A New Country

"Hey there Riley, how are you this afternoon? You seem to be pretty happy lately, things going well for you?"

I looked over toward the voice and saw my friend Yamato crossing the street with a big smile on his face coming my way. He must be heading back to the Asahiya Heights where we both lived. "I'm doing okay Yamato. Yeah, everything is pretty good right now. Miki and I had another date last night. It's so much fun being with her, I can't believe how lucky I am! We had a great time together at the movies."

"Good to hear, Riley. Maybe I'll try and get Asahina to go out with me to see it." Yamato added, "Say have you gotten around to asking Hashiba the big question yet? I mean it's not a secret how you feel about her. You should really think about getting around to asking her to be your girlfriend. You two would make a nice couple if you ask me. You both seem to get along really well and have a great time together, you know" Yamato said with a laugh.

I turned and started back with Yamato. Geez, like I don't know that but what do I say. How do I bring it up to ask her? I'm going to be so nervous and I don't want to blow this in front of Miki. Well, you've known her longer than I have Yamato I thought to myself. Should I ask for some advice? Maybe you could give me some help. You asked Suzuka after all, that had to be much harder to do than me asking Miki.

"Yeah, I know…I know. I'm just not sure of what to say or how to go about asking her. I really don't want to make a fool of myself in front of Miki. Can I ask how you did it with Suzuka? Can you give me some advice on what to say to her or how to start the conversation with her? You've known Miki for a while now, what do you think I should do?"

"Man, I don't know about asking me for advice on that." Yamato said with a shrug. "I think you should just let her know that you want to talk to her and then tell her how you feel about her. Tell her you want her to be your girlfriend. One, it's not going to come as any shock to her. I mean she already knows how you feel about her after all. There aren't really any secrets between Asahina and Hashiba. Two, I'm pretty sure she's expecting you to ask her sometime soon." Yamato said this with a wink. "Don't tell her I told you this, but I happen to know that Asahina and Hashiba have been talking about you. Hashiba has been asking for advice about you and Asahina has been telling her how she thinks she should handle it. I don't think you should wait too long, buddy-boy."

Yamato turned and continued on his way. He turned and said "Just be good to her and treat her right Riley, and everything will work out fine. I'll see you later."

"See ya later Yamato, and thanks." I called after him. I knew what he meant. It has only been about four months since I came here to Japan with my Father and moved here to Tokyo to live by myself. I had just enrolled at Aoba High School as a new student and didn't know anybody yet. Yet, in that short time I had met some nice people and made some good friends. Yamato, Hattori and some other guys were friends with me. Suzuka Asahina was the first person who had made friends with me, and I consider her to be a best friend even though we haven't known each other that long.

Upon arriving here at the bath house, Ayano-San had greeted me, and explained the rules. This is a women's dormitory Riley-San, so I'm going to expect you to not make trouble for all the girls living here. Yamato lives here as well, so you'll be the only two boys living here. I'll be happy to try and make your stay here pleasant. Please come to me if you need anything or if you aren't sure of anything. I'll be glad to help. I know Yamato will be glad to help you get used to being here as well. He's my nephew as you know and I'll introduce you to him and some of the others." Ayano-San explained.

Just then, a rather attractive girl came from down the hallway and slowed to greet us as she neared us. She was kind of staring at me and I felt a little uncomfortable under her scrutiny.

"Hi Suzuka, you're just in time to meet our newest resident. Steve Riley, this young lady is Suzuka Asahina, your classmate and the star athlete of the Aoba High School track team. She does the high jump and she is nothing less than amazing, you'll see." Suzuka looked away and looked uncomfortable being praised like that.

"And Suzuka, this is Steve Riley, a transfer student from the USA. He's half Japanese and half America. He and his father have come to Japan to live, and he is your newest classmate at your school.

Wow, is she cute I thought to myself. I hope she's friendly as well. "Hello Asahina-san, it's a pleasure to meet you. Yeah, I'm the new kid here, and I'm trying to learn my way around. I hope you and I can be friends. I'm afraid I don't know very many people here yet."

With a smile Suzuka said, "Hello Steve Riley. It's a pleasure to meet you too. Ayano-san has been telling us you were coming and a little about you. Welcome to Japan and to Aoba High School. Don't worry, You'll get used to things around here pretty quick. We'll all help you out and get to know each other better. I'm sorry but I gotta run now. I'll be glad to talk to you later Riley-san. Bye-bye."

"See you later Asahina-san. Nice to meet you." I called after her.

"Thanks Ayano-san, maybe I'll go and finish unpacking now. It was cool getting to meet Asahina-san though".

"Okay Riley-san, that's not a bad idea. Just don't work too hard at it . After all you just got here. There's plenty of time for things like that. Try to enjoy yourself a little bit too."

As I worked on unpacking boxes and tried to figure out where I wanted things, I couldn't help but think of a certain someone else. Someone I really wanted to get to meet. I didn't even know that her name was Miki Hashiba then or anything about her, but I did know that I was crazy about her and that I wanted to find some way to meet her.

I had just arrived in Tokyo and been introduced to my new landlady, Ayano-san. She owned and managed Asahiya Heights where I was going to be living . My father had arranged for me to move here and attend Aoba High School as well. His way of getting rid of me I suppose. We hadn't spoken to each other in about two months so it was a relief for me as well.

I had started walking around, trying to see the sights in the immediate area and decided to take a look at my new school. As I walked by the track practice field, I saw this girl in this really brief running suit running laps around the track with her red hair in a pony-tail streaming behind her as she ran. I felt my heart give a loud thump as if it had stopped beating for an instant. It was as if a bolt of lightning had struck me, and I inhaled deeply as I realized I had been holding my breath.

Oh my God… Who is she? She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. How am I going to get a chance to meet her when I don't even know her name? She does go to my school at least. Suzuka is on the track team; maybe she'll introduce me to her if I ask. I've got to try since it's really my best chance, but do I really have any chance with a girl like that though?

As I was standing there staring at her, I realized I was bring just about as conspicuous as possible. I noticed some heads were turning towards me as people noticed my presence and started to stare back. I decided to move along and be on my way, but I watched her for as long as I could.