Tsukiko could not stay still. From her chair, the girl stretched her neck as far as she could without standing up, looked in the direction of the first years and bit her lips before sinking into her seat. Only to do the same thing again a few seconds later. I can’t find him… where’s Taiyou-kun?
“Will stay still for a damn second? People are staring at you,” Hana whispered, glancing around before pulling Tsukiko back to the seat. A few students from other classes were looking and laughing at them. “You can see your damn boyfriend later.”
“But I wanna see him now. At least a little sneak at him wearing our uniform,” Tsukiko mumbled, once again already on the edge of her seat, almost standing up.
“Why are you so eager to see him, Tsukiko-chan?” Hikari covered her mouth and said in a low voice. “Didn’t you two come together?”
“No.” Tsukiko scowled when Hana pulled her clothes again. The girl sighed and faced her friends. “For some unknown reason, he ran away from me this morning.”
“For some unknown reason?” Hana repeated, trying to show all her disbelief at Tsukiko’s words. “Wasn’t perhaps, I don’t know, because you kept teasing him about wanting to see him in the uniform ever since he passed our school’s exam? Even we were sick of it.” Despite keeping her voice down, the girl managed to convey all her sarcasm and anger.
“I’d never do that to my boyfriend,” Tsukiko said in a voice rid of guilt. However, the girl made sure to not meeting her friend’s eyes.
“Yeah, right. Knowing you, I bet you even said something like ‘I’ll wanna fill an entire album with just photos of you in our uniform’.”
Tsukiko’s face lost all color as she stared at her friend. “H-he told you that?”
“Wait, did you really say that?” Hana seemed genuinely surprised. Then she shook her head. “I was just joking, geez.”
“Y-yeah, m-me too…” the girl stuttered and averted her eyes.
Hana sighed, Hikari chuckled and Tsukiko blushed.
“Look, Tsukiko. You can embarrass your boyfriend all you want. In fact, I’ll admit is kinda fun seen him all red. But please, do that later, ‘cause right now, you’re embarrassing us.”
Tsukiko opened her mouth to reply, but before she could say anything, the background music in the gymnasium ceased. All the chattering stopped and the students and parents grew quiet as the principal walked to the center of the stage under the applause.
Come on, hurry up. We don’t have all day, Tsukiko thought as the first-year representative gave his speech. She had already checked her phone twice in the last minute. Is this thing working? She sighed and tried to listen to the speech.
That’s the kid who got the best grade? Hope he’s not in the same class as Taiyou-kun. He looks so stuck up he’ll probably complain when I go to the class talk to Taiyou-kun. I don’t wanna anyone getting in the way of me and Taiyou-kun this year. We’re finally in the same school, she thought, and couldn’t stop smiling at the idea.
“Finally,” Tsukiko said when the ceremony was over. “I thought it’d never end.”
Hikari laughed. “That coming from the vice president of the student council seems somewhat wrong.”
“Me being on the student council has nothing to do with it. Long is long. I bet even our princess would agree.” Tsukiko massaged her neck.
“Yeah, even if she doesn’t, I agree in her place. That representative’s speech was too boring. I pity your boyfriend,” Hana said, stretching her arms.
“Why…?” Hana looked in disbelief at her friend.
“Tsukiko-chan, did you see Taiyou-kun’ class?” Hiraki asked in her timid voice.
“Yeah, of course.” Tsukiko smiled. “Class D, the closest to the stairs. So what?”
“I bet you didn’t even glance at the rest of his class when you found his name.” Hana sighed. “The representative is in the same class as Taiyou-kun.”
“For real?” Tsukiko winced. Just the thought of seeing that stuck up face whenever she went to talk to her boyfriend made the girl dejected.
“I’ll bet you don’t even know Mitobe-kun is in the same class too.”
“He is?” Tsukiko’s face beamed with a smile. “That’s great. I was worried that he might not fit in that fast since he pretty much knows one here except us. It’s so lucky he got in the same class as his friend from middle school.”
“Yeah, so lucky.” Hana snorted and let out all her sarcasm. “It’s obvious Dan-sensei pulled some strings.”
The three girls joined the other students and moved along the chairs, waiting their turn to get out of the gym. When they were outside, Tsukiko quickly walked to the first years, looking for the familiar face. The moment she found him, she ran towards the boy.
“Taiyou-kun!” Tsukiko screamed as she jumped on his back, wrapping her arms around him. “I finally caught you.”
“Tsukiko,” the boy said in a low voice, his face already red as he glanced around. “Everyone’s looking at us.”
“I don’t care. You ran away from me this morning. The embarrassment is your punishment.” Tsukiko had a huge smile as she put more strength into her hug. The more her boyfriend blushed, the happier she became. “As much as I’d like to keep doing this, let me see how you look in our uniform.”
The girl let him go and walked around him to evaluate, nodding and humming in approval. The boy blushed even more, but kept quiet. All Taiyou-kun did was stare at the ground as Tsukiko smiled.
“You look so good,” she said, pulling her phone out of the pocket of her skirt. She took many photos until she was satisfied. “Don’t know why you kept refusing all summer my request to wear it.”
“Because I knew you’d do this,” Taiyou-kun answered in his low voice.
“Yeah, well, I’m only doing this ‘cause you refused. So, in truth, me doing all this is actually your fault.” She walked around him to take more pictures from every angle. “Besides, I’m not doing this just for me. Rin-nee asked me.”
The boy groaned and ran a hand over his face. “I knew my aunt had something to do with this…”
“Shigure-nee asked the same thing,” Tsukiko said with a sly smile.
“Mom too?” Taiyou-kun dropped his shoulders.
“Yes. In fact, her words were ‘if my son refuses to wear his high school uniform before me, some punishment is required’,” Tsukiko said, trembling slightly. “There’s no way I can refuse your mom. Especially when she uses her deadly smile plus tone.”
“Why all the women around me wanna embarrass me?” he asked, more to himself than to his girlfriend.
“You know very well why,” Tsukiko said in a serious voice. Then she beamed. “‘cause you’re too cute when embarrassed.”
Despite blushing, Tsukiko saw her boyfriend’s smile. She walked to stand next to him.
“I don’t like this…”
She used her hand to compare their heights. “I’ve always been taller than you, but this spring you grew too much! I don’t like this.”
Taiyou-kun checked for himself. “We’re the same height…”
“Yeah, well, I don’t like it,” she repeated, puffing. “I liked then I could jump on your back and rest my head on top of yours. I loved walking around like that”
“You know that’s really embarrassing,” Taiyou-kun said, but Tsukiko turned her face away. With a sigh, he leaned closer. “You can still do that…”
“You’re the best boyfriend ever!” Tsukiko beamed and kissed him on the cheek. “Come, let’s take a photo of this moment.”
The girl raised her hand to take a photo from a high angle. She fixed her hair and when was about to press the button, Taiyou-kun pulled her sleeve. She turned to him and he kissed her. Tsukiko’s face became an alarming shade of red and she pressed the button.
“Way to go, Taiyou-kun,” Hana screamed and whistled. “Make that girl embarrassed for me too.”
“Whose side are you on?” Tsukiko complained, trying to take the attention away from her.
“His. I thought I had made it clear,” Hana said as if it were obvious. “Payback for embarrassing us at the ceremony. Right, Hikari?”
Hikari smiled and scratched her cheek. “It looked cute, Tsukiko-chan…”
“I don’t need pity!” Tsukiko screamed, getting some laughs from the onlookers.
The girl looked around. She hadn’t noticed, but at some point they had attracted a crowd of both parents and students. Pretending she saw no one, she mustered all the dignity she could and turned to her phone, checking the last photo. The Tsukiko in the screen looked just as red as Taiyou-kun. She couldn’t stop smiling as she chose it as the new background. He looks so cute, she thought.
“Tsukiko-senpai. Good morning,” a boy in glasses greeted her in a nervous voice.
“Morning, Mitobe-kun. It’s been a while,” she greeted the boy back with energy. “I saw that you two are in the same class again. Please, keep taking care of my timid boyfriend.” She bowed, pretending to be all respectful.
As she thought, Taiyou-kun got red. Payback for embarrassing me, Tsukiko thought, smiling. But thanks for the great background.
“Hey, Hana, Hikari, Mitobe-kun. Let’s take a photo all of us,” Tsukiko proposed.
The two girls and the two boys stood together as Tsukiko asked an acquaintance to take the photo. She ran to the middle and stood next to Taiyou-kun. As they got ready, the boy leaned closer to the girl’s ear.
“I love you,” he whispered.
The girl went a wild shade of red. “I’m the one who’s supposed to embarrass you…” she mumbled. But despite her words, she couldn’t stop smiling.