“I don’t like this… It’s so tiresome…” Rika complained. She just finished taking a shower after their afternoon practice in basketball. She chanced Eri changing too.
“This is the first time that I’ve heard you complain about being tired after a practice.” Eri finished changing and went to the bench where her bag was. Rika followed and sat beside her.
“Well, I admit that I’ve been sluggish this past three years. I became weak and I my asthma’s torturing me whenever I get too exhausted. Now, I can’t even last for 10minutes straight without having to catch my breath.” Rika took something on her bag. Eri saw that it’s an inhaler. She noticed that Rika was breathing quickly and heavily while talking to her. She presumed that Rika’s having a mild attack now.
“You took a shower? Wouldn’t that make your asthma more serious?” You shouldn’t do that.” Eri moved closer to Rika who were now taking her medicine. “Do you want me to take you home? I excused myself from Nakazawa because my parents went back to our province. I’m the only one in our house and I need to prepare my dinner. But of course, I told her that I’m not feeling ok.” Eri said the last sentence with a grin and made a peace sign to Rika.
“It’s ok, I made sure that the water will not touch my back. I’ll be alright now, I’ve taken my medicine. I don’t want to bother you, I can walk home.” Rika closed her eyes and took some deep breaths. She could feel the immediate effects of the inhaler.
“Is that so? The practice will last till 7pm… It’s somewhat lonely walking home without Sayu and Reina… Do you want to go to our house? It’s sad to eat alone you know…” Eri smiled.
Rika didn’t say anything for a minute. Eri could see Rika’s breathing returned to normal now. Rika smiled and opened her eyes. “I’d love to come. I’ll just make a call to my parents.”
“Gochisosama! Your Katsudon was really delicious.” Rika and Eri finished eating their dinner. Rika stood up to help clean the table but Eri stopped her.
“I’ll clean it. You’re the visitor here. Just sit on the living room and open the door when Sayu and Reina arrive. I mailed that you’re here and they replied that they will go here. Well, their houses were in this neighborhood also so they might get some clothes and stay over here. It’s Saturday tomorrow and we always sleep together during weekends.”
“Sugoi… It looks like its fun to hang out with friends.”
“If you want, you can sleep here… I wouldn’t mind letting you borrow some of my clothes.” Eri smiled and disappeared to the kitchen.
“I’ll call my mom first!” Rika sat on the couch and dialed their number. It was her father who answered. Eri looked to the living room when she heard Rika arguing to the phone. She immediately finished the dishes and went to check Rika.
“Hey, they allowed me to sleep here!” Rika said eagerly.
“And I thought that they wouldn’t. It sounds like you were arguing with your parent just now.”
“Well, my father answered the phone. And you know how he likes to irritate me. He said that I’m staying over my boyfriend’s house and whatever… Of course he’s only joking but, his jokes were really annoying.”
“Hahaha… I remember hearing you complain about that, years ago… And it’s still your complaint until now…” Eri laughed. She was stopped when she heard their doorbell ringing. “That’s them”. She immediately opened the door to greet her best friends.
“Konbanwa! We brought some chips for our midnight snacks.” Reina beamed.
“And I brought some cd’s we could play on the PS.” Sayumi showed a large plastic bag, containing different titles of games.
“Wow, did you bring your entire collection? Your Tetris addiction upgraded to a different level.” Rika joked. Eri went to her room to get some clothes for Rika to wear. They stayed awake till midnight, rambling and playing to their heart’s content. Sayu and Eri slept on the bed and Reina and Rika, on the futon that Eri prepared for them.
“Why are you following me… Who are you anyway?”
“I’m… I’m Rika…. I really missed you a lot!”
“Rika? I’m sorry, I don’t know you…..”
Maki walked away and she tried to run after her but she couldn’t reach her. A piece of paper flew right in front of her.
Your loved one will hurt you deeply. You must accept it so as to be happy again.
Rika shouted Maki’s name over and over again. She threw away the piece of paper and tried to catch up with Maki. She shouted her name over and over again and then, she saw Maki got hit by a speeding car..
Rika immediately ran towards the bleeding body. She was glad that Maki’s still breathing.
“Maki, it’s me, Rika… I’m your… girlfriend. I’m going to find some help.” [/I] Rika managed to say in between sobs.
Rika tried to get up to get some help but Maki held her hands firmly, as if signaling her to stay.
“Hey! Why are you holding her hands like that? I’ll beat you to pieces if you lay one finger on her!”
Rika bolted from her sleep. She looked around and saw that her friends were still sleeping. She went to the kitchen to get some drink.
”What a weird dream…”
“Hey, are you alright?” Rika almost dropped the glass from the surprise. She immediately turned around to see the owner of the voice.
“Gomen, did I wake you?” Rika apologized. She washed the glass and wiped it dry before putting it back to the cupboard.
“No, it’s ok. Are you alright? Did you have a nightmare?” Reina asked. They went up to Eri’s room and laid on the futon.
“More like a weird dream… I had that dream before Maki died but now, it somewhat continued…”
“Do you want to share it to me? Let’s talk in the park.” Reina smiled and got up. She took the keys from the cabinet and got some jacket for her and Rika.
“Hey, are you sure it’s safe to get out this late?” Rika whispered while following Reina out of the room.
“Yah, I always went there if I can’t sleep at night. The scenery will help you ease your mind.” They both put on their jackets as soon as they went out of Eri’s residence.