[Ouzakura High School.]
This is the public high school where I’ll be attending starting today.
The school’s academic reputation is slightly lower than the one I used to go to, but it was the only school that allowed mid-year transfers into the regular curriculum for first-year students.
Of course, I haven’t told my older sister or my younger sisters where I moved to.
I felt a bit guilty about not informing my younger sisters, who had been providing me with unwavering emotional support, but there was a chance she might slip up and accidentally reveal my location to my older sister.
If my younger sisters were to find out where I am, my older sister would likely go to great lengths, even resorting to something akin to torture, to force them to reveal my whereabouts. Therefore, after discussing it with my father, we decided not to tell my younger sisters.
Sorry… Mana… everyone…
And so, I arrived at Daigou High School.
The school building looked relatively new and clean.
It wasn’t an enormous facility; it resembled an average public high school.
There was a tennis court somewhere away from the main building, but it didn’t concern me much as I had retired from the tennis club in middle school.
When I entered the school building, a teacher of average height and a kind-looking face was waiting, offering me a gentle smile. He then guided me to my assigned class.
This teacher seemed to be the vice homeroom teacher of the class I was transferring into. I would be placed in Class 1-D.
The first-year classrooms were on the sixth floor of the school building, which was a bit challenging for me, as I had not engaged in any significant physical activity for about a year after quitting my club.
The teacher, on the other hand, seemed to be having an even tougher time, as he was panting heavily.
“Haa… haa… Kimisaki, this is your class…”
He pointed with trembling fingers toward the sign for Class 1-D.
“Yes, I understand.”
I stood in front of the classroom door he indicated. Peeking through the gap in the door, I could hear a lively cacophony of voices.
It seemed like the students were getting excited about the arrival of a transfer student.
The boys, in particular, were making a lot of noise, probably speculating about what kind of person the new student would be.
I’m not particularly tall, and I have a slim build, so there are rare instances when I get mistaken for a girl, but I’m definitely a guy.
Feeling somewhat sorry for not meeting their expectations, I took a deep breath and opened the door.
“I’m Yuran Kimisaki! Nice to meet you all!”
As soon as I entered, I shouted loudly.
The moment the students saw my face, some of the boys thought I was a girl and screamed, but they quickly realized their mistake, and it became quiet almost instantly.
On the contrary, the “girls” seemed a bit pleased and started whispering among themselves.
Standing next to the teacher’s podium, I scanned the entire class, and something felt off as I looked at the students in this class.
Why are all the “girls” faces scribbled over with black markers in such a messy manner? And why do only eerie red eyes and mouths seem to exist on those blacked-out faces?
Something’s not right…?
No one in the world has faces like that. Is there something wrong with my eyes? Huh?
My heart raced, and I could feel sweat starting to bead up.
If only I hadn’t noticed this…
I can’t think about anything else now.
Why is everyone laughing? Why do they have such creepy faces?
Could it be…
Do they all know why I came here…??
Once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop.
My breath quickened, my thoughts were all over the place, and bad ideas were rushing through my head like a river swelling during a typhoon.
The entire class seemed like my enemies.
What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? What should I do? What should I…
Panic was setting in, and tears were welling up. The class started to get a bit restless.
“Is he okay? Lol.”
“Could he have social anxiety?”
I could hear voices like that.
Oh no… this is the worst…
What have I done…
Then, suddenly, a hand was placed on my shoulder. In that moment, I urgently shifted my attention to the person who had placed their hand on my shoulder.
There was a blond, seemingly rebellious-looking boy with piercings that were probably a violation of the school rules.
I involuntarily uttered.
Could it be that this guy is going to beat me up? There was no basis for that, but judging solely by his appearance, he seemed like a delinquent. But I couldn’t remember doing anything to provoke anyone…
[Oi, come one now. You little brat!]
I wonder if he’s going to scold me like, “Hey you punk!” or something?
However, the words that boy spoke weren’t like that.
“You seem nervous!”
An unexpected lifeline. When he said those words, the whole class seemed to agree and suddenly became animated. I was saved from the potential disaster of messing up my self-introduction on my first day.
“Yeah, no problem! By the way, I’m Yuji Osaki!”
“Yeah, Yuji-kun! I’m Yuran Kimisaki, nice to meet you.”
As I said that, Yuji-kun smiled and gave a slight nod, then returned to his seat. I felt relieved that I hadn’t misunderstood him.
“That’s right… Yuran, please sit in the empty seat at the back”
After Yuji-kun returned to his seat, I, still feeling a bit lost, headed to the back of the classroom.
On my way to my seat, I tried to look around the class as much as I could, but all the girls’ faces were indeed filled with eerie smiles, like they were scribbled over with black markers.
Seeing those faces made my hands tremble and my heart race even faster. So, I quickly averted my gaze.
I still carried deep trauma from my sister, and that trauma was affecting my perception of all girls. In those few seconds, I came to the conclusion that I had a strong subconscious aversion to girls.
Most likely, I was experiencing a deep-seated psychological rejection of girls due to the trauma I had suffered. After that incident, I refused to go to school, and when I finally returned, I was bullied severely. I had been cooped up at home since then, so I hadn’t interacted with women other than my family.
I had never realized this about myself until now.
No, maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t realized it. Because from now on, every time I saw a girl, my heart would race violently, and I would lose control of myself. This meant I had lost something essential to living as a human being.
I couldn’t help but worry about whether I would be okay in the future. When I thought about it, it felt like my life was plunging into darkness.
And I took my seat. Once I was seated, I greeted the person next to me. First impressions are important, after all.
“Nice to meet you.”
With a faint and barely audible voice that seemed like it could vanish any moment, the person next to me replied.
Wait, that voice just now… Could it be a girl’s voice?!
The voice that came from the person next to me was delicate, gentle, and carried a calming tone – unmistakably a girl’s voice.
Realizing this, I looked at the person next to me.
There was a ‘girl’ sitting there.
She sat with excellent posture, radiating an air of elegance. Her beautiful silver hair cascaded down to her eyes, and her black eyes with a hint of aqua blue peeked through the gaps, captivating anyone who looked into them.
Those eyes undoubtedly pierced straight through my heart.
I unintentionally let out a voice.
Why wasn’t she affected by that eerie face being painted over her like the rest of the girls? This sudden ‘question‘ perplexed me.
And in response to my confusion…
She murmured the same question.
On a day in November when my heart and everything felt as lifeless as the fallen leaves, our love began.