A curt reply.
When she responds in this way, she is either feeling really bothered or uninterested. Probably the latter. I'm not interested in the truth about whether Toma is homos*xual or not.
All of that is unimportant. What matters is that Alina is here with me right now. I remember it.
"Good news. I made you some chocolate.
I wonder if you really made it. Did he show up at this moment to give it to me? What do you think, Alina?
I stare at her sideways.
But she says nothing, doesn't react, turns to the left and walks away. And then she disappeared into her classroom.
Does that mean it's not now? Well, she was empty-handed. I reasoned that she might go back to the classroom and bring some chocolates, so I waited there for a while.
It would look very strange to other people's eyes. Because there was a well-built man staring at a poster with Toma Asakura's "My chocolate is for you" written in English. I can't say whether he was inspired by something or not, or whether he was frustrated because he didn't get any chocolate, because that's for the viewer to decide.
But please don't misunderstand one thing. I do not love Toma. I'm normal. I like girls.
Alina didn't come after all.
The sound of the bell echoes through the school, signaling the start of the next class. What the hell was I doing? I was really just admiring Toma's poster. I would have been much better off collecting bell marks from the candy canes in the trash.
Next bathroom break.
I dared not leave the classroom. There are zombies roaming the hallways looking for chocolate. It was very unsightly.
But the truth is that I don't want to run into Alina. It's just awkward. So I suppress my urge to urinate and let my bladder do its work until lunch break.
By the end of fourth period, my bladder was screaming. I felt like a water balloon. If my lower abdomen was stimulated even a little, it would go supernova and there would be not a speck of dust left in our school. It's that urgent.
The bell rings to signal lunch break. After bowing to the teacher in charge, I slowly make my way to the door.
'Hey, Comet. Let's eat.
'Hold on a minute.
I don't turn around and continue to grind my feet. If I lift my foot even a little, my organs lift. Even with that stimulus, it's the end. I'm done socially.
A few feet feels like an eternity. I tighten my a**h*le and concentrate, trying to contain the flood of my lemon juice.
A sudden voice stops me. Oh shit, I almost shit my pants.
The voice belonged to a girl with a ponytail named Hanaya Mugiyama.
It's Sakakiki-kun. What's wrong with your serious face?
We can talk about it later. See you later.
I began to walk again on my bare feet. Be aware of the skaters. Slide, keep your feet on the ground. If you do, think a mine will detonate.
'Oh, you're holding your pee-pee.
Don't follow me.
Finally, Sakakigi-kun understands the pleasure of this. Isn't it great?
'Where's the fun in that? I've never been more repentant.
'Cue. You see the 'cue? That's it!
'Go to hell.
'Oh, my God.'
Just a few more meters. A few more meters and we're in an oasis.
I'm gasping for air, and half my vision is of purgatory. I'm hallucinating. Is this what happens when you hold your urine to the utmost limit and are further agitated? This is the first time I know.
Almost there, almost there. Hold on, my body.
Can't you hold on a little longer?
I'm not waking up. I will not be awakened to such an incomprehensible propensity.
I will not give in.
I'll put my hand on the door. I'm gripping my crotch at this point. I don't know why. But it makes me feel a lot better.
Right hand on the cold wall, left hand on the crotch. It is as if I am a hero with a gunshot wound, about to run out of strength. His pulsating heart is growing tense. I break out in a cold sweat. If this were a scene from a movie, the background music would be epic and intense.
I carefully zip up my zipper.
Then I was filled with an unprecedented sense of freedom, a feeling that my body was infinitely expanding.
When I came out of the restroom, I found Kasaia waiting for me.
She was grinning and waiting to see what I thought of her.
'Hello. Perverted s*x-crazed cheerleader girl.
'I'm not a pervert.'
'Look up your name in Kojien. It should mean 'pervert.
'I'm just a little out of touch with my taste.'
'What kind of hobby?
'Endurance contests, no panties, last-minute selfies, yodeling, ......'
The second half fell on deaf ears. Because the warning echoed in my skull, 'This guy is a bad person.
Do not let him near my sister under any circumstances.
I think she's on the public safety watch list. She could overthrow the state. Why are the police letting her go free? Hanaya Mugiyama is a walking 18-year-old. She's a dangerous person whose entire body needs to be covered in mosaic.
Okay. Okay. You're a rare breed. I'll keep that in mind.
'Why do men jump when they get their va*in*s kicked?'
'Huh, what? No, I don't know. Ask Isaac Newton. I mean, girls shouldn't talk about that kind of stuff.
'Can I kick it? I hear it feels good.'
'Can I kill you? It's the same thing as... You know, don't do it just for the fun of it. Only specially trained people can handle it as pleasure. If you do it to someone who doesn't, you'll die in agony.
'That's a lie!
'I feel like I want to wipe you out.
I'm biased, but I wonder if the cheerleading squad is full of these types of members. I'm worried about her when she goes out into the world. Bad uncles will come up to her.
It's too late for that now, so I stop worrying about her and go back to the classroom. I felt a bad cold sensation on my spine and left the classroom. It would have been terrible if she kicked me from behind. I don't want tomato juice coming out from under me.
As I eat dinner in silence with Makoto, I think to myself.
I don't have plans to see Alina today.
As part of Alina's rehabilitation program, she is involved in some kind of activity, but today is the only day when nothing is happening. That means I won't get a chance to get a chocolate from her.
No, no, no, you're being self-conscious. Maybe he was just teasing. Is there another way to interpret this? But the words were so straightforward that there was no way to interpret them any other way. Wait a minute, you said you'd make it, but you didn't say you'd give it to me. Is that what you meant?
Comet. You should be thankful even if your lunch isn't good.'
'What? It can't be bad. It's my mother's special edition bento. It's the best food in the world.
'I'm sorry, but you've been looking so grim.
'I was born with a face like this. Special edition birth.
'If it's chocolate related?
No, no, no. I was thinking about the truth of humanity.
'I see. I didn't get it from Hinoha.
'You're better than a fast pusher on a high school quiz. You're more impressive than a fast pusher on a high school quiz.
He folded his arms and shook his head up and down. I know that feeling," he says.
'I've been warned I'm going to give it to you. That's why I'm so nervous because I don't know when I'll get it.
'Seriously, I can get it from Nippa! You're kidding!
'You said it yourself.'
''I just said it like it was appropriate! Seriously, ......, last year was amazing.'
Everyone was hoping to get one from Nippa, and the guys who were in the same class as Nippa were really into getting their hair set up and stuff. Some even bought flowers. I've talked to Alina-san, so I can have them! and "I've touched it!" They all believed that they would be chosen.
'In the end, Nippa ended up not being given to anyone. The guy who bought the flowers gave them to her at the right time, but she told him to eat a brick or something.
'How did you manage to give it to him?
'So this year's is awesome too. ...... I glanced at the class next to me and saw that the boys are getting their hair done. And the perfume is even more amazing than the girls'. Hinoha's there.
Is it really that rare?
Now that you mention it, I'm a little concerned about the class next door. I wonder what kind of host club it is.
Do you want to go there?
'Maybe I'll take a peek after dinner. Lunch break would be a good time for them to take a peek.
We quickly finished our lunches with a quick movement of our chopsticks. We still had about 30 minutes to kill, so our hosts were probably showing themselves off. Drinking tomato juice with them is not a bad idea.
We left the classroom to peek into the host club.
And lo and behold! There were hosts in the hallway as well.
'What's with these guys?
'They're the unchosen ones who didn't get to be in the same class as Hinoha.
'You're a villager who only speaks the same dialogue as in RPGs. ......'
I am sure they are planning to whisper sweet nothings to Alina the moment she leaves the classroom.
Since they are students of another class, they can't sit in Alina's class openly, so they are waiting in the hallway.
As we passed by them, Makoto and I looked into Alina's class.
And what do we find? It is full of hosts and perfumes.
Alina, in the center of all this chaos and confusion, was having dinner with Shirana and her friends. Fortunately, she didn't seem unhappy. Perhaps it was because she was in the same room with Shirana and the others.
'Comet, this is the world.
Makoto mutters. So this is the world.
A large percentage of the students remain in the classroom. Usually, people go to the cafeteria or club rooms, but as for the guys, their attendance rate is probably one hundred percent.
Is this the truth of human beings? ......'
Men driven mad by Alina.
Men fascinated by Alina.
Men who want to be liked by Alina.
Men who want to be noticed by Alina.
Men who want to be talked to by Alina.
Men from all walks of life.
It's terrifying. How can human beings be so obedient to their desires? And I felt sorry for Alina, who was the object of their desire. This is stressful.
Shirana noticed us. Reflexively, I raise my hand. She pulls two bags out of her purse and walks toward us.
Here, comet and Makoto-kun.
'Oh, thank you.'
'Thank you, Shirana!
Shirana bowed and looked up and pointed her finger at me.
Both of us are obliged to you!
It was a line that had been said every year.
I had received it every year without knowing the hidden emotion behind the words. So my reaction was a little less strong than usual.
I'm still happy.
'Makoto-kun can get it from Ryuka-chan, so it's good for him. It's your first time to get a comet, right?
Hahaha. I already got it from Ugin and Beautiful Crane.
'View ...... what?'
'A crane. I got it from Master Tsuru.'
Shirana's eyes fluttered and she was surprised. Well, I was surprised, too.
I glanced at Alina. Alina was chatting with Yuri and Ran without looking at me.
I'll be looking forward to your return!
'Oh. You can count on me.
I'll make one too!
I returned to my classroom and sighed as I took my seat. I sighed as I returned to my classroom and took my seat, intending to exhale the perfume that lingered in my lungs.
'The perfume was worse than I imagined.
'My nose is going crazy. ......'
I went to the restroom and fought for bread at the concession stand, but I never saw Alina again. I ran into Toma Asakura's poster more times than my eyes can count. Occasionally I found a poster that had been torn with anger.
Hey, I haven't seen Alina.
Lunch break is over. All right, calm down. First of all, it's not always true from Alina. You're too self-conscious, Comet Sakakiki. What's so attractive about you? You're just a tomato addict. Who's going to like you?
Fifth period begins and ends.
Bathroom break. I run into Hwasai again. She runs away.
The sixth period begins and ends.
He takes a restroom break. He encounters a torn poster of Toma. He ignores it.
After school comes.
Homeroom has started.
Oh, no. It's time to go home.
Wait, wait. You're a globetrotting homecoming pro. Think with a clear head.
Am I missing something?
Did you get any sign from Alina?
We just looked at the Toma poster together, but other than that?
No. Nothing. And I'm not seeing Alina after school.
He slung his bag over his shoulder and left the classroom. He casually peeks into Alina's class as he passes. Alina's bag was not there.
Shirana came out of the classroom in her tennis wear and our eyes met.
I looked at her. Alina-san would have gone home.'
Oh, no, something's wrong.
No, there's nothing funny. There are only absolutes in physics. There are no absolutes in human behavior.
I decided to go home as if I were a homecoming club member, listening to the shouts of the athletes. How can you do that in the cold? It'll get warmer in the next month or so.
I'll eat Tsuru-san's and Hakuna-san's chocolate with care. I thank the children in Africa who grow the cacao.
I take a big step and leave the school gate. Like a boy making up his mind to face the setting sun.
Our fight continues.
As I was burning up with a sense of adventure with my fists on my chest, a familiar voice came into my right ear.
I turned my head to the right, like a robot driven awkwardly by lack of oil.
'I've been waiting for you.
Alina Hiba was there.