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First of all, let me clear up any misunderstandings, because this is absolutely not a reward.
The scene is a library room after school hours. Orange sunlight filtered in from the side, bouncing off the desk and bookshelves in the room. A cold breeze blew through the small opening in the window, casting a slight chill in the spring dusk.
It was a quiet place. A nice place.
Currently, It was not the exam period, so there were very few people who came and went. For an introverted student like me, there was no better environment than this to rest my tired soul while studying… Yet…
“I mean, isn’t it funny? A bookworm could surprisingly be such a nice person, (laugh)”
The flashy blonde girl sitting in the chair next to me was Tachibana Karen. From the same class, she’s a…how do I put it? She’s that…a gyaru.
This was not a great introduction, and it was troubling that this was all I could say. Besides, we only recently started talking so I barely knew anything about her apart from her appearance.
“The fact that you’re actually a kind person who helps me with homework, I should spread this in class. Right, bookworm?”
“…Tsk. Stop saying pointless things. Pay attention and learn how to solve this quickly because I want to continue with my own homework.”
“Okay okay, I get it ♪”
Even though she said she understood, it seemed like she had no intention of stopping.
“Fu~, I’m tired,” she said, leaning against the backrest as she fanned her neck with her hand. Undoing one or two buttons on her shirt, her chest was exposed just a little.
Although it was said to be poisonous to study alone with a female, this loud girl next to me was just… This was the library, and it should be a quiet place of serenity. Yet being together like this, with this atmosphere and mood… Somehow, I felt a little frustrated.
The old days were better. Everything changed just one week ago. Sitting in this very chair, someone had poked my shoulder from behind.
“Ehehe… We’re in the same class… right?”
Looking at me was a sweet face with a cute smile.
Of course I knew we were in the same class. Even if she didn’t say her name, I knew she was Tachibana Karen. Actually, speaking of this, everyone knew her name and face. It was probably common knowledge in our grade.
Even though she had simply called out to me, I immediately felt nervous. My shoulder shook slightly where her hand had pushed me. I still remember feeling overwhelmed.
Exactly what reason was there for Tachibana Karen to talk to the air sitting in the corner of the class? Feeling even more nervous, I asked,
“W-what is it…?”
“This… This problem… I don’t get it at all… Teach me?”
Needless to say, various questions ran around in my head. You were studying? Why did you bother coming all the way to the library to ask me?
So in truth, her looks made it reasonable for her to be a celebrity within the school, which further complicated the situation. There were a lot of things about her that were cute, however, in the case of girls like her, they were often very eye-catching or flashy. Her features were good, yet her hair had been bleached a bright blonde. If you included her unkempt uniform, she was basically a “walking violation of the school dress code”. Adding to all this, she wore perfume so there was a nice smell surrounding her.
In other words, for a loner like me who was known as “walking air”, she was the type of person I found the hardest to deal with. If I passed her in the hallway, my crisis detection sensor would be activated even before I saw her, and I could never look her in the eyes. Even when our eyes meet now, I would immediately turn away.
Well, she was cute. So what could I do?
Without thinking over this at all, she constantly came to tease me. Originally, this was meant to be my personal self-study session after school. I hate myself for agreeing to take care of one thing after another when asked to do so. See… even after a week now,
“Look, I’ll write it down here in brackets. With this, you can factor it.”
“Ehh, there’s no way I would notice that.”
“As if I care… just be aware of it. Anyway, you’re too close. You can see everything even if you’re a little further away.”
“What’s with the “fu~n”, what “fu~n”?! Enough already so move away a bit, you’re distracting me…”
Tachibana grinned happily. Simply put, it seemed like her eyes were laughing at a fool…and she was looking at me. In fact, she leaned against my arm with an “ei” instead of moving away, startling me.
“Hahahaha… You’re reaction is too funny. Behaving so strangely, don’t tell me you’re actually a virgin?”
“If you say this again, I’ll start calling you a b*tch…”
That’s right, this was the girl called Tachibana Karen. Among the guys in our class, she had the widespread reputation of a “b*tch” who would eat up any guy she took interest in. It must be quite well-known since even a loner like me knew of it.
There was a rumour that she was walking around the red light district with a handsome guy who looked like a host. Another rumour was that she was talking to a rich middle-aged man in the backseat of a luxury car. Well, these rumours were all unfounded, though it was only fair to label her that for calling me a virgin.
However, Tachibana…she did not seem to dislike being called that. Rather, she put her hand on her chin thoughtfully.
“I don’t mind, you can call me a b*tch. But you know…”
At this, she smirked devilishly and said,
“If we called each other names like this, wouldn’t people think we’re good friends…?”
“Don’t be so shy. You’re blushing too much. Look.”
“Stop it… Don’t poke! And I’m not being shy. First of all, we don’t get along well.”
Tachibana laughed until she was out of breath. What is this… Does she intend to study or does she just want to make a fool out of me? Be clear about it.
I could not even use the “this is the library so be quiet” card in this case. The reason for this was that there was no one else here right now. Usually, there would be a lady at the reception desk, however, she often left her seat to go for a smoke break. In other words, there was just the two of us in this dusty room at the moment.
“Ah~, too funny. This might become a habit, hahaha…”
There was no way she was good at studying. This was the kind of impression she gave. In the first place, what did she even find so funny? I could not understand her…
Still though, it was strange that she managed to remember what I taught her the next day. Just why are you studying…? I wanted to ask this, though decided not to. If I did so, it would seem like I was concerned about her. She only thought of me as a toy. Either way, she would be bored of me soon. Thinking like this, I dropped the topic.
“Haa… That was a good laugh. Then, please continue?”
I will say it again, this is absolutely not a reward. If anything it was a disaster, a test, no, it was a divine punishment.
It was probably because I skipped out on all the preparations for the school festival last year and it angered the God of Youth. No, it was likely to be more than just that. From the start, I was a great sinner to be a loner in the world of youth. It would not be strange for a punishment to fall upon me at some stage.
The lonely me who was a disliked bookworm.
The flashy, cheerful girl who was always the centre of attention in class.
This was the story of a guy in the background and a gorgeous girl.