Friday, 6 May 2016

Chapter one (segment six), 2016, December, Ryu

Ryu carried another cardboard box into the inner room. With the help of his mother moving things from their club room at school had gone a lot faster.

The last time he fetched some books and white board markers he saw Yukio and Kyoko study for the coming finals, and as they were in more need to prepare themselves than he was he decided against asking for their help.

He put the box on the table and went for a toolbox that hid in a corner. Principal Nakagawa had made good on his promise to reimburse them for the whiteboards they had to abandon at school, but any assembly had to be done by the club members.

With the help of Kichirou-kun and Jirou-sempai he quickly fastened two large whiteboards to the walls where Urufu wanted them. Setting up the beamer took a little longer, but the audio system got installed a lot quicker than he had hoped. During the work James entered from time to time with coffee or help. He seemed to have a surprisingly extensive experience from this type of equipment.

Ryu gobbled down the last of his coffee and turned to Jirou-sempai before he rushed away to his girlfriend.

Know when Urufu's expected?”

Sorry. I'll check with Sango,” Jirou-sempai said and referred to the first year club member he dated. “I think he was here earlier.”

The backside of a blazer left the room and Ryu grimaced before he shot Kichirou-kun a glance. A repeat of the question didn't yield an answer that was any more useful.

Guess I'll have to call you then. Mail first though, if you answer it. You suck at that. Because Urufu did. He positively hated email on the phone and went on about how he didn't really like the Swedish messaging system all than much neither. All in all it was the feelings of an old person.

Now, however, getting in touch with him was a necessity. One of his old customers had been in contact with Ryu. With his father initially, but a phone call later Ryu took ownership of the contact. It seemed there was a need for some kind of validation and what the contact referred to as process re-factoring. Ryu wasn't entirely clear about what that meant, but then neither was the contact.

From the café proper Ryu suddenly heard a roar, and he left the inner room in a hurry to find out what the commotion was all about. When he squeezed himself out between counter and narrow door he saw a group of club members wielding smart-phones like weapons, and by another table three Irishima high students had turned to better listen in on those waving their phones.

He did it?”

Who did what?

Look, it says here he left in the morning, and there's even a photo.”

Ryu threw a cursory glance at the boy. Imai Seiichi, one of the last to join the club before Himekaizen got an entire new freshman class. He should have joined them at about the same time as Nao-sempai did.

Who left in the morning?” Ryu asked.

Look Ryu-kun! Says Urufu-kun spent the night with Kuritina-chan.”

Crap! Ryu forced a smile to his lips. Well that explains why those two have behaved to strange lately. A part of him cursed Urufu and another wished him good luck. Both groaned at the knowledge that Urufu and Kuri had made the news in the worst way possible.

They've been a couple since May. Why the newsflash now?” Ryu said in what he suspected was a doomed attempt at downplaying the news value of the incident. You should have been more careful. This is going to be bad!

But Kuritina-chan is like super famous now.” Sho-kun said and waved his own phone around over his head.

Who's Kuritina-chan?” one of the Irishima high students asked.

Aw, shit!

Kuritina-chan? Ah, the model Ageruman Kuritina,” Sho-kun helpfully explained.

You know Ageruman-san?”

Yeah, she's the club president.”

Ageruman Kuritina is your club president?” a voice from across the room asked.

Hell no! Ryu groaned when a red blazer over green trousers rose from his seat.

Yes, isn't it cool?”

And she's in an improper relationship with the boy on this photo?”

What the hell? They've been going out since before summer. Nothing improper about them.”

Thank you Sango-chan!

With the mood rapidly deteriorating James made a very visible show of taking orders at the tables together with the college student who worked part time here.

With final exams looming closer both Kyoko and Noriko had dropped out from their working schedule. Ryu suspected his sister would take up her work again during winter break.

Guys, could you please keep your voices down about this?” Ryu said to the group who had started the uproar. “You wouldn't want to make more problems for Kuri-chan, would you?”

Seiichi-kun glared at the Red Rose student and nodded. “Sorry about that.”

Ryu smirked. Seiichi-kun was about as sorry as Sho-kun was, which was not sorry at all, but neither of the boys wanted Kuri-chan to get into trouble. Ryu wasn't so sure about what they thought about Urufu. Urufu didn't have the halo of stardom, so his reputation depended more on what he had done recently, and spending time at a hospital garnered pity rather than glory. The cultural festival was already a long time in the past.

But if you knew what kind of job he does you'd be awestruck. Ryu shook his head. That wasn't true. Most of the club members simply wouldn't be able to grasp what Urufu was doing for a living. There were stories for teenagers with a high school corporate magnate as the main lead. None of those stories said anything about the hard work and time needed to coach a stubborn company to change its way of doing things.

Reminds me I really need to call him. Two reasons why I have to now.

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