Chapter 13:

Year 2-2: The book

Is it ok?

“Seriously, you ditched me for your girlfriend?” Kishimoto stood in front of Riku and Satsuki. The two had met up to eat lunch together, which Riku usually did with Kishimoto.
“You can eat with us, if you want.” Riku pointed at the spot next to him.
Kishimoto sat down reluctantly. “You don´t need to show off so much you know.” He mumbled.
“Didn´t you date a third year last year?” Riku asked amused.
Kishimoto suddenly went very quiet. “We broke up pretty fast though.”
“I´m sorry to hear that.” Satsuki offered Kishimoto a muffin, he ate it in silence. Riku seemed to have hit a nerve there. Kishimoto hadn´t spoken about his relationship too much so Riku didn´t know much except that she was a third year. Kishimoto stared at the floor.
“So did some new catchers joint the baseball club?” Riku tried to change the subject.
Kishimotos expression changed immediately. “Yeah, it´s a relieve that I´m not the only one anymore. Still have to train them but that shouldn´t be much of a problem.”
“You play baseball?” Satsuki asked. Kishimoto nodded. “My older brother played baseball in high school too.” She continued.
They talked about baseball, Riku felt a bit left out, he didn´t know much about it after all. But he was happy that Kishimoto, his only friend outside the club, and Satsuki, his girlfriend, were starting to befriend each other. At least he knew he´d never have to choose between them.

After school Riku made his way to the club, Nozomi and Yuusuke were great help; his book was starting to resemble something worth publishing. They wanted to work on in the club a bit more, so Riku ran out of his classroom to the club room as soon as the bell rang. There he met Nozomi, she looked a bit different. Her hair was a dark brown, like dark chocolate. She was smiling; her fingers were twisting the ends.
“You look different. Did you dye your hair?” Riku asked.
She waited with her answer until everyone else had arrived too. “I got a new wig.”
Right, Riku thought, Nozomi did say something about losing her hair. “Wait, new wig?” Riku was obviously confused, which seemed to amuse Nozomi.
“Well duh. I didn´t have hair for a long time. I wore a wig. Seems like you doofus didn´t notice.”
“How was I supposed to know?” Riku asked.
“I showed you my balding spots didn´t I?” Nozomi was really enjoying making Riku feel stupid.
The others seemed to also think that Nozomis new hair looked great; they complimented her to no end. Nozomi didn´t appear too sad about her hair loss, at least not as much as last year when it started. She was flaunting her new hair for days.

“You really like that new wig don´t you?” Riku asked, he Nozomi and Yuusuke were on their way to Yuusukes house. He had invited them to finish Rikus book there.
“My parents are still working so I have to look after my younger siblings but we should still be able to get it done. You´ll be so surprised at how many fantasy books I´ve got.” He sounded proud, his collection must be very impressive then, Riku thought.
“You have younger siblings?” Nozomi asked curiously.
Yuusuke nodded happily. “I´m the oldest of five.”
Nozomi and Riku stared at him. “Five kids?” Nozomi asked.
“Yeah, my family is pretty big in general. I have like nine aunts and uncles.”
Riku didn´t know if he was supposed to think that it was nice or terrifying to have such a large family. Must be nice to never be alone though, he thought.

Yuusukes house was right above the restaurant, it was small but filled with life. It was clear to Riku just from looking that this family enjoyed spending time with each other. The woman from their first visit to the restaurant, Yuusukes mother, was in the kitchen.
“Yu-Yu I made some snacks for all of you.” She said while giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I´ll be downstairs then.”
Yuusuke pointed to a room opposite the kitchen. “That´s my room, I´ll look where my siblings are and meet you there.”
He came back shortly after with a small girl. “My sister Mio, I can´t leave her alone once she´s awake, I hope that´s not a problem?”
Nozomi shook her head. “Not at all. How old is she?” Her eyes were sparkling at the sight of the small child.
“She´s two. The youngest, for now.” Yuusuke answered.
“For now?” Riku mumbled.
“My parents have been saying that´s the last child for like three children so I´m just always prepared to have another sibling.” He said laughing, seemingly enjoying being an older brother. Riku wondered what that must feel like. If Hitomi ever had a child he would kind of be an older brother, right?

Yuusuke showed off his very impressive book collection. “Some of them are really old, my grandpa and uncle are also big fantasy fans.” His small room had a massive bookshelf and a long shelf running along his celling all full of books both old and new. He wasn´t lying about them being surprised by his collection. Riku couldn´t stop starring.
After calming down they got to work. The three turned out to be an exceptional team. Working the whole afternoon they finally finished. Riku starred at his work. “I really did it.” He gasped.
Nozomi hugged him. “Now you just need to find a publisher. Oh and you have to dedicate the book to Yuu-kun and me.”
“That was my plan, you helped me so much. Without you two I would never have finished it.” Riku was so happy he couldn´t handle it, he stared to tear up. Writing was his life and now he got to share this with his friends.
“This calls for a celebration!” Yuusuke jumped up, his sister Mio started giggling. “I´ll run downstairs real quick and get some Soba.”

He was back very quickly. Another young girl, maybe elementary school aged, helped him carry all the food. “This is Suzuna, another sister.”
While eating Yuusukes last two siblings a girl named Taiga and a boy called Keisuke came home, obviously from baseball practice both were still wearing their uniforms.
So the group got a bit bigger, Riku didn´t mind though he actually enjoyed it. He was starting to get excited for the time his book would be published. Satsuki would without question be getting the first book. Riku would also give Yuusuke and Nozomi one for their help. Maybe he should invite them to something once he got published. He was thinking and enjoying himself so much he didn´t notice it had already gotten late. He thanked Yuusuke and Nozomi again and wanted to walk home. Yuu, Nozomis older brother, offered to drive him home, he had done so a few times by now. Riku took him up on that offer, he was quite exhausted. Writing so much drained him of all his energy.