Someone has to Do It
Tsuchiura Ryoutarou dragged his feet up to the rooftop of the General Education Department building that hot and humid summer afternoon. It was so hot that it pained him to walk up there. With his slightly loosed necktie and unbuttoned school jacket, he looked like the guy who you would rather not greet at the moment. Or else…
Tsuchiura closed his eyes as the blinding light of the noontime sun welcomed his eyes with such enthusiasm. "Crap." he muttered then paused a bit. "This is why I hate meetings during lunch break!" he said then proceeded in. It was empty. Great. So he has to wait for the person who sent him the message to come. And he hoped so much that he would come as soon as possible. The heat was killing him. "Global warming sure is starting to heat the world tremendously." He muttered when he sat on one of the empty benches available on the rooftop. He closed his eyes and fervently wished that the meeting would be over.
After some time, the rooftop door went open. Tsuchiura opened his left eye and he was greatly surprised to see his senior Hihara Kauzki standing on the doorway. "Oh, it's you Tsuchiura. Why call for this meeting? What do you want to talk about?" the senior greeted immediately. Tsuchiura sat straight and looked at him. "Huh? I should be the one asking you that. You're not saying…you didn't send me that letter." Tsuchiura said slowly. "My, my…looks like this is going to be a long afternoon." Hihara said with a soft smile then walked on to lean on the rails. "Sure is hot today." He muttered to which Tsuchiura agreed with a grunt. "Any idea on who might have sent the letter?" Tsuchiura asked then walked and leaned beside Hihara. "None. Any idea on what might be the reason why we were called?" he asked back. Tsuchiura shrugged his shoulders and wiped the beads of sweat forming on his brows. "Whoever sent that letter, I hope he comes soon!" he said.
"Eh? Isn't that Tsukimori-kun's violin?" Hihara asked when, with the cool and saving afternoon breeze, a faint sound of violin fluttered by. Tsuchiura closed his eyes and listened intently. "Yeah. I think it's for the performance on the end of the foundation day." He answered.
"His last performance before he leaves for Europe." Hihara added, which brought a despondent atmosphere. "Hino…has she…" Hihara stopped his question. "As usual, she has no idea." Tsuchiura answered with a slightly annoyed tone. "I'm having this feeling that Tsukimori-kun will not tell it to her." Hihara said again. "I second that." the second year General Education student readily said. "I wonder…" Hihara muttered as he felt the new wave of breeze on his face. Tsuchiura waited for the continuation. "How will this turn out?" the senior finally said. Tsuchiura shook his head slowly. "Terrible, I guess?" he answered. "You are such a pessimist at times." the third year acidly replied.
With his exceptional hearing, Hihara picked up the sound of feet climbing up the stairs to the rooftop. "Someone's coming." he announced. "Could it be him?" Tsuchiura asked, his body getting tensed with anticipation. "There are…three of them." Hihara could not believe what he was hearing.
The duo walked closer to the door, waiting for the newcomers. The door went open.
"Ah, Hihara-sempai and Tsuchiura-sempai!" Fuuyumi Shouko, a first year Music Department student, said when she walked in. "Konnichi wa, sempai." Shimizu Keiichi, another first year Music Department student, greeted. "Eh? Fuuyumi-chan! Shimizu-kun!" Hihara replied, obviously surprised just like the two youngest musicians. "What…" Tsuchiura stopped his inquiry. "Did you two received a letter too?" he asked instead. "Oh! Might it be that…you were also asked to come here?" Fuuyumi asked back.
"What cute little coincidences!" Yunoki Azuma's voice rang behind the two first years. "Now don't tell me you also received that letter!' Hihara shot at his best friend. "As I told you earlier, this is a cute coincidence." Yunoki replied coolly.
"It must be Kanayan! It must be him!" Hihara shouted. "I'm definitely sure of it. This is his type of game! I should have known from the start. That old jerk." Hihara muttered. "I guess we could only wait for him or her to come." Tsuchiura suggested.
The group sat on the benches while they tried to wait with patience. They tried to keep their cool by giving guesses on why were they summoned. Fuuyumi guessed it's about the upcoming cultural festival. Shimizu suggested that it might be for the rumored part two of the concours. Yunoki didn't know what to say.
Tsuchiura looked at his wristwatch and cussed to himself. "Crap. There's just seven minutes left before the lunch break ends!" he announced. "Where is that guy?" Hihara was running out of patience. "I just wish he's not making any fun of us." Tsuchiura added. "Kanayan would really pay for this. Let's get out of here." Hihara said then started to walk away. "Hihara-sempai! Wait up! Let's wait for a few more." Tsuchiura called out to stop the trumpeter. "I know we're all getting pissed with this meeting but why don't we wait for a little more?" he added.
Hihara grimaced at the idea. "Are you serious? Can't you see it's just a prank? Whoever that person is, I'm sure he's just making fun of us. If he really wanted to meet us, then he should have been here earlier!" the third year was really hopeless. "Maybe Tsuchiura-sempai is right. Let's wait for a little more. Maybe he has a reason for being late." Fuuyumi added to what Tsuchiura had said. "I don't know with you guys but I'm out of here. I can't stand it anymore." Hihara said then started to walk out again.
"Hihara, do you really want to know why you were called?" Yunoki finally said. Hihara stopped and looked back. "Don't get starting on me, Yunoki." he said. "Answer my question first." Yunoki shot back. "Sempai!" Tsuchiura got between them. "No need to worry, Tsuchiura-kun. I got this all controlled." he said coolly. "Now, Hihara, answer me." he said again. Hihara looked back firmly. "Y-Yeah. Of course." he answered. "Then there's nothing to talk about. Stay here." Yunoki ordered.
"Why?" Hihara asked now. Yunoki kept silent for a while and sighed. "Huh?" Hihara asked back. Then, Yunoki started to give a little smile and eventually, a laugh. "Why…are you laughing like that, Yunoki?" Hihara asked. Tsuchiura looked at the third year beside him. "Yunoki-sempai…are you telling us that…" Tsuchiura didn't finish his question. The flutist was really laughing hard now. After a few moments, he regained himself and managed to stifle another dose of laughter. "I think you get me, Tsuchiura-kun." he winked at the second year.
"It was you who sent the letter to us?" Tsuchiura could not believe what he was saying. "B-But sempai!" Fuuyumi called out. "Why?" she cried out her confusion. "Explain yourself to us." Hihara added, a certain edge on his tone. "Alright, I'm sorry if I played with you. I just wanted to see how would you react and I was happy I did so. I was a bit entertained." he answered truthfully. "You're really creepy at times, Yunoki. You scare me." Hihara sounded between relieved and frightened.
"So, now that we're all here, Yunoki-sempai, what is it that you want to talk about?" Tsuchiura asked, making the serious air return. Yunoki's brightness faded upon hearing the question. "It is serious." he started. "It's about Tsukimori-kun…" he cut off his words when they all heard a faint and somewhat unskilled Ave Maria. "And Hino-san." he continued.
"What about Hino-sempai?" Shimizu finally spoke. "It is evident on all of us that Tsukimori-kun's about to leave, just a few more days, and Hino is still…oblivious about it. Don't you all think it's…a bit unfair?" Yunoki's voice unintentionally faltered at the end. Hihara's aggressive but sunny air was gone in an instant. Fuuyumi and Shimizu looked down. "What are you planning to do now, Yunoki-sempai?" Shimizu asked. "We have to do something, everyone. We have to act." Yunoki answered. "I suppose you do have a plan even before meeting us, Yunoki-sempai." Fuuyumi surmised to which Yunoki nodded. "Spill it out, Yunoki." Hihara cooed.
Yunoki gathered the rest around him and he spoke in a deep voice. "Someone has to do it. We have to choose one amongst us." he started. "What will the chosen one do, Yunoki?" Hihara asked. "That person, whoever might be chosen, must talk some sense to Tsukimori. We all know how fierce that violinist could be and we also know how fragile Hino-san is. We have to prevent both of them form breaking." Yunoki stated.
Hihara, upon learning the cause of the meeting, fell silent and melancholic. Yunoki was right. Hino and Tsukimori are both needed to be saved. "Who, Yunoki?" Hihara's question fell heavily on them. His popular best friend looked at the group. "We vote. Let's take the democratic way." he said. They all stared at each other. "Any nominations or suggestions?" Yunoki asked after a few moments. Fuuyumi meekly raised her hand and the boys looked at her. "Uhm, I'm voting for Tsuchiura-sempai. I g-guess that he's the one who could talk to both of them easily. Hino-sempai also seems to be very comfortable with him." she said. Yunoki shot a playful glance at Hihara. "What about you, Hihara?" he urged the other third year to speak out. "E-Er…yeah. I think so too. You go, Tsuchiura!" he said. Shimizu nodded at the two's suggestion. "Ah, actually, my vote goes to Tuchiura-kun too! My, my! We have a winner by unanimous decision!" Yunoki cheered. Tsuchiura blushed at the comment. "H-Hey! What's with that! I didn't even get to vote!" he protested. "It'll be a futile effort, Tsuchiura-kun. You're leading the scores." Hihara mocked. "Hihara-sempai is right. You could do it, Tsuchiura-sempai! We'll be here to support you!" Fuuyumi said with glee. "That's right, Fuuyumi-chan." Yunoki added. "Cut it out, guys! I c-cant to it!" Tsuchiura said.
"Oh really?" Hihara and Yunoki asked with sly looks on their faces. Tsuchiura felt a lump on his throat. Obviously, he's not going to win against them, especially with Yunoki around. And even though Hihara would want to talk to Hino, he still can't push through because of his extreme Hubris. Which was…
Then the bell rang. "Ah, we'll meet again later after classes to talk further about this, okay? Tsuchiura-kun, you must be here most importantly, got it?" Yunoki said then went off together with Hihara who gave him two thumbs up. Shimizu and Fuuyumi bowed a little before going to their class. "Oh bummer.." Tsuchiura muttered before sighing in defeat.
Tsuchiura was pacing half the hallway. It a bit dark outside, most of the people at school were probably home or on the way already. He met a few acquaintances along the way and boy, they were all going home. He kept avoiding their inquiries as to why he was still here, as if he's not yet going home. He would either tell that he lost something or he was going to go get something or something that would include the innocent Something.
Finally, he heard the voices of his two subjects. His spirit was given a new boost of energy. He fixed his tie and carried his jacket with his arm. He cleared his throat and gathered a deep breath. The three said that they would be here somewhere. He looked around trying to locate them but decided that he go on with his task. He wants to go home now and rest. And forget this event.
As he was about to appear, and hopefully, not scare them, he heard a third voice from their direction. His eyes widen when he recognized who the owner was. "That girl…!" he muttered then stepped back. He looked around again, hoping to see the three, especially Yunoki. "What the heck? Why is she here?" he asked himself.
This conversation has got nothing to do with you, Tsuchiura heard the blue-haired violinist coldly say to Hino. Although he could not see them, he knew that Hino must have felt shocked and…hurt. He heard Hino say a soft 'alright' then went on to the opposite direction, thank goodness. Just as Tsukimori and the girl from the summer camp were about to go, he took his greatest lump of courage from his gut and strode forward.
"May I have a moment with Tsukimori?" he said bluntly. Tsukimori muttered something like Tsuchiura was being like a stalker. The girl ignored the comment and agreed and told Tsukimori that she'll be waiting for him at the main gate. Hopefully, Tsuchiura wished, Hino and that girl won't meet.
"I don't really intend to pry on your personal matters," the pianist started. "But I have a pretty good feeling that you're not yet telling Hino about your departure." he continued. "And what is it to you?" the violinist coldly replied. Tsuchiura was already able to brace himself for this type of response.
"Are you and idiot?" Tsuchiura asked back and he could say that the violinist was a bit shocked. "You have already spent a good amount of time with her in these past few days. Why keep it from her?" Tsuchiura asked. Tsukimori was still wearing that tough face. "It has nothing to do with her." the violinist answered. "Oh really? How surprising of you." Tsuchiura sarcastically said.
"As what I have already said, she is out of this. This matter does not concern her. Not at all." Tsukimori's words were heavy and Tsuchiura doubted himself for a little while. Until, he thought of something that would really be bizarre. And he hoped that this idea would work. Oh, please, pretty please.
"I don't know what you're up to with that attitude of yours. I'm getting pissed off." Tsukimori said and Tsuchiura took that as a cue. "Okay, you know, I'm actually fine with either way. And I'm going to be frank now so listen." he said and looked down on his shoes. He took this moment to gather a good amount of air then looked back at the pianist with a grave look.
"I like Hino."
Tsukimori's eyes widened a bit. "Now, you heard me, okay? I like her and I hate it when people make her sad or down. I've been keeping her spirits up every time and it really pisses me whenever people would just…be so cold and harsh to her. They don't know how much she takes it all in. Others don't really know this because she hides it from them. She doesn't want to be a burden even if inside her, the emotions are boiling and hurting her." he stopped to savor the look on Tsukimori's face: disbelief, surprise, and defeat. Somehow, he liked it.
"I hope you get my message." Tsuchiura said in finality and then walked away. He gave a sigh of relief when he turned on the corner. "Wow, you were awesome." Tsuchiura said to himself then gave a proud smile and walked out the gates, leaving the trio behind.