Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko


The Story So Far: Teen idol Yuriko has been enrolled as a senior at Mistukawa High School for a new reality-based TV show. Her first few days have been filled with drama…and comedy. Just like any new student, she has made friends - and enemies - met nice teachers and bad ones…and received lockers full of love letters. Unlike any other new student, she’s doing this all with a camera following her around. Not everyone approves.


Volume 1, Issue 7

"Rhythm"



"Good morning, Yuriko-kun!" Sayaka sounded extremely chipper.

"Good morning, sempai." Yuriko bowed to her "senior" and seated herself at her desk. Back in the boy's uniform, she realized she had forgotten to lose the earrings…oh well. She stifled a yawn, but the next one got through. The third was excessive, she thought, and willed herself to not yawn again. She yawned again.

"Late night last night?" Sayaka inquired - rather archly, Yuriko noted.

"Yes, as a matter of fact. I was having difficulty with my Japanese homework." Yuriko shot the girl a self-righteous look. "I’ve forgotten a lot - and it doesn’t reassure me to know that I can forget it all over again when I leave here. I’m not going to do well on today’s test."

"Maybe you need a tutor." The voice came from behind Yuriko and she turned, rather more abruptly than she meant to. She stared at the mousy girl behind her and strained to remember her name.

"You’re…uh…" Yuriko desperately wracked her memory, "Aya-san, right?"

A pleased smiled broke out across the girl’s face. "That’s right. I’m surprised you remembered." She looked Yuriko in the eye and said, "I’m not very memorable."

Yuriko couldn’t really argue with that, but she did anyway. Aya seemed good-natured enough about it, though and Yuriko took an instant liking to the girl.

"I’m sorry, we haven’t really spoken since I got here," Yuriko said smoothly. "But I think your idea sounds like a good one. Do you know someone who can tutor me?"

Aya tightened her lips in thought. "I think I do. You’re joining the writing club, right?"

Yuriko nodded.

"Hmmm…that’s twice a week, and basketball is three times a week…you’ll be hard pressed…unless," Aya cocked her head and eyed Yuriko. "if you’re really serious, I can tutor you on Saturdays. That’s a good day for me, and none of the other clubs meet then."

"You tutor me?" Yuriko played mental catch-up.

Sayaka explained. "Aya-chan is the best tutor in school. She tutors several of the younger students and a few of the older ones, as well. She's even the head of the advanced studies program in Japanese here."

Yuriko reappraised the mousy girl. "Well, then, I’d be honored." They agreed to meet in homeroom after classes were done on Saturday.

Well, Yuriko thought, pleased with herself, that solves that. A second later she groaned, realizing that she now had next to no personal time left to herself. School is killing me, she thought.

***

"Yuriko…san," Sawako-sensei barked out her name, but with an unpleasant slur on the honorific, as if she wasn’t worthy of it. "Please come up to the board and answer the fifth problem."

Yuriko swallowed a sharp retort and stood at the board for a moment, before outlining the answer. Algebra wasn’t her best subject, that was for sure.

"That is incorrect," Sawako-sensei snapped. "Sit down. Can anyone give me the *correct* answer?"

His insinuating tone was really getting on her nerves. She sighed and took her seat once again. A few classmates flashed sympathetic looks, but didn’t dare turn their attention from the teacher for more than a moment. Yuriko rubbed her neck, trying to drain some of the tension from it.

***

"Man, he really has it out for you," one of the boys commented after class let out. "I’ve never seen him target someone like that."

Yuriko waved his concern away. "I seem to do that to people," she said, shoving nearly half a sandwich in her mouth at once. "Can’t figure out why," she said around the food. The boy -  Shiro, she thought - grinned and filled his own mouth with food. Today, three of the boys in class had asked to sit with her and Sayaka. Shiro seemed the most talkative of the three, the other two content to simply bask in his reflected glow.

Yuriko caught sight of Aya, and waved her over. Aya took a long look at the table and came over, hesitatingly slightly. One of the boys caught sight of her, and looked away quickly, but when Yuriko caught his eyes, he pretended nothing was the matter.

"So," Shiro continued, "ole fish face is going to try and break you, huh?" He grinned with relish. "Are you going to confront him on camera? Wouldn’t that be something!"

"Hate to disappoint you," Yuriko commented placidly, "but I’m not going to confront him - on camera or off. He’s allowed to not like me."

Shiro deflated. "Oh, well, yeah, I guess so," he said with considerable disappointment.

"Yuriko-kun," Sayaka interrupted, "I have something I need to do - I will see you at the writing club meeting today, right?" Yuriko shot her a look of thanks, and assured her that she would. Sayaka stood and took her leave.

Just as Shiro was gearing up for more gossip, Yuriko caught sight of the PA coming towards her, waving. Yuriko stood quickly. "Something’s come up - must dash. Bye!" She made a hasty departure and intercepted the PA.

"Yuriko-san," the harried young woman said, "I have a message from Miyamoto-buchou. He says that he’s scheduled an interview for you tomorrow, but that it has to be during the day." She pushed the hair out of her eyes with a limp hand. 'Type 2' PA, Yuriko commented to herself. "You’ll have to leave class for it."

Yuriko nodded. Across the way, she could see the table she had vacated. Aya was eating her lunch, concentrating on her tray, while Shiro rattled on to one of the other boys. The third boy stared off into the distance, very obviously avoiding glancing at Aya.

"So, just remember," the PA continued, "I’ll come and get you out of class."

"Sure, sure." Yuriko watched the third boy stand abruptly and walk away, while in her place Aya shrank into herself a little. Shiro talked on, unheeding. As did the PA. Yuriko reassured her that she understood the simple instructions, all the while watching Aya. At last, finished with her lunch, Aya gathered up her things, and left the grounds, heading in the opposite direction from the boy.

When the PA left, Yuriko stood and looked off in the direction that Aya had gone for a long while.

***

"Welcome to the writing club!" fifteen voices chorused happily. Yuriko bowed and greeted each one in turn. She seated herself at a desk, and watched the proceedings with interest.

Sayaka was a very competent leader, she noted with pleasure. She covered old business briskly, segued into new business neatly and had a crush on the Vice-President the size of China. Yuriko smirked to herself. Every time the boy opened his mouth, poor Sayaka practically melted into a puddle right there. There was no doubt that he *was* a very pretty boy; his features were regular, clean-cut, his hair long and silky. He seemed perfect for her. She wondered why he didn’t seem to notice.

Eventually Sayaka brought the meeting around to their new member. "Yuriko-kun has generously offered to do an interview with us for our journal - isn’t that right?" The girl turned to the blonde, who straightened in her seat and answered with a sharp, "Yes, sempai!" then grinned as the club members laughed. Sayaka concluded the meeting at that, allowing each member to have a chance to talk to Yuriko.

The blonde was gracious and friendly, but she ached to leave. She watched Sayaka and the Vice-President of the club move to the other side of the room for a few private words. Sayaka bowed, then turned to face Yuriko. Yuriko extricated herself from the crowd and joined her sempai at the door.

The Vice President left the room and turned down the hallway. Yuriko watched Sayaka watching him, and said quietly, "Why don’t you say something to him?"

Sayaka shook her head and clasped her books to her chest. "Watch."

Yuriko watched the tall boy move down the corridor. At the intersection of the halls, a girl came from around the corner and threw her arms around him. He smiled down at her happily and they walked off arm in arm.

"Ah," Yuriko commented.

"That’s why," Sayaka said. She sighed, then pulled herself together, flashing a smile at her "kohai." "Tomorrow’s Saturday! Then some fun."

The two women walked down the hall together, chatting about their plans for the weekend.

Continued