94-background emotional resistance...

Since then, I have not seen Alina for a long time.

It seems that she accepted the 'rejection' I told her over the phone, and we have had no contact since then.
We pass each other on campus, but not a single bail. No eye contact, no avoidance, just indifference. At first, I tried to avoid them because I was afraid that they might show their facial expressions, but gradually they stopped doing so and soon became a part of my daily life. I am amazed at the adaptability of human beings.

The separation from her changed my life completely, but ironically, my school life was quite ordinary.
One day passed by at an accelerated pace. It was as if I was tearing up my daily calendar one after another, throwing time down the drain.
Even in the midst of the futility and tastelessness of time, a small expectation never ceased. That is the day when Alina and I would joke with each other again. We watched her pass by, secretly believing that one day she would regain her memory and come back to abuse us again.

February ended and March came.
It was the last month of my sophomore year of high school. From next month, I will be a junior, the most powerful student in our school. I have gotten used to being called "senpai" (senior), but from next month, I will all be juniors. That alone will be a breath of fresh air.
However, this is not always the case for third-year students. With exams and job-hunting coming up, the people who try to use their power and desire to touch the juniors will become a lot quieter. Although there are no wild chimpanzee-like delinquents since our school is a high school with a relatively high deviation.

Do you know what's going on behind the scenes at school?

I was making a tower with three tomato juice cans in my spare time when Makoto spoke to me.

What do you mean by 'behind-the-scenes', like the Seven Wonders or something like that?
No, no, no. It's something about people that only the teachers know about.
'Human Resources?
'Yes! Maybe that! Do you know anything about it?'

How am I supposed to know that when you define 'only the teachers know'?

What exactly do you want to know?
'Let's see, ...... class change.'
'Change of class? Oh, you mean like that. You want to be in the same class as Ryuga, so you want to know if it's possible to adjust?
'Yes, yes! That's what I'm talking about!
'You can't.'
'What? Seriously?

I have heard a theory that class changes are very sensitive. They distribute them so that those with leadership qualities, those with good athletic skills, those who can play the piano, etc. are equally divided. Grades are also the same. Naturally, the relationships between students are also taken into consideration. It is said that there is no such thing as lottery.
In other words, it is somewhat arbitrary. Depending on our behavior, we may be able to control the class change. It's not impossible, but it's possible.
However, it is unlikely that Makoto and Ryuka will be together. It is doubtful that the fact that they are dating is known to the teachers, and even if it were, it would be too weak a reference material for the assignment. Even if they were, it would be too weak to be used as a reference material for the assignment, since relationships without problems are not prioritized. It would be only their grades and qualities.
So it's impossible, Makoto.

It's impossible.
'Oh, no. I thought an outlaw as good as Comet could make it. ......'
'I didn't realize that's how they looked at me. You can't do it. Why don't you give it a try? 'If you're not with Ryuka, I'll expose the corruption in the PTA and the school board!' I'll tell you what.'
'Oh ...... it's worth a try'.
'You can do it, but don't mention my name. I don't want you to think I'm a crazy person, so please don't make me do it anymore.

He picked up the top of the can tower and opened the lid.

'Well, you should pay your respects,' he said. You can't do that unless you're evil.
'Evil to ......?'
'It's a bribe. They take advantage of the most universal and important entity in the world: money. However, we high school students can't silence the working people with our financial power, and we don't know who to bribe in the first place, so give up. You can only ask God for help.
'Such is ...... despair ......'
'If I'm in the same class as Ryuka and you get sent to Iwo Jima, I'll make sure to contact you and get rid of those who try to take Ryuka away from you, don't worry. Don't be so anxious.
'I'm counting on you, but why Iwo Jima ......'

I heard that classes are sometimes divided according to elective subjects, but in our school, classes are mixed regardless of whether the student is a science major or a humanities major. Students are moved from one classroom to another during elective classes. Therefore, the fact that they are humanities majors does not necessarily increase their chances.
It would be a lie to say that there is no one who wants to be in the same class as Makoto. Not only Makoto, who has been in the same class for two years, but also Toma, who is a member of the newspaper club, I hope we can be together again. Tsuru is also a good friend of mine, and I would miss her if we stopped seeing each other. Shirana is going to be awkward.
Hwasai, you can't do this. I don't want a pervert like you. Perverted high school girls are in great demand, but I don't want to give you any chance to get close to my sister. If you're going to show your perversion, please do it only with me.
What about Alina?
What if I'm in the same class with her?
I'd look at the blackboard and see her slender backside. When she passes out the handouts behind you, you catch a glimpse of her real face through the curtain of her black hair. And sometimes she calls me 'you' and twists her body to face me.
It doesn't happen anymore.

Comet is back to normal these days, isn't it?
'I feel like I'm going home.'
'Hey, hey, hey, boy. I never left the homecoming club. I'm a real homecoming boy, okay? Whether I'm thrown into the opening of a volcano, drowned in deep water, or lowered from 10,000 meters, I'm going home. That's professional.
'I guess going home isn't human. ......'

'Naturally. I can regenerate even if I am torn limb from limb, even if I am melted into a sludge. Don't underestimate Japan's homecoming party members.
''What's going on?''

I knew he didn't know. He doesn't know that Alina has forgotten me. No matter how shocked I am, nothing resonates around me, nothing changes. It's ironic how mundane and indifferent the world really is.
I pour myself some tomato juice and answer his question.

Nothing. I'm only worried about the center a year from now.
'I see. Comet is going to college. So I was thinking...
'I see.
''Has Nippa changed again?''
''I don't know.''
'Eh, you've obviously changed. The tongue seems to have lessened, it's more cute or ...... anyway, yeah, it's changed.'
'Tell Ryuta. Tell Ryuka she's cheating on you.'
'Please, don't do this. You'll die.'

He's right, Alina is certainly shining these days. Her facial expressions have become more expressive and she has learned to respect her partner, and her brand as a troublemaker seems to be fading.
I hear more and more confession stories about her. Surprisingly, her continued refusals have not changed. I don't know why.
As far as I'm concerned, I want her to graduate without anything happening to me. This is a peaceful time for her.

When spring break was approaching, Tsuru called me.
I don't remember doing anything to make Tsuru-sama resent me, and it's not like she has a crush on me, but she assigned me to the former teacher's office after school.
After finishing the cleaning, I went to the former teacher's office. Naturally, Alina was on my mind. The ex-teacher's room, or the ex-rose garden as it is also called, is a place that holds strong memories of Alina. The thought that she might have brought Alina with her naturally made my legs heavy. If possible, I do not want to see her. I have no confidence that I would be able to make proper eye contact with her after seeing her now, and the atmosphere would be awkward.
I put my ear to the door and listen to the sounds inside. From what I can hear, it seems to be alone. If Alina were here, she would be making some kind of small talk, but there is no sound.
I knocked on the door and Tsuru answered with a 'yes.

Uy, here she is!
'That's the way to go home club. No after-school plans for years.
'Call me the creator of time. Is it just you?
'Did you think someone would show up?'

He sat down in the pipe chair provided. Tsuru opened his mouth again, playing with his chestnut hair.

'You know what I'm talking about, don't you?
'You mean you're a gal.'
'No kidding.'

Wow, Tsuru-sister, you're scary. Surprised by the change in her voice, I was at a loss for words.

What happened to Alina? Lately, you've been speaking very softly, and your personality is becoming calmer. Why is that?
'I don't know. I'd like to ask him myself. Is that a problem? You know that. That's why I've been working with Alina.
'Cure Alina's tongue and personality, right?'
'Yes. Maybe we're getting there.
'Then how come Alina forgot about the comet!

I knew someone would find out at some point. I knew that it would take time for someone to discover that Alina had forgotten me, because no one would intervene in a relationship like a straight line connecting dots.
That is, if Alina did not say anything about it. I had made sure that she knew that I had rejected her, so I knew that she would not talk about it, and that if I brought it up she would just evade the issue.
Even if she found out, I knew she would not pursue it. We are not a society that takes the initiative to talk about other people's relationships, just because it makes us feel uncomfortable. We just let it slide.
But it is also a society where not everyone is like that.

Why do you think so?
'I don't care what you think, you know what I mean! I don't see Alina and Comet together anymore, and when Alina talks about Comet, she gets extremely quiet and looks troubled! I asked him if they were having a fight, but he didn't answer me, so I asked him again and again and finally got an answer: "I don't know him. It didn't look like he was lying.
'Hey, hey, sometimes I do things with Alina,' he said.
'I'm not a good liar. It shows on your face, your eyes are swimming too much. It's disgusting.
'It's really bad. ......'
'Tell me what happened. Why are you lying? Why are you hiding it?'
'Calm down, calm down. Take a deep breath.
Don't try to stretch the story. I'm not leaving until you answer.'
'You're spending the night with me ......?'

You stubborn son of a b*tc*. Give me a break. We have our reasons.
The joke's not gonna work anymore, so I guess I'll just have to walk away. I'll tell him I need to go to the bathroom and he'll let me out and we'll run away. I'll have to leave my bag, but so be it. I'll miss the tomato juice, but my phone and wallet are in my pocket.

'Can I go to the bathroom first?
'Here you go.

Tsuru dropped an empty 1.5-liter plastic bottle from his bag at my feet.
I think this is what is called a premeditated crime. The bottle was empty, and the label was removed. Is this a common practice among high school girls? Is it some kind of status to always have a big plastic bottle?

'I can't. I'm ashamed.
'Then pee your pants.
'Oh my God. I never thought the time would come when I would crave for Mugiyama Hwasai's s*xuality.
'Because she's the real thing. And he's a pervert. Comet's kind of cute.
'Huasai-san, you're the best.
'Oh, God. I'm getting off topic. Enough with the answers. Tell me what happened.

Deciding that there was no end in sight, Tsuru decided to disclose enough information not to deviate from what he knew.

'Alina seems to have forgotten about me.'
'I knew it was true ......'
'You're right. He doesn't remember anything about me. I don't know why.'
'I'm still a terrible liar. You have an idea, don't you? Tell me.'

He was so insistent that I raised my voice a little.

'You're persistent. I don't know anything.
'I knew you were lying--'

'It's for Alina's sake!

For the first time in a long time, I yelled. I yell like a meek, hot-blooded boy, my legs trembling with heightened tension.
Tsuru's shoulders tense up in fear at the suddenness of the situation. He stared at me silently, his eyes fluttering.

'...... all for Alina. I can't say any more. Don't mention it, please.

I exhale loudly to calm my painfully strong heartbeat.
I immediately began to regret it and lowered my gaze, scratching my head. It was so unlike me, so childish and pathetic. It is the most embarrassing thing for a high school student to vent his feelings so self-centeredly. I've done it.
I looked up at the sound of sniffling.
Tsuru was crying with her mouth clenched shut. The corners of her eyes were red and moist with tears, and I couldn't understand what was going on as she struggled to choke back sobs. Anyway, I was filled with a desire to apologize.

But I'm sad. ......

Tsuru said, as if trying to squeeze out.
Seeing her tears welling up with every blink of an eye, I felt a twinge in the back of my nose.

'I want to see you two happy,....... No, this is no good!

Finally, she covered her face with her hands and fell on her upper body on the desk. Still, she holds back a sob, trying not to lose her strength.

'I'm not emotionless, you know. It's hard. It's hard, really. It's so hard that I want to forget him too.

I didn't cry.
But I don't know if I would have if I was alone.