Chapter 7: Apology.

It was Monday morning, so I got up and left for school.
The many shocks of the past weekend were enough to uplift and warm my heart, but that didn’t mean I was up in the clouds.
I felt focused and able to do anything I put my mind into.
In these conditions, classes whizzed past and it was finally time to go home.

…Or so it should’ve been.
Instead of the usual freedom, there I was, alone in the classroom due to my being on day duty.
My homeroom teacher chose me this time.
Since I just had to do a talley, it would take me an hour at most, but I had plans of meeting Risa today.

I had no choice but to catch Kenichi just as he was about to leave and ask him to let Risa know I’d be late.
After he sent her a message, she pinged him back an “Ok.” He then looked at me in awe.

“Dude, just give up and get a smartphone already.”

“It’s not like I was stubborn not to or anything, bro.
I just didn’t feel the need to have it until now, so my plan was to buy one along with Risa today.
We were even going to look at some data plans together.”

“It’s time to pay those phone taxes then?”

“That was my biggest nope factor, I’ll be honest,” was what I said before we parted ways.
I recalled that conversation as I kept up with my work, only for someone to call me out of the blue.

“Wada-kun?” I was so startled by that voice I turned around with a jerk.
As soon as I saw who it was, I could feel my face gloom.

It was Tsukushi Hirano, and she walked up to me with a wry smirk on her face along with three of her friends.

“Sorry, I just approached you so suddenly and you reacted like that. I can’t help the smile,” she said.
Unlike the last time I saw her, she was quite calm, and I was even taken aback by her saddened demeanor.
Then, she continued: “I’m sorry about what happened the other day! I know you may not forgive me, but I’m really sorry…”

“I’m sorry, too,” her friends joined in.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I know it’s basically too late now, but what I did must’ve hurt you.
I owe you an apology,” she said.

Honestly, though, I just didn’t care anymore.
The weight of the boy’s night out and what happened between Risa and me were just too great.

“Also, I need to clarify that there were only four people involved in the prank, namely the three girls and I.
Back when it happened, Saito-kun said some things that make it look like all the girls were on it.”

“Uh, I see… But why do that to me in the first place?”

“That… It was a punishment game.”

“And why me?”

“Wada-kun, what do you think of yourself?” She started.
“Do you think you’re a shady guy or a boring person? Well, I thought so too the other day.
But to be honest, the other boys respect you, and there are even some girls who secretly think you’re cute.

“Despite all of that, you never looked around, or rather, it seemed like you didn’t care.
That’s why I decided to target you… In hindsight, it was really bad.
I’m really sorry.”

I think I can kind of get the reason now.
They saw me building a huge wall around myself, and that was prime target material.

“And I ended up damaging the atmosphere in class.
The guys barely even talk to the girls now after that whole debacle…” She said, showing deep-seated regret.

“Well… I’m still a bit angry when I think back on it.
To be honest, though, looking at how I am now and at how things are looking up, I can say I’ve improved a bit,” I paused for a second.
“Sure, I accept your apology.
Let’s end it here.”

“Really? I kept thinking if you would even accept my apology…” She muttered in relief.

“So, what should we do? I could spread the word to the other guys.”

I tried to tell Saito-kun that we were the only girls involved, and he gave us the stink eye.
He still told the other boys just in case, but… you don’t have a smartphone.”

Oh, Kenichi…

“And what about the apology? Did you tell them you’d come up to me?”

“No, we thought it’d be best if we went up to you, the victim, first.
It wouldn’t be nice to spread the word around and say it’s all okay now since we were going to apologize.”

“Okay, I see.
Just don’t do it to anyone else, okay? It really hurt.”

“Mhm, we won’t do it anymore.
And thanks for accepting our apology once again,” with that, the four girls left the classroom.

I felt a bit better emotionally.
Keeping grudges against people is something truly taxing to the heart, even though I tried to tell myself I didn’t care.

After the talk, I went back to my chores and quickly handed what was needed to the teacher, hurrying out of school as fast as possible.
As soon as I arrived at the electronics store, I saw Rikka eyeing the smartphones around.

“Risa, I’m here.”


She had the biggest smile on her face, warming my heart in turn.
Just seeing her happy makes me happy.
Moreover, she’s in her uniform today… cute.
Extremely, criminally cute.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen you in uniform… It suits you.
A lot.
You look so cute, Risa.”

“Wha, really?! You look cool too, Kyo,” she smiled, cheeks blushing ever so softly.

“Thanks,” I smiled.
“And, um, I guess I need a smartphone as soon as possible.
I thought as much when I needed to let you know I’d be late.”

“That’s true.
We’re fine when we talk to each through voice calls on the computer at certain times, but if it comes to urgent calls…”

The two of us enjoyed some quality time together while looking at various smartphones and carrier plans.

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