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NARRATOR: "The hands on the clock finally set me free from the tedium of yet another fun-filled class. Getting up from my seat proves to be more of a problem than I anticipated. My legs are killing me from the morning's run. Maybe doing these with Emi isn't such a hot idea after all. Still, the run's given me a hell of an appetite. I'm halfway down the hallway to the cafeteria when I remember that I've got my lunch with me. My parents saw fit to provide me with some prepackaged stuff when I moved in, and a good thing too. The hallway is packed with students headed for the cafeteria. Going back is like swimming upstream - but I've got an appointment to keep on the rooftop."

NARRATOR: "It takes me a moment to find the staircase leading up to the rooftop, but I'm willing to bet that Emi and Rin aren't up there by now anyway. In fact, I think I saw Emi among the bodies in the hallway headed for the cafeteria. I step out of the door to the roof and take a deep breath. The fresh air blowing against my face and body almost makes my legs hurt less."

RIN: "Maybe if I'm upside down..."

NARRATOR: "Part of me wants to be surprised that Rin's already up here."

HISAO: "What's that going to accomplish?"

RIN: "Things in the clouds."

HISAO: "Couldn't you just... look at them right-side up?"

NARRATOR: "Rin rolls her eyes in something approaching exasperation."

RIN: "Then I wouldn't get a new perspective."

HISAO: "Is upside down really a new perspective?"

NARRATOR: "Ah ha! That caught her off guard. Rin looks pensive."

RIN: "You may have a point. Maybe sideways."

NARRATOR: "As Rin lays down on the bench to look at the sky, I give up. Fortunately Emi chooses that moment to burst through the door carrying two bags. She nearly takes the door off the hinges."

EMI: "Sorry it took me so long! There were a ton of people in line."

NARRATOR: "She drops the first bag in front of Rin and takes a seat on the bench next to her."

HISAO: "You buy Rin's lunch for her?"

EMI: "Sometimes, yeah. I'd have Rin buy my lunch for me in return, but I'm not sure how she'd carry it."

RIN: "Plus I'd never buy her lunch."

NARRATOR: "If Rin's offended by Emi's comment, she doesn't show it. Emi sniffs."

EMI: "How ungrateful of you."

NARRATOR: "I'm not sure whether the two are joking with one another or if I'm witnessing the beginnings of a cat fight. The two girls stare at one another for a few tense moments before breaking into smiles."

RIN: "Hey Emi, do you think being upside down is a new perspective on things?"

NARRATOR: "Didn't I already have this conversation? Emi looks thoughtful, apparently giving the question some thought. After a deep and profound pause, she speaks."

EMI: "I have no idea."

NARRATOR: "Well, at least she's as lost as I am."

EMI: "Hey Hisao, you're coming to the track meet, right?"

NARRATOR: "The question comes out of the blue and catches me off guard."

HISAO: "Um... I don't know yet?"

EMI: "Honestly, Hisao, after I went through all the trouble of letting you run with me in the morning, you won't even show up at my track meet?"

NARRATOR: "Wasn't she the one that asked me to run with her? Actually, she didn't even give me a choice in the matter."

HISAO: "Wait, no, I didn't say that..."

NARRATOR: "She beams at me as if I'd just agreed to give her a million dollars."

EMI: "So you will come after all! That's great!"

NARRATOR: "I didn't say that either!"

RIN: "I'll be going too, so I'll make sure he comes, Emi."

EMI: "Good idea, Rin! Maybe we can get some food or something after the meet's over?"

NARRATOR: "I feel like I've just been conned, but not by these two. More like by some outside force, pushing me irrevocably toward my destiny. ...Or maybe I shouldn't read books that feature conspiracy theories so heavily. Otherwise I might wind up sounding like Kenji. Still, I suppose that I've got to show up now. I don't think that I could stand against both of them being disappointed. I'd never hear the end of it."

HISAO: "When is it again?"

EMI: "Next week, silly! I just told you a few days ago."

HISAO: "No you didn't."

EMI: "I forgot? Well, you won't forget to come though, will you?"

HISAO: "Of course I won't! I'll even make a note on a calendar or something!"

NARRATOR: "Rin nods sagely."

RIN: "That's probably a good idea, you know. Unless time changes its course."

EMI: "It can do that?"

NARRATOR: "Rin gives a noncommittal shrug."

RIN: "It hasn't yet, but you never know..."

NARRATOR: "This time it's Emi who gives a shrug."

EMI: "I suppose it can't be helped if it happens."

RIN: "Not unless you're a time traveler or something."

HISAO: "You don't actually think that could happen, do you?"

EMI: "I don't think we do... do we?"

NARRATOR: "Rin shrugs again. That seems to be her default response to everything."

RIN: "I suppose not. But I reserve the right to change my opinion at a moment's notice."

NARRATOR: "For Rin, this statement makes a disturbing amount of sense. The fact that I realize this now frightens me a bit. I wonder if Emi gets this feeling all the time. If she does she's not showing it, though. Emi merely nods."

EMI: "As expected."

RIN: "What's that supposed to mean?"

NARRATOR: "This time, it's Emi who shrugs. It's like she's using Rin's own weapons against her."

EMI: "Your response is the sort of thing I'd expect from you, that's all."

RIN: "Am I really that predictable?"

NARRATOR: "Emi's smile seems to border on gloating."

EMI: "Nah, it's just that your unpredictability is pretty predictable."

RIN: "Well that's all right then."

NARRATOR: "I don't get the chance to see whether Rin's being serious or not, as the bell rings. I didn't notice the lunch period slipping by at all. Hanging out with these two was far too interesting. Emi jumps up, a look of panic on her face."

EMI: "Oh no! I needed to stop by my room to pick up my notebook for the next class!"

RIN: "Don't you wish you had a time machine now?"

NARRATOR: "Rin seems rather smug as she delivers this line; like she'd just won an argument. Emi ignores Rin's comment."

EMI: "Sorry Hisao, but could you make sure our garbage gets thrown away? I usually clean up myself, but I've got to run!"

HISAO: "Sure, no problem."

NARRATOR: "Emi darts away with an urgency I'm starting to expect from her. I don't bother asking Rin why she couldn't help. She already seems to be preoccupied with something else entirely as she wanders off. She's probably used to Emi taking care of cleanup, and for some reason I doubt Emi's ever raised the issue with her. Cleaning up from lunch doesn't take long, so I have plenty of time to toss our garbage and get to class. Misha greets me with a wave and a devious grin as I walk through the door."

MISHA: "Didn't see you in the cafeteria, Hicchan."

HISAO: "Yeah, I decided it was too crowded there."

NARRATOR: "Misha's grin gets even wider."

MISHA: "Oh really? Are you sure you weren't participating in an illicit ren—dez—vous?"

HISAO: "W... what? What are you talking about?"

MISHA: "You were on the roof, right? With both Rin and Emi, no less! You Casanova, you!"

HISAO: "We... we just had lunch, that's all!"

NARRATOR: "Misha bursts into laughter, drawing the attention of several of my classmates."

MISHA: "Wahahaha! You're so adorable when you blush like that, Hicchan!"

NARRATOR: "She gives me a conspiratorial wink."

MISHA: "Don't worry, your secret's safe with me."

HISAO: "There's no secret!"

MISHA: "Oh?"

NARRATOR: "Misha seems disappointed and then brightens up again."

MISHA: "Time will tell~!"

NARRATOR: "I don't know what the hell she's talking about, but blessedly our teacher comes in, and the class starts."

Next Scene: Questions That Need Answering!

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