“Ohayou! Hey, you wanna eat your lunch with me?”
Rika blinked many times at the person in front of her.
“Hey, are you alright? Is there something wrong with your eyes?” The person asked in amazement. That person touched Rika’s forehead just to check whether she’s alright or not.
“Nande…” Rika trailed off. She touched the other person’s hair and messed it up a little bit. “WHY DID YOU CUT YOUR HAIR OFF!?! And you even bleached it!!! Is it even allowed in this school? Have you become a delinquent just like your sister?!?”
“It’s just a hair… You’re over reacting…” Hitomi removed Rika’s hands on her hair. She stopped and processed Rika’s last sentence. “So… Miki’s a delinquent in your point of view?” Rika immediately covered her mouth when she realized what she had said. Hitomi laughed hard at the blushing Rika.
“Seriously, a delinquent’s worse than a bully that she’s known for… for the last four years of our stay here in this school.”
“Please don’t say that to her!!!! Onegai!!!”
“Sure, I won’t say it… She will definitely kill you if she learned that… but… there’s a condition.” Hitomi grinned. Rika didn’t like the look on Hitomi’s eyes but it’s better than getting trashed by Miki. She looked around and then nodded in response.
“Please eat your lunch with me today…”
“I really admire your creativity in plotting this kind of twists in our play…. But why? Why do you have to make those damn twists in the story?!” Miki debated for almost an hour now in the faculty room. The other teachers were itching to know what the student and the teacher was taking about but they know what awaits them if they dare to snoop around Nakazawa’s lair.
“Yoshizawa, you’re just a student, and I’m the teacher. You’re already in high school and this kind of argument will not be allowed. You’re just a person playing out this character. Get into the character but do not let the character get into you.”
“But sensei… How can I perform well in the play when…” Miki was cut off by Nakazawa’s glare. If there’s one person who can subdue Miki’s death glare, it’s Nakazawa. Miki’s “badass” attitude was restrained whenever she’s with her futsal coach and teacher.
“Just act what you’re supposed to act. And also, play hard on the field.” She stood up, ready to leave the faculty room but she patted Miki’s head first. “You’ll forget all about it once your mind gets occupied with food. You only have 10 minutes before lunch break will end.”
“Thanks you for accepting my invitation.” Hitomi happily said while giving Rika her home made onigiri.
“It’s more likely a black mail than an invitation.” Rika took a bite at the onigiri and was amazed by its taste. “Sugoi!!! As expected from a child of a famous chef. I don’t want to hurt your sister’s feelings but this tastes even better!”
Hitomi’s heart missed a beat at the lovely comment coming from her crush. She smiled and blushed a little. “Of course! I’m a born chef! I don’t have to practice cooking unlike onee-san.”
“Eh? Hontou ni? I thought she really knew how to cook…”
“No, she did it just to impress…. someone.” Rika have a feeling that the ‘someone’ Hitomi was pertaining to was her. She immediately changed the topic.
“By the way… where’s your sister?”
“Don’t know… as you saw earlier, she ran off to some place. She didn’t tell me where.”
“Are you sad? Are you worried?” Rika stopped eating and interrogated Hitomi.
“Not at all… She’s older and stronger than me… She probably went to bully someone, somewhere.” Hitomi looked at Rika’s eyes. The far-away look gave hints that Rika was somehow distracted about something. Hitomi waved her hands back and forth at Rika’s face. Rika blinked a few times before going back to eat her onigiri, silently.
“You’ve gone to outer space again. It’s dangerous to space out like that especially when you’re walking on the street. Is there something bothering you?” Hitomi asked sincerely. Rika looked at her and smiled.
“Betsu ni. It’s just that I remembered something from the past.” Hitomi became curious and moved closer to Rika, urging her to go on.
“Well, when I was in elementary, I had this friend of mine. We were so close and we always spend our time together. And then one day, she ran off somewhere during our lunch break. She didn’t tell me where she would go in the first place and that worried me a lot. A couple of days more and that kind of setup continued. It’s as if she was ignoring me purposely.” Rika can clearly remember that day when Maki would always run off to someplace. She was really jealous when she saw Maki was with someone in the cafeteria.
“Then, what happened?” Hitomi asked, her face was really close to Rika’s. Rika’s heart started to beat very fast. She could feel her cheeks becoming red. She moved her face away from Hitomi and continued her story.
“It turns out that I’m worried over nothing. She just wanted to surprise me on Christmas that’s why she took her free time to tutor a schoolmate to earn some money.” She remove the “jealous” part on her story. She looked at Hitomi and saw that she was the one who was bothered now. “Well like you said, I guess you don’t have to worry about your sister’s whereabouts. It just seems strange that you were not eating you lunch together this time… and your argument yesterday looked so disturbing that’s why I thought that you still bear a grudge on each other.”
“We’ve eaten our lunch together yesterday on our restaurant….” Hitomi trailed off. Rika was surprised at what Hitomi said next.
“What happened to that friend of yours? Are you still seeing her?”
“No… She’s gone.” Hitomi didn’t push the matter on. They continued eating the onigiri. Hitomi looked at Rika secretly often.
“I wish that time would stand still right now”
Rika can feel Hitomi’s gaze on her once in a while. She didn’t know what to do. She wanted to scold her heart for beating really loud and fast. She almost jumped for joy when the school bell rand, signaling the end of her ‘torture’ lunch break.