1/1. Today is the first day of year.
People should visit temple or relatives, but studying at this school makes it impossible.
It's fine if I only survive through the first day without doing anything. Nothing is different from other days.
I reached out my phone to muting the the unpleasant alarm. At the same time, there is an incoming call. I turn it off without looking at my phone.
Ayanokouji group has no plan today. We sent new year greetings on the chat group at Eve.
My phone rings again. As before, I turned it off without bothering.
Horikita probably don't need me send her the new year greetings. And even if I dream, I don't think she will do it. Our relationship is neighbor, even it's too hard to call each other as friend.
It's the third call.
"What a hassle."
It's impossible for a boy try to call me up to three times. This time, I don't turn off but mute it.
I continue using the exclusionary method for girls involved in me: It cannot be Airi, Haruka, Kushida and even Satou.
Kashida relates to me, but our relationship is not good. Besides, I don't think she wants to contact to me again, after was defeated by Horikita.
Satou confessed to me on Christmas. Of courses, I rejected. Dating with a girl is more troublesome than enduring three calls.
At last, the call stopped with a notice: [There are 3 missed calls]. After that, a new message arrived from a unsaved number.
I know whose this number is. We have contacted each other many times. I remember her number but don't save on phone, and her too.
[Come to my room. There is something to discuss. Room…]
I sat up.
Now, going to her room is more troublesome than last three calls.
I called her.
"You finally call back."
Her voice was a bit sarcastic. It's understandable because she is Kei Karuizawa, top of the dominion ladder of my class girls.
Kei couldn't call me up to three times, then when I called back, of course she was angry. But I ignored that.
"What is something to discuss? Talk on phone."
"Ah… Uhm… It's a bit hard to talk on phone, so I told you to come my room."
"Annoying. I don't want to influence my holidays like that. Also, It would be more troublesome if someone see me in front of your room."
What will people do on the first day of year? The choices are limited, but Keyaki Mall will definitely be top priority. Of course, many people choose to stay in room like me. So, basically, I am discovered in Kei's room had a very low probability.
Another reason, this time is winter holidays, I assess that there will be no serious problems between classes, or Nagumo's moves. The only thing has a big impact is probably class C bullying Kei.
"I'll be in front of your room in ten minutes."
"Huh? Eh? Ah… yeah, I see."
Probably Kei was surprised when I changed my mind. Even I didn't think I'll go to her room.
12/22, Kei became the target of being bullied by class C. She was dumped dozens of buckets of water in the freezing cold winter. But then, I also confirmed that she didn't have a cold, we even had double date. Of course, I dated with Satou, and Kei dated with Hirata.
Since that day, we haven't contacted each other. Could it be that Kei based on this problem and forced me to meet her? Kei know I wouldn't mind her feelings. But if it is just an expression her angry, then forced me, she would be successful now.
"I did an unnecessary move again."
I sighed and walked off the bed.
I called Kiyotaka with a high determination to invite him here. All three calls were rejected.
But after I sent the message saying that there was something I needed to discuss, Kiyotaka called me back. Obviously he wants to tease me, mou~...
At first he intended to refuse and then changed his mind. Although I didn't understand, this result was what I want.
After all, Kiyotaka agreed to come my room.
"Ahhh… What am I doing?"
It is unbelievable. The first dream unfolded earlier blew up in me a strange joy. It was very close, my first kiss. It is said that hatsuyume is the wish of new year. If it's right, I am obviously trying to give Kiyotaka this first kiss. Well… it's easy to explain: this is feeling of the girl in love.
But Kiyotaka will come to my room!
Kiyotaka will come to my room!
Kiyotaka will come to my room!
I brought my hand to coolen the red hot ears.
Ignoring the fact that Kiyotaka will be the first boy enter my room, I have to emphasize that the guy I love will enter my room.
"Ah, mou~... Mou~... Mou~..."
I put my face on pillow, my legs were pounding on the bed. If I express my feelings right now, it is an extreme excitement, mixed with embarrassment.
I never think Kiyotaka cares about romance even a bit. But if I could create a good situation, I could change him… yeah, I didn't think it work.
Thinking vague, suddenly a doorbell made me return to reality.
Probably him. I sat up, regained my composure, tweaked it a little then opened the door.
"Yo. Happy new year."
I waved with him, His face didn't show any emotion, a perfect poker face. Suddenly all the calmness I had prepared before almost disappeared. There is only the heart throbbing in my chest.
"I wanna say the same, but firstly, I will enter Kei's room… Excuse me."
What is that 'excuse me'? He stepped in without waiting for my permission! Mou~
"What do you mean by asking me arrive your room then show off that unwelcome face?"
"I just didn't expect you to naturally enter a girl's room."
As I spoke, I carefully closed the door. If someone found out that Kiyotaka entered my room, it would be troublesome… I don't want to think about the consequence.
"Before I entered Kei's room, I went to Kushida, Horikita, Ichinose's room... ah, and Satou's room too."
Kiyotaka, what the hell he is! Perverted, no, tricks, no either… or may be playboy? Geeh~ The feeling burning my chest now is probably jealousy.
"Satou-san? Kiyotaka, you are lie, aren't you?"
It's impossible for Satou-san invite him to her room. The fact that she asked me to shoot the love arrow said it. They are still not so close. Even if Kiyotaka wants to go to Satou-san's room, though this ability seems doesn't exist, it's hard for her to allow him.
His expression when was detected lies is not unusual. He, Kiyotaka is a playboy!
"Happy new year. So, what did you want to discuss with me?"
Kiyotaka sat down on my bed naturally like he entered my room, then he asked that.
Of course there is nothing important to discuss. I want to spend time with him so I made it up. Certainly Kiyotaka already knew, but still came here and waited my answer.
"You don't have a specific schedule for today, right?"
"You answered my question by an unrelated question."
Still kept the poker face when he said. Mou~
"Answer me first."
And Kiyotaka chose to nod slightly as the answer so I couldn't complain anymore.
"Yeah… I don't have schedule either. So I asked you arrive here to play with me through the first day of year."
I tried hard to not show any embarrassment in my sentence. I can't refuse the fact that I want to spend time with Kiyotaka.
"Sorry… I'm busy now. Excuse me."
And the way he stood up was naturally too.
"Did you just say that you don't have schedule? It's too rude to refuse an invitation from a girl. Mou~..."
I immediately took for the deck of cards on table, then continued.
"Let play cards, Kiyotaka."
"Your invitation turned into an forced duty. What if I refuse?"
He gave up his intention to leave, but he did not show his intention to join either.
"I think you won't refuse. This is a good opportunity to know everything about me."
And conversely, I can know everything about Kiyotaka Ayanokouji.
"What do you mean?"
"The loser will answer winner's question honestly… Yeah, as I said, honestly."
Kiyotaka covered himself with a line. After all, when people were asked about him, they had no idea to answer. All knowledge about him is limited to that line. This time will probably be an opportunity for me.
"Kei, you proposed a good trap. But that is if the game is as fair as possible."
Kiyotaka sat back on my bed, then continued.
"First, you are not able to confirm whether the opponent's answer is honest or not. Even when I lie, it is difficult to verify. Second, if the game is unfair, by cheating, I can guarantee you will constantly lose to not exploit anything in me. If you solve the two gaps in your perfect trap, I will accept the offer."
It's true that there is no guarantee I will get back from this game. I could lose all games or even if I got lucky once, the answer I received might be a lie.
However, having gone this far, I have no intention of stopping.
"First, I'll answer honestly, won't lie. I just wish you would do the same."
An unreasonable demand. 'Because I tell the truth, I hope you also tell the truth.' The problem came back to the beginning, I still couldn't confirm the truth. But:
"You want to know 'what make me betray Kiyotaka', don't you?
A suggested question I posed for Kiyotaka. I didn't betray him even when I was bullied by class C. But he didn't know for what I kept his secret. The possibility of my betrayal is still open ... but I will never do that.
I direct my gaze to Kiyotaka. My eyes are telling him that I will answer by the truth.
"So how about the second? What guarantees I won't cheat?"
"In the same deck, you and I take turns picking up one card from the top. Whoever gets the bigger card wins and asks the other a question. 10 J Q K. If cards are equal, we will repeat. The loser has right to decide whether to pick first or not in the next game. So you can't cheat by arranging cards, or adding cards from another set, because the amount of cards is 52 only, and I will remember cards which already appear. "
It completely relies on fortune. That's what I want to say. Of course, since it is fortunate, there is still the possibility of a completely loser. Worst of all, there will be 26 questions swirling in the private life of one of us.
"Understood. I will join, Kei. But first, I want to say something and you have to reply it is lie or truth."
In a moment, my face wrinkled.
"I will answer Kei's question honestly."
It doesn't seem Kiyotaka is someone who wants to play a puzzle with me. His face still defaults to poker face.
As for our game, of course, once determined to play, I will trust Kiyotaka.
"Because I trust you, so that's the truth."
Kiyotaka nodded, then sat on the floor. Seeing that, I took the deck and sat across from him.
The atmosphere suddenly became extremely stressful.
"Ah, um ... it's good for me to make tea."
I stood up and ran to the kitchen. I did not consider this situation. The atmosphere is extremely forced.
Finally, the game started. I picked first, it's 7. Kiyotaka's card was 3.
"Look like I will ask first. Uhm… what's your birthday?"
It doesn't like I do not remember his birthday is 10/20. I just want a question to start and pretend as if I forgot. If Kiyotaka answers honestly, I will completely believe him. Unless he lies… I haven't thought about it. But, may be it wouldn't happen, I believe him.
Then, he picked a card.
"I don't think you forget. It's just a checking question right, Kei?"
Kiyotaka showed his card, it's K.
"Mou ~ ... You asked me right away. Did you anticipate winning this game?"
No chance i could win. And the probability for me to have a draw game is 3/49, it's very low.
"It's just a normal chat. You shouldn't answer if don't want. I will ask other question."
Certainly, I lost after showed my card, 4.
"Of course I remember your birthday. This checking is the last step to confirm that you really join the game."
"You said that you trusted me. Now, you do not trust me. Which is the truth?"
Kiyotaka looked straight into my eyes. Soon, my face turned red. Even though it was a shame to face the guy I love, I could still keep myself calm. Since he asked, so my answer would be:
"I really believe in you, Kiyotaka."
Then, I picked a card, it's 10. Kiyotaka's one is 9. It's my turn to ask him.
"Hmm… Did you ever expect to receive something on special days?"
Christmas or Valentine, for example. That time Satou-san was rejected by Kiyotaka so she could not give him a Christmas present. I don't think he was gifted by anyone else. In case Kiyotaka was gifted, it would be Yukimura-kun or… Sakura-san...
Geeh~ I felt a bit unpleasant.
"In fact, I have never wished I receive present. But it's more troublesome if I refuse… How about Kei?"
Kiyotaka didn't pick a card. So I picked my turn and replied.
"If it's someone important to me, of course I want they give me gifts... no, I want they care about me more than a gift only. Other people... I will not refuse their gifts... It's 5."
The one who is important to me is used to be Yousuke-kun, and from now on it will be Kiyotaka, the guy sitting opposite me.
"7. Kei wants who will be expelled from school?"
"Mou~ That is a difficult question... Well, now, I don't really hate anyone like that…"
This is not a joke, even though he already mentioned it before.
"I think I will follow your decision... expel someone useless."
Kiyotaka stared at me for a while, those emotionless eyes telling me to name someone.
"May be… Yamauchi-kun?"
I lightly scratched cheek with my hand. Considering the value ladder of Kiyotaka, anyone in the class is somewhat helpful. Maybe Sudou-kun is not good at learning, but he has amazing physical ability, which was proved.
But until now I haven't seen Yamauchi-kun show anything useful to the class, same as Ike-kun. However, in terms of beauty, I judged Ike-kun a little higher, so in case of being forced to choose... sorry Yamauchi-kun.
"2 and Q… Where did your scar come from?"
And the game continued when Kiyotaka brought me more surprised than the previous question.
When we were on the ship, he became the deepest access to my secret. But Kiyotaka is the only one knows about it, but he only knows the surface.
This scar was associated with my most painful memory. Compared to being bullied in school, it's much more frightening: domestic violence.
My father is an alcoholic. He was always in a drunken state. I and my mother were abused every time he was unpleasant. Beat, throw items on. Nothing I didn't experience. My mother was gradually influenced by father and she began to have violent acts on me. After being beaten, my mother vented her anger on me.
At the first place, I should not have been born. There were no allies at all, no one I could rely on. Friends? Don't joke, I don't have any luxury called friendship. When the information that I was abused by the violence was spread to school, more people encroached on my life and destroyed it.
At home, I suffered domestic violence. At school, I was bullied. That's my past.
"The scar's imprinted on me now is because my father used a broken plate to incise. The painting was carved into my mind at that time. The strong smell of alcohol. My father's distorted smile. The eyes of the beasts are about to eat their prey. Behind, a woman hugged herself, laughed crazily."
In that house, I was a villain, and my parents were heroes who were eradicating evil.
After telling my past, I answered Kiyotaka's question like that.
Sighing, I asked Kiyotaka:
"If you were there, seeing me like that, what would you do, Kiyotaka?"
Suddenly, the doorbell broke heavy atmosphere when Kei asked me. It became my savior, helping me escape from that question.
Since she was Kei, it was understandable that the classmates came to her room today. It's not like I did not anticipate this, but the results obtained when I ventured here were significant: Kei completely trusted me. The rest now is to get out of here without being detected.
There was no sound of communication, Kei ran to get me shoes, while I finished the deck and tea. Everything returned to the original position. There is no way to escape. I only could hide until Kei's guest returns.
Kei carefully helped me to hide behind the curtains before opening the door.
"Happy New Year."
"Ah… Uhm. Happy New Year."
That voice… It's Satou Maya, who dated with me on Christmas.
Based on Kei's reaction, she probably didn't expect Satou to come here.
"May I come in?"
A question cannot be denied.
I couldn't turn to peek two of them. That is very dangerous. I must be silent here… but if they tell each other something secret, I will not intentionally make eavesdroppers.
"So on Christmas, did you confess to Ayanokouji-kun?"
I weren't seeing Kei's expression, but it seems like she intentionally recalled this. Because obviously Kei followed and stalked us at that time.
"Uhm… About it… I were rejected."
"Yes… Sorry for not letting you know from that day."
"It must be difficult…"
And the conversation is like Kei comforting her friend.
I think I shouldn't mind it… Kei's past that she told me is more important.
I thought that everything in high school was more than enough to defeat Kei. But in fact, she was actually defeated Kei just let the water flow away.
In this school, Kei clung to Hirata to stand up. Hirata does not help her stand, just allow her base on. Kei was clinging to him, but it was temporary.
When I appeared, I forced her to fall then stand up. Twice. Only twice did Kei now stand on his own feet. She regarded me as Hirata's replacement to cling. But in fact, I didn't do anything.
It was all due to Kei's efforts. She only deceived herself, saw me as a hero who helped her.
In the end, Kei realized that I wasn't on her side in the first place. But nothing has changed in our partner relationship.
My existence healed the wound in Kei's mind. This deserves my happiness.
After carefully waiting Satou-san gone, I called him.
When I chatted with Satou-san, my heart always was scared. If she discovered Kiyotaka here, I haven't had any idea to explain. Actually, I would have no chance to explain.
From behind the curtains, Kiyotaka stepped forward. He still showed his poker face as usual.
"Mou~... You still keep calm after all? What it would be if she knows 'the guy just rejected her few days ago' is in another girl's room?"
I tried to tease him, but I have never thought it would be success.
"Karuizawa betrayed Hirata and stole her friend's boy."
Knew it! He still found way to tease me after all.
"Mou~... You said as if we already were a couple."
Because of falling in love with him, I decided stop dating with Yousuke-kun from next semester. At least, Yousuke-kun can have a true girlfriend. For me, it's hard to imagine the scene that I and Kiyotaka date.
"I and Kei are a couple, aren't we?
Kiyotaka, he teased me again!
"You mean a couple of partner, right? Mou~..."
Hurry heart beating when I chat with Kiyotaka seems to become my habit.
"So Kei would like to say other meaning?
Mou~ mou~ mou~...
If there was an eggplant here, I would hit it on Kiyotaka's head, the guy knew nothing about romance!
Suddenly I remembered my hatsuyume. I knew it's hard to become reality, but…
"I have a question for you."
"Sorry, the game was over."
Immediately I thrown him a glare: "How could you escape?"
I didn't need to say anything, Kiyotaka changed his mind:
"Well… One question would be fine."
I looked straight to Kiyotaka's eyes, forgot my extremely red face. This situation was very embarrassed for me.
"Suppose, I and you were left in desert island. You could swim to save yourself easily. But I couldn't. So what would you decide to do?"
The situation was same as my dream. I would like to know if Kiyotaka act like it or not.
More and more embarrassed I was. But I have never left my stare out of his eyes. He would understand my effort from my stare. "So, what would you do?"
Right away, Kiyotaka replied with a stare too: "Don't urge me, I won't run."
Then he said.
"If I swam across the ocean and escape, I could ask a boat to help Kei."
Yes, Kiyotaka that I know has enough clever and calm to decide the right choice. Perhaps that way is the best solution.
"But there's no certainty if I can swim to mainland successfully, rather I don't think I can do it. On the other hand, it's a decision of failure if I only take care of myself and ignore Kei. Kei will be in danger if you stay alone."
My eyes couldn't hide the eagerness, looked towards Kiyotaka waiting for him to continue. Of course, the heart in my chest always beats in a hurry.
"I will stay with Kei and wait for others to save. The probability of success is not higher, but for me this is less troublesome, and it does not put Kei in danger."
In other words, Kiyotaka would protect me like what he promised.
Although it was a little different, but somehow Kiyotaka would stay with me like that hatsuyume. No eggplant would appear suddenly, and this guy would be with me without disappearing.
Happy. Very happy!
There are no other words that can express my feelings right now. Mou~ More and more Kiyotaka made me love him!