When asking what I look forward to the most in high school, it would be commuting to school by train. As a middle school student, commuting to school by train had its own attraction. A clear sense of becoming an adult. However, that admiration quickly died out. It is now my second year of high school and I have become accustomed to commuting by train. Rather, I even hate it.
Living in the countryside, the train comes once or twice an hour. Adding to that, the bike ride from my house to the station takes about 20 minutes. I feel that a life where I’m always cut for time has become troublesome. All the adults in the world who live a life like this, taking a crowded and shaky train into the city… really have it rough. Becoming a high school student, I really felt that I did not want to become part of society. Now that I’ve become a second-year, a new worry has appeared. That was something that happened within a train ride.
Today, I also rode my bike for 20 minutes, and arrived at the train station. Even though it is currently May, biking the twenty minutes to the station still made me sweat. When I get to the station, I wipe my sweat off in the bathroom and enter the station.
The station inside really gave a countryside feel. Inside, besides the few chairs for people to sit on, there was only a ticket vending machine and a stack of the local newspaper. Without a ticketing gate, it seemed like anyone could enter the stop. I thought of such a thing, and held back on acting upon it. Walking outside, I could hear chattering and see a lot of people.
There were people wearing suits, and others wearing school uniforms. The students are basically all people who all went to middle school as me. Among them, there are those that I used to talk to a lot. However, after commuting by train together everyday, we gradually stopped speaking to each other. Today as well, I pretend not to notice the close friends in front of me, and passed by, arriving at my usual spot where I wait for the train.
The train that I always take leaves at 7:52. My school is a school for advanced students, however, there are no extracurricular activities in the morning, which in itself comes with its own challenges. According to the school, waking up early in the morning would cause a lack of sleep and would cause a drop in the academic ability of the students. However, since classes go late into the night, the problem with sleep still persists. Speaking of which, high school students that sleep for more than ten hours are creatures that will still feel sleepy very quickly. I feel that sleep deprivation really should be the least of their worries.
While yawning and thinking about such things, the train slipped into the stop as an announcement was made for its arrival. The train was only two cars long. For the Sandai Line that I use, the trains are at most two cars long, and sometimes only one car long. This is definitely the countryside.
Despite the small number of cars, the train was very much uncrowded. The train may go to a station near a high school where a lot of students would get off, but when I get on to the train, I am still able to find a seat. Really, thank you countryside.
Adding on to this, the train is not set up in a way where the seats are lined up on each side, making passengers sit facing perpendicular to the direction of travel. Rather, the seats are set up in pairs on either side making rows. Between each pair, there is a walkway, wide enough for one person to walk by. Also, each of the pair of seats can be spun and made to face another row, creating group seating for four people. Most likely, a seating arrangement like this is hard to find in the city, but in the countryside, it is more common.
Today, as always, I sit down in my usual empty row. After commuting by train for a whole year, the seat that I sit in is fixed, where I sit is almost always the same. However, just a month ago, this normal occurrence was overturned.
“E-excuse me. May I sit next you…?”
Today as well, she sat next me. Even though there are many other empty seats, for some reason, she decides to sit next to me.
Her name is Mamiko Kii.
While a little bit old-fashioned, she gave off a friendly atmosphere. Neat facial features, long and glossy black hair, and adding on to that, her soothing atmosphere, all make her a fairly popular girl at our school. Within all the second year girls, she is by far the prettiest girl, even though the second year girls are thought to be some of the prettiest girls in the school.
Of course, this makes Kii-san very popular.
Rumor has it that she has been confessed to by more than 50 people, be it upperclassmen, underclassmen, people from the same year, even teachers. Well, I would hope that the rumor about teachers is a lie.
This is the type of person that decided to sit next to me. Of course, I was nervous. Maybe Kii-san… is secretly making fun of me, otherwise, I wouldn’t know why she would do this. I have thought of asking her why she would sit next to me before, but asking that could seem like I did not want her to sit next to me. As such, I couldn’t ask.
Until then, I would play games on the train, but having the most beautiful girl at school sit next to me makes me feel self-conscious, preventing me from taking out my smartphone. So, today as well, in order to prevent myself from making eye contact with her, I lean against the walls of the train and enjoy the outside scenery of the rice paddies.
Sigh~, today as well I couldn’t do any quests this morning… Somehow, I feel something is touching my body…?
I couldn’t understand the current situation. For some reason, Kii-san is leaning her body against me. Kii-san had a slightly red face as she looked forward with a strange expression. She seemed to be a little unsatisfied…
I was stunned, as my expression stiffened. Really, why are you sitting next to me? Or actually, why are you leaning against me!?
These are the questions that came up again for me today.