"Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (7/11)

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:11 pm

The sad thing is I don’t believe these characters are unrealistic, horrible certainly, but not unbelievable.
Yes, but as Omicronus stated that was not his intention...
I have to disagree here, being afraid of something has very little to do with the likelihood if of said something happening. He wants to protect his friends and family, though i’m not sure in my eyes either have earned his sacrifice yet.
Well, yes, Kyou might be paranoid about stuff like that, but that argument came from Kensuke.
Kensuke's rant comes partly out of frustration because Ryou's mom asked...
Now your arguing from Kensuke's position, and I'm not saying that his arguments are all invalid.
What I'm saying is that it is quite hypocritical of him to reprimand someone who has just lost an eye and has been humiliated in front of his family and friends - and in that tone at that - for not being considerate of others' feelings.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Gajzla » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:19 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I have to disagree here, being afraid of something has very little to do with the likelihood if of said something happening. He wants to protect his friends and family, though i’m not sure in my eyes either have earned his sacrifice yet.
Well, yes, Kyou might be paranoid about stuff like that, but that argument came from Kensuke.
Oh, your right. I think I was thinking of a previous comment from the main character. Also, does this mean his father hasn’t been arrested. :shock:

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:38 pm

Well, I think this was more regarding the now hypothetical case of Kyou moving out from his father's house.
I turned to Kensuke. “I didn’t want to tell you because if I stayed at your house, I was afraid of what he’d do.” I looked away. “I thought I could just tough out the rest of the term, and I would have moved in with my mom or my brother, or something.”
...
… you want us to keep this a secret knowing full well you’re thinking of running away from it?” He was practically shouting now. “Your dad’s not stupid, Ryo. Even if you did run away, there’s not a lot of places for him to look. How much are you willing to bet he’d look for us after school?”
Which kinda makes his outburst even less reasonable.
Kyou explicitly did NOT run away out of consideration for his friends, and Kensuke is still complaining about some conceived threat to them.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Omicronus » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:20 pm

I do agree that, upon closer analysis, Kensuke's rant at Ryou is more than a little unreasonable, and that Ryou losing an eye is definitely heavier than what his friends have to put up with. When I was writing this chapter, I wanted Ryou to hit some type of rock bottom. He lost an eye, and now his friends, because of his actions.
Even if you did run away, there’s not a lot of places for him to look. How much are you willing to bet he’d look for us after school?
The hypothetical I aimed at here was that if Ryou did run away, the incident wouldn't have happened. He would have managed to tough out the rest of the year and run away during the break. Bear in mind that the only time we see Ryou's dad was when he was drunk. Sober, he would have (probably) sought information on Ryou's whereabouts. Granted, he would try to get some information from his ex-wife and son, but the only other place where people know Ryou would be at his school. Following this train of thought, if Ryou did manage to make it through the remainder of the school year and run away from home, they might wonder and try to figure out where Ryou would be staying and end up helping a person they didn't realize was abusive until well after the fact.

In my mind, Kensuke's concerns are a more than a little over-the-top, but not necessarily unfounded.

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:27 pm

He lost an eye, and now his friends, because of his actions.
Uh... I didn't even interpret that as him losing his friends.

Kensuke might have been angry and lashed out, but at the beginning he said he would have even helped him, if he'd come to him...
You now, the more I analyze that guy, the less I understand him^^°

Anyway, the girls left after that awkward rant, but there was nothing in the chapter that suggested they wanted nothing more to do with him.

The second part of your post left me more confused than before. Let me rephrase that a bit and tell me if I got anything wrong:
The hypothetical I aimed at here was that if Ryou did run away, the incident wouldn't have happened. He would have [...] run away during the break. Bear in mind that the only time we see Ryou's dad was when he was drunk. Sober, he would have (probably) sought information on Ryou's whereabouts. Granted, he would try to get some information from his ex-wife and son, but the only other place where people know Ryou would be at his school. Following this train of thought, if Ryou [ran] away from home, [his friends] might [] try to figure out where Ryou was staying and end up helping [his father].
First of all Ryou said he probably would have left to stay with his mother or brother. So his father would have been successful with his first attempt and wouldn't have had to go to Kensuke. Even if he did that would have been only a problem for Ryou, since his father would a) have been sober during his quest for information and b) not have any reason to be mad at his classmates since they didn't know anything anyway.
Finally as I mentioned before his dad didn't even know about the girls before the phone call.

We're spending an awful lot of effort nitpicking apart that scene. The thing is, adressing the points I mentioned would necessitate a major rewrite of that chapter, and I'm not sure the result would be what you need to continue your story:
If I understood you correctly you want for him to lose his friends due to this incident. The problem is, real friendships don't break because of one fight or one fit of anger, and you did a good job establishing their friendship as "real" in what little you wrote so far.
In KS that problem wasn't adressed in that Hisao's "friends" were dismissed as superficial. Noone was really close to him, and even Iwanako had feelings of guilt to push her away.
Conversely Noriko saved his life instead of endangering it, and while this might still be traumatic it is much harder to believe that the experience would push them apart - and if Kensuke was just a superficial friend, he wouldn't talk to Ryou like that.

So I suggest not changing it at all. Kensuke overreacted. He'll realize that and apologize the next time.
Sending Ryou to Yamaku can still be the best choice, given that he'll be far away from his father, and you don't have to have every protagonist lose all their friends when going to Yamaku. In fact it might be interesting to see a protagonist who actually keeps in touch with his old friends. I don't think I've seen something like that at all in KS fanfiction so far.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/10)

Post by Omicronus » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:17 pm

About the next update...

I actually had all four parts of the prologue done before I even considered posting here. I just don't want to upload it right away. It's weird, but I want to keep about two sections ahead of an update. I'm still writing Act 1 Scene 1, so it might be a bit.

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" Prologue Scene 4

Post by Omicronus » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:19 pm

Prologue Scene 04 -- Leaving Behind

*****

My brother led me across the campus to one of the smaller buildings.

[Mom and I need to go to the administrative building,] he signed to me. [You and the others can start taking your things up to your room while I get your key.]

I blew a breath out through my nose. [You’re not making this easy, you know.]

[I never said that it was going to be, Ryo,] he signed back gently. [Friendships aren’t easy, and maintaining them over a distance is even harder.]

I shook my head. [Satoshi, what makes you think that they want to remain friends with me after all I’ve put them through?]

He narrowed his eyes. [Stop getting down on yourself,] he signed sharply. [You did what you said you would do: You went back to school and finished the rest of the term. You also did what Kensuke told you to do: you grew a pair.]

[Yeah, for all the good that did,] I signed sourly, my thoughts drifting back over the last few weeks...

***

I stayed with my brother for the remainder of the school year. He and Mom had a long talk about me transferring to Yamaku, and in the end, they both decided it would be for the best: I would get the transfer that I wanted so I could be away from our dad’s house, my brother would be able to visit and keep tabs on me, and he could keep my mother informed of how I was doing.

The weeks of school that remained after I left the hospital didn’t treat the four of us very well. Where the four of us used to chat amicably and openly, we were sullen and quiet. Group work became more of a chore than an activity where we could talk freely but get work done at the same time. Everyone in our class, even the teachers, began to notice the dark cloud that hung over the four of us. We weren’t exactly popular, but everyone knew we were close friends. We have been since first year.

Things were even more awkward between Noriko and I. On my first day back, I talked to her in private to thank her for what she did. She blushed and said it was nothing but at the same time I could feel that things weren’t right between us. From that day on, she slowly stopped talking to me unless it had to with school work. I talked with her one day after school when I couldn’t take her cold shoulder anymore, and confronted her about it. She confessed to me that it was hard for her to be around me, knowing what she knew, knowing what I knew, and knowing what I wanted to do.

After exams were over, I spent most of my free time inside my brother’s apartment. I kept my phone off and I spoke to no one but my mother, brother and sister. Satoshi did what he could, dragging me out to arcades or movies, and I gave in for the most part. He brought my friends sometimes, and even though most of those times there was that huge cloud of awkwardness hanging over the five of us, we made a bit of an effort to enjoy ourselves.

Two days ago, Satoshi and I picked up my friends and he drove us to our dad’s house, much to my anxiety. I hadn’t set foot in that house since the incident that cost me half my vision. My brother tried to tell me during my stay at his place what happened to Dad, but I didn’t want to know any of it. I wanted nothing to do with it. The hospital reports told enough of what he did to me, and I’d be damned if anyone was going to bring it up around me.

He dragged the four of us there so that they could help me pack my things. He told me that he would keep whatever I couldn’t take with me to Yamaku, and that I was welcome to stay with him after I finished school, but only under the condition that the four of us clear the air between us. He said he had a lunch date and would pick us up in the evening. The four of us stared at each other, and I ended up breaking the ice, saying that he didn’t have a girlfriend that I knew about, and that he wouldn’t know what to do if a pretty girl slapped him in the face with a fish and signed that she wanted to go out with him. That earned me a giggle out of Yumi, which wasn’t much, but it was something.

The air was heavy when we walked into the house, primarily because it hadn’t been cleaned up since I last saw it. There were still shards of broken beer bottle on the floor by the stairs, and there were dried brown spatters around the floor on the top of the stairs. It seemed like an unspoken agreement that no one would mention those things or disturb them, and despite being repeatedly reminded of it when bringing boxes of stuff or suitcases from my room to the front of the house, it seemed like the first time the four of us did something without a cloud of uncertainty hanging over us. I mentioned that to Satoshi later that night, and he told me that it was a start. It wasn’t much of one, but it was a start nonetheless.

***

[I told you it was a start,] he repeated himself, shaking his head in exasperation. [Look, Ryo, let me tell you that friends are hard to come by. I know you said you wanted a clean slate, but I’m your brother, and I’ve done my share of moving around. Moving somewhere new isn’t easy. Friends and family are the most important things you can have. Don’t throw them away.]

[When did you start being such a sap?] I asked, raising was left of my right eyebrow.

He snorted. [Since my idiot little brother considered making the stupid mistake of giving up his friends in a move,] he answered. [I may not live in the same city as they do, but I still keep in touch with Shinjiro and my other friends from my time here.]

[Oh?] I shot him a look. [Do you still talk with Ayumi, then?]

He narrowed his eyes and smirked. [As a matter of fact, I do, smart-ass,] he replied. [If you must know, she’s getting married soon, and I’m expecting an invitation to the wedding.]

[Gonna go find a nice bridesmaid--]

He punched me in the shoulder. [That’s enough, Ryo.] He betrayed his annoyance with a smile. [Go help the others bring your stuff up to your floor. I’ll meet you there in a bit with your uniforms and room key.]

I nodded anxiously and we split off after he pointed in the direction of the boys’ dormitory. I caught sight of Kensuke carrying a box and Yumi with one of my suitcases. Deciding to just throw caution to the wind, I ran up to them.

“Here, let me take that.” Without waiting for assent, I took the box from his hands. I judged from its weight and size that it probably had my video games and my systems in it.

“Thanks, Ryo.” Kensuke dusted his hands off as I walked with him at his other side. We were silent until we got to the dorms, where he opened the doors and let Yumi and I pass.

“What room are you in?” she asked as we saw Noriko sitting at the bottom of the stairs with my roller luggage beside her.

“Room three-one-one.” With a nod, Noriko got up and started up the stairs with my roller luggage in tow.

“Why are we taking the stairs when there’s an elevator right there?” Kensuke asked, pointing at the metal doors.

“Because there might be students in wheelchairs that need it more than we do,” I replied.

He nodded and shrugged. “You’d think everyone would be at home during the break.”

I stopped and stared at him in mock disbelief, and he and Yumi were two steps ahead of me when he realized what he’d said. “You know what I meant, Ryo.”

I let out a small chuckle. “I know, Ken,” I said, using his shortened name for the first time since I left the hospital. “I guess, in a way, this is going to be my home for the rest of the year.” I gave the two of them an earnest a smile as I could. “Thanks for helping me move. I mean it.”

Yumi returned the smile with one of her own. “You’re welcome.”

The three of us remained silent until we got to my dorm room. Noriko was already there and sitting on my roller luggage by the door. I set the box down beside her and sat on the floor while Yumi and Ken leaned on the wall opposite from us. The silence was palpable, and I couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Guys…” I spoke up, looking at each of them. “Thanks for helping out, and I’m sorry.”

Yumi furrowed her brow. “You already apologized to us back at school.”

“I know, but I still feel like there’s something hanging over us.” I ran a hand through my hair. “Things haven’t been right since the incident, like they’re different now.”

“Well, yeah.” I hadn’t expected Noriko to speak. “Things aren’t going to be like they were, Ryo.” She pointed at my face then at my arms. “Those aren’t going to go away.” She looked around the hallway. “The only thing that’s going away is you.”

I frowned. “I know. It’s just…” I sighed impatiently. “I feel like I need this. It’s tough to explain, but I feel like what happened that night changed me, and I don’t know if I’m going to like it.” I looked at each of them. “I don’t know if I want you guys to accept me, knowing about...”

“I’ll admit, I don’t really understand or like your explanation,” Kensuke said, “but your mom and Satoshi are backing your decision. I don’t think three people can make the same bad decision at the same time.”

I gave him a small grin. “I don’t know, the three of you still made the effort to hang around when I holed myself up in my brother’s place.”

He returned my grin and gently kicked my left leg. “That’s because it was one idiot making a stupid decision, idiot.

The four of us laughed, probably for the first time in a month. I felt like the tension between us was slowly lifting, like a fog around us was starting to clear up.

I felt a slap on my shoulder, and I looked up to see Satoshi dangling a key ring in front of my face. He tilted his head towards my room and walked past me and Noriko, unlocking the door and stepping inside. I stood and held my hand out to Kensuke.

“You were right when I said I had to man up, Ken,” I said to him. “I did, and I’m doing it now. My brother still believes we can still be friends. I know we’re going to be in different schools and cities, but I’m willing to make the effort, if you guys will still have me.”

Kensuke smiled thinly and took my hand, shaking it twice. “Of course. You’re our friend, Ryo.” He pulled me in and gave me a tight hug. “You’re our stupid friend that’s been through some shit.” I heard him sniffle. “I’m sorry for railing at you like I did, dude. None of it was your fault.”

I held him at arm’s length and returned his thin smile, trying to fight back my own tears. “I know. I’m telling myself that, but I’m still having a hard time believing it. I think I will, someday.”

I felt someone tapping on my shoulder. I turned to see my brother with a dumb smile on his face.

[If you two lovebirds are done having your moment, maybe you’d like to help us unpack your things?]

I gave him a simple sign that got my point across. He smiled broadly and shook his head.

“What did he say?” Noriko asked.

I turned towards my dorm room. “I’ll explain while we unpack. Come on.”

***

With most of my things unpacked and the sun beginning to set, Satoshi thought it would be a good idea to take us to the Shanghai, a cafe in the town near the school. Mom didn’t stay for very long after she and my brother finished their business in the administrative building, saying that she had to pick up Asami from my uncle’s house, but she did wish me well before she left. After a light, early dinner and sharing a toast of tea to new beginnings led by Satoshi and translated by me, he drove me and the others back up to the school.

“Ryo, can you tell your brother that I need to talk to you for a few minutes?”

Slightly surprised, I signed Noriko’s request to my brother. He turned to look at her, and she nodded in reply.

[Five minutes,] he signed to me, and I translated for her. With another nod, she stepped out of the minivan.

“Ryo…”

“Hmm?”

“Things really have changed between us, haven’t they?”

I nodded. “Yeah, but some things haven’t.” I took a chance and reached for her hand. “Ken’s right, you know. I probably wouldn’t be around if--”

She shook her head vehemently. “Ryo, don’t tell me that!” She turned away from me. “I’ve heard it enough, and I’m starting to get sick of it! Everyone in my family tells me I’m a hero, but I don’t feel like one.” She slowly turned back to me. “I feel like I’m to blame for making you leave.”

I took her hands in mine. “Nori, none of this is your fault. You had nothing to do with this.”

I saw tears well up in her eyes. “Then why do I still feel like all this is my fault?”

“It’s not.” I held her gently by the arms. “If anything, you gave me a second chance.”

“Then why does it feel like I lost you already?”

She might as well have slapped me while wearing a gauntlet. I thought that with the distance we had when I came back to school, her feelings for me would have drifted away. It never occurred to me that I could be wrong.

“Noriko, what do you see when you look at my right eye?”

The tears that threatened to fall started streaming down her cheeks. Almost immediately, she turned away. “I see you at the hospital, Ryo. I still see the bloody bandages on your face. I still hear you calling for your brother.”

I nodded. “Like you said earlier today, things aren’t going to be like they were.” I lifted her hand up to touch my cheek, her thumb instinctively brushing the angry scarring on and around my right eye. “This isn’t going to go away.”

She nodded sadly as she looked at me. “Ken was right, you know. I did have feelings for you.” She let out a short laugh. “I thought that I could get over them, move past them, when you came back, knowing you wanted to leave. It turns out it’s harder for me to get over you than I thought.”

I pressed my lips into a thin smile. “I feel the same way too, Nori, but I don’t want you see those things when you see me. You should feel happy when you see someone you care for, not sad or scared. I want you to be happy, Noriko.” Much as I didn’t want to say what I needed to, the words still hurt as I said them. “For that, I think we both need to let go.”

She nodded weakly. “Y-you’re right.” She threw herself at me and wrapped my arms around me. I gently put my arms around her and kissed her forehead. Without another word, she looked up at me and put her lips to mine. After a moment of surprise, I returned the kiss and held her tighter.

It was only for a second, but it might as well have been an eternity before she finally let me go.

She smiled sadly, a blush on her face. “Thank you, Ryo,” she whispered.

I nodded dumbly. “Thank you, Noriko.”

She wiped a tear from her eye as she let go of me and started for the passenger seat. She opened the door, but before she got in, she looked up at me.

“Goodbye.”

----------
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/14)

Post by Gajzla » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:32 am

Well that was quite the time skip, normally I prefer to be shown the events rather than have them explained at a later date. However you pulled it off well and it’s moved the story along nicely. (Plus would be a little hypocritical of me to complain about time skips :wink: )

I’m still a little confused about whats happened to the dad, I assume he’s been arrested. Only time will tell I guess.

I still don’t like Nori, but that’s a personal statement, not a reflection of the writing.

Lastly have you done any research into what losing an eye entails? It’s a subject touched upon often in Oddball’s Freaks and Friends that seems to be missing from this story.

Overall a good chapter, looking forward to more. :D

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/14)

Post by Omicronus » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:40 am

Thank you for adding those links, especially the first one. I don't know how I didn't find that one on a Google search.

It's not much in the way of additional research, but I (tried) to go a few days with one eye shut/covered. I wanted to experience for myself what it would be like. Simply put, it was rough.

The whole thing about loss of an eye (at the very least, loss of vision) will be touched on throughout the story. Considering where he is going and whom he will meet, it's kind of going to nail it home.

The matter with his father will be dealt with as well later on. He doesn't reveal much about it simply because he didn't want to know, even though his brother wanted to keep him in the loop. I'll admit, I added that from personal experience.

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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/14)

Post by Gajzla » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:24 pm

Omicronus wrote: Thank you for adding those links, especially the first one. I don't know how I didn't find that one on a Google search.

It's not much in the way of additional research, but I (tried) to go a few days with one eye shut/covered. I wanted to experience for myself what it would be like. Simply put, it was rough.
No problem, thats quite some dedication to the story, I like it. Closest I ever get to Miki is when i’m on the phone trying to do everything one handed.

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"Can you move past the past?" Act 1 Scene 1 Part 1

Post by Omicronus » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:58 pm

Act 01 Scene 01 -- Part 01

*****

My alarm blared in my ears. I groaned in annoyance and opened my eye, my vision half-obscured by pillow.

7:00 a.m.

Groaning, I shuffled my sore body up to a sitting position and slapped at the alarm button, missing and hitting my fingers on the edge of the nightstand.

“Shit!” I cursed, pain snapping me awake. I’m supposed to be blind on my right side! I managed to turn my alarm off and waved the pain in my hand away. In my less-than-dazed state, I considered going back to bed, but I remembered that I needed to shower and get ready for the first day of the school year.

First day of school…

The words sank into my mind, waking me further and bringing me back to yesterday. I spent the remainder of last night unpacking what was left of my stuff and hooking up my video game systems to the flat-screen TV that was in my brother’s spare room. He lent it to me, saying that I had to return it at the end of the year. To say I was surprised would have been an understatement.

At some point yesterday my brother had somehow managed to leave another surprise: a box in the closet with some gifts and a letter. Tossing the bedsheet aside and getting up, I walked over to my desk and picked up the letter, looking at his neat writing.

Ryo,

Mom and I feel like we let you down by not looking out for you more, and I’m sure your friends are pretty bummed out that you’re leaving. New schools can be pretty intimidating, and I’m willing to bet you’ve second-guessed your decision at least once. Don’t deny it. Like I told you before, I’ve been there.

The five of us, me, Mom, Kensuke, Yumi, and Noriko, decided to pitch in what we could and get you the stuff in this package. I also decided that I’ll let you keep that flat-screen TV that was in my spare room rather than just borrowing it as we agreed on. I’m sure you’ll have fun playing video games on a nicer TV than that piece of crap CRT that was in your old room. Consider it a gift.

I hope your last year of school goes well for you. This school treated me well, and I hope it does the same for you.

Don’t hesitate to call me or Mom if you need to. We’ll do whatever we can to help.

Keep in touch, little brother.

-- Satoshi


I smiled sadly, putting down the letter beside my brand new laptop. Aside from my brother’s signature, my mother’s name was signed, as were my little sister’s and my friends’. I looked up to see the framed photos on the shelf of my desk, gifts that were in the box that my brother stashed away along with the laptop.

There was an old photo of the four of us when we were in second year. Kensuke’s uncle took us ten-pin bowling, and he took a picture of us posing by the ball return. Ken was giving me rabbit ears with his fingers, and I was doing the same thing to Yumi while she held a bright orange bowling ball. Noriko was leaning on me, a toothy smile on her face and a purple bowling ball in her hands.

The other photos were recently taken, I guess during one of the times I couldn’t be bothered to leave Satoshi’s apartment. One was of Asami, Satoshi and my mom, the three of them standing underneath a tree with supportive smiles. My sister was giving the victory symbol.

One was of Kensuke giving a thumbs up and a small smile. The one beside that was of Yumi, leaning against a tree, one foot up against it, a sultry smile on her face and her eyes half-closed, trying to look sexy. Noriko and I knew she had a thing for Kensuke, though, and she probably didn’t realise that the photo was going to be for me. Or maybe she did, and she was just playing around like always. I chuckled at the thought.

The last framed photo was of Noriko, leaning on the tree by her shoulder, a timid smile on her face. I felt a pang of sadness as I picked up the picture frame and ran my thumb along the edge. Pressing my lips into a thin line, I reluctantly set the frame back on my desk and wiped a tear from my eye. I shook the melancholy thoughts away and grabbed a towel and my necessary toiletries for a shower.

As I moved towards the door, I caught sight of my face on the long mirror on the backside of the door. I was clad only in a pair of black boxers, but the right side of my face might as well have been outlined in neon. I avoided mirrors, or at least made an effort to, ever since I got out of the hospital, even to brush my teeth or wash my face. Now, though, my line of sight was riveted to the angry reddish-brown slashes covering the upper-right corner of my face and closing my right eye. I reached up reflexively to touch it, and I was greeted by the sight of further scars on the underside of my forearm. I pulled my arm back down from my face, only to focus on my facial scars again.

Thoughts of my time in the hospital came crashing back, immediately followed by recollections of what sent me there. The pain, the fear, the helplessness...

I shook my head violently, pushed away the negative thoughts and threw the door open, slamming my shoulder into it as I attempted to rush out of my dorm room. Swearing loudly, I blinked away the tears and slammed my door closed, power-walking the short distance from my room to the bathroom, kicking the door closed. I tossed my stuff on the floor just outside the shower, stripped naked and cranked the hot water knob two full rotations and the cold water knob just one. I hung my head underneath the spray of water, shaking my head furiously.

Stop it! I rail at myself. You’re past that!

I heard a pounding coming from the bathroom door.

“Keep it down!” I heard a muffled voice. “You’re going to wake up the entire floor!”

Letting out a breath, I thumped my head softly on the wall just underneath the shower, my shoulder throbbing painfully. I turned my head as far as I could but saw no bruising, at least, not yet.

Fuck. So much for making a good first impression...

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

After finishing my shower and my morning routine then returning to my room, being a bit more mindful about the noise and my sense of perception, I got dressed, looking at my reflection only after I’d finished knotting my tie. My gaze immediately went to my arms, feeling self-conscious about them despite being covered to the wrist. I pushed the thought away and grabbed my backpack and the sticky note stuck to my laptop.

Homeroom. Miyagi. 3-2.

I stuffed it into my pocket and poked my head out of the doorway, making sure that I didn’t run into whoever it was that interrupted my shower. Seeing no one, I hastily left my room, locking my door, and tried to act calm as I walked down the hall to the stairs.

Thankfully, I ran into no trouble as I left the boys’ dorms and walked out towards the main building. The sky was a bit brighter now, and I noticed two female students walking ahead of me. One of them, a pink-haired young woman, threw her head back and kept it back for a few seconds, presumably in a yawn. Not a morning person, I mused. My curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to jog up to the two.

“Hey!” I called out. The pink-haired girl turned around immediately, while the other one, a dark-haired girl with glasses, took three more steps and turned before she realized her friend wasn’t beside her.

“Hi~!” she said in a voice so loud I actually took a step back in surprise.

“Are you guys in Class 3-2?” I asked. “I just transferred here, and I really don’t know my way around…”

“No, we’re in Class 3-3!” the pink-haired girl replied. The dark-haired girl tapped her on the shoulder.

[Misha, what was he asking?]

[If we were in Class-3-2, Shicchan,] answered the pink-haired girl, who I now know as Misha. [He said he just transferred, and he doesn’t know where his classroom is.]

The dark-haired girl (Shicchan, apparently) gave me a once-over, and she blinked as she noticed my face. She put her fingertips to her mouth in shock as she reeled a little, and I suddenly felt self-conscious.

[I’m sorry,] she signed quickly. She looked to Misha. [Please tell him I’m sorry, Misha. I didn’t mean to be rude.]

“Shicchan says she’s sorry, and that she didn’t mean to be rude,” Misha translated. She immediately turned to her friend. “Why are you apologizing, Shicchan?”

[Never mind,] the dark-haired girl replied, pausing her signing to glance at me. Misha obviously didn’t notice the scars over my right eye. [We should introduce ourselves.] She bowed and started to sign. [My name is Shizune Hakamichi, Student Council President. This is my friend Shiina Mikado, but everyone calls her Misha.]

“Shicchan says we should introduce ourselves,” Misha translated. “Her name is Shizune Hakamichi, Student Council President.” She poked at her chest with a thumb. “My name is Shiina Mikado, but everyone calls me Misha.”

I bowed in return. “My name is Ryosuke Tachikawa. I’m pleased to meet you both.” I don’t know why I didn’t say I could sign and understood Shizune perfectly, or why I didn’t sign my reply to Shizune. “I’m supposed to be in Class 3-2.”

I noticed a flicker of annoyance in Shizune’s eye. I wonder if she noticed that I was reading her hands.

[You should be in class 3-3,] she signed with a puff of breath that looked like a huff. [I would not want a certain student's low ambitions and lack of ability to multitask between simple tasks to influence him right at the beginning of the school year.]

“Shicchan, that’s not a very nice thing to say,” Misha said, still unaware that I understood her friend perfectly.

“What?” I asked, feigning ignorance. “What did Hakamichi say?”

Misha shook her head as she signed my question. “Don’t worry about it, Ryokkun,” she said. “Wahahahahaha~!” I jumped at her sudden burst of laughter. “We were on our way to class ourselves. We can show you the way to your room, right, Shicchan?”

Shizune narrowed her eyes as Misha signed her suggestion. [At least tell him to be wary of Satou.]

“Shicchan says that she agrees and we’ll show you to your class~!” She didn’t bother translating for Shizune. “Wahahahaha~!” She skipped ahead, leaving myself and Shizune staring at each other with bewilderment. Her expression quickly changed to one of frustration and she tilted her head in Misha’s direction.

Once we got to the third floor and walked about halfway down the hallway, Misha and Shizune stopped, the former pointing to the door on my left.

“That one is 3-2,” Misha announced. “We’re in this classroom.” Shizune tapped Misha’s shoulder and started signing.

[Tell him that he can just call me Shizune,] she signed. [And that if he wants, we can show him around the school.]

“Shicchan says that you can call her ‘Shizune’, Ryokkun,” Misha announced, bringing my attention back to her than Shizune’s hands. “And if you want, we can show you around the school!”

“Oh! Um, well…” I shrugged my shoulders. “Maybe.”

“Wahahahaha~!” Misha’s laugh echoed through the hallway, making it sound three times louder than it was. “We won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, Ryokkun! We’ll meet you later and you can have lunch with us!”

“I...guess?”

“Perfect, Ryokkun! We’ll see you later!” They disappeared into Room 3-3 as a group of students emerged from the stairwell, some filtering into the first door in the hallway.

“That was an experience,” I muttered to myself as I stepped through the door into 3-2, nearly hitting the right side of the doorway as I turned.

The room was empty save for a woman with jet black hair in a high bun wearing a cream-colored blouse with a powdery purple suit jacket. She had a thin necklace of brown-colored beads and wore half-moons with gold frames. She looked up at me from behind her glasses then lifted her wrist to look at her watch.

“A little early, are we?” she asked with a raised eyebrow and a teasing grin.

I chuckled nervously. “Ahh, well, you see, it’s my first day here in Yamaku. I transferred in…”

“Oh!” She immediately stood, and the first thing that stood out for me was her height. She towered over me by what looked like about a head. As she stepped out from behind her desk and approached me, I noticed she wore a skirt that matched the color of her jacket and high heels that matched her blouse. She nodded. “I wasn’t expect you to come to class so early. My name is Miyagi. I will be teaching you English.”

I cursed inwardly. My English wasn’t abysmal, but my knowledge of the language was limited to watching English movies with Japanese subtitles and playing RPGs the same way.

Trying (and probably failing) to hide my discomfort with a smile, I bowed quickly. “My name is Ryosuke Tachikawa.”

She said something in rapid English that I didn’t quite understand.

“I’m sorry, Miyagi-sensei. Could you please repeat that?”

She frowned but nodded. “{It is a pleasure to meet you,}” she said again.

I shot her a look of realization. “Oh! I’m sorry. I didn’t understand you the first time.” I paused, trying to remember the reply. “{The...pleasure...is mine.}”

She raised an eyebrow. “Hmm. I take it you watch English movies?”

Was I that transparent? “Yeah,” I replied sheepishly, “with subtitles.”

She nodded but I could tell she wasn’t impressed. “Well, it’s a start.” She looked at her watch again. “Would you like to introduce yourself to the class when we begin?”

I nodded. “Yes.” New school, new start, right?

She waved her hand in the direction of the desks. “Excellent. Feel free to take a seat. Other students should be arriving soon.”

I took a seat by the window in the center row as she returned to her desk. Several students came in, their conversation occasionally punctuated by faint tapping as they entered the room. I looked their way and realized that some of them had thin white canes. Miyagi gestured to the desks, vocally indicating which direction they were for the completely blind students, and they took their seats, the ones with canes a half-step behind the less-impaired students.

As a student with a guide dog strode into the room, faint tapping approaching the door caught my ears yet again. This time, a tall girl with blonde hair and blue eyes stepped into the room. She moved fluidly despite facing straight ahead of her, her white cane occasionally tapping a desk leg. At hearing the teacher's directions to the desks, she got to the second row and took the desk closest to the doors. Once she sat down, she folded up her cane and put it into her bag.

“Hey!” An insistent whisper brought me out of my thoughts. I shook my head, not realizing I was staring. I turned to my right, but my lack of right-side vision prevented me from seeing who was whispering at me.

Shit, I thought. Leave it to a pretty girl to remind me I’m half-blind. I turned around to my left and looked at the person calling me.

“Need a napkin?” he asked with a grin. He had black hair tied back in a ponytail and wore glasses with deep blue frames. He had a deep brown right eye and an ice blue left one that didn’t move.

“Excuse me?” I asked, a mix of anger and annoyance in my voice.

He chuckled. “I saw you staring,” he whispered, tilting his head in the blonde girl’s direction. “Her name’s Lilly Satou.”

Shizune’s warning echoed in my mind again. I would not want a certain student's low ambitions and lack of ability to multitask between simple tasks to influence him right at the beginning of the school year.

“Is she as bad as they say?” I whispered to him.

“Who’s ‘they’?” he asked.

“Hakamichi,” I replied. “Shizune Hakamichi?”

He snorted. “Deaf-Charge told you she was bad?”

My jaw dropped. “Deaf-Charge?” I shook my head in shock. “That name is terrible!”

He grinned. “I know. I think it's bad, but damn if it isn't a little bit funny.” He held out a hand. “Name’s Koushiro Kageyama.”

“Ryosuke Tachikawa,” I said, taking his hand and shaking it twice.

As the bell rang, I turned and looked at the door to see a boy with thick glasses and a scarf trying (and failing miserably) to sneak into class, taking the empty desk closest to the rear doors.

Him you gotta watch out for,” Koushiro whispered. “His name’s Kenji Setou. Weird as they come.”

“Welcome to another school year,” Miyagi announced as she wrote her name in Japanese on the board. Underneath she wrote her name in English. “Before we begin, we have a new student transferring in for this last year.” She nodded at me. “If you would like to step forward and introduce yourself?”

----------
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Last edited by Omicronus on Sat Jul 11, 2015 5:51 am, edited 5 times in total.

HoneyBakedHam
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/22)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:18 am

I'm surprised there wasn't more blind classmates with canes. I know they're not all totally blind, but can't be the only one using it, right?

Also, aren't class representatives picked the first day of the school year? Weird how she was already picked.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/22)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:48 am

All the others must have snuck in while he was staring at Lilly :-)
But yes, it's a bit strange that he wouldn't mention anyone but Lilly and Kenji coming in.

Also, I think this underhanded slander of Lilly is not Shizune's style. She might make a disparaging remark to Misha without being aware that he would understand it, but she would not insist on it being translated.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

HoneyBakedHam
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/22)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:55 am

Not necessarily. Remember that Shizune had no trouble talking bad about her to Hisao. Well, her perception of Lilly's ability as class rep, anyway.

Shizune only has one moment through the game where she is actually nice toward Lilly.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: "Can you move past the past?" -- Updated (6/22)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:10 am

Yes, but badmouthing her to a student she's just met?
That's just petty. I don't like Shizune much, but even I think that would be beneath her.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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