"Another beautiful day outside," I remarked, gazing out of my classroom window at the falling leaves, a sure sign that autumn was upon us.
"Chizuki, let's go. The bell rang a while ago," Ayumi, my first friend ever, reminded me. We had met two years ago when I first came to senior high school.
"Alright, let's head to the cafeteria," I said as Ayumi and I made our way there.
As we approached the cafeteria, we couldn't help but notice how crowded it was already.
"That's why I told you to hurry; you're so slow," Ayumi complained.
"Carry me to the cafeteria next time then," I replied as we quickly got in line.
"You better not regret saying that later."
"Where are we going to sit now? Are all the tables taken?" I asked Ayumi as we looked for an available table.
"Oh, I found some seats for us!" Ayumi exclaimed and darted to a table. I sighed and followed her.
"We're not sitting here."
"Why don't you just sit already? Lunch break is going to end soon," Ayumi said as she sat down and made herself comfortable.
"Let's just eat and leave quickly." I quickly took the seat next to Ayumi knowing how stubborn she is.
"Eito, do you want some of mine too?"
"Eito, you can have mine too."
That's why I didn't want to sit here. This was the table where the popular students of the school sat, including Eito, the guy I'd had a crush on for the past year.
"Hey, Jun, that was for Eito!"
"He doesn't mind if I take it."
I had to give it to these girls for talking to Eito and Jun, his best friend, so formally.
"Stop staring at him. I know you like him, but he'll find it creepy if you keep staring like that," Ayumi whispered to me.
"Okay, just focus on eating," I replied, moving my gaze from Eito.
There's always that one popular and handsome guy in school who's basically everyone's crush, and right now, Eito and Jun were the seniors currently at the top of the popularity hierarchy in our school.
While Ayumi was popular in our class, with her short blonde hair, expressive eyes, and defined facial structure contributing to her boyish look, making her quite attractive and receiving confessions every other day, I was basically a ghost at school, known only to Ayumi. I couldn't imagine being that popular.
I believed I was better looking than Eito or Jun, but I lacked the social skills to be popular. Moreover, I didn't want to confess to Eito because I could only imagine the awkwardness if he were to reject me, which he probably would. It was easier to pretend I never confessed and leave high school with only fond memories of Eito.
But sometimes, I wondered if I'd regret it later. Well, that's a problem for future me, not mine.
"Bye, Chizuki. See you tomorrow," Ayumi said as she headed off to her dorm room, which was far from mine.
I hated walking back to my dorm alone. I had no idea why my dorm building was so far from the others, but I atleast got the room all to myself.
The door opened with a creak.
"My peaceful room, with no one else to bother me, I'm back."
I just wanted to plop onto my bed and go to sleep, but I still had homework to finish, and I knew if I lay down right now, it'd be game over.
I took a quick shower, finished my homework, and it was almost midnight now, as always. But I had just one more thing to do for today!
I took out my secret diary from my locked drawer and opened a new page.
Today, I ate lunch with Eito for the second time, and it was just as bad as the first time. He didn't even look at me, but I kept staring like a freak. However, Jun did look at me?]
"Wait, now that I think about it, Jun was looking at me for a while. Did he notice me staring at Eito? Ahh, how embarrassing!"
*Ahem,* I cleared my throat.
"Anyways, where were we?"
Today, I ate lunch with Eito for the second time, and it was just as bad as the first time. He didn't even look at me, but I kept staring like a freak. I also saw Eito playing soccer today, and he looked just as beautiful as he always is.
"I think that's enough for today. There was nothing interesting going on today."
I put the diary back into my drawer and locked it.
"Finally, time to sleep!"
I got up from my desk, got into my soft bed, and as soon as my eyes closed, I fell asleep.
3 am in the morning,
Chizuki got up from the bed and headed to the bathroom.
Chizuki came out, went to sit at the desk, and proceeded to open the locked drawer to read the diary.
After reading the diary, Chizuki got back into bed and went to sleep.
I really didn't want to get up, but as always, I did get up and turn off my alarm.
I was just as tired as I was before I fell asleep. Well, nothing's new. I should be thankful that I didn't feel any body aches like I randomly did on some days when I woke up.
"Why is my diary out of the drawer? I swear I put it back, though. Am I hallucinating again?"
I put my diary back and got ready for school.
It is getting kind of chilly in the morning. I should have brought my hoodie with me.
"Eww, do that somewhere else."
I turned to see who was the source of this unexpected comment first thing in the morning, and it was Eito.
"Are you talking to me?" I pointed a finger at myself, seeking clarification.
"Yes, who else do you see here? You should check your eyes; you might need glasses," Eito replied, annoyed.
I could hear the sound of my heart cracking. Why was Eito being so mean to me? All I did was sneeze!
"Why are you even walking with me? I know we go to the same school, but why are you coming to school from the girls dorm's side?"
"Mind your own business. I was being nice enough to walk with you so you wouldn't have to walk all alone looking pathetic." Eito's response seemed defensive.
"I actually like walking alone better. Also, Akiyama-kun, you should be careful. I might just reveal this side of you to the whole school."
"Yeah right, like anyone will believe you," Eito smirked.
I hated to admit it, but Eito just looked so hot while smirking.
"Don't get so close, and walk away from me." I put some safe distance between us.
"Why do I scare you or something?" Eito closed the distance between us.
Why is he doing this to me? I am not his strongest soldier.
"Now you're quiet, like you really are scared of me. Also, why were you staring at Jun yesterday?" Eito pressed for answers.
Did he see me staring at him? But how? I was looking at him the entire time. Was it when I looked at Jun when he was looking at me? He thought I was staring at Jun because of that?
"Why do you care if I look at him?" By asking this, I was indirectly admitting that I was indeed staring at Jun.
"He's my best friend, so don't stare at him. He will reject you without a second thought, even if you confess to him." Eito was protective of his best friend.
"Just because I was doesn't mean I like him, okay?"
"Chizuki, you're so slow! I was waiting for 5 whole minutes at the gate for you!" Ayumi exclaimed as soon as she saw me.
Eito went inside the gate, ignoring us.
"What was that? Did you walk with Akiyama to the school? What's going on between you two?" Ayumi shouted, clearly surprised and concerned.
Everyone passing by turned to look at us, drawn by Ayumi's loud exclamation.
"Keep your voice down Ayumi. There's nothing going on. He was just walking on the same path as me. Plus, he was so mean to me when I sneezed," I whispered-complained to Ayumi.
"I already told you he was a jerk, but you didn't believe me. Serves you right," Ayumi responded in a hushed tone.
"But why do you look so angry right now?" I asked Ayumi, noticing her expression.
"Oh, I'm just going after Akiyama to talk with him," Ayumi explained her impure intentions.
"Don't you dare go talk to him about this. It's already embarrassing enough," I held Ayumi back from going after Eito, trying to avoid further embarrassment.
"Whoa, what did Eito do to make you this angry, Ayumi-chan?" Jun nearby expressed curiosity about the situation.
"And who are you?" Ayumi asked Jun.
"How do you not know him? He's always with Akiyama-kun," I asked because how exactly did she not see him all this time.
"I'm hurt, Ayumi-chan. You know Eito, but you don't know who I am?" Jun said dramatically, feigning offense.
"I really don't care, but if you're going to see Akiyama, tell him to hide, or he'll be losing his precious silver hair," Ayumi retorted, clearly not in the mood for drama.
"Did he really do something to you, Ayumi-chan?" Jun asked, concerned.
"It's nothing, Shimizu-kun. Don't worry about it," I signaled for Jun to leave, wanting to put an end to the discussion.
"Okay, I'll ask Eito about it," Jun rushed inside, likely to talk to Eito about the situation.
"Now, Ayumi, take deep breaths. We have to go into class; the bell is about to ring."
"Okay, fine, let go of me. I'll go talk to him at lunchtime," Ayumi agreed, seeming resolved to address the issue later.
At least I had some time before that. I'd try to convince her not to talk to Eito.
Where did the time go? It was lunchtime, and I hadn't even tried to convince Ayumi.
"Ayumi, let's not do this, please," I beg her.
"After everything he said to you, you want me to just forget about it?"
I shouldn't have told her everything. It's all my fault.
"But it will only worsen my situation with Eito, Ayumi."
"Forget about that jerk. He's not even worth being your crush."
Well, here goes everything out the window. I couldn't save Eito anymore, or myself from what was about to happen. I knew Ayumi well enough to know how stubborn she was, even more than me. There was no hope; I'd just have to prepare myself for it mentally.
Ayumi dragged me along with her to the table where Eito and Jun were sitting. The confrontation seemed imminent.
I want to go home.
"Hey Akiyama, you jerk, apologize right now," Ayumi got straight to the point.
Everyone was staring at us at this point, obviously looking for the scorching tea.
"And why would I?" Eito stood up from his seat, his tone defiant. The tension in the air escalated.
"Just get it over with, man," Jun also stood up, seemingly urging Eito to address the situation.
"You don't even know what happened. Why are you taking their side?" Eito questioned Jun, his frustration evident.
The tension between the four of us continued to rise.
"Something clearly happened, and you won't even tell me about it," Jun responded, expressing his curiosity and concern.
"Nothing happened. I just happened to find Chizuki when I was walking to school," Eito explained, trying to downplay the situation.
"Why are you lying, then? You were basically sticking with her like gum and bullying her for sneezing when you're the one who came close to her," Ayumi blasted out, her frustration and anger clear for everyone to see.
Eito's face got flushed from embarrassment, and I couldn't help but notice how cute he looked. Something was clearly wrong with me.
In the bustling city of Kyoto, Chizuki, a diligent high school student on a scholarship, seems to lead an unremarkable life, consumed by the demands of her rigorous studies. Yet, beneath the surface of her mundane routine lies a profound secret that has haunted her since childhood. Every morning, Chizuki awakens to discover inexplicable injuries on her body, wounds that seemingly materialize out of thin air. Desperate for answers, she has sought the help of therapists and doctors, but their efforts have been in vain.
As the years pass, Chizuki resigns herself to this baffling mystery, and the unexplained injuries gradually fade away. However, just when she begins to believe that her life might return to normal, an ominous twist occurs. One fateful morning, Chizuki awakens to find herself injured once more. To make matters worse, this time, a series of events that defy all reason and logic, far more bewildering and sinister than any before start to unfold.
Is Chizuki experiencing delusions, or could there be a genuine issue affecting her?