“...and I need to remind you that some of you will have supplementary classes if you can’t reach the minimal grade.”
In a high school in Japan, the math teacher was giving the report about their next test that was going to be next week. His eyes fell for a moment on Hina’s desk, time enough for the girl to realize it and frown.
“He was completely saying that to me!” she said to her colleagues, as the interval came.
Hina Minoya was a second-year student and hadn’t been so good in the last few tests they took. She knew she was eligible for extra classes with another fail, so she threw her body on her desk and made a pout.
Hina was a short girl, with wavy and long black hair. She didn’t have a very developed body, so people always confused her as younger than her age. Still, her cute face and childish behavior, as well as her energetic personality, made her popular with most boys in the class. Often she was the subject of their attention.
“At least you’re used to that, huh?” said her friend Sayaka Nogumi, an athletic and tall girl with short hair.
“Still… Aren’t those classes… “ Aya Satobi, another of Hina’s friends said while browsing her smartphone, sitting in the corner of Hina’s desk. “They’re in the same day as Makkochi’s stage.”
Aya was a popular girl with whom Hina always talked about fashion. She also had long and wavy hair, but her stature was higher than Hina and she had a more developed body. A flock of her hair was painted yellow, her nails were always colorful and, even if their uniform code was strict, she always found a way to put some accessories.
“Ah!” Hina threw her head up, startled. “That’s right! That’s the same day Makkochi is coming!”
Makoto Chika was an idol from Tokyo who was coming to their city to make a show the next month. That was such a rare opportunity that it probably wouldn’t happen ever again, and Hina was excited since she was a fan for four years now.
“Well, that’s too bad,” Sayaka said, with a malicious smile. “Guess you’ll have to miss that one.”
Hina made another pout.
“No way! No way! No way! I rather repeat the year!”
“That’s also very possible.”
“You shouldn’t, though,” Aya said. “What would your mother say?”
“Well… I just need to get a good grade, then. Right?”
With that both her friends gave a loud laugh that made everyone in the class look at them.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Aya said, still between laughs. “But that’s impossible, right?”
“You would need a super genius to put something inside that head of yours,” Sayaka added.
Hina let out a cute grunt while looking around the class. Her eyes stopped at the back of the classroom.
“Like her?” she said, pointing at a girl with her head.
The one she pointed at was Saki Shizuhara. She was a girl with black hair tied in low twintails. She had glasses on her face and most of the time an open book in front of her, even in the intervals. She was taller than Hina like probably everyone in the class was. Saki also used to get the top grades in all subjects but sports.
“Yeah… that’s not a good idea…” Sayaka said, glancing at Saki with the side of her eyes.
“Why?” Hina asked.
“The rumors say that girl is… You know… She likes girls.”
“Huh?” Hina made, glancing at Saki with curiosity.
“She’s a lesbian, you dummy,” Aya said, with her eyes on the smartphone she was using. “She likes girls. Romantically, sexually. She kisses girls and wants to do other things with girls. Do you get it now?”
“Oh...I see…” Hina said in a monotone. Then let a smile raise in her mouth. “So that’s perfect, right?”
Sayaka and Aya faced her with perplexed looks.
“I mean, it’s perfect, right? She likes girls… I’m a girl. The cutest girl, in fact. Easy enough!”
Saying that Hina walked away from her desk, but Sayaka grabbed her arm, stopping her.
“What are you planning?”
“Isn’t obvious?” Hina said, with an impish smile. “I’m getting my pass to a max grading!”
She walked to Saki’s desk and put her hand on the surface, calling the girl’s attention. Saki’s eyes slowly moved from the book she was reading to Hina’s face. She was expressionless.
“What do you want?” She asked. “If you’re planning to bully me, I’ll advice to not waste your time.”
“Huh? Bullying? Of course not!” Hina leaned forward, almost making her body cross Saki’s desk in her direction. “I have an amazing proposal for you. It’s so good that you just can’t refuse!”
Saki didn’t say anything but kept her eyes on Hina’s face. She took that as a signal to continue.
“You get to be my personal teacher. Isn’t that great?”
“Is that so?” Saki said and turned her eyes back to the book. “If that’s not bullying, you might be an idiot.”
“Hey!” Hina said and grabbed Saki’s book away, leaving the girl holding the empty air. “What kind of answer is that?”
“What kind of proposal is that? I don’t see what good that would be for me, so it’s not amazing at all.”
“How is that not amazing? I’m so cute and you get to have myself for you through some full hours. That should make you happy.”
“What kind of logic is that?”
The two girls looked at each other in silence for some minutes, until Saki finally talked.
“So…” Saki put a malicious smile on her face. “With the condition of studying in my room… just the two of us… alone.”
“Sure!” Hina said in a jump, with no hesitation.
“Hey, you… Didn’t you friends warn you?”
“That you like girls? Sure.”
“Aren’t you afraid, then?”
“Should I?” Hina started to play with her wavy hair, looking up while thinking. “I mean, I already shared a room with a boy before, so it’s not that different, right? In fact, I feel safer with a girl. Unless…” and she looked straight into Saki’s eyes. “You’re actually planning to force me to do something I don’t want.”
“O-Of course not…” Saki answered, turning her eyes away. She put her index finger own her own lips, poking them slowly.
“So it’s fine,” Hina said with a smile. “When can we start? Is today fine?”
“Y-Yeah…” Saki answered in an almost automatic tone.
“Good! So we can go to your home together after-school. Don’t forget, okay!?”
Saying that Hina stormed out of the room, after leaving Saki’s book on her desk. As if in a dazy, Saki slowly moved her fingers towards the book, until she realizes Aya’s eyes on her. The girl was in front of her desk.
“What?” Saki asked, defensively. Aya just smiled.
“Nothing. Just thinking you’re an unexpected victim,” and saying that she left the room after Hina, followed by Sayaka.
After school that afternoon, Hina ran to Saki’s desk and pulled her arms, almost making the girl leave her belongings behind. Once they were outside the school, she calmed her pace, probably because she didn’t even know where Saki lived.
Saki looked at the short girl behind her. Both girls wore the same school uniform, a black sailor outfit with black pleated skirts. Adding to that, Hina was wearing black leggings. She looked at Saki, giving a bright smile.
“Well, show the way,” she said.
Slowly, almost shaking, Saki grabbed Hina’s warm hand and guided her. They didn’t need to hold hands, but Saki wanted to do it anyway. The thought came to her about how soft it was. And from Hina’s hair, a sweet strawberry fragrance was exuding, surrounding Saki. Once they arrived at her house, Saki guided Hina to her room, on the second floor.
“Your parents are…?” Hina asked, putting her bag beside the tea table in the middle of the room and sitting in the cushion Saki showed her.
“They’re not here,” she answered, without looking at Hina and taking out her books from her bag. She sat in the cushion across Hina. “They don’t come home until late night.”
“So we’re totally alone?” Hina said, smiling and playing with her hair. Saki avoided her eyes.
“Just… Stop messing around. You came to study, right?” She said while sitting across Hina.
Hina took her notebook and books from her bag and placed it on the table. The two girls started to study, or better saying, Saki started to try teaching Hina something. Soon that proved to be a mission harder than she imagined.
“I just don’t get why this thing goes here. Isn’t it like I’m just changing the order by myself?” Hina said, looking clueless to her paper.
“Not, you’re not. That’s how it works.”
“How can I just change the order like that and it’s supposed to work? Math makes no sense.”
“Minoya…” Saki said, putting her fingers against her closed eyes and sighing. “How come you entered high school? Did you cheat?”
“Hey! I’m not that stupid!”
“Is that so?” Saki threw her body back, supporting it with both her hands on the floor. “Look, you can just take supplementary classes, right? It’s not a big deal, and you clearly need it.”
“No way!” Hina slammed the desk with both her hands. “That way I can’t watch Makkochi!”
“Oh, so that was it?”
“Got a problem with it?” Hina asked pouting.
“Not at all. But it’s just a show, right? She’ll make other shows before she retires. And if she does retire, she’s just another idol. Another one just like her will show up.”
“Now you’re insulting Makkochi…” Hina glared at Saki, who just looked back at her in silence. “What’s the problem, anyway? Are you lacking the motivation to help me?”
“Well, since you asked. I could help you if it was just some studying. But you clearly need advanced classes. And I, huh, don’t have any reason to use my time like that.”
Saying that Hina stood up and walked to where Saki was sitting. Saki looked confused as the other girl, without hesitation, sat on her lap, facing her. Her soft body made pressure against Saki. The strawberry fragrance getting even stronger.
“W-Wha…” Saki said, her face blushing.
Hina approached her own face to Saki. She was so close that both her forehead made contact. Her mouth was so close that Saki could feel the warm and sweet breath coming from her. Her heartbeat shot fast.
“Hey…” Hina said and, with her hand, held Saki’s chin, pulling her head close. Now their lips were so close that they almost brushed against each other. Since Hina was so short, Hina got on her knees around Saki to look at her from upside. “If you need motivation, I can give you some. How about one kiss… Or even better… One kiss for each point I get in the test. One...kiss...by...each...point.”
Hina’s voice was so soft and gentle that Saki lost her voice. She could only look at the girl so close to her. She couldn’t even bring herself to touch her.
“Think about it. There’s no way I won’t get at least one point, right? So you get at least one kiss, no matter what the final result is. And you can get even more if you put enough effort. Even if I still fail the test.”
Saki opened her mouth, but no sound came out. She could still feel Hina’s breath on her lips, and couldn’t bring herself to answer. She felt her lips shaking and brought her right finger to it.
With that, Hina threw her body back and gave a loud laugh. She let herself relax, sitting with her whole weight on Saki’s lap. The soft feeling of the other girl just made Saki more nervous.
“W-What was that?” Saki asked.
“I was just remembering how you were trying to intimidate earlier in the classroom. But look at you now. You’re even losing your voice just by getting a girl that close to you.”
“As I thought, I’m safe with you,” and by saying that, Hina gave a gentle smile, without any malice. “But I’m serious about the kisses. What do you say?”
Saki looked at Hina’s face, who faced her in expectation. She couldn’t deny the girl was cute, and because of the subject in question, her eyes fixed on the girl’s small lips. Their pink color, forming such an adorable smile directed at her. Saki felt a desire to touch it to confirm if they were as soft as they looked.
She realized her face was probably bright red, and the soft laugh Hina let out confirmed it.
“Okay, okay,” she said, turning her face away, trying to hide her embarrassment. “I’ll keep teaching you, so please, can you get up?”
Hina left Saki’s lap. And although she had asked it herself, she missed feeling the pressure of Hina’s body against her.
“Okay, teacher,” Hina said, turning back to her place. “Give everything you got.”
“Oh yeah. You can be sure I’ll make it all fit in that head of yours even if I have to hammer it down!”
She learned fast that it wouldn’t be easy. After the first day was over, Hina went back with just a little more than a headache. Although, the next day after school she was already energetic enough to pull Saki’s hands so they could resume their studies. After days of studying together, Hina now looked like the one actually leading Saki to her own home.
“How about a break now?” Hina said in the middle of one of their sessions. That was the seventh day, so Hina was almost feeling home already.
“We should take breaks after you actually learn something.”
“That’s rude. I learned a lot already! Well, tests are coming soon, but I feel like I have more chances now.”
Hina stood up and started to walk through the room. But it didn’t have much to do. There was a bed, a desk with the computer, the tea table in the middle, a closet. But no posters on the wall. No even books in shelves, as she expected.
“Your room is, huh...kinda empty, huh?” Hina said, looking around while playing with her hair. Saki looked at her without raising from her place.
“What do you mean?”
“Like...books, games, dolls, I don’t know. I have a lot of Makkochi’s goods in my own room. Also magazines and teddy bears.”
“That’s kinda childish.”
“Well, sorry about that.”
“But cute,” Saki turned to the tea table in front of her. There were empty glasses where she served juices before, and also a piece of chocolate cake that Saki said her mother made the last day while hiding the burns on her fingers. “I don’t think it matters. I can get all the books I want in the public library. I can also read them on the internet.”
“Yeah, but, you know…” Hina didn’t know what to say, fearing she could be meddling too much.
“Besides,” Saki said. “I just don’t want to bother my parents. I must give them enough problems already.”
“Eh?” Hina turned to Saki, surprised. “Are you kidding? I know for sure my mother would trade me for you without hesitation. How can a daughter with your grades even give them problems?”
Saki didn’t say anything but clenched her hands in her skirt. Hina realized it.
“Also, your cake was delicious,” she said.
“I said it already, that wasn’t me,” Saki said, relaxing her hand.
“Okay, okay,” Hina said smiling and got back to her place. “Sorry to interrupt, teacher Shizuhara. Please, shower me with your knowledge.”
As the days passed, both girls kept meeting to study, even on the weekends. With that, the distance between them also seemed to shrink. They would have casual talks as if friends, even though Hina was the one initiating almost all of them.
And like that, the week with tests came. On those weeks they decided to halt their study session. Saki said Hina had learned enough to get a good grade already. After that, the two girls rarely talked to each other again during the whole week. Hina had Saki’s electronic address but didn’t have any reason to contact her. So even after the week was gone, they went back to their usual routine, just casually greeting each other every day.
The day they got back their tests, the teacher looked at Hina with a puzzled look before passing the paper to her.
“Well, miss Minoya, you got the max score, for once. Not sure what you did, but congratulations.”
Hearing that, Hina gave a bright smile. Taking the test in her hands, she skipped back to her desk, showing it to Aya and Sayaka, with a bragging smile.
“Well, congratulations,” said Aya, eyeing her test and passing it to Sayaka. “So using your female charms to fool that poor nerd in teaching you was a good idea, in the end.”
“Don’t say it like that,” Hina said, pouting. “It’s not like she won’t get anything from it.”
“What do you mean?”
“I promised her a kiss for every point I get in the test. Surely that’ll make it worthy.”
“Huh, Hina…” Sayaka said, looking at her test. “Are you sure that was a good idea?”
“Sure, sure, sure. It’s just, what? Ten kisses. I don’t mind much.”
Aya and Sayaka traded looks. It was Aya who said, with a smile:
“I know you’re stupid, Hina. But this…”
“Not a problem… She’s a girl, so…”
“That’s not it,” Sayaka stopped her. “It’s not just ten kisses. Our school’s grades go until 100.”
“Huh?” Hina looked at Sayaka with a confused look.
“Here, at least take a look at your own test properly.”
Hina put it in front of her eyes. There it was, written big in the top of the paper, a big one with two zeros after it.”
“A hundred…” Hina mumbled. “A hundred, a hundred...wait!”
“That’s a lot of kisses,” Aya said, smiling.
Hina faced the paper for some more seconds before finally heading towards her teacher, who was still giving out the tests to the other students. He looked at her when she approached in with reluctance.
“Yes, miss Minoya?”
“You know…” she said, avoiding looking him in the eyes. “Maybe I don’t really deserve this grade after all. The media was 40, right? I’m okay with it if I can avoid supplementary classes.”
He looked straight at her with a serious face.
“What are you talking about?”
“You see, maybe you could take some points because of my bad grades in the past. I clearly don’t deserve it. Maybe I cheated?”
“Did you cheat? Because if that’s the case, I’ll have to cancel your whole test.”
“No, I didn’t!” She was fast to answer. “But you know…”
“Miss Minoya, you did something good for once. Be proud of you and accept it. Now, please, stop wasting my time before I really put you in supplementary classes.”
Hina gave up and went back to her desk, leaving the test in front of her. Sayaka made mention to console her, but at the same time, the teacher had stopped delivering the tests and announced the start of their classes, so she left it for later.
During lunchtime, holding her own test, Hina stood up and walked to Saki’s desk. She was less enthusiastic than usual as she stopped in front of her.
“You know… like… thanks…” she said, showing Saki the paper. Saki glanced at it and gave a smile.
“Congratulations. You deserve it,” and with that, she went silent.
“So, you know… about the promise…”
Saki looked up to Hina’s face. The girl was avoiding to keep eye contact.
“Are you taking it back?” Saki asked.
“It’s not that, but… I didn’t realize our max grade was 100, and… Huh… I wonder if we could divide it by 10, so, you know…”
Saki sighed. She got a book and opened it, starting to read it to avoid facing Hina.
“It’s fine, forget it. I’m happy I could help you.”
“Now, wait,” Hina looked at Saki and took the book from her hands, forcing her to face up. “Like I said, I’ll give it. Ten kisses, so…”
“I said don’t worry. That’s what you talked to the teacher, right? You’re clearly against it, and I don’t want to be a bother for you. ”
Hina left the book fall on Saki’s desk. Suddenly it came back to her the conversation they had on Saki’s room days before. About not wanting to bother her parents. Hina realized she was giving up on something she actually wanted.
Suddenly Hina forgot about her hesitation. She felt her blood boil. That self-sacrifice Saki was imposing on herself annoyed her. So in a fast movement, she grabbed Saki’s collar and pulled her body over the table, locking their lips together. After the kiss, she pushed Saki’s body back to her chair and looked right into her eyes, with a determined voice.
“First one. 99 to go!”
Hina saw Saki’s face get red as she jumped out of her chair and stormed out of the room. Looking around, she realized every face looking straight at her. Sayaka had a reproving look and Aya had her hand over her forehead, shaking her head. Instead of feeling shame, she turned to the door where Saki had disappeared, going after her.
She knew nothing about Saki, or where she would go. She did have her number, and digited it on her own smartphone, hoping Saki would take it. She didn’t, but the sound of vibration told her she was pretty close and she was in front of the female bathroom. Going inside, she could hear the phone vibrating from inside of one of the stalls. She knocked on it.
“Shizuhara, come on…” She called at first and waited for an answer.
After some seconds, the door opened and a red-faced Saki looked through it. She looked more embarrassed than angry.
“I’m sorry for that,” Hina said, not looking directly at Saki’s face. “You made me angry and I did it without thinking,” Hina gave two steps back and looked right at the floor. “That means you really don’t want those kisses?”
“That’s not it…” Saki murmured. “I don’t want to do… that… in front of others…”
“So that was it…” Hina said smiling.
She walked slowly to the stall Saki was and closed the door behind her. Hina’s body was small enough to fit inside even when Saki was there already. The closeness was enough for Saki to feel drowned in the strawberry’s fragrance.
“So like this is okay?” Hina said and held Saki’s head.
Hina was shorter, but since Saki was sitting on the toilet, Hina had to look down. Not sensing any resistance in Saki, she kissed her again. After the kiss, Hina silently left the stall. Saki soon followed her, with two fingers on her lips.
“That was number 2,” Hina said, and, as if remembering something, took out her smartphone and started to touch it.
“What...are you doing?” Saki asked after leaving the stall following Hina, still with her face red and weak voice.
“Making notes,” Hina said and showed the screen to Saki. There were three sentences, one below the other:
1 - In the classroom (NEVER DO IT AGAIN);
2 - Inside the stall; bathroom.
“Why the descriptions?” Saki asked, suddenly feeling her face blush again. “Isn’t the number enough.”
“So we’ll know for sure as we remember the place. That way we won’t miscount it.”
“You don’t need to…”
“Look, I said it already, ok? I promised it, so don’t complain!”
“I mean… you don’t need to worry about the exact number…”
Hina looked straight into Saki’s eyes with such intensity that Saki turned her head to the side.
“You think my kisses are so cheap that I can go just giving them without care?”
“Well… I remember you saying you would make at least one point for sure. Doesn’t that means I get one kiss easy, at least?”
“That’s… Well, forget it. Point is, we have 98 kisses left, so let’s not waste time.”
“Okay, but… We can’t do it all at once.”
“And I don’t want to do it in public.”
“So that means we will need to meet a lot.”
“That’s also fine by me. So,” and Hina looked gently at Saki, giving a smile and playing with her hair. “Can I sleep at your home tonight?”
“What?” Saki said, almost jumping back startled.