Smile

by Shizumi Kurohane

"What's her problem?!" Tamako yelled, her fists clenched to show just how agitated she was.

"What do you mean, Tama-chan? Who're you talking about?" he friend, Saya, asked, clearly concern over her nice-natured friend's anger.

"I was getting the reference books from the library during lunch like Aoki-sensei asked because it was my turn. When I finally had all the books I needed, I was making my way through the hall. Suddenly, my shoulder was bumped and all the books fell out of my hands!"

"Oh," her friend Mai cut in, "So you're mad because she made you drop the books? Didn't she apologize? And where was Kenta-kun to help you? Wasn't it his turn too?"

"Kenta-kun had to go home early today because he wasn't feeling well. And the girl did stop, I think. I had started to pick up the books and she looked at me and then someone called my name and she left."

"Wow. That was really rude," Saya confirm. "You don't know the girl?"

"No. I think she's new."

They were making their way back to the classroom as Tamako finished telling them how another student from a different class helped her carry the books back to the room.They took their seats and Aoki-sensei entered the classroom.

"Alright everyone, settle down. Before we begin, I'd like to introduce a transfer student. Come in!"

The sliding door opened softly and a tall girl their age walked in. She had dark hair and dark eyes.

"Please introduce yourself," Aoki-sensei said.

"I'm Ishikawa Setsu. I'm 14 years-old and I like to read. Please to meet you. Douzo yoroshiku," she said and bowed.

Tamako whispered to Saya and Mai, who sat next to her, "THAT'S the girl who bumped into me!"

They both looked surprised and turned back to Setsu to examine her.

She was a seemingly timid girl. She took her seat without complaint and once in her seat, began to follow all the teacher's instruction. Once she had nothing to do, she began to read Beat. She was very quiet and never once smiled, even when reading the manga.

After class was over and everyone was leaving, Tamako decided to confront her.

She turned to face Ishikawa and found Ishikawa already in front of her.

"I'm sorry for bumping into you and not being able to her pick up the books," she said in a monotonous voice.

Tamako was so shocked that she didn't say a word until Ishikawa had left.

Saya and Mai just shrugged and raised their eyebrows in surprise.

--

What had bothered Tamako the most about Ishikawa was her blah attitude. Over the next few days she observed her in secret and she just couldn't figure out why the girl was like that. Finally she devised a plan to discover the reason. She would have lunch with her and see if she could get the other girl to talk.

"Hey Ishikawa-san! Wait up! Let's have lunch together."

Ishikawa turned to face her and looked at her with indifferent eyes. "Why?"

"Because I want to know why you don't smile!"

Ishikawa looked taken back. "What?!"

"I want to know why you don't smile. Every time I see you, your face looks like this." She imitated Ishikawa's blah look.

"I-I smile sometimes. I don't always look like that," Ishikawa defended.

"Really?" Tamako asked.

"R-Really!"

Tamako smiled a goofy smile. A faint touch of a smile formed of Ishikawa's lips.

Tamako, rather taken back herself, pointed at Ishikawa with the same goofy smile still on her face and proclaimed, "HA! I got you to smile!"

The End

NOTE: This story was intended to be a Children's Story. If you would like to see pictures that accompany it, please visit my deviantART account here: "kurohaneshizumi. deviantart. com/ " (REMOVE SPACES).

Thanks!