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Aya glanced over at Hikaru besides her, her heart still beating fast. Hikaru was staring down at her notes, a strand of black hair falling past the side of her face. Hikaru’s hair was plain, with nothing done to it, but it still looked as soft as hay. On the other hand, Aya’s hair was perfectly straightened and had been treated with expensive products that made it fashionable despite being modest.

Doki doki.

Aya was staring at Hikaru’s pouting strawberry pink lips, they seemed really soft too. She wanted to touch them…

Oh god. What the hell am I thinking?! Aya quickly returned her gaze at the front of the classroom. Although her mind was in a wreck, her face looked calm and gentle on the outside. She was good at controlling her outer appearance like that. Could I really be… for a girl at that?!

Aya bit her bottom lip, showing the first sign of fluster that she has ever shown involuntarily. No… this can’t be… I’m Aya Kuramoto… I have an endless list of guys to choose from, why would I choose a girl?! But… why haven’t I chosen any guys…?

Well, that’s because none of them matched my standards! I’m a beauty that’s super smart and wealthy, there’s no way I could just choose any guy, right?

Not understanding her feelings, Aya stared down at her notebook, not paying attention to the class.

“…Aya?”

Mr. Abe was calling for his top student, waiting confused. Usually, Aya would respond to him straight away.

“Aya…?”

He called out again, staring at her. Aya was sitting at her desk, staring intently at her notebook.

Now, the whole classroom was beginning to turn and look at Aya.

Hikaru glanced sideways at Aya, and instantly, Aya raised her head up, realising the situation.

“Ah, Aya…” Mr. Abe said, seeing that Aya was now looking at him. He was getting worried for a moment there. “I was just asking you to come up and show the class how to solve this maths equation, it’s quite complicated.”

“Of course.” Aya smiled politely, regaining her usual demeanour of elegance.

She stood up from the desk, then walked over to the front of the classroom. All the guys were staring dreamily at her. Whenever Aya was called to solve a problem, it would just be an opportunity for guys to gawk at her. No one really cared about the problem she was solving except for the girls.

Reaching the whiteboard where a long maths equation was written out, Aya wrote down the steps to solve the problem neatly on the board.

“…and then you do this.” She finished, placing the marker at the bottom of the whiteboard, then she turned around to the rest of the classroom, smiling.

“Thank you, Aya.” Mr. Abe nodded. Thank the lords that I have Aya in my class. I’ve been receiving countless teaching awards because she’s been dragging the whole class’ average straight up. “You can return to your seat now.”

Aya nodded politely, then strolled back to her seat. She tried to avoid looking at Hikaru.

Seating back at her seat, she could now look back at Hikaru when the whole classroom’s attention wasn’t on her. She saw that Hikaru was staring down at her notebook, trying to solve the problem that Aya had just solved on the board, but she was having difficulty with it.

“That’s not how you do it…” Aya said to Hikaru, and Hikaru glanced up at Aya confused.

Oh my god, she’s looking at me!! Aya leaned over gracefully, and wrote down the correct way to solve the problem on Hikaru’s notebook.

“It’s like this…” Aya said, her face calm and relaxed.

“I-I see…” Hikaru stared down at what Aya had written down, surprised that Aya was helping her out. She had thought that Aya didn’t like her. “Thank you… Aya…” She had remembered Aya’s name from the teacher calling out to her.

“No problem.” Aya returned back to her perfect posture at her seat, then stared straight ahead at the teacher as he continued talking. Hikaru knows my name! I can’t believe I was so close to her! I scraped the side of her arm when I leaned over! She was so soft!! Argh, what am I thinking?!

School eventually ended with the bell’s signal, and all the students in the classroom started packing up their things.

“Remember, today’s lesson! It’s going to be very important for the exam at the end of the week!” Mr. Abe said.

But no one was really paying attention.

“H-hey Aya…” Hikaru tried to call for Aya as she watched Aya packing up her things, but Aya ignored her, and she quickly took her stuff and left, leaving Hikaru at her desk.

She’s ignoring me again… Hikaru felt sad. She had thought that Aya helping her with the maths problem meant that she actually wanted to be friends. I guess she actually doesn’t like me…

Sana and Fumiko quickly got their stuff too, pacing after Aya to catch up with her.

“Aya, wait for us!” Sana called out, joining Aya as she left the classroom.

“You’re going so fast.” Fumiko commented, also joining Aya by her side. “Do you have a date today or something?”

“No!” Aya snapped, surprising Fumiko.

“I was just joking…” Fumiko laughed. “No need to be upset.”

“Are you feeling okay, Aya?” Sana asked. They were now walking past the school hallway, leaving the school with a crowd of students.

“I’m fine…” Aya said, then glanced at her two friends by her side. “…that transfer student…”

“Huh? You mean the transfer student seating by your side?” Fumiko asked. “What about her?”

“I don’t like her…” Aya said bitterly.

“Really?” Fumiko laughed. “What? Since when do you not like someone?”

“Did she do something to you?” Sana asked in a concerned tone.

“She just… annoys me…” Aya said. She was still confused about her feelings. “When I look at her, I get annoyed…”

“That tends to happen sometimes.” Fumiko said. “You can’t get along with everyone in the world. Sometimes two people just hate each other for no reason.”

“I-I never experienced something like that.” Sana said.

“That’s because you’re always at home studying!” Fumiko replied. “Anyways, just forget about the transfer student, Aya. I want to hear about all the cute guys that have asked you out!”

“Fumiko!” Sana said.

“Whaat?” Fumiko replied. “Don’t you want to hear about it too?”

“M-maybe a little bit…” Sana said, then shook her head. “But that’s none of our business! You shouldn’t ask about Aya’s love life like that!”

“We’re her best friends!” Fumiko said. “These are things we’re supposed to know!”

“I’m not dating anyone.” Aya sighed. She had to give Fumiko something otherwise she would pester her forever.

“Are there any guys you’re interested in?” Fumiko continued.

They were now walking out of the school, heading to the train station together. This was how they always went home.

“Not really.” Aya said. “I haven’t found anyone yet…”

“It’s okay, Aya.” Sana said, noticing the tone in Aya’s voice when she said that. “Don’t force it. You want to just let it happen naturally.”

“But you’re so beautiful!” Fumiko said. “You can just choose any guy in the world, how can you not like any guy?”

Aya thought about what Fumiko was saying. I mean she is sort of right… but all the guys that have asked me out are mostly from our school… maybe I need to go out more to find other guys…

“I’m dating someone!” Fumiko said.

“R-really?” Sana glanced at Fumiko, surprised.

Even Aya was a little bit curious. She knew that Fumiko often played around with guys, but she usually never ‘dated’ as that was more of a serious thing. “Who’s the lucky guy?” Aya asked.

“Oh, he’s not from our school.” Fumiko said with a dreamy look. “He’s from Kokusai High.”

“Kokusai High?” Aya said. What the hell? Not even from our school? Fumiko… you’ve settled so low...

Kokusai High School was second to Hibiya High School. Hibiya High was the school that they went to, which was the top in Tokyo.

“How did you meet him?” Sana asked.

“A karaoke party.” Fumiko replied. “It was a group of guys and girls. He was one of the guys that were invited by my friend, and we sang a duet together. Oh my god, it was so romantic! Next time we should go!”

“Ah, but I have to study…” Sana said, then glanced over at Aya. “I’ll go if Aya goes…”

Aya thought about it. That sounds really beneath me, why the heck would I go to a sketchy karaoke party with a group of guys… do I really look that cheap?... But… I have to get over that Hikaru girl…

“Okay.” Aya nodded. “You can organise it Fumiko, and let us know.”

“Ah, really?” Fumiko said, surprised. She had thought that Aya wouldn’t go as she didn’t usually like these types of events. “That’s awesome! We can get a bunch of hot guys if you’re going!”

Ugh… Aya smiled politely. This just sounds horrible. I should have said no.

Arriving at the train station, Aya waved her friends goodbye and took the train home alone. Although she was incredibly wealthy and her family insisted on her taking a limousine, she had told them that she would take the train alone as she enjoyed walking with her friends and the freedom of going home alone.


The next day, Aya arrived at school in her limousine. Although she went home by train, she got to school by her limousine. She didn’t really have anything to do in the morning, and it was hard to organise getting to school together at the same thing with her friends, so that’s why there was a difference there.

Stepping out of the luxurious black limousine, onlookers stared at her, mesmerised by her beauty, as she held a hand to her face, keeping her hair from blowing in the wind. On her other hand, she carried her school bag, held in front of her.

Yesterday was just a coincidence… I’m sure if I saw Hikaru again, I won’t feel the same way… Maybe I’ve been doing too much Aikido lately…

With that thought in mind, Aya walked confidently to her classroom, ignoring the gaze of onlookers as she always did.

The school was quite big, as expected from the top ranked high school in Tokyo, having their own swimming pool, gym, basketball courts, tennis courts, anything you name, and it was probably at the school.

Students greeted Aya as she walked past, shy ‘good morning’s which Aya responded to with a smile. Almost everyone in the school knew Aya, that was how popular she was.

Entering her classroom, she saw a group of students crowded at Hikaru’s desk. Hikaru was seating in her desk, her hands covering her head.

“You should leave this school!” One of the students sneered at Hikaru. “You’re just a bother here! Stop annoying Aya!”

“Do you think you’re special just because you get to seat next to Aya?”

Fumiko was at the edge of the crowd, laughing.

“Aya said you’re annoying! You must had done something really bad to her!”

“Just leave the school!”

Aya froze, seeing the scene unfolding in front of her. Why is everyone bullying Hikaru?! And, Fumiko is in on it? She… The dots connected in her mind. Dammit! Fumiko must had told everyone I said that Hikaru was annoying!

No one had realised Aya had entered the classroom yet.

“Hey…” Aya called out, as she approached the group.

Upon hearing her voice, the group turned to look at Aya, moving away from Hikaru.

“Hi Aya!” They smiled at Aya, as though nothing had happened.

“Aya! How are you?” Fumiko bounced towards Aya. “You look as lovely as ever!”

“What… what were you guys doing just then?” Aya said.

“Um…” Fumiko glanced backwards at Hikaru worriedly. Crap. Aya probably doesn’t want us to bully Hikaru since Aya’s such a sweet girl… but I wanted to get rid of Hikaru since Aya said she annoyed her… “Nothing.”

“…”

Aya stared at Fumiko quietly. Should I say something…? But why should I care if that girl is getting bullied? It’s not any of my concern, right?

Aya decided to not say anything, and smiled, pretending she didn’t notice anything.

The group of students that crowded around Hikaru’s table, returned to their desks, allowing Aya to walk past, and she sat down at her desk next to Hikaru.

Aya glanced over at Hikaru.

Doki Doki.

Her heart was still beating fast at the sight of her. But there was also something tugging at her heart…

Hikaru was staring down at her table, her eyes hidden behind her fringe.

“Hey Aya…”

Sana touched Aya on her back, and Aya turned to look at Sana.

She leaned in, whispering to Aya’s ear.

“They were bullying Hikaru… Fumiko was trying to get her to leave the school…”

Dammit, Sana why do you have to tell me this? Now I can’t pretend to ignore it.

“No way…” Aya feigned ignorance, laughing weakly. “Fumiko wouldn’t do something like that…”

Sana pouted at Aya, she opened her mouth to say more, but Fumiko interfered.

“Hey, Sana, what are you talking about?” Fumiko didn’t hear what they were whispering about but she had a feeling of what Sana was doing.

“N-nothing…” Sana quickly leaned back into her seat.

The bell sounded, signalling the start of class, and students began coming into the room. Aya was still concerned about Hikaru, glancing over at her. Noticing that Aya was staring at her, Hikaru raised her head up from the table, and smiled faintly at Aya.

Aya quickly turned her head the other way.

Ah, so it’s true after all… Aya does hate me… Hikaru thought to herself.


Lunchtime started, and students started leaving the classroom, some choosing to stay. Aya took out her lunchbox from her bag. Her chef had prepared it for her, a bento with an exquisite selection of food, all of which were Aya’s favourites.

“You always have such a great lunch!” Fumiko said, looking at Aya’s bento with teary eyes and a yearning look.

“Y-you can have some if you want…” Aya said, seeing the look on Fumiko’s face.

“No, I couldn’t!” Fumiko said, then took out her own lunchbox. It was similar to Aya’s except not as well prepared.

Fumiko’s family was rich as well after all. Hibiya High was a private school known for its prestige and many wealthy families sent their children to study here. Fumiko’s family was in the telecommunications industry, though Aya didn’t know what they did exactly.

Likewise, Sana pulled out a delicate lunchbox that was also well designed. Her family were known to be wealthy academics that played a vital role in the field of science. They weren’t as wealthy as Fumiko’s family though.

Curious, Aya glanced to her side to see what lunch Hikaru was eating. She watched as Hikaru pulled out…

A sandwich and a juice popper.

It was like the lunch of an elementary school kid.

What the heck, is that really her lunch? Aya thought to herself, then heard chuckling from around the classroom.

“Hikaru, what is that…?”

A boy with dyed blond hair and black eyes approached Hikaru. He was with Fumiko’s group earlier that was bullying Hikaru. His name was Kenzou.

“Ah, this…” Hikaru was confused at first, then followed Kenzou’s stare to her lunch. “This is my lunch…”

“Really…?” Kenzou couldn’t hold back his laughter now, then reached out grabbing Hikaru’s sandwich.

“H-hey…” Hikaru got up from her desk.

“Hey guys, look at this!”

Kenzou laughed, holding Hikaru’s sandwich up in the air. “She’s got a sandwich for lunch,” Kenzou peered into the plastic wrapper holding the sandwich, looking inside. “It’s got like jam or something!”

Aya heard a stifled giggle from Fumiko who was sitting next to Aya’s desk, after having moved her chair.

“Come on, Kenzou, that’s not nice, give it back…” Fumiko tried to put on a serious look, but the giggle in her eyes betrayed her.

Sana was sitting quietly besides Aya, shifting uncomfortably in her seat.

“You’re right, Fumiko. This is not nice.” Kenzou bowed as though he was in a play. His family were famous actors, so he had also inherited their genes and love for theatricality. “This sandwich is just awful.” Kenzou tossed Hikaru’s sandwich to the side of the room, flinging it at a group of girls that screamed in laughter as they moved away from the sandwich.

“Woops.” Kenzou said although he didn’t mean it. “Sorry, Hikaru, my fingers slipped.”

“…”

Hikaru was standing at her desk, biting her lower lips. She looked like she was about to cry.

Seeing this, Aya got up from her table and instantly, the classroom went quiet. Even Kenzou piped down, despite how much he was enjoying the attention of the class.

Aya walked silently to the sandwich that Kenzou had chucked onto the ground, and picked it up, then walked back over to Hikaru.

“Here…” Aya placed the sandwich down on Hikaru’s table, then went back to her seat with Fumiko and Sana.

The atmosphere in the classroom was now awkward, with no one wanting to go up against Aya.

“Uh…” Kenzou glanced over at Fumiko, confused. Didn’t you tell me that Aya hated Hikaru? He thought in his mind, and his eyes were trying to say the same thing.

Fumiko shrugged, then ignored Kenzou.

Y-you… Kenzou glared over at Fumiko. Now, you’re making me seem like the bad guy…

Sighing, Kenzou left the classroom, heading somewhere else to avoid the atmosphere in the room.

“Um… so about that television show last night…” Fumiko said to Aya, trying to change the atmosphere in the room.

People started talking again, seeing that Fumiko was talking to Aya. The two of them had a great influence over the classroom, especially Aya. Fumiko’s popularity came partly from her close friendship with Aya.

Hikaru took her sandwich out of the plastic wrapper, chewing on it, as she glanced to her side at Aya. I thought she hated me… But Aya helped me out…

Watching Fumiko and Sana talk cheerfully to Aya, Hikaru sighed, eating her sandwich alone, and taking sips out of her juice popper on occasions. I wish I had friends…

She glanced around the classroom, but noticed that people were avoiding her glance. A girl brushed past her desk, and Hikaru smiled weakly up at her.

“H-Hi…”

Hikaru tried to greet the girl, but the girl just walked past, ignoring Hikaru’s greeting and headed to the group of girls on the side.

Everyone’s just ignoring me… Hikaru stared down at her desk.


“Hey Fumiko, what’s going on?” Kenzou was annoyed, as Fumiko approached him at the school grounds.

School had just finished, and people were still pacing around, heading home or to their cram schools.

Fumiko had excused herself from Aya and Sana to meet with an irritated Kenzou after the events of today.

“Didn’t you say that Aya hated Hikaru?” Kenzou said. “I thought you told me we should get rid of Hikaru.”

“Ah, yeah.” Fumiko replied, running her fingers along her purplish dyed hair. “That’s what Aya said to me. She said that the new transfer student annoyed her.”

“Then, why would she help her out like that?” Kenzou said impatiently. “Do you know how bad that makes me look? Lucky the entire class wasn’t there to see what happened!”

“Sorry about that, Kenzou.” Fumiko smiled, clasping her hands together in front of her. “But, let’s just go on with the plan. Aya probably just doesn’t want to bully the girl, herself, since Aya is always so polite and sweet.”

“…”

Kenzou stared at Fumiko, then sighed. “Just don’t make me look like the bad guy…”

“I get it, I get it.” Fumiko laughed. “We will just keep the bullying out of Aya’s sights. Try not to do it in front of her.”

“Right…”

“If we do this properly, Hikaru should leave the school on her own very quickly.”

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