I let out a little yelp when the shrill sound of the school bell surprised me. I had been on the verge of dozing off when it rung, so when it went off, I was unwillingly woken up. Lifting my head off the desk, I could feel the stares of my classmates on me. I gave a sheepish smile and rubbed the back of my neck, and within the time of a minute, everyone went back to what they were doing.
The class slowly but surely filtered out as students got up to gather their things and head home. I found myself content with being the last one to leave. It was easier because most of the crowds were gone and it was peaceful. Yawning after being woken from my snooze, I glanced outside at the school entrance.
“Hey, Suzuma, you ready to go?” The leader of my small group of friends approached me, backpack over her shoulder. I gazed over at them and forced myself to my feet. Tossing my books into my messenger bag without much order, I nodded.
“Yeah, yeah...” I sighed.
We left the school building, chatting to each other about our lives, what happened today, what we were planning to do in the upcoming days. I did not have much to say or add in involving my own life; it was too ordinary. This town was too ordinary.
“Oh, there you are.”
Yet, here he was, so un-ordinary. He stood there, almost innocent-looking, leaning against is green Ninja 650r motorcycle. His unnaturally dyed hair was bright with the late afternoon sunlight hitting it. The glint of the sunlight of his bike made me squint to see him and I was pretty sure that I was hurting my eyes in the process.
I raised an eyebrow. “Why are you here exactly?”
He rubbed the back of his neck, glaring at the ground. “If you think I’m just going to stay at that house and have Takumi bad-mouth me all day, you’ve got another thing coming. Also, I decided to pick you up.”
“Suzuma, who’s that?” A friend of mine, the shortest out of all of us, asked. Her name was Aoi, she was known to be incredibly curious and stuck her head into matters that really did not belong to her or need her say in. Most of the time I just ignored her prying; she did not mean any harm in doing so.
“He’s a ‘family friend’, I guess you could say,” I told her, which was somewhere on the stages between an outright lie and a simple fib. I did not feel like going into the long explanation of how we met and dealing with their raps on how bad it would be to just go off with some random stranger. No-- I was too tired and only wanted to go home, eat sukiyaki, do some homework, and then get some sleep.
But with this idiot, that was not going to happen. A genius did not need to tell me to know that was going to be the decided outcome.
“Is that all I am? I’m hurt!” He exclaimed in mock horror while I heaved a long and heavy sigh. My three friends had practically the same look of confusion on each of their faces. I shook my head and stepped up to him, standing on my toes to still hardly reach his ear.
“I’ll go home myself. I don’t need a chauffeur,” I told him. “Go back home and make nice with Takumi.”
He frowned when I turned around to return to my three friends. I haven’t gotten to see them much after Haru first showed up out of nowhere and took up all my time, so I owed them some time to hangout. It was he least I could do, since they were still devoted to this friendship. I was grateful for that, at least. It wasn’t until I was a few steps away did I already begin to feel guilty.
We did what we used to do when we hung out with each other. Go to the local coffee place, plop ourselves up on the counter top seats in front of the large glass window. I faintly recall an old argument about one of my friends saying that sitting in front of a mirror and eating was embarrassing, especially when a cute boy would come along. When Aoi had mentioned that she could make herself look cute by posing while sipping at a drink, Sakura instantly took advantage of that idea. The argument never resurfaced again.
After ordering the usual (for me, this was a vanilla-and-chocolate milkshake) I could feel their piercing stares aimed at the back of my neck. I did my best to avoid them, but being my friends, they were not deterred too easily. At the moment I felt one of their hands on my shoulder, I knew that they