You were jogging along the hallway with your binder held up to your chest. You woke up late, and therefore, got ready late. There were only a couple of minutes until the bell rang. You went into a full run since there weren’t a lot of people in the hallway.
As you were running, you bumped shoulders with a guy, making you drop your binder. You didn’t fall, but the impact of your running on your shoulder was too much.
You immediately grabbed your right shoulder with your left hand, and sucked your breath in pain.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
You turned around and bowed, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have been running,” you said calmly.
You looked up and saw Ryugazaki Rei.
“Ah, Ryugazaki-kun! What are you doing here? It’s almost time to go to class!” you said warning him.
He pointed back with his thumb, “The teacher told me to get something from the staff room.”
He bent down and was about to grab your stuff,
“Oh no! Ryugazaki-kun, it’s okay! I’ll get it,” you said bending down too.
You grabbed the binder with your right hand, and his hand touched the top of yours. He immediately pulled back and adjusted his glasses.
You smiled at him, “I got it, you go back to class.”
“Are you sure you’re not hurt, senpai?” he said standing up.
You grabbed the binder with both hands and secured it with your right arm,
“Yes yes, now go back to class before we both get detention,” you said waving your hand in front of you.
You stood up, and when you were about to tighten your grip on your binder, it fell down and you felt immense pain. You crouched down to hide your pain from Ryugazaki.
“____-senpai!,” he held you by your other shoulder. “You said you were alright.”
You looked up to him, “I am,” you said trying to hide the pain.
“Look, you’re sweating,” he said bringing a lock of hair behind your ear.
You felt your cheeks burn. When he realized what he did, he immediately pulled his hand back.
He stood up and analyzed the situation.
You looked up, “What are you doing Ryugazaki-kun?”
You stood up and held your injured shoulder.
“We should have that shoulder looked at. Let’s go to the infirmary, senpai,” he said looking at you in the eyes.
“Eh? N-no!,” you exclaimed. “That’s not needed, really!”
You started gathering your stuff with your other hand, “Look! We only have a minute left before class starts!” you said as you looked at your watch.
“Go back to class!” you said as you turned around and headed for the other direction.
Before you could step one foot, Ryugazaki held your injured shoulder and squeezed it.
You winced, and tears started to form.
He let go, and held your wrist softly, “I’m sorry. But it was because of your obsession for always being early, that got you injured. I’ll take responsibility for you. So don’t worry about it,” he whispered.
You let the tears trickle down your cheek, “It’s rude to patronize your elders, you know.”
He smiled at the remark.
You let the binder hit the floor, and you wiped your tears with the back of your hand.
Rei grabbed the binder off the floor, and held your arm again.
“Let’s go, senpai,” he said, tugging you to the other direction.
The bell rang.
You were sitting down on a chair near the school doctor while Rei stood behind you,
“Hmm…” the doctor said looking and touching your shoulder. “I’m assuming it’s a sprained shoulder, but since we don’t have the equipment, I don’t know for sure.. It’s best to get that looked at a hospital.”
He looked at Rei, “You take her. I’ll write you both a note to your teachers. I’ll also call home and tell them where you’re at.”
He took a cigarette out from his drawer and lit it up with a lighter he got from his pocket. After putting it into his mouth and sucking it, he let out a small cloud.
“Here’s the nearest hospital,” he said writing on a note with the address.
He handed it to Rei.
Rei bowed, “Thank you.”
You also stood up and bowed, “Thank you so much..” you said glumly.
The doctor patted your head, “It’s okay. These things happen,” he said.
You nodded slowly.
“Let’s go, ____-senpai.”
You two went into the subway. Rei sacrificed a seat for you, and he was now standing in front of you. He had his hand on a support, and was trying to look a different way.
“Ryugazaki-kun..” you said quietly.
He looked down at you, “What is it, senpai?”
You lowered your eyes down to his shoes,
“I’m sorry I dragged you into this..”
“You didn’t!” he exclaimed.
You looked up in surprise.
He put a hand to his chest, “I was the one who insisted on going to the infirmary.”
You smiled meekly, “Yes, but I was the one who ran and got injured.”
“Yes, that’s true..” he whispered.
He clenched his fist, “But if anything were to happen to you.. I wouldn’t forgive myself for dismissing your words of assurance!”
Your face grew hot, “R-Ryugazaki-kun..” you said. “Thank you. It’s just that.. A senpai shouldn’t be relying on a kohai.”
“You may be older and wiser, but in the future, you will need someone to rely on. And it’s okay if you rely on me,” he said while he adjusted his glasses.
You turned away with a flushed face, “Didn’t I say not to patronize your elders?!” you mumbled.
“We apologize, but we will be making a sharp turn. Please hold on tight. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience,” said the PA.
“Eh?” you immediately grabbed your shoulder.
Before Rei could grip his support, the subway had already made its turn.
Rei tripped and fell onto you. His body didn’t touch yours because before the impact happened, Rei already positioned himself properly so he didn’t hit you. His arm hit the glass behind you, and his other hand grabbed onto a railing.
Rei’s face was close to yours, and you could see his panicked expression.
“I-I’m so sorry, senpai!” he whispered.
“I-it’s okay!” you said trying to be calm.
He positioned himself back up, but tripped again, and this time, he wasn’t ready.
Both of his hands hit the back of your seat, and your lips touched for a brief moment.
His face turned red, and he immediately pulled back.
“We apologize for the inconvenience. There will be no more inconveniences for this ride.”
He positioned himself back, and adjusted his glasses. He cleared his throat, but didn’t speak.
Your face was red too, but you enjoyed the embarrassed look on his face.
You loosened up your collar, “This is going to be a long ride..” you whispered to yourself.
After going to the hospital, the doctor said that you did have a sprained shoulder. She gave you some painkillers for now, but it wasn’t serious, and she said that it will go away in a few days. You got off without a cast, but she said to refrain from doing anything too drastic. Her advice was to move it little by little, so it will heal faster.
You and Rei got on the subway, but didn’t talk. After the ride, you two were headed home.
“Ah, I go home this way,” you said pointing to the right.
You bowed, “Thank you so much for taking care of me this whole day!” You looked up, “If you ever need anything, Ryugazaki-kun, then please don’t hesitate to tell me,” you grinned.
“I-It was no problem at all, ____-senpai..” he said quietly.
You tilted your head, “Are you okay?”
He looked away, “Yeah..”
“You don’t seem like it,” you said.
You put a hand on his shoulder, “What’s wrong?”
He looked down. You took your hand off his shoulder, “L-look.. I already apologized for the day, but if you need to hear it again, I’ll say it a thousand times,” you said nervously.
“Senpai?” he said.
You crouched down slightly to see his face.
He didn’t look sick, but his face was red and he was slightly sweating.
“You said that if I ever needed anything, I could tell you, right?”
He looked up, and you stood up.
“What is it?” you asked.
“I know that we’ve only known each other for a day..but I can’t help feeling…attached,” he said quietly.
Your face grew warm.
Was it because of the kiss?
“..I need to hug you,” he said with a straight face.
Even though his cheeks were red and even though he is your kohai, you couldn’t help but think of him as your equal.
“G-go ahead..” you mumbled.
His face lit up, but you looked away.
“Senpai..” he said sadly.
He slowly wrapped his arms around your waist. He was warm and smelled of men’s cologne. You couldn’t help but hug him too.
You wrapped your arms around his neck and closed your eyes. Both of your faces were red.
“_-____-senpai..” he pulled away, but still held your waist. “You don’t have to force yourself.”
You shook your head, “I’m not. The painkillers numbed it a bit.”
You stood on your toes, and now you were standing on equal ground.
“Senpai?” he looked confused.
You pressed your lips against his and closed your eyes. You pulled him closer to you, and you felt his hands around your waist.
You pulled your lips away and you put your finger on his,
“Open it when we kiss.”