Disclaimer: I don't own anything… except…100 REVIEWS!!! I applaud you all for your excellent reviewing skills. In fact, I am doing the jig whilst I write this (and that is a difficult task, might I add, to be typing at the same time as I am bouncing around).
Monday, July 18
"Usagi! You must come see these lovely pictures of you and your father."
I looked over at my mom suspiciously as I picked up my school bag. It was too early to deal with her absurd ramblings of parental lunacy, so I just submitted and ambled over to her.
I stared in horror at the pictures in my mom's hands. They were of me in the motorbike frowning while my dad waved at the camera and did various macho poses. I couldn't believe it. Now the worst moment of my life was sealed into our family albums.
I quickly snatched the photos from my mother and stuffed them into my school bag.
"Nobody can ever see these," I said seriously.
My mom seemed to not have heard me. "Oh, do show all your friends, love. I'm sure it would be such a delight!"
I quickly turned around and walked out the door.
How boring. I'm quite sad, too. I wanted to wear a false mustache to school today to try and liven my spirits, but then I remembered I absolutely cannot get detention. I had major plans to spy on Rei and Mamoru on their so-called "coffee meeting." If I sensed even the slightest inkling of a kiss I was going to tackle Rei and possibly bombard her with water balloons.
I couldn't miss that for anything, not even a false mustache.
I yawned and Ms. Haruna shot me the evil-eye. She is so unreasonable. I once saw her yelling at a first year and it startled the student so much he fell over into a shrub. Can you imagine? At the time it was quite funny but now she had turned her punishing glare to me. She was just waiting to give me a detention, I knew she was. I had to remember to stay in line… just for one day.
Why do I have the sudden urge to start disco-dancing?
Goddd. It's impossible. I am so restless I am going to burst out of my skin. I blame Rei entirely. If she wasn't such a traitor then I could disco-dance proudly and get detention and it wouldn't matter. Instead I have to be a good student.
How am I supposed to do that???
I just realized I am going to have to face Mr. Lathem today after the whole fiasco of getting kicked out of the Rain Stair Rods gig. Perhaps he has forgotten it by now…
Who am I kidding? I am doomed.
Finally back in class. Ms. Haruna was going on about something pointless while I was busy writing a note to Makoto.
I'm bored and on edge. Will you help me fill up water balloons at lunch?
I passed it over to Makoto and she set me her 'are you kidding?' look. I smiled at her sweetly and she rolled her eyes. I knew in her heart she was saying yes. I couldn't hold it in any longer so I did a bit of celebratory disco-dancing in my seat.
Ms. Haruna was glaring at me.
"What are you doing, Usagi?" she yelled.
I immediately stopped my disco-dancing and said, "I had to shift around in my seat. I think I've got influenza."
Ms. Haruna wasn't amused. "Is that so?"
"Yes. Actually, I'm feeling a bit feverish." I suddenly had the greatest urge to start my impression. My chin started to poke out a little bit but I had to shun it with a firm hand before I got carried away.
"I think you are lying to me, Usagi," Ms. Haruna growled.
"Well, there's always a lie in the ointment, Ms. Haurna," I said wisely.
"What is that supposed to mean?" she demanded loudly.
I didn't know what it meant so I said, "Would you like to see my life-like influenza impression?"
I'm in the bathrooms filling up water balloons with Makoto.
"Ms. Haruna is soooo unreasonable when it comes to my impression. I am commending her teaching by demonstrating my complete comprehension of influenza attacks. She thinks I am mocking her."
Makoto looked at me.
"What?" I asked, turning to the sink to try and fill up a water balloon.
"You are mocking her."
Makoto sighed. "Why am I doing this again?" she asked, as she effortlessly tied a balloon and put it my bunny knapsack where the rest of my ammo laid.
"I need to be prepared," I explained, attempting to remove my quickly growing balloon from the faucet before it exploded. Unfortunately, I was too late and the balloon burst in my hands, soaking me for the third time already.
"Heh, Usagi-chan… maybe I should just do all of them," Makoto said.
"I can do it!" I yelled, snatching another balloon from the bag and hooking it once again around the faucet. I was determined that this operation wouldn't be spoiled. Not by false mustaches or exploding balloons; Not by influenza or klutz attacks. I would make sure Mamoru stayed strictly in line.
"But, Usagi-chan… you aren't really going to throw these at Rei-chan and Mamoru, are you?"
"That depends," I said, wrestling with the water balloon once again. "If she tries to kiss him then I just might."
"I don't think she'll try and kiss him," Makoto said reasonably, "It's just coffee."
I managed to get the balloon off of the faucet and turned around to glare at Makoto, clasping the end of the balloon in my fist. "JUST coffee? Just COFFEE? How can it be JUST COFFEE if he is going to personally pick her up in front of all those girls at her school?"
"Well, maybe he's just being nice…"
"JUST BEING NICE?" I demanded. "Since when is Mamaoru-baka even close to being nice to anyone… EVER?"
"Look, Usagi-chan, I know you are upset because Mamoru asked Rei to coffee–" Makoto started.
"Yes, I am."
"And because he isn't your boyfriend –"
"Even after all this time of boy entrapment –"
"And hasn't bothered to talk to you or call, leaving you lonely and sad –"
"Mako-chan, shut up."
"What? I was only trying to say that –"
"That is not shutting up, Mako-chan. That is talking."
The bathroom fell silent except for the sound of Makoto sink pouring water.
I was so angry I didn't realize I was tightening my grip around my water balloon. It popped with a startling noise and I jumped in surprise.
Makoto tried not to laugh, but I saw her chuckling when she turned back to the sink.
What a fascist.
I am walking very slowly with the bunny knapsack in my arms. If I lost my footing at all I would be in a big slippery mess.
Makoto was walking next to me but she didn't seem nervous at all. I was practically shaking because we were going to P.E. with Hot Rick. He was probably just thinking of all the torture he could put me through to make up for my illegal activities this weekend. P.E. teachers never like me. It's not my fault I am inept at sports. Or that I go to dance clubs too old for me.
Perhaps I could fling a water balloon at Hot Rick to show him my throwing skills?
Oh my giddy god god. Don't let me think of my P.E. teacher soaked.
With nice biceps.
Rick was looking at me as he named our teams for volleyball. I wondered if he could tell I had been imagining throwing a balloon at him. Oh my goddd, this is not good. He is my teacher and also hates me.
We all separated into our teams and Mr. Lathem pulled me aside.
"Ms. Tsukino, if you don't participate today I will give you zero marks again."
"Yes sir," I replied. Then I did a little salute with my eyes crossed. I thought it was quite funny but Mr. Lathem just frowned at me.
"I'm warning you," he said quietly before turning back to the rest of the class.
I swear. It's a tiring job to bring liveliness to a school of somber, old people, but somebody has to do it.
P.E. ended with only a small number of flukes. Mainly they involved volleyballs hitting me in the face, but I think Mr. Lathem could see I was trying. It also gave me a chance to take my mind off of the Rei-Mamoru-fiasco. Every time I thought about it my insides seemed to knot together.
As we all changed back into our regular school uniforms I checked on my water balloons. I also saw the ridiculous photos of me and my father in the motorbike so I stuffed them as far down as I could. The balloons were all safely nestled in my knapsack like I had left them. I got nervous at the prospect of using them, but I knew it was necessary. Sometimes you have to fight for what you lurve!!
School bell rang.
Yessss!!! I am free!
Just a quick dash into the bathroom for some lip gloss and sex kitten appeal before I zoom off to Rei's school.
Ready for Mamoru in less than 2 minutes. This must be a new record.
Run, run, pant, pant.
Outside Rei's school gates.
I was crouched down behind a low wall and watching as all the girls in Rei's school spilled out into the courtyard. They were all talking and laughing, flipping their hair about. I noticed a lot of them stopped to roll up their skirts and I cursed them for having shorter skirts than we did.
After a minute of scanning I spotted Rei. She was walking by herself, her expression confident and stoic. I knew in her heart she was all girlish and delighted and it made me sick to think about it. I also noticed that she was wearing make-up – something Rei hardly ever did. How dare she!!
Suddenly I heard someone say, "He isn't here yet, is he?"
I literally jumped I was so startled. I swirled around and realized Minako was kneeling beside me, clutching her school bag and breathing heavily. She was still quite orange, but it didn't seem so extreme in the light of the sun.
"Minako-chan!" I hissed, "You shouldn't surprise me like that! I am carrying a knapsack of explosive devices!"
Minako seemed alarmed until I let her peek into my bag and she saw the water balloons nestled in there.
"Are those photos?" she asked, reaching her hand into my bag.
"No!" I yelled, trying to stop her, but it was too late.
She pulled them out and started crowing with laughter. "Oh my god! You're wearing a ridiculous helmet!" Minako cried, as she clutched her side in stitches.
I grabbed the pictures and immediately stuffed them into my pockets, furiously trying to hide my humiliation."You can't tell anyone what you saw!" I yelled at her and Minako just kept laughing.
"Come on, you've got to shut-up, Rei-chan is gonna look over here if you keep that up!"
Minako stifled her giggles as best as she could, and seemed to calm down after a minute.We remained crouched low behind the wall, wary of the nuns patrolling around. I was so high-strung I thought I might start hurling water balloons at helpless nuns and running around wildly pretending to have flagella as arms. Minako wasn't helping calm any of my anxiety.
"Oooh, I'm so nervous. Ooooh. Oooh."
"Shut-up Ooohing," I snapped.
I had my glare fixed on Rei as she waited patiently for Mamoru to show up. How pathetico. What if he never came? What if he had only meant it as a cruel joke on Rei? I felt a flicker of hope inside of me. Maybe it was all some complicated ploy to make me his girlfriend.
That wasn't too far-fetched, was it?
Then I saw Mamoru pull up in his red sports car. All the girls in the courtyard ogled like loons. He actually got out of the car and walked around to open the passenger door for Rei. I couldn't believe it. All of Rei's classmates immediately started to whisper and point. I could tell all the girls were jealous of Rei being with such a gorgeous guy. I was so flustered at this point I almost got up and walked away.
But then I heard a voice say, "I can't believe him!"
I swirled around and saw that Makoto was crouching down with us too.
"Mako-chan, when did you get here?" I asked, bewildered at how my friends kept popping up without me knowing.
"Er, just now."
I turned back to the horrible scene in front of me just in time to see Mamoru slam his door shut. Then he revved his engine and all the girls in the courtyard squealed in delight. Within a split second his car was peeling down the road and he was out of sight.
Run, run, pant, pant.
Minako and Makoto were running along with me. We didn't want to miss a minute of the infamous "coffee meeting." I glanced over at them, feeling a surge of hope since my friends were still by my side. Maybe I was wrong to doubt Rei. She was my Best Friend. She wouldn't betray me, would she?
With a sudden awareness, I realized Ami had somehow joined us and was running along towards the arcade.
"Ami-chan!" I called out gleefully.
"I knew you'd come along," Minako said, giving Ami a nudge.
Ami blushed scarlet but stayed silent.
I saw the arcade looming ahead of me and I felt a pit in my stomach form. This was it. Live or die. A battle for lurve. I felt a bit like a wild knight about to charge into a castle. I even made a noise like a horse and called, "Charge onward with lurve!"
With a screeching halt, the four of us came to a stop before the windows of the arcade. I peeked my head around the corner and peered through the glass towards the booths.
"We'll have to go inside, I can't see anything," I whispered.
"Okay… on the count of three we go hide in the first booth," Minako commanded. "One… Two… Three!"
There was a mad scramble as we rushed through the doors and crammed ourselves into the first booth, each popping our heads up to look towards the remaining tables. I had my eyes trained to spot Mamoru's raven locks, but it was to no avail. With a sinking in my stomach I realized that Mamoru hadn't taken Rei here. He had probably taken her to a special café where they could talk privately and intimately about all sorts of things. It really was like a date. He wasn't just meeting with her to talk over coffee…
The others seemed to have come to the same conclusion and we all sunk into our seats to stare blankly at one another.
Makoto was the first to speak up.
"I'm sorry, Usagi-chan… Perhaps we can still find them and use the balloons –"
"There's no need," I said quietly.
Nobody seemed to know what to say. I kept glancing over my shoulder in some bizarre hope that Mamoru would come strolling through the arcade doors like he always did. The more I did it, the worst I felt. Mamoru wasn't coming to the arcade today because he was off with Rei in some secluded café… where they were unguarded from my attacks. Perhaps they were cuddling right now, kissing under the dim light of a candle…
I couldn't hold it in anymore.
"I hope whelks really do suck her face off!"
There was a beat of silence before Minako responded. She seemed distantly sad, like she did the morning after Michiko's party. "Don't worry about Rei-chan," she said quietly. "She's a good friend." Then she smiled a little, shaking her head.
It was quiet while I let that soak in. I still felt really angry.
"What should I do?" I asked my three friends.
Then Minako said, "He likes you, Usagi-chan. Come on. Let's walk home together."
The way she said it made me want to believe it too.
Minako and I linked arms together and we walked out of the arcade.
I turned to look at Minako, her long bangs hanging in her eyes. The orange glow of the afternoon sun made her skin look very nearly normal, but it still struck me as funny that she was orange. I wanted to joke about it, but I knew something was bothering her.
"What's wrong, Minako-chan…?" I asked, my voice low.
"Oh, you know, my mom and all…" and she trailed off. I knew Minako and her mom weren't exactly on the best terms at all times.
"Yeah," I said, trying to leave it open for her to say more.
"And Rei-chan and everything."
I was in deep thought about all of this. I thought about Minako always helping me with my silly boy entrapments. She was always so fierce and willing to plunge in with my crazy ideas. It wasn't fair for two beautiful, fun-loving girls to be down in the dumps. And over what? Mamoru and Rei? I made a definite decision to put my trust in Rei and to not let it get us down anymore.
It was quiet a moment and I suddenly stopped and grabbed Minako by the shoulders.
"This is it! You said it yourself. Rei is a good friend. And lurve is a battlefield!!"
Minako blinked at me.
"We've got to be infectious!" I yelled enthusiastically.
"What?" Minako asked, truly bewildered.
"Come on, laugh with me, Minako-chan."
"I don't think we should –"
"Are we, or are we not, the most cunning pals on the face of the earth?" I demanded, waving my bag in her face.
"That's right. And it's time to tilt our heads back and laugh! Infectiously!" Minako didn't seem convinced so I kept going. "I let you see me in a helmet. And pink pajamas. And in a clown's motorbike with a crazy man."
Minako was still looking at me oddly, but a small smile was hidden on her lips.
I began laughing out loud to prove my point. It really was a horrible noise and people around us turned to look at me but I didn't care. I raised my chin and started to laugh, hands on hips proudly. Then I couldn't stop laughing.
And before I knew what was happening we were in a full-fledged laugh attack in the middle of the sidewalk.
Minako and I were trying to calm down from our laughing fit. We leaned up against the wall of a building and watched all the people walking past us, giggling in random outbursts.
"You really did look ridiculous like that," Minako said.
"I mean, you were in your pajamas and had a helmet. And your dad!! With all those poses."
"You really shouldn't let anybody else see those photos. You look completely mental in them."I was getting exasperated with always saying, "I know" so I just stayed silent.
Suddenly a group of young boys stopped in front of us. I knew their school uniforms put them at my school, but I still felt slightly alarmed to be confronted by so many short boys. It was like I was suddenly at a midget convention and they all wanted to hang out with me. One of them, the bravest of the group, stepped forward and said, "Would you ladies fancy a cigarette?"
I looked at the small boy incredulously and said, "Excuse me if I am wrong, but aren't you twelve?"
"I'm thirteen," the boy said defiantly, puffing out his chest.
Was he crazy???
"We only smoke out of our ears," Minako said suddenly and I turned to look at her. She was grinning wildly at me and that was all it took.
We were both off laughing again hysterically as the group of boys looked on.
"Well, right. We've got to be running. I've got a phone call. Dig you later," the boy said as they scurried off.
Walking along with Minako singing and linking arms.
"If things don't work out in the boy arena, I guess we can always make it with some twelve year olds," I said reasonably, as we rounded another corner towards my house.
Minako laughed and said, "Usagi-chan, what would I do without you?" Then she actually hugged me. "I've better run off home now, but I'll call you later!"
We said our goodbyes and she walked off towards her house. I certainly felt better than I had about the whole Rei-fiasco. I had wonderful friends and a million years to have a boyfriend. I'm sure Rei wasn't a traitor and had said only good things about me to Mamoru.
I happily swung my bag and skipped along towards my house, not a care in the world. But then suddenly with a crash I ran into someone's rather hard chest.
I fell to the ground and realized that I was completely soaked from the popping of all the water balloons in my knapsack. I looked up through sopping bangs at Mamoru, who consequently was standing with a giant, dark and dripping spot on the front of his shirt and pants.
"Odango, what in the world…?"
"I had water balloons," I said faintly, still sitting on the ground. I held up the squashed knapsack meekly, which was seeping with funnels of water. A small pool was gathering around my spot on the ground, so I pushed myself up and stood to face Mamoru.
Oh my giddy god god. He looked so gorgeous. Like, really gorgeous. He was even more gorgeous than he was an hour ago getting into his car because he was so close to me."Why did you have water balloons?" he asked suspiciously.
"It was for a battle of high proportions," I proclaimed, feeling my fervor for life fill me up even though I was standing in front of the most gorgeous man on the planet soaking wet.
Suddenly I saw Mamoru bend down to pick something up off of the floor. With sudden horror I realized it was the photos that had been stuffed in my pocket, which were now dripping wet and in Mamoru's hands.
"Noooo!" I yelled, attempting to grab them away from Mamoru. I managed to get a hold of them and tugged on them viciously, desperate for Mamoru not to get a good look. With a loud rip, the photos split in half. I held half of the photos in my hand, crumpled in my fist. I realized that Mamoru still had the portion of the photos where I was frowning in the sidecar of the motorbike.
He looked down at them and couldn't help but smile. I was instantly scarlet and began babbling about being forced into by my crazy family. When I realized Mamoru wasn't saying anything I fell silent and stared at the ground in humiliation.
Mamoru was quiet before he said, "Listen, Usagi, I wanted to talk to you…"
"Well, I wanted to get Rei's opinion first, since I know she is you Best Friend… and I just… I wanted to apologize for earlier, with the whole… thing…"
I had never seen Mamoru struggle with words before. It was actually a very endearing thing to watch and I felt myself instantly turn gelloid and dither-spazed, as if I wasn't already. The fact that Mamoru was still holding the most embarrassing photos of me in his hand made me want to fall over and die on the spot. He ran his fingers through his dark hair and kept his eyes pinned on me. Oh goddd, he was so gorgeous.
"You shouldn't apologize," I said, masking my embarrassment with fake confidence, "Not everybody can resist my charming ways. Often times, people want to fling themselves at me in an uncontrolled manner. In fact, just earlier a group of small children decided to –"
"Usagi," Mamoru interrupted.
I instantly froze and stared up at him. I tried not to blink, because not blinking is supposed to be attractive.
He looked down once again at the photos in his hands and smiled. "You're such a ridiculous girl," he said for the millionth time.
I opened my mouth to start yelling at him for always being so cruel when Mamoru suddenly grabbed me into his arms and crushed his mouth into mine. I instantly felt weak and was glad Mamoru was holding onto me so tightly to keep me upright. It was excellent kissing, the best yet. His mouth was so warm and welcoming, and I wanted to know every gorgeous part of it. My whole body was melting into his arms and I couldn't think about anything except for his lips on mine. And even though we were both sopping wet and Mamoru had seen me not once, but twice, in my pajamas in a clown's motorbike, it was the best moment of my life.
Eventually he said, "I've wanted to do that for a long time, but I know it's wrong." He was still holding me quite tightly and close to him.
"Why?" I asked, my brain completely scattered. All I could think about was kissing him again and again.
"Well, you're so young, Usagi… And I thought you hated me but Rei told me otherwise…"
Thank God for Rei-chan!! She was the Bestest Friend I could ask for!
For some reason I said, "Well I was going to throw water balloons at you two if she was out to snatch you…"
Mamoru actually laughed. "That is completely ridiculous…"
"Do you have to keep saying that?" I asked, pouting a bit.
He set his eyes on mine, deep and blue. "I like that about you," he said quietly.
Then I actually grabbed a hold of his neck and pressed my lips into his. I kissed the most gorgeous man on the planet with my very own face on my very own accord. I don't know how I got the bravery to do it, but I couldn't stand it anymore. I wanted him to know that it was okay to kiss me, and that I didn't hate him but in fact, lurved him. He tightened his grip on me so that his arms were wrapped around my waist and I felt happy all over.
Boy entrapment in the works!!
I am no longer on the edge of lurve, I am facing it head on and proudly wearing my badge of lurve with wide eyes and bright ideas. I am a fierce defender of all things lurve-related and can now properly say I've been to the edge and back again! And I am very nearly the girlfriend of the most gorgeous man on the planet!! Nothing can stop me now!!
But what does it matter?
Lurve is a game and you've got to play it!!
My wonderful readers,
I told you I would fix it all!! I was surprised to find out how many of you were just DYING for Usagi and Mamoru to finally get together. I hope I didn't torture you all too long! But that's it; this is the end of this silly little story. Maybe I'll do a continuation if the mood strikes me, but I guess we'll see.
Thank you for everyone who reviewed. I lurve you all. A LOT. I feel like we are friends now through all of this. So go ahead. E-mail me. Tell me how you are.
P.S. Lurve will prevail… never forget it!!