A scrawny lamppost of a girl sat in the back of a jabbering classroom, the teacher doing her best to wrangle their attention. She didn’t break her attention from her book.
“Alright. We have a new student today. Korra, please intro-”
The kid standing beside her didn’t even let her finish.
“Hi! I’m Korra. I just moved here last week. I like sports and stuff. Who wants to be my friend?”
The class giggled at her rather rambunctious introduction, the teacher instructing her to take the empty desk next to…
“Psst, hi. I’m Korra.”
Asami Sato. Pushing her glasses up, she glanced over at her smiling new desk neighbor.
Um…hi. I’m Asami.”
She fiddled with her bangs, trying to hide the pimples on her forehead.
“I’ve decided, Asami. You’re gonna be my new friend. I want you to come over to my house today.”
Asami was a little perplexed. She had just met this girl, and here she was inviting her over.
“Um…I don’t know if I can. I have homework and stuff to do.”
That didn’t seem to faze Korra one bit.
“That’s okay. You can come over Saturday. No homework on a Saturday.”
She tried thinking of an excuse to say no, but Korra’s dopey, crooked smile changed her mind.
“…Okay. I’ll come visit this Saturday.”
“This is the address she told me.”
Asami nervously stood at the door, trying to work up the nerve to knock.
“What if she’s secretly weird? Or she doesn’t like me? I should go.”
As she turned to leave, a voice came screaming down the street,
Korra came bolting up to the porch, grabbing Asami’s hands and bouncing where she stood.
“I was just out running. I didn’t think you’d actually show up! Come in and see my room!”
Before she knew what was happening, she found herself dragged inside the house and up the stairs.
“I just finished unpacking all my stuff. Check it out.”
Resigning herself to her situation, she peeked inside.
“Uh…do you like sports?”
All the posters seemed to make that question rather rhetorical.
“You bet I do. When I’m grown up, I’m gonna be a pro soccer player. Or a basketball player. Just wait and see. Oh, I just got the new Madden. Wanna play? Ooh, wait. Check these out!”
She seemed to have the attention span of a squirrel. Lightly dragging her over to a drawer, she pulled it open.
“Check out my running shorts collection. Pretty neat, right? The ones with the flames are my favorite. So, what do you like to do for fun?”
She shot her that crooked smile again. It made Asami fiddle with her bangs, again to hide her acne.
“Uh…I like to fix stuff.”
Korra titled her head inquisitively.
“Stuff like what?”
Asami pushed her glasses up again.
“Cars. Computers. Maybe even robotics one day…”
Korra audibly gasped.
“You’re gonna fix robots one day! That is so cool!”
Asami was not used to hearing that word. Glancing at the TV behind her, her face lit up.
“Is that Popular Mechanics for Kids?”
Korra turned around.
“Oh, yeah. I lost the remote. I was gonna…”
The happy look on Asami’s face rendered Korra silent this time.
“Uh…wanna watch it with me?”
Asami nodded, Korra dragging a couple of bean bags over for them to sit on.
“Hey, thanks for coming over. I was afraid I wouldn’t make any new friends here.”
Time flied as the two watched the show and chit-chatted. After a couple of hours, Asami’s phone rang.
“Hi, Daddy…yeah, I’m fine. I’m at a…”
She glanced at Korra, who was enveloped in mocking some new cartoon about a kid with flaming hair.
“I’m at a friends house…okay. Love you too, bye. Korra, I have to go home…but, I wouldn’t mind coming over again next Saturday.”
Several months later
“No. Way. You got one of those fancy new IPhones already!? I thought they didn’t come out for another three months.”
The two now solid friends were crashed in their bean bags, Asami showing off her new gizmo.
“Cool, right? Daddy got one in advance from a business partner in Japan. Check out the camera. Quick, let’s take a picture.”
Korra flopped down in Asami’s beanbag chair, both girls playfully shoving each other.
She snapped the picture.
“Korra, you blinked!”
They both laughed, Asami making sure to save the picture.
“Hey, our show is on.”
Korra actually snuggled a little closer to Asami. Asami didn’t seem to mind.
2 months later.</b
Hunkered in her room as usual, Asami finished drawing a picture on Korra’s brand new arm cast.
“Really, trying to jump your bike over 20 trashcans. You’re lucky you weren’t hurt worse.”
Korra huffed at her BFF.
“Lucky nothing. I can’t play for any school teams til it heals, and I can’t play any video games either. I am so bored!”
She flopped backwards onto her bed, staring at the ceiling. Asami joined her, staring at the same spot.
“Well, I’m sure we’ll find something to occupy your time until it gets better.”
Korra snickered at her.
“Maybe I can learn to be a geek like you.”
Only Korra was allowed to call Asami a nerd, geek, etc.
“Laugh now, Ms. Jock. Cause I’ll be laughing when we graduate high school.”
“Asami, I passed! I’m not gonna get held back a year!”
Korra excitedly showed off her proud b+ in math to Asami.
“See. I told you you’d pass. You just needed to apply yourself and-”
Korra wrapped her up in a hug.
“Thanks for tutoring me, Asami. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”
Asami returned the hug, both girls feeling a strange blush fill up their cheeks.
Korra shot up from her beanbag.
“What do you mean moving away?”
Asami showed her the flier for Republic City School of Engineering.
“It’s an engineering focused high school. Best in the state. And I got accepted. It’s a few hours away, so it was easier to just move into a house closer to the school…Korra, I-”
Korra cut her off.
“It’s fine. What’s a few hour drive? I’ll come visit you when you’re not busy and stuff. That’ll work, right?”
They silently sat there, the sound of a rerun of Popular Mechanics for Kids mixing into the background.
Several months later.
“Yeah…I know. School and all…no, it’s cool. We can still e-mail and stuff.”
This was becoming a sadly common occurrence. Korra was top jock at RCHS, and Asami was top of her class at her engineering school. They hadn’t managed to arrange a meeting in 2 months.
“Next month. I promise.”
Korra sent the e-mail, closing her laptop.
A few years later.
Time goes by, people change, things are forgotten. Korra exited the gym. In those years, she’d grown into a specimen of a woman. Those pro sports dreams hadn’t panned out yet, but she was only 22. Plenty of time.
“See you guys later. Bolin, no slacking on the leg machine you hear me?”
As she headed for her car, a passing woman accidentally bumped into her.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”
Korra waved it off.
“It’s fine. I…I…”
Both girls stared at each other. It felt like hours, but it was little over a minute. Korra recognized those sparkling green eyes, even without the glasses and bangs. Asami recognized that crooked smile, even after almost 10 years.
“Asami…I mean…wow. You don’t wear glasses anymore.”
She sheepishly twirled a strand of hair around her finger.
“LASIK. Don’t have to worry about glasses anymore. You. I mean…you really…”
Korra’s rather impressive arms were a tad bit distracting.
“Heh. Well, years of sports and a job at the gym.”
They stood there in silence for a few moments.
“You maybe wanna catch up? I know this great coffee place down the road.”
“Here’s hoping they have real chairs. I’m not a fan of bean bags anymore.”
Both girls shared their first laugh together in years.