Chapter 11: Feelings I’ve been holding back.
It was a day like any other.
They treated me like I was some sort of tumor, as always.
As soon as I stepped inside, everyone else stopped talking for a moment.
Regardless, I didn’t pay attention to it and walked to my seat, the second last by the window.
As I made my way there, I take a look at Hinata, who sat right behind me.
His eyes were glued to Ichinose as she was surrounded by her peers, and even though his eyes were for someone else, mine were for him.
That’s all I can do for now, for the space beside him is his childhood friend’s.
I take my seat with a tinge of loneliness, as usual.
“Good morning,” I glanced behind to look at the voice’s owner.
Hinata was looking at me.
“…Morning,” since I was a bit anxious, my voice left kind of raspy.
He’s always been like this.
Opposite from others, he always greeted even this tumor called Kuraki; today wasn’t the first time.
He always does it, but whenever it’s my turn to talk, I get nervous.
As I kept hating myself over my curt answer, I notice him looking outside with somewhat of a satisfied expression on his face.
Tempted, I did the same thing.
Just by doing so, I felt a sense of closeness with him, even though we weren’t dating or anything of that matter.
And it made me happy.
After that, the day went on as usual.
Hinata was close to Ichinose as usual, and I was just an observer.
However, it all changed after school.
“Is Ichinose-san here” Someone walked inside the classroom.
I think he was from the baseball team or something, and he’s in the class right next to ours.
Well, I know next to nothing about him since I’m not interested, but I’ve heard the rumors about him being handsome.
What’s wrong” Ichinose answered.
“Oh, good, you’re still here.
If you want to, I’d like to go out with you for a while after this.”
“Is it something you can’t say here”
If it’s not too much trouble for you, could you come with me”
“…Okay, sure,” she accepted.
Today’s a no-no for me, you can go on first.”
I’m off,” said Hinata.
Then Ichinose was taken outside by a boy from the next class, and as soon as they stepped out, everyone else began buzzing.
They called them a beautiful pair, the best couple in school, and even said that Hinata was just a childhood friend, nothing else.
So on and so forth.
While everyone else yapped and yapped, I just watched Hinata absentmindedly.
Quietly slipping out of the noisy circle of people, he stepped outside and left.
Looking through the window, I see him staggering down the street.
It must’ve been quite a shock as his eyes darted around the place, unsteady and dizzy, and he could barely walk straight.
As our classmates talked, Ichinose was called away, no doubt for a confession.
I can tell just by looking that he’s interested in her, and well, Ichinose is extremely popular, and she’s even received many confessions in the past.
However, for Hinata, the one thing that was different from the countless times she’s been confessed to was her expression.
Unlike every other time it happened, she didn’t make an annoyed face.
Instead, her expression exuded happiness.
I thought the reason why she always took down any confession was him, but that might’ve been wrong.
Putting my thoughts in order, I hurriedly packed my bags and left the classroom tailing right behind him.
It’d be a disaster if something happened while he was in that condition.
I mean, there were several dangers on the way to his house, so I have to make sure he gets there safely.
I couldn’t stand looking at his dejected mannerisms as he anxiously kept walking, eyes on the ground.
My heart couldn’t stop aching from seeing that.
He must be extremely hurt…
I want to comfort him right this very instant…
Worry plagued my mind, and just thinking about how much he’s suffering made me suffer too.
However, despite it all, I think I was smiling… I’m the worst for doing so.
That day, I watched as Hinata safely stepped into his house, and then left for my own.
As I walked, countless thoughts popped into my mind.
All I can say for now is that I’ll have an answer until tomorrow.
The next day, he arrived at school all by himself, quietly took his seat, and immediately gazed out the window.
“You’re all alone today,” I noted.
“…From now on, I guess,” he looked at me for a moment, then turned back to looking outside.
I followed his gaze only to see Ichinose with a smile on her face, walking hand-in-hand with a guy as they were surrounded by others.
Hinata looked at Ichinose as she walked happily, and I looked at him.
From that day on, the school was abuzz with talk of her dating.
It seems they didn’t hide the fact they got together, and instead made it all public.
Now, they were recognized by the whole school as “the best couple.”
Everyone was paying attention to Ichinose and her new boyfriend, while no one even batted an eye at Hinata, who clearly lost his energy since yesterday.
Furthermore, no one had any idea of the behavior of the class tumor: me.
Since Ichinose started dating, her relationship with Hinata started to take drastic changes.
She mostly went out to see her boyfriend next class, and rarely stayed here with anyone.
Once, Hinata went out of her way and invited her out to lunch, but she flat-out refused him.
Ichinose gave herself away while I reached the end of my years and years of patience.
For his sake, I couldn’t suppress these feelings I’d been holding back anymore.