Chapter 3:

Year 1-3: The cultural festival

Is it ok?

Shu hadn´t followed through with his question for a while. For so long in fact that Riku had starting hoping he´d forgotten about it already, but alas he hadn´t.
Riku walked into the club room, hoping Shu wasn´t there yet. He immediately ran into Shu. Riku let out an inaudible curse. Shu smiled the most evil smile Riku ever had the displeasure of seeing. Shu took Riku by the hand and sat him on a chair, shoving a book in his face as soon as Riku was seated.
“Did you write this?” Shu asked, he sounded both curios and highly amused.
Riku took a look at the book Love lessons. Riku did know this book, in fact Shu was right, Riku had written it, but he would be dammed to let Shu know. It was a romance book with some… adult scenes. Riku had been way too embarrassed to publish his work but Hitomi had encouraged him, saying that those writing skills seemed to run in the family. Of course Riku had not been crazy enough to release it under his real name; he probably would have died of embarrassment if he did. So it had his pen name written on it: Tamia Riko, that name had been wholly Hitomi´s idea. Riku wondered how Shu had found out. He had made sure to not act as if he even knew the book.
Shu started laughing maniacally, he pulled out a few more books; all written by Tamia Riko. Riku felt his face burn up. How did he find them all? Shu seemed to be able to read minds. “Oh, those weird twins told me some time ago.” He said while looking at the books. “I actually like your writing. It´s so romantic, I wish Hayato was like the guys in them from time to time.” He looked at the books seemingly longing for a bit more romance or… spice in his relationship.
Riku noticed something bad, like the worst thing that could happen to him. Shu had mentioned twins, weird twins. Oh god no Riku thought, he opened his mouth to ask a bit more from Shu when the club rooms door opened and a very excited Nozomi grabbed one of the books. “Oh my god I loved Love lessons!” Riku wanted to be swallowed by the ground. Nozomi looked at Riku, then back at the book. She seemed to have made the connection.

When everyone had come to the club Shu whispered into Rikus ear. “Should I tell them or do you want to?”
Riku stared at him horrified. “Why do I have to tell them anyway?”
“You´ll find out. So? You or me?”
“I´ll tell them.” Riku mumbled. He stood up and proudly took the books; he was ready to tell them. He was sure they wouldn´t make fun of him. “I´m Tamia Riko.” He said in a small voice, his courage had left him as soon as he opened his mouth. His face turned red, everyone was staring at him.
“So that´s like your secret?” Shinichi asked.
Riku nodded. Shu put an arm around him. “Now you´re really a member of this club.” He said. Riku stared at him. “What do you mean?”
“Oh, Hayato, you and me aren´t the only ones with dark secrets. It´s kind of a staple of the club, every member has to have a secret.” Shu smiled at Riku. “Your secret is obviously save with us, another staple of this club.”
Riku sank into his chair relieved. He had not made a fool of himself. But those weird twins Shu had mentioned still bothered him, if it as whom he thought it was, that would mean a lot of trouble.

The days went by; nobody in the club seemed to care about Rikus secret anymore. It just became normal, like seeing Shu and Hayato be all lovey-dovey. Riku was curious though, what were the others secrets? Was it ok for him to try and find them out? He guessed it was ok; after all Shu and Hayato had seemed pretty ok with him finding out their secret.

Riku sat down in his chair and pulled out a book. Nozomi had recommended it. It was a spy romance; Nozomi liked romance novels, that´s why she of course had to read all of Rikus books. He wasn´t as embarrassed about that situation anymore, it did help him that Nozomi seemed to genuinely be enjoying them. She even asked him if he still wrote; which he didn´t. Nozomi seemed a bit sad at that.
“You´re such a good writer. When you write again can I read your manuscript?” She asked him.
He just nodded, Riku had thought about writing again but he just lacked motivation for it.

Suddenly the door opened and Shu and Hayato came inside packed with colorful costumes.
“Cultural festival is coming up!” Shu seemed to be very excited. He threw the costumes on the floor.
Riku was a bit taken aback. His middle schools cultural festival was in October, it was barely June now. He went up to the pile of clothing in front of him. “Maid costumes?” He asked wearily. Shu had his usual crazy idea smile, which everyone else seemed to be scarily used to.
“We´ll have a maid café!” Shu held up a green maid outfit. “It´ll be so much fun!”
Riku wasn´t so sure, though the prospect of seeing Satsuki in a maid costume was nice. Then he realized he´d be wearing one too and his good mood left. He didn´t mind wearing one in front of his friends but the rest of the school? That was a bit much for him.

The day of the cultural festival came pretty fast. Riku had told Hitomi explicitly not to come; he found the idea of her seeing him in a maid outfit awkward, especially because he knew she would take way to may pictures, thankfully she was busy. Before going to the club he went to his class, he had promised Kishimoto, the baseball guy, to at least help setting everything up.
“So the book club´s gonna have a maid café?” One guy asked, one of Satsukis admirers. Riku was low key impressed at how fast information traveled between the admirers.
He nodded. “But you guys really don´t need to come.”
The admirer got uncomfortably close to Rikus face. “But we need to see Okumura-sama in a maid outfit!”
Kishimoto started laughing. “Aren´t the guys also wearing maid dresses?”
Riku stared at him, mortified. How did he find out? As if Kishimoto could read his mind he tried explaining. “The captain is in the same class as your club president.”
That idiot couldn´t keep it to himself! Riku thought. He decided to get angry at Shu later and finish stetting up. His class had the classic idea to set up a haunted house.
“It´s a shame you can´t help out.” Kishimoto said as Riku got ready to leave.
“Sorry.” Riku felt the admirers stare a hole in his back. “I´ll bring Satsuki-san along, ok? But only if you guys promise not to laugh at my outfit.” Riku didn´t quite know why he promised that, but now he had something he could invite Satsuki to.

Shu was taking pictures of an obviously embarrassed Hayato. “Didn´t you promise me some nice pictures too?”
“Oh you´ll get your nice pictures, at home.” Shu answered. Riku cleared his throat.
“Ri-Ri! Great timing, stand next to Hayato.”
Riku did as told. Shu took pictures of everyone, beaming at every single one he took.

The café filled quickly. Some third year girls were admiring Shus outfit, a green maid dress. She seemed to like green. Of course Satsukis admirers from the other classes came to take a look at her. But what surprised Riku the most was the abundance of girls fawning over Shinichi, Riku could see what they liked about him: Tall, handsome face, nice voice and warm smile. He noticed Nozomi glaring at the girls. If looks could kill, he though. Hayato ran off and quickly came back with a guitar. Riku saw Nozomis face change from anger to fury; he could see flames in her eyes. Satsuki seemed to have noticed this too, she ran over to Nozomi.
“Do I have to play?” Riku heard Shinichi ask Shu. The latter just nodded with a big smile. Riku was surprised to find out that Shinichi actually could play the guitar well, the girls were screaming like groupies of some idol. Riku took mental notes, if you want to get girls to fawn over you ask Shinichi.

Riku felt his legs almost give out when Satsuki tapped him on the shoulder. “Wanna take a break?”
He looked to the others; the boys were still attending a few guests, Nozomi had sat herself at a table, presumably with friends.
“Shu-san said it was ok.” Satsuki said.
Riku sat on a bench, Satsuki wanted to get something. That something turned out to be milkshakes. “I hope chocolate was fine.”
“Yeah, I love chocolate. What did you get?” He took the milkshake, it tasted better than expected. He didn´t realize how hot it was before taking a sip of the cold drink.
“Strawberry with vanilla. Want to try it?” Satsuki held her milkshake to him. He took a sip of it.
“That´s also good. You have really good taste in milkshakes.”
She giggled. “We can get more later. No-chans class is selling them.” She took a sip and Riku realized that indirect kisses exist. He blushed, then his mood was swiftly destroyed. A pair of blonde twins stood in front of them, blocking the sun and throwing a shadow as dark as their souls.
“Oh god no.” Riku let out.
Satsuki smiled awkwardly at the two. “You know each other?”
“We´re friends with Ri-chan.” The girl said. Her blue eyes sparkling.
Riku shook his head. “Absolutely not! They´re annoyances!”
“But we´re your annoyances.” The girl smiled. Her brother behind her starred at a picture in his hands, he seemed nervous.
“Yuki do something against your sister!” Riku begged him.
“Yuri stop annoying Riku, we wanted to do something else, right?” He seemed to be completely lost in thought.
“Right! Sorry Yuki. I´ll focus.”
Yuki came up to Satsuki. “You´re Okumura-san right?” She nodded confused. Yuki turned the picture to her. It was a standard crowd picture from what seemed like an elementary school. “I think we went to the same elementary school.” Yuki said pointing at a child with black hair and a freckled face.
Riku looked closer. “I think you got the wrong person. That´s a boy, isn´t it?”
Yuki looked at Yuri, she seemed confused.
“Oh, that´s because…” Satsuki stammered.
The twins exchanged another look now panicked. “Maybe that was actually her brother?” Yuki asked Yuri. Yuri nodded profusely. “Probably.”
“No, I just looked very boyish as a child.” Satsuki seemed to have calmed down from her initial shock. “You see I have an older brother that I look up to, back then I tried to look like him as much as possible. I still think I succeeded.”
Riku nodded. “I didn´t know you had a brother.”
“I have two. My older brother, Makoto, and my younger brother Tatsuya. I think those two confused us three.” She shot a look at the twins as if to say don´t you dare say something stupid. The two nodded.
“We probably did.” They said.
“Was that all? Then you can leave us alone, right?” Riku felt his annoyance bubbling up again.
Yuri left swiftly. Yuki whispered something in Satsukis ear and followed after his sister. Satsuki smiled slightly. He must have said something nice then, Riku thought.

They were standing in front of the haunted house. “I should tell you that I´m really bad with scary stuff.” Satsuki said locking Rikus arm in hers. “I´ll probably scream.”
Riku blushed. “That´s ok.” He felt the jealous looks of her admirers pierce him like daggers, but he didn´t care. He had only promised them to bring her along and she chose to take his arm. Riku actually felt really proud of himself.
They started their journey through the haunted house. Satsuki hung to Riku the whole time, he didn´t mind.
He had enjoyed this day, well with the exception of meeting the twins of annoyance. He just hoped they didn´t have something stupid brewing in their heads. Riku felt their two collective brain cells wouldn’t be able to think about the consequences…