Epilogue: Two Months Later
I turned away from my conversation from Nagihiko only to nearly collide with a tall ninth grader. Fortunately, my reflexes responded quickly, I jumped aside and instead she collided with Nagihiko.
"Ouch," Nagihiko said. "Why do I have to be the wall?"
"You're taller, so you can take it," I replied.
"Touché," he said, getting to his feet and brushing any dust off him.
"Ouch…" the ninth grader rubbed her head, then jumped up. "Sorry," she said to Nagihiko, then turned to me. "You're Mashiro Rima, right?"
I looked up at her. She was huge, towering over even Nagihiko, with red hair all pulled back into a high ponytail and thick eyebrows. Like something you'll find under your bed or in you closet. Yikes… "Uh, yeah, that's me," I said.
"Oh, good," she looked relieved, then quickly bowed. "Please give me advice!"
For anybody who's confused, let me explain. I think it was a month ago or so, maybe even a week after the culture festival, but Nagihiko started to bother me about it. So, after a whole month of bother and several close calls, I did it. I wrote a blog from Rei explaining everything. That's right, I told the Internet that Rei was just an Internet handle name and I'm actually, well, me. Mashiro Rima. Since then, lots of people at school have come up to me, all with the same question: if I could help them with their problems. I tried to explain that I'm actually not that great at advice, but they wouldn't listen. In the end, I gave in, and situations like these happen now almost on a daily basis.
"Um…" I said. "Sure, what do you want?"
The upperclassman got up from her bow and started to twiddle her thumbs. "Well, there's this guy I like… But he's scared of me. I heard he likes cute girls, too. What should I do? Should I make myself cute?"
I looked at Nagihiko, giving him a look saying that this is all his fault. Nagihiko shrugged. He got used to that look a long time ago. I looked back at my current problem and bit my lip. "Hm…well, I say, think about it before you act. If it makes you uncomfortable to be cute, then this guy isn't worthwhile." I quickly added, "but if you really like him, then I say make him fall for yourself. No changes. If he only likes you when you're cute, then he isn't worth it."
There was a silence and I got scared. What if this girl got angry and punched me? I saw Nagihiko clench a fist in case his friend got hurt. The upperclassman finally spoke up. "…You're right. He is a loser. If he can't like me as I am, then he's not worth my time! Thank you, Mashiro-san!" Before I could reply back, she sped down the hallway and out of my sight.
Nagihiko chuckled. "She was…lively."
"More like scary," I said.
"That was really deep advice you gave her."
"Shut up," I said. Since Dad talked to me two months ago at the festival, I've been throwing that phrase around a lot. Think before you act. It had a nice ring to it and it really was good advice, the best that I've ever given and received. I used it every day. Every time I got mad and wanted to punch something, I thought of those words and I knew I shouldn't do what I was going to do. And they all worked out all right.
"Come on," Nagihiko said. "I have to get to class. You?"
"Probably the same," I said. "See you at lunch." I waved farewell to Nagihiko and turned to my classroom door.
"Hey, Rima!" Amu waved when I came in and settled at my desk.
"Hi, Amu," I said. "You don't need more help, do you?"
Amu laughed nervously. "No, I'm fine, thanks. But listen, that advice you gave me about balancing out my work was awesome! Thank you so much! I don' t forget any of my books!"
"Well, I'm glad to hear that," I said. Just then, Boring English Teacher came in.
"Good morning, class," Boring English Teacher boomed in his monotone voice.
"Good morning, Sensei!"
As homeroom droned on, I looked outside and thought back to a year ago. I used to complain about a lot of things, how dull and boring things were. I got such a thrill talking as Rei. But, looking at it now, I think I'm happier now. Instead of talking to people shrouded in mystery, I can talk to people as myself. Mashiro Rima.
And I felt happy about it.
The Journey of Ask Rei, the Story of How This Came Around and Other Notes
Long, long ago, when I was a weeaboo, I had just started creating fanfiction stories for Shugo Chara. One of the ideas, is this thing here. I wanted to do a Rimahiko story, and this thing just sort of fell on me: of how Rima worked a website that was a secret and how real life starts to mix in with her cyber life. Wanting to be witty, I chose Rima's Internet handle name to be Rei, which is explained quite well in the first chapter. For those who are lazy and don't want to navigate away, I knew Rima was an Arabic name from some baby book I found a while ago. I Googled up the meaning and learned it meant antelope. I put antelope into an English-Japanese dictionary and found out antelope in Japanese is reiyou. So I just took the first syllable and, thus, we have the title Ask Rei. I wrote the first two chapters and later part of the third around the same time, so there probably is a definite jump in quality.
I resurfaced it a year later and developed more plot, adding in things like the school field trip. I think it was only after I wrote the fourth chapter did I add in everything else. As in explained last chapter, I didn't want a really cheesy ending, so I opted for the friend ending as a twist.
Other Cool Stuff:
-Originally, Izumi, Akane, Yuki and Nagihiko's basketball buddies were supposed to be the only original characters there, along with the Japanese teacher. But then I created Boring English Teacher and somehow he got more mentions in it than everybody else. Wimpy Nakamura is a smaller example of this, but gosh darn it, Boring English Teacher…
-The use of Japanese folk tales also came by accident. I recently had a lesson on folk tales, and there was a Japanese one, so I added in for the Japanese teacher's lesson in…chapter five? I think it was chapter five. It popped up again during the school field trip and then I thought it'd be cool to tie in Rima's original stories to Nagihiko's points.
-In the beginning, Ask Rei was just a story for the lulz for my younger self, but now it actually has a few morals to it. One of them is to not date in middle school. It usually doesn't work out. The other is to think before you act. The former is my favorite, personally.
-If anybody is asking about the blue cats and Amu, I'm just writing that to mess with the Amuto fanbase. I don't support Amuto in any shape or form. Sorry.
And for anybody who is asking or going to ask about what I'm going to do now and if I'm going to write more mult-chapter Shugo Chara stories, I don't see any particular good ideas for a Shugo Chara story. I probably will drop a few one-shots here and there in various places besides here, but I don't really want to tackle another Shugo Chara multi-chapter just yet. Maybe a Kukai/Yaya one-shot in the future (because Yaya's lines were fun to write in Ask Rei and that pairing deserves a lot more love than it gets currently. Darn you, Kutau…) but it might take a while to come up with something. So just be on the look out for me around here. I can pop up just about anywhere, shoot a one-shot there, and disappear like a ninja. But I don't want to go into a huge hiatus. Just think of it as a small recharge before charging into battle. Either way, I got school to do, but I'm on vacation right now, so maybe a one-shot? Who knows…
Speaking of the future, I do however have an original story idea that'll appear on my deviantART account in the future quite possibly. I haven't worked everything out, but it's a good idea in my opinion, so look out for that. It probably won't be narrated like Rima in this, but it'll be a good read either way. So check out some of my other accounts for more info (I swear this originally was not supposed to be a shameless advertising for my other Internet accounts, but it turned out like this. Don't hit me.)
Thank you again for reading Ask Rei! I hope you enjoyed your time here! Until the next time I appear, bye!