One more look from Cerys and he decided not to tease her about it anymore. They were able to finish their lunch just before the bell rang, and as they walked towards the science lab, she read over his schedule.
“How did you get it to be almost exactly the same as mine?” she asked him. “Same history, same math, same science…”
“Sheer luck, I suppose,” James said.
“Then explain how you got into AP English class. Not even Himeko is taking that with me.”
“I’m good with literature,” was all he was willing to divulge.
“You don’t understand,” Himeko told him as they entered the science lab and set down their books. “I am just as good with literature as Cerys. You have to complete an essay in order to get into Miss Lanning’s class.”
“And Miss Lanning has to approve it,” Cerys added.
“Oh, that,” James said, as though suddenly remembering it. “That was in with the AP paperwork we brought home from the office the other way. That essay was the reason it took me so long to register.”
Cerys gave Himeko a wide-eyed look. “He actually did it!”
Himeko smiled at them both. “Congratulations, at least. I have never been able to figure out what she is looking for in that essay.”
They did not have time to talk about it. The science teacher arrived and began passing out packets and instructing students to take out certain materials. He paused only momentarily to check James’s schedule, denied Cerys’s request to have him join her and Himeko’s team, and sent him to the other side of the room before going up to his desk to find the remote for the projector so that he could start teaching. James gave her a shrug and introduced himself to the boys he had been put with.
The rest of the day seemed to rush by. By the time school was over and everyone was meeting up again, it felt like a week had been packed into that day. There was the experiment, getting called out of class to explain the events from lunch to the high school principal, and shifting from the classroom to the library for AP English. Never a dull moment, as Cerys often heard her mother say.
They walked together to the Westminster house first. Her mother was happy to meet James, and was only too happy to let her children pay his home a visit, so long as Peter would be home early enough that they could chat about the day’s events. Himeko had been worried that her mother would be difficult to get permission from, but it turned out that she was at Cerys’s house that afternoon. When Missus Takamori saw that her friend was comfortable with the idea, she agreed that her daughter could go as well.
So excited were they all that the walk to the three-story house seemed at once impossibly long and endearingly short. James opened the door to his new home to reveal a whole new world to his friends. They awed at the furniture his parents had chosen, the way it looked at once antique and brand-new. Cerys had to keep reminding herself that she was not in a castle but a regular neighborhood as as he showed then around. He offered everyone drink, then led them to his room.
“You really wanted to be on the third floor?” Bayani asked as he huffed up the last couple steps.
“Why not?” James replied. “The view is terrific.”