Heartache 101 ~Sour into Sweet~

       I stroll down the streets, thinking of how I should spend my time after school. Ever since Miki started the contest I’ve been thinking about self-improvement. I have full confidence my thousand-apple plan will impress Shihoko, but what happens after that? Shihoko is divinity incarnate. Her boyfriend can’t seem like a loser. It’ll be an insult to her! I must strive to become a man worthy of Shihoko.
       I go over qualities that I think girls will care about. Muscles? Those I have. Brains? Maybe I can work on that. Artistic ability? Okay, maybe that too. I find it easier to see all these traits as stats, like in some video game. All I have to do is spend my time on activities that up these stats. Like leveling up in a game. Simple.
       Therefore it annoys me when insignificant things pop up and drain my precious time. Things like chasing after silly rabbits. Shihoko is important. My stats are important. I can’t waste time on trifles. In fact, I don't even know Junko and Aoi that well. Total strangers for all I care. And Miki already said she's gonna help, right?
       Still, I know what Miki meant when she said ‘you know, me and animals’ earlier. Miki has never been an 'animals person'. Dogs scare her. I think even hamsters scare her. I remember when we had Roku-chan, she wouldn't go near my house. Between her and Aoi, they'll never catch that rabbit. Mr. Hoppy will go missing forever, and Aoi will be crying for weeks. Ha!
       Actually, if that happens, Miki will be on my case for at least a month. It'll be all my fault, no matter what I say. I will never hear the end of it.
       I see Aoi’s determined gaze again. An unshakable faith resides in her eyes. They refuse to leave my mind.
       I stop walking, groan, and turn towards the road leading to the children's playground.

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