Chapter 2:

Year 1-2: The beach

Is it ok?

“I have a brilliant idea!” Shu was yelling as soon as Riku and Satsuki entered the club room.
Riku had been a member of the book club for a few days now, though he was not yet used to the antics of its members, especially Shus. Shu was the kind of person to come up with weird things to do all the time; Riku had been successfully avoiding most of Shus ideas, until now.
Hayato looked up from his book, a romance novel that Riku knew all too well. “So what´s it this time?” He said laughing.
Shu turned to him. “Stop laughing, it´s actually a good idea!”
“Right.” Shinichi mumbled under his breath. Shu seemed to pretend like he didn´t hear it.
“We´ll go to the beach!” Shu announced.
“It´s May.” Riku said without thinking. In his opinion it was way too cold for the beach yet.
Shu put an arm around his shoulders. “Oh Ri-Ri, sweet innocent Ri-Ri. I know that it is May, but my brother wants the beach house all for himself all summer so now´s the only time I can use it without… family.” Shu said the word family as if he had just eaten something really bad, that he wanted to spit out as soon as possible.
“You have a beach house?” Riku stared at him. Shu did look like he was from a better off family, but a beach house that was a bit much.
Hayato laughed. “Well technically it´s his dads’ beach house.” Shu shot him a glance that would have killed Hayato if looks could do such a thing.
“Let´s not get into that. So you have time right?” Shu now looked intensely at Riku. He had been avoiding Shus ideas to often it seemed; no he had no other option. Riku nodded. Hitomi would have forced him to go anyway.
Satsuki smiled brightly. “It´s going to be so much fun!”
Riku blushed at the realization that he´d be seeing Satsuki in a bikini.

“Do you have everything?” Hitomi asked.
“Yes. I´m not a baby, I know how to pack my things.”
“Do have sunscreen?”
“Hitomi, it´s may. I doubt the sun´s going to be that bright.” Just as Riku had finished his sentence a bottle of sunscreen had mysteriously appeared on his bag. He looked at his aunt. “Thanks.”
“Do you have your swimming trunks?”
Riku started to get annoyed. “Yea I do. I´m going to the beach, it would be a bit weird to not have a pair of swimming trunks, now would it?”
She nodded. “I´m just so excited for you. You haven’t been away from home except for school trips.”
Riku couldn´t help but smile. She was right, him not really having friends and a lack of interest to be anywhere but home had prevented him from doing things like this. His phone buzzed.
I´m here. J Satsuki´s message read.
Riku took his bag and ran to the door.
“Have fun!” Hitomi called after him.

Riku ran down the stairs. Satsuki was waiting for him. She was wearing a long light blue dress with waves printed on it, her hair was braided into two ponytails and a big straw hat sat on her head. She smiled. “You ready?” She asked.
Riku nodded. He offered to take Satsuki´s bag and they made their way to Shinichi´s house. His mother had offered to drive them all in her mini bus.
The way wasn´t as long as Riku feared. A maybe 20 minute walk into the city. During that time Shinichi became the subject of discussion.
“What´s his mom like?” Riku asked, he knew his mom was from somewhere in Africa and that was it.
“Oh Zainab-san is really nice, always smiling. If you´re lucky she´s made bentos for us and let me tell you her cooking is out of this world.” Satsuki began.
“That sounds nice.”
Satsuki smiled and continued. “You should probably ask Sani-san about the details but I think she´s from Nigeria. Sani-san told me once that most of her siblings live all around the world.”
“That´s cool.” Riku said. Now he was excited to get to know Shinichi´s mother.

Arriving at Shinichi´s apartment, they were greeted by the others, with the exception of Shu.
“Where´s Shu-san?” Satsuki asked through a hug from Nozomi.
Hayato looked up from his phone. “He´ll be here soon, his dads apparently lecturing him on what he´s not allowed to do.”
Riku looked confused in Hayatos direction.
“His dads pretty strict. Always going on and on about their reputation.” Shinichi said annoyed.
“Sani could you help me?” A tall black woman asked. He had the same eyes as Shinichi, his mom.
She introduced herself to Riku and handed him a bento box. He stared at it. “Thanks. But that wasn´t necessary.”
She smiled a big friendly smile. “Oh, don´t worry. I don´t get to meet Sami´s friend too often so I like to spoil them a bit when I do.”
Riku smiled back. Hitomi didn’t have much time to make him bentos and he couldn´t cook more than rice.
“Sorry I´m late!” Shu came running a trolley case with him. He immediately hugged Hayato and whispered something in his ear.
“We´re all here, right? Then I think we can leave.” Shu turned to everyone.

The car ride wasn´t spectacular. Riku sat next to Nozomi, who was reading a book most of the ride. Riku was jealous. He would have loved to read something too, but he got carsick when even attempting to read the ingredient list on his water bottle.
“Is the book good?” He asked.
Nozomis fawn eyes peaked out from behind the book. She nodded. “It´s pretty good.”
Riku nodded awkwardly. He still didn´t quite know how to speak to her.
“It´s about this guy who becomes invisible when he´s around the person he´s in love with. So he decided to never love someone until he meets this girl he saved from jumping off a bridge.” She mumbled.
“That sounds familiar.” Riku said.
“Because the movie came out a few month back.” Nozomi said.
“And guess who got it on DVD?” Shu turned around. He was sitting next to Hayato, who was wearing an eye mask and was fats asleep on Shus shoulder.
“You got it?” Nozomis eyes lit up.

Riku decided to open the bento after a while. It was filled with Onigiri, Manju, some vegetables and something he didn´t know. Shinichi, sitting opposite of him giggled. “It´s called Moin Moin.”
Riku decided to try it. “That´s so good.”
Shinichi smiled. “My mon loves to cook Nigerian foods. She gave me some for dinner tonight, if you´re interested.”
Riku nodded enthusiastically. Maybe this trip was going to be more fun than he thought.

Riku was sitting in the sand eating an ice cream Shu had bought him. He and the guys were waiting for the girls to get dressed. Hayato was sitting under a parasol, also ice cream in hand. Shu was lying next to him, still wearing a cardigan. Isn´t he hot? Riku thought, then he turned to see hat Shinichi was up to; he was in the water swimming as if he couldn´t feel the cold water. Riku shivered.
“We´re done!” Satsuki came running towards Riku. She was dressed in a one piece with a see-through pink dress. She seemed embarrassed.
Riku stared at her, she was so pretty. Someone cleared their throat next to her; Nozomi. She wore a poke doted pink bikini.
“You look cute!” Riku said. Apparently that was exactly what she had wanted to hear, she had a big smile on her face.
“Wanna build a sand castle with me?” Nozomi asked him. Riku looked to Satsuki.
“Oh, I´ll read a book. Have fun.” She showed a book with black cover and white writing, Death in Paris it read, a crime thriller. Riku didn´t expect her to like stories like that.
He spent almost all day building the biggest sand castle he had ever seen. Nozomi looked proud of their architectural masterpiece, urging Shinichi to take pictures with her.

The evening was spent with the best food Riku had ever eaten, Shinichi´s mother was such a good cook Riku wished she had been his mother too.
After watching the movie Shu had shown before, he and Hayato made their way upstairs. “I`m really tired.” Shu had said. Riku was confused why Hayato had come with him but he decided to not think too much about it. He would just jump to weird conclusions.

The next morning Riku just walked into something that definitely made him jump to conclusions: Shu and Hayato were kissing in the kitchen. Riku stopped before opening the door, should he pretend he didn´t see anything? He didn´t know if the others knew about this. His thoughts were spinning, what should he do? Thankfully Shinichi just opened the door. “Sorry to interrupt.” He mumbled tired. Riku came into the kitchen behind him. “Are you two…? You know… I´m not against… you know…” He stuttered.
Hayato looked at Shu as if to ask if it was ok to say anything. “We´re dating, have been for some time actually.” Shu answered. He came up to Riku waving his finger in Rikus face. “Don´t tell anyone though, that could cause trouble.”

And that was the most exciting their last day at the beach became. After breakfast they went back to the beach, Nozomi and Satsuki sitting in the sand building another sand castle. Shinichi was watching them giving tips from time to time.
“About me and Shu…” Riku jumped, Hayato had just appeared next to him. “Sorry I didn´t mean to scare you.”
Riku held his heart, he felt like he just had a heart attack. “It´s ok.” He managed. “What did you want to talk about?”
“Shu really doesn’t want anyone finding about us, so please make sure you don´t say anything.” Hayato seemed genuinely worried.
“I promise I won´t say anything. But, if you don´t mind me asking of course, why is he so worried about it?”
Hayato drew lines in the sand with his foot. “His father is really strict, doesn’t even let him wear piercings at home. The neighbors could think he´s a punk.” Hayato had changed his voice, then he continued normally. “If he found out god knows what he´d do to Shu.”
“What about your family?”
Hayato smiled. “They love Shu. My sister already sees him as her brother in law.”
Riku had to smile at that too. “They sound nice.”
“They are.” Hayato turned to Riku. “What about your family? What are they like?”
Riku looked at the waves in the distance. “I live with my aunt.”
Hayato seemed confused.
“My mom died in an accident a few years ago, my dad was a dead beat so my aunt Hitomi took me in.” Riku usually didn´t like to talk about his situation, he loved Hitomi but he still felt hurt that his father just left him after his mother´s death. Hayato was the first friend who he told about this, it did feel a bit freeing. Hayato hugged him, another thing Riku wasn´t used to.
“What was that for?” Riku asked after Hayato had let go of him.
“I thought you could use one.” Hayato answered.
“I could use one too!” Shu hugged Hayato from behind, then he looked Riku straight in the eyes. “I have something I need to ask you.”