Chapter 2 – Sidekick and Protagonist
It was spring, during my second year at high school.
The season where sakura petals fall. Can’t say I like it at all.
The season of new encounters.
In other words, various changes shall happen to existing relationships.
For high school students, that’s a fact that won’t change.
It was the day of the entrance ceremony.
Once I reached school, I walked into the huge crowd to look at the class lists pinned up near the school gates.
While I was trying to make my way through the hoo-ha, I accidentally brushed past a male student in the commotion.
“Oh, sorr… hyaah?! T-T-T-T-T-Tomoki?! S-s-s-s-sorry, my bad, I’m soooo sorry!”
The moment he turned around and saw me, he was so frightened that even I felt bad. Then he kept apologising.
You don’t have to do that, don’t worry about it.
I was about to say that, but…
“Hm?! T-Tomoki-kun?! Hey, clear the way!”
Because of those words that were uttered, everyone looked at me.
And then, out of fear, everyone moved away from me.
The only one left was the guy who was apologising fervently a few moments ago.
“Damn, it’s actually Tomoki…”
“Whoa, did that guy collide into Tomoki?”
“He’s dead meat for sure, what a sad guy…”
They stared at the guy apologising profusely to me with curiosity.
It’s normal for people to talk behind my back, but it makes me a little depressed to see this happening on the first day of school.
…In this school, I’m feared as a heinous delinquent.
And the reason is obvious.
“But wow, Tomoki does look really scary…”
I do look scary.
My eyes were menacing since the day I was born, and there’s a scar below my eyelids from an old injury that made me look even more evil.
Because of this scar, I turned from someone who seemed evil to a downright villain.
I gave nothing more than a simple “that’s enough” to the guy and his over-the-top apologies.
While he heaved a sigh of relief, I walked past him and took a quick look at the class list.
I wanted to check my class promptly and leave.
It was the best thing I could do for myself, and everyone else there.
I glanced at the notice board and found my name instantly.
Year Two, Class A.
The class that I’ll be spending time in for the next year.
While I was about to check if a certain someone was in the same class as me…
“Yuuji, we’re in the same class again. Let’s have another good year.”
A guy’s voice came from behind.
I didn’t need to turn around to know who it was.
…Because only one friend of mine would call out to me so casually.
“Yeah, same for me, Ike… wait, when did you get here?”
When I turned around, I found my one and only friend. The protagonist of this universe, Ike Haruma.
An attractive figure, outstanding intellect, impeccable reflexes, and exceptional communication skills.
God was clearly playing favorites.
He’s a fine hunk who would warrant that kind of statement.
If I weren’t around, I bet the crowd would be swarming around him already.
“Just a moment ago. You really stand out, so I spotted you instantly.”
“Isn’t it because there’s no one around me?”
“I guess you wouldn’t be wrong to say that.”
Ike replied unhesitatingly to my self-deprecation.
A refreshing smile befitting of Ike appeared on his face.
“Then I’ll be heading to cla… never mind. I’ll kill some time before I head to class. See ya.”
After all, when I’m in the classroom, the atmosphere gets really tense.
In order to avoid those situations, I’m rarely in class.
I wanted to come to school right on the dot as usual, but finding my new class would take time. If I came late, that’d be another addition to my delinquent portfolio and make the rest even more afraid of me.
I wanted to avoid that.
“Hm, sure. See ya.”
Ike replied casually.
I walked off immediately.
The large vacuum disappeared almost instantly. And amazingly enough, the crowd surrounded Ike in a flash.
“Ike, I’m in the same class as you!”
“Me too! Wanna exchange LINE contacts?!”
“Ah, you beat me to it… I-Ike-kun! Wanna exchange with me too?”
There it was, a scene that would absolutely never happen to me, even if I redid my life a few hundred times.
I never felt envious, nor did thoughts like “why is it just him?” ever cross my mind.
Because I’m his friend.
Seeing my friend happy makes me happy.
Ignoring my new classmates’ fooling around, I was about to head home after school, when…
“Yuuji, are you free right now?”
The one who said that was obviously Ike.
I stopped to answer Ike, though if possible I wanted to get home as soon as I could.
I mean, the ever-popular Ike is talking to the eternally-hated me. We stick out like sore thumbs.
“The class is going out for a little party later. You coming, Yuuji?”
I could tell that everyone was tensing up around us as he uttered those words.
My classmates watched us nervously.
I sighed and shook my head, and then gave Ike my answer.
“Sorry, I’ve got something going on.”
Hearing my reply, Ike seemed as if he had something to say, but assented nonetheless.
“Oh, gotcha. Sorry for bothering you. See you tomorrow then.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow.”
I could feel the atmosphere lighten in an instant.
As I was about to walk out of class,
“Oh right, Yuuji.”
Ike called out to me again.
“What is it this time?”
“No, it’s no biggie. Just wanted to let you know that my sister enrolled in this school. So please watch out for her, if you could.”
Ike said, with a gentle smile.
I gave a brief reply, before turning and walking off.
…There probably isn’t any need for me to watch out for Ike’s sister anyway.
Most girls who see my face get nervous and can’t speak to me directly.
Even if she’s the sister of my friend Ike, I don’t think she’d be an exception.
…At this point in time, I never thought I’d be confessed to by this sister of his.