HISAO: "Now let's see... what was I supposed to be looking over again?"
NARRATOR: "I know it's a losing battle, but I fight it anyway. Halfway through my math homework, I put my pencil down. This isn't working. I need a distraction. Unfortunately, my options for distractions are rather slim. I'm not in the mood to read, right now. Kenji is, unusually, out of his room at the moment. If I go to the student council room, I'll just end up doing work for those two. And heaven only knows where everyone else is, except for..."
NARRATOR: "Well, I suppose that's an option. I grab my shoes and head for the track. Emi's probably down there. Track practice is just ending as I arrive at the track. The sun's beginning to dip low in the sky. Has it really gotten that late already?"
EMI: "What are you doing down here, Hisao? Come to spy on me, have you?"
NARRATOR: "I give a shrug. To be honest, I'm not sure why I'm down here."
HISAO: "I didn't have anything better to do."
NARRATOR: "I figure that's about right. At the moment, Emi's the only person I can think of who I could visit."
EMI: "So I'm your last resort, am I? Nobody cool around, so I'll just go see Emi, is that what you thought?"
NARRATOR: "She actually looks angry. A chance for some teasing of my own presents itself."
HISAO: "Actually, yeah, I guess you are."
NARRATOR: "Emi pouts, widening her eyes to give the maximum amount of puppy-dog resemblance."
HISAO: "Kidding! I was kidding!"
EMI: "So you are down here to stalk me!"
NARRATOR: "Wait, what?"
HISAO: "That's not what I meant! Why would I stalk you anyway? It's not like you require stalking. If you're not asleep or in class, you're down here, right?"
NARRATOR: "Emi laughs at this comment."
EMI: "Well, you're not all wrong, I suppose - but you forgot about eating. I do that too, you know."
NARRATOR: "I nod, conceding the point."
EMI: "Plus I hang out with Rin sometimes too... so really I might take some effort to stalk."
HISAO: "What do you two do together anyway? You don't seem to have a lot in common."
NARRATOR: "She puts her hands on her hips and assumes a superior air."
EMI: "That's what you think. I've got all sorts of hidden hobbies, you know."
HISAO: "Oh really? Like what?"
NARRATOR: "Emi puts her head to one side, as if she's trying to remember what it is she does in her free time."
EMI: "Well, Rin and I go out shopping sometimes."
NARRATOR: "I guess that makes sense. Emi's a girl, after all. But Rin?"
HISAO: "Rin comes with you?"
EMI: "We usually swing by the art supply store. Plus she likes this music store that sells all kinds of weird sounding stuff. She says it helps focus her."
NARRATOR: "That makes a little more sense."
HISAO: "I see. Any other hidden hobbies?"
NARRATOR: "Emi wags a finger at me."
EMI: "Now now, why would I go and reveal all my dark secrets to you? We hardly know one another!"
NARRATOR: "Somehow I think that's all that Emi has in the way of hobbies. Still, I don't think my question's been answered."
HISAO: "Even if you do have a few hobbies, I still don't see why you hang out with Rin so much. I mean, she's kind of weird, isn't she?"
NARRATOR: "This comment causes Emi to laugh loudly."
EMI: "Ha! That's the understatement of the year!"
HISAO: "So why? I mean, you're a lot better at conversation and stuff, so I figure you'd hang out with a lot of people, but I think I've only ever seen you with Rin."
NARRATOR: "Emi seems unusually defensive."
EMI: "Hey, I hang out with plenty of people that aren't Rin! You just don't see me doing it because I'm not in your classes."
HISAO: "Okay, but that still doesn't explain why you hang out with Rin."
NARRATOR: "I'm not even sure why I want to know this. I guess it is because lunch was so strange. Emi shrugs, looking for a moment very Rin-ish."
EMI: "It's because we have similar outlooks."
NARRATOR: "If you were to ask me the least likely answer to my question, that would be it."
HISAO: "What do you mean?"
EMI: "It's like... Okay, Rin paints and stuff, right?"
NARRATOR: "I'm not sure where this is going."
EMI: "Well, I run."
EMI: "And... that's why we're similar."
HISAO: "... You lost me."
NARRATOR: "Emi frowns, as if trying to figure out her answer."
EMI: "Well, maybe it's that we do things for the same reasons."
EMI: "You know, we follow our passions."
HISAO: "So you're passionate about running and Rin's passionate about art, is that it?"
EMI: "Well, sort of. Let me think... Well, Rin explained it to me once, but I don't know how much of it I followed."
NARRATOR: "Not surprising. I think any explanation from Rin would probably confuse anyone."
EMI: "She says we both chase after an extreme. Like, she's always trying to find a new way to show a particular feeling or something. And I run because of the feeling I get from it. And since we don't allow ourselves to be slowed down by anything, we make a connection based on that."
HISAO: "What do you mean “slowed down by anything?”"
NARRATOR: "Emi looks surprised and points to her legs."
EMI: "You know, because I'm a runner. And Rin's a painter even without arms. So we respect each other's determination. And that's why we hang out. I think."
NARRATOR: "Well, I'm not sure that made any sense to me...but from Emi's sheepish expression, she's not sure about it either."
EMI: "Honestly, it's not something I think about much. We just get along - I think that's really all that matters."
NARRATOR: "I suppose she's got a point there. Another question strikes me, and since I've got nothing better to do, I ask it."
HISAO: "So what got you so into running, anyway?"
EMI: "Oh, I've been running since I was really little! My dad was a runner, and so as soon as I could walk, he started teaching me how to run. It was our father/daughter thing, you know? Our own mutual hobby."
NARRATOR: "A shadow crosses her face, and I'm shocked to see her looking... sad. Did something happen between them?"
EMI: "Man, I don't have a lot of time left. Sorry, but I've got to get a few more laps in before I go see the nurse!"
NARRATOR: "She races off around the track, hair streaming in the wind. It seems to me she's going a lot faster than she was this morning. As she rounds the track, I catch a glimpse of her face. It's much the same as it was this morning, but her eyes seem to have taken on a harder edge. I guess she's right. I don't really know much about her. I watch her run for a little while, and then stand up to head back to my room."
NARRATOR: "She spots me leaving and waves to catch my attention."
EMI: "Don't forget! Same time tomorrow morning, got it?"
HISAO: "Got it."
NARRATOR: "I head back to my room. Homework beckons."
Next Scene: Second Time's the Worst