Chapter 13

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The two girls kept quiet, the awkward silence filling the room as time passed.

Tsukiko sat with both feet on the chair, hugging her knees while spinning around slowly. She had barely said anything ever since Yui had arrived.

The other girl watched her friend, lying on the bed when she grew tired of sitting. "Are you feeling better?" Yui asked when couldn't take the silence anymore.

"Yeah," Tsukiko answered in a low voice, not facing her friend. Then she kept quiet again.

"Did you caught a cold or something?"

"No... it was just a slightly high fever. I didn't need to miss two days of school for that. Dad got too overprotective." Despite her words, Tsukiko smiled for the first time.

"You say that, but you're happy 'cause your dad left work just to care of you," Yui said and Tsukiko's cheek went a shade of red.

"It's been awhile since we spent that much time together."

Yui opened her mouth again, but then closed it. Tsukiko realized right away. She wants to ask about Kobayashi-kun and Taiyou-kun, the girl thought, but said nothing. Even I don't know how to explain...

With a heavy sight, Yui scratched her head. "Hey, Tsukiko, I'm just gonna ask. What exactly happened? Did you or did you not... sleep with Kobayashi?"

The girl stopped spinning on the chair. My best friend is so thoughtful and blunt at the same time, she thought, with a hollow chuckle in her mind. "Is that what everyone's saying?"

"Yes and no." Yui bit her lips and ran a hand over her face. "From what I heard, Kobayashi's little sister said she caught you two half-naked on her bed. But the rumors just got out of hand and people started saying this."

"What..." Tsukiko hugged her knees tighter. Guess I can't run away from this forever... "What did Kobayashi-kun say?"

"He said it wasn't true," Yui answered right away in a firm voice. "When the rumors got out of control, I heard that he was denying it all. But I cornered him and asked him directly to confirm. He felt awful for everything and said his little sister was an idiot."

Despite everything, those words managed to get a smile out of her. "Even if it is true, it's hard to blame her. We were like that on her bed..." Tsukiko sigh. "At least he's not the one saying those things."

"So something did happen..."

"Yes and no..." Tsukiko gave a weak chuckle, but then grew quiet.

"Could you... I mean, even Kobayashi refused to say what had happened, saying it was only between you two..."

Tsukiko could tell her friend wanted to know more out of concern then curiosity. She's a great friend... I'm lucky to have her, the girl thought with a gentle smile.

"After the game, I was trying to cheer up Taiyou-kun, but we got into a fight. I said something and did the same and then I walked away in the middle of the rain. I bumped into Kobayashi-kun and he took me to his house and let me take a shower. We were on his little sister's bedroom using the hairdryer and somehow we ended up kissing..."

"Did you two... sleep together...?" Yui asked after a while, choosing her words carefully.

"No..." Tsukiko relieved that afternoon. She had been avoiding thinking about it ever since she cried in Taiyou-kun' arm. But I have to face it sometime, she told herself. "I think we might have done it... if not for Aki-chan."

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