Chapter 23:

Episode 23- First Date

My Friend is a Harem Protagonist [Short]

March 19th, A Warm Sunny Day

With the end of the cultural festival all that was left was our finals, ones that I aced if I do say so myself. Once we finished we all went to watch our baseball team play in Koshien. They didn't make it super far but placed pretty well overall. At the end of the day none of them left with any regrets.

For the most part my high school career was over, I just had one more week of formalities and graduation on Friday. With that in mind I had offered to take Kioko out for our first date.

I rang the bell to her house, and the millisecond I hit it the front door was thrown open to reveal her parents.

“Oh Riku! Come in come in!” Kioko’s mother said happily.

“Yes please, do you want anything to drink? Eat? We can make some tea if you want.” Kioko’s dad stated.

“Um. No, I am good, I was just picking Kioko up.” I said. I felt a little embarrassed, it was clear they knew we were dating now but it still felt a little strange.

“You sure? You can come and wait inside for Kioko.” Kioko’s mom said.

“He doesn't have to wait for me.” I heard Kioko yell, then spotted her walking down the stairs. “Jeez you guys can be a pain, give the guy some breathing room or you'll suffocate him.”

“We are just so happy to see your boyfriend again.” Kioko’s dad said. “Riku your always welcome in this house if you ever want to stop by.”

“I may take you up on that offer some time.” I said, planning the most devious of plans.

“Please don't do anything weird.” Kioko sighed. She had to push past her parents to come outside. She wore a beautiful sundress. It fit so well since today was an uncharacteristically warm day.

“I make no such promises.” I said as she approached me.

“Your a pain too.” Kioko said with a chuckle. “Just stay out of my room if you stop by okay?”

“I would never intrude on your private space.” I said.

“I will take you at your word then.” Kioko laughed.

“You two look so cute, can we get some pictures?” Kioko’s mom said. “Honey, go get the camera!”

Kioko’s dad sprinted inside.

“No that's okay, come on Riku hurry before he gets back!” Kioko grabbed my hand and began to pull me away.

“Dear, they are already holding hands! Hurry, we gotta get a picture of that!” Kioko’s mom yelled as we sped off.

“How prudish does she think I am?” Kioko said as we turned a corner.

“It might blow their mind if they found out we kissed already.” I laughed. It was a fun scene for me to be apart of.

“God I know, maybe I will tell them that and see if it fries their brains.” Kioko laughed. “I could make it all misleading. Just like, walk up all shyly and be like ‘Me and Riku have taken things to the next level’ what do you think?”

“I think you will kill them, they would think we went way further then we have.” I said sharply.

“I could also say something like ‘Riku has said he will take full responsibility for his actions’”

“I will probably be killed!” I stated.

“Maybe, I'm not sure considering my parents.” Kioko said. We had slowed to a walk, still hand in hand. “So where are we going to? I just kind of ran in a random direction.”

“I figured a moonlight walk on the beach, candle light dinner.” I said, pretending to be suave.

“We don't live near the ocean, and you are on a high schoolers budget.” Kioko called me out.

“Fine, fine, Dinner I was serious about but not candle lit. We got some time to kill first so why don't we walk, maybe Karaoke? Could also hit up the arcade.” I said.

“Sounds great to me.” Kioko said with a large smile.

Karaoke was first. We sat in the booth picking out songs.

“I heard Saki and Daichi are having their first date in a few days.” Kioko said. “Seems they are starting well.”

“Yeah, though knowing those two it will be a while before they get comfortable with the idea of dating each other.” I laughed.

“What about us?” Kioko asked.

“Hm?” I responded.

“How long will it be before we are comfortable with the idea of dating?” Kioko asked.

“I don't know what you mean. I don't see how us dating really changes that much about how we interact.” I said.

Kioko pondered this for a moment. “Well, it doesnt change a whole lot, though it does add something to it. Like this.” With that, she leaned in and gave me a short kiss.

“Not fair!” I said, my face a bright red. “I wasn't ready for that!”

Kioko laughed. “Yeah I know, but I guess you're right. We kinda already acted like we were dating before we dated huh. Guess that means we don't have to stress about the early dating stuff.”

“I'm still going to stress.” I said.

“That is because you are a worrier.” Kioko stated.

“And you're not?” I asked.

“I worry about other things. I don't have to worry about trying to impress you or anything, cause I already know I am great.” Kioko said proudly.

“Wow, a bit full of yourself huh.” I said sarcastically.

“Correct me where I am wrong sir.” Kioko rebuked.

A thought crossed my mind suddenly. I never opened the charm. I pulled it out of my wallet and held it up.

“You haven't opened it yet?” Kioko asked.

“I kinda forgot with everything going on.” I said, pulling it open.

I pulled out its contents, revealing a picture of Kioko and I from when we went to the water park. On the back it read ‘I wish you luck in everything you do, but if you got me by your side you won't need that luck. I support you in anything you do in life’.

“Damn, you were feeling cocky that day.” I said with a laugh.

“I told you it was the best one.” Kioko said proudly.

“Why were you so embarrassed about me opening it on my birthday?” I asked.

“Cause it is kinda mushy ya know?” Kioko said. “Plus I still wasn't the closest with Himiko and Izumi so it could be a little weird.”

“That is fair.” I said, putting the picture back in the charm. “Thank you, I like it alot.”

“Well, you gotta get me something even better for my birthday. You know cause I am your girlfriend now.” Kioko said.

“Wait you are?” I teased. “I don't think we went through seven seasons to establish that fact.”

“What Rom Com goes on for seven seasons in this day and age?” Kioko asked. “Besides, we are dating. Plus I already told everyone you were my boyfriend so you are stuck now sir.”

“Damn, no escape routes left huh.” I joked.

“Nope, you stuck with me for the time being.” Kioko laughed. “Now let's sing, you first, I picked your song.”

“Wait what, this is an opening to a Shoujo manga!” I said sharply. Card catcher Skragi was the censorship I would roll with here.

“Come on sing sing!” Kioko said.

I decided to humor her. That night was great. We enjoyed ourselves to the fullest, knowing it was the last high school romance moment we would have.

March 21st.

On Tuesday, I watched as Kioko took her diploma and graduated. The others couldn't make it since we still had school, however I got permission to leave. Even if I didnt I hadn't taken any days off so I could afford one absences. Kioko’s parents took plenty of pictures of her and were the loudest in the crowd. I decided to join them on the cheers and photography. It was her big day.

March 24th

A few days later, Kioko returned the favor. She met my parents for the first time and we took lots of pictures together. Afterwards we all hung out at my house. We decided to play cards. With the group size it was a pain.

“Draw 4 Toshi!” Aoi said, throwing the card down.

“Nope, draw 8 Saki!” Toshi declared.

“Umm. oh, Draw 12 Maeko.” Saki said.

“Damnit!” Maeko yelled, drawing a hand of cards.

“Skip.” Ren said, dropping a card.

“Blue.” Kioko said.

“Skip.” Izumi declared with a pose.

Himiko drew several cards before hitting a blue card.

“I'll change it to red.” Daichi said.

I smiled sinisterly. “Reverse, Ein!” I said, obviously censoring myself.

“Damnit Riku! We gotta take him down.” Maeko declared.

“Does anyone know what card he has left?” Kioko asked.

“Not a clue, let's just make it a different color as best as we can.” Aoi said.

These poor fools, I am holding a draw 4, didn't matter.

“Wait, we can skip his turn!” Maeko said. “Aoi it's up to you, do you got one?”

Aoi looked sad. “Nope.”

Once it got back around to me, I won.

“Dammit all!” Maeko said in annoyance.

It was a fun night. A night I wouldn't forget for a long time. Who knows when the next time would be that we were all together like this?

Before, I was afraid of everyone separating. I understood better that we would all be together if we really wanted to be. Everyone would be back on breaks, so we could hang out then. Plus the city wasn't far so We could easily visit if we wanted. Ya, these were friends worth keeping. I wouldn't give them up for the world.

Hey lets get Riku to do the last episode preview- Aoi

Oh that's a good idea- Kioko

Yeah he hasn't done one yet- Himiko

Oh he hasn't, and we all got to do it at least twice- Daichi

I mean he didn't want to do them- Ren

No he did, he just didn't want to say so- Toshi

Um, I'm not sure that is true- Saki

Riku! Get in here, come on!- Maeko

Let's get this over with Dark one!- Izumi

Huh, wait how about we all do it together, it is the last one right?- Riku

Alright, let's do that, everyone ready?- Kioko

Next Time, Epilogue!