“Isn’t there anything else that I could do?” Tomomi murmured as her eyes darted between her “target” and Haruna. As Tomomi looked back at Haruna, she saw that familiar smirk on her face as the leader grabbed her cup of coffee taking a small sip from it. Tomomi bit her lip, her hands nervously playing with the hem of her navy colored school uniform skirt. She didn’t know why she was bothering to ask; obviously Haruna wasn’t going to give her any other task. She had picked this one for Tomomi for a reason.

“It’s your choice, Ogawa,” Haruna finally said, “You know what you’ve been ordered to do. Take it or leave it.” Tomomi looked down at the table, clutching the bottom of her skirt tightly in her hands now. What was she to do? She wasn’t a thief; she’d never stolen anything before. She didn’t know how to do this. Maybe if the jewelry store was a smaller one, this would be different. But this store was large and no doubt had cameras watching the every movement of its customers. How was she supposed to get the necklace out of the store without getting caught? Did Haruna really expect her to be able to do this?

“Of course not,” Tomomi thought. Haruna didn’t expect her to do this; she was purposely trying to make Tomomi fail by giving her a difficult task for her first time. It would probably make Haruna feel some sick satisfaction if Tomomi did get caught and arrested.

“Come on, just get it over with. You’re putting too much thought into this,” Mami chimed in, giving Tomomi a slap on the back and interrupting her thoughts. Tomomi flinched slightly at the contact, glancing around at the seven girls who surrounded her in the small café. Tomomi let out a soft sigh, pushing herself out of her chair and grabbing her bag.

“Fine, I’ll do it.”

“Hurry back,” Haruna snickered as the student walked past her. Tomomi stopped in her tracts, her free hand curling into a fist. There was just something about the smug way Haruna acted towards her that made her so angry. She almost wanted to hit the snarky brunette to wipe that smug look off her face. But Tomomi knew better. She was weak and frail; the leader would break her in a fight in no time. Haruna was just so confident that Tomomi would fail. She was so confident that Tomomi wouldn’t be able to do this; she wanted to prove her wrong. She wanted to prove them all wrong and show every member of Haruna’s gang that she was as capable as they were.

Tomomi shook her head, refusing to address Haruna as the boss had probably wanted. She wasn’t going to give Haruna a reaction. Instead, she shoved open the doors to the café, hurrying across the street to the jewelry shop. Her breath hitched in her throat as her hand laid on the cold, metal bar of the door.

“Just do it.” She willed her body forward as she kept repeating the three simple words in her head. She gently pushed open the door, hearing the jingle of the bell above it.

“Welcome!” A sunny clerk with a big smile greeted her. Tomomi gave the clerk a nervous wave as she walked along the counters, examining the wares for the price tag she’d be told. No one had specified to her what the necklace looked like; all she knew was a very specific price tag that she was looking for. Rina told her it would be the only one in the shop and that she couldn’t possibly miss it, but Tomomi couldn’t be sure if she was lying or not. She did seem honest enough, but she was close to Haruna after all. You could never know what that woman would put her friends up to.

“What can I get for you?” the clerk badgered, following Tomomi around the shop. Tomomi was getting more and more nervous as the clerk followed her around. Could she see through her? Did she notice her nervousness? Did it give her away? All of these questions plagued her mind as her eyes continued to scan the glass counters. She just wanted to get this over with as soon as she could.

“I’m just looking around,” she replied back, giving her a more relaxed smile before going back to searching. Right now, the nervous brunette was praying that someone else would come into the shop to distract the clerk. Before long, Tomomi’s eyes laid on the tag she had been looking for. That necklace must be it. “Can I have a closer look at this one?” she asked, pointing towards the necklace. The clerk raised her eyebrow at the choice, could a schoolgirl of her age really afford something so expensive? Shaking her head at the thought, the clerk retrieved the necklace.

“It’s a very genuine and expensive piece, are you sure you can afford it?” Tomomi winced at the condescending tone of the clerk. What was with everyone acting like that towards her today? It’s like everyone was out to hurt her today.

“I’m sure I can,” Tomomi assured, taking the black foam casing from the clerk. Her breathing began to come out in small huffs as she grasped the case. She could feel her hands getting clammy as a new sensation of worry burned in her stomach. How was she supposed to get this out of the store with the clerk watching her so closely?

She was this close. There wasn’t any turning back now.

“So, what do you think? Like it?” the clerk asked. Tomomi looked up at her, gulping down the spit that was pooling in her mouth. What does she say now? Yes or no? How did she get this out of the shop now? Tomomi didn’t know what to do at this point.

“I…um…I…” Tomomi continued to stutter as her grip on the box tightened. She didn’t know what to say. The clerk looked at her with a skeptical look, wanting to take the box back from the schoolgirl. She slowly reached to take the box back when out of nowhere, the shrill ring of the phone resonated throughout the store, making Tomomi jump in fear.

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