Part 3

Few weeks have passed since the day of Wakatsuki Yumi’s confession to Sakurai Reika. Yumi has been practicing with archery club; both she and Matsumura teach the rest of members how to shoot an arrow. Even though the competition is within few weeks, but it seems that the club takes it slowly. That’s probably because they think they will definitely win because the legend, Wakatsuki Yumi is in the club. Yumi seems she enjoys teaching and spending the time together in the club.

Shiraishi Mai approaches Matsumura and Yumi who sit on the floor and they look so exhausted. She offers them bottle of water.

“Thank you,” say both of them at the same time. Matsumura takes a gulp.

“Matsumura-senpai! Could you please come and show us the technic once more?” calls a junior member who is still practicing.

“Yoo!” Matsumura then stands up and runs to this girl.

Mai then sits next to Yumi on the floor.

“This is so much fun,” says Yumi.

“Even though you are sweating like this??” Mai chuckles.

“Yeah… I just like sports so much.” She stares at the water bottle Mai gave her earlier. “…you don’t?” Yumi then looks at Mai. Their faces are actually pretty close to each other.

BADDUMP… Suddenly, Mai’s heart feels like jumping out of her chest. To hide the fact that she’s doki-doki, she looks away.

“I-I like sports too, but I don’t think I can do sports very well like you.”

“Why? Have you ever tried? For example, have you shot any arrow since you joined the club?” Yumi asks.

Mai shakes her head. Yumi then gives a quick nod.

 

 

Yumi opens her eyes and that is when she realizes that she fell asleep in the club’s locker room. She needs to head back home otherwise she is gonna miss dinner. When she walks out from the locker, she feels someone’s presence and yes there is Mai near the shooting area. It’s actually pretty distance from the locker to where Mai is standing right now.

“Eh she is still here…” Yumi walks closer to Mai, intents to say hi and then go back home. But, Yumi stops when she sees Mai tries to grab the arrow.

“What is she trying to do? Shooting? I thought she said she couldn’t do it?” Yumi talks to herself while looking at Mai and guess what she is actually trying to do.

Mai has bow on hand and she tries to grab the arrow. Mai looks so hesitate and it makes Yumi wonder why and what happen.

Slowly Mai takes the arrow and she is somehow ready to shoot.

“Eh???” Yumi is pretty shocked to see that Mai is actually doing it. Yumi keeps thinking should I go and help, should I be on her side, should I…, should I…. because it is pretty dangerous for a novice like Mai. Well, it is not actually dangerous. Yumi just feels that she needs to be with her. Then Yumi decides to walk faster and be on Mai’s side just in case.

When she’s about to reach Mai and at the same time, the arrow hits the target (center). Yumi stops and then blinks for a few second. Mai then turns around and she looks surprised to see Yumi is right in front of her.

“Yumi?!” she looks really surprised.

“Mai! You can shoot! That was unbelievable! I thought you said you couldn’t!”

“That was….” Mai stares at the ground. “…Yumi, can you please not to tell anybody about this?” she then looks straight to Yumi.

“What are you talking about?”

“Please? I am begging you.”

“Why? Isn’t it good for the club’s sake? We can win and the club will continue, right?”

“No. You don’t understand. Please don’t tell anybody about this. I am begging you!”

“I don’t understand why you’re hiding this but okay. I won’t tell anybody.” Yumi sounds a bit disappointed.

“Thank you…” Mai then quickly walks away from Yumi without any further explanation.

Yumi keeps wondering what actually happen to Mai. Is this related to her past? If she’s this good, why she never participated in any tournament? At least she could lead the team and win, right? These are unanswered questions going on inside Yumi’s head. She needs to know what happen but she is not sure who to ask.

 

 

Another day at the club where everyone is busy practicing. Today seems different because it’s so rare that Mai doesn’t come to the club. This makes Yumi thinking if what happened yesterday was also a part of her being absent today. It is really suspicious and Yumi needs to know.

Then, Yumi happens to see these two walking in the club; Reika and Minami. It looks like they are checking how the club is doing and stuff.

“Hi, Wakatsuki…” greets Reika. Yumi gives a quick nod.

“Checking our club?” Yumi asks.

“Yes…” then the staring contest begin between these two.

“Also… I need to see you.” Reika adds.

“Okay…” Yumi starts panicking inside but she pretends to look cool.

Reika then stares at the ground after seeing Yumi’s expression when she said that. She probably doesn’t want to see me, is what Reika thinking now. Minami who stands next to Reika, is taking a photo of Yumi with her phone. She looks happy and probably too slow to notice what is happening in front of her right now.

“I guess you all are doing really well with the club. Wish you luck, Wakatsuki.” When Reika is about to turn around, Yumi spontaneously grabs Reika’s hand and makes her stop. Reika looks at the girl who stops her by holding her hand. Yumi then feels something tighten her chest after seeing the ring on Reika’s finger. She then immediately releases Reika’s hand. Reika notices that Yumi was looking at the ring and she feels really bad about it. Without saying anything, she and Minami leave the club.

Yumi can only see the back of the girl she loves leaving her. It is so painful.

“Your ex, huh.” This person suddenly appears next to Yumi.

“Oh, you Manatsu. No. She is not my ex. She is my best friend.”

“It doesn’t look so. Are you in unrequited love?”

“What are you talking about?” Yumi pushes Manatsu’s body slowly while laughing.

“Don’t touch me…” says Manatsu. Yumi then puts both her hands up in the air and whispers, “…sorry,”

“Do you know why Mai is not coming today?” Manatsu asks.

“I wonder too,” Yumi folds her hands on her chest.

“It must be your fault,”says Manatsu.

“Excuse me? My fault? How?”

“You were here when Mai shot the arrow, right? You shouldn’t have been here at the first place.”

“Wait a minute… You saw? You knew????”

“Of course. I have been always with her since she joined the club. I know her more than anyone else.”

“This is great! Now tell me what happened. She told me to keep this as a secret. I want to know why.”

“I don’t tell you anything.”

“Come on, Manatsu. Please?”

Manatsu thinks whether she should tell Yumi or not. But then after seeing Mai’s happy expression whenever it’s about Yumi, she then thinks Yumi probably needs to know.

“Mai, she is the best player I’ve ever seen. Archery is her life and her father was a champion for many times. She is playing better than you.” Manatsu starts the story.

“I know she’s good. I saw it.” Says Yumi. “Please continue…”

“One day when Mai practiced with me, she accidentally shot the arrow to a girl who happened to walk across the field…”

“Oh my god!” Yumi is shocked.

“This girl would lose her right arm that was what I thought, but luckily, she just got a scratch on her right shoulder. Mai apologized to the girl and her family. This girl forgave her though her parents were so angry at Mai because their daughter actually do archery too. With that condition, she can’t continue archery and Mai felt so bad about it. That is why shooting an arrow has been always a traumatic situation for her until today.”

“I see..”

“But look. Mai doesn’t give up on archery. She’s taking a part as a manager of the club because deep inside herself, she wants to continue. I have been telling her to keep doing archery because she’s great but she is not ready yet. Can you please talk to her and make her play again?”

“Eh?? Me?? Why??”

“Are you an idiot? Mai likes you, can’t you see?”

“Of course we’re friends.”

“Not that ‘like’, you idiot.”

“Hah? No way, no way. That is not possible.”

“Anyway, I don’t want to argue with an idiot like you,”

“Why are you so mean to me?”

“Whatever. Just talk to her, okay? I want to continue practicing.” Then Manatsu walks away.

Just like Manatsu, Yumi wants to see Mai plays after seeing her performance yesterday. She has no idea what to do and how to persuade her to play again.

Yumi then runs to Manatsu and asks her about something.

 

 

 

“Everyone must be worried about me, especially Yumi. I am such a coward.” Mai buries her face on to the pillow in her bed.

“Yumi, she probably hates me now.”

Mai’s phone is vibrating. She reaches it on the side table near her bed. It’s a text from Yumi. It says, ‘In front of your house,’

Mai then quickly runs to the gate and yeah she finds Yumi there with someone else. Mai knows this person.

“Hi…” greets that person.

“Eh? Why? What happens?” Mai looks a bit shocked. She is looking at Yumi to look for an answer.

“You still remember her, right?” Ask Yumi. “…she is Hashimoto Nanami. The girl who got shot by you.”

“I remember her. But, why is she here?”

“Hi, Mai. I am here because Wakatsuki Yumi went to my school. She asked me about how I got into that accident and stuff.”

“Yumi, why are you going this far?” asks Mai.

“I am actually feeling so sad to know that you quit archery just because you felt guilty and it makes such a trauma for yourself. I got shot because it was my fault. That day when I saw you playing in that field, I was moved. I admire you because how well you play. I love archery but I am no good at all. Because I wanted to see you more, I ended up jumping into your shooting range and got shot. That was completely my fault, it wasn’t yours. I felt bad to see how you apologized to my parents though it was all my fault. I want you to play again. I am also not giving up on archery and I have been doing my best in the club. And I hope to see you in the field, Mai.”

Mai could not hold her tears as she cries a lot. Yumi walks to her and tap her on the shoulder.

“I also want to see you play again. I want to play together with you.” Says Yumi.

Mai looks up to the person who is standing in front of her right now and she slowly nods. It draws a relieved smile on Yumi’s face. Mai then spontaneously hugs Yumi so tight. Yumi blushes as she remembers what Manatsu told her this morning about Mai’s feeling toward her. Despite of the truth, Mai now seems relieved and Yumi can’t let her down as she decides to hug her back.

 

 

In the next morning, Mai shows up in front of everyone in the club. She looks brighter and happier. She greets everyone with smile and once Yumi and her stands in front of each other, Mai whispers, “Thank you,” Yumi replies with a smile.

“Thank you…” says Manatsu to Yumi while Mai walks away.

“Thanks to you too for telling me about Hashimoto Nanami.”

“Finally I will be seeing Mai play again after a while. It makes my day.”

“So, tell me Manatsu. You like Mai?” teases Yumi.

Manatsu blushes, “H-how dare you say that to me!”

“You are blushing!”

“I am not! Go away!!” says Manatsu and she starts walking away.

“So funny. She told me to go but she is the one who walks away.” Yumi lets a chuckle out.

 

 

Yumi walks down to the school back yard all by herself. She just lets her feet drag her away, whenever they want to take her, she will follow. She never expects that she will see Reika in the yard. Somehow Yumi shows an affection smile as she sees the love of  her life in front of her right now. Reika is picking some flowers on the yard and she seems having fun all by herself. Yumi then decides to walk closer until she realizes that Reika is not actually alone. After picking some flowers, Reika runs to a girl. That girl smiles as Reika hands her the flowers she just picked. Reika holds the girls’ hand and that is the moment Yumi notices they both are wearing the same rings. Reika leans down to hug the girl as she is somehow using wheelchair. The girl looks so pale and ill, that’s what Yumi thinks. After pulling off from the hug, Reika then notices Yumi has been standing in a distance. They both feel this awkwardness and the girl on the wheelchair notices that Reika is looking at the different way. Yumi and the girl’s eye meet, and Yumi without hesitating smiles at her, a nervous smile. Reika says something to the girl and as the girl nods, Reika walks closer to Yumi.

“Hey…” greet Reika.

“Hi…” Yumi greets her back.

“The girl on the wheelchair….”

“I know,” Before Reika can finish her sentence, Yumi cuts her, “…she is your fiancée, right?”

After some seconds, Reika nods.

“Her name is Nishino Nanase. She’s the daughter of the school’s board.”

“I see…” Yumi bites her lips, try to control her mixed feeling. “Are you happy?” ask Yumi.

Reika looks hesitate to answer the question. She remains silent as she somehow doesn’t feel to tell Yumi a lie.

“I can’t leave her. She needs me.”

“Then how about me?” Yumi grabs Reika’s hand. In a few second, she realizes what she  does is wrong moreover Reika’s fiancée is right there. She slowly puts her hand down.

“I am sorry,” whispers Yumi.

“Wakatsuki, you and her are different. You don’t understand.” Reika explains.

“Yeah you’re right. I don’t understand. Then, why don’t you tell me what’s going on so I could understand?” Yumi tries to hold her tears however Reika is already crying.

“I am sorry, Wakatsuki. I am really sorry.” Reika wipes her tears as she’s saying, “I feel the same way you feel toward me. But…I can’t leave her.”

“Why? I need to know.” Yumi desperately asks for Reika what’s going on with all of these. Reika can’t just remain silent after these years, the reason why she left and this new girl that she told Yumi was her fiancée, who the hell is she and everything.

“I need to go. Nanase will be worried. Talk to you later.” Reika then turns around and runs to Nanase who has been waiting and probably worried about them. Reika rubs Nanase’s cheeks and pushes the wheelchair away from the place immediately.

Yumi can only cry after watching all the scenes that happened in front of her just now. She has no idea what happens but all she knows that it’s enough. She doesn’t want to suffer from this anymore. The pain, the heartbroken, she had enough of it. She keeps thinking, why they can’t be together though they both have mutual feeling? What is it that can’t be fixed? Is it her fault? Many things going on inside her head which she couldn’t let out but cry instead.

“I am sorry I have been following you,” Mai who has been there the whole time suddenly hugging Yumi from the back.

Yumi doesn’t bother to look back and ask Mai why she is following her. She keeps crying in her hands.

“I will be here for you, always…”

Slowly, Yumi reaches Mai’s hands that get wrapped around her neck. Mai’s hug feels warm and exactly a hug that she needs right now.

“I love you, Yumi and I am not giving up.” finally Mai confessed her feeling toward Yumi. Yumi looks somehow surprised as it is true that Mai has feeling for her. But they both understand especially Mai that Yumi can’t return her feeling and Yumi which only sees Mai as a good friend and on the other hand, Yumi loves Reika. And the moment Reika rejected Yumi just now was way too painful and actually wrong time for a confession. But Mai somehow feels the need to confess her feeling to Yumi.

“I am not giving up and I am not gonna lose to Reika. I am sorry I know it’s not the right time to confess.”

Yumi which is really sad over the moment Reika rejected her just now, can’t think of anything else. She doesn’t know how to response Mai and how to treat her from now. She never has feeling to anyone beside Reika as the feeling toward Reika is too strong for her to fall for another girl. On the other hand, she doesn’t want to let Mai down because she’s really a nice girl and a good friend. Mai is really fragile and she hates to see Mai being sad too. Mai deserves to be happy but with someone else not her. Yumi, she can’t really accept Mai’s confession and start going out after all of these. And then Yumi is more confused as Mai tighten her hug as if she can read what Yumi is thinking right now.

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