He hoped no one noticed. Her fingers slip through the wooden supports of the chair and reach for him. He hoped no one saw his fingers meet hers. And the gentle shock that jolted them when the touch exploded their world in color. Her existence meant everything to him. She was the reason he breathed in lungfuls of air when he woke up in the morning. They called her plain. Ugly. Ordinary. She painted his heart red and made it beat faster. Tightly gripping onto her fingers, he slowly looked up at her form. Her face was etched in concentration and her pencil tapped against the edge of her exam. Thinking. He wondered which question she was on. Reaching further, he took his nail and pressed it into her palm. She sat up slightly taller but did not turn her head.
“What question are you on?” He wrote into her skin.
“38.” He calmly flipped his test to the correctly answered question.
“The answer is -1.0. The correlation is stronger.” She wrote thank you and slowly… she pulled her hand away. He reluctantly let it slide away from him. He sighed. When this class was over, he would be able to speak.
“Time is up! Pencils down.” The teacher announced loudly. Many students looked nervous. This exam was a bit challenging. Soon, they handed their exams forward and the bell rang. He got up and stretched. There would not be any words until they met in their secret place. Away from the school, where no one would see them. He gathered his bag and didn’t glance at her again as he left the classroom.
“Ah! Hiroto-kun!” He stopped and turned to find his friend Tobu running down the hall.
“What’s up?” Tobu slapped him in the back.
“You like that girl?” He started walking.
“What are you talking about?”
“I see you looking at her.”
“Tobu-kun don’t be an idiot.”
“I wonder if the color will disappear! Wah, she’s so weird looking. Why do I find myself intrigued?” Tobu pondered as they walked down the path home.
“You sure it isn’t lust? It’s wrong to want someone just for sex.” Tobu raised his eyebrow.
“You don’t want her? Every guy here wants her. I hear she has done naughty things to some of the athletes after school.” He scoffed and stopped walking.
“I’ll see you later Tobu-kun.” Tobu waved is dismissal.
“Yeah yeah. Call me later so we can study for this next exam.” He watched Tobu walk away before he slowly began to make his way back up the road and coming around the corner, he found her sitting on a rock, looking out at the pond. He licked his lips.
“Rae?” She turned and a soft smile came to her face.
“‘Roto-kun!” His heart beat faster.
“Have you been waiting long?” She shook her head.
“No.” He came closer to her and gently placed a hand on top of her big soft curls.
“Liar.” She pursed her lips.
“Let’s talk about you helping me to cheat today!” She playfully pushed at him and he felt a small smile come to his lips.
“You should be thanking me! I saved your ass!” She sucked her teeth but couldn’t hide the smile.
“Hiroto?” He took his hand away from her hair and sat down on a rock next to her.
“Do you like me?” He looked at her and her brown cheeks filled in with red color.
“Do I like you?” She was still and quiet, worrying her lips with bites.
“Look I get it if you don’t. I understand.” He watched her mouth move and slowly, he sighed. He got up and pressed her hands into the rock. He leaned closer until her breath fell on his chin.
“Is it okay if I do?” Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth to speak.
“Everyone else says we should stay away from each other. But, what if I don’t want to? What… what if I want to get closer and closer to you until we become one?” She sharply inhaled at his implication and looked away at the setting sun.
“Shh.” He pressed his lips to her cheek gently. His warmth melted into her skin and she sighed at the contact. Contact she had secretly desired and yearned for. They had come a long way since she first came to their school. They had been through so much already. He pulled her head back towards him and their lips met in a tender kiss. He gripped her hands and deepened the kiss and she melted against him. He couldn’t go back anymore. Her lips tasted so good. They belonged on his. Time seemed to slow and after what seemed like an eternity, he pulled back, breath heavy. Her eyes remained closed. Still. Her mouth parted. Savor. Shock. Dizzy. Slowly, she opened them and set their gaze on him.
“I’ll walk you home.” He whispered and let go of her hands. He grabbed his things and held her backpack. It was getting dark. She was still trying to recover. She felt warm and her head spun.
“‘Roto-kun?” Silence. Then,
“W-What does this make us?” They walked some more before he answered.
“It makes you mine.” He reached out and pulled her body closer to his.
“Yeah.” She smiled and gently wrapped her arms around his waist. The moon soon came out and shined brightly on them.
“Don’t believe what they are saying.” She said once they stopped in front of her house. She tugged on the edge of his uniform tie. He smiled.
“Never did.” She looked up at him.
“What will happen?” He leaned down and kissed her again and she wrapped her arms around him. He lifted her in his arms and once her legs came around his waist he felt his knees shake.
“Rae… too much.” He breathed against her neck. She kissed his ear lobe.
“Sorry.” The difference between Tobu and him was one simple thing. He had fallen in love. With this intoxicating woman. And while he did want her, every fiber of her being… He didn’t want just physicality. He wanted her heart. Her mind. And her spirit. He wanted everything she was. He put her down and she sighed.
“‘Roto…. you shouldn’t… have kissed me.” He knew her body was ablaze. His was burning.
“I’m sorry.” She smiled and pecked him on the lips before pulling away.
“I don’t have to hide anymore now. Thank you for freeing me.” No, thank you for showing me what freedom is.
“Goodnight ‘Roto-kun.” She grabbed her bags and went into the house. Their newfound relationship was going to upset a lot of people. But he didn’t enjoy hiding their friendship. While he enjoyed their privacy… the time for hiding would end. She deserved to be in the open. And if he went down, then oh well. He would give her his heart if she wanted. In accordance to love.