By Jeff Baker
The two teen-agers, a boy and a girl smiled at each other as they walked down the street. Old enough to hold hands but young enough to be shy about it. They looked in shop windows, pointed at a passing skycruiser and (of course) kissed.
Sa-rang ran her hand through her hair and was about to suggest getting something to eat when Hoai stared down the street and pointed.
“Isn’t that your brother?” Hoai asked.
“I think so,” she said.
It was indeed Sa-rang’s brother. Jiro was a year older and had been on the gymnastics team. He was running down the street, doing somersaults.
“He, uh, looks excited.” Hoai said, only half-sarcastically.
Jiro was taller than Hoai but somehow looked younger. Right now, he looked like a six-foot-two-tall grin.
“Thien! Thien!” Jiro said excitedly. He looked up at the sky and yelled “Thien!!”
Thien and Jiro had met in Younger School, just past toddlerhood. They had been friends for years, boyfriends in the last few years.
“What about Thien?” Sa-rang asked. “Is he okay?”
“Better than okay!” Jiro said, all but jumping up and down. “He got his assignment for the Acclimation.”
“He did? What did they say?” Hoai asked.
“He’s gonna be the same! He gets to stay the way he is!” Jiro said. “We were so worried a few months ago when I had my assignment and they said I was going to like girls as well as guys, but that’s nothing! We get to stay together!” This time he was jumping up and down.
“Congratulations!” Hoai said.
“The Moon and the Stars to you, Brother!” Sa-rang said smiling.
“It’s chillib, guys! Thanks!” Jiro said. He was trying to calm down but he grinned again and hopped up and down.
“We’re meeting over at the tea shop,” Jiro said. “You two want to come along?”
“You two want to be alone, I’m sure!” Sa-rang said smiling. “Besides, we have to check on his Geometrics exam.
“Are they posting the results?” Jiro asked.
“Yes! This afternoon on the University wall.” Hoai said. “I think I did good!”
“Great!” Jiro said. “Everything’s great! Excuse me; I have to go have some tea!”
Jiro walked off down the street, hopping and dancing.
“Hope he doesn’t hit his head on the ceiling,” Hoai said, holding Sa-rang’s hand as they resumed walking down the street. She rested his head on his shoulder. Their own assessments were a year away. For now, everything was chillib.
Author’s Note: This is set in the same world as my story “The Skycruiser,” posted here on January 18, 2018.