Hello everyone! Ivanov117 here! I've been writing fics for quite year or two, but this is the first time I uploaded mine! After watching Masamune-kun's Revenge, I was inspired to write this fic of mine. The events in the story take place just after Hachiman's Middle School days, thus he is still not he cynical nihilist we know and love. In the Light Novel, Hachiman changed his view on life and society on his first year at Sobou High, and the events of the Anime and Light Novel begin on his second year at Sobou High. That's just a head's up if you're wondering why he is a bit OOC.
This story is from Hikigaya's POV
*Sample* - Reader's thoughts.
Those very words give all of us a feeling of nostalgia, and fill us with a lost happiness of being a child and not caring for anything in the world.
Well, except your studies that is.
The usual things middle schoolers would do, like going to the mall with your friends to hang out and enforce the bonds of friendship that bind you all together, gossiping among yourselves about your crushes, and teasing the guy when his crush would pass by and studying together to prepare for the upcoming exams or quiz, but instead of doing so, they would end up just lazying around and look for something fun to do instead of studying. And of course, confessing to someone in a very cliche way under a tree after school because you hold superficial feelings to that person, the events after the said confession is up to coincidence, would the person on the receiving end accept those feelings of affection or outright deny them? Seriously, that is so cliché and overused that I can smell it from another continent.
But that was not for me.
You see, my middle school days were…hmm how to put it.
I was quite cringe-worthy and I seriously hate myself back then. You see, I was always trying to fit in with the cool kids. I would always follow them around, preferably behind them until they acknowledge my existence and invite me into their group, but that never happened, feels bad man...
And me having my edgy and chunnibyou days, where I would dress up from the things I could find at home and look like a superhero or something. I do remember keeping a notebook filled with secret forbidden incantations that I copied from the internet.
Finally, Hikigaya Hachiman, confessing to a girl, Orimoto Kaori of all people, just because she was nice to him! In my delusion, I mistook her kindness for affection and took a VERY wrong step forward. I then realized that she was just being nice to everyone, including me. In other words, she was the nice girl in every class. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike nice girls, but ever since that day, I always treat them with suspicion and try to read between the lines when they speak to me.
In fact, if you put me on the cringe meter back then, I would probably be at the top of the list until the end of the human race. Including my days of being a chunnibyou and being a loner, no one can unseat me from my unholy throne!
Wait am I taking pride in this?
Ugh, remembering it gives me the chills.
*But Hikigaya! We thought you were going to improve yourself? * Yes, yes, I'm getting to it so stop your whining, good grief.
As I said earlier, I vow to improve myself on all of my attributes to erase my dark past! (chunnibyou days)
Today was the first day of the following weeks leading to my first year in Sobou High. I'm not one to boast, but I am quite smart and confident of my academic skills, well except math, but that's one of the things I'm going to level up on!
Hmm, where to begin I wonder?
Reputation, looks, academics and experience.
These are the YONKOU that I plan to defeat.
My reputation back in middle school was what you expect. My nicknames back then were, that guy, The guy who has no friends, the guy who is always alone, Hikkifrog-kun, Hikkigerma-kun and, the most well-known of all in the student body, the guy who confessed to Orimoto.
Due to me being a loner and being the butt of jokes in my class, even I am appalled my myself. As expected, my reputation was at the lowest of the school hierarchy.
I remember that time when they made a game out of me. Hikkigerma tag as they call it, when I touch them they have the Hikkigerms and according to the rules of the game, Hikkigerms can even penetrate through the barriers erected by those who haven't been infected yet. Wow my germs must be pretty badass. But wait, what's the point of incorporating those barrier mechanics into the game if Hikkigerms can get through them anyway!?
Well, let's put an end to that.
Looks…well, I'm not the ugliest guy in my class, but neither have I been called good-looking. Maybe I am the most average looking guy that you might mistake me for a background character in a twelve-episode anime series? Am I really that generic looking? Not sure if I can call my looks a curse or a blessing…
Academics, now this is where I'm good at!
My academics are quite high and I was always at the top of my class, whenever the grades are posted in the bulletin board with our corresponding student ID number, I'm always the first to get there before anyone else.
Maybe it's the fact that I give off the trashiest laugh and make the smuggest face I make that people tend to avoid me when I'm doing it.
"Ugh THAT guy is doing that face again in front of the board, omg so gross."
"I know right, what a gross creep! "
"Yeah, he's so creepy that he's gross! "
Hol up, those last two were just repeating each other. Filthy peasants! Don't breathe in my direction unless you get to my level!
And finally, Experience!
Dear reader, you might be asking "Huh? Experience? What are you talking about? You're so gross ewww…"
Before a lowly being like me rises to surpass what was past received as impossible, that lowly being must first learn the GOLDEN EXPERIENCE!
This GOLD EXPERIENCE, pertains to the experiences and social interactions I need to attend to in order to defeat the YONKOU and cover up my humiliating past self! I need to master social interactions, proper body physique, good reputation and academic performance!
Before I can continue my monologues, I was interrupted by a soft yawn coming from the stairs leading to our bedrooms.
Komachi soon came to view, her looking like a bird's nest and her mouth still showing signs of drool. She stretched a bit and made contact with me.
"Oh, onii-chan, you're up early."
Come to think of it, why am I up early anyway?
I looked at the time and it was still 6:30, maybe I got too excited with my influx of ideas last night that I woke up today feeling restless and unable to sleep? I haven't even taken my cup of coffee yet.
"Morning, just felt like waking up early today that's all, oh and can you get a cup of coffee please?"
Komachi responded with an energetic "Haiii onii-chan!" and made a beeline to the kitchen.
I closed my eyes to think on what I should do but I heard Komachi's voice from the kitchen.
"Yes?" I replied to her without opening my eyes.
"Today's the start of your break, right?"
"You don't have any friends so you don't have anything to do this summer except laze around the house waiting for school, right?"
"…Yes…?" Ok, what the heck was with that last part? You lose some points, silly imouto!
"Let's go shopping later!"
"Agreeing immediately?!" Komachi exclaimed in a surprised voice. Well, I agree, even I am surprised at my sudden decision, but I consider this as one of the steps where I can improve myself. Lazing around during summer break will not be beneficial to me, so I should at least go outside and spend time with her or get a part-time job or something.
Actually, that last part was pretty appealing.
It's quite simple, part-time job = money
For a bookworm such as myself, having money is always a good thing for me to fuel my craving of books and other necessities. A sword needs a whetstone to always keep sharp, and a mind needs books filled with knowledge to be the same.
I heard Komachi's steps coming towards me but I kept my eyes closed. But then I heard a "umph!" and a shadow came covered me.
In the split second that I opened my eyes, I registered that:
A. Komachi jumped from some distance and trajectory was aiming at my area.
B. She had a wicked grin and probably planned this
C. Judging from the time I started analyzing her actions, I have about a few miliseconds before she hits-
Her body crashed into mine, which caused me to go ouch. As I lay in a daze from the impact, the perpetrator began snuggling herself next to me and using my shoulder as a pillow. After snuggling her face in my neck, she looked up and gave me a cheeky grin.
"Onii-chan is going out with me huh?" She asked
"Yes I am."
"Hmm, what should we do?"
In that instant, numerous scenarios played simultaneously in my head as I thought of a proper response.
Social norms state that in occasions such as this, the male must take the lead.
She already suggested shopping so it's already included. I'll assume that we'll be on our way to the mall at 9:00, the commute to there would take 10-25 minutes and the walk to the mall itself is around 10-15 minutes. Upon entering the mall I'll take into account that we might not be shopping exclusively for clothes, so I should take extra money just in case. The shopping would take at around 1-2 hours and after that we would look for somewhere to have lunch and that would take about 40 minutes. After lunch, we might watch a movie that lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours and 50 minutes. When the movies end, Komachi might want to take a snack at a café or something, then we would either resume some last-minute shopping, kill time at the café or just walk around.
Wow, am I getting carried away, I wonder?
I turned to her, our faces so close I could count the hair on her eyelashes, and take a deep breath.
"Well if we are shopping then I would take extra money in case we find something we like that's not just apparel. Also keep an eye out for stores on sale, oh and if you see something you like in a store, look around the others stores for a similar item and take cheapest one among your findings. Don't forget to take some extra money. After shopping we would be hungry, so let's go grab something to eat that's not too heavy because it might give us a stomachache, grilled fish and squid sounds good with a side of salad or curry is fine. I was thinking a movie after lunch sounds agreeable, but I haven't heard if you want that so that's still up for debate. Oh, and don't wear clothes that are too revealing or I will personally make you wear my shirts instead, you know that a lot of them are ugly."
After saying my part, Komachi had her mouth agape looking at me with wide eyes. After I stared back at her for a few seconds, she snapped out of her trance and looked down.
"I-I see, w-well I'm looking forward to it then…" Hmm, her ears were red, then that must mean she is blushing right now.
Fufufu, now's my chance to tease her!
"Fufufu, what's this? My imouto is flustered? Don't tell me you were looking forward to this, THAT much." I said and grinned at her while poking her cheek.
She turned to me, and true enough her face was a red mess.
"H-Huh?! No! That's not what I meant!" She quickly said while denying it fervently.
I gave her the best shit eating grin on my face and continued to do my teasing assault.
"Fufufu, deny it all you want Komachi-chan, you can't deny that fact that you were looking forward to a date with your onii-chan! Good grief little sisters these days…" I said the last part in a manner that made me sound like I lost faith in humanity.
While she continued to pout, she finally made a response.
"Mou onii-chan stop teasing me huhuhu…" She said as she faked crying while covering and wiping her eyes. Hey, I can see that you're sneaking glances at me you know?
Putting an end to my teasing, closed my eyes and moved my hand to her head as I patted her. She said nothing and continued to lay beside me. Our moment of peace was stopped when we heard the electric water heater make a sound that said that it already finished boiling the water.
"Oh, it's done already." She made a move to stand up but I held her close
"Komachi-chan don't go yet, you're so warm and your onii-chan is feeling cold." It was true though, I am feeling a bit cold since I was just hanging around in the living room without and blankets to keep me warm.
She giggled and escaped my grasp. "Hehehe, onii-chan you're such a sis-con." As she disappeared into the kitchen, I thought that I should get up too.
I got up from the sofa, but in the process my legs hit a few books under the coffee tables and fell to the carpet. Picking up the books, I saw my dad's old college books about math, science and literature. Come to think of it, my dad is an accountant, so he should be good at math huh? I also saw a bunch of his awards and medals back when he was still a student.
Hmm, I inherited my dad's strongpoint at academics huh. Also, his dead fish eyes are on me too, albeit mine is a lot worse than his, well that's what my mom said anyway.
Speaking of inherited academics, Komachi is an airhead, or at least turning into one, THAT I can be sure of. If this keeps up, she will tarnish the good name of the Hikigaya household! If that should come to pass, I will personally give her the sword to commit seppuku for her to clean our house's name!
Well, Komachi has always been the sociable type unlike me, so it's understandable that she may set aside a lot of her time to spend time with her friends. I didn't have any friends so all I did was study and read books.
Hmm, if having no friends gives you time to study, then it's safe to assume that having a lot of friends gives you less time to study. Therefore, having no friends=high grades while having lots of friends=low grades! But wait! My argument fails to touch on the existence of those people who have many friends, while having high grades! People like them should be nerfed, seriously. God can you hear me?
Putting an end to my inner thoughts, I began to walk to the kitchen to indulge into the coffee that my beloved little sister made for me. Komchi-chan, you just scored a lot of onii-chan points this morning! As I made my way to the chair to sit down, I heard steps coming down form upstairs, judging from the footfalls, it was probably from my dad.
Just like Komachi, I heard my dad make a rather loud yawn and immediately did stretches.
Now I tell you, my old man is not one of those stereotypical dads that have little hair and have large bellies that drank sake until they wear in a coma. My father was of medium build and had a height of about 5'9, he still had a full head of hair but I can see one or two strands of white hair, that's understandable, he's not THAT old for heaven's sake. My mom told me that I looked a bit like him and she added that my eyes were worse than his own. Thanks mom I really needed that. She added that when I smiled, and that I did very seldom, I looked like her, so I had that going for me, which is nice.
Anyway, my dad greeted us good morning and excused himself to the bathroom.
Holding her hot cup of coffee, Komachi softly blew on it to cool it down and she slowly began to drink. I did the same, but when I tasted mine it was not sweet enough for my taste. I probably made a funny face because Komachi tilted her head and gave me a look that said "What's wrong onii-chan?"
"…It's not sweet enough." I answered her unsaid question.
"Huh?! But I put a lot of sugar in it!" she said surprised.
"Well it's not sweet enough for your onii-chan my silly imouto." She pouted and as I poked her cheek.
I got up and went to the cabinet where we store our condiments, but as I opened the drawer, we were apparently out of stock.
"Komachi, we're out of sugar and cream." I called out to her.
"I'll go buy some from the store right now!" Komachi said energetically
Just as I came back I saw my dad on the table with a cup of tea on hand and his phone on the other, as I leaned in I saw him looking at international and local news.
"Good Morning Komachi."
As we silently drank our morning beverage, both of us basking in the comfortable silence, a bit less for me because mine had too little sugar and cream, Komachi got up and declared that she will go to the store to buy some sugar and cream.
However, before she can take a step to have a change of clothes, my father spoke up.
"Let your brother do it."
Before Komachi could protest, I immediately got up, let your onii-chan handle this, Komachi!
"Ok, give me a few yen and I'll be on my way." I wanted to go for a morning jog anyway, so why not do it now while on my way to the convenience store?
My dad gave me a few bills and I went to the door to get a change of shoes. However, as I was about to leave our humble abode, I heard a voice from behind.
"Onii-chan!" As I turned around, Komachi planted a kiss on my cheek.
"Be careful on your way to the store and stay away from those pretty girls wearing skimpy clothes to get the attention of young virgin boys like you and lonely husbands! They are scams and be careful not to get carried away or you'll fall into their trap! They are out to get your wallet!" Ok I understand the safety part, but what was with that last one? I heard a fit of coughing from dad and as I craned my head to get a better look, he was spacing out while staring at his wallet.
So, my old man was a victim of those scams too, huh.
I bid Komachi farewell and she closed the door behind me.
Ah, finally alone to my thoughts. Doing a bit of stretching here and there and adjusting my shoes, I began my morning jog.
I estimated that with my current pace which I can maintain for about 10 minutes, I can reach the store in about 15.
The jog to the store was uneventful.
The occasional kind grandma that would greet me along the way.
A guy my age, commuting to go to work, and by work I mean his part time job.
The corporate slaves that had to wake up early to go to work today.
A police car patrolling the streets, keeping the local community feel safe and protected.
The neighborhood cats sleeping under the shade of the trees.
The fellow jogger accompanied by his dog. Oh my, what a cute golden retriever!
Jeez I hope I don't meet any of my classmates from my middle-school, that would surely ruin my mood. Not that I can remember their names, but I can remember their faces. I have a bad habit of forgetting people's names you see...
As I reached the limits of my stamina, which was kind of low, I slowed down and took a seat on a nearby bench on our local playground to catch my breath for a minute or two. Breathing heavily, I observed a group of toddlers that were playing on the playground, with them running around the place, there were about 5 of them playing.
Ah being a toddler must be nice. Just playing around all day and not worrying about the future, they were at the peak of what a child should experience. When me and Komachi were still kids, we used to play House, she would pretend to be the wife and me the husband and every time I arrived "home" from "work" she would greet me lead me to the dining room to get me my meal that she cooked for me. And me, being the dutiful and loving husband, would thank her will all my heart as I indulge into my dinner wholeheartedly.
Of course, the "food" that she cooked was actually just plastic toys, so we couldn't eat them… If we did, we would choke and probably sent to the hospital.
Oh, and I would make a makeshift fortress in the living room made of blankets and pillows, and I would name it "The Fortress of Boys.". From the name itself, it was for boys, and Komachi was not allowed to enter because she was a girl. Upon she realized I refused to let her enter my fortress, she cried and bawled her eyes out. My onii-chan instincts kicking in when I saw her in distress, I immediately hugged her and allowed her entry into my fortress.
In the end, "The Fortress of Boys." had to be renamed, and it became "Hachi-kun and Komachi-chan's Fortress!" We even scribbled it on a piece of paper and stuck it on a makeshift flag.
Ah those memories, it gave me a nostalgic smile.
I got up and resumed my jog, albeit at a slower pace.
With the light rays of the sun of my face, it felt good that it wasn't still as hot as it is in the afternoon. Also, with still few people around, you have the entire street yo yourself.
Hmm, jogging in the morning sounds appealing to me, maybe I'll make this a morning routine?
With the convenience store in sight, I picked up my pace and entered the small shop. There were only a small amount of people since it's still early and I can see that most of them dropped by to get a cup of coffee.
I went to the isle and began looking for sugar and cream, with my rotten eyes scanning every nook and cranny. Ah! There it is! And it's the last pair too! I moved my hand to reach for it but I was startled when my hand caressed the hand of a person who thought the same.
I immediately retracted my hand and the person did the same and we faced each other. Turns out, it was actually a girl, and she was pretty. She had long flowing blue hair tied in a ponytail and she was wearing a plain red shirt and blue jogging pants. Her eyes were sharp and her facial features too, but still held a feminine charm to it. She was quite tall for a girl, only a few inches shorter than me.
Realizing we exchanged no words to each other, I decided to initiate.
"Ah, I'm sorry, you can have the sugar and cream." I offered her. Eww Hikigaya being a creep and a flirt to a girl you just met mere seconds ago! Shut up, I am simply fulfilling my obligation as a gentleman, because if my mom found out I was not acting in a gentleman-like manner, she would disown me and kick me out our household.
"No, it's ok. You were the first one to reach for it anyway." She replied back.
Oh, playing this game huh? Hmm…
I reached for the sugar and cream and I felt her eyes follow me hands. Before she can do anything, a softly nudged the items into her hand, without touching her hand of course, that would be totally creepy.
"Please, I insist." Haha! With her hands occupied and filled with my heartfelt offering, it would be rude to decline! This technique is used by those people in the mall who wear corporate attire offering things and would follow you around. Thanks to my highly attuned eyes of observation, I learned their ways and would avoid them at every opportunity.
The girl was surprised of my act, and I was expecting her to push back the items into my hand, but thankfully, she didn't, and made a resigned sigh.
"Well ok then, thanks a lot."
I gave her a small smile and turned for the exit.
Oh, good Lord, I was cringing so hard I wanted to run away, but that would ruin the cool guy act I made. Fwoosh. I mentally made the sound effect as I dramatically turned away from her and replayed the scenario all over again. Ugh, I hope my hands weren't sweaty, my arms were heavy, my knees weak, mom's spag-
Before I can finish a lame Eminem meme, I heard the girl's voice from behind me.
I turned and gave her a questioning look, but before I can, something was flying towards my face.
Oh God it was probably her hand going to slap me for being a creep.
The object was not connected to her hand. It was metallic and small, most likely to contain something. Since the girl was coming from the convenience store, it was maybe a beverage or something.
I activated my STAND, which I will not name for now, it gives me the ability to move with quick reflexes!
I held the object that the girl threw at me, and, as always, I was right in my first assumption that it was indeed a beverage, but wait! IT's MAXX COFFEE!
I looked at the girl, wanting to give her my thanks, but this time, she spoke first.
"Thank you….?" I assumed she was asking my name to give me a proper thank you. So, I extended my right hand to give a handshake.
She did the same with her hand and shook mine, her grip was firm, but not too hard. Sometimes, you can tell a person's personality the instant you shake hands with them. From her handshake, I assume that she was a strong character and will.
Kawasaki-san huh? She had a nice name.
After we retracted our hands she gave me a look that said, "Let's walk together, I'm assuming you're going back in that direction?"
I replied with a similar look, "Yes."
With that our walk began.
She's a bit of a loner too huh? All loners can communicate with their eyes, or at least give hints without speaking to each other. But from an average person's POV, we look weird doing it.
A couple of moments passed by with us not saying anything, as loners, we respect each other's silence.
"You live in the neighborhood?" She asked breaking the silent atmosphere.
"Yes. What about you?"
Instead of speaking she gave me a nod as I glanced at her from the corner of my eyes, we're walking side by side with a distance between us. So, she lived in the neighborhood too? Maybe her house is near mine?
"I have never seen you before in our neighborhood though." I said.
"I have a part time job." She replied.
This girl continues to impress me!
"I've seen you a few times before, you're always riding when going home from school." She adds.
"Yeah, I can always walk but I like riding my bike faster, plus it's more like a morning exercise." I can say with confidence that my legs were toned because of all my biking. That can be explained when I would pedal back home with all my might with tears in my eyes because I thought I saw a ghost. And the Occasional angry dog or cat that would chase me. And because I was sad because I had no friends in school so I immediately went home to catch my afternoon anime.
She gave me a look that said, "Ah, that explains it." Hmm, where does she go to school, I wonder?
"I'm going to Sobou at the end of summer break, it's my first year of high school there, what about you?" She inquired while giving me a thoughtful look.
Can this girl read my mind or something?!
"Sobou, my first year in high school too." I replied. Wow what a coincidence.
Her eyebrows raised in surprise, and looked to inquire further, but a high-pitched voice stopped her from continuing.
I turned my head to the direction of the sound and a little girl with blue shoulder length hair came running into us. Wait, she was one of the children I saw playing in the playground when I was on my way to the convenience store earlier.
"Keika be careful!" Kawasaki-san exclaimed with concern in her voice. Hmm, they were most likely sisters, seeing Keika was a complete clone of Kawasaki-san.
As Keika got near us, Kawasaki-san got down to her level so Keika wouldn't have to crane her head to look up.
"Did you have fun at the playground, Keika?" Kawasaki-san asked with a mother-like tone as she began smoothing out her hair with her hand.
"Yep! We played tag today!" She said so cutely, ah she reminded me of Komachi when she was younger.
She then noticed me and gave me a questioning look before asking her sister.
"Saa-chan, who is he?" she pointed her finger at me. Oi, pointing your finger at people, especially at strangers is rude you know?
I wanted to save Kawasaki-san from personally introducing me, so I decided to introduce myself.
"I'm Hikigaya Hachiman. I live in this neighborhood and your sister and I just met a while ago. We'll be going to the same high school at the start of the school year."
Keika's eyes lit up for a moment after I said that.
"Ah you're Saa-chan's friend then!"
"No, we're barely acquainted." I corrected her.
She tilted her head with an imaginary question mark above her.
"Aquiein-ted?" Oh silly, me. I forgot that I was speaking to a toddler. I got down so on here eye-level to pass onto her my knowledge.
"You see, Keika, was it? Acquainted means that you know a person, but not so much that you could say that he is your friend. Look at this like this, level 0 is strangers, level, 1 is an acquaintance, level 3 is a friend and level 4 is a best friend."
She had a thoughtful look before replying.
"Oh! So, then you and Saa-chan are going in the direction of being friends then!" She said so enthusiastically.
I laughed awkwardly and Kawasaki-san did the same.
"Well if you put it that way, yes." Kawasaki-san finally spoke. She finally stood to her full height and held Keika's hand. I did the same and for some reason, Keika was giggling.
"Keika what are you giggling at?" Kawasaki-san asked.
"Hachiman's name sound weird! Hehehe." Oh, so cute, she's giggling while making fun of my name.
"Keika! That's rude! And you shouldn't call him by his first name!"
"I'm sorry Haa-chan!"
"Giving him, a pet name is even worse!"
Kawasaki-san was frantic, so she was a strict follower of the norms of politeness huh.
I decided to settle down the situation.
"It's ok, my mom calls me that so I see no reason why Keika-chan can't call me that too."
Kawasaki-san gave me a look that said "Are you sure about this?", and I gave her a nod.
"Ok Haa-chan! But you have to call me Kei-chan too!" Well I guess I can agree with that…
"Ok Kei-chan." With a cute face like that, how could I find it in myself to say no?
"But Haa-chan!", she continued. "Does this mean that you're not my friend?" she grabbed the hem of my shirt and looked up to me. Guh! Onii-chan senses tingling! Mus imotou!
"I can be your friend if you want, Kei-chan." I made a small smile as I patted her head.
"Yey!" She let go of Kawasaki-san's hand and skipped ahead happily. I looked and Kawasaki-san and asked, "Should we go?"
She gave a nod and we continued our walk back to our respective homes. Our steps becoming in sync with each other. I noticed that Kawasaki-san has an air of confidence around here. Not to the point of arrogance, but the way she moves gives off the feeling that she believes wholeheartedly in herself. With her head held high, she looks respectable and intimidating, especially with her eyes. Maybe I should copy her… Come to think of it, Kei-chan was really early at the playground huh?
"She likes going to the playground earlier because she gets it all to herself." Kawasaki-san said.
Wait, I didn't even ask her. I think it's safe to say, with the confidence of the accumulated information that I have obtained, that Kawasaki-san can read minds.
"Kei-chan's a morning person huh, when I was a kid, the only reason I got up early was to watch my favorite early weekend anime." I don't know why decided to share my childhood with a person I just met a few minutes ago, but she seems like a decent person, so I guess it's fine.
"Really? My little brother and Keika watches anime too, what do you watch?" She turned to me and asked.
Oh, so she had a little brother too? Must be nice having a lot of siblings. I thought for a bit and properly formulated my reply.
"Hmm, the one I watch is called Prett-"Before I can utter that last part I stopped.
Kami-sama thank you for stopping me from telling Kawasaki-san that I watch an anime aimed at little girls.
"Pardon?" Kawasaki-san asked. Good thing she didn't catch the last part!
"Oh, my bad, I currently don't watch any anime series, but I do watch a WESTERN TV series called PREdestination." I emphasized the WESTERN and PRE-part so when she heard those words, she would associate a show in the west with a title starting with PRE, to get her attention away from PRETTY CURE that's in Japan so I can save myself from the embarrassment.
"Oh, so you watch western TV series? Hmm, you kind of look the part though. You look like a smart guy." Hmm, I know that I should be flattered, but how can you tell someone's intellectual level just from a glance? Do wearing glasses count as looking smart? My teacher once told me that people who wear eyeglasses read a lot and strain their eyes too much, that's what led them to wear glasses in the first place. What part of me makes me look like a 'smart guy' I wonder? Is that one of your powers, Kawasaki-san? Being able to tell if someone is smart or not?
"Oh, thanks I guess, I like to expand my horizons, that's all." No use denying her compliment, I might as well give her something to chew on.
*Gross, Hikigaya, stop being such a smartass, you'll look like an arrogant twat.*
Kawasaki-san turned her head forward again, her eyes on Keika.
"Well, Keika likes to watch an anime called… I think it was called, Pretty Cure?"
I felt my heart clench and hurt, like an hand was grasping it.
I felt a thunderbolt went through my spine and jolted every atom in my body.
Something must have shown on my face because when she said it, she immediately noticed it.
"Is something wrong?" she asked with a hint of concern.
I have to keep cool! I must not show weakness!
I gave her a pained smile and tapped my leg.
"It's nothing to be worried about. At rare occasions, my leg gets mini-cramps when I'm walking after jogging. It's really painful but it's only for an instant." I was not lying though, it did happen once, but that was back in middle school when a dog chased me and I ran like the wind.
"Well, if you're sure…" She decided to let the matter go and we continued our walk.
Not a few moments passed and she initiated the conversation again. Wow she's more talkative than I expected, my jaw's is already a bit numb from all the talking that I've been doing.
"You're surprisingly good with kids."
"I have a little sister, so that job is a must for us older siblings." She looked amused with my reply, well, I did say that in a cool way, I hope…
"Being an older sibling is hard. We take care of our younger siblings when our parents are away at work, we play with them even if we're already exhausted, we feed them and cook for them when they still can't do it themselves, we clean up the mess they created, but it's all worth it in the end when we see their bright smiles and them looking up to us as their role model. We become their heroes and want to become like us when they get older. That's why we should always be strong for them. And then they will brag with their friends at school saying things like "My onii-chan is the best because he can make a paper jet plane that flies really fast!" or something like "My onii-san is the best cook in the world and your onee-san can't beat her!" and sometimes "Onii-san's Yu Gi Oh! Deck is pretty strong! He told me he's that strongest dueler in his class! I bet your onii-san can't possible defeat him!". It's the small things that sometimes make the biggest impact I suppose…" I ended my part with a small smile forming on my lips. Wow here I got again getting all deep and philosophical.
I realized, however, that the female beside me has ceased speaking and was listening intently of what I was saying, all the while giving me a thoughtful look.
After a few moments of silence, she spoke.
"Hmm, disgustingly creepy and edgy, not to mention that it's stupid and gross…?" Ok, I was at a loss now.
"NO! Let me finish what I'm trying to say, damnit! And how was that edgy?!" she said in a loud voice, but thankfully there were no people around and Kei-chan was busy humming to herself.
She sighed to calm herself down and gave me a look that said, "I swear if you interrupt me again, I will let you taste my fist…" I returned with an "Ok ok, I won't do it anymore…it was just a joke lol."
"Like I was saying, that was quite beautiful, Hikigaya-san, it gives you a lot to think about and contemplate on. I knew you looked smart but I didn't expect that you looked into things that deep and meaningful. How does it feel, looking at things at your perspective?"
I immediately said my answer without even a second to spare.
"Sometimes it gives me headaches, trying to dig deeper and all. Looking things with a deeper meaning, even though that person said it had no hidden motives at all. It's useless getting deeper even the true meaning was already shallow and easily seen. The true meaning behind the words said, whether or not the person is telling the truth, how likely that person is to spill secrets, how much can the said person can be pressured to spill the said secrets, what are the things that are threatening his person that prevents him to utter those secrets and if what he says is actually genuine. Words are wind after all, and the truth can always be twisted and morphed, to the point that it looks like an abomination. In the end, words cannot truly convey the full message as intended by the sender to the receiver, and mistakes in understanding is almost always encountered."
Kawasaki-san put her hand into a thinking pose as she thought on what I said, and she giggled.
Oi oi, what's so funny about what I said huuh?
Maybe she thinks I'm funny because I got carried away again? How is that funny anyway? I am sharing my knowledge with you, damnit! Plus, you asked me on the topic so I gave you my wholehearted answer!
"What are you? A detective? Or a modern philosopher? You sure just sounded like one. With what you said, you could pass for one. You have a way with words though."
I gave her a small grin. "Well, it's like a double-edged sword, that I can be sure of."
Hmm what a refreshing conversation, when was the last time I spoke to someone outside my family like this? Oh man my jaw was seriously numb right now…
"Since you mentioned that you have a part time job, do you mind if you can you tell me more about it?" I asked.
Kawasaki-san shrugged before making her reply.
"It's nothing special, just a cashier at a nearby grocery store."
"The big one with the flashy colors?" I recall that place now, it hurt my eyes when I passed by that place, because the lights were a tad bit too bright.
"Yeah that's the one, I told our manager that it's doing more harm than good but she won't listen to an employee."
I made a mental note that Kawasaki-san might dislike her boss because he belittles his employees.
"She sounds…difficult to work with." I carefully said my words
"Sometimes, yeah. But I can't counter the fact that she gets the work done."
"I remember going to that place a few times, but I haven't seen you manning a cashier." I told her.
"I saw you about a week ago, you were in the store buying snacks with a girl…", she said "Pardon me for asking, but was that your girlfriend?"
I don't recall ever going to that place, much less, being with a girl. Maybe she was mistaken? I do consider my looks as quite generic as easily forgettable, to put it simply, quite average to say the least.
Wait, I remember going to that place last week with Komachi. That's understandable I guess. Komachi sometimes get too touchy feely and clingy when we're in public and always likes holding hands with me. From another person's point of view, it's easy to mistake that she's my girlfriend. But of course, that's not the main point there.
"Ah, that was my sister." I said
Kawasaki-san gave me a weird look.
"What?" I asked.
"Oh nothing, I observed that she was, how do I say this, a bit too clingy…?" She said as her voice trailed off.
"That's just Komachi being Komachi."
"I see, so your sister's name is Komachi?"
"She has a cute name."
"And a cute face." I added.
When I looked at Kawasaki-san, she was making a face that was a cross between "Ohh that was so sweet!" and "Eww that was a bit creepy…"
"Oh, come on don't look at me like that."
"Well I guess she has a cute face, but for her older brother to say that with pride…" There she goes again with her voice trailing off…
"Just stating facts." I coolly said.
*Eww Hikigaya what a sis-con! *
"So, it's just the two of you?" She asked further.
"Pretty much. What about you?"
"I'm the eldest among our siblings and I have two little brothers and Keika."
"I see." I said, not deciding to inquire any further on the subject, but I did have a question that's been on my mind.
"Excuse me for asking, but can I ask why you selected Sobou as your choice for high school?"
She gave a look that said, "Why so formal in asking? It's not that a big deal you know."
Well it's a habit of mine to get really formal during conversations, especially when it's first time meeting a person. A good first expression is a lasting first expression you know…
"Well," she started, "It's a good school to enroll in, seeing that it really stimulates the students as a preparation for college. Plus, you get points when you're looking for a job when your employer see's that you graduated from Sobou High."
Hmm, she had the same thoughts with me.
"Exactly." I said in a way that I'm glad that she share's the same sentiment. She hummed in reply, she looked like she wanted to say more but ultimately decided against it.
We have been talking for a while that I lost myself in our conversation, and I realized that I was already near our house, a few more houses to pass by and I'll be home sweet home. Raising my hand and pointing it at my house, I called Kawasaki-san's attention.
"That's my house over there."
"Mine is just a few more houses from yours, but we cross the road here."
Oh, so our houses were closer than I expected. As I was busy with my thoughts, Kawasaki-san called Kei-chan to her said and held her small had into her larger one.
"Keika, we separate with Hikigaya-san here, we already reached his house."
"Oh, ok…" she sounded sad. Ugh! Onii-chan senses are ringing in alarm and I can't do anything about it! But wait! I can!
We already reached the front of my house and Kawasaki-san was already waiting to give me the proper goodbye as we part ways.
I felt bad for Kei-chan, so I decided to make her feel better.
I got down to get eye-level with her and patted her head.
"Tell you what Kei-chan, I'm free the whole summer and I have a little sister too, you can come over and play anytime you want!"
Kei-chan's eyes lit up and on her face, was the biggest smile she could possibly make. Oh, that pure smile only a child can make.
"Really?!" she exclaimed.
"Keika, we shouldn't really bother- "before Kawasaki-san could finish saying what she wanted to say, I held up my hand.
"It's fine Kawasaki-san."
She looked like she wanted to argue further but knowing that it would make her little sister sad, she sighed in defeat. Her lips formed a small smile when she saw Keika all happy.
"Well, if it's fine with you…" she finally gave in.
As I was about to stand up to give them a proper fare well. The front door to my house opened to reveal my father already dressed and ready to go to work, I can see Komachi behind him as well.
"Don't forget to clean up the house ok." My father said.
"Yep!" Komachi energetically replied.
"Remember to clean up the dishes after taking your meals."
"Don't wake your mother yet, she's still pretty tired from work."
"Remember to feed Kamakura and check our mailbox later for any mail."
"It might not rain today, so be sure to water the plants or else they will wilt and die."
"Help out your brother and don't laze around. Also, don't forget to wake your brother once his afternoon naps get a little bit too long."
"Ok…" Komachi's energy earlier was declining.
After checking his belongings, he was finally about to properly go out, but we were hit in his field of vision.
After registering what was in front of him, he gave a look of surprise.
But not before Komachi gave a startled voice.
"Eeeeehhhh?!" she had a look of surprise and her voice was loud. Hey turn down the volume, will you? It hurts my ears…
She rushed out and stood before us, pointing a finger at me as if I was caught cheating on her. Oi oi stop pointing your finger at me! That's rude you know!
"What's this?! Onii-chan already had a wife and a family without our knowledge?!" Hey what's with the immediate escalation?!
Kawasaki-san had an embarrassed look on her face and Kei-chan looked at the newcomer strangely.
"Haa-chan, who is this girl?"
"She already gave you a pet name?!" Tone it down Komachi and stop with your exaggerated experssions…
"Ah, this is my sister, Komachi." Finally, I can give out a proper introduction. I held out my hand in the direction of Kawasaki-san.
"Komachi, this is Kawasaki-san, we met at the convenience store and she'll be going to Sobou High like me. This is her little sister, Kei-chan."
Komachi finally dropped the ridiculous act and put her hands in front of her and gave a slight bow.
"Ah, nice to meet you, I am Hikigaya Komachi, I'm onii-chan's little sister. And the old man behind us our dad."
Upon being called an old man my father spits out blood and looked like he just received a letter that his best friend was dead.
"Old man…" After coughing a bit more blood, JK, he finally composed himself. What's with the 360-personality change!?
"Good morning to you two, I would like to properly welcome you but I'm about to be late for work." He said as he looked at his watch.
"Good morning to you as well sir…" Kawasaki-san bowed as my father passed her.
"Good morning and goodbye old man!"
I saw a trail of blood from my father's mouth and a tear from his right eye. Hey it's getting too far you know, my dad is not that old, and it's rude to call someone old man! Oh, right Kei-chan is still a child…
"Keika! That's rude! Apologize right now!" Kawasaki-san exclaimed
"It's alright, Kawasaki-san, was it? She's still a child so it's understandable." My dad said as Kawasaki-san made a bow as a form of apology.
As we bade my father farewell, Komachi, finally taking a good look at Keika, gave a squeal and quickly went over to her.
"Aaaaahh! Kei-chan is so cute!" Komachi exclaimed as she went to Keika and patted her head.
"Onee-san you're pretty cute too!" Keika likewise returned the compliment.
"Kyaa! Thank you Kei-chan! It's been so long since someone told me I was cute, well, outside my family that is. You know when, when I'm about to go out with my friends, I ask onii-chan how I look and he'll say, "Yeah yeah, you're the cutest in the world." And I would be happy! But he would say that with a pure blank expression like he's watching paint dry! It breaks my heart huhuhuh…" Following that with fake tears, Komachi did her usual act and took a glance at me.
I can see you, you know…Good grief, what did I do to deserve such a foxy and cunning imotou?
What she said was super personal right now! It took me a few seconds to register and the embarrassing poison was already seeping in! Using all the willpower and calling upon my inner self to reach the peak of Zen trance, I mustered a calm and composed facial expression finally decided to quell this situation and save myself from any more embarrassment.
"Yes, yes you're the cutest in the world." And I gave her a stare that I would do when I would space out when I'm studying and go like, "Hmm, that is one interesting wall, I wonder how loud I can play my porn without the Komachi in the other room hearing it? If she does however, will the sound be audible enough to be recorded on a mobile phone? And if both past statements are true, will that become an object that Komachi will use to blackmail me in order to get what she wants?".
But my plan backfired and Komachi returned my stare with an equally blank one, with a more disgusted expression that is.
"Ugh onii-chan stop being a creep. I know that you're a sis-con and all but don't you have the dignity not to do it in front of guests?"
That expression, that only I can make…We are indeed of the same flesh and blood! Onii-chan is proud of you Komachi!
"Anyway," I started wanting to change the flow of the conversation, "would you two like to come inside and have tea and coffee?" I offered, even though I'm a noob in social interactions, I still follow the rules of hospitality. I already deemed Kawasaki-san as a decent individual, and for me to invite her under our roof was just a sign of trust and friendliness.
Kawasaki-san looked to me and thought that she might consider my offer, oh, if she does accept…hmm, I hadn't quite thought that far ahead, time to make a backup plan just in case…
"Thank you for the offer but, we have to go now, my mom and Keika are going somewhere later and my part time job starts in an hour…" she said while scratching her head and giving an awkward smile.
"Oh, then." I said, whew, that was close.
Kawasaki-san called on to Kei-chan, and she quickly got a hug from Komachi and went to her sister's side.
"Well, it's been nice meeting you two. See you around the neighborhood then."
"Likewise." Oh man I sounded so cool hehehe.
"Bye Kawasaki-nee and Kei-chan!" Komachi said so in an energetic manner while waving her hands to the Kawasaki sisters retreating figures, in contrast to my cool one.
After they both disappeared as they turned in the next bend of the sidewalk, I felt a mischievous snicker coming from Komachi as she turned to me and gave me the smuggest grin I have seen.
"Wow onii-chan, you already snagged yourself a friend, and she's pretty too." She said as she covered her mouth with the back of her hand, kinda like those gestures a cliché tsundere female character would do when she mocks the main character, who is a total wimp, doing his best fighting her, only to be defeated with a bullshit powerup with the power of friendship or him being OP from the start.
I closed my eyes and gave a small sigh before answering her.
"Good grief, silly imotou. How can I call a person I just met a friend? An acquaintance would be the proper word."