How it is: Chapter 7

It was a Saturday morning, and that meant the day of ACU elections. Timmy and Tarou were both dressed in formal wear, and waiting outside of a classroom for their interviews. Tarou was given a slightly earlier time slot, but felt rather self-assured about it. “Alright, Tarou Shimizu.” A girl, ACU’s vice president, Alice, walked out. “Alright, I’ll see you on the other side.” He smiled at Timmy as he walked into the room. “Alright, so you’ll have just two minutes to do your speech, and then we have five minutes for Q+A.” Alex explained. “Alright, time starts now,” “Hi, everyone. My name is Tarou Shimizu. I am a rising sophomore, and I am currently studying Drama in the Tisch School of the Performing Arts.” He started. He noticed that most of the board was almost glaring at him. “And I am running for the position of Event Coordinator. So the reason why I feel like I am qualified for this position is that I am a very careful yet somewhat improvisational person. Working in the theatre, I deal with high-stress situations constantly, and I am always trying to make sure that I deliver perfection every time. Having that sort of perfectionism, I know I can translate that skill well into running and coordinating events. Being Japanese-American, I am proud to be Asian and I love the idea of being able to represent my country in the Asian Cultural Union. Thank you for your time interviewing me.” He took a slight bow. “And I would love to open the floor to questions.”

Immediately, a taller boy, Gary, raised his hand. “Yes?” “So you say that you are a perfectionist. How do you deal with failure?” “Well, being a perfectionist, I always try my best to deliver the vision I have in mind. Obviously, with failure, there are lessons to be learned. So long as you learn the lessons from when you fail, then that’s really all there is to it right?” Another hand went up, this time from a girl named Holly. “So what other commitments do you have?” “I… am currently the secretary in Tisch School of Arts’ student government, the treasurer for Japanese Business Association, and the vice president of the NYU Modeling Club, and I model too.” Tarou listed as Holly’s jaw almost hit the floor. He could tell that he just shot himself in the foot with that response. Every officer in that room must be thinking that Tarou would be too busy to commit any time to this position. “I know it sounds like a lot, but I love being challenged and multitasking and I will make this work.” He insisted, only realizing that what he was saying made the situation worse. He made the problem more apparent with that comment. “Alright, I think we’re done here.” Alex nodded his head at the rest of his board. “Yeah. Thank you for your time.” Alice ushered him out. “I totally screwed up.” Tarou whispered to Timmy, as he left the room mortified. Normally, Tarou was great with public speaking, but he knew that he fell flat on his face. There was no way he would be elected.

Alice brought Timmy into the auditorium next, where he stood in front of the mass of seated ACU officers. “Hi, my name is Timmy Li, and I am applying to be a sophomore representative for the following year.” Timmy started. “I love ACU, and I got to a lot of your events. I want to make sure that as your sophomore representative, that I can bring my passion and love for this club to any, if not, all of our members. I want everyone here to see this club as a family.” He finished. Almost everyone in that room began to clap. “Does anyone have any questions for me?” He looked around. “So we know that you also applied and got into the Taiwanese American Student Association. When it comes down to having events for both clubs, what would you do?” “I am event coordinator for that club, so I will have to make sure that the events are running, but if there are things going on in the same day, then I will try my best to make time for both.” Timmy assured them. “We will get around to that when, uh, I mean, if we get you on board.” Gary nodded in acknowledgement. “I think we know you well enough.” Alex insisted. “Thank you for applying, Timmy!” Holly grinned. “We look forward to having you on board- I mean, letting you know what the results are.” Alice giggled as she walked Timmy to the door. “Have a nice ret of your day, okay?” She closed the door slowly on him.

“Hey, can we talk about something?” Both boys have changed out of their outfits, and were just sitting in their room together. Tarou just felt like it was time to be truthful to Timmy. He felt really vulnerable after failing in the interview, and wanted to move past this mini episode with ACU. “What’s up?” “So, I was really nervous to say this, but I’m… bisexual.” Tarou sighed. “Yeah, I knew that.” “Wait, what?” “Justin told me.” He admitted. “And you didn’t feel the need to talk to me about this?” Tarou was starting to get visibly upset. “I figured you’d talk to me about it when you were ready!” Timmy growled. “This is always the fucking problem. You take zero initiative when it comes to instigating things.” Tarou rolled his eyes. “Look, I did not want to say this, but I was starting to think this way the moment we started living together, and knowing that you are bisexual, it only further convinces me about this. I think you have romantic feelings for me.” Timmy glared at Tarou, who was stunned speechless. That was not what he was expecting to hear. “Why the fuck would you suggest something like that?” Tarou was trying to not punch a wall or Timmy at that point. He was fuming. “Just the way you act around me. You’re so invested in my life, and it just felt like you wanted to get romantically involved with me. Normal friends don’t act this way.” Timmy squeaked as Tarou cornered him. “You and I aren’t normal friends! We’ve known each other for years! And you don’t honestly expect me to fall in love with you like that, do you?” Tarou stared right into Timmy’s eyes.

At this point, tensions were high. Tarou stood before Timmy, whose back was against a wall. “I’m sorry I didn’t say it earlier.” Timmy was starting to cry. Being confronted to this degree was making him extremely uncomfortable. He already had issues with privacy around Tarou, but this was taking that sort of discomfort to an even greater degree. “Look, I actually don’t know why you mean so much to me either.” Tarou finally sighed, backing away from Timmy. “I just always felt this need to protect you ever since college. You were always the person protecting me when we were kids, and I used to look up to you as an older brother. But then everyone in college saw it more like I was the older brother, and it got to my head. I wanted to be the person who could protect you for a change.” He finally admitted. “Tarou, you don’t have to protect me. I’m my own person, and you know that. Just be the Tarou I was friends with, not this crazy, angry, and constantly vulture-ing person, okay?” Timmy sighed, pulling his best friend and roommate in for a hug. “But Timmy, I’m actually a little scared now.” “Hm?” “I’m afraid that I do have romantic feelings for you. I know you’re into women, and that a relationship with the two of us would never work out, and I’m just hoping that what I feel towards you, it’s really platonic or that those recent feelings, they were paternal or older brotherly, not romantic.” Unfortunately, Tarou saying that just stirred an uneasiness in Timmy. To the Taiwanese boy, it sounded as if Tarou was trying to reassure himself that he did not have feelings for Timmy and was failing to do so.

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