Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Common ❯ Part II: End of Innocence: Chapter Seven: This is Real ( Chapter 20 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Seven: This is Real:

Atticus had a chance to get close to Aoi again. She was out of the room when he joined. Right now, he sat at one of the tables. He couldn't wait to talk to her again. The girls in the club seemed nice.

“Atticus-kun?” he heard someone ask. The boy looked up to see his crush in the doorway. His heart beat against his chest.

“Hi!” he said.

“What are you doing here?” Aoi asked with wide eyes.

“I joined the art club,” he said.

“You did?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Oh, Aoi-san,” Miyuki spoke up. “Come look at the drawing the newbie drew of you. It's really good.”

“A picture of me?” Aoi asked. Atticus' face turned bright red.

“Yes,” he said in a quiet voice. He slid the picture towards her. Aoi walked over for a look. The boy looked away, blushing. Her little cheeks turned red as well.

“It's beautiful,” she said.

“You think so?” Atticus asked. He looked up to see Aoi inches from his face.

“I like it,” she said.

“Keep it,” he said. Aoi blinked.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said. Her face became redder.

“T-T-Thanks,” she said. Aoi picked up the drawing. Miyuki clapped her hands together.

“Okay, let's get started!” she said. Everyone gathered around the club president and the club began. Atticus found himself enjoying the first day.


Aoi turned to Atticus as they walked home.

“How have you been?” she asked.

“Good,” he said. “I missed you.”

“Well, I have been busy,” she said. Atticus' heart beat against his chest. They were along together again. No Kenya to tag along. Just them again, like the old days. But now that they were together, maybe this would be the right time to say it. Atticus gulped as he looked up at the sky.

“Aoi-chan,” he said.

“Hm?” Aoi asked. The boy stopped in his tracks.

“I like you,” he said. His old friend blinked.

“What?” she asked. Atticus grabbed her by the hands.

“I really like you!” he said. “I have always liked you!” Both stood blushing.

“I… I don't know what to say,” Aoi said. Atticus pressed his lips together. Why did he do that? Why did it come out like that? Come on… Say something!

“Uh…” she said. Atticus gulped.

“Do you… like me?” he asked. Aoi lowered her eyes.

“I… I…” she said.

“Hey!” someone yelled. The pair looked up to see Kenya running towards them. He waved them down as he caught up. For once, Atticus was happy to see him again.

“Hello,” he said. Kenya broke into a huge grin.

“Wow!” he said. “I haven't seen you in weeks! What's going on here?”

“Uh… Nothing!” Atticus was quick to say. Kenya blinked.

“Is everything okay?” he asked.

“Fine, fine,” Atticus said. “Everything is fine!” He turned to Aoi.

“Isn't it?” he asked.

“Uh… Yeah, yeah,” she said. “We're okay. Everything is fine.” Their friend gave them an odd look.

“Okay…” he said. “Want to go the arcade?” Atticus and Aoi looked at each other.

“Uh… sure,” they said. Kenya ended up leading the way. Atticus and Aoi said nothing the whole walk. He had his feelings out there. She didn't reject him, but she didn't accept his feelings either. Would he even get an answer? Atticus sighed and dropped his shoulders.

He guessed that he would have to wait. Somehow, that felt more painful.