“I wasn’t, not that it matters!” Taro protests, trying to remain composed despite his embarrassment. The seriousness of his attempt, and Suzu’s playfully crossed arms, force me to suppress a laugh.
In all honesty, I don’t think Taro even paid any attention to the girl we’re accusing him of ogling; his flustered, sweating, denial is just too humorous to end prematurely.
“I’m with Suzu, I saw you.” Fuelling Taro’s frustration, whilst cruel, is pretty fun. Suzu gives me a wink and stifles a laugh of her own as Taro’s face meets the palm of his hand.
“I don’t even know what she looks like.” His voice is barely audible over the general chatter of the cafeteria, but it doesn’t help that his tone has become increasingly resigned, like he’s speaking through gritted teeth.
“Well, you weren’t staring at her face.” Suzu’s comment causes me to finally lose it. In my attempt to stifle the laugh, I end up snorting and coughing, drawing the attention of the table opposite, though they go back to their food near enough immediately. Suzu tries to give me a stern look, but she ends up caving as well, joining me in my laughter as Taro lifts his head from his hands with a slow, confused, look.
Suzu has a really pretty laugh, but it always feels tempered by something, like she’s holding herself back. It’s deliberate of course; intense bouts of any emotion could trigger her condition and cause her to lose control of her limbs. It took me a long time to get used to that laugh; it always felt like she wasn’t really laughing. To some extent, I guess she never really is – her mind is always concerned with something more important.
“Asshats.” Taro tries to confront us seriously, but ends up joining our laughter and wheezing appropriately. Hey, what did he call us?
It’s a bit difficult to tease Taro. He’s rarely a sensitive person, save for a few things, and he usually shrugs things off that would cause me to shrivel in embarrassment. From my experience, only two things work to truly embarrass him – girls, and his weight. Obviously, I only tease him about one of those things, though I can’t say the same for Suzu. Still, he usually takes things in his stride – he’s wearing his stupid bright smile again despite us laughing at him. He’s defiant like that. I think it’s probably why we love him so much.
“You guys about done?” I’m not sure if Taro is referring to our breakfasts or our laughter, but from the way he glances at his watch I guess it doesn’t matter. I take a look at my own, fingering the leather strap to get the angle right as I do.
It takes the three of us some effort to get up from the cafeteria table. Suzu swings her legs out from beneath it effortlessly, but myself and Taro take slightly longer as usual. For Taro, the process involves straddling the bench with one leg, dragging his slung arm from the surface of the table until it drops off of it, then swinging around in his entirety. For me, the lifting is in the arms. I push myself upright from the bench seat, and shimmy along between the seat and the table until I’m out at the end. We each pick up our bags and join the crowd surging towards classes.
It feels unusually busy this morning as we join the throng of people hobbling, wheeling and walking towards their classes. Normally there’s only a handful of people eating breakfast, most choosing to opt in for an extra hour of sleep instead of waking up so early. Today, however, Suzu was already awake and waiting for me outside my room, tapping her foot impatiently and beaming from ear to ear beneath her sea-green mop of hair, and the smell of food, cooking and cooked, slipped out from beneath the double doors as we approached, I could have sworn she started floating like in those cartoons.
I have a pretty good idea why she was awake so early. Her hair was messy, the sleeves of her blouse were pretty crumpled, as though they had been put on hurriedly before she came here. Regardless, she decided to join myself and Taro for breakfast; the awkward, timid, smile the two exchanged confirmed my suspicions as they pretended it was their first meeting of the morning. The thought made me smile, and grimace in equal parts.
“Hey, can we take the lift? My leg’s killing me.” Suzu asks, tapping the brace on her leg as she does. I’m in no position to complain at the request, and neither is Taro. The Yamaku staff discourages using the elevators unless absolutely necessary, and even with her injury, Suzu could use the stairs. For a school built to accommodate the physically disabled, Yamaku has a surprisingly small number of elevators, and the philosophy seems to be that they belong to the wheelchair kids. I think between Suzu’s leg brace, and my own lack of legs at all, we have a good enough reason to skip the stairs today.
Just as we come in sight of the elevator, we see the doors close and a group of who I presume to be second years – with all their limbs still functional and attached – are whisked up to the higher floors. Some disabilities at Yamaku aren’t always visible, but the cynic in me can easily see them as lazy. Taro is already at the panel, repeatedly pressing the elevator call button and beckoning Suzu and me to come over, as if it will come quicker by doing so.
“You know that won’t make it come any faster, right?” I ask.
“I know, but it’s therapeutic,” his eyes go from mine to my legs and back again. A smile crosses his lips like he’s had an epiphany, “You’re a priority passenger! We should have express elevator privileges.” He gives my prosthetics a kick in each shin, gently, even though I won’t feel it and they give a small thud. He’s likely worried he’ll be too forceful and tip me over. He’s done that before.
I offer him a laugh, shoving him gently as I do. “Not likely, they’ve seen me use the stairs enough by now.”
“Rats.” All three of us laugh as the elevator finally arrives and a member of the nursing staff steps out, pushing a student in a wheelchair before him. We let him through, and he bows his head in thanks. The boy in the wheelchair is asleep, or, dead.
It’s probably the less morbid of those options.
I remember first arriving at Yamaku. I never thought I’d get used to that kind of sight. Half-people everywhere. It felt like I was a member of an exclusive freaks club; each member ranked in terms of what was wrong with them, how long they had left, that kind of thing. I don’t know when I stopped being shocked at seeing other people like me, people with missing limbs or broken parts. It might have been the same time I stopped being shocked whenever I looked down – when I started feeling, or rather, thinking I was feeling, the ground beneath me once again. Eventually I wasn’t the girl missing her legs, and the girl beside me wasn’t the cataplexic narcoleptic, but Suzu Suzuki, my best friend.
We file into the elevator and I press the button, taking us up to the third floor with some time to spare before classes. Not that we’re early or anything, it’s just that our homeroom teacher is usually about five minutes late.
When the three of us file into room 3-3, a few heads rise from their arm-desk pillows or their conversations to see us, before promptly returning to their original positions. The student council president, Shizune, looks up at us and back down to her watch; it’s pretty obvious she’s unhappy with how fine we’ve cut the time before classes, but she doesn’t say anything, uh, sign anything for Misha to say. Shizune is deaf so Misha interprets for her, usually missing the tone of what she was meant to deliver. It makes for somewhat amusing listening if you’re not on the receiving end of Shizune’s tirade.
Taro pats me on the head as he passes on his way to the back of the class. You’d think Suzu would sleep in class the most, given her narcolepsy, but whenever I glance behind me, he’ll be sitting with his mouth open, eyes closed. Sometimes he snores which is hilarious, and I can’t help but wonder how Misha would translate that into sign.
I take my own seat, right at the front opposite the teacher’s desk. Suzu’s made all the teacher’s pet jokes there are to make regarding that. It suits my character apparently
. Luckily, it’s also right next to the window – keeping me warm in the sunlight and entertained during some of the less stimulating lessons, like English. Ew
There’re still a few minutes until class is set to begin; two until it’s meant to and five more until it usually does. Without much else to do, I pull out my physics workbook. You stay on top of these things by constantly revisiting and repeating them, as my mother says. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t bother for a subject like biology or literature studies, but physics deserves my attention. The body might be interesting, but it’s fragile. Many of the kids in this very class are a testament to that. I’d rather worry about what could be, not what I know already is. There’s only so much here, at Yamaku.
I fill out some of the equations we covered in class last week, stealing glances to the door in between thoughts and pencil strokes. Suzu’s got her head in her arms to my right, presumably asleep, and Lezard, who sits between me and Suzu, is spinning his pen over his fingers, It’s… mesmerising
Despite my intentions, I get lost in Lezard’s dexterity. He notices me looking and gives me a smirk. What an ass. He’s about to say something presumably obnoxious, when the door opens and our dishevelled teachers enters, late as usual.
What’s unusual is the new guy who follows him inside. He looks awkward. I immediately give him the Yamaku standard check: Arms? Yup. Legs? Check. Head? Well, you’d think so. Torso? Looks normal enough. Face, ears, mouth, nose, eyes? Check, check, yep, check and check, pretty handsome too in a cute, nervous way. Green across the board – the most intriguing of Yamaku student.
Despite its pretences, Yamaku is a school like any other and rumour rears its black feathery head constantly. For students without an obvious deformity, a sort of guessing game takes place among us all, whether we admit it or not. With each week it’s unknown another, usually awful, condition fills in the blank. I can already imagine the resident gossipers at the back of the class speculating and ruminating on the list of terrible conditions that he might suffer from.
Our teacher, Mutou, clears his throat and the atmosphere of the class changes visibly. The air goes still, and approximately eighteen glances look the new guy up and down, performing the same checks I did. A guilty pleasure of us all. Something feels different than usual; our class is predominantly girls, and there’s no use beating around the bush - the new guy is attractive. A bit of his hair sticks up at the front annoyingly, but his eyes are big and warm, his face is thin and serious, like a survivor – maybe he’s diabetic like Ikuno, another girl in our class who sometimes has a face like that. I don’t like wondering; I’d rather just know. I shake away the speculation and listen to the new guy’s introduction with my eyes looking out the window onto the Yamaku grounds.
I can almost feel the examinations he’s getting from the student council terror couple behind me, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Miki, the resident track star of 3-3, was eyeing him up as well. There’s only one spare seat in class, behind me. Advantage: Student council.
He doesn’t mention anything telling. Nothing like, “Hi I’m dying of an incurable disease so please don’t get too used to me.”
His name is Hisao Nakai, and I find myself making a mental note of that even as he passes me to the duo behind. It’s a nice name. As far as names go, I like it.
With a task written onto the chalkboard, and the dragging of Lezard and Suzu’s respective desks towards my own, I lose myself in the group work that’s set and the scratching of graphite.
The bell for lunch rings, pointlessly
, since pretty much everyone in class clocked out mentally about five minutes ago. Still, the official okay sends chairs screeching away from their desks and Mutou gives everyone a slightly disappointed look as they file out eagerly, before returning to the stack of papers on his desk. I notice the new guy leave with Shizune and Misha, poor dude, and pretty shortly after Taro comes over and leans on my desk whilst Suzu talks to the others by the door.
I get up in the usual motion, swinging round and out. Taro is looking thoughtful which is normally a bad thing – he’s scratching his chin with his unslung arm. Oh boy…
“A new guy, didn’t think we’d be getting another of those so soon after Lelouch.”
I shrug as I stand up with my bag, “Do you think he’ll escape the claws of the student council?”
From across the room, the aforementioned Lelouch scoffs at us. He must have been listening to our conversation. The barrier between their kinds of communication, and evidently Lelouch’s lacking interest in joining the council, quickly eroded that relationship. If we find Nakai, we’d better give him the best advice we can offer:
Maybe he can’t run, he seemed to walk fine but… actually I’m not exactly a runner myself.
Hobble. Hobble like hell new guy. Godspeed. Lightspeed. Actually, I wonder which is faster… Whatever speed you can manage new guy. Nakai-speed.
“Molls.” Huh? Oh. Suzu’s tapping her foot at me again. “Come on, daylight’s burning! If I spend another minute in this classroom, I’m going to… you don’t want to know.”
I really do, but she doesn’t give me time to ask as she heads out into the corridor, waving Taro and Lelouch along to the cafeteria. We take it in turns to buy one another food, it’s a roulette of sorts. The food doesn’t offer much in terms of selection, or, uh, quality, but surprising one-another keeps lunch at least a little interesting.
It’s also pretty convenient since Suzu wants to take the lift again and it’s pretty slow moving, giving Taro and Lelouch plenty of time to buy our food. We get inside and press the ground floor button. Today is feeling particularly odd. Everything is moving in slow motion.
“You know, you missed the knew kid’s introduction.” I mention, filling in the time as the numbers go from 3 to 2 to - oh come on; It’s one floor It shouldn’t take this long!
“Sort of, I was half-awake. I couldn’t lift my head, you know how it is. I heard, though.”
The doors open slowly, and out we go into the busy corridor again, against the current that feeds into the cafeteria behind us. It’s a struggle but we work our way upstream, until eventually, holding Suzu by the hand, we break out into the great Yamaku outdoors. “Great” is a bit of an overstatement, but it is quite nice today. There’re a few benches dotted around outside, but most are already occupied. I know where Suzu wants to sit; she’s got a “comfort hill” as she calls it, just shy of the path from the main entrance. Sure enough, we find the spot unoccupied and take our seats unhurriedly. I think part of our friendship has stemmed from our generally slower pace. Sure, Suzu can be energetic, but her condition usually means she’s either being careful, or she’s too exhausted or actually asleep to be active. I don’t really mind – it feels nice to sit with her, even if the conversation is sometimes one way because she’s fallen asleep, or gotten lost in her own mind.
“Molly!” The click of her fingers ground me again. God, I’m a hypocrite
. Suzu shakes her head in frustration. Crap, I feel kind of bad for ignoring her before. “We were talking about the new guy!”
Oh yeah! “Did you manage to get a good look at him?” I ask.
“Sort of, he had a cute butt.”
“Suzu!” She laughs at my mock outrage, but I lean in and whisper, “You’re right though.” That sends her giggling.
It feels nice to talk about boys with Suzu, it’s so reassuringly normal, I think that’s what Yamaku’s all about.
“You damn hypocrite!” I’m laughing too. Even in its oddness, Suzu’s laugh is contagious. I flick her on the forehead. She rubs the spot I flicked and lays down onto the hill we’re sitting on with her eyes closed, sighing as she does.
There’s usually a sort of ‘wind-down’ period when Suzu’s narcolepsy kicks in. Her body turns off kind of rapidly, her limbs droop and then drop, usually with just enough time for her to sit down safely. It took some getting used to, but now her episodes are kind of a part of the routine, as is turning off for a little while alongside her. There are things that can help to keep her awake, but those things should be done sparingly, since they’re more likely to trigger a cataplexy attack, which is worse.
“Damn, is the party already over?” Taro asks from behind us, and I have to crane my neck backwards to see him. Damn, the sun’s bright, Taro can you – yeah, that’s it. His frame budges over and blocks out the sun.
I’m a bit hurt that Suzu is the life of the proverbial party. I’m the party!
“Am I not enough for you?” I ask, only now realising I still had my left eye closed from the sunlight, but I didn’t need to.
“You’re plenty good,” Taro says. Lelouch appears from behind him, and beside him there’s… I’ve got to squint again… It’s Lezard.
Great, like I didn’t have enough of him in class.
I don’t mean too, but I feel my smile waver a little at seeing Lezard. Lelouch notices and smirks at me.
“Nao Feyighting nyow,” he stops smiling and closes his eyes. “Feyighting. Faiting. Fieyghting. Fieghtying.” It still makes me sad to hear him struggling like that. I guess there are some things that take more adjusting then others– going from speaking without struggle to wrestling with every word must be terrifying; apparently, he used to quite a good singer too.
“Hey Lou, you’re not the new guy anymore!” I might be a bit transparent in my attempt to distract him, but I don’t like hearing Lelouch get worked up over this stuff. I guess it worked, because he’s smiling again.
“Pyoor Nyakai.” The guys laugh and take their seats beside me and Suzu respectively. She’s still asleep, so Taro leaves the food he bought beside her gently. He’s usually a very clumsy and forceful person, he’s even been nicknamed the human battering ram for when the door in the guys common room gets stuck, but with Suzu he’s always light as a feather. It’s cute, and you’d have to be blind not to see the chemistry between them.
That’s not really funny I guess, because lots of kids here are blind.
You know what, I stand by it.
See that’s also funny.
Lunch continues with the usual small talk, and Lelouch hands me my food. He’s gotten better at surprising me. Today’s treat is curry bread, and as far as the cafeteria food goes it’s quite nice. The four of us eat, with Lezard bragging about some stuff he probably didn’t even do last Sunday. Suzu wakes up and tells him to shut up, which is about as close as Lezard gets to being accepted in the group.
“You know, someone’s going to have to rescue him, right?” Taro asks, rubbing the crumbs from his mouth.
“Who?” His question takes me off guard. Who is he even talking about, we were talking about planes before.
“The new guy!” he responds, apparently it was obvious to him, “We can’t really let those two try and trick him into the student council.”
“It’s not really our business,” Lezard, ever-boring, responds patting crumbs from his legs. “Besides, those two will do a good enough job at driving him away.”
“What, they’ve been taking lessons from you have they?” Ouch, a zinger from Suzu.
“Ha. Funny.” Somehow, I get the feeling that he didn’t really find that funny at all. Somehow. “Maybe he’s into all the school duty stuff anyway, you never know.”
“I guess. We’ll see.” I reply.
It’s strange how the arrival of a new person at Yamaku stirs up things like this; factions are already vying for power over him and we only really know his name. It was the same with Lelouch, people got talking almost immediately. It likely didn’t hurt that he was nice to look at, Suzu and I were equally guilty of looking. For a while I thought things might – well, not really. It was pretty clear that someone already had their hooks in Lou by the time he’d started hanging out with us; in fact, I kind of suspect that it was that person that got him to reach out to Taro in the first place. It makes me feel a bit bad for the new guy. Being new makes you feel out of place – and nothing feels real.
With that, the five of us get up from the hill. It’s a bit of a struggle, but Lelouch offers me a helping hand that I take. I remember when I was getting used to my new legs, and how I never wanted to accept help. I’m glad I grew out of that; nobody should try to be something they’re not.
It doesn’t take us long to get back inside, Taro and Lezard take the elevator with Suzu. I don’t want to spend anymore time in there so opt for the stairs with Lelouch. He seems to be in good spirits despite his frustration earlier – like every day, even if only slightly, he gets closer to accepting himself.
The Yamaku Process strikes again.
“You know, if you just shove it to the back of your throat it doesn’t taste awful.”
“You’ll choke if you do that Suzu,” I reply, trying and failing to not grimace as I take another bite of the noodles Taro made. Despite the rather pleasant smell, they taste terrible. “Are you sure you’re from a family of chefs and not undertakers?”
Suzu starts coughing with laughter and a spray of noodles fire from her mouth back into the tub, gross
“I’m done! I’m done! I can’t do anymore I’m sorry Taro.” She pushes the tub away from her with her chopsticks. Poor Taro.
“You guys are terrible; I went through all this trouble for you - so what if I accidently used cloves instead of chilli.”
Pfft. No, no no no. I’m not doing this anymore.
I push my tub away, and Taro starts laughing. It’s no wonder he wouldn’t eat any! And to think I bought that lie about him having already eaten some, there’s so much damn food here you could feed everyone on campus. You know, if you were a psychopath
. He grabs both tubs with his un-slung arm and deposits them in the bin behind with a satisfying crunch. Goodbye demon noodles. Goodbye.
The common room is unusually busy, as is the theme this week apparently. It seems that everyone at Yamaku has been caught in the furor of festival preparations. Even now, some of the more excitable first years gather around a laptop designing a menu for a noodle stall by committee. It’s hard not to smile at that, how different we feel now, how different we are.
I guess Taro notices me staring, since he puts his hand on my shoulder.
“You got plans for the festival yet, Molly?”
“Not really, I was just going to wander around until you two are done with the stall stuff.” Taro is, unfortunately, cooking for a rice stand and Suzu is… it’s some kind of game, I think. It’s a thing I won’t be visiting considering her lack of enthusiasm.
“I think Lezard might be free too,” Suzu teases, “You could do something romantic
“I’d rather eat the terrible noodles, thanks.” They laugh, and – oh damn what’s the time?
I pull the sleeve up on my jumper to look at my watch. Phew. I still have some time to get to the library; if I don’t try now, I know I never will. I need a book to finish the English homework we were set last week, and there’s no way I’ll ask Suzu for lessons again.
The two give me a weird look for standing up.
“Sorry, as much as I’m enjoying Taro’s torture, I’ve got to get to the library before it shuts.”
“A clandestine encounter with Lezard, I presume?” Thanks, Suzu.
“No, just giving you two some private time.”
“Hang on –“
“It ain’t –“
They both stop their sentences. What a strange pair. With a laugh and a wave, I head out from the common room and out of the girl’s dorms into the corridor, and the great outdoors.
It’s a golden evening with a cool breeze, peacefully serene. The gentle sway of the trees and the hum of chattering birds, the creatures of twilight coming alive. It doesn’t take me long to get from the girl’s dormitory to the main building but it’s nice to see it quiet again following the hubbub of the previous days -everything is still and calm. There’s enough going on as I enter the school to prevent it from being creepy, but the sounds are slow and hushed, matching the tempo of the evening. I pass room 3-1, where there’s some sort of club meeting on and various noises of chat and laughter emanate from within. It helps keep the school alive even when lessons have ended.
As I enter the library, I see Yuuko the librarian talking to a tall blonde girl. She’s normally a very timid person, but she looks genuinely calm talking to the girl. I vaguely know the blonde. Satou, I think. She’s the 3-2 class rep, and seeing as 3-2 is for the blind and visually impaired it’s safe to assume that she’s one of the two. Ha, seeing.
That never stops being a ‘duh’ moment.
From somewhere in the library I hear a squirrelly noise – it came from the sitting section. Acting maybe on impulse, but also because the books I need are in that section, I head in the direction of the noise.
I immediately regret that decision.
I barely manage to avoid the girl barrelling towards me, her hair flying everywhere and her hand in front of her face, I don’t have to get a good look to recognise her. Ikezawa. If she hadn’t already passed, I’d ask if she was okay – but the sad truth is there’s no good in asking either, since she’ll rarely respond. Unlike Lelouch, she still hasn’t adjusted, or rather, she’s adjusted in a way so alien to me I can’t pretend to comprehend it. I find that frustrating more than anything. I don’t like not knowing.
I can’t help but wonder what’s gotten her so riled up as I continue past the shelves to the bean bag section –
Things start to make a little more sense. Half in the bean bag and half out, the new guy looks like he’s just seen a ghost, or startled one, more fittingly. I can tell from his face he feels awful, even though he shouldn’t. It’s awkward, but I guess as far as introductions go this will have to be it. He looks like he’s about to say something.
“I, uh – she… I just said hello…” His voice is timid, like another thousand egg-shells have just been laid before him. Great. I bet that’s making the acclimation easier. Thanks, Ikezawa.
“Don’t worry about it, Lelouch made the same mistake earlier this year.”
“Is she okay?” He asks, tugging his shirt to straighten the creases that have come from standing up. It seems he’s noticed my lack of legs, as his eyes go down me and shoot back up again awkwardly.
“Yeah, well, everyone has a reason to be here, right? Some just handle it differently. Even some of the Yamaku veterans like Ikezawa struggle sometimes. Please don’t take it personally.”
He seems to relax a bit, if only a little, and he pretty much falls back into the bean bag. It must be exhausting being the new kid on the block, especially with pitfalls like that.
“Takes some getting used to, huh?” I ask, well aware that he’s feeling awkward and probably a bit guilty for what just happened.
“I just hope I do. Hisao, by the way, we’re in the same class I think.” I take my seat in the chair facing the bean bags. They’re pretty lethal for my prosthetics, and they’re so damn comfy I’d likely fall asleep if I managed to settle into one.
“Molly Kapur, and we are. It’s nice to finally meet you,” I hope that doesn’t sound like an accusation but he gives me a small smile so I guess not. “And you will, get used to it that is, it just takes time.”
“It’s just a lot different than my last school,” his smile wavers again, the memory apparently painful. I know a thing or two about bad memories, but he continues, “Everyone I’ve met has been lovely, I just…”
“Don’t know where to look?” He looks back at me, guilty again. Poor guy. It’s nice to finally get a good look at him, he has warm eyes but… something’s not on inside him. I can’t explain it, he just looks half alive, you recognise that look at Yamaku. I try to give a sympathetic smile – that or I look like a maniac, but I’m really hoping the former.
“I, uh,” he laughs nervously, “or say to be honest.”
“You’ve just got to be upfront, I think. Not everyone will react the same to questions about their…situation, but some of us can’t hide these things.” To demonstrate, I open my arms out towards my prosthetics and give my right leg a tap. “I don’t think this school is so different than others, there’s just an extra degree of uniqueness to contend with.”
That seems to do the trick, if only a little, as he gives me a smile. It’s not like the one from before it feels… real. It spreads to my own lips.
“You know, if Shizune and Misha get a bit much for you, you could come have lunch with us.” It takes a larger portion of my self-control then I’d like to not refer to them in their rather cruel nicknames, but the last thing I want is for the new guy to think I’m a nasty person, even if the nicknames are warranted.
“Well, they’re sweet but… I might take you up on that offer.” That makes me happy, he adds, “Who’s ‘us’?”
That’s a good question, our group has expanded a bit recently. “Well, it’s usually Taro, he’s the big guy at the back of the class, and Suzu, who’s the one you’ve probably seen sleeping on her desk in class, and me of course. Sometimes there are others too, but it’s usually just us three.”
“Okay thanks, I’ll keep you guys in mind – sorry I didn’t introduce myself to you sooner.” He looks like he’s making a mental note of the names I rattled off and I wave away his apology, getting up from the table – the light pouring in from the windows has gotten more golden, the library will shut soon.
“Don’t worry about it, being the new guy is difficult. You’ll figure things out and hopefully we’ll see each other again soon.” It looks like he’s about to let the conversation end there, but he smiles once more. It’s a… dangerous
smile, I think. I don’t know what comprises the lethality of a smile but… it’d probably be one like that.
“I hope so too. Thank you for the advice.”
I don’t know why, but I really want to see that smile again. I think about that name again, Hisao Nakai, and that smile…
I better find those books.