Monday, 7 December 2015

Chapter three (segment thirteen), 2016, October, Noriko

Noriko threw a worried look at her phone. Urufu didn't answer calls over the radio and this was the third call he failed to pick up.

We're on stage in a few minutes. What are you doing?

“Nothing?” Kuri asked? Behind the stage it was almost possible to talk, if shouting counted as talking.

Noriko shook her head.

“Damn! He knew I was up to something.”

Up to something? “What did you plan?” Noriko asked her friend.

“Pissing on a tree,” Kuri answered. “Ulf being the tree.”

Noriko shook her head again. The connotation was lost on her.

“You know, like a dog marking territory?” Kuri tried again.

“You planned to pee on Urufu?”

That stopped Kuri in her tracks. She slapped her hands to her face, but she soon removed them and shot Noriko a very twisted and very knowing grin. “No, I don't think he's into that.”

A sudden visual flashed through Noriko's mind, and this time it was her turn to fly both hands to her face. “I didn't… I mean…,” she stammered.

While it was clear Kuri hadn't heard a word Noriko still saw teasing understanding glimmer in her eyes. When Kuri threw her head back and guffawed Noriko knew Kuri had seen exactly what flashed though her mind moments earlier.

“You have a surprisingly dirty mind,” Kuri shouted when she was done laughing. “But no,” she continued and turned serious all of a sudden, “I planned to show the world we belong together.”

Kuri made her last preparations for the show, and Noriko listened to the school-band guitarist reaching the crescendo that marked the end of their participation.

They couldn't have prepared all that well, because the sound was out of tune, a little like the sound of wailing sirens mixing into the music.

With a thunderous rumble from drums and electric guitars the show finished and all band members bowed to their cheering audience.

The gym hall fell eerily silent despite the music sound technicians poured out of the speakers while everyone prepared the fashion show.

Urufu, where are you? If he didn't arrive within a couple of minutes Kuri needed to change the schedule. Nao couldn't stand in for Urufu. He was too tall for that. Anyone else?

“I'll bloody kill him,” Kuri muttered from the hangers closest to them both. “Nao-kun, come here!”

Nao-kun. She's calling her senior Nao-kun. Noriko grinned at Nao who came rushing obediently. Guess that's Kuri for you.

“Nao-kun, can you run a double with these?” Kuri asked and fingered two sets of clothes.

Nao looked at them and nodded. “Why?”

“Ulf's not here. I'm tall enough to show off his costumes as a fun gimmick.”

You're not serious!

“I'd love to see that, if Noriko allows,” Nao said. He flashed her a smile that for once had Noriko's heart skip a beat.

I think you're reaching your goal, Nao. She looked at him and revelled in the warmth that spread though her body. I'm really falling in love with you.

“Yukio, Kyoko, prepare for stage. Let's get this show running!”

Kuri's words reached her through a daze. A few seconds more. Noriko let her eyes linger on Nao. Yes, I definitely am.

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