If Himari Iwasaki was good at anything; it was making me mad. And she did a great job today at doing that. Just one glimpse of her made me want to vomit. I never thought I'd see her again, especially now. Yet, she had the guts to insult me about how I act? It was revolting just seeing her speak and act so bold. I wanted to shut that loud mouth of hers with stacks of paper towels as soon as she opened that arrogant mouth of hers.
“You're talking awfully a lot today, you know?" Miyake spoke, following behind me.
I didn’t respond, with my only objective being to head home.
Miyake, hearing that I was silent, let out a small sigh.
"So, I'm assuming that you don't want to go to the karaoke Kojima-kun invited us to either?"
Even if those two weren't there, I still wouldn't go. Especially with Miyake. I continued to ignore her, not heeding any attention to her words.
“Yoo-hoo..." Miyake peeked over my shoulder. "Can you hear me?"
I gritted my teeth in a miffed way, moving my head to the left so I could distance Miyake and me.
"We have the same direction home, so I'm going to follow you. We do live next to each other, anyways." She pulled away from me and now walked at my pace beside me.
Seeing as she did so, I fastened my walking speed to get ahead of her. Miyake didn't hesitate to do the same, which only made me more annoyed.
“Since you don't want to go to the karaoke... What about the mall?"
I glanced over to her with a repulsed expression.
“N-No, it’s not a date… Well, technically, it is, but as friends.” She caught sight of my glare.
I shook my head, starting to walk again.
“Come on, it’ll be fun! I’ll even ask your mom.” She spoke cheerfully. “You know what, I’ll call her right now.” Miyake then pulled out her phone.
I took a second to perceive what she had just said. My mom gave her phone number too?! What are you, best friends? I looked over to her once more, aghast at what she was doing.
“She gave it to me while we were talking the other day." She placed the phone over her ear, a simper across her face.
I froze, watching with intent.
“Hi, Oba-san! I’m here with Okumori-kun.” She looked at me nervously, pausing for a few seconds before exclaiming. “No! It's not a-!"
I watched Miyake turn red before she cleared her throat and finally asked what she wanted to ask.
“Anyways... Can Okumori-kun and I go to the mall on the weekend?”
I heard my mom let out an ebullient cheer through the phone. Miyake had to pull away from the phone from her ear so she wouldn’t burst an eardrum.
I let out an exasperated groan. Knowing my mom would agree to almost anything Miyake would say, it made me wonder why I didn't grab Miyake's phone and throw it on the ground.
"Why can't you just leave me alone?" I said with a mix of a perplexed and a bitter tone.
"I won't say."
Miyake disconnected the call and shoved her phone inside her bag, her smile getting wider as she replied to me.
I let out an irritated sigh before I turned back around and made my way home. Thankfully, Miyake was silent for the rest of the walk and didn't seem to bother me at all. We arrived at our houses in a matter of minutes, as I watched Miyake wave at me from her house with no expression. I shook my head in disapproval before entering my own home.
As soon as I opened the front door, I felt a bear hug that almost made me fall over.
“You finally got a date, Toshiro! I'm so excited!” The person giggled.
I slowly looked up at who it was, already knowing it was my mom. I shot out a glare. If she thought we had any interest in each other, she was very mistaken.
“I’m so glad for you! I’ve been waiting for this my whole life! I can’t believe you got such a beautiful girl too! I mean, think of it! What are the chances that you could go out with someone like her?"
I placed my hand on her face, trying to pull her away, but she resisted, starting to nudge her face on my chest.
If anyone is watching this from afar, I am ever so dearly sorry. I was extremely embarrassed at the stunts my mom was doing outside the house.
“I-It’s not-” I tried to put her back into her senses but failed miserably.
“Oh, yes, it is… I can already imagine it! You two are drinking from the same cup, holding hands. Kiss-”
I immediately stopped her make-believe fantasy by cupping my hand over her mouth furiously, not wanting to hear anymore. I cringed, watching how she kept spouting out nonsense while I attempted silencing her. It was like she didn’t even notice.
She pulled her mouth away from my hand and looked at me.
“So? So? How was the cafe date?” She looked like she was jumping up and down.
Wait. How does she even know about that? I stood there, puzzled.
“You guys were doing a double date, right? Right?” She smiled happily and looked like I couldn’t rip it off her face if I had to.
I shook my head. If anything, I was forced to go to the cafe. If I didn’t come, who knows what Miyake could do with that information she had about me. It made me shiver.
“Have you guys done anything yet at all? Hold hands?”
My mom wasn't going to give up her unrealistic fantasy. I shook my head in disgust.
“Eh? I was positive that you two were dating already…” She sighed, looking down on the floor.
What? How'd you even come to that conclusion? Have you ever seen our interactions?
“Oh well, you’re going on a date with her anyway, so I’m not mad.” She pulled away from me, prancing back inside the house.
I clenched my right fist and raising it in the air from frustration.
“It’s not a date-!” I attempted to call out.
“Nope. It is. You can’t convince me otherwise!” My mom teased, disappearing into the kitchen.
I stood at the entrance with a poker face. How desperate was she?
I groaned, following after her and walking up to my room. I took off my jacket and clothes except for my underwear and threw them over to my drawers lazily. I then faced my bed, falling over face-first into the pillows.
Seriously. What a pain. Who knew I'd meet that pink-haired freak today? Let alone snap at her. I didn't even feel happy about myself for yelling at her but instead felt regretful. Thinking that it'd be refreshing and tremendous to finally yell at her after all these years was a big mistake.
I was extremely drained from all the social interaction I was forced to deal with today, drowsing off in the bed rather quickly.
I soon woke up, jolting upwards from my bed, hyperventilating. I looked at my palms, which were sweaty and warm.
All of a sudden, I felt enraged. I grabbed one of my pillows and aggressively sent it flying towards my table. It slammed against the table, the pencils and other utensils flying and clattering against the floor.
I sighed, nodding. I despised that dream-
Wait, who's voice was that?
I quickly glanced over and saw Miyake in her school uniform peeking her head through my door.
"You're going to be late, by the way." She complained.
Ignore that, why are you even here?! I grabbed another pillow and threw it at her. Miyake pulled away from the door while giggling.
"You should hurry up, though! We are seriously going to be late!"
First of all, why are you even waiting for me? It's not like I'm asking you to be with me twenty-four seven! I stood up from the bed instantly and went to go to the bathroom.
I then stopped, looking at myself and realizing what I was wearing. Underwear. Just underwear.
Miyake peeked her head inside my room once more, looking around my room.
"Also, your breakfast is downstairs. Your mom told me to tell you-" She instantly stopped upon seeing me.
"You don't do sports or anything related, right? You have a pretty good build-"
I grabbed the pillow that I had thrown earlier and hurled it once more. This time, it hit her straight in the head as she fell over the floor with a squeal. Seeing that I had managed to hit my target, I took the chance to grab the door handle and slam my door closed.
"Ow..." I heard Miyake grumble behind the door.
I exhaled, relieved, then proceeded to put on my school uniform. After I had successfully buttoned up my jacket, I opened the door and exited, only to see Miyake who was still on the floor with spiraling eyes, who I presume was still dizzy from me throwing that pillow at her.
I sighed, lightly tapping her thigh with my foot.
"We're going to be late," I said in a monotone, before making my way to the bathroom.
I brushed my teeth and washed my face in a matter of minutes, leaving the bathroom and seeing Miyake who was finally standing up, but stumbling over while holding her head. Did I throw that pillow too hard?
I ignored her, walking downstairs and grabbing some food that my mom had prepared for breakfast. I took a rice ball and bit from it, chewing it.
I looked over to the TV, which was playing a girl who was dancing. It was oddly satisfying to watch, with her movements being completely fluid. She was also pretty cute, being rather short with brown hair reaching to her shoulders and ruby-like eyes.
"You're interested too?"
I glanced over and saw my mom watching the TV as well.
"Her name's Shiori Yokoyama, if I recall correctly. She's pretty, isn't she? She's popular amongst the dancing agencies, I heard. She can sing too!" She raised her finger with glee.
I slowly nodded, a little anxious from how well she knew about her, then looking back to watch.
"Also, what happened to Miyake-san?"
My mom proceeded to look over my shoulder, watching Miyake stumble and moan.
I shrugged, continuing to eat. I was perfectly calm and collected before I spotted a petrified look on her face.
"My beauty!" She then cried after seeing what Miyake had been doing.
My mom dropped whatever was in her hands and instantly ran over to Miyake, holding her.
"Who did this to you?! I'll make them pay! They ruined your hair!"
She shook Miyake violently, which from my perspective only made it worse.
"I need you! I need you all perfect and well! You yet have to try the dresses I bought for you!"
My chewing stopped as I watched, frightened. Was that even a healthy relationship?! My mom was merely using her for modeling this whole time!
"O-Oba-san! Stop! You're going to make it worse just by shaking me!" Miyake exclaimed.
"Sorry!" My mom stopped, holding her still. "Are you okay?! Are you still dizzy? How's your head? Who did this? I'll fix your hair!"
She frantically started ruffling her hands through Miyake's hair and went to put it back to its original form. I watched Miyake's head shake around vigorously while yelping words such as "Ow! Stop! Not there! Ouch!"
I slowly approached the front door to leave, hoping the two wouldn't notice me. If my mom knew that I was the one who caused Miyake to get dazed by that pillow throw of mine, I have no idea what'd she do to me.
Thankfully, I exited out of the house safely. I took a whiff of the air, satisfied with my escape. I exhaled, looking back down and sliding in my earbuds, proceeding to play music.
As I started to walk, I felt someone behind me, causing me to stop. I turned around and saw Miyake, who was still holding her head from being stunned.
"Your mom almost made me throw up my breakfast..." She said in a distressed manner.
I sighed, looking away.
"She's crazy... She even bought me dresses! What do I do, Okumori-kun?! She might make me wear something revealing!"
She's quite literally the mother version of Miyake since the two act so alike. Calling my mother delusional would have the same effect on her from my perspective. Also, I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing Miyake with revealing clothing. I looked over to her and tried to imagine it, but instead, she had a puppy face.
No, I shouldn't imagine it! Why are you so damn pure, Miyake?! I hate it!
I looked away displeasingly, then started to walk.
"Seriously... I'm starting to think that she's a psychopath of some sort! She keeps bragging about my looks, my hair, everything! It's scary! She's nothing like you!"
I raised the volume of my music so I couldn't hear her relentless complaining for the rest of the fifteen-minute walk. I assumed she finished since she finally realized that I wasn't paying attention in the slightest.
She pulled out one of my earbuds, as I looked over to her. She had a sulking face.
"You weren't paying attention to me at all, were you?"
She sighed, then scratched her head. "That's one of the things I hate about you..." She mumbled. She then looked up at me once more.
"So, what was that bad dream of yours?"
I looked away, not paying much attention as I replied.
I instantly paused, realizing what I had just said. I shut my mouth, starting to regret what I had just done.
Miyake questioned, starting to walk backward now as she looked at me.
I disregarded her question, grabbing my earbud and inserting it inside my ear. I watched Miyake tilt her head, then looking away and continuing to walk forwards with her hands behind her back. She was silent for the rest of the walk until we had eventually reached school.
I opened my shoe locker, about to take my shoes out. But, instead of grasping my shoes, a texture of paper met with my fingers instead. I froze, looking over to check what it was. I pulled it out, seeing that it was a pink letter with a heart stamped on it. It smelled like fresh roses.
Miyake started to approach me gleefully.
"Hey, Okumori-kun, we probably have to hurry up for class-"
I looked over to her, then back at the note.
"A love letter?!" She exclaimed.
She leaned forwards, extremely close to me as she intently observed the note in my hand. I blinked, not knowing as to why she needed to inspect it so deeply.
"Okumori-kun! You have to respond to this girl's feelings properly!" She snatched the letter from my hand.
Seeing her grab the letter so forcefully made me let out a distraught expression.
"Do you know what that means?!"
Miyake faced me now, waving the letter in her hands.
"That means no acting carelessly and rude! If you do that, you'll make her cry!" She pointed at me.
Isn't she going to cry anyway if I reject her properly? I mean, there's no definitive proof that there'd be a difference-
"I know what you're saying right now! It will hurt her much more if you don't respond to it properly!"
Did she just read my mind?!
I recoiled back at her shocking statement. Miyake then opened the letter carefully, reading what was in it.
"...Art room... Art room! You have to go to the art room after school!" She looked back up at me.
I slowly nodded.
"Take it from someone who rejects people almost daily! If you don't correctly respond to her feelings, you'll be in big trouble! Of course, they might cry or whatever, but it won't be as harmful!"
I don't think that's something worth having bragging rights for, Miyake. You've essentially confessed that you've made every guy cry at your "Proper response" rejections.
Nonetheless, I had to agree since she was partially correct. I let out a jaded groan, then nodding to her words.
"Good! I will eavesdrop to see if you reject her properly!"
As creepy and disturbing as those words of hers were, I could see where she was coming from. That didn't necessarily mean that I wanted her to eavesdrop since I wouldn't feel safe or comfortable knowing that my conversation was being listened to.
I raised my hands in surrender as if I was saying: Do what you want.
We both entered class right after, and it seemed that I had completely forgotten about the case with Kojima's "Ninety percent of the males have fallen in love with you." Statement from yesterday, because as soon as I opened the door and entered with Miyake, almost every guy in our class gave me petrifying scowls.
If I'm being truthful, some of them didn't even look like scowl's but instead just were futile attempts at one. My intuition told me that they were just getting told to glare at me.
Classes were was tedious and dull, as usual. Fortunately, I didn’t manage to converse with Miyake often today, as she was too occupied with the mass amount of kids that had taken a liking to her. Though, it had predominantly seemed that they had admired her because of her appearance.
If you were to respect and give high esteem to a certain person largely because of their looks and nothing else, you're most likely setting yourself up for failure. Who knows? Maybe that celebrity you always liked was in secret a cold, non-merciful, and disrespectful human being.
Though, in Miyake's case, she was extremely nice to the other kids around her and even laughed along with them, so was my statement really accurate? Maybe my opinion was heavily biased, and maybe I'm just spouting out nonsensical words.
I’d exit class once school was over, strolling out the school and listening to music as per usual to block out the noises of the exuberant conversations between the students. I was about to walk out the gate, but before I could leave, I sensed a dangerous presence behind me.
I turned around, seeing Miyake run towards me.
"You forgot to go to the art room, remember?" She gripped my shoulders and shook me.
Oh, right. I have to reject someone, don't I? I sighed, nodding.
"Jeez, you should seriously remember these types of things!"
Miyake pushed me back inside the school, telling me what to say for the rejection.
"I know you can talk, so say something like "I'm sorry, but I can't return your feelings." And bow, okay? Understand? That's all you have to say!"
She switched her tone to a deep one while she imitated me, then switching back to her high-pitched tone as soon as she finished. I truly didn't know whether to be offended or not by it.
Eventually, we reached the art room after a few minutes of Miyake lecturing me. She opened the door and pushed me inside, then closing it politely. I stumbled forwards, scowling at the door in anger and cursing her out in my head. I then took a sigh and started to inspect the room.
The smell of paint and paper was strong, though I was sure I could handle it. There were also a lot of brushes on a single table, with a massive white poster right beside it that had a mass range of colors.
Senpai? Did I know this girl? I looked over to the voice and saw a girl's head peeking from the table. Once we met eyes, she slowly stood up.
"Hi." She awkwardly waved.
I watched her as she approached me, then standing.
"U-um... You probably don't know me, but... I'm Shiori Yokoyama, a first-year in this high school.
That name seemed oddly familiar. I nodded at her words. I then remembered what Miyake had told me to say, so I rehearsed it in my head a few times before starting to bow and speaking.
"I cannot return your feelings! You were going to say yes, weren't you? I-I-I'm so sorry!" The girl interrupted me before I could even say a word.
I froze. What?
I heard Miyake gasp behind the door.
Did I just get rejected? By the sender of a love letter that was directed at me? How does that even make sense?
I rose, completely baffled. I look down at the first-year, glaring at her.
"S-S-Sorry! I wasn't planning on actually confessing to you! I was just trying to catch your attention!"
You couldn't have done that in any other way?!
"Please, just let me explain!" She reddened, looking away from my deathly stare. She then proceeded to ask a question.
"Y-You don't have any friends, right?" She cowered onto her knees, stumbling upon her words frequently.
I nodded, confusingly staring at her.
"I, erm, don't have any either! I just wanted to become your friend... You don't seem to like me much though! I-I'll leave immediately! I knew it was a mistake to do this!"
She then stood up, starting to walk out the room hastily.
Miyake slammed open the door with a happy yell. In return, the first-year, instantly shrieked at her sudden appearance and raised her hands to cover her face. Miyake walked over, wrapping her arm around her, and turned her around to face me.
"No, he'll definitely be your friend, right?" Miyake declared.
The girl lowered her arms and looked at me with tears in her eyes. As pitiful as she might seem, I shook my head rapidly.
"He's lying. Don't worry, Yokoyama-san! Or Shiori-chan? Shiori-chan sounds easier! Okumori-kun over here-" Miyake pointed at me. "is planning to build his own personal harem! I mean, he's already got me, so why don't you join in? It'll be fun with another girl!"
No, don't disillusion her, you animal! What is going through your head?! A harem is a thing I want the least!
"Mhm!" Miyake smiled cheerfully.
"I- I guess?"
Why would you agree to that?! I had been internally screaming, wanting this to be over.
"Yay!" Miyake rubbed Shiori's head.
I noticed Shiori's ruby-like eyes sparkle.
"I'm Youko Miyake, by the way."
“C-Can I call you Miyake-senpai, then?”
"Of course you can!"
I watched them with a stupefied expression, not knowing what had just happened in the span of five minutes. Too much happened between that time, and I was still recovering from what Miyake had claimed our friendship to be.
"So, why did you want to become friends with Okumori-kun?"
"I just erm... Saw him lonely? You were the only one I saw him with, except that time in the cafe..."
Miyake and I froze. Cafe? How did she know about that?
"I kind of followed you guys into the cafe so I could gather some information about Okumori-senpai... Is that weird? I just wanted to know what he liked... I know that he drank two cups of vanilla bean frappuccino!" She smiled.