Snow Falling – Chapter 4
Kenta doesn’t understand why, but it’s frustrating him so much to see them being so close like that. Sitting 3 rolls behind them, he can see them whispering and laughing to each other. And it’s bothering him.
He guesses he’s acting like a brother with sister complex.
“Hey Kenta-kun!” Nanako called him. Kenta takes his eyes of the couple and looks at her “We’re going to go out after school today. Wanna join us?”
“Airi and Ichizawa are coming too?”
“Yeah” Shiniji answered it for her “This is just my second time in Tokyo, so they’re going to tour me around” he smiled like that at his Airi again. Wait, when was she “his Airi”?
“Hey, isn’t that perfect? Kenta and I are planning to show Shiho around as well” Tatsuya said “Isn’t he a luckiest bastard?” he kicked his friend under the table.
“Umm… I won’t go then” Airi said, everyone stares at her.
“But it’s your idea!” Nanako’s confused “And you’re looking forward to it so much! Why Airi?”
“Nothing really” she assured them “I’m okay. I just don’t feel like going now”
Kenta isn’t a fool. He noticed that her expression changed when Tatsuya mentioned Shiho. But he doesn’t understand. Airi has never acted this way towards any other girls before. Does she dislike Shiho that much?
After class ended, Airi who is responsible for the devices in their class has to check up everything and fill up the chalk, ink and papers for the teachers. Kenta sticks around the storeroom where he knows she must come. And she really does…
“Airi, why don’t you come with us today?”
“Ken-chan” she startled a little to see him here “I told you I just don’t feel like going”
“Is it because Shiho is coming too? Do you hate her that much?” he asked.
“How could I hate Shiho-sempai? I barely ever talk to her.”
“Then why did you say you don’t want to go if Shiho goes?” Airi cannot answer him, so she stays quiet. “You really dislike Shiho. Why are you so mean, Airi? Shiho is just transferred here. Why do you have to antagonize her?”
“That’s too much Ken-chan” Airi snapped “Have you ever recognized that I’m also a girl and I do have feelings?” tears welling up in her eyes. It stunned Kenta.
“I won’t go anywhere with you if Shiho is going. If she’s there, I will not be there” Airi stated “I do not hate her. But I am also a woman who doesn’t like to see someone I like with other woman. Am I so wrong?” with that said, Airi left him there, dumbfounded.
Airi came out of the storeroom just to see Shiniji waiting for her outside. No doubt he heard everything they said back there. Shiniji pats her head lightly and takes the box of gadgets from her.
“I’ll walk you home” he told her.
“It’s ok. I can walk home myself. You should go with them” Airi wiped a drop of tear from her eyes.
“You know I only agree on this coz I wanted to be with you right?” he bluntly asked. The embarrassing Airi hit him “Ouch!”
“You know we can go together. Just the two of us” he suggested.
“No way. I can’t be sure you won’t do something pervert with me”
“What? I told you I’m not a womanizer anymore. Have some trust, baby”
“Don’t call me ‘baby’… it’s gross”
“But we should have pet names, you know?” he said when Airi made a face “I know! You can call me Shin-chan!”
“What?!? No way! That’s so cheesy!”
“Why not? You also call Takano ‘Ken-chan’ why can’t call me Shin-chan?”
“You know you’re ruining your cool image, right?”
“Aww… don’t be such a retort queen, baby”
“I told you not to call me ‘baby’!”
Kenta watched them walk further away from him. His head still couldn’t analyze the meaning of what he heard earlier. The only thing he realizes right now is that he’s quickly losing Airi to another man.
“We need to talk”
“Stay away from Airi.”
“You heard me” Kenta said “Stay away from Airi. You don’t deserve her”
“Huh? It’s funny coming from your mouth” Shiniji brushed his hair back “You had no idea what was in front of you. But now that I take her away, you want her back?”
“You’re just a sore loser. You are the one who doesn’t deserve her”
“What? I have been with her all my life. You know nothing about her!”
“You sure?” Shiniji has the serious look on his face “Do you know Airi has brown eyes? Her hair is black but under the sunshine, it looked like it’s coppery”
“I know that. I have seen her since she’s 5!”
“Then do you know her favorite color is green? Do you know she always wear the same tie? The cyan watermark one?”
“And do you know Airi always coils her hair when she’s feeling nervous? And she would close her eyes when she’s sad because she doesn’t want anyone to see her eyes.” he paused “Do you know her eyes are so expressional?” Shiniji smiled “They were dark and dim when I first met her. But they were filled with the longing sorrow when laying on you. And they’re most beautiful when it’s glittering with joy… I am able to put some sparkles back to them. I won’t allow anyone to take it away. You can struggle all you want, Takano. I’m not giving up”
Kenta was left speechless. Was he really like that? All these times, has he been neglecting Airi? Airi is an important person in his life. She has always been. But does he hurt her painfully and recklessly? What was Airi to him exactly all this time?
Airi was always looking at him. He realizes that now. But could he win her back?
His phone rang.
“Hello?” Kenta lifelessly asked.
“Ken! Shiho is here. She wanna go out tonight. Where are you?”
“Sorry, Tatsu. You guys go ahead. I have other things to do”
“What? Kenta? Hey–” and he hung up. Until he can give the answer to himself, Kenta doesn’t think he has the mood to do anything.