Suki Kirai - Volume 1 - Chapter 2

After GW, the classroom was overflowing with a listless atmosphere, like after coming out of the pool. 
Opposite of the dull mood, today’s another sunny day in May outside the window.

(Really, I don’t have any luck with raffles……)
On the first seat change after becoming a 2nd year, I got the worst outcome of sitting beside Kagami Len. 
The single biggest relief is that Chika was in the seat in front of me.

“……Chika, do you think you can show your face at the club activities today?”
Fifth period ending, I softly tapped Chika on the shoulder. 
“Sorry, that might be tough. The preparations for the ball game…..”
“That’s not something to apologize for! It’s coming up next month, after all. Ah, tell me if I can help you with anything?”
“Aww, Rin~! Really, what a good girl you are…….”
“Oh!? H-hey Chika…….”
Chika kneeled on the chair and stretches her arms out to hug me. 
“They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, we’re fine, too, right?”
“That can’t possibly be–. Chika-chaaan, are you insinuating something about me?”
“Well, if it isn’t Len-kun. You were there?”
“I was, I was! I was part of the conversation, too! Hey, Rin-chan.”
I hurriedly turned my head away, and tightly grabbed onto Chika’s blazer.  
“Len-kun, this is your answer.”
Chika jerking up her chin, Kagami Len-kun turned aroun.
I carelessly glanced at the group at the window, too, curiosity overcoming my fear.

(That’s……they really are glaring at me, huh……)
Even in the class, the girls who stand out conspicuously are Kagami Len’s fans. 
It seems that they’re holding up a strict prohibition on stealing a march on each other in the fanclub, I frequently got stuck with getting a ‘severe warning’. Some of them had boyfriends among them, but being a groupie was like having a different stomach for dessert or something.
“Hey, can’t you pay some more attention?”
Chika said in a hushed voice, suspiciously staring at the ringleader. 
“That sure is an unreasonable request. Besides, it’s a fact that I like Rin? Don’t you think it’d be even weirder to be all sneaky and secretive about it?”
“Haa? You’re just simply pushing your own feelings onto her. I’m saying that if you’re really thinking of Rin, you have to choose the time and place.”
I phrased it differently, but I kept complaining with something similar to what Chika said, too. 
But the reply is always the same.

“If Rin’s looking at me without running away, it’s okay like that.”
Letting loose the familiar line with a smile, Kagami Len peeks at my face.
Like this, it’s meaningless even if he lowers the volume of his voice. 
Sure enough, I heard a voice that seemed displeased coming from Haraoka-san and the others in the Prince Fan Club.
(Even if I resolutely ignore them, it ends up like this after all, huh….)

Kagami Len who won’t retreat at all, Chika who protests against him and me who’s at my wits’ end. 
This triangle that you can’t see the end of continued until the homeroom teacher came to hold the SHR {Short Homeroom}.


Before he could talk to me, I ran out onto the hallway like I was running away. 
On my way to the club room with hurried steps, the chime signalling a school broadcast sounded from the speakers.

“Year 2 Class 1, Otosaki Rin. Please come to the Music Prep Room urgently.”

It seems that even over the machine, there’s no change in that imperative intensity. 
The owner of that voice was the super Spartan music advisor famous who had taken the position since this spring, Meiko-sensei.
(I wonder why she called for me……?)
I have no idea, but for now I hurried to the specified spot.

When I timidly knocked on the door of the Music Prep Room, a cheerful voice replied from inside.  
“Yes, come on in.”
“Excuse me. Um, I’m Otosaki Rin from Year 2 Class 1…. Eh? Eeh!?”
As I’m about to ask what she wanted from me, I’m bewildered by the scene that I jumped into.
For some reason, Kagami-kun in his jersey was there with Meiko-sensei.

“We’ve been waiting for you, expected new club member!”

Standing up from the chair, I was welcomed by Meiko-sensei grinning ear to ear.
Since she was wearing heels, the level of her eyesight was about the same as Kagami-kun’s. 
(Hm? With this flow… It can’t possibly be that the new club member = me!?)
I wonder what it could be. I can’t see the circumstances at all. 
When I glimpsed at Kagami-kun, he was smiling just as happily as Sensei.

“The advisor’s signature is already on the club admission form, all that’s left is for Otosaki to sign it.”
“U-um! Admitted to where?”
“Isn’t it obvious? To the Light Music Club!”
“Well, I, I’m already in the Home Ec Club…..”
“At our school, it’s not prohibited to be in two at the same time, right?”
“That’s true. Hey, that’s not the point!”

Seeming like I’ll be forced to join the club at this rate, I raised my voice right away.
Just as I did so, there’s a sinister sparkle in Meiko-sensei’s eyes.
(What shall I do, maybe I ended up making her angry……?)
“Hey, Otosaki…….”
“You’ve been practicing the piano for a long time, isn’t that so? Then, you’ve dabbled in composing and arranging, right?”

My reaction was late to those unexpected words.
But when I still somehow managed to nod, she suddenly gripped both my shoulders.

“Making an effort with Kagami, compose a new song! As far as I can see, you’re the most suitable for it.”
“Th-that’s impossible! Even though I’m practicing the piano, it’s really only as a hobby…….”
“Since I became the advisor, we’re taking the MVP spot at this year’s cultural festival!”
“For that, we want Rin to help us.”
“…….If it’s Kagami-kun’s band, I think they’d be able to take the MVP spot as they are now. Rather, if someone like me were there, I would only be a hindrance anyways……”

“I want it to be Rin.”
He said it in a decisive, unwavering voice.
“I don’t wanna do it unless it’s with Rin. It’s hopeless, without Rin.”

I thought that something like that is breaking the rules.  
It was him with a thoroughly serious expression before my eyes, not the usual playboy.
Gazing into his clear eyes as they give off a strong light, I can’t even avert my gaze from him.

“It’s the vocalist who’s the closest to being the MVP in our club saying that, but how about it?”
Meiko-sensei speaking to me, I turned my neck as if it was released from being tied down. 
From my parched throat, my voice won’t come out at all.
“……I-I’m….that is……”
As I was bewildered, Meiko-sensei lightly tapped her heels and turned to face Kagami Len.

“Well then, Kagami! That’s all I wanted to discuss, so head over to the perimeter.”
“Go–t it. Rin, see ya later.”
Leaving behind a wink, Kagami-kun leaves the Music Prep Room.
As I try to follow after him, my name is called this time.

“Otosaki! Once you’ve filled in the admission form too, change into your jersey and go for a run.”
“Huh? Um, but, about joining, I’ve yet to……”
“Can’t hear you. What was it again?”
“……Respectfully, I have the privilege of signing.” {She uses very polite expressions here.}


About a week has passed since I’ve been basically forced to join the Light Music Club.
Somehow finishing the muscle training around the perimeter today as well, I’m sitting on the carpet in the AV room.
This soundproofed room is Haniwa’s practice room.

“Ah!? Cold-……”
Something chilly touching my cheek, I cower away from it.
When I turn around, Kagami-kun was squatting down with a uselessly refreshing smile.
He’s gripping a plastic bottle. Just when did he go and buy something from the vending machine?

“Rin prefers water, right? Here you go.”
On the first day we had an exchange of “I don’t need it” and “Don’t hold back”, but after realizing that Kagami-kun won’t back down in the least, lately I’ve decided to meekly accept it. 
(It’s fine if it’s just this much, right……?)
It doesn’t particularly mean that I let down my guard. Since brainwork awaits afterwards, it’s energy-saving mode.

“Ah, something smells nice. I wonder what it is today.”
Opening the window to cool down, Kagami-kun suddenly leaned forward.
Curious, I opened the window beside him, too and poked my head out.

“I guess it’s probably cheesecake. The one made with fromage blanc.”
“Fromage? What’s that?”
“It means ‘white cheese’ in French, I guess it’s used often in desserts like cakes. Together with fruits and jam, it’s also eaten like yogurt.”
“I see. I don’t think I’ve eaten any before.”
“You can eat some at the cultural festival if you come to our place. In that case, should I reserve some now?”
“Please do so.”

Since Kagami-kun nods instantly, I hurriedly take out my cell. 
Making a memo so I won’t forget, I’ll properly tell it to the club president later.
I get the feeling that if this ended as a joke, it’d be a pity all the same. 
(It’s related to the club’s sales, so it doesn’t really matter, right?)

“What? Hold on a sec, I’m almost finished typing.”
“Nope, not gonna wait!”
“Huh? Hey, waaaaaa!?”

His eyes suddenly opened wide, Kagami-kun plunged for my cell. 
To be more exact, for the pink strap.

“It’s the Sukikirai Kyunkyun Strap!? Obtained only by the ones who were chosen in the carefully selected lottery, the legendary……”
“……Y-yeah. You’re pretty well-informed.”

While starting to feel somewhat interested, I deeply nodded. 
This omamori-type strap with the cute panda and bear comes as a set in pink and blue. 
Their names are Riajuu Strap and Kyunkyun Strap.

“If you have Kyunkyun, then that means you have Riajuu, too, right? Did you already give it to someone? If you haven’t, then give it to me! If you gave it away by mistake, then let’s go and get it back…..”
“You won’t trick me like that! The legend that if you confess with this strap, you can feel your heart squeeze for eternity and you’ll become satisfied with your life, I know it too!”

We breathe heavily, as both of us finish speaking in one breath. 
Rescuing my cell from Kagami-kun, we take a break like great swordsmen.

Maybe having given up after a while, Kagami-kun suddenly straightened his posture.
“…….You’re concerned about them {the Home Ec Club}, aren’t you?”
“You don’t have to look so apologetic, I can see right through it. That aside, you’ve cooled down enough by now, right? So, let’s finish this song as soon as possible.”
“Ee, what, you’re pretty enthusiastic, hu–h?  Do you hate being with me so much?”
“Without sugar-coating it at all, that’s putting it plainly, but I guess that’s about right.”
“Rin, you–are–so–cold–!”

Kagami-kun glumly puffs his cheeks, but that’s just not possible for me. 
The gazes of everyone in the Fan Club get sharper day by day. It seemed like the fact that I’ll be dismissed once the song is finished kept me safe.

(But if the other members were also present, it might be different……)
Apparently they’re active in concentrating before a concert, and they usually gather once a week.
Furthermore, when Kagami-kun gets into composing a song, apparently it’s the others’ turn to practice individually.

“…….Kagami-kun, when you compose a song, don’t you feel like wanting to consult with someone?”
“Isn’t that why I asked Rin?”
“Not that, I meant the band members.”
“With them, I guess it’s like I consult them about arranging it once it’s done.”
“Can’t you do that this time, too?”
“I told you, that I want to get the MVP spot. In that case, there’s no point in doing it the same way as before.”

(Then you should just do it with the members from the composing.)
Especially with Tsurumaki Kanata-kun on bass, it looked like they were best friends. 
They probably get along a lot better than with the likes of me, and most importantly, he ought to become an immediate asset.

“……Hey, why me?”
“Because when the new song’s theme came to me, I thought that it’s hopeless without Rin.”

Before I knew it, Kagami-kun had gotten closer until he was right beside me. 
I could even see myself reflected in his clear eyes. 
Without averting my gaze, I waited for his next words with bated breath.
Then, Kagami-kun slowly opened his mouth–

“Making an announcement! The topic this time is just ‘love’.”

“Eeh, an immediate answer? Try thinking about it seriously a little more.”
“What’s impossible is impossible. After all, I haven’t even had my first love…yet…”

While saying that, I realized that I’m quickly going pale. 
This is the worst, my tongue slipped. I’ll definitely be teased that I haven’t had my first love yet!

“……Is it true, what you just said?”
As I’m looking down, Kagami-kun’s calm voice descends on me. 
(This… instead of getting teased for it, it drew him in……?)
This is trouble. If that’s the case, it might be better if I did it the other way around and laughed it off.

“Yeah, so?”
“……I see, that’s how it is……”
(No no, get more into it!)
I unintentionally added a retort, but you couldn’t sense it in the atmosphere that I was making light of it.
As can be expected of him, it looks like he has that kind of delicacy, too.

“Then, won’t you make me your first love?”

I take that back. He’s a playboy, he’s a playboy through and through.
Taking a deep breath, I snapped back right away.
“That’s why it’s impossible, absolutely impossible, impossible by all means!”
“Fufufu…… The more invulnerable it is, the more it fires you up, doesn’t it?”
(I was stupid for seriously listening to him……!)

Since I always kept running away from him until now, I don’t know Kagami-kun that well. 
It’s only as of late that we’ve started talking to each other properly. 
That’s why I really don’t understand. Is this for fun, or is this a prank……
I wonder why he’s obsessed with me?

(……Don’t mind it, don’t mind it. I just have to endure it until the cultural festival.)
Telling myself that, I began playing the keyboard.

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