"Rin-chan, we need to practice! Rin-chan, we need to practice. Rin-chan, we need -"
"I heard you the first time, Len," I growled.
"I know you did~!" Len chirped, leaning towards me.
"Then why do you insist so much?" I continued to read through the script.
"I read in this book that if you repeat yourself a bunch of times, the person will agree!"
"I believe that they mean to repeat at different times of the day."
He stared at me. ". . . Same thing."
"C'mon, Rin," Mikuo, who was listening to the conversation the entire time, agreed. "It'll give you a chance to adapt to Len's ways."
I thought for a second, since I didn't want to be stuck with this guy for a long time.
"It'll only be an hour after school, Rin-chan! I'll bring snacks and everything for our break."
Being stuck with Len for an hour seemed physically possible, but I won't go any further than an hour.
"I guess I can do it, but no more than an hour. Do you understand?"
With sparkling eyes, he nodded. "I totally got it, Rin-chan!"
"Don't call me 'Rin-chan'"!
Geez, he's the one who invited me, and he's not even here yet! I'm in the classroom, which the teacher was nice enough to lend to us.
As fast as a rented golf cart, Len busted through the door with a paper bag of whatever he put in it in his hands. "S-sorry, Rin-chan, I was caught up buying snacks for us!"
"Alright, but how much was it? I'll pay you back." I fished out my wallet from my school bag.
"No, it's all on me today." He placed the bag down on a desk and pulled a seat in front of my desk. "Alrighty then, we should start~ How about we begin at this scene, since it's the first time we make a conversation with each other." He pointed at my script, specifying the where to begin.
"Alright, whenever you're ready," I said, waiting for him to begin. I saw him look through his schoolbag, turn it upside down as everything fell out. "What's with that?" Len returned his things in his bag and turned around to face me again.
"Um . . . c-can I . . . share with you, please?" he asked me awkwardly as he scratched the back of his head.
"Len . . . you said you planned this right?" Len nodded at me, blushing in embarrassment. "Then why didn't you remember to pack it?"
"Well, I was so excited to ask you to practice with me, it completely slipped my mind. And when I woke up this morning, I woke up late, so I was running really fast." He looked a little guilty, and believe it or not, I kind of got a little soft.
"Alright, I'll let it slide for now, but I won't let it go next time."
He beamed childishly as he slid his chair beside mine. I moved my script to the side so that he could see it.
"Thanks, Rin-chan, you're a life saver," he told me, but not loud enough to break my ears. "Let's start then~!" Len cleared his throat and began. "So, are you Hasegawa Airi-chan?"
"I'm in your class, Amari-kun. Not to mention that I'm your next door neighbor. Do you even know that?"
"Yup, it's nice to meet you, Ai-chan. It looks like we'll be partners for the cotillion."
I sighed. "It's only for now, isn't it? After that, I'm positive we won't make any more contact with each other."
"Aw, don't say that, Ai-chan. You can call me Touma if you like. Amari is a little too formal for my taste."
"Well, you can call me anything but Ai-chan."
"Oh, wait, I remember you now! You sit beside me in class, right?"
"Oh, dear god," I breathed under my breath.
We continued on like that until Len thought that we should take a break around thirty minutes after we started.
"Okay, I got nikuman for me 'cause all I ate for lunch was a banana and something else~" Len announced as he took it out of the bag along with a bottle of soda. "And I got you orange juice and melonpan 'cause you're just that sweet~!"
"Wow, Len," I said sarcastically, taking the items from his hands. "That's totally the first time you said that to me."
"Oh, Rin-chan, you know you love orange juice and melonpan. I know it's your favorite snack."
". . . Len, I never told you about that, right?"
"W-well . . . I . . ."
"Where do you learn about this? You always seem to know something about me that I never tell anyone."
"I just do," he said with a straight face.
"You and I both know that isn't a real answer," I sighed. "Please don't tell me you stalk me."
"I-I don't! I swear, Rin-chan!" he frantically said. "I just watch you and find more things about you. And besides . . . you're like my sister! What kind of brother would I be if I didn't even know your favorite snack foods?"
"You're not even my brother, Len."
"But I've always wanted a sibling, and you're so much like a sister to me~"
"What am I going to do with you?" I sighed as I nibbled on the melonpan. "What gave you the idea that I was a sister to you?"
"I'm an only child, so you and Mikuo are, like, the closest thing I have to siblings."
So, I think you can imagine what the rest of the practice was. So, after that, it was about time for us to go home. It was around sunset, and I had to walk the same way as Len to get home. To prevent myself from learning any more information that I didn't want to know about Len, I tried to stay as quiet as I could as we walked.
"Rin-chan . . . if I asked you if we could practice together again, could we?" he asked me quietly.
"Well . . . I guess I wouldn't mind doing it with you again. But please bring your script next time," I replied with a little hesitation.
"Really? You mean it?" Len asked me with happiness bubbling up inside.
"Sure, the practice . . . wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. You're not as bad as I usually think." I gave him a little smile, but quickly stopped before he got a wrong idea.
"Wait, if you could measure how much you like me, how much did it grow, Rin-chan?" he said eagerly.
I thought for a second. Why was he so excited to hear about that? "M-maybe . . . about two percent . . ."
"Two . . .? That's great!" Len fist pumped the air. "Two is better than one and one is better than zero! My relationship with Rin-chan has grown!"
"W-what's with that?!"
"It's just that you always seem to hate me, so even if it's a small amount, I'm happy to know that you don't hate me one hundred percent!" He grinned at me as we approached my house. The door opened to have Mikuo coming out with a bag of trash.
"Hey, Rin, Len," he greeted, as he came up to us.
"Hi, Mikuo!" Len said cheerfully.
"Whoa, Len, what happened to you? You're happier than usual," he said just as I walked to Mikuo's side.
"Rin-chan said she likes me by two percent!" Len held up two fingers with confidence.
Mikuo stared at me in suspicion and I shrugged.
"Well, I gotta go home and do all my homework. Bye guys!" he ran off as fast as he could, leaving us at our door way.
"Really, Rin? Two percent?" Mikuo chuckled after he put the trash out and we were inside. "Are you finally accepting him as a friend?"
"N-no, Len and I are just acquaintances, Mikuo. After this play is over, it won't be like this," I said stubbornly as we sat down for dinner.
"Rin, you'll be hanging around him more often, so be ready to accepting of his relationship with you."
"Ugh . . . you're going to give me a headache, Mikuo."
He laughed. It was going to be a while till the end of the play, isn't it?
So that's all . . . I don't have an idea for the next chapter, so if you have any ideas, please feel free to share them with me~