Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 7 (Karasawa POV)
Summer vacation started last week.
The results of my mock examinations were better than expected, and I was told that if I could maintain my grades at this level, I would certainly be able to get closer to entering the school of my choosing.
Even so, it was quite possible that the difference between me and my competitors from all over the country would depend on how hard I worked during the summer holidays.
Right from the first day, I frequented the local library, opening up reference books and setting out to complete my daily quota of studying.
From today on, I’ll be taking a week-long summer course at a cram school in the neighbouring town.
I originally planned to sign up for a shorter course at the large cram school in front of the nearest station, but I remembered that a senior member of the gardening club who graduated last year recommended the summer course at this cram school, so I followed suit.
The cram school was in the opposite direction of my high school and was not a major national cram school, so I shouldn’t meet anyone who knows me.
I should get a solid week of lectures and insights that I wouldn’t gain from self-study.
Confused by the station I had only gotten off at a few times, I grasped the shoulder straps of my bag and strengthened my resolve.
─Or I would have.
“What a coincidence, Karasawa! You’re here for the summer course as well?”
“No way… I didn’t think there’d be anyone I knew here.”
When I arrived at the small classroom, I was surprised to see the student sitting in the second row in front of me.
That was because the student was Amami. He smiled and waved at me.
It was a tremendous coincidence considering the town was in the opposite direction of our high school, meaning that it must be quite far from Amami’s home and that our schedules were exactly the same—from the starting day to the one-week duration.
Was this a famous cram school that I just didn’t know about?
I had planned to quietly work hard in a place where I didn’t know anyone, so the familiar feeling on my left made me strangely nervous.
“I’m nervous ’cause it’s my first time at a cram school. Sorry if I hit you with my elbow.”
“Same here. Let’s both do our best for the next few days.”
It turned out to be a strange coincidence, but I felt reassured.
The air was tense as the lecturer entered the classroom, and I gripped my pen tightly.
Although I was overwhelmed by the cram school’s way of teaching, which was different from both my self-study and school lessons, I somehow managed to concentrate and make it to the end of the day.
I breathed a sigh of relief as the atmosphere of the classroom relaxed once the scheduled lectures wrapped up.
“Good work today.”
“Right back at you, Amami. This is intense…”
Amami had a tired look on his face as he dropped his writing stationery and stretched his limbs. I guess I was no different.
I quickly packed my bags and got up from my seat.
“Karasawa, wanna go check out the study room?”
Despite only being one of the regional branches, which were a result of a local expansion, the cram school was larger than I expected. The study rooms were notably spacious.
I liked that the space had plenty of seats and no noisy people around.
And I guess Amami felt the same way since he peeked into the room with great interest.
“Maybe we can come early tomorrow and use this place.”
“That’s right… ah.”
“Are you perhaps, Ren?”
A male student who was leaving the study room looked at Amami curiously and called out to him.
He was short and petite, with large eyes that gave off a cute impression.
“Long time no see, Mitsuru.”
“Wow~ what a coincidence! Are you taking the summer course?”
“Yeah, you too?”
I was sure my surprise was evident when he hugged Amami, who was standing by the doorway of the study room.
Amami quite naturally accepted the embrace of the boy whom he called “Mitsuru” as he conversed with him.
Was this something normal for these two?
As I was wondering whether it would be better to be considerate and sneak back home, “Mitsuru” suddenly turned his head and stared at me standing behind Amami.
“I’ve been wondering, but could you be Karasawa-kun?”
“It’s me, Nishikawa, we went to the same middle school! Don’t you remember? We were in the same class in the first year.”
I knew it was impolite but when I looked closely at him, I felt a faint stirring in the depths of my memory.
I didn’t recognise him with his flashy blond hair, and his bright and youthful atmosphere, but he was indeed my classmate from middle school—Nishikawa Mitsuru.
“You haven’t changed at all, Karasawa! Long time no see!”
“Ah, uhh… It’s nice seeing you after all this time.”
“Karasawa, are you also taking the summer course here? Wait, are you friends with Ren?”
“Yeah, I’m taking the course starting today. Karasawa goes to the same high school as me. He’s a classmate.”
“Oh, I see~! I’ll be in your care from here on, Karasawa!”
Seeing him vigorously swing both his arms and waving, I unknowingly plastered an insincere smile on my face.
To be frank, I didn’t remember anything about him other than his name.
I didn’t remember there being any students with blond hair in middle school, so I didn’t remember him just from appearance. If he wasn’t Amami’s friend from middle school, I wouldn’t have had any interaction with him.
There was also the fact that I wasn’t very good with people who acted overly friendly right from the get-go, so I was quite withdrawn.
I wished I had properly looked at my middle school graduation album when I was reminded of it the other day, but it was too late for that now.
“I’ll… head home now. Nishikawa, Amami, see you tomorrow.”
I turned my back and left the building while walking in a straight line without looking at Nishikawa, who was almost certainly waving at me.
(Nishikawa… that’s right.)
In our first year, our seats were decided by our name. A petite male student sat in the front seat of the second row from the window.
His slightly too-long collar swayed when the homeroom teacher asked him to introduce himself, revealing his nape.
There he had a wide, black band, too tacky to be called a choker.
What he said when he introduced himself, I did not remember nor would I be able to.
(An omega… from our middle school.)
Suddenly, what Amami had said that day came to mind.
“The first time I saw him at the entrance ceremony, I knew at a glance. ‘That’s the One’”
When I was in middle school, I had two male omega classmates.
The other one I couldn’t remember at the time was Nishikawa.
He said they were still in contact. They were close enough to be on a first-name basis, and their behaviour when they met at cram school was suspicious. Looking at the way Amami smoothly accepted everything he did, anyone could see that he was used to it.
(Amami’s “Fated Pair”!?)
What was I doing, wasting my time worrying?
If it was like that, there was no need for me to worry; it was clear they were in love with each other.
It wasn’t until I got to the nearest station that I realised that there was blood on my lip, which I had been unknowingly chewing.
I wondered how a week had flown by so quickly as I was concentrating.
It was a week of frantically interpreting and comprehending what was given to me. Thanks to that, my motivation for the university entrance exams stayed high, knowing that this had been a fruitful time where I had learnt many things—such as the know-how of streamlined study methods that I couldn’t have discovered on my own.
However, as expected, as the last day approached, the atmosphere became somewhat relaxed, so I rubbed my sleepy eyes.
The seat I took remained the same until the last day.
Nishikawa joined us at the long desk for three, and the other two became constantly engaged in conversation with each other. Nishikawa now sat beside Amami, who sat in the middle.
As expected, it wasn’t to the extent that they whispered to each other during class, but seeing the two of them so intimate struck me with an uneasy feeling deep in my heart each time.
“You two get along really well,” I had said to Amami once a few days ago.
Amami bashfully gave a wry smile, though seemingly not holding onto one bit of displeasure.
“It’s not that we get on well, rather that we’ve kind of been stuck together for quite a long time.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?”
I hit Amami’s chest and wished he would do well.
I wondered if it seemed like an awkward pep talk an omega gave to an alpha who was a close friend and one who was always in their thoughts. I wondered if the corners of my mouth were properly lifted in a smile.
I ended up tightly clenching my right hand, which I had only wished to grasp lightly.
These past few days, my studies had miraculously been going well, but everything else in my life was a total disaster.
I knew the cause; it was Nishikawa and Amami.
They were extremely close, and during our breaks, they talked happily and intimately about various things.
Their conversations reached my ears since I sat beside them, but there were some topics they discussed that I had no idea what they were talking about. I had even rejected Amami’s attempts to interact with me out of concern.
Eventually, the conversations between Amami and me were reduced to the bare minimum, and the contact between Nishikawa and Amami increased.
Nishikawa seemed to be a person who needed a lot of physical contact, and it was natural for him to touch someone’s hands and shoulders, so I miserably watched him give hugs and entwine their arms.
Their lack of distance was to the extent that it seemed like it would just be a matter of time… before they would kiss.
No, even the little distance they still had was because the other party was Amami.
I felt sorry for myself.
At this moment I felt as if something that belonged to me had been snatched away. The friend I thought I was closest to was closer to another friend than I ever was to him.
And I was envious of an omega, who was just like me.
I soon realised that my feelings towards Nishikawa, who didn’t need to hide the fact that he was an omega and could act with naivete, were not normal.
Possessiveness. Misplaced jealousy.
Amami didn’t belong to me. There was no reason why he, with his gentle personality, wouldn’t have other close friends.
I was the one who decided to hide the fact that I was an omega. It was nobody else’s fault.
It seemed like I couldn’t stop sighing at the immature thoughts that made me feel like a spoiled brat.
In an attempt to avoid wasting time fretting over it, I devoted myself to my studies, and as a result, my grades improved greatly during the summer course. I was able to bring my grades up to a point where I could proudly report them to my parents.
However, my interaction with other people had been close to non-existent over this time because of all the studying.
(So non-existent to the point where I’m not even able to sincerely congratulate a close friend on finding his ‘Fated Pair’ from my heart.)
My narrow-mindedness made me sick.
My friendship with Amami, which I thought I had built during my high school life so far, seemed so calculating, one-sided, and despicable.
I felt like a child throwing a tantrum.
(To be honest, I had really wanted to spend at least today with just my friends.)
I was the one who refused Amami’s invitation to go somewhere for tea to celebrate the end of the summer course.
The petite and charming Nishikawa suited Amami so well that it seemed as if they were made for each other.
I didn’t want to watch Nishikawa stick to Amami as if he was a part of him or see the both of them acting like lovebirds anymore, so I made up a half-baked excuse of an errand and went home.
Starting tomorrow, I’d once again be all alone.
I let go of my bag and lay in bed, looking up at the ceiling in a daze.
When Amami had visited me in my house before, I felt rejected and hurt. I couldn’t believe I would treat him the same.
I didn’t even have the right to regret it.
After all this time, my payback for abandoning my friendships in middle school had come.
I lacked experience. I didn’t know how to deal with this.
When I got up and sat on the edge of the bed, I saw a book on my desk.
It was the one Amami had bought for me at the second-hand bookstore.
I hadn’t even been able to do anything yet, and I had given him a grudge instead of a favour in return.
There were still a few days left until the end of summer vacation.
I received a message from Kijima saying that we should meet at least once during the break.
I couldn’t predict what kind of trouble I’d cause if I let these feelings get the better of me.
I didn’t want to see anyone until the ugly possessiveness raging in my heart subsided to the point that it didn’t show on my face anymore.