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“Whatever”, I pulled out my pink leather notebook, slowly slipping out the pen on its side which had a weird charm attached to it, some kind of indistinguishable monster mix while the pen on the end spiraled, not very efficient for someone to write with but I still loved it.
“What do you mean whatever? The way I know you is that no matter what I am going to say or do you will just be stubborn and do your weird actions again”, since I did barely listen to my friend or at least it seemed like I did, I was observing the other team and scribbled down all information I could get while still enjoying the game.
There was not a moment I wanted to miss, as my pen rapidly went from one side to the other and the pages filled with barely readable notes I probably had to re-write again.
Their Ace has pretty much more strength than anyone else on the team, but then again the serve number one did was unique not anything a setter could pull off, still number four seemed to do extra training his arms look more defined and muscular, then we have the onion-head looking guy-
“Can you like, come back?”, my friend pulled my pen away, leaving one big line that went over two pages but still my eyes went back to the court for a moment.
“I am here, I am just in a hurry”, it escaped out of me as I wanted to face her but at the same time not miss anything.
I need to see more, their team is different.
“You already watch Karasuno all the time and almost made a secret trip to Tokyo, aren’t you a bit too invested in this? I mean at least stick with one, last time it was Karasuno’s setter, right?”, Chihaya crossed her arms as she narrowed her eyes and tapped the pen on her upper arm.
“Invested? In?”, I blinked several times hoping she would not crush that pen that I weirdly adored so much since my father gave it to me for no particular reason.
But I got really attached to it.
“What? Volleyball and not only that it seems”, my childhood friend was eyeing me like an alien she tried to expose.
I turned the pages of my notebook where little scribbles of the way Kageyama sets the ball were seen and a lot of notes were written next to it.
“Kageyama is interesting and I am still observing his team behaviour, but he lacks a certain something and I cannot approach casually since I do not belong to any club, at least not a proper one.
I am still dropping by sometimes, hoping to see him develop at some point but he still seems to stick to his habits of middle-school, I will spare you the details for later.
They are all nice but I feel like… I should not make them feel uncomfortable; they are not used to people like me continuously observing them. Nishinoya from our year and Tanaka are really loud, which makes me drop my focus immediately and I am too shy to tell them to shut up while we are not close.
Hinata gets all nervous and messes up his spikes when I ask him right away or even while playing.
Daichi seems really nice, he has a lot to handle too, so I feel bad for making it worse for him.
Sugawara told me it’s fine and all, but I just can’t keep scribbling there while it gives everyone a hard time.”
Chihaya heaved an eyebrow.
“Why not become a manager? I heard Kiyoko-senpai was looking for some girls to join”, she proposed but I shook my head.
“No, I am not interested in that. As a manager I need to benefit the team with my observations and I feel I still cannot do that. This is rather a more psychological kind of… hobby?”, I scratched my chin and adjusted my fake glasses my mother made me wear since middle-school.
“What does it have to do with Volleyball if it’s a psychological hobby?”, another suspicious gaze.
With a serious expression I pointed at Seijoh and after that at Karasuno who were playing again.
“Psychology is just the same, observe- receive- connect”, while the ball was brought back by Nishinoya’s amazing coordinating between fast reflexes, extraordinary legwork and smooth arm movements, Kageyama setted the ball for Hinata, almost as if he pinpointed the spot where his hand would smack the ball, just to get blocked.
“I get the observe-part but what about receiving and connecting?”, she uncrossed her arms again which made me ease up.
Seems like she is now more frank to hear me out and lets her guard down.
My chance to smooth-talk her into helping me out.
“Observing is nice and all but even a child can observe and see what is going on.
Receiving the observed information is the next step to it.
You analyse what you see and think it through this is where the difference between a shallow observation and psychological analysis goes.
Lastly and just as important – connect.
Just like in volleyball even if you receive the ball it doesn’t mean it’s in your favor.
If you do not connect the ball then all the steps before will not come through and conclude into something that won’t really manifest into results, here the score.
But if it connects then you might understand the whole process why every step was necessary and the result would be a chance or even a point.
If you take your observations, receive them and then connect them to your own experience, data or memories, maybe even emotions the whole picture becomes much clearer, much more visible and the person in front of you seems like a radiant gem all of a sudden”, suddenly my eyes fixed Seijoh’s number one who dumped the ball and scored a point.
The excitement from both, seeing such a bold yet not predictable move and at the same time Kageyama being overwhelmed by someone who he seemed to respect so much, valuable information.
A gem indeed.
“Miya-chii, did your mum brainwash you again like in middle-school? And why do you always write everything down?”, she poked me with the pen and my forehead stinged as if it was about to crack.
“No after she had told me to write an analysis about my classmate I had a fight with in middle-school, she finally allowed me to read some of her thesis.
I didn’t quite get them at that time but after that one analysis it kind of became my hobby.
She did not brainwash me, but awoke my inner sleeping beast!
Dad is worrying that I become like Mum though, I wonder why”, I muttered to myself.
“I kinda get that poor man your mum is a scary dominant woman wouldn’t wanna mess with her.
Like how would it feel if someone observes anything around you?”, Chihaya pretended to shiver.
“Huh, I think that’s kinda cool”, a sheepish smile plastered my face and again my gaze wandered to the court.
“No, how can you think-”, I cut her off.
“If there exists a person who could understand the parts of you that you, yourself, want to understand deeply but cannot, I think that’s kind of cool.
Almost like a hero.
Humans are afraid of letting people come too close, at the same time we want to be understood.
Watched, acknowledged by someone at some point”, as I observed Chihaya’s tense body posture relaxing and even hanging down a bit as she leaned against the seat, it seemed like she gave up to find any more arguments.
“Sure, it seems true but a stalker is not nice”, she sighed.
“Ah, no a stalker is not okay. That’s why observers are not stalkers. They make their presence clear to the target that is being observed, giving them the sign to tell them to stay or not. A stalker forcefully stays and does bad stuff.
An observer might stay and want to motivate the other party.
It’s a win-win”, I heaved my index-finger to look more professional but she slapped it away.
“Yes, yes I got you. A rather optimistic way of life that you are leading Miya-chii, seeing the world in your curiosity-on mode or whatever it is”, she turned her head slightly to me and looked concerned.
“Look”, a demanding and firm voice that made me stiffen a bit, “I know you get carried away and even though you seem rather observant you still live in your own world”, I cannot deny that but it still offended me a bit, which I didn’t show.
“It’s just, I space out a bit no more no less”, I laughed it off and remembered the many times my mother had scolded me for that.
Painful memories of disgrace while she even used gentle methods.
“So”, a slight blush was starting to form on her cheeks as she frowned, “I know I can’t stop you but at least tell me when you are planning something stupid again, I will try to avoid you making more trouble than needed”, she averted her gaze.
“Sure”, a cheerful confirmation from my side and I hummed.
“Then we can start with observing Oikawa and his team after the match and plan out how to visit Aoba Johsai private high-school during weekdays”, I took my pen again and started a layout.
“Huh?”, her face distorted into disbelief and annoyance.
“Y-You want to-”
“Yes, I set my new target”, again I cut her off with a cheerful smile.
Radiant gems, I cannot afford to waste time while the fact that some of the 3rd years may leave soon on both sides.
“Just like that, you just want to walk up to him and talk and all that, and go to their school?”, she grabbed my collar now and I didn’t understand why she was so upset.
“Yes, is there a problem?”, I asked her genuinely.
“Miyako”, she seems very angry when she uses my name instead of her nickname for me, “you won’t.”
“I told you, I set my target”, repeating myself made her loosen her grasp, she fully knew what this sentence meant.
She pondered for some minutes before pulling out her phone.
“Come with me”, she dragged me along.
“But the match!”, my whining was not enough to convince her to leave me behind, but since she left her bag there meant we would come back so I decided to not make a fuss.
“I can’t stop you, but we will do things differently”, she kept hitting the buttons on her smartphone and seemed to search for something.
“We? Differently? Who are you calling?”, as the ringing sound next to her ear stopped and another female voice was on the other side she gave me a glare.
“It’s me, sorry to disturb you on your day off, but which high-school did you attend again Fubuki?”, she seemed way nicer when she talked to her older cousin.
Why is she calling Fubuki all of a sudden?
She must be busy with college and this is not the time.
Until the answer made me freeze and then I understood why she called her.
“Aoba Johsai, why do you ask?”