"Hey Natsu, what's up" spoke the male voice over the phone. The voice sounded a bit nervous and a bit familiar but it was around 6:00pm in the evening and Natsu was taking a nap so she couldn't really place the voice, when the phone rang it had woke her up.
"…Um..who..who is this?" spoke Natsu in a very groggy voice
"What? You don't know who this is!" yelled the voice as if he was insulted.
"…Damn it , its me ! Shoma!" yelled Shoma out of Anger over the other end of the phone.
"Oh…yeah, ok sorry. What do you want? I just woke up" spoke Natsu in a very nonchalant tone.
"Well I just thought I give you a call, since its been a week since we graduated and I haven't seen or heard from you in a while since you started working at that poetry café. So how's work by the way?"
there was a brief moment of silence as Shoma didn't know what to say at this point.
"So um…anyway anything new?" asked Shoma nervously as he tried to start a conversation.
"Look Shoma, I'm really tired , I've worked all week and this is my only day off that I've had for awhile…"
"…Oh okay well um look, I was callin to see if you wanted to go with me to Kyouske's party that he is throwing Saturday night."
"Um, I uh already told Hina that I would go with her, Batsu and Iycino…"
"Oh" sounded Shoma a bit disappointed
"Well Shoma I really have to go…"
"…oh okay…well …um…I'll see you there right?"
"Yeah sure whatever"
"Oaky well…" Shoma was cut off as Natsu hung up the phone on him.
"Damn" spoke Shoma to himself as he notice she hung up on him.
He just reluctantly hung up the phone and laid on his bed on his back looking up at the ceiling. He felt like that phone call was a complete waste of time. He had noticed their whole senor year Natsu was acting strange and very withdrawn from him. And he just didn't understand it. Was it something he said? He honestly didn't know, all he knew was that he was in love with her, but she just didn't seem to be feeling the same way. Shoma had wanted Natsu for years and at one point he thought he was making progress with her, until their senor year, everything just seemed to change and fall apart. All he wanted was to get closer to Natsu, but she didn't seem like she wanted anything to do with him for some time now. Shoma just laid there on the bed staring into space not knowing what to do at this point. Maybe he should just give up, but no he couldn't do that, he loved her and he wanted her to know that. But at the same time he didn't want to look like a fool. Shoma was just completely perplexed about this whole dilemma.
The next day Shoma found himself eating lunch with Batsu at this burger place talking about the night before and his conversation with Natsu.
"So, what'd you say she said again?" spoke Batsu in a nonchalant tone as he scraffed down his double cheese burger with the works.
"She said… she was tired, and that she was going to the party with you , Hinata and Iycino" spoke Shoma as he just picked with his fries, he didn't really have much of a appetite, Natsu was the only thing that was on his mind, he just wish she would open up to him.
"Well that is true, we are all going to Kyouskue's party together, but that didn't mean you couldn't come with us…" spoke Batsu again as he took another big bite out of his burger and talking with his mouth full.
"Yeah but…" started Shoma, but was soon cut of by Batsu
"…You know what I think? I just think that maybe she's sick of you"
"What! What do you mean?"
"Its just like I said. Just because we are all going together, that doesn't mean you couldn't come with us, if Natsu still gave a damn about you, then why didn't she invite you to come with our group. To tell you the truth Shoma, I'm not no romance expert, Lord knows I'm not, but Natsu just don't seem to be feeling you. Just let it go and be okay with that fact that your just friends" Batsu said all this in a laughing type tone, which didn't make things better with the way Shoma felt.
"So wait, are you telling me that, that Natsu is not interested in me at all?"
"Bingo bro…" spoke Batsu in a nonchalant tone and he continue to wolf down his food with no care in the world.
"…But then, why won't she just tell me? I mean we have known each other for years, and Natsu's not the type to bite her tongue, especially not to spare anyone's
"Look man, I don't have all the answers, all I know are the signs, and from what you told me she is giving you all the signs that say 'leave me the hell alone'" Laughed Batsu.
"Yo, I'm glad this shit is funny to you man!" yelled Shoma
"Calm down Shoma, for real, this is not the end of the world…just the end of you having a chance with Natsu…face it man, you waited too long to make your move on her, she probably already has a boyfriend…"
"Don't say that, please don't say that…look there still a chance right? I mean all senior year Hinata was pissed at you and giving you the cold shoulder remember, but you guys still hooked up. So maybe Natsu's mad about me about something, don't you think? And if I make it up to her maybe she'll give me a chance right?"
"…Um yeah that's pretty wishful thinking…but if you ask me I think you should let her go and find another girl to put all your energy and time into, and as for me and Hinata, yeah that's true that she was very short and cold toward me, but at the same time we still talked and hung out, when she didn't have her panties in a knot, so it's still not the same, it seems to me Natsu just cut you off completely as a friend as well as a crush, but then again that's just me, don't take my word for it…"
When Batsu said that Shoma glared up at him as he was losing his patients from his friend's lack of support.
"Don't worry I won't take your word for it Batsu, damn who's side are you on anyway?"
"Yours man, I'm just trying to spare you the humiliation that you seem to want so bad."
Shoma didn't say anything, what could he say , everything that Batsu was saying was making complete sense perhaps he did wait too long to make a move on Natsu, if so then this would be the biggest mistake he had ever made in his life, one that would haunt him for the rest of his life, that's why he wanted to be so persistent, to make up for the loss time that he wasted for all those years that he couldn't have been with her.
Just then Hinata walked into the burger place, Batsu and Shoma saw her walk in.
"Yo, Hinata over here!" yelled Batsu as he motioned her over to where they were.
"Oh, Batsu there you are, I've been looking for you." Spoke Hinata in a very cheerful voice as she walked over to them.
"Hmm? You been looking for me? How come?"
"Well, I'm kind of in the mood for a spar, and your always a good sparring partner, what do you say?" spoke Hinata with excitement in her voice.
"Well sure no problem, but I just ate, and me and Shoma were kind of talking about something that you might can help him with, so what do ya say you take a seat and give Shoma some insight on the topic" spoke Batsu with a smirk on his face.
"Oh, okay, but what's the topic?"
"Natsu" Shoma said in a depressed soft tone as he continued to stare at his food that he wasn't eating.
"Oh…" was all Hinata said as she took her seat next to Batsu
Shoma looked up at them just in time to see Batsu wrap his arm around her. As soon as he saw that he felt his heart drop, because all he could think about is how that could be him and Natsu, and it hurt him like hell to think that he would never have that chance with her now.
"Yeah Hina , you and Natsu are still best friends right?" asked Batsu as he played with her now long brown hair.
"Yeah of course we are…why? What's the problem guys?"
"Well Shoma here is trying to figure out why she's giving him the cold shoulder…right Shoma?"
"Yeah Hinata, is there something I don't know, I mean all senior year she has been really withdrawn from me, did I piss her off or something?"
When Shoma asked Hinata that she felt a bit of panic race over her, it was true that she knew something about the topic but the question was, should she tell Shoma? Natsu had confided in her, and she couldn't tell her best friend's secrets, but at the same time, Shoma was asking for her help.
"Well , um the truth is Shoma, Natsu is really stressed out…um I really shouldn't tell you, because if she wanted you to know , I think she would have told you…"
"Come on Hina have a heart, was it something I did to stress her out?"
"…well not really, that I can tell you"
"Oh really? So she's not pissed at me?"
"No I don't think she is Shoma, now that's all I can tell you"
"…Well does she talk to you about me at all Hina? Can you at least tell me that much?"
"Well…yeah, she's had a few things to say about you…but um…"
"…But what!" spoke Shoma as he felt that he was about to jump out of his skin from her taking so long.
"…Um but Ah…Look Shoma if you want to know what's wrong with Natsu I suggest to you talk to her yourself, It's really not my place to tell her business you know"
"Yeah I know…but the next time you see her, just tell her I'm concerned and that I hope we're still friends okay Hina…" and with that said Shoma stood up from his seat and headed for the door.
"Yo Shoma where you going?" asked Batsu
"I gotta go, I have a lot on my mind, later…"
"…OH okay, well um, then that means your not going to eat this then right?" asked Batsu as he pointed at the food that Shoma left behind
"Nah man, knock yourself out, see ya…" and with that Shoma was gone.
The next day Shoma found himself at Natsu job, it was a new poetry reading café that was located up down. He walked in reluctantly as the atmosphere felt bizarre to him, mostly everyone there was wearing black and they didn't clap when they enjoyed something, they just snapped their fingers, and Shoma felt as though that was odd, he also felt that guy that was standing on the stage was odd, Shoma couldn't understand anything that the guy was saying, the only thing he could make out was he was complaining about how life deled him a bad hand and that the guy wanted to die. Shoma rolled his eyes at the guy as he continued to recite his poem.
'what a moron, how can Natsu work in this depressing place, these people are losers that have nothing better to do then complain about there lives. this shit is really stupid, and if that guy wants to die so bad, why don't he ask me to put him out of his misery, with one good hit from my bat, I'm sure he won't be complaining anymore, but anyway stay focus, you gotta find Natsu, but remember just play it off like your here to get something to eat or something.'
Shoma continued to walk through the place, he finally found a seat in the back somewhere away from the guy reciting his poem. Shoma just sat there silently alone at a table scanning the area for Natsu, when a waitress came up to his table.
"Hello can I help you with anything?" spoke the waitress
Shoma looked up and to his surprise he saw Zaki was his waitress. He was surprised for a moment and didn't know what to say at first, but then he remembered what she asked him.
"Oh yeah…um I'll have a…well um…um…well does this place serve anything but cappuccino or coffee?" spoke Shoma nervously
"…Um yeah, we have all types of things it depends on what you want" spoke Zaki as she gave him a menu. "I'll just let you look at the menu and come back to you, but first can I start you out with a drink?" she continued
"ah no, um I'll just take a water for right now."
"Okay, I'll be right back with your water" and with that Zaki started to walk off but Shoma stopped her.
"Um wait up…"
"…uh well I was wondering um…is ah…Natsu working tonight?"
"Oh okay, well um…I was wondering…um…well…"
"…Do you want me to get Natsu for you?" finally snapped Zaki
"Yeah uh, could you? That is if it's no trouble…"
"…No it's no trouble, she'll be right out with your water…" and with that Zaki walked off.
Shoma took a deep breath now that the conversation was over, he just felt so nervous being at Natsu's job.
'I hope she's not pissed off when she finds out that I'm here' he thought to himself as he looked over the menu.
A few minutes had passed, and he had put the menu away, he decided the get a Ruben sandwich with a basket of fries. He sat there nervous and alone, as he continued to wait for Natsu to come with his water, he kept trying to think of what to say to her.
'…so Natsu how are you…nah…um how about Natsu you look great, have you lost some weight?...oh hell no she's smack me for that one for sure because she would think I was making fun of her…okay well maybe I could say Natsu you look really nice today…no she would just return and say something like 'whatever Shoma I'm at work and I look and feel like crap, go somewhere else if you're here to make fun of me!' Shoma shuttered at the thought of that, fighting with her was the last thing he wanted to do with her. As he continued to sit there and mentally tried to prepare himself for their conversation. He then noticed a glass of water landed on the table right in front of his face.
"Well here's your water, now what the hell are you doing here? No wait let me guess, you're here to make fun of me and my job aren't you Shoma! Well if you are I don't have time for this!"
Shoma looked up to see Natsu not looking too happy as she towered over his sitting form.
"Don't 'Natsu' me; tell me what are you doing here?"
"…Um what do you mean? I came here to eat…I was just in the neighborhood and I saw the place, and thought I'd just get something to eat, I didn't even remember that you worked here honest…"
"Don't lie to me Shoma! Zaki told me that you asked for me! So you had to have known that I worked here!"
"….um well yeah…but…but…I didn't realize that until after I walked in…" spoke Shoma as he began to sweat and laugh nervously.
"Whatever…so what will it be?" Spoke Natus as she was getting ready to write down his order.
"I said, what will it be? Your order that is? You are getting something other than water aren't you?" spoke Natsu as he patients were getting thinner by the minute.
"Oh yeah yeah right, um I want the Ruben sandwich and a basket of fries…"
"Will that be all?" Spoke Natsu as she just wrote it down and not look at him ones.
"…Okay it will just be a minute" spoke Natsu in an irritated tone as she began to walk off.
"Uh Natsu wait hold up…"
"What!" snapped Natsu as she turned to look at him.
"Well…um how have you been?"
"Shoma I'm working!"
"I know I know, I just wanted to know how you been that's all, we never really talk anymore and I barely see you since we graduated and I really just want to know how your doing…"
"Are you being for real Shoma? Because if this is your idea of a joke I'm not in the mood!"
"No I'm serious, no joke…"
"…well? I don't want to bore you, but I haven't been doing so well?" spoke Natsu as she calmed down a little after she saw that Shoma was being sincere.
"Really? How come?" spoke Shoma as his own heart began to break as he saw Natsu's apparent sorrow in her voice and face.
"well…I don't really have time to tell you the whole story now, but if you really want to talk I get off in a hour…"
"…Sure, yeah I'll wait"
"…well okay, I gotta get back to work now…and um Shoma?"
"You better give me a good tip…" spoke Natsu as she winked at him and walked off.
Shoma blushed when she did that, he couldn't help it, he was so in love with her, and by her asking him to wait for her to get off work to talk was giving him new hope.
Natsu went back to work with a lot on her mind, and it was obvious to herself and her co-workers that she was distracted. She was kind of sulking, and she was busting tables and taking orders slower than she would regularly do. She had gotten a few orders wrong, and at this point she was just cleaning off a table when Zaki walked past.
"Natsu? Are you okay?" asked Zaki as she took Natsu out of scrubbing rampage of the poor table that she was cleaning.
"Um yeah Zaki, why wouldn't I be?" spoke Natsu as she turned to look at Zaki who was standing behind her.
"…well besides the fact that your rubbing off the finish of that poor table, got two orders wrong, and look like a zombie…"
"…Look Natsu, I know I don't know you that well but it looks to me since that guy walked in you been acting strange, and I'm not tryin to pry into your business, but if you don't get it together either your going to snap or I am, because I can't work under these conditions and I know you can't…"
"…Okay okay, yeah something is bothering me, and yeah it does have something to do with Shoma…"
"Well what's wrong, he seems like a nice enough guy, a little on the nervous side, but other than that he doesn't seem like the type to bring any trouble…"
"Well…um yeah he is pretty nice, but…"
"…well it's a long story…"
"…well just give me the edited version, but you need to get this out of your system, or your going to drive yourself crazy and the people that work with you. And I have enough stress from the man in my life to deal with as it is…" spoke Zaki in a laughing tone
Natsu laugh too as she thought about what Zaki just told her.
"Yeah well Zaki, Shoma and I have had a kind of love hate relationship all through high school. I had this huge crush on him, and for a long time I was even thinking that I was in love with him at one time, but now, I think my feelings have changed. And I don't know why. I just think maybe it's because of a lot of stress going on in my life with me deciding not to go to Gorin University even thought I received a full scholarship, but I just don't want to go there. I want to go to culinary school instead to become a chef, but anyway, the point is, with all the stress in my life right now, I don't think I need him in my life to constantly fight with. So instead I've been avoiding him, and I think he still has feelings for me. I just don't know what to do."
Zaki looked at her in silence for a few minutes to soak in everything she had told her, Zaki then looked across the room to where Shoma was sitting. She then looked back at Natsu.
"Natsu…what you're doing is wrong."
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"I mean, when someone has feelings for you, you can't avoid them and act like nothing is there. Now if you really don't have feelings for Shoma then that's your business, and I understand that, but at the same time you can't avoid him. You need to tell him strait up that you don't share the same feelings for him anymore. He really has a right to know. If you don't tell him your just being selfish and dwelling on your own problems, but just because you have things to work through, does not give you the right to cause another person mental anguish. He needs to know how you feel, that way he will have a choice on whether or not he wants to continued to pursue you or not. After that it's pretty much up to him what he wants to do, but at least you will have a clean conscious."
After Zaki told her that Natsu sighed, she knew what Zaki was telling her was true, but she just didn't want to face this.
"I…I know your right Zaki…I just don't know if I can tell him so soon…I really don't want to hurt him…"
"Well leading him on is more painful than letting him go and telling him the truth…but hey don't take my word for it, that's the funny thing about advice, you don't have to take it, but just think about what I've told you, and put yourself in his shoes. Anyway I gotta get back to work, I hope this helped…" and with that said Zaki walked off leaving Natsu to ponder on her words.
Later after Natsu's shift was over she walked out of the café to find Shoma standing there waiting for her.
"Hey" spoke Shoma simply
"Hey Shoma…I see you really did wait for me"
"Of course I did, I'm a man of my word"
When he said that Natsu softly smiled at him as they proceeded to walk, down the quiet night street.
"Tell me what's on your mind, you said you weren't doing too well. Are you okay?"
Natsu only sighed because she knew what she had to tell him, but as she looked down at his caring expression, she wasn't sure if she could tell him how she really felt. She honestly didn't want to hurt him, it wasn't that she didn't love him anymore, it was just that she didn't see him in that way anymore. And it was breaking her heart to just think about how this would effect him.
"Shoma…" started Natsu as she look strait ahead, she couldn't bare to make eye contact with him any longer as she held back tears.
"Shoma, I've been going through a lot in these past few months, and I just think I'm almost at my breaking point…"
"Wha…what do you mean Natsu? Look I'm here for you, if you need a shoulder to cry on. I've always been there for you. You got a friend for life, whether you want it or not."
"I…I know that Shoma…but, I just really think a lot of my problems I need to deal with them on my own. It's only stress after all…"
"Natsu, I don't; care what it is, if something is bothering you, you shouldn't bottle it up, that's what friends are for…"
When Shoma said that Natsu looked down at him with surprise in her eyes. 'What Shoma's really acting like a mature gentlemen? Where did this side of him come from?' Thought Natsu to herself.
"Why Shoma, I had no idea you were so sensitive and understanding."
Shoma blushed at this statement and looked away from her.
"Yeah well um…you're not the only one that did some growing up this year…"
"I guess your right"
They continued to walk in silence for a few moments, when Natsu finally decided to break the uncomfortable silence.
"I'm not going to Gorin University…" blurted out Natsu out of the blue.
When she said that Shoma stopped in his tracks, he froze. He didn't know what to say, he wasn't sure if this was just a joke or if she was serious. As he stood there on the sidewalk froze he silently prayed to himself for it to just be a joke. He didn't know how to deal with Natsu not being there at Gorin University with him. First Roberto leaving going to the pros and now this. Natsu noticed that he stopped walking and stopped and turned and looked at him.
"That is not funny Natsu…" was all he could say as he continued to stand there and stare down at his feet.
"…I SAID THAT IS NOT FUNNY!" Finally yelled Shoma, he didn't know how to take this news, it was hurting him to know that she would not be there with him. He thought that they were going to do this together, he felt abandonment, he felt betrayed. How long had she been keeping this information from him? When did she decide to do this? Why is she doing this? These thoughts raced in his mind over and over again
"NOW WAIT A MINTUE! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE YELLING AT LIKE THAT? I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO BE THERE FOR ME NO MATTER WHAT!" Yelled Natsu
"Yeah but Natsu this is stupid!"
"Yeah this doesn't make any sense! Why aren't you going to Gorin University? I mean you got a full scholarship for God sake! Are you just FUCKIN STUPID?"
"WHAT? HOW DARE YOU!"
"How dare me! How dare you! When were you fuckin going to tell me this! You left me in the dark all this fucking time! I thought we were going to go there together! I bet you fuckin knew you weren't going for a long time! And what school are you going to go to Natsu!"
"Frist of all I didn't have to tell you anything, it's my life after all, and second stop yelling at me! You're not my fuckin father!"
"Oh so your saying that you don't owe me a EXPLANATION?"
"WOW YOU CATCH ON PRETTY QUICK!"
"That's right! Look I don't owe you any damn thing Shoma! Look I'm not going to Gorin University and that is final!"
"So what the hell are you going to do Natsu? Work in that crappy coffee café for the rest of your life? If your not going to Gorin University where the hell are you going to go?"
"Not that it's any of your business, but…Look I don't have to explain myself to you!" and with that said Natsu begin to walk away from him.
"FINE BE THAT WAY I DON'T FUCKIN CARE!" yelled Shoma at her as she walked away.
"I KNOW YOU DON'T YOU ASS HOLE!" yelled Natsu back not looking back at him once.
Well that went well… thought Shoma to himself sarcastically and with that he walked home alone with much on his mind.