Masayuki keeps the end of his tie in his left pocket; keeping it company is the list of complaints that he has about Kashima. He takes great care not to let her see it--not that he has any difficulty expressing his displeasure at nearly everything she does.
#5. She flirts with every girl in sight.
Thankfully not Sakura or Seo, but maybe it's more to their credit than Kashima's. It grates on him daily, this ability of hers to make a girl swoon or send her into excited fits. If he liked a girl (not that he did, mind you) he thinks that he'll be more straightforward about it. None of these flirtatious gestures or honeyed lines. Those are just too much like the plays he puts on, a pretense for an audience, someone else's words on his lips. He'll be different. He'll just tell her directly: 'I like you. Will you go out with me?' Yep. Sounds right. He does not care for swooning.
#7. She never pays attention.
Someone once told him that Kashima was his favorite headache, but that's giving her too much credit. Masayuki has had it with the reprimands. Some days he admires her carefree ways but on most, he finds that she is too much for him to handle. She doesn't listen anyway. Maybe directness is a virtue, but only in all things not involving Kashima.
#10. Her legs are too long.
Masayuki can blame his own build--too short, always too short--but this is Kashima's list and he'd rather take it out on her. Her legs make catching up with her a logistical nightmare. She'll already be halfway across campus by the time he pauses for breath. Her legs were slim and shapely but dug into the ground with the power of an athlete, kicking up dust with every elegant stride, and he's chasing, always chasing.
#14. She does not mind inconveniencing him.
Like now. Her head on his lap is heavy and she's rolling around as if trying to find the best position. He stiffens when the back of her head brushes too close to him, but then she is rolling again, this time too close to the edge of the seat that he wants to reach out and pull her back. She is thoughtless and inconsiderate in most things, and not even his arm across her shoulders--dragging her to rehearsals, pulling her back from a throng of adoring fans, or keeping her from falling while a King Game is going on--is enough to anchor her to him.
#20. Her legs are too long.
Her skirt is hiked up above her knees, and Masayuki tries not to look. Instead he closes his eyes and imagines himself elsewhere; older, maybe, or more sophisticated, and this time when he tells a girl, 'I like you. Will you go out with me?' she does not say a word. Instead she lifts one creamy leg off the bed, her skirt gliding across her thighs, waiting for him to notice her.
Sept 18, 2014