Chieko Akemi sat at her desk quietly, patiently waiting for the rest of her peers to finish up their chemistry test. She didn't need to worry about any of the problems because she knew she got everything right. In fact, she was one of the top students in the grade and the first one who got done with the test. But even with all of the brains in the world, she was always overlooked during free periods. Chie picked up her head from her desk and gazed around at her surroundings. Even though most of the school population ignored her, she did have friends and as she observed the environment she could see them.
Within class 1-A, Chie's best friends were Airi Kamiya and Miyuki Yanagi. Both of them counted as number one on her best friend list, so the two of them were like one entity. Two other classmates were counted as one; Shotaro and Maki, the idiot couple. These four made up her support group, always cheering her up if she got a 95 percent on a test or egging her on to try new things.
As she took in her surroundings, she could see Airi completely immersed in the chemistry test. No doubt she was struggling with some sort of ionic formula problem, but Airi always managed to pull through. Chie's eyes swerved to Miyuki, who was calmly taking in the test and slowly but surely making her way through the test. She was hesitant, but Chieko then turned her head to the back of the classroom where Shotaro and Maki sat. As always, the idiot couple was flirting with each other, giving flirty eyes and grinning goofy smiles.
Chieko had to muffle a giggle when the teacher looked up from her desk to see what was going on. After ten more minutes, the teacher announced time was up and collected the tests.
The end of the day could not have come quicker, or so everyone said. It was Friday, and many students were looking forward to the last school day of the week. (Saturday in Japan is the equivalent of Friday in America/Europe/etc…) Miyuki began gathering her bag and textbooks in order to leave the school premises and start the walk home.
Chieko turned around just in time to see Airi sprinting from the back of the classroom to the front and tackle her in a rib-crushing hug. Miyuki, who sat by Airi, also approached from the same direction and chuckled as she gazed upon Chie's surprised expression. Always the sadist, Miyuki had a mean look in her eye, but she seemed tamer when she was around her female friends. "Chie, how'd you do on the test?" Miyuki asked.
"Oh. I think I did…"
"Brilliantly," answered Airi.
"Magnificently," commented Miyuki sardonically.
"Fine", said Chieko with a mock frown. Her best friends enjoyed teasing her about grades and intelligence all too much. In fact, they just loved teasing her altogether.
"So what are you doing afterschool?" questioned Airi.
"I'm in the Going Home Club today," replied Chieko. "The Art Club is taking a rest today, so no club activities. What about you two?"
"Band practice with the guys," Miyuki sighed. "Unlike the Art Club, Seraphim meet practically every day. Sometimes I find myself spending my precious day off with the other members. It gets to be suffocating being surrounded by males; my brother, my cousins, and the band. It's refreshing just to see your faces."
"I usually go home on days like this, but today the basketball team is having a joint practice with an all-boys school, so I think I'll be staying behind today." Airi gave a wink to make the message clear.
"It seems as if you're always on the hunt for handsome guys," said Miyuki with a huff.
"I don't want to be told that by you two!" Airi stuck her tongue out at the other girls.
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked Miyuki with one eyebrow raised.
"I don't want to be cruel, but you two probably lack the most love experience in the entire school!"
Chieko flushed red, her face becoming so colored it looked as if she was a bomb ready to explode. She tried to hide behind her long braided hair, but to no avail. Miyuki, calm as always, gave Airi a look that meant "mention that again and I will end you". And as always, Airi did not get the message and continued talking obliviously. "I swear, Chie, you can be so dense. You didn't even notice that during the Chemistry test."
Confused, Chie's forehead creased so much her glasses were on the verge of slipping off. Obviously, she had no idea what in the world Airi was talking about but Miyuki's eyes gave off a flash of understanding. "I think I know what you're talking about…" said Miyuki hesitantly. The two girls just glanced at each other and gave a knowing nod that drove Chieko crazy. They did it all the time when there was something Chieko was just too innocent and pure to comprehend. Chie was at her wit's end and was just about to scream "What's going on?!" when Airi put her out of her misery and spoke what was on her mind.
"It was that boy. You know the one on the varsity basketball team. Ah, what's his name again?" Airi turned towards Miyuki hopefully, who gave the right answer right away. "I believe his name was Takumi Morimoto."
"That's right! Morimoto-kun was staring at you when you were giggling at ShoMa the Idiot Couple." Chieko opened her mouth to protest, but Airi cut her off before she got a word in. "Before you start yelling at us about how wrong we are, I'd like the chance to defend ourselves. Miyuki?"
"As ridiculous as Airi's hypotheses usually are, this time she caught the nail right on the head. Morimoto was definitely looking at you with a mixture of interest and attraction. To be more precise, it was about 75% interest and 25% attraction." Airi nodded her head in agreement with Miyuki's statements, forming a team to be reckoned with. The Kamiya-Yanagi Team, otherwise known as KamiYana, was well known as a team that you wouldn't want to argue with. Chieko was one of the only people who were either idiotic or smart enough to argue with the pair.
"This time both of you are being ridiculous," protested Chieko. "Anyone would have stared at me during the test. It was absolutely quiet when we were taking it, and I was the sudden breaking of the silence. Besides, no one can decide that fast that they like someone!"
"Sure they can!" exclaimed Airi. "If a girl can decide in five seconds whether or not the guy is going to get a kiss on the lips at the end of the date, why can't a guy decide in two seconds if he likes a girl or not?"
"While Airi's logic is soundproof," Miyuki said sarcastically. "Love and like are things that can't exactly be explained. It just sneaks up on you and catches you by surprise. Who can explain why two complete opposites fall in love with each other? Besides, you never take interest in guys and I'd like to see our little girl grow up!" The two girls beamed expectantly at Chieko, grinning as if they were in a beauty pageant. Chieko's stomach churned, and a familiar feeling came back to her that she hadn't felt in a long time. Butterflies were fluttering around in her lower intestines and were puking their way to her stomach. She couldn't think of anything to say, but the pressure of the two girls stares were getting to be too much. So Chie did the only thing she could think of: