I walked along the loud, busy hallway with my binder held to my chest. People bumped into me here and there. Someone stepped on the back of my shoe and my foot slipped out. I stopped and looked back. I was being forced to move by the shoving of everyone.
“Uh! C-can somebody get my shoe please?!” I asked trying to yell.
It was no use. My voice compared to everyone else, was inaudible. My shoe got trampled on and kicked to the side. I heard laughter as someone said, “Who loses their shoe?” I bit my lip and continued to walk to my class.
When I entered, Hanano-san came up to me. She observed me from head to toe,
“Where’s your shoe?”
I sighed and walked over to my desk near the window.
“Someone stepped on it and my foot accidentally slipped out,” I mumbled.
She chuckled, “Really? That’s just sad, ____.”
I glared at her, “Well, didn’t you try getting it back?” she asked sitting down on the chair in front of my desk.
I rested my chin on my hand and looked out the window, “…Someone threw it out the window.”
She gasped, “It’s not just your day today, is it?”
I ignored that remark. I put my head down on the desk and closed my eyes.
“..____.. _____!” someone hit me at the back of the head.
I sprang up and felt my head.
I looked up at Hanano who hit me. I slapped her shoulder, “What was that for?”
She stiffly pointed behind her with her thumb. I saw everyone in class grew stiff. They looked at me with fear. I looked behind Hanano and saw the captain of the basketball team standing behind the door. Akashi Seijuro
“W-what’s going on?” I whispered to Hanano as I stood up.
She gulped, “I don’t know,” she whispered back.
I walked over to him and closed the door behind me.
“A-Akashi-san. What brings you over to my class?” I tried to ask casually.
His cold, red and yellow eyes glanced at me and then at my foot. He held up my shoe in front of my face,
“Is this yours?” he asked in a surprisingly calm tone.
I blinked a couple of times at the black, leather shoe and nodded. I took it from his hand and bowed,
“Th-thank you!” I smiled at him. “But may I ask how you found it?” I asked as I slipped it on my foot.
He put his hand on top of his head, “I was on my way to school when a shoe came flying out the window and hit me on the head.”
My face grew warm and bowed again and again. I kept on apologizing to him, until he put a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s okay,” he said taking a peek at my face. He gave me a gentle smile, “What’s your name?”
I wiped my eyes with my sleeves and bowed again,
“____,” I answered with a muffled voice.
He took his hand off my shoulder, “Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, ____.”
He turned around and began to walk. Just as he was almost out of sight, I yelled out, “Akashi-san!”
He looked back at me, “What is it?” he called out.
I ran over to where he stood, “H-how did you know it was my shoe?” I asked.
He looked to his right side and covered his mouth with the back of his hand. I thought I saw a grin. He coughed and turned his face towards me, “Lucky guess.”
“But there are hundreds of people in Rakuzan, how did you single me out?” I kept asking.
How did he know it was my shoe?
“It was nice meeting you,” he said again.
And with that, he walked back to class.
The lunch bell rang and I survived another boring class of History. Hanano-san turned around and gazed at me, “Hmmmm………”
“Wh-what are you doing?” I asked nervously.
I took my bag off the hook that was on the side of my desk and took my lunch out.
“What happened out there?” she asked eagerly.
I pushed my chair out of my desk, “He found my shoe.”
She collapsed on my desk, “It’s like Cinderella!” she exclaimed. “Your Prince has come for you, ____!!”
I smacked her on the head, “Quiet down!” I whispered.
“Oww!” she cried as she put both her hands on top of her head.
I stood up with my bento, “Where are you going for lunch?” she asked.
I looked at her, “Gym.”
She grinned at me, “As usual, huh?”
When I arrived at the gymnasium, the doors were packed with students. I couldn’t even get in. I tried walking in, but I just sprung back. Giving up, I sighed and turned around. I bumped into someone and dropped my bento. “O-www..” I looked at the ground and saw that my bento didn’t spill, “Thank goodness..” I whispered to myself. I grabbed it off the floor and bowed to the person I bumped into.
“I’m sorry,” I said politely.
I looked up and saw Hayama Kotaro. My eyes grew wide, he was taller than I thought. I bowed even more, “I’m so sorry, senpai!”
I looked up at him and saw that he was looking at me too. He broke out into a smile, took both my hands and shook them.
“You’re ____, aren’t you!?” he exclaimed.
“H-how did you know?” my voice wavered as his hand shake was strong.
He grinned and put his right hand behind his head, “Akashi told me about you! Hahahaha! Nice going! You hit his head! Ahahaha!” he sputtered then laughed loudly.
I waved my hand in front of my face frantically, “That wasn’t me at all, senpai! B-but maybe, that was my shoe, but still! It wasn’t me!” I panicked.
He slowed down into a chuckle and let a breath out. He looked down at my bento and pointed at it, “Were you planning on eating at the gym?” he asked.
I smiled nervously. This guy is intimidating… “I was supposed to, but the gym is full,” I said pointing at the door.
He glanced at the door then at me. He grabbed me by the hand and pulled me towards the gym. “S-senpai!?” I said in surprise. “What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?” he said looking back with a grin, “We’re eating at the gym.”
He pushed through everyone and we made it into the bleachers. Hayama-senpai and I sat down on the first bleacher as he told some first-years to get off. The basketball team was practicing for the Winter Cup games. There were roars of cheer and screams of happiness every time somebody scored.
I looked at senpai who was opening my bento. “Wait senpai, aren’t you supposed to be playing?” I asked pointing towards the game.
“Naah, Akashi told the starters to take a rest,” he said. “Oooh! There’s octopus~” he said happily as he looked down on my bento.
“Octopus?” I asked. I looked over and saw the octopus-shaped hotdogs.
“You want some?” he asked holding one up to my face.
“Do I want so--..” I whispered. That’s mine…..
“No?” he asked, “Okay then,” he took a bite.
I sighed, “Ah, there’s Akashi!” he exclaimed.
I looked at where he was looking and found him. He was in his school uniform and was instructing his team on the other side of the gym. Hayama-senpai put the bento on his lap and called Akashi again. Akashi looked towards us. He said a few more words to his team and casually cut through the game without anyone stopping to dribble or to run. The girls behind us screamed for Akashi and were asking each other if they looked cute or not.
“Kotaro, ____,” he said looking at both of us. “What are you two doing together?”
Senpai smiled at him, “I bumped into her on the way here,” he said referring to me.
“Hmm..” he looked at the bento sitting on senpai’s lap. “Is that ____’s?”
“Hm?” he looked at his lap, “Oh yeah! She told me she didn’t want any so she gave it to me!~”
Akashi looked at me, “Is this true?”
“Y-yes, I’m still full from breakfast..” I lied. “Akashi-san, Hayama-senpai,” I said looking from senpai to Akashi, “I’m going to go now actually. I still have somewhere to go.”
“Ah, is that so?” Akashi asked coolly.
“Alright~ Thanks for the bento, ____. You’re a real lifesaver!~” senpai grinned.
I smiled at both of them and exited the gym.
I sighed and collapsed on the courtyard. I shielded my eyes with my elbow and looked at the clear, blue sky. There were birds singing, branches dancing, and leaves rustling. There was nobody around since they were all at class eating or at the gym watching. I sat up and walked over to the tree and leaned against it. I sat down and fixed my skirt. I ran my hand through my hair and saw a figure approaching. I squinted my eyes and there he was, Akashi Seijuro. I was about to stand up, when he shook his head. I remained sitting and looked up at him. He smiled and crouched down in front of me. My heart began to pound harder. He was so close.. I looked at his hand and saw he was carrying two juice boxes. He held out one in front of me,
“Sorry Kotaro took your bento,” he said.
I shook my head, “It’s okay, I did give it to him.”
“Oh. I thought he was lying so I made him run laps outside the gym.”
W-wow… He did that to an upper class man. I took the juice box and said thanks.
“But Akashi-san, what are you doing outside the gym?” I asked curiously as I took a sip of my juice.
He walked to where I am and sat down, he looked sideways at me, “Is it okay if I sat next to you?”
“N-no! I mean! Yeah..” I looked down at my drink.
“No reason,” he said.
I looked at him, he was looking at me too.
“You asked me why I’m outside the gym, my answer is ‘no reason’,” he said.
“R-right..” This is no good.. I’m too distracted by him. I can’t even keep up a conversation. What am I going to do?
He slowly leaned in towards me, “A-Akashi-san?” I whispered nervously. Now my body was really warm.
“I’m sorry..” he said quietly as he leaned on my shoulder. “Can I stay like this for a while?”
My body stiffened and I looked down at him. His eyes were closed. He was asleep. I slowly let my breath out and gently relaxed. I slowly leaned against his head and closed my eyes.