Age is Just a Number – 7

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Gap.

October nine, Friday. One year ago, on this very day, Hikaru and Ichirou began their hectic adventure as a couple in love. The year they spent together was filled with ups, downs, enjoyment, problems, joy, suffering, but at this juncture, those negative aspects were completely left behind and all that remained was endless love and care.

They had a pretty normal morning though, they woke up after a tiresome night and immediately went about their morning routine. Of course, there were fluffy and warm emotions fluttering about since it was a very important day for them, however, they just couldn’t act on them since they had to reach school.

“So, are you going to take the train?”

“No, we’re running a bit behind, I’d rather take the bike.”

“You know… I worry about you. I always hate it when you take out that thing, I just can’t keep my heart from being restless.”

“I heard from someone that when you love someone too much, your first interpretation of them being missing is that they are dead. Tell me, is that true?”

“True~! True ~! Remember that day when you went out with your co-workers and forgot your phone at your workplace? I was so worried that I even called the police.”

“This is the first time I am hearing of this.”

Ichirou’s expression turned serious. He stopped eating the fried egg and looked into Hikaru’s eyes. Since the cold had taken over, Ichirou was wearing a blazer over his uniform, and as for Hikaru, she was wearing winter stockings and a cream-colored cardigan over her suit.

“Well… You see… I was just really worried. So I called the police. And when you called me back, I called them again and informed them. I had to apologize as well.”

Hikaru’s eyes lowered as she waited for Ichirou’s take on the matter.

“Well… It’s fine. It was my mistake anyways. I shouldn’t have forgotten my phone. I am happy to know that you worry about me.”

“Of course~!” Hikaru smiled. “You are my most treasured person.”

“Yes, yes, now eat fast or we’re gonna be late.”


“Mn~”

Hikaru boarded her car and took off in the school’s direction while Ichirou was left behind in the parking lot of the complex. He walked towards his allocated parking space and stood in front of his second love. He warmly looked at the cover shrouding his darling, his eyes showing a dazzled light. He walked towards the motorcycle, and with one fell swoop, uncovered the beauty hidden within.

Harley Davidson FXDR 114, one of the most popular and loved bikes on the market, and not only that, it was the fully customized vivid black model. Top-end tires, top-end seats, top-end accessories, overbearing stickers… Ichirou’s bike could be said to encompass what a limited-edition top-end bike looks like. The most fascinating thing about this whole contraption was… It was all supervised by a woman. From the initial mass-produced product to the fully customized limited-edition royalty, every single change was directed by a young woman of just twenty-four.

“Miyuki sure does know my tastes.”

Ichirou said while gently stroking the seat. He got on the bike and twisted the key to start the engine, after which he proceeded to wear gloves, scarf, and the helmet that his other sister, Mayumi, had gifted him for his birthday. Following the color scheme of the motorcycle, the helmet was also black and was a top-end model that could cost up to two-hundred-thousand yen.

“They spoil me too much…”

Ichirou sighed as he took off towards the school. Since the distance from Ichirou’s house to his school was about ten kilometers, he reached his destination in under fifteen minutes, the credit naturally going to his powerful bike.

He positioned his bike in the parking space near the school as the students weren’t allowed to bring their vehicles, including cycles, inside the school premises. That said, the aforementioned parking space is a school property as well, just that it was outside the school walls, and as such, Ichirou didn’t have to pay any money to store his property.

“Ara~ If it isn’t Ichirou-kun~ Good morning.”

A honey-like sweet voice came from Ichirou’s side as he was storing his gloves and scarf. It was a young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, a pretty girl who’s cute dimples let show whenever she smiled. Fujiwara Miharu. A third-year at Shibuya Fuchu High School, ace of the tennis team and the fourth-prettiest girl in school. Also, she was the person who got swindled by the playboy Arata into dating him.

“Good morning, Fujiwara-san. It’s quite cold, isn’t it?”

Ichirou softly said while looking at his senpai wearing a jacket over her blazer. Miharu, in Ichirou’s opinion, is a very sweet and kind woman who doesn’t deserve getting swindled by an asshole such as Arata. However, as they say, love makes you blind, and a perfect example of that is the personification of the word ‘innocent’ standing right in front of him.

“Yes, yes it is. I’ve told you many times, just call me Miharu~”

Ichirou smiled and he placed a finger on his lips. An idea flashed by his mind.

“How about ‘sister-in-law’?”

Icirou seriously asked, and as for Miharu, she blushed as she answered while waving her hands.

“No, no, it’s quite early for that… Not that I mind you calling me that though… Anyway, don’t say things like this with that serious expression, Ichirou-kun~!”

This girl… Arata… What did you do to her?

“Have you parked your cycle, shall we go?”

Ichirou asked while cursing Arata in his heart.

“Yeah, sure.”

Miharu came over and stood beside Ichirou while he covered his bike with the branded cover…

“Your bike is in a different league when it comes to its sexiness… Wait, why do I feel like we’ve had this conversation before? Am I experiencing déjà vu?”

“You’re not experiencing déjà vu, we had this conversation like two weeks ago. Also, thank you.”

Ichirou and Miharu walked together to school, and at the front gate, they ran into Hikaru, who was on gate duty today. Even if Hikaru was aware that Ichirou wouldn’t cheat on her so easily, when she saw her beloved and an unknown woman walking side-by-side, chatting and smiling, of course, a moderate amount of jealousy welled up in her heart.

“Ara~ Good morning, Hashimoto-kun… And…”

Since Hikaru had joined this year and was responsible solely for the first-years and second-years, she didn’t know about Miharu.

“Good morning, Miyashiro-sensei. This is Sister-in-law-san, a third-year.”

Ichirou perspired when he saw that flawless smile of Hikaru’s. He knew, he knew that she was wrongly interpreting the situation. And to avoid any interrogation in the evening, he already cleared the situation up.

“Eh? What ‘Sister-in-law’, are you stupid?” Miharu lashed out at Ichirou with a bright red before turning toward Hikaru. “Sorry about that Sensei. My name is Fujiwara Miharu, class 3-B.”

“Oh~ So you are the infamous Fujiwara-san. I’ve heard loads about you from the girls in my class. It seems you are quite the public enemy.”

Hikaru giggled while covering her lips. She was relieved beyond words.

“Sensei is exaggerating. It’s nothing like that.”

“Fufu~ Sure. Hashimoto-kun, shouldn’t you be in your class by now. Homeroom is about to begin, I’ll be there in a bit.”

“Understood.”

Miharu and Ichirou entered the school and before parting, Miharu asked.

“Ichirou-kun… Was that your homeroom teacher? She’s so freaking beautiful, she’s like a model. I’ve seen her before, but I didn’t get to talk to her. Her voice is so warm and sweet, it’s like I am talking to a living, walking cotton candy.”

“From which angle is cotton candy beautiful…?”

“What are you talking about? Cotton candy is adorable.”

Look who’s talking. You are cotton candy, cotton candy is you.

“Is that so? I’ll have to discuss this with Arata.”

“Hmph, so mean.”

Miharu cutely pouted and crossed her hands under her bountiful chest. Looking at which, Ichirou couldn’t help but think of murdering Arata for tainting her.

“Well, it’s getting late. I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah, see you.”

Separating from Miharu, Ichirou made his way towards his classroom. As soon as Ichirou slid open the door and entered class 2-B, he was confronted with the same scene almost every day.

“Good morning, Hashimoto-kun.”

“Good morning, Hashimoto.”

“Good morning, Hashimoto-san.”

“Good morning everyone.”

Ichirou greeted with a smile as he took his seat.

“Good morning, Ichi-”

“Die.”

“…”

“…”

“What did I do?”

“Nothing. I just wholeheartedly want you to die, Arata.”

“Ugh! You saying that hurts me, you know?”

“How about it? Poison or high-jump? Oh, I heard severing nerves is the new trend.”

“Stop! Look… There are tears in my eyes~!”

Triiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing~~~

“So, what are we doing about lunch? I’ve got my lunch box today so going to the cafeteria is a bit redundant. I don’t wanna stay in class either…”

Arata asked while stretching his arms. The four periods of the morning session had just ended and the interval commenced.

“What do you think?”

Ichirou asked as he placed his books in his bag. He was in a rather cheerful mood since today was a very happy day for him, and during the mathematics class, he was sure to secretly express those sentiments.

“Let’s see… There’s the rooftop, there’s the courtyard and there’s the staircase where we boys can all eat together… Or we can just get Miharu and eat by ourselves somewhere private… Or we can go to the mathematics prep room and eat with Miyashiro-sensei and Yoshihara-sensei, I don’t think they’ll mind… How about it?”

“Hmm… I know.”

Ichirou grabbed his phone and dialed the number of a certain person. The screen of his phone flashed and the name displayed was ‘Number Two’.

“Sumiko-chan~ Let’s go eat.”

“Yep. Natsumi-chan. As cute as ever. I’ve been revitalized.”

Sumiko nodded in approval as she caressed Natsumi’s head in delight. Her class, 3-A, was empty since everybody had already scattered for lunch.

Obara Sumiko, or as she is widely known, the Shibuya Fuchu High School’s Student Council President. Also, the second-most prettiest girl in the school after the Aphrodite herself.

Her medium-length black hair fell to her upper back, long eyelashes and clear pupils of the same black color appeared refined and sharp, her skin white and smooth, ample height for a woman at one-sixty-seven centimeters. Her body curvaceous and enticing, her cherry lips alluring and her personality overwhelming. She is the heavily admired and respected leader of the entire student body attending Shibuya Fuchu High School.

Ding~! Ding~! Ding~!

Sumiko’s phone rang while she was busy stretching Natsumi’s cheeks.

Toyama Natsumi. The so-called auditor of the student council. In actuality, she is just a mere mascot and an improv teddy bear of the student council. Even though she is an eighteen-year-old girl, her figure remains that of a thirteen-year-old’s. Round face and slender body. One-hundred-fifty centimeters in height with brown hair reaching her waist. A cute girl who takes pride in her modest appearance.

She reached out and grabbed her phone, and as soon as she saw the caller’s name, her sharp, strong and extremely elegant demeanor came crashing down. The called ID read ‘Crush♡♡♡’.

“I-I-It’s I-I-Ichiru-kun~!!”

Sumiko’s clear black eyes nervously roamed around, she was unable to take any decisive action.

“It’s just Ichirou~ Just pick it up Sumiko-chan~ You don’t want him to feel ignored, do you~?”

Natsumi, as always, was relaxed and laid-back, her expression was in complete contrast with Sumiko’s. Sumiko desperately shook her head in denial.

“N-No, I don’t want that bu-”

“You are the student council president~ Also, you’ve gotten seven confessions in the last month~ What are you doing? You’re his senpai, aren’t you~?”

Natsumi was amused, she was trying her best to not laugh out loud. The current Sumiko and her usual self had such a large gap between them as if they were two different people. Looking at the strong, sincere, sharp, calm, composed, smart, and widely admired student council president in this girly and lovestruck state, Natsumi couldn’t help but get a chuckle or two in.

“O-Okay… Calm down… Calm down…”

Sumiko placed her hand on her breasts which were vigorously jumping up and down, and after she had regained her senses, she touched the screen with her trembling thumb. She also turned on the loudspeaker so that Natsumi could hear the conversation.

“H-Hello.”

[Hello, Prez? What’s up? Why are you talking in such a soft voice?]

“No, no, nothing of the sort. Did something happen?”

[Nothing happened, per se. I was just wondering if you’d like to have lunch with me?]

Suddenly, the environment froze, and so did Sumiko. As for Natsumi, her eyebrows sprang up as she leaned in and punched Sumiko, urging her to reply.

“L-L-Lunch? W-With you? S-Sure! Haha, I was just wondering about what I should do for lunch. So… Where should we meet?”

Sumiko was clearly in seventh heaven at this moment. Her hands were tightly clenched and a single tear-drop rolled down her cheek.

[Let’s eat in the student council room. I’ll get Arata, you can bring Natsumi-senpai and the others.]

Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Slide…Thud!

Natsumi ran towards the classroom door, opened it, and closed it behind her as she ran out. All while one of her hands covered her mouth, desperately trying to restrain her laughter. As soon as she was out of the class, she couldn’t hold back.

“Hahahahahahahaha…”

As for the classroom itself, a beautiful stone sculpture stood in the middle of the room with a smartphone in her hand. It took her about thirty seconds just to squeeze out one word.

“Okay.”


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