Volume 13, Chapter 4-1: Kisai’s Lunch

Wednesday Spring Quarter 2016 Week 4

“Kristoph, you want this?” Kisai offered his unfinished lunch to him.

“Hell no, why the f*** did you buy so much if you’re not going to finish it? You always do that s***,” Kristoph refused, returning back to the card game on his tablet.

“Come on, this is the freakin’ good stuff. I spent fifteen dollars on this. It would be a waste,” Kisai persuaded, pointing at the container.

“Just take it home. The hell do you want me to do about it?” Kristoph stared at Kisai with a dumbfounded look.

“Like I said, just take it. I don’t even know if I want to eat this when I get home. It’s gonna be cold and it won’t taste as good if I microwave it,” Kisai attempted to sell him on it.

“I’m not taking it, Jin. Give up already,” Kristoph replied, shaking his head.

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I arrived to this strange scene after finishing my second class of the day. Kisai sat back in his chair, holding his baseball cap. I sat next to Zhuyu, who ignored his friends, focused on finishing his math homework. The magic user closed the lid of his container, placing his fork on top. Oh, it was the chicken and rice set from one of the food trucks situated near the plaza corner. I grabbed food from there a couple of times. The prices were a bit high for my liking but they did provide good portions. I was surprised Kisai didn’t buy his usual chicken tenders from the food court. It was located right below the student lounge. But it was around noon now so the place was pretty packed.

“Hey, Tomo,” Kisai greeted, taking out his phone.

“No thanks, Kisai,” I responded.

“What do you mean?” he stared at me in confusion, bagging up his lunch.

“She thought you were trying to push your disgusting unfinished lunch onto her. Good call, Tomo,” Kristoph praised, nodding in approval.

“Nah, I wouldn’t do that to Tomo. I know you haven’t eaten yet, Kristoph. Come on, you’re getting this for free. You don’t even have to head down there to get food,” Kisai pointed out.

“Man, I’m gonna go buy some pizza. That will shut you up. Watch my stuff, Long,” Kristoph decided, standing up from his chair.

“Yeah,” Zhuyu responded, punching numbers into a calculator.

“That’s some easy s*** right there, Long,” Kisai remarked, peeking over at his friend’s paper.

Zhuyu ignored him, staring at his calculator screen. Was this for real? Someone was actually getting things done at the table! The math major displayed the most diligence so this wasn’t too surprising. He sighed, crossing out his work.

“You just gotta do this first,” Kisai instructed, tapping the second step of Zhuyu’s work.

“Oh yeah, that makes sense,” Zhuyu said, arriving at the final answer without using the calculator this time.

“That’s all it took?” I pulled out the book for our literature class.

“That’s how it goes sometimes for math. Okay, time for my other math class homework,” Zhuyu replied, placing his papers into a folder.

“You’re taking two math classes?” I removed my bookmark and grabbed highlighters.
“Easy,” Kisai commented as he untangled his earphones.

“Not you, Kisai. Isn’t the workload for that pretty hard?” I checked my notes from lecture about the assigned chapter.

“It’s doable, maybe not the most fun. Oh, that chapter is good,” Zhuyu said, pointing at my book.

“Kisai, you finish reading this yet?” I held up my book in the air.

“Probably will do it during class. It’s only a few pages, right?” Kisai glanced up from his phone.

“Um, I think around fifty pages?” I checked the syllabus.

I expected a negative reaction from him but Kisai didn’t respond. He furrowed his brows, engrossed in watching his video. Well, he probably didn’t care, knowing how the man operated. It was fascinating how he could switch from this to being super focused on a task.

“I probably should actually start since I have reading for my other class too,” Kisai responded three minutes later, putting away his phone.

Did I heard him correctly? I glanced over at Zhuyu, who didn’t even notice my astonishment. I waved my hand around in his face and he stared at me with concern. Kisai placed a thick biology book down on the table, opening it up.

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“Kisai’s actually doing something productive!” I whispered, not really sure why I adopted such a quiet tone.

“Oh. Just leave him alone then. You have reading to do, right?” Zhuyu made a reasonable point.

I nodded, ending the conversation there. Was I the outlier at the table today? I returned to my book, annotating when needed. Kristoph returned fifteen minutes later, carrying a plate which contained a slice of cheese pizza. He opened up a seasoning packet, sprinkling pepper powder on top.

“Long, you want to play tonight?” Kristoph bit into his pizza, crumbs falling down onto the plate.

“Uh, maybe? Depends if I finish this or not. There’s a bunch of stuff to review before midterms,” Zhuyu answered, grabbing his water bottle.

“Forget about all of that. You have time on the weekend to review. Come on, help me get the parts I need for my OP armor set,” Kristoph suggested.

“Not enough time unfortunately so I have to start now. I’ll message you if I decide to get on,” Zhuyu said, drinking water.

“I’ll be on all night. Wonder if Shigetzu can help me out with it?” Kristoph wondered, finishing his pizza.

Half an hour later, Jacque walked in and yawned multiple times after sitting down. The dark bags underneath his eyes were noticeable even with his glasses on. This was only the fourth week! What had the artist been doing to tire him out so much?

“You look terrible, Jacque. Did you stay up late reading manga again?” I finally finished reading the assigned chapter.

“I wish that was it. I’ve been working on a project the past two weeks and haven’t had much time to do anything,” Jacque revealed, taking off his glasses before rubbing his eyes.

“Must be crazy if you haven’t caught up on the latest chapter yet. I mean-,” Zhuyu commented, glancing up at clock.

“Whoa, whoa, no spoilers Long!” Jacque cut him off, bringing out a glass container.

“What are you talking about, Jacque? I would never do anything like that,” Zhuyu denied, closing his math text book.

“Kristoph, don’t you have class right now?” Kisai glanced up from his textbook.

“Nah, it’s just- oh s***!” Kristoph checked the time on his phone and dashed off.

“Shouldn’t you have told him earlier?” I stared at him with suspicion.

“I kinda just realized what time it was. See ya later!” Kisai answered, shoving his unfinished lunch and textbook into his backpack.

Jacque returned to the table after microwaving his lunch. He removed the lid, revealing smashed up pieces of lasagna and beef ravioli. The artist blew on his food before sticking a fork into it. One of the things I appreciated about the student lounge was its convenience. It provided biodegradable utensils, free coffee and tea, and three microwaves for commuters to heat up their food. Plus, there were always events going on nearby too, often involving free things.

“What kind of snack you got today, Long?” Jacque pointed at the math major’s Zeta lock bag.

“Dried squid. Chewy as hell and it’s a hassle to swallow. But, the taste is so good,” Zhuyu answered, grabbing a handful of it.

“Kristoph hates that stuff, doesn’t he?” Jacque scooped food into his mouth.

“He doesn’t like the smell. Thinks it’s rude for me to bring seafood snacks since everyone can smell it. I get it but it’s not that bad,” Zhuyu explained, biting down multiple times before swallowing the shredded squid.

“Man, you’re just weird, Long. Tomo, what’s your opinion?” Jacque questioned, roping me into their conversation.

“You want to try some, Tomo?” Zhuyu offered, opening up his bag.

“No, thanks for offering. Uh, I don’t know, squid doesn’t have that pungent of a smell. What other seafood snacks are there?” I tried recalling all the food Zhuyu ate here.

“Dried seasoned fish. Dried shrimp with cashews. I think those are the only ones I’ve ever brought here,” Zhuyu replied, putting his bag back into his backpack.

 “Oh yeah, I remember you talking about the fish before. I don’t really care but I can see why Kristoph thinks it’s rude,” I said, checking my email.

“Hmm, I see. Jacque, I have a message for you from Tess,” Zhuyu suddenly brought up.

“That’s not good. Tell me it’s good news,” Jacque said, staring at his friend with hope.

“As your friend, I can not lie to you, bro. Tess wants you head to the Crossroads later this week. She has an assignment for you,” Zhuyu revealed.

“F*** me, of course. Well, I got into this mess. No backing out now, I suppose,” Jacque lamented, finishing his food.

“Tomo, mind if we swap notes on the reading?” Zhuyu pulled out his notebook.

I blinked, not sure if I heard him correctly. This was the first time he ever asked me for anything related to schoolwork. I nodded, bringing out my book again. Jacque saw it and breathed in hard. Guess he must have forgotten about the reading.

“Can I get in on this? I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even touched that book at all,” Jacque asked, digging through his backpack.

“You’ve barely done any of the reading though,” Zhuyu pointed out.

“Hey, that’s pretty true, actually. Come on, help a bro out,” Jacque admitted.

“I never said I wouldn’t. Right, Tomo?” Zhuyu scanned the notes in my book while I flipped through his notebook.

“Feel free to ask questions, Jacque. I’m willing to help you out,” I responded.

Jacque nodded with excitement. We spent the next half hour updating Jacque on the chapters and also reviewing important parts that could show up on the quiz. Huh, this was a lot better than studying with Felicity. I didn’t anticipate this turning out so well.

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