manami and miyahara
Miyahara doesn't think about Manami's friend a lot. It's just a fact -- like how twelve by twelve is a hundred forty four, like how a grain of rice will float in water even though it's so big -- like how Miyahara's glasses might be kind of big, but they're good enough if they make her see clearly and she'd rather see clearly than not have finger thick glasses and be half-blind.
So she's Manami's friend, and she has big glasses that the other girls in her class look at her weirdly for. Manami's not even in her class; he's kind of stupid, in the lowest class of their grade while Miyahara is in the highest. But they're next door neighbors and while he's not sleeping or complaining about his homework (which isn't that hard, Miyahara insists), he's kinda nice and he's not terrible to be around. He's better than the boys in her class, anyway, who look at her glasses and pigtails like she's an alien from outer space.
She waits outside of Manami's classroom -- they'd had a test today, and she was one of the first ones to finish. She and Manami always eat lunch together in the morning, usually meeting under the tree in the middle of their campus. Since she's let out early because of her exam, she peeks past the open doorway, into the classroom.
Manami's teacher is at the front, reviewing some arithmetic lesson. Miyahara's eyes search for Manami immediately -- he's in the back row, fast asleep on his arms. Miyahara grumbles from the doorway. "Manami!" she whispers, trying to wake him up. "Manami!"
The teacher glances over at her. "Can I help you with something?" she asks Miyahara kindly.
Regardless, Miyahara backtracks, feeling her face flush. She glances at Manami, who doesn't even stir at the interruption.
"It's fine," she mumbles, treading back into the hallway.
She waits there as Manami's class finishes, until the bell dismissing all the other classes rings. The kids start filing out of the room; some of them look at Miyahara weirdly, but she ignores them. They're eight years old and in their school uniforms. Miyahara adjusts her glasses as she waits for Manami to pass.
He's at the end of the line, yawning and rubbing his eyes a little. "Iinchou," he says, sounding surprised.
Miyahara tsks and taps her foot. "You fell asleep in class," she says to him. "I saw."
"How did you see?" Manami yawns again. "Were you outside the window watching me?" He giggles at the thought.
Miyahara huffs. She thrusts a paper bag at him. "Here. Your mom said that you forgot to get your lunch today, so she told me to give it to you."
"Oh." Manami blinks at the bag. "Thanks."
They walk to their usual spot, out into the courtyard. The tree is held by a giant bath of dirt, a stone wall surrounding. Miyahara and Manami rest against it, and Miyahara opens up her own lunch, a bento that her mom had made her this morning.
"You should stay awake during lessons," she tells Manami practically, picking up her chopsticks. "That way you can improve your grades and understand your homework more."
"That's too much work," Manami mumbles through his food.
He always talks while he chews. It's kind of gross and bothersome, but Miyahara doesn't tell him to stop because her mother had told her to be polite to other kids because they might be different. She says that Manami is different, too, and sometimes there are large chunks of time when he doesn't come to school. She tells Miyahara not to worry, so Miyahara doesn't.
Manami coughs a little.
Miyahara says, "Well, it's too much work if you don't pay attention." She pokes Manami on the shoulder. "We're friends, I'm supposed to look out for you and your grades."
Manami looks up at her. "You don't have to," he says, though he's smiling. "Iinchou, don't you think it's kind of pointless sometimes? It's just school."
Miyahara is baffled. "It's just just school!" She gets up from the tree's stone, stands up on her two feet. She looks at Manami, raising her chin a bit. "If you learn stuff in school, you get good at it," she tells him. "And then when you're good at stuff, you can grow up and have a job and make a lot of money!"
Picking at the bread on his sandwich, Manami shrugs. "I guess," he says.
"Hey," Miyahara says suddenly, her eyes going bright behind her glasses. "My uncle runs a bike shop and we're visiting him this weekend. Do you wanna come?"
Manami jerks his head up. "Really?"
"I mean, I know you're sick so you can't stay out for too long, but." Miyahara pokes his leg. His trousers are spotless because he doesn't go out enough often, doesn't have any dirt to trip in or pavement to scratch himself on. "It could be fun."
"It could," Manami agrees. He looks eager.
Miyahara settles back onto the stone, satisfied with herself. Yes, Manami is her friend, and she is his, too -- there is no reason, right now, to think any more of it.