After returning to the classroom, I could see that Shina was already seated in her seat. As I expected when I came over to sit in my own seat in the homeroom she did not turn in anyway to greet me. It seems as though my prediction of her trying to protect me from the bullying as well was spot on. However, I believe that I do not need her protection as I can hold out on my own. When I look at her she seems to be staring straight at the blackboard without looking at anything else. Even though she is trying to protect me, why would she seek my help in the first place? I don't get her reasoning.
When the teacher finally arrives we go through the usual procedure of class with the class representative's directions as usual. Once seated down I take out my notes and begin taking notes on the lecture. As usual I only jot down what seems to interest me from the lectures, however occassionally my eyes glance sideways towards Shina. I can't help but be concious of her.
As I observe Shina stealthily with my side glancing, I notice that she holds her pencil with her right hand, but she isn't jotting down a single thing. When I lower my gaze towards her paper I see that there are scribbles written all over her notebook. The words written on her notebook said things like, "die", "idiot", "bitch" and other horrible things. I wonder, why she still has her notebook out. Doesn't she have another that she can use?
Seeing such a pathetic situation, I couldn't help but do something completely unlike myself. I took out another notebook that I kept as a spare in my bag and tried handing it to her. I tap her right shoulder with the notebook. She turns to look at me with a surprised look on her face. It was the first time I had ever seen her actually genuinely surprised. I gesture her to take the notebook, but she gives me a scowl and pushes it away. I get annoyed by her reaction and pushed it forcefully onto her desk. She couldn't help but become surprised at my sudden gesture, however with no choice she takes it and I could see her slightly blushing. Her expression was cute and overflowing with flowers. I also began to blush seeing her expression.
She begins to write in the notebook and I smile when I see her do so. The rest of the class carried on like this until the end of the all classes. Now that it was after school I had to go to the club room for the Library Management Club.
I grab my bag hanging next to my desk and swing it across my shoulder. I turn towards my back and look at Shina. I walk up to her as she was getting up from her desk. She grabbed her bag on the side of her desk and stood to move from her seat. Once she noticed me standing to the side of her desk she looked up at me and stared.
"Shina, shall we go to the club room together?"
My heart was thumping as I asked her this. She continued to give me the silent treatment. I could hear in the background some whispers of other students. Shina must be afraid of speaking to me but I could care less either way.
"Is he speaking to her?"
"Did she even have friends?"
"Gross, its the loner."
I ignored the harsh words in the background as I studied Shina's reaction. She had her gaze turned to the ground and was scowling uncomfortably. I felt a twinge of pain in my heart. My head was turning around and I could feel my anger rising up. I was getting irritated at the way she was keeping quiet, but even more when it came to the other people talking about her.
As I speak her name, she flinches and turns her head away from me. My irritation was reaching its limit. I used my hand and grabbed her face to look towards me.
"Shina, let's go."
She stares back at me in shock and unable to speak. I ignore her somewhat silent protest as she tries to mutter some words. I let go of her face. I grab her hand and drag her with me out of the classroom. The other classmates who were still present stared in shock as I dragged her along with me. As I passed by the girls who were talking out of spite for me and Shina I gave them a deathly glare to silence their idiotic bickering.
Why am I even doing this?
I couldn't help but think about the fact that I wanted a peaceful highschool life of no interference. Yet, here I was doing something that would make myself stand out.
Walking out in the hallway various other students see us holding hands as we walk out and began whispering amongst themselves. It would no doubt be by tomorrow that new rumors would spread into the school about our mysterious relationship, but that didn't matter right now. What mattered was the fact that Shina was ignoring me in order to protect me from an idiotic crowd of girls bullying one another, which I didn't need.
As I dragged her outside in the hallway towards the library she slaps my hand away and stops in the middle of the hall. I turn around and look at her as she held her head down without looking up. Why is it that she chooses now to act all guilty? I can't understand her moody swings.
I stare at her waiting for her to finish.
"Why did you do that?" she asks holding her skirt tightly.
"Why aren't you saying anything?"
I continued to look at her and said nothing. Her face began to turn red from both embarrassment and frustration as her hands shook gripping onto her skirt. Feeling a bit guilty I scratched my head and then responded to her question.
"Because I wanted to."
She looked up at me with her red face. I was slightly blushing as it was unlike me to help someone. My heart was thumping a bit.
"I don't need your help!" she yelled then turned away and ran down the hall.
I was too much in shock to chase after her as my eyes just followed her back running down the hall. I really couldn't understand her. I was only trying to help. I truly don't understand what it is that she wants from me, its too difficult to figure it out if she doesn't tell me straight out. I continued to look in the direction she had ran for a while before turning around and continued walking towards the library. You may call it cold of me to not chase after her, but I'm not the type to do that and plus it was in my best interest to let her cool down a bit.
As usual I let the other students into the library and sat behind the counter as I kept track of all the borrowed books. I took out my own book and had my ears plugged with my earphones as I read. Although I was reading I couldn't concentrate at all at the context of the book; my head was full of thoughts about Shina. Maybe I should go apologize? While thinking such things time passed and before I knew it, it was 4pm. Two more hours to go until I need to close the library.
I couldn't help but be bothered about Shina, so I stood up from my seat and took off my earphones. I dropped the earphones into my bag and stuffed my book along with it. I checked the library for any remaining students and kicked them out saying, "I'm taking a break, so please leave". After kicking the leftover students in the library out I locked the library and headed out to look for Shina.
As I scurried around the school looking for Shina I passed by the same group of girls as yesterday. When I spotted them and met eyes with them, they seemed to panic and began walking quickly away. It was the signal. The girls had probably done something to make them feel guilty and afraid of me, which meant they did something to Shina. My heart began thumping faster as I ran down the hallway towards the boy's bathroom, which was my only clue.
When I arried in front of the storage closet near the boy's bathroom I noticed that I forgot the key to the door. I hurried to the Teacher's Lounge and got KoiBane-Sensei, who was still grading papers, to hand me the keys again. He gladly lent them to me with a gigantic smirk on his face. I'll definately need to correct KoiBane-Sensei's thoughts of me later. Running back to the storage closet I unlocked it and inside once again was Shina. In the same position she was in as last time, she was hugging her knees with her head laying down on them. I got down on my knees and was breathing heavily from running too much. I'm not that athletic so running so much in one day was tiring for me.
I reached out to Shina and touched her shoulders. She jumped when my hands touched her as she turned to look who it was. When she saw my face she had a shocked expression, but I said nothing and instead pulled her into an embrace. I hugged her tightly as I could feel her tremble in my arms. It was warm. I hugged her and breathed a sigh of relief.
"I'm sorry" I apologized to her.
It was unlike me to do something as dramatic as this, but I couldn't help it.
I'm seriously falling, aren't I?
She didn't say anything and I could feel her hands move slightly to hug me in return. She accepted my hug with no complaints and allowed me to hold onto her. She was small. It felt as though I was holding something fragile that was about to break at any moment. She was trembling as I hugged her and her breathing was small.
After a long moment of hugging Shina, I let her go and helped her stand to her feet.
"Did those girls lock you in here?" I asked.
She nodded her head. Ah... How cute it was the way she did it.
"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner."
She shook her head at my words.
"It wasn't Kazuki's fault... I'm sorry for earlier" she replied holding her skirt. It seems she was frustrated. I said nothing and just watched her. Her words were cute as she apologized to me, it felt as though I could forgive everything she had done to me. What a strange feeling. Is this what it means to be in love?
I grab her hand and pull her with me towards the library after I had locked back the storage closet. She didn't resist and followed along.
Once we arrived at the library, I unlocked the door and we both entered. I locked the door once Shina entered and made sure no one saw or came in as I wanted the library to be our secret. I felt as though I was getting more childish with each thought that seemed to surface in order to manipulate Shina to be mine. It was such a strange feeling I never had before. The desire to monopolize someone.
I had Shina sit down on one of the chairs behind the counter.
"Shina, from now on come here for club activities."
"I was planning too... After all, I signed the form... Its just..."
"Don't worry about the girls. I'll protect you when it comes to it."
She looks at me and then blushes. Her blushing face is indeed cute.
"N-no, its okay! I'll be fine on my own" she responds hiding her embarrassment.
"Don't worry about it. You're a member of the club now and besides...I can't leave you alone. That's why... Just come here after school with me and stop ignoring me everywhere. It doesn't make sense to suddenly approach me and push me away!" I began to yell halfway through what I was saying. I was frustrated for being unable to do anything. I was irritated by the way Shina came close to me and then tried to push me away again. I was angry at myself as well for being unable to resist her beautiful emerald eyes and smile. It was truly childish of me to get mad.
Shina keeps quiet.
"Shina, why is it that you talked to me?" I ask her to break the silence that followed.
"Because we were similar..." she answers.
I opened my eyes in shock as that was the first time she had ever responded to me.
Because we were similar? What did she mean?
After saying that we spent a few more hours in the library in silence until it was time to close the library. I said nothing to her afterwords and sat in the library reading a book. Shina also read a book as she sat next to me behind the counter. We didn't know what to say anymore so we continued like this until 6pm. After locking the door, I escorted her home and then headed home myself. I couldn't bring myself to ask anymore.
As I walked myself home, I thought about the things Shina had said to me before. Her sweet voice resonated in my mind and the sight of her eyes and smile appeared as well. I was seriously falling in love with Shina.
"I'm doomed at this rate, aren't I? Why is love so incomprehensible?"
The books told me nothing of this kind of thing or feeling and even if I were to study it, it would lead me to nowhere. I'm as confused as can be, but even so I was slightly happy. I was happy because Shina opened up a little to me. It was a naive feeling, but I couldn't help but smile as I walked home.
Tomorrow, I'll talk a bit more with Shina.
As I thought about how I would greet her tomorrow I walked home in silence with a happy heart. Tomorrow, rumors will sure to have spread throughout the school.