Miyake's happy smile turned into a horrified one as soon as she heard Shiori.
"I saw you guys at the café! Okumori-senpai likes vanilla bean frappuccino, right? Or was it the wrong one? I'm pretty sure that was it! I also ordered it, and it was pretty good! You have good taste, senpai!"
Shiori grinned contentedly.
Miyake and I were both completely frozen, unnerved, and petrified at the first-year's words.
"You followed us?"
Miyake tried to speak with her delighted and ecstatic tone but failed miserably as her words came out with a startled and fearful expression.
"Are you sure you don't like him…?"
"No, of course not! I don't harbor any feelings for him at all." Shiori looked up at Miyake.
I was discouraged by her words, a dreary sigh coming out of me. Well, I was going to reject her anyways.
"You did all of that just to be friends, Shiori-chan?"
"Mhm!" Shiori rapidly nodded.
I watched Miyake slowly let go of Shiori's shoulder, then approached me. She placed a hand over my shoulder and looked up at me.
"We should leave..." Miyake whispered.
I gulped, nodding.
"Well, Shiori-chan, we have to go somewhere! Bye-bye!" She turned around and waved at her.
Before Shiori could finish, Miyake grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the room. I willingly let her do so, as we both promptly exited the room.
"The café! She knows about the café!" Miyake silently exclaimed once we were outside.
I nodded shakily.
"I honestly don't know if she's obsessed with you, or has no idea how friendships work!"
Though, who was she? That name and her looks were extremely familiar, for whatever odd reason. Did I know her from somewhere?
As I was pondering, I looked over my arm and noticed that Miyake was still holding onto it. Miyake noticed it as well, as she calmly pulled away from it and followed me on the way outside.
"Seriously, that was creepy! That was so creepy! She just admitted to stalking you! That wasn't a confession of love at all! It was a confession of creepiness!" Miyake shuddered.
I had my hands covering my face as I nodded slowly, feeling distressed.
"Okumori-kun, you might have to take a few days off school! She might even know where you live, so if you see her, don't hesitate to call me or the police!"
This was one of the times when Miyake's advice was actually helpful. I agreed, nodding.
"She must've also seen how you snapped at Iwasaki-san too..."
Judging on how weird that girl was, I could only assume that she found it amusing to watch.
Miyake stopped talking for a few minutes after she said Iwasaki's name. I felt a drastic change in the atmosphere between us, which was starting to get awkward and serious. I lowered my hands, looking over at her with slight bewilderment. Normally, she'd babble her mouth out in these types of situations, but oddly enough, she was doing the same thing she had done earlier in the morning. Keeping silent.
"Hey, Okumori-kun." She finally spoke.
Miyake didn't face me but instead gazed at the afternoon sky. I watched her blonde hair fly back as the gust of wind flew against us.
"Did you know Iwasaki-san in the past?"
I figured that question was coming. I found it odd that she hasn't questioned anything about what happened in the café at all until now. Upon hearing her question, I kept quiet, starting to walk ahead of her.
"Do you think it's your fault?"
That question made me halt. I didn't face her, but I could sense that she was also standing still. I soon realized that I had been gritting my teeth and clenching my fists.
"You can hit me if you want, by the way."
I loosened my fists at her words, confused at what she was saying.
"Iwasaki-san isn't a bad person, you know."
I exhaled, looking over at her.
"You've known her for a week or two. What do you even know about her?" I finally replied.
She paused, then talked again. "A week is good enough to know a person."
"Don't be so naive, you idiot. Don't try to presume that everyone's all happy and elated like you." I declared.
"Okumori-kun, can I be of help to you?"
I kept silent, not exactly knowing the meaning of her words.
"In the café, you said someone died, didn't you?"
Perceiving what she had just said, my eyes widened.
"Is Tomoka the one who-"
Hearing that name come out of her mouth made me instantly snap at her.
"Shut up already!" I glared at her, stopping what she was going to say.
I then stepped forwards, facing her fully, lowering my tone of voice.
"Don't ask any more of those idiotic questions of yours. Don't pry into my life."
She opened her mouth but stopped, closing it right after. Instead, her eyes directed towards the ground as she slowly nodded.
"Sorry." She muttered.
I looked away and let out a grumble, finally walking.
"I'm not going to hit you," I said, annoyed.
"Mm," She nodded, walking beside me.
After that small dispute, the walk was completely silent. We didn't even bother to give each other glances, only looking at the concrete road we walked on.
Yet again, I didn't feel positive or accomplished at raising my voice. What was I supposed to do, though? Answer her question truthfully? I would never.
Eventually, we successfully arrived at our houses with Miyake looking rather dejected. Once we went to enter our houses, she stopped me by tugging the back of my jacket, causing me to look over to her.
"Please don't stress yourself." She looked up at me and smiled.
I stared at her back, confused.
"Bye, Okumori-kun." She gave me a nod.
She let go of my jacket and faced the other way, making her way to her house. I watched her enter in slight disbelief. I blinked, regaining my focus and walking over to the front door of my house.
What did she mean by that?
I opened the door calmly, entering inside and closing it behind me. I looked over to the living room and saw multiple dresses on the floor, all scattered throughout and all having different designs and colors.
I gulped, looking over to where my mom was at. Her black hair was a mess, and she was intently inspecting a black skirt, mumbling random measurements.
"No, this will look good on her, right? No, combine it with the skirt... Dress... Denim jacket..." She silently muttered.
Horrified, I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down, then slowly walking up to my room without attracting her attention.
As I approached the stairs, she instantly yelled out, causing me to almost fall over from shock.
"Toshiro!" She bellowed.
I shuddered as soon as she called my name. I hesitantly looked over.
"What do you think looks good? Should Miyake wear a skirt? A pair of tights would work well with it too, don't you think? What color do you like? I'll change it to whatever color you want!"
Perplexed by her random question, I had to rethink what she had just said. Isn't that Miyake's outfit? Shouldn't she pick out her outfit herself?
"Ask her yourself," I said unemotionally.
"No fun." She sighed.
I walked up to my room, not paying any more attention to her. Once I reached my room, I dropped and sat, leaning on the door.
"Why did I even say her name?" I muttered.
I can't tell Miyake about that dream I had last night, or else she'd only try to pry in even more. That's not even mentioning the part about Iwasaki. Miyake had already tried asking me a question about her, and I directly avoided it. If she knew about our circumstances, I don't know what dangerous stunts she'd do.
Needless to say, I have to be more conscious of what I say and do, or else I'm bound for an absolute shit show in the future.
Noting that, I stood up and headed for the bathroom to take a bath. After I was cleaned and refreshed, I entered my room once more and started doing homework.
Before I could even start writing down, my phone that was on the table vibrated. I reached over and grabbed it, unlocking the phone and checking my notifications, feeling a little intrigued. Seeing words From: Miyake instantly made my hopes falter. Annoyed, I clicked on the notification and looked at what she messaged me.
"Mall in two days!" The message read, alongside a happy emoji beside it.
Considering the fact that I had just yelled at her, she had gotten over it pretty quick. It was either that or she was just trying to seem euphoric.
"Tch." I muttered, then threw my phone over to my bed.
I only had two days left to mentally prepare myself for the amount of pain I'd have to deal with when with Miyake. Seriously, I could already imagine her bombarding me with questions about clothes or food. It made me shiver.
Though, speaking of making me shiver, that first year was awfully horrifying. Knowing that I was being stalked made me much warier about my surroundings than ever before. I even had been looking out my window every few minutes just to make sure she wasn't in my presence at all.
I still couldn't figure out who she was. It was mind-boggling just trying to remember where I've seen her before. Realizing that I had no idea who that odd girl was, I decided that I would try to investigate her tomorrow. Possibly even report her to the police if I found something vital.
After finishing the homework I was assigned, I went straight to bed and slept for the night rather quickly.
Ever since Miyake had started talking to me, I felt more emotionally drained than usual and exhausted from the places she'd been forcing me to go to, hence why I despised the idea of going to the mall with her. But, knowing my mom wouldn't take no for an answer, I was left with the only option to go with Miyake.
I soon woke up, then getting ready for school. I buttoned up my jacket before I walked downstairs, eating breakfast, as per usual. My mom's mess in the living room was thankfully now spotless, with two sets of clothes folded neatly on the couch.
I didn't exactly know what they looked like as I didn't necessarily care what my mom had chosen for Miyake, but that second outfit beside it had slightly intrigued me. Maybe my mom was going to let her choose?
I finished my breakfast and walked outside, only to spot Miyake standing in front of me with a wide grin.
"Hi!" She cheerfully said.
I sighed. Seeing how quickly she got over our argument yesterday was moderately surprising, and it made me wonder if she even understood the message I gave her.
I looked down at her with an exasperated look.
"Don't be so grouchy about it." She glowered jokingly.
I ignored her, walking past, and made my way on the road. Miyake gleefully followed after.
I was starting to get worried if we were going to walk to school together almost every day. If that was the case, the chances of me being targeted in school would only get higher.
"Okumori-kun, what do we do about that first year? Shiori-chan?"
I looked over and watched her walk casually with her hands behind her back, her eyes looking down at the floor as she bobbed her head left and right with each step.
"Nothing," I answered, then walking.
"Huh? Nothing?! Have you lost your mind, Okumori-kun?!" Miyake instantly snapped.
I didn't want to tell her what I'd be doing, since she'd most likely ruin it. I wanted to do this by myself.
She approached me and got in my face, clasping her hands together desperately.
"You're just going to let some girl stalk you?! Are you crazy?! You have to call the cops or something alike!"
I raised my hand between our faces so I could distance ourselves, leaning my head back in slight disgust.
"Okumori-kun, we have to do something about it! Quick! Now! Who knows? She might even know what you do when you're by yourself!"
That theory petrified me. Just imagining that she had been staring at me while I was in my alone time was enough to make me extremely paranoid.
I didn't respond to Miyake, still keeping my hand raised until she would pull away from me. Once Miyake had realized that I hadn't been paying attention, she let out a groan and faced away from me.
"Fine! But, if you catch her looking at you when you're inside your room with nothing but your underwear, don't blame me!"
I slowly reddened upon hearing Miyake. That would be a complete nightmare, and I don't think I'd be able to recover if that ever happened. Nonetheless, I was planning to do something about it anyways. I just hope I find some sort of proof so I could turn her in.
We entered school, walking inside our class with the majority of the guys glaring at me once more. I had already gotten used to them ever since yesterday, and I found them amusing to look at. If I still had my sense of humor I had back then, I probably would've laughed upon seeing the scowls I was given.
What baffled me was how quick their switch of moods was. Once Miyake had entered behind me, those ineffective glares they gave me instantly turned into heart eyes upon her presence.
Miyake, being the absolute airhead she was, most likely didn't notice them and walked past them without a second thought, sitting down in her seat. I sighed, following after her.
While class went on, I didn't pay attention to the studies at all but instead had been devising a small little plan on how to find out who Shiori really was. Since I was doing that, classes felt more fast than usual. Eventually, lunch came. A perfect time.
While Miyake had been conversing with the girls, I stood up and took the chance to exit the classroom. Once I had finally left safely, I decided to make my way towards the first-year classrooms.
Feeling all covert and furtive oddly made me have more energy than usual, as well as extremely nervous as I didn't know if I'd eventually run into the girl again. Thankfully, I had reached the classrooms without catching anyone's attention.
As I roamed the hallways, multiple first-years had been conversing all around me, and it was slowly starting to get irritating. I was about to insert my earbuds into my ears so I could relax, but before I could even do that, I heard some girls talk some gossip over to my right.
"Did you hear? Shiori Yokoyama is in this school! Apparently, she's in class A!"
Not exactly knowing why they sounded so enthusiastic about a shy stalker girl being in a class, I instantly changed my course of direction and started looking for class A. After a few minutes of searching, I finally found the class she was supposedly in, as I peeked my head through the door.
I couldn't see Shiori or any students anywhere at all, which made me grateful. Now, I only needed to go over to the teacher's desk. Supposing the teacher had some information about her, maybe I could find something important. Even though it was a high/risk high/reward type of option, it wouldn't hurt checking.
I took out some papers from the teacher's desk, looking through them swiftly.
"Stop! Stop it!" A feminine voice called out.
Instantly afraid of the outcome if I was caught, I hid under the teacher's desk.
I heard multiple footsteps, as well as some snickering. I also heard a girl whimpering, then loud sounds of desks being thrown around. I kept silent, the papers I grabbed from the drawer still in my grasp as I clenched them tightly.
"Oi, you think because you're an idol you'd get special treatment? As if!" A girl vociferously said, followed with laughter by her friends.
Idol? I continued to keep silent, not wanting to catch their attention.
"N-no." The scared girl muttered.
"Look at you, being all scared! You don't show this side of you on TV, do you?"
That was by far one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard. Who cries in front of the TV purposefully other than acting? I could instantly tell that the girl was running out of insults.
"W-wait!" The girl shrieked.
I heard a slap, causing the scared girl to stop talking. I heard more laughing, then footsteps as they exited the room. Once they finally left, I heard silent sobs from the corner of the room.
Seriously, could this get any worse?! I didn't want to be caught in between some quarrel about girls! I took a deep breath, starting to slowly crawl out of the classroom, praying that I wouldn't get caught.
I was on all fours, desperately and quietly trying to leave. Though, as if my luck could get any worse, I ended up hitting my hand on a table that was on the floor. Since I slammed my hand against it, I let out a loud grunt in return. Realizing what I had done, I froze.
I hesitantly looked over, a little confused as to why they knew my name. I caught sight of their red eyes looking at me, tears welled up. I squinted my eyes, only to realize that it was Shiori. My brain lost its focus, and I was completely speechless as I was in the presence of the stalker girl.
She had been hugging her knees, and I could see a slap mark across her cheek. The lids under her eyes were bright red, with tears still falling down to her chin. We were both stuck in place, looking at each other in awe.
Before I could do anything, she swiftly stood up.
"Sorry! I'm so sorry!" She yelled, then ran outside the room.
I blinked, speechless as to what happened. Wasn't I supposed to be the one to do that? I slowly stood up, looking at the mess of desks that were in front of me.
Even though that girl was stalking me, I couldn't help but feel bad about her situation. That slap mark on her cheek was bright red, and I could tell that it hurt.
I looked at the papers that were in my hand, soon perceiving that they were absolutely useless. I sighed, throwing them over to the table and exiting the classroom.
She was an idol? Normally, if you were an idol, you'd be massively liked by mostly everyone in the school, but that wasn't necessarily the case. Sure, she was popular, judging from the gossiping I heard earlier, but she also had some problems of her own. Being bullied.
And so, it made me ponder whether I should really turn her into the police. Not that I was actually planning to do so, but instead I had simply thought of getting revenge on her. Seeing her being in such a dismal state made me feel that I would only make her life harder than it already was.
Being an idol was hard from what I've heard, planning out schedules and being on time, strict managers and such, and extreme stress were the only things I could name. My mom was a model before she decided to take care of me, and she explained the hardships of her life while she still worked.
I was walking back to my class, a little infuriated that I wasn't able to find anything of importance, yet also slightly remorseful.
"So? Did you find anything?"
I halted, turning around. I spotted Miyake, who had been crossing her arms with a sulking face.
"I'm pretty angry that you didn't tell me that you were doing this!"
She approached me and hit my chest repeatedly with her hands.
"You can depend on me, you know! I can be of help!" She griped.
Her light punches didn't hurt me, but just simply made me irritated. I groaned, turning around and continuing to walk to class. Miyake didn't stop hitting me, as she continued to hit my back lightly and berating me.
"Seriously! I could've helped you! But no, you decided to take it upon yourself! Didn't I say not to stress yourself yesterday?! What if you got caught? What if you got scolded by the teachers?! You have to ask people for help more often!"
The outcome wouldn't be any different if you also got caught, you blockhead! I let out a deep sigh, not wanting to argue against her.
Disregarding Miyake's presence, I started to think about Shiori. Would it be right to attack her? Would it be right to make that life of her's more troublesome than it already was? After a few minutes of debating, I finally found my answer.
I decide to postpone my revenge on her.