Christina shook her head in disbelief. Suspended from school wasn’t a first, but this one was.
Above average? Hell yeah!
She hadn’t cheated. Someone probably had, but not she, and most likely not well over a dozen students.
Above average! She tip toed a short dance on the floor. Damn! That cram school really made a difference.
Long hours learning Japanese finally paid off to a point when fifty years’ worth of experience finally started to shine through.
Living on her looks made most people think she lacked brains. While maybe not of Ulf’s capacity hers had always been put to good use, and as she had a sense for good business that Ulf lacked, hers was the background of a global business empress.
But I never told you, did I? Christina thought of it. She hadn’t, told him that was. While she never got a perfect five point zero, four point four wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. In her old high school that placed her firmly among the ten percent best.
And here? If I work hard? She weighed her experience against the difficulties of mastering Japanese. Maybe the top third, she mused.
Then another thought crawled all over her mind. Ulf, how well did you do? Almost on the verge of calling him she stopped herself in time. That’s no longer any of my business, is it?
Realisation hurt, but she had no right hurting him by making more contact than needed.
I’ll ask Noriko. He’ll tell her. Christina stopped midway between kitchen and her bedroom. That was unfair. First of all, she didn’t have the right to interfere with his love life any more, and secondly, he hadn’t displayed that kind of affection towards Noriko.
Well, she had to call him sooner or later. The sudden surge of suspensions couldn’t mean anything good. Maybe if she did so in a roundabout fashion.
Christina lay down on her futon and swept her hand across the small table by her head until she caught her phone.
Ryu, I can always call Ryu. Because she did have business with him after all. But damn, his parents will hate me when they find out. She smirked and clicked up her call history. Whatever, but for Ulf I’m bound to end up with a man much younger than myself anyway.
She pushed that thought aside and placed the call.
He answered almost immediately.
Funny, I thought they only reacted that way to Line messages, Christina thought and smiled. “Ryu, could we meet?”
There was a moment of hesitation. “Sure, a date?”
A voice shouted in the background.
“Sure, I’ll be there.”
The shouting got angrier.
Shit, I forgot it’s a school day! He didn’t!
Christina rushed to the hallway and threw on some clothes before she ran to the elevator. Shit!
Skipping class was bad enough, but taking a phone call and leaving mid lesson was outrageous.
She had ample time to mull over what she had done on the way down. In the lobby one of the goons from Vogue waited, and outside her old bodyguard stood standing.
Christina walked past the goon and waved for the man she knew and trusted.
When goon number two left the car they always used Christina just shook her head and flashed her phone. One push of a button and Sato sensei would have people in uniform here ready with god knows what trumped up charges.
The goons backed down after they had made certain her first body guard followed her, and Christina knew they’d tail her from a distance.
On her way to the train station she noticed how spring finally gave way to early summer, or at least what she considered summer. Had she gone to school her winter uniform would have been uncomfortably hot, and it was still almost a week before the switch to the summer ones.
Well, she wasn’t, on her way to school that is. So she only wore a sensible dress with a flimsy coat draped over her shoulders, more to protect from the sun than anything else. Later she could tie it around her waist, and come evening it would revert into a coat again.
On the train a few women threw her disapproving glances. She hadn’t tried to apply make up to look any older, but foreign looking as she was she got away with a lot more than most teenagers. She could be just another uncouth American for all that they knew.
It wasn’t to last.
Before they made two stations some passengers recognized her, and she had to escape at the third followed by a horde of smartphone cameras.
Christina almost regretted not having used the car. Almost.
She and bodyguard switched to the circle line rather than heading underground for the subway. This was a quicker change, and it later allowed her to watch the Shibuya square from above before she took the stairs down and out on the plaza leading to the small statue.
He already sat there waiting when she arrived.
Christina passed the glass bunker for smokers and walked under the canopy to where Ryu rose and rounded the statue.
Manneken Pis, just as pointless, she recalled from a visit to Brussels in her previous life. Hachiko, dwarfed by the pedestal the dog sat on, acted as the centrepiece of activity, even though a weekday like this saw mostly adults there.
Despite his youth Ryu had already attracted more than a little attention from girls in their early twenties, and Christina knew what kind of impact she was about to do.
She shook her hair loose and turned on her best smile. In an instant all eyes were on her.
“Ryu,” she began and glanced across the street and upwards, “do you prefer me live or canned?” Christina asked loud enough that people around her heard when she pointed at the huge version of herself displayed across the intersection.
“Idiot!” Ryu growled and took her arm.
There were shouts and more cameras as they ran to the crossing.
“Ryu,” Christina said while they waited for the light to turn green, “I need to know how Ulf did on the midterms, after that I’m all yours.”