Hi there! Got sick.. missed work.. and so, I managed to finish the next chapter. I will warn you..there's too much Charmikitty on this chapter... Read if you dare.Oh yeah.. I think this is the longest chapter I've done so far in this title.XD
“More than the friend type?” Hitomi repeated. “I didn’t know about your relationship with Kame-chan. She didn’t mention you to me. If you’re the ‘more than friend’ type, then I should be the one to know it first.” The three were still standing in the middle of the street
“Why would she reveal such things to you? You’re just her ‘officemate’.” Miki stressed the last word and gave Hitomi a smirk. She’s having fun being the ‘yankii’ like what Reina portrays on the screen.
“I’m not just her officemate.”
“Ohhh, so you’re the third party who wants to destroy our lovely relationship. Is that it?” Miki raised her voice and moved closer to Hitomi. Hitomi didn’t back down over Miki’s piercing glare but instead, she just stared coolly at her and answered back.
“You should have your eyes checked. I’m not the third party here.”
“And what are you trying to imply at that?” Rika finally decided to step up and stop the ‘playful’ arguing of the two when she saw that people were starting to stop and look towards their direction.
“How about continuing that in some quiet place?” Rika suggested. The two stopped bickering as soon as they noticed that people were flocking near them. They quickly left the area with Rika leading them to a nearby park. Rika kept glancing back towards the two and noticed that they were not talking with each other and were facing the opposite sides. Rika and Miki’s eyes met for a split second and Rika saw that ‘weird’ look
“I’m really curious about those two. I haven’t heard any news or gossips about some managers having conflicts with each other.”
“Eri, where are you taking us?” Rika sighed. Miki’s still in her ‘role play’ mode.
“I’m taking you two to a quiet place where you can sort out your thing.” Miki walked faster and caught up with Rika. She held Rika’s hand which made the other flinch from the contact.
“Tanaka-san.. can’t you FEEL that Kame didn’t like having TOO MUCH PDA?” Hitomi said in a serious voice.
“PDA?” Miki asked. She’s not really good at this acronym thing.
“It’s public display of affection… dimwit…” Rika answered seriously but deep inside, she wanted to laugh at Miki’s ignorance.
“Hey… How come you know that? Reina thought that you’re the atomic aho of our group? You mustn’t know that arduous thing.”
“It’s not that hard, TANAKA-san. Even the little kids nowadays knew that.” Rika replied. She stopped near the man-made lake and moved away from Miki’s grip on her hand.
“Why the formalities? Because your officemate is here? I guess you didn’t want her to know about our little relationship because you’re embarrassed about private things?” Miki crossed her arms over her chest.
“If I’m embarrassed… that’s because of your attitude.” Rika looked at the two culprits. “The two of you need to settle things NOW!”
“If we’re going to settle something… well, it’s gonna get bloody here.” Miki quickly said.
“Yeah, and if you want to clean up after… we don’t mind settling our differences.” Hitomi followed. Rika sighed. She knew, or rather, felt that something happened between the two and she want it to be fixed.
“Look guys, this is serious. Please settle whatever happened with the two of you.”
“Fujimoto will you cut the role play already?!” Rika asked with a hint of irritation on her voice. Miki snorted and looked away. “Guys, I know… something happened. I’m not that blind. And correct me if I’m wrong but, I think the two of you knew each other before.”
“Yeah, way to go captain OBVIOUS.” Rika saw Hitomi bit her lip to stop herself from laughing from Miki’s remark. Rika smiled to herself. Although, again, it’s her ‘blunder’ that made her almost laugh, at least the tension was somewhat lifted up.
“Anyways, I’ll leave you guys alone. I’ll just sit there on the bench and just wave at me when the two of you are done.” Rika pointed on the other side of the lake where there’s a vacant bench near a row of food stalls. Rika walked off, not waiting for the two to say something.
“The two of them were close to me. I hope they can fix it”
Rika crossed the bridge to go to the other side of the park. She put down her bag on the bench before completely sitting down. She looked at the two figures, still unmoving.
“What are they waiting for?! Geez, JUST TALK ALREADY!!!!” Rika stood up and went towards a crepe stall. In times like this, she really would want to eat something sweet so a chocolate-flavored crepe will keep her company while the two sort out their thing. She sat back at the bench after paying for her snack. It felt like she was watching some kind of a drama movie, minus, the sounds because she can’t really hear most of what they were talking about. Hitomi and Miki’s faces were in a lot of pain. Hitomi suddenly held Miki’s shoulder’s and was shaking her. Miki slapped Hitomi on her cheek. Yes, it was like watching the climax of a tear-jerker movie. After a couple of minutes, they stopped. Rika can see Hitomi trying to suppress her tears as she extended her hand to Miki. They shook hands before Hitomi turned around and left the place. Rika immediately ran towards Miki.
“She left. She needed to finish something and it’s getting late.”
“Ohh…” Rika didn’t know what to say next. She considered asking for details but she can see that Miki didn’t want to talk it over. Miki’s still staring at the direction where Hitomi went. “so… uhhh..”
“Let’s continue our date, Eri.” Miki turned around and grabbed Rika’s unfinished chocolate crepe and gobbled it up. Rika was left speechless. She can’t discern whether from Miki taking her delicious snack or because Miki still wanted to continue their role play. Or both.
“But… I’m… not… finished… with that.”
“Reina will buy you many crepes if you really like it that much. Its Reina’s treat since Reina haven’t bought your umeboshi earlier. Now, let’s go!” Rika wanted to laugh at How Miki exaggerated Reina’s 3rd person talk but her mind went blank at the way Miki’s holding her now. Miki held her hand again and this time, entwining their fingers. Their bodies were really close to each other and Rika thought that with their current space, Miki might hear her heart beating, really fast.
“Role play… it’s just a little role play…. Just get along with it.”
“Why are you so stiff? Lighten up will you? We’re on a date here.”
“Uhh… well, you see…”
“Gaah~! Rika! Get a grip!!! It’s just a role play…got that? Do you understand that? It’s just normal if your heart’s beating really fast… Well, you’re still outside and it’s already dark. Something bad might happen. And… it’s really cold right now.. Your heart beats really fast because your blood is circulating through your body to give you enough heat. That’s it. And you’re cheeks are feeling hot right now because…”
“Hey, you became silent. Is something wrong?” Miki moved her face closer to Rika. She touched Rika’s forehead to check whether she’s sick. “Hey, tell me. What’s wrong?”
“You are not blushing… GOT THAT?!?! This is a normal phenomenon to you when you’re imagining what will happen to that TanaKamei fic you’ve read on that forum. You’re on the same situation as them in the fic that’s why you remembered it. You remembered Reina kissing Eri under the moonlight as they were on a date that’s why you’re blushing. You are blushing because of that fic… Your heart’s beating really fast because you’re excited to read the next chapter of that fic. That’s the ONLY reason.. Remember that Rika! Separate fiction from reality!”
“Uhh… I’m… listening to my stomach growl. I’m hungry.” Rika wanted to smack herself for coming up with such a lame alibi. Miki laughed really loud.
“Why didn’t you say so? Come on, let’s go find another restaurant.” Miki pulled Rika to the chain of restaurants located near the park. Miki chose a place with a good ambience and delectable cuisine. The waiter led them towards their seat which was near a fountain.
“So… what do you want to eat? Just choose. Reina will take care of the bills.”
“Uhh, REINA… you really didn’t have to do this. I have my own money.”
“So that’s it?” Rika looked at Miki as soon as she heard her somewhat ‘irritated’ voice. “You didn’t want Reina to treat you because YOU have your own money? Sorry about that. Reina forgot that you’re the president’s daughter.” Rika massaged her temples. Miki even copied Reina’s yankii and somewhat ‘grouchy’ attitude. But then again, Miki’s attitude before was worse compared to Reina.
“No, what I mean is… Don’t waste your money on me.”
“Reina’s not wasting her money, Reina’s happy to treat Eri. Reina’s contented whenever Rika… I mean Eri smile.”
“Gaah~! Too much ‘Reina’… Ehh? WHAT!?!” Rika’s eyes grew wide as she heard her name. She looked at Miki who was smiling impishly.
“So, uhhh… Will Eri accept Reina’s treat to her?” Rika blinked her eyes. It must have been just her imagination. But why would she imagine that? Rika leaned back on her chair. She might as well enjoy the ‘free’ food now.
“Ok. Just order me a steak and a chocolate marshmallow cake.”
The ‘date’ turned out well. Miki and Rika had fun talking about the latest Jpop news, but they deliberately left some information about Three-Tums and Futari because they were still on their role play mode. The good thing about that restaurant was at a certain time, some musicians will go to a table and played a melodious music so they felt they were on a ‘real’ date. They left the restaurant after finishing Rika’s 3rd dessert. Miki decided to walk with Rika to her apartment.
“So… welcome to my apartment! Please take a seat” Rika lead Miki to her couch but the other remained standing.
“No, it’s alright. Reina will go home now. Reina just wanted to make sure Eri’s safe.”
“Ohh, you’ll leave me alone already?”
“Unless you wanted to do something. Do you want to play in the bed with Reina?” Miki moved closer to Rika and then put her arms around her hips. Rika remained calm and looked at Miki’s eyes seriously. She managed to hear some of their conversation at the park and it really bothered her when they started mentioning, Kuwagata and her story. She can’t thoroughly connect each pieces of ‘vague’ information so she needed to ask before letting Miki off the hook.
“It’s your story right? I’ve heard the two of you arguing about that.” Rika saw Miki blinked her eyes many times before going wide. Miki remained silent and turned around to leave.
“It’s getting late. I’m going now.” Rika quickly blocked Miki’s escape route by closing the door and leaning against it.
“Don’t try to deny it. I won’t let you out unless you answered my question.”
“You heard us?! But you’re really far from us. You have such good ears.”
“Well, I can’t hear it if the two of you would just settle it in a nice way. I’m glad I moved away because if I didn’t I might became deaf from the yelling and shouting.”
“We’re not yelling, we’re just talking in a loud voice.” Miki replied sarcastically.
“Yeah, right… So… you’re Kuwagata? It’s your story?
“So? What if I’m Kuwagata? It’s not really MY story… got that? So please just move out of my way.”
“What happened between the two of you?” Rika asked straight to the point. Miki took a deep breath and closed her eyes. After a minute of deafening silence, Miki replied.
“You like Futari too, right?”
“Uhh, yeah? Why?”
“Go to ‘that’ forum and read a fic entitled ‘Chingudeul’ later this night.” With that said, Miki pushed Rika aside, opened the door and ran away. Rika has woken from her ‘half dazed’ state caused by the very mention of the said forum when the door closed with a bang. Rika swiftly opened the door and yelled to the fleeing girl.
“HEY!!! YOU DIDN’T EVEN ANSWER MY QUESTION!!! GET BACK HERE!!!! FUJIMOTO!!!” Miki stopped then turned around and stuck her tongue out at Rika before continuing to run again. Rika didn’t know whether to be angry or laugh at what Miki did for it really was unlikely for her character to do that. She closed her door and went towards her laptop.
Wait… Is that Korean? One shot? Oh~! I really hope she will make a double post! GAAAHH~! MIKI!!! UPDATE SEARCHING FOR THE LIGHT ALREADY!!!! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ERI!!!!!!
Rika opened Kuwagata’s blog… and there’s still no update. She remembered that Miki ‘just’ left her apartment minutes ago. Rika sighed and just waited calmly at the story that ‘Kabutomushi’ will post later. In the mean time, she opened a translation site and searched for the meaning of the korean word. And it turns out, it meant ‘friends’. Rika had a theory; if Miki based it on the fic, it might be that Miki and Hitomi were ‘friends’ before but then, something happened along the way… and she’s going to find that out later. To kill the time, she typed another comment in Kuwagata’s ‘latest’ chapter to let the writer know that she’s still waiting for the continuation.
Hi there! It’s been a while since you last updated. I guess you’re really putting an effort to make it really good. Well, for me, whatever you write is great! Ahahaha… I hope you update soon!
Oh yeah, thanks for the treat today! (^_^)
Rika pressed the send button. It was a little milder than what she actually thought in her mind. With nothing else to do, she watched some of the ‘good’ stuffs that Ayumi gave her, especially Three-Tums’ latest Asian Concert Tour, where they held a concert at Korea, Taiwan and mainland China. After two hours of watching, the concert ended so Rika checked the forum and saw that the story has been posted, but the username’s different. She was expecting to see ‘Kuwagata’ or ‘Kabutomushi’ as the author but instead, it was written by ‘Tenma_Mosaku’.
“EEEHHH!?!?! Tenma?!?! What the… Now I’m really confused. I better read it now.
“Good morning Ai-chan! How’s your homework?” My best friend looked up from her book and stared blankly at me. I guess she didn’t do it because she got hooked again on our favorite group’s latest movie. “Uhh… you know… the scenic pictures?”
“Ohh, that one! Yeah. I’m finished with that already.”
“Then why did you give me that look?”
“Because I thought you meant ‘school homework’ when you mentioned that.” Ai smiled sheepishly and went back to reading her book. Yeah, ignore me again with that stupid book. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Risa Niigaki and the girl that I was talking to is my best friend, Ai Takahashi. Well, if you know us, then you would ask us why the two of us are best friends. Our characters are a ‘total’ opposite. She’s silent, I’m loud. She’s responsible… I’m carefree. She’s somewhat a loner, I’m friendly. With all that said we still complement each other, probably the only thing that holds us together is our great love for our favorite group, Morning Musume. Well, I mean, she introduced it to me and then boom! I became addicted to them too; Koharu Kusumi, the miracle member, Konno Asami, the ‘geek’, Makoto Ogawa, the cheerful one, Kaori Iida the ‘weird’ one and their fierce ‘yankii’ leader, Yuuko Nakazawa. Both of us are ‘head to heels’ addicted to their music. Another thing is that we both really love basketball. Well, my two bestfriends were the ones who introduced it to me and then, Ai-chan somewhat became my mentor. She taught me everything I know. Our sport was the one responsible as to why were like this. I think I’ll just give you some details on how Ai and I met.
“Gaki-san! Watch out!”
“Where are you looking at?! Geez, Mame-san… Focus on the game!”
“That’s my first two best friends. The one who called me Gaki-san was my pet alien… I mean, Eri Kamei and the one who just insulted my forehead, was Sayumi Michishige. We always play basketball at a certain court near our neighborhood. I could say that I’m not really that good in basketball but I’m not that bad too. I mean, I was just plain, old, good enough player. I really wanted to beat these two airheads in basketball but I don’t know whether I can do that because, they’re the ones who introduced me to this sport.
“Hey… Gaki-san? Are you alright? Look at what you’ve done Sayu! Risa probably developed amnesia because of the impact!
“Sorry Mame-chan! That was an accident.. but… it wouldn’t really happen if you focused on the game. Geez, why did you freeze in place?”
“Why? You want to know why? Because I saw ‘her’; the one who uses this basketball court in the wee hours of the morning. The one who played basketball better than anyone else in school. The one who was addicted in anime and games, like me. The one who some call ‘the mysterious one’.
“Hey! The game’s not yet finished! Where are you going?”
“I forgot something! I’ll be back later!”
“So I went to chase the ‘mysterious one’ and I lose sight of her. And when I’m going back to my friends, I suddenly bumped into someone who’s looking at some CD’s in a certain music store.”
“I’M SO SORRY!!!! I didn’t mean to bump… into... you.”
“Now this is a new one for me. In school, my classmates call me ‘the Reaction Queen’ but that sure didn’t take effect when I met her face to face. Well, you could say that my face has some ‘funny’ reaction that she noticed.
“It’s nothing…. I think you’re the one who’s hurt. Are you alright?”
“uuhh, yeah… I… I’m fine… uhhh, you’re from Hinode Gakuen right?”
“Yeah, I’m the one who took the initiative to befriend her. Because I had a feeling that she’s the ‘shy’ type. And that time, my hunch was right.”
“Yes, Do you often see me in campus?”
“I would really like to say that I see her most often in the court near our house rather than the school but she might think that I’m stalking her or something so I decided to ‘lie’.
“Uhh, no. I’m from Kaede Gakuen, I just always see you reading a book in the public library during weekends because I always go there too. My name’s Niigaki Risa.”
“Well, I don’t ‘actually’ read when I’m in the library, I’m just visiting Eri whenever Sayu’s not around. Eri’s working part time in the public library and Sayu’s working as a part-time model/idol so her schedule’s somewhat warped. So whenever I’m bored, and although I know I’ll just be bored more in the library, I visit Eri and play some nasty tricks which will annoy her… and the librarian. But whenever I make that, I’ll make sure that Ai’s on the other side of the room.”
“Mine’s Takahashi Ai. Nice to meet you.”
“To make my story short, we became friends. But my two best friends didn’t know that because I don’t want them to know, until Ai will train me to become good in basketball. We always play early in the mornings when the sun isn’t up yet. No wonder she’s good in basketball; she’s got the determination and the attitude of a varsity player. In other words, she’s a workaholic and she’s rubbing that attitude of hers in me... and that’s good because, I see how I’ve improved from the two months that we know each other. And then, finally, I decided to introduce her to my best friends.
“WHAT?!? SINCE WHEN?!?! WHY DID YOU HIDE IT FROM US?!? WE’RE YOUR BEST FRIENDS!!!”
“Ok, now I know that Eri has a potential to become the Reaction princess. And Sayu’s dead pan look is a winner. I really wish that I had my camera with me at that time to capture the ‘moment’”
“Is she… normal?”
“What kind of question is that Sayu? OF course, she’s still a human. She just have higher I.Q than yours. You see, Hinode and Kaede Gakuen are on the same community, after all, we’re sister schools. Ai-chan’s really good at basketball but she’s not the captain. She’s good at exams and other things too as far as we heard. And then I got to know her better and I can fully tell them that she’s normal. She might be weird, likes to be alone… fixated at favorite things… and then.. yeah… she’s acting somewhat suspicious.. I mean mysterious, but she’s still human.”
“Uhhh, Last time I checked her, she’s a human. She even had a scratch on her knees when she fell down. I accidentally tripped her while guarding her.”
“Since when did you learn to play dirty?”
“ERI!!! I SAID… ACCIDENTALLY!!!”
“Hey, it’s so early in the morning and you’re already yelling. Are you this loud?”
“You’re here~! Hey guys, this is Ai Takahashi. Ai, my two best friends, Sayumi Michishige and Eri Kamei.”
“I just introduced her to my friends, and they already started ganging up on me. I won’t give you the details but, they’re really mean. At least they got along pretty well. We started playing two on two. Sayu and Eri and I teamed up with Ai. And you know what… WE’VE WON!!!! Ahahaha. My hard work really paid off. So after that, I became the captain of our varsity team when I was on my senior year, Even though Hinode and Kaede were rivals in competitions, Ai-chan would always help me in my training. Just like a private tutor in basketball.
When we graduated from junior high, Sayu focused on being an idol, and Eri transferred to a different place. So me and Ai went to a same school and we decided to enter in a different club other than basketball… And that’s the Photography class. In our school, we are known as a diligent student. We always excel academically and were admired but other students. That’s why we decided to keep quiet that we are an OTAKU. You know… people who are REALLY OBSSESSED with anime. Otaku’s has that geeky image; glasses, messy hair, and a really weird behavior. If ‘normal’ people would know that we’re an otaku, they might move away from us. It’s really Ai-chan’s fault. She introduced me into this world and now, I’m amplifying it.”
So, we’re here in our photography club room. We passed the ‘assignment’ that our president, Mitsui Aika, gave us. The theme is ‘Matsuri’ and I think she had a plan to exhibit our photos on our school festival next month.
“Woah! Takahashi-san… Niigaki-san… your pictures are awesome! I have a feeling our exhibit will become a success!”
“Thanks!” We grinned at each other. We’ve become a great tandem ever since that day. Whether it’s in basketball, or academics… or even photography, people can’t separate the two of us. It’s like what I’ve said before, we complement each other. And another reason why we grinned was because Mitsui-san likes to treat us whenever she was happy or something. And tonight, we will go to the karaoke.
“BRAVO!!!!” We roared as Ai finished singing and dancing her song. It was from Morning Musume’s number 1 single, Love Machine. Yep, I told you we’re great fans.
“Niigaki-san! You’re next!” Mitsui-san gave me the mic. And my fingers excitedly punched the numbers of my favorite song.
“Ai wo kudasai~.. WAHH!!! Mr. Moonlight! Upside down! Mr. Moonlight~!” I saw Ai laughing away as I clumsily do the dance choreograph of the said song. I really didn’t know what was happening to me. It felt like I’m really energetic or like I was in the cloud or something. Well, I guess, everyone here is as crazy as me. My song ceased and my group mates clapped their hands for me. Mitsui-san raised her glass of tea.
“For the success of our exhibit!!!” We raised our own cups and drank its contents simultaneously. My iced tea tasted really weird. I looked at Ai-chan and I was about to tell her about my drink when she fell on the floor, and continued laughing hard. Ok, that was WAY too weird. That’s Ai-chan we’re talking about. Mitsui-san gave her the mic again. They all love Ai-chan’s voice… oh wait. They are going to do a duet!
"I want to believe this love is true . . .
. . . the love you express to me.
The future can only tell if this love is true or not, right?
As for now, I love you with all my heart
and nothing can get in the way."
“WOAH!!!! WAY TO GO AI~~!!!” She really liked English subject and she nailed Makoto’s engrish part. Mitsui-san took Yuuko and Kaori’s parts while Ai-chan took Makoto, Kon-Kon and Koha’s parts. They were dancing and singing crazily.
“Thank you!!! I love you all!!” We all laughed and cheered for Mitsui-san.
“I LOVE YOU RISA!!!! PLEASE BE MY GIRLFRIEND!!!” The cheering stopped and all their eyes looked towards my direction.
“Nice joke Ai-chan! Give me the mic and it’s my turn to sing now.” Instead of giving the mic to me, Ai-chan put it close to her mouth.
“I’m not joking Risa. I’m serious. I’m in love with you.” I just have to do something before it worsen. And the best thing to do is… laugh.
“Ahahahaha… geez, Ai-chan. I think you’ve drunk too much ice tea.”
“I told you not to put alcohol in it.” I looked back at Mitsui-san as she smacked the head of our naughtiest member, Koki. So that’s it. Alcohol! The weird taste and the weird actions… It all makes sense now!
“I’ll take Ai-chan home. Just continue the party guys!” I pulled Ai out of the karaoke bar and went to the bus stop.
“I told you I’m not joking.”
“You know, it’s just the alcohol messing with your mind. Koki put some alcohol in our drinks.”
“I’m not drunk. Why can’t you believe me? I’m in love with you.” I didn’t answer. Now I know how Eri felt before… so here’s another flashback.
“GAAAH!!! HE’S REALLY CUTE!!!”
“Ehh? Where? Who’s cute?”
“My friend’s little brother. His name is Yuki Michishige. He walked with us earlier… Kyaah!!! He’s so cool!”
“Uhh, ok… I thought your fangirl side is only for Morning Musume?”
“Yeah… but there’s always an exception.”
“I said that to Ai-chan but in reality, I’m just using Yuki as my mask. The one I really like was my other best friend Eri. I don’t mind them teasing me about Yuki, at least I can hide my true nature to them. It all happened before I even met Ai-chan.”
“I’m sooooooo tired~!!!! I have an audition tomorrow!!!”
“If you’re soooo tired, then just go home and rest.”
“Yeah, we’ll gladly take you home.”
“Ohh really? Is that ‘really’ your agenda Mame-san? Or do you like to tag along with me to see my brother?”
“EEHH~! NO!!! come on… we’re friends! It’s only natural for us to look at each other.”
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Anyway. I’ll just go home alone. I think Risa you still need to practice your jump shots. Eri will help you. Right?”
“Yeah! I’ll help her improve. Just go and rest. Do your best tomorrow!”
“Thanks! I’ll do my trade mark Usa-chan Peace tomorrow.”
“If you want to become a model DON’T EVER DO THAT!”
“And because of that remark, Sayu smacked my head. Anyways, I was left all alone with Eri and we continued playing basketball. Until we’re very tired.”
“Gaki-san… I’m tired.. Aren’t you tired yet?”
“Uhh… no. I can still play.”
“Geez, your stamina is like a man’s stamina.”
“I am a man… I mean woman. HAhahahaha.”
“Did I just say that? I guess I did. I always had this feeling towards Eri. She’s a very reliable person.. and funny. Sayu and I always tease her about her strange behaviors and all those teasing led to another. I had no idea that I would fall in love with my best friend.”
“So let’s go home now.”
“We were silent on the way home. I wanted to confess but I don’t know where to start. And if I didn’t confess, it would just torture me. I didn’t know that falling in love is really hard.”
“Uhh, Kame… how would you feel if somebody falls in love with you?”
“You’re asking me that? Of course I will feel happy that somebody noticed a turtle.”
“And she laughed at her own comment. She’s really strange.”
“What if that person is your friend?”
“Hmm? That will make it easy for both of us. If we’re friends, then we won’t feel awkward with each other.”
“What if that friend of yours… is a girl too?”
“At this question, Eri stopped walking and faced me. She didn’t just faced me, she scrutinized every inch of my face as if she was searching for something.”
“AHA! I knew it! You’ve fallen in love with Sayu!”
“Awww come on!!! SAYU?!?! That narcissist bunny?!? Can’t you see that it’s you whom I’ve fallen with?”
“Ewww!!! NO! Who would want to date a narcissist bunny who only talks about how cute she was all day?”
“Hmmm… so it’s me then?”
“Her keen senses were very fast considering she’s a turtle. I was taken aback and I didn’t know what to answer her. And I’m glad I didn’t because…”
“You know, I really appreciate it. Thank you for loving me but I guess, I’m not the right person for you. You see, I don’t want to ruin our friendship. You’re my best friend. If we fight, we can still fix it but if, for example we become lovers, I think it’s hard to bring back the friendship if we breakup or something. You’re too important for me to lose. I know that you’ll find someone better than me, someone that will take care of you no matter what happens. And when that day happens, let me be the one to know it first okay?”
“You see, you’re my friend Ai-chan. Not just any friend, but I’ve already considered you my best friend. I don’t want to ruin our friendship in case our relationship will turn sour.”
“Why do you think that I’ll turn bad? I won’t do something that will make you sad. I’ll make sure that we’ll always be happy with each other.”
“Woah… that’s… yeah… she has a point… But… I just can’t love her. Whenever I’m with Eri, I’m happy and my heart always beats very fast. When I’m with Ai-chan or Sayu, I’m happy too, but my heart was just beating normally. And based from that, I know that Ai-chan isn’t the right person for me. She’s just a very dear friend. And honestly, it broke my heart when Eri said that. I know it will hurt Ai-chan too.”
“Well, things don’t go well in reality. It may happen it the fics, but it’s really hard to do that in reality. There are just some things that we can’t control. I’m sorry Ai-chan. But I rather have you as a friend.”
AI-chan started ignoring me since that day. She went back to her ‘introvert’ self. When we’re in our club, the other members were looking weirdly at us. I think they still can’t forget Ai’s confession in the karaoke. I tried to be close with her again but it’s her who’s moving away. I guess I hurt her that much. And I will just continue to hurt her when I stayed here. On the next school season, I changed my school. I went back to my parent’s hometown to study. I like photography that I took it again as my club, even though it still reminds me of Ai-chan. I know in time, we’ll be friends again.
“Woah… you’re good.” I looked up and saw this wonky-eyed girl staring at me. “Hi! I’m an exchange student here too! My name’s Tanaka Reina.”
“The girl extended her hand but I didn’t take it. My attitude changed when I left. I became grouchy and I’m always glaring at other people. I’m not the same Risa anymore. Risa only exists when I’m visiting Eri or Sayu. Reina started bombarding me with ‘cold’ jokes and it’s starting to annoy me.”
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you annoying me like this?”
“I’m not annoying you. I’m just being friendly with you. I think we’ll see each other more. You’re really good. No wonder Aika idolizes you.” With that said, my eyes grew wide, not because she messed up my hair but because of the name Aika… Is she talking about our president? Mitsui-san?
“And true to her word, she didn’t stop bothering me. It turns out that Mitsui-san was her relative and she told Reina about my photos. Reina really ‘bugged’ me during her stay in our school. And because of her, I became the same old Risa again. She stayed for only three months in our school and she has to go back to her school but for three months, we became friends. And I started to like her. Maybe she’s the one whom Eri mentioned; the right person for me. I started observing her and I learned that she was hiding something from me. And she was hiding it perfectly, until she accidentally blurted it.
“OH MY GOD!!!! I’VE BEEN SEARCHING THIS FOR YEARS!!!! MORNING MUSUME’S FIRST SINGLE!!!!”
“My heart started beating fast at the mention of my favorite band. I gave her my famous stare and she started stuttering her answer.”
“Uhhhm… uhhh… well, you see, my best friend really like this group… and I’m searching for this album because I know she will love it. After all, it’s a rare item.”
“I tried to go deeper and I learned that she’s a closet fangirl. I decided to visit her in her town and it turns out that Ai-chan and her were classmates. And our meeting turned sour.”
“Come on Kon-Kon, The great Makoto will treat you for dinner.”
“Oh yeah, since I already know that she’s a fangirl, I decided to make our reunion fun by role playing our favorite members.”
“Hey! Have you passed the photos for… our…exhibit?”
“I looked back and saw Ai-chan. I didn’t know how to react at first. I saw Reina looking back and forth at us. I know she’s confused as to why Ai-chan was staring at me. I don’t know what has gotten into me but I put my arms around Reina.”
“Who’s this Kon-Kon?”
“I’m Koharu Kusumi, Kon-Kon’s classmate.”
“I’m surprised at first that Ai-chan role played with me. I started doing things to Reina. And she’s just taking it in silently. And then, she noticed the tension between us and she took us to a quiet place to settle things. We talked and we came into a conclusion. I won’t give the details because… it’s our secret. But I can assure you, we’re both fine now.”