Friday, 8 May 2015
Chapter four (segment two), twenty four years earlier, May, Yukio
That was about as bad as it could be. Yukio felt for Noriko-chan, but he wasn't about to root for her if Urufu chose Kuri-chan. Honestly, the tall pair was the better match, and he wished them all the best luck should it turn out that they became an item.
Around them the fan-club was in an uproar, and Kuri-chan shone with delight.
But that still was rather uncool of you, Kuri-chan. Now everyone knows how Noriko-chan feels.
And it didn't matter in the long run, because he wished Urufu the best of luck whomever he ended up with, as long as she made him happy. Yukio couldn't remember ever seeing his friend truly happy.
Besides, the unexpected turn of events made his own life easier. If Urufu and Kuri-chan paired up he wouldn't have to go the roundabout way of making good friends with Noriko-chan to get closer to Kyoko-chan.
Now, some might have called him scheming, but he had long since realised that no one would help him with his love life. Not that he had ever had any.
“Aren't you friends with Hamarugen-san?” It was one of Ryu-kun's female fans who had asked. She looked friendly enough. And kind of cute.
Yukio looked at her and smiled, he hoped, politely. “Yes, why?” Honestly, what does me being friends with Urufu have to do with anything?
Kyoko-chan shot him a disgusted glare.
What did I do wrong this time? I'm going to die of old age before I understand her. But even angry she was cute. More than just cute. She was beautiful. Yukio found himself stealing glances at her while he pretended to chat with Ryu-kun's hangarounds.
For some reason Kyoko-chan looked angrier every time he looked at her. I'm so out of my depths here. If only I could make friends with her. Then I'd have a chance to know how I made her so angry.
He looked at her again. She looked away. Damn!
Beside him Urufu and Kuri-chan ran a conversation in Swedish. Yukio liked to listen to the melodic language, but he couldn't understand a word of what they said.
He turned his attention to the contents of his bento box. Kuri-chan's handiwork. It was a peculiar mix of western and Japanese food, and although tastes clashed a bit it still was an improvement over the pre-packaged lunches that were sold in the cafeteria.
Wonder why Kyoko-chan didn't get one. And why did Kuri-chan insist I have one? Yukio shook his head. He noticed how the students around him shot him amused glances from time to time. A set of three bento boxes, not two. Make of that what you will, he thought. And that thought was hilarious enough for him to laugh out loud.
It was a hot day, but they sat in shade and refreshing gusts of wind dispelled the heat. Spring turned to summer and right now nothing, not even an angry Kyoko-chan, could take away that it was good to be young and living out his first high school year together with new friends. He laughed even louder.
“What's so funny?” Urufu abruptly interrupted his mirth.
Yukio swept his right hand over the scene around them. “It's warm, I'm warm and you two are just funny to watch.” He wasn't exactly clear where the words had come from, but saying them made them true, and he burst out in laughter again.
From the corner of his eyes he saw Kuri-chan giving him an amused smile. Then she looked at Kyoko-chan, and her smile widened.
I don't have your problems, or your girlfriend, but I have both my parents, even if they're separated. The thought sobered him up a little. And I have friends, you among them. I wouldn't change lives with you for anything in the world.
Kuri-chan looked at him as if she was searching for something. The smile still played over her lips, a bit more thoughtful now. She looked at him and Kyoko-chan both and her smile grew strangely calculating.
Yukio dared one last glance at Kyoko-chan, and there was a glimmer of a smile that reached her eyes. For a short moment she looked at him with something that didn't look like antipathy.
I have my friends, and I'll be yours as well. If you only let me. I promise.
They sat in silence and finished their lunch. Even the fan-club members had become slightly subdued. A few stray clouds ran across the sky and the bell rang for class.