Chapter 1:

Year 1-1: The meeting

Is it ok?

Riku took a deep breath. Walking through the messy crowd of his new high school wasn´t as easy as he thought. He was walking past stalls advertising the different clubs the school had to offer. He had been thinking about joining a club, well Hitomi had told him it would be good if he did. He looked around; basketball? He shook his head. With his height it would be a miracle if he wasn´t overrun by the taller guys.
Baseball? A tall brown-haired first year stood in front of the stall. Riku thought, he was the slowest runner in his grade for all of middle school, besides his throwing was, nicely said, abysmal.
He continued onwards. Looking at all the sports clubs and swiftly coming to the conclusion that sport just wasn´t an option. But the school also had quite a few cultural clubs. Cooking, theatre, art, gardening. None seemed too interesting. He came by a stall with two guys giggling, seemingly ignoring everything around them. Riku made his way forward. None of the clubs seemed all too interesting to him. He decided to tell Hitomi just that, she wouldn’t force him to join a club he didn´t want to be in anyway. Though she´d be a bit sad, Riku thought. He´d been keeping mostly to himself all of middle school, so was a bit lonely. Just as Riku decided to turn around and look at all the stalls another time he bumped into someone.
He had landed flat on his butt surrounded by flyers. He picked some up: Join the book club! Was written on them.
“Could I have them back?” A small voice asked him.
He met big amber eyes with a set of full lashes. Her face was covered in sweet tiny freckles. Her lips were pink and full. As she picked up some of the flyers a strand of her black hair fell over her shoulder, it was long reaching almost to her hips when she stood up. Riku shook his head. This was no time to get entranced by her beauty. Then she smiled the most radiating smile Riku had ever seen in his whole life. She had a hand outstretched, waiting for him to give her the flyers back.
“I´m sorry for running into you.” She said in a voice that was so soft Riku would have loved to listen to it for longer.
He handed her the flyers. “It´s ok.” He said shyly. He could feel his cheeks turning red.
“Would you be interested in joining?” She asked.
“The book club, would you like to join? We don´t get that many new members.”
He nodded without thinking, how could he say no to her?
He gave him a flyer back, beaming with joy. “I´m Okumura Satsuki a second year. What´s your name?”
“Hinata Riku.” He answered.
“Come to our club room after school. I´ll introduce the others to you then, ok? Oh our club room is next to the old library on the second floor.” She said and without waiting for an answer from Riku she ran towards the stall with the giggling guys.
Riku looked at the flyer. The book club, he thought, might not be the worst decision; after all he liked books…

He sat down in class. Looking around he saw the brown haired guy from the baseball stall. Some other guys were mumbling among themselves, occasionally looking his way. One of them came up to him. “Did you really talk to Okumura Satsuki?” He asked, the others staring at him curiously.
“I did, why are you asking?” Riku war confused. How was talking to a senpai so exciting for them?
The guys huddled around his table. “What did she smell like?” One asked.
“I didn’t sniff her.” He answered a bit weirded out. Why would he? He had just talked to her.
Some weird questions later Riku finally found out what all the fuzz was about, just not from the guys who asked the questions to begin with. They left after he had answered most of them. The baseball guy came up to him laughing. “You really don´t know what that was about?”
Riku shook his head.
“Okumura Satsuki is the hottest girl in school.” The guy said.
Riku nodded. That he could understand, she was exceptionally pretty.

After class Riku stood in front of the book clubs club room and it only took him about half an hour, he was really proud of himself for that. Finding the old library wasn’t as easy as just going to the second floor. No, the old library isn´t used anymore, plus it being at the opposite end of school didn´t help much. But he had made it. After taking a deep breath he moved his hand to the door handle, he didn´t want to keep Okumura-san waiting. Just as his hand had almost reached the handle he heard a girl, not Okumura-san, talk. “I´ll go get him, he probably just got lost.” Then the door opened unexpectedly and Riku fell flat on his face. The second time today he kissed the floor, he thought, how embarrassing.
He tried getting up, meeting a pair of pink panties and an, understandably, angry girls face. He got up fast. She starred at him. “Thin ice.” She said. Riku expected her to rip his head off, when Okumura-san peeked out from behind her. “Riku-kun you made it! I was so worried you had changed your mind.”
“Or that you got lost.” The other girl mumbled.
Okumura-san grabbed his hand with her incredibly soft hands and pulled him into the room. It was bigger than he expected. The back was full of old bookshelves, probably from the old library. The room had this unmistakable smell of old books that Riku loved so much. In the front was a half circle made of chairs. The angry girl sat down on one. She also was pretty, not as pretty as Okumura-san, but still cute, Riku thought. Her long auburn hair was tied to a ponytail; her bangs framed her brown eyes, that reminded Riku of a fawns. Okumura-san smiled at her, as if to say be nice to him.
“The name´s Abe Nozomi, second year. Sat-chan’s best friend” She said.
The guy next to her let out a small laugh. He was tall, even when seated. But he stood up and walked towards Riku and Okumura-san. He held out one of his hands. “Itou Shinichi Sani. I´m a third year.” His voice was deep but pleasant. Riku would have listened to an audiobook read by him. His skin was a deep brown; his eyes contrasted his kin by being a light brown. Riku would have been intimidated if it weren´t for Itou-sans big and friendly smile. He pointed to the last two; the two guy Riku had seen this morning giggling at their stall. Now one was sitting on the others lap, both holding books in their hands. “Our president and vice-president.” Itou-san said.
As if that was his signal one jumped up. His black hair was tied to a small ponytail. As he came closer Riku could make out his ears covered in piercings, around his neck hang quite a few silver necklaces. His brown eyes looked painted, Riku took a closer look, he did wear eyeliner. The guy put one of his arms around Riku. His green cardigan looked really bright form up close. “I´m Yagami Shu, book club president and fellow third year.” He said, then pointed to the guy on whose lap he as just sitting. He looked a bit plain next to Yagami-san; short brown hair and red glasses. His green eyes were the only remarkable thing about him. He smiled shyly. Riku thought at first that he was just… well shy, but then he noticed that he had not smiled at Riku but Yagami-san, who smiled back. Itou-san cleared his throat, seemingly snapping Yagami-san out of his trance. “That´s Yagari Hayato, also a third year and my… our vice-president. So what do you think? Wanna join?”
Riku looked around everyone seemed nice enough, he could try it, he thought. “Sure.”
Okumura-san smiled brightly. Yagami-san also seemed happy. “Good, you see we don´t often get new members. I mean you´re the only first year who seemd interested. Oh and your club operates on a strict first names only basis. So welcome, Ri-Ri.”
Riku was a bit taken aback; he had never gotten a nickname, except form Hitomi and her assistants, but he didn´t hate it.

Satsuki had shown him all the books they had; classics, horror, fantasy, romance and even some adult novels. She explained what the club activities were: basically none, just read as much as you want and be friendly. Riku could do that much, didn´t seem too hard.
Satsuki had also offered to walk him home, which he thought to be a bit excessive before finding out they lived close together.
“How did you know where I live?” Riku asked her on their way home.
She laughed embarrassed. “Oh, I saw you walk to school this morning.”
“Oh, ok. It´s really nice that you´re walking me home.”
“Well I also didn´t want to walk alone.” They both laughed.
“So what do you think?” She asked. “About the club I mean.”
“Everyone seems nice.” He answered, he couldn´t say much more, he had just meet everyone today after all.
Satsuki nodded. “They really are. I hope we´ll have a lot of fun this year!”
“I hope so too.” Riku said.
They agreed to walk to and from school from now on and Riku made his way to Hitomi´s apartment, mentally preparing for her questions about his day.