Act 2 - Part 1-1: A New Beginning
Why did I have to sit next to the window?
I don't even remember most of what happened yesterday. I woke up around noon because of the festival outside and moped around looking for something to do. Then I ran into Kenji, he wanted someone to hang out with, so I decided to go with him, against my better judgment.
Then there was a bottle of Jack involved. Not sure how he got it, or where it came from, but I didn't say no when he offered to share. The rest of it is the hazy part. I remember something about a manly picnic, and then Kenji tried hugging me or something. There was a piece of broken fence behind me, that stands out in my memory for some reason, so I think I hobbled out of the way and fell over on my back.
Now, I'm sitting in science class, unable to pay attention as my brain revolts against its mortal coil, pulsating against my skull as if it were a cage. It doesn't help that my eyes feel like they're being squeezed by my own eyelids.
“Hisao, would you like to read the next paragraph?” Mutou calls out, having sensed my lack of focus on his lecture.
Crap, here we go.
My throbbing eyes scramble about the text in the book in front of me, looking for even a semblance of a clue as to where we could have been. All I can do is take a random guess, so...
“The second law of thermodynamics states that in general the total entropy of any system will not decrease other than by-”
“Where are you reading? We're on page 381, six chapters behind thermodynamics.”
Flip the page flip the page flip the page flip the page...
“A substance may dissociate without necessarily producing ions. As an example, the molecules of table sugar dissociate-”
“Keep trying, you're getting warmer.” Mutou interupts.
“In general, ionization can be broken down into two types: sequential ionization and-”
“Too far back.”
“I give up.”
“At least you tried. Try to pay attention in chemistry. It would be a shame if we got to the next unit and had a couple of students leftover who still didn't understand this stuff.”
The next victim is called, a girl named Miki Miura, who fumbles around just the same before correctly guessing the right spot and reading from there.
It's been a week since I got here. I barely know the name of anyone here, and I haven't really socialized with anyone other than Misha, and by extension, Shizune. I guess Kenji counts, although as much as it pains me to say this; I wish he didn't.
Maybe I should have joined a club? There was a literature club, an art club, even a light music club I'm sure I could have tire-ironed my way into. Student council at the very least would have given me something to do, and two girls to talk to.
I'm barely given enough time to fall deeper into depression before the bell rings. I gather my books and decide to head off to lunch on my own, having already been dismissed by Shizune and Misha as they set out on their council duties.
However, I'm only able to make it one step past the teacher's desk before I'm called back.
“Hisao, were there any problems today? You seemed pretty out of it.”
Well, besides being hungover on half a bottle of whiskey, everything seems to be okay.
“I'm just tired. I wasn't able to get a whole lot of sleep after the festival.”
“That's it? Really? I was worried for a second there.” Mutou responds, his demeanor changing from worried to relieved.
“Did you enjoy the festival?” he continues.
“It was...okay. I didn't really do much.” I respond.
“Well at least you got out of your room and had some fun. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm cracking open a can of worms here, but you've seemed pretty depressed ever since you got here. I'm glad to see you're trying to fit in.”
Yeah, trying to fit in. That's definitely what I'm doing. Running away from the girls who want me to be in their group, refusing to push myself to get healthy and at least get a foot up on this disease, and ignoring every chance I've gotten to be friends with someone.
“I don't think that's the case.” I reply, reeling back as I realize that my subconscious just vocalized.
“What do you mean?” Mutou asks.
Oh geez. Here we go.
“I haven't really gotten to know anyone past introductions. I feel like I'm not welcome here, somehow."
"I just don't know what I'm doing, what I should be doing, or anything like that.” I confess.
It hurts to say, but it's true, at any rate. I haven't been doing much of anything, besides keeping up with schoolwork. And that's all I'm good for at this point.
“That is a problem, hmm...” Mutou replies, scratching his chin in thought.
“I'm not sure if I can give you any advice that you haven't already heard or thought of yourself -- I'm a science teacher, not a counselor.”
Yeah, that's what I thought.
“If you want something to do though, you can fill in for a colleague of mine. Mr. Clarke, the head of the science department here, and I normally go to a small symposium in the city. He had some business to take care of back home, so his seat will be empty. And, well...it wouldn't cost you anything to go in his stead.”
“I suppose it's something to get my mind off everything. I'll think about it.” I answer, with a bit of reluctance.
“That's what I like to hear. I'm going to try to leave from here at 7 A.M on Saturday, is that good with you?"
I nod my head.
"It shouldn't be very crowded, only a thousand or so people. Oh, and there's a dress code for the lecture I want to attend, do you have something nice to wear?”
"Something nice? How nice? The only formal wear I thought to bring with me was a pair of slacks and a dress shirt. I made sure to bring that sweater vest I got for Christmas last year as well."
He winces at the sound of the words 'sweater vest' for some odd reason.
"Well, this is a pretty high class event, so a suit is advisable. Not a tuxedo though, that's a little too much."
"What if I don't have a suit?" I ask.
It's the truth. I don't have a suit. I've never really done anything that warranted me having to dress up in something that nice.
"Every good man deserves a suit. I think this would be a great time for you to go out and buy one!"
And how much is that going to cost? They get pretty expensive, from what I've heard. It's on Saturday, so I won't be able to borrow one from my Dad. And then there's the matter of the fact that I don't know any guys here well enough to just pop up and ask to borrow their expensive formal wear.
"Trust me, a nice suit goes a long way when you're eighteen." he adds on upon hearing my distressed sigh.
"Alright, will do." I answer, unable to think of anything else to add to the conversation.
At this point, Mutou starts shuffling the stack of papers into his briefcase with a new-found fervor, giving me an invigorated wave as I step out the door.
Well, I guess now I'm going to a science symposium with Mutou.
Science has always been my strong point, more on the chemistry side than anything, but all science is good to me. I've never really shown an interest in it though. At the very least; it gives me something to do. Maybe I'll find what I want to do with my life while I'm there.
My mind flutters back and forth between ideas as I try to decide what to do for lunch. Or what not to do for lunch, rather, since I still feel a little sick from last night. Some fresh air would be better at this point, so the roof seems like the best plan of action.
I round the corner and make my way to the end of the hall, into the stairwell, following the path I've already imprinted in my mind. It only takes a few flights of stairs to carry me to my destination, a land of fresh air and sunl-
Agh, my eyes.
I wince as the natural light of the cosmos overwhelms my sight, having to shield my face as I step out onto the expanse of the school roof.
A deep breath of air fills my lungs, helping clear my head enough to realize that there's still a mound of blankets on the other end of the building.
It's not that I want to make sure Kenji gets them, but knowing my luck; it's likely that the school would link the empty bottle of whiskey back to us somehow. I step over to pick up the blanket, only to notice that there's something weighing it down.
“Don't tell me...”
A sharp tug to the 'picnic' cloth causes a stir, and then a loud yell.
“DON'T TAKE MY COCOON, ASSHOLE!”
“Kenji, what the hell are you still doing up here?”
“YOU BETTER RUN, I KNOW JUJ- whoa what are you doing in my room?”
I'm glad to know that I woke up a lot better off than Kenji. It's roughly noon, meaning he's missed all of his morning classes – not that I think he cares much about that. He's also sunburned on his forehead, thanks to the patch of skin that was hanging out of the blanket.
“You're still on the roof.”
He gives a light chuckle before adjusting his glasses and looking around.
“This is all within acceptable parameters.” he answers.
“We got completely hammered last night. You're waking up on the school roof at almost one in the afternoon.”
“Acceptable parameters.” he repeats.
“Parameters for what?” I ask, knowing full well what happens when I ask questions like this.
“You think that's the first time I've gotten drunk? At least the school roof is safe. No one comes up here. You should have been there when I woke up in front of that crazy music store in town. I'm still amazed that I didn't get mugged or...kidnapped by feminists or...something.”
This is a normal thing for Kenji? As in, every week he breaks out a bottle of aged liquor and goes nuts? Does he always do it alone or are there others? I doubt he downs an entire bottle of alcohol by himself. Maybe he has a hidden list of companions, and I just happened to be his target for the week.
I wonder who the others could be.
“That sounds...adventurous.” I comment.
“Naw, man. I'm not an adventurer. I'm like some kind of messiah. Preaching the evils of female supremacism. Spreading the word about the feminist menace.”
“The femenace. I'm gonna use that from now on.”
In a surprising act of athleticism: he rolls back, pushes off with his hands, and lands flat on his feet; brushing the dust off of his school jacket as if to boast 'hangover? What hangover?'
“But whatever, dude. I'm gonna go ahead and go, I got stuff to meet, places to do, people to go, that kind of thing.”
He bends over and scoops up his picnic blanket, leaving the empty bottle of whiskey on the ground; a caramel-colored monolith standing over the plain gray concrete expanse. It's artistic, in a way.
“And remember man, there's these charts you need to see.”
With that last final comment, he disappears into the stairwell, only an aura of confusion left to signify that he was ever here.
Last edited by Thanatos02
on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.