It was a very rainy day. I usually eat lunch with Dojima in the courtyard, but today we’re having lunch in the classroom.
The two of us were talking about novels and the upcoming test. We were having a peaceful time.
Suddenly, something happened.
Saejima, the mischievous boy in the class, stood next to Dojima and poured the juice he was holding over Dojima’s head.
“Oh, sorry about that, your hair was a little shaggy, I’ll fix it.”
As he said this, Saejima capped the plastic bottle and roughly crushed Dojima’s head with one hand.
I had to speak up immediately.
“Wait, what are you doing!!”
The class was filled with giggles. I could tell by their expressions that they were all laughing.
I recognized them by their expressions. They all thought this was a joke. They’re just having fun using Dojima to see my reaction.
Some students have a suppressed smile, some have a high-pitched laugh, some look a little disgusted, and some make fun of us while pricking their fingers.
My heart was rapidly squeezing out of me. Scary. I was filled with such emotions.
“Haa, It’s just a bunch of loners being loud to each other.”
“Yes, it’s not good to ignore them. You have to tease them properly. We’re in the same class.”
“Uwa, he really poured juice on him. Oi, you should do the same.”
“You know, Dojima scares people because you never know what he’s thinking.”
“That’s why we’re messing with him.”
The voices of my classmates passed through my ears. It’s my fault. Because of me, Dojima will be bullied too.
This is no joke to those who are being bullied.
This time, it’s not just about being ignored. He’s going to be used as a toy like this.
When I thought about it, my legs began to tremble. But …….
But, but, Dojima–
I took out a handkerchief from my pocket with trembling hands.
Then, I gently wipe Dojima’s wet head.
It’s juice, so it’s sticky. I have to wash his head to get it clean. I don’t know what to do about this situation. Even Dojima is scared—–.
“I-It’s okay, Dojima. Oh, the school uniform will get dirty.”
Dojima touched my hand as I wiped it. I don’t know why it felt so warm.
I don’t know what it is, but despite this situation, Dojima’s eyes look really beautiful.
“Hizaki, your beautiful handkerchief is going to get dirty. I’ve got a big towel in case something like this happens. Look.”
Dojima took out a towel from his bag and started to wipe his hair.
“By the way, Hizaki, is this because my hair is shaggy and he wanted to clean it out of kindness? I see, I need a haircut for this.”
“Do-Dojima, you know, this …….”
Dojima is the same as always. When I saw Dojima, my fear eased.
“Oi oi. I’m talking to you, you know? Turn around. You, are you right in your head?”
Saejima-kun is flirtatious and is in the boxing club, so he scares me. But it doesn’t matter. Because Dojima is…
“Stop it! Are you crazy!? Stop pouring juice on Dojima out of nowhere. …… Dojima is a quiet boy, stop it.”
“What? What, are you guys dating? Then I’ll put it on you too.”
As I froze in the corner of the classroom, my former group of girls looked at me with cold eyes.
What did I do so wrong? I was just writing a …… novel. ……
When Saejima-kun moved to open the lid of the plastic bottle, there was some wind noise.
I felt Dojima’s body move. It was a moment too long to tell what had happened.
The plastic bottle was gone in Saejima-kun’s hand.
Instead, there was a plastic bottle in Dojima’s hand.
“Hizaki’s hairstyle is nice ……. There’s no need to fix it. In fact, your hair is rather messy, isn’t it? Okay, I’ll play with your hair.”
Dojima spoke while brushing his hair.
The quality of Dojima’s voice at that moment was different from usual. His voice was different from usual, and the atmosphere he wore was heavy.
His tone was inorganic and calm at all times, but his words were just a little harsher.
When Dojima’s true face was clearly seen, the atmosphere of the class changed. It was because Dojima’s mood had changed completely.
“Haa? You’re going to fight me, …….”
“…… Right, this happened to me when I was in elementary school. It’s been a long time since I remembered ……. I’d turned off my emotions and forgotten all about it. I can’t shake it no matter how I’m treated. But if you put your hands on my precious friend–“
There was a loud popping sound.
It was the sound of the plastic bottle in Dojima’s hand exploding.
The classmates didn’t know what had happened and a small scream was born.
Saejima was so startled by the bursting sound that he slumped down in front of Dojima and fell on his butt on the floor.
“……I-I don’t get it. Wait, w-what are you doing? Haa? Can a plastic bottle break ……”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I spilled your juice all over it. I don’t have any right now, so I’ll pay for it next time. I’ll take care of the cleanup.”
Dojima takes a glance at Saejima. He feels uncommonly intimidating ……. That alone made Saejima shiver. He hugged himself, trying to push down the fear.
Dojima let out a single sigh and looked at me with a slightly troubled face.
“Hi-Hizaki, I’m sorry. I hope you didn’t feel bad when you see me. I thought I turned off my emotions because I didn’t want to scare you. …… Should I not get involved with Hizaki anymore?”
Dojima looks as if he’s a child.
Objectively speaking, Dojima is sick. But to me, Dojima seemed like a pure and wonderful person.
“Idiot! What are you talking about? We’ re going to study at Saigeria today, aren’t we? …… I’m friends with you and ……. That’ s why I’m going to …… wipe the wet spot off so you don’t catch a cold.”
“…… Y-yeah. I see, friends……. Hahaha, haha, me and Hizaki are friends. Okay, do your best to wipe me down. Wait, doesn’t Hizaki have juice aswell? My towel—-.
The air in the class was heavy. But I don’t care about that.
Dojima and I are different in this class.
That’s fine. Because I’m not alone. I have friend …… who is important to me.
Dojima got a haircut.
He held a cutout of a Korean idol in his hand and cut his hair at my favorite hair salon.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had it this short. It makes my head feel so soft.”
“Haa? You said you wanted it short! I mean, it looks good on you.”
“Fumu, my vision is good, I can see Hizaki’s face clearly.”
The fact that we are hated in class has not changed.
But there was a slight change.
When we were eating together in the courtyard, or on the way home, a few students talked to us.
“U-uhm, I read your web novel and it was really interesting. I’m looking forward to reading it in a book……”
“Well, it’s hard for me to talk to you in the classroom, so I can’t help you much……, but I’m looking forward to your novel.”
“D-D-Dojima-kun. What kind of martial arts did you practice? I can see your muscles even through your clothes. ……
“Uwaa, I’m really looking forward to your novel. The rest of the class is talking about it.”
“Dojima ……, I’m sorry for pouring juice on you the other day. I’m really sorry. I was out of line. ……. Do me a favor. You can box, right? Will you spar with me for real?”
Not all of my classmates are jerks either. Maybe I am, but I’m just too weak to go against the big flow. I’m afraid of being hated myself. But these kids were brave enough to talk to us. They were brave enough to apologize.
[Puggy, how are you? The recent developments are quite thrilling and interesting. Do ypur best to keep up.]
[Puggy! I’m looking forward to your next outing! If there’s anything you want to eat, go ahead!]
My brother and sister send me messages every day. Just looking at them gives me a warm feeling inside.
Today, Dojima is sitting next to me, munching on his lunch.
“Mumu, do I have something on my face? Right, Chisa, would you like to eat this side dish?”
“Buu!? Why are you calling me by my first name?”
“N-no, friends are supposed to call each other by their first names. …… I read that in one of Chisa’s novels. ……”
“R-right. Well, then it can’t be helped. Well, let’s see, you’re so precious. ……”
“Mumu, for some reason, I feel a twinge of embarrassment. …… Chisa.”
I was surprised to hear him call me by my first name, but come to think of it, my brother and sister also call each other by their first names, so it’s okay.
I felt like we were getting a little closer than usual.