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Close Friends

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Hitori Bocchi was a high school girl who was feeling very close to an adult. Bocchi had straight black hair, but previously shortened it since middle school so it was barely past her shoulders. This made it much easier to comb. Her signature pink flower hair clip was a fixture of her bangs now. Bocchi even put on a little adult makeup, though she really didn't know much about those things. The point was, Bocchi had grown a ton since her middle school.

Bocchi made her way to her first class while holding hands with Sunao Nako. Where Bocchi changed a lot, Nako hadn't changed at all since they first met. She wore the same oversized sweaters, short skirts, and indifferent expression she had back then, and Bocchi loved it. Nako was always a good person, so she didn't need to change.

The two stopped at Bocchi's class.

Nako let go of her hand, and Bocchi felt a sudden longing. She would see Nako after classes of course, but she hated seperating. Before leaving, Nako cupped Bocchi's face, examining her.

"You've gotten cuter recently." Nako mumbled. Bocchi was surprised. She got the feeling Nako wasn't talking about her makeup, as Nako never noticed that stuff.

The two said their goodbyes and Nako shuffled off to wherever her class was. Bocchi collected herself before going through the door.

The room was a little bigger than her middle school classroom, and the desks were all much tidier. There were a couple kids already seated, even though Bocchi arrived very early. Everyone looked too big to be in middle school.

One girl met her eye and waved.

"Good morning!" The mystery girl called out as Bocchi walked over. "Was that your friend you were talking to?"

"At the door?" Bocchi replied. The girl nodded. "That was Nako-chan. She's my close friend."

"Close friend? That scary-looking girl?" The girl repeated, her eyes sparkling." That's so cute! "

Bocchi laughed, somewhat unsure how to respond. Nako looked scary sure, but inside she was a big sweetheart. Bocchi herself always had a very meek figure so she could see why someone would be surprised.

After a bit of silence, the girl introduced herself. Bocchi wasn't listening though, and completely missed her name.

"I'm Hitori Bocchi." She said, hoping she could learn the other girl's name in the future. Just looking to talk to this girl about something, Bocchi found herself talking about her "scary-looking" friend. "Nako-chan is a really nice girl. She's always been looking out for me."

"Aww."

"You know, every night before bed, she'll call me. We sometimes talk a lot at night, and it's really nice."

"Really?" The girl said, her face showing surprise. "You two are pretty close huh."

Bocchi shook her head. "It's more that Nako-chan is such a nice person, I think she can't help but want to take care of people." Realizing what she said was a little personal considering they just met, Bocchi added, "She's not a weirdo or anything she's just nice!"

"I get it." The girl said politely. "Is that why you’re friends?”

"Uhh..." That was a hard question for Bocchi to answer. Everything? Nako and Bocchi were tied to the hip all throughout their break and had become closer than ever before. Bocchi had tons of things she could say about Nako, but she didn't want to say something that would embarrass her friend.

"She also hugs me when I'm scared!" Bocchi announced. Once again, she realized what she said a little too late, and found herself blushing heavily. "Not that I really get scared anymore! I'm a high schooler you know! Only rarely, if we're doing something really really scary do I get scared!" Bocchi said, keenly aware of the eyes looking for the source of the yelling.

"Ahh... I understand." The friendly girl said. "Don't worry about it." Bocchi wanted to hug the girl right then and there. She didn't know how she chanced upon this understanding angel, but she was appreciative nonetheless. 

"Nako-chan does a lot of stuff."

"Yes yes." The girl said. "You two are crazy close, (It's a little scary)."

"Huh? What was that?" Bocchi asked, not hearing that last part.

"Uhh... nothing!"

Bocchi nodded. Then an idea came to her. "Do you want to join me and Nako-chan for lunch? Nako-chan is bringing octopus wieners."

"You don't... share foods too?!" The girl said loudly. She seemed put off for some reason.

"Ahh, sorry, Nako-chan always shares her food with me."

"But aren't you worried about-" the girl leaned in near Bocchi, lowering her voice to a whisper, "Indirect kisses?"

"Eh? We kiss all the time, so it's fine." Bocchi said blankly.

"Huh? That's...-uwah!" The girl defaulted into her shocked face.

Bocchi nodded. "Nako-chan always kisses me before she drops me off at my house."

"O-o-on the ch-ch-“ The girl seemed to be struggling to get her words out, “cheek?!"

"No, on the lips." Bocchi said bluntly. "Cheek kisses are not really kisses anyways."

The girl seemed to be on the edge of fainting. Bocchi wondered what was wrong but didn't want to point out that the girl was acting weird. Besides, it was nice to not be the more anxious one for once.

The bell rang, signaling to Bocchi she should leave. Before she could go, her new friend spoke up again.

"Bocchi." The girl's voice steadied. "I need to know, what's Nako-chan to you?"

Bocchi cocked her head to the side. "My close friend." She said. With that she turned around and left to find a nearby seat.

The teacher stood up and introduced herself, shifting the class's focus towards their new lives. One girl however couldn't let go of what she had just heard.

"Close friends...hugging...kissing..." The girl said, Bocchi too far to hear. "High school is scary."