Sunday, 2 August 2015

Chapter five (segment one), 2016, August, Christina

With the field trip formally at an end Christina concentrated on the remaining shots. She would have preferred to study together with Ulf, but he needed to clear out his last remaining subjects before the next group with paying course attendants arrived.

She hated that, but she went through with her work, and she even built a small reputation for having an uncanny taste when it came to pick out which clothes were best for a certain shot.

After that the positively most boring week in her life. Principal Nakagawa acted as her teacher, and she was the class. The days started at seven and ended at ten in the evening. She only got breaks for two meals, and all the while the hotel echoed with the activity of Ulf and the others running workshops. There was only silence when they were out walking talking.

In three days she nailed her make up exams but for Japanese. Then it was cramming Japanese thirteen hours a day. At night she was so tired she even forgot to sneak out of her room twice, and even when she slept in Ulf's arms she barely had the energy to enjoy a quick kiss and the feeling of safety when she burrowed her back tightly against his body.

Ryu and Yukio never said anything, and neither did Noriko or Kyoko when she stole her way back early mornings.

On the verge of breaking down, after over a week's worth of cramming, she finally passed her last exam. That made her by a wide margin the worst freshman in all of Himekaizen. She didn't care one bit. Cramming hell was over and there were still a few days left of summer break.

She woke to the amused snorts of Ko-chan.

When did I crawl back to my room? She stretched, or rather tried to.

“Careful Christina, those are my eyes.”

What? She opened her eyes. What! She hadn't. Crawled that is. She lay half naked in Ulf's lap showing lots and lots of leg. He had only made sure to cover her torso. By the window Ryu and Yukio sat watching the courtyard. Christina wasn't fooled for a second. Both of the boys were much too adamant at not looking at her now, so she understood that they had taken a good look earlier.


“The snoring beauty,” Ko-chan said.

“Am not!”

“Am too!”

“Urufu, take this one as well, there's more snot.”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

Ulf wiped her nose. “Sorry, now it's gone.”

Christina hurried to cover her legs. “Why is everyone here?”

By the window both boys turned. Yukio gave Ko-chan a guilty look, but she just stuck her tongue out at him.

Ulf bent over her head and caressed her hair. She closed her eyes and concentrated of his fingers in her mind. Feeling his hands massaging her head sent shivers of longing through her, but she quickly sent those thoughts away. She forced her eyes open again. “Ulf, why?"

She felt his thumb gliding along her ear. “Last day. We were planning,” he said.

His eyes were large and brown. A deep, warm and caring brown; a little like her favourite chocolate. And she could see how his hair one day would be just as black as the others in Japan.

“Why didn't you wake me up? What if Nakagawa finds out, or your guardian?”

Ko-chan snorted again, and she was joined by Noriko. “Do you honestly think Sato-sensei doesn't know already?” the latter said.

That made Christina sit up straight. “Trousers Ulf.” He leaned away and shoved them to her under the cover. “Where's my bra?” she whispered to him.

“Here.” Noriko shouted in reply, and the bra came sailing through the air.

If Ko-chan is blushing like that what do I look like right now? Christina gathered up her bra, and after she had slipped into her trousers she quickly left the room and ran for her own.

Maybe sleeping in my underwear with Ulf isn't so smart. But I want to be close to him, and it's not like we do anything. She changed clothes. Underwear and the T-shirt she had slept in went into the pile of dirty clothes. On her way down to the reception she popped in to the room where the others still sat planning and picked up her socks from yesterday.

For the first time since coming to the resort she didn't know what to do with her day.

Maybe I'll look for grandpa. There's so much for us to talk about.

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