Yukio grinned when Hitomi-chan smirked and shook her head so much that her long hair swirled around her head. She was exactly the kind of beauty who didn’t make Kyoko uncomfortable, the slender type, like Kuri.
Right now Hitomi-chan exaggerated a show of disdain for Urufu and Kuri to the joy of their friends.
“She broke up with that?”
Yukio followed Hitomi-chan’s finger with his eyes until the straight line pierced Urufu a little further down the beach. “He was skinnier back then,” Yukio said in Urufu’s defence, or if it was Kuri’s. He wasn’t certain himself.
“Is she daft?”
Yukio’s head swivelled almost by itself. He was just that surprised. Kyoko?
“She’s my best friend. Doesn’t make her immune to stupidity.”
There wasn’t much more to do than agree. Urufu was his best friend after all, and by every deity that ever existed, and most that didn’t as well, that guy sure as hell wasn’t immune to stupidity. He probably used that oversized brain of his to invent new kinds of stupid.
Both Yukio and Kyoko joined Hitomi-chan in the shaking of heads and pointing fingers. It caused a small ruckus, and friends around them cackled with glee in a most unjapanese way. Being around arrivals for too long must be infectious.
“What’s going on?”
Yukio stopped shaking his head long enough to notice Noriko who had walked up to them with three of their guests, Rika-sempai, Jenny-sempai and Jun-sempai.
He quickly explained, which had Noriko join them in the head shaking, much to the surprised mirth of their guests.
“And you call us strange,” Rika-sempai said.
“You’re strange. They’re just sad.”
Yukio glanced at Noriko after the spat out that comment. It was a little like the old, cynical Noriko. “Look, guys, let’s head into the shade for a while.” It wasn’t really like he needed to get out of the sun, but Noriko’s voice just now gave him a sour taste in his mouth.
Just as he was about to leave for the beach walk Kyoko took his hand and shook her head. “If we’re here I’ll swim, and you’re joining me.”
Yukio just couldn’t resist a request like that from Kyoko, so he followed her down to the water and tried to recall his swimming lessons. Almost there they were overtaken by their squealing guests who rushed into the sea and started playing in the water like they had been born in it.
And I thought Sweden was too cold for bathing. Either it wasn’t, or the people living there gad grown used to ice cold water like polar bears, because only Jun-sempai looked a little awkward between girlfriend and girlfriend’s best friend. Rika-sempai might have been born in Japan, but she certainly had gotten used to parts of the Swedish which lay beyond Yukio’s understanding.
Then Yukio got into the water himself, still clasping Kyoko’s hand. It was steeper than he had expected, and he soon had to try his skills at swimming.
The water was cool, but in the baking sun that only came as a relief. Still, he only managed a few metres in water that had a life of its own, very unlikely the stale water of a pool. To his surprise keeping afloat was easier in the sea though.
Yukio felt he enjoyed it all, and he regretted not having gone into the water last year when they spent weeks by the ocean.
He let himself be carried by a wave, and when he looked at the shore it was further away than he remembered. At that time Jun-sempai came up beside him.
“You know,” he said and paused to take a breath, “you shouldn’t swim out like this if you’re unused to it.”
Yukio almost answered with an angry retort, but the next wave dunked him and when he resurfaced a smidgeon of worry built inside.
“Jun, get him ashore!”
Yukio turned in the water to see where Rika-sempai’s voice had come from, but he suddenly stared into Jenny-sempai’s face.
“If you can’t swim then please get back, will you?” she said in English.
But I can swim, what’s the problem?
“Jenny, get him back. I’ll help.”
Jenny-sempai gave Jun-sempai a nonplussed look, and then her boyfriend laughed and said something in Swedish.
“Yukio, please float on your back. I’ll support you.” With those words she swam under him and came up by his head. “Fantastic weather today,” she said and grabbed him under his arms.
Then he felt her legs moving under him and there was a feeling of being tugged. Yukio could feel her breasts pressing against his back every time she kicked out with her legs. Soon enough Rika-sempai and Jun-sempai turned up beside them and Yukio was dragged upright.
“OK Yukio, let’s get this clear,” Jun-sempai said, “these kids learned to swim in the sea.” He pointed at the three native born Swedes. “If they say water’s dangerous the rest of us had better listen.”
Yukio hardly listened, because as soon as Jenny-sempai could stand she waded to her boyfriend, and now a long string of worried words in Swedish poured out of her.
“What’s that about?”
“You put Jun in danger, and now she’s angry with him, or worried,” Rika-sempai said. “Yukio, the ocean isn’t a pool, not even when protected like this,” she added and swept her hand across the surface to show him how the man made inlet made the beach almost a little like a very large pool. “If you’re careless like this at an ordinary beach it could become dangerous for real.” She smirked. “Jenny’s my best friend. If you make her worry I’ll get angry with you.”
Yukio felt more than a little shame and nodded.
“What are you guys up to?” That was Kyoko’s voice.
He looked at her, but in her face he couldn’t read anything that gave away that she had even been aware of the small drama unfolding.
“If you make your girlfriend worry I’ll be angry as well,” Rika-sempai said and grinned.
Yukio returned a thin smile and sent her a silent thanks.