A good way to start the new year is to have a double post!!! Enjoy reading this continuation...LOL
Rika stretched a little as soon as she woke up. She grabbed her cell phone on the table beside her bed and dialed her best friend’s number. A couple of rings later the other line answered.
“Ohayou….” Rika smiled at the still sleepy voice of her friend. It will be harsh but she wanted to tell it to her friend sooner…
“OHAYOU!!!” Rika gleefully screamed to the phone. She heard some noise on the background. She was sure that her friend fell out of her bed.
“What the heck is that?!? “ Ayumi yelled back. Rika couldn’t stop laughing her heart out. Her friend can really be funny sometimes. “What do you want?”
“You disturbed my sleep and then you tell me that it was just nothing?!” Rika breathe in deeply and stopped laughing. She knew her friend will be shocked at what she will reveal.
“You know what… My officemate is Kuwagata’s friend and her official proof-reader!”
“Ehh? Kuwagata? Your favorite on-line writer? Her friend? How come?!” Rika was giggling like crazy and her voice sounded an octave higher than her regular voice as she related to her friend what happened yesterday. The two talked for two hours more about different things in the JPOP world before Rika finally decided to hang up. It’s already 6am and there are still lots to do before going to work. She cooked her breakfast and took a bath quickly and dressed herself up before getting out of her apartment. Rika was waiting for the bus when she suddenly spotted a black Toyota Vios passed by. The car stopped and slowly drove back and pulled over in front of her. The window of the car opened revealing the person she was with last night.
“Ohayou! I guess this is the right time to drive you in my car.” Rika smiled and agreed on the other’s request. Hitomi opened the door of the front seat for her.
“Ohayou! I didn’t know that you pass by this street to?”
“My apartment’s 6 blocks away from here. I know that yours is just three blocks away. The company made sure that their apartments are closer to each other.” Hitomi explained after she stepped on the accelerator and the car started moving forward.
“Hey, did you know that your friend changed the story? It’s different than in the draft.” Rika started as she was putting on the seatbelt.
“Yeah, she wanted her readers to think what will happen next in the story. In short, she wanted to be unpredictable so when she learned that you’ve read her draft. She quickly changed it. If there are grammatical errors, then you know that I haven’t checked that one.” Hitomi quickly took a glance at her passenger. Rika was staring at her with her mouth slightly opened. “Why are you staring at me like that?”
“Sugoi…. Sugoi…. WAAAAHHH!!!! OH MY GAWD!!! You’re so cool!!! The two of you are SO COOOOL!!!! OMG…. When I learned that the two of you were friends, I thought that I can have some peep into her story before she can even post it but now after what you have said….. I don’t mind waiting for a long time to her to post it.” Hitomi thanked silently that Rika had the seatbelt on for if she didn’t wear it, she might have rolled on the car’s floor or worse, Rika might have strangled Hitomi because of too much happiness. Hitomi just bit her lip when Rika started saying incomprehensible words and at the same time, saying it a high pitch accompanied by her random squealing. At this, Hitomi realized that her boss was somewhat scary. After a few minutes, Rika calmed down a little bit.
“I’m sorry… you saw again my ‘flailing mode’. I can’t help it when it comes to my favorite stuffs. I hope you’ll keep this as a secret. My parents didn’t know that I’m like this.” Rika pleaded. It would be a disaster when her parents… worse, her company found out that she’s a ‘crazy’ person. No one might respect her ever again.
“Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.” Hitomi assured her. They were nearing their office now. Hitomi pulled over the corner and faced Rika.
“Ano, I really want to drive you in front of the office but… I don’t want them to start gossiping about us.”
“Ehh, what do you mean by that?” Rika asked. Hitomi closed her eyes and breathe deeply.
“You know, the usual stuff like, I want to be close to you because you’re the boss and I will profit from you, etc.”
“Ohhh, yeah, I got it. That’s right. But still, you are free to come in my office during lunch breaks… or I’ll just visit you in the office. You know … the usual department rounds.” Rika winked at her. She opened the door, got out of the car and walked away. She turned around and waved goodbye at the passing car. She walked towards the office, greeting every one she came across with. Mari greeted her warmly as soon as she saw her coming towards her room.
“Ohayou, Ms. Ishikawa. Your father called earlier.”
“Ehh? How come? There’s still 15 minutes left before the start of official office hours. Why didn’t he call my phone?”
“I’m sorry but I don’t know the answer to that. He left me a message saying that you have to call him immediately when you get here in the office.” With that said Rika quickly thanked her secretary and went inside her room. She dialed the number in her father’s office. She didn’t wait too long for after two rings, her father answered.
“Hello? Rika? How are you there?”
“I’m fine dad. Why do you want me to call you? You should have called my phone instead.” Rika grumbled.
“My, my… You sounded angry there. Don’t do that. You will have wrinkles on your forehead. I don’t want my daughter to look older than her true age.” Rika heard her father laugh. It’s been a while since he ‘annoyed’ her. Her mom wouldn’t understand it. They looked like they were fighting most of the time but in reality is, she’s a “papa’s girl”.
“Hahaha, very funny. Let’s get to the point. I guess it’s about work and it’s somewhat urgent so you decided to call here instead of my phone… Am I right?”
“No, you’re left…”
“It’s not funny dad.” Rika tried hard to sound serious and stifled her laugh. Her father’s jokes were lame but she cannot help but laugh at it. He sounded like a little boy trying his best to make people laugh with his silly but oh-so-lame jokes.
“You got me. To tell you the truth, you have to go back to Hokkaido this morning. Just get the plane ticket from Mr. Nishida and then give them a surprise visit. I know you miss them.”
“Yeah but that doesn’t erase the fact that you really like to surprise me. For how many days will I stay there?”
“Just this day. It’s just a round trip ticket and I’m sure that you will be home before seven.” Rika sighed. This sudden change in her schedule is making her head ache. There are still things to be done in the office. She bid her father goodbye and went to Mr. Nishida’s office.
“Ohayou! My father called and said that…”
“Here’s the ticket. Have a safe trip!” Mr. Nishida interrupted Rika’s speech and gave her the ticket. There are two brown envelopes under it. Rika looked at him questioningly. Mr. Nishida smiled. “Please give it to the president and the smaller one to Ms. Fujimoto.
“Hai.” Rika smiled evilly at Mr. Nishida. “So, you decided to make your move towards her right?”
“Hahaha, you’re really like your father. It’s about business, not a love letter. Got that?”
“I know, I’ll go now!”
Rika walked back to her room. She wanted to maximize her travel time so she decided to bring some papers with her on the plane. As she got out of her office, she saw Hitomi waiting near the elevator.
“Where are you going?” Hitomi asked pointing at the black suitcase that Rika was carrying.
“My father called me and he wanted me to check up on the Hokkaido branch. I’ll come back later this evening.”
“Oh, that’s where you’re going? Mr. Nishida just instructed me to drop you off at Narita international airport before I do my job in Tokyo to check some supplies.”
“Don’t thank me…” The elevator opened and the two of them went inside. “Thank Mr. Nishida. He’s the nicest president that I’ve ever encountered.”
“Well, you still haven’t encountered my father and I’ll tell you, if Mr. Nishida is nice, then my father’s nicer.”
“Yes I know.” Hitomi looked at her and smiled for the second time. “Like father, like daughter.” The two walked out of the elevator when it reached the ground level. Rika was greeting everyone she sees, the total opposite of what her companion is doing. Hitomi was wearing her serious face and was walking faster than her. She knew that Hitomi was obviously distancing herself from her. And she felt that it’s better that way. She noticed the ‘weird’ glances given by some people towards Hitomi, followed by a whisper or so. After talking with Hitomi last night, she perceived her to be a good person but she was really curious as to what the people were behaving when they see her. She pitied her companion. Something must have happened before that made her act like she didn’t care a bit about her surroundings.
Her thought was broken when a black car stopped in front of the door. She realized it was Hitomi’s car, probably waiting for her. The whispers became louder as she opened the door. She noticed from her peripheral vision that many of their officemates where looking ‘weirdly’ at them. She sat in the front seat and closed the door. Hitomi’s windows were tinted so their officemates have no clue that she was looking back at them.
“I told you. It’s not good to be acquainted with me.” Hitomi said as she started the engine and stepped on the accelerator.
“Why? Did you do something bad before?”
“I think it’s not bad… I just showed my real self and then yeah, they started acting like that. I really don’t care. That’s why I rarely go out of my room. I just focus on my work.”
“I’m sorry. I have no idea about what happened before. I guess I better be careful not to show my fangirl side.”
“Yeah, even though you are the CEO’s daughter, be careful when you are dealing with other people. Some are good, and most are just good on the outside.”
“Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it.” Narita airport was an hour away from Saitama. Even though she wanted to talk more with Hitomi, she has no idea where to start. It’s easy if their topic was about JPOP but the earlier events were still bothering her. She decided to start reading the papers that she brought. Hitomi decided to talk to her when they were nearing the airport.
“Wouldn’t you damage you eyes if you’re reading in a moving car?”
“Hai, I guess…” Rika nonchalantly replied. Her head was aching not because of the moving car but one of the reports has some erroneous items, making a lot of discrepancies in the computations.
“Why are you still reading?”
“Because I like to read… I’m a book worm even though I’m not an earthworm.”
“Yeah, go Rika! Be like your father with the lamest jokes ever…” Rika glanced at Hitomi and noticed that she bit her lip to prevent her from laughing.
“Speaking of reading. My friend’s on a roll, she told me that she already finished last night the fifth chapter of ‘Searching for the Light’.” With that said, Rika looked at the person beside her; her grin reached up to her ears.
“REALLY?!? OH MY GOSH!!! What time will she upload it?!” Rika’s heart started beating very fast. She’s dying to know what will happen on the next chapter. It was such a cliffhanger. It looks like Sayumi will confess her love to Eri… Or Eri will realize her true feelings towards her best friend. She was somewhat disappointed when Hitomi shook her head. They were in the airport premises. Hitomi stopped her car near the departure area.
“I’m sorry but she didn’t tell me. Just check her blog from time to time. Have a safe trip!”
“Hahaha! I’ll check it as soon as I’m in Sapporo. Thanks for that info and for the ride. Take care too!” Rika closed the door behind her and walked towards the departure area. After finding her seat, she proceeded in checking again the reports but she was having a hard time to focus because of what Hitomi said. She managed to finish checking the papers before the plane landed in New Chitose Airport at Chitose; just south of Sapporo. Rika walked fast towards the door and out of the airport. Before going to the place where she was destined to go, she looked for a coffee shop or any restaurants with a Wi-Fi connection. She managed to find one and ordered some bread and coffee before opening her laptop and checked whether chapter five’s already been posted. And it did. Rika read the story while she was eating her 2nd ‘breakfast’.
Chapter 5 :
“You’re really funny when you’re in a state of trance.” Sayu said which made Eri ‘wake up’ to reality.
“Don’t mind it…” Sayumi messed up her friend’s hair before kissing her forehead which surprised the other. Eri saw a sweet smile coming from her friend. “Just make sure that you will still spend some time with me even though you’re meeting her. Promise?”
“Ehh, what are you saying?! Of course I want us to be together. You’re my best friend, Sayu.”
“Are you sure?”
“Ehh?!? I don’t really get you? What are you trying to say?”
“I’m just trying to ask whether friendship is what you’re feeling towards me.”
“Of course! You’re my best friend right?”
“Yes… And I thought that you’re going gay over me.”
“Why do you always say that?! I’m not gay!”
“Then why are you still holding me?” Eri realized that she’s been hugging her friend all this time. She immediately released her grip and pushed away her friend.
“Itai~ I’ve become numb because of your tight grip and you’re just going to push me? You’re mean.” Sayu said sulkily. Eri realized what she had done and hugged her friend again.
“Gomen! I didn’t mean to… I was just…”
“You’re hugging me again… You’re really gay.”
Eri was practicing her three pointers when she heard someone clap behind her. She looked back and saw the shorter girl whom she talked to yesterday.
“Sugoi, your form is really good… Oh yeah, Ohayou!” Eri giggled as the other person almost forgot her greeting.
“Ohayou, Tanaka-san! You’re really early today.” Eri passed the ball towards the new comer. Reina caught it, dribbled a little and made her way towards the hoop and releasing the ball into the air in a form of lay-up. Eri was delighted. She was grinning like a little child who had just seen the greatest magic trick on earth. “Sugoi! That was a nice lay-up!”
“I remember you doing that too the day you pushed me on the ground.. And what do you mean by ‘early’? You’re the one’s who’s earlier. It’s just 2:45 in the morning.” Eri picked up the ball and started dribbling. Reina can see that she was deeply in thought. She decided to play with Eri, even though the other didn’t answer her question.
Eri noticed Reina coming towards her and instinct was telling her to protect the ball. It was a one on one duel. Eri tried to get pass Reina’s intense defense against her but she can’t go inside. She took a step back and jumped high before releasing the ball. She took an advantage of her height for Reina can’t block the ball. Her fade away shot was a success. She has a score now. But Reina wouldn’t give in easily like that. She got the ball and run back towards the three point line and readied herself for the shot. Eri jumped when she that Reina was about to jump but she was deceived. Reina did a fake and when Eri jumped she dribbled the ball before stepping to her right side where the area was clear. She took the shot before Eri can jump again and stop her. It went in.
“My, that was a good fake and a three pointer. Are you the ace player of your team?” Eri asked. Reina looked at her.
“I’m not an ace player buy how did you know that I’m in a team?” Eri stared at her. “Hey, are you alright?” Reina waved her hands in front of Eri.
“Hai, gomen… My best friend told me that. She’s a sophomore student studying in your school too.”
“The one who pulled you away last time?” Eri nodded. The two resumed playing basketball. It was more of a give and take situation. Eri was teaching Reina some slick moves on dribbling, defense and the fade away shot. Reina on the other hand taught Eri some basic exercises that Ai and Risa was teaching her before to improve her shooting skills. They continued practicing everyday but Reina noticed that Eri always went home before the sun rises in the sky. She was intrigued by it but decided to remain quiet.
“Hey,” Eri started after finishing their play “Do you remember your question before? When you asked why I was early that day?” Eri noticed Reina nod after drinking her water jug. “Well, you see, it’s because I’m here every night just until before the sun rises.”
“Ehh? Why do you always go out at night? Are you insomniac or something?”Reina inquired. She wanted to know her friend better. Her question has been answered regarding to why no matter how early she went to the court, Eri’s always there before her. But Eri’s revelation is somewhat hard to believe.
“Promise you won’t feel… uhhm… different about me?”
“Well… that’s because… I’m…”
“Well? You’re a what?”
“I’m…. a… vampire.. I’ll die if I’ll be exposed to sunlight, yeah that’s right!”
“HAAHAHAH!! You’re funny. A vampire? If you’re really a vampire, why didn’t you suck my blood before?” Reina knew that Eri was lying; she can’t look straight into her eyes while she’s giving her explanations and she’s stuttering. But she decided to play along.
“Because.. That’s.. Well, you see I’m a worthless vampire. I don’t know how to suck blood. I’d rather buy my food at the blood bank than suck the blood of my friend.”
“Ohhh, that’s really… interesting. Well, I don’t mind a vampire hanging around me… That’s cool.”
“Thanks” Eri sighed, she didn’t know why but she can’t tell the truth to her new friend. She looked up on the sky and noticed some streak of light in the east part of the horizon. She checked her watch and noticed that there’s still an hour left before the sun will completely rise on the sky. Suddenly, she noticed someone near the other end of the court.
“Sayu?” Reina looked at Eri and then followed her line of vision. The girl that Eri saw was wearing a pink tracksuit and pink running shoes. It seemed the other just finished doing her morning exercise because she was sweating really hard. Reina realized that girl was the one who pulled Eri away from her that fateful night. The girl walked towards them. Eri stood up and hugged her friend before presenting her to Reina.
“Reina, this is my best friend Sayumi Michishige… You met her before right? The one who stopped me from doing ‘that’ embarrassing thing.” Sayumi reached out her hand and offered a hand shake.
“Hi! I’m Reina Tanaka. I’ve heard a lot of thing about you. It’s hard to stop your friend’s mouth.” Reina said as she took Sayumi’s hand and grinned evilly at Eri.
“Yep, I know… But you know, Eri was really shy… before. I call her turtle for she always hides when there are other people. That’s why I’m quite shocked that Eri managed to do that to you. You’re one lucky girl…” Eri elbowed Sayumi’s side pretty hard but the girl laughed out loud instead of crying in pain. Reina was left clueless as to why Sayumi was laughing while Eri’s blushing real hard.
“Ehh? I didn’t get that.”
“Hahaha! Well you see, Eri is somewhat…”
“My, my… is that the time? We have to go now! See you tomorrow! Ja!” Eri pushed away her laughing friend before she could tell anything that will possibly harm her relationship with Reina. Sayumi waved goodbye to the somewhat confused girl left in the court.