In Mushi Uta, when you see someone with "ordinary" tag, they are not ordinary at all lol.
Chiharu Part 1
Hey, how’s it going for you these days?
For me – Ayukawa Chiharu, it’s a blast! I feel like I’m really living the summer of my youth!
My family is getting along together well, and I’ve made many friends at school! Even though I would occasionally do some part time jobs, I’m not really short on cash… Ah – But I really want to buy that new phone that just came out; guess I have to work for it.
Nonetheless, hooray for being a high school girl!
By the way, I’m currently being involved in a situation that’s common during youth.
When you hear the word “Youth”, what would you think of?
Hanging out late at night?
No-no, it’s gotta be this!
“Ayukawa? Are you listening?”
Chiharu, who had been daydreaming all along, suddenly came back to her senses.
The time right now is noon.
During this period of the last few days before spring break, students’ lesson ended before noon. Half of the students had gone home already, while the remaining half should be working hard for their club activities.
As for Chiharu, she stayed behind in her classroom, second year H class. Her other classmates had already disappeared; there were only Chiharu and another male student in the room.
When she received the letter telling her to stay behind after school this morning, she had already figured it would be something like this. Nonetheless, when the time came to face it, she still couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable.
On the other hand, the male student was intently staring straight at Chiharu who was showing a wry smile.
“I like you, Ayukawa! You’re not going out with anyone right now right? If that’s the case, please go out with me!”
--- “If that’s the case” huh…
Chiharu’s expression was becoming more and more indecisive. Although it was not her first time being confessed to, she still couldn’t get the hang of it. Most likely in the future she would have trouble with it again and again.
“After the new semester begins, we will change class right? I was afraid that we might be assigned to different classes… That’s why; I want to express my feeling right now before it’s too late.”
It looks like he is serious about this… what should I do?! I’m a real sucker against these kinds of thing!
“Well… In conclusion, sorry, I can’t go out with you.”
Chiharu replied straight away. It was because she felt that she should reply with her most honest reply for a serious question like that, rather than a half-assed one that would give someone the wrong idea.
“Why?! Do you have someone you like?”
“Well…Unfortunately, not even one. Even though romance is one of the biggest events of youth ---“
“I-If that’s the case…!”
“I can’t go out with you with “If that’s the case” attitude. I don’t even know if I will fall in love with you or not, but I’m giving you my word for it. I can’t do that. So yeah, I’m sorry..”
Right after she spoke those lines, she immediately repented with a “Shit! I screwed up again!” voice that echoed through her mind.
Despite being indecisive and confused in her head, her actions were as clean and sharp as surgical knifes. And in addition, the worst part about her was that she would not regret her actions.
Just as she expected, upon hearing Chiharu’s strike-out reply, the male student was shocked considerably. He forcefully squeezed out a weak smile, trying to hide his embarrassment and disappointment.
“Is that so… Mm… You’re right. Sorry, let’s forget what I said and pretend this never happened before. If we’re able to be in the same class next semester, please treat me like usual!...”
Chiharu replied with a smile and a nod, but deep in her heart, she was stinging. If she were to listen to him and completely forget about this, would he feel satisfied?... She herself knew the answer to that question very clearly. She thought to herself, “I must remember this as much as possible.”
After watching the male student leave the classroom, Chiharu laid her head down on her desk and sighed.
“Wahh---~! Why can’t youth be a little easier to live through?!”
The profile of Chiharu, who was sighing deeply, was faintly reflected on the surface of her wooden desk.
The length of her long hair was almost about to break Nishito Sousei High School’s regulation. The difference between her two big eyes when she’s sleepy and sober was very obvious, but she never had completely opened them before. In addition, Chiharu had a weird habit of humming song with her nose, according to her friends, the expression she had while doing it looked just like “a cat’s face”.
She suddenly pushed herself up, and stood straight up. She believed that the male student who confessed to her definitely wouldn’t want her to feel bad like this, right? She then tried changing her mood by walking out of the classroom.
While leisurely walking next to the windows, she subconsciously began to smile and started humming through her nose. Sport club students ran past Chiharu one after another on the other side of the windows.
---… Anyhow, just think how peaceful these days are! A youth filled with some troubles is quite good actually!
Chiharu murmured to herself joyfully.
Chiharu, being an ordinary high school girl, had three strange quirks ---
The first one was what happened beforehand, the “straight-forward” action quirk. In simpler words, her actions defy what her mind thinks. Despite being at a loss of what to do at mind, her body would always take the first action her instincts pick.
The second one is nose humming. Whenever she noticed this, she was always already smiling and humming leisurely. It had happened countless time already when she subconsciously did this while running towards class and getting scolded by the teachers.
And the last one was quite a difficult quirk to explain, the closest one would probably be “soliloquizing”? Yet rather to herself, it seemed as if she was talking to someone else, in the form of a letter or diary in which she always used either “Hey” or “Dear” to start for many years. But the problem is that who is this “Someone”; even she herself doesn’t know. Rather than calling it a diary, it was more like a bunch of letters that had no recipient.
All in all, they were just some trivial habits that people might have; there’s nothing wrong about me --- that’s what she always thought to herself.
“Good afternoon --- Hello --- Excuse me~~”
Sliding open the door to the classroom used by the student council, several familiar faces appeared in her view.
“Just one greeting is enough, Ayukawa-senpai.”
The one who replied with a wry face was the secretary, a freshman named Tsushima Ayumu.
“Heyy~ Tsushima-kun, what’s that?~”
Upon seeing Ayumu opening his lunchbox, Chiharu tip-tap-toe’d next to him.
“How~~ nice, it looks sooo delicious! Hey, Tsushima-kun, right now there’s a vice president you respect so much starving from hunger, don’t you have anything you want to say to her? Hmm??~”
Chiharu put both of her hands on the table as she peaked at Ayumu with a greedy expression. Ayumu became slightly flushed as he replied with a give-up tone:
“If you don’t mind, please have some..”
With her hand turned into a fist, Chiharu smirked with a “Heh” --- Even though he might not seem like one, the fact that Ayumu was a rather playful boy with girls --- was already known by Chiharu, and Ayume was also aware that Chiharu had noticed this. That was why Ayumu always obeyed Chiharu obediently.
“Ah..W-Wait…Why you taking my nugget as well?! T-That was the last one!!”
“Ahh---! Why did you give it to vice president but not me?! When I asked you earlier you didn’t give
The one, who interrupted from the side, is a freshman named Nota Saori. She is also a member of the swimming club, a girl with a healthy image. Chiharu had already noticed her feeling towards Ayumu, hence she took a moment to reflect on her behavior just then.
“Well..T-That’s… That’s because Ayukawa-senpai is different from you, she’s a senpai!”
“Yup, it’s just the difference in seniority, that’s all. By the way Nota-san, you don’t have to go to your club today?”
“I skipped it today!”
“Mm, easy and simple explanation, very good… Kanadome-kun is also present huh, so admirable!”
The teenage boy named Kanadome Naoki, who was currently playing on his phone while relaxing his feet on the table on the other side of the room, raised his head. On him, many accessories prohibited by the school’s dress code could be seen. Just judging from this alone, presumably there’s no other student more unfit for the title of student council committee more than him right? However, whenever there’s a meeting to be held, he would always attend and do his work; in other words he was still a commendable staff member.
Including the president who seemed to be busy with his club activities, other committee members were absent as well. Nonetheless, this group of four usually took care of the daily activities of the council by themselves, so there shouldn’t be any problem.
“It’s alright… More importantly, the main reason why we came today is to listen to Ayukawa’s report right?”
“Hm? What report?”
“Weren’t you confessed to by one of your classmates? What’s the result? Are you guys gonna go out?”
Naoki smirked wickedly as Chiharu widened her eyes in surprise.
“H-H-How did you know?!”
“S-Senpai, what do you mean by ‘c-confessed’?!”
“Tsushima-kun, why are you so excited all of sudden for?”
“The guy who confessed to you was my friend. I heard from him that he was going to confess recently, combined that with the fact that you’re late for the meeting today; hence as a detective I came to such conclusion!”
“D-Don’t scare me like that… I thought I was being watched by a secret organization or something for a moment.”
“Well? So what’s the result?”
“No comment, this is a private matter between the involved parties only. Okay, let’s finish up the rest of these so we can go home!”
Chiharu coughed lightly as she divided a stack of documents on the table into even piles. To get ready for the taking over by the next generation of student council committee members starting next semester, they’ve been working to categorize all the documents.
“Since you’re going to reject him anyway, just stop acting like you won’t.”
“…If you knew the answer already, then why did you even have to ask?!”
“Nah, that was just an assumption. So you rejected him huh?”
“Kanadome-senpai, nice one!”
“Tsushima-kun, just how’s it ‘nice’…?”
After that, the four of them continued working on categorizing the documents while chitchatting from time to time. After the conversation stopped, Chiharu subconsciously looked out the window, gazing at the students from track and field club jogging on the court.
-- Mm, such youth is not bad right?
Unconsciously, Chiharu’s “soliloquize” habit appeared again. Talking to ‘someone’, who she doesn’t know even exists, let alone how they looked.
--- But… somehow… how should I put it… even though it is weird to think like this… I can’t help but feel… guilty… It’s as if the life I’m having right now shouldn’t belong to me---
“This shouldn’t be the last of your work right, Ayukawa?”
Naoki’s sudden words caused Chiharu to turn to face him; he seemed to be denying what she had said earlier.
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“Stop acting silly, I’m talking about running for candidate for next semester’s student council president. I know at least three people that wanted to nominate you.”
“Sorry, that’s impossible. I don’t think I’m suitable for the task.”
“Why not? Even this semester as well, if only you’re willing to run, the president’s chair will no doubt be yours.”
“Ahaha, it really makes me happy hearing you say that, but what’s impossible is impossible.”
This time, it was her “Straight-forward” quirk. Although deep down she felt really happy about their feelings, Chiharu still flat-out rejected them.
--- I just can’t help but feel … that I can’t become a “protagonist”… Mmm… there’s really something weird about me right?..
Once again, she talked to the air.
“If that’s the case, then how about being vice president again? That’s okay with you, right?”
“If lucky enough, but when that time comes, I’ll definitely drag you guys along with me by pushing my problems onto you, are you fine with that?”
“Yeah, no problem, it’s a deal then!”
“I-I… will also try to apply to join the student council committee again… even though my swimming club’s coach might gossip about me for it…”
Under this pace of working while chitchatting, time passed by almost instantly. In addition to events, such as Chiharu and Naoki going out to buy lunch, which had interrupted them many times, the time they spent on this task took longer than expected.
At last, when the sky started changing color, Chiharu finally let out a complaint.
“Ahh~~ I can’t take it anymore! There’s no way we can finish it today! Just look how many we have left! Are you guy taking it seriously?!”
“The funny thing is, even though we’re all supposed to have the same amount of work, Ayukawa-senpai, who complained first, has the most leftover mm?”
“Looks like we won’t be able to finish it today, let’s continue tomorrow, tomorrow it is.”
“Uu… I agree…”
The option of leaving the task for tomorrow to finish was accepted by everyone after a moment of brief discussion.
After parting ways in front of the student council committee room’s door, Chiharu walked out of the school gate with her bag.
The reason why she chose to attend this high school was because it was so close to her house, it only takes fifteen minute from her house to the school. She started humming while walking on the way back home, and before she knew it she had already arrived in front of her house’s door.
Chiharu tried to open the main door, but it was locked. She then remembered hearing her mother saying that there will be a town meeting today, hence she will be back late. Her father was also away for work, and wouldn’t be back home until next week.
She took out the key from her book bag and opened the door.
She took off her shoes as she called that line out. Chiharu had no siblings, naturally no one answered back.
She then walked up the stairs into her room. It was a very monotonous room that had neither any sign of puppets nor posters. She had once invited the members of the student council, the four who were present at the meeting today, into this room of hers for a meeting (just an excuse to party). And at that time, Naoki bluntly spurt “What an uninteresting room”, followed by Ayumu’s honest statement “It is indeed rare to have such ordinary room for a high school girl”. After that, there was also Saori asking them “It sure sounds like you two have gone to a lot of girl’s rooms huh?” All in all, it was really a plain and monotonous room.
Although there were some pictures hanging on the wall’s billboard, those were all the pictures taken back when she was in junior high or in high school. For some reason --- there was not a single picture taken before that.
Just when Chiharu was about to pull over the curtains to get changed, her eyebrows frowned.
Through the window of a room of the building opposite of her house, she could feel a shadow flash past. Most of the rooms had their shades pulled down except that one room on the second floor that was always surrounded by darkness. In addition to the fact that she had never seen that room light up even once, and not to mention there was no curtain, she had always thought that no one lived there.
--- A ghost…?
A chill ran down her spine, causing her to hurriedly pull over the curtain. She took off her uniform before reaching her hand to open the drawer, but her hand suddenly stopped midway.
“A ghost…huh… could the girl I saw from yesterday really be a ghost?”
She could not help but recall the teenage girl who fell asleep in the garden from yesterday.
Come to think of it, what was that instinct-like feeling that I had?
It was during after school when she was strolling on the streets that she came across the teenage girl.
The couples that were chatting on the streets, the office workers going home from work, and the sale person chasing after customers --- all these people seemed to have not noticed this teenage girl’s existence. Generally speaking, if there is a girl in hospital-like clothing walking on the street, there will be at least people turning around to look right?
And yet, only Chiharu caught a glimpse of her figure. At that time, she could not help but have this thought ---
She had found someone familiar.
Yet after seeing that girl’s face, this thought instantly disappeared from her mind.
However, there was still something bugging her, and that was this teenage girl’s stumbling pace.
Although this nostalgic feeling had no reason --- No, there might be some. It might sound very contradictory at first, but Chiharu thinks that there’s got to be a reason behind all of these.
She sneakily followed after the teenage girl, and arrived at “Urban”. The teenage girl, who walked into Dome, stopped in the middle of the lounge surrounded by trees before --- “Pata” --- collapsing and falling asleep out of the blue.
During the period Chiharu was guarding by her side, the other party didn’t seem to have any sign of waking up.
At that time, she couldn’t help but think what was wrong with her. It didn’t seem like anything that she needed to contact the police about, and it didn’t feel right calling an ambulance as well. More importantly, when she’s by her side, she felt very comfortable, and didn’t feel like doing anything else.
After spending almost two hours day-dreaming, the teenage girl finally showed signs of waking up. Chiharu naturally hid behind the bushes.
The only thing Chiharu could do was quietly see her off.
The hand that was latching onto the drawer’s handle suddenly let go, in place it reached for a skirt and a shirt, paired with a collar-less cardigan sweater that were in the closet. Whenever Chiharu wore casual clothing, she would always wear a hat. She was reaching her hand towards that dome hat before suddenly reaching for a duck hat.
It seemed like her body had made the decision before her mind could. She then walked down the stairs, humming a song through her nose at the entrance while tying her boots.
After putting away the house key, she left the house. Mounting the bike that was parked in the backyard, Chiharu raised her head high:
“The so-called youth is all about adventuring! You feel the same way, right?!”
Blooming a bright smile as she said that to someone nonexistent.
In the far distant sky of Nishito City, Urban Tower could be seen standing, reflecting the orange sunset.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~
The first dig of a big-ass trap/foreshadowing