First day of school had ended. Even though Kichirō only had three subjects for the day, he felt so exhausted. Staying at home for a while might have made his body grow weaker.
Even though he was feeling tired, since this was something new to him, he had a surge of diligence. He felt excited to the point that he was getting the same feeling as with getting an update for an anime series that he was watching. He decided to go to the library to read in advance. He was confident that he could earn more points and would be able to get the attention of his professors. Call him a show off, if you please. He may be shy, but deep down in him, he was the type of guy who wanted to stand out and prove himself worthy of everyone’s praises.
The library was situated on the western side of the campus. He was on the eastern part. One could imagine how that could make him even lazier.
It was a ten-minute walk to the library. On his way, he admired the beautiful sky that was painted with hues of blue, red, orange and yellow, as dusk fast approached. The scenery was awe-inspiring as the setting sun changed the color of the cherry, plum, and peach blossoms, giving them a darker shade of pink, white and yellow. It was like an on-the-spot flower viewing for Kichirō.
He was getting nearer to the library when he heard a commotion. He heard the cries of a crowd of girls screaming like crazy fan girls. He continued walking and yes, he was right—there was a crazy crowd—as if they all saw a celebrity in the flesh. He chuckled inwardly and shook his head out of disbelief.
Out of curiosity, he squeezed himself through the crowd. He was shocked because he could not even get through them. Whatever they were checking on, he could vaguely guess that it was really something that they had set their sights on. He could not even see anything while on his tiptoes because of his height. Oh mom! Why do I have to get your genes? Dejected, he decided to walk away and move on to his original destination—the library.
He walked right through the library’s main entrance. It was huge as compared to their library back in senior high. While he was walking along the hallway, he bumped into someone. Because he was short and frail, he fell down easily and dropped his textbooks. The guy who bumped into him was still standing.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Are you okay?” said the guy who was taller than him by a few centimeters. This guy looked very gentle, even though he appeared to be in a hurry. Kichirō could tell that he was really sorry about what happened.
In the end, Kichirō nodded and said he was okay. The guy raised him up and helped him pick up his textbooks.
He looked at the guy and he started to notice that this guy was really good-looking. His skin was pale and as white as the moon on a clear night sky; he had short, clean-cut black hair; he looked like a mixture of Korean and Japanese race; and his nose and lips were just right. Kichirō finally started to notice that the guy was a bit younger than he was.
“I think I can manage, Senpai. Looks like you’re in a hurry,” Kichirō said to break the awkward silence. He called him ‘Senpai’ out of respect even though he knew the guy was younger.
The guy chuckled and blushed a little.
“No. It’s fine. Don’t be too formal with me. I think we’re of the same age,” he said.
“Thanks!” Kichirō smiled at him and the guy smiled back. Perhaps, Kichirō had the skills in making new friends after all. What made him happy as well was that the guy flattered him by saying that they were of the same age. Kichirō was so full of himself. He wanted to laugh but he would look silly.
“Do you happen to know where the section for Nursing Practice is?” Kichirō asked. “I kinda suck when it comes to direction,” he added, then grinned.
“Are you taking nursing classes, too? I’m a freshman! You may be my Senpai,” the guy enthusiastically said.
“Hey I’m a freshman too. But I stopped school for a year, so by age, I’m your Senpai,” Kichirō responded happily.
“All right, Mister Senpai-By-Age, what’s your name? My name is Naoki Sakaguchi. You can call me by my first name if you like. It’s spelled with the characters for honesty and tree.” Naoki grinned with his hazel brown eyes sparkling.
“Oh, you have a nice name. My name’s Kichirō. Kichirō Ishikawa. My first name’s spelled with the character for lucky.” He responded with an awkward smile.
“I’m in luck then because I met someone with this name!” Naoki exclaimed.
“Nah. I’m the lucky one as I made a friend who’s honest and sturdy like a tree.” Kichirō laughed heartily when he recalled that Naoki was still able to stand properly when they bumped into each other. “By the way, since we’re already acquainted, can I call you Ki-kun?”
“I’m fine with that. Can I call you Kichirō-san?”
“Call me as you prefer.” Kichirō responded.
They both smiled at the same time.
“Oh, Kichiro-san, I’ll accompany you to your destination then.”
Kichirō nodded in response and together, they walked toward Kichirō’s original destination. After some time, he remembered something, “Hey, Ki-kun, I thought you were in a rush earlier?” He asked Naoki this question because Kichirō did not want to be a bother to him.
“It’s fine. I think the crowd’s gone anyway. I can check on the basketball team some other day,” he responded honestly and flashed a smile on Kichirō.
And that was how Kichirō luckily met his best friend, Naoki…