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MONDAY NIGHT – WEEK 2

When Reina arrived home, she got to downloading the ClickClout app. She set her account up, but that was as far as she was going. The videos would come later. Kasumi came exactly when she said she would, and Reina was already outside her house when Kasumi came over. The girl was walking her green bike, and she said, “My mom already told your mom about our plans.” She nodded towards Reina's crimson bike and said, “Let's ride.”

***

“So have you taken interest in any boys this year?” Kasumi asked.

The girls had biked to the corner gas station and procured a couple of pork-and-cabbage sandwiches that were popular among convenience store customers. They were called katsu sandos, and in their other hands they had a couple of tea containers. “Yes.” Came Reina's answer.

Kasumi got on her bike and asked, “How does the beach sound?” The two girls biked all the way to the beach, and once they arrived they kicked their kickstands down and sat down on the gray sand. They watched the waves, and as they ate Kasumi broke the silence with, “So who are you interested in?”

Reina wasn't sure how honest she could be about this. The last thing she needed was for someone to deem her as promiscuous. She said, “I have taken interest in two boys.”

“And who might they be?” Kasumi asked.

“Ito Daichi and Aoki Masaru.” Reina replied.

“Daichi gets all the ladies, doesn't he?” Kasumi chuckled. “Sounds like you have yourself some competition. But at least you have an alternative in the event that Daichi doesn't accept you.”

Those words sounded a little suspicious, but perhaps Reina was overreacting. “I suppose. However, unlike Masaru, Daichi and I already have a relationship. I only took up book reading again so we could have something in common. It seems to be paying off.”

“What draws you away from Masaru?” Kasumi asked.

“He's the class playboy, and so I suspect he is unreliable. However, he is all I have in the event that Daichi rejects me, so...” Reina trailed off.

“Sounds like you have restricted your suitors to Class 3-2. We have some boys in Class 3-1 who might be interested in dating you.” Kasumi said.

“Ah no, that is far too complicated. I need to watch my reputation.” Reina said.

“So you will go without if neither Masaru nor Daichi wants you?” Kasumi inquired.

“Well, there is always Kosuke. However, I don't love him. There is nothing there for me, short of a backup plan and an attempt at a normal life. But I want to get away from him.” Reina responded.

“I don't blame you. He seems way too fond of following you around.” Kasumi stated. The two ate their food for a moment, and Kasumi had a thoughtful look on her face before she asked, “Would your mother accept you having a girlfriend?”

“No. She wants grandchildren directly related to me. I doubt a partnership certificate to her would be a good replacement for marriage after all.” Reina said. “Why do you ask?”

“I'm not into girls, but I was thinking of filling in as your 'girlfriend' to help buy you some time in finding a boyfriend.” Kasumi replied. “But it appears that such a plan may not be practical.” More silence, and the two ate their food.

Reina looked out at the horizon, where the shining ocean's surface met the brilliant blue sky (or what was blue at this hour). Thoughts swarmed her brain, and then, a notion came forth. She set her food aside and got her phone out of her pocket, opening the ClickClout app. “I will take you up on your offer.” Reina said to Kasumi.

The girl glanced at Reina with confusion at first, before the hint of a smile appeared on her face. “...To become ClickClout partners? Amazing! Now I don't have to worry about looking especially awkward when I am filming my own videos!” She scooted a bit closer to Reina to get a look at her screen. “So what will we do first? A silly dance? An attempt at a trend?”

“An attempt at a trend. First, we can post an introductory video. I was thinking of creating treasure hunts for a few days, the only guide being coordinates found on Ooga Maps. We will encourage participation by providing prizes, or rather 'treasure,' in each location.” Reina explained.

Kasumi seemed impressed by Reina's idea. “Reina... That's a fantastic idea! But how will we assemble these treasure containers? We shouldn't do anything too obvious, otherwise we may attract the wrong sorts of people with our idea.”

“With whatever we can find. For example, perhaps one of us could use a small cardboard box as a container, and in this container would be a piece of paper with the coordinates of the next box in that series. Inside each box could be anything from seashells to yen. The more mysterious the object, the better.” Reina started looking through the sand to find a seashell or four.

“Sounds doable! Alright, let's get our introduction video ready!” Kasumi said, and Reina set them up for the very first clip on her page.

***

TUESDAY MORNING – WEEK 2

The day was spent gathering materials for the treasure hunts. Reina had gone to a store that morning to purchase a pair of work gloves, which she had brought with herself to school, as well as a few small trinkets. She went to the room where the cooking club usually met, and she grabbed a kitchen knife. Stashing the blade within her schoolbag, she decided to look for unopened boxes. She found a small one in the cupboards. It was an unopened box of assorted candy. She put on her gloves, then stabbed the knife in between the flaps. Reina texted Masaru, “Please come to the cooking club room.”

Masaru was quick to respond, replying with, “On it.” The boy arrived with a huge grin on his face, then he asked, “What did you need, Reina?” He eyed the candy and seemed to perk up. “Candy? May I have some?”

“In a moment, I need it for a recipe. In the meantime, could you please ask Yukimura Sachiko if she has a crush on anyone, if she is a part of any clubs, and if she has any hobbies?” Reina requested.

“Hmm, I don't know, Reina. I'm going to need a little something in return.” Masaru jested. He looked her over and suggested, “Perhaps we could go out on a little date tonight? It's been a few days since we've been on one.”

“Maybe, I'm busy tonight. How does Friday night sound?” Reina responded.

“Perfect! My parents won't be home by then! We'll head to AMANO then my place. You won't be disappointed...” He winked, then he left to distract Sachiko. Reina overlooked Masaru's taboo notions, mostly because she was planning to remove him sooner or later. She just needed to secure Daichi for herself.

Carrying the box, a knife sticking out of it, she sought out Sayuri. The girl was en route to her classroom when Reina approached her, causing the girl to jump on sight. Reina held the box out to Sayuri, and she said, “I accidentally got this knife stuck. Could you please try to pull it out?”

Sayuri stared at the blade for a moment, as if contemplating the request, before she pulled it out and set it on its side on top of the box. Reina took the knife and reached into the box to hand a sweet to the First Year. “For the trouble.” Sayuri accepted the candy before she practically ran into her classroom. Reina headed back to the cooking club's room, only allowing that malicious grin to appear when she was certain she was out of sight of the cameras. Taking a sandwich bag, Reina deposited the knife with Sayuri's fingerprints into the bag, and she placed it in her schoolbag.

She took a few packages of candy out of the box and stuffed them into her bag, before stashing the rest of it where she had found it. Reina left the room and nearly collided into Masaru, who smiled and said, “Hey Reina! Caught you just in time, I see! Okay, so Sachiko said that she has yet to develop a crush on anyone, she isn't a part of any extracurriculars, but she does ClickClout for a hobby.”

“Thank you.” Reina said. She reached into her bag and gave Masaru one of the sweets she had taken out of the assorted candy box. She then started for her classroom.

On the way, Kasumi caught up with Reina and said, “Reina, should we perhaps advertise our treasure hunting idea on ClickClout?”

“Of course. Where should we film?” Reina asked.

“Out front by that big tree! Let's go!” Kasumi said. She was clearly enthusiastic about the idea.


Submitted: March 18, 2021

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