H x E 9


After Hana got out of clubs she slowly headed down the hall. In the corner of her eyes she spotted Minako finishing her Tennis Trial through one of the windows. She walked over and took a look. Sugoi. Minako had really awesome athletic skills. Hana looked down at her stomach and pinched the fluff on her stomach. Now, she felt dejected. She looked up to see Minako heading to the rim of the school’s pool. She watched her swim one of the fastest records. This was just plain awful. The only thing cheering her up was the seemingly oblivious nature of the crowd was there for her attitude of hers. Hana couldn’t help laughing at the sight of the third year coach turning away and covering part of his face with the swim board. Hana covered her mouth with her school book as she giggled.  The sight was too funny. When Minako started to walk back to the lockers she turned around. Hana turned straight into a wall. When she looked up Hana realized it was not a wall she had run into, but a second year boy. The boy surprised her by keeping his head down, putting his hands on her shoulders and nudging her back a few steps. Afterwards he bowed. What. Hana quickly waved her arms in front of her.

 “Senpai. No. Don’t.” 
The man stood up and smiled.
“Kobayashi Hana, right? It is clearly my fault. I should of been paying attention to where I was walking.” 
What. How. Why. The two guys besides him started to oooh. Hana’s face probably turned one of the darkest shades of red to date. 
The guy at his left leaned over and hooked an arm around him.
 “You made her upset. Be careful, everyone maybe after your life.”
 The guy nervously pushed his friend off of him. The guy on his right leaning forward. Hana feeling uncomfortable. 
“Kohai-san, Where are you off too?” 
Hana smiled at him nervously. 
“I am meeting a friend.”
 The guy pulled out his phone. Oh no. Oh no. OH NO.
 “Let’s exchange numbers. In case you need help with anything.”
 She looked at them and started freaking out. The guy on his left started to laugh. 
“Goro, I don’t think our Kohai wants your number.” 
Goro leaned over the student she bumped into and punched his arm.
 “She doesn’t seem to want yours either, Eiji.”
 Hana started freaking out. It was only the first week. She can’t insult Senpais yet. She quickly pulled out her tiny purple phone, leaned forward slightly and stuck the phone out.
 “No. How could I not want my Senpais numbers.” 
The two side boys turned to her and smiled. The guy on the right laughing. 
“That’s right. It is only natural.” 
The guy on the left leaned forward. 
“Remember, Hana-chan, Senpais are here to guide you Kohais through the difficult times.” 
The boy in the center quietly held up his phone. Hana exchanged numbers with him first. As his friends laughed. After she exchanged numbers with them she quickly made her escape. Running towards the school entrance. She waited only a few minutes before Minako appeared.
She yelled and waved towards her. When she reached her she smiled.
 “I saw you getting out of club trials. Do you want to go get something to eat?”
Minako’s head shot over in the direction of Hana’s voice, an umaibo sticking out of her mouth as she waited for her kawaii friend to come over. At the mention of getting something to eat her eyes lit up.
“Yeah, of course.” 
A smile formed on her features before the umaibo disappeared into her stomach.
“Did you know where you wanted to go?” 
She asked, throwing her bag over her shoulder.
“I know a few places in the area that we could try. I scoped the surrounding area out a week ago so I’d know where all the good spots were.” 
The mention of food always brought a smile to her face. That mixed with the stress of today having melted away through physical exertion and sweat left her relatively at ease. It had been a good day.
“How were your clubs?”
Hana put her finger to her cheek. As she tapped it in an off rhythm she wondered what she wanted to eat. By the end of her thoughts she realized she didn’t particular care. Plus, Minako seemed to be the type that would have a certain food in mind. Oh wait. She asked about clubs… wait? Was it particularly good or bad? She didn’t quite know. It was mostly form submission. Plus, she couldn’t even hand in her Go form till Friday. She decided to shrug and smile.
 “Just a bunch of forms right now. My senpais seem to be varied though. I wonder what will happen…” 
She then took Minakos hand and dragged her to the corner edge of the street. Mostly, to ensure the end of the topic. When they got there she leaned down and tilted her head. 
“Let’s find a place to eat. You pick.”
Minako chuckled inwardly.
 “I’m sure you’ll get accepted no problem.”
Hana-chan was way to kawaii to be rejected from anything. Well- maybe archery…but then again, no guy would reasonably turn her away. 
“Hmm, there’s a yakitori stall if you’re just looking for a snack or we could go to a café nearby. OR a ramen stop…” 
Freshly manicured nails drummed across her stomach as she thought it over.
 “Eh, we’ll go to the yakitori stall and decide from there where to eat.” 
She flashed a grin before linking arms with Hana and pulling her along. 
The older man running the stall immediately lit up at the site of the two school girls approaching.
 “Good afternoon Minako-san. Coming for beef as usual?” 
Minako bowed her head slightly. 
“Good afternoon and yes, please.”
 It only took a few moments and she was in yakitori heaven.
Hana wondered about that. Would she? I mean city schools had much stricter requirements about things then her school ever did. Maybe she wouldn’t make the cut… Hana lost herself in her thoughts as they headed to the food stand.
 “Ramen sounds good.” 
She said absent minded as they walked. When they reached the food stall the smell of yakitori woke her back up. Hana gratefully accepted some, blew on it to make it not as hot and took a bite. It was delicious. She turned to the old man and smiled widely. 
“Sugoi! No wonder, Minako-san wanted us to come here. Thank you Oji-san,” 
Hana noticed the old man was smiling as he shook his head up and down in agreement.
 “Here take some to go.” 
He handed Hana a large takeout box. She turned to Minako. 
“This is definitely for your stomach and not mine.” 
She cracked up laughing. She needed to save room for Ramen, but she had a feeling Minako would take these leftovers and Ramen leftovers home. She turned back to the old man and bowed. 
“Thank you.”
 He smiled at the two and turned to the other customers that called his name. Hana pulled Minako’s hand back towards the street. She wanted to sit down and relax. When they got to the end where the crossing section was she turned back to look at her friend. 
“Which way to Ramen?”

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