Rise and Shine (continued)
Lost in my thoughts and oblivious to everything around me, I close my eyes while still facing the Spring sky above me. I sink my back into the bench I'm sitting on, allowing my body to relax against its stiffness. I let the inviting sun cast it's warm glow on me, making my thoughts drift away little by little with its peaceful embrace. I could probably catch a nap right here, if I hadn't gotten a pretty decent nights sleep last night.
I hear footsteps and passing voices walk by me every few minutes as more students make their way to the Festival. I have a feeling it's going to be pretty crowded in the midst of everything. It's hard to imagine all the students in one area, that's not even counting the visitors from nearby towns and family members.
Moments go by slowly while I sit on the bench and watch people pass. I imagine it must be pretty close to noon, it feels like I've been sitting here for awhile now. I look down at my watch but my thoughts are interrupted momentarily by a loud -POP- sound coming out of the loud speakers around school, followed by several seconds of static.
"I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for coming out today.." the chipper voice starts.
I'm not sure that I recognize the voice but it seems to be coming from a woman. Now that I think about it, I don't believe I've ever met the Principal of Yamaku, could that be them? Nobody has even mentioned it before, how strange.
"..to ensure a safe environment for students and visitors alike!" The voice carries on.
I must have just missed some kind of safety speech.
"With that, I hope everyone enjoys their time today. Let the Festival begin!" She finishes, another -POP- sounding out across the grounds.
I hear a distant round of applause and cheer come from the area of the Festival. I can only see very little of it from this bench, but it sounded like quite a crowd already. I glance down at my watch again to check the time.
I hope they didn't forget about me. What if they forgot about the meeting spot and went on in? I'm starting to get ahead of myself, they're probably just running late. I remember my dad saying that he always has to wait for mom when they're going somewhere, so maybe it's-
"Whew, you sure do clean up good Hisao!" A girly voice chimes in with a small snicker, cutting off my thoughts.
I look up to meet the amber eyes staring down at me, a warm grin spread underneath them. Naomi is wearing a light-blue short-sleeved tunic top thats sides reach down past her hips. It's hemmed in the middle to reveal a pair of jean shorts that are mid-thigh length. She looks fully prepared to enjoy the warm Spring weather today.
"Th..thanks." I state back, slightly embarrassed by the compliment. "You look pretty nice yourself. You must really enjoy Spring time."
"Sure do!" She states, giving a quick spin, sending the sides of her tunic outwards. "But, I'm nothing special, especially compared to some people." She continues, grinning and turning to her side and looking over her shoulder at the person behind her.
"Please.." Natsume says, rolling her eyes. Her cheeks are blushed a little in embarrassment.
Her hands are locked together in front of her hips, her vibrant eyes rolling at her friends enthusiasm. It looks like she painted her nails again, each fingertip being a bright green color now, with a small yellow flower printed on each one over top of the green.
Her auburn hair is pulled into a tightly spiraled bun on the back of her head. Her bangs sweep to the side, held in place by a hairpin with a small flower on it. A few thick strands of loosely curled hair are resting against her cheek, running down the side of her face. Her bright green and deep brown eyes are both glowing in the suns warm embrace, filled with expectation and a little bit of embarrassment still.
She's wearing a bright yellow sundress, it's fabric perfectly forming to the curves of her body in all the right places. Her shoulders and arms are glowing in the sunlight, being exposed by the lack of sleeves on the dress. The dress loosens up a little at her hips, flowing down her thighs and cutting off a few inches above her knees.
Naomi looks great, but she's right, it's hard to compete with the girl standing beside her. I feel my heart speed up a little in my chest, trying to take in the scene before me.
"Well, whatcha think Hisao?" Naomi jests, pointing her thumb back at Natsume and giving a playful wink.
"I..uhm..I.." I stutter out, blood rushing to my face. I must look like a fool right now, stumbling around, unable to even form words for a compliment.
"I.." I try to start again but am cut off.
"Lets..uhm..go get something to eat." Natsume chimes in, saving the day once again. "I'm starving."
"Sounds great!" Naomi answers back, moving on from my awkwardness. Naomi strides ahead, almost skipping towards the festival.
"Ready Hisao?" Natsumes soft voice questions as she steps forward.
I look up and lock my eyes to hers. They're so bright today, almost as if a fire is lit behind them. She has one hand on her hip and one hand reaching towards me, a cute smile showing her pearly white teeth. I didn't even realize that I'm still sitting on the bench until now, I swear I've been floating in midair the last few minutes.
"S..sure." I stammer, placing my hand in hers and lifting myself up. "Thank you." I almost feel bad for not answering to Naomi's playful question. I sure didn't have any problems letting my thoughts be known last night, what's stopping me today? I let a sigh pass through my lips as I stand, trying to straighten my thoughts out.
Natsume gives a playful wink over her shoulder as she begins stepping forward. Naomi is pretty far ahead of us already, almost bouncing with excitement with each step she takes. She moves pretty quickly for such a small girl. It doesn't look like Natsume is in quite the same rush as she is, so I'm just going to match her pace and stay close so I don't get lost.
Students dash from booth to booth, their arms filled with different kinds of foods and toys. The festival area is much larger than I expected it to be. Despite the crowds of people drifting around, it's actually pretty open. They must have carefully thought of how to lay out the different food stalls and games booths scattered about for people...well, people like me, who can't take the risk of unforeseen contact in a dense crowd. I can't help but to be impressed by the extra steps that Yamaku takes for things like that.
"What are you in the mood for?" I ask Natsume, who has moved a little closer to my side now that the crowd around us has thickened.
"Hmm, I'm not sure." She answers, a thin finger placed on her chin in thought.
"How about we just walk around until something catches our attention?" I suggest.
"Sure, that works." She answers with a nod.
Naomi is out of sight now, she hit the crowd a few feet ahead of us and melted into it instantly. It shouldn't be too difficult to find her if we're walking around, I'm sure she didn't get too far.
Noodles, fried traditional foods, fried western foods, more noodles..
It all sounds good to me. That muffin and can of coffee earlier didn't do much for me. I look to my side to gauge a reaction from my partner as we walk, but her eyes are locked onto the front of a booth to her side as she stops to look at something. I can't tell what she's really looking at, she's not looking over a menu, but more towards the bottom of the stall, underneath the open windows that you order from. I adjust my stance to look from a different angle and notice a small metallic plate screwed to the front.
"A special thank you to Dr. Mamoru Ooe."
Huh, I never noticed the plaques before, but they must mean something. I glance over at Natsume. She has a certain expression on her face, one that I can't really identify. The corners of her thin lips are pushed upwards and her eyes are slightly squinted as she looks at the plate. I look back to it, reading again.
Ah, this must be a relative of hers. I'm still not sure what the plaque is thanking them for, but I can tell she's probably proud about whatever it is.
"Is..is that a relative of yours?" I ask, trying not to ruin her moment.
"Heh..yeah," she answers back with a small chuckle. "I'll uhm..I'll tell you about some other time." She finishes, taking a step forward to the window. She must have decided she's in the mood for fried Western food. It does smell rather enticing.
"Does Western sound good to you Hisao?" She asks, looking over her shoulder at me.
"It sure smells good to me." I answer back, conscious that I may start drooling at any second.
"Get what you want, okay? My treat!" She offers with a big smile. She's getting into festival mode now I think. I see a certain glimmer to her eyes.
"You sur-" I try to ask.
"Absolutely!" She cuts in. "We have to do some...research, after this." She finishes, laughing to herself as she turns back around.
Oh yeah, I keep forgetting about the Newspaper work. I mean, that is the reason she invited me, right? I should try to remember that.
"If you insist." I agree. "I'll go get us a table, just surprise me, okay?"
"Are you sure want to trust me with that responsibility Hisao?" She asks, laughing into the palm of her hand.
"I trust your judgement." I answer back with a laugh of my own. Truth is, I just don't want spend too much of her money and I don't know much about Western food.
I quickly find an empty picnic table and plop my body down on the bench in front of it. We still have several hours of daylight to go and I'm already feeling the tightness in my legs from walking. I bet Natsume doesn't have that problem, with those nice athletic legs.
...I should probably focus on something else.
There's a large herd of people gathered around the courtyard of the school now. Parents and students weaving through one another, excitedly looking at different things around them. It's a nice scene, parents and children spending time together. I kind of wish I had invited my parents now. I'm sure they're working, but I could have told them about it anyways.
I can barely see the game booths to my other side through the thick crowd of people between us, but it looks pretty lively as well. Some kids throw plastic balls at a stack of bottles, some throw darts at balloons pinned to a cardboard wall and others dip small paper nets into a little pool of water, trying to capture, what I assume, is a goldfish. Typical festival games, but it excites me a little, nonetheless. I haven't played games like that in a long time, maybe I'll get a chance to play later.
I notice a short-haired girl in a blue tunic skipping her way towards me, a big smile stretching her cheeks upwards. She's coming from the games area, so I assume that she's already investigated the scene further. She waves in my direction with her other hand hidden behind her back. I wave back, trying to figure out what she's hiding. She makes her way over, plopping down on the bench across from me.
"This is great!" Naomi exclaims. "There's so many cool games to play Hisao, you need to check it out!"
"I'm sure we will make our way over there after we eat." I respond back, giving the arm stretched behind her back a curious look.
"Wanna see what I won?!" She excitedly asks, bringing her hand out in front of her before I can even respond.
There's a small teddy bear in her hand. It's wearing a traditional-looking Kimono and is carrying a fan in its stuffed paw. It's actually kind of funny looking, but Naomi looks awfully proud of it.
"That's great Naomi!" I respond back, trying to match her enthusiasm.
"Yep! Soo.." She quickly starts back, a sly grin on her face. "You going to win Natsume something cute?"
She covers her lips with her free hand, letting a giggle escape. I'm not sure how to respond, this almost sounds like a trick question.
"I..uhm..I guess I could," I start. "If she wanted me to."
"Don't ask me but," she responds back, cupping her mouth with her hand before whispering. "I think she'd like that a lot." She giggles to herself like a maniac as she ends her sentence. Maybe I was right before, maybe she is secretly crazy?
I can feel my face starting to turn red again from embarrassment. I'm pretty sure she's just jabbing at my easy to embarrass nature, but I would actually like to win Natsume something now. Maybe they have one of those strength testing games where you hit the little air pump with a mallet and try to ring the bell. I could totally 'wow' her with my..strength?
The thought makes me laugh out loud, and now I probably look like the secretly crazy one. Naomi is still laughing but cuts it off quickly, clearing her throat as her eyes focus on something over my shoulder.
"Hey Natty!" She calls out, waving her stuffed bear around in the air.
"Ah! How cute!" She asks, her voice changing in pitch a little to sound like she's talking to a baby. She sits down two dishes on the table, one is some kind of hamburger and the other looks like a large chunk of something that's been breaded and fried.
She adjusts her dress as she sits to my side, pushing the fried hunk of...something in front of me.
"Ever had fried chicken before Hisao?" She asks, quickly taking a small bite from the hamburger in front of her.
"I can't say I've ever had it...like this before." I state, trying not to sound so hesitant to dig in. There's a moment of silence as I investigate the food, prodding it with a fork.
"Remember when we had breakfast together?" She asks, clearly picking up on my reluctance.
"Yeah..I'm going to try it, don't worry." I say, laughing to myself. Naomi looks a little confused, I guess she probably should be, considering she has no idea what we're talking about.
Natsume is giggling into her hand as she watches me. I take my fork and stick it into the crispy crust on the outside, carefully pulling a small piece of meat off of the bone. I decide to try it with my eyes open this time, placing the chicken onto my tongue and pulling the meat off of the fork with my teeth before biting into it.
"W-wow!" I exclaim in surprise. "Where do you try all of this incredible food at?" I question, looking over to Natsume. A big smile pushes her cheeks up and reveals her white teeth once more. I'm still taken aback by how beautiful she looks today. I mean, she's always pretty but she looks incredible right now.
"You just can't be afraid to try new things!" She answers, pride beaming into her features.
"I can handle that." I answer back with a smile.
I look across the table at Naomi, who's blushing slightly. Her elbow is resting on the table and her chin is resting on her hand. She has a certain look in her eyes and her smile seems so genuine and curious.
"You two are too cute!" she says clapping her hands together. "I'm going to go grab something to eat and walk around some more! Catch you all later, okay?"
I can feel myself blushing and I don't really want to look up from my plate right now. I'm just going to play off the first statement.
"Sounds..good to me. See you later." I answer, forcing my head up.
"Fine, fine. See you later!" Natsume responds with a wave, quickly diving into her burger again. I think I can see her blushing a little too, so that kind of makes me feel better.
Naomi strides off with the stuffed bear in her hand, only looking over her shoulder to give me a big wink. I'm not sure if that was supposed to mean something or not, but I'm not going to think about it. We continue to make quick work of our food. This chicken is probably awful for my heart, but I'll make up for it soon.
On the bright side, I didn't choke on my food.
Last edited by InSaiyan
on Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.