*This was the beginning of a larger story that I had wanted to do. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the motivation to continue it at the time and now it’s been too long to pick up where I left off.
This is definitely not a love story!
It was inside a storage shed behind the school. With the golden light from the afternoon sun streaming in through dusty windows, my body was half-covered in shadow.
“Ufufu…you’ve been a naughty boy, haven’t you, Shisho.”
I, Kakogawa Shisho, was currently sitting inside this storage shed, in a cleared space that was large enough for a person to lie in. And in front of me, the high school girl that had just spoken in a soft, almost seductive voice, Yubiwa Mui, took measured steps towards me.
“Even though you already have someone you like…to look at me with those kind of eyes…”
I clenched my eyes shut and cursed myself. I couldn’t deny it. A moment of weakness had seized me. Even though my heart belonged only to Tsukuba-san, the kind and gentle class representative that I had harbored feelings for since the beginning of the year—
Even though it was only for a split-second—
With half-closed eyes, you could even say that it had been a figment of my imagination—
But the fact remained that my mind had wandered to Yubiwa Mui. That, for that single ripple in time, my heart had beat for this girl in front of me.
“Well, I don’t particularly dislike that side of you…but surely this is something you’ll have to take responsibility for, right~?”
“I-It wasn’t even a second! It was an afterthought! Yeah! It was just the shadow of a real thought, so you can’t say—”
“Ah? What was that? Are you making excuses, Shisho? Even though you were the one that agreed to this in the first place.”
“That’s right. You and I made a promise to each other on that day. But don’t think that this is happening just because of a promise. The real reason is because you faltered. You swayed, like the idiot you are.”
“I get it already…so just hurry up and do it then!”
I felt the tip of her shoes push on my thigh. As much as my body wanted to resist, I forced my legs apart and spread them.
“That’s right, Shisho…just give up and accept it. This is the result of your feelings for me~”
The door had already been locked shut. It was after school hours, so it was doubtful that anyone would come and interrupt us. Even if I had tried to escape, it would’ve been impossible.
She was right. I had no choice to but to accept my fate. To an outsider, it might sound like I’m giving up too easily. That perhaps, I actually wanted this to happen. But don’t misunderstand. It was just because I had run out of options. It was a logical decision on my part, a utilitarian sort of process. It was better for me to give up than to continue a useless struggle.
So I spread my legs. I leaned my weight back, giving her full access to my lower regions—
Slap slap slap.
Hold on a second…
“W-Wait a second! W…WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!?”
“Ah? Isn’t it obvious? It’s a skipjack tuna.”
“W-WHAT!? Cut the crap, GET THAT AWAY FROM ME!”
I could hear the high-pitched strings of a horror movie soundtrack in my head. My vision zoomed in and out, taking in the horrible monstrosity that had suddenly appeared before me—
It wiggled. It flopped in her arms. That wide body, so smooth that it was almost slimy. Those barren eyes, completely still even as its body thrashed up and around, as if it was struggling for air.
My legs scissored together in an instant. I stood up so quickly that I tripped over my own feet, stumbling backwards into the cage of volleyballs.
“Don’t come here! This isn’t what we agreed on!”
“What are you talking about, Shisho? This is clearly the punishment game that I decided on after consulting you. It’s even set up so that you have a chance to get out of it. I throw this tuna at your crotch and you try to stop it before it hits you.”
“You know perfectly well that you use a basketball for that punishment game! No one uses a damn tuna!”
“Well, if it was just a ball, then you’d probably catch it. I’m just a frail, delicate girl, so a guy like you wouldn’t have a hard time with my throwing power~”
“What part of you is frail or delicate!? Where did you even get that tuna from!?”
“Ah, I was keeping it in this container here—”
“PUT IT BACK! PUT IT BACK AND DO THIS PROPERLY!”
“Jeez…don’t be such a spoilsport, Shisho. Now, get back down on the ground. It’s not going to flop much if you keep stalling.”
“THAT’S BETTER! KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME!”
I was shouting now. I was up on the cage of volleyballs like a startled cat. I didn’t even care if people outside could hear me.
It was a fish. It was a damn disgusting, blood-curdling fish! And a tuna! A FUCKING GIANT TUNA!
Mui looked at me with disdainful eyes.
“…Aren’t you being a little overdramatic?”
“Don’t screw with me! You know I can’t handle fish! You knew that, so you deliberately chose that mon…uuu…”
I trailed off and shrank back as the tuna continued to flop in her arms. What was this…why was I in this nightmare? What kind of crime had I committed?
Was it because I betrayed Tsukuba-san? Was this divine judgement for my moment of weakness? Too much…wasn’t this too much for something like that!?
“If you’re not going to cooperate, then I’m just going to throw this at you.”
“You wouldn’t dare! No…you would! You definitely would!”
“Aauuuh…please don’t, Mui. I’m begging you!”
“Ehhh~ don’t be like that, Shisho. Isn’t this a good time for you to come to grips with your fear? Now come on, take this fish in the crotch and leave that painful part of your wimpy self behind~”
“MY LIFE IS PERFECTLY FINE WITHOUT HAVING TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!”
The tuna seemed to jolt as Mui’s fingers squeezed it roughly.
“Ah? Hey, Shisho. Do you know how much I spent on this tuna? It was 5000 yen, you know? And I had to buy the container for it too and fill it with the right kind of water. I even came here early in the morning to hide it. Ah~ it was such a pain. And it’s your fault too, you know that? You better pay me back for this with interest! Yakiniku! A full serving of yakiniku!”
“What is this, a shakedown!?”
I had to escape. Even if I had said earlier that it was impossible to escape, that had been then and this was now! Like hell I was going to die here! I had a bright future still ahead of me! Even if I had betrayed Tsukuba-san, I was sure that she’d forgive me if I was earnest! That’s right…a tunaless future with Tsukuba-san…that kind of thing was my dream.
Yeah. I can’t stop here. I can’t be held down by some base animal that doesn’t even have arms or legs! No…I’ll overcome this. Who did she think she was dealing with? This Kakokawa Shisho was not someone that’d just lie there and wait for his life to e—
The tuna flew at me. It pounced at me like a ravenous tiger! I couldn’t move. My primal instincts had taken over. I had to keep this thing within my sight. As disgusting as it was, as horrific as it was, it was worse to not look at it! Who knew what it would do if I turned away! It could flank my side and ambush me from behind! It could flop into the air like a crippled bird and bombard me!
“That’s right…IF IT’S COME TO THIS, THEN I’LL FACE YOU HEAD O—”
The tuna slapped onto my face. It flopped against me and then slid down onto the volleyballs. It continued to wriggle in between my feet as I stood frozen on top of the cage.
A brave warrior that had faced certain death. That was me, Kakogawa Shisho. I had been reborn into a legendary figure.
Twenty minutes later, I was being carried to the infirmary in a stretcher.
“Say, Kakogawa-kun…? You’re always with Yubiwa-san, aren’t you?”
“That’s not…wrong. But don’t misunderstand, Tsukuba-san. Mui and I definitely don’t have that kind of relationship! Definitely! Like I’d need to leave the country if anyone thought that!”
“Ahaha…I see. But you know, Yubiwa-san is pretty popular in class. I always wanted to get to know her more, but I wondered if I’d be bothering her…”
“Please don’t feel like that, Tsukuba-san. Mui definitely isn’t worth being considerate for. In fact, she doesn’t even know what that word means. I actually think it’s better if you don’t interact with her. She’d be a bad influence for someone like you, Tsukuba-san.”
“You sound like you know Yubiwa-san very well…”
“We’ve known each other for a while. That’s why I know that she’s no-good as a girl.”
“You’ve never looked at her romantically, Kakogawa-kun?”
“NEVER. To me, she isn’t even a human being! More like one of those annoying cats that always scratch you even if you’re nice to them. Ah, but that doesn’t mean I think she’s a bad person. It’s true that I don’t really approve of her, but I guess she has her good points.”
“Well…various things. I can’t really explain well…”
“Are you sure you don’t have feelings for her, Kakogawa-kun?”
“N-No way! Y-You are more of my type Ts-”
“Ah…no. Never mind. In any case, Mui is not a bad person. But I don’t think that you should get close to her.”
“I see. Okay, I’ll keep that in mind. Sorry that you always have to listen to me about these trivial things, Kakogawa-kun…”
“N-No! Don’t worry about it. In fact, I’m happy that you consult me, Tsukuba-san.”
“I see. Thank you for saying that. Ah…I need to turn these forms in before lunch is over. Sorry, Kakogawa-kun, but I’ll talk to you later.”
She gave me a warm smile before leaving with the forms. For some reason, my appetite felt completely satiated and I ended up poking at my rolled eggs and rice with a fluffy expression on my face.
“Ho…so that’s the much-talked about Tsukuba-san, hm?”
“Mui, huh…? What do you want? I thought we agreed that we wouldn’t talk with each other in class.”
“That’s true. But I couldn’t help overhearing some of your conversation…”
“Damn eavesdropper…but I guess that’s fine. You want to say something about how much progress I’ve made with Tsukuba-san? We’re even at the stage where we eat lunch together on a daily basis!”
“Yeah, yeah. Sounds like you two are really getting along~”
“You think so too, huh!? Really, you can be pretty perceptive sometimes, Mui. Yep, I think it’s going very smoothly. Actually, I’ve been considering whether or not it’s a good time to confess now, but I think that might be a bit hasty. We’re only first-years in high school after all, it’s not like we can’t take things slow. Besides, Tsukuba-san is really busy with her class representative work right now. Ah, but maybe that’s a chance for me…I could just sort of squeeze in that I’d be available to help her out and then we could spend even more time tog—”
“Hey, Shisho. You told Tsukuba-san that I have some good points too, right? Your face changed when you said that.”
A rock. My entire body turned into brittle stone.
“Hmm? No way, right? I must be reading too much into it, right? But…no, no. Even you wouldn’t be that sentimental, right Shisho? Such as when you’re talking with the girl you like and you think about a girl that you hate, but then realize that she’s not so bad after all. Ahh…you know, it does sound like maybe it’d make your heart go kyuun~ for a second. But no, no. I must be mistaken.”
Cracks were appearing. Sweat was pouring down my face.
No way…right? No way…
“Ah, by the way. I took a picture of your face at that moment. What do you think?”
“You…I can’t believe you!”
But there it was. Indisputable proof. There, in that picture of me talking with Tsukuba-san—
A blush. The faintest hint of crimson on my face.
I had let down my guard.
“D-Damn it…that’s so petty!!”
“But a promise is a promise, right Shisho? You remember our agreement, right Shisho?”
A wicked smile. She was a demon in clothing.
That was right…
I had made an agreement with Yubiwa Mui.
A pact that we had made to accomplish a certain goal—
To never fall in love with each other.