The day after Rika and Dahlia-san stayed overnight at my house.
This morning, the snow had melted and trains were running as usual.
I went to school with Rika and Dahlia-san.
But for some reason, Rika was in a daze from last night to this morning.
She seemed to be thinking about something…
“Hey, Virgin-kun. Rika-tan, wait for me!”
We were separated from Dahlia-san in the hallway.
Daria is in the class next to ours.
When we entered the classroom…
“””Good morning, Ueda-kun!”””
I don’t know why, but my classmates greeted me with smiles.
“Good morning, Ueda-kun!”
“It’s a beautiful day again!”
Classmates, both male, and female, come up to me with creepy smiles on their faces.
I don’t know…you’ve been treating me like I’m air.
You’ve been bullying me with the whole class…
I’m annoyed by the rush of my classmates at the entrance.
“Oh, um…good morning. Um…can you please move aside?”
But instead of moving out of the way, they just keep gathering around.
“The helicopter last night was amazing!”
“I didn’t know Ueda-kun was rich!”
“I’ve noticed that you’re really awesome before, but I knew it!”
“That’s why…get out of my way…”
That’s when I was in trouble.
“Hey, you guys, get out of the way!”
Rika raises her voice.
Rika glares at her classmates.
“Shin-chan can’t get through, can he? You’re in the way.”
Rika’s strong words may be the reason why her classmates and the other students are leaving the room.
“Yeah. Thank you.”
Rika finally smiled.
Yes, I knew she should be smiling.
“What’s with that woman?” “…She’s annoying.” “…She’s pretending to be his girlfriend?”
The classmates are whispering behind her back.
I don’t know what they are talking about, but I’m sure they have bad feelings towards Rika.
I sit down in my seat.
“I don’t like the way the class is going. Suddenly, they’re trying to play coy, and it’s weird.”
“It can’t be helped. After what they saw last night.”
I wonder if she was referring to yesterday’s events, i.e., the bento box and the helicopter.
“The class noticed that Shin-chan is rich beyond belief, right? That’s why they’re trying to get close to you.”
“Oh, I see…that’s how it is.”
What a shallow bunch of people.
You’ve been making fun of me all this time for being an introvert and a “nerd” and so on.
If anything, they’ve been bullying me.
…Rika is the only one.
The only one in this class who has been kind to me.
Even though she knew I was born into a family with money, she still treated me the same.
“Thanks for earlier.”
“It’s okay. I’m your girlfriend…I’m Shin-chan’s…”
Maybe it’s because it’s a classroom, that’s why she kept up the fake lovers act.
I didn’t like the fact that people thought we were fake lovers.
“What’s wrong, Shin-chan?”
“Oh, no, nothing…”
And that’s when it happened.
“Ueda-kun. The teacher wants to see you.”
One of my classmates called me from outside the classroom.
“What does he want?”
“I have no idea…”
“He said it was about the helicopter yesterday.”
said a classmate.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about…”
“Uh, yeah… I’m going out for a bit.”
“Okay, see you later.”
Rika waved her hand.
I left the classroom and headed for the teacher’s office.
There I was interviewed about yesterday.
I explained that an acquaintance had come to pick me up, and they let me go rather easily.
He reminded me to be careful next time.
After finishing my business, I returned to the classroom…
“Hey, Matsumoto-san, what was that just now?”
A woman’s voice echoed outside the classroom.
What was that?
I opened the classroom door and looked inside.
The girls and boys in the class were gathered around Rika.
All of them had a look of discomfort on their faces.
What…? What is this situation…?
“Don’t get a little carried away, will you?”
A mob girl raises her voice to Rika.
“What? I’m not getting carried away.”
“What’s with that attitude?”
What you were doing earlier too? You’re the only one who wants to keep him for yourself?”
“I’m not happy about it! Let us have a good time, too.”
“That’s right! You’re monopolizing Ueda for yourself! Even though you only think you’re making money anyway!”
I could see that my classmates and Rika were at odds with each other.
When I tried to stop her…
Rika hit the table with a “bang”!
What do you think you’re doing to Shin-chan?
…and the classroom goes quiet.
“A moneybag? Sweet juice? Having fun…? Do you guys think Shin-chan is some kind of ATM or something?”
Rika glared at everyone.
“Shin-chan is rich anyway, so you’re just trying to be friendly with him, aren’t you?”
The classmates flinch.
“Shut up! I don’t give a s**t!”
“It’s not good. He doesn’t like to show off his money. So if you’re interested in his money, don’t. He won’t be happy with you. It’s too much trouble for him.”
Rika is protecting me from my money-oriented classmates.
What a good girl…Rika…
“What? Who do you think you are?”
“You’re such a pain in the a*s! Don’t get carried away, you ugly b***h!”
The girls in the class were all pissed off.
Hmm, Rika snorted.
“Can you say the same thing to the mirror? You’re many times uglier than me.”
The mob girl snaps.
Just as the girl was about to raise her hand…
I naturally moved my body.
I rushed over to Rika.
She trips and falls.
She makes a violent noise and knocks over the desk.
I stood up and stood in front of Rika.
“What were you going to do to her just now?”
I was afraid to stand in front of so many people, to be honest.
I didn’t enter the classroom quickly because I felt fear somewhere.
I’m scared of my classmates.
I thought she had just come up to her with a smirk and a laugh, but she was about to attack Rika full of dislike.
Unidentifiable and scary people, that was my impression of my classmates.
To be honest, I’m still scared of them.
But…when I thought they were going to hurt Rika, I forgot my fear.
I had this feeling inside me that I had to protect her.
“What are you doing?”
“Ah, no,” “This is…well…you know?”
I say to my flinching classmates.
“Don’t you dare touch my girlfriend!”
I glared at my classmates.
“I’m just joking!”
“Yes, yes, yes! You know, Matsumoto-san was monopolizing Ueda-kun.”
“You said we should all get along, right?”
…Everyone in the class half-laughs again.
“I’m sorry, but I have no intention of becoming friends with you guys.”
I said clearly to my classmates, who raised their eyes at me.
“I’m not going to be friends with people who are just looking for money.”
It’s not a lie, it’s true.
I have no intention of befriending anyone who approaches me not for me, but for my money.
“But, but…! If you say that, even Matsumoto-san is doing that!”
I was surprised at how low my voice came out.
I felt anger welling up from the bottom of my stomach.
“Are you trying to say that Rika approached me for money, too?”
Everyone looked at each other with a sour look on their faces.
Really… a bunch of scum.
“Rika is an important person. Unlike you guys. That’s why I’m friends with Rika. And I will continue to do so. I’m sorry, but you guys are different from her. I don’t care what you guys say, I’m not going to be friends with any of you.”
My classmates were very upset.
I heard “Oh, no!”, “…seriously?”, “… just when I was getting a little bit of money,” and so on, but I ignored them.
“Rika, come here.”
I pulled Rika by the hand and ran out of the classroom.
The homeroom teacher was just about to come in.
“Oh, hey! Ueda! Where are you going?”
I was running with Rika by my hand…
“I have to leave early because I have a headache! Rika has a stomach ache!”
I pulled Rika’s hand and left the class.