Once again, I own nothing but the plot, and English is not my native language


In the beginning of the afternoon, Azumi receives a text from Kiyo.

"Goin 2 Yamas aftR wrk. U comin?"

She isn't really feeling like it. After the last times, she's been feeling more and more uncomfortable with him and his assumptions or his outbursts. But all the same, he is a great friend.

"OK. Pick me up after school?"

The answer doesn't wait.

"sur tng. C U."

"See you later"

She sighs realizing what she has done. Asking Kiyo to pick her up is allowing him to ask her questions about why she didn't want him to accompany her in the morning, without any way to escape. Man, she will have to be strong for once.

Eagerly enough, she waits for her classes to end. In the meantime, she keeps thinking about her morning, and her encounter with Azuza. This girl is surely really friendly. And with her help, she really hopes to throw a big party for her long-time friend. Yet, she is a bit nervous about his reaction: they have never had a party before, for any of their birthdays, just celebrated them between themselves. But this is his twentieth birthday! Something to remember!

When the bell finally rings, she quickly gathers her stuff and rushes toward the exit. That way, she hopes, Kiyo will not have so much time to think about her previous behavior.

She spots him but has to stop running: it is getting more and more difficult for her to catch her breath. She slows down before entering the car, panting slightly.

"You okay?" he asks, looking concerned.

"Yeah, I'm fine" she dismisses with a wave of hand. "Just a bit breathless, that's all. You don't know how many students want to go out from here at the same time…" she jokes.

"If you say so" he replies, not convinced.

A big silence follows while they make their way out of the parking lot to go to Yama's.

"Say, Azumi?"

"Oh no… He will ask about this morning and I have absolutely no answer to give him…"

"About this morning…"

"What was I thinking?"

"Yeah?"

"What did you have so important to do that I couldn't drive you back?"

Facing her silence, he goes on, awkwardly:

"I mean, I always take you home after practice. And you took longer than usual to answer me this afternoon… You're not… mad at me, are you?"

Azumi is wide eyed.

"No! Why would I? No, absolutely not!"

Kiyo chuckles, relieved.

"Well, that's fine. I mean, I know that sometimes… But that's fine. So… Yama's?"

"Yama's." Azumi nodds, equally relieved the conversation didn't go any further.

The rest of the journey goes in a silence much lighter than the one before.