:The Joys of Instant Messaging.:

Kari stormed into her room, slamming the door loudly behind her to hide the chocking sobs that were racking her small frame. Stupid Tai, she thought, what business of his is it that I can't get a boyfriend? Shooting a remorseful glance at the mirror, she rubbed her eyes violently. She wasn't sad. Her tears were fuelled by anger, and anger alone. It was annoying, but it seemed like all her extreme emotions were connected to her tear ducts. Anger, joy, loveā€¦

Love. That was the problem, wasn't it? Because Kari Kamiya was truly, madly and obsessively in love. With someone. And no, unlike what most people thought, it was not (repeat- NOT) with Takeru Takashi. Why couldn't a girl be just friends with a guy, and mean it? Was it a crime?! With all these deep, soul-searching questions circling her mind, Kari sought consonance in her laptop. Thank the Lord Almighty for the power of instant messaging systems.

Of course. The questions weren't the only reason she was logging on to Live Messenger 07.9 at 5:42pm. There was the chance, a sliver of a chance, that he might be online. She tried not to think about it- if she didn't think about it, then she'd be wonderously surprised as she browsed the Users On-Line, Now! section and per-chance saw his screen name; not that she knew it by heart or anything. Nope. No way. No siree bob.

Her heart was thudding painfully in her throat as the two little men danced circles around each other for what seemed like an age. But finally, she was online. Scanning down the list of her active contacts, it was less than a second before she found him. Her eyebrows untangled with relief- she hadn't realised she'd been frowning. But everything was ok, he was online.

Tentatively, she clicked on the smiling emote next to Kindness-ina-Box39,waiting to see if he'd message her first. She was not disappointed.

"Hey :)" appeared on the screen, in sparkly pink-and-blue/grey lettering.

Kari smiled to herself. "Hi."

"Awuh, what?" the words appeared in an instant, "no smiles for me today? You're usually so perky. What's up sweetheart?"

"Oh..." blushing in spite of herself, the young girl wondered vaguely whether he addressed all his female friends as sweetheart. "My brother is just being an idiot is all."

"Aha, juicy gossip."

Kari made a face, glanced back at her bedside mirror, and typed the emote that best resembled her expression. ": S"

He'd expected it, he knew her so well. "Just kidding. Tai's being an idiot? That's nothing new. What's he done this time?"

"Um... I don't want to bore you. You'll think I'm silly."

"Come on, humour me. I promise I won't laugh."

Kari bit her lip, she hadn't planned for it to go this far.

"...or if it's really that bad, and I simply have to laugh to avoid internal bleeding, I promise I won't type it. You'll never know."

"Ok, ok :)" she couldn't help giggling, imagining him saying those words. She could imagine just how he'd shake his head and wink. So she decided to tell him. "Today he was teasing me about relationships."

There was a pause. "Relationships?"

"Yeah. You know, guys and stuff." She was glad that it would be impossible for him to see her expression. "Boyfriends."

"Aaah... I see." He paused again.

At first, Kari thought he wasn't going to see anything else. Her collar began to feel uncomfortably tight. Then, the magic words appeared at the bottom of the screen. Kindness-ina-Box39 is writing a message.

"Well, he's probably just doing his annoying older brother thing. I know how you feel, I used to get it all the time when my brother was around. I discovered the best way to get him off my tail was to ask him who he fancied. He used to get all flustered and red in the face. And storm off to his room and type his anger out via computer." Kari blushed when she read that, "So yeah, that'd be my advice. Shoot that question right back." He emphasised his words with a little emote of a gun firing.

She reread the short paragraph about six times, memorizing each word. Sounds like a plan...

"Thanks. I will." Her reply seemed too short, but he didn't seem to mind.

"Not a problem. Let me know how it turns out."

"I will." Kari frowned, this all seemed ever-so-businesslike. And there was something else she wanted to ask... Her fingers hovered over the keys, undecided. Swallowing her fear, her fingers skimmed the keys so fast that she made several typos.

"Do yuh avbe agril frined?" Cringing at her own stupidity, she quickly (but carefully) retyped her question. "Do you have a girlfriend?"

Suddenly, Kindness-ina-box39 was offline.

Aha, soo... there you have it.
Any ideas as to who Kari's crush is?
:giggles 'coz I know and you don't:
I nearly blurted it out halfway through this chapter, but I corrected it.

But yes, going on holiday for a week, so be nice and review for me!
Love to all-
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