A week has passed by already and Kichirō was starting to get used to the university life. Fortunately, he was in the same classes as Naoki. Being with him made it easier for Kichirō to adjust. It was just strange though that he did not notice Naoki during their first day of classes. Perhaps, he was too engrossed with his own world.
Until now, he only talked with Naoki or the professors. He spoke rarely with their other classmates. It was either he responded with “hmm” or just noddded in response. The wall that Kichirō built around himself was so high and mighty, that nobody could wreck it to get to know the real him. He secluded himself from the outside world because he was afraid that they would hurt him again.
In their university, it was a must for the juniors to get to know and pay respects to their seniors. They had a long break until their next subject, which was the same case for other freshmen. During that time, the professors arranged for all freshmen to meet their seniors. Everyone assembled in the hall for the meet and greet. All of the seniors were all in front.
One of the professors started the program by welcoming them to the university and the dean gave her ‘inspirational’ speech, which Kichirō deemed to be long and boring. After her speech, the dean gestured with her hand to the MC, indicating that the seniors could now start introducing themselves.
Kichirō started noticing girls in front of them, who were ‘kya-ing’ like some fan girls. Kichirō laughed inwardly. He knew for sure that they were looking for some good-looking seniors. He could imagine himself when he was reading manga or watching anime because Kichirō also had the tendency to do the same! His was a silent one though. He did not want his mom to think that he was gay again.
After some time, Kichirō was getting bored already. He yawned but he made sure to cover his mouth. He did not want them to think that he was not enjoying this ‘happy and warm’ event. He looked at Naoki, who was seated beside him, and he could see clearly that this guy was too engrossed in listening to all of those speeches that their seniors gave.
One after another, the seniors introduce themselves. The professors looked uneasy while exchanging glances with each other when they realized that everyone was almost done. Kichirō guessed that there might be some upperclassmen who did not attend the event. Boy, they’re in big trouble, he thought.
Out of nowhere, five guys came walking into the hall wearing jerseys, shorts, and athletic shoes. It was obvious that they were basketball athletes. Maybe they were the ones that had caused the professors’ worry. The one who was currently introducing himself in front suddenly stopped talking. Everyone looked at the five and all of the girls started screaming. At first, Kichirō found it cute; but now, his ears were about to close and his eardrums were about to explode due to the annoying noise that they were making. They’re so annoying. What’s so cool about these guys anyway?
They arrived right on time. The senior, who was on-stage, was the last one to introduce to the freshmen. Kichirō looked at him and felt pity for him because while he was introducing himself, everyone was eyeing the jocks.
Kichirō sighed and out of dismay, he immediately excused himself to go to the restroom. This world’s still full of people who think highly of themselves. When will it ever change? While Kichirō was walking along the aisle, he did not realize that he was about to bump into the jocks. They did not pass by the center aisle since there was a herd of delusional girls, who were about to devour them. Unexpectedly, they went to the aisle where Kichirō was passing by.
Realizing this, he tried to avoid them, but the girls right next to him pushed him aside to get near to their beloved jocks. Because of this, Kichirō accidentally fell on someone sitting near the aisle. He apologized and fortunately, they did not get angry. Cold sweat trickled down his back and out of embarrassment, his cheeks and ears blushed. Kichirō had the tendency to blush easily. While he was trying to stand up from where he landed, a big hand reached out to him. He grabbed this person’s hand tightly and pulled himself up.
Kichirō could feel that the people near them were looking daggers at him.
The guy with the big hand, who helped him, turned out to be one of the jocks. He was petrified. He did not notice that at first because he was too preoccupied with his humiliation.
“Are you okay, Bench Boy?” The jock with the buzz cut asked Kichirō with an indifferent face.
“Dude, Ryū, do you know this cutie?” A handsome, dandy jock asked the one with the buzz cut. He then smiled at Kichirō.
Kichirō was petrified, as if all the blood from his face got drained. Ryū did not respond to the other one and asked Kichirō again with an indifferent tone, “I said, are you okay?”
“I’m—.” Kichirō stuttered in response because he realized that this Ryū guy was the same jock that he encountered at the park during the first day of classes. He did not know that he would meet this guy again nor did he expect that they would be taking the same course. Kichirō knew this guy was the same guy he met before, even though he only saw this guy’s side profile.
Kichirō suddenly felt a blunt pain on his forehead, which, woke him up from his temporary daze. Ryū flicked Kichirō’s forehead with his middle finger because he was not paying any attention. The guy frowned, then asked, “Deaf or blind? Which is it?”
“I—,” Again, Kichirō stuttered.
“What? You’re sorry again?” Ryū asked coldly.
The dandy jock interrupted and said, “Hey, man. Don’t give the cutie a hard time.” He sounded concerned.
“Shut it, Ken. I wasn’t talking to you,” Ryū harshly said.
“Hey, kid. I’m sorry for this short-tempered guy. He’s really nice if you’ll get to know him more,” Ken said while looking Ryū, as if he was teasing the other.
“This is pointless. Let’s just go. Everyone’s waiting for us,” Ryū said then dashed off toward the stage. Kichirō saw the other jocks were chuckling from behind, then they followed after him.
Someone patted Kichirō’s back and when he looked back, he saw that it was Naoki.
“Hey Kichirō-san, do you know him?” he asked as if he was amazed.
“He was the guy I told you about when I was at the park,” Kichirō answered him directly.
“That guy’s famous here. He’s Ryū Ueno. I heard that he’s the team captain of our basketball team. He’s also quite well-off, one of the outstanding students here, and is currently in his third year. He’s basically one of the main reasons why the girls go rabid like mad dogs,” Naoki said then laughed.
“Ohoh, you know a lot about him eh, Ki-kun?!” Kichirō exclaimed to tease him.
“Nah, he’s too popular for me,” Naoki said.
“What? Do you mean to say you’re into guys?!?” Kichirō asked, dumbfounded from this indirect revelation that Naoki made.
“You can’t tell? You’re into guys too, right?” He responded while laughing. “I know you do. I can tell from how you look at Ueno-san. Heh,” he added and smirked.
“No I’m not! Don’t assume something if you haven’t asked yet,” Kichirō responded while pouting. Deep inside him, Kichirō could tell that something was not right. He had mixed emotions based on what Naoki said. What even made his confusion worse was when his heart started beating faster when he touched Ryū’s hand.
Waah~~~?!? No! I’m no longer gay! I’m not gay? Or am I still one?
Kichirō then inwardly asked the gods, Is this a fateful encounter?