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Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

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Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:07 am

The line of cherry trees stretched along the side of the road, obscuring the soft green fields and light forests beyond their branches amid the descent of red and orange leaves. Now and then, one could see a family, usually Japanese, seated by the road, watching the autumn hues. It was hard to believe a place so rural and peaceful could be found a few miles from Anaheim. In the spring, the city threw its annual State Cherry Blossom Festival along this road, and now during late summer and fall, picnickers coming to watch the beauty of nature could be seen. A week or two before, one might have seen a vendor or two, offering boxed lunches, cold drinks or souvenirs. Now however the vendors had all gone, replaced by yellow buses ferrying students to a new semester at school.

Ahead, the narrow asphalt road gave way to elegant flagstones, passing the brick walls and metal gates leading into a wide courtyard. Students in uniform bustled about here and there, chatting about their summer with longing or the coming semester with anticipation. Over the courtyard stood a massive Japanese-style school building. The school was made of many materials. Brick, wood, stone and steel, though the front facade was made of granite blocks, lending the building a very dignified look. The central tower overlooking the square was set with a very elegant clock, a round glass sheet marking the dial of the clock, with a brass overlay providing the clock’s numerals and hands. One arm shifted, before a faint chime emerged from the clocktower. 7:53. Seven minutes before classes. With a shuffling murmur, many of the students began drifting towards the building, a handful of students lingering behind as more buses arrived, eager to catch sight of a friend before classes started or to spend another precious moment with a classmate before the dour lessons began in earnest. As the crowds of students dressed in their mandatory senfuku style uniforms made their way up the steps, they passed beneath an obnoxious looking school banner, which hung above the engraved name of the school. The students paid the banner and the name no heed, ignoring the welcoming greeting that hovered just above their heads.

“Welcome to Yoshida High School!”
Last edited by Madrigal on Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:25 am

Kairi Aoki idly made his way down the sakura walkway, not dreading a new school, but sincerely looking forward to it, as he had ever since he had learned the international school had been designed after the Japanese school system. His last year of middle school had been served at a more traditional American school, and he had honestly never really gotten the hang of it. The constant English wasn't a huge issue, but the shuffling from class to class every hour was immensely disruptive to the young Okinawan's concentration. It hasn't crippled his performance, but its effect had been unquestionably visible all the same. So when his father's military career had moved them toward the year's end, rather than transferring schools immediately, his mother pressured his stepfather into having the boy finish the year with an online program, then enroll here for his first year in high school.

He had opted to walk to school, and was glad he had. It wasn't a long walk, by his standards, and it let him enjoy the scenery while feeling more at home than he ever had on a bus. And he wasn't alone. Many other Yoshida students walked along the same path, mostly other Asian students likely doing it for the same reason as he was. A few of the male students were Caucasian, and really not being bashful about looking for Asian cuties in the process, but the chatter was overwhelmingly in Japanese. He had watched with a little envy as old friends met up with each other on the way as they joined the ever-growing procession, and more than a few stores along the way had displays out front aiming to catch student eyes and cash, from snacks and decorative bag clips to notebooks and pens. He could really almost pretend he was back home.

And he would surely make friends of his own, and maybe things wouldn't be so awkward. With gender-specific uniforms and a higher Asian concentration in the student body, he wouldn't be so easily and frequently mistaken for a girl. He had already caught a few boys moving to approach him before they saw his uniform and backed away again in confusion, but they were Americans. Surely, fellow Japanese would not make the same mistake. Maybe he'd even get a girlfriend. That daydream held him for a while, of meeting the little sister of a friend he'd made on the baseball team and her nestled under his arm as they walked down the street, and watching her as she fawned over the accessories on display.

Then his mind turned on him and in horrifying betrayal, the imagined girl spun around with a bunny clip and proclaimed with an adorable smile, "This would look perfect on you, Kairi-chan!"

That sudden discrepancy caused him to stop short all of a sudden as his eyes snapped open as if from a nightmare, and he found himself before the school gates. He used them as an excuse to change the path of his mind and admired the building. Nostalgia flooded him and he spent a long moment just soaking it in. And when the clock tower chimed, he couldn't suppress a smile, and hurried through the gate.

Yeah, this year was gonna be awesome.
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:08 pm

The atrium of the first floor looked dark and dismal from the outside, though as Kai stepped inside he realized it was just the glare of the sun that made the first floor look so foreboding from outside. Before him was a large hallway, burnished flagstones beneath his feet forming intricate designs. In the center of the hallway was the bronze statue of a Japanese man, looking up from a book on his lap to level an ‘inspiring’ gaze at the doors behind him. Rows of doors lined either side of the bottom floor. Most of these rooms had closed doors and drawn blinds, though occasionally Kai could catch a glimpse of small rooms, usually with desks and chairs. The offices must be along here. Each was set with a little brass plaque as he walked along. Some of them were set with phrases he would expect, such as ‘Principal’s Office’ and ‘Financing’. Others had less understandable names. Kai had to pause at one, nearly asking a passing senior what exactly a ‘Vice Executive Assistant for Student Affairs’ did for the school.

He moved along the hallway, not quite exactly sure where to go. Normally he’d expect a sign along the wall to read the names of the classrooms, but so far, he had only seen offices...

He stopped at an intersection. Ahead he could see a flight of stairs, a brass sign by the stairs proudly proclaiming directions.

First Floor: Offices and First Year Education
Second Floor: Political Theory and Economics
Third Floor: History and Culture
Fourth Floor: Literature and Foreign Languages
Fifth Floor: Science and Mathematics


Kai felt his heart sink when he saw the sign. So they divided classes like American schools did? Lame. It took him a second or two to remember the signs here referred to specialized courses for upperclassmen, not general courses. At least, that’s what the school pamphlet and agenda sent to his house had said.

Oh, speaking of which...

Kai pulled his bag to his front, fishing around inside for a moment or two before pulling his agenda out. The school had sent him this in the mail a few weeks before. It contained a calendar of events, along with a listing of teachers, clubs and other things. Maybe something in here would help.
Sure enough, as he opened the front page, he could see a general summary of his personal information. Name, date of birth, blood type, emergency contacts, etc. In the corner was his homeroom number. 1-B. Well, at least he was on the right floor. But where was his class...

“Excuse me,”

The voice cut into Kairi’s thoughts like a hot knife. Standing next to him was a beautiful looking girl, dressed in a very pristine looking seifuku. A couple pins lined the collar of her uniform, giving her a slightly more casual look than her clothes let on. She held a small leather student’s bag in her hand, the Yoshida crest on the lid of the case giving it a very dignified look. What attracted Kai’s attention first however was the girl’s face. She had a very pretty face to be sure. Her cheeks were pale, with flawless skin and bright blue eyes framed by shoulder-length curly blonde hair. A splash of blue dye highlighted the ends of her bangs, which twitched coyly as she spoke again.

“Excuse me, are you lost?”

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:07 am

Kairi turned to face the girl, and though she was beautiful, he couldn't help but imagine what he'd have preferred to see. For one, he had to look up to answer her. "Um, yes. Yes, I am. My homeroom's 1-B, but all I can find are offices."

Yeah, his ideal girl would have to be shorter than him. With long, black hair, maybe back in a priestess braid, cute in the face, and both proper and sweet, but also energetic. And should have nicer legs than him.

That thought jarred him again and for the second time that day, he wanted to bash his brain for harassing him so. Instead, he focused again on the girl before him. "I'm Kai." He coughed as he felt embarrassed, realizing that was an entirely too informal introduction to be appropriate, especially since he was asking this girl for help, so he more formally bowed and amended, "My name is Aoki Kairi. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance."
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:58 am

“A first year, huh? Don’t worry. Everyone gets lost their first day. I’m Sophie. Sophie de Witte, sophomore. I’m the secretary of the Student Council.” The girl extended her arm with a smile, gently shaking Kairi’s hand before taking hold of her bag with both hands again. “Come on. I’ll show you the way.”

Sophie started forward, making her way towards the stairwell. As the two neared the stairs, Kairi could see an intersection, with two large hallways opening up to either side. He remembered passing two similar halls at the atrium.
Sophie led him confidently on through the tides of people around them, her small black shoes tapping against the granite flagstones. The halls here looked much more akin to what Kairi had imagined when he arrived at the school. Lines of lockers ran down either side of the hall, small placards emerging from the walls marking each room, starting with Room 1-F on his right. Inside, a Hispanic woman in business casual dress arranged the notes on the desk at the front of the class, ignoring the idle chatter of students filtering into the classroom.
A small white hand impatiently grabbed his arm, before pulling him ahead through the throng of people, the curly hair of his guide bobbing just ahead of Kai. They passed another classroom before turning to their right, passing another two before turning right again. Ahead Kai could see the statue of the school’s founder near the atrium, before Sophie turned to him with a small, albeit impatient, smile.

“Well, here we are, safe and sound. If you’ve any other questions, please, don’t be afraid to ask. The Student Council is here to--”

“Sophie!”

Sophie turned, catching sight of a small Japanese girl clutching her notebooks to her chest. Long straight black hair hung over either shoulder, a small smile glowing beneath two doe-like eyes. Sophie turned, waving to the girl, who must have stood maybe three inches shorter than the small Caucasian girl.

“Coming Aki!”

Sophie turned, giving Kai a single thumbs-up before turning and running after her friend. So this was his classroom...
The door swung open as Kai pushed, revealing desks arrayed in neat little rows. Charts, bookshelves and posters lining the walls. Students sat at their desks preparing for their day or in small groups, chatting about this, that or the other. It was comforting at least to think this kind of behavior seemed to be universal in every high school. Kai was just working up the courage to step inside when a voice spoke from behind him.

“You’re in my way, young lady.”

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:16 am

Now, that Aki girl, she was cute. Kai was lost a bit in that and only sort of vaguely remembered to wave goodbye to Sophie before turning to his classroom. With his back to the cutie, he was able to focus on what was in front of him. It was refreshing to see such a "normal" classroom, and he was trying to figure out which group he might best go with, and work up the courage to do so rather than just sit alone.

"You're in my way, young lady."

Kai yelped in surprise and jumped out of the way gushing apologies, only realizing in the wake that the balding, rotund teacher had gotten his gender wrong, and by then, it felt like the wrong time to bring it up. Instead, he made his way over to an empty seat and gave up trying to find a specific group, setting his bag on his desk and letting his shoulders slump.
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:57 pm

The man circled around the room, ignoring the talking and laughing students before placing his things at the desk at the head of the class. The 8:00 bell chimed, signaling the start of classes. A shuffling of feet soon followed, students meandering their way to their chairs as the morning announcements commenced. A chorus of voices chirped over the intercom, welcoming students back to class before alternating school announcements. These voices were little more than a dull murmur to Kai however as he slumped in his chair. Most of the other students seemed to take little interests in the announcements anyway, impatiently waiting for the class to start again. He seemed to recognize two voices on the loudspeaker. The first was the girl who had found him in the hall. Sophie, he thought her name was. The second was her friend…that cute girl Aki. She spoke very little during the announcements, but he felt his ears perk up every time she did, straining to hear her quiet, dulcet voice. The loudspeaker eventually turned itself off, before the teacher stood, placing one hand on the blackboard at the head of the class. The blackboard, which was unusually clear of grit and chalk, slowly began to glow as he did so, a Linux logo appearing in the corner as the teacher wrote his name on the screen with one finger.

“Good morning students. My name is Mister Uzuk. Now I expect you all to pay attention, and…”

His voice drifted off as Kai’s eyes lost focus and the boy began thinking of other things. Like holding Aki’s hand as the two walked home together after school…He thought he could hear a couple people talking, one after another, but it didn’t matter. He was enjoying an autumn walk with a beautiful girl. Aki turned, offering him a small smile. Kai thought he could hear Mister Uzuk talking. Aki stood on her tip-toes, her lips pursing. Mister Uzuk’s voice could be heard again, a little louder this time, even as Aki leaned in towards him...

Then, a crumpled up piece of paper struck Kai in the forehead, his thoughts shattering instantly.

“Kairi Aoki?!”

Kai stood up, doing his best not to look like he had just been daydreaming in class.

“Y-yes, here.”

“Hmm.” Mister Uzuk game Kai a long, assessing look. “Please pay attention in future, miss Aoki, I’ve no place for daydreamers in my class.”

Kai felt a faint blush come to his cheeks as he sat back down. Mister Uzuk turned back to the board, writing down a few more things with one extended finger before he spoke again.

“And please speak to someone from the office after class, you've clearly been issued the wrong uniform."

Kai felt his cheeks brightening more even as the faint laughter around him grew and died. Not only had he been taken for a girl by his teacher, but he had been reprimanded for dressing as a boy in front of the entire class.
The following few hours seemed to trickle away slowly. After Mister Uzuk's stern warning, it seemed dangerous to let his thoughts wander or try to make friends. The weather seemed to match his mood. At nine, the sky was dark with stormclouds. At half past ten, he could hear rain outside the window, even as Mister Uzuk droned on about world history. Finally, at twenty past eleven, the man checked his watch.

"Right, well you're all expected in the gymnasium at eleven-thirty for physical education, so I'll let you all out a few minutes early. Remember, after Phys Ed, you have a thirty minute lunch, then you're expected back here at one o'clock."

-----------------------------------------------

Kai pulled out his agenda, dejectedly eyeing the page with his locker number and combination on it. Well, his first day was off to a great start. He'd been called a cross-dresser in front of the entire class by his teacher, and had yet to make a single friend. Well, aside from maybe that Sophie girl. And the Aki he had met in his daydreams.
Kai turned to the locker, briefly feeling for a dial before realizing the front of the locker was set with a digital touchpad. He entered in the combination in his agenda, the door slowly opening as he finished. Well, things weren't all bad. The place still reminded him of home. A little. If he squinted, he thought to himself as he slid his books inside. All he could really do was hope nothing else crazy would happen today.

He slammed the door shut, only to expose the face of a junior-aged girl, who was cockily leaning against the next locker over, and aiming a very self-confident grin at him.

"Heya."

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:34 am

If Kai had any idea who the girl that was waiting on the other side of his locker door was, he might have thought the old classic, Speak of the Devil.

Instead, unaware the girl was even there, he actually jumped when he noticed her there, and her greeting was answered with a girlish yelp initially instead of a proper reply. "Um, hi," he finally managed, taking a tentative step back so they weren't so close, and honestly carefully gauging this newcomer to attempt to estimate if he were about to be the target of bullying. "Can I help you?"
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:23 pm

The girl seemed to ignore the question in lieu of eyeing Kai, still leaning with arms folded against the locker. Her uniform was odd, almost as though it were a size or two too small for her. Her skirt was an inch or two higher than the other girls and her socks coiled lazily about her ankle. In addition, the worn lapels on her uniform were blue, in contrast to Kai's white ones or the green ones of Sophie's earlier. Kai seemed to remember from somewhere the blue colors meant this girl was two years ahead of him.
Her uniform however was nothing compared to her figure. Beneath her uniform one could see she had a very athletic, toned body, extending from her small but sure feet, to her lithe legs, supple waist and an attractive if small bust. Her face however was what drew the eye. Despite appearing to be half Japanese, her eyes possessed the almond shape one might expect of a Japanese native, though her pupils were a brilliant shade of light blue. She had a small, cocksure grin on her face, that made Kai think she was hiding the answer to a joke he had half heard. Her hair looked like it was supposed to be a chestnut, wavy version of the Hime style. Key word 'supposed'. Her hair was so untrimmed and untended it was hard to tell if it was a deliberate attempt at a new aesthetic or if it was a happy accident. Vermilion highlights peered from beneath the fringes of her dyed titian-hued hair, implying that she might have placed more thought into her hair style than its untidy appearance might hint.

"Freshman, huh? You seem okay at least." The girl shoved her hand at Kai's chest, though it took him a moment or two for the boy to realize she was offering a handshake. "Makoto Fujioka, Junior. But only Principal Stiff calls me that. Pals call me Makoto."

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:24 pm

"Ah ... yes ..." the boy replied after flinching away from the sudden hand, then finally reached out and shook it, dipping his head at the same time. "It's a pleasure, Fujioka-san. I'm first-year Kairi Aoki."
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:00 am

Makoto didn't take his hand, instead lunging forward with one hand, giving a playful but firm punch to the shoulder.

"What, do you work for the government or something? My name is Makoto. Ma-ko-to." Makoto grinned at him as the boy rubbed his shoulder. "So, who'd you get? Hu, Hopps, Ramirez or Ol' Uzuk?"

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:51 am

He tried to make the rubbing of his shoulder look casual, like he was straightening his blazer, but it probably didn't look very convincing. "Uh, huh? For my homeroom teacher? Um, Uzuk-sensei." He rubbed again at his shoulder, more genuinely directed at the uniform covering it than the bruise under it this time. "He took issue with my uniform, he thinks I got the wrong one."
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:57 am

"Knew it!" Makoto said, pumping a fist triumphantly. "I totally called it! Serena owes me a coke. Yeah I knew it was him, the moment I saw you. Ol'Uzuk always was an old codger. I'll bet he didn't even tell you the way to the gym or the cafeteria."

...Now that was a good point. Where exactly WAS this gym Kai was supposed to be going to? Uzuk hadn't given instructions, beyond getting there before 11:30. And it wasn't like they'd issued him a map when he got here. He didn't have time to scour the building for the gym either. According to the clock, he had maybe six minutes to get to class before he was late. If the gym instructor was anything like his homeroom teacher, he wouldn't want to be tardy.

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:53 pm

"Um, well," the boy tried, rubbing the back of his long-haired head, "I just sort of assumed there would be an athletics building on campus, I guess. I hadn't really given it much thought."
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:46 am

“Dingding, fresh cigar for the first year! But which way is it?” Makoto asked, with an easy grin. “Is it…this way?”

She pointed down the hall Kai had come down, looping around a corner and along the First Year wing. Kai vaguely remembered seeing a sealed double door while being pulled—erm, helped—to class by Sophie.

“…Or is it that way? Or thatta way?”

Makoto pointed to the left, towards the flight of stairs that led up to the other four floors, before her other arm crooked behind her head, pointing down the side wing that faced the hall Kai found himself in. She let her arms fall before giving him a confident, yet somehow gentle smile.

“Kid, you’ve maybe five minutes to get to class, and you’ve no idea where you’re going. It could be clear on the other side of the school for all you know. Or across the track field outside. Luck for you, I’m on mah way to see Coach Yalu about Track. You can feel free to follow me if you like…” She crossed her arms and grinned. “Or you can assert your independence as a Freshman, find it on your own, and possibly get chewed out by Yalu or Coach Chasseresse. Seriously, first day on the job? They’re always hardasses."

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:53 am

Five minutes ... The idea of just heading outside and heading for the most obvious building that had been the assumed strategy before evaporated as the girl deliberately confused and spooked him. He adjusted his shoulder bag as if to have something to distract him. "Well, I mean, if you're heading there anyway, even if I knew where I was going, I'd just be effectively walking with you anyway, so I might as well just follow you, right?"
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:20 am

"Super!" The girl grinned at him over her crossed arms for a moment before turning, nodding her head back, presumably to signal him to follow her. "Follow me. Don't worry about being late, you're with Makoto now. You got diplomatic immunity."

Makoto slid into an easy walk as the two strolled towards the gym. At first she seemed okay just leading Kai, though by the end of the second hallway, she had fallen back enough that the two were virtually walking side by side. Makoto grinned again, giving Kairi an unabashed look at her pearly whites.

"So, where are you from Kairi? I'mah guessing you aren't from the West Coast? What's your old school like?"

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:47 am

"Oh, I'm actually from an east coast, but not this one," Kai replied. "I'm actually from Okinawa. My mother married an American soldier and so we moved when he came off of rotation. We spent a bit of time in Michigan, but not long. I like this school better, the layout is more like back home. In Grayling, the school was more traditionally western, and I really had trouble with it."
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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Madrigal » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:26 am

"Coolcool." Makoto said. She had a small, understanding smile on her face, in contrast to the moon-swallowing grin she had on her face earlier. "I grew up in Washington and California. All mah mates have been goin' to the same school as me since I was a kid. Almost everyone here knows me."

Makoto looked ahead, noticing a young man walking towards them, his lapels marked with a shade of green. Her lips seemed to give a twitch, perhaps in anticipation of proving herself. As the two neared, she swung her hand up in an animated gesture, as she practically yelled to her schoolmate.

"HEYA JAIME! HOW'S IT GOIN'?"

The student gave a start at that, as though expecting her to lunge at him. Kairi felt a strange sensation of deja vu watching the display. The student continued to stare at them as they walked past, only to slowly turn, shake his head and continue down the corridor. Makoto glanced back at Kairi, offering him that small, understanding smile from before.

"How about you? Did you make a lot of friends in Ok-in-awah or Mitchigan? I bet you have a lot of fond memories with ya mates."

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Re: Memories of Yoshida High (MadxNin)

Post by Ninmast » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:25 pm

Kairi watched the other student pass and felt a pang of sympathy. The way he reacted only reinforced the idea that the girl was some sort of bully.

"I had a lot of friends in Okinawa, yes," he confirmed. "We used to conspire for ways to get into the American base and eat burgers at the fast food places there. Why do you keep saying, ya mates?"
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