This is a completely retooled version of Friendzone similar to MDL sans isekai.

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Chapter 1

“Would you like to go out on a date?” I asked.

She smiled back at me in a familiar way that caused my heart to sink. “I’m sorry… I only see us as friends.”

“Then, let’s just go out as friends! I’m sure, once I show you a good time, that you would be more interested.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t.”

“Come on…”

“I already have a boyfriend.”

“Is that… is that really true?”

“I’m sorry, Max.” She responded, looking a bit awkward. “Um… I don’t think we should be friends anymore.”

“What? Why?”

“I just don’t want you thinking there will be a chance between us. I’m sorry.” She gave a polite bow, before turning and walking away.

I’d like to say this was the first time this had happened to me, but this was my high school life. I was great at making friends. One might even say I was sociable, but when it came to actually turning from friend to girlfriend, every girl stuck me solidly in the friend zone. This was the third time this had happened in high school. It had happened once each year, from my Freshman year to my current status as a Junior.

“Tough luck, buddy!” A blonde, muscular guy threw his arm around me. “I told you she wasn’t interested.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” I responded bitterly.

“On the other hand, I totally touched my girl’s pussy last night. You want to smell?” He held up his hand. “She slapped my hand away after, but I got a feel.”

I made a disgusted face. “You haven’t washed your hand since last night?”

“Haha… I’m just kidding you, bro. Seriously, though, I’m so close to taking her V. She went on and on about only wanting to have sex after marriage, but once you start stroking she purrs like a kitten.”

“Can you not talk about Denise like that?”

“Oh, that’s right, you guys are ‘best friends’.” He made quotes as he said that. “Well, don’t worry, I’ll take responsibility, especially if I get her pregnant.”

“You won’t use protection?” I frowned.

“What? I don’t feel shit with a condom on. If she didn’t want to get pregnant, she should be on the pill anyway. I’ll just tell her it’s on and stick it in raw anyway.”

“Dude…”

“Hey, if you tell her that, I’ll deny it!” He hit the top of my head with his fist playfully. “Better luck on the next pussy! Bye.”

With that, he separated from me and ran off toward the gym. The bell had just rung for the end of school, and he was on the sports team. As for me, I had nothing going for me.

It’s probably a wonder that I consider that guy a friend. His name is Anthony, and he’s regrettably one of my two closest friends. He’s a pig and a bit of a pervert, but that hadn’t been a problem originally. It wasn’t until he set his eyes on Denise that things started to change. Denise was my childhood friend. I asked her out, and she said that she just wanted to be friends. Two months later, Anthony asked her out, and she said yes.

It was what it was. She liked him, not me. Unlike the girl I had just asked out, a junior of mine known as Aubrey, Denise actually did want to remain my friend. She was nice. Well, all of the girls I dated seemed nice. We got along. She laughed at my jokes. Things would be going great. However, every time I asked a girl out, she’d make up an excuse and say no. It was getting to a point where I was starting to think that it was me.

With a sigh, I turned to leave. I lived close enough to the school that I was able to walk home. The walk would be good for me. I could clear my head a bit and calm down. I had no right to get worked up. If a girl didn’t like me, it was stupid to force it. Of course, I didn’t know that on this walk, a certain surprise would cause my fate as always in the friend zone to change forever.

Chapter 2

It was a nice spring day. The sun was shining and I felt a gentle breeze as the clouds floated lazily overhead.  There were only a few months left of school and then we would be on summer break. Plus, I lived in a place that was always warm near a beach, so I had hopes of visiting the beach. Maybe, I would meet a girl I liked there.

She’ll probably just put me in the friend zone again.

My improving humor diminished with that thought. I’d probably go to the beach with Denise and Anthony. I’d get to see her in a swimsuit. However, I’d also have to deal with Anthony having his hands all over her. That would be the worst. If I just refused to hang with them though, then I would end up with no friends. I couldn’t decide which situation was better.

“Waaaaah!” I heard a crying that sounded like a girl in distress.

I looked around until I heard the cry a second time. The sound was coming from a nearby ally. Without thinking too much, I tossed my backpack into a bush and then ran toward the noise. I would have done the same for anyone in distress. It was just the kind of guy I was.

As soon as I entered the alleyway, I could see three guys. They appeared to be high school kids, but they went to the other high school in town. That was the delinquent school where the failures, gang members, and underachievers went. Our high school was typically geared towards those with top marks. You could usually tell which school someone came from with just a look. These guys looked like the kind of guys who skipped classes.

“Hehe… dodge.” One of the boys pulled out a pellet gun and fired it.

“Waaah!” The cry came out again, but when my eyes focused on what the men were looking at, I could see a pair of yellow eyes.

It wasn’t a girl they were attacking. It was a little black cat. It was shaking, pressed against the wall at the end of the alley while the boys laughed. One of the boys had an open bottle of soda, and he kept splashing it at the cat. For a second, I swore the cat’s eyes met mine.

“Alright, guys, you’ve had your fun,” I called out.

The boys all spun around in fear, but when they saw it was just another boy about their age, they quickly calmed down.

“Get lost!” One of them shouted.

Another turned back to the cat and then pulled a pocketknife from his jacket. “Let’s cut off its tail.”

“Waaaaah!”

“Hey, kid, if you don’t want to die, screw off!” The last one declared, turning back to the cat like this was settled.

I let out a sigh and then cracked my neck. “That wasn’t a suggestion.”

The boys all turned back to me, looking as I did a few stretches, and then lifted my fists.

“Is this guy serious?” One of the guys asked.

“Who cares, let’s just get rid of him.”

The three guys started to descend on me.

“You can just walk away,” I warned.

“So could you?” One of the guys chuckled.

I looked at the trembling cat and sighed. “Guess I can’t.”

The three delinquents began to charge me.

Chapter 3

“What is with this guy?” One of the boys fell to the ground, his face bloodied.

“He broke my nose!” Another cried in a nasal voice.

I stood there panting, my face bloody as well as my fists. Throughout the fight, we had managed to switch places. I had my back to the cat they were torturing. They would have to go through me to fight any more. Just because I wasn’t good with the girls didn’t mean I was a coward.

“My dad was a professional boxer,” I said, raising my fists again. “Are we going to do this or what?”

Their desires to keep fighting seeming to break with that. The three boys scrambled to their feet and took off in a run, abandoning the ally. I waited until they left, and then let out a breath of relief. I may have been taught how to keep my arms up and throw a punch, but three on one was still three on one. I had bruised a rib and I would be beaten up for a while.

“Waaaah…” The cry from the cat came out again, but this time it sounded curious.

I turned around and looked down at the cat. It had walked away from the shadows it was hiding in, and was looking up at me curiously. It was a black short-haired cat. It had a thin body, but its fur was matted and filthy. It looked a bit starved too. I kneeled and held out my hand. I waited patiently as the cat slowly came over and sniffed it. Then it licked my finger. It looked up at my arm and then meowed again.

“Huh?” I looked over at my arm and then blinked.

The pocketknife that guy had earlier… he had managed to stab me with it. I hadn’t even felt it in the adrenaline of battle, but it was stabbed into my arm. It wasn’t deep, mostly caught on my shirt, but it broke the skin.

I reached over and yanked it out, feeling a stab of intense pain. “Owwwwww…”

As my adrenaline fell back down, I was feeling all the punches and kicks. It was getting more painful every moment longer.

“Mraaawww.”

“I need to get home, cat,” I said, checking her neck to see that she didn’t have a collar. “While I can still move.”

“Mrraaaw?” The cat looked up at me, a questioning look on its face.

“I live with my aunt. Well, I call her my aunt. She’s just around while mom is still on her vacation. She’ll freak if I bring a cat home. I’m sorry.”

“Mawww…” The cat looked unhappy.

Boom! A thunderclap rumbled off in the distance. The cat’s hair stood on end and her tail straightened. A few moments later I saw a flicker of lightning.

I frowned, looking up at the sky. It was a lazy summer day, but far in the distance, I could see storm clouds coming. That’d be here by tonight. That cat would be out here in this horrible thunderstorm. I looked down at the cat. Did she have to look so pitiful? I looked back up at the storm, and then I sighed.

I put out my arms, and to my surprise, the cat jumped right in them. I stood up and left the alley. After recovering my bookbag from the bush I had tossed it in, I began my walk the rest of the way home, now with a mysterious black cat in my arms.

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