Chapter 13:

Kanto: Chapter 9

The Kimochi Warui Diary

The photos fell into the tray. Bookmark here

I picked one up, brought it to the light, and… Well, they were perfectly fine. Bookmark here

I mean, the purikura filters made my eyes freakishly large, and our cheeks were artificially red and rosy. But other than that, they turned out great! Bookmark here

Yuno had a sort of cat-like smirk on her face. In another picture, her hands were on her face, and her mouth was open in feigned astonishment. Another had her making a fierce glare into the camera. I was on the other side of her making my own exaggerated faces, too.Bookmark here

If you would have seen us based on these photos alone, you would have thought we’d been friends for a long time. Bookmark here

And in a way, we actually were.Bookmark here

Since the booth printed out two copies of the same set, we each took a copy. I put mine in the chest pocket of my jacket—a place I knew it wouldn’t get bent or folded. Yuno seemed just as pleased with her photos and slipped them into one of the pockets of her school uniform’s blazer. Bookmark here

Just then, my phone vibrated. Maybe Jotaro had figured out how to connect to Starbucks WiFi and was messaging me. I should definitely be getting back to him…Bookmark here

“Hold on a moment, Yuno.”Bookmark here

But it wasn’t Jotaro. It was a message from Torako.Bookmark here

The first message he sent was a sticker. The anime girl was bent over, like she’d had the wind knocked out of her, complete with exasperated squiggly lines above her head.Bookmark here

“I went back through your tweets with Yuno…” he said. “And what I saw was… Well, do you remember this?”Bookmark here

Torako sent a screenshot from a conversation between Yuno and I. We had been talking about the differences between American and Japanese schools. Bookmark here

Then he sent another screenshot. It was further down in the conversation. Bookmark here

In the center of this screenshot was a tweet from Yuno. Torako had turned on the auto-translate to make sure I saw exactly what he needed me to:Bookmark here

“School uniforms are so cute! I’m jealous of other high schools.” Bookmark here

Torako sent a smirking anime girl. “You see, [Watashi]…”Bookmark here

Then he sent another image. It was a screenshot of all my Twitter likes. Image after image of Japanese girls—real and 2D—in school uniforms.Bookmark here

“…I told you—your likes on Twitter are public.” Bookmark here

I shoved the phone back in my pocket. Bookmark here

When I looked up to face Yuno, she appeared completely different to me. One of her hands was playing with her hair. Her knees were showing beneath her skirt—hiked up much higher than real high schools allowed. Bookmark here

And the blazer—I thought of the way the sleeves covered most of her hands. Why had it appeared so big on her? Bookmark here

It was completely the wrong size—a mistake that would be nearly impossible to make if it were tailored to fit. Bookmark here

When she looked up at me, I reflexively looked away. Bookmark here

“Where… ” she said. “Tonight, where do you stay?”Bookmark here

I blurted out the truth:Bookmark here

“Utsunomiya.”Bookmark here

But upon hearing that, her expression changed. A look of horror crept across her face.Bookmark here

She grabbed my hand and we took off in a sprint.Bookmark here

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