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Thinking of You

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Dear Ayu-chan,

Nina got back and started school almost right away. I wish I could have had more time with my family, but this is what I'm here for.

And it hasn't been bad! It's a big adjustment, though. Nina's never been on her own before and it's a little intimidating. I don't know how Yuta dealt with it so well!

It's strange being back in the Magic Kingdom after all my time in the human world, too. Nina almost got run over the other day because she forgot traffic isn't just on the ground here. I guess it's a bit of culture shock – it's kind of funny, really.

But don't think I'm unhappy, because I'm not. Nina is already learning all kinds of things she never knew before. It's nice to have professors who expect me to be good at magic and who can help when I make mistakes.

Nina misses you a lot, though.

Your friend,

Nina


Dear Nina,

It's great to hear from you! I feel a little silly writing this now that I know you'll be able to visit, but I didn't want to wait that long. I'm used to seeing you almost every day, after all.

School feels strange without you. I keep turning to talk to you before I remember that you're not there. Somehow everything is just a little quieter and more boring without you.

Everyone here's doing fine, though. (But you knew that.) Don't forget to visit Leo, too – I remember what you said about the way he stopped eating last time you left.

We'll all be looking forward to your next visit.

Sincerely,

Ayu


Dear Ayu-chan,

Nina doesn't think writing between visits is silly at all! Nina wishes Ayu-chan could go to school here, too, but even if this were a normal school, study abroad only goes one way. Humans can't come study here.

I'll tell Leo you asked about him next time I go home. I'm sure he'll be glad to know that you were worried about him.

I wanted to send you some pictures of Eltoria, but they say it isn't allowed. But I remembered that you liked that bead ring I gave you – the one that zapped boys? I never replaced it, so I'm sending you one now. Nina promises there are no spells on it!

But Nina hopes you'll think of her when you wear it.

Your friend,

Nina


Dear Nina,

Thank you for the ring and of course I'll wear it. But you needn't worry – no one here is going to forget you. You're not someone easily forgotten.

I've started studying for high school entrance exams. You're lucky you didn't have to worry about it – it's a lot of work! But I guess I shouldn't complain. I can't even imagine trying to do middle and high school at the same time like you are.

Maybe I should be glad study abroad only goes one way. Magic school sounds tough!

Tetsushi, Hiroki and I are all going to try to go to the same school so we can stay together. Yuta hasn't said what he plans to do, but he'll probably magic his way in as well.

But it won't be the same without you.

Yours,

Ayu


Dear Ayu-chan,

Sorry for the late reply – school's been really busy lately! But it sounds like you've been busy, too. How are exams going? Nina thinks she did well on her magic exams for the first time ever! It's a strange feeling.

Nina's been making friends here, too, so you don't need to worry about her. Eltoria students are all ages and come from all over the Magic Kingdom, so it's kind of neat! It was a little intimidating at first, but maybe because of that, everyone's really nice and welcoming. Some of them get a little competitive, but I don't think anyone really means any harm by it.

But of course no one could replace my dear Ayu-chan!

Yours,

Nina


Dear Nina,

We're starting high school tomorrow and I'm a little nervous. It's scary to be one of the new students all over again. I worked so hard to seem cool in junior high and now I have to do it all over again.

It really makes me appreciate how brave you are, though. You came all the way to another planet to go to school and you didn't seem scared at all. And then you went back to go to boarding school by yourself, where you didn't know anyone. I don't think I realized how hard it must have been.

But don't worry – I'm sure I'll be fine. I'll have everyone else there with me. And I'll wear the ring you gave me, so it'll be a little bit like you're there, too.

I really miss you.

Ayu


Dear Ayu-chan,

Oh no, it wasn't like that! Nina isn't brave at all. She went to your school because she was a failure, remember? And I came back so I wouldn't be, that's all. It wasn't anything special!

I'm sure you'll do fine in high school. How could anyone not like Ayu-chan?

School is going well here, too. I can't believe how much I've learned! My spells work almost all the time now. Nina really isn't a bad witch, after all!

I'll visit as soon as I can and you'll have to tell me everything about high school.

Thinking of you,

Nina


Dear Nina,

You were right – school was fine. I don't know what I was so worried about.

The tennis team is great, too. The captain seemed impressed when I tried out (though not as impressed as the boys' captain was with Hiroki). I might get to compete even though I'm just a first year.

I've been wearing the bead ring you gave me so much that I thought I ought to give you something in return, so I had Yuta send along this bracelet. I saw it the other day and thought it was perfect for you. I hope you like it.

Yours,

Ayu


Dear Ayu-chan,

The bracelet is beautiful! I'll wear it every day and I'll think of you every time I look at it. Thank you so much!!!

I'm sure the tennis team will win as long as you're part of it. We don't play tennis here in the Magic Kingdom, but Nina knows you were the best player on the girls' team at Shuei Middle School and you'll be the best in high school, too.

Nina kind of likes tennis now. It always reminds her of the first time she tried to help you. (Sorry it didn't go so well.) Sometimes I try to watch games on the human world TV broadcasts, though I don't have much time for it. I'm still studying really hard, so I can be the best witch I can possibly be (and so I can return as soon as possible).

Thinking of you,

Nina


Dear Nina,

What's going on with you and Hiroki? He told me you had something to tell me and he looked sad when he said it, but he wouldn't tell me more than that.

I have to go to practice now, but I hope you know you can tell me anything.

Yours,

Ayu


Dear Ayu-chan,

What? He shouldn't have done that! He wasn't supposed to tell you anything.

Nina does have something to tell you, but it needs to be said in person. I'll meet you after practice tomorrow.

But don't worry! Whatever happens, Nina and Ayu-chan will always be friends.

Yours, Nina


Dear Nina,

I'm sorry I reacted so strangely. I thought I was prepared for anything, but I guess that wasn't true. But that's part of what I like about you – you're always full of surprises. I never know what you'll do or say next.

I told you I needed time to think and I've done that now. I've thought it over and my answer is: yes. All this time, I've missed you so much and somehow I never realized what I really felt.

I hope Tetsushi will understand, but I think we have to give this a try. You taught me that, too – sometimes you have to take chances.

Yours always,

Ayu


Dearest Ayu-chan,

You've made me the happiest girl in the world! No, in both worlds – the Magic Kingdom and the human world!

I hope Tetsushi and Hiroki won't be sad for long. Nina never wanted to hurt them. But part of being a good witch is learning to be honest with yourself and Nina realized – I realized – that what I really wanted was to be with Ayu-chan and to make her happy.

I thought you'd think it was weird. I guess you did think it was weird, but I'm so glad you feel the same.

Now Nina will study even harder, so she can graduate next year and come back to be with you!

I don't really know how this works either, but two girls can't be any stranger than a human and a witch together, so I know we can do this.

Love,

Nina