Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Life appears to have returned to normal, Yuriko is back in school, which is gearing up for their cultural festival and senior dance. Yuri thinks she may know who her mysterious benefactor is.

Volume 3, Issue 16

"Spiraling Downwards"


The phone rang.

It rang again.

On the third ring, Yuriko pulled herself out of bed and fumbled for the device. She was greeted by a dial tone. Clumsily replacing the receiver on the cradle, she lay back in her bed, relieved.

The phone rang.

She sat up, rubbing her eyes and yawning. Glancing at the clock, she could see that it was unbearably early - obscenely early...what kind of evil human would call...

The phone rang.

Cursing, Yuriko grabbed the phone off the cradle and shouted, "What?" The tone hummed in her ear.

As she sat there listening to the dial tone, the phone rang. She placed the phone back once again and stood, banging her toe on the bed. This was not good. Only three people in the whole world had her cell phone number - and Kishi-san was not a morning person.

"Yuri!" The voice was Mariko's and it sounded distinctly unhappy. "I thought I'd better wake you."

"Thank you," Yuriko said wryly. "Any particular reason?"

"Then you haven't heard yet? No, I guess you couldn't have...not if you've been asleep. But why haven't they come to your apartment?"

"What, Mari? What couldn't have I heard and who hasn't come?"

"The newspapers - it's in the news."

Yuriko stuffed her feet into her pink fuzzy slippers and shuffled into the kitchen. She could hear Mariko take a deep breath.

"Sorry - I haven't had my coffee yet."

"Me neither, so speak in small words."

Mariko did. "A very large picture of you and Ruriko-sensei coming out of a club is on the cover of nearly every tabloid this morning. The headline is various versions of "Lesbian idol has new girlfriend."

Yuriko cursed. It wasn't something she did often, but she felt that this situation warranted it. "How bad is it?"

"For you? Not so bad...for Ruriko-sensei...?"

"Damn." Yuriko heard the call waiting tone beep. "Let me call you back. This is probably Kishi-san."

"Bye."

"Thanks." Yuriko hit a button then chirped, "Yes, Kishi-san?"

"So you know." The agent was her usual gruff self. "Good. I'm sending someone over to arrange for a press statement. You'll want to deny it, of course."

"Why?" Yuriko poured tea into a cup and sipped it gingerly.

"Because it's not true. Unless it is?" Kishi's voice took on a distinctly uncomfortable tone.

"No, it isn't. Mastumori-sensei is unremittingly straight. We've been going out dancing, that's all. But if we deny it, it'll seem like a cover up. Why not just tell them the truth?"

Kishi sighed. "I'm sending someone over. Do not - I repeat - do NOT go outside until my man shows. His name is Taro."

"Okay, but please remember that the only one I'm worried about here is Matsumori-sensei. A little scandal might be good for an idol - but it's
devastating for a teacher."

"Understood," Kishi said, and hung up.

The phone rang. Placing the cell on the table, Yuriko lifted the receiver of her other phone.

"Hello."

"I'm, Mishiwa from the Daily Journal..."

"No comment at the moment." Yuriko disconnected the phone, holding down the button until it rang again. She lifted her finger and said, "No comment," then disconnected again. The next few minutes were alternated between this and ignoring the phone altogether. She gave in one last time and lifted the receiver to her ear.

"No comment," she said, trying not to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

"Wait! Don't hang up!" The voice was Ruriko-sensei's and it sounded a little frantic.

"It's you!" Yuriko said. "Then you know. I am so very sorry to have dragged you into this..."

"Don't be absurd!" The coach's voice was slightly edgy. "I asked you to teach me to dance." She paused. "Is there anyway I can get to see you before school?"

Yuriko shrugged, then said, "Probably not. The way it sounds, the building here is under siege by the press. I'm surprised they haven't crawled up the side of the building to get to me."

"Oh." Another pause. "What are you going to tell them?"

"Probably the truth. It'll ruin your surprise, but with luck, it'll wind this story down quickly. On the other hand," Yuriko suppressed a yawn, "news has to run its course - especially rumor."

"True. But...what do I do in the meantime?" Ruriko-sensei's voice was plaintive and Yuriko felt terrible for the woman.

"Go to school as usual, ignore any attempt to contact you," she heard a bitter laugh on the other end of the phone. "OK, forget that. I'll have a
car get you and take you to school. Wait for me there. I'm afraid I'll be trailing maggots, but at least my PR people are working on it right now."

Ruriko hesitated. "I've made a mess of things, haven't I?"

"No," said Yuriko firmly. "No you haven't."

"I'll see you later?" There was more than a little pleading for reassurance in the teacher's voice.

"Definitely. Ruriko-sensei...please trust me - I'll take care of this."

"Alright."

The line went dead. Immediately it rang again. Yuriko pulled the line out of the phone and the ringing stopped. She could hear noise out in the hallway and smiled grimly. Time to get dressed and face the vultures.

Continued

Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations copyright E. Friedman and Yurikon LLC. All Rights Reserved.