Takamura-kun wa Norowarete Iru.
Chapter 3 – Takamura Mahiro Becomes Male (3)
And then, Sunday morning. Not to mention ‘slightly’, I ‘seriously’ did not want to go, yet I can’t possibly ignore it since I already promised him. A white cut-and-sew, jacket and jeans, I arrived before Umibukuro Station sporting a so-called rough look. While it’s 5 minutes before 11am, Sunohara was already waiting in front of Umibukuro. He was clad in a collared white shirt and navy cardigan, along with black pants. Even though it’s mass-produced university student fashion, he definitely looks good in it because his face and figure are good.
“G’morning, you’re early.”
“Of course, right. It’s not cool to make the other party wait on a date.”
It’s the first time I saw a guy wink.
“Thenn, let’s have lunch first. Hii-chan, what do you want to eat?”
“Something with meat.”
“So Hii-chan likes meatー. Although, not to mention vegetables, you’ve a face that looks like you only eat herbs.”
Certainly, I agree that I indeed have a ‘herbivorous’ face.
Both my nose and my lips are thin, and my half-opened eyes are sleepy throughout the day. The colour of my skin is pearl white, and can’t be called healthy-looking even as flattery. The muscles on my body are virtually nil and my figure is too thin. There’s no civility on top of that, and there you have it. I’m aware of it but it can’t be helped that it’s unfixable.
“Is it bad for me to eat meat?”
“That’s not it, I sayー. It was just unexpected. Since Hii-chan wants to eat meat, then let’s do so.”
Sunahara casually held my hand and started walking.
“Why are you holding my hand?”
“Because Hii-chan is cute! Ah, of course subsequent to Sena-san though. But if Hii-chan’s a girl, I think you’d be my typeー.”
“I’m so grateful I can be your type that I think I’ll cry.”
As a matter of fact, Hii-chan is indeed a girl, but since I can’t say that, I gave a vague smile and left the issue alone.
As we continued talking at cross-purposes, while holding hands, in one way or another we made our way out of the East exit of Umibukuro Station and crossed the intersection outside, walking straight to Sunshine Street.
“I’m just being honest though. Both your short hair with a tinge of blue and large eyes are pretty, aren’t they. Sena-san’s much cuter, but I think Hii-chan’s not bad too. Ikemen ikemen.
I’ve not been praised for my looks when I was female, not even once, however I’ve the impression I’ve been randomly praised for my looks now that I’m male. Are my looks something that becomes more attractive if I turn male? Or are everyone from Hitotose good at flattery? I’ve a feeling it’s the latter between the two.
At the suggestion of Sunohara who claimed it’s a date at Umibukuro Station, we decided to have our meal at a family restaurant that’s a few minutes’ walk from the East exit. I ordered a hamburger set as previously declared, while Sunohara ordered omurice.
“Hii-chan, this may be abrupt but, can I get into the main topicー?”
As he ate omurice, Sunohara looked at my face and smiled faintly.
I, who was silently eating hamburger, slowly raised my head at that voice.
“What kind of guys does Sena-san like? I wonder if I become like Hii-chan, will Sena-san come to like me?”
Which part of me Sena likes, such a thing, I’m the one who wants to know.
The impetus was probably that one incident in the library, however is it really so easy to be fond of someone? I definitely can’t be said to have an abundance of experience in love, hence this is only a speculation. But including the incident in the library, my face or my atmosphere or things that like probably just happened to be her type. It’s simply various fortuity upon fortuity creating a slight momentum, causing her to hold good will towards me.
“I don’t know such a thing. But what’s the point of Sunohara becoming me, huh.”
“But, I want Sena-san to like me.”
“Compared to me, Sunohara’s fancied by various people, so it means you’re plenty charming the way you are. Only, it just happens that both Sena-san’s and my preference differs.”
With those looks and amiable personality, Sunohara’s popular with the girls. It’s undeniable that because of that he feels slightly conceited. Nevertheless, from his open personality that doesn’t discriminates, he seems like he also has many male friends.
I just happened to be Sena Tsugumi’s type, but I don’t have as many friends as Sunohara and neither am I popular with girls. That’s why even if you don’t go to lengths imitating me, while I won’t admit it, Sunohara can be said to be the more charming person in the eyes of the masses.
“Ehh, Hii-chan doesn’t like me too?! I can’t overlook that you know!”
“Hii-chan’s so mean. No matter how much time passes, you still won’t call me ‘Chiha’.”
Ignoring Sunohara who pouted with a hmph, I resumed eating my hamburger.
“Noisy-hara, shut up and eat quickly. We’re going to the aquarium right.”
“Eh, Hii-chan, what do you mean by Noisy-hara?! I’m Sunohara!”
I unconsciously laughed at Sunohara who came snapping frantically.
Honestly speaking, Sunohara’s a noisy and peerlessly troublesome guy. He’s someone I’d definitely not think of making friends with ordinarily, the type I’m bad with. Nevertheless I did think he’s a way better chap compared to my first impression of him. He comes at you insistently but he’s a guy you’ll never be bored with.
I was moved enough to think it isn’t too bad to be friends with a guy I’m bad with, in the middle of this rare experience of turning male.
“Just joking. I don’t hate Sunohara.”
Sunohara appeared like he’s surprised.
He stroked my cheek gently with an absent-minded face. I turned my face away from the ticklish feeling and lightly closed my eyes.
“Call me, ‘Chiha’. Hii-chan.”
“You sure are persistent.”
Sunohara will probably continue to coax me until I call him ‘Chiha’.
To him who has all his wishes fulfilled, he’ll likely press me until I listen to him. Already finding it troublesome to reject him, letting out a small sigh, I then took a breath.
Sunohara stroked my cheek once again.
Next, a smile floated up, one that would put Sena’s sunny smile to shame. I unconsciously looked away as I felt it became awkward. However I didn’t expect him to be this overjoyed just because I called his name. Such a smile is unfair.
“I’m happy. One more time, call me one more time, Hii-chan.”
“Why’d you want your name to be called so badly.”
Shaking off Sunohara’s hand that was stroking my cheek, welcome binge eating, I stuffed my mouth with hamburger.
“Because I want to hear my name called in Hii-chan’s voice.”
I shuddered at his icky voice that seemed as though a heart was attached at the back of his sentence.
Perhaps if a Märchen dreamy girl heard that, she’d be overjoyed, but I’m a girl who’d rather live the rest of her life as a boy because she found the kiss with a prince (lol) troublesome. A pick-up line and whatnot from a childish idiot ouji-sama I don’t even like, it’s so cold that I can’t stand listening. ――…… was my unabridged feelings which I bet showed on my face. By the time I realised, Sunohara was pursing his lips. It’s the thing called Chun Expression that’s trending recently.
“Sorry. It’s not like I particularly thought it was cold or something.”
“You did think so. Hii-chan’s too honest.”
“Sorry. But I don’t hate the cold Chiha. It’s amusing to make fun of.”
For him to make noise when I jab him a little, honestly speaking, it’s amusing. Because he won’t break even when I make fun of him, and would instead approach persistently, I can abuse him with no concern. To think he could light a fire in my hidden S heart, this Sunohara’s a pretty capable guy.
“…… Hii-chan hang on, that’s so cool. Hug me.”
“Disgusting. Hurry up and eat your food. I’ll leave you behind.”
It was a mistake for me to check out his condition because I was worried about his trembling.
He suddenly tried to hug me from across the table, and I reflexively made him eat my palm strike. Fortunately, his sharp nose remained safe. At the same time I thought thank goodness his nose didn’t break, I also felt a twinge of regret. I wanted to try smashing that sharp nose.
Perhaps because it’s Sunday, there’s a considerable number of visitors at the aquarium. However they’re mostly parents with kids or middle school couples. It’s about only us who came as two guys, so it feels slightly unpleasant somehow, yet it’s also true that I’m looking forward to it since I don’t dislike aquariums themselves.
“Hii-chan, is this your first time coming to Sunshine?”
“It’s not my first, but I don’t come here much.”
Putting Sunshine aside, I don’t even come to Umibukuro much.
The school I originally attended in my hometown was out of the city, and there weren’t many opportunities to go to urban areas. Even when I hung out with friends, it was always out of the city. To me, Umibukuro or the Kawanote Line area, are places where one has to dress very fashionably, and braces oneself with a “LET’S GO!” before heading there.
“Then let’s start by seeing what Hii-chan wants to see. Where shall we strike from? It seems like there’s animals like penguins, too.”
“Chiha, I want to see the armadillos.”
The pamphlet I received stated that there’s also land animals.
While I do want to see penguins, axolotls and so on, what really held my interest was armadillos and ring-tailed lemurs. They might not be aquatic animals, but I want to see them so it can’t be helped.
“Armadillo?! Hii-chan’s really interesting. Sure, let’s go see the armadillos.”
Isn’t it fine to look at armadillos in an aquarium, isn’t it fine to only look at humans in a zoo? Isn’t it fine to sleep in cinemas? After all, this is a world where there’s such a thing like a curse which turns females into males.
However, perhaps the armadillo wasn’t used to being looked at, it slept comfortably with its stomach in full display. For some reason my heart throbbed furiously at this armadillo which forgot too much of its wildness. Dammit, aren’t you a cutie.
“Hii-chan, is it interesting to look at sleeping armadillos?”
“Interesting. I think they’re cute.”
“Are they? For me, penguins or cliones are betterー”
As I stared at the unmoving and sleeping armadillo, Sunohara seemed to have gotten bored and he rubbed his forehead against my back. I was irritated but as I learned my lesson that he’ll just get carried away if I stand up against him, I decided to not take issue with him.
“I’ll be looking at the armadillos so, Chiha, you go look at the penguins then.”
“Since we finally came together, let’s go around together. I’m, a rabbit-chan so I’ll die of loneliness.”
For a 17 year-old young man to say “rabbit-chan” and such, I’ll die from freezing.
Perhaps a more mature ane-sama would be able to accept it, but something like this is honestly off-putting to a girl of the same age. My face turned grave.
Sunohara noticed my grave expression, and tried to bring my spirits up in a panic.
“It’s a joke so please stop making that face.”
“Ah, is that so. I was thinking of using German Suplex on you if you meant that seriously.”
“Were they words so sinful?!”
After 3 hours of going around the aquarium, I even bought an armadillo stuffed toy as souvenir. It’s quite embarrassing to board the train carrying an armadillo stuffed toy, but it’s only about 25 minutes from Umibukuro to the apartment I live alone in, so it’s still alright. It’s the armadillo’s fault for being too cute.
Sunohara purchased a mechanical pencil in the shape of a spotted garden eel. I think Sunohara has no right to say anything about other people’s likes.
“Hii-chan, well then, see you tomorrow. Let’s go out again, okay?”
“I’ll consider it.”
“Un, do consider.”
Honestly, it was quite fun so I’ll definitely go if he invites me again.
He’ll definitely get carried away if I say such a thing, so I’ll never give voice to it though.
About a 10 minutes’ walking distance from the station laid my rented apartment.
When I casually lifted my head and took a look, I realised the lights were on in the room I rented, and got incredibly flustered. Don’t tell me it’s a burglar? If it’s a burglar, how should I deal with this? Call the police first? However, what if it’s someone I know and I raise a false alarm?
Various thoughts crossed my mind. Thinking to at least check who’s there for now, I braced myself and gently opened the door.
The instant I confirmed who the person standing there was, I thought: “Ah, I shouldn’t have opened it.”
 真っ白 masshiro, lit. pure white. This may sound frightening, but if you’ve been reading a lot of Chinese, Japanese and Korean novels, you’ll find that white skin with no blemishes is something often associated with beauty.
 Original – 天狗になって tengu ni natte: becoming a tengu (a creature in Japanese folklore). Tengu are associated with vanity, egotism.
 チュン顔 chun gao or ちゅん顔: slang. Translated portions from coitopi – “an expression whereby one absentmindedly looks at the other party with defenseless eyes, opening the lips a little with the image of slightly verbalising the ‘chuun’ sound.” “a sexiness you want to protect”
 Should be referring to how Mahiro’s thoughts show on his face rather than being sarcastic.
 川手線 Kawanote Sen: lit. River’s Hand Line. Parody of 山手線 Yamanote Sen: lit. Mountain’s Hand Line, a train line which passes through many of Japan’s urban areas. Including Ikebukuro.