Once Upon a Day

Yumi sat resolutely still in her chair, quiet and observant, as students slowly started to file into the classroom. Some of the children were dropped off directly by their parents, others came in on their own. Vaguely, she wondered who it would be that she would have to sit next to. Would they be friendly? Would they talk to her? Or would they sneer? She was afraid to find out.

She turned her head, glancing over at the teacher. Miss Aino was busying herself at her desk, seemingly unaware of anything else at the moment. The stacks of numerous papers on her desk kept most of her attention.

"Awe, come on. Pretty please on a cherry on top?" A voice a little louder than the rest of the student body wandered over to her ears.

"Mom gave me the pudding because I got an A on the spelling test. There's no way I'm sharing that!" This one, a girl, stated quite firmly. The child who seemed to be begging for the aforementioned pudding, whom now that Yumi could see, had messy blonde hair and purple eyes. Still, he pleaded. "Oh, come on! I shared my ice-cream yesterday!"

"Yeah, after you stole it from me!" The girl too was donning a head of long blonde hair and prominent, sparkling blue eyes.

"Come on you two, enough all ready!" Walking next to the two of the them was a little brown-haired boy with blue eyes, striding with a very noticeable air of confidence.

Why these children seemed to have captured Yumi's attention so abruptly was still a bit of a mystery, but as the trio walked over to their table which, inevitably, was the very spot in which Yumi was now sitting, she became nervous. These kids sounded loud, boisterous, and happy. Surely they were the popular ones. Gods, what would they think of her?

All three children stopped in mid-stride, now noticing another occupant at their set of desks. The little blonde-haired girl plopped down in a desk opposite and to the right of Yumi, starring at her intently. "Hi there."

Yumi fidgeted slightly. "H-hi."

The other two boys sat down too, the blonde boy next to the girl, the brown-haired boy sitting next to Yumi.

"Who are you," the blonde boy asked, almost incredulously, but very curiously.

She hesitated a moment. "I-I'm Yumi. I'm new here."

It was a huge relief to see a smile spread across the blonde girl's face. "Well hi! Welcome! My name is Kiko, and this is my little brother Jon." She nudged her elbow softly into her brother's side, causing him to make a face. "Only by three minutes!" he cried indignantly.

"My name is Koka," the brunette next to her said matter-of-factly. Kiko grinned. "He's our cousin. He tries to be all serious like his daddy, but it never works for long. "

"It's nice to meet you," Yumi greeted.

Koka made a face, much like Jon had. "Girls," he muttered.

"You're twins," Yumi asked tentatively, trying to start up some conversation. Silence was always so awkward.

"Yep," Kiko replied proudly. "Mama always says that it was a race to see if it would be her or Auntie Shizuka that would have their baby first. But since Mama was pregnant with twins, she says we were born earlier. Otherwise, Koka would have been born first."

It was quite obvious that Kiko was very sure of herself, and would probably love talking one's head off. Yumi smiled and nodded in affirmation. Must be nice to have family like that.

The bell rang above their heads, and everyone hurriedly found their seat. Yumi sighed inwardly. At least the people she was sitting next to were friendly.

"All right class, settle down, it's time to start the day. First off, I'd like to start with a little bit of reading. . . ."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Recess was always a nightmare. The same thing everyday. Go out, sit on the swings until the bell rang, then try to avoid the awkward glances she received back in the classroom.

She was never in on the jokes or activities that went on whilst everyone else was engaged in a game of tag, or dodge ball, or four square, so she could never join in on the conversations when everyone went back into class.

Why would this school be any different, though? Who would she know to play with half-way through the year? And so, when lunch got out and everyone went to the playground, she quietly walked over to the swings, ready to waste away yet another afternoon.

"Hey, Yumi! Where are you going?"

Yumi turned quickly around, eyes wide, starring at Kiko as she bounded up next to the crimson-haired child.

"I was going to go to the swings," she said confused. Where else would she go?

"We missed you at lunch, Yumi! We're going to have a game of tag, wanna play with us?" Kiko's blue eyes glittered with excitement and warm friendship.

Yumi's mouth went slack. "Y-you mean it," she nearly spluttered.

"Of course!" The blonde-haired girl hooked Yumi's arm in her own and dragged her off to the set of two large oak trees that always served as a safe spot from the person who was 'it'.

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Yumi happily bounded out of the school at the end of the day, a large grin plastered on her face. Yuugi was quite surprised to see her launch herself in his direction, jumping up and giving him a big hug. "Kon'ni'chiwa Otousan! I had such a good day!" she exclaimed excitedly.

Yuugi laughed delightedly. "I can see that. Did you make some new friends?"

She nodded vehemently. "Three of them!"

"What are their names," Yuugi inquired.

"Jon, Kiko, and Koka! We played tag today, and Kiko said that I can eat lunch with them tomorrow, and maybe even play some Duel Monsters!"

Suddenly, Yumi's smile faded, but only a little. "I just remembered I don't have a deck," she stated to herself, but Yuugi had heard.

The man blinked. "You don't have a deck?"

Yumi shook her head no.

"Do you have any cards?"

Another shake of her head.

Yuugi looked on triumphantly, scooping the young girl up and plopping her in the front seat of his car. "Then do I have a surprise for you."

And with that, he whisked her away back to their little home, Yumi quite befuddled as to what her Otousan was so happy about at the moment.

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Gahh!!! Short! Icky! Blah! Icky! Icky! Icky! I really hope the next chapter turns out better. And I was supposed to update Gemini and Talks of the Past this weekend, but I see how well that turned out. Damn, I got so stuck on this chapter!!! BLAH!!!!!!

Oh well, R&R. Please?