Chapter 35:

Volume 2, Chapter 10-2: Unexpected Similarities

Heroes of the Past

Felicity wore a festive outfit today. I wondered how she decided what clothes to wear. She must have a large collection considering the numerous variation of outfits I observed so far.Bookmark here

“Yu~ki! How are you doing today?” she greeted with bubbling cheerfulness.Bookmark here

“Pretty good since Tess let me off early so I’m done with her lectures,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Great, this is perfect timing. I have a present for you. Are you free right now?” Felicity asked.Bookmark here

“One of my high school friends actually is here right now. If you don’t mind, we can talk in my room,” I revealed.Bookmark here

“I don’t want to be a bother. But, I’m interested in hearing about you from one of your acquaintances. I can’t miss this opportunity,” Felicity accepted, nodding her head.Bookmark here

“I’m surprised you’re free. Didn’t you set up anything with friends or family?” I questioned.Bookmark here

“Oh, I have some things to do later, but I’m free now. So why not spend it with you, right? I’m the best!” Felicity declared, flashing a brilliant smile.Bookmark here

Something seemed off today. Her current behavior actually reminded me of when she was drunk. Whatever, it was probably just me overthinking like usual. Chihiro was inspecting my bookcase when Felicity and I entered.Bookmark here

“Sorry for keeping you waiting, Chihiro. This is Felicity Smoke,” I said.Bookmark here

Felicity extended her hand out and Chihiro shook it. There was uneasiness in her eyes which made sense since she never met Felicity before. I would be a bit apprehensive as well if in the same situation.Bookmark here

“Nice to meet you. Just call me Felicity. I hope we become good friends!” Felicity unleashed her dazzling smile.Bookmark here

“Shin Chihiro,” Chihiro responded, shaking Felicity’s hands.Bookmark here

Was there tension? Reaching for a snack, I realized a potential cause. The clash of two similar personalities. While not at the same level of Felicity, Chihiro’s nature was pretty happy go lucky.Bookmark here

“You met Yuki this quarter, right?” Chihiro asked.Bookmark here

“Yes, one of her friends introduced her to me. You’re familiar with Yuka, right?” Felicity replied.Bookmark here

“Yes, I’ve known Yuka for as long as Yuki,” Chihiro replied.Bookmark here

“Cool. I’ve only known Yuki for a few months so I was wondering if you could tell me some stories. I always want to know more about my friends,” Felicity requested, pulling out a small notebook from her coat.Bookmark here

“Oh, I have a lot of those! Are you by chance related to Smoke Incorporated?” Chihiro brought up.Bookmark here

“Yeah, no big surprise there, right? My father and grandfather are on the board for the company. Hopefully that doesn’t scare you away. I’m still just your normal everyday girl,” Felicity saidBookmark here

“Yuki, sorry to bother you when you have friends over, but could you hand me your dirty clothes?” Mom asked, entering without knocking.Bookmark here

“Sure,” I nodded, opening up my closet.Bookmark here

I gathered my pile of clothes, handing it to Mom. She gave me a grin and then left. Felicity grabbed my hand as I was about to close my closet door.Bookmark here

“Yuki, do you mind if I see what kind of clothes you have?” Felicity requested.Bookmark here

“Go ahead, there isn’t much to see though,” I allowed.Bookmark here

They talked about something fashion related which I didn’t understand. Well, I’ll just polish off the snacks while they bonded.Bookmark here

“Wow, I never expected Yuki to have these kind of underwear. This is quality material,” Chihiro exclaimed.Bookmark here

“Oh, you have them. Perfect!” Felicity exclaimed.Bookmark here

Yeah, my suspicions were confirmed. Chihiro pointed at the bra and panties from the party. So it was Felicity’s doing?Bookmark here

“Yuki, did you know? This is the Sica brand that’s been overtaking the market. They’re pretty expensive but cheaper than the top tier names. They deliver the same comfort so a lot of people have been asking for them at the mall,” Chihiro explained.Bookmark here

“Sorry for not telling you, Yuki, but I’m negotiating with Sica. I got some samples to test out so yeah…. I might have been too forceful though. This is a good time actually for my present,” Felicity gave a sheepish smile.Bookmark here

She handed me a bag. I opened it and saw a light red, almost pink, athletic hoodie inside. I touched the sleeves and felt an indescribable smoothness. This would come in handy for training in the future with Tess and the others. I flipped over the tag, seeing the Sica brand logo and a three digit price. This was pretty expensive. I felt bad, having nothing for Felicity.Bookmark here

“Wow, that’s one of the new lines they just launched. The stores don’t even have it yet,” Chihiro remarked.Bookmark here

“I know one of the designers. She asked me to give it to a cute girl. Yuki is the perfect fit!” Felicity replied, giving her trademark smile.Bookmark here

“I can’t….,” I started.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I know what you’re going to say. But, you reignited that spark within me for writing again so that’s enough for me,” Felicity cut me off.Bookmark here

“Fine, but this better be a one time thing only,” I said.Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s right! You haven’t opened my gift yet! Come one, open it up!” Chihiro exclaimed, pointing at her wrapped gift.Bookmark here

I tore off the gift wrapping and saw a necklace inside. A small white snowflake was attached to a golden string.Bookmark here

“It’s in honor of your name, Yuki! I know your name isn’t technically the character for snow but close enough, right?” Chihiro explained, putting the necklace around my neck.Bookmark here

Oh crap, it was too late. Chihiro’s hands brushed my pendant string and she pulled it out from underneath my shirt.Bookmark here

“Wow, Yuki! Was this a gift from Ichizen?” Chihiro exclaimed.Bookmark here

She wasn’t too far from the truth. In a way, it was from him. I couldn’t exactly tell her the details. Construct an elaborate lie or dismiss her notion it was from Ichizen? Felicity opened her mouth, ready to speak. No, I wouldn’t let her cover for me.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I only started wearing it after his death. It’s a way for me to remember him, I guess,” I answered.Bookmark here

“It might be a bit of a hassle to wear two at the same time,” Chihiro realized.Bookmark here

“It’s no problem at all! It’s not a hassle at all,” I insisted.Bookmark here

“Time to send everyone this picture of you wearing your beautiful necklaces,” Felicity announced.Bookmark here

“Wait, don’t send it out to anyone!” I shouted, reaching out towards her.Bookmark here

“I was just kidding,” Felicity remarked.Bookmark here

“You better not be lying!” I warned.Bookmark here

“I’m not a blabbermouth,” Felicity scoffed.Bookmark here

I sighed and glanced over at the snack tray. Time for a refill. Felicity and Chihiro once again conversed about clothes. I felt like an outsider when listening to them. It mirrored the situation when Zhuyu and the others discussed anime during the party.Bookmark here

“Hey, Mom, are there any more snacks in the cabinet?” I asked once downstairs.Bookmark here

There was no response and I peeked into the kitchen. She wasn’t there. I yanked open the cabinet door, finding a box of cheese crackers and egg rolls. I restocked the plate, carrying it back upstairs. Felicity and Chihiro were inspecting one of my coats. Please don’t be too harsh on my clothes.Bookmark here

“Welcome back, Yuki,” Chihiro said.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I’ll be leaving in an hour. Anything fun you want to do?” Felicity informed me.Bookmark here

“Whatever you want to do. I don’t have much in terms of entertainment. I’m sure you can see that from my room,” I said, waving my hands around the room.Bookmark here

The two of us stared at Felicity as we devoured crackers. Felicity finally clapped her hands in excitement. A mischievous grin appeared on her face. I didn’t like that look. What did she have in mind?Bookmark here

“Yuki, this will be perfect. Hang on while I grab a few things from my car,” Felicity said, bolting out.Bookmark here

“She seems like a good friend,” Chihiro observed.Bookmark here

“I’ve only known her for a few months but she’s pretty interesting. A little too intense at times though,” I agreed, recalling Felicity’s crazy behavior at the party.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I want you to know something. I’ll always be here if you need anything so don’t hesitate to come ask me for help. Just reminding you, that’s all,” Chihiro said with a serious toneBookmark here

“I brought everything for a makeover, Yuki! This is perfect. I’ve always wanted to try this out,” Felicity burst into my room with a large case before I could respond.Bookmark here

Chihiro stared at the large case in Felicity’s hand and nodded with a knowing look. What was going on?Bookmark here

“Slow down, what do you mean by makeover?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Makeovers are makeovers. Come on, sit down here. Hold this mirror. Shin, can you give me a hand?” Felicity requested.Bookmark here

“Of course. Don’t worry too much, Yuki. We won’t be doing anything too strange,” Chihiro replied.Bookmark here

I sighed and allowed myself to relax. Felicity pulled out a large variety of cosmetic products, organizing them on my desk. Chihiro inspected the tools inside and whistled, probably because of their high quality. They finished their preparations after ten minutes. Felicity seemed to have a solid grasp of this.Bookmark here

“Ta-dah!” Felicity shouted out after half an hour.Bookmark here

I stared at the mirror and blinked. It was definitely me but Felicity brought out features of my face. The eyeliner brought more focus to my eyes. My cheeks were a lighter shade of red. There were also a bunch of other things which I had no idea about.Bookmark here

“What do you think, Yuki? Pretty impressive, right?” Felicity asked, the pride obvious in her voice.Bookmark here

“Yeah. I didn’t expect this,” I said, nodding.Bookmark here

“You’re pretty good,” Chihiro agreed.Bookmark here

“I wrote down the steps in case you ever want this look. You can always call me too! I left hair accessories in case you ever want to use them. Consider it a little extra bonus from me!” Felicity said, putting down a piece of notebook paper on my desk.Bookmark here

“I really appreciate it, Felicity. Are you leaving now?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Unfortunately, yes. I have obligations to fulfill. It was nice meeting you, Shin!” Felicity replied, packing up her tools.Bookmark here

“It was a pleasure for me too,” Chihiro nodded.Bookmark here

Felicity said a few more words before departing. Chihiro helped me sort out the stuff left behind. After we packed everything away into my drawer, we talked for a little awhile before she left too.Bookmark here

I stared down at my desk. Today was a pretty good day, just normal. No supernatural weirdness or anything similar to that. If only all my days could be like this. But, there was asskicking that needed to be done and I would deliver it.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.