Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko

The Story So Far: Yuriko has been cleared of any accusation of sexual harassment, but she has decided to bring an end to her term as a high school student.

Volume 5, Issue 10

"Akashic Records"

Yuriko and Midori rode to the office with Kishi and Miyamoto. The agency owner was jocular, clearly pleased that the problem with Mie had resolved itself. Yuriko herself felt sympathy for the girl and mildly giddy with relief, as well as nauseated by the whole experience. She put on a brave face, laughing at the manager's jokes, and adding a few of her own. A glance or two told her that Midori wasn't fooled, but it was just as obvious that the writer understood what she was doing.

They arrived at the office a few minutes after the studio representatives.

"This won't take too long – can I ask you to do me a favor?" Yuriko asked Midori, taking her hand briefly.

"Of course! How can I be of service, my lady?" Midori spoke over-formally, but with a pleasant smile that caused an answering grin to appear on the blonde's face.

"Funny." Yuriko looked down at the writer. "Call Mariko – she'll be chewing her fingers off, wondering what happened. I'm surprised she hasn't ambushed us yet, in fact."

Midori laughed. "Poor Mariko-san, always worrying about you. Do you ever give her a moment's peace?"

"Not since we were little." Yuriko said with a straight face. She leaned close to Midori, her lips just brushing the writer's cheek, "Wait for me...I'll be as fast as I can."

"I'll be right here."


Kishi was on her third cigarette. "Will that be sufficient?" she asked tiredly.

The representative from the studio nodded. "I think Onda-san will be pleased." He made a slight bow towards Yuriko. "In my humble opinion, Yuriko-san, you've got a good sense of drama," he laughed. "If you ever want to move over to our side of the camera, I think you'd do well."

Yuriko bowed her thanks and made nearly plausible excuses as to why she had to leave. Nonetheless, it still took an additional half an hour to extricate herself from the clutches of her agent.

She reached the street and stood, looking around for Midori.

"Heads up!" a voice cried. Yuriko spun around and put a hand in front of her face just as a can of tea came whizzing by. The can glanced off her hand and fell to the ground, rolling away from her.

"Hey!" the blonde yelled, cradling one hand with the other. "That hurt!"

"Sorry," Midori said contritely, as she picked the dented can up from the ground. "But you were supposed to catch it."

Yuriko shook her hand out and took the can with a frown. "I'm not an athlete..." she smiled at her joke, "I'm an actress who plays an athlete on TV."

"You can't fool me – I've seen you play basketball."

Yuriko stuck her tongue out at the other woman. "So?" she asked after opening the tea and taking a sip of the warm, sweet liquid.

"Mariko-san was thrilled, as you can imagine. She asked if you were up for a celebratory meal."

"Am I?" Yuriko inquired pleasantly.

"Apparently, yes," Midori said with a smile. "And I told her to feel free to invite a few others if she wanted to – I think a party is in order."


"Because we have a lot to celebrate." Midori threw her empty can into a trashcan, and linked her arm through Yuriko's as they walked.

"Such as?"

"Well," Midori began with a deep breath, "there's the fact that the case was dropped. You know – I feel really sorry for the girl and her family."

Yuriko nodded. "Me too. It isn't easy, being near something you think is beyond you – it unnerves a weak person."

Midori stared up at the blonde in surprise. "What do you mean?"

Yuriko tossed her can away and placed her freed hand on Midori's arm. "Well, think about it. You're a fan of something or someone and immediately you put it on a level away from yourself – higher, better, more refined, whatever. You project a lot of your fantasies onto that thing – wealth, fame, power, love, whatever – and then one day – you meet that person, or go to that place or possess that thing. Then what?

"You find that the person you thought was perfect is only human, that the city isn't paved with gold, that the car you wanted doesn't bring you happiness. It takes a strong person to not let that bring you to your knees."

Midori watched Yuriko for a moment, then squeezed the arm she held. "You're a strong person, Yuriko."

Yuriko smiled down at her. "It's easy when you have more than you ever dreamed of."

"I disagree. I think it's even harder. Yesterday you were joking about not picking up the bad habits associated with your job – that's exactly what I mean. Using your example – once you have everything you want, doesn't it take away the goal you had? And then what? Most people can't handle the pressure."

"Mmmm. You're right." Yuriko said thoughtfully. "So what else do we have to celebrate?" she grinned at the author.

"Let's see...well, a successful end to 'The Best Years of Our Lives.' "

"Ewww, are they really using that title?"

Midori laughed. "Do you know – I meekly suggested that I might be able to come up with a better title and they all stared at me like I was..."

"A mere Production Assistant?" Yuriko finished. "I can see that. Well, the show's not over yet – but I think the end will be a good one. I suggested a special ending, filmed at the festival."

"That's a terrific idea!" Midori said. "It'll put a nice wrapper on the show."

Yuriko sighed heavily. "You're right – the end of this show is something to celebrate. I'm sick of doing homework!"

"And of course, I have something personal to celebrate, too." Midori said smugly.

"Oh? What's that?" Yuriko affected a coy tone.

"It's a secret," Midori said, "but I'm seeing someone right now."

"Oh – tell me about it."

Midori smiled quietly. "Well, she's beautiful, she's talented – and she looks adorable in a girl's school uniform."

"Don't *ever* tell that to an interviewer, okay? It makes you sound like a weirdo."

They laughed happily, and talked of important things like clothing and food until they reached the restaurant.