“Fuyusaka-san… what’s with you!?”
“Get out of the way! Get out of the way!!”
“Ow! Don’t step on my foot!”
“You’re the one taking up too much space, you piece of junk.”
“I’d like to exchange contact information with you, Yaya-san!!”
“You know what? You’re Mizuki, right? I’ve been a fan for a long time!!”
“Ah! Fuyusaka-san! Step on me! Step on me!”
The room instantly turned into a hellscape.
A student in the next class, who was apparently still in orientation, leaned out of the window to see what was going on… You can rest assured that, in a little while, your class is going to be like this.
In the stormy classroom, I remained motionless in my seat. However, in contrast to my body, my thoughts are flying around in my head at a dizzying pace.
I thought about punching out any guy who came near her, but my fears were unfounded. Sakurame sat in her seat and didn’t move, and there were no guys who wanted to talk to her. Well, that’s understandable.
Sakurame boasts a fantastic beauty, but in the world of everyday life, it is obviously different. No matter how beautiful a girl is, if her appearance is far from yours, it is hard to get close to her. That’s the honesty of human beings, isn’t it?
And moreover, she had long bangs covering her eyes.
What’s more, she has long bangs that cover her eyes.
The fact that they could not see her eyes made it difficult to read her expression. For this reason, I felt that the hurdle for communication had been raised even more. But if she showed her eyes, the crimson eyes would be unapproachable, too…
(…. Let’s get this situation straight.)
I take a slow, deep breath to regulate my thoughts. My goal is to win first place in Love Studies and have a relationship with Sakurame. To do that, I need to score some points.
Specifically, I need to “exchange contact information with at least three people of the opposite sex”. If I just want to score points, I can exchange contact information with anyone, but I want Sakurame’s contact information no matter what!
But even if there is someone else she likes, there is still a chance that Sakurame will remember the time she and I were together, and if she carelessly asks for my contact information, she would ask if I liked her, and I would be doomed. It’s better to just pretend to be a coincidence and ask for her contact information in a natural way.
(…That’s right. She and I are sitting next to each other. Why don’t I just ask her under the guise that she was the closest member of the opposite sex?)
It was a good idea, even for me. In fact, it seemed like the most natural thing to do. I leave my seat with a poker face on. I don’t lose my facade.
Okay. If I ask her, “Since you’re sitting closest to me, would you like to exchange contact information?” If I ask that…
(…..What the hell?)
Then I realized my mistake. Isn’t it unnatural to get up from your seat to talk to the girl next to you? It’s unnatural. This is clearly strange. For example, if your male friend was sitting next to you, would you bother to get up from your seat to talk to him?
There was no way I could get back up. I’ve never stood up in such a situation in my life, and yet, if I acted unnaturally and asked her for her contact information, it would be obvious that I was nervous. It was inevitable that she would reply, “Do you like me?”
Plus, once again, it’s weird how expressionless she is.
As for the earlier exchange, excessively erasing facial expressions is counter-intuitive.
Since I’m talking to a girl I’ve never met before and asking for her contact information, isn’t it more natural for me to be embarrassed or agitated to some extent? “You’re trying so hard to suppress your expression…” If she realizes that I’m trying so hard to keep my expression in check, she might fall in love with me in a heartbeat. Once again, the “natural” barrier. What’s “natural” about it?
As I was regretting my mistake, I heard a thud! Sakurame stood up.
Don’t tell me… she wants to talk to me!?
To the opposite sex? Contact information!
Sakurame turned her head slightly… I feel something coming…
I can’t be sure, though, because of the long bangs. However, as if she had noticed something, she immediately turned her head and sat back down in her seat.
What the hell is going on!?
What does that mean!?
No way… Act in a meaningful way to get people’s attention and get the guys to ask for your contact information!? A genius! Damn you!!
(Wow…! Now that’s what I call progress…!)
I sat back down in my seat and took out an eraser from my pencil case. A little pathetic, but I can’t help it.
I will roll this eraser at Sakurame’s feet and ask her to pick it up and start a conversation with her – Sakurame remains seated, opens her notebook, takes out her mechanical pencil and writes something. There’s virtually no precautions on my end. I can do it!
(Go! My eraser!)
The eraser, which was the culmination of my wisdom and all my skills, boasted outstanding control and rolled to Sakurame’s feet. It’s a perfect position. It’s at the feet of a girl, which is a little too risky for me, a boy, to take. And yet, it’s a spot that only Sakurame would notice. Mission complete!
Unaware …….. She wasn’t aware of it …….!?
I’m in trouble. This means I’m no longer allowed to even fail to scribble with my Scharben today.
…….No, it doesn’t matter. If this strategy fails, how can I ask for contact information “naturally”? A few seconds of meditation and contemplation. I had an enlightenment.
(Yes, I understand. My own strength is too small. It’s times like this when I need the wisdom of the ancients.)
I took out my notebook and my pencil case.
I hope you are doing well in this spring season.
Now, I am writing to you to exchange contact information with you. Please come to the back of the gym after school.
I came to my senses. The sound of paper tearing and crumpling came from the seat next to me. Calm down, Natsumi Aoyama. There is no one who writes love letters nowadays, and after school is obviously a bit too late.
As I was holding my head in my hands, I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind.
When I turned around, I saw a boy who looked like a picture of “modern style” smiling at me.
“What is it, Mizuki?”
“Am I being treated like crap?”
Ren Mizuki. We were classmates in middle school… Well, he’s kind of a friend. Fluffy brown hair and a worn-out uniform. This is what they call “fashionable” in the world. In fact, Mizuki’s studies and sports were so-so, but he was popular with girls.
After all, he’s not very good at studying, he doesn’t spend much time on it, and yet he’s been accepted into the Haou Academy. Those who are working very hard will be very disappointed.
“Why are you here? I mean, were you in my class?”
“That’s right. I didn’t really get to interact with you before because you were too far away.”
“Are you the ‘Mizuki’ from earlier, huh? What did they mean by a fan of yours?”
“I’m a singer now.”
“That’s new. I knew you had a lot of problems.”
“Well, I’m an air guitarist.”
That’s practically synonymous with not being in a band, isn’t it?
However, the way he “doesn’t bother to practice playing the guitar, but he simply snatches the consequence that people who play the guitar are popular” really represents the man Mizuki, the master of atmosphere.
“By the way, did you get her contact info?”
“What… What about you?”
“Almost all the girls in this class are accounted for.”
“You’re as quick as ever…”
“I have been exchanging them since I was shown into the classroom. Just two more to go.”
With that, Mizuki left my seat and walked around to the front of the seat right next to me.
“Ah…” Before I can say anything else, he speaks to Sakurame.
“Hi, I’m Mizuki. Coincidentally, we’re classmates, aren’t we? So, why don’t we exchange LINE numbers?”
The perfect embodiment of the “naturalness” that I’ve been searching for, holding out his phone towards her. He is a good judge of character and knows how to do anything with dexterity. Only now did I feel jealous of Mizuki.
Sakurame, arms crossed, cuts him off in one swift motion.
“I don’t like flirtatious people.”
“Natsu… Natsumi. I’ve been rejected for the first time in my life.”
“No, you haven’t been rejected.”
“If someone rejects you via LINE, it means that you have no chance!”
“No, not necessarily…”
“No, no, no, no, no.”
“Please don’t hurt him any more!”
When I tried my best to tell her, Sakurame turned to the side and said, “Hmph!”
Oh, what the…?
The girl I’ve been thinking about, the girl of my dreams, was this girl…?
As I was lightly shocked, I saw crimson eyes glancing at me through long bangs.
“I’ve never registered a boy’s contact information before.”
“So, for the first time, I want to be selective.”
“Oh, I see.”
“So …. Therefore …… For the first time ever, I want Aoya …. Aoyama-kun’s…”
“… What? Sorry, I can’t hear you…”
“My first time… I’ll give it to you, Aoyama!”
I guess this is when the expression “fire is about to come out of my face” is used. Of course, my face is getting quite red, too.
But what I’m talking about is Sakurame.
She had long bangs covering the top half of her face, but even so, her face was so red that she couldn’t hide it. I could see tears occasionally in her eyes through her bangs, and her hands were shaking slightly as she held out her phone, her whole body overflowing with the feeling of “I’m going to die of embarrassment!”
It’s a gesture that most boys would fall in love with in an instant.
But I’m not fooled!
(…. Don’t get carried away, Natsumi Aoyama. She looks like a “damsel in love”, but there is someone else that Sakurame likes. In other words… It’s also possible that this is part of a strategy to get the better of me, or that she’s looking at my reaction to see if I remember her at all.)
What a girl, first in her class this year!
If it wasn’t me, someone would have been fooled long ago!!
“Oh, thank you. Well then, let’s trade to complete the task.”
In order to avoid being “exposed as a liking someone” I took out my phone as well, emphasizing the task in particular. I can’t let her know that I like her or that I remember her.
Sakurame displayed a QR code and I used my camera to scan it. The username appears on the screen.
“What!? What is it!?”
“Oh? No, I’m sorry! I just read out your username. I didn’t mean to do anything…!”
“…. It’s okay, just call me Haruka from now on.”
“No, that’s not what I…”
“I’ve abandoned my last name.”
“Our family tradition is to hit anyone who calls us by our last name.”
“No last name, but a family tradition!”
“Shut up. I’m gonna hit you.”
“You’re being unreasonable! All right. Haruka.”
Haruka’s mouth loosened, as if she couldn’t take it anymore. I’m amazed at her tremendous acting skills.
My reflex would be to say, “Are you that happy to hear me call you by your name ….? I thought to myself, “You like me, don’t you ….?”
That’s absolutely not true!!
… It’s a horrible love story.
It’s not impossible that with this power, you’ll be able to captivate men all over the world. After all, the biggest obstacle in the way of the number one ranking in “Love Studies” is this seat …. As I was thinking about this, I felt a shock in my lower abdomen.
When I look down at the familiar feeling, I found my loose brown hair being pressed against my face.