It was an ordinary school day. Seigaku High bustled with the daily lives of high school teachers and students. Tennis Club practiced twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Last year Tezuka had taken over for the former captain to become a Seigaku Tennis Captain again. Practice had ended normally for the team and it was sort of an epiphany that Fuji needed to tell Tezuka how he felt before they turned in their college intention forms. It was Thursday night, the day that he and Tezuka usually met to study for the college entrance exams, when Fuji decided to confess and face his fears.
The evening was normal enough. Both young adults sat in Tezuka’s bedroom studying after Tezuka’s mother brought them tea and some chips as snacks. Maybe an hour had went by before they decided to take a break and Fuji wanted to ask before his stomach ate a hole through itself.
Sipping his green tea, Fuji started his question. “Kunimitsu…” Fuji knew the other had to have gathered suspicions for a while. It wasn’t like Fuji cared to hide his bi-sexuality and his best friend Eiji was completely gay. The thing that stumped Fuji was Tezuka’s thoughts on other sexualities. Tezuka’s face stayed stoic during questions like that, declining politely to comment. Fuji has seen neither disgust nor assurance by the other but from how traditional his parents are Fuji guessed the other couldn’t even think but to be heterosexual. Even after all this time it was hard to read Tezuka’s facial expressions. “Have you considered dating a man before?”
Tezuka set his teacup down. “What brought this on?”
“It’s just that,” Fuji set his teacup down as well. “we’re leaving for college soon and I know that you want to go to Tokyo University just like me. I wanted to know if there was any chance for us to become something more?” It was a risk, Fuji knew. He agonized over this for years. Whether Tezuka was open to the idea of homosexuality or if Fuji confessed, he could lose one of his closest friends, it was almost not worth voicing but the tensai had to try. If Fuji never voiced it, he would regret it the rest of his life. The pregnant pause that came after did not bode well and Fuji knew he lost against societal prejudice and expectations.
“I’m sorry Syusuke. I…I can’t return those feelings.” Tezuka’s face was stoic as ever but his dark brown eyes gleamed with sorrow. “I can only see you as a friend…plus my family would never allow it.”
Fuji picked up his teacup again and frowned into it as he took a sip. He stated. “I had to ask anyway.”
“Hn.” Tezuka grunted quietly. “We can still be friends, you know? I could never dislike you for something like that.”
Once Fuji finished his tea, he sighed. “I’m glad.” He gave a closed-eyed smile with a tinge of pain. “At least I know you’re not homophobic.” It was a weak attempt at a joke, but it did brighten the gleam in Tezuka’s eyes.
“We can study for one more hour?” Tezuka asked.
“We can.” Fuji agreed.
Tezuka was worried about his best friend but decided not to comment when Fuji gave a fake smile and walked off.
The tensai managed to hold his tears in until he walked into the woods but he started crying when the darkness covered him. A distant owl hooted in the night and Fuji felt like it was mocking him. After studying with Tezuka, Fuji decided to detour into the neighboring woods instead of heading straight home. Tezuka’s house was a traditional Japanese estate that led into the modern city. However the back of the estate was more forest than anything and even had a small pond.
It was unfair. Fuji wished he could have fell in love with someone else. Someone who isn’t my best friend or someone who was more openminded to same-sex love.
He didn’t feel much of anything as he walked. It was like he was in a tunnel and everything had a fogged covered view.
Fuji didn’t know how long he walked. He faintly saw time pass by the way the moon’s light glided across the small pond and against the shrubbery. The sound of cicadas lulled Fuji as he paused by a tree near the pond. His family was going to kill him being out passed curfew.
After listening to the wilderness, Fuji decided to go back home and face the consequences. He shifted back the way he came, hoping it was correct, but everything seemed the same in the dark. He got maybe two steps before he felt something warm spray over his face.
“What the fuck?” Fuji closed his as he swore.
“Ara, there was someone way out here?” A deep masculine voice called from Fuji’s left.
The tennis genius looked down and saw the warm liquid was dark and slightly red. Soon a metallic scent registered in his brain and Fuji looked towards where the voice came from in horror.