Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 8 (Karasawa POV)
It was the first day of school after the summer vacation.
Kijima had burnt to a crisp from the sun.
“What happened, Kijima…?”
“Nah, I just did a little part-time job at a beach house and here I am! Thanks to that, I made a lot of money and was able to get the numbers of a lot of girls too~!”
Kijima brandished his smartphone around, thinking that it’d make us envious, but contrary to the laid-back Kijima’s thoughts, we test-taking students were far from envious.
We didn’t have the time to get infatuated or madly fall in love.
Even if all the girls in the photos we were shown were cute, I would never envy him.
Kijima introduced me to two boys from the next class who worked together with him at the beach house.
The three short-haired, tanned boys were indistinguishable for a moment when they stood side by side.
They were cheerful and energetic classmates who deserved to be called Kijima’s friends, and they told me many interesting stories from the time when the three of them worked together.
Thanks to them, my abs were overworked from laughing and I was completely exhausted even before the opening ceremony started.
“We’re all going to be job-seekers which means we’ll be competing, but let’s all be friends, Karasawa.”
“…And so, you’ll let us copy your summer homework, right?”
“I think I’m gonna stop being friends with you guys after all.”
The three, with their ridiculously glib tongues, begged me until I ended up showing them my homework.
The homework assigned was minimal in consideration for the students preparing for the examinations that made up the majority of the school year, but Kijima’s friends were just like him, and they had not even done that.
The sunbaked duo returned to their classroom next door, and Kijima returned to his own seat.
I was forced to think about something I had been running away from for the entire break.
I didn’t feel anything even when I discovered that Kijima had close friends I didn’t know about.
They too, were quite touchy-feely with each other, putting their arms around each other’s shoulders, patting each other on the back and fooling around.
I found them fun and interesting, but not once did I think they would take Kijima away from me.
Nishikawa was stuck on Amami the whole time during the summer course.
He, too, linked his arms and snuggled up to others in an intimate manner.
Yet, just remembering that scene made me feel as if the pit of my stomach was sinking.
Was it because Amami was an alpha and Nishikawa an omega?
But then, they were a “fated pair”. In this case, I was the nuisance.
I felt a sharp pain in my chest and my whole body grew stiff at the realisation.
(I am Amami’s friend and have no right to step beyond that…)
Such an obvious thing arbitrarily broke my heart.
I was repulsed that my possessiveness had come this far.
I felt like I owned Amami. The very Amami who had been kind to me all my life, and as he was the alpha closest to me, I had feelings akin to love towards him.
And this was no different from an omega who haphazardly hunted for an alpha to ease the fever of their heat.
I despised myself in my heart, thinking that I was just envious of Nishikawa, who was treating Amami in an omega-like manner.
(There’s no way someone like me can even pretend to be Amami’s friend, but…)
I saw Amami enter the classroom just as class started.
I could feel his gaze on me, but I didn’t meet it. I pretended to check the printout of my assignment and let it pass.
I didn’t have confidence that my facade wouldn’t crumble if I met his eyes.
Today, school was dismissed after the opening ceremony, submission of assignments, and a word of thanks from the homeroom teacher.
I was tempted to wish that the opening ceremony on Friday could be postponed to next week, but that was just a flight of fancy.
Kijima seemed to have promptly gone to the class next door to play.
Looking around the classroom, I couldn’t see Amami either.
I let out the breath I had been holding for a while and prepared myself.
Usually, I would have liked to go straight home too, but I realised that I left some of my tools behind in the shed when I retired from the gardening club, so I was going to go get them.
Hearing the distant voices of teachers urging students to leave the school, I headed for the shed behind the school building near the plastic greenhouse.
“There it is!”
I was relieved to find a conspicuous red shovel beside the door as soon as I opened it.
It was the kind of shovel you could buy anywhere, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it even when I was fiddling with the soil at home, and I decided to collect it before I forgot.
I wrapped the dirt-stained hand shovel in the plastic bag I brought with me and put it away in my backpack.
I got up and was about to close the door of the shed when I felt a strange palpitation in my heart.
My vision quickly began to blur and my legs faltered.
The pulsations in my chest beat so painfully that I kneeled helplessly on the ground.
(I’m in heat! But, it’s never been this severe before!)
My breathing grew rough. Instinctively, I clutched the collar at my nape.
I would usually get my heat once every three months, but it hadn’t happened last month, when it should have.
I went to see a doctor just in case, but they said that although it was rare, there was a possibility for it to be delayed. If it was the first time, we were to keep an eye on it.
A normal heat would result in mild dizziness, shortness of breath, and a slight decline in thinking ability.
These symptoms were further controlled by medication.
(This might be bad.)
Since my pheromones were weak and had a weird smell on top, I had been able to continue pretending to be a beta without any inconvenience.
But now, if my severe heat symptoms were accompanied by the release of strong pheromones?
There was a possibility that I would catch the attention of an alpha who hadn’t noticed me before.
With trembling fingertips, I pulled out the suppressant I had tucked away in the inner pocket of my bag.
I tried to take it out one; it fell out of my grasp.
Without panicking, I took a deep breath, popped out another pill, and placed it in my mouth.
If I stayed in the seclusion of the back of the school building until the pill kicked in, I might be able to get through this crisis.
I crawled towards the door of the shed and sat down with my back against it. I tried to catch my breath.
And it is precisely at times like this that people who you didn’t want to be found by will find you.
Someone appeared in front of my hazy vision that felt as if it had become shrouded in fog.
A familiar voice.
Kijima rushed over and immediately cradled my back.
I was surprised to find that my body had less strength than I thought.
Even him touching my back, just that contact, was enough to make a strange feeling surge forth, and I bit the edge of my lip to tide it over.
“Shit, it’s having an effect on me too, and I’m a beta… Karasawa, you… are you having your heat?”
I felt like I didn’t even understand half of what Kijima was yapping on about.
His words drifted through my ears, from left to right, with me rendered unable to process their meaning.
Still, I shook my head frantically, feeling that he was saying something terrible.
If I remained so, I would cause Kijima trouble. I only wanted to avoid that.
“Argh, jeez, why are you so stubborn?! Did you take your suppressants? ‘Cause I’m gonna take you to the infirmary like this.”
He pulled me by the arm and I was held in a way that I leaned against Kijima’s shoulder.
Since my knees had lost strength and were trembling, it was more a case of me being dragged along by him.
“It’s fine, I’m more muscular than I look. You should be worrying about yourself right now.”
I didn’t want to burden him, so I stuck out my arms, but he held me back and I couldn’t do anything about it. With all my energy, I put my weight on both of my feet.
Just a little further and I’d be inside the school.
It would have been nice if there were very few people in the school, but there were still a considerable number around.
I had changed my shoes to go outside and so I had to take them off.
I left my bag in front of the shed.
My thoughts were in disarray and all I could think about were irrelevant things.
Even though I didn’t close my eyelids, my vision was filled with black.
I could hear Kijima’s voice in the distance, yet my consciousness left me.