3 more chapters to go!!!
“I told you, you cannot escape futsal forever.” Sayumi joked.
“And when did you tell it to me?” Rika asked.
“You forgot or you didn’t tell it to her before?” Reina laughed hard, which in turn earned her a hard smack coming from Sayu.
“Anyways… who among you guys told Nakazawa-sensei that I was a captain of the futsal team when we were in elementary?!” Rika raised her left eyebrow and tapped her right feet as if waiting for a plausible answer from her friends. The three looked at each other, somewhat puzzled.
“We promised that we will not tell it to anyone, we still haven’t told it to anyone and we don’t plan to tell it to anyone in the future either! So technically, we’re not the ones who told it to sensei.” Eri explained. The three laughed at her vague explanation.
“Alright, I have faith in you… Who could it be? The three of you are the only ones here, who knew that I played futsal before.”
“Unless she’s the one who told it.” Reina whispered to herself.
“What! What did you say? Who’s ‘she?’” Rika asked.
“She’s approaching now…” Reina trailed off, looking at the door of the gym.
“Right! Why haven’t we thought of her before?” Eri smacked her forehead. The approaching person greeted them cheerfully.
“Nani? Something’s bugging your mind?” Rika looked at the three weirdly and pointed at Aya.
“She knew I was playing futsal before?”
The three looked at each other and laughed hard. “I… hahaha… didn’t know that… haha.. you were forgetting the ‘wrong person’! HAHAHAHA!!!” Reina said in between her laughing fit.
“Ehh? Hey… what are you guys talking about before I came here?” Aya eyed them. The three tried to suppress their laughter.
“Are you ok now? Rika asked sarcastically… “Now, tell me why she knew I was playing futsal before? And what do you mean by ‘forgetting the wrong person?”
“Oh, now I know what you are talking about…” Aya trailed off.
“Since you knew it already, would you care to explain it to me?”
“I’ll be the one to explain first!” Sayumi raised her hand. She cleared her throat first before proceeding. “What Reina meant when she said that you are forgetting the wrong person is… instead of forgetting her…”
“Who’s her?” Rika inquired.
“HER!!! You know…. Ma…k”
“Ohh, yah… I get it… proceed.”
“Instead of ‘her’ you forget Aya instead.” Sayu finished.
“Ehh? I didn’t get it?”
“She knew about you and Maki’s teamwork in futsal.” Eri added.
“Ok… how did she know about that?”
“Because she had a special interest in Maki!” Reina blurted.
“WHAT?!?!” Rika looked at Aya who’s grinning widely. She looked back at the three when she heard them laugh again.
“Seriously Rika, you should get your head checked up together with you eye… She’s the sub-captain that ‘champion’ school that guarded Maki during our Interschool Futsal Competition!” Sayumi said. Rika looked meticulously at Aya.
“Yoh! I have short hair back then.”
“USO!!! Seriously?!? I… I didn’t recognize you… Oh my god… You look different now…”
“I think you need to wear an eyeglass as soon as possible.” Aya replied jokingly. “It’s just been four years and I just didn’t cut my hair. My looks were still the same.”
“But I think you have changed a lot.” Aya rolled her eyes. The door of the gym opened again and the Yoshizawa sisters came in.
“I guess our opponents will have a hard time beating us now. I’ve heard that Nakazawa’s trying to get Konno Asami too. With you and those Yoshizawa sisters, we can score easily.” Sayumi concluded.
“Sisters huh...” Rika trailed off. Somehow she felt really bad for Hitomi. She didn’t know that she was adopted but at least, Miki’s parents were really good to her and treated her like a real daughter. But still, she thought that it’s not fair for Hitomi.
It’s already dark when they finished the practice. Rika went to the store room to return the ball they’ve used. There was a sofa in there and she can’t resist the temptation to sit in there for a while… She was really tired. It’s been a long while since she experienced this rigorous training. When they were training in the basketball, Iida-sensei were much more nicer compared to this kind of futsal training that Nakazawa-sensei had in store for them. High school training was different from their elementary training. Nakazawa-sensei was much harsher than Abe-sensei. She didn’t notice that she dozed of a little. When she woke up, she immediately went to the shower room to cool off a little. She didn’t know that Hitomi followed her inside.
“Were you evading me?”
Rika’s heart beat very fast. “Why did you say that?”
“Did my sister do something on you? Tell it to me then… I’ll talk to her. You don’t have to be afraid… I’ll protect you from her.” Hitomi walked towards Rika in an attempt to embrace her. Rika stepped back and Hitomi noticed that. “See… you’re actions said it all… Are you scared of me or are you scared of what my sister might do to you?”
“Please don’t involve Miki… She didn’t have anything to do here.” Rika said without looking straight into Hitomi’s eyes.
“Then tell me why are you avoiding me?!” Hitomi shouted. She just swallowed all the pain she felt when all her friends left her because of her sister. This time… She will not back out. Rika’s somewhat special to her. If Miki’s the cause of all this, she would rather lose her sister than Rika.
“It… It’s because… I’m seeing someone… already… I’m sorry… I didn’t tell you earlier.”
Hitomi was taken aback on what Rika said. It was almost a minute when she finally took the courage to ask. “Is it Reina?”
“No… Reina is just a close friend…ever since in elementary… The three of them were really good friends… You haven’t met her… She’s not from this school”
Rika could see clearly that Hitomi was already tearing up. In any moment now, she would also but she must stand her ground. She must be strong in this situation… She’s doing this even though it hurts her very much… for the sake of the two of them.
“Can I know the name of that person?” Hitomi asked.
“Why do you need to know?” Rika was thinking what she would answer to that question so she must delay it for a moment.
“Please… just a name would be enough… Then I’ll go away… I will not bother you anymore.” Hitomi choked on her reply. Her tears were already falling freely down her cheeks.
“..His… no… her name is Maki”
Silence followed… “Is she cuter than me? Hitomi joked but her tears were still falling.
“Hai… And I really love her very much… Gomen.”
“It’s Ok… It’s better that you’ve told it to me now.” Yossie wiped her tears and smiled at Rika. “I wish that the two of you would be happy together…” Hitomi managed to say before leaving her alone. Rika heard Hitomi’s running footsteps away from the shower room. She burst into tears after a while. In just a short time, Hitomi became close to her heart. She felt guilty for lying to her but she cried even more for using Maki. It’s true that she loves Maki… But that was 4 years ago… No matter how much she cried … She wouldn’t come back. She needed to move on that’s why she let Hitomi touched her life. But she decided to let go of that feeling… because Miki was the first to love Hitomi, though she had no idea about it. She wiped her tears and proceeded to wash herself. She’s really exhausted… physically and emotionally.
“Could you stop following me?!” Miki shouted before stopping on her tracks and looked back. She knew someone was following her ever since she left their school. She couldn’t find her sister anywhere that’s why she decided to go home alone.
“I know you’re still there! You better show yourself to me or be prepared to face my wrath!” Well, Miki wasn’t as strong as what she projected just now. In fact… She’s really scared. There are many things that were going on through her mind. News reports of high school girls being raped in dark alleys when they were traveling alone were always on the headlines. She prepared for the worst when she saw a dark shadow emerging behind a tree. She squinted so that she could see who that person is.