Unblooming in a Pot, Yet a Single Flower in the Desert
After coming home and eating dinner, my little sister returned. Why is it that a middle schooler is coming home even later than a high schooler? I should scold her for being unaware of safety.
“Nii-chan, you didn’t enter a club, right?”
“That’s true, you did well to point that out specifically.”
There was a lot of troublesome reasons for not joining a club, but first of all, athletic clubs were too intense.
Everyone together, aiming for the number one spot in the prefecture, all fighting hard with bloodshot eyes. If I, who had no intention of seriously participating in sports, were to enter, I would be put in a terrible spot, and even cause the other members a lot of inconvenience. And as for the cultural clubs, to be honest, most of them seemed boring. I’m not saying that cultural clubs are bad. It was just that I couldn’t find my passion for it in a place like that.
As such, I joined the Going-Home club, which doesn’t require an interest form nor did it require any sort of fee to enter.
It’s infinitely white. If there were any other club activity that are just as white, I would ask you to please tell me. Recently, stories are often heard about the black club activities forced upon people through inhumane and intensive training regimes and punishments.  It is unknown whether such evil lay within our school, but if it gets painful, anyone is welcome to the Going-Home Club. It has allies all over the country.
As such, whenever I see such news, I end up wanting to recruit people into the Going-Home Club. It’s so easy to join. All you need to do is send in a form notifying your advisor that you are quitting.
After I returned to my room and thought about everything calmly, I realized the troublesome nature of the job that I accepted, and I seriously regretted it.
Thinking of Akakusa-sensei, I ended up accepting, but after cooling down, I realized that it was quite troublesome. I mean, I would end up losing the time that I have for the Going-Home Club. I got my priorities completely wrong.
If Hiwa Arina were to be speaking in English, she would probably end up having a lot of four-letter words that started with the letter F. It wouldn’t be surprising if she would be mistaken as speaking a new language consisting of beeps after showing up on television.
Now then, what should I do from now on?
For the time being I went onto the internet and searched up “venomous tongue rehabilitation.” When I did, only a few forums ended up getting a hit and I quickly hit a dead end. Next, I searched up “venomous tongue curing,” which ended up coming up with various information. So, I tried reading it while fighting off my drowsiness. Since I had zero knowledge in the field of psychiatry, and the content was difficult, I ended up skimming through the all of it.
I understood the general idea. Or I believe I understood it. The point is that the person in question needs to become self-aware and willing to improve. Since I have not even talked to her for more than a day yet, I cannot judge whether or not she fulfills these two requirements. That’s why I’ll go again tomorrow.
After being guided by adults in “classes”, group schooling ended, and the after school period began. As active member of the Going-Home Club who would normally have nothing to do, I would usually head home at light speed. However, it now was as if I had quit the Going-Home Club. It was a club that didn’t need an interest form, neither did it need you to notify anyone when quitting. That means that your designation as a member could be reinstated or taken back at any time.
Today, in order to start on the project of rehabilitating Arina, I must head towards the old staff room. Since the room hasn’t been organized yet, the chairs and desks were probably left in a chaotic state. As such, I thought I should at least do some cleaning.
“Sui, you’re quite early today.”
“I have something to do.”
Takane Makoto. He was a part of the badminton club and he frequently talks to me. We were in the same class for both our first and second year in high school. In my second year, since all our other classmates were new, we were often together. Well, even now we talk quite often.
“You’re so desperate to head home quickly I see.”
“No, I’m not going home.”
“Eh. Are you studying then?”
“It’s a complicated story. I’ll tell you someday.”
Telling him about it would be a bit cruel. It’s because he was someone that had once confessed to Hiwa Arina. I don’t want him to have flashbacks of bitter memories. So, I’ll look for a better timing to tell him.
During lunch, I went to where Hiwa Arina was in the class next door. I intended to let her know to meet up in the old staff room that was prepared for us by Akakusa-sensei, but she ended up responding with a discriminatory statement of “Don’t come close to me, I’ll end up getting sick that way.” However, I didn’t feel discouraged and continued to smile. In order to fight against her, I decided that it was my duty to not feel discouraged.
Even if Hiwa Arina had a sharp mouth here and there if I assume her to be some madman, it’ll end up easing my mind, it’ll also become something that would be unbearable for her.
After that, I was caught in a certain dilemma.
Do I buy bread at the shop?
Or should I go to the former staff room and clean up?
If I pick the former, I would be able to buy bread.
If I pick the latter, I’ll have more time to clean.
I stood around with these two options in hand. What should I prioritize? Which one?
Without a doubt—bread.
I headed towards the battlefield. The shop had already turned into an all out war zone. I know this. This was like the guerilla warfare employed during the Vietnam War. I was waiting behind the girls from the athletic clubs who were stretching their arms and kicking other people out of the way.
When seeing the sight of so many people bundled together, I wonder if I’m the only one that would want to roll them all up in seaweed or something. I’m probably the only in this world. While thinking of such foolish things, I join in with the other girls who waved around like sea anemones and stretched out my hand. It’s not sexual harassment. This is a legal amount of contact—
In the end, I was unable to obtain anything. The only thing left was the price tag. I felt the sorrow of having money but being unable to purchase anything, and realized that customers were not God.
I ended up buying an ice cream and quietly headed towards the former staff room.
After arriving at the former staff room, I was greeted by a scene that made my mouth drop.
Hiwa Arina was already there. Moreover, she already doing the cleaning.
“I never thought that you would ever come, so I was thinking of ending things after cleaning. In other words, it’s unexpected.”
“Since it’s from Akakusa-sensei I have no choice. Hurry up and do it, pervert.”
“Why did I become a pervert? I am a gentleman.”
“I was watching you at the shop earlier. You were touching people in all that confusion. Don’t come close to me, you trash.”
“Isn’t it a little harsh to call me trash. It was purely for the sake of battle, without a shred of dirty thoughts. Don’t worry.”
She then let out a hmph and sat down at the desk with her arms folded. She really did have bad manners. In order to bring the room back into order, I started cleaning. For the time being, I decided to secure a space by bringing the long desk with chairs to the center of the room.
When I tried to sweep around Hiwa Arina, who was busy reading, she looked at me threateningly and called me annoying. However, she obediently avoided me. I was surprised that she would be so obedient. I thought that she might be stubborn like a rock, but maybe if I talk to her, she might understand.
In general, though, if Hiwa Arina were to stay quiet, then she was quite cute. Beautiful long hair that flowed like a river, glossy black hair, bright eyes, and white skin. It combines the characteristics of a beautiful model with characteristics that a man would long for. From other girls, it would be subject to eyes of jealousy, but from the guys, there would be a strong amount of popularity.
While sweeping away with the broom, I spoke out to Arina.
“How many times do I have to tell you?”
“Yes, sorry. Arina, why did you end up coming?”
Arina stopped, and put her book into her bag, before opening her mouth with a heavy sigh.
“I didn’t have a choice because it was a request from Akakusa-sensei. If it was just you, I definitely wouldn’t have come. Be sent to heaven through tetrodotoxin.” 
That’s scary. Besides, is there any way for a high school student to be in contact with tetrodotoxin in the first place? Well it’s fine, it seems like Arina is weak to Akakusa-sensei. For such a free-willed person with such a rampant tongue, it’s surprising that she would have a weakness like that. I would like to use that weakness, but I also don’t want to cause any personal trouble for Akakusa-sensei. As such, I’ll start by seeing what I can do to change her, and go from there.
“First, Arina, you’ll start by having conversations with me. Don’t worry. I’m not a weak man that would be overwhelmed by your venomous tongue. Akakusa-sensei probaby chose me because she understood that part of my personality.”
“Why do I need to converse with you…?”
“Don’t feel depressed. I won’t ever hate you. Moreover, I’m not the type to pass around rumors.”
“I won’t be like other people and become shocked by you to the point where I would start being more careful around you. That’s something I really hate.”
“Aren’t you being conceited? If that’s the case, you should really know your place and pick your words more carefully?”
“Well, let’s talk about the rest after I finish cleaning.”
It is probably due to some circumstance of some sort that she acts in such a hostile way. I don’t have any basis to confirm that that is the case. In the end, it is her own problem, and something that outsiders should not stick their nose into. I carved that into my heart.
Finishing a part of the cleaning, the room became much cleaner, and so I left today’s reforms at that. Then, I brought out the ice cream that I had just bought and took a break. Arina on the other hand, was quietly reading.
While watching her like that, I was disappointed on the inside, as she would a beautiful girl if she just stayed quiet. Perfection just doesn’t exist in this world after all.
“How about we start a conversation now?”
“Don’t want to.”
“If you don’t talk, then the rehabilitation program won’t be able to start, you know? Why don’t we just start with a self-introduction.”
In truth, I only know Hiwa Arina’s name and that she has a venomous tongue. Everyone who tries to touch Arina, ends up getting poisonous thorns in return, so Hiwa Arina as a person was quite a mystery.
It is needless to say that she is quite smart. She was almost always guaranteed to be ranked top ten in our year for academic scores.
In other words, I only know what’s on the surface. One below her skin would be the deep ocean.
“My name is Sakaki Sui. A second year high schooler. My family consists of my parents and a younger sister. My hobby is watching movies, and I’m often told that I have a roundabout way of speaking. I don’t belong to any club, and my favorite subject is math. I currently don’t have any dreams!”
Something like that.
“Hoi, next is Hiwa Arina-dono.”
She closed her book shut.
“Hiwa Arina. Nice to meet you.”
Just that? Even your citizenship card would contain more information than that.
“Then, nice to meet you as well.”
I stretched out my hand for a handshake. However, Arina gave me a strange look before opening her book again. My hand, which was stretched out in vain, looked so pitiful, that I ended up changing it into a shape that indicated good luck. A thumbs up! Her expression became even more clouded so I pulled my hand back.
“Arina. The first thing you need is conversation. That and communication. I’ll try to give you the opportunity for both of these as much as possible. You just have to gratefully go along. Do you understand?”
“I definitely DON’T WANT TO.”
“I have an obligation to report to Akakusa-sensei.”
“… I understand.”
Akakusa-sensei is too strong. What did you do to Arina? As long as I mention your name, Arina suddenly becomes a wilted rose. This is definitely something I can use.
“This much is fine for today. We’ll do more tomorrow after school. Since this is the end of the second contact, once again, nice to meet you. If something happens, feel free to call me, Sakaki Sui from the next class over.”
She stood up from her seat and walked out.
I also followed and decided to go home. It was still too early for it to be the evening, but the beautiful red sunset was spread out over the sky. The lively sounds from the athletic clubs and the sound of music from the practicing brass ensemble could be heard ringing out throughout the school grounds.
Within my mind, I tackled a couple that was walking on the way home. Only within my mind. They’ll probably end up breaking up in the end, so they should drown in those narcotics that are produced from their feelings while they can. If you just think about it, the looming tests will end up being the end of it. When it comes, it’ll be something like, “I want to focus, so it’s for both our sakes… alright?” and the suggestion to break up would come out. From there, an argument would ensue. Over my two years in high school, I witnessed similar situations, and been pleased by the resulting split.
That’s right, I’m a loser. I’m just a lonely person.
- From what we understand, black clubs are groups that force intense activities on club members while white clubs lie on the other end of the spectrum, being lax and carefree.
- The potent and deadly neurotoxin found in puffer fish.