“Hey let’s eat outside, under the Sakura tree. It’ll feel like we’re having a picnic.” Hitomi suddenly suggested while they were on their way to the cafeteria. Miki patted her shoulders.
“I like the way you think, sis. We’ll enjoy our lunch more because of the scenery. Come on!” Miki pulled Rika towards the exit of the building. Rika was silent all through the way to the tree.
Hitomi put down her jacket and Miki put their bento boxes on it. She signaled everyone to sit. Miki opened the box and gave them to Hitomi and Rika.
“Itedekimasu!!” They started to eat the dish that Miki prepared early in the morning. Rika was somewhat trying to stop her tears from falling. Hitomi noticed it.
“Hey, are you alright?”
“It’s delicious…” Rika mumbled. She didn’t have the courage to tell the real reason for it. That situation reminded her of the times Maki and her were eating their home made lunch under the sakura tree.
“Hey, you don’t have to cry because my cooking’s great… You’ll spoil the mood…” Miki said. She was somewhat surprised to see someone tearing up because of tasting a delicious food. And she really thought that it could only happen in animes.
“Yeah, you’re not like weird guy chef in Yakkitate Japan! You don’t have to do some weird reactions when you eat something delicious.” It’s a lame joke but Rika immediately laughed at it resulting in her being choked by the food that she’s eating.
“BAKA!! Look at what you did to her!” Miki yelled at Hitomi. Hitomi quickly grabbed Miki’s decanter and let Rika drink from it. Hitomi saw the widening of Miki’s eyes. She mouthed the words “sorry” to her sister. Rika coughed a little bit before giving off a sigh of relief.
“Thanks, you saved me there…” Rika managed to give off a weak smile to Hitomi. She blushed a little but her happiness was somewhat stopped when she heard her sister’s scary voice.
“That’s my water jug…” Hitomi was dumbfounded. To whom was her sister referring to; to her for taking and giving the jug to Rika… or to Rika who drank Miki’s precious water.
“Gomen, I didn’t….” Hitomi said while lowering her head.
“Hahahaha… You’re scared? That’s payback for making Rika choke with your lame joke.” Miki got her decanter and drank the remaining water… She smiled at Rika.
“The water tasted sweet after you’ve drank from my bottle….”
Rika looked on the ground. She couldn’t stand the penetrating look that Miki was giving her. Add Hitomi’s irksome comment; her face was as red as a tomato.
“Onee-san!!! THAT’S INDIRECT KISSING!!!!”
“So what? Any rejections?” Miki said mockingly at Hitomi. Hitomi just shook her head and just focused on eating her lunch. Rika didn’t say anything and just continued eating. They were silent all throughout the meal. When they were returning to their classroom, Hitomi and Rika were both shocked at what Miki did. She put her arms on Rika’s shoulders while they were walking back.
“Ano sa…” Rika removed Miki’s arms on her shoulder. “Thanks for inviting me to eat with the two of you; I need to go somewhere else now… Ja!” Rika started to run, without her knowing where to go. She just wanted to escape the tight predicament she’s in.
“Stop doing that… You’re scaring her.” Hitomi said after Rika had left them.
“I’m not scaring her…. I’m being very nice to her, don’t you see that?”
“…My theory’s right, you’re gay…”
“What theory? And what’s wrong with being gay?”
“You should have an idea about my theory if you didn’t sleep while I was explaining it to you the other night!”
“Oh…” Miki grinned. She remembered that night her sister slept in her room. She purposely tried to act that she was sleeping. She didn’t want to answer Hitomi that time.
The afternoon was somewhat busy. It’s the assigned day for them to choose their desired extra-curricular club for the entire school year. Miki bugged Rika to try out for the futsal team. Rika declined Miki’s offer and decided to try out in the women’s basketball team. She was not surprised when she was accepted. When she and Maki were practicing futsal in their subdivision park, Maki would always get the ball and shoot it in the basketball ring. Maki taught her how to play basketball after their futsal practice.
“Why didn’t you join us?” Reina asked when Rika sat on the bench.
“Yeah, our team will become much stronger if you were added in our varsity list.” Eri seconded.
“I would like to try other sports, that’s all… and… I have a favor to the three of you.” Rika looked at them and stretched out her pinky finger. “Please don’t tell anyone that I knew how to play futsal, onegai.”
The three were dumbfounded but Sayu was the first one to shrug it off and entwined her pinky finger on Rika’s. “I don’t know what you’re thinking right now but I promise you, I won’t tell it to a single soul here.”
“Yeah, me too…” Eri flashed a smile at Rika. The three of them looked at Reina.
“I guess I have no choice…” Reina intertwined her pinky finger and sighed. She was somewhat happy that she let her infatuation on Maki pass and was rescued from the intense pain that she might have felt when Maki died.
”Sometimes, its much better for us to care than to love… because when you care, you’re safe from losing the person you care for
But when you love, you can lose everything you’re scared of losing forever.”
“Thanks guys! I really appreciate your help… I’m trying hard to move on..”
“Yeah, but choosing Miki is really not a good way to move on... I saw what she did to you while you’re on the way to our room.”
The three of them looked back on the owner of the voice. “Hi!”
“Aya!... You didn’t hear what we are talking about… right?” Rika asked nervously.
“All I heard was something about you trying to move on… I saw you making some sort of promise with your pinky fingers that’s why I decided to check it out.”
“Oh, but I guess we can’t tell it to you… it’s our secret…” Sayu gave out a peace sign to Aya while smiling.
“It’s ok… I won’t ask about it… But I’ll just give this advice to Rika, try to know Miki first before being to cuddly with her. You haven’t seen her real personality yet.”