While the staff of St. Catherine’s felt that television rots the minds of its viewers, they also recognized that there are cultural benefits. They decided to turn one old building into a theater where they could show movies, both recent or historical releases. There were plans to expand it further, but they were temporarily shelved.
—Ten More Things to Do at St. Catherine’s on a Saturday Night
About 10:30 pm, Kato decided to head back to his room, saying his goodbyes to Higashihara and the three others who were still there.
Tachibana was still not home. Kato was tired, so he decided to climb up on his bunk and read a little of that World Lit book.
About thirty minutes later, Tachibana stormed into the room and slammed the door behind him, startling Kato. He turned to the door and yelled at it, “Goddamned uke!” Kato just stared at him, hoping he wasn’t the uke that Tachibana was referring to.
Tachibana turned and noticed Kato up on the bunk. “Not you.”
Kato felt a bit relieved but the tension in the air was palpable.
“My goddamned uke,” he emphasized.
Kato didn’t know what to say, but “What’s wrong?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but he’s so damn needy.”
Kato didn’t say anything.
“He’s always wanting my time and gets jealous if I spend it with others.” Tachibana let out an exasperated sigh.
“Weren’t you just over there last night?” Kato inquired.
“Exactly! That’s what I’m saying!”
Kato felt that he wasn’t asking a rhetorical question as if he was taking Tachibana’s side in the matter, but it seems Tachibana thought he was, so Kato didn’t dare correct that misconception.
“He wanted me to swap tonight too. But I didn’t want to.”
Kato really wasn’t sure he wanted to keep this conversation going but, somehow, he felt Tachibana wanted to talk about it. So, he reluctantly asked, “Why not?
“He’s in love with me.”
Kato was quite surprised, but he didn’t really understand the implications, so he asked, “He is?”
“Yeah, I’ve known it for a while now. And now it’s turning into a big headache. He wants me to spend all day with him tomorrow at the Sports Complex. I mean, all day? He gets mad when I wanna hang out with my friends. If I politely say hi to an uke, he gets all mad and pouts. I mean, it’s no different than dating a chick.”
A thought occurred to Kato, a question that he had to stop everything to ask. “The Sports Complex is open all day tomorrow?”
Tachibana scoffed. “Nothing gets by you, does it?”
Kato stared blankly, not knowing what to say.
Tachibana sighed again. “Yeah, it’s open all weekend, 8 to 4, though on Sunday we are expected to attend Mass.”
Kato started to open his mouth but was interrupted—
“It’s a religions service that last about an hour, held at the chapel. Our grade is assigned to 10 o’clock Mass. I’ll let you know when we need to go and where.”
“Thanks,” Kato replied.
“As I was saying,” Tachibana continued, “I wanted to hang with friends and play some ball but Haneda-kun is throwing a fit.”
This rung a small bell in Kato’s mind, as he remembered the boy. The first thought that occurred to him, though, was: That means Tachibana is having sex with his uke. This tidbit of information was slightly embarrassing to consider. “So, what are you going to do?”
“I dunno. All he wants to do is sit and talk, stare at clouds, and shit. I wanna play ball.”
Kato then just had to ask, “You… don’t love him?”
“Hell no!” Tachibana exclaimed.
“Oh,” Kato replied.
“He’s a good guy, but I don’t have feelings for him.”
And yet you sleep with him? Kato thought. “I see.”
“We grew up together, in the same school and neighborhood before we came here for high school. So, it was natural, once we found out about seme/uke, to choose each other. We already were friends. And, everything was fine until after the first time we had sex.”
Kato was just simply embarrassed to have to listen to this sordid tale, but figured he’d better not interrupt and just endure it. “What happened?”
“He developed feelings for me. That’s what happened.” Tachibana was clearly frustrated.
“I see.” Kato replied.
“Would you stop saying that?” Tachibana exclaimed.
“Sorry, I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been in that situation.”
“Yeah, well, don’t. Don’t get into that situation. Don’t fall in love with Takahashi-san.”
Kato was floored. First, this insinuated that he was bound to have sex with Takahashi. Second, that he was going to fall in love with Takahashi. “N-no, I won’t,” he stammered.
“Good. I’m quite sure he’s not looking for that anyways.”
Kato was glad to hear Tachibana say that, but at the same time, thinking that Takahashi wouldn’t want to have sex with him, as if Kato didn’t measure up in Takahashi’s eyes, he couldn’t help but felt a tiny bit rejected.
“Well, I’m going to lay down, and hopefully relax a bit and fall asleep. Or try to. Turn the light off when you’re done,” Tachibana instructed as he laid down.
“Ok,” Kato replied.
Kato looked at his World Lit book and wondered if he was ever going to find time to catch up. He didn’t count how many times he’s reread the same paragraph while zoning out, and he still didn’t know what it said.