Even though it was normal for anyone to feel sleepy in the morning, today I got up ten minutes earlier, so I felt that I was even more sleepy than usual.
I already drank a cup of coffee at home, but my mind still felt blurry.
The reason I got up ten minutes earlier was to take another train to the school, which was earlier than the usual train I took.
Yesterday, a kouhai who suddenly talked to me seemed like she wanted to continue interacting with me. How mysterious.
Without any warning, we already made a promise of having 「one question a day, that both of us have to answer no matter what」, or something like that… No, I faintly remember that it was no longer a promise, yet more like an agreement. Her name was… Yoneyama Maharu, right?
Both of us, one senpai and one kouhai, were unfortunately sharing the same station, which was the nearest to my home. In addition, I only recognized her as someone who was riding the same train as me, without any special relationship other than being her senpai. Actually, four months had passed since we first met if I ignored the summer vacation period. We met around April, and now it was September.
If I took the usual train at this situation, she would surely interrogate me about many things the moment she got her clutches on me, regardless of whether I was willing or not. My commuting time was dedicated for my peaceful reading, and I wanted it to stay that way until the end.
Racking my brain the whole night, I thought of some ideas.
Proposal One. Changing the position where I would get on the train. In other words, if I abandoned the advantage of the closelessness to the ticket gate when I got off the train, plus with the extra disadvantage that I would have to find another boarding place that needed to be far away from my original spot, there were chances that I could escape from her.
I dismissed this proposal after several brain simulations.
Even though the salary men would soon wear suit jacket with the approaching winter season, high school boys would still generally wear a short-sleeved shirt when going to school. There was no way her eyesight was so bad to the point that she couldn’t find the only one person with white shirt in the middle of black-suited flocks at rush hour.
Proposal Two. Take another train with a different schedule.
If I go later than usual, the risk of being late will increase, and she might even wait for me at the station if she couldn’t find me. Now that I had to shift the time, it’s better to take an earlier train than usual.
There was the pitiful figure of Kouhai-chan who was searching for me until the last minute of boarding without knowing that I already left playing in my mind. The BGM was of course, the loud game soundtrack when the player managed to win the battle.
There was… no other choice.
With that, I arrived at the station ten minutes earlier than usual, while waiting for the train to come.
Yesterday’s event was just a little bit of a strange chance encounter. Now that I would shush that kind of kouhai away from my life, my peaceful school days would return again from now on. No, it hadn’t even gone away at all.
Since that kind of thing happened yesterday, I reselected the books in my bag. I brought a web-novel published edition book that was somewhat bulkier than the usual paperback, with a simple enjoyable plot that I could read with an empty head. If it was something like this, I might be able to finish it at the time I returned back home. Thinking about the cost performance, my reading speed was actually disappointing.
The moment I took out the book, and tried to open the first page…
There was someone who blew a breath beside my right ear, making me almost dropped my book because of the ticklishness.
The voice I thought I would never hear today called me from behind.
＊ ＊ ＊
You shouldn’t try running away from me, senpai.
Even though my voice came from the right side behind him, senpai still specially turned in a counterclockwise direction to face me.
Tsk. Even though I wanted to poke my finger against his cheek the moment he turned his face…[1. She is trying to do this:
「Good morning, senpai.」
「Why… is this girl here…」
His face seemed like he was currently facing the end of the world. Even the eyes behind his glasses are opened wide in a perfect circle.
「Senpai, you shouldn’t talk that heartlessly towards your cute kouhai.」
「That doesn’t matter right now.」
「Even if you ask me why… Isn’t it because I want to talk with senpai?」
Seeing that my approach was too pushy, I predicted that senpai would most likely change his train schedule.
「Damn it… My effort…」
Oh my. This person was stricken with grief again.
「The train will soon arrive on Line 3. Since it is dangerous, please don’t stand on the yellow line.」
「Look, senpai. The train already arrived. Let’s get in.」
＃ ＃ ＃
I lost again.
The kouhai in front of me――by the way, she took the space beside the door with a very natural face. Even though that place was my fixed position for reading!――won against me again. Actually, she cornered me in the argument.
I already have a coping method imprinted since I was in elementary school to turn left when someone called me from the right side. But, it was still one win two losses. And that one win was also a very small-minded win.
Why was she even predicting my plan? How scary.
「Are you a stalker?」
The voice inside my mind unconsciously leaked out.
「Senpai, I’m not a stalker, and I’m also not a yandere[2. ヤンデレ; someone who loves someone else so much they will literally kill people for them, obsessive love.]. Please don’t worry.」
「That kind of person who doesn’t realize their own tendencies is fairly dangerous, you know.」
「I told you that it will be okay. This is the first time I did this kind of thing too, so senpai is my first. You have to take responsibility, okay?」
「No, no, I’m just joking, okay? Please don’t take it that seriously.」
Kouhai-chan averted her gaze from me, and cleared her throat once.
「Nn. Our conversation has deviated.」
「Whose fault is it?」
「We don’t have much time, so I’ll get into the real subject first. My first question for today is this. Senpai, do you have any extracurricular activities?」
「I choose to keep my silence!」
No way, no way. This question was no good.
If I answered this question, she wouldn’t just disturb me when we were going to school, but she would even pester me when we were going home.
But since my opponent was this girl, even if I kept my silence, she would look it up in a few days. But I still didn’t want to personally tell her.
However, it seemed like this Kouhai-chan (no, a demon!) in front of me knew that I wouldn’t answer this.
She gave me a final blow with a smile.
「You know, senpai. The rule is to answer a question a day truthfully, no matter what, right?」
As I expected, that promise was not just my dream or delusion…
I didn’t like it. I wouldn’t admit its existence. It was a verbal contract, making it invalid!
「I don’t really remember when we made that kind of promise, though?」
「What now, senpai wants to eat pufferfish, huh. Please just answer me quickly~ I heard that they call it as ‘sea porcupine’ in Okinawa, and make it into miso soup. I think it should be okay to eat them as a sushi too. Ah, I also heard that senpai should eat more fish, since they will stimulate your nerve cell and something called EPA for your declining memory. Let’s go to the fish market on the way home later to buy them today, okay?[3. There are other sayings about lying, one of them is ‘If you lie, gulp down a blowfish!’, and blowfish is poisonous. Well, basically, Kouhai-chan is roasting her senpai LOL. Read more about it here! https://agije.com/jouhou/archives/3972.html]」
Making the 「I will gulp down blowfish (sweat)」joke into real life implementation was too scary, okay?! Stop it already!
「The library committee member, and… the student council president.」
「Eh? Pardon me?」
It was the first time there was a hint of confusion on this girl’s face.
「It’s library committee member, and the president of the student council. I don’t join any club. Are you satisfied now?」
「I can understand the library committee member part, but senpai is actually the student council president? The person who is ignoring me every day without saying anything even though I am the only same station commuter with him? Isn’t there someone else who is more responsible? Also, is our high school okay with you as the student council president?」
Oi oi, she was saying something very cruel to me, wasn’t she.
「Then, Yoneyama Maharu-kun.」
When I called her full name that I somehow still remember, she made a very surprised face.
「Do you know what the student council president does?」
「Isn’t the student council president the person with overwhelming power who has full control of the school from behind, and could overwhelm all of the students with only a word?」
「Well, what you said only happens in the fictional world.」
「I’m sorry, I don’t know.」
For the first time, I felt like I took a point from this one kouhai. But even though I took a point, I still had to explain this to her, huh.
「To put it simply, the『Student Council President』is just an official position.」
Perhaps the biggest job for this position was the「farewell address」in the graduation ceremony. Interaction with other schools? Assembling the students? I had never done that before. All the members of the student council would only do what was necessary. The student council president was just the top of the decoration.
「In other words, senpai is only a decoration, huh.」
「Shut up. I also care about others a little bit…」
In fact, after seeing most of my classmates in the sports club and sweating every day, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel somewhat anxious. They were「healthy」and「general」high school students, and I was just the「little strange」otaku.
Sometimes I thought it would be better if I mixed in with them and became one of the members of the athletic club, spending my「youth」normally. At the same time, I also wished that 「I don’t want to be overwhelmed by them」, so I told myself that it would be better to stay like this.
After all, there was no correct answer in life. The road I chose was everything that would decide my own life. Recently, I came to think of that.
Kouhai-chan’s voice sounded worried, and she called me a little anxiously.
「Nn? Ah, I was just thinking about something. Sorry.」
「Senpai had such a nerve to have a mind trip in front of your cute kouhai. Do you really feel bothered by me that much? After all, senpai talked with so much passion. Where did the senpai who doesn’t want to have anything to do with me yesterday go?」
「I don’t remember talking with any passion to you.」
＊ ＊ ＊
Maybe I teased him a little bit too much?
It’s quite difficult for me to make a distance. But, well… since he didn’t seem to be angry, I’m relieved.
「Come on, let’s have a conversation, senpai. Don’t you have something you want to ask me too?」
「Didn’t you already take half of my precious commuting time already……」
When I saw the display time above the train door, it certainly proved senpai’s words.
「If you want me to ask that much, then I will ask you. Does Kouhai-chan also have club activities or something?」
「Ehh, do I really have to tell senpai?」
「Aren’t you the one who suggested this conversation? And then, don’t we have that promise or whatever it is? Or, do you want to have a blowfish hot pot together?」
「I am in the art club.」
「Can you draw?」
「My skills are ordinary. I’m not that good at it.」
Besides, I hadn’t attended the club recently, I added so in my mind.
Originally, I didn’t intend to enter a club with a long restraining time. It was not really interesting to keep interacting with a specific club member for a long time.
That’s why, I thought it would be more fun to enter a loose club that allows ghost members, so that I could relax and interact with a lot of people.
「Show it to me next time. Even a picture of blowfish is okay. Ah, not the player, but the fish, okay?」
「……I will consider it.」
I wonder if I could draw such a thing?
Next time, maybe I should go to the aquarium to see the blowfish.
The train rattling sound continued.
When our conversation stopped, the sound of the train, which I never liked from the start, suddenly entered my ears.
Hmm. Senpai was still not a good speaker, huh. Well, this was still the second day since we started talking.
It was okay when I was in control of the conversation, but it would end when senpai shifted the topics or being on attack-defence mode. This would be a challenge in the future, huh.
When I was thinking deeply about it, senpai took out his book since who-knows-when, and started reading it.
He looked as if he was trying to convey that ‘I won’t concede more than this. I refuse to participate in any more conversation!’
Well, today’s questions were finished, so let’s just leave it like this for now.
「Please take care of me tomorrow too, senpai♪」
The words I whispered in a small voice might not have reached senpai’s ears, being wiped out by the noise of the train running on its track.
The things I knew about my senpai②
It seems like he is the student council president.