"I have some exciting news," Miss Yoshimi said. "Today, Nagisa Misumi is being released from the hospital. I think those of you who are on the lacrosse team would do well to greet her as she comes out this afternoon. She'll be very pleased to hear of our victory in the finals this year."
Honoka asked, "How's she doing?"
Miss Yoshimi said, "Last I heard, her health has improved significantly from a few days ago. We'll all be glad to see her back, won't we?"
"Of course, Miss Yoshimi. Especially me."
Miss Yoshimi said, "Well, after school lets out for the day, we'll drop by the hospital and wait for her to emerge. She'll be surprised to see her friends waiting for her."
"One question, though," Honoka said. "What about her parents? Will they be all right with that?"
Nagisa's parents came to the hospital later that day to pick her up. It had been a few days since the surgery, and she was now ready to be checked out.
Once the checkout process was complete, she left the hospital. What surprised her was the throng of Verone Academy students awaiting her. "Arienai…"
"Nagisa! We won!"
That was Shiho's voice. Rina yelled, "Thank you for rallying us!" She was the one holding the trophy.
Nagisa simply said, "Good work, team. I knew you could do it."
Her mother, Rie, asked, "Who are they?"
Nagisa said, "Just my friends in class and on the lacrosse team."
Then a familiar face walked up to her. "Honoka?"
Honoka said, "We'll be going to high school soon, right? So let's hit the books."
Nagisa asked, "Where did you think of going?"
"To the library."
"The library, huh? Good opportunity to check out some books about lacrosse; when I'm able to return to the sport I know and love, I want to be as knowledgeable about it as when I was named the team captain."
"Isn't this a good place to study for our entrance exams?" Honoka asked.
Nagisa just shrugged and said, "Well, the school library would be better in my humble opinion, but we can always go there the next time we go to school."
Once they entered the library, Honoka greeted the librarian and told Nagisa, "Well, since you're looking for materials on lacrosse, I hope you know where to look."
Nagisa said, "I'm pretty sure the sports books are in the instructional section."
Honoka said, "Really? I thought they'd be in the sports section?"
Nagisa shrugged and said, "Well, it's a start."
Honoka already had her study materials on her; however, Nagisa's were still at home. "Since you got your study materials on your person, and I don't, I hope you don't mind sharing."
Honoka said, "Sure, but do try to bring your own study materials next time. We may be going to different schools in the coming year."
Nagisa said, "All right."
They split and went to different sections of the library–Nagisa to the sports section, and Honoka to the foreign language section. Once they were finished browsing for what they were looking for, they went to the tables and started hitting the books in preparation for their entrance exams. After about an hour or so of this, they checked out their books and left as the librarian said, "Have a nice day!"
Over the next few days, Nagisa divided her time between reading her lacrosse books and hitting the books with Honoka at the school library; likewise, Honoka divided her own time between teaching herself a foreign language and hitting the books with Nagisa at the school library.
It was easier than ever before for Nagisa to hit the books this time, since her doctor had forbidden exercise in the traditional sense for at least a while following her surgery, and her brain was the only part of her body that needed any exercise anyway. Maybe, she thought to herself, that surgery was a wake-up call that I needed to study hard if I wanted to get into a good high school…
Day after day she kept to this habit, partly so she'd have something to do while recuperating and partly to try to get herself into a good school. At the same time, she didn't want to forget anything she had learned as a lacrosse player.
Honoka, meanwhile, was counting down the days until she was to take her own entrance exam. Towards the end of the school year, she and Nagisa would have to get together to do their entrance exams in the school library–and this time for real. She knew she and Nagisa wanted to go to different schools, but neither of them were about to let that separate them.
Following a later trip to the library with Nagisa, she came home with a bunch of books on telecommunications–specifically, anything that had to do with videophones. She studied hard for the entrance exam, and yet, she hit the books just as hard as far as setting up a videophone on a personal computer was concerned. She wanted to make sure she was able to get a good connection with Nagisa even at a great distance.
Slowly, the school year drew to a close…