Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Chapter three (segment ten), 2016, October, Yukio

Damn I'm not getting any time alone with Kyoko! Which wasn't true, but he didn't get any during opening hours.

Right now she was tied up with the fashion show again and would be so for another couple of hours since it didn't stop when the show ended. The beauty contest came right after it. How they were supposed to handle the ballot boxes with so many guests on the compounds was beyond him, but the planning committee said they were on it.

As for himself he walked around the premises with his phone taking pictures and short films from the festival. While he certainly would save some for himself most were for the benefit of their partner club in Sweden. Cultural exchange club and all, so sending them footage of their cultural festival only made sense, but he really wanted more time with Kyoko.

Besides, this will only give them the wrong impression of a normal school festival. This is anything but normal.

Yukio sulked some more and shot a couple of photos through the windows.

Over the radio calls were becoming increasingly frantic as the school filled up and the main street stalls ran out of supplies. The arrival of a few cars driven by teachers Urufu somehow coerced into helping them mitigated the problem somewhat.

Yukio couldn't care less.

He walked down the stairs and made for the gym hall. On the way there he turned off his radio.

It was packed. Only with the help of a security armband he pilfered earlier did he manage to get inside. Of course they weren't supposed to be used that way, but he'd be damned if he missed Kyoko's participation.

People around him hugged ten stripes of coloured paper to their chests, and quite a few already slipped two into ballot boxes. They had made their mind up before the pageant even started.

Yukio looked at his empty hands and forced his way to the ballot boxes. He received his ten stripes, put the one representing Ryu into the boys' box and one for Kyoko in the other. The remaining eight stripes he handed back to one of the girls manning the ballot.

Third year girls. They stared at him when he voted for Kyoko. You probably don't even know who she is. Then they looked at his student book and checked his name on the list of first years.

After that he went inside again and elbowed himself to a place from where he could see the catwalk better.

He made it just in time to see the boys take the stage as they were introduced one after another. Nao and Ryu received the loudest cheers, but Urufu was surprisingly popular as well despite throwing a glance at his watch as if he needed to be elsewhere.

You probably do, but you're not supposed to show that right now.

After that it was time for the girls, and Yukio felt how he was squeezed tighter in the growing crowd. It didn't matter. Soon the cutest girl of them all would receive her fair share of fame.

Whoever organised the pageant knew what was about to happen. A beautiful second year Yukio didn't know received a huge roar of approval, and after her Hitomi-chan got an equal share. Noriko blushed when she heard the shouting, even though it was nowhere as loud as when the two girls before her took the stage.

Kyoko waved to the audience when she received the politest of the ovations. Yukio knew she'd end up last of the five girls, but just making the short list was a big thing.

Then the loudspeakers announced Kuri's appearance and the gym hall exploded with cheers even before she arrived into the limelight. The shouting turned painful when she showed herself, and Yukio saw how the four other girls flinched at the sound. The second year stared at the audience with the eyes of a deer looking at onrushing headlights.

Man, that's harsh. The rest of them experienced this yesterday. And there were even more people in the audience now.

Yukio listened to how the announcer tried to prolong the event, just as he had been primed to do in order to keep the hall filled as long as possible. After the contest a school band would play for the largest audience they had ever seen, and after that the fashion show. With some luck most of the audience would wait.

Switching on his radio was pointless now. He wouldn't be able to hear anything.

Yukio pushed his way through the crowd to the scene. He needed to prepare for his small part in the show, and the sooner he was done the more time he could spend with Kyoko.

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