Sitting with Someone Else
Sōji and Wakaba barely made it past the closing doors of the subway train.
Perspiring, Sōji sat on a seat.
Panting, Wakaba sat on another seat.
Wait, something wasn’t right. Sōji looked to the side. It wasn’t Wakaba; she was sitting in front of him.
Or, more specifically, next to another man. He had the face of a Korean idol, the physique of a personal trainer, and clothes that an important businessman would wear.
Maybe Wakaba had sat next to him intentionally? Maybe she found him attractive? These thoughts simmered inside Sōji, made him glad he wasn’t sitting next to her.
She was looking at him now as if telling him, See this man? He looks better than you. He dresses better than you. He probably — no, definitely — earns more than you.
Why the hell is Sōji sitting there? Wakaba hissed in her mind. But immediately, the rational part of her brain took over.
Dazed with adrenaline, she and Sōji must have thought they’d sat on two empty seats. Next to each other.
But Sōji was probably not complaining. The woman sitting next to him had the face of an American actress, the physique of a bikini model, and a dress that would give you frostbite in winter.
Sōji must be dying to look at her. Leer at her. But he didn’t dare, because Wakaba was staring at him.
To hell with him, Wakaba shouted inwardly.
Screw Wakaba, Sōji muttered without a sound.
“Shinjuku station,” the announcement said in a female voice.
The doors slid open, and the passengers stood up. Including Sōji and Wakaba — who were glaring at each other until no one else was left. Until a familiar chime told them the doors were closing.
Until Wakaba glanced around and blurted, “We’re not going to make it!”
“We will.” Sōji clutched Wakaba’s hand, and she clutched his.
Then they made it out of the train at the last second.