"I'm hungry!" MeiMei whined aloud. "You ate more food than the rest of us though," Ranka pointed out. "How can you still be hungry?"
"Because I ran from my dorm floor to the bottom of the stairs to get ready for the sports festival tomorrow!" MeiMei proclaimed proudly, puffing up her chest. "The building is only 4 floors." Ranka thought to herself.
MeiMei's whining notwithstanding, it was still nice for Ranka to have someone to walk with back to the dorm. She and Jin lived in dorms in the opposite directions, making it hard to find an excuse to follow him back to his room.
She had tried, but Jin had said that it was not safe for her to be out alone so close to dark. "But I can stay the night with you. Just smuggle me in your bag!" She had tried to argue, but still, Jin was firm on having her and MeiMei walk back home after the group was done with their activities.
"Oh, did you also notice how weird Jin and Hitomi were today?" MeiMei asked Ranka. She lowered her voice slightly. "They were hugging too close I think," She said in a little teasing voice. "Maybe they are going out and not telling us!"
"N-No they're not!" Ranka said quickly, flustered at the thought. "They were just hugging! They've hugged before, have they?" The pair stopped as Ranka began to panic and pace back and forth. "Besides, Jin would tell me, wouldn't he? I mean, I am his boss after all!"
"Yes, he would!" A strong voice agreed behind them, causing the pair to scream and jump into the nearby bushes. After instinct took over, they recognized the voice. "Oh, hi Yena!" Ranka called out as she came out of her bush to greet the Hyena. MeiMei peered out of the bushes and she too recognized their friend.
"Now, what's this talk about Jin? I thought we agreed that you would now try to understand him and wait." Yena asked the young wolf. Ranka gave a small whine and looked downwards. "But it's so hard! How can humans do this for a long time?"
"Dunno, beats me but it works." Yena shrugged, stretching her arms out. "And you don't have to worry about Hitomi. Jin confessed to her on Wednesday." Ranka froze as she heard what the hyena had said.
"So casually too, does that mean that everyone knows? That's why they were so weird today." She simply stood there in shock, unable to process what she just heard. It was as if she was a black and white shell of her former self.
"Jin confessed.....and Hitomi said yes." She got down on all fours and started to whine and pace around in circles, unable to get that thought out of her mind.
Stressed that all of her efforts were down the drain, and now she had no future with Jin, she could do nothing but panic.
Noticing this, Yena realized she forgot an important detail. "Oh, don't worry, Hitomi said they should only be friends." No reaction from Ranka, she just kept on going in circles. "Oh, don't worry," MeiMei assured Yena. "Just give her a few more seconds.....and there she is!"
"Why didn't you tell me that part first!" Ranka yelled at Yena, getting back up on her two feet. "And besides," she continued, narrowing her eyes at the hyena. "How did you find out? Did you spy on them?"
"Actually, Hitomi told me," Yena replied matter of factly.
"Oh. I guess that also makes sense."
"Anyways, that's not the most interesting part," Yena said, grinning from ear to ear. Motioning the two to come closer, she bent down and whispered, "I know why Jin hates us."
She spent the next few minutes explaining what Jin had told her, from his start in the daycare when he was three, to his desire to be friends with everyone there and how it ended when he left the school.
Finishing the story, Yena noticed two very surprising reactions in front of her. Ranka's was one of utter ecstasy, the wolf being happier than any other time that Yena had seen her. She was usually happy and hyper, but this face suggested happiness, unlike anything she had ever seen.
On MeiMei's face, she saw a more toned-down reaction, one of a realization. It was like a schoolgirl who had discovered a secret about one of her friends and was ready to tell the others. "Huh, are you okay Ranka?" Yena asked nervously, unsure of what to expect.
"N-no," Ranka said, her voice quivering slightly. "I....am......happy!" she screamed out loud that last word, jumping up for joy and practically flying around the small street that they had stopped at. Some students upstairs yelled at her to calm down, but to no avail.
MeiMei smugly gestured her hand to Yena, who came closer to her to hear what she had to say. Quickly, she explained the story of Ranka's first love from when she was three, on a human boy in her daycare that had saved her from three bears. It took her a moment for Yena to make the connection.
"No way!" she exclaimed, suddenly understanding why Ranka was climbing the dorm building and yelping in happiness. "This is exactly like the book that you were reading!"
"You know what that means!"
"Jin and I are destined to be together!"
"Yes!" Yena and MeiMei yelled, nodding their head up and down.
"Will you all please shut up!" A group of horses on the second floor yelled as they threw down a bunch of used horseshoes at them. The three ducked into the building to avoid getting concussions.
The sound of the horseshoes falling on the ground stopped and was replaced by the screams of the horses. Carefully going back out, the three saw that a group of wolves had scaled the second floor. One of them carried the manager, who was berating the horses for almost killing MeiMei and promising death if they tried to do so again.
"So, what now? Are we going to have a plan where we make Jin fall for you?" MeiMei asked excitedly. Ranka shook her head.
"No, we tried that before and it almost did the opposite," Ranka said in a solemn tone. Clenching her fist, she looked up to the pair, a proud and determined smile on her face.
"If we are to be together, I will do this on my own. No sneaky tricks, just be with him and let fate guide the way for my love!" Ranka declared.
"That's a line from your book." Yena pointed out flatly.
"Ha! So, you did read the whole thing, that line doesn't appear until about halfway into it." Ranka said in a 'gotcha' tone. ''You actually like that book, don't you?"
Startled by the (not baseless) accusation, Yena stuttered. "W-what? No, I didn't, I only read it to research how you might have thought and what lies it sold you." She lied unconvincingly.
Both Ranka and MeiMei smiled at each other. "Was it because the main girl looks like Hitomi?" MeiMei asked in an overly sweet and innocent tone. "No! That is not the reason at all!" Yena denied; her face as red as a strawberry.
"Okay, whatever you say!" the pair said as they went into their dorm, leaving Yena behind. The hyena tried to say something but failed, grumbling as the turned around and stormed off to her and her father's apartment.
"So, any ideas?" MeiMei asked her as they waited in the lobby area. "You will have to give him some time to handle the rejection, about a week or so before you get close to him."
She gasped and grabbed Ranka by the shoulders. "Imagine how surprised he will be when he finds out that it was you all those years ago!"
"He will be!" Ranka agreed. "When he finds out tomorrow during the sports day! I will partner with him and we will do the races together. When the time is right, I will tell him!" Skipping along the hallway, she started to imagine the many different scenarios that would be perfect for her to tell him.
"Um, are you sure? He was only rejected this week." MeiMei pointed out, but Ranka brushed that aside. "A few days should be enough, and I will do everything I can to comfort my partner! The longer I wait, the more sad he will be that he has no one, and I can't let that happen!"
MeiMei nodded, suddenly uneasy about the wolf's idea of what to do next. "Well, in that case, I gotta go back and sleep. I have a very important event I am going to compete in, so I need to be rested up!"
"Aren't you going to be in a bamboo eating contest?" Ranka asked.
"Yep! Only the fittest animals can even stand to win against me!" MeiMei said proudly as Ranka looked unimpressed with her friend.