Tomomi pursed her lips together as she stood at her locker, shoving a few textbooks into the tan, metal locker as her childhood best friend yammered away beside her. Tomomi and Mao had known each other since they were babies, their parents having been close friends long before the two of them were even born. But even Tomomi could admit that Mao got annoying from time to time with her constant talking. Although, at this point, Tomomi knew there was no way to shut Mao up when she got rolling. She just learned to go with the flow when it came to this sort of stuff.

“I mean, who gives us so much homework at once? It’s ridiculous. It’s bad teaching! It’s like he wants us to fail!” Mao ranted, shaking her head at the thought. Tomomi hadn’t really been listening to Mao’s tirade, so she didn’t really understand what Mao was ranting about this time, but she had a feeling it had to do with their History teacher. Mao hated their History teacher and Tomomi was fairly certain that their History teacher hated Mao right back. She wasn’t even sure why or how their mini-war had gotten started, but she didn’t dare question it. It would just launch Mao into another tirade about how unfair their teacher was, or something of that sort.

Tomomi closed her locker, turning to face her short haired friend. Mao’s black hair fell to her shoulders, waving about as she shook her head, making odd gestures with her hands. Every now and again, Mao would stop her gestures, reaching up a hand to brush the black locks out of her brown eyes when her furious headshaking would knock them down. Tomomi leaned against the lockers, waiting for the first bell of the day to begin.

It was kind of funny in an odd sort of way. Here Tomomi stood, listening to her friend as if nothing had changed. During school, she was just the regular girl she had always been. The innocent Tomomi who never did anything wrong and got perfect grades. But after school is when she joined them. After school was when she tried to fit in with some of the most feared people in the school. The young brunette was trying to live two different lives, hoping the people in her “regular” life never figured out about the new one she’d adopted. She inwardly shuddered at the thought of that ever happening. Maybe it was inevitable that the truth would come out eventually, but the tall brunette wanted to avoid it for as long as she possibly could.

She’d even gotten the others to agree not to speak to her at school. At first, Haruna had been opposed to it, claiming she wasn’t going to let Tomomi take the easy way out of things. But after a small talk with Rina and Mami, Haruna had agreed to it. Tomomi didn’t know what Rina and Mami did to make the feisty boss agree, and part of her didn’t even want to know, but she was glad they did it. She could keep up this charade for a while longer thanks to them. But her mind couldn’t forget the words Haruna said once she agreed. Those few harsh and cold words that left her lips as she looked at Tomomi with such sad eyes.

When the truth comes out, you’ll figure out who your real friends are. Don’t be surprised if you’re left alone.

She didn’t understand it. She knew who her real friends were. Even if she was with them now, she knew that Mao wouldn’t leave her side. She couldn’t. They’d been best friends their entire life, they went through everything together. Nothing could separate them. If something could, it would have happened by this point in their lives. Haruna was probably just trying to scare Tomomi off. The brunette was probably overthinking the boss’ words but still…. Those words rang through her mind. They scared her.

“That’s a nice bruise you got there, Ogawa.” Tomomi’s thoughts were shattered as she heard the familiar deep voice. Her eyes flew in the direction of the voice, noticing Haruna and Mami standing in front of her and Mao, a smirk placed on Haruna’s face with her blonde companion looking bored and uninterested.

“And who do I have to thank for that?” Tomomi grumbled, hoping Haruna hadn’t heard it. But of course, nothing could go the way Tomomi wanted it to go. She wasn’t that lucky. Haruna had heard. The older brunette responded with a laugh, stepping a few steps closer to Tomomi.

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