How I First Met You




It was a bright an early autumn morning, as little Kuki Sanban clutched her mother's hand nervously. Kuki and her mother was walking across the street as Kuki spotted her new school in America. She stared at the other children, running around, laughing and chasing their friends, and kissing their mothers goodbye before the school bell rang.

It was Kuki's first day of school. But unlike the other children, it was not their first day of school. She didn't start school on September like all the other kids because she had just moved in from Japan. That worried her because all of the other students must of already made friends. Poor Kuki was afraid that she'd be all alone.

"KUKI DAH-LING...Pay NICE OHKAY?" Her mother said as they reached the front of the building. Kuki looked away from her mother and down at the pavement, feeling very awful. All the kids looked at her weird as they ran by.

"yes mama." she said timidly.


"I'm afwaid!" she said suddenly. She wasn't ready to leave and was never more afraid in her entire life to be without her mother.

"WHY You FRAID?! Nothing to be FRAID."

"Wut if the teacher are mean." Kuki muttered softly.

"No No.." her mother said, shaking her head back and forth. "NO mean. Teecha heare to HELP yoo."

Kuki sighed sadly. "Wut if I dun make friends?" Her mother shook her head again.

"Dun WOHWIE! YOO make a LOT of fend."

Kuki was beginning to doubt herself. So convinced that she was the most miserable girl in school, her pouty lips began to quiver, and the tears started forming in the corner of her eyes. She gripped her mother's hand even tighter and tried to sniff away the tears

"NO NO KUKI! NO CRY!" Her mother said immediately. "NO CRY! CRYING FOR BAYHBIES."

She couldn't hold back the tears any longer. Feeling her tiny heart break, she began to cry freely, whining into her mother's hand.


Kuki started to bawl her eyes out, she couldn't take the pressure of facing this new and strange place. Her cries became louder as her mother spoke to her. She absolutely did NOT want to start the first day of school alone. She shook her tears strained face and pleaded for her mom not to make her go.


It was then that Kuki became hysterical. She threw her head back and began wailing as loud as she could.


"SHADAPP!!" she screamed. Frustrated, she ripped her hand away fiercely, throwing them into the air, and running far away as fast as her little legs could carry her. She continued to cry and scream and shatter all that was wonderful in the neighborhood. Every parent and child stopped to look at her as she fled into the school building bawling at the tops of her lungs.

Her mother was stunned. But relieved that she finally went inside school, she sighed, shrugged, turned around and left for home.

Outside of school, two young boys had witnessed the whole thing, they continued to watch her run off inside the building as they walked inside the front gate themselves. One of them was a skinny little bald boy with a big red sweater and plastic blue sunglasses that made him look real cool.

"Haha...look at her run." he said. The other boy was rather well rounded compared to his skinny little friend, and he wore a wrinkly blue shirt that had a picture of a colorful plane on it.

"Das sad..." he said.

"No! Das funny!" said the kid with the glasses.

"Nuh UH! 'Member YOU on YER first day of school, NIGEL!"

"NO! What?! Wud I do?" he said defensively.

"You were crying TWOO times as much as her!" said the round kid.

Nigel looked shocked and embarrassed.

"W-Well...SO WERE YOU Hoagie!" he said.

"NUH-UH! I remember!"

"No you don't." said Nigel.

"I wonder where's her mom." Hoagie pondered thoughtfully.

"I hope she's in our class."

"WHY?" Hoagie asked aloud.

"So we can be her friend!" Nigel replied flashing his friend a toothy grin.

"Oh Okay!" Hoagie agreed. "But you're weird." he added.

Later that morning, a staff had to take Kuki to her rightful class because she was wandering the halls, completely lost and sobbing.

She got to her classroom, with eyes still red and puffy.

"WHY HELLO THERE!" The teacher greeted with a huge smile that stretched ear to ear, creating millions of wrinkles across her face. "You must be our NEW student from JAPAN!!!"

Kuki smiled slightly and nodded.

"GREAT!! We'll take GOOD care of YOU!!!" and with that, the staff left, and Kuki entered her new classroom with her new teacher. "EVERYONE!!!" the teacher announced. "This is our new BRIGHT YOUNG student, KUKI!" All the kids looked up wordlessly. They stared at her for a moment, and Kuki stared right back with a shy smile. To her surprise, all the kids just went back to what they were doing. She sighed in frustration. "NOw KUKI, you just run along and make friends now okay?!"

The same boys that were in front of the school earlier looked up to see that same girl that had been crying like a baby.

"Hey, it's that crazy girl." said the round one to the skinny one.

"Yea I know." he said, as they pretended to play chutes and ladder. All they did was move the pieces around the board, thinking that was how it was played.

"Aren't you going to tell her to come play with us?" Hoagie said. He moved his piece up the ladder and up the chute to the finish line. "I WIN!" he exclaimed.

"NUH UH!!" Nigel said as he pushed Hoagie's hand away and pounded his piece on the finish line instead. "I WIN NOW." he announced.

"YOU CHEATED. YOU BIG UGLY CHEATER." exclaimed the round kid.

Kuki took a good look at the small room. There was a green chalk board, small chairs and tables for working on, a shelf with a lot of colorful books, another shelf with supplies and clay and all different kinds of beads, a toy box with many weird looking toys, the teacher's desk, a sink with paint brushes, windows with all different kinds of drawings on it, a mini refrigerator, a shelf with many square that had all of the children's lunch bags, jackets, and shoes, and her classmates that where sitting on the carpet doing all sorts of puzzles, playing games, and such. Not knowing what else to do, and being too scared to talk to all of the new people, she went over to one of the shelves and picked up a random book.

Tired and bored out of her mind, she spent the whole morning, looking at children's' picture books in a corner of the classroom by herself. She sighed.

Suddenly she heard a big noisy clanky ring. She looked up to see all of the children, cleaning up all of the toys they were playing with and putting them back into it's rightful place. She watched as they got up after they were done, and ran out the door, cheering, towards the playground.

Noticing the confusion, her teacher walked up to her, after all the kids had left, and told her she could go too.

"It's recess time Kuki, you could go outside and play now!"

She looked unsure. "Would you come with me?"

"Oh no! I can't I have stuff to do! Just follow your friends outside and ask them if you could play with them. There's balls and jump rope!"

"Oh okay."

The sun was blinding. SHe walked outside into the vast playground that was built on dirty black asphalt.

She spotted a group of girls playing with a big jump rope. There were two girls holding the rope at both ends, and a line that formed in front of it. Each girl took turns jumping through the rope as it swung, if they were successful, they went right back in the line. All the girl were chanting some song, as they jumped. It sounded like the ones she chanted back at Japan, but the songs she sang were in Japanese.

She wanted to play with them very badly. Without thinking, she didn't bother waiting in line, and jumped right into their game on another girl's turn. The little girl screamed as the rope entangle the both of them. Both Kuki and the girl tripped and fell to the ground. They all stopped singing their song, and some of the girls in line laughed, and so did Kuki. But the two girls holding the rope were not amused one bit.

"HEY! WHAT DO YA THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" Screamed one of the girls. She had light brown hair, and a big pink bow on the top of her head, she also had on a big pink poofy dress.

Kuki stopped laughing and looked up kind of scared. "W-What? It was funny." she said.

"It was FUNNY cause you fell on your FACE." Said the other one. She had glasses and was a lot chubbier, and hair done in pig tails that stuck on the side of her head.

"I-I'm sorry." Kuki apologize, and untangled herself from their jump rope.

"YOU BETTER BE. YOU RUINED OUR GAME." said the one in the pink bow.

"YEA!" said the chubby one. "SO PLAY SOMEWHERE ELSE."

None of the other girls complained as they resumed their game.

Feeling rejected, Kuki walked around the playground again looking for other people to play with. This was the second time today that she had her heart broken. But she didn't cry on it this time. It was harder to make friends than she thought.

This time, she spotted three weird looking boys playing with a big red handball. They were standing on a big white square that was drawn in on the ground with chalk. That square was also divided into four smaller squares. Each boy stood on a square, softly bouncing the ball towards eachother. She wondered if she could play with them.

"Hi." she said, as she walked up to the three. THey stopped bouncing the ball, to look at her.

"What do you want?" Said the tall one. He had long brown hair, that covered his eyes.

"What are you playing?" she said softly.

"Four Square." Said the blonde boy with the mushroom haircut. "DUH."

"Can I play?" she asked, shyly. She started to feel like the kids here in America weren't too friendly.

"I DUNNO." said the third kid. Strangely, he was wearing a football helmet that covered his whole head. She could hardly see his mouth, the helmet shadowed his whole face, except for his eyes. Why was he wearing a football helmet in the first place? she didn't know. The boys snickered. "I DUNNO, CAN YOU?!"

Kuki looked confused. "uh.."

The boy in the football helmet sighed. Well, atleast she think he did, she couldn't see his face. "It's 'MAY' I, STUPID. Learn CORWECT GRAMMAH."

"Uh...okay. So can I play?" she asked.

The kid in the helmet, faked a laugh, and looked at the other kids who did the same. He shook his head at them, while pointing his thumb at her. "She still doesn't get it! It's 'MAY' I!"

Kuki really didn't know what they were talking about. It was starting to annoy her but she still really wanted to play. "WELL?" she said.

The boys turned back to her, with an annoyed sigh. They thought about it for a moment, then looked at eachother with a mischievous smile and a strange glint in their eye.

"Suuure." Said the blonde kid, "you could play."

The tall one with the hair in his eye laughed quietly while rubbing his hands together. "Just step onto that empty square little girl."

"YAY!!" Kuki cheered. She was finally getting to play with some of her classmates. "Now WHAT?!" The girl chirped happily.

"Now we play...DODGEBALL!!"


Before Kuki could react, each weird looking boy magically brought out a hard yellow kick ball from behind their back and was ready to aim it at her.

"HEY WAIT! How do you PLAY this GAME!"

"READY?!" said the helmet boy, "GET SET, GOOO!!!!"

Kuki screamed and fell back as one of the balls hit her smack in the face, she rolled around the floor crying in agony as another one bounced strait on her head. The poor girl fell back to the floor and scrapped her chin on the ashault. She looked up with her tear strained face to see another ball coming strait for her head. She closed her eyes and was about to scream. But nothing ever hit her.

She slowly opened her wet eyes and was shocked at what she saw. How was that POSSIBLE?! One of the bullies, the tall one, was rolling around on the floor clutching his face and screaming out in pain.


SHe looked up with her watery eyes and noticed a totally different boy standing next to her.

"THAT'S RIGHT." he said. He was a really skinny boy with a pair of black shades, and was smiling strait at the three bullies. "Serves you RIGHT for picking on people!"

"YEA!!" Kuki whirled her head to her other side and found another kid defending her. He was more rounder, and he looked like he could be the friend of the kid with the shades. "WE'RE GONNA TEACH YOU A LESSON!!" he shouted.

Kuki was so relieved, she started to cry out a fresh batch of tears. This time she was so happy.

"YOU STAY OUT OF THIS HOAGIE!!" Said one of the bullies. The blonde one was about to toss another ball in his direction. But too late. Hoagie had in his hand his own yellow kickball, and to the blonde's surprised, he swiftly tossed it in the air and KICKED IT right in his face.

The blonde screamed and fell back also. Two down, one to go. Both the blonde and the tall guy was rolling around the floor, clutching their faces, and crying in agony. THe only one standing left was the bully with the football helmet. He looked down at his fallen companions, then up at the girl and her two saviors, in fear.

"YOU STILL WANNA PLAY DODGEBALL?!" said the kid with the sunglasses, that Kuki now learned was Nigel.

"YEA!" said the round kid that Kuki just discovered was Hoagie. She then looked at the kid with the football helmet she now knew was a bully.

He growled in anger, fists clenched, and feet that stood firmly on the ground. Kuki still couldn't make out his face inside that helmet, but she could pretty much guess he was steamed.


"Funny," said Nigel. "WE WERE ABOUT TO TELL YOU THAT!!" and with one swift moment, he brought a kick ball from the ground, and KICKED IT as hard as he could. It hit the kid right in the stomach, full blast, it got the wind knocked right out of him.

Helmet kid bent over the ashault in pain, clutching his stomach, wide eyed, and gasping for air. He fell on his knees and began to cry.

The two boys looked triumphant, and offered to help Kuki up.

"You okay?" said the round kid. He scooped his hand, and brought her up to her feet. She smiled in appreciation.

"Thanks guys," she said as she wiped her teary eyes with the back of her dirty hand. The skinny kid, Nigel, looked at her and saw that the end of her chin was bleeding. He informed her of it.

"'re bleeding. Right here." He said, and rubbed his chin.

"Huh?" She dabbed the end of her chin with her own dirty hand and was surprised to find a small amount of blood.

"uh oh." said Hoagie.

In an instant, her eyes began to well up again.

"NO WAIT! Don't CRY! It'll be okay!!" the boys pleaded.

During the rest of recess, Nigel and Hoagie took Kuki to the nurses office. She stopped crying after awhile, and after the bell rang, Nigel and Hoagie stayed behind to look after her. She lied down on a bed, and the nurses cleaned and treated the wound on her chin. After that, she bandaged it up, and told Kuki she was allowed to go back to class. But she protested, and told her that her head hurt cause the ball had hit her twice. The nurse agreed, and gave her a pack of ice. Then offered Kuki to call her mom, but Kuki said no.

"So...what's your name anyways?" Asked Nigel.

"I'm Kuki Sanban." she said, smiling a big smile.

The two boys smiled a big smile back, baring what teeth they had.

"I'm NIGEL!" said the skinny one.

"Hoagie P. GILLIAN Jr!!" said the round one.

"Wh-Who were those three kids?" Kuki asked shyly. Referring to the weird looking boys that had abused her earlier.

Nigel was about to answer when just those three kids bursted into the nurses office.



"And my FACE hurts."

They all wailed, crying at the same time. Alarmed, the nurse quickly ran to all three of them.

Kuki gasped. "They're back."

"Don't worry. They won't do anything in front of a grownup." Nigel said knowingly. I've picked a fight with these kids before." Hoagie nodded.

They sat down on separate chairs across the room. They were too busy crying and whining that they didn't even acknowledge Kuki and the boys. They continued to cry while a frantic nurse went around checking if there was any serious boo-boos. She ran around to get them some ice.

Just then, two others girls bursted into the room. Kuki recognized them as the two horrible girls that wouldn't let her play jump rope before. It was the girl with the pink bow and poofy dress, and the chubby girl with glasses and pigtails. They went over to the three crying boys immediately.

"WHAT happened to you?!" shrieked the girl with the pig bow.

"Why are you crying?!" exclaimed the other one.

One of them stopped blubbering, to answer the inquiring girls.

"I-It was..I-I-It was...I..." he said between sobs and hiccups. He paused as the nurse came back inside the room with ice. "I'll tell you later." he whispered shakily, while eyeing Kuki and her friends, Nigel and Hoagie. The girl with the bow turned her head to see what he was staring at and found the same girl who had rudely interrupted their game of jump rope before. She stared at them icily before turning back her attention to the hurt boys.

"W-Who are they?" Kuki whispered. Nigel gave them a dirty look before turning towards Kuki.

"They're the Delightful Children From Down the Lane." he said, as quietly as possible so they wouldn't hear.

"The-WHAT?!" said Kuki.

"SHH!!" Hoagie hushed. "The-Delightful-Children-From-Down-the-Lane!" he echoed. "But they're not at all DELIGHTFUL."

"Yea!" said Nigel. "They're really mean and bossy, but they SUCK UP to the adults. And I just HATE adults."

"Yea...we got to do something to stop them." said Hoagie. "What they did to you today was the WORST. And I mean it."

"Yea.." said Nigel. "I can't believe you even survived those kick balls. They got you TWICE in the head!"

Kuki blushed and look down. "yea, i know."

"Ya know, we really ought to do something." Hoagie suggested.

"YEA!" said Nigel. "I've been wanting to get back at them SO bad! And the mean grownups!"

"Let's pretend we're SUPERHEROS!" Kuki exclaimed.

"No. I dun wanna pretend..." said Nigel very serious. "I really wanna kick some BUTT."

"Then let's make our OWN club then!" said Hoagie.

"You're a GENIUS! Hoagie!" Nigel said a little too dramatically. He grabbed his friend's head, and pretended to kiss him all over.


"And only the GREATEST of kids can join." Nigel said, getting so excited.

"LIKE US!" said Hoagie.

"And we'll fight off the bad guys and evil grownups..." Nigel continued.

Kuki watched as the two boys got hyper.

"But what shall be call it?!" cried Hoagie.

Nigel thought for a minute. He thought about the name, Delightful Children from Down the Lane. "hmmm....Children from down the lane....down the lane....I KNOW. we can be...the Kids NEXT DOOR!!" he shouted. It was the most creative thing a first grader could come up with. He was so proud of himself.

"YEA!!" agreed Hoagie. "DAS PERFECT. We can be....CODENAME, Kids Next Door." he said as he posed like a Charlie's Angel. He never felt so smart in his life.

"We can be like...secret AGENTS." cheered Kuki, who jumped down from the bed feeling all better now. The three of them dismissed themselves from the nurses office, and continued to talk about their idea while heading back to their room.

"Now we just need super secret names," Hoagie said full of thought.

"I KNOW!!" cried Nigel. "I'll be SUPER MASTER Nigel!"

"No! No one can know it's US." said Hoagie.

"How about we just call eachother by numbers" suggested Kuki.

"Das a great idea!" said Nigel. "I'll be numbuh one, since I'M THE LEADER, and I'M THE COOLEST."

"NO!! I wanna be the leader!! I came UP with the IDEA." said Hoagie.

"NO. I'm coolest. You can be numbuh two, das still good."

"okay." he gave up.

"And YOU, you'll be numbuh three." Nigel granted.

"ME?!" said Kuki.

"Yep! you're our friend now, you get to hang around US!!"

Kuki was touched, she smiled happily. "Thanks." She said softly.

Throughout the year, the three of them became the BEST of friends. They did everything together and the three youngsters did everything they could for their secret organization. Nigel had his dad built them a treehouse. And Kuki adopted 10 hamsters that made many many babies there. Hoagie became obsessed with planes and inventions. And did all of his work at his office in the tree house. They didn't add any additional members, because Nigel felt that only special kids can join, and if they proved themselves worthy then that person would take the honorary title as Numbuh Four. But so far, Nigel didn't think any of the kids have proven themselves worthy yet.

Kuki was a lot happier person after she met Nigel and Hoagie. And she was able to fit in real well with all the rest of the kids that year.


"WHY?! What makes you think she's good enough to be in OUR club."

"Cause she's my fwend?"

As for the Delightful Children from Down the Lane, they stayed clear out of Kids Next Door's way. But that didn't stop them for tattling on Nigel, Hoagie, Kuki, and any of the other kids whenever they had the chance.

Things changed however for all of them, when they entered the second grade. A brand new bad boy in town emerged from down under that went by the name of Wallabee Beetles. Was he a friend or a foe? And does he have what it takes to become Kids Next Door Member Numbuh 4? FIND OUT, IN THE UPCOMING CHAPTER.