Chapter 2:

And so, Toshiro Okumori recognizes his abominable luck.


Toshiro OkumoriBookmark here

Bookmark here

The weekend. It had been a week ever since that crazy-blonde girl had attempted interaction with me. Fortunately, she seemed to give up after that first day altogether and lied to her commitment of trying to converse with me further, to which I delightedly respected.Bookmark here

I mean, it was bound to happen, anyway. Bookmark here

“Toshiro…” A drowsy voice erupted from the living room.Bookmark here

The controller that had been in my grasp dropped to the floor, ensued with a deep exhale that left my body. I pushed myself off the floor and approached the living room. Bookmark here

I spotted my mom, who was currently dormant on the couch. There was drool that left her mouth, creating a large, wet circle on the mattress while she rested.Bookmark here

Her right eye eventually opened in a wearied form and caught the sight of me standing in front of her. She used the knuckles of her hands to rub her eyes, then push herself up from the couch.Bookmark here

“... Why do you look so disgusted, Toshiro?” She questioned with a yawn.Bookmark here

“No, it’s just… You’re drooling a lot.” I replied.Bookmark here

“So? It’s not like I’m embarrassed about it….” She tilted her head.Bookmark here

“T-That’s not the poi- Never mind. What do you need?” Bookmark here

“I just dreamt of something tasty… So, I want to make something nice for dinner!” She hollered with her right hand in the air. Bookmark here

“I don’t want to go outside-”Bookmark here

“Toshiro! Can you get some groceries for me?”Bookmark here

I closed my eyes and composed myself from doing anything rational. Bookmark here

Even though today was boring, I had no plans of leaving outside. I was fine with staying at home, even if today was monotonous and bland. But I knew I couldn’t argue against my mom, because doing so would probably end up in a horrible mess. Bookmark here

I opened my eyelids and set my disgruntled eyes to her again.Bookmark here

“Fine...” I finally spoke, waving my hand at her.Bookmark here

“Yaay!” Bookmark here

She now had both of her hands curled up into fists in the air, with a mirthful smile while she celebrated.Bookmark here

“Just groceries?”Bookmark here

“Just groceries!” She nodded. “I’ll text you the ingredients once you get there. Is that fine?”Bookmark here

“Mm. It’s fine.” I sluggishly nodded.Bookmark here

“Oh, and be careful, too!” She added.Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah…”Bookmark here

I swear, you’re too immature for your age… Bookmark here

Before I could leave the house, I approached my room, snatched a random black crew neck sweatshirt I had, and slid it on without any problems. Then, I made sure that I had my essential belongings: my phone, earbuds, and house keys.Bookmark here

I went back to the living room and looked at my mom, who had returned into her deep hibernation. It astounded me how quickly she had fallen asleep, and it made me consider if she was overworking herself. I didn’t want to disrupt whatever dreams she was currently having, though, so I simply left the house through the front door in silence.Bookmark here

I began to listen to music as I strolled on the sidewalk calmly, with my eyes closed and taking small steps forwards. But, it didn’t take long for that composed and tranquil feeling to fade away because soon, rain would start pouring down on me.Bookmark here

I had no umbrella nor a hood, so it was a matter of time before I would get completely soaked. The rain became more aggressive by the minute, and eventually, I had ended up getting drenched. My clothes felt sticky, and my hair felt cold while it stuck to my forehead.Bookmark here

I hate this. Bookmark here

And, as if I couldn’t feel any sadder about this somber situation I was in, my earbuds would all of a sudden stop working. It made me sigh in exhaustion and remove them to insert them back in my wet pocket.Bookmark here

Soon, the sight of the convenience store would come across my gaze. Without a second doubt, I began sprinting towards it. Once I had eagerly entered inside, I would instantly catch the eyes of numerous amounts of people.Bookmark here

I looked down at myself and noticed that everything was sopping wet. To my hair, all the way down to my sneakers. Currently, there was a puddle that was being created as I stood in dismay, as well as a cool breeze that flew past me and making me shiver.Bookmark here

I took a step and heard the squeaking that my shoes created. I cringed upon hearing it, but continued, trying my best to keep my steps as noiseless as possible.Bookmark here

My phone then vibrated, and it made my heart drop as soon as I had felt it.Bookmark here

Crap, is it broken?!Bookmark here

Without hesitation, I pulled it out with dread. And to my luck, it seemed perfectly fine. There had been some circle-shaped, liquid droplets on it, but it didn’t seem like it was too damaging to the phone. I wiped them off with my hand and saw a message that was present on the screen. Bookmark here

I tapped on it and ended up seeing the ingredients I had to buy from my mom. Under that ingredients list, though, was another message.Bookmark here

Quick, though! I don’t want you to get sick! Take a shower as soon as you get home, okay?Bookmark here

I pulled up the text box and began typing.Bookmark here

OkayBookmark here

I shoved the phone back into my pocket and started to survey my area.Bookmark here

Now that I knew what I had to get, the only problem was that I had no idea where the majority of the ingredients were. But, I decided to take on the challenge. If it goes south, I’ll have to ask the store employees for support, which I’ll try to prevent as much as possible. Bookmark here

Noting this down, I got a hold of a shopping cart and began venturing the various aisles in the store.Bookmark here

After a few minutes of searching, I was blessed to find some onions and vegetables, blissfully placing the ingredients I had seen in the cart. In a matter of an hour, I would have found all the ingredients I had needed and now started making my way to the cashier.Bookmark here

But, as I walked, this feeling of satisfaction disappeared in a flash. There was the fragrance of strawberry conditioner that I could sniff out and a sound of a humming tune that followed with it. Upon realization, my eyes widened, and the grip that I had on my cart tightened upon smelling the aromatic scent that entered my nostrils.Bookmark here

“Okumori-kun?”Bookmark here

I looked over with a frown and met the sight of the girl that I had so profoundly scorned. She held a plastic bag containing groceries as she stood, wearing an oversized pink hoodie and a white ruffled skirt that only reached her upper thighs. She had speculative eyes as she inspected my drenched appearance, examining me up to down. Then, she let out an appalled gasp after realization struck her.Bookmark here

“Ohmigod, it is you! What happened to you, Okumori-kun?! You’re soaking wet!”Bookmark here

I quickly ignored her and directed my gaze away, then beginning to push my cart forwards while I started walking.Bookmark here

“Wait! Okumori-kun! I can’t let you go like that! You’ll get sick!”Bookmark here

I didn’t stop her yell and only continued walking away from her.Bookmark here

“Uh, um…” She stammered behind me.Bookmark here

There were sounds of light rustling and some grunting that came from behind me. Then, all of a sudden, I could feel something soft and cushy that pressed my head, with someone’s delicate arm that arrived in front of my eyes.Bookmark here

“Here, dry yourself up!”Bookmark here

I gazed upwards and saw a pink sleeve that touched my forehead. It didn’t take me long to realize what was on top of me, and when I did, I became beyond puzzled. Bookmark here

It was her pink sweatshirt.Bookmark here

“H-Hurry up, though… I feel embarrassed without my sweatshirt….” Miyake muttered.Bookmark here

I pulled the sweatshirt away from my head and gawked at her.Bookmark here

Do you just have a lack of security? Are you dense? Why are you even trying to help me?Bookmark here

But, these questions of mine vanished rather swiftly, because what she wore under her sweatshirt was something that even made me embarrassed. Bookmark here

In bright pink, an italic font was present on the white t-shirt, with three words.Bookmark here

Magic is classic!Bookmark here

Below was a picture of a girl with a pink dress, with wings erupting from her back, and holding a long wand with a star. The girl posed cutely; her wand lifted in the air, and her free hand placed on her hip. She had one eye closed, winking at me with an enraptured smile.Bookmark here

Miyake would soon catch my discomfited gaze and instantly began hitting me with her eyes shut closed, along with a large tint of red that coated her whole face. Bookmark here

“D-D-Don’t look! I told you it’s embarrassing! Stop it!”Bookmark here

Hey! You stop it! You’re hurting me, you idiot!Bookmark here

“Just dry yourself already! Don’t worry about me! Don’t even think about me! Just give it to me back when you’re done!”Bookmark here

You’re not planning on wearing it back on, are you? Do you care that much?Bookmark here

Eventually, she’d stop hitting me and instead now stood beside me with her arms crossed, pouting and avoiding the general direction of my eyes. Her ruby, flushed face didn’t disappear, though, and was still present as if it was a shining light.Bookmark here

I took the time to dry my head, and only my head, since my clothes were most likely beyond saving. I didn’t want to waste any more time with the girl, either, so I rushed myself with the hopes of leaving right away. Once I was finished, I reached the sweatshirt back out to her, yet still solicitously eyeing her.Bookmark here

Miyake lifted both of her palms and watched in uneasiness as I set the damp sweatshirt on her hands. Bookmark here

“... I wanted to wear it…” She sniffled.Bookmark here

Don’t make me feel guilty. That’s your fault.Bookmark here

Once the sweatshirt had been out of my grasp, I relocated my hands to my cart and continued walking forwards.Bookmark here

“W-Wait! I need some help! Don’t leave me just yet!”Bookmark here

I froze and returned a wry expression at her.Bookmark here

“Don’t be so grumpy about it, jeez...” She sighed thankfully.Bookmark here

She approached me and stood beside me with her left hand on her waist, with a sticky note on her right. “I need to get some broth… Do you know where it is?”Bookmark here

I shook my head.Bookmark here

“That’s a lie, isn’t it?” Miyake leaned on my cart.Bookmark here

I gulped and wagged my head right to left once more.Bookmark here

I did pass the broth earlier, but I wasn’t willing to share the information. I was just merely attempting to find an excuse to escape her. I didn’t know whether it would work or not, but if it didn’t, I was prepared to make a run for it.Bookmark here

“Okumori-kun, it's in your cart.”Bookmark here

She reached over and grabbed a can of broth and presented it to me.Bookmark here

Oh.Bookmark here

I had entirely forgotten that I, myself, had also needed broth earlier. In fact, I had thrown three cans in my cart.Bookmark here

I was caught. Red-handed.Bookmark here

Realizing this, I began to shake my cart vigorously to lose Miyake’s grip. Her eyes expanded while she wobbled around in panic, gripping onto the cart tightly. Bookmark here

“Wai- Stop- Okumori-!” She shrieked.Bookmark here

Eventually, seeing that she wasn’t going to give, I halted. I glared at her and waited for her to leave.Bookmark here

“That wasn’t nice of you, Okumori-kun!” She cried.Bookmark here

I sighed and relaxed my elbows on the cart. Then, I pointed to the aisle where I had passed the broth earlier before immediately going back to shake Miyake off my cart once more.Bookmark here

She had a smile upon seeing my answer, but it became extinct in a split second once I resumed my attack, with her smile switching to a face of consternation. Bookmark here

“Wait-!” Miyake still clung on.Bookmark here

"Shoo! Scatter!" I quietly growled.Bookmark here

She lunged forwards and grabbed my wrist, and held it down. I ceased, feeling her cold yet delicate hands grip my forearm firmly.Bookmark here

“I’m going to throw up from shaking.” She mumbled. “It’s going to be your fault if we make a mess….”Bookmark here

Not wanting her to vomit all over the ingredients I spent around an hour trying to find, I loosened the grip on the cart handles almost instantly.Bookmark here

She then raised her posture and smirked at me after I had backed down. It jumbled my brain, but I’d soon realize what triggered her wry, snickering smile.Bookmark here

You’re bluffing. Bookmark here

“Lead me to the broth, please!”Bookmark here

I went back to shaking the cart more vehemently than before after spotting her sneer. Bookmark here

After the ruckus we had created in the store, it was only a matter of time before we would catch the workers’ attention. Politely, they asked us to halt what we were doing, to which I complied within acceptance. However, Miyake was thanking them in high gratitude, as if they were some sort of saint, which made me appear as a random domestic abuser.Bookmark here

She didn’t leave my tail, however, and continued following me while humming a felicitous tune.Bookmark here

“Tch...” I muttered.Bookmark here

Soon, we’d reach the aisle where the broth was located. Miyake would eventually pick out the can she had so despairingly needed, and it made me even more agitated while I spectated her.Bookmark here

It didn’t take us long to reach the checkout section right after, with both of us currently checking out the things we had picked out.Bookmark here

“Hey, is there a reason you don’t talk?” Miyake asked out of the blue.Bookmark here

As usual, I ignored her and simply watched the cashier put the ingredients I had gotten into plastic bags.Bookmark here

“I don’t even know why I asked that.” She sighed. “You wouldn’t answer that at all, huh?"Bookmark here

I then took the plastic bags that the cashier prepared for me and gripped them firmly. Once I had all my desired needs, I began walking.Bookmark here

“You don’t have any friends, either?”Bookmark here

I stopped and simply looked at her expressionlessly.Bookmark here

“Ah, sorry, I didn’t mean it rudely!” She briskly lowered her head. “I was just going to say that I’d be your first friend, you know?”Bookmark here

“... You’re stubborn.” I finally said in a dull, blunt tone. Bookmark here

Before I could turn around and exit the store, her clamorous voice would interrupt me.Bookmark here

“W-Well, I want to be your friend because you treated me differently!”Bookmark here

I turned around, baffled.Bookmark here

Seeing how she had got my attention, her fingers would start to coil and fidget around in a tense and shy way, her eyes now aimed at the floor instead of at me.Bookmark here

“Most kids always act like I’m superior because of my looks or my attitude, but I don’t necessarily admire it. You were the opposite. You simply treated me normally… Or trash, I should say.”Bookmark here

What are you, a masochist?Bookmark here

Instantly realizing what she had said, she quickly flailed her hands around in panic. “N-Not that I’m into that or anything! I just meant that you treated me differently! Don’t misinterpret it!”Bookmark here

I stared at her in revulsion.Bookmark here

“Don't stare at me like that! I didn't mean it in that way! I just want to be friends with you! Is that so hard?!” She cried.Bookmark here

It puzzled me as to why she was so adamant. Even if we did manage to be friends, it’d only be short-lived. Most likely, it’d reach about maybe two or so weeks before we’d find out the abominable sides of each other. A month of friendship would be generous, and two months would just be overextending it. Bookmark here

Miyake kept yelling at me non-stop, trying to justify what she spouted out earlier. They were feeble excuses, which made me enervated just listening to them, and it didn’t take me long to urge my body to move forward finally.Bookmark here

I made my way to the store’s front doors without giving Miyake a second chance to explain her reasoning. Bookmark here

"Hey, wait-!" Bookmark here

I stepped outside the store, only to meet the intense rain the splashed on the concrete road ahead of me. Instantly, my head became utterly blank while I absently watched the pouring of the deadly rain.Bookmark here

“Don’t leave me all of a sudden, jeez!”Bookmark here

Miyake ran out of the store behind me but stopped as she gazed upon the loud, uproarious shower. Bookmark here

“Woah…”Bookmark here

I could sense a sardonic aura that came from Miyake.Bookmark here

“Ooh… You don’t have your umbrella, do you, Okumori-kun?” She teased while peeking over my shoulder.Bookmark here

I groaned in return.Bookmark here

“It’d be a shame… I have an umbrella right here too.” Bookmark here

She waved a pink umbrella she had in her hand to mock me.Bookmark here

I leaped forwards, snatched the umbrella from her hands, and pushed my thumb towards the button to open it. It spread out, with water sprinkling around us as it flew open.Bookmark here

Wha-?Bookmark here

Second-hand embarrassment flowed throughout my body once I realized what I had just opened. I was stunned beyond belief. Bookmark here

The umbrella took the color of rosy pink, present with cute little dogs imprinted on it. There were some words in dialogue boxes too, saying things such as “Bones!” or, “Dogs are cute!” and even, “I want dog food!” that I could see. Bookmark here

We were both silent, looking at what was currently in my possession.Bookmark here

It didn’t take long for Miyake to shatter the mute air between us. “I was going to give you another one.” Bookmark here

That was a lie. I didn’t see any other umbrella in her hand or anywhere at all.Bookmark here

“I-It’s not what you think! I don’t like dogs! I didn’t even know that’s what the umbrella looked like!”Bookmark here

You’re too immature...Bookmark here

While she wailed at me with a bright, scarlet face, I took the chance to walk away with the umbrella above my head. I didn’t care about the appearance anymore because my main concern was to get home without getting even more drenched than I already was.Bookmark here

“H-Hey! Okumori-kun!”Bookmark here

I stopped, already unhappy from how many times she had disrupted me. She lightly jogged over and stopped right beside me, right under the umbrella. Bookmark here

“I don’t have a spare umbrella, so I have to make do!” Bookmark here

… I hate you.Bookmark here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bookmark here

CHAPTER 2.5Bookmark here

It didn’t take me long to sense that we both disliked the odd circumstance we were in.Bookmark here

Heavily dislike.Bookmark here

While we walked at a sluggish pace, we both separated ourselves and desperately tried not to make the situation any more intolerable than it already was. Bookmark here

I had already accepted the fact that I had been holding an umbrella and was walking beside a girl. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me, and I wasn’t going to begin freaking out about such a trivial matter.Bookmark here

But, Miyake was the problem here. It seemed like she was the complete opposite of me, and it made me really uncomfortable. Just by taking a glance at her, and you’d immediately be able to spot her extremely bashful appearance.Bookmark here

What happened to your loud, gaudy personality?! Stop blushing! It just makes it worse!Bookmark here

The walk home was silent and agonizing, but we’d eventually push through it and made our way to my house. Once I could view my front door, I turned to Miyake and reached out the shameful umbrella I held to her.Bookmark here

Well, until she directed her finger over to her right, that is.Bookmark here

“Um… That's my house, by the way.” Bookmark here

I repeatedly blinked to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I looked back and forth at my house and hers.Bookmark here

Y-You’re lying.Bookmark here

“Okumori-kun? What’s wrong?” She titled her head in bemusement.Bookmark here

With my unsteady finger, I pointed to my house, which was right across from hers. Bookmark here

There was silence, then an outburst. Bookmark here

"That's your house?!"Bookmark here

I shamefully nodded. Bookmark here

Seriously, how bad could this get? We'd be next to each other almost twenty-four-seven, and I’m positive that I wasn’t going to be prepared for the future circus acts she’d perform. It petrified me just imagining it. Bookmark here

Miyake, all of a sudden, was inches away from my face, sparking with ecstasy. Bookmark here

"We live next to each other?! That's so cool!"Bookmark here

I moved my head away from hers bitterly. While she celebrated, I could only feel melancholy in my body. Instead of exhilarated action, It was more of a: I want to die. I'd instead be living next to a dumpster. Anything else would be tremendously better.Bookmark here

"Seriously, what are the chances of that happening? Okumori-kun!" She grabbed my shoulders and shook me violently. "Why are you not excited? I'm excited! This makes the chances of us being friends so much higher! I think I'm going to celebrate when I get home. Do you want to join? You should come over, you know? It'll be fun! I'll definitely visit you. No, I should go there every day! I wonder what your mom is like. Is she also silent like you? Not to mention, we sit next to each other in class, too! We’ll be together almost every day! That’s so fun, isn’t it, Okumori-kun? Right? Riiight?!”Bookmark here

The scariest part about her incessant rambling was she said all of it without any errors. I couldn’t even remember a single word she had said, but I wasn’t planning to attempt to either.Bookmark here

"Ooh, wait, I need to tell my mom about this! I'll see you soon, Okumori-kun! Bye-byeee!”Bookmark here

She grabbed the umbrella I handed to her and cheerily ran away back to her house. I watched her in dismay, all while the rain poured and gushed all over my body. Bookmark here

I can’t escape her now, can I?Bookmark here

I didn’t take any more time outside and jogged my way inside the house. I entered inside and dropped the plastic bags on the floor.Bookmark here

“I’m home,” I murmured, still disconcerted.Bookmark here

“Toshiro! You’re back!”Bookmark here

I saw my mom come out of the kitchen with a troubled look. She wore an olive green apron, with her silky dark black hair tied in a ponytail.Bookmark here

“You’re drenched! Dry yourself quick, Toshiro! You’ll get a fever! I’ll take care of the groceries!” She panicked with a spatula in hand that whipped back and forth in a fearful way.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I will….” I said with a groan.Bookmark here

I headed towards the bathroom, entered, shut the door, removed my wet, damp clothes, and slapped it on the floor. I turned on the bath and set myself down in the lukewarm, yet slightly cold water. I leaned back and gazed at the white ceiling that was above me. Bookmark here

This is bad. Bookmark here

Miyake, the outgoing and sociable girl who I so solemnly disdain, is now my neighbor. Bookmark here

I’m the polar opposite of her. There’s no compatibility between the two of us. It’d just be like forcing an impotent mouse to go against a vigorous cat.Bookmark here

I like to think of it this way: The manipulator can never be manipulated. The strong will stay resilient and celebrate victory, while the weak will remain frail as they suffer defeat. Bookmark here

While she may think of trees blooming, azure skies, and luminous sunlight as she so ‘pleasantly’ walks, I can only imagine an elegiac, gray-colored world that I unhappily step on.Bookmark here

Well, not that I’m fond of her genuine self, anyway. I’m probably just overthinking things. I’ll just have to wait to know what lies in her soft-hearted personality.Bookmark here

Speaking of not knowing her, I wonder how she even dealt with lustful guys. I could recall her saying that she was confessed to a lot, and based on looks, I believed her. Bookmark here

Though, the problem probably laid with her. Her not knowing the consequences of rejecting the hearts of men worried me. She was definitely the type to reject your love offers with, “No, thanks! Good joke, though! Haha!” Or, even worse, she might go something along the lines of, “Really? That’s cool! But you’re not my type, though, so I don’t really like you. Sorry! Try when I’m older!”Bookmark here

I feel for whoever felt the wrath of those coarse rejections. I guarantee they cried for a week straight. Oh, man, they must be ruined.Bookmark here

I mean, I know from experience. It hurts. Bookmark here

Before I knew it, it had already been around twenty minutes since I had been in the bathtub. I hurried on exiting and drying myself up, wrapping a towel around my waist before I could leave the bathroom.Bookmark here

“Toshirooo! Your friend is downstairs!” My mom’s voice called out.Bookmark here

I became staggered upon hearing what she had said. Bookmark here

Friend? Who? Bookmark here

My eyes directed over to the door, eyeing it in confusion as I pondered at whom it could’ve been. Bookmark here

Who declared such a thing? Are they idiotic? Wait, how do you even know that’s someone safe, mom?Bookmark here

I swallowed and made my way downstairs. The hand on the towel wrapped around my waist was gripped loosely, with my black hair still being wet from the bath and limiting my eyesight as I took each step down.Bookmark here

Once I had reached the room where my mom and the random ‘friend’ of mine stood, I began to scrape the back of my neck with my right hand uneasily while I tried to spot who the person was. At first, I was oblivious to who had been in front of me, but as I gradually eyed the person head to toe, it didn’t take long for me to perceive that it was a woman.Bookmark here

Another girl? What does she want?Bookmark here

I used my left-hand now to clear the hair that had been blocking my sights, pushing it above my forehead and squinting my eyes.Bookmark here

I turned frozen once I figured out who she was.Bookmark here

Miyake. Bookmark here

Her eyes were vast, and her whole face was flustered. She seemed to be looking down, not at the floor, but my waist. Her lips trembled, and her face became more crimson-colored by the second.Bookmark here

“Oops, Toshiro. Your towel.” My mom pointed out with a toneless voice.Bookmark here

I looked down in uncertainty and immediately noticed that the towel that had supposedly been in my grasp was now miraculously on the floor. Realizing this, my face went ablaze. Bookmark here

No, no, no, this can’t be happening. I’m dreaming, right?Bookmark here

“I-It’s smaller than I initially thought...” Miyake commented.Bookmark here

Nope, it’s not a dream. Bookmark here

I grabbed the towel that was on the floor, hastened to conceal my lower body, and sprinted to my room in a flash without waiting for another word to come out from the two females. Bookmark here

I entered my room, banged it shut, and twisted the lock to make sure nobody could come in. I leaned my back onto the door and hyperventilated, traumatized by what had just happened.Bookmark here

Why is my luck beyond terrible today? Was the karma finally kicking in? I’m sorry, okay? Just make it stop!Bookmark here

I waited patiently until I felt safe and attempted to erase my humiliating thoughts in the meantime. Bookmark here

Once I had felt a little more composed and untroubled, I strode over to my bed and carelessly fell towards the mattress. I face-planted on the pillow and began to contemplate my life’s existence. Bookmark here

… How do I even show myself to her anymore? It’s going to be even more excruciating being in her presence with the knowledge that she’s seen my naked body.Bookmark here

“O-Okumori-kun! It’s fine! It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have come so unexpectedly!” She cried while she knocked on the door lightly. “I-I-I won’t tell anyone at school! I promise! Not a word!”Bookmark here

A muffled grumble came out of me.Bookmark here

I’m thankful for that, but it’s you that I have a problem with, damn it! Why can’t you just leave me be already?!Bookmark here

I rose from the bed and scowled at the door. I had to restrain myself from hurling my pillows at it. Bookmark here

“Um, I was planning to come here after I told my mom, but I forgot to tell you! I'm so sorry! I just came in without your knowledge! I-It’s my truly my fault, though! I won’t bother you anymore! Oh, also, your mom gave me your phone number! I’ll text you when I’m coming over, is that okay?”Bookmark here

She what?Bookmark here

The feeling of timidity I had disappeared once I had heard her, and switched to a provoked one instead. I jumped up from my bed and slid on some clothes to cover my nude self, then stomping my way over to the door and slamming the door open with an agitated yet still heavily flustered appearance. Bookmark here

"O-Okumori-kun..?" She looked startled.Bookmark here

I ignored her surprised tone of voice and immediately went to search for her phone. I spotted it in her left hand and launched towards it without any reluctance.Bookmark here

"Huh?! Wait-"Bookmark here

She sidestepped and dodged me, while I fell forwards and thumped my face on the tatami floor with a loud grunt. Bookmark here

"W-What are you doing?" She said, horrified.Bookmark here

I set my right hand on the floor, and pranced up to her, this time successfully seizing her by wrapping my hands around her waist and pulling her down. I was now on top of her, trying to yank her phone away from her grasp. But, she resisted and tightened the grip on her phone.Bookmark here

“Remove my contacts!" I sharply muttered.Bookmark here

“Just wait a minute, Okumori-kun! Your nose is bleeding!” Miyake shrieked.Bookmark here

“Who cares about that?!” I aggressively spat back. Bookmark here

We both squirmed on the floor belligerently before she managed to grab hold of my face, and push me down with her surprising strength. She was now on top of me, now clutching her phone with both of her hands close to her chest.Bookmark here

“Stop it, already! The number is mine! More importantly, you’re bleeding! I don’t want to hurt you!” Bookmark here

I didn’t stop and kept trying to snatch the phone away, both of our arms flailing around in desperation. Bookmark here

Just give me the phone already, you animal!Bookmark here

“Ahh, jeez! I don’t care anymore!” Bookmark here

Miyake, all of a sudden, raised her free hand in the air and brought it down with speed straight to my cheek. Bookmark here

A minute later.Bookmark here

I lost. Bookmark here

We both were currently on our knees now, facing my mom in apprehension, who held a spatula in her hand as if it was some sort of weapon. There was a stinging sensation on my right cheek, and a small ripped-off piece of paper towel shoved in my left nostril to stop the bleeding in my nose.Bookmark here

My mom hit my head with the spatula with a dink, which caused me to grumble in resentment while I caressed the pain.Bookmark here

“She’s a guest, Toshiro! Say you’re sorry!” She bitterly spoke.Bookmark here

“Um, it’s fine! It’s my fault! I should be the one apologizing..."Bookmark here

My mom dropped her spatula and approached Miyake quickly, then grabbed her wrists and pulled her in close.Bookmark here

“I’m so, so sorry for Toshiro’s arrogance! I’ll make him do a week's worth of chores! I-I’ll punish him! Just tell me what punishment would seem fair for you!”Bookmark here

Miyake stopped moving altogether, and I could sense that she was pondering the option of putting me through torture. Noticing this, I began to whip my head right to left repeatedly, and internally begged her to deny my mom’s offer. She caught a glimpse of my attempt and revealed a sympathetic smile at me. Bookmark here

Miyake then faced my mom again and shook her head.Bookmark here

"It's fine! You don’t have to punish him at all! I’m the one who hurt him too, so I’d feel even worse….”Bookmark here

“Huh? Are you sure about that?! I can even tell you something about him!” Mom exclaimed.Bookmark here

Miyake’s grin disappeared, now forming into an inquisitive expression.Bookmark here

“Tell me.” She said with a grave tone. Bookmark here

Mom pulled away from her and raised her finger joyously. “Mm, gladly! One time, I caught Toshiro with his pants down-!”Bookmark here

I charged my mom and cupped my palm around her mouth, to which she continued merrily rambling but were muffled due to my attempt of silencing her. Bookmark here

“What did she say?” The airhead questioned in perplexity. Bookmark here

Nothing, idiot! Bookmark here

I ignored Miyake and waited for my mom to finish her audacious comments. Thankfully, she stopped after a minute, but I could still feel her smile in my palms. I reluctantly loosened my grip on her mouth and retracted my hand away in a skeptical manner. Bookmark here

“Oh, also, he ripped his underwear last week!” My mom chuckled.Bookmark here

You were waiting for me to remove my hand, weren’t you?!Bookmark here

“Seriously… ?” Miyake was brave enough to question.Bookmark here

Mom nodded.Bookmark here

I could sense that Miyake was trying not to laugh, and it only made me feel more ashamed of myself.Bookmark here

She then peeked over my mom’s shoulders and eyed me with a mischievous smirk. Bookmark here

“Okumori-kun, is that true?”Bookmark here

I immediately averted from her gaze and didn’t respond. I could sense a searing feeling on my face as I looked away. Bookmark here

“Hehe… I won’t say anything about that either.” Bookmark here

Shut up… Bookmark here

“Well, anyway, I should go now... I think I’ve stayed here for too long. My mom might get worried!” She lowered her head, then rose back up with a harmonious smile.Bookmark here

“Eh?! No, not at all! Stay as long as you want! I don’t have a problem at all!”Bookmark here

My mom then death gripped my shirt and pulled me in close. “Toshiro doesn’t have a problem, too, right? Right?” She said with a genial beam on her face, but tightening the grip on the collar of my shirt.Bookmark here

She then turned her eyes to me and whispered protectively. “She’s such a cutie! Why wouldn’t you let her stay?!”Bookmark here

“I don’t like her...” I murmured back.Bookmark here

“Rude! How could you say that?! Have you taken a good look at her?” I could see tears on her eyelids as she puffed her cheeks.Bookmark here

I promptly nodded, which caused her to sigh and release the collar of my shirt. “Fine, but don’t cry about it when you miss your chance!”Bookmark here

What are you, my wingman?Bookmark here

She then looked back to Miyake and waved. “Well, if you’re going, I’ll follow you out!” Bookmark here

"Um, okay! Bye, Okumori-kun!" Miyake swayed her hand right to left at me.Bookmark here

I sighed and didn’t respond to her, and only pushed myself up from the floor to approach my room.Bookmark here

Or, well, so they think. I disappeared from their eyes, but was still in their presence. I hid behind a wall, and began to eavesdrop on their conversation, unbeknownst to what other embarrassing stories my mom could feed Miyake with.Bookmark here

But upon hearing what they conversed about, it wasn’t long until I realized that it wasn’t stories they were sharing. Bookmark here

Seriously, could this be any worse than it already was? Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.