Chapter 7:

A new beginning

52 Hertz


“Haruko-channnnn why would you leave so suddenly! You should have told us before running off on your own! Sakura-chan wasn’t able to meet you either!”Bookmark here

Itsuki’s voice blared through Haruko’s old flip phone.Bookmark here

“Sorry Itsuki.. I forgot I had a few things to take care of… I’ll make it up to you guys next time! I promise!”Bookmark here

“Hmph. Next time we go out you’re paying! I’m taking my revenge!”Bookmark here

Haruko sighed, amused.Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“Oh by the way, Kiyoshi-sensei told us we are getting two new club members! Isn’t that exciting? The literature club has not had any new members for years! Well, except for us.”Bookmark here

“....new members? This late into the year?”Bookmark here

Haruko glanced at the torn calendar on the wall of the apartment. Today’s date was May 24th.Bookmark here

“Well it’s past the club registration deadlines but it's not… that late yet riiiight? Eh if Sensei says it’s ok then it must be fine. Right? Haruko? Hello?”Bookmark here

There was a short pause before Haruko suddenly jumped up from the floor, a look of pure panic all over her face.Bookmark here

“I...I completely forgot...how could I forget…”Bookmark here

“Eh? Haruko?”Bookmark here

“Yulan’s...Yulan’s birthday is in two days.”Bookmark here

How could she forget… She never forgot Yulan’s birthday no matter what was going on in her life. Granted, nothing interesting ever happened anyways. Lately, Yulan has been more unreachable than ever. Since the day he dropped her off at the station, she had called him repeatedly yet never got an answer back. Perhaps he would come back for his birthday. He’d never missed spending his birthday with Haruko ever since he decided to take her in.Bookmark here

“Who’s Yulan?”Bookmark here

Haruko gasped loudly at the sound of Itsuki’s voice. She forgot she was on the phone.Bookmark here

“Who’s Yulan?”Bookmark here

Itsuki repeated.Bookmark here

“Yulan? Huh… just… a friend of mine…”Bookmark here

Itsuki whistled loudly.Bookmark here

“A FRIEND? JUST A FRIEND? NOT YOUR BOYFRIEN-”Bookmark here

“NO! HE’S NOT MY… MY B-BOY F-FRI-”Bookmark here

“Stop stuttering Haruko, it was only a joke.”Bookmark here

Haruko blushed and screeched at the phone.Bookmark here

“YOU SHOULDN’T JOKE ABOUT THINGS LIKE THAT!”Bookmark here

“NAHAHAHAHA COME ON. Don’t all high school girls joke about these kinds of things? Isn’t that the norm?”Bookmark here

“...Is it?”Bookmark here

There was another loud silence. Itsuki cleared her throat.Bookmark here

“Well you forgot about his birthday, big deal. Tomorrow’s Monday, right? His birthday is in two days meaning it must be on the 26th, Tuesday. You still got a day right?”Bookmark here

“Y-yeah, I’d like to pick something nice for him.”Bookmark here

“OOOH something niceeee~”Bookmark here

“NO STOP...”Bookmark here

“Aha joking, joking. Ah! Why don’t we go to my house to pick out a gift? I mean, I live out on Nakamise street, remember? There’s plenty of shops to choose from, you don’t have to pick out stationary from our store. You can practically find anything!”Bookmark here

“Ah that’s a good idea. Y-you wouldn’t mind…?”Bookmark here

“Nah nah we agreed to go visit each other at the beginning of the year anyways right? Let’s do it. Tomorrow! After school! Should we bring glasses too?”Bookmark here

Haruko smiled. After what happened with Shun, she thought of avoiding the others so as to not create more problems. It didn’t really make sense after all and Itsuki didn’t seem like the type who would deliberately hurt her either.Bookmark here

“Yep. We’ll count it as a literature club outing.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

The last bell rang loudly, signalling the end of classes. It was Monday afternoon and the usual trio, Kaito, Itsuki and Haruko were heading off to the club room. Itsuki was swinging her arms excitedly.Bookmark here

“The new member is apparently really good looking. Like, handsome. The girls in class 2 are always swooning over him at the baseball field.”Bookmark here

“So, he’s Omori-kun 2.0?”Bookmark here

Kaito and Itsuki stared at Haruko. Was what she said weird?Bookmark here

Suddenly, Kaito started laughing evilly. Bookmark here

“Ho ho, Kitamura-san you think that I, the one and only Omori Kaito, am handsome? Well, one such as I, in the midst of all these lowly men-”Bookmark here

Itsuki slapped Kaito’s face and wrapped her arm around Haruko’s small and thin shoulders.Bookmark here

“Please, nobody thinks you’re handsome. Haruko-chan was simply stating an observation. Girls follow you for the wrong reasons, they don’t know how much of a donkey you are.”Bookmark here

“DONKEY? A DONKEY?”Bookmark here

The three friend’s laughter was heard behind the club room’s door as a tall man suddenly slid it open. Itsuki gasped audibly.Bookmark here

“WAH! Kiyoshi-sensei…. That scared me…”Bookmark here

“Good day to you too, Ayane-san. I was just sorting out some of the papers with our new members here. Please make them feel welcome. I’ll take my leave now.”Bookmark here

Haruko tried peeking around the teacher’s shoulder but couldn’t see anyone. Kaito scratched his head and adjusted his glasses.Bookmark here

“Huh? Kiyoshi-sensei, aren’t you going to stay? You’re the club monitor after all.”Bookmark here

Kiyoshi was one of the most laid back teachers of all time. Some joked about what a miracle it was that he kept his job for so long, because he seemed so lazy. This being said, the students unanimously knew that Kiyoshi-sensei was a science genius. The principal would never switch him out with another member of the staff so his position as head of science in Miyazaki High was pretty much grounded. Bookmark here

“Why would the club monitor stick around when the president’s right here?”Bookmark here

Kaito looked like he expected this type of answer.Bookmark here

“Ah yes, you are correct. Have a good evening, sir.”Bookmark here

The students all bowed as Kiyoshi-sensei walked out. Itsuki raced into the room after a short moment.Bookmark here

“PHEW, NEW CLUB MEMBERS! WELCOME WELCOME!”Bookmark here

Haruko walked into the room carefully and looked over at the two boys sitting at the table. The first was one she had never seen before and the second was… Shun Nishida.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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