“Ohayou.” Rika replied indifferently. Hitomi sat beside her table. Rika tried to look around for any sign of Miki nearby.
“Are you free this lunch?” Hitomi smiled at her.
“I thought that I told you before that I’m already seeing someone?”
“If I remembered it clearly… you said that you’re already seeing someone… You didn’t say that she’s already your girlfriend… That means I still have a chance right? I thought about it last night and I came with a decision to meet my rival… If that’s fine with you.”
“Ano,…” Rika’s sentence was cut off by Hitomi.
“Ohayou ne-chan!” Rika became nervous. She shouldn’t be scared with Miki. There’s no reason to be scared. She calmed herself first before looking back at the person behind her.
“What are you talking about before I came?” Miki asked seriously and glared at Rika. Hitomi was the one who answered.
“I’m just asking her whether she was free this lunch to eat with us.”
“Kindly tell your little sister to stop bugging me already. I’ve already told her that I’m not free. I have some important things to do.” Rika plainly said and acted as if she was searching something inside her bag.
“If she already told you that she’s not free, then don’t continue to annoy her. I’ll just treat you this lunch, are you happy?”
“But ne-san… It’s kinda boring to eat everyday with just the two of us… It gets monotonous…” Hitomi answered playfully contrary to the serious glare she’s giving her sister.
“What did you say?!” Miki yelled.
“Ohayou!” Aya butt in and looked at Hitomi. She smiled. Hitomi smiled back and looked at her sister.
“I said, it’s really boring to be eating with the same person everyday. We need to get some interaction with other students.”
[i] “What are you up to this time?”[/i]
“Hey, I’m glad that you took the initiative to move away from her.”
“If you want her to be happy, you should tell the truth. So she will know the real reason why you won’t allow her to be with any body.”
“I can’t afford to do that and ruin the really good relationship that we are in right now.”
“You call that good relationship?!” Rika answered back in a mocking tone. “She’s trying to move away from you gradually! Hitomi wants to be free from your grasps. Can’t you feel it? Or are you just denying it? If you keep doing that to Hitomi, I’ll not back down on you!” Rika looked at Miki’s glare with the same intensity that Miki’s giving her.
“I’ll do whatever it takes. And even you can’t stop me from doing it.”
“What if I’ll be the one to stop you?” Aya came out of nowhere. She saw that Miki took Rika in the back of their school this lunch time that’s why she followed the two of them.
“You haven’t stopped me before with your best friend. I think you still can’t stop me now.”
“Rika, can you leave the two of us here alone?” Aya looked straight at Rika’s eyes. “Don’t try to eavesdrop. You’ll know it soon.” Rika nodded and left the two in a really awkward situation.
“We’re all alone now. What do you want to tell me? Or… you just want to kiss me again?” Miki was caught unaware when Aya’s left hand landed on her right cheek. “Why you little….” Miki grabbed Aya’s collar and pushed her towards the wall. She was about to slap her back when she noticed that Aya’s tears were falling on her cheek. She smirked. She thought that she won again. She made Aya’s best friend, Makoto, and her cry. Yet on the back of her mind, she can’t help but feel sad for this person in front of her. They just stared at each other in that position until Aya finally uttered the words to break the ice building in between them.
“What happened to you? You weren’t like this before. I thought you’ll never hurt me? I thought you’re the one who’ll always protect me? Why are you doing this now?”
“What are you talking about? You’re already delusional. I didn’t say those words to you… not even on our script!”
“You did… And I think Nakazawa-sempai wrote that script… For you to remember… something.” Aya removed her stare from Miki at the last word.
“What?! Sensei or sempai? I really don’t get anything that you say!”
“Please stop hurting other people, and you’ll stop hurting me too.”
“Why would I want to do that? Who are you to say that to me?! You really have guts to defy me… That’s the only difference between you and your best friend.” Miki released Aya’s collar and moved back. She wanted to leave. Something in what Aya’s saying bothered her. She wanted to get out and try to forget about this encounter.
“You’re wrong! The only difference is that I have the guts to slap and yell at my best friend to stop her from doing something really foolish!!!” Miki stopped on her tracks.
[i] “Slap? Yell? She did that to Makoto?” [/i]
“And now, that best friend of mine was too scared to face the past… the truth! So who’s the one with guts now, Tan?” Miki looked back; her face was showing some signs of confusion.
“Who are you?”
“I guess I could not blame you for not remembering me. Rika didn’t remember me because as she said, ‘I’ve changed’. It’s just been four years since we last saw each other. So, seven years was enough for you to forget me.” Aya said the last part with mixed emotions of anger and sadness.
[i]“Seven? That would make me in grade three then… Wait… Grade three? Best friend? Sempai?”[/i]
“I can see that you’re somewhat disturbed right now. Can you remember it now?”