Rei's Sweet Nothings: Chapter 3 by ACM a.k.a. Annie May

'Thank goodness today is Sunday. No more avoiding Minako-chan at lunch and no more awkward study groups. Today I have the freedom to relax.'

I sighed and grabbed a towel. Baths always relaxed me, so I decided to take one.

I slid into the hot water and closed my eyes. I wanted to dream and forget this nightmare. I had wanted everything associated with Minako to be beautiful. It only made sense. Aino Minako, beauty of love. I did not fail to see the irony in that.

The bath couldn't have been long enough for me, but I had chores to do, and it would have been embarrassing if Grandpa had had to come get me out.

"Shimatta!" I exclaimed none-to-softly, realizing I had left my towel in my room. My hair clung to my back. I found it so bothersome when it was wet.

'Ugh.'

I warily crept down the hall, peeking around the corner before continuing.

As I started down the last hall, I caught a glimpse of skin coming around the corner ahead of me. Panicked, I tried to run back to the bathroom, but my foot got caught and I fell. Naked and helpless, I looked up into the shocked and flushed face of...Minako!

She was as embarrassed as I was, if that was possible. She turned and also tried to run, but also tripped and fell. Her skirt flipped up in front revealing her underwear, then she flipped over and revealed the back of her underwear.

As interesting as I found that, I tried to look away.

Finally Yuuichiro came and helped us both up. I didn't look at him, but I imagine this was the best thing that had happened to him in a long time.

I ran into my room, threw my towel over me, and thrust my face into my pillow to stifle my tears. I felt horrible for Minako, having had to see me like that, and even worse, since she had to be seen by me like that.

"Why does it have to be this way? Why does it always have to be so awkward between us?" I cried.

"It doesn't," Minako said softly.

Light flooded my room as she gently opened the door.

I slowly turned to look at her as she came and sat on my bed.

"What do you mean? How can things possibly go back to the way they were after all this? You must be afraid of me. You must think I'm some sort of pervert."

"If I did, I wouldn't be here now. Look, Rei-chan, I'm sorry I reacted badly before. I just never thought that you felt that way," she explained.

"Neither did I," I confided.

"Well, I guess we all get a little confused sometimes. The point is we can still be friends. I don't think you're going to hit on me or anything. I hate it when people assume that. You can continue to worship me from afar. I really don't mind. I just hope that you will understand that it is no personal insult to you that I am not interested in you that way. I just feel more attracted to guys and I want to try to catch that guy I saw at lunch a few days ago. I hope that won't hurt your feelings too much. Will it?"

That would hurt me a lot, but I knew this was the best I could hope for. I shook my head.

"Great. Well, I guess I'll see you around then," she waved to me, then glided out the door.

'That went better than I thought it would.'

I laughed wryly though the tears that were still coming and turned on my back to stare up at the ceiling.