7 Chapter 7 - The Second First Day At Boken Academy
Fumiko and Akira headed away from Fumiko's house and down the street. The baby blue sky above them was clear of clouds. The only obstruction was the orange sun that stood tall in the middle of the sky. Akira hummed a light tune as the two walked down the street. It was only for couple of minutes after departing, that Fumiko's curiosity got the better of her.
"Aki." Akira reminded her.
"Sorry. Aki, where are we going? I've been following you blindly for some time now."
"Oh, you'll see." She replied while grinning.
"Aki, I don't like surprises."
"Well," Akira said as she did a little spin. "That's just too bad then." She said while giggling.
The pair exited the neighborhood and continued walking down the sidewalk for about twenty minutes. Akira, humming during most of it.
"You're in a good mood. Did something happen?" Fumiko asked her.
Akira looked at her, flashed a smile, and looked away. "Nope."
They walked for about two more minutes and eventually, arrived at the front of what seemed to Fumiko, a park.
"A park?" Questioned Fumiko.
"Just wait until we get to the other side. You'll see." Akira answered.
To enter the grounds, they'd have to walk into one side of the brick tunnel and out the other. Akira took Fumiko's hand and walked through the tunnel. When they got out the other side, Fumiko was surprised. On the other side was a long walkway and on both sides of it, thousands of flowers that stretched as far as the eye could see. Both sides held flowers of different colors.
"It's a flower garden." Akira told Fumiko. "It's one of my favorite places in the city."
On the right side of the walkway, were hundreds of flowers with their colors being, red, blue, yellow, and green. On the left side, were flowers the colors of purple, pink, orange, and white.
Still holding hands, Fumiko and Akira walked down the path for a while, looking at the flowers until something caught Fumiko's eyes. She let go of her friend's hand and went to one section of the flowers and crouched down to examine them.
"Aki, what are these?"
In front of Fumiko were flowers that weren't one solid color. The flowers had petals that had multiple colors spanning from violet, green, yellow, red, and blue.
"Oh those," Akira crouched down next to her. "Are special flowers. They caught your eyes the first time we went here together too."
"We? The first time?" Fumiko asked confused.
"Yeah." Akira replied. "We came here on a school trip in middle school about two years ago. It's only natural you don't remember though. The guide back then told us that before the meteor came, there weren't any flowers like this. I don't remember the explanation he gave us though. It was something about the pieces of the meteor in the soil being absorbed by the plants."
"Oh." Fumiko turned back towards the flowers and tried to remember if she's seen them before. She couldn't.
"Why don't we get something to eat?" Akira asked Fumiko. "The sandwiches here are to die for."
They walked to a nearby bench and sat down.
"I'll be right back." Akira told Fumiko before she took off to a nearby food stand.
While Akira was gone, Fumiko surveyed her surroundings from the bench. And noticed how beautiful the garden was. She felt bad. Not for herself, but for her friend, Akira. Akira told her that it was one of her favorite places and that they even came here together once but she couldn't remember. "It must be hard for her." Fumiko thought to herself. "Having a friend who doesn't remember you."
Fumiko snapped out of her thoughts and realized Akira was handing her a sandwich wrapped in a napkin. "Oh, sorry." She apologized as she took it from her friend.
"You seemed like you were thinking about something. Were you?" Akira asked Fumiko.
Fumiko didn't want to make her friend worry about her more than she has already has.
"No, I was just stunned by how nice this place is." Fumiko responded.
"Yeah, I love this place. I come here a lot."
Fumiko was about to bite into her sandwich before Akira hit her with another question.
"Are you getting along with your family? You and Yui seemed better than today you did yesterday."
"Yui? Oh, the brat." She put down the sandwich. "I guess so. They all had a talk with me yesterday when I came back. I still felt kind of out of place though."
"You shouldn't feel that way Rei. I mean, they are your family."
"I guess so."
After they finished eating, they walked around the garden until it was closing time. By the time they left, it was already late afternoon. The once, brilliant blue sky now shown a dark orange. As the two were heading home, Akira proposed something.
"Rei, there's one place I want to show you before the day's over."
Instead of entering the neighborhood, the walked past it, going in the opposite direction than the one they went in previously that morning. They came to a stop at a small cafe on the side of the road and entered it. Inside, it was roomy. In the middle of the cafe, there was bar section where customers could sit and order. The walls of the shop were made of wood. The seating and tables in the back of the cafe, with it.
"Akira, is that you? Welcome." The middle aged man behind the bar said. "Oh, Reina you're here too. Please, take a seat. The usual?"
"Yes please." Akira replied.
"Another unknown face?" Fumiko thought to herself. She looked at Akira in confusion. Akira responded by just quietly laughing to herself.
They take a seat at a table far in the back.
"Who is he?" Fumiko asked her friend.
"He's the owner of this place. We used to come here all the time. I don't think you should tell him about your amnesia though, he'd be worried sick."
"Oh. How long-"
"Well if it isn't Ms. Last Place." An unfamiliar voice interrupted Fumiko. Akira and Fumiko turned their heads. Standing beside their table was a girl who looked their age with long golden hair reaching her waist and eyes the color of emeralds.
The smile that Akira had on her face quickly came off and a frown replaced it.
"Shiina, I told you to stop calling me that."
Shiina laughed. "Isn't it fine? After all, you did come dead last in all sections of the entrance exam. You're even the worst in the class for Magic Affinity. It's a name that fits you perfectly. How'd you even get into Boken?" She scoffed.
"I...." Akira couldn't respond. She stared at her feet.
Fumiko didn't appreciate some girl she didn't know make fun of her friend.
"I think you should back off." Fumiko said in a heated tone.
Shiina turned her attention to Fumiko.
"Or what, Rei? What are you going to do? Ever since the 1st grade you've always hid behind Aki. Not to mention, you're not too far off from her in terms of the exam rankings." She started to laugh once more.
At that point, Fumiko had enough of Shiina. Her temper flared.
"Oh I'll show you-" She tried to get up but Akira pushed the top her leg down. She looked Akira as if to say "Why?" but Akira just shook her head. Akira then turned towards Shiina and put on a fake smile.
"You're right." She told her. "I was just lucky."
"Hmpf, of course you were." She looked at Fumiko who was still staring daggers at her. She gave another "Hmpf", then exited out of the cafe. When she left, Akira slid back into her chair and sighed.
"Who was she?" Fumiko asked Akira.
"She's in our class at Boken." Akira answered. "She also was classmates with us up until the start of middle school. She wasn't always this mean though. I guess ranking second in the exams got to her head."
"I don't like her."
"Well, as she now, me neither."
When Fumiko and Akira were done eating, they left the cafe and returned to their neighborhood where Akira walked Fumiko home.
"First period starts at eight." Akira reminded Fumiko. "I'll be outside at your gate at 7:30. Don't be late for your second first day." She joked.
Fumiko smiled. "I won't."
Akira left and Fumiko entered her house. She immediately went to her room and collapsed onto her bed. "School huh?" She thought to herself. She wasn't sure if it was right for her to go. "I'll just see what tomorrow brings." She thought before closing her eyes.