Oh my, summer vacation is nearly over which means updates will come on by even slower (not like they came by fast anyways). The good news, however, is that I've finalized the plotline so updates will hopefully come by at least once every couple of months. Well, let's get on with the story, shall we?
"Wow, it sounds like a really horrible experience."
I nodded, swirling my straw around in the tall plastic cup full of ice. I stared at the small puddle of light brown liquid at the bottom of the container, muttering to myself that I needed some more iced coffee. A tapping on the table brought my attention back to my friend before me, her frowning face filling up my vision as she continued to speak.
"That's kind of a harsh way to find an ex again after years of never talking with each other, but you can't exactly expect him to stay single forever right? What did she look like? I bet she's not that great."
I shook my head. "That's just it, Miki. She's gorgeous; tall, long honey blonde hair, and a huge bust. She exactly the kind of girl almost every guy fantasizes about."
"Wow, she does sound gorgeous…"
I glared at Miki and she shrank back a bit with a look of apology. "But, you're right. I shouldn't have expected him to stay single forever. It's only common sense that he would get another girlfriend after me. Heck, she's probably not the first one he's gotten after me." I sighed, stirring the ice in my plastic cup around once more. "But when I saw her kissing him I just couldn't feel a little bit…"
"I wasn't jealous," I said, snatching away one of the many Pocky she had before her, "I just felt awkward around them. It's not everyday you see a couple making out in a pet store."
Miki scrunched up her face in disgust, placing one of the many chocolate treats she owned in her mouth. I sighed and chewed on the chocolate Pocky slowly, my eyes wandering around the food court lazily. My eyes wandered to the pet store where I had been yesterday, my mind replaying what had happened. Eiji wasn't working today—I had checked earlier—and I had forgotten to get his number, so I couldn't ask him if he wanted to join me and Miki on our weekly shopping trip. I wonder if he would've said yes. Then again, maybe he wouldn't. After all, I'm willing to bet he'd want to hang out with his girlfriend on his days off.
"Well then, come on," Miki said, interrupting my thoughts as she stuffed her box of Pocky back into her purse, "No use just sitting here and moping, right? Let's hit some more shops before I have to go back to work!"
"You're right. Come on, I know cute store on the other side of the mall." As we stood, grabbing our previously bought items from their place on the floor, I couldn't help but comment on Miki's new attitude towards work, "You know, I didn't know you could be so excited about work."
"Well, the job isn't all that bad. I mean, it's a cute little café full of coffee and sweet treats, so it's my kind of place." She reached into her bag, emphasizing her point by pulling out a small piece of chocolate before dropping it into her mouth. "Plus, it pays well enough for me to stick with my addiction."
I rolled my eyes, snatching away another piece of chocolate from her before she could eat it. "Honestly Miki, most girls only eat loads of chocolate when they're depressed. For you it's like an everyday thing! How is it you're still skinny? What do you do, walk everywhere?"
"As a matter of fact, I do," she laughed, "Not everybody can afford a car, you know."
I shook my head, a faint smile on my lips as we continued walking through the overcrowded walkways of the shopping center. I continued talking with Miki, our ears oblivious to all the other chatter around us as we became engrossed into our own conversation. I would glance at her to make a point every so often, my peripheral vision keeping me from bumping into anybody. It was when she had made a ridiculous statement that I placed my full attention on her, causing me to bump shoulders with somebody and for the bags in my hands to tumble down to the floor.
"Oh, I'm sorry," a kind voice said, "I wasn't watching where I was going."
I watched as the guy stooped down to pick up my bags, ignoring my protests, before standing up tall and handing them to me. He held my bags out to me with a kind smile on his face that seemed to reach all the way up to his brown eyes.
"No, it was my fault," I said as I gratefully took my shopping bags from him, "I was talking with my friend here and I didn't take notice of who was in front of me."
We both nodded and I was about to walk away with Miki when the guy's voice stopped me short.
"I'm sorry, but I can't help but feel as if I know you from somewhere."
"Is that a pick-up line?" I asked, looking at him quizzically.
He blushed, his hands going up in protest. "Oh, no, I mean it honestly! I can't help but think as if I've seen you some where."
I looked him up and down, taking in his features to see if I could notice him from anywhere. Tall figure, almost a head above me, short, slightly wavy silver-gray hair, and dough brown eyes. His eyes seemed to give off a very kind persona, almost as if he had never sinned a day in his life. He had a bit of a baby face as well, making him look slightly younger than what he probably was.
"Well," I said slowly, "I go to the local college that's near here. Maybe I know you from there?"
"I don't think so," he said, still scrutinizing me, "I don't go to any colleges near here. Maybe from high school? Did you perhaps go to Hyoutei for high school?"
"Nope, but it sounds familiar." I thought about the name of the school, wondering where I had heard that name before. I don't think I heard it anywhere when I was in high school. Maybe I had heard about it earlier when I was in middle school. "Oh, wait, that's it," I said, snapping my fingers in realization, "Hyoutei was that one school I went to for a tournament when I was attending Seigaku! And you, I think you were that one guy I bumped into while I was there. Wow, do you really remember that far back?"
"Eh, not really," he said, an arm behind his head in an embarrassed manner, "But I do remember where I saw you before. I was over at a friend's house earlier and saw a picture with you in it."
"Ne, you know one of Tsuki's friends?" Miki, who I had just noticed had been quietly watching the conversation, piped in, her smile directed towards the both of us.
"Ah, yeah," the guy before us said bashfully as if he had just now noticed Miki, which was probably the truth, "Oishi, actually. We became acquaintances in college and I was over at his house yesterday for an assignment since we have a class together. I noticed that he had a few pictures on his table where I was waiting and I couldn't help but glance at the one on top."
"Oh yeah," I said, remembering that we had taken a bunch of pictures the day of the reunion, "Oishi said he'd be developing those pictures soon and that he'd send me some copies. Oh, by the way, my name is Tsukiakari Ushiro-Amagumo, you know, since we haven't exactly spoken to each other since we were like, really young. This girl next to me is my best friend, Miki Sakurai. And your name is…"
"Choutarou Ootori," he smiled.
"Well then, it was nice meeting you again Ootori-san, but I think Miki and I should get going." I smiled and waved a bit in a farewell gesture, but once again his voice stopped me.
"Uh, I know it's kind of sudden and that we don't really know each other that well," he started off, his blush from earlier returning, "But I was kind of wondering if you'd like to grab some lunch with me later."
I looked at him in surprise, "Oh, well, actually Miki and I just ate." Instantly I saw his face go from embarrassed to dejected and I felt a bit bad for turning him down, so I quickly came up with something. "But you know, maybe we can go out for lunch tomorrow after classes end? Here in the food court?"
He looked at me, his smile slowly returning, "Sure, that would be good too."
We both nodded and I waved once more as he finally let me make my leave with Miki. As we walked away, I couldn't help but wonder what I just got myself into. Beside me, I could hear Miki going off about something and I decided to tune in to see if I could tell what she was talking about.
"…and I know your little plan missy. I can see it written all over your face so don't even think about lying to me about it."
"About what, Miki?" I asked, thoroughly confused.
"You're using him, Tsuki," she said, pointing an accusing finger at me, "You were jealous about Eiji and that blonde chick so now you have to go find a guy to make him jealous."
"What, Miki, that's a crazy idea," I said, frowning at the idea that she would think that I was thinking that, "I would never use anybody like that. Besides, it's just a simple lunch date. I don't think it's going to make anything drastic happen."
This time it was her turn to role her eyes as she sighed. "Well, if you're sure that nothing like that is going to happen. Just don't let your jealousy blond you of other peoples' feeling, okay?"
"Miki, I am not jealous!"
A bit of a short chapter, but a short chapter is better than no chapter, am I right? Well now, if I remember correctly, I had a few readers who wished that Choutarou would appear more in the previous story so I decided, why not add him to this one? After all, I needed a character to fill in this little blank spot in the plot and… I'm going to stop before I reveal anything. Well, see you all in the next chapter of Rematch in the Game of Love!