The season goes back a little to spring when we graduated from junior high and started high school.
One day, Toiro came to my room as usual.
“I’ve always been your number one! I’ll never be beaten by anyone else!”
In an anime on the TV, there was a beautiful girl with golden hair and twin tails. She shouted this to the main character, a plain-looking guy with only black hair and glasses.
“Yeah, good, go for it. But I’m sure you won’t be rewarded.”
Toiro was resting on the bed like an Ojiisan, with one elbow raised on the bed. She skips this scene and the next.
“Why did you skip it? Isn’t this okay? It’s cute how Sasara’s so attached to the main character. This scene is especially intense because she has been suppressing her jealousy and envy towards other girls for a long time, but finally, she couldn’t take it anymore and let it all out in the form of an explosion.”
I was sitting at my study desk, watching anime while organizing my trading card collection, when I stopped and said something back to Toiro.
“Yes, it’s cute, but… But she’s a childhood friend.”
“Can we stop this trend of childhood friends = losing heroines?”
I was about to follow up with him when he told me about the recent novels, where the childhood friend won’t lose.
“I’m sorry, Sasara, I can’t accept your confession…I still hold feelings for another person.”
The main character had rejected Sasara’s confession as shown on the TV.
“Sasara! Hey, why did that guy reject her!”
“I knew it. You should at least try to remember the main character’s name.”
Toiro said this in a relaxed tone, but I didn’t absorb what she said.
“Sasara, I know this is hard for you……. I’ll make you happy instead…….”
It was an anime that I had been watching during my spare time, but I had become quite emotionally involved in it before I knew it, especially for the heroine’s feelings.
It’s pretty nice to have a childhood friend heroine. They are always close and pretty much know each other better than anyone else.
“I don’t have anything to do with him! It’s just that we live close by to each other.”
But when the other girls get close to the main character, she starts to get jealous.
A friend of the main character would tell him this,
“It’s nice, isn’t it? To be friends with such a cute girl from way back.”
And then the main character would say, “Cute? Her?”
“Of course I’m referring to her. She was voted the most popular student in the whole school. You can’t find many girls like that with such a kind and gentle personality.”
“I wonder. I don’t really know since we’re always together.”
What a conversation.
Oh, ants over ants! My life is going to be so much richer just by having a childhood friend heroine.
I was already considering it, but I quickly shook my head.
I had overlooked an essential detail. It’s something I have to be cautious about.
Childhood heroines are classified into two kinds.
The first is the anime heroine type, like I mentioned previously, who is in love with her childhood friend of the opposite sex and is adorably jealous of the other girls who try to get close to the main character. An example of such a character would be Sasara, who has been with the protagonist ever since she was a child and is extremely sensitive to what he thinks about her.
And the other one is ――。As I was thinking about it, I turned my head and glanced at Toiro, who was sitting behind me at a certain angle.
She was lying on my bed, wearing a grey sweatshirt. She had one elbow propped up on the bed, while her other hand proceeded to carry a snack to her mouth, which she kept at the base of her chest, all while watching Tv.
Ah, hey! Your spilling candy crumbs all over the place!
Despite my wholistic approach, Toiro began to scratch her waist with her dirty hands that had helped her consumed sweets. Her silky blue underwear was visible through the hem of her sweatshirt.
…..Sad to say, the other childhood friend would be something like her, a goofball.
She’s the type of heroine who doesn’t allow the word “real” to exist between love—just a continual sense of distance, of not being able to touch each other. The super realistic type.
Don’t think that all childhood friend characters you’ve seen in anime and manga accurately represent childhood friends. I’ve seen it firsthand, so I’m sure of it.
The anime’s ending started to play on the TV. Following a loud squeal, Toiro squirmed up and stretched herself. She then began slapping the bag of snacks, which appeared to be empty, over her wide open mouth. Pieces of candy could be seen all over her clothes.
She mumbles to herself and picks up the fragments of candy splattered all over her shirt with her fingertips. That’s my bed…..
“…… You’re not very popular, are you?”
I couldn’t help but let out a sigh.
“Hmm? You just said something bad, didn’t you?”
Toiro twitched slightly and immediately turned around, looking me dead in the eye.
“I’m not popular? That’s not true. I’m having trouble with being popular.
On the contrary, everyone’s love is too heavy for me to hold.”
“You don’t have to say anything. I mean, you, popular? Please, I can’t imagine it.”
“It’s just that Masaichi doesn’t know. You went to the wrong junior high school, after all. You’ll be surprised the next time you walk into my high school, won’t you? Of how popular I’ve become.”
Toiro flashed me a grin after she said that. She looked too confident, almost as if she was planning something.
Although we lived next door to each other, Toiro and I went to different junior high schools. The reason for this was because I was enrolled in a private school meant for boys, which was a little more intelligent than your average junior highs.
My parents wanted me to take the entrance exam for junior high school, but I was accepted by another school in three neighbouring cities, which was an hour and a half away by train. I couldn’t do club activities because I always came home late, I wasn’t able to make any friends at school because I couldn’t play after school, and most of all, I couldn’t get a part-time job to make “Gacha-money.” Every day, I would lose three hours just going back and forth from school.
I spent a lot of time on the train watching anime and playing games on my phone, but my parents couldn’t stand the thought of going to a local public school.
Although I was enjoying my time on the train, my otaku activities were in full swing by the time I was in my third year of junior high school, and I was staying up late more and more, making it hard for me to get up early in the morning. So I decided to follow my parents’ advice and went down the escalator system of education.
Even though we were in different schools during my junior high school years, I still played with Toiro on weekends and long holidays. But when I was at home all by myself, I would always be like this, a lazy, nerdy sea walrus lying on the bed. At times, I would even find myself stretching and falling asleep like a cat.
Still, I can’t believe it…
Do you think she’s popular at school?
“I mean, I don’t want to hear any of it from you, Masaichi. You said that you didn’t have any friends in junior high school. Of course, you didn’t have a girlfriend as well, right?”
“No, I didn’t. It’s not that I couldn’t do it. It’s just that I had no time for any of that in my life. I was busy at home watching anime and playing games. Even though we were both free, I had to recharge my batteries in real life.”
“Ah, yes. Well, I’m more of a stay-at-home kind of person myself, so I agree with your stance.”
Toiro plopped on the bed she was sitting on. Recently, I’ve had the impression that my bed has entirely morphed into her domain……
“Well, we’ll see, won’t we? What it’s like at school. Since we’re going to the same school next week.”
Toiro and I were both admitted into the same public school, the prestigious Meikoku High School, which was only a few blocks away.
The school also notified us in advance that we would be in the same class. There was already a group chat for the class, but I haven’t joined it yet.
“……Huh. School starts next week, huh?”
The conversation I just had reminded me of something I didn’t enjoy.
“Ah, it’s going to be annoying if you keep thinking about it. Come on, let’s play a game. What do you want to do? A Brawl? Party? Or a race?”
“Or do you want to take a bath? It sounds like you wanted to say that! But since I want to escape reality, how about a party?”
Toiro smiled and, unexpectedly, proceeded to begin preparing for the game herself when I answered. This was most likely her way of apologizing to me for creating such an unpleasant atmosphere in the first place.
As I watched her, I wished once again that spring break would last forever.
In this space, our world is complete, and it’s a nice place to be.
It’s been ten days since then.
Toiro and I were allocated to the same class when we started high school, but our places were entirely different.
I was sitting in the corner of the classroom, looking at my phone, reading novels, and sleeping during recess to conserve my energy, while she was…
“Hey, Toiro! Are you free after school? Let’s go look at some clothes in front of the station.”
“Today? Ah, yeah, I’m fine. Let’s go!”
“I want to go too! Toiro, where do you usually buy your makeup?”
“Probably the same as everyone else, right? But since we’re here, let’s look at some cosmetics today.”
“Hey, Toiro, Is it true that you were summoned yesterday morning by the third-year Asahi senpai? There’s a rumour going around. Did he confess to you or something?”
“Asahi-senpai? …… Ah, yesterday after school. He didn’t confess to me.
He told me that there was some kind of soccer match and asked me to come by and watch. But I don’t know anything about soccer.”
A group of girls constantly surrounded her. From what I heard, many of them knew each other from junior high and apparently, Toiro was the group’s central figure.
Although it’s rare for me to leave my seat and go to the bathroom, I went anyway.
“Hey, hey. The girl from the second class, Kurumi Toiro, is pretty cute, isn’t she? It’s no exaggeration to say that she’s the cutest in the school. I think she’s as beautiful as a model in a magazine.”
“I get what you’re saying. I look inside the second class every time I walk by to see whether Toiro-san is present. Something about her sparkles, or perhaps it’s her aura.”
“I liked the way she was so cheerful and open to everyone. When I first met her, she didn’t think I was suspicious when I spoke to her. She just smiled and greeted me with a friendly face.”
“You’re sloppy! Why didn’t you talk more with her?”
I overheard the boys at the urinals talking about this.
Class 2 is my class, right? I didn’t know there was such a cute girl in my class. Let’s see, Toiro-san…..? I’m pretty sure that’s how it is with the surnames…, but aren’t they wrong about her?
If you ask me, I think her face is cute. Her eyes and nose are well defined, and her eyelashes are so long that they could easily carry three matchsticks. She has a round face and appears to be the type that people like. I believe she stated that she was around the average height for a female. Nonetheless, she seems a bit taller than that, maybe due to her slender legs. Whenever she grins, the tips of her somewhat wavy hair sways on her tiny back.
However, I can say that it’s all an illusion.
To me, reality equals this girl resting on my bed while being dressed in a ‘Lounge~’ mimetic word. Or rather, I know that this is how she truly is. Right now, she’s simply acting a cheerful and sociable character.
When I returned to the classroom from the toilet, Toiro and the other females were still making a racket in the back.
“Toiro, I’m not sure if you’re a model or not, but your hair colour is gorgeous. Is there a model or someone you’re referring to? I want to have my hair coloured like that too.”
“Thank you so much. I really like the colour of my hair, so I’m quite happy you would say that. Why don’t you give it a go, Urara?”
“Yeah, but I wonder if it will suit me?”
The girl called Urara Nakanakaso has a really feminine appearance and is a very attractive girl. She wears a mini-skirt 30 cm above her knees and has blonde hair in curls that cover her shoulder blades. It seems that Toiro has a lot of friends like that. She is definitely at the top of the school caste.
I’m not sure I’ll ever have anything to do with them because of my extremely long black hair, unathletic body, and look that might be described as “representing the humble lads.”
I was about to return to my seat when Toiro glanced at me. When we locked gazes, she grinned triumphantly and brushed her sideburns away from her face. I wonder if she was happy to be complimented earlier on.
Frowning at this annoying gesture, I took my seat.
Soon after, a boy slumped down in the seat in front of me and looked back at me. Scratching up his long bangs with one hand, he spoke to me.
“Hello, Comrade Masaichi. How are you doing?”
“Who’s your comrade?”
“It’s heartbreaking for you to say that. We are buddies who desired to blast the breeze of blue spring together in our co-education.”
Yazumi Sarukaya was his name. He is the only student in this grade who came from a boy’s junior high school, like me. His motivations for enrolling in the institution, on the other hand, were entirely different. Sarukaya had gone to Meikoku High School to pursue girls after becoming dissatisfied with the guys’ schools.
With a more sexual nature than other guys his age, he goes out in quest of eroticism, come rain or shine. If he discovers an erotic book wet in the rainfall, he dries it with a hairdryer until the pages are clean, and if he finds a breezy place, he waits for hours for a girl’s skirt to lift up. His sexual preferences were well known around the school while he was in junior high.
In fact, he and I had a secret relationship.
He was a hard worker, but he also dabbled in sexual activities for sex appeal. He was so affected by the narrative of a specific eroge he found on there that he went and saw the anime adaptation. That’s how I became interested in late-night anime. He began approaching me, a student who was believed to be an otaku, to ask if I had any anime recommendations.
Well, that’s how we’ve known each other since junior high school. But we were never really comrades. It is my sincere regret.
“What’s the deal with the blue spring breeze? That’s not such a creative motivation, you pink-headed man.”
“That’s harsh. But, Masaichi, you can’t help but have high expectations, can you? I’m happy every day, surrounded by beautiful girls. Looking back, my junior high school life was like being in a long tunnel of darkness and darkness.”
“You knew it was a boys’ school when you enrolled, didn’t you……?”
“You’re right. That’s something I need to reflect on. My parents wanted me to get a quality education, so I took the plunge, and that was the beginning of the dark ages. But human beings are creatures that learn and grow. With that experience as a springboard, I’ve been able to live out my peach-coloured days. I’m sure it’s the same for you, Masaichi”
“So don’t make them the same. And peachy is still pink in your brain, isn’t it?”
Sarukaya laughed out loud with a burst of exaggerated laughter when I stated this in a dumbfounded tone. His voice, however, quickly faltered with a solemn look.
“So, Masaichi. Are you aiming for Toiro-san?”
“I’m sure you’ve set your sights on the flowers of the misty high mountains.” The confession appointments are so popular that they’re completely booked. When I tried to schedule an appointment to confess, another guy phoned me the same day and said, ‘You’ve only recently begun school.’ “
You’ve already confessed to her, and more than once at that…..
Sarukaya is an anime otaku, but he is also highly social and has many friends. I hate to say this, but his face is one of the most attractive, and he’s popular among the boys since he can talk to anyone in a friendly manner. During break time, he does not stay with me; instead, he roams around the classroom, talking to other students. I suppose it’s just hearsay and gossip picked up by the network.
“I mean! Why is he the one I’m after?”
“Hmm? Of course, it’s because you’ve been giving her a hot and passionate stare for a while now, and if I look at you, I can see that you glance at her fairly regularly, and I’m certain that you’re in love.”
“It’s a colossal misunderstanding. I was just gazing at the females behind me, wondering what the big fuss was about.”
“Oh. I thought Toiro was your ultra-crush.”
“No, no, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong.”
Sarukaya’s face abruptly softened just as I was about to express my regret again, emphasizing the rarity of the adjective.
“I get what you’re trying to say. But if that’s really the case, I’d rather just sit back and watch. There’s no need for me to jump into the dozens of times more competition and get torn to shreds.”
He appeared concerned about our safety. I extended my voice and responded with a hazy and ambiguous “Ah.”
How many dozen times is the competition for ten colours? That doesn’t sound right to me. The ten colours? That’s the very first question that comes to my mind.”(TLN: apparently some people call Kurumi ten colours due to the colour of her hair)
At the back of the classroom, the girls were still talking.
“But if you put in a colour that bright, it’s going to hurt your hair. How did you get your hair to look so smooth, Toiro?”
“Hmm? Shampoo? Oh, and a hairdryer. Always keep yourself in a cool environment as well.”
“Is that it? Nothing else? A lovely girl gets two gifts from Heaven, cuticles and all!?”
Surrounded by girls, Toiro certainly seemed to be a famous person. She even had a tinge of sanctimoniousness about her. Just by looking at her, you can see why all of the other boys admire her.
But in this classroom, I’m the only one who knows.
The red inner colour at the end of the ten-coloured hair is an imitation of a favourite anime character rather than a model or idol.