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There's A Merit in Being Patient

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Wilardo was never one to care about special days, so when he opened the door to his classroom just to be welcomed by a sickening sweet smell of chocolate in the air and a strange sight of the boys getting all fidgety, he was perplexed.

He grimaced as he walked passed Noel who looked troubled while being surrounded by girls. It was a usual sight to see girls swarming around him every day, but today was especially dreadful. Since he’d never want to get involved with that, Wilardo could only try to give him mental support through telepathy.

Hang in there, man.

He was actually amazed how Noel could deal with it every day.

Wilardo was never one to expect present from other people, so when he walked to his seat and saw his under desk shelf had been packed with quite amount of chocolates even if it was not really that many, he was utterly dumbfounded.

“… Hey, did I ever do something to make someone hate me enough they plan to kill me with diabetes?”

Ashe gawked at Wilardo, who was currently staring at his pile of chocolates with fright, like he just said the most idiotic thing in his whole existence (in which Wilardo got slightly offended). “You gotta be kidding me, right? There’s a limit to how ignorant someone could be, you know?”

“Cut it out and tell me already, I’m getting goosebumps.”

“It’s Valentine’s, Wilardo! Duh!” The teal-haired guy exclaimed. “Everyone’s eager to receive chocolate from the girls, see? That’s why they’re more excited than usual.”

“I see,” Wilardo nodded; finally getting answer for his earlier confusion. “So, what does that have anything to do with these chocolates? I don’t particularly hate sweets but this is kinda troublesome.”

“Whoa,” Ashe twitched his brows. “This guy is really—“

“They’re chocolate from the girls for you, Wilardo.”

Before Ashe could snap, Noel interrupted them—or that’s how it sounded, they couldn’t really tell since the person was carrying loads of chocolates that they completely covered his face. “Oh my god a walking chocolate is talking to us…” Ashe deadpanned.

“Guys, please.”

“Did you get all those chocolates, Noel? … Sure is scary to be popular, I can almost feel the sweetness in my mouth by just looking at it.”

Wilardo nodded silently, he couldn’t agree more. He was already as pale as it is when he saw his desk, but Noel’s was far far worse, that he could now feel relieved.

His amazement point towards Noel was once again raised by one.

Noel carefully stacked his chocolates on his desk beside Ashe. “Well, you get quite the amount there too, Wilardo.”

“Nah, it’s nothing compared to yours. You’ll probably die due to hyperglycemia if you eat all of those.”

Noel laughed his comment off, but Wilardo was actually dead serious.

“Uhm, if I may interrupt… please don’t make some kind of popular people conversation, guys. I’m feeling left out. Anyway, I get chocolates too!”

“Oh? From who?”

“My little sister. She was very energetic since morning,” he chirped gleefully.

“Siscon.”

“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with loving your sister!” Ashe retorted to the source of the voice, whose seat was in front of him; trying to justify himself. “You were completely immersed in your book since morning and the first thing you said today is judging other people? Me? My, you really hurt my feelings, Sirius.”

“I never said it’s wrong to love your sibling, I merely called you a siscon.” Sirius calmly said as he flipped through the pages.

“THAT’S EXACTLY THE PROBLEM HERE.”

“Did you not receive any chocolate, Sirius?” Noel asked innocently. He meant no harm, but to everyone else it could sound like a pity especially coming from a super popular guy like him. “So, Claire didn’t give you any despite you guys living together?”

Sirius furrowed his brows, “Be careful of your phrasing, you make it sounds wrong. I’d be troubled if people were to misunderstand. I prefer you to say I live with Lady Dorothy.”

“Yeah, and Claire as well,” Wilardo quipped.

“It’s almost a wonder how can I survive in this class despite having my patience tested every day. Where’s that gorilla now anyway?”

 “Come on, you didn’t do any better either with all your sarcastic remarks. Oh! You haven’t answered Noel’s question by the way!”

“If I’m not wrong, she got something to do with her club supervisor. That’s why she’s not here now.”

“I see,” Sirius sighed then turned at them after he closed his book. “To answer your question, I got one. Something she called family chocolate, I guess? I’m sure she brought many to school today since she made quite a mess in the kitchen yesterday.” His face turned sour as he remembered the horrendous sight of that poor excuse of a kitchen. It wasn’t like she couldn’t cook, but he had to inspect her cleaning the kitchen so she didn’t miss any corner.  “Did you guys not receive any from her?”

 “Well, there’s no way she will—“

“Ah, I got one.” Noel cut Wilardo’s words.

“Wait, you got one?”

“Yeah, I got one,” he repeated; smiling with faint blush on his cheeks before turning disappointed in the next minute. “’I was very happy when she gave it to me… she said it’s just a friendship chocolate, though. That’s fine, I’m not complaining. I don’t have any problem with just friendship chocolate.”

LOOKS LIKE HE DEFINITELY GOT A PROBLEM THERE, their thoughts screamed in unison.

It was only at times like this they could walk on the same wavelength.

Well, Noel and Claire are childhood friends so that’s not really surpri—.

“Oh, now that you mention it! I just remembered I got one from her too this morning.”

—you too!?

“In fact, looks like she made one for everyone in the class. Let’s ask them,” he added then turned at the group of girls not far from them. “Excuse me, girls! Did you all get any chocolate from Claire today?”

“I did,” the pinkette answered. “Well, we all did.”

Wilardo silently rummaged through the chocolates he got once again; he felt strangely bitter when he still found nothing which said it was from Claire. He frowned at the thought Claire just left him out. Zizel noticed Wilardo’s mood worsened and asked, “Did you perhaps not get any, Wilardo?”

“… Seems like I didn’t.”

“Ah, that’s disappointing.”

“Nah, I don’t really care about chocolate in the first place.”

“Oho?” the green-haired girl walked towards him; smiling smugly. “You said you don’t care but aren't you in such foul mood, Wilardo? That’s surely because Claire didn’t give you any chocolate, yes? Aww... guys, our mysterious Wilardo is sulking~”

“That’s weird, though. Why didn’t Wilardo get any?” Noel wondered; hand on chin. Charlotte snickered along with Lime.

“That’s probably because he’s not that important to Claire, what else?”

“Well, you got a lot of chocolates already anyway. You were complaining about the amount you get earlier, so why should you fuss over that girl’s chocolate? Better be grateful you can somehow be popular even with that …” Sirius coughed. “Height.”

“Oh my god, he said iiitttt!!!” Lime gasped.

At this point Wilardo was trying so hard to keep his composure despite them intentionally worsening his irritation, except Sirius, he’s dead in his mind. Good bye, Sirius.

“Wow, thanks guys. I’m feeling a lot better.”

“It’s probably only a matter of timing,” Ashe reassured. “You just have to be more patient and wait, Wilardo.”

“As I said I don’t care.”

“Sure, sure. If you say so~”

The stoic guy decided to sit back in his seat without caring anymore since Ashe didn’t sound like he believed his words. It was the truth, though. He wasn’t expecting anything from her. Heck, he didn’t even remember that today was Valentine’s day. A friendship chocolate is something easy to disregard, he shouldn’t pay any mind to it.

But, still, he sighed.

The problem is : this feeling of disappointment wasn’t a lie either.  

 


 

 

 

School hours finally ended; the day passed without him getting to talk with her at all. He didn’t understand why the timing should be the worst today. The teacher entered the classroom not long after she returned, and to make it worse she’d been unusually busy today that she almost never stay in the classroom. Probably giving chocolates to the entire school, he grimly thought. He didn’t only think that out of annoyance, it was just so typical of her to do that.

That girl never leave people alone after all.

Wilardo sighed for the umpteenth time as he glanced at the clock. Everyone had already gone home by now.  He must look like a fool waiting like this. Who is he to her anyway? Did he even have the right to expect anything? He must be getting carried away just because they had grown closer these days, thanks to her persistence despite him pushing her away.

It was embarrassing how he lose his will to resist whenever those big, bright pair of sapphire looked straight at him without hint of hesitation. It was even more embarrassing how he grew soft whenever she showed that radiant smile of hers. Somehow everything that had anything to do with her made him embarrassed; a girl like her was too dazzling for someone like him, his composure kept getting swayed.

It was unfair how she was the one who approached him first, just to make him feel depressed like this because of a mere chocolate. His gaze shifted to the pile of chocolates he received, and his mind went back to the thing Sirius said earlier.

He was wrong. Wilardo never asked for this many. Ever since he found out about today’s date, he just wanted one. He couldn’t deny it anymore.

Even if it’s just out of kindness, he wanted one from Claire.

“This is hopeless,” he muttered.

The clock’s ticking sounded disturbingly loud as he was the only one left in the room; now with his face down on desk. It must be Ashe’s fault for saying something unnecessary, it must be. If it weren’t for him he’d probably go home without having the slightest thought of waiting for her, probably.

He remembered how he flashed him a knowing smile when he told him he was going to stay in the classroom for a bit. That guy really liked to get in his nerves, no kidding.

“… You’re so unfair, Claire.”

“Uhm, I’m sorry then?”

He lifted his head immediately when he heard the familiar voice—the voice he’d been missing all day. There she stood in front him; giving him a quizzical look. He wasn’t aware, but he smiled in relief because she hadn’t gone home after all.

“Why are you still here?”

“Nggh, my club is going to hold an event and I just finished helping now. Why did you call me unfair, Wil?”

“Oh, that is… nothing. Nevermind.”

“What’s that? You’re being suspicious! Well, fine if you don’t want to tell,” she huffed. “Anyway, please wait for a bit!”

Wilardo watched as Claire turned her back at him. He guessed she was searching for something in her bag. “I actually have something for you,” she said in low voice that he barely heard her. When she turned around, he noticed her face reddened, and his eyes widened. In her hands was the source of his troubled mind and awful mood. Chocolate truffles, wrapped in transparent plastic and adorned with red ribbon.

“Uh, you see… I’ve been meaning to give you this since morning but it’s not that easy after all because yours is… kinda different from the rest… sorry,” she said bashfully; scratching her cheeks. “I wanted to search for the right moment, but before I knew it’s already this late. Well, looks like you got plenty already before mine.”

Claire laughed awkwardly, “I was prepared to be dejected. I thought you went home already, so I got overjoyed when I saw you here.”

Wilardo didn’t say anything yet, he was still staring at the chocolate with a heart-shaped tag attached onto it. That means this one is special, isn’t it? He couldn't help but feel delighted.

“So, is this chocolate like what I think it is?”

Claire bit her lip, eyes looking anywhere but him now. “Geez, just take a hint already!”

That was surprisingly more adorable than the image he would have imagined. He was overjoyed as well inside, it took effort to prevent his grin from showing, but he managed to say calmly, “I’ll take it. Thanks, Claire.”

She smiled when she saw his small smile too. “Oh, and why are you still here, Wilardo?”

“Well,” he stared at her for a while. “Try to guess. What do you think?”

“Uh, you’re getting a detention?”

“Wrong.” Wilardo scratched his head. “Do you take me as that much of a rebel, Claire?”

“Hmm… Are you, by any chance, waiting for me then? Aw, that’s so sweet of you. It’s almost like our feelings are mutual~” Claire said jokingly. “Just kiddi—“

“That’s right.”

The girl froze.

“That’s right, I’ve been waiting for you. Took you long enough, Claire.”

Claire was going to say something but her words came out as stutter. It was the answer she wished for but never imagined to be true, so she got a decent amount of shock. She opened her mouth just to close it again, just like a fish struggled to breathe. “Y-you mean—but, ah, uh… uwhaah! Wait, wait! Give me a moment!!”

Wilardo couldn’t hold his chuckle when he saw her ears are red as well. Even if she buried her face in her hands, he knew her face must be even more blushful than before.

After taking a good few minutes of calming her heart, she peeked at him through the gaps of her fingers.

He was smiling.

Encouraged, she slowly put away her hands. They looked at each other, and she smiled back at him.

“Well… Happy Valentine’s day, Wilardo.”

“Happy Valentine’s day, Claire.”