Today is Friday, my favorite day of the week. Because I have the next day off. Most students are probably the same, right?
“Renya, are you free tomorrow?”
“Sorry, but I have something to do.”
‘Things to do?”
“Yeah, the noble mission of coasting until noon and reading my stack of novels.”
“So you’re free. Let’s have a Social gathering with our classmates!”
“Listen to me.”
What are you talking about, Saijo, when you suddenly ask me about my plans for tomorrow?
“Social gathering? Where are we going?”
“I want to go bowling.”
“I want to go to karaoke.”
My classmates gathered around me to see if I had heard the story. That’s why they’re such a bunch of jokers!
“Is it just for boys?”
“Un, if it’s a social gathering, it has to be boys and girls together.”
Some girls came up to us.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, the boys will be happy if there are girls too. What? Renya.”
“Don’t dump this on me.”
Why are you dumping this on me? And while the positive people are welcoming, the negative people are uncomfortable.
“Okay, okay. You’re coming too, right, Fujibayashi-san?”
“Huh? Ah, yes.”
Fujibayashi is nodding when asked by the cheerful girls. At that time, Fujibayashi was looking at me, but why was she looking at me?
“Okay, whoever is going tomorrow, let’s exchange contact information. Boys, meet me; girls, meet Kinoshita.”
I didn’t know that the cheerful girl was called Kinoshita. I never heard her introduce herself, so I didn’t know her name.
That’s what I thought as I left my seat. Where am I going? Of course, not Saijo’s place, but my home. Those who want to go to the social gathering can do so on their own.
I can go play with Renya. Lately, I’ve been getting rejected more often than when I invite Renya out. When Kinoshita-san asked me to talk about it, I nodded on the spur of the moment, but it doesn’t matter if Renya is going. Even if there were other classmates there, it would be a trivial matter.
I was about to leave the classroom when I looked at Renya.
“Hey, Renya! Where are you going?”
“I’m just going home. Fujibayashi should have fun tomorrow.”
I didn’t think he would not go with the flow. And even though there are other girls there, it’s sad that he doesn’t seem to think anything of me going out with the boys.
“Come, Renya. Socializing is important.”
“You’re gonna tell me that?”
I couldn’t help but be frightened when Renya looked back at me with a blank expression. I didn’t say it, but my eyes were telling me.
He thought that even if he built up trust, it would fall apart again anyway.
I remember the look of resignation on Renya’s face that day. It’s my own fault for making his that way. I can’t say anything as if I’m being blamed for that sin.
“It’ll only be a downer if people like me go. Not all of us are going.”
Then Renya tried to leave the classroom again. I quickly reached out his hand, but that hand was cut off in the air.
But there was someone who walked past me with his hand still half extended and squared his shoulders to hold back Renya.
“Hey, hey, where are you going, Renya? We haven’t exchanged contact information yet, have we?”
“I told you I’m not going, Saijo. And don’t square your shoulders with me.”
“Don’t say that! We’re going to be together for the next three years, so let’s be friends, okay?”
“I’m not the only one not going, am I? Get the f*ck off me.”
“If you say you’re going, I’ll let you go. The only people who don’t go are the ones who have things to do.”
“I said I have business to attend to!”
“That’s not an excuse.”
“All right, I’ll go if I can.”
“That means you’re not going.”
After that, Renya resisted, but in the end he seemed to have broken down.
“All right, I will go, I will go”
Saijo-kun forced Renya to agree to go with him. I’m not sure if I would have been able to get him to nod if I had pushed him as hard as Saijo did. But I don’t think I can do that, because I’m afraid that if I force myself on him, he’ll seriously reject me.
I’m afraid more than anything that Renya will hate me even more.