Feb 20, 2011

Chapter Twenty Five

Chapter 25

Making Friends: Take Two

Ai's POV

*I'm sorry, but I am absolutely sick of calling Kazuha 'Tooyama' so I'm just calling her Kazuha or Kazuha-chan from now on. Oh, and I'm sorry about not being able to write yesterday. I was working on something with a friend, and then I went to sleep early so I could watch the lunar eclipse. Did anyone else see it? Or was it only visible on the east coast?*

"Make sure you actually behave today at school," said Ran. "And apologize to Ayumi-chan too."

I sighed, we'd been over this about a hundred times since that disastrous outburst I'd had during class yesterday. I just hoped that annoying girl would actually shut up today. If not, then perhaps we were in store for another catastrophe.

The door rang, and Ran answered it, letting in Kazuha and Hattori-kun. "You guys are early, did you have breakfast?"

"No, that's why we're here actually," admitted Hattori-kun. "You see, there's no food in Kudo's house and we haven't gotten to a grocery store yet…"

"I'll cook something up. Give me a minute." Ran rushed back into the kitchen, leaving me alone with the two Osakan teenagers.

"Umm… I heard you got into a spot of trouble yesterday, Ai-chan," Kazuha attempted to start a conversation.

"I got kicked out of class for screaming insults at the girl sitting next to me." Interesting, she hadn't been told details by Ran.

"Oh yeah," Hattori saved Kazuha from replying to my awkward response. "Did you guys hear about that Kaitou Kid heist last night? He stole the gem Blue Summer."

"What kind of gem was it?" asked Ran curiously. "I think I heard part of the announcement last night, but I was too tired to watch the heist."

"It wasn't much to watch. He stole it during a blackout." Hattori looked disappointed. He'd obviously been watching it on TV. "The gem was a large blue garnet. Kudo should be able to tell you more about it; it was in the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Blue Carbuncle."

"Isn't that kid dead?" Ran's father suddenly appeared at the doorway. "And what are you two kids doing here so early in the morning? Don't you have your own place to stay?"

"They're just visiting, I'm making breakfast for everybody right now," Ran answered. "And Hattori-kun said that Shinichi would have been able to tell me more about it since he was a huge Holmes fan. You must have missed that part." Her dad grunted, then sat down at the table.

"I just want coffee; I'm going to go out with an old friend for lunch." Ran gave him a steaming mug of coffee that she had prepared beforehand.

"Breakfast is ready!"

"You're a pretty good cook, Ran-chan," commented Kazuha as we left the Detective Agency.

"I don't think so," she replied sheepishly. "I learned from my mom and she's absolutely horrible."

"I'm going," I announced, as we hit the turn to the elementary school.

"Wait, Ai-chan," called Ran. "Do you want me to come with you?"

"Why should you? How many times do I have to remind you that I'm at least two years older than you?" I glared back at her. When she didn't respond, I walked down the path, alone.

When I arrived at the entrance of the school, I saw a few of my classmates glancing in my direction and having whispered conversations. I didn't see the little girl Ayumi though. The whispered conversations were even worse when I entered the classroom, minutes later. They looked scared of me. I sighed, and sat down at my seat where Ayumi was already sitting.

She seemed awkward, but not scared like the other kids. "Ayumi's sorry for yesterday, Ai-chan. I didn't realize that I was being annoying." She was apologizing to me? How did that make any sense at all? She should hate me, not say she was sorry. "You want to start over and try to be friends? I promise I won't talk as much." She held out her hand, and I shook it, feeling a new warmth blossom inside of me.

"Sure, Ayumi. Let's give it a shot."

During lunchtime, Ayumi introduced me to her two best friends, Mitsuhiko Tsuburaya and Genta Kojima. They smiled, and I recognized them as the two boys sitting in front of me. When Ayumi first told them she invited me to sit with them, they seemed a little wary. But after ten minutes, we were all chatting like old friends. It felt… good.

"Ai-chan, what's your favorite subject?" asked Mitsuhiko-kun.

"I like science the best," I answered honestly. "Especially chemistry and physics. They're very entertaining."

"Science is my favorite subject too!" he announced excitedly. "My favorite part of science is technology! I love robots, computers, and anything like that. I think they'll be the future of our world someday."

"Ayumi likes everything!" The little girl interrupted. "Everything is really fun to learn!"

"Does anyone want to go back into the lunch line with me?" asked Genta-kun. "I want to get more eel."

"Don't you ever think you eat a little too much eel, Genta?" commented Mitsuhiko, who was then grabbed by the collar of his shirt by an angry Genta. "Ah, I didn't mean it! I'll go with you!" He pleaded. I laughed at them, they were so funny.

"You look really pretty when you're laughing, Ai-chan," Ayumi complimented me. "You should do it more often."

"Do you want to join us this weekend for a camping trip?" offered Mitsuhiko. "My sister's taking us; it'll be a lot of fun!"

Ran had been right. Friends were worth the while. But how long could something like this possibly last.

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