Book four: Chapter five, 2017, year's end

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Midsummer'sday, 2040,planning dinner

With everyone finished bathing, well the kids apart, empty stomachs made themselves remembered. More than one carried a growling midriff and James decided it was his turn to be the chef.

There were lots of leftovers from the day before, but he wasn't entirely positive he knew what mixed well with what. Just like he wasn't entirely positive he remembered everything that had led to him being here.

He did recall wooing Amaya, but he had forgotten how it all started. In part, James thought, because he had an easier time bringing good times to him, and there had been the end of an autumn, and all winter, and none of it good.

Funny. He shook his head. Shouldn't that winter have turned into spring? But I just can't remember anything, apart from Amaya. Damn, I have to ask her about it.

Because this was the trip. During this trip everything came back to the surface. The good and the bad, and if he couldn't remember anything, probably something rather nasty.

Chapterfive, 2017, year'send

"I knew your parents when they were students here."

Students here? Yes, almost forgot that.

"They haven't told you yet?" Principal Nakagawa asked, as if he had read her thoughts. "You'll find them in the news club archives." His face turned serious and sad. "I wish we could have done more for them," and then he brightened "but I guess they turned out all-right in the end."

She loved her parents. It made her warm inside knowing other people did as well.

"I was a teacher here during those days, and now I'm nearly done here."


"Yes, I'm retiring."

Things will change. The next principal will be, eh, less lenient I guess.

"Off with you. You don't want to miss class."

Noriko bowed and made to leave the office.

"Give my regards to your parents," Principal Nakagawa said just as she was about to close the door. "Tell them I'm sorry. I'll apologize properly at a later date."

After he has retired. When he has severed his connections to the school. What's going on?

She quickly walked to her classroom. Thoughts of worry and wonder danced in her head all the way to her desk.

Inside her classroom the mood was different from the usual, had been so for a week now. Kuri was absent again.

One more month. Kuri, you can't afford staying away from here. But Noriko knew all too well by her friend never came to school. Breaking up with someone you love must hurt. Still, one more month until year's end. Those exams decided whether you passed the year or not, and Kuri wasn't exactly one of Himekaizen's best students.

Noriko threw a glance at Kyoko's seat. The two of them had grown closer in Kuri's absence. You know, you should run to Yukio more often. Much more often, and she would have, Noriko knew that, if it wasn't for 3:1 and 6:1 not being on the best of terms with each other.

In 3:1 Urufu was a loser who had done something bad enough to their celebrated beauty to force her to break up with him. In 6:1 Kuri was the bitch who played with and hurt their hero.

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