The final bell rang sharply throughout the school building. Students excitedly walked out of their classrooms and crowded the halls of St. Rose Academy. Mizuki Ackerman stretched out her arms, sighing happily at finally going home and doing nothing after a stressful week of classes. Her face scrunched up in distaste when she remembered the pile of homework she’s probably going to neglect in the weekend, in favor of hanging out with her best friends. Sighing in resignation, she adjusted her backpack and exited the school campus. Just as she walked past the school gate, rain had poured down heavily.
“Just great.” She muttered to herself. Closing her ebony eyes, she pondered on whether she should go home or wait the rain out. She suddenly opened her eyes in a sudden revelation. Grinning to herself, she started her journey towards a familiar path.
Annika Lautneur hummed in satisfaction at finally finishing her essay. She stretched her arms up, hearing a satisfying crack. She stood up from her chair and exited her room, walked down the hallway, and climbed down the stairs. Heading towards the kitchen she adjusted her ponytail, grabbing a handful of her auburn hair and tightening the hold of the hair accessory. Opening the fridge, she grabbed a bottle of strawberry milk, opened the cap and drank, eyes closed as she relished the creamy taste of milk. A soft knock reached Annika’s ears and she downed the last of the contents. Placing the bottle in the trashcan, she walked to the front door and opened it.
There stood her best friend of 7 years. One Mizuki Ackerman, who was thoroughly soaked from head to toe. The black haired thirteen year old smiled sheepishly at her. Annika sighed.
“Get inside.” She said her voice barely audible over the sound of the rain.
Annika stepped aside and let Mizuki enter the foyer. The latter placed her bag on the floor and shook her black hair, droplets of water flying everywhere. The former frowned at that.
“You know where the bathroom is.” Annika said, going up the stairs to fetch a towel and some clothes for her friend to change into. Mizuki smiled as she heard the bland tone and followed Annika up the stairs.
Annika entered the bathroom and placed the towel and clothes on the sink when she heard her name being called. She glanced towards the owner of the voice, who was currently seated at the tub filled with bubbles.
“Help me wash?” Annika rolled her eyes, but nevertheless sat herself at one end of the tub.
“You’re such a kid.” Pouting, Mizuki replied,
“You used to do this too.”
“Keyword: used to.” Annika said as she grabbed a bottle of shampoo and squirted a generous amount onto her hands and lathered them onto her friend’s black hair.
“I just missed hanging out with you,” Mizuki turned around to face her friend, “Annika.”
“Turn your head back.” She did as she was told and a comfortable silence descended on the occupants of the bathroom.
Done with her bath, Mizuki stood in Annika’s bedroom, toweling her hair dry as she waited for her friend’s return. Just as she finished drying her hair, Annika opened the door.
“I’ll return your clothes tomorrow.” The door was closed again. Mizuki hanged the now damp towel on one of the hooks on the door and exited the room to join her friend in the living room.
She found Annika on the couch, watching the television in boredom.
“Snacks are on the table.” Mizuki hummed her thanks. Sitting herself on the couch, she was reminded of the other occupant of the house. As if reading her mind, Annika answered,
“Aya is out working. You know how doctors are.” Mizuki’s mouth formed an ‘o’.
A few minutes of silence.
“Wanna play something?”
“Are you done with your schoolwork?” A groan before,
“What are you, my mom?” Mizuki complained. She stood up anyway and went to retrieve her bag in the foyer. She came back and plopped unceremoniously on the couch and dropped her bag beside the coffee table. Unzipping the bag, she grabbed her notepad and flipped through it.
“…math…….show solutions……..page 245……” she muttered as she scanned the writings on the paper. She put the pad back and grabbed her math textbook and her pen case. Grabbing a pen, she opened her book to the page and read through the contents.
A few minutes later, Annika glanced at her companion sitting with her legs crossed as she made a small growl of frustration. Said girl turned towards her.
“I hate Algebra.” Annika laughed softly and held out her hand.
“Need help?” The book was handed over.
“Yes,” she said, drawing out ‘s’,”thank you.”
Mizuki cried out in joy after finally finishing her homework. Annika smiled amusedly next to her, grabbing a sandwich from the plate.
“Up for Mario Kart?” Mizuki said as she took one of the juice boxes on the table. She looked down at her drink and one corner of her mouth lifted.
“I feel like a kid again.”
“You are a kid.”
“So are you!”
The two looked at each other before the burst into a fit of light laughter.
“So, Mario Kart?” Mizuki asked, one eyebrow raised.
“Just let me set up the Wii.” Annika stood up and walked over to the television set and crouched down to turn the device on, sandwich hanging from her mouth. She inserted the disc and soon the TV came to life, the logo of the game flashing on the screen. Annika walked back and handed Mizuki the other controller.
Minutes into the game and the two were now staring at the screen with such intensity. They played the game for a while until Mizuki got tired of losing to Annika and they switched the game to Ace Attorney.
“The sprites on the DS looked better.” Annika hummed in agreement, eyes focused intently on the screen. They played the game for hours, switching turns every new case.
Allana Lautneur sighed happily at finally being able to go home. She loved her job, sure, but sometimes the patients are just so stuck-up and annoying, it really wore her down. Fishing her key out of her jeans pocket, she inserted it into the knob and opened the door. She walked inside the foyer, eyebrow raised at the drying droplets of water on the floor. She walked into the living room to see her sister and her best friend sleeping on the couch. Mizuki had her head propped on top of a pillow and her legs hanged over the armrest if the couch. Annika leaned on the other side, a pillow in her arms, under her head. Allana smiled at the two before going back to the foyer to climb the stairs. She went back down and discreetly took a picture of the two sleepy heads with her camera and grinned to herself.
“This one is definitely going in the album.”