The days after the party go by a little less eventfully. Fewer
and fewer bettors are left all the time, and the losers don't seem
to mind anymore. Some famous con man once said, "Give the suckers
a good show, and they'll gladly pay the price of admission."
Believe me, I'm putting on the best show I know how.
At this point, some guys have begun considering my victory a foregone conclusion, and they're wondering if Im gonna tell Suka-chan about myself once I've won. I sure as hell would like to, and get it over with. It's embarrassing, when we're studying with Mitsuru-sempai and Shinobu-sempai. Nearly every time Mitsuru-sempai raises his notebook to swat at me for a wrong answer, Suka-chan ducks in and takes the blow for me.
"Hasukawa, will you stop that? This is for Shun's own good."
"I'm not letting you hit her, sempai. I'm sorry." For which he usually gets a whack of his own.
"Your gallantry would be considered admirable, Hasukawa, if you weren't preventing... her... from learning from... her... mistakes. " Mitsuru-sempai still has trouble referring to me with a feminine pronoun. One of these days, you think Suka-chan would twig onto that. "Consider it... negative reinforcement." Heh. Looks like sempai's own psych classes are paying off.
Not well enough to try and analyze Suka-chan, though. He's obviously doing this for reasons more than concern for my welfare, more than just some sort of "you're-not-supposed-to-hit-girls" ethic. I'm getting worried that he's falling for me. I can't tell if that's escaped Mitsuru-sempai's notice, or if he's intentionally ignoring it while I sweat it out. But in any case... I'm counting the days until I'm able to try and worm out of this situation.
Of course, Suka-chan isn't draped all over me twenty-four hours a day, thank the Kami. Not only do we have separate classes, but he's joined the track team - something I would never do. And boy, can he run, too! He's actually made Ryokuto's varsity team as an alternate in his first year here, which, while not unique, is still quite remarkable.
Whenever possible, Shinobu-sempai and I make a point of attending meets to cheer him and Mitsuru-sempai on (Mitsuru-sempai competes in some of the throwing events like the shot and discus. He looks like that old Greek statue when he's throwing, too - it's no wonder the girls are nuts over him). Actually, perhaps "cheer" is a little too strong a word for Shinobu-sempai. He applauds when everyone else does, and that's about it. He hardly ever cracks a smile, even when we win. But he's there, doing the whole 'athletic supporter' (^_^) routine, as might be expected of the student council president.
Me? I try to get into it. Besides, as long as I'm there, I oughta have some fun. I stomp and whistle and hoot with everyone else. And it doesn't hurt that, thanks to Suka-chan and Mitsuru-sempai, we've got a pretty good team, too. Always easier to cheer for a winning team, ne?
Speaking of winning...
"What're you doing, Shun-chan?" I nearly drop the pencil I'm holding. I hadn't heard Suka-chan walk in from his bath.
"Ah... nothing! Just... marking off another day..."
"Oh." He shrugs and climbs up onto his bunk, closing the curtain behind him. He's learned the art of changing clothes on his knees in that tiny space... and I'll bet he wishes I would, too. "So... anything special? I notice Saturday's circled, and I know we're still a month away from summer break."
Shit! I can't tell him the truth, but I can't think of a plausible lie fast enough. "Uh... not really... just something to look forward to. Isn't the end of the week always like that?"
"Mm." I can't tell if he's convinced or not, but it doesn't sound like he's going to let the matter drop just yet. "Nothing specific, huh?"
"Uh... well... maybe, and maybe not. I won't find out until then."
"Oh. Well, hope you think of something. Only a few days to go. Oyasumi nasai, Shun-chan... can you get the light?"
"Sure... I was going to call it a night myself." I switch off the light and climb into bed. Suka-chan's voice is ringing in my head as I stare into the blackness:
"Only a few days to go..."
I can hardly wait.
Disclaimer: Koko wa Greenwood is the creation of Yukie Nasu, and all characters and situations therein are the property of her and Hakusensha Inc., Victor Entertainment, and the Pierrot Project. No infringement is intended.