Credits to Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou
It was one of those dazzling Kyoto mornings filled with promise- the sun shining with renewed purpose, the fragrance of freshly cut grass and flowers mingling in the breeze, the chatter of a pair of birds nesting in a ledge above his window.
They always say every cloud has a silver lining. Even the dark ones.
This thundercloud, in particular, was one miserable Mayumi-chan, who was drunk (again) and bemoaning over her two-timing boyfriend (again). That he was ONLY two timing did not console her. Her wailing even beat the screams of the bimbo starring in the horror movie they were watching, courtesy of Sayaka-chan. While Ritsu-chan cowered behind her book and he grabbed the opportunity to slide a little closer to her, Sayaka seemed more bored than amused, and spent more time looking at her reflection in her compact mirror than the television screen.
Usa supposed she preferred watching the torment of others in real life than in television shows.
Finally tiring of trying to understand the cliche plot, Sayaka shut Mayumi up with her signature dig in the chest. Just when it seemed as though Mayumi could obediently go off to bed and Usa could call it a night, Shirosaki’s masochistic side kicked in, and he chimed in with-
“HE ONLY CHEATED WITH ONE GIRL, ONE MORE TO GO AND YOU’LL MEET A GUY WHO’S FAITHFUL TO YOU.”
Usa awoke sweating. Profusely.
The memory of Shirosaki’s fate after his controversial statement swam before Usa’s eyelids, and it was not a pretty picture.
Drowsily rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he looked to his side. School uniform, toiletries, books...
Pock marked face, hollow eyes, a sinister smile. The unmistakeable voice recorded on its audio disc continued to blare loudly.
The little doll he received for Christmas stared back at him, and for a moment he reeled from shock. But he recovered quickly. That was probably one of the most useful attributes Usa possessed, his ability to adapt to uncanny situations. The skill had stood him in good stead more than once a terrible time.
He caught a glimpse of spiky grey hair as the reason for his torment disappeared, chuckling over successfully ruining another morning in the life of Usa.
For all his quirks, Shirosaki was a genius at manipulating machines.
It was unfair.
He got dressed, and walked to breakfast, moodily contemplating the meaning of life.
“What’s the matter, Usa? You look like a brooding hen!” Dolled up and in top form, Sayaka always got the first say. Usa had given up trying to suppress her malice.
“A breeding hen,” snickered Mayumi before she sneezed. The hangover, coupled with a cold, had made her less potent. Even her snide jokes had less effect on Usa’s sorely bruised ego.
Ritsu was already at the door; Usa wondered why she was in such a hurry. Usually, she was a slowpoke, immersed in a book while going through her morning routine, and he could easily catch up with her despite sleeping in for a good fifteen minutes.
"You sure?? Usa-kun should go with you!" Sumiko-chan, the landlady and Ritsu's grandmother, was worried. It was May and as Shirosaki aptly put it, "It’s the month of stalkers, flashers, and molesters."
Recalling Ritsu's clash with a pervert last year made Sumiko-chan edgy. Bringing up the subject would see the careful, conscientious owner of the Kawai complex drop dishes and turn pale.
"Ritsu has a good head on her shoulders, but she's fickle minded when engrossed in a book."
Then Usa read the message in Ritsu's eyes. She was going to meet some friends to discuss several new bestselling light novels.
Possibly including a guy in her class, and Usa's rival.
But Usa wanted Ritsu to be happy. Plus, Ritsu's expression weakens a resolve of iron. So he smiled weakly and told Sumiko-chan to let her go off first. The last he saw before setting down for breakfast was her grateful smile and her slim legs as she raced to make up for lost time.
Maybe if he ran, he could catch up to her.
At least that kind of distance is easy to close, he thought as he sipped his miso soup.