The new friends all gathered at a table and Yumi could not remember a more enjoyable dinner. Odd was obviously a ham and loved to laugh. There was not a moment when he wasn't trying to make a joke or eating, mostly eating. If you didn't guard your plate, you were likely to lose your food to the human waste bin that was Odd.
Yumi looked at Odd with a look of awe and disgust on her face, "Where does it all go? I mean you must not even taste the food going down."
Odd winked at her, "I'm just a growing boy and I need my food. Besides, you are barely touching your food and I would hate to see it go to waste. Do you want you fries?"
Yumi shook her head as Odd reached to grab the food. Samantha rolled her eyes. "You should see him when we go out. We have to go to an all you can eat place. If we don't we couldn't afford to go out at all."
"It's not fair," sighed Aelita, "He can eat everything and look at the size of him. If we tried to eat half of when he eats…..well best not to picture that."
"If you think this is bad, you should hear him snore. I have to wear earplugs just to get a decent night's sleep." Ulrich punched Odd lightly in the arm. Yumi could feel herself relax. The group spent the entire meal joking and talking. She learned that Sam, Odd, and Aelita were all into music and they would play around with DJ equipment whenever they had the chance.
Jeremy was the brains of the group, though Aelita wasn't far behind. He would laugh and joke with the others, but in between jokes, he would go back to a more serious expression. You could almost see his wheels turning. He and Aelita would share a quick look and every once in awhile one would blush. It made Yumi smile, and yet it also made her realize that they had something she would never have.
The same went for Sam and Odd, though there was no blushing between these two. They were the playful couple, always teasing and stealing a quick kiss when they thought no one was looking. The two couples were so cute, it was almost revolting.
And then there was Ulrich. He was quiet. He joined the fun, but he was content to sit back and watch the others more often than not. Yumi did notice that Odd and Ulrich did like to tease each other constantly. It was almost like watching her brother and sister tease each other. That was something they never did with her. They didn't tease her because her parents wouldn't allow it. It was something Yumi had felt deprived of growing up. They were never comfortable enough to make a joke about her, and as she sat at the table, she realized that was why she was so comfortable here. No one knew about her past, so they wouldn't feel like they had to walk on eggshells around her. She smiled and joined the conversation.
She looked up and saw her sister sitting at a table across the way. Hiroko was sitting with three girls and two boys and seemed to be enjoying herself immensely. Yumi smiled again. Koko deserved it. As she watched, Hiroko caught her eye and started to sign to her sister.
'You sure you're OK?"
'Fine. Who's the boy you're drooling over?'
'I am not drooling, he just happens to be the friend of my roommate. And he is very nice.' Yumi swore she could see her sister blush from across the room.
'Fine, but I want details later. Which one is your roommate?'
Koko pointed to a girl with blond hair sitting at the table. 'This is MaryAnn.'
Yumi looked at the girl and liked her already. She was smiling and laughing and reminded her a little bit of Aelita.
'Cool. Talk to you later.'
Yumi turned back around to see that all conversation had stopped at her table. Her new friends were looking at her. Odd was the first to speak, "What was that?"
Yumi looked at the in surprise. It hadn't even occurred to her that using sign language was unusual in school. It had been a form of communication for her and Hiroko for such a long time, that it was second nature. "It's just sign language."
"Yeah, but you're so fast. That was cool."
Yumi sighed in relief. They didn't think her strange. She wasn't about to lose her friends in the first day. She laughed, "Well Hiroko and I have been using it as a way to talk without our parents knowing what we were saying."
With that the group moved on to a discussion about parents and how they liked to listen in on conversations. They were just finishing dinner when Odd looked up and nudged Ulrich.
"Don't look now, but your fan club is coming down the drive."
Ulrich rolled his eyes and slouched in his seat. "Great" he said as her crossed his arms, "What does she want?"
Yumi looked up to see a girl about her age walking towards the table. She had dark hair and eyes and see was heading straight for Ulrich. For some reason, it annoyed Yumi. This girl was going to ruin a perfect dinner, she just knew it.
The girl stopped in front of Ulrich. "Ulrich dear, I have a favor to ask."
"What do you want Sissi? If it involves me up in your room, you can forget it."
"Well since you mention it, I was going to see if you would help me with the science homework. I don't understand anything from that class."
Odd piped up, "And how is that different than every other class?" The group giggled.
Sissi shot Odd a look and turned back to Ulrich. "I thought that after we were finished we could go to the movies. Daddy would let us. I've already asked him."
Ulrich looked up at Sissi. "They you better take one of your minions, because I have plans."
"And what plans are those?"
"Anything that doesn't involve you."
Sissi looked one more time, "You know, if you weren't with your friend, you would go with me in a heartbeat." And with that she turned on her heel and as she started to leave, she slipped and landed on the floor with a thud. The table started roaring with laughter. Sissi looked at them with death glares as she got up and headed out the door.
"Why me?" Ulrich moaned as they headed out the door. Even with Sissi, it had been a pretty good day.