Chapter 30:

Water fights and water hugs?!

My childhood friend ran away from home and now I have to share a room with her?!

That's what you get for ignoring my safe space, ha!

I sigh in relief, glad to have freed myself from her clutches at last. After all the ruckus we’ve caused, I’m looking around in panic but no one seems to be following our antics. Everyone around us is minding their own business, paying no attention to two kids playfully teasing each other.

Seriously, she's such a mess! Does she have no shame? Acting like this in public, geez…

I throw a glance into the pool to see Yori surfacing which means I caught her completely off-guard.

And I won’t give her a single second to recover!

Grinning to myself, I leap into the water in a cannonball pose, though the resulting splash is somewhat less impressive than I pictured. Nonetheless, it’s sufficient to send a wave of water over Koyori’s face again.

"Hey, you meanie," Yori laughs once I surface myself.

"That's what you get for invading my safe space, ha!” I taunt, realizing how all of my stress dilutes into the pool, making room for some childish fun.

"And this," she calls, splashing water at me. "...Is what you get for being a meanie!"

“Is that the only insult you know?” I exhale in laughter while shielding my face before counterattacking with a splash of my own.

“Should Yori-chan call you a jerk then?” she wonders before allowing herself to lean backward in order to kick her feet, sending a wall of water my way. “Take this, you jerk, hehehe!”

"Oh, you're declaring war on me?” I conclude. A self-confidence I didn’t know I had springs forth as we’re locked in a tight water battle. “I'm a seasoned water splasher so that's bold of you. You sure you can take a fight?"

I’m baffled at how easy it is to abandon all worries and just enjoy myself like this, thus really getting into our little playful battle.

"I'm not sure if I can,” Yori giggles, now on the defensive. I allow her to recover for just a second because I’m curious what else she has to say to me but I realize quickly that I shouldn’t have underestimated her like that. “But… hey look a plane."


Yori’s exclamation comes so randomly that I actually decide to turn around only to feel how the cap on my head gets nicked by the girl.

Oh, you little!

Hastily, I turn back around to see Koyori wearing it proudly on her head, sticking her tongue at me like a little child.

"Let's see if you can take this back, hehehe,” she taunts me before entering a fast-paced swim.

“Hey, give it back!” I exclaim sharply, going after the girl. Despite knowing it’s a playful fight, I still take a little offense at the theft of my treasured item, therefore putting my entire strength into my swim. Unfortunately, years of being a lazy bum are stacking the odds against me. My stamina runs out quickly while Koyori keeps her pace until she’s reached the other end of the pool, waving my cap gleefully at me while waiting for me to breathlessly catch up.

"You're gonna have to tackle me if you want this back, hehehe,” she laughs as I arrive as well, holding my aching flanks from the sudden exertion.

Shit, she's right. Given my poor stamina, I won’t get it back by simply chasing after her. God, maybe I should start working out…

I realize that I won’t get it back without seriously getting too close to her. Koyori flings her tongue at me again.

This girl… she planned it all along just so that I’d have to wrestle her or lose face!

I’m seriously annoyed at this now, unwilling to let Koyori win. First, I try to jump out of the water a few times, using my slight height advantage in the slim hope of snatching my treasured from her arms held skywards but Koyori turns out to be better at jumping than me too. Next, I attempt to climb out of the water for a height advantage but Koyori simply swims away before I can use it, sticking out her tongue at me for the third time today. She’s now wearing the cap on her head again, although it doesn't fit at all thanks to her huge ribbon.

Suddenly, I freeze from my position at the edge of the pool. When our glances meet halfway, an unintelligible feeling mixes into my ire. I want to reach her to reclaim what’s rightfully mine but, abruptly, that’s no longer my only drive. Her silly, taunting smile. I want to wipe it from her face but I don’t want it to disappear. My cap. It looks so terribly mismatched on her head. I want it back yet I don’t want to end this battle yet. Her swimsuit. Its vibrant orange color shines through the water enticingly, invitingly.

I wonder what it’d feel like to hug her in this wet, half-naked state…

It feels like I’ve suddenly abandoned all logic. We’re literally surrounded by hundreds of people yet these sudden cravings assault me without warning. My timidness seems to have temporarily ceased to exist. Why did I even feel nervous a moment ago when Koyori was getting close to me?

I want to hug her.

I know she wouldn’t mind it if I tried to right now. Getting my cap back is just a pretense to make it happen, right? I like the feeling of her crushing embrace too, right?

"Kei-kun, does this look good on me or why are you suddenly staring at me?" Yori teases, breaking my immersion.

Have I really been staring at her the entire time? I honestly didn’t realize

Our eyes meet for a prolonged time as I feel unable to look away, look at her beautiful face dripping with water, see the reflection of the sun sparkling in her eyes, admire her cute swimsuit and slender body…

It still feels a little awkward but she's enjoying this and giggling at how stupid I must be looking right now. That cap really doesn't look good on her though. I'm definitely confiscating it no matter what it takes!

"To tell the truth, it looks horrible so I'm taking this back now, Yori-chan!" I finally exclaim, shaking myself out of it by plunging head-first into the water - a lot more elegantly this time. The water seems to cool my senses yet I haven’t forgotten these desires. Using my momentum, I close the distance between us in no time. For an ever so brief moment, the view from below at her well-built legs and her orange bikini panties is strangely enticing before the awkwardness forces me to push my body upwards. Splashing her with water, I emerge only centimeters from her body.

"Owwie, that's harsh, what happened to cute little Yori-chan?" the girl protests playfully while evading my swipe.

"She's been sealed away by the forces of evil," I roleplay out of a spontaneous intuition. "But with this magical item." Another swipe fails as Yori swims out of reach by pushing herself backward though I immediately go after her. "...on your head." I leap out of the water, barely missing her this time. "I can restore Yori-chan to her former beauty."

"Quit blabbing and get serious or you're not getting it back, tehehe," Yori teases. For the 4th time today, I’m seeing her tongue playfully poking at me.

“Okay, you asked for it!”

Feeling a sudden wave of energy vibrating through my body, I enter a quick and sudden sprint, reaching Koyori before she can swim away. I take a deep breath. Koyori throws a quick glance at me, taking a deep breath as well. Then, she allows me to dunk her underwater.

I immediately dive after her, trying to reach for my cap. Koyori’s body is facing upwards while I’m facing the looming depths of the pool. Koyori is right below me; I’m in a position of power. Before I know it, I’ve wrestled myself on top of her, my hands resting on her shoulders, preventing her from taking action. Despite the stingy sensation of chloride on our eyes, both of us pause our play fight when our glassy orbs meet halfway.

Even underwater, Koyori’s eyes sparkle like a thousand galaxies in the sky. She's beaming with joy, spreading her arms widely as if trying to say 'Hug me'. I feel like taking her up on that offer but, first, I use my right arm to steal the cap from her head while keeping her down with my other arm. I put it back on my head proudly but Yori uses the chance to wriggle free, hold onto me, and pull me into an underwater embrace as if to reward me for succeeding.

Ecstasy. There’s no other word that can describe my sudden feelings more accurately. For the first time, I enter a hug fully prepared and the resulting feeling is simply otherworldly. Immediately, I wrap my arms around the girl and squeeze her the same way she squeezes me. In my frenzy, it doesn’t bother me at all that her small boobs are pressed against my chest, only a thin layer of cloth separating me from her prepubescent nipples. My heart is hammering in my chest but a second. matching rhythm is pounding on the other side as well.

A sudden warmth surrounds me despite the coldness of being completely submerged in cool water. Both of our bodies are on fire as the flame of youth is devouring all negativity. Happiness as I’ve never felt it before twists my facial muscles into a huge grin, matching the contractions of Koyori’s muscles against my cheek. I reinforce my clutch on the girl, pulling her even closer, allowing all of my pent-up feelings to flow freely. I want to hold her like this forever, wishing for time to freeze over just so I could bask in this moment and its associated emotions forever.

But, alas, I run out of oxygen. 

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