastily looked around before finally finding what she needed -- a chair.

“Here…we go,” she grunted.

She pushed one of the unoccupied chairs around her in front of my table and optimistically took her seat right before me. She set her lunch box down and looked at me in excitement.

“Is it okay if I sit here?”

You’re already sitting there, you idiot. That question is as good as nothing.

I sighed and shook my head in disappointment, too mentally debilitated to even dispute against her incautious action.

“You don’t talk much, do you?”

I crossed my arms and avoided her gaze, not willing to respond to her question.

There’s no way I’m eating lunch with someone like her. No way. I refuse.

“Ehh? Giving me the silent treatment already? How boring,” she groaned.

I ignored her child-like immaturity and continued to look away from her.

“Here, do you want some sushi? It’ll cheer you up.”

There was the feeling of something pointy that touched my cheek—two of them, to be precise. With my head still pointed away, I looked down and saw two chopsticks connected with my right cheek, with Miyake holding them with a teasing smile.

I slapped them away almost instantly and shot a glare at her.

“Woah. Scary.” She retracted the chopsticks. “Don’t worry, though. I haven't put them in my mouth yet. I’m going to assume that’s a no for sushi, though. Are you sure? It tastes good.”

I looked at her, appalled, then shook my head. I didn't want food from anyone, especially from someone like her.

“Hmm. Okay!” She chomped, then chewed the sushi happily.

If she kept doing this, I, and notably other guys, would get the wrong idea. In fact, I believe it already seems that way because I could feel their petrifying scowls that pierced my soul.

“Buh the way, whath’s your name? I nevah got the chanth to hear it earlier.” She questioned, with the sushi still present in her mouth as she chewed.

I was already getting exhausted from her relentless questions. Just her standing or even sitting next to me made me vexed. As usual, I ignored her question and continued to eye her in disgust due to her infant-like attitude.

I wasn’t planning to hand out my name or even a hint. I didn’t trust her at all with those valuable details of mine. Giving a stranger your name or even any information about you was just a recipe for disaster, and I would like to avoid such at all costs.

She swallowed her sushi down.

“No fun.” She then jokingly retorted.

Cry about it.

“You can call me Miyake-san, by the way! Wait, Miyake-chan seems cuter. Well, whatever you like!” She presented a thumbs-up gesture to me.

I didn’t bother to call her name and completely disregarded her introduction.

“You don’t have to be shy, you know. I won’t do anything to you. It’s not like I’m some crazy girl that’ll kill you or something.”

Why were you so specific with that...?

Once more, I ignored her.

“What about your contact info?”

I paused.

Generally, you'd lower the bar when something doesn't go your way, right? So why was she raising that bar? If she couldn't get my name, what made her think it was even feasible to get my contact information?

“Don’t worry. I won’t send you weird texts or anything. You seemed pretty interesting, so I just wanted to be friends with you. Besides, you’re the only one not ogling at me.”

Well, she was reasonably wrong.

Me, being the teenage male I am, did indeed eye her when she first entered the class, so it’d be immoral to deny her statement. But I wasn’t willing to agree on it either, because that’d just be utterly embarrassing.

Chances are I’d probably activate some kind of tsundere mode in her, which in return would end up with her bashing me with rude words.

So, in conclusion, not replying to her was the best course of action.

“That didn’t work either? Hmm…” Miyake placed her finger on her chin.

Then, she squeezed her fist and struck the table, startling me.

“Okay! It seems that you’ve cornered me to use this method….”

I spectated her in curiosity, yet somewhat apprehensive because of the idea that she was preparing herself to slap me.

“How was your day?” Miyake vehemently asked.


I stared at her in bemusement.

“That didn’t work, either,” she noted.

Miyake dropped her head on the table in a jaded manner. Then, she decided to ask the most unrelated and moronic question I’ve had ever heard:

“How many girls have confessed to you?”

What did you just ask me?

I didn’t move an inch and didn’t remove my perplexed eyes away from her.

“You see, a lot of guys ask me out, and I’m not good with rejections. I was just asking to see if you knew how guys felt after being rejected.”

Is it not obvious? What kind of guys are confessing to you? Do you not see the heartbreak and damage you’ve done to them just by simply saying ‘no?’ Are you dense?

Disregarding my fussing, I could only imagine how many guys had asked her out already. I had a feeling that she had confessions almost every day.

Miyake, seeing how I stayed mute, groaned in her seat. She then lifted her head away from the table and pointed at me with a committed expression.

“I give up! For today, that is! I’ll make you talk tomorrow, speechless human!” She declared.

She grabbed her lunch box, stood up, and started to walk away. But, before she could even depart from me, she turned to me and forced an inelegant smile.

“Um, well, bye-bye!” She waved at me.

She then made her way to a group of girls and sparked up a conversation with them instead, without any problems, all while I watched her in complete and utter bafflement.

Then, I closed my eyes and sighed.

Too annoying…



I took the time to eat my lunch before it ended. Miyake was silent to me for the remainder of our classes. It made me feel somewhat relieved. I wouldn’t be bombarded with her constant talking any longer. For today, that is.

I need to prepare myself for the stunts she’ll do tomorrow. Chances are, they are going to be even more painful to withstand, and I didn’t know how much training I needed to do to combat it.

After another hour or so, school ended. I had my head buried in my arms, already half-asleep. Once I heard everyone starting to converse and walk around, I rose from my seat and crammed my belongings inside my messy school bag, without tending to clean it any time soon. Triumph flowed in my body when I finally stood, then letting out a content sigh. I then grabbed my school bag, sling it over my shoulder, and started walking.

But, as if my day couldn’t get any more draining, I ended up accidentally hitting something. I felt someone's head had bumped into my chin, combined with a quiet oomph! that came out of the person’s mouth.

I froze, then looked downwards in shock.

The blonde hair became present to me, which was the only feature that made it blatantly apparent to whom I had just hit.

Oh, no. Her…

All of a sudden, I didn’t feel so remorseful anymore. Miyake gazed up at me, a shade of red present on her cheeks while doing so. It was vague what she was thinking, but I started to perceive the supposed reason. We were only an inch or two away from each other, and once I had comprehended that, I instantly retreated in a flash and hastily attempted to exit the class.

What the hell? Why is she so nervous all of a sudden? Didn’t she get in my face just a few hours ago? What makes this situation any different?

“Wait! I need to give you something!” She blurted out.

I froze and slowly turned around in slight curiosity.

What? What is so important?! Let me leave already! Please!

Once I had finally faced her, I spotted approximately five chocolate bars on the palms that she reached out with.

“I’m, err, giving everyone in the class chocolates, especially since it’s Valentine's Day... As an introduction, of course! Though some guys already thought I was hitting on them.” She said with a stiff smile.

Before I could jump to conclusions, she had confirmed that they were already obligatory, and it made me glad. I didn’t know what I’d do if they were actual valentines chocolates. Hopefully, that day never comes.

“You can take two, by the way.”

I halted from grabbing the two chocolates from her hands.

Why two?

“What’s wrong?” Miyake sounded perplexed.

I hesitated, then timidly and hurriedly grabbed two of them. I inserted them in my left pocket, turned around, and exited the classroom promptly.

“Um, bye!”

I glanced behind me and saw Miyake waving with a smile before I finally withdrew from the room without any hesitation.

I took my earbuds out of my pocket and inserted them inside my ears to try to disregard what just happened. I played music to block out the sounds of a mass amount of people chattering in the hallway.

Her cheeks were too red. She had puppy eyes. She looked too innocent. She’s too dangerous. I’m scared.

I eventually left the school grounds and tried to enjoy my stride home with ease. I desperately attempted to misremember Miyake’s whole circus act today, which would most likely take around fifteen or so minutes to succeed if my estimate was correct.

Around eleven minutes had passed, and I seemed to be starving a little. I did have the chocolate that Miyake had given me, but I doubt that it would be enough to satisfy my starving needs in the slightest. I spent a few minutes contemplating where I should go. The nearby convenience store soon won the debate in my head.

Once I reached the store, the smell of coffee, bread, and sugar filled my nostrils. I scanned the store for a few seconds, then made my way to the food section.

It didn’t take me long to buy what I had wanted. I ended up picking some pork buns and raspberry iced tea. Convinced with my selections, I approached the cashier and placed them on the counter.

“Oh, hello, Okumori-chan,” the cashier spoke with an old feminine voice.

I looked up and instantly recognized who it was. It was the old lady who had worked here for what seemed to be forever.

Apparently, my mom told me her parents used to own it, so she ended up taking care of the store after they had passed. I assume that it was a very long time ago. I’m confident that she has been here ever since I was born.

I nodded and pulled out some yen from my wallet.

I revered her. She always respected and greeted me whenever I entered the store. Even as a little kid. I am also grateful to her, as she occasionally secretly gave me food whenever I didn’t have enough money. She didn’t make it a habit, though, and eventually made me pay her back after a few days.

“You’re still quiet, huh?” She chuckled.

I placed my yen on the table and acknowledged her remark. I watched her collect the money I had given her and place it inside the cashier. She then grabbed a plastic bag under the counter and started to put my food inside.

“His name is Okumori?!” Someone exclaimed behind me.

I turned around, seeing who had called out my name. It was a girl with blonde hair, pointing at me in disbelief. I stared at her, perplexed. Of course, I knew exactly who she was, but maybe if I acted like I didn't, she might leave me alone.

“You never told me your name earlier! And the cashier here just casually says it like it isn’t of any importance!” She declared.

“Is this a friend of yours, Okumori-chan…? ” The old lady muttered.

I shook my head rapidly.

Already irritated at the girl's boisterous tone, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I took a deep breath, then forced a polite smile.

“Who are you?” I spoke.

Work. Please work.

She paused, and choked on her breath upon hearing me. She lowered her arm, then dropped to her knees.

“He doesn’t even remember me. And those were his first words.” The girl whimpered.

Why are you treating me as if I was some newborn child?

She then rose, and gripped my shoulders tightly.

“I’m Youko Miyake! You don’t remember me?!” She cried.

No, I certainly remember you.

I grabbed her wrist and pulled it away from my shirt in discontent. I stepped back, turned right back around, and hooked the bag that contained the items I had bought with my fingers. I then gave a quick assuring nod to the cashier.

You can handle this, right? You’re good with kids, right?

I exited right after.

“Wait! Hey! Don’t leave me here!”

I could hear her rapidly checking out her things in the cashier, causing me to start getting worried.

I started to fasten my walking pace. My house was only three or so minutes from here, so all I had to do was sprint for it. I won’t have to deal with her anymore once I enter my safe haven. I walked hastily on the road, tightening the grip on my plastic bag as it swayed back and forth.


Oh, no. She’s already engraved my name in her head.

I glanced behind and caught a glimpse of Miyake running towards me. Horrified at her immense speed, I went from walking to straight-on sprinting.

“Wait for me!”

I started to run faster, but before I could fully wing it, a grab of my shirt was all that could stop me. It pulled me backward, causing me to fall. Then, a hand was all of a sudden placed on my back, but it was a futile attempt to stop my fall. I shut my eyes, and braced myself as I slammed onto the concrete with a loud grunt.

I gradually opened my eyes and noticed a shadow on top of me. I could smell the strawberry scent that protruded from her body and even feel their hair lightly graze my face.


I immediately recognized who it was. I was frozen and speechless, without a clue on what to do in the slightest.

"I-I'll get off right away!" Miyake said rapidly.

She quickly rose, stepping away from me. I slowly stood up, grabbing my plastic bag.

"I'm sorry about that! I'm really, really sorry!" Miyake repeatedly bowed.

Still awkward from what had just happened earlier, I waved my hand around shakily as if I was saying: Don’t mind.

“I just wanted to talk to you!” She exclaimed, still bowing. “But, I think I’m forcing you too much."

Well, she was right. I had no intentions of conversing with her or anyone in that matter. I didn’t want to waste my time doing something I loathed.

I then looked around and instantly noticed that we had been catching the attention of multiple strangers. I could hear them mutter words such as: A confession? She’s gorgeous! How could he reject her?

Of course, it was Valentine's Day today, so I couldn't necessarily blame the speculations they threw out. I quickly looked back at Miyake and fluttered my hands around in embarrassment.

"It was the first impression I gave, wasn't it?!" She spoke in a loud voice.

Shut up! You’re too loud! We’re becoming the center of attention!

Miyake had a desperate look on her face, with her hands held together in front of her chest and her eyes shut closed as she continued speaking.

I was too speechless by her disregard of public humiliation, not able even to move an inch.

“I’m a nice girl, I promise! Be my friend!”

I had no idea what to do. I was completely motionless, and the eyes from the strangers only made matters worse. Miyake took a step, then another, and then another.

Seeing her do so, I backed up. Was this her plan? To use the civilians and make me uncomfortable and use that to her advantage? She was eviler than I had typically assessed her to be.

“Please, be mine!” Miyake yelled now.

She had hunched her head down once more.

I instantly froze.


Take that back! I beg of you! I completely understand what you’re trying to say, but please choose better wordings! I’m going to have a heart attack from your lack of vocabulary!

"My friend! Be my friend!" She was quick to fix her poor choice of words.

I saw her bright red ears that hid behind her blonde hair, and it only made me more uncomfortable. Aside from that, I didn't even know how to respond to her demand. If we were in a normal circumstance, such as in a classroom or a house, or even if it was just the two of us, or anywhere at all where I can deny her request without a second thought, I could gladly say no without any remorse.

But, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. We were on the sidewalk, with multiple people spectating us, with even a maladroit atmosphere that surrounded us.

I groaned, and mentally braced myself for the outcome I'd be met with after what I was about to say.

"No." I tried saying it nonchalantly.

She squealed, dropping to her knees just like earlier, and clutched her chest.

"It was the first impression, wasn't it?" She muttered.

No. It was everything.

Not feeling satisfied with the sad mood I had brought upon everyone, I turned around and started to walk away.

But, a gentle grip was set on my shoulder, causing me to stop in my tracks and turn around.

"D-Don't worry, Okumori-kun! I'll be your friend soon!"

She gave me a thumbs-up, with her voice mixed in with uncertainty and embarrassment.

I sighed, throwing her hand away from me.

Thankfully, I was able to exit freely with no interruptions. Though, it also intrigued me how Miyake would achieve that unrealistic goal of hers.

What exactly was she going to do?