Birds were singing merrily, sunlight bathing the field track, and the sound of students reading their textbook aloud can be heard coming from the third year classroom. Everyone was paying extra attention to the teaching as the end-year examination was just around the corner.
However, a certain young idol was absentminded.
Urrghh! What should I do? Was she for real? There's no way she's serious. Maybe she doesn't even know what she was doing, no, not with her in that condition. Yeah, the fever just took control of her action. Nothing else....
But…that was my first kiss…
Nico was busy in her reverie that she failed to notice the storming footstep.
I'll call her out later and talk it out. But, won't it be weird to suddenly ―
" Yazawa!" The teacher slammed her textbook onto Nico's table making the raven-haired girl jumped and fell off her seat.
"Out now!" instructed the teacher angrily while pointing to the front door.
Sighing, Nico climbed back to her feet and started walking towards the door.
Once she was out of the classroom, laughter began to fill the hallway and Nico wished she could have just disappear into the thin air.
While inside the classroom, Nozomi gave Eli a questioning look but the blonde can only reply with a shrug.
P.E. class ― enjoyed by most students as it was the period where they were freed from the cage of books. It couldn't be helped that the students were all pumped up for the physical activities. In Otonokizaka, every grade had their respective sports. As for the third years, it was basketball.
The class was divided into groups of four and they practiced and played to their own devices. They were all focusing on their game when someone screamed.
"Yazawa-san, look out!"
Nico turned to the source where her name was heard and was greeted by a circular object.
"Ouhh!" The basketball landed face to face with Nico and she fell back from the sudden impact. The classmates instinctively ran towards the petite girl only to find that blood was oozing out of her nose.
Nozomi lifted Nico up and Eli used her handkerchief to block the nostrils in hopes of preventing the blood from flowing out while pinching the bridge.
"Sensei, will you excuse us so Toujou-san and I can bring Yazawa-san to the infirmary?" Eli called out to the P.E. teacher and was given a swift nod as permission.
The two third years half-dragged their best friend to the infirmary. The nurse immediately instructed them to lay Nico on the bed while she took some ice cubes from the refrigerator and apply them to Nico's nose and some on the cheek to relive the pain.
Nico was still conscious when she whined Maki's name. After that, everything went black.
Ah, that must be Nozomi. Why does she sounds so panicked? Is there something wrong?
"Nico!" Her eyes shot open to the sound of her name. In her vision, two blurred figures were standing in front her. The outline of their body shaking.
Seeing that Nico didn't give much of a respond, Eli waved her hand in front of the raven-haired girl. "Are you still with us?"
Nico rubbed her ruby eyes to get a clearer vision and answered, "Yeah, as alive as the sun."
"Thank goodness you're awake. We thought you were a goner." Eli tiredly slumped onto the chair with a sigh while Nozomi gave Nico a relieving smile before surprising the shorter girl with a crushing hug.
"Give up! I give up!" Nico kept hitting the fortune-teller's back like a wrestler slamming his hand repeatedly on the floor begging for mercy when he was tackled and rendered immobile by his opponent.
When Nico thought that she was finally freed from the grasp, another pair of hand grabbed her shoulders and kept her in place. Nico looked up and found the pair of light blue eyes was staring at her intensely.
"Hey, tell us."
"Your problem. Don't tell us it's nothing. We've been your friends since first year and we can easily figure it out whether or not something troubles you. You've been calling for Maki before you pass out. Come on, share with us." Eli finished her sentences with a squeeze to her friend's shoulder.
The petite looked at Eli, and then Nozomi, before letting out a prolonged sigh.
"It's not big of a probl-"
Nico gasped and slowly directed her eyes to Nozomi's hand which were doing the groping action. Nico's eyes widened in horror as the hands began to approach her.
Just when she was about to be groped, Nico suddenly shouted, " YESTERDAY I WAS KISSED BY MAKI!" while covering her small chests.
The incoming groping hand immediately halted after the sudden confession. "Oh?"
Seeing that her friends went silent, Nico took the cue to explain the incident that happened yesterday.
"So basically, you are debating on the possibility of being slapped if you confront her of yesterday?" Nozomi smirked at her own sentence.
To Nozomi's surprise, Nico nodded.
" What if she thought I was making that up? I'll be hated for the whole life." Nico sounded dejectedly.
"Never try never know. Maki is a dense person and if you don't tell her properly, she won't get to know your true feelings. Do not run away my friend." Eli stood up from the bed and walked towards the door. "Nozomi and I will talk to the members and will create a chance for you two to be alone."
Eli waved without facing Nico. "I'm expecting good news."
Nozomi stood up at the same time and left with Eli.
Before leaving the room, the purple-haired girl turned around to give Nico a wink and a thumbs up while mouthing the word 'Good luck'.
Nico thought for awhile before standing up and smiled.
Glad to have them by my side.
"What's wrong Nico-chan, you called me out to stay, yet you're not saying anything."
It had been about ten minutes since the two of them were left alone inside the clubroom. All the other members came up with their own excuses for not being able to show up for practice. Seeing that the practice was cancelled, Maki decided to leave but was stopped by her raven-haired senior. Nico told Maki that she had something to discuss with her so she wanted them to go back to the clubroom.
Nico tightened her grip.
This is my chance. I cannot waste everyone's effort. I have to let her know.
"What is it?" replied Maki with her fingers twirling the end of her scarlet tresses. She began to grow impatient.
" By any chance, do you remember what happened yesterday?" An unnoticeable blush painted itself on Nico's cheek.
Scrunching her eyebrows, the scarlet-haired girl shook her head. "I have no idea."
It was a lie and Maki knew it. There's no way she would forget something so important. She just couldn't bring herself to admit it.
"A-ah, I-I see. So you...don't remember huh..." said Nico with a tinge of sadness in her tone. Little did Nico know, tears began to form on the corner of her eyes and this did not go unnoticed by Maki.
I thought I'm fine with whatever the outcome is, and yet...why am I crying? No, I cannot let Maki see this ugly side of me. No...no!
Nico lowered her head, "I'm going home." and walked hastily out of the room.
"Wait, Nico-chan!" Maki immediately chased after the petite girl.
Feeling the quiver coming from the floor behind her, Nico quickened her pace and eventually broke into a dash.
Nico ran out of the school and passed through Akihabara street. This was the street where all the μ's members hang out and had fun. And this was the place where Nico gave her panther plushie she won from the crane game to Maki. She recalled how blissful the redhead looked when she received the gift.
Because of the memories, Nico cried even harder.
Without realizing where she was, she came to a stop. And that's when she found that she was at the back of a street facing a dead end. Unlike the crowded Akihabara street, this street was awfully quiet.
Feeling slightly insecure, she thought of going home.
However, her thought was interrupted when a strong solid object hit her on the head. Her body slammed on the hard ground.
She felt someone carrying her and she dropped her handkerchief before going out cold.
Ha...haa..ha...S-She's pretty fast... f-for someone so small...
Maki was standing in front of a ramen shop, panting hard from the run.
She looked around and saw no sign of the raven-haired girl. Unfortunately, she had lost track of Nico.
What is it now, Nishikino Maki? Why are you chasing her back? Aren't you the one who shoved her away? Maki slumped to the floor and covered her face with both of her hands.
" I'm sorry for not being honest."