Chapter 5:

First Lunch Break

Having Trouble Coming up With a Decent Story

Koshiro was lounging on the short stairs. He was almost done with his Anpan when he noticed a sudden movement.Bookmark here

“Huh?” the boy looked at the inflatable bear wearing nothing but a ribbon on the head, right beside him.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Koshiro continued to eat his lunch.Bookmark here

“Hey.” it was a female voice.Bookmark here

“Kuma-chan...?” he turned to her again.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“I must be crazy talking to a bear.”Bookmark here

“You are not crazy.”Bookmark here

“I’m not?”Bookmark here

“No.” the voice was like the one of a child.Bookmark here

“I’ve got a feeling that I’ve heard this voice before…”Bookmark here

“What’s your name, boy?”Bookmark here

“Hmm… my name is Koshiro Koike.”Bookmark here

“Koike-kun?” Bookmark here

"Uhum." the boy nodded. Bookmark here

“I’m Kuma-chan, hehe.”Bookmark here

“Okay…”Bookmark here

“What are you doing here alone? Where are your friends?”Bookmark here

“My friends?”Bookmark here

“Yes, those two looking through the window before. Aren’t those two your friends?”Bookmark here

“Hmm…” Koshiro hesitated, wondering where he had heard that voice, “Well, we know each other from before high school… since six months ago, more or less… so I guess you could say that.”Bookmark here

“Ohh, I see. You don’t think that’s enough time to get to know them?”Bookmark here

“Well, I...”Bookmark here

“But you fell on me once and told me you loved me.” she interrupted him.Bookmark here

“Hehe…” Koshiro scratched his head as he finally managed to remember from whom the voice was, “I got caught up in the moment… because you kinda pressured me, Senpai.”Bookmark here

“Hmm… that’s right! I’m Kuma-chan-Senpai!”Bookmark here

“C’mon, I’m serious here, I can see your feet and your hair from behind the be… from behind Kuma-chan.”Bookmark here

"Hmm... maybe the fall damaged your brain?"Bookmark here

"Just get out of there."Bookmark here

A girl appeared from behind Kuma-chan, and now Koshiro could finally take a good look at her. She was the one that “advised” him before: a short girl with long dark hair, scarlet eyes (with a mole under the left one), and slightly brown skin. Bookmark here

“What are you doing playing like this?”Bookmark here

“I was just taking care of Kuma-chan since you said some disturbing things before… and because you entered the girl’s bathroom.”Bookmark here

“Wait, don’t tell me that other girl told you about it too?”Bookmark here

“Not exactly.”Bookmark here

“How come?”Bookmark here

“I am ‘that other girl.’” she sulked.Bookmark here

“Oh.” Koshiro got up and started to bow “I’m sorry about that, it wasn’t my intention…”Bookmark here

“It’s okay, I was just messing with you.” the girl lifted the sides of her skirt and bowed elegantly: “Nice to meet you, Koshiro. I am Umiko. Umiko Sawada.”Bookmark here

Koshiro was puzzled, not only because of the girl’s movement but also because she didn't appear to be a second-year student for him. She looked like a child. “Hey, are you sure you are my Senpai?”Bookmark here

“Of course. Why are you even asking?!” she scowled at him. “Don’t tell me it is because I look like a little girl.”Bookmark here

“Well…” Koshiro smiled awkwardly.Bookmark here

“Koshiro you idiot! Idiot, Idiot, Idiot, Idiot!” she started to shout.Bookmark here

“Hey, why are you so angry?? I didn’t say anything!”Bookmark here

“Yes but I’m sure you thought of it!”Bookmark here

“That part is true.”Bookmark here

“Just like all the others, they’re always telling me that I look like a child, that I’m a loli.”Bookmark here

“You’re a bit short but…” Bookmark here

“UNLESS you are actually falling for me… s-so you do like lolis!” her eyes were wide open as she took a step back.Bookmark here

“Aargh.” Koshiro sighed, “What I said before was more to the readers than for you, okay? I was just clearing a misunderstanding! People should know that they are important to the industry, IN-DUS-TRY, this has nothing to do with me.”Bookmark here

The girl seemed to compose herself a little. “I’ll believe in your word for now...” Bookmark here

“That was actually pretty easy.” the boy returned his focus to the Anpan: “Now I can finally end my lunch.” he gave it some more bites until nothing was left, not noticing the starving gaze directed at his food.Bookmark here

“But hey.” the girl shook her head, “You didn’t answer my question before. About your friends.”Bookmark here

“Oh, Yasutake-san and Hirata-san are probably eating with those two girls. Shimizu and Takayama.”Bookmark here

“The perfect woman and her friend?”Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“What about you?”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

“Why are you here alone?”Bookmark here

“I’m not alone, you’re here too.”Bookmark here

“You know what I mean.”Bookmark here

“Well… I like being alone.”Bookmark here

“C’mon, that’s obviously a lie.” “Is that so?”Bookmark here

“Uhum.” she nodded.Bookmark here

“Okay” “If she doesn’t want to talk I’m not the one who’s gonna force her.”Bookmark here

“It’s almost time to get back. I’ll get going then, bye-bye!” she ran to the school building while dragging Kuma-chan with her.Bookmark here

“Hey, gir...” Koshiro tried to call Sawada, but she was already too far, and his phone interrupted his words. He took his phone out of his pocket and looked at the two notifications:Bookmark here

Nobu: Are you playing with us tonight? Bookmark here

Nyoko-chan: How is your first day at high school? * - * Let’s talk about it tonight :)Bookmark here

“Asking me today is a bit weird... I guess those two never change.” Koshiro murmured to himself as he typed:Bookmark here

Koshiro (replying to Nobu): IDK, I’ve to wait ‘til I get back home.Bookmark here

Koshiro (replying to Nyoko-chan): It’s kinda weird. I’ll talk to you about it later.Bookmark here

After answering the messages he looked at the time, “Oh crap, I have to get back to class.” and skittered to the school building.Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

After putting his desk back onto its place, Hirata walked towards Koshiro (while being followed by Yasutake), who had just crossed the door: “Hey, Koike-san, how was lunch for you?” Bookmark here

“I guess it was fine...” Koshiro replied, remembering the encounter with his senior.Bookmark here

“Great! Did you receive Furukawa’s message?”Bookmark here

“Which Furukawa?”Bookmark here

“Nobu, of course.”Bookmark here

“Yes, I received… but how do you know that?”Bookmark here

“You see, I’m actually the one that called him! I don’t think you would’ve agreed if I was the one asking.”Bookmark here

“Well…”Bookmark here

“So when I looked through last year’s numbers yesterday I found his.”Bookmark here

“And you decided to talk to him, out of nowhere like that?”Bookmark here

“Furukawa has always been nice to me.” Hirata smiled, “And since you are so close to him, it was my best chance.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know why you want to play with me that much but okay.”Bookmark here

“C’mon, we’ll be together for the next three years, we should play sometimes! I look forward to spending these years with you Koike-san.”Bookmark here

“It’s a bit late for that, don’t you think?”  “Me too.”Bookmark here

“M-Me too!” Yasutake chimed in.Bookmark here

“Oh yeah.” Hirata looked at Yasutake. “You’re fine with her playing with us too, right Koike-san?”Bookmark here

“I don’t remember saying that I would play with you.” “I don’t remember saying that I would play with you.” “Shit, did I say that aloud?”Bookmark here

“O-Okay.” Yasutake stuttered with a dejected-looking face.Bookmark here

“Hey hey, I didn’t say it but I’m saying now! I’ll play with you whenever I have the time!” Bookmark here

“Nice! So can I also have your number?” Hirata asked.Bookmark here

“What now?”Bookmark here

“Your number! So we can keep in touch out of school.”Bookmark here

“Oh, you don’t have it yet?”Bookmark here

“No, you are one of the few people from Junior High that didn’t give me it.”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

“Really. I believe you said something like ‘I don’t remember my number and I don’t have my phone now’. I insisted on giving you mine but you told me it wasn’t necessary.”Bookmark here

“Oh, right.” Koshiro murmured without remembering, “So here it is.” he showed his number to Hirata.Bookmark here

“Thanks!” Hirata added Koshiro’s number and then looked at Yasutake: “Erity-chan, aren’t you going to add his number too?”Bookmark here

“Hmm.” the girl looked back at him while fiddling with her fingers. When her eyes met his, she blushed and diverted her gaze: “I-If you want me to, I’ll add him.” Bookmark here

“Nice!” Hirata said while raising his right fist. “So, tonight we’ll be gaming buds!”Bookmark here

“I’m not sure about that ‘tonight’ part.” “What do you guys play?”Bookmark here

“We play a bunch of stuff! But recently we’ve been playing that Predator Legends, you know?"Bookmark here

“Yeah.” “Wow, talk about a bad replacement name.” “I play it with Nobu and Nyoko sometimes.”Bookmark here

“So, it’s settled! We’ll…”Bookmark here

“Hey, Hirata-san. Can you please stop yelling? It is making my head hurt.” their homeroom teacher, Sumiye Suto, interrupted the boy. She was trudging through the corridor with an awful-looking expression.Bookmark here

“Yes, Suto-Sensei. I’m sorry.” Hirata apologized.Bookmark here

“Whatever.” she turned to Koshiro: “Your big sister wants to talk to you, wait for me after school.”Bookmark here

“Really?” Koshiro sighed while he received the stares of Yasutake and Hirata. “Okay.”Bookmark here

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