Cling Clang Cling Clang
The loud chime signaled the end of the class.
With this, all the classes for today had come to an end. Despite the various challenges, I managed to get through my first day at the new school.
I swiftly stashed my textbooks into my bag, preparing to leave as soon as homeroom was over.
I was suddenly tapped on the shoulder.
When I turned around, there was Yuji-kun.
Yuji-kun was like a savior during my self-introduction, a kind of benefactor in a way. He had a tough appearance with blond hair and piercings, but he was a very kind and decent guy.
When I looked back, Yuji-kun flashed a smile.
“Yuran! How was your day?”
“It was great! Thanks to you, I made some friends. I really appreciate it!”
Yuji-kun had many friends, and some of them joined us for lunch. Thanks to him, I became friends with quite a few people. All of this was thanks to Yuji-kun.
If it weren’t for him, I’d probably be labeled as the guy who messed up his self-introduction on the first day and would spend my high school days eating a lonely bento in the corner of the classroom.
“Hahaha, here here!”
I said, and Yuji-kun playfully smacked my back with a bit of force, grinning confidently.
“Hahaha, it hurts!”
I laughed as well, caught up in Yuji-kun’s enthusiasm.
This is what it’s like to have conversations with friends… For the first time in a long while, I felt like I could express myself without worrying about anything.
After the incident at my previous high school, everyone who used to talk to me disappeared. In the end, I spent my school life in solitude and it broke me mentally.
So, even this trivial conversation brought tears of joy to my eyes.
“By the way, Yuran, have you noticed anyone you like?”
Yuji-kun suddenly lowered his voice and whispered in my ear, a mischievous grin on his face (although I couldn’t see it, I could tell he was grinning).
It suddenly became such a common topic… I thought about whether there was someone I liked.
But the answer was no.
Due to my trauma, every girl’s face appeared tainted, all inky black, and just looking at that darkness would make my heart race and send me into a panic. That was the extra baggage I carried.
In other words, for me, looking at girls was a high-risk activity with no benefits. There was no way I could have a crush on a girl.
“Yeah… I haven’t found anyone yet”
“What’s up with that? You’re so boring”
Yuji-kun responded bluntly.
“Haha, sorry to disappoint”
“Seriously! Are you really that clueless!?”
“Yeah… I guess so?”
But even if I wanted to explain about my trauma, doing so would jeopardize the peace I’d found at this new school. I had to avoid that at all costs.
“Anyway, Yuran, didn’t you notice the girl sitting next to you, Ginro?”
Ginro – I wondered who this could be… The girl sitting next to me…?
“Next to you, there’s a girl with rare silver hair, you know.”
I suddenly realized, in sync with Yuji-kun’s words, and turned to look at the girl sitting next to me.
Right… This girl is the ‘exception’!!
“Oh, so that reaction means I hit the mark?”
“Uh… she’s…” I mumbled.
“Heh, Yuran, are you interested in Ginro?”
I wanted to argue, but I couldn’t. If I countered this, I’d only dig myself into a hole, and Yuji-kun was speaking the truth in a rounded way.
“But you should stay away from Ginro, you know? Because—”
Just as he was about to continue, Yuji-kun seemed to notice something and suddenly clamped his hand over his mouth, interrupting himself.
“…Uh, well, that’s all I wanted to say. Good luck, Yuran!”
Yuji-kun said with a grin before leaving the classroom.
After Yuji-kun, who was like a storm, had left, I stood there in shock.
Those words echoed endlessly in my mind.
This girl is…
Every woman I saw in my field of vision was obscured by a chaotic blackness.
However, “Ginro-san” was the only one not affected by this. Her face wasn’t just not covered in black, it was entirely clear.
Could this be some kind of mistake? I stared intently at Ginro-san, who was sitting in the adjacent seat, but even with my tainted eyes, tainted by trauma, her beautiful silver hair, black irises, and perfect face all remained vivid and unaffected.
It couldn’t be a mistake…
I couldn’t help but mutter.
I stared at her even more intently.
Her beauty was beyond words, and her fragility, as if everything would crumble if touched, only added to her charm.
I became captivated by her, like a cherry blossom about to scatter.
She suddenly turned toward me, probably sensing my gaze.
Oh… I stared for too long.
Internally, I regretted this, but it might be a chance to communicate with “Ginro-san.”
Why was “Ginro-san” the exception that broke me free from my traumatic grip? If I could find that answer, I might be able to reset my broken life.
But… how do I even start this conversation?
It’s our first meeting…
We continued to hold eye contact, and silence hung in the air. What should I do? This is awkward!!
The concept of silence being golden had turned into a slow-motion nightmare. The seconds ticked by on the clock, each one feeling impossibly long.
What do I do, what do I do, what do I doooooo…
However, the silence was shattered in an unexpected way.
“…Are you a guy?”
As I pondered how to initiate the conversation, she spoke up unexpectedly. Her words were like an ambush, shattering all my thoughts about how to approach her. This was what they call “thought paralysis.”
“…A guy… but?”
I replied to her inexplicable question. But if I’m not a guy, what am I? Did she think I was a crossdresser?
“Is that…. so”
“Why did you ask something like that?”
She fell silent, looking down and seemingly lost in thought in response to my question.
Another silence fell, but it felt different from the previous one. It carried a sense of anticipation and excitement, unlike the earlier one, which had been void of any feeling. Somehow, I strangely found this silence somewhat comforting.
After a few minutes of contemplation, she turned toward me, wearing a determined expression.
“My name is Suzune Ginro.”
“There’s something I want to know about you.”
Her unexpected words left me bewildered. She wanted to know about me? Why?
Thoughts raced through my mind one after another.
But the words that came out of my mouth weren’t part of the phrases I had been considering.
“I ….want to know about you too.”
Words I hadn’t anticipated. Words that came out almost reflexively, something I had never experienced before.
At that moment, I had no idea that this encounter would change my destiny.