Just a few weeks before the long-awaited summer break, the second Friday of June was the athletic meeting. Getready,set,go, and then bang—the sound of an air pistol can be heard every now and then. Without having anything to do, I watched the three-legged run from afar together with a bunch of girls from my class. After participating for girl's 400 meter long run, I was out of breath.
"You did a good job for the 400 meter long race earlier."
I lifted my face up and found Mizushima smiling and took a seat besides me.
"I lost to you, though. You never told me you are a super-fast runner."
"Oh, my." Mizushima giggled. She offered me a bottle of water, which I gladly accepted. She casted her eyes and pointed her fingers at something as I was about to finish the bottled water she gave me. "It's Saeki-kun, right? He's going to compete for the three-legged race?"
"It seems like it." I glanced over and answered indifferently. I remembered that the cute girl who was Saeki-kun's partner was one of his fans from a class next door, though. Mizushima's next question made me choked on my water right away.
"Aren't you jealous?"
"Why would I be jealous?" I asked her back awkwardly while trying to wipe the water I spilled off my lips.
"Well, the two of you seems close enough." Mizushima smiled, which I couldn't distinguish from a teasing smirk.
"Close enough, you say."
"Well, aren't you?"
"I wonder." I answered.
I glanced at Saeki who was sitting down on the ground, laughing and joking around before the race starts, and for some reason I couldn't take my eyes of him when he stood up in an odd way—I know he is odd even from the very beginning, but something was off.
I squinted my eyes and that was when I abruptly stood up and ran, shocking Mizushima who sat next to me.
She called my name in confusion, but I couldn't hear anything else other than Saeki's stupid laugh. When I got close enough and with a forceful attitude, I reached to Saeki and grabbed one of his arms.
I looked down at Saeki's eyes as he looked at mine blankly. "Wha—" was the only thing he could say for the sudden confrontation.
"You, come with me." I said. "I don't have time for stupid response." I whispered low enough to his ears and dragged him away without waiting for anymore of what he was about to say. Everyone was looking at us with a similar state of confusion in his or her eyes, but I ignored them as I pulled Saeki down to the school building's hallway.
"Oi, Aoi! What do you think you are doing? I have a race after this!" Saeki protested.
"Yeah, you. What do you think you are doing with that leg?"
"Don't give me an 'eh'!" I protested back and turned around to face him. "You hurt your leg, didn't you?"
Saeki astoundingly stared at me, and I sighed loudly at him. "Seriously, just what is going on with that brain of yours?"
I opened the school infirmary's room door, but nobody was there. "Ah, sensei is not here. If I'm not wrong she put the bandage rolls inside the cabinets around here. Oh, it's there."
I walked to the far left cabinet and took out a small roll of a bandage. I looked out the window and spotted Shiba-kun with the corner of my eyes. He was standing near the starting point, and when I was wondering what he was possibly doing, I realized that it was almost the boy's turn for the 400 meter dash.
The only thing that crossed my mind was that I wanted to see him and say 'good luck' before the race started.
I switched back at Saeki who was sitting on the infirmary bed, looking down on his feet.
"Here, show me your leg." I said, and squatted down to touch his leg, but Saeki pushed my hand away.
"I don't need your help." Saeki said with a low voice, almost like a weak whisper. "Just go away. Why do you have to meddle with my business? Don't you have anything better to do? I never asked for your help, anyway, I can do it by myse—Ow! What was that for?"
Right before Saeki finished talking, I threw the bandage roll on my hand to his forehead.
"What's with that attidute? Well, sorry if I have anything better to do! I'm just worried about you! Saeki, you idiot!"
"Wha—" He was at loss of words as he stared at me and my teary eyes.
Why was I crying? Why was I worried about him in the first place, anyway? It seriously hurts. I don't to cry. I don't want to see me cry. Kh—
I lifted my face up, and saw Saeki staring outside the window.
"I'm sorry." He repeated, still wasn't looking at me. "Thank you for worrying about me, but I'm fine. I got mad for no reason when I saw your face, that's why I said harsh things to you. I'm sorry." Saeki turned his eyes at me with a slight smile on his face. "You should go, the race is about to start."
"Don't give me an 'eh'. You were looking outside the window with that helpless look on your face, weren't you? Just go, I'll be okay. I'm going to stay here and wait for the teacher to come by."
"That is what I said."
"… All right, then." I turned my back and hesitantly walked toward the door. I halted when Saeki called my name the next second.
"What is it?" I asked.
"… If, for some reason, you fall, and it hurts so much it makes you cry, come to me. I'll be there for you."
"If I fall, huh…? Well, there's still a three-legged race after this. I'll try my best not to fall, though. I'm not as idiot as you." I smiled a little, walked out, and closed the door behind me. "See you later, Saeki."
"A three-legged race…? That girl is just as dense as ever."
Saeki sighed in exasperation then faintly smiled. He switched his eyes again to the window and watched Aoi as she ran towards Shiba.
"Seriously… just what the hell am I doing? Looking hopelessly at her as she walks farther and farther away—"
He paused when he saw Aoi laughing from afar.
"If someday you fall, and it hurts you so much like it hurts me right now, just come to find me. I'll always be here, even if you don't notice me, even if you walk away from me after you wipe your tears dry—I'll be here.
If you hear what I'm saying right now, I doubt you will understand, but that is fine. If you hear me wishing that hopefully someday you will fall and come to me, are you going to hate me, though?"
Hey, folks! So I decided to end the story here because of my lack of interest in TokiMemo right now. It's a shame, I know. I'm ashamed of myself, too. I haven't been touching the game since God-knows-how-long, so rather than just leaving the story untouched, I decided to end it here. Also, I want to say thank you so much for your kind review! It's a good feeling to know that someone enjoys my crappy-written story. I might write another story in TokiMemo section, or a sequel for this ... or maybe not, but I hope we will meet again! Adios!