Saturday, 27 June 2015

Chapter one (segment eight), 2016, August, Ryu

“He's in there, with James.” Noriko glanced at the door to the inner room. “I think they're drinking alcohol,” she said quietly so the rest of the members wouldn't hear.

“Kuri?” Ryu asked.

“She's away. Something about a window of opportunity. If she doesn't do whatever she's doing this week she'll never get the chance again.”

When he needed you the most. What were you thinking? It opened up an opportunity for himself, but by now Ryu liked them both too much to want their relationship to end this way. I'll steal you away from him one day, but not like this.

“Ryu, she's in there as well. His guardian. You can't tell anyone. She's a police.”

Why is half the core gone? “Yukio?”

“Club room Skyping with Kyoko.”


“Yes, you really should know, but you never listen idiot bro. She's in Kansai somewhere with her family.”

Ryu winced. Noriko had told him when and where each of them would be spending their summer break. Planning the beach trip would be impossible otherwise.

“So, Kyoko's gone, but why the hell isn't Yukio here. It's his best friend after all.”

Noriko just shook her head. “Idiot!” she said loud enough for some of the members to turn their heads and look at them. There was a low murmur lingering in the café afterwards.

I hate it when she calls me 'idiot' without telling me why. Ryu stared at his sister to make her talk.

She sighed, but she talked. “Bro, you only ever listen to dad. His grand vocabulary, epic ideals and righteousness, huh?”

Ryu nodded. Dad was more interesting than mom.

“I'm not going to say it's only big words,” his sister continued, “because it's not. It's the way we are, all four of us. We stand at the front. Urufu and Kuri even more so.”

“And,” Ryu asked, because it was clear Noriko wasn't finished yet. She was just reloading.

“Ryu, you really should talk with mom more. She would make you understand. You of anyone should. To shine as bright as Urufu and Kuri you need a Yukio or Kyoko at your back. A wingman. You'll need one as well one day.”

“And you?” Ryu quickly asked. Being praised by his sister felt strange.

“Me too, one day. But that's not what's important. Yukio and Kyoko have always stood back, and now for the first time they have someone they treasure, someone for whom they're the hero. Get it?”

He didn't. “Not really, I still think Yukio's an awful friend for sitting at school when Urufu's breaking down here.”

“You really are my idiot brother.” Noriko glared at him. “Of course he is! But it can't be helped. They got together less than a week ago.” She poured a cup of coffee to a member who had arrived at the counter and took a few coins in return. “His first girlfriend. She's more important to him than anything in the world. Hell, a phone call from her is more important than any of us two.”

Ryu could only listen to the onslaught. That kind of all consuming love was alien to him. “I don't get it,” he complained when his sister finally seemed to run out of steam.

Bad decision. She shovelled half a ton of coal under the boiler and went to work on him again.

“Idiot bro! Stupid! Yukio confessed last Sunday.”

That had the club members get into action.

“Yay for Yukio!”

“Good for him!”

“Great couple!”

Both Wakayamas stared at the members until they returned to their own conversations.

“He confessed during Kuri's grand entrance.”

Ryu noted that Noriko dialled down the volume a notch when she continued.

“You know Kyoko, don't you? Proper and improper and all that?”

Ryu nodded.

“She kissed him at the Shibuya grand intersection. In front of five thousand people, a couple of camera teams and right where Kuri had everyone's eyes glued!”

That's kind of impressive. That's a hell of a lot impressive. Kyoko! I didn't think you had it in you. “OK I get the picture. So?”

“Ryu, what makes you think a small thing like for example mount Fuji erupting would get Yukio's attention when Kyoko wants it?”


Noriko brightened. “Finally!”


And there was doom and gloom in her face again. “But if she doesn't want it? If she tells Yukio get get his arse over here? That but?” she suggested.

Ryu nodded again.

“No way. She wants. She's in love you idiot! Besides the only one she cares about apart from Yukio right now is Kuri. Kuri's gambling everything on this modelling stunt of hers. That's why she can't be here now.”


“Idiot bro, she's not rich like us. That Sunday cost her all her savings. She burned six hundred thousand yen to make it happen.”

“Urufu could help her.”

“Moron. That's exactly what she does not want. She's not a cute little Japanese doll waiting to marry a strong man who can take care of her for the rest of her life. Read something! Learn something! Go Google M-shaped employment and use that head of yours for once!”

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