Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko has found herself in a position that greatly annoys her - she's being obvious. Everyone else seems to find it amusing.

Volume 4, Issue 8

"Walking in Circles"

"She *is* blushing! Look at that!" Aya laughed.

"Stop that!" Yuriko waved the two girls away, as they peered closely at her. "So what if I am? It's my coloring."

"And it's not because you, oh, say, have a crush on a certain someone?" Aya prodded.

"I don't know what you mean." Yuriko shifted to face the front of the classroom and pretended not to hear the chuckles coming from behind and beside her.

"Yuriko-kun has a crush?" the boy who sat behind Sayaka said, rather loudly. Several uncharitable thoughts passed through Yuriko's mind in quick succession.

"No!" Yuriko insisted.

"Yes." Sayaka and Aya chorused. The boy laughed and poked his neighbor. "Didya hear that? Yuriko-kun's in love."

Yuriko lowered her head to the desk and prayed for the earth to open up and swallow her as the news traveled across the room to Aya's and Sayaka's evident delight.

"You guys are evil," Yuriko muttered.

The whole room was humming with laughter and speculation when Midori and a new cameraman entered. The PA smiled her greeting at the boys who welcomed her, as she made her way across the room.

Yuriko, trying hard not to be too obvious, felt as if she might well have jumped up, shrieking "good morning" to the woman who now stood in front of her desk.

"Good morning." Midori said, her voice soft. "Thank you for dinner last night."

"It was entirely my pleasure." Yuriko's social polish reasserted itself, even as her eyes were captured by the brunette's. She pointedly ignored the choking noise that came from behind her and the muffled laughter from her side.

"I still smell like garlic," Midori said happily, "how about you?"

"No one has said anything rude - so far." Yuriko admitted. "Maybe I just metabolize it quickly."


Yuriko stood as she spoke to the PA and walked away from the desks. She felt the need to distance herself from the students to gain just a little privacy. "I realize that I'm being a little pushy, but I was wondering if you're free for dinner tonight as well."

Midori looked disappointed. "I'm sorry - I have a prior engagement. But thank you for the offer."

"Ah well...then, maybe soon?"

"Definitely." Midori gave Yuriko a brilliant smile. "Well - it's time to get to work," she patted Yuriko on the arm, "we'll talk later."

Yuriko followed her gaze to the door and slipped into her place at her desk as Abe-sensei entered.


Yuriko made a face at the paper in her hand. "This is terrible. I'm embarrassed to have my name on it."

"As well you should be," Aya added. "It looks like you haven't been doing the assignments I gave you. I think we'll have to start all over again."

"Hey, come on! I've had some major stuff on my mind recently. Don't." Yuriko pointed a finger of warning at Sayaka, who had her mouth open, ready to add her two yen. Her mouth shut audibly, but she grinned, lifting her hands in an impudent gesture of innocence.

"Still," Aya said, "you should at least try and do respectably. What will your fans think if you fail class?"

"Funny, " Yuriko said thoughtfully, "that's pretty much what Sawako-sensei said."

"Really?" Sayaka asked. "I wouldn't have thought he'd care."

"I don't know - I'm beginning to think there's a lot more to him than meets the eye." Yuriko said.

"Well, in this case I agree with him." Yuriko laughed at the look on Aya's face as the girl made this pronouncement. "I know you're busy, but you have to at least *try.*"

"Between basketball and the writing club, and my public appearances, I'm surprised I have time to do any of the homework at all," the blonde grumped.

Sayaka nodded. "I know how you feel - sometimes, after school and the writing club, the last thing I want to do is go to cram school, but...." She sighed, "Sometimes I don't get home until after ten o'clock. And *then* I have to do any homework I didn't get done that day."

Aya nodded. "Me too - I have cram school, and pre-med class at the college, plus my tutoring. Some days I'm too tired to eat dinner."

Yuriko glanced back and forth between the two girls; amazed at the schedules they kept. She hadn't remembered high school being that difficult, but then she hadn't planned on attending university, either. She cleared her throat and said, "You're right, Aya-san. I'll try harder." She felt abashed at her own self-absorption and complaints. Compared with these young women, she was nothing more than a slacker. What terrible burdens to bear at so young an age.

The day ended at last. Yuriko slipped her shoes on and threw her coat over her shoulders. She smiled at the students around her, wished them a good weekend and headed towards the door with a seemingly endless stream of youth. She looked around herself, wondering how many of them had punishing schedules - and how many of them were so busy they hardly had time to enjoy being young.


Yuriko knocked once and opened the door. Hachi was there to meet her and invite her in. They chatted for a few moments about inconsequentials until Mariko came out of the bedroom.

"Yuri! I'm glad you came early. There's someone I wanted you to meet."

"Oh?" Yuriko didn't bother hiding her disapproval.

"Yes, I think you'll really like her."

"Oh." Mariko was setting her up with a date? Normally, Yuriko would be thrilled, but tonight she felt strangely uninterested. In fact, she was downright disappointed.

"Come on - you trust me, right?"

"Sure, I trust you." Yuriko smiled uncertainly. She didn't trust Mariko for a second. This had all the hallmarks of a setup.

The intercom sounded. Hachi took the call and told the doorman to send the visitor up. Mariko beamed at Yuri.

"So trust me. She's smart, talented, and very beautiful."

"Mari, really, I'm just not..."

Hachi opened the door at the knock and welcomed the newcomer. Yuriko turned just as the visitor bowed her greeting.

"Thank you so much for inviting me tonight," Midori said, smiling pleasantly up at them.

Yuriko glared at Mari who shot her a reproving glance. "I *told* you that you should trust me!" she laughed.