CL: Chapter 26 – Something Unexpected

(Title -意表 – Ihyō – Something Unexpected)

Time went by so fast. It’s already June. It’s finally summer time!

A lot of things happened since I started going back to school. I gained new friends. Not only one, but two started to like me. I still can’t imagine that there are some who would be enticed by my unusual charm. My mom started to praise me, all thanks to Ryu. I’m also getting good scores in school even though the career path I chose was not my first option. I could feel like I’m getting back the glory that I’ve had back then.

Today, I went to school with Ryu, as usual. He’s still the same old cold guy but I can feel that he truly cares for me. I’ve been so happy lately because of the unexpected turn of events and the laziness I’ve had before has started to fade. I now have a lot of reasons to be happy and to stay positive.

During Theoretical Foundations class, my professor decided to change the seating plan. I hate to bid farewell to Ki-kun as my seatmate but I can’t point out any good reason to keep myself seated beside him. All I can do is to heave out a deep sigh and welcome my new seatmate with open arms. I’m not being sarcastic here. hehe

I requested to be moved to the back of the second row because I was far-sighted. Ki-kun was moved to the back of the first row. Fair enough I guess.

My professor then called out the name of my new seatmate. It was Aiko Maki. She hasn’t been in class lately. I guess she was on leave for a few weeks.

She was one of the nerds of the class. She was taller than me by a few centimeters. Her hair was black, long, and curly. She wore circular, black-framed eye glasses. A typical meganekko[1]. One of the brightest; could be one of my best competitors in class.

([1] Meganekko [メガネっ娘] {メガネ, also めがね or 眼鏡], pronounced megane [“glasses”] and ko for “child” [子] but using the kanji for “daughter” [娘]} is an anime and manga fandom character archetype.)

She walked toward the empty seat on my right side. She was carrying a black backpack and she hand-carried her books. I looked at her and flashed a smile but she just gave me the cold shoulder and frowned.

I felt awkward like a turtle who hid inside it’s shell. Why did I have to smile at her? Why not retain my aloof personality? I guess I just wanted to make new friends; especially because she will be my new seatmate for the entire term.

After the professor finished the new seating plan, she gave us free time to review. I pretended to bring out my notebooks and summarize my notes even though I was already done with it ages ago. I broke out in a cold sweat because Maki-san’s aura was so intimidating. Out of the corner of my eye, I observed her and I could tell that she was eyeing me.

To break the awkward silence, I decided to talk to her. “Hi Maki-san. I’m Kichirō Ishikawa. You can call me Kichirō if you like. I hope–” I was about to establish the “connection” with her when she interrupted me.

“I don’t want to talk to you. I know that you only want to talk to me so that you could keep track of my progress in terms of my scores. Don’t pretend that you want to befriend me,” she said as she gave out a “hmpf” and then rolled her eyes.

I was astonished. I wanted to give myself a slap. Wow. I guess this is how other’s see me as well.

I decided to let it go and prayed that this term would be a peaceful one. Maybe, I just need to pretend that she doesn’t exist.

After class, Ryū and Ken were waiting for me and Ki-kun. We decided to go to the cafeteria first to have an early dinner. They were planning to practice and I was looking forward to going to the library.

Ryū and I were seated together while Ken and Ki-kun were opposite our seats.

“Kichirō-san, aren’t you getting bored going to the library alone eveyday? I’m sorry if I can’t accompany you. I’m just really busy with practice. There are upcoming competitions between the different colleges,” Ki-kun said as he started to catch noodles with his chopsticks.

“Nah. It’s fine. I’m used to being alone, remember? Besides, I always watch you guys after I’m done with school stuff.”

“Would you like to go to the library after our practice? Or would you rather get private tutoring from me instead?” Ryū interrupted with teasing eyes.

“No thanks. I’m good,” I sarcastically said.

“Oh c’mon Kichi. Ryū can teach you a thing or two about Anatomy and Physiology. He can provide demonstrations and a hands-on practicum too, ha ha,” Ken gave me the side-long stare as he grinned.

“Quiet! You’re too noisy,” Ki-kun yelled as he rapped Ken with the water bottle that he was holding.

Ken held on his shoulder in pain and started to block the strikes that Ki-kun was giving him. “Ouch! You don’t have to be so physical. I can give you some private tutoring about Anatomy and Physiology if you like too, ha ha.”

Ryū and I just ignored the two love birds. “C’mon, just go to the practice first. I can accompany you later. I don’t want you to be alone in the library.”

“I’m okay. I’m used to being alone,” I said.

“Are you sure?” He pouted.

“Yeah.”

“Okay. Just text or call me if you need something,” he softly said as he pinched my cheek.

“Mhm,” I nodded.

Not far from our table, a pair of watchful eyes were staring right at us. I felt the weight of this person’s stare so I looked back. It was Maki-san. Her stare was so meaningful. She looked like she wanted to say something because she was fidgeting.

I decided to approach her. The other guys watched me walk toward her.

“Do you need something Maki-san?” I politely asked.

“Eto… Uhm….” She was hesitating.

“Yep?”

She was blushing. “Do you have a ‘special’ relationship with Ueno-senpai?”

I was stunned. I don’t know how to answer her question. “Well…”

“Well what?” she looked like she was about to explode.

“Uhm… I guess so,” I shyly responded as I scratched the back of my head.

“Really?”

“Hmm,” I nodded.

“Kyaaaa! OMG! OMG! OMG!” She started to scream. Her face was red all over.

“What’s wrong?”

“Waaaaah! Just as I suspected. ha ha ha! I’m so shipping this. Please be my friend, okay?”

I was speechless. I didn’t know at first what made her decide to be friends with me. I later on found out that she was a fujoshi[2].

(Fujoshi [腐女子, lit. “rotten girl”] is a self-mockingly pejorative Japanese term for female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men.)

I chuckled and agreed to be her friend. This was my intention in the first place.

“Is anything wrong, Ki-tan?” Ryū approached us with a curious look.

Maki-san was wiggling as she cupped her face with her hands. Her face was red all over and she looked like she was about to vomit blood. “Kyaaaa!” She shrieked. “Hi Ueno-senpai! I’m Ishikawa-chan’s new friend, Aiko Maki. You can call me Ai-chan,” she giggled.

Ryū just looked at her and voiced out an “oh.”

“Oh, oh, Kichirō-chan. You will be going to the library right? I always see you in the library. Since you’re done eating, I can go with you,” she adamantly volunteered to accompany me to go to the library.

“Okay. Please take care of him for me, okay?” Ryū responded for me.

“Hey! I’m not a kid,” I pouted as I crossed my arms.

“You’re still my little boy,” he winked at me.

I was shocked that he could be so bold in front of others.

Maki-san giggled like someone was tickling her. “Don’t worry Senpai. I’m in charge,” she said.

In the end, Maki-san and I went to the library while the others went to the gym for their practice. Just as I suspected, instead of reviewing schoolwork, Maki-san asked me a lot of questions about my relationship with Ryū. She also asked about Ken and Ki-kun. I wholeheartedly answered her questions. I wasn’t bothered at all because she was really good to me. So… I have a new-found friend.

Meanwhile…

“So Miyuki-kun. Are you aware that Kichirō-kun is also studying here?”

The girl with the long, black hair wore a poker face as she stared blankly outside the window. She did not respond for a few seconds. She smiled and responded: “Yeah. I am, Senpai.”


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