TL: 1 more week for submitting your logo.
It was the winter of my second year of junior high school when I met Mayuki Shirase.
There was no place for me at school.
The students despised me as a stalker and a criminal who attacked a quiet girl. Teachers treated me as a troublemaker who had fallen down the stairs, badly injured himself, and had to be taken to the hospital, bringing the school’s reputation into disrepute.
The only ally I had was my best friend, Renji.
But if I continued to live like this, I might drag my best friend down with me. So, instead of going to class, I repeatedly went to school in the infirmary.
In the infirmary, I studied lightly, ate school lunch with the infirmary teacher, had interviews, and left the school. I didn’t want to see anyone, so I staggered my dismissal times.
Life was boring.
I had done nothing wrong. I did not do anything wrong. But no one believed me. I knew that no matter what I did, no one would believe me.
At that time, I had given up on everything.
I met Shirase on a bench in a park far from my house. It was by chance that I came to this park. I didn’t want to stay at home. My mother was at work, and it was depressing to spend time alone in the park. But if I went to a nearby place, the school kids would find me. That’s why I came here.
As I was sitting on the bench, I heard footsteps approaching.
Despite the fact that there were other benches available, she sat down next to me. Without looking at me, she opened his mouth.
“——I am a runaway delinquent.”
For some reason, she was proud of it.
I thought she looked like an elementary school student, but when I looked next to me, I saw that she was wearing the uniform of Himemiya Jogakuin, a well-known school for young ladies.
“Please say something. I’m a bad girl. That’s why I’m picking up boys from other schools.”
When I ignored her, she looked into my face.
“Ara, you look so gloomy.”
“…….I’m having a bit of a bad day. Leave me alone.”
I had no intention of having a conversation with anyone.
But that girl wouldn’t leave me alone.
“I see. It seems that you are as much in the dark as I am. Let’s have a little chat, then, as we are both gloomy people.”
“……I thought I told you to leave me alone.”
“I’ve heard that the more forceful you are in picking up boys, the more successful you are.”
“It’s a myth.”
“It doesn’t seem to be a myth. Because you fell for it.”
Shirase laughs softly.
Thus began our relationship.
Contrary to her mature appearance, she was forceful. In her own words, I was picked up. That day we chatted on a bench for a while. I was just listening to Shirase’s story.
Although she said she was in pain of darkness, our conversation was just small talk. There was no substance to the conversation, which consisted of junior-high-school study topics and everyday life.
“Just having someone to chat with makes me feel better.”
“…… I see.”
“See you tomorrow.”
As I left, Shirase returned, saying the obvious.
The next day, I came to the park. Shirase came at about the same time and sat down next to me without saying anything. Then we started chatting. I just listened to what she had to say.
Those days went on.
It was a strange relationship.
I waited for Shirase at the park every day. I didn’t make any promises. Still, Shirase came every day.
“Parfait is the best. It is the food of God.”
“I hate ghosts. Horror is an evil thing.”
“I would love to fall in love someday, like in a romance movie.”
It was unimportant information, but it was pleasant to hear. I had always liked to talk to someone, but I hadn’t talked to anyone recently. Just talking to someone, even if it was about something unimportant, made me feel better.
In addition to that, the clunker factor was also healing.
“I lost my phone!”
“……. It’s in your hands.”
“I fell again. There are traps all over the park. I advise you to be careful.”
“There are no traps.”
She seemed firm, but had surprisingly many gaps, and I couldn’t leave her alone.
Shirase’s arrival times varied. Sometimes she came after school, and sometimes she came at a time when she was supposed to be in class. On holidays, she was there from the morning.
We never told each other what was going on. In fact, we didn’t even know each other’s names.
Girls my age who didn’t know me.
I had no place at school or at home, but I felt comfortable next to her. The fact that she talked to me aggressively, that she was slightly clumsy, that she talked to me forcefully but didn’t pry into my affairs, all of these things made me feel comfortable.
I was caught up in her pace, and gradually I was able to talk to her too.
“Did you watch that drama?”
“Yes, it was very interesting.”
“The script is good.”
“The script is certainly fascinating, but it’s interesting because the main character and other characters are likeable. It’s still very shallow.”
The secret relationship lasted for some time.
During that time, there was a lot of activity. Renji and Akazawa came to my house. I am not sure why Akazawa even came to my house, but it was probably because my parents told her to.
I used the answering machine and did not meet anyone.
Once, a girl I did not know came to my house. As I recall, she was a student in the same track team as Aoyama and a good friend of mine. Of course, I did not meet her.
At home, I kept smiling at my mother, who worried about me. She knows that I went to the nurse’s office, but I tried to smile at her and told her that I was fine.
This life definitely wore away at my spirit.
The day came, February 14. The day of Valentine’s Day, as it is commonly called.
“—-I am interested in love.”
Shirase said abruptly.
“Are you not interested?”
“I don’t know”
Akazawa’s face flickered in my mind.
After my first love was over, I wasn’t much for that. I was not popular at school. I was in no mood to fall in love with anyone.
“Well, here, I have something for you.”
Chocolates came out of her bag.
“That’s why, let’s be lovers”
I was extremely flustered by those words that were so easily uttered.
“Do you dislike me?”
“I don’t hate you.”
“Then do you like it?”
“…….Who knows. I don’t even know your name.”
“That is certainly true.”
Shirase thought for a moment.
“Then let’s start getting closer.”
“…… You don’t like me either, the way you talk about me.”
“Yes, to be honest, I am not sure if I like you. But I am interested in love. So, let’s go out to try it out. I hear that some relationships start this way.”
I was interested in love, too. And I didn’t dislike Shirase.
Thus, we became lovers.
“I’m Mayuki Shirase, a sophomore at Himemiya Girls’ Academy.”
“I’m Shota Mukawa, a second-year student at Eastern Junior High School.”
Little did I know that it was the last trap leading to hell.
For the first time in my life, I had a girlfriend.
From that day on I became a little brighter. It was strange to me, but my mood was uplifted.
Talking with Shirase made me feel strange. The content of our conversation was not so different from before, but just talking in a normal way warmed my heart because of our relationship as lovers. Just being close to her made me nervous, and sometimes I felt relieved.
After becoming lovers, Shirase began to complain to me.
“My father is always pushy.”
“The people at school treat me too much like a child.”
“The clothes my mother buys me are all childish.”
It was cute to see her mouth bulging as she complained.
The one who picked on her that day was dissatisfied with her house and school and wanted to be a delinquent. She happened to come to this park and approached me, who was around the same age as her.
“What is it?”
“…… No, I just read your name. Perhaps I’m a little jubilant because this is the first time I’ve ever had a boyfriend.”
Then Shirase sat down next to me. With a feverish look on her face, she moved closer to me.
At first, there were no romantic feelings. But my heart gradually changed. After a few days, I began to develop feelings of love.
The reason I suddenly fell in love with her was probably due to the circumstances in which I was placed. At school, I would lightly chat with the health teacher, and at home, I would talk with my mother in an absentminded manner. My spirit was worn out by this life.
Shirase, who was of the same generation as me and did not look at me with a jaundiced eye, was invaluable in that situation.
She had become my spiritual anchor.
“The people at the school are a real pain in the a*s. They don’t believe me when I tell them I have a boyfriend. I’ll bring proof next time.”
“You don’t have to brag.”
“No, I can’t. It is a matter of my dignity.”
“……, your behavior is childish enough.”
She stepped on my foot and I fainted in agony.
But the pain was not agony, it was somewhat pleasurable.
After only a few days together, I was almost convinced. I knew that I could make things right with Shirase.
I became positive and was thinking about my vision for the future. I would go to a remote high school where the guys at school did not go to, and I would go to Himemiya Jogakuin to meet her.
I started to put more effort into my studies.
A week had passed since we became lovers from a state of no romantic feelings.
I was almost dependent on that girl. My mind was so occupied with her that I thought about asking my parents to buy a smart phone to keep in touch with Shirase. I wanted to talk more and be closer to her.
So I went out to the park that day too.
That day, Shirase did not come.
I waited until the night, but she did not come. We did not exchange contact information with each other. In the first place, I didn’t have a cell phone or a smart phone.
Furthermore, the next day, Shirase came to me as I was waiting on the usual bench. I was worried about an accident or injury, but my fears were allayed.
But something was different from usual. There was a man I didn’t know standing next to her. They approached me with arms crossed in friendship and smiles on their faces.
I froze, not understanding the situation. The man next to her was tall and good-looking, and he was a moon to me, a man with dark glasses at the time.
“This man is my lover.”
Suddenly, my mind goes blank.
We are supposed to be lovers. We became lovers just last week.
Shirase explains to my puzzled mind.
“Actually, this is my real boyfriend.”
“I went out with Shota-san only for fun and it was kind of a light joke. I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. It was just a whim. Think of it as a dream and forget about it. Now, I’m going on a date, so please excuse me.”
It was a breakup without any warning.
It was so abrupt that I suspected many possibilities, but Shirase was smiling all the way through. There was no pretense of being threatened or deceived by a handsome man. I could tell from her expression that she wasn’t taking it hard.
“Shall we go?”
With a big smile on her face, which she had never shown me before, she grabbed the handsome man’s arm and walked away in a friendly manner.
All I could do was stare at her back as she walked away.