Chapter 28:

Year 3-6: The baseball game

Is it ok?

“Are you ok Keith-kun?” Riku looked at the first year. He was a bit thinner than usual.
“Yes, I´m fine.” Keith smiled his model smile.
“Yeah right. You´ve been going to the bathroom a lot.” Mei chimed in.
“I drink a lot. And anyway why do you keep track on how often I go the bathroom?”
“Because you go every time you´ve eaten something.” Mei stared Keith in the face. This seemed to make the first year uncomfortable.
Riku turned to him. “Is that true? Are you sure you´re all right?”
Keith looked at the floor. “I have a very important shooting soon.”
“That´s great! What kind of shooting?” Riku asked excitedly, Mei just kept on staring at Keith.
“A cover shooting for a fashion magazine. My mom is very excited. She always wanted to see me on a magazine cover.”
“That´s why you need to look as good as possible?” Mei seemed to be suspecting Keith of something.
“I´m just very nervous, ok? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. If I mess up…” Keith looked sad. “My mom would be so sad.”
Mei put her hands on Keith´s shoulders. “You can tell me anything.”
Keith smiled, taking a deep breath he was about to say something when the door was slammed open. “Wanna play baseball?” Yuusuke asked happily.
“Yuu-san!” Mei yelled at him.
Keith ran to him. “Sure I´ve never played baseball before but it sounds fun.”

Riku was standing at second base, Shintaro in front him. “So why are we doing this?” Riku asked him.
Shintaro took a big step, still touching the plate. “Don´t you dare think about stealing third.” Riku warned him.
“Why… We needed someone to help with practice. We´re so close to the finale, we need all the practice we can get.” Shintaro explained. He ran away to third base. Riku didn´t notice the ball flying his way. It almost hit him. He took a deep breath then he ran after the ball.

“Now I know why I hate sports.” Riku said sitting in the dugout. Yuusuke stared a hole in his back. “What?” Riku asked, turning around.
“You could enjoy this a bit more.”
“Not gonna happen.”
“What was it you wanted to tell us?” Mei asked Keith.
“Oh that wasn´t anything important. Focus on the game.”
Yuki came running back; he had managed a glorious strikeout. “Sorry. But man the ball is really fast.”
“Well it is called a fastball after all.” Takumi tried to joke, nobody laughed. He stood up. “I´m next.”

Riku stood at the home plate. Shintaro behind him. “I swear if you catch the ball, I´ll be mad.”
“If I don´t catch… you know what that won´t happen.” Shintaro sounded confident.
Riku saw the ball fly towards him. He closed his eyes and swung. Opening his eyes he saw the ball fly over the pitchers head, past second base and straight into the outfield.
He let out an audible laugh and ran for first.
He was struck out shortly after, he was still pretty proud of himself.

The game took a while, another reason Riku didn´t get the appeal of baseball. The baseball team was kind enough to offer a short break, mainly because they wanted to explain something to their first years.
Riku stretched he decided to walk around a bit. Sitting down for god knows how long he´ll just hurt himself when continuing the game.
He came by the twins practicing their swinging with a baseball club member. Yuri waved someone every so often. Aiko was sitting in the stands waving back happily. Ok, Riku thought, I think I´ve missed something. He was wondering if the two had gotten closer than just good friends. No, Yuri would have bragged about it.
He continued on, Takumi and Kiyoko seemed to be flirting. Riku didn´t think much of it, they had been getting closer and closer since Kiyokos incident after all.
Shintaro was talking to the other baseball guys, holding Yuusuke around the waist. The second year was giggling like crazy. Riku was proud of Shintaro, he didn´t seemed bothered by the confused looks of the first years.
Finally Riku made it to the bathrooms. “Mei what are you doing?” She was staring at the boy’s bathroom door.
“Waiting for Keith. I need to confirm something.”
“You know it´s a bit weird to stare at a bathroom door like that, right?”
“Ok, so what is it you want to confirm?”
Mei stared him into the eyes. “I think Keith has bulimia.” Riku hadn´t expected that.
“How did you know?” Keith asked shocked.
“So you´re not going to hide it any longer?” Mei asked.
“I mean you already know. You´ll keep it a secret right?” He sounded a lot more nonchalant than Riku had expected.
“But why?” Riku asked.
“I´m a model.” Keith answered, Riku felt like that wasn´t the real answer. Mei as still staring holes into Keith’s side. “My mon is weird about weight ok? She´s always been that way.” He looked around, sitting down on the closest bench. “My sister and I have been in a lot of beauty pageants. Kayla loves them. I don´t, never liked them.”
Riku sat down next to him. “Why don´t you tell your mom then?”
“I tried, she always says that this is gonna be the last. But it never is.” Keith looked at Riku and Mei. “I wish I could enjoy modeling and all of that, just like Kayla, but I don´t.”
“You like music.” Riku said.
Mei put a hand on Keith’s shoulder. “Tell your mom.”
“What?” Keith asked.
“About your bulimia. Honestly I want to help you but I don´t know how. Just tell her. She isn´t a horrible person just someone who loves fashion that never wanted to realize that one of kids didn’t like it as much as her.”
“Kinda sounds bad to me.” Riku mumbled.
Mei hit him lightly. “Please tell her and get help. If you need me to I´ll go with you. Oh and tell her you want to focus on music more than modeling.”
Keith nodded smiling. “Fine I´ll tell her. I just hope it´s as easy as you make it sound.”
Riku hoped for the same thing. He also was really proud of Mei.

The baseball game continued for a while longer. Riku´s team lost of course. Riku honestly didn´t care. Yuusuke ran into Shintaros arms fake crying and Yuri got a big hug form Aiko.
Riku went to Keith. “Tell me what your mom said ok?”
Keith nodded. “I will. But first I need to get the courage to actually tell her.”
“Just take Mei with you, she seems good at talking.”
Keith laughed. “I might really do that.”