Author: Eri Rein to Ero-sama PM
Kuromi Karasawa, a popular girl at their school, is having a problem about guys who always tries to hit on her which gives her a terrible school life. One day, she accidentally hid inside the Photography Club in which all of the members are boys. She was offered to join their club and in exchange, they will give full protection for her against the guys hitting on her.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 15 - Words: 66,725 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 05-13-13 - Published: 09-22-12 - id: 3060180
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 11: Broken Strings
"Hayashi-san?!" Kuromi exclaimed, not expecting to see Tsugumi in the church and moreover, she's with Haruto, who was holding her hand.
"Akamatsu?!" Shigeru and Tomoki shouted, surprised by his sudden appearance.
"So this is Hayashi Tsugumi that Makoto-kun liked?" Arisa asked, pointing her finger to Tsugumi. She then pointed to Haruto, "And, this guy is Akamatsu Haruto?"
Tsugumi and Haruto didn't respond and remain quiet all this time. Tsugumi was getting anxious while Haruto was just looking at them like seeing these people was nothing to him.
W-what's the meaning of this? Why are they holding hands? Are they going out or something? No way! What about Makoto-kun? Kuromi thought, getting worried about the current scenario. She tried to change the topic, "Uhh….ahhh haha! Why hello there Hayashi-san! We didn't expect to see you here! Ahaha!" She was slightly nervous as she opened the conversation. Her voice was also shaking in anxiety.
"Y-yeah….," that was what Tsugumi can only say. She frowned then looked at the ground. She was sad. There's something going on here and the members of the photography club can see it. Makoto remained standing still, just staring at Tsugumi and Haruto.
Kuromi continued the flow of conversation, still nervous, "Uhhh…aahh…so you're also here for t-the mass, right? Ahaha! Do you live here H-Hayashi-san? A-and…..you're Akamatsu Haruto perhaps? Uhhh…nice to meet you! Ahaha! I'm Karasawa Kuromi, a friend of Makoto-kun. D-Do you happen to be going out or something?" this is getting bad. Kuromi tried her best to make this a normal conversation to remove the awkward atmosphere, but it doesn't seem to be effective. Shigeru, Tomoki and Arisa were just silent and worriedly looking at the still frozen Makoto. Kuromi looked at the people around her. She's getting more anxious the more she looked at them. I-I CAN'T HANDLE THIS KIND OF SITUATION!
"U-uhhh…" Kuromi tried to say more, but she was then halted by Makoto, "That's enough Kuromi."
Kuromi wasn't able to talk anymore. She just turned around to face Makoto with a worried look on her face. Makoto then walked towards Tsugumi and Haruto then faced the two of them.
"Answer my question honestly," Makoto said in a very serious tone, "Did the two of you went here together or just happened to meet each other?"
Tsugumi didn't answer quickly. Rather, she don't know what to say. But Haruto was different. He quickly answered Makoto while he glared at him, "We went here together. I went to her house to meet his parents," Makoto, as well as the rest of the photography club members that were present, was shocked by the answer of the guy, but what stunned Makoto the most were the last words of Haruto.
"That's because I'm courting her and was asking for her hand," those were the final words of Haruto that froze and shook Makoto's mind and heart. His hopes, plans and efforts were slowly crumbling after hearing those words from the guy who once told him that he wasn't hitting on the girl he likes. He felt betrayed. He felt pissed and disappointed. His mind was blank. Unable to think clearly, Makoto suddenly ran away from them. Kuromi and the others tried to catch him, but Makoto was too fast. Haruto just looked at him, still having that glare, while Tsugumi was just frowning.
"Let's go now, Tsugumi," Haruto told Tsugumi in which the girl quickly followed, "Yes."
Kuromi, Arisa, Shigeru and Tomoki were left outside the church speechless.
From afar, Mitsuki was seated in a bench while eating a donut. She was watching the scenario all this time. She then grinned after seeing what happened.
"Ohhh….interesting. Looks like we're going to be active again. Fufu…."
Weekend ended and it's Monday again; a new week for the students of Redpine. None of the students from class 4-B knew about what happened last Saturday or so they thought. Shigeru and Tomoki remained quiet about it. They shut their mouths for the whole duration of the class about what they witnessed. After hours of different classes, the bell rang, signaling the end of classes and start of lunch break. Just when Shigeru and Tomoki started walking out of their room, they suddenly heard murmurs from their classmates.
"Hey….did you know?"
"I heard Hayashi and Akamatsu were seen dating last weekend."
"What? Seriously? I thought she's going out with Mashiro."
"But it wasn't confirmed if they did went out."
"Wow. I can't believe Hayashi-san swings like that."
Shigeru and Tomoki were alerted with the conversation that they heard. They didn't know that it was already known and moreover it already escalated. Shigeru and Tomoki decided to approach their classmates who were talking about it.
"Hey what's this thing you're talking about Hayashi, Akamatsu and Makoto?" Shigeru asked with a serious look at his face. His classmates were wondering as to why someone like Shigeru would ask about this.
"Shirotsuki. Why do you ask?" One of their classmates asked. Shigeru got slightly pissed.
"We overheard it from you and then we got curious since it involves one of our club members," Tomoki answered before Shigeru can blurt out some bad words, "So would you mind telling us about it?"
Their classmates gave in to Tomoki's request and told them how they heard the rumor, "The truth is, everyone's been watching the progress between the three of them ever since the Sing-To-Motivate contest ended. Some said that Hayashi was seen with Mashiro once while others said that they often see her with Akamatsu. Speculations are starting that Hayashi dates them both. Everyone's confused with this. This is quite an issue in our class."
Shigeru and Tomoki went silent after hearing it. They don't know who to be concerned with; whether they should be worrying about Makoto or Tsugumi. Then, they remembered what Haruto said when they saw them at the church. He was courting Tsugumi. That's what he told them so they actually know the truth. What worries them is the rumor that spread throughout the class. It might affect Makoto as well as Tsugumi.
After hearing what their classmates said, Shigeru and Tomoki left the classroom and went to their clubroom. While walking, they talked about what they learned so far about this issue.
"Hey Shigeru," Tomoki called on to Shigeru, "How did it end up like this?"
Shigeru turn his head a bit to look at Tomoki who was walking behind him, "I don't know. What I remember is the sweet past of Makoto and Hayashi and his promise to wait for her and then suddenly Akamatsu and Hayashi appeared before us that afternoon, holding each other's hand like they're an official couple, then Makoto ran away. I'm confused as well you know."
"Well, it's not like we can just butt in, right?" Tomoki made a fragile smile that can break soon.
Shigeru looked forward and stared blankly in the air, "Yep….but hey we can support him somehow."
"Yes, you're right. We can support Makoto. We're his friends after all, but how will Makoto fix this? Also, their performance for an orphanage was being planned already. Having this issue, they might feel awkward towards each other," Tomoki said, being anxious about the things that are happening.
Shigeru sighed, "Well, what can we do? Not like we can stop that performance," he then placed his palm to his face, "Haaa….I don't want to blame anyone, but we can't fix this unless we know everything from Hayashi herself."
"You're right," Tomoki agreed, "I do hope Makoto's not being too emotional again though."
Soon, they reached the clubroom. Shigeru opened the door and inside the club were Kuromi, Arisa and Koichi. The two girls seemed down and Shigeru knows the reason behind it while Koichi was on his usual seat, reading another book.
"Oh welcome Shigeru and Tomoki," Arisa greeted them. Her tone was quite dull.
"Haha! Sorry if we're late!" Tomoki kept his lively personality. He scratched his head as he talked.
"Where's Makoto-kun?" Kuromi suddenly asked which broke Tomoki's lively aura. Shigeru averted his eyes. Arisa frowned. Kuromi noticed this, and understands it very well, "U-uhm... I was just concern. Sorry."
Arisa shook her head, "No, no Kuromi. There's nothing for you to apologize. Everything was unexpected after all."
"Y-yeah you did your best in handling the situation so no worries! Also, Makoto was absent today," Tomoki flashed a smile to lessen the heavy atmosphere.
"Uhmm….people, don't forget that Koichi's here," Shigeru reminded them. That is when Kuromi, Arisa and Tomoki remembered that the guy in glasses was there. Koichi looked at them confused, "What? Is that something you can't discuss when I'm around? If it doesn't involve me, then just keep on talking about it. Don't mind me here."
"Wait," Arisa stood up and approached Koichi whose eyes were stuck in the book that he's reading, "Hey Koichi. You know Makoto very well right?"
Koichi suddenly stopped reading the book and looked at Arisa with a cold stare, "Well yeah. Let me guess. Something happened to him? Another issue involving him?"
"You're quite accurate," Kuromi commented.
"Shut up woman. I'm not talking to you," Koichi told Kuromi which pissed the girl, "HOW RUDE!" Kuromi then ranted around while Shigeru and Tomoki stopped her.
Koichi ignored Kuromi's rants and turned back to Arisa, "So, what happened?"
Arisa told Koichi what happened. She decided to tell him this anyway. Of all the members of the Photography Club, Koichi is the closest friend of Makoto and he's the one who invited him to the club. Arisa knows that he can trust Koichi about this, despite having the cold attitude. She knows Koichi very well.
After the whole story was told by Arisa, Koichi closed his eyes for a while then spoke, "I see. In that case, it was Makoto's fault."
"Huh? What do you mean it's his fault?" Kuromi asked. Her voice was quite loud, probably still pissed at Koichi.
"Kuromi's right! Why would you blame Makoto for that? He was just being true with his feelings!" Shigeru added, also disagreeing to Koichi.
"Shut up!" Koichi stomped the floor, making Kuromi and Shigeru quiet, "His love was real. Yes no problem about that, but did this girl promise to wait for him? Just because her parents won't allow her, but now someone's already courting her? What kind of sorcery is that? Well, the reason is the other guy fought for it unlike Makoto who just waited idly for the girl, doing nothing. If he really loves the girl, he should have fought for it no matter what it takes. Now that the girl has been on the hands of another man, he became sad. Serves him right for not doing anything."
"Hey! How dare you say that! And, I thought you're his closest friend!" Kuromi wasn't able to remain silent. She just can't take Koichi's rude attitude. She dashed towards Koichi and held the guy in his uniform's collar with her two hands. Kuromi glared furiously at Koichi while the guy just stared blankly at the angry face of the beautiful girl.
"You know what? You're almost getting on my nerve! Don't think I'll still be grateful to you because you invited me here after all the attitude you're showing to me!" Kuromi told Koichi, still having that scary glare towards the guy. Koichi was just quiet like it was nothing to him.
Arisa pulled Kuromi away from Koichi before anything happens, "Stop it Kuromi. I hate to say this, but Koichi is somehow correct. He's just that kind of person. He's really frank," Arisa tried to calm down her best friend. She held tight to Kuromi to stop her from attacking Koichi again.
Koichi stood up from his seat, scratched his head then fixed his glasses, "For the love of. I don't understand you. Getting all worked up for something that doesn't involve you. I suggest you stick your nose out of this issue and just let Makoto do his stuff. You'll just add more problems if you interfere," he said more harsh words towards Kuromi which enrage her again, but Arisa's strength overwhelmed Kuromi, immobilizing her.
"I'll be going out for a while. The atmosphere here somehow ruined my mood. I'll look for another place to read," Koichi took his book and went outside, leaving the four other members inside. After the glasses guy left the room, Arisa let go of Kuromi.
"I'm starting to hate that guy," Kuromi ranted.
"Well, that's just how Koichi is. He may be like that, but he's really a kind person. He's just probably shy," Tomoki explained though he's not sure if that convinced Kuromi.
"By the way, where do you think Koichi went?" Shigeru asked.
"He probably went off to look for Makoto," Arisa answered which surprised Kuromi, "Huh? Didn't he say that he will look for another place to read?"
Arisa winked to Kuromi, "That's just a lie. Despite what he said, he's actually concerned about Makoto's issue."
Shigeru smiled then nodded, "Yep. I'm sure that's what he's doing now. What kind of character is it? Tsundere was it? Yep something like that. That's what kind of person Koichi is."
"That's why don't be angry at him. Get to know him more first!" Tomoki added, giving a very warm smile to Kuromi. Kuromi frowned, "Well….I guess I was wrong for getting mad easily, but I don't think I can just keep quiet here! I want to do something too!"
"Of course we're doing something!" Arisa agreed, pointing her finger to Kuromi, "But for now, let's leave things to Koichi. Also, I need to do something about their performance for the orphanage. It's been idle ever since that contest ended. Now that it's ready, another problem rose involving those three."
"Hm? What problem?" Shigeru asked.
Arisa narrowed her eyes in frustration, "Well… a while ago, Akamatsu submitted a letter to the student council. It's a letter that asked for him and Hayashi to remove their participation in their performance."
Everyone was shocked after hearing what Arisa said. If Haruto and Tsugumi were to leave the performance, then Makoto would be left there all by himself.
"WHAT?! HOW DARE THEY LEAVE MAKOTO?!" Shigeru enraged. Now that he learned about this, he can't seem to calm down anymore, "I don't mind what kind of relationship they had, but at least finish what they started as a group!"
"But why? Why would they leave? That doesn't sound right? What's their reason?" Tomoki asked consecutively.
"So Arisa, did you accept their permission?" Kuromi asked.
Arisa was getting pressured by the sudden questions thrown at her so she sat down for a while and squeezed her forehead before she can get a headache, "Wait! One question at a time! I can't answer all of your questions at once! Alright!" she took a deep breath and then calmed herself, "Okay so this is what happened. They submitted a letter to me, asking for a permission to quit for that performance. They told me that it's fine to find a replacement since the show must go on no matter what happens. I was planning to reject it since it should be their responsibility, but I was surprised to see that it was already signed by the student council adviser so I wasn't able to refuse. Now that it's permitted, they won't perform anymore. Makoto will be left there all alone."
"How terrible! First, they betrayed him, now they left him alone! Damn them!" Shigeru cursed. He's really mad now.
"I feel sorry for Makoto. I wonder what's he doing now?" Tomoki said, getting worried about his friend. He rested his head on top of the table.
"So that's how it is…." Arisa scratched her head, "Ahh why does this issue gives us problems!? At any rate! I need to find replacements for them! But the performance will be done next week. Practicing the song will be quite short and I still can't find other students who are willing to participate."
While others are worrying, Kuromi can be seen grinning. She was then noticed by Arisa, Tomoki and Shigeru. They gave her a confused look, "What's wrong Kuromi? You snapped out?"
Kuromi stopped from grinning then looked at the three people staring at her. She then smiled to them, "After hearing what Arisa said, something struck my mind! If he can't find love from someone he likes, then he can find love through his friends!"
"What are you trying to say?" Arisa asked. She pondered for a while until she realized what Kuromi was up to, "Wait, don't tell me…"
"Arisa, you said you need to find replacements for Akamatsu and Hayashi, right? Then," Kuromi just grinned.
Meanwhile, Tsugumi was seen walking in the hallway all by herself. Suddenly, someone appeared in front of him.
"Tsugumi," the voice was familiar. Tsugumi knows whose voice it was. As she was called by that person, Tsugumi looked at the face of the person who called her. She was surprised to what she saw.
"M-Makoto-kun…," it was none other than Makoto. He skipped the class and the club activities today just to wait for Tsugumi.
"Can we talk?" Makoto asked, "I just want to confirm things…before I let go."
Chapter 11 up! Sorry for the two week delay! Oh well, I guess this is the shortest chapter I made so far. Everything seems to get complicated now. How will this arc progress? Just a few more chapters until everything's revealed! Again, thank you for reading!