Kaguaya was no less popular on her third day than her first. A group of girls formed a ring around her, all moving their desks and chairs to have lunch together. A guy would have to be either completely socially inept or foolhardy to disrupt the circle.
I thrust into the group without a care in the world. Ignoring the evil eyes and deadly glares, I focused on my objective. “Heya,” I greeted Kaguya casually. “Got a moment?”
She smiled at me, a torch of human warmth in increasingly frigid environs. Unlike the girls that had flocked to her, she did mind my presence in the least. “Would you like to share my lunch again?” she asked with almost provocative naivety. I wanted to look away, see if the others were hissing with disapproval.
“I'd like to talk to you again about something important, it can wait a bit. I'd just like to make sure we have some space first,” I said with a devilish little smile intended for the disdainful eavesdroppers. I was definitely getting a kick from being antagonistic.
“Then let's go now if it's important,” Kaguya said with a nod and got up from her seat. She apologized to the assembled group and excused herself. On the surface her words were welcomed with understanding approval but the looks I saw as she turned away told another story entirely. I smirked, telling them quietly what they could do with themselves.
The roof was the only real place where we could get guaranteed privacy. In a repeat from Monday we sat as before, lunchbox carefully unwrapped and shared. I had a clear objective but that didn't mean I couldn't enjoy a bit of tasty food first.
“How have your first few days been?” I made a bit of small talk while we ate.
“No complaints,” she said, “I'm glad that people are accepting me.”
Being pretty and well-spoken went a long way in helping someone fit in. Though if I said that aloud, I feared maybe she'd feel I was making fun of her. “You know, the cultural festival is coming up,” I moved the conversation up, “Have you gotten up to speed with our class' plans?”
“I've been trying my best to help with the decorations but I'm not sure that I'll be able to do much more.”
“It just seems that all the important roles have been given out already,” she said. “Oh, but I'm not complaining. That would be rather unfair of me. It's to be expected that they wouldn't account for a transfer student a mere week before the event.”
“Hm, well, if you were given a bigger role for the festival, would you be up to it?”
“If it's something within my meager abilities, I do not think it would be a problem,” she said a little bashfully. She avoided my gaze modestly like a court lady being asked about her talents. She would fit right in a production of a period drama, I thought. “I shouldn't expect that there's anything else I could do properly, however. Making posters and decorations is not that onerous a job.”
“How would you feel about performing for a crowd again?” I asked, my heart skipping a beat. I scanned her face for any signs of annoyance and waited.
“I very much doubt anyone would like to see me.” Instead of being reluctant or upset, she laughed. It was a short and unmistakably self-deprecating laugh. “I fear that poetry has a limited audience even at an all-girls school.”
“Perhaps not poetry, but what if you were singing? I bet people would turn up for that.”
“Ah, I see,” she nodded. “You must have been a fan, after all.”
“Of the act, of course,” she stated firmly.
“I'm not sure I follow here,” I told her. She creased her brow, looking slightly at a loss. “I honestly don't know what you're talking about.”
“I've been too hasty with my conclusions, it seems,” she sighed. 'But now it would be unfair of me to leave things as they are. The club I've mentioned before was managed commercially for a brief period. There was a pair of albums and a special. In short, I was part of what you might know as an idol group.”
“Somehow that's not surprising,” I said without really thinking. It would make sense for the headmistress to want someone like that to be in our school. And for them to perform publicly. It would attract media attention and reflect positively on the school and its administration. No doubt there'd be an upsurge in enrollments and, therefore, tuition collected.
“I'm a little surprised that no one has recognized me yet,” she laughed once again. I realized that it probably made her a little uncomfortable to be carrying around a secret like that. “I suppose I wasn't very famous in the end. The stage costumes probably made me look like a different person.”
“I don't really follow that sort of stuff. Real life is more than enough with me without being enamored of girls I'll never meet,” I said. Quickly with a wink, I added, “though I guess in this case I'm living the dream. Being alone with an idol on the rooftop is something straight out of a romance manga. All that's missing is the setting sun in the background and...” I let my voice trail off. No need to confuse the mood by bringing in love confessions. “Well, your secret is safe with me at any rate. I gather that you don't want this sort of thing to get around the school.”
“I was never really comfortable with all the attention,” she said, looking increasingly flustered. Once again she averted her eyes. Kaguya fidgeted a little, tugging at the cuffs of her uniform. “I'd be grateful to you if you kept this to yourself.”
“Hm, no chance of you wanting to perfom at the cultural festival, then?” I asked her. Had nothing to lose. “If you wanted to I could arrange it.”
“I've retired,” she said. “And besides, I was one half of a duo. And if I am perfectly honest, I do not think I was the main attraction. I just let myself get swept up in all that craziness.”
“What if we reunited the duo?”
“Simply impossible,” she said. “The ways things ended precludes that. I doubt she'd speak to me, let alone sing with me.” Laughing again, she said rather succinctly, “I wouldn't talk to her again either.”
Well, that severely limited my options.
 Tell her the truth. The school expects her to make the cultural festival a hit.
 Leave her alone. She's happy as she is. Big Sis and the headmistress are on their own.