I couldn’t take it. The silence after the voice started hissing threats on TV.
I started laughing, a sour taste rising in my throat.
“That wasn’t really funny right, Yumi?”
Her anime rapidly came back on again before she replied,
“…You know it was true. That man died in front of international television for real. Kira wasn’t joking.”
A moment of silence passed, with me blinking at her back incredulously.
“Kira is…” She hesitated and repeated the phrase again. “Kira is-”
Her voice was cut off by my cell phone’s ring-tone that was left forgotten in my pocket. I apologized, noticing her becoming tense, and turning at me with an impatient face. I checked my phone after moving out of the living room towards the bathroom.
The reason why was because of the person calling me. My cousin, Hiro. Installing myself on the side of the bathtub, I answered, speaking into the receiver in a rushed whisper,
”What do you want?”
A cheerful voice that I could possibly recognize beyond thousands of people responded,”
My darling Ayumi-chan! How are you today? ….” He continued to blabber in difficult English that I didn’t understand until I hissed at him to start talking in Japanese, since some (Myself, really) people couldn’t be bilingual -no, trilingual, there was also German- as he was.
“Oh, sorry cousin. I just called to see how you were, and also, good news!”
You see, I was never close with my cousin, Hiro. We were too different for each other, and our personalities collided. I have tried to inform my mother of this many times, but she just waved off my warnings of actually killing him and says to me that it’s only the love I have for him… No, no, it wasn’t.
“I’m at Narita airport!”
Damn him and his suddenness.
“And?” I asked. I knew I was going to regret this later.
“I’m coming to stay with you,since I have a case here!”
“NOOOOO !!! No you’re NOT !!!” I exploded, my cheeks becoming hotter by the second. Surprisingly, Yumi wasn’t rushing in to see if I was alright (she must be still mad) and my cousin didn’t hang up immediately like he always did. He instead waited patiently until I was done and said,
”Awww,you’re so happy! (Dense idiot) I wanted to go to Michiko’s (his older sister) but since she’s a few months pregnant she might tend to be a little crazier than usual so I said, ‘Why not Ayumi,she’s in Tokyo also!’ and I was like ‘Yeah!’ and-”
“I’m at Todai. I don’t have an apartment of my own.” A serene smile found its way on my lips, imagining how he must be at that moment, since he wasn’t responding immediately. Waiting for his answer, I played with a figurine left by Yumi at the side of the bathtub and shifted more comfortably.
“That’s too bad…” He says finally.
My smile widened as wide as it could possibly go, similar to the Cheshire cat. Ah, good things do happen to good people-
“But I have an idea.”
My smile fell rapidly. No, please…NO. Go away.
“So, I’ll call you soon,alright?”
“Kisses, my love!” He hung up on me. Like that.
I stared at the cellphone with a confused, yet satisfied look, as if I’ve gotten rid of a large pest.
For the moment.
The next morning, I had other concerns…Yuujiro was completely ignoring me, or saying things behind my back like most people would. Everywhere I went I could see him giving me a hard stare before turning back to his friends.
It isn’t my fault I fell asleep while we were working (And I never liked him anyway, so I really didn’t care). I was someone who naturally fell asleep easily in any situation, which wasn’t helping me for my social life or university work. And today happened to be one of those days when you fall asleep in class.
Result – I was reprimanded by my art history teacher at the end of his class.
“Miyamoto, I’ve noticed you’ve been a little absent today. And as a professor, I shouldn’t accept this attitude coming from a student -a good student even. You should be reminded that you’re in Todai. Our reputation would..” He continued to blabber on and didn’t notice my hidden yawns.
I tried thinking about what to do to make him stop blabbering. Should I continue to suffer on like a good student or should I at least charm my way out like a ass-kisser and lose my dignity?
Heck, my dignity left me a long time ago.
“Takahashi-sensei…” My voice came out in a pleading way, “…I just had a few problems these last days. One concerning my project-” I waited for a dramatic pause and as I hoped, the reaction I waited for came.
“A few problems concerning your project? If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to know what happened.”
I gave him the most fake cheerful-but-sad smile I could muster.
“Well, Seguchi-kun decided to quit being my partner. So I’m all alone.” I slowly looked up, taking in the surprised reaction showing on my professor’s face.
“Ayaaa…” he muttered, ”that is a problem…” He crossed his arms which matched his usual serious expression.
I mentally frowned. I hoped he wasn’t going to choose another partner for me, since half of the class hated my ass for being better than them. That would only worsen my said “relations” with them.
Takahashi-sensei was about to say something until I interrupted him with a reassuring smile.
“I’m very sorry for what happenned, sir.” I gave a low bow, “If you don’t mind, I would like to search for another partner so you can avoid wasting your time on searching one for me.”
“Miyamoto, I already choose everyone’s partner. You are obliged to stay with Seguchi. I’m sorry, but if I separated everyone again just because you said so-”
“Alright.” I gained my original standing position, facing him. “I’ll try to…get back with Seguchi-kun. I am sorry for troubling you with such an idea.”
Takahashi-sensei sent me a long look, before sighing.
“You are dismissed.”
I gave him one more bow before leaving the class. Closing the door behind me, I left out a small curse. Obviously, my plan to change partners was a failure. And the worst part was that I really believed he was going to give in.
I kicked the air in frustration. Instead of doing this the patient way, I’ve done it too quickly. If I had only waited long enough…but it was now too late. Stupid professor.
Footsteps soon followed my own and followed me throughout the walk I was taking. I closed my eyes and let out a long sigh.
“You know, If you keep on following me like this, I’ll call the cops on you.” I stopped walking and faced the annoying guy.
Stupid Seguchi Yuujiro.