Youkoso v2c1 part 2
Once it was lunchtime, everyone went off on their own to get food .
Lately, however, I’ve been thinking that going out with friends during this time is the hardest thing about school life . Take Kushida Kikyou, for example . She’s friends with a lot of girls and boys, and is immensely popular, so while she obviously gets invited in person, she also gets invited over email and phone all the time . Even though she has to refuse people at times, it looks like she has a life, going out to eat with a lot of friends .
On the other hand, people who are unpopular with girls like Ike and Yamauchi seem to always eat with a close group of boys . Sudou and Hondou are part of that group .
What I want to say is that I don’t have anywhere that I belong .
I’m friends with Kushida, and also friends with Ike and Yamauchi . Even though I would eat with them, it wasn’t very frequent . Generally, it was a relationship where the other party would approach me and ask, “Wanna eat lunch” or “Are you free after school?” .
I didn’t mind it at the start of the school year . Since it was before I made friends, it was only natural that I would be alone since there was no one else that I kenw .
But now, it was a strange phenomenon of “being alone even though I have friends” .
This phenomenon… is a really uncomfortable experience . If there was a day where we decided on groups for a school trip and I was absent, it would be really likely that I wouldn’t be invited by anyone . Do they think that I’m a low ranking friend, or is it that only I think of them as friends? I might be having a wild misunderstanding about our relationship .
Feeling restless, I looked towards Ike’s group . I’m over here, it’s fine to invite me . It was a gaze of selfishness and faint anticipation .
And then feeling bad about myself, I reminded myself that it was bad to not know when to give up and averted my gaze .
These miserable events repeat every day .
“You’re still not used to it, I see . As usual, you’re pitiful, Ayanokouji-kun . ”
My neighbor looked at me with a cold gaze .
“…You look like you’re completely used to being alone . ”
“I’m fine, thank you . ”
It was meant to be sarcastic, but she responded frankly .
Most of my classmates had already formed groups, but the number of people like her who were eating alone weren’t few by any means, so I felt relieved .
Koenji also spent most of the time by himself . At first, he was surprisingly spending a lot of time in the cafeteria with girls from other class and other grades, but since his points were running low, he started spending more time in the classroom .
The only heir of the Koenji Conglomerate, one of the biggest companies in Japan, didn’t prefer being alone, but rather, was a person that liked himself and held little concern for others .
I felt respect for him because he didn’t feel any anguish from loneliness .
As usual, he checked his face with a hand mirror, and it looked like he found no faults with his own appearance .
Other than him, though, there was a quiet girl wearing glasses . At one point, Ike was interested in her because he was going off about breasts, but since she was plain and didn’t particularly stand out, no one had any interest in her afterwards . She was always alone, and she never talked .
Like every other day, she was eating her bento alone with her back hunched . She was one of the few that made her own bentos .
And then, my neighbor took out a bento from her bag and started opening it .
Lately, Horikita hasn’t been going to the cafeteria, and instead, brought homemade bentos .
“Don’t you need a lot of time and effort to make your own bento?”
Although it’s not a luxurious thing to do, but there are relief measures in the cafeteria for students who have used up all their points . Since it takes time and costs some points to make your own bento, the free meal seems like the better option .
“I don’t know . The supermarket also has free ingredients, you know . ”
“You made this with free ingredients?”
Without denying it, Horikita opened her bento . It didn’t have a lot of meat or fried foods, but it looked pretty good .
“Are you good at cooking as well? It doesn’t really fit with your character . ”
“Anyone can cook after reading books or looking things up on the internet . All the dorms have the necessary tools as well . ”
Without bragging about her skills, she took out her chopsticks . I guess she replied like that because she thought it was obvious .
“But why’d you decide to make your own bento?”
“The cafeteria’s loud . It’s a lot calmer to eat in here, right?”
A lot of students went to go buy bread or other meals at the cafeteria at the beginning of the year, but now that many students no longer had points, an overwhelming amount of students went to go eat the free meal . If you paid attention, only a few people would be left over in the classroom .
Is this what Horikita prefers? At any rate, Ike and the others were no longer in the room .
“Did I already miss the big wave…?”
“You always gaze at the ocean, but you don’t even have a surfboard nor the resolution to ride the wave . Even then, saying that you couldn’t get ride the wave… you talk like some big shot . ”
I wish I could argue, but she wasn’t wrong .