Here's the next chapter!
And, thanks for all the readers! I'm glad you're all enjoying it so far CALL 2
When it comes to M.M Academy, the nation’s most renowned performing arts school, it comes down to the busy timetables for students. Normal academic scores is very important hence the high ranking in the country, even as performing arts school. Students live in the school dorms, and it’s only because of the late night trainings and early morning classes. The school includes everything and helps people find what they want to specialize in, whether it is composition or acting.
“Hey, wake up” Suzuki Kanon kicked her roommate, who was sleeping like a baby and wrapped up tightly in her sheets. “Isn’t she hot? It’s the middle of summer,” Kanon said to herself. The girl moaned as she rolled in her bed. Kanon just watched. Still not awake. “Hey” she kicked again. Still nothing. She sighed and ambled to the bathroom, filled a glass up with cold water and returned back to her friend’s bedside. “Sayashi” she kicked again. Nothing. Kanon raised the glass and poured it onto the girl’s face. “Wake up”
Riho squirmed and sat up, opening her eyes slowly. “What is it?” she whispered, her voice still unable to come out completely.
“Morning classes, you’re going to be late” Kanon reminded to half asleep girl and shook her head. “It’s amazing how you’re the top in the dance department,” she said. “You’re fans would love to see that sleeping face of yours”
“Then, you’re lucky”
Kanon turned around. “Ah, you’re finally up”
Riho yawned as she waddled to the bathroom to face her face and brush her teeth. The door clicked closed as Kanon just organized her school bag for the day and checked her timetable. “Ah, I’m on the west block today” she said with disappointment. The dorms are on the east block, so trekking all the way over to the west for classes was never really pleasing, no to mention the fact that the school campus is huge.
“Hey, which block are you in today?” Kanon asked from outside the bathroom.
“North, I think”
“Ah, lucky, you’re close to the cafeteria” Kanon whined with envy. “I’m never in the north block”
“Really? Aren’t you on Wednesdays?”
“Only on my C schedule, which hasn’t been happening for a while”
Every student has three schedules (A, B & C). It doesn’t really mean much, except it was made during the entrance exams and is filled with classes the teachers think the students need to improve on. It’s a special timetable, which acts as an extra on certain weeks. It’s like the timetable for everyone’s extracurricular activities.
“Maybe you’ve improved on your C classes, so their putting it on halt”
“Well, I have been acing those classes for a while” Kanon said sadly. “But, the cafeteria line is always long, only north block people get the good food”
Riho just laughed. “I’ll buy your share today too then… in case you don’t make it”
“Really?” Kanon said with joy. “Ah, I knew it. You’re the only person who understands my relationship with food”
The door opened and Riho smiled at her friend. “Well, food is a necessity”
Kanon nodded furiously. “Yes, yes”
“Well, I’ll get going then” Riho waved as she exited the room. “Oh, shouldn’t you leave about now too. You’re all the way west aren’t you? That’s like a forty minute walk”
“I know right” Kanon sniffed. “Wish me luck”
“Riho said that she’s going to get a date ready on her birthday, so we can celebrate together” Ayumi said dreamily. “Duu, do you think I should get a new set of clothes?”
Haruka rested her head on her arms, which were folded on the edge of the swimming pool. Her head stuck out from the water as she tilted her head to the side. “Hm, I don’t think so. You look fine in anything,” she said casually.
Ayumi who was squatting down by the pool playfully slapped her childhood friend. “Ah, you’re embarrassing me”
Haruka just smiled. “I’m sure Riho thinks the same”
“Ah, well we have been dating for a year” Ayumi said as she looked up to the glass ceiling of the swimming pool. “But, it feels just like yesterday. It feels so surreal”
Haruka gave a laugh, “You really are in love, aren’t you Ishida. I’ve never seen you like this, so dreamy and stuff” she paused. “It’s like you’re in a different world now”
“I heard that’s what love does to a girl,” Ayumi said. She looked Haruka suddenly having a serious expression. “Hey, do you have someone you like?”
Haruka didn’t speak. But for some reason the first word to pop into her mind was ‘you’. It shocked her. She diverted her line of sight. No way, she thought. There’s no way she’d like Ayumi. She took a peak at the older girl, who was still looking at her with anticipation. “Nope, I don’t really”
“Liar” Ayumi retorted as she pouted at Haruka and poked the girl’s forehead. “Why would you take so long to answer then?”
“I was thinking…” Haruka said.
“Thinking?” Ayumi narrowed her eyes. “Is it because you have so many girls flocking round over your boyish looks that you play with them from time to time? You were wondering if you actually liked any of them weren’t you? Player”
“Hey, don’t make a whole story up by yourself. It’s not like that and I don’t like anybody,” Haruka argued as she splashed some water on Ayumi’s face. “What are you going to give her then?”
“I struggling with that” Ayumi said as she wiped the excess water off her face. “She said anything would be fine… as long as it’s from me” she whispered shyly the last part as she looked down and started the twirl her finger in the water.
Haruka just stared at the bashful friend. She wore a coy smile as she thought about the all the happy possibilities on her girlfriend’s birthday. Haruka felt a tug at her chest. This was the first time she didn’t enjoy seeing Ayumi smile because of Riho. She didn’t like it at all, but she couldn’t say anything. Mizuki’s words rushed back into her head. ‘You love Ayumi, don’t you?’ Haruka scoffed. Impossible, she thought. It’s probably just immaturity on her side, maybe something stupid like friendship jealousy. Haruka nodded to herself, confirming her thoughts.
“I think what she’s saying is true though” Haruka finally spoke amidst the silence.
“I guess… But, I want to know what she actually wants. You know what I mean?” Ayumi explained her concerns over the birthday present she’s still having troubles with. “She’s normally the listener and I always think that she doesn’t express herself enough”
“Well, I think she’s just a more private person then. Not that she doesn’t trust you, but it’s a more personal problem, like she doesn’t feel comfortable with expression” Haruka assured. “Nothing too serious, just give her time. And, maybe lightly knock her a bit once in a while”
Ayumi stopped twirling her finger and looked at Haruka. She smiled. It was a simple smile. It was a smile that Haruka saw almost everyday of her life, but for some reason it made time stop around them. Haruka couldn’t pull her eyes away. She knew she was staring but she couldn’t stop. It was mesmerizing. What’s even worse is neither of them said a word. It was suffocating and Haruka wanted to say something. But, the atmosphere that was slowly building up just doesn’t allow for that. It’s one of those weird feelings where she wants to look away but can’t, and wants to talk but can’t. All she could do was being struck with awe.
“You know, Riho is my first love” Ayumi informed quietly, still not breaking eye contact with Haruka. “Do you think we’ll last?” she asked.
“Of course…” Haruka gave a bitter smile. “You’re happy around her”
“Thanks, let’s head to class now”
“How was it?” Erina nudged Masaki as she slid her way into the girl’s vision.
“How was what?” Masaki asked.
Erina furrowed her eyebrows. “Don’t play dumb. Fukumura… How was it with Fukumura yesterday?”
“Fine” Masaki’s short answer made her friend narrow her eyes. She just smiled and pushed Erina’s face away. “I can’t see the board”
“Oh, getting shy are we?” Erina edged on. She wiggled her eyebrows and gave an annoying grin.
Masaki jerked her head. “No I’m not. It was normal, we just talked”
“Talked?” Erina nodded her way back to her seat, which was beside Masaki’s. “I see,” she said sarcastically. “Ah, sounds boring to me”
“It wasn’t. It was nice” Masaki stated her tone carrying a stronger character.
Erina shot the same annoying grin again. “Hm, nice? That’s good to know” she slid her way over to her friend’s side again.
Masaki just sighed and shoved Erina’s face again. “I can’t see the board”
Erina restrained this time however, and refused to be pushed back. “Haw, noice” she said incoherently as her friend’s bare hands were literally pancaked her face. “I wif I wos thar!” her voice was getting louder by the second. Students slowly started to stop work and peek over once in a while to see what’s going on. And, all they saw was a war. A full out war; Masaki turned her body completely to the side and used both hands to try and push her friend away, while Erina had her hands gripped on the sides of her desk to give more support to her body weight and tried to push Masaki’s hands away with her face. It was quite a childish war.
“I can’t see the board,” Masaki repeated.
“Then, jus tarn arand” Erina replied with the same mispronounced words.
“No, you stop barging over to my territory” Masaki retorted.
“There’s no such thing as territory in the classroom” Erina responded.
Masaki didn’t speak. Erina’s words were perfect just then. “Whoa…” she murmured. Her arms subconsciously loosened and Erina crashed through on full throttle. Masaki tried not to fall off her seat and flailed her arms around, but failed. Erina also tried to regain balance by tightening her grip on her desk but also failed. The two toppled over and the sound of clashing chairs and a desk echoed through the lecture hall. Everyone halted their actions and all eyes were on the two who were fooling around.
The teacher who was down the bottom who was teaching music theory cleared her throat. She glared at the two students who were laughing nervously at the back. “Out. NOW” she demanded.
“Yes, yes” Erina and Masaki hurriedly got on their feet and straightened their uniform with trembling hands. They kept on bowing their heads as they made their way to the exit of the classroom. “Sorry” they whispered before leaving the room.
The teacher sighed as she went back to teaching. “Gosh, even though they have so much potential”
“Ah, Erina and Maa” Haruna walked up to the two. “Why are you to standing outside?”
“We had a war,” Erina said with burning eyes of fury. “It was so intense”
Haruna slapped the girl across the head. “Stop playing during class”
“She was the one who kept shoving me though” Erina immediately got her child voice on and pointed at the girl next to her. “She started it”
Masaki gasped in disbelief. “You were blocking my view and distracting me, always asking about Fukumura”
Haruna and Erina stared at Masaki with sparkling eyes. “So, how was it?”
Masaki looked at them confused. What was this development? They’re such fast topic jumpers. She gulped at the hungry expressions that were laid on her. “We... just had a talk”
“Continue” Haruna urged as she clasped her hands together. “Anything else? Like, a kiss, a hug… or even both!” she exclaimed.
“This isn’t a drama” Masaki killed her friend’s excitement. “We really just talked, basically”
“What a let down” Haruna slouched her back. “I was hoping for some action”
“You did magic tricks didn’t you?” Erina asked. “Did she like it?”
“Well, she seemed amused” Masaki said.
“Then, I guess it’s all good” Erina said as she returned back to normal. “Ah, why are you out here by the way?” she directed her question at the older friend, Haruna. “How about class?”
“Ah, I got kicked out too” she casually said. “I was distracting the other’s too much. Well, it’s not my fault I’m funny”
“And, you were going to lecture us” Erina said with her arms crossed.
“I didn’t have a war,” Haruna argued. “I was just too good at talking, I lured everyone in” she said with pride in her voice.
“What are you?” Masaki asked. “Luring a bunch of girls into your weird conversations. It sounds sketchy to me”
“Hey, I’m a very safe person”
“Sure sounds like it” Erina rolled her eyes and her tone was filled with sarcasm. “So safe”
“So, this is a combined class for modeling” the instructor crossed her arm. “This is very important if you want to break into the modeling industry. Finding the right camera angles, finding your own style and selling the clothes. You need to convince the viewers that they have to buy the clothes. Okay?”
The students all nodded as they firmly yelled out ‘yes’. The instructor smiled at the enthusiasm. “Good, today will be group shots. The point this time is to shine together. There’s no point in shining alone, try to utilize everybody’s characteristics into the shot” she paused and scanned the group of students she had. “Ah, Kudo” she said.
Haruka stepped forward from the line that she was lined up in. “Yes?” she responded.
“You’re quite established in the modeling industry already so you will go with other experienced people. You’ll be with Sayashi who has quite the exposure as a backup dancer and appeared in quite a few commercials, though not as much as you. And, Ishida will also be in the group. She’s quite established as dancer too” the instructor nodded at her own decision. “All of you have experience in front of the camera, so I expect a lot from you three”
Sayashi and Ishida stepped out too. The three nodded. “We will not disappoint” Riho assured as she bowed in the process too.
Haruka looked over to Ayumi who had a wide grin on her face. She was so happy to be with Riho, Haruka thought, why’s she so easy to read? Haruka then looked at Riho and saw the seriousness in her eyes. Well, that’s expected. Riho has always being the more serious type when it comes to her job and studies. They all were actually. It’s just Riho’s stands out a bit more.
“Now choose your theme for the shoot from the box” the instructor ushered as she pulled out a box from behind and shook it a bit. “Kudo, you do it”
Haruka walked up and put her hand into the box. She moved from paper to paper and tried to dig a bit deeper into the pile that was inside. She settled on a piece and pulled it put. She unfolded the paper, which was neatly in half and read it. Haruka gulped as the words slowly revealed itself.
“Read it out” the instructor said.
Haruka turned around and looked at Ayumi. “Lust” she saw it all at that moment. Riho’s inner shock, Ayumi’s confusion and she felt her own anxiety.
“Our theme is lust,” she repeated quietly.