(Title – 戯れる – Tawamureru – Flirting)
“What’s wrong?” Ryū asked as he embraced me.
He looked at Ai-chan to hint like he was asking for an explanation.
Ai-chan just shrugged her shoulders in response. She wanted to remain silent to show some sympathy toward me but her face was like an abstract painting. You couldn’t tell what type of emotion she wanted to show: if she wanted to be happy, sad, or remain apathetic.
I continued to sob as I dug my face into Ryū’s chest. Finally, my knees became weak that I fell to the ground. Fortunately, Ryū was able to manage to catch me while he squatted on the ground.
“Kichirō-san, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Ki-kun said as he took a step toward us and began to pat my back. He was standing on the left side of Ryū.
“Hey Kichi, did this girl hurt you in any way? We’re here for you…” Ken stepped forward, stood behind Ryū and beside Ki-kun. He looked earnestly at me with his brows furrowed to show that he really cared; yet he just couldn’t keep his hand to himself. He flung his arm around Ki-kun’s shoulders just like a snake slithering on top of his prey.
Ki-kun didn’t notice at first because he was too busy comforting me, but I already saw Ken sliding his arm all the way to his (Ki-kun’s) waist when I took a peak at them. He was pinching and groping his waist.
After a few seconds, Ki-kun yelled: “What is wrong with you, Senpai? You’re acting so shameless in this kind of situation!” He shoved off harshly Ken’s arm that was busy molesting him earlier.
“Hey, baby I thought you needed some comforting too,” Ken puffed a chuckle as he pinched Ki-kun’s waist.
“Both of you, shut up!!!” Ryū roared.
Immediately, the two became quiet.
I lost my momentum and even forgot why I was even crying. Eventually, I smiled sheepishly seeing how this two “get along” well.
“Are you some kind of crazy person? Crying then laughing?” Ryū had a straight face on as he asked me.
“Sorry. I just remembered something that made me cry,” I pouted.
“You should join the drama club if you’re really good with being overly dramatic,” he sneered.
“Senpai, don’t be so harsh with Aniki. There must be a reason why he is crying,” Ki-kun interrupted.
Ryū just ignored him and on a whim, he carried me, bridal-style. He walked away, carrying me while leaving the others behind.
I was speechless but I continued to embrace him on his neck while I looked back at the others who were left behind, standing in front of the gym.
When we were almost near the library, I could faintly see a silhouette of someone lying flat on the ground near Ki-kun and Ken.
Ryū carried me all the way to the dorm. Fortunately it was dark already. I didn’t have to cover my face too much. People we met along the way starred at us. Ryū just ignored them and continued to walk like some sort of deity who was passing by elegantly to visit his followers. I decided to dug my face on his chest out of shame.
When we got back to our dorm, he opened his door and brought me inside. He laid me down on his bed and placed a pillow under my head. I blinked and spaced out for a few seconds. Finally, I sat back up and protested: Heyyy! Why did you bring me here? Are you planning to do some shameless things again?”
“Thirsty?” He simply asked.
“Um… I want some juice,” I calmly said. “Heyyy! You’re changing the topic!” I then realized.
He walked toward the kitchen and opened the fridge to get a bottle. It was my favorite strawberry juice.
My eyes glittered upon seeing that. For some reason, he kept stocks of food and beverages that I really liked. It made me, somehow, always come to his room to eat. The aroma of the food that he cooks always kept me coming back for more.
He walked toward me and then threw the bottle of juice. I was stupid enough not to catch it that it hit my face. (c” ತ,_ತ)
“Ouch!” I roared.
“Trying to act like a tiger when you’re a cute little kitten,” he said as he sat beside me. He messed up my hair just like what he always do.
“You enjoy messing up my hair, huh,” I squinted my eyes.
“Nah, I only enjoy messing with you,” he said as he cupped my face with his big hands. “What happened earlier?”
“Um, I need to go back to my room. It’s already late,” I decided to avoid the topic.
“You’re not leaving unless you tell me what really happened.”
“I need to go now.”
I got out of bed and carried my bag that was thrown earlier on top of the armchair beside the bed. I didn’t hear Ryū protest when I insisted to leave. That made my heart feel at ease. I thought he was going to insist on finding out what really happened.
To be honest, I had no guts to tell anyone about my dark past. I just wanted to keep it hidden in the back of my mind, closed in a chest, and throw the key somewhere far off so that I won’t have to worry about remembering those awful memories. Somehow, this old wound of mine reopened when I saw her again. I’m not entirely sure that it was her but my heart tells me it was really her. I need to find out first about the truth before I take any action.
I didn’t turn my back to say goodbye because I know he will have the initiative to “seduce” me again with his old antics. I knew very well that whatever Ryū always do to keep me clinging to him actually worked. I’m afraid that this silence meant he’s got a plan again to stop me.
When I was was about to turn the knob to get the door opened, I heard a crackling sound. That crispy sound awfully sounds familiar.
On a whim, I turned my back to look at Ryū and yes, he was eating Pringles which was basically one of my favorite foreign foods. My eyes became watery that I wanted to cry. I forgot that I haven’t eaten anything since lunch time.
I desperately looked at him but I decided to turn my head back toward the door. I stood there for a moment and I continuously heard him munching on those tasty chips that my taste buds have been longing for for such a long time now. I held on tightly to the bottle of juice that he gave me to control my desire.
“I give up,” I flatly said.
I hurried back toward him and grabbed the can of Pringles that he was holding.
“Heh, you’re still so shameless after all,” he smirked.
“I’m hungry,” I said.
“You shouldn’t be eating junk foods. I’ll cook for you.”
My face brightened up as I glanced at him. “What are going to cook tonight?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you only if you’d tell me what happened,” he bargained.
I pondered for a while. Should I really tell him or should I not? Nah, I’ll tell him. My stomach, once again, decided for me. Ugh.
“Okay. I give up. I’ll tell you what happened. I think I saw my ex-girlfriend…”