Episode 13. One Worth More Than This World

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"Isn't Wakabayashi-sensei pretty handsome?"

"I think sensei looks pretty feminine. Can't really say that's handsome."

"How is sensei feminine? I don't see it?"

"The longer hair for one—!"

Tomo overheard a couple of second-years talk about the teacher as they walked by the bench he was seated on. It was getting colder and Yuu and Tatsumi were playing football with some other guys in class. Tomo had followed them out but preferred to watch as the boys were chasing the ball.

He wasn't going to run around for no reason.

Ken hadn't come to eat lunch since school started. He never seemed to be around and it made Tomo feel rather lonely. He hadn't been staying over either, although on a couple of days when he didn't have work he had studied with Chika.

Sakura said he hadn't gone to the drama club. Considering that his university entrance was going to be based on his acting, it seemed pretty odd that he didn't focus on that. Sure, it was already determined that he'd get in if he wanted to, but that didn't mean he shouldn't participate.

The third-years were suggested to stop club activities to focus on studying during the second term, but Ken didn't need to. Unless he wanted to do the entrance exams, yet he wasn't stupid so studying this much seemed odd.

It all was making Tomo a little anxious. Something seemed very wrong but he couldn't put his finger on it.

His shifts had also changed. The prior term Ken usually had three shifts; two on school days and one on Saturdays. Now the schedule said two full days on weekends. However, when Tomo had been there Ken hadn't been on the floor the entire time. He also didn't spend the rest of the time in the kitchen. It was strange, to say the least.

A sudden cold wind interrupted Tomo's train of thought and he shivered in his short-sleeved shirt. Abe Rieko from 1-A must have seen it because she came over from where she and her friends had been eating lunch.

Abe was one of the top students in his year, and while Tomo had done fairly well in his entrance exams, she had done considerably better. He knew this because she was in the A-class, and he was in the B-class.

"Seki-kun... Right?" she asked.

"Uh... Yes?"

He was surprised she knew his name. Yes, it had been one of the top fifty on the exams, and hence had been publicly displayed with his exam score, but it was just his name.

She took off her cardigan. It was a pale shade of warm pink; maybe a light shade of salmon pink would describe it the best. Not exactly his favourite colour, but who was he to judge?

"You seemed like you were feeling cold, Seki-kun." She put it over his shoulders before he even agreed to it. "It's probably a tiny bit small, but you can borrow it for a while to warm up."

She smiled kindly and looked over at Suzuki Tatsumi, Sakuraba Yuusuke, Satou Susumu and the other boys divided in teams of four, trying to score in their makeshift goals.

"It's your classmates playing around over there, right? They're all in the football club, aren't they? They're pretty good. I can understand why you don't want to just leave."

Tomo couldn't tell if they were good or not. To him, it just looked like they were chasing the ball. He saw Yuu score and high five Satou while Tatsumi groaned and Kikuchi Nao told Kamihara Okifumi to guard the goal better.

How they thought it was a fun pastime activity was beyond him.

"Ah, uhm, thank you very much?" he said to the girl looking at the boys.

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