I Quit the Going-Home Club for a Girl with a Venomous Tongue - Chapter 87
Chapter 87 – The Men’s Silence
A few days had passed since I was free from the false accusation and February had arrived.
Time flew by faster these days. Was it because I had been spending more time with my family lately? Or was it because I was getting old?
Why was it that whenever we felt joy and happiness, time always flew by in a flash, but whenever we were suffering, it crawled at a snail’s pace?
I was currently experiencing the latter’s phenomenon. Standing at the school gate, holding fliers that the journalism club released, I felt that time went by slowly. In front of me were students wearing various uniforms, walking inside the school with nervous looks on their faces while staring at the books in their hands.
Under this situation, I had to hand these fliers over to them. Exploiting their unhealthy state of mind, tricking them into thinking that I was giving them something that would help them overcome their current crisis. Of course, I felt a twinge of remorse for doing this, but alas, I had to distribute every single piece of these fliers in exchange for my freedom.
I wonder if there was a kind soul who would take all these fliers from me?
If you were wondering, yes, today was the day of our school’s entrance exam, that was the reason why I was standing here, handing over these fliers.
This was supposed to be the journalism club’s duty, but a certain girl in the student council made an unnecessary request, ‘The exam takers will be more motivated if Arina is around’, she said. That was supposed to be the extent of her request, in other words, it had nothing to do with me.
But, when I tried to make my escape, Arina pointed her pen at me and ‘persuaded’ me to do it together with her.
So, here I was, standing in front of the school gate while handing out these fliers. Like that girl from the student council said, those exam takers who passed us by were entranced by Arina. Everyone went to her side and took the fliers away from her hands, completely ignoring me who was standing at the other side of the gate.
Arina herself had a sickeningly sweet smile on her face as she handed over her fliers. Hell, she even wished them good luck in a sickeningly sweet voice. Everyone who received both things from her would occasionally turn their necks to stare at her even though they had walked quite a distance from her. I sincerely hoped that karma would befall Arina and break her neck, but it was clear that even the heavens were on her side since people kept flooding toward her.
I could only stand there, watching while being tormented by my inferiority complex.
After a while, I felt Arina’s gaze so I glanced at her. She put her hand in the air and made some kind of gesture toward me.
‘Give me some of that.’
That was probably what she was trying to say. Should I give them to her? I haven’t even handed out a third of my total fliers.
When she approached me, I handed her eighty percent of my fliers.
“Oi, that’s too many.”
“Are you being sarcastic, or is it your true feelings?”
“What are you talking about? Fine.”
She took them from me. What did she mean by too many? It wouldn’t be too much for her, it would be the right amount. Supply and demand.
Those exam takers liked the fliers that had been touched by Arina more than mine. I didn’t want to believe that the younger generations had this kind of fetish, but this phenomenon occured right in front of my eyes, being in denial would serve no purpose.
More time passed by and the numbers of exam takers who passed by dwindled. The parents who accompanied them had started to leave. That was the sign that our job was about to come to an end.
We decided to head back inside, our presence was no longer needed.
“Alright, let’s give the journalism club a report, then we go home.”
“You still haven’t finished handing over your share, you slacker. Don’t you feel ashamed?”
“You know what they said, leave the right person for the right job, I’m just not the right person for this job, it can’t be helped. I feel saddened, embarrassed and frustrated over this, but what can I do? I did my very best until the end, that’s what matters.”
“Shut up, you’ll infect me with your incompetence.”
That said, I was glad that everything was over. I was involved in writing the flier even though my contribution was a minor one and it was poorly written too. But at least, I did my best to write it. I hope that someone could gain something when they read my part.
We returned to the clubroom and reported the result to Toma. Since today was the day of the exam, no one was in the school except the sports club members. He wasn’t supposed to be here, but he felt bad for leaving everything to me and Arina.
Honestly, I wanted to complain to the student council because they took my precious day off. If they didn’t humor me, maybe I should report it to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
“We’re pretty much done, but there’s still some leftover fliers.”
“Oh! Great! How was their response?”
“Well, they didn’t have enough time to read the fliers because they were focused on the exam. Maybe they’ll read it when they get back home.”
“I see! Let’s hope that they won’t throw them in the trash bins!”
Hopefully so. If I found that someone did that, I would track them down and force them to eat only tomatoes for the rest of their life.
“Don’t worry, they won’t throw the fliers away because I’m on it.”
“Confident, aren’t you?”
“I mean, just remember the way they stared at me. If I had a spoon in my hand at that time, I would surely pluck their eyeballs out.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, but still, like Tsuru said, you are an integral part of this operation. This useless dog feels lonely now.”
“Is that so? Then, let me comfort you.”
“That’s not how you comfort someone! Put that pen down!”
* * *
Our job was finished, so we left the school together. Toma still had to report to the student council, so we went ahead without him.
I still wanted to keep our distance, but our homes were in the same direction and it would be awkward to walk too far away from each other, so we walked side by side quietly. It was noon, so I was thinking about lunch when Arina asked me a question.
“Do you want to drop by somewhere for lunch?”
Was she asking me for a date? Did she read my mind again ? Will a tornado strike this city today?
We went to the food court in the commercial district. It felt wrong to wander around wearing a uniform at this hour even though we had a legitimate reason to do so.
After passing through some relatively awkward places, ridden with valentine themed shops, we finally arrived at the food court. It was this time of the year, so this was to be expected. This made me hope that Arina would give me something for Valentine and it was hard for me to suppress the urge to ask her about it.
Fortunately, she didn’t notice anything.
“I knew it, it’s crowded at this hour.”
I ordered a hamburger and coke while Arina ordered an apple pie and coffee.
While waiting for our orders to arrive, Arina suddenly spoke up. It was unusual for her to do this.
“So, what do you think?”
Not enough information, m’lady. Would it hurt you to speak more than three seconds? Your words contained even less information than the ingredients sections in the tomato juice’s package.
“Do you think that I’ve changed?”
Yes, of course. Compared to back when we first met, her personality had considerably softened.
Just think about it, someone who used to reject everyone who approached her and opened up to no one was now sitting in a food court with a member of the opposite s*x. This girl used to have a permanent frown in her expression but, lately, her expressions changed frequently. You need to be a special kind of moron to say that she hadn’t changed.
Though, it was normal for Arina herself to not notice this, it was hard to get an objective view of yourself, after all.
“You’re like a different person.”
“Stop exaggerating things.”
“I’m not! I’ve been watching you closely for the past few months, so the changes are obvious to me. Don’t worry, the changes are for the better.”
“I see. Then, I don’t need you around anymore, do I?”
The other Arina said something similar to me back at the cultural festival. She didn’t need me anymore, she said and that she would disappear because her existence was a big nuisance to Arina.
Honestly, I didn’t know when this rehabilitation project would come to an end. The objective of the project was ambiguous in the first place, I wouldn’t be aware of its end even if I tried to keep a track of everything closely. From the beginning, I knew that this would happen. I could only use Arina’s words as a sign, if she were to say that this would be the end, then, that was it.
“Hehe… I’m kidding.”
“So that means you still need me around. Glad to hear that.”
“Don’t get carried away, sludge.”
“Yes yes… By the way, which college will you enter?”
Our conversation was cut off because our order had arrived.
The waiter dropped our order off our table and walked away. Arina took a sip of her coffee before continuing.
“Hm… I don’t know, probably a national college or something. What about you?”
“Probably a private college in Tokyo. I’ll get a scholarship, leech off a sponsor’s money and probably become ridden with debt along the way.”
“Is that so?”
“What’s with that nonchalant response? Well, I’m sure that you’ll be alright because it’s you, for me, though, I don’t even know if I can get into a decent college or not.”
“Just write your application in, I’m sure you’ll get into one of them no problem. Who knows if it’s a decent one or not, though.”
“You just had to add that last sentence, huh?”
I see… a national college, huh? I heard that they had more subjects than the private ones and you had to study seriously to graduate from there. If that were me, I would definitely get a mental breakdown. I lost a lot of my lifespan when I took the high school entrance exam and the college entrance exam would drain even more of it.
But, man, this hamburger was delicious. The king of junk food, combined with a coke, the taste was enough to make me forget about my depressing future. Unhealthy? Don’t worry, I just need to balance it with enough tomato juice at home.
“You… Do you like chocolate?”
“H-Huh? C-Czech Republic? W-W-Why are you asking me that all of a sudden? I-I’ve never gone abroad!”
“A-Ah! T-The devil’s candy is it! The main culprit of child labor! It’s the reason why they sent a lot of young children to work on cocoa–” (T/N: Reference to the case of various reported child labor and sl*very cases in the cocoa industry in West Africa and LATAM.)
“Why are you bringing that up?”
“B-But, do you know that they had it worse in the diamond industry? They even kidnapped people to turn them into sl*ves!” (T/N: Another reference to reported child labor and sl*very cases.)
“You’re going off tangent, you know? We’re talking about chocolates here.”
“Don’t you think that those countries need to take their job seriously? Money is important and all, but so does its people’s welfare! What’s the point of creating a chain of suffering for mone–”
“I’m going to stab you for real.”
Oh, c’mon, cut me some slack! You just had to bring this up during this time! You need to have delicacy, young lady! During this time of the year, every boy in the country, including me, was anxious! If you were to mention chocolate during this time of the year then the conversation would come down to whether you’ll give them chocolate or not!
Please leave me out of this talk, let’s talk about something more interesting like salted fish.
“Don’t worry, I won’t give you chocolate or anything. Sorry if that triggers your trauma.”
This girl was the embodiment of evil.
Too bad for her, I received some every year… From Ugin… Mom too, I guess… Oh yeah, Shirona too.
“Haha, too bad I get some every year!”
“From your sister and mom? Don’t bother mentioning it, that’s just sad.”
“Of course not! I’m talking about someone that isn’t my family!”
“It’s a secret.”
“It’s a sec–”
“Ah, I see… So it’s like that, huh?”
“…She said that it was obligatory chocolate for the past four years. Now that I think about it, it’s sad… I really am a sinful man…”
After knowing her feelings about me, I realized that there was a meaning behind all those chocolates, a deeper meaning than mere obligatory chocolates. That was part of the reason why I felt more anxious about it this year. Our relationship had been getting better lately, I didn’t want everything to revert back to zero because of this. I wished Valentine’s Day could just disappear.
Who was it, the guy who started the trend of giving chocolates during Valentine? I swear I’ll hunt you and make you taste hell.
Here comes the silence.
This was why a high school girl should never talk about Valentine’s Day to a high school boy. Unless they were a couple, this was a forbidden topic to touch. I should stop thinking about this.
I love hamburgers.
Coke is tasty.
This chair is great.
The guy behind me is stealing glances at Arina.
This planet is wonderful.
The universe is so majestic.
Vive la gravity!
“Here’s a good news for you. I’ll make you some.”
“Eh? EH?? Did you say Estonia?” (T/N: He made a weird a*s pun that doesn’t even make sense in Japanese)
I couldn’t keep up with this development.