Friday came quick, but what happened yesterday was still on my mind. Today at the bus stop, me and Kotori decided that we wouldn't skip school, 'cause oftentimes when we did, someone would tell on us, then our teachers would just drive down to the bus stop and pick us up. I figured that it was probably Kabe, and the scolding we got after that was no fun at all.

So we decided to play after school instead.

Not much happened during the day, but it was short. As soon as we got out, Kotori came up to me right away, and we planned our game as we walked outside.

"Kana, can I be the cat today?"

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I wanna be the cat!"

"Alright. Just don't complain when I beat you!"

"I won't complain, but you will. Because today, I'll beat you for sure!"

Kotori was smiling as we approached our usual after school spot, the nearby park.

I was half expecting to see Kabe and Tadaki when we got there, I had a hunch. I wasn't surprised about it really, because they did end up showing. They surrounded Kotori as soon as we got there. Kabe stood in front of me with her arms crossed. She looked even angrier than usual, but so did Tadaki as she stared at me from behind Kabe. They blocked me from getting to Kotori.

"Yadori, do you want to make your decision again?"

I clenched my fists.


Then Kabe's face twisted in anger.

"Oh, really?"

Kabe turned around, then walked towards Kotori.

"Do you really want to say that again?"

I saw Kotori shivering again, and remembered what she looked like on the weekdays.

"Leave us alone!"

But before I could yell out those words, Kabe grabbed Kotori's umbrella, and then Tadaki pushed her down. It wasn't even a second before they started hitting her.

Kotori's cries and screams mixed in with the beat of my heart. It pulsed so quickly and loudly that I heard it go on and on as I watched. Everything seemed like a blur, like my sense of time just disappeared...

I felt sick, and I wanted to throw up. I absolutely wanted to throw up.

I felt my body get hot, and without even giving things a moment to process, I stepped forward and ran at Kabe with a war cry, slamming my body into hers. And she hit the concrete hard; I knew that because I was the one who pushed her down.

When she landed, she screamed so loud that it pierced through my eardrums. "I HATE YOU YADORI, I HATE YOU!" She screamed and screamed through her tears and the blood that were gathering below her mouth on the concrete. There were teeth on the ground next to her. "I HOPE YOU DIE YADORI!"

Tadaki immediately ran over to Kabe to help her up, then shot me a glare. "So you're a weirdo too, huh Yadori?"

"You bet I am."

I stared at her dead straight in the eyes. We exchanged glances, looking at each other in a childish staring contest. Then Tadaki turned away, and left with Kabe. Now it was just Kotori and me.

Kotori stood up on her own, and I thought that she'd start crying, but then she just said "Kana, how about I be the dog this time?" And smiled at me wide, showing me all her bruises and missing teeth. Then I smiled too.

And for the rest of the year, it wasn't Kotori Miko, the classroom weirdo. It was Kotori Miko and me, classroom weirdos.