On my desk at work is a nendoroid figurine of Ritsu, which I got on the cheap in Kobe. For the most part, it just sits there, attracting little notice.  But sometimes I get moments like the other day, at lunch recess, when I noticed two second-year middle schoolers sneaking around my desk and whispering:

Girl 1: Ask him if he likes Ricchan!

Girl 2: Ricchan?  Who’s Ricchan?

Girl 1: Never mind that, just ask him!

Girl 2: Okay….  Uh, are you sure?  He looks really preoccupied!  (I was peeling the pith from an orange.)

Girl 1: Go!  Ask!  (She hides behind the shelf.  Good going, kiddo.)

Girl 2: Okay, okay!  Sensei, do you like Ricchan?

Me (still peeling): Of course.

Girl 2:  (She calls over to her friend.)  He said “of course”!

Girl 1: Okay, now ask him if he likes Tsumugi-chan.

Girl 2: Huh?  Mugi-choco? (chocolate biscuits)

Girl 1: No, Tsu-Mu-Gi!

Girl 2: Why?  What does that have to do with anything?  (Oh, you poor dear.  You’re like the Kagami to her Konata.)

Girl 1: Okay, okay, just ask him if he likes K-ON!  Hurry! (She hides again.)

Girl 2: Um, sensei, do you like K-ON?

Me: Yup, I do.  It’s fun.

Girl 2: What’s K-ON?

Girl 1: Look, on his desk, there’s that anime figurine!

Girl 2: Huh?  (She looks.)  You’re right!

Me (putting the orange down and looking at them): I understand everything you’re saying, you know.

Girl 2: That figurine is super cute! (“meccha kawaii”)

Me: Mm-hmm, it is really super cute. (“hontou ni meccha kawaii desu yo”)

Girl 1: Haha, he said it! (She walks away w/ Girl 2.) Wow, so he likes “Japanese animation.”

When they leave, I let out a long sigh.  My co-teacher chuckles.  Hey, man, don’t laugh.  I know all about you and your love for Gamera, okay?

Anyway, what a funny pair.  I’m glad I’ll be seeing them again next year.

If there’s a moral to the story, it’s this: Letting your colors show a little has its rewards.