...Hmm. No idea what he’s talking about. I blinked at him with a blank face and he gestured for me to come closer so that he didn't have to talk loudly.
I fidgeted my way over to his side, stopping a good, unnatural length away. The only good point about me being an idiot in front of him was that he that I was this bad by default, so he wouldn’t notice anything. I guess you wouldn’t question any guy being weird around you as being gay, anyway.
And I could still manage to talk to him somewhat, which was still more than some other people manage to do.
Taizou helpfully elaborated and I scratched my palm to keep myself from drifting off at hearing him talk.
“Everyone is asking me for lessons. I don’t mind helping, but none of them actually want to learn.”
Yikes. Guilt-tripping me before I had even done anything. But yeah, I could see that happen. His grades weren’t bad at all, so of course his fans would try to get him alone for a while and then start flirting. I continued to listen.
“So if I say I’m already full teaching one person, they have no way to pester me anymore.”
He eyed me up and down. “And you’re a decent person.”
My heart jumped. I swallowed and moved my tongue in hopes of it stopping to feel like lead. Decent was nice, decent was a compliment. In my opinion, anyway.
“Wouldn’t any guy work?” Okay, I asked that, but pleeeasee, tell me no??
So should I just-
[(Please choose what to say.)
- “Is there a problem with everyone else?”
- (Say nothing.)]
Well I guess I could ask for some details instead of just eagerly agreeing to have him as my tutor. My mouth moved away on its own volition, saying the second choice. Why is it that it had to be me? Wouldn't men be fine, if he wanted to flee from the girls?
“Taking pictures, filming, asking me personal questions, stealing my stuff.” His tone grew more irritated with every word, the frosty look on his face frostier. “The girls are more annoying when talking, but the guys pester me physically.”
He took a breath and calmed his voice. “So, as I said, you seem decent. And you need help in math anyway.”
Sure then?? If you want to spend time with me?? Of course?? I’m happy to be an excuse!
To tell the truth, I felt a bit bad for him. The speed in which he had just talked had made his discomposure so obvious. Yes, he was attractive, but was that any reason for the whole school to cause such an uproar? Going so far to film him and steal his stuff…? And I hadn't thought that the guys who were interested in him would actually try getting physical.
I heard them talk about Taizou like they talked about bikini models in some magazine, but I had thought that was just talking. For them to actually take action, it was surprising. And sad.
How troublesome was his daily life, that he was pushed to the point of needing an excuse just to get a break? Just how badly are they pestering him?
I nodded heavily, my neck giving a nice crack at the sudden movement. I resisted the urge to cry out and rub it.
...That was about the most I could muster, actually. Once more, I was happy for the system assisting me a bit as he said his next sentence.
[Taizou Mizuki: “Anywhere we can meet up?”
(Please choose what to say.)
- “How about my place?”
- “How about your place?”
- “How about the library?”]
“How about at my place?”, I said, a tad bit too fast. I have good reasons, though! It’s not just that I prefer it to the library! Actual reasons!
His place was obviously an off-limits choice. He had just said that people kept on taking his stuff, so if I tried to intrude in his room, I’m sure he’d cancel right away.
The library was actually, honestly no-good either. Sure, it was supposed to be a quiet place, but it was quite full during the exam time and if anyone saw us two together at all, and then even regularly, I’d be lynched. Besides, they'd take the chance and ask him if they could join the lesson.
I’d probably wrack my brains about some place in the city if I didn’t have the system, but since it didn’t suggest that, I decided on my place as the last remaining choice. My tongue was weirdly stiff when I was trying to think of one, anyway.
“Alright. Give me your number and address.”
Number? What number, ah? I have a number? Do I have a-
“...Phone number”, he reminded me slowly when my look showing an obvious lack of understanding didn’t vanish even after a few seconds.
Don’t scold me. This was completely out of my expectations and I was slightly overwhelmed by how to react. All my brain cells vanished in front of that guy, I’ll admit that. Everything about this conversation was going beyond my wildest dreams.
(Not actually. Metaphorically, you know. My dreams weren't that tame, but I'm a normal teenager, don't judge me!)
I rattled down my number that I thankfully knew and he inserted it into his phone, giving me a short call.
“Write me your address later”, he said, his face just as emotionless as before. Then he pulled out his notes from his bag and glanced at me once more.
And that was my cue to leave unless I had anything else to do around him, which I didn’t, so I threw some words together to form a semblance of a good-bye and quick-walked back into the main courtyard to catch my breath and wits.
My points with him were up to 19 - along with a note that my behaviour was a bit weird for him, but that he didn’t feel uncomfortable talking to me.
I was grinning again. Sheesh, I can’t walk through the city, looking creepy like that.
I saved his number once I was on the train, staring at it forever. To think that I'd get his number...
But the system warned me on keeping conversations short, so even if I had it, it wasn't like I could just spam him with messages.
He had said he needed my address, though, which made sense since he was going to come over sometime. I typed a message, erased it, typed another one...
Then I took a deep breath and stared out of the window for a while.
Okay, what did I need to write? A greeting, first. So, just 'Hi', since he probably didn't care for anything longer.
Next, my address, which was easy enough, because it was just 'Here's my address' plus the information.
Then... It would feel weird sending it like that. Should I add an emoji? He didn't feel like someone who'd write emojis.
Uh, what else makes sense... Ah.
‘I’ll go along with your schedule, I’m flexible.’
That was the truth. I spent most of my time at home watching movies or gaming. Neither I nor my friends were the type to linger outside. If everyone had time to play together then that was nice, if we didn’t, no problem either.
Besides, I’d happily shove my own schedule around to match his.
I sent the message while biting my lip until it hurt, then put my phone away. Into a pocket, where I would feel if there was a new message, but out of my hands because I didn't want to stare at the app all day, waiting for his answer - something I'd definitely do.
Taizou’s answer came quite some time later, after I left the train, unsurprisingly. He was probably busy with his notes, prioritizing them over looking at his phone (something that I should do, too, but never did).
‘The day after tomorrow, 15:00?’
Sooooon! Give me some time for mental preparation!
I actually stopped walking for a moment, staring at the message. Could I throw out everyone at home on short notice? Him coming over would have been less of a problem if Haru hadn’t shouted ‘Riku’s gay’ into the room.
Now, this had turned into the equivalent of a young man bringing home a beauty for the first time. I was more than terrified about how they’d act - and embarrass me. It didn't matter whether the beauty was in any way a possible lover, family doesn't care about that.
But of course it’s impossible to make all of your family leave home on a certain day. The moment they notice that’s what you want, they’re gonna stay just out of curiosity. Risa straight-out canceled a meeting with one of her friends right in front of my eyes.
...You people are terrible.