Hey, living in the poor side of town had its advantages. The most important one was that since you knew all the thieves around, your chances of being mugged were drastically lower. The second, less important one, was that people tended to respect those who worked hard to get a better life.
Asahi was one such person, and nearly everyone in her neighborhood knew her. Whether they knew her because they were friends or because she’d given them a juicy ‘fist sandwich’ was another matter, but the respect was there.
She covered her mouth as she yawned and rubbed her eyes. She didn’t jump in surprise when the car engine nearly exploded, as she was used to the sounds now. This was one of the wealthier people in the neighborhood that was giving her a lift. Takeda was his name, and for some reason he liked to treat her as a little sister. She didn’t care about his weird mannerisms and actually appreciated how he sometimes went out of his way to lend her a hand when needed.
“You’re out early Asa-chan, what’s up with that?” Takeda asked, his voice raspy like it always was. Asahi could make out some amount of concern in his tone, though. Cute.
Asahi shrugged, “A lot of noise, y’know… I couldn’t bear it, so I quickly did my thing and decided to leave for school early.”
Takeda chuckled, “I have no idea how you keep a straight face while saying such things, it’s barely sunrise!” He said as threw her a smug sideway glance.
Upon seeing the look he was giving her, she felt her cheeks color, “S-Shut up, it’s very awkward so I try to, uh… You know-” She stuttered, “I-I just try to… Oh, just shut up.” She puffed out her cheeks and looked out the window at the fronts of closed stores.
After a long while, Asahi noticed the peculiar scent in the car, it was like a mix of smoke and gunpowder. “By the way, why are you out so early? Don’t tell me you joined those
Takeda’s smile was wiped off his face with that question, and he was silent for a long moment.
“Nah. I was out with some friends,” He looked at her for a moment and saw her skepticism as plain as the day that was just about to begin, “You know, bar-hopping and… Stuff like that.”
Did he really think she was that dumb? Still, she nodded and looked out the window again, noticing the car slowing to a stop in front of the school. Without hesitation she opened the door and jumped out, making sure that she didn’t forget anything.
“Thanks for the lift, Takeda! See you around.” She waved goodbye at Takeda as he took off, leaving her in front of the closed gates. Now she’d have to wait a while, but anything beats listening to her mom and her mom’s boyfriend going at it.