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Part of me wasn’t surprised to hear that Yukio set his alarm to Celtic Woman. Orinoco Flow. Good choice. I woke up gradually, rubbing my eyes and stretching. When I glanced over to my left, there was Yukio, peacefully asleep, and absolutely not attempting to turn off his alarm. Where was his alarm, anyway?
I sat up, my back cracking so much that I groaned and screamed at the same time. But none of it actually exited my mouth, so it was weirdly stuck in my throat. Surprisingly, Yukio didn’t stir an inch, and his alarm was still going off. I couldn’t tell if it was the end of the song. Even if it was, I didn’t know if he had the annoyingly persistent alarm that would just restart the song or otherwise.
When I saw he wasn’t waking up, I decided to play a little joke. As per every sleepover, the first person to wake up was responsible for impolitely waking up everyone else. I grabbed the pillow, aimed it at his head, and prepared myself. With one quick swing, I tossed the pillow was hard as I possibly could. I was quite proud of my throw, but it didn’t last long.
The feeling faded when I saw Yukio’s arm shoot up and he caught the pillow with one hand. He didn’t even lift his head! My eyes widened and I awkwardly grinned as if I knew I made a terrible mistake and was about to pay for it. He didn’t exactly sit up more than he moved just enough so his eyes could see me.
“I respect the effort,” he stated with a muffled voice, “but you failed.” Then, he threw the pillow at me, hitting smack me in the face. Damn, he must have known about the sleepover code of conduct. When he did sit up, he rubbed his eyes as well, his hair a ruffled mess. As cute as that was, I was distracted by the fact that he wasn’t wearing his glasses. Handsome.
He caught me staring and snickered. I cleared my throat. “What?” I asked.
“See something you like?” he teased.
“Meh, I’ve seen better.” He laughed at that, thank goodness. He stood up and finally found his alarm. Behind the window curtain? Fair enough, I guess. He shut it off, yawned, then turned to me.
“Guess we should start getting ready for studio, huh?”
“I guess,” I concurred, but I was not entirely onboard with it. “I would much rather just sit around and do nothing.”
“That’s always an option,” Yukio exclaimed and then, without warning, he threw himself onto the bed next to me. Oh god, we were in the same bed now! He rolled over onto his back and looked up to the ceiling. He seemed relaxed, and…I guess I was too. I laid back down and looked at the ceiling as well.
Yukio flipped through his phone for a few seconds before tapping the screen. Music began to play, instrumental this time. If I remembered correctly, from my entire semester of Intro to World Music, it was Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. A bit chipper for this early in the morning, but the mood was nice. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so comforted in the presence of another person.
“So, then, if we don’t actually end up going to studio, what did you have in mind?” Yukio asked me. I had to think it over for a few minutes. What were two friends with nothing much to do going to accomplish today? Take a bike ride around the island? See a movie on the mainland? Maybe we could do makeovers and do each other’s nails.
Eventually, I shrugged. “I don’t know. If we don’t come up with an excuse soon, though, then we’re gonna be forced to be decent students. How annoying would that be?”
“You tell me, Miss RA,” he teased. I smacked him playfully.
“Shut up. It’s not like you’re the paragon of perfect attendance and motivation yourself.”
He sprung up just then. “That’s it! Motivation!”
“Come on!” He took my hand and pulled me up. Oh, I was not ready for this. He dragged me over to the chair at his desk and plopped me down. “Hold still.” He began pulling out painting supplies, an easel, and a blank canvas. He set it up all in front of me, preparing the paints in rainbow order, and then stepped behind me. “Motivation!” he repeated.
I stared at the canvas and lifted a brow. “Is that what you’re calling it?”
“No, Saige,” he said as he patted my back. “We’re going to work on your motivation this morning. If we have to stay here all day, then so be it.”
“I don’t think this is going to---.”
“We need to think of your inspiration,” he interrupted. I sighed heavily as I waited for him to finish his thought process. I guess this was what we were going to be doing for a little while. Alright, I’m game. “What inspires you to paint?”
“Trauma?” I answered.