Thursday, 3 November 2016
Chapter one, 2017, a new year, segment nine
Ryu stared after Kuri when she dragged his sister out of the cafeteria. Then Kuri’s parting words reached him, and he looked down just in time to see Urufu pick up a broken phone from the floor.
What was that about?
“Urufu, give that to me. I’ll hand it over to sis later.”
“Shut up! Don’t you think you’ve done enough damage already?”
And what was that about? On the verge of flaring up Ryu got control over himself. He’s jealous, and hurt. Damn I’d be if I saw Kuri all over someone else like this.
“She said you needed help,” he said instead.
“You’re in love with her, but you got turned down?”
Ryu looked at the girl who asked the question. A foreigner. European or from North America. Her uniform spoke of a freshman, all shiny and new apart from the tell tale ribbon, colour coded for each year.
“None of your business,” Urufu barked in return.
“So you can sound like this. How cute.” Then the girl turned her attention to Ryu. “And who are you?”
Trying to play cute are you? “I’m Wakayama Ryu,” he said. “I have something of a reputation here,” he continued and turned on his best smile. A few girls further back in the queue blushed and most of them stared at him. I’m way out of your league.
“A naughty reputation?” the girl said. “Or a bad one?” she continued, and nuked the cafeteria with a devastating blast of charisma. “Please be kind to me in any case, would you?”
What was that? Ryu staggered backwards. When he got hold of himself he saw how almost everyone in the cafeteria stared at the girl. Quite a few of them had risen from their chairs.
“Dammit, just stop that pissing contest, will you?” Urufu growled, and for the first time in over a month Ryu saw a glimmer of a smile in his eyes. “Ryu you lost anyway.”
They made it to the counter and Ryu ordered lunch for the three of them. Behind him Urufu and the foreign girl exchanged insults, and the students next in line gasped from time to time when an insult got extra juicy.
At one time a senior came over to play the knight and save the girl from Urufu, but he just stretched a little and looked down at the third year. Just when things looked like they were going south the girl clung to Urufu.
“Hey, I haven’t rejected him. Just told him I need to think about it.”
“See, we’re friends,” Urufu said and walked right into the trap.
Ryu grinned and used the moment of surprise to get in between Urufu and the third year. “She’s quite the stunner, isn’t she?” Ryu said and nodded in Urufu’s general direction. “He was so taken in by her he confessed earlier today,” he lied and smiled.
“Whoa! I did what?” Urufu protested.
Ryu and the girl gave him an elbow each and Urufu went ‘Oomph’ and shut his trap.
Just who are you? Ryu wondered. Another arrival, like that Tomasu-kun Noriko told me about yesterday? Given the impact Urufu and Kuri had made the monstrous charisma the new girl displayed maybe wasn’t all that surprising.
“So, just how old are you?” he asked her when they made their way outdoors.
“Coperu Jeniferu, nice to meet you,” she said instead of answering his question.
Ryu stared at her as she passed him in the doorway, and a few steps ahead of them both Urufu shook his head in exasperation.
“Wakayama Ryu,” Ryu offered automatically. His parents hadn’t spent the years raising him to be impolite.
“You can call me Jeniferu. I’m not used to go by my last name anyway.”
Ryu followed in her steps. I would have anyway, you know, he thought. Cause Urufu refuses to have it any other way, but you could hardly know that. “I’ll do so, Jeniferu-chan,” he said.
“Thank you, Ryu,” she said over her shoulder in a tone that both displayed an exaggerated familiarity as well as a life spent without the use of honorifics.
Looks like the new year is going to be interesting. Ryu grimaced. As if it needed to be any more interesting. Then he got hold of himself and followed Urufu just as Jeniferu-chan caught up to him and clung to his arm. And I don’t believe you’re really interested in him at all, so why the show?
Quite a few of the students sent them greetings, and more than a few gave Urufu ironic salutes filled with sympathy. Kuri dumping him on Valentine’s day was still a popular topic, and Urufu had made more friends than enemies.
What a waste, Ryu thought. He’s not over her at all, and I’m certain Kuri loves him enough to cry when she goes to sleep.
But he’d play the boyfriend still. Kuri asked him to, and for whatever reasons she had, Ryu believed she’d continue to embrace her pain rather than make up with the man she loved. As for himself Kuri’s stupid game helped him get over Ai breaking up with him. She’d become much more dear to him than he ever believed she would.
“Nice catch, Hamarugen-san,” someone shouted. A second year, unsurprisingly. To the juniors Urufu was still something of a hero, especially with the sports festival coming up.
Urufu just smiled, and Ryu knew he was just about the only one to see how pained that smile way. Jeniferu-chan clung to his arm and blasted freshmen and juniors alike with her presence.
You’re going to make enemies with the girls if you keep this up, Ryu thought. Still, something told him she was just as eminently suited to handle that kind of problem as Kuri was.
He grinned while they made their way to the empty pool and decided to give his sister a call and tell her about the insanity. Then he recalled that she didn’t have her phone on her, and after that the look in her face when she dropped it.
He called Kuri, only to have his call rejected immediately. Giving it a second thought Ryu decided against trying again and settled down for lunch with Urufu and Jeniferu-chan.