The Line That Separates Them. — Line 14

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The World From Her Eyes.

September 21, Thursday.

The Haru High School cultural festival begins tomorrow. In our class 1-E, under Aoki-kun’s leadership, all the preparations have been completed with ample time remaining to do the finishing touches. All the credit for our successful method of preparation was given to Aoki-kun, and he received the praise without any hesitation or modesty. All the girls gathered around him, he resembled a sole stone among numerous flowers, all the boys in the class were looking at him with eyes full of hatred and resentment, but there was one among the men whose eyes were the very definition of gentle.

Kawashima Takumi, an existence that is as plain as they come, or so I thought before falling in love with him.

My name is Fujiwara Minami, and I consider myself to be pretty normal. Well, my appearance would dictate otherwise, but save for my appearance and mixed lineage, I am just another high-school freshman. My mother is an American, and I was raised there for the first ten years of my life. I can speak both Japanese and English fluently, so I never had any problems communicating. My appearance, voice, demeanor, all comes from my mother, and I am very appreciative, my mother is a beauty after all.

My family currently resides in a pretty luxurious home, both my parents work, so it’s mostly just me and my sister at home. My sister is kind of introverted, so she spends most of her time lazing around in her room rather than going out. I feel like it is a waste because she has many friends and her appearance is based off of our mother as well, making her beauty in the same league as her.

The only time I experienced what could be termed as ‘affection’ was when I dated a boy in middle school. It wasn’t a long relationship, but I’d say it was a valuable experience.

During the first week following the opening ceremony, I wasn’t even aware of his existence, or rather, the never-ending crowd of people that surrounded me never diminished, rendering me unable to even spot him among the many students that called class 1-E their own. The first time that I noticed him was when our seats were assigned to us, and he ended up sitting in front of me.

As plain and as unnoticeable as he was, I was sure he would be the same as the other boys, ogling at me the whole time, finding excuses to turn around and gaze at my body, talking to me with the motive of getting closer to me, and I was ready for it all. However, my expectations were completely betrayed when he just said two things for the next three days, and those two things were ‘Good Morning’ and ‘See you’. He would spend most of his time sleeping, and during lunch, he would either go to the cafeteria or the courtyard.

He was as enigmatic as they came, and one of the factors that made him so mysterious was his relation to the most popular boy in our grade, Aoki Fumiya. They’ve been calling each other by their first names since day one. According to Aoki-kun, they are childhood friends, but other people just couldn’t accept the grade’s most popular boy’s deep friendship with a plain and unattractive existence like Takumi-kun.

It wasn’t as though Takumi-kun wasn’t good-looking, on the contrary, he had quite the neat face, however, his plain existence just isn’t fit to attract people towards him. In that matter, Aoki-kun has a certain charm and powerful presence, which renders Takumi-kun’s existence even thinner, making him near impossible to get noticed.

However, I noticed, I noticed and acknowledged the existence of the man named Kawashima Takumi. When the fourth day of him sitting in front of me came by, I just couldn’t hold myself back, I tapped on his shoulder and called out to him.

“Hey, Kawashima-kun?”

I expected him to get flustered and stutter like all other men did, but when he turned around, his expression was as calm as still water, his lips formed a straight line, and eyes looked sleep-deprived.

“Hm? What is it, Fujiwara-san?”

Looking at his calm and collected expression, and listening to his low voice which went well with his appearance, it was me who ended up being drawn in.

“A-Ah! Kawashima-kun! I was wondering if you completed the mathematics homework?”

He seemed confused for a second but replied with the same tone.

“There wasn’t any homework to complete in the first place, Fujiwara-san.”

I could feel my cheeks getting hot from embarrassment.


“I-I-Is that s-so? I am sorry!”

W-W-Wait, did he just smile at me? The Kawashima-kun who hasn’t smiled once since he entered the school smiled at me. That smile, that damn smile. It is so gentle and kind. After smiling at me for around three seconds, he turned around and entered the land of dreams. From that day on, I would call out to him and initiate the conversation, he would respond to me with a smile on his face. One day, I asked him to call me by my first name, and he agreed. The happiness that I felt at that moment, and the tightening in my chest when he called me by my first name, I instantly knew what this feeling was.

I couldn’t believe that I fell in love so easily, I mean, it had only been about three or four weeks since school started, and I had already found someone who would make my heart race just by looking at me. I don’t regret it, even at present, I am happy that I fell in love with him.

“Nejima-kun. Please write the answer to this question on the board.”

I was torn apart from my Takumi-land and brought to reality by Nakano-sensei’s lovely voice. Nakano Tomoyo, our mathematics teacher, and our homeroom teacher. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be ‘hot’. Even for a girl like me, it is hard to not get enticed by the absolute mature beauty in front of me. Miya has quite the well-proportioned body, but she is a sixteen-year-old girl, and as such, she lacks the mature and seductive charm of a woman.

Dense and fluffy waist-length hair of black color, thin and long eyebrows, big eyes, and a face which belongs in the paintings, she is an extremely beautiful woman. And when you add her hot body with a 95-65-95 figure into the equation, you get a teacher whose mere presence is enough to make boys drool.

I rotate my head in all directions, and when I do, boys avert their gaze from my body. They were staring, huh? During the mathematics period alone, the boys in the class are divided into two groups, one group lusts over Nakano-sensei and the other lusts over me. This situation is comparatively better than being stared at by almost every boy in the class.

After Nejima-kun, with a bright red face, returns to his seat, Nakano-sensei asks me.

“Fujiwara-san, when did Kawashima-kun fall asleep today?”

“I believe it was right after the homeroom ended, Sensei.”

“Is that so?”

She raises her wrist and looks at the time.

“I wanted to talk to Kawashima-kun about the rehearsal. Guess we’ll have to wait until he wakes up.”

A boy sitting in the back of the class asks.

“Why don’t you just wake him up, Sensei? Being woken up by you would be an honor for a plain guy him!”

The other guys in the class start laughing at the boy’s sarcastic comment, I feel a slight irritation, but before I could say anything, Nakano-sensei intervened.

“Yeah, I think I’ll hold off on that. I don’t want to incur Kawashima-kun’s wrath and end up like Uehara-sensei.”

Half of the class shudders at the mention of Uehara-sensei, and the other half is drooling while observing Nakano-sensei’s every move.

“Umm, Nakano-sensei? I don’t think he’ll do something like that to you.”

I voice my opinion in Takumi-kun’s defense.

“Well… He is known to be an exceptional gentleman… Aoki-kun, why don’t you do it?”

Aoki-kun made a troubled smile and said.

“Sensei, don’t you care about your student’s lives?”

Sensei returned his troubled smile with a light chuckle. She walks up to Takumi’s desk, which is right in front of me, and gently shakes his shoulders. And because she was bending forwards, her assets were hanging down, attracting the attention of everyone in the class. I think I heard the boy from before saying “Worth it!”, maybe I just imagined it.

“U~n, Fumiya… Do you want to die?”

A sudden chill is felt by everyone in the class, I can tell by just looking at their faces. Nakano-sensei gulps before making a resolute expression and bending further. She places her lips right beside Takumi’s ears and says in a soft and seductive voice.

“Kawashima-kun… It’s time to wake up~”

I am so jealous~! I wanna do that too~!

“U~n~ Kyoko? Why are you calling me by my last name?”

“!!!”

He raises his head, and while looking at a forbidden place, speaks in a calm voice.

“Black suit, school, this figure… Good Morning… Nakano-sensei.”

“Please spare me from guessing my identity by looking at my proportions, Kawashima-kun. Leaving that aside, who is this ‘Kyoko’, and why does a woman’s seductive voice entering your ear remind you of her?”

I wanna know that too. And if the answer ends up being the one single worst-case scenario, I’ll cry right here and now.

“Did I say that? Maybe that’s because Kyoko, my cousin, was living with my family until recently. And it seems like Nakano-sensei’s and Kyoko’s technique of waking me up is similar.”

I believe in him.

“Is that so? I wanted to talk to you about today’s rehearsals. They will begin after the lunch break. Please cooperate with everyone to set-up your cooking station, and make us some sample dishes too.”

“Understood. So…”

“You can sleep. I don’t wanna end up like Uehara-sensei.”

“Thank you, Sensei.”

He ignored her comment about Uehara-sensei!?

He entered the land of dreams once again, only to wake up just before lunch. Takumi-kun and Aoki-kun brought lunch boxes today, so we decided to have lunch together on the roof. Takumi-kun was reluctant, but I forced him to come after that whole ‘Kyoko’ incident.

“Takumi, today your lunch seems different somehow.”

Miya, who was sitting beside Takumi-kun said so in a confused voice. This is a recent development as well. Miya’s family ran into Takumi at his part-time job and it became like this somehow. I was happy that I was the only girl allowed to refer to him by his first name, but now I am jealous. I conveyed this feeling of extreme jealousy to Miya, but she just shrugged and said, “Serves you right!” in a provocative tone.

“Yeah, it was cooked by my sister.”

“Aoki-kun’s too?”

“Well… Yeah.”

“So why are they so different? It looks like the difference between a renowned chef and an amateur’s cooking.”

“She just hates me… Takumi’s sister that is.”

Aoki-kun intervened in Takumi-kun and Miya’s conversation and gave his honest opinion. Looking at both of their lunches, the difference was that of earth and sky. Aoki-kun’s lunch contained rice and a pickle, whereas Takumi’s lunch was a very well-made lunch box with various brilliantly arranged dishes.

“Why?”

I asked Aoki-kun. I just couldn’t imagine a girl hating the most popular boy in our grade.

“She just despises me because I get to spend way more time than her with Takumi, not that it matters. She is merely a sister with a hard-core brother-complex.”

Listening to Aoki-Kuhn’s explanation, Takumi-kun sighed and continued to eat his meal.

After the meal, we returned to class while being cautious of our surroundings. The cultural festival begins tomorrow, so the afternoon classes were canceled to let the students prepare for the festival. All of the students began working immediately. Placing chairs and tables, tinkering with lights, setting up the kitchen and Takumi-kun’s cooking station. Under Aoki-kun’s and my guidance, the process was smooth and without any problems. All the ingredients were stored safely and the utensils were arranged in order. The final test was the rehearsal.

All of us girls headed over to the locker room to change while the boys changed in the classroom.

“Minami, what are your measurements again?”

“It’s an 88-64-88.”

“Is that so? You have quite the erotic body. And that child-like cute face too? Kawashima-kun sure is a lucky guy~”

“H-Hey, we are in the locker room, don’t say it out loud!”

I rebuked my classmate Sakura and placed my hands on her mouth.

“Still… Why don’t you just confess? I think he likes you too, you know?”

“You’re lying!”

“No, I am not. He’s unexpectedly easy going when it comes to you. We were discussing it earlier, it seems like you’re the only person (except Aoki-kun) in the class who can get him to do something.”

Her spelling it out made me realize that it is true. Many memories flooded into my brain where Takumi-kun did something only when I was the one who went and persuaded him.

“You… may… be…. Right!”

I place my hands on Sakura’s shoulders and shake her violently.

“S-Stop! Minami! I am going to die!”

I stop shaking her and look her in the eyes.

“Thank you, Remi! That gave me a lot of confidence.”

“Haa… Haa… Good for you… Now, show him your rocking body, well, covered with a suit.”

“Yes!!!”


September 21, Thursday.

[06.00 A.M. Wake up. 06.00 A.M. Wake up. 06.00 A.M. Wake up. 06.00 A.M. Wake up.]

“Dismiss all following alarms. Initiate the morning routine: version 2.1.”

[Understood.]

I was already half-awake, so this alarm by our friendly and reliable Lily-san immediately woke me up. However, I wasn’t able to raise my waist, the reason for being a certain person’s clinging habit.

“U~n. So early~? Let’s sleep for a bit longer~”

I placed my hand on her head and ruffled her hair vigorously. Miyuki is a genius and a good sister, but she is a bit childish and selfish when it comes to her loved ones. Whenever she’s out, she is a model student, a model leader, and a model woman, but right now, her half-naked and drooling figure doesn’t give me the same vibes.

“Ow~ I get it, I get it. I am getting up.”

Even though her room is right beside mine, she insists on sleeping beside me, reason being her selfish nature. Normally, I’d reject her and make her stay in her room, but I understand where she is coming from. We haven’t spent much quality time since that day three years ago, and even now, our schedules just don’t match.

After leaving school, I directly head over to work, while my sister attends to her student council duties. I eat dinner out and return home around 12.30 A.M or 1 A.M. And when I look at her curled up on my bed like a scared and lonely cat, I just can’t find it in myself to carry her to the next room over. We get to talk only during the mornings, so I can understand her loneliness. She, by nature, is a girl that needs a lot of attention and care.

She gets up from the bed and heads over to her room while wiping her eyes like a kid. I heave a sigh of resignation and enter my room’s bathroom to complete my morning routine as well. Following that, I wake Fumiya up and take him out to train. The time for training has shifted from before thanks to the addition to our kitchen staff, and for that, I am grateful to Miyuki.

After our training session and bath, I entered the kitchen, only to find yet another wonderful breakfast on the table. I suggested to divide the work but Miyuki insisted that she wanted to be the one to cook breakfast and lunch boxes for all of us. When asked for a reason, she just said, “It was a dream of mine… To cook for my family”. And I felt that, so I left her to it.

“Excuse me?”

“What is it, Fumiya?”

“Why does my food seem like it was made with pure disgust and hatred… Even Sana’s food looks heavenly compared to this…”

“Let~ Me~ See~ I guess it seems that way because it was made with the feelings of hatred mixed in.”

Miyuki said so and then took a bite of her tasty-looking omelet in a flashy manner.

“I’d honestly appreciate it if you two could get along. I was hoping that Miyuki could date someone whom I rais- ahem- trai- ahem- grew up with.”

“Takumi… I am going to cry. Look at me, the tears are right there.”

“Kukuku, I’d never date a freeloading scumbag like him.”

“You are a freeloading scumbag too, you know!?”

“I am his blood-related sister! Bleh!”

“Bleh!”

They both stuck out their tongues and went back to eating while puffing up their cheeks. I felt like a father, but watching my house get livelier, it sure is a pleasant feeling.

“Why are you smiling, Takumi?”

Miyuki asked me with a bit of concern in her voice.

“Me smiling is that unusual that you’re worried?”

“No… Let me rephrase that question. Why are you genuinely smiling, Takumi?”

“It is the first time in ages since my house has been this lively. Parties, other people’s houses, and other places are fine… But when your own home is lively and energetic, it somehow fills you up with life as well.”

Miyuki’s and Fumiya’s expressions loosened as well, they appeared to be quite pleased as well. But then their eyes met.

“I am leaving~!”

This was the solution we can up with for an issue that tormented both of them, traveling from home to school. My home is quite far away from school, so if a person wishes to travel from my location to school by walking and utilizing trains, it would take a minimum of 40-45 minutes. And as such, Fumiya leaves ahead of us and heads over to the train station every day, and by the time he reaches the station near the school, we arrive there by riding my motorcycle. I park my motorcycle in the paid parking lot and walk to school together with Miyuki and Fumiya.

The morning classes were pretty normal, there was a slight case with our homeroom teacher though. The only one who wakes me up using a super seductive voice is Kyoko, so I happened to mutter her name while half-asleep, and it ended up pissing Minami off.

After lunch, the rehearsals for the cultural festival are supposed to begin, as such, we males were left in the class to change our clothes.

“Chief, this is a serious situation.”

Fumiya came up to me and whispered into my ear.

“Indeed.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I am going to sneak outta here, cover for me.”

“At least phrase that as a request. Fine, I’ll do it.”

I wake up my phone and send a single message.

[Send me a picture of your sister.]

[Can I ask why?]

[Distraction.]

[Fine.]

That message was followed by a picture of a certain beauty laughing while moving her hand through her hair.

[Here, Fumiya.]

I forward him the very same picture. He looks at his phone and nods in my direction from across the room. He starts to run and then jumps gaudily and lands on top of the teacher’s podium. The class ascends into an uproar over their idol’s peculiar actions.

“Listen men!! What I have here is one of the rarest shots of Kobayashi Miya, the first year’s idol! It is a close-up shot that displays her beautiful smile and emphasizes her lustrous hair! She’s wearing a sleeveless to boot! Who would like to get their hands on such a valuable treasure!?”

“Woah~! It’s legit!!”

“I want it!!”

“Aaah~! I can see the cleavage~!!”

The boys went crazy, huh?

Around ten minutes later.

“Aw~ It sucks that such a valuable picture got mistakenly deleted… Ara? Kawashima-kun? When did you change? Lookin’ good!”

“Haha, thanks Ueno-kun.”

Sneak 100.

“The girls are coming! Hurry and get ready!”

One of the boys yelled, and the others who still haven’t changed got to it in haste. After another five minutes passed by, the door to the classroom was knocked lightly.

“Takumi, can you open the door~!?”

“Sure.”

I stand in front of the door and slide it with gentle hands, what comes into my sight is a single girl among many others. She was standing in the front, followed by the other girls belonging to our class. A black jacket over a white shirt and a tie, black skirt and black high-heels, hair let down and a beautiful face tinged with the slightest bit of makeup.

“Kawashima-kun!? Is that you!? You look so good! Isn’t that right~? Minami?”

My gaze shifts to the being of the girl who said that for a second, only to fix on Minami once again. She looks at me, her cheeks red and her hands clenched. Normally, she would avert her gaze when our eyes met, it was a habit of hers that I noticed. However, this time, she didn’t avert her eyes, rather, she stared directly into my eyes.

“…so handsome.”

It was a low voice, and the words spoken were few, but they were filled with so many emotions that I felt myself get overwhelmed for a second.

“You look really beautiful Minami. It looks like the inter-class sales competition in the bag.”

Her slight red cheeks take a crimson color, her palms start trembling, the soft lips which have lipstick rubbed upon them have curled up to form a smile more beautiful than any other. I could see Sakura-san and Hori-san grinning from the corner of my eyes, but I ignore them. Sakura-san then screams in a loud voice.

“Look! It’s Aoki-kun! He’s looking so handsome!!!”

The ears of other girls visually stand up. Pushing me aside, all the girls run inside the classroom, or rather, cafe-cum-restaurant, to gaze upon the masterpiece that is Fumiya. The only ones left at the entrance are Minami, Sakura Remi, Hori Utako, and myself.

All three of them are looking at me with anticipation in their eyes.

“Minami looks amazing, but you two are quite the work of art yourselves.”

Sakura and Hori look at each other and smile.

“Thank you Kawashima-kun! We are looking forward to your cooking!”

And so… The rehearsals for the cultural festival begin.


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