It wasn’t that you were nervous so much as you were…worrisome.
You knew very well and couldn’t deny Sayaka’s feelings and respect for Kyousuke, but by that logic, you couldn’t deny Hitomi’s feelings either. You were in an awkward situation and you were afraid to pull Sayaka in with you. Would it be considered social manipulation if you told Sayaka the truth about Hitomi and used that to your advantage? Probably.
You sniffed, playing with the ends of your skirt, pulling on a thread that had come loose. Sayaka sat across from you with Madoka while you sat next to Hitomi. Your bond with these girls was obviously unbreakable, untouchable, but your bond with Sayaka…
That was an entirely different story. You could go on and on about her and her beautiful skin and magnificent blue eyes with her gorgeous hair and full lashes; it wasn’t a secret to anyone but her about how you felt in regards to Sayaka. You absolutely adored her. She was of course, your best friend, next to Madoka. So, it seemed only natural that these feelings you had kept away, pushed down would end up threatening to spill at one point or another.
From across the table, Madoka gave you a pointed look as if to say:
Just get it over with. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.
You looked away awkwardly. Hitomi cleared her throat, excusing herself from the table.
“Well girls, it’d be best if I got going. My grandparents are coming to visit us this weekend so my schedule is going to be packed tightly for the next few weeks…this was fun.” She bowed, giving each of you an endearing smile; one you thought only a mother could give. It was contagious and you bit your lip in an attempt to keep the grin down. The three of you only watched as moss colored hair disappeared in the midst of the crowd filling the food court. Madoka cleared her throat softly, clasping her hands together.
“I have to go too, actually. Sorry guys!” Madoka said, frowning. Sayaka hummed, scooting over and making room to allow Madoka free from the squishy leather of the booth seats. She waved you and Sayaka away before also fading from view. You cursed her mentally; she did this on purpose. She knew the only way you would ever be able to muster up the courage would be if you two were alone. You knew you couldn’t deny your feelings for her any longer.
Taking a deep breath, you closed your eyes.
Sayaka, I really like you. I have for a long time. And, I understand if you are unable to reciprocate those feelings, I do. I won’t be angry or upset. Well...maybe just a little, but-
You frowned. The air in the food court was cold and daft. Rain splattered against the beautiful glass windows lining the exterior walls. Jazz could be heard faintly from the music store to the left of you and Sayaka and you noticed she would frequently become distracted, staring off into a space that seemed to be in the same general direction. You often recalled the first time you two had ever been out alone together
and how happy you felt that day, your heart beating at a million miles per hour, threatening to jump from your chest and into Sayaka’s hands.
You remembered when you had both ended up reaching for the same pair of headphones, yours retracting reluctantly while hers seemed to be down by her sides again almost instantaneously. An awkward silence brushed against each of you as you continued to stand there, both waiting for the other to apologize and plead for forgiveness; that it was just an accident. But neither did. And you were left standing, staring, waiting for each other in that moment that, in your head, felt like a million years. Scratch that. Light years.
“So, Vivaldi, huh?” She had said, one arm coming up to rub the other out of what you could have only guessed as anxiety. The expression on her face was nearly unreadable and you soon found yourself giving up on the analytical aspect of solving the question you dare not ask aloud.
Do you feel the same way I do?
“Yeah. I didn’t know you listened to classical music, Sayaka.” It was a lie, but because of how well you knew Sayaka, you didn’t doubt she would be happy to boast about her so-called secretfascination for the arts.
But she didn’t.
She just stood there, an odd expression painting her usually more confident figure. It didn’t suit Sayaka. It didn’t suit her at all. Had you made her uncomfortable? What had you done in order for her to act like this? Did she know? How could she have possibly found out? You frowned, paranoia pooling in your chest as you swallowed the thick lump lodged in your throat.
You blinked. A hand was waving rather obnoxiously in your face and you felt annoyed almost immediately.
“Hey! Are you alright? You looked like you had something you wanted to say...” Sayaka dropped her head between her hands, her elbows resting against the table as she occasionally picked a fry from her tray, dipping it in the pile of ketchup. “Come on, space cadet! You still in there? Or has some aliencome and taken over your mind? Don’t worry. If they have, you can bet I’ll kick their ass!”
“No, it’s nothing. Would you like to go get ice cream after this?” You asked, stuffing your face with what little remains were left of your hamburger. Sayaka blew air into her cheeks, rolling her eyes. She gave you a look as if to say
Are you that dumb?
“Of course, I want to go get ice cream! Don’t worry, we can skip the music store. I need a break from Vivaldi anyways.” She smiled. You smiled. You were both idiots, smiling at each other in the middle of a room with a hundred or so people and in that moment, you were truly, really happy. It didn’t last long and only seconds later was Sayaka averting her gaze to the floor. Her eyebrows were turned up in an emotion you couldn’t read.
Worry? Sadness? Sayaka.
I can’t read you, anymore. What is going on with you?
The walk to the ice cream shop was a short one but with how unusual Sayaka was acting and how uneasy that made you feel; it could’ve been debated just how long that walk took. Sayaka was fidgeting with her sleeves when you two walked up to the cashier. You turned to look at her and caught her staring at you, before she quickly looked away. A blush spread across yours and her cheeks and you struggled to ask the next question that lay on your mind.
Sayaka, do you-
“Do you want chocolate or vanilla, Sayaka?” You asked, looking back at the menu. The flavors weren’t as extravagant as the toppings. Sayaka nodded, an exasperated look on her face as she approached the cashier. You saw her pull her wallet out of her pocket and found yourself gripping her wrist with yours that shook intensely with anxiety and embarrassment. She gave you a weird look. It wasn’t any different from the ones she had been flashing you before, but it sent different vibes your way.
What’s your problem?
That was the question you saw in her eyes. But it didn’t make any sense. Why would Sayaka be just as uncomfortable and paranoid about you as you were about her? You let your hand fall back down by your side, wrinkling your nose.
“Sorry. Let me pay you back, though. Okay?” You said. Sayaka rolled her eyes, her attention turning back to the man behind the register. You knew she wouldn’t let you pay her back, and that was what irked you. Guilt prodded at the outskirts of your lungs and for a second you felt you couldn’t breathe before Sayaka was turning on her heels and pressing a cup of vanilla ice cream into your hands.
She insisted she walk you home that night, and you soon found yourself sitting on your porch, Sayaka sat to your right as you both stared up at the sky.
“It’s really pretty, tonight.” She said, leaning back against her hands. You nodded in agreement. A chill wind blew through the grass and you struggled to keep your hair out of your face, mostly out of your mouth. The two of you sat there like that for a good five minutes before you were shifting uncomfortably against the wooden steps.
“Hey.” She chirped, looking at you out of the corner of her eye. Her bangs fell in her eyes and you watched contently as she blew them up with her mouth.
I really really like you, Sayaka.
“Are you doing okay? I mean…you’ve been acting weird this whole night. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had done something to- you know, make you uncomfortable.” Her voice was hoarse and tired from conversing all day long and you could tell by the way she was struggling to croak things out that she was exhausted. You looked away.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
No I’m not. I have the biggest crush on you, Sayaka Miki.
“Are you sure, dude?”
“So, you’re not mad at me, at all?”
How could I ever be mad at you?
Sayaka took in a deep breath before completely turning her body to face you, her legs crossed. You gasped as she took your hands in hers. Her fingers were calloused and rough and there was a rather large contrast between the size of yours and the size of hers. You could feel how clammy hers were and found yourself wondering if they had been that way all day. There was a strained smile on her face. And you were immediately reminded of your mother; specifically when she had something bad
to say, or if something had been bothering her for a long while. You pursed your lips in anticipation. The breeze died down and soon it was just you and Sayaka, completely and utterly alone.
You froze in place as she pressed a finger to your lips. Your name escaped hers and you found yourself melting against her touch.
“I have something important I want to tell you. It’s been on my mind for…a while now. And I know that I won’t be completely satisfied until I spit it out so, don’t be mad okay?”
You held your breath. She looked away and down at the ground, her face falling in a manner that had your heart hurting.
“I know you’re not into girls.”
“And I’m so sorry for what I’m about to say and if it ruins the friendship we have, I really am sorry.”
Is this really happening?
“I’ve liked you for the longest time.” She blurted out. Her face was red and her hands were sweating as she held yours tightly in between them. You felt almost as flustered as she looked.
“I can’t seem to get you out of my head. I think about you constantly, and I’ve replayed this scenario over and over again, time after time in my brain. I’ve been waiting for this moment even though I know it’ll ruin everything.”
“You know, when Kyosuke mentioned Hitomi, he had this look on his face. It was pure happiness and I felt so bitter. Bitterness towards him. Towards Hitomi. It was selfish of me, it really was. But, I knew I couldn’t do anything ‘bout it. It was out of my hands at that point.”
You were flabbergasted. She was rambling on and on and you decided against interrupting her. Tears pricked the edges of her eyes and you couldn’t not embrace her in that moment. You held her tight, close to you. Close to your heart. What you felt for her, she felt for Kyosuke. In fact, she still did. Her shoulders shook as she wept against yours.
“And I’m still not over him, I’ll admit it. But then I saw you, at school the next day, as I always did. But there was this different light shining on you. And I saw you in a completely different way than I had before.”
She shifted against you, and you shivered when you felt her hot breath against your neck, tears dripping against the skin.
“I noticed every single detail about you from how gorgeous your hair is to how…nice your legs
Your face was warm when she pulled herself back from your embrace and held your face in her hands. Her eyes were tired, filled with despair and you couldn’t help but feel resentful towards Kyousuke for a split second. She laughed awkwardly, scooting away from you slightly, her hands dropping back down to her lap as she pulled her knees up towards her chest.
“Sayaka, I feel the same. I was going to tell you earlier when we were eating, but I chickened out.” You explained. Sayaka’s eyes shot over to you, her expression one of shock.
“You’re not pulling my leg, are you?” She leaned in closer to you as you shook your head. Tingles travelled up your scalp as she ran her fingers through your hair, her other hand resting against the crook of your neck. There was a sort of obnoxious look of possessiveness over her face and you couldn’t tell if it was intended for you or Kyosuke.
It didn’t matter. You had finally gotten what you wanted, without having to do any of the work.
You decided you loved her.