“What do you mean with ripped?” Kyoko asked.
“Someone broke into our club
room and ripped apart the clothes we were supposed to use for the
Kyoko sighed. This started to
look just like what had happened to Kuri-chan early January this
year. It had been their last term at middle school, and not everyone
appreciated how beautiful the tall and skinny girl had become.
“Envious idiots?” Kyoko asked
no one in particular. She got no response, not even from Midori-chan
who had just reported the vandalism burglary. “OK, I'll have
Kuri-chan handle it,” Kyoko said.
Bur first of all she needed to
calm down a scared club member. She might look like a gorilla with
that awful hairdo, but Midori-chan was just as scared and fragile as
any other girl.
Any other person, Urufu and
Kuri-chan would have said. They were kind of funny that way refusing
to accept the normal differences between men and women. Sometimes she
admired them for it. Sometimes they were just a major pain.
Kyoko scrolled up her call
history and punched the fifth last number. It should have been either
the last or the second one these days. Yukio's normally competed for
the other slot, but now things were strained between Kuri-chan and
her,.and they hadn't spoken much lately.
She quickly told Kuri-chan what
had happened. There was a certain relief in hearing her friends
voice, but right now she would have preferred seeing Kuri-chan face
to face. After the call Kyoko walked down the stairs to make her way
to the gym hall. There had been a rescheduling and for all effective
purposes they now had to run the fashion show both days instead of
Some third years with a lot of
clout had forced a beauty contest. An embarrassing misunderstanding
of the American style prom queen and king, Noriko had said.
Above her she heard running
steps. She knew those steps. Kuri-chan must have been running since
she got the call. She did a lot of running between the festival
planning room and the two events the cultural club was involved in.
At least 3:1 weren't involved
with anything that Urufu didn't handle himself with that monstrous
planning brain of his. Kyoko wondered how he kept up with it. 6:1 had
a play to prepare, the club had both the fashion show and the
barbecue area and on top of it all another full twenty stalls from
several classes depended on him by now.
She sighed and took a few more
steps. More carefully now after she had experienced falling down
them. With a bit of guilt Kyoko realised she would have preferred if
it had been Yukio's steps running down the stairs from above, but he
covered Urufu's back, and Urufu had already gained a hero's aura as a
demon organiser. He was being swamped with requests, and thus she and
Yukio got very little time for each other during school hours.
Kyoko turned her head upwards and
nodded to Kuri-chan as she bounced down the stairs. “Yo!” she
greeted her blond friend.
“Yo! That was some time ago.”
It had been. A year or so. Both
Kuri-chan's Japanese and English had been littered with stereotypical
American slang during their early days of friendship. Friendship.
The word made Kyoko's chest constrict.
“Going to the gym?”
“Yeah,” Kyoko said. They
really needed to talk.
Kuri-chan suddenly grabbed both
her arms. “Ko-chan, about everything. I'm sorry.” Her face was
painted with worry and guilt.
“You're an arse.” Kyoko
wasn't prepared to forgive her friend just yet.
“You're an insensitive moron.”
And venting her frustration helped a little.
“You're an arrogant bastard.”
But that was also an important part of Kuri-chan, and it had become a
part of their friendship.
“You're my best friend.”
Because in the end she really was, no matter what happened between
“What the hell...” Then Kyoko
saw the guilty grin splitting her friend's face in two. “You're
hopeless,” Kyoko said and shook her head.
“I'm sorry,” Kuri-chan
answered and let go of one arm. Only one arm. She hugged the other to
herself, and Kyoko found herself escorted through corridor,
cafeteria, under the sails and all the way to the gym hall.
It didn't bother her at all.
Kuri-chan's stupid antics was a vast improvement over the last day's
estrangement between them. But their friendship had changed. It could
never again be as innocent as it had been earlier.
“So how do you plan to solve
the clothes?” Kyoko asked as they entered.
They had to navigate some props
for one of the bands that was going to perform during the festival.
And by the scene she saw some freshmen from 6:1 working on the set to
their play, but Yukio wasn't among them.
Kuri-chan held her answer while
they made their way through the impromptu obstacle course. “I'll
handle it with the agency, but there's another solution as well. I'll
ask the old goat first,” she said when they were through.
There's only one more student
in the school who'd dare to refer to Principal Nakagawa as the old
goat, but only Kuri-chan would get away with it. “Ask Principal
Nakagawa about what?” Kyoko asked and acknowledged the livestock
“Remember the fashion shoot
Kyoko pretended to study the
students from 6:1. “Yeah.” Not that she had taken much part in
those shoots. She didn't have the looks for it, and she knew
Kuri-chan would only grow even more beautiful in the years ahead.
“Should be about time for
Uniclo to launch that line about now. And the shoot ended up with a
high school beach party special.”
Oh, you meant the last one
when all of us were invited? “Yeah?”
“All club members are from
this school. I think I can get them to sponsor a Himekaizen special,
because it would tie in with that last evening.”
answer confirmed her unspoken question and Kyoko could see why that
would need a green light from the headship.