The Snow Maiden

I was always a straight B student. Because a C made me look dumb and an A wasn't worth the effort. Scoring an A is for suckers. This pissed off the wrong people (my parents), so I was punished by being sent out here: a village in the snow country. But instead of building character, I met this village's darkest secret: the girl in the snow. She was dead and she changed my life. - UPDATES EVERY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY!

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Author's note

My latest story! I think it's the best yet :)
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28. Chapter 28

I felt a classroom of eyes follow me out. Jealous eyes, curious eyes. Me and the new girl. There were a few whispers, maybe some envious growls. Not that it mattered to me. Following Ayaka was more interesting than hanging out in the classroom.


I said, "Where are we going, uhm..." 


Ayaka said, "Hmm, since I'm calling you Satoshi-kun, how about you just call me Ayaka?" 


No hesitation, no embarrassment. Nokeikoor honorifics. Just a name, like we were a couple. If she hadn't told me that she came from Kagoshima, I would've asked if she grew up in outside Japan. Because telling a guy to call her by her first name on the first day is something no Japanese person would do. 


But I guess Ayaka was different. 


I said, "How about I just call you Yao-chan."


"But it'd feel weird for me to call you by your first name and you call me by the last name." 


Yeah, but it's weird for you to call me by my first name. But I didn't say that. 


I said, "Then how about Ayaka-san." 


"Hmm, that works too." 


She walked along the corridors. She asked me if I had some money. I did. She asked me where the secret exit of this school was. Because every school had one. Students had to sneak out somehow. I showed her to the back of the main building where there was a collapsed tree that allowed us to scale the school fence. 


"Ei!" Ayaka sounded as she landed on the other side of the fence. I followed her. 


I asked, "So what is it that you want to do?" 


There was no expulsion rule at my school, but getting caught sneaking out and you'd be hit with detention and a strongly worded letter to your parents. But I didn't tell her that. She seemed to be having fun. 


Ayaka said, "I told you earlier, right? In my old school we'd get expelled if we were caught sneaking out twice. So I've never eaten lunch outside during school hours." 


I sighed. Well, I guessed as much. It'd be a pain to get into detention because of this new girl, but my feet were already on the other side of the fence, so I might as well see this through. 


I said, "So what do you want to eat?" 


"Hmm, what do people usually get?"


"Sometimes we go to McDonald's. Sometimes we go to a ramen store." 


"How about sushi?" 


"Too expensive. I don't have 2000 yen to spend on lunch." 


"Hmm, I always thought 2000 yen was quite cheap." 



Rich girl. 


Sushi was expensive and low on calories. I don't care what the health experts say. I need my calories to get through the day.


Ayaka thought for a bit and eventually she said that she wanted to try the ramen store. 


I once read on some Net blog that you should never go to a ramen place with a girl. The food comes too quickly, you eat too quickly and don't have any time to chat. Which makes sense. Ramen originally became popular during the reconstruction period after the Second World War and laborers needed something quick and filling and cheap. I guess you could say that ramen was the original Japanese fast food. 


But I wasn't on a date with this girl. We had a clock that was ticking and a classroom to get back to. 


So I took her around the corner and to the little ramen stall students go to after school. It was 500 yen per bowl, more expensive than a 250 yen set meal at the school cafeteria, but it tastes twice as good. You get what you pay for.


Ayaka seemed to be fascinated with the mundane. She glanced around and took in every detail. I asked her why she was acting like a dumb tourist. 


"In Kagoshima we never really went to ramen stores. I usually had my meals at home. My mother didn't like to eat outside and thought all outside food, unless it was high class, was bad for your health." 


I looked down at my ramen. Oily soup, pork, noodles, no vegetables. Her mom had a point. 


We split the chopsticks and got to work. We didn't say much throughout the meal, each of us focused on our food. After she was done, she said that she wanted to order a beer. I said we were still in our uniforms. She pouted and said nothing. 


When we went back, I got out my phone and called a Kota-kun. An old friend, a loyal friend. I've known him since we were in diapers. He came to the back of the school building, threw a rope over the fence and helped us get back. 


Ayaka saw my phone and told me that we should exchange LINE IDs. I shrugged and said, "OK." She then turned to Kota-kun and exchanged with him as well. 


We made our way back to the classroom, with Ayaka walking in front. 


Kota asked, "So...did something good happen?" 


"Nope." 


"That's just boring." 


“Not everything has to be exciting.” 

 

Afternoon classes started and at the end of the last class, Ayaka messaged me.

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