Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route(Updated 4/8)

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Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route(Updated 4/8)

Postby InSaiyan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:51 pm

Introductions:
Hey everyone! You can call me InSaiyan.
This is my first big project that I've done, or even attempted, and, I must admit, I'm having a blast so far. Writing isn't something that I had ever considered to be "fun", but KS changed that for me.
The story of KS also changed my perspective on things like disabilities and tragic situations, specifically, how people handle them. I related to a lot of the themes and social issues that the novel brought up.
The reluctance to let people close to me, the inability to share aspects of my life that I didn't like, and the inability to let go of the past and move on are things that a lot of us can relate to, and relate I did.
I downloaded KS on my Android device over the New Years weekend and I honestly just thought it was a dark-humor themed dating sim..boy, was I ever wrong?
Like most, KS has left it's impact on me, so I'd like to give back to the community supporting it in some way.
Which leads me to why I'm here!



Small disclaimer:
Outside of research papers and the like, I have never written anything, especially not a story meant to entertain.
More importantly, I'd like to improve my writing! As such, I not only appreciate, but heavily encourage any formatting/spelling/other issues that you find with the story. There should be plenty, so I apologize now for that.


Why Natsume?
Simple. There aren't but a few stories that feature Natsume, and it's tragic that nobody has written a Pseudo-Route for her yet, given how she's pretty much a blank slate.
I find Heterochromia iridum (two different colored eye within a single individual) very interesting and, in some cases, very attractive to a persons features.
It's a unique look that is normally a result of low (or high) amounts of a certain pigment caused by a slight genetic mutation. (I'm not a doctor, so don't hate me if I missed something, please.)


My hopes for this Pseudo-Route:
My main goal is, obviously, to write an entertaining story that you all can appreciate.
My second goal is to create a fun story for Natsume, filled with emotion and meaning.
My final goal is to get better at writing and improve along the way.



Now, on to why you're here...



[Eventually, a picture will be here! PM me if you know an artist that might be interested!]


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy it!

Table of Contents
Act 1 - Life Expectancy
- Part 1: Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail - 1 - 2
- Part 2: The Inside Scoop - 1 - 2
- Part 3: Tea, For Three - 1
- Part 4: Decisions, Decisions - 1 - 2
- Part 5: A Short Trip - 1 - 2 - 3

Act 2 - Strangers In The Night
- Part 1: Rise and Shine - 1 - 2
- Part 2: Let the Games Begin - 1
- Part 3: Fireflies - 1 - 2 - 3
- Part 4: Slow-Crawl - 1 - 2 - 3
- Part 5: Baby Steps - 1 - 2 - 3
- Part 6: TBA


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Last edited by InSaiyan on Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:23 am, edited 33 times in total.
"We're just two children, pretending to be adults, aren't we?"

Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:30 pm

This story begins during the chapter "Detour Ahead" in Act 1 when Shizune, Misha and Hisao have just sat down and received their orders at the Shanghai.

Part 1:
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail


"Hicchan, have you thought about joining the student council?" The pink haired girl across the table from me asks. She looks like she already knows the answer even before asking.

All I can muster up is a surprised "Huh?", the question taking me off guard.The short haired student council president begins signing immediately with a dull expression on her face. Her slightly squinting eyes let me know that my blunder didn't go unnoticed.
"Don't talk with your mouth full, Hicchan..." Misha says, translating for Shizune.

After washing the sandwich down with the help of the fresh cup of coffee sitting in front of me, I clear my throat to respond.
"You said you understood it was too early to expect me to make a decision this quickly! That was like three hour ag-". My words get caught in my throat as I begin coughing violently into the sleeve of my uniform.

Guess I didn't clear my throat as well as I thought I did.

It takes a minute, but I'm finally able to catch my bearings and keep myself from coughing. "Are you alright, Hicchan? I'm not going to have to give you the heimlich maneuver, am I? Wahaha~!" Mishas voice echos out through the booth we all sit in as she let's loose into a fit of laughter. I see Shizune raising a hand to her tiny lips, trying to catch a few small giggles as they escape.

I'm glad someone is enjoying this.

I regain my composure, blood already rushed to my face in embarrassment. "I'm fine," I force out of my tight throat, taking another sip of coffee before straightening out my uniform and trying to retain what dignity I have left.

I look around the homely little cafe, trying to distract myself from the thought of almost choking to death on a turkey sandwich.
It's pretty empty in here today, I wonder if it's always this slow. The way Yuuko jumped to our aid when we first came in would suggest that it is, but then again, she does seem to take her job pretty seriously.

The two student council members seem to be having their own conversation on the other side of the table, not really paying me much mind.

I continue to scan all the empty seats in the cafe when I notice that one table on the other side of the room is surprisingly occupied.

How did I miss that?

Two girls sit at the far table facing one another, chatting back and forth while a newspaper lies in between them.
The uniforms they wear imply that they're students at Yamaku. Actually, I'm pretty sure I recognize them now.
They're the two girls that sit in the far left corner of my class, right next to each other.

One of the girls has her back to me, facing the girl across the table from her. Her straight sand-colored hair barely touches her shoulders. She must be really into the conversation, her hands are flailing about as I catch small tones of her playful voice echoing through the tea house.

The other girl is listening intently, her chin braced against her hands as she leans over the table trying to absorb all of the words the girl across from her is throwing out.
Short layers of loosely curled auburn hair are lightly resting on her slumped shoulders.

"Hey," I announce quietly, breaking up the student council meeting going on across from me.
"Who are those girls over there?" Slightly nodding my head towards the other side of the room. "They look familiar, aren't they in our class?"

Shizune sits her hands in her lap, obviously annoyed by the fact that I interrupted her conversation.

"Hmm.. Oh! that's Natsume and Naomi. They run the Newspaper club at Yamaku," Misha says in an uncharacteristically quiet voice. "They meet here a lot too when they have Newspaper business to talk about. Wahaha~!" She pauses for breath. "Naomi is the one with light hair and Natsume is the one with t-"

Her voice cuts off abruptly when Shizune gives her a light jab in the ribs before quickly signing something to her.

Misha turns her attention back to me and continues where she left off, only in a more whispered voice now. "Natsume is the one with two different colored eyes and darker hair." She let's out a muffled giggle, probably laughing at the thought of having to be quiet.

"Huh, two different colored eyes?" I ask quietly, leaning in.
My expectant gaze is only met with a quick nod and smile from the duo in front of me. I take the hint to not push the subject any further and lean back into my seat as the two of them begin signing back and forth, apparently picking back up on their conversation that I had interrupted. I was expecting some kind of joke at my expense from the two of them, but all I received was a vague answer to my question. That doesn't sit right with me for some reason.

I finish off what's left of my now lukewarm coffee and begin scanning the room again.

My eyes are soon drawn back to the girls across the room.
I try my best not to stare, but people-watching was always a pretty fun hobby of mine when I used to walk the city streets while my parents were working.
Their conversation seems to have died down a little, as the light haired girl..Naomi, has her hands resting on the edge of the table in front of her now. My eyes drift to the other side of their table as I study Natsume.

The sleeves of her blouse are pulled up to her elbows, and the bow at her collarbone is loosened slightly with the top button undone. It's a good look for her.
She seems to have a similar body type to Shizune, but probably a few inches shorter and a more relaxed posture, it's hard to tell when someone is sitting down though. My eyes trace her cheek and onto her small nose which is holding up a small pair of reading glasses. She's very cute.

Something instantly grabs my attention from her nose; It's her eyes.

Her left eye is a light brown color, but her right eye is a smooth, almost transparent, emerald color. It's...well, beautiful, really.
I catch my self starting to stare and snap back into reali-

Oh crap.

My gaze is met by her own as our eyes connect from across the room. I feel blood rushing to my face instantly as I snap my head away as if I was just punched in the jaw by an invisible boxer. The girls in front of me have quit signing and are looking at me as though I just grew another head.

"Why is your face so red, Hicchan~?" Misha taunts, "You could always take a picture, it would last longer! Wahaha~!"
She's not loud enough for anyone but us to hear, but it's still enough to make my head hurt a little from the sudden volume increase.

Yep, I think I'm done with this little lunch date.

The girls must be thinking the same thing, as they start to shuffle around, sliding out of the booth they're in. Shizune is the first to stand up, quickly making her way to the front of the tea house. Misha follows quickly behind, waving for me to follow.

I slide my way out of the booth and slowly stand up, carefully avoiding any glances that I may throw towards the Newspaper club. I think I've done enough to embarrass myself for one day.

Shizune immediately pays for the lunch, which I do really appreciate. Despite the two of them taking pleasure in my anguish so often, they really have helped me to feel like I may not be so alone in this school.

They're not much different than any other group of friends, really. Sure, they have to sign everything they want to say to one another, but it really doesn't slow their conversation down any. I almost feel guilty, thinking about them like that. As if I should be expecting them to be different because of a condition that they can't control.

Maybe I could learn something from them in that sense. My condition doesn't have to define who I am, it's just something I need to adju-
"Are you still there Hicchan~?" Misha questions at me.
"Are you still thinking about those girls in there? We can go back in and introduce you~!" Misha says in a playful tone and one wink of her big golden eye.
"N-no..no." I snap back, "I was just thinking."

Shizune gets a certain look on her face. I can't quite place what it is, but it looks like she's a racecar driver at the starting line of a race, just waiting for the green light.
Her hands disappear into a tornado of signs aiming towards Misha. Before her hands stop, she's quickly pivoted on her heels and burst out into a jog into the direction of the school. Misha bursts into laughter immediately and quickly takes off, right behind Shizune.

"Shiichan says the last one to the school buys lunch next time~! Wahaha~!" She yells over her shoulder as the two girls quickly create distance between themselves and the cafe. I'm about to take off after them when a sudden thought stops me in my tracks.

Oh, yeah..

I shouldn't be running like that with my heart as fragile as it is.

I can feel a frown work it's way onto my face.
I'm just glad the two girls are out of sight by now so they don't notice my absence from the competition.
I doubt they even know about my condition.

I let out a sigh, as I stuff my hands into my pockets and begin slowly walking back in the same general direction we came here.
I think I remember how to get back.
...at least I hope I do.

A few minutes pass and I realize that I may not know the way back like I thought I did, as I end up, somehow, right back in front of the Shanghai.

Crap, I just made a big loop around the block.

I consider going back inside and asking Yuuko if she could give me some directions, but as I turn to the building the front door creeks open and two girls bounce out into the empty street beside me. Naomi lays her eyes on me, tilting her head to side as if trying to remember who the familiar face was or where she knew me from.

Natsume looks a little surprised, her big mismatched eyes almost look worried.
She locks her eyes onto mine and let's a small, nervous smile creep onto her face.

I can already feel the blood rushing to my face again as I try to find the right words to say here.
"Uhm..hey," I state, trying not to sound quite as nervous as I actually am.
Why am I getting so worked up about this? I'm no master conversationalist, but surely I can properly introduce myself to a couple of classmates without my head exploding. "..I'm Hisao Nakai, I believe..uhm..we're in the same class together."

"Yeah!" Naomi, bursts out, snapping her fingers in realization. "that's where I recognize you from~!"
She has a playful, girly voice. It's similar to Misha's, but it has a much softer tone to it, not quite as damaging to everyone who hears it. "Nice to meet you, I'm Naomi Inoue!" She says with a quick bow of her head.
As she snaps her head back up, she's wearing a big grin on her face, it's very welcoming and warm.

I bow my head in response, turning my attention to the girl beside her. She's..blushing?
Huh, I took these two to be social butterflies, being over the school Newspaper, maybe I just caught her on an off day. Maybe I just shouldn't make assumptions.

"I'm Natsume Ooe," she says after a slight shake of her head. Seems like she dazed out for a second there. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Nakai."
Her voice carries a polite tone through the Spring air between us, as her smile pushes her cheeks upwards, revealing a row of pearly white teeth. She has a soft voice, but it's very clear and easy to hear. I bow slightly to her in response.

"Hisao is fine, we're classmates, after all." I state, trying my best to push a smile onto my face, despite still being totally ignorant of where I am. The girls give a polite nod, apparently agreeing that no formalities are necessary.

"You must be adjusting pretty well to the new scene, to already be helping out with student council business!" Naomi points out, apparently trying to start conversation and smooth over my awkwardness.
"Eh, not quite," I answer back, trying my best not to sound bitter at the fact they abandoned me here, although it probably was an accident. "Shizune and Misha have just been showing me around, really."

"So they haven't pestered you about joining the council yet?" Naomi states in surprise.
"Oh, they have brought it up...multiple times," My response coming out in a dull tone. "I can't say I'm interested, honestly."
"I just want to get a feel for this place before I go joining any kind of club, you know?" I ask.

Obviously they don't know you moron, they've probably been here for years.

"Sure, sure!" Naomi responds with a wave of her hand and a small chuckle. "So, where are they at now?" Natsume speaks up in a gentle tone.

"Oh..uhm," I start.

Well, I can't just tell them that they ran off but I'm not able to because of my flakey heart.
Well, I guess I could. I could just say they ran off and hope that they don't ask for reasons why I didn't follow.
I'm wasting time thinking about it, they probably think I'm crazy.

"..they had a race back to school, actually. I..uh..I fell behind and I don't really know the way back now." I state, punching an awkward "ha" on the end of it, mostly to make myself feel better about this situation.

"Hmm, well we can't just leave a fellow student behind!" Naomi lets rings out. "Riight, Natsume~? Haha!"

Oh, thank God, they're not asking more questions.

"Would you like to accompany two girls back to class, Hisao?" Natsume chimes in, with a playful wink.

I'm pretty sure my face has been red more today than it has been it's natural color.
"I guess I can't turn down an offer like that." I awkwardly mumble out in response.

They both give a little giggle before taking their positions by my right side as we begin walking.
Natsume is directly beside me and Naomi sliding in on her other side.

As I walk alongside the girls I can't help but to get lost in my own thoughts for a moment. These two don't seem much different from Shizune and Misha really. They're idly chatting with one another about the Newspaper and upcoming stories and events.

They seem to complement each other well, Naomi seems more outgoing and talkative, while Natsume seems controlled, a confusing mixture of confidence and nervousness about her being. Her purposeful stride almost reminds me of Shizune. Speaking of comparing the two, I was right, she is probably a few inches shorter than Shizune is, and her posture is a little more relaxed.

After a few moments we walk in silence. I'm cautious of my heart beating in my chest, it seems to be doing fine on this little walk. I can't help be feel glad that I didn't risk running after the student council. I'm sure they'll tease me about it later, but as long as I can avoid telling them about my issue right now, I think I'll be okay.

We reach the winding road leading up to the school and everything becomes a little more familiar to me now. The view from the road is a nice one. I can see out over the small town below, everything becoming increasingly smaller as we make our way up the hill.

We soon reach the front gates of the school and as I push it open to let the girls pass through, I can hear the bell ringing out, signaling that lunch is over. Huh, it feels like I've been in town much longer than just lunch.
I guess Shizune dragging us down there in a practical sprint probably made up for any lost time though.

The girls nod their gratitude as we pass through the old gate and into the school grounds.

"I'm going to go grab my books, I'll meet you back in class!" Naomi directs at Natsume. "It was nice meeting you Hisao! Thanks for the company!" She says over her shoulder as she turns on her heel and let's out a small giggle, disappearing into the school building.

A handful of students trickle out of the dorm building, heading back towards their classes. None of them seem to be in much of a rush. That leaves Natsume and me standing in the quiet court yard for an awkward minute before I decide to speak up.

"Uhm..would you like to walk back to class with me?" I ask, awkward nervousness still seeping into my words.
"Heh, s-sure, thank you." She responds back. "By the way, you should..uhm..come have lunch with us some time," she adds as we step off towards the towering building in front of us. "Normally, we just eat in the Newspaper club room, but sometimes we will head into town for a change of scenery."

I'm a little shocked by the offer, but then again, I am the new guy. She's probably just being polite.
"Uhm, sure," I stumble out. "That sounds nice, thanks." I try to smile at her politely as she walks beside me, but I have a feeling I'm just being awkward again.

Why am I so bad at this?

We make our way into class, with Mutou following right behind us, his hands full of papers. I nod my farewell to Natsume and she gives a smile back as she breaks off to take her seat.

I take my seat to find two empty ones beside me. Huh, must be some important council business to tend to, probably tying up loose ends before the festival in a few days.

Speaking of the festival, I wonder if I should go. It might be nice to get out and experience, but I really don't like the thought of aimlessly walking around alone. I also don't like the thought of being dragged around all evening by the student council girls.

Eh, I still have a few days to decide.

--
Last edited by InSaiyan on Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:14 am, edited 6 times in total.
"We're just two children, pretending to be adults, aren't we?"

Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:58 pm

Part 1:
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail (continued)

-----


Time slowly creeps by as class draws to and end.
It seems most of the students are in festival mode already, dragging Mutou along with them.
He's seated slouched in his chair flipping through a science magazine, while most of the students have their heads down or are idly staring at the clock, anticipating the war cry of the bell.

I take the opportunity to look to the opposite corner of the classroom. There are a lot of students in between us, but I can still see that Naomi is catching a nap, her face resting against her arm on the desk. It looks like she's drooling a little bit. Hmm, gross.

Natsume is sitting up, her chin resting on her hands like they were at the Shanghai. Her shoulders are slumped in complete boredom, but her eyes are open looki-
Looking straight into mine.

Why does this keep happening to me?

Her lips curve upward and she shoots a smile at me, melting a little bit of the awkward situation away.
I smile back, but quickly turn my attention towards the front of the classroom.

The bell rings out, signaling our freedom, and the sleepy group of students suddenly turns into a feral pack of animals trying to escape their enclosure.

I take my time and collect my books up, allowing the herd to thin out before I make my escape.

I take my time walking back to my dorm, thoughts of the festival running through my head. I wish I knew what to expect.

My door creaks open at my hands and I see the unfamiliar setting. My room is just as plain as I remember it, but that bed is looking awfully welcoming right now. Today was rather exhausting for a new guy that's just trying to settle in.

I lie back on the bed after sitting all my books down on my desk. It's not very comfortable, but it will do.

Choking to death in front of the student council, then them ditching me in an unfamiliar location weren't exactly highlights of my day. I'm going to have to get them back somehow for that. Although, I can't be too mad about it. I did get to meet the Newspaper girls, and they seem pretty easy to get along with as well, despite not knowing much about them.
It doesn't hurt that Natsume is pretty cu-

-THUD THUD THUD-

This better be important to warrant almost knocking my door off its hinges.

I pull myself off the bed, hoping it was just a prank and nobody is on the other side of the door.
I open it to find myself in disappointment.

A quick " 'sup dude?" Is what I'm greeted with, along with a strong smell of garlic.
"How's it going Kenji?" I ask, completely uninterested in having a conversation with him right now.

The scrawny figure that stands in front of me is hard to figure out. His glass are an inch thick. He's wearing a goofy scarf, despite the weather outside being rather warm. He's finicky, as if he's expecting someone to sneak up and attack him at any second. Strange guy, but he does seem pretty harmless.

"Fine. Just wanted to see how you're adjusting to things." He says with a blank look.
"It's going to take some time to get used to things probably, but I'm doing alright so far."
"Don't get complacent dude." he shoots back at me.
"Wh-..excuse me?" I question back.
"Just keep your eyes peeled for any funny business out there dude. There's a war being waged underneath the surface here and I don't want to get you caught up in it." he confidently answers.

What's wrong with this kid? As far as I can tell his only disability is his eyesight. I don't think Yamaku even treats mental illness, but Kenji might be their only exception.

Not quite sure how to respond, I decide to just nod in agreement. When I realize that he probably can't even see me nod through those goggles of his I decide to give him a verbal agreement.

"Sure man, I'll keep my eyes peeled."
"Good man. You're smart guy Hisao," He says with a smirk, turning back towards his room.
"But I'm smarter. Stick with me and you'll be fine."
"O-okay. Thanks" I stumble back.

I have no clue what he's talking about, I just want this to end.

"Can you spot me some cash dude?" He blurts out.
"Wai-what? What for?" I question back at him.

He pulls his head back, as if he suddenly smelled something rotten. Although, it could actually be his own breath, but I have a feeling he's used to that by now.

"Secret." He says, regaining his composure.
"Then no. I'm not made of money, you know." I shoot back at him.
"Come on man, I thought you had my back. Guys like us need to band together!" He answers back.
He has fist raised up in a triumphant manner, as if posing for a historical painting or something.

I just want to put a stop to this, my head hurts.

"Alright, alright," I start. "Pay me back by next weekend, okay?"
I pull a few notes out of my pocket and hesitantly hold them out close to his chest so he can actually see them.
"Thanks man. I knew I could count on you!" He states, taking the notes from my hand and cramming them in his pocket.

He turns back and passes through his door but pokes his head back out a second later.

"I'll pay you back. Friends don't give each other deadlines though." He states blankly.
With that, his door slams and the sound of dozens of locks fill the quiet hall.

I turn back to my room and close the door behind me, still trying to figure out how I just got hustled by a crazy person. I figure it's probably best to not worry about it right now..or ever, really. It was worth it to get him to go back in his room and leave me be.

I still have a few hours of the day left, but not much motivation to do anything with it.

I figure I'll just dive into a book and relax.


-----
Last edited by InSaiyan on Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"We're just two children, pretending to be adults, aren't we?"

Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
User avatar
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:34 pm

Part 2:
The Inside Scoop


-----


-EEP!- -EEP!- -EEP!-

I'm awoken suddenly by the cruel cry of the alarm clock on my nightstand. I guess I fell asleep reading, because the book is still laying open on my chest.

I set the book on my nightstand and give the alarm clock a firm pound to make sure that it knows that I'm not happy about this. I look around the room to catch my bearings, but it's still so foreign to me. This definitely doesn't feel like home yet.

I want to roll over and get some more sleep, but I would say it's still too early in the year to consider skipping class. Forcing myself out of bed, I rub the sleep from my eyes and decide to take a nice shower and grab some breakfast before class starts.

---

I enter the cafeteria only to find it mostly empty other than a handful of students who are scattered into small groups. Most of them look like they're just on autopilot, not really conscious yet that they're awake.

I grab a plate of something that almost looks edible before turning around to find a place to sit.

My eyes scan the room for a good seat when their attention is grabbed by a familiar face sitting at a table close by.

"Good morning Hisao," a sweet, airy voice calls from the table a few feet away from me.

My eyes access the situation before me. Her uniform is a little different today. Her sleeves are down and buttoned at her wrists and the button at the base of her neck is secured while her bow sits in place. Maybe she just let's herself get a little more comfortable as the day drags on.
I can't blame her, these uniforms are a little stuffy.

"You're here early, are you normally a morning person?" I question, taking my seat across the table from her.
Natsume shoots me a small grin, as if the thought of such a thing was funny to her.
"I can't say I'm really a morning person," she states. "I just really like breakfast food!" She lets a giggle escape her lips before taking a small bite of her eggs.

"What about you?" She questions back to me in a playful tone.
"I was looking forward to some breakfast as well," My voice trails off, looking down at the blob on my plate. "But, I'm not sure if I'm very hungry anymore."

She's taking some enjoyment from this I think. She sure isn't trying to hide her laughter, at least.
"What, you don't enjoy trying new things?" She questions. "Just try some, you never know, you may find that it's not as bad as it looks!"

I'm not convinced, but I'm in no shape to turn down a cute girls request, so I take a scoop and bring it to my lips, closing my eyes and trying not to breath out of my nose. I push the glob of food past my lips and open my eyes. Natsumes cheeks are red from trying to hold back laughing at my pitiful performance.

As I let the food slide down my throat, I can only let a surprised "Huh." escape my throat.
"That's..that's actually pretty good." I state.
"See, now?" She responds back, a certain sense of pride about her posture now, "I may be able to teach you a thing or two if you stick around for long!" She let's out another cute laugh at my expense.

What's with the girls here? Am I an easy target or something? ...well, I probably am, actually.

Natsume digs into her eggs again and I decide to get to work on..well..whatever this tasty pile of food is in front of me. Both of us finish up rather quickly, only a little bit of idle chatter filling the air between us as we chew away. We still have about 15 minutes until the bell rings for class to begin and the students are starting to pile into the cafeteria now to grab some last-minute food.

"Hey," the girl across from me calls out. "I need to go grab my books before class, want to walk with me?"
She quickly follows up, "or do you have another girl that you need to meet up with?" She gives a playful wink of her emerald eye before bursting into a giggle, her slender fingers covering her mouth. It looks like she has painted her nails recently, each one a vibrant yellow color.

I feel the familiar feeling of blood rushing to my face once again as I try to hold on to what small strands of dignity I have left at this point. I perk up after a second as an evil plan forms in my mind.

"Actually, my girlfriend should be waiting in class for me." I fire back, lying through my teeth.
Her laughing stops suddenly and now I can see her face starting to turn red. I see a strange mixture of emotions take over her face.
Embarrassment, guilt...disappointment?

Haha, yeah right Hisao, get real.

"O-oh..I didn-", she starts. I cut her off mid-sentence though with a laugh and a quick "Gotcha."
It takes her a second, but the joke eventually clicks in her mind and she begins laughing nervously as she stands up, her eyes focused downward on her uniform and skirt as she straightens them out.

That little joke seems to have shaken her more than I expected it to. She suddenly doesn't seem quite as confident than she was at the beginning of our conversation. I wonder if this is something she struggles with? I shouldn't have made such a stupid joke, I feel kind of bad now.

She looks back down at me with a cute smile on her face and her eyes wide, seeming to have recovered a little.
"Th..that was pretty good Hisao," she states, regaining more confidence. "So, want to take a walk?" She asks, with one hand on her hip and the other offered out to help me off of the seat.

"Such a polite young lady," I grin at her jokingly as I place my shaking hand softly on her delicate little fingers and stand to my feet, adjusting my own uniform.
"Ready?" I ask. She gives a smile and nod as she walks to my side and we begin our trek to the dorms.

I can't help but to think again of how quickly her confidence faltered during that exchange. It's almost strange to see someone go through such changes in that short amount of time. I should probably hold off on the jokes until I get to know her better.

The walk there is pretty quiet, Natsume occasionally waving and saying hi to other students as they pass by.
She seems to know a lot of people here, maybe because of her involvement with the newspaper.

We break off as the dorms split and meet back up as we're both coming back with our books for the day in hand. Our walk to class is equally quiet, most students have made it to class now. Small talk fills the air between us as we approach the classroom.

Natsume stops in place suddenly outside of the open classroom door and speaks up.
"Hey," she starts.
A small amount of nervousness trickles into her voice as she continues, adjusting her glasses a little before finishing. "Want to..uhm..join Naomi and me for lunch today?"
"S..sure," I fumble back at her. "That sounds good. Want to meet up after class?"
She nods in agreement, shooting me a quick smile before dipping into the classroom ahead of me.

I take my seat and instantly feel the eyes glued to me from somewhere close by.

"Hicchan~!" I hear come from beside me.

Ah, crap.

"Where did you disappear to yesterday Hicchan?" Misha forces a pout onto her face. "Me and Shicchan were worried about you when you never caught up!"
I look over to see Shizune with her arms crossed and her brows furrowed in my direction.

"I, uh.." I trail off, at a lose for words on how to respond.
"You what Hicchan? It's rude to leave some cute girls hanging, you know!" Misha tries to come across seriously, but I can tell she's holding back from busting out laughing.
"Well, you abandoned a new guy in the middle of a town he doesn't know how to navigate." I fire back, a little bit of bitterness seeping into my voice.

Misha looks to Shizune for how to respond, but they both seem a little puzzled, as if they hadn't even thought of that before now.

"We're sorry Hicchan." Misha answers back. She does seem sincere, at least. "So," she starts again, a playful tone in her voice and a grin creeping onto her face. "How did you get back to school then~? Wahaha~!" She bursts out.

Blood rushes to my face again.
Crap, they're going to pick me apart if I tell them I walked back with the girl I was staring at. I have to act quickly though or they'll just make more assumptions.

"I-" I start, but I'm cut off by the bell ringing, signaling the beginning of class. Misha sticks her tongue out at me and gives a playful wink. Shizune is already pulling her books out to prepare for the lesson ahead, already putting the conversation behind her.

I let a small sigh of relief pass as I place my own books on the desk before me, ready to think about anything other than answering to them about anything else.

----

Class drags by as usual, allowing my thoughts to wander once more. The festival is in two days now and I'm actually looking forward to it, despite still not having any plans yet. Maybe I could ask Natsume and Naomi if they have any plans? Eh, I'm sure they do, they do seem pretty popular, after all.

The bell for lunch rings through the school grounds, interrupting my thoughts. I'm actually looking forward to it today.

As I put my books away and stand up to take my leave, I notice there's a pink wall between me and the exit.
The wall has a big curious grin on its face that let's me know I'm not getting away so easily.
"Hicchaaan~," Misha calls out, hiding a laugh behind a row of pearly white teeth. "You didn't think I forgot did you?" She puts her hands on her hips for emphasis as she fakes a pout.

Well, I was hoping you did. Just play dumb Hisao, you should be good at that.

"Forget what?" I answer back, trying my best to look clueless.
"Hiichan, how did you get back to school on time yesterday if you didn't know your way back?" Misha says, her pout becoming more and more forced by the second.
"I-" I start to come up with a witty story but I'm cut off.

"You ready for lunch Hisao?" I hear Natsume question from over Mishas shoulder. She must have snuck up on our conversation. I wonder if she's trying to save me or if it was just a case of good timing? Either way, I'm more than thankful for the distraction.

"I'll..uhm..see you all later!" I quickly shoot to Misha and Shizune. Misha steps out of my way as I pass by her and wave her farewell. Shizune seems to have, again, already moved on from the conversation. Well, I guess that at least answered their question.

As we make our way to do the door I hear Misha speak up from a few feet behind us "Have fun, you lovebirds~! Wahaha~!" There's some extra playfulness in her voice this time. I hear a soft giggle to my side but decide not to show her how red my face is.

All of this blood rushing to and from my head constantly can't be healthy, can it?

I give Misha a wave over my shoulder, trying to play off her taunts.

We reach the hallway and turn the corner side by side.
"Lovebirds, huh~?" Natsume joins in on the taunting now, giving me a very soft jab to the arm, it barely even registering to me. "Just what did you tell her, anyways?" She continues on, driving the knife in further.
"I..I didn-" I blurt out in response.
She cuts me off with a wave of her hand, unable to stop giggling long enough to form words.

"I'm just kidding Hisao!" She says after catching her breath. "I know how Misha is, no need to be embarrassed!"
"Easy for you to say." I mumble back. I need to change the subject.

"So, where does the newspaper club normally meet up?" I ask.
"It's almost at the end of the hallway, passed the Art room," She responds cheerfully. "Most club activities are on this floor, actually."

Makes enough sense to me.
Last edited by InSaiyan on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:36 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:27 pm

Part 2:
The Inside Scoop (continued)


We pass by several classrooms, most of which appear to be empty. The door to the art club is open as we pass by, the scent of cardboard, paper and paint fill my senses, I can't say it's pleasant.

Natsume approaches a door that's cracked about halfway open, two doors down from the art club. She pushes it open to reveal a cozy room, about half the size of a normal classroom. It almost reminds me of Lillys tea room, but this one seems a little busier.

Wooden cabinets and shelves line the back wall, with a large faucet sitting under a dim light in the middle of them. The wall facing us as we walk in is a dull blue color. It has two windows that are both cracked open, filling the room with fresh air. There are two long tables placed under the windows, pushed against the wall. Bits and pieces of different newspaper articles are scattered over them.

There are six padded desk chairs scattered around the room, only one of which is currently occupied. The blonde short-haired girl stops spinning in circles with her chair as we walk in, her ruby colored eyes having trouble focusing on us. How long has she been spinning in that chair? I hope she doesn't get sick.

"Hey! Look what the cat dragged in! Haha!" Says Naomi, stumbling to her feet and trying to regain her bearings.
"Nice to see you again Naomi." I respond back.
I catch Natsume in my peripheral as she rolls her eyes and takes a nearby seat. "I invited Hisao to eat with us," she explains, "I hope you don't mind the extra company."
"The more the merrier!" Naomi cheerfully sounds back at her.

I wonder where the rest of the club is? Natsume mentioned on the way here that Naomi cooks plenty of food for everyone. Surely by 'everyone' she didn't just mean the two of them?

"Where's the rest of the club at?" I ask, my thoughts getting the better of me. I get a blank stare back from the two girls. Natsumes different colored eyes dropping a little bit in response to the question. "This is it Hisao." She responds, bringing her eyes back up.

Wait, what? No way two girls handle everything with the school Newspaper by themselves. She must see the shock in my expression, because Naomi speaks up after giggling to herself.
"Yep! I write out the stories and Natsume gets the inside scoop!" She states with a proud smile and small laugh.

I can't say I'm familiar with the newspaper here. I haven't even been here long enough to see an issue yet. Still, I can't imagine it's easy with two people.

"That's pretty impressive, really." I state, still in somewhat disbelief.
"It's nothing special really," Natsume chimes in. "We only take the amount of work that we can comfortably handle."
"That's right!" Naomi agrees with a nod of her head.

It seems they do take pride in their work, no matter the size of the workload. I think that's a great quality to have.

Seeing an opening in the silence, Naomi pipes up again.
"Well, let's eat!" Naomi states, pulling a bag from underneath the nearby table.

She sits out several dishes and pops them open in one fluid motion. Seems like she's done this pretty often.
Looks like there's a nice array of food, all of it seems to be home cooked.

With the containers open I can see Rice, cooked chicken and a mixture of vegetables, steam rising off of each container as the smell hits my nose. I feel my stomach tighten in hunger.

Natsume strides over to the cabinet and grabs three sets of chopsticks, sitting them on the counter before opening a different cabinet and grabbing three plates.
I notice as she brings the plates out of the cabinet that her hand begins trembling terribly, she must have awkward grip on them. I consider offering to help her, but I notice a certain look of focus and determination on her face and decide against it. She must take a great deal of pride in helping set up for lunch. I've seen people take pride in much stranger things, I suppose.

She sits the plates down quickly, probably trying to get a better grip. Her hands are pretty small and dainty, but the plates don't necessarily seem like they're any bigger than a normal plate. It's strange to me that she's having a hard time gripping them comfortably.

She picks the plates back up after a second, but I hear a sudden wince of pain escape her lips as the top plate slides off the top of the stack and topples onto the ground, breaking into three separate pieces at her feet.

A sharp -CRACK- sound echoes off the walls of the small room.

I reflexively jump in surprise, the sudden noise ringing through my head. It takes me a second to gather what just happened. Pushing the shock aside, I quickly stride over to Natsumes side.
"Hey, are you alright?" I say, not able to contain the worry in my voice. I'm pretty sure she isn't hurt, but as I look her over, I can't help but notice something strange.

She has a tight grip on her wrist with her other hand, as if applying pressure to it to dull some kind of pain. She hadn't mentioned any kind of injury before. As far as I know she doesn't participate in any sports, despite her slim figure. I don't know what to make of the situation, but I don't want to ask the wrong question, so I just wait for her to respond.

Her face quickly turns from an expression of discomfort and pain to one of mixed emotions that I can't quite define. Her body let's out small trembles as she let's her grip fall from her wrist. Her eyes are still locked on to the counter top in front of her as her hands make their way to one another in front of her body. A discouraged sigh escapes her lips and her body stops trembling as she straightens her posture a little.
"I..I'm fine," she nervously states. "I..I just..lost my grip, I'm sorry."

Naomi doesn't seem as shocked as I am. She puts a hand on her friends back and gives it brief pat.
"It's okay Natty, don't worry about it." Naomi says. "I'm going to go grab a broom and clean this up, I'll be right back!" She says, skipping out of the room.

It feels like this may not be the first time that something like this has happened. Naomi seemed to react as if there was a certain routine that she was following.

"You sure you're okay Natsume?" I ask, trying not to sound too pushy about the subject.
"Yep, I'm..I'm fine, just a little clumsy! Ha!" She says in a playful tone, adjusting her glasses up the thin bridge of her nose. Her voice still has a certain uncomfortable tone to it, but she seems to be recovering a little bit.

I can't help but to feel like I'm missing something still, but I decide to change the subject.
"Let me get the table ready for us," I offer. "It's the least I can do for treating me to lunch." I shoot her a smile. She returns the gesture with a slight nod of her head and a smile back.
"Th..thanks Hisao." She quickly mutters back. Her voice is quiet now, almost a whisper.

Naomi returns after the plates and utensils are set up on the table and quickly discards the broken plate into a nearby trash can.

As we sit down to eat, I realize I'm too hungry to create anymore conversation at this point. A quick glance to my side lets me know I'm not alone. The two girls are diving into their plates, making quick work of the delicious food in front of them.

We eat in silence but I can't help but to think about what just happened. I hadn't even really considered why these girls were here at Yamaku. They seemed so..normal to me that it didn't even register that they probably do have their own issues to deal with.

I had assumed Natsume had an issue with her eyesight, given their beautiful uniqueness. Thinking about it now though, she would surely be in the same class as Lilly if her main issue was her eyesight, right? I can't help but think of how quickly her confidence faltered again during the situation that just happened. Is that part of her issue? Or is it just something else caused by a bigger problem? I shouldn't be thinking about it so hard. If I really wanted to know, I should just ask her when the chance comes up.

All this thinking is making me painfully aware of my own issue. I feel the irregular beat in my chest against my uniform as I push the last mouthful of rice past my lips.
I shouldn't keep this stuff to myself. I bet they're probably curious about my condition too. As uncomfortable as I am about it, I could probably handle tellin-
"H-hey, Hisao?" Natsumes soft voice rings through my ears, bringing my attention back down to Earth.

She's sitting to my left side at the table placed in front of the windows, with Naomi on her other side looking idly out the window as she chews a mouthful of food.

"Sorry, I was..just thinking." I answer back. "What's up?"
"I was..well.. I was jus-" Natsumes voice breaks off as Naomi gives her a small nudge with her shoulder.
"Do you have any plans for th-..for the Festival?" She stammers out.
"Not yet," I state blankly. "I was just going to walk around aimlessly. I still don't really know what to expect yet."
"Well, we can't have that!" Naomi pipes up. "Can we Natty~?"

Natsume is facing towards me in her desk chair, staring blankly into my eyes. She looks like she's frozen in place.
Her hands are folded in her lap, her posture is stiff and straight, as if she's holding her breath. Her eyes catch me off guard again as they meet my own, just like they did at the Shanghai. I know I shouldn't stare, but they truly are a beautiful site to behold.

Naomi nudges her again with her shoulder, snapping her back into reality. "Would y..you like to go with me?" She asks clearing her throat after choking out the question, her cheeks filling with a light pink blush. "I..uhm..I have to gather enough info about the events of the festival to write for the paper.. if you'd like to tag along." She adds on, a little more confident now.

There it is again; That back and forth battle between confidence and nervousness raging inside her. It only adds to my curiosity.

Naomi lets out a stifled giggle from behind her, causing Natsumes cheeks to burst into color further. I feel my own face becoming warmer as well.
"I..uh..yeah, I'd like that." I answer back, trying to force some form of confidence into my voice.
"Then it's settled!" Naomi pipes up, an excited look on her face.

I feel a sense of relief wash over me. I have an actual plan now. I don't have to go alone and figure it out for myself. With the two of them, at least I'll have someone to follow that isn't the Student council.

The remainder of lunch goes by quietly as we clean up our plates and put everything back in order in the small room.

---

Class flies by for a change, I'm pretty sure I slept through most of it. As the bell rings out to put an end to classes for the day, all I can really find the energy to do is to complete some homework and crawl into bed.

What a day.

-----
Last edited by InSaiyan on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:23 am

Part 3:
Tea, For Three

-----

It's finally the day before the festival and I actually have plans. I have something to look forward to for the first time in a long time. The feeling is so strange, it's hard to even come to terms with.

It's not like I didn't have a decent life up until my accident, but the feeling of looking forward to something seems so new to me now. I guess it is actually new to me, since this really is a new life for me.I have no connections to the person I was back in Winter, other than my parents.
I don't have friends that check up on me, or any of the other stuff most people would normally have.
The thought is a little sad to think about, so I try to push it out of my mind.

I wonder what Natsume has planned? She said she needed information about the events of the festival, so it sounds more like business than pleasure. Why did she invite me along then? Maybe she wants to ask me about joining the Newspaper club?

It does seem more appealing than the student council, but that's not saying much. Maybe she-
Haha, no. Hisao, get real. A girl like that is probably just trying to help the new guy fit in, that's all. Don't overth-

The bell for lunch interrupts my thoughts as I realize I just sat through all my classes and didn't hear a single word of the lesson.

I'm thankful that today is only a half day, I can't see myself sitting through any more classes right now.

Students make their way to the door and I find myself thinking about what I should do for lunch as I toss my books into my bag.

The cafeteria is a safe bet, but it doesn't compare very well to Noamis cooking. Maybe I coul-
"Nakai?" I hear Mutou call out from a few feet away.

Can a guy not think in peace around here?

"Nurse wanted me to tell you to see him after lunch." He states.
"Oh okay, anything wrong?" I ask.

I dread any kind of situation that involves medical staff, so I'm sure my words come out much more pleading than I wanted.

"I don't think so," Mutou answers back. "I'm sure he just wanted to check on you. It's been a busy week, after all."
"Ah, sure. No problem." I answer back.

Mutou has a dead look to his eyes, confirming to me that he's just as thankful as I am for the early stoppage of class today.

"You seem to be doing well in class Hisao." He states blankly. I think I saw a small smile almost creep onto his face, but I can't confirm it. I don't know know to react or what to say, so I just nod back.
"Enjoy the festival, and be safe." He states, passing me by as he exits the room.

I'm alone in the class now so I guess I've probably missed any chance of having company during lunch.

Deciding the cafeteria was too busy already and not wanting to invite myself anywhere else, I make a decision to just grab something from the vending machine and head to see the Nurse.

As I round the corner coming out of the classroom, a tall blonde figure stands a few feet in front of me, a dark haired figure clinging to her free arm that's not holding a slender cane.
"Hey Lilly." I call out to her.
"Oh? Good afternoon Hisao, you're late for lunch." She states, raising a gentle hand to her lips to hide a giggle.
"I could say the same for you two." I answer back with a laugh.
"That's correct. The festival has kept me rather busy, I'm afraid." She says, her voice coming across weakly.

She does look exhausted, I hope she's not pushing herself too hard.

Picking up on the silence, she carries on. "I just finished up the last of the financial reports for my class," she says, her voice picking up in cheerfulness a little. "So all that's left now is the festival itself."

I give her a reassuring smile, until I realize she obviously won't see it. I turn the smile to the girl beside her..Hanako, I believe her name was.
I still remember running her out of the library on accident. She seems easy to frighten, so I should play it safe around her until she gets used to me better.
She drops her gaze to her feet and shuffles her hands as she sees my smile, her cheeks growing red with embarrassment.

Well, crap.

"That's good that you're all caught up Lilly," I continue on. "I hope you get to relax a little bit now, you seem tired."
She let's out a small giggle under her breath.
"I just hope Ms. Student council president is happy." She mumbles, a small hint of sarcasm lines her words.

Huh, I wasn't aware she even knew Shizune, seems like the two of them would have an almost impossible chance of conversing. Something must have happened between the two of them, her tone isn't very pleasant when she speaks about her.

"Would you like to join us for lunch, Hisao?" She quickly asks, obviously trying to move past her last statement.
"Sure, thanks." I answer back.
Hanako doesn't react to the conversation around her, still distracted by her shuffling feet.

The three of us make our way to the spare classroom that I'd first met Lilly in on my way to the library. That seems like a lifetime ago now, it's funny how time passes here.

We approach the small classroom, Hanako not letting Lillys arm go until she enters the empty room. Lilly moves to the counter and begins preparing lunch, while Hanako shuffles over to the table, taking a seat closest to the window. I take the seat beside of her. I would hate to take the seat Lilly was sitting in last time I seen her in here.

I'd like to get to know Hanako some, but I don't know how to even start.. Eh, just make small talk Hisao, no big deal.

"So..how are you doing in class?" I quietly ask, trying to soften my voice a little. She freezes in her seat, her attention shoots to me and her mouth is slightly open.
One hand is in her lap, resting on her leg, while the other lightly touches her scarred cheek. Her eyes are wide in shock, but she doesn't seem like she's going to run away at least. Lilly being here must help her relax a little.

"I-I'm..doing f-fine." She answers back quickly.
Wow, that's something, I guess.
"That's good." I answer back politely, content with the progress I just made.

Lilly approaches the table after a minute with a freshly brewed kettle of tea, sitting it in the middle of the table. Several cups are pushed onto the table along with a plateful of sandwiches shortly after. It amazes me how efficient Lilly is, despite her lack of eyesight. Each movement she makes is soft and considered, it's hard to wrap my mind around.

She gracefully takes her seat and fills her own cup.
"So Hisao," she states, grabbing a sandwich off of the plate. "How are things? Have you settled in here at Yamaku yet?"
"I think so." I answer back. "I am looking forward to the festival tomorrow."
Hanakos focus turns to the sandwich in front of her, she must not be interested in the festival much.

"Oh? Do you have any plans yet for it?" She asks.
She seems almost surprised that I'm looking forward to it. I can't blame her, I am too.
"Well.."I start. "Yeah, I do. Natsume Ooe asked me to go- well," I quickly correct myself. "She asked me to help her with some newspaper club work she has to do at it."

Lilly let's out a small giggle, her handle gently covering her lips. Hanako shoots a quick glance in my direction, she looks like she wants to say something, but I don't want to push her.
"My my, Hisao," Lilly says, a playful smile causing her lips to turn up at the corners. "Such a short time here and already a love-interst?" She finishes, letting out another playful giggle.

I also hear, what sounded like, a soft giggle to my side Even if it's at my expense, at least Hanako is warming up a little.

"Now wait a minu-" I start. My throat catches in tightness as I begin coughing violently into my sleeve.

Crap, not again.

I gather myself quicker this time, thankfully.
The girls have quit laughing now and both cast their gaze in my direction, a look of concern on their faces.
"I'm sorry Hisao, I didn't mean to-" Lilly starts but I cut her off after taking a sip of tea to clear my throat.
"No, no. It's my fault." I state. "I..uhm..shouldn't talk with my mouth full."
Bad memories float into my thoughts when I think of the statement.

I think I'm going to avoid sandwiches from now on.

The comment seems to have helped smooth the situation over, as the two girls give polite giggles in response.
"I think Natsume is just trying to help the new guy feel a little more comfortable." I answer, not wanting to seem like I'm avoiding the conversation.

I say that, but I find myself hoping that I'm wrong.
I don't know a lot about her yet, but Natsume does seem very nice.
It wouldn't hurt to have a good friend here. It really wouldn't hurt if that good friend just so happened to be a really cute girl either.

"Well that's very nice of her," Lilly answers back, a curious look on her face. "I can't say I know much about her, unfortunately, but I don't think I've ever heard of her spending time with anyone other than Ms. Inoue."

Hmm, I wonder if that's really true? She seemed to know a lot of people when we walked to class together before. Either way, I shouldn't think too much into it, I'm sure she's just being nice.

"Don't forget to visit my class stall if you find yourself hungry tomorrow," she continues on. "We will be serving food all day there."
"I'll make sure to stop by." I say with a smile.

A few minutes of silence are all that's between the three of us, as we dig into our food. The silence is soon broken by a quiet voice coming from my side.

"W-what is t-the.." Hanakos voice chimes in, shaking with nervousness. "N-newspaper club like?" She's asking me the question, but she's having trouble looking in my direction.
"I..uhm..really don't know." I confess. "I'm sorry."

Hanakos head drops a little and I can't help but to feel that I dissapointed her. Could she really have an interest in it? Or is she just making conversation?
"Maybe you can attend a meeting sometime Hanako," Lilly joins in. "I'm sure Hisao wouldn't mind introducing you."

I take the opportunity given to me.
"Of course, I wouldn't mind." I state, giving a small smile of confidence to Hanako.

She..she smiled back a little.
It was short-lived, as she quickly turns her head towards the window to her other side, but I definitely saw her smile for a split second.

"Maybe." She squeaks out.
I'll assume that's more progress towards something, because Lilly is letting off a radiant smile in response to the answer.

Compared to most students I've met here, these two are different too. They're close friends, I can tell that much by the way they silently connect with one another. It's a stark contrast to Shizune and Misha. You can hear Misha coming from a mile away, and you know that Shizune is always with her, signing away.

Also, unlike Natsume and Noami, the disabilities these girls have are pretty obvious at a quick glance.
The thought only makes me remember Natsumes shaking hands as she tried to carry the plates at lunch yesterday.
I still worry that I missed something, but I guess if I did, she would have filled me in on it, right?

The rest of lunch goes by quietly, all of us enjoying the food before us and chatting idly about classes.

The bell rings to put an end to lunch. It must be out of habit, because there are no more classes today.

Crap, I almost forgot about the Nurse.
What a way to put a damper on an otherwise pleasant lunch. Well, at least I have the rest of the day to relax before the festival tomorrow. Maybe I could run into town to pick up some necessities with that free time, I think I remember the path now.

I tell the girls about the nurses request and give them my thanks for having me for lunch as I take my leave.

---
Last edited by InSaiyan on Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:09 am

Part 4:
Decisions, Decisions

-----

As I take my leave towards the nurses office, I feel almost rebellious, in a way. I'm not really skipping class, given the half day, but walking the empty halls during normal school hours is a strange feeling of independence.

I approach the nurses office, stalling for a moment before stepping up to the wooden door. I go to knock, but my hand is only met with air as the door swings open.

A girl with loosely curled auburn hair strides out, her face still directed inside the nurses office as she says farewell, but she's still moving forw-Mph.

The side of her head makes a gentle but sudden connection with my upper chest and chin, the contact softened by her hair. The smell of her flowery shampoo fills my senses and my heart instantly speeds up a little in my chest.

I freeze in place, not knowing what to do.

She must have done the same, because it takes her, what feels like, minutes to pull her head away from my chest.
Realistically, we were only frozen together for about 6 seconds, but you can't convince me of that right now.

A look of shock and pure embarrassment are written on her face as she looks up into mine. Our eyes meet over the small reading glasses perched crooked on the bridge of her nose and I find an almost familiar sight in them.
The right eye is a vibrant emerald, similar to a picture of wind blowing loose dandelions across a field of fresh spring grass. Her left eye is a light maple color, radiant with depth and texture. I find myself lost in them for a second before her soft voice breaks my focus.

"H..Hisao?" She gasps in surprise, straightening her glasses. Her cheeks are blushed with light pink as the nervous words leave her small lips.
"Oh..H-hey there, Natsume." I try to brush off my own embarrassment, but I fail horribly. My face already burning before I even formed the words.
"I..uh..had to come see the Nurse after lunch." I state.

As if that's not painfully obvious right now.

"Yeah..uhm..same here." She answers back, still pretty shaken by our sudden contact. "I'm really sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going!" She blurts out suddenly. She almost looks like she wants to cry.
"It's no problem! Really!" I quickly reassure her, raising both hands up to wave off the situation. "I should have moved out of your way. Really, don't worry about it." I finish, shooting her a smile.

"Okay, okay~!" She snaps back, letting out a sigh of relief. "Where were you at lunch? I never saw you leave class." She questions, a mock pout forming on her face.
"Oh, Mutou stopped me to tell me to come visit the Nurse after lunch." I answer back. "Lilly and Hanako invited me to lunch with them, they were running late as well." I admit.

So she was expecting me for lunch? I feel really bad now, I should have made an effort t-
"Satou from class 3-2?" She folds her hands in front of her as she relaxes her posture a little bit.
"Yep, she's helped me find my way around here ever since I moved in." I answer back.

The thought of the completely blind girl helping me find my way around is rather amusing now that I think about it.

"Ah, I see her and Ikezawa walk together often. They seem very nice." She states.

Huh, so she really doesn't seem to know them much.

It's unfortunate that Hanako is so hard to speak to, I bet she would have a lot of friends if she ever opened herself up to conversation.

"So, do you..uhm," she starts, her hands moving to behind her back now as a questioning look moves over her features. "Still want to go to the festival tomorrow?"
She looks as if she's worried that I changed my mind.
"Of course..Oh, I mean, yeah." I answer, trying to save myself. "Would you like to meet up before, so we don't have to search for one another?"
"That's a good idea," she states, a cute grin growing on her face. "How about I give you my number, just in case though."

I pull the plastic rectangle out of my pocket, placing it in her delicate hand. I don't know why I even carry this thing around, I never use it, but I'm glad I decided to today.
She enters her number into my phone before handing it back to me.

"Just send me a text, so I'll have yours too. I have to go meet Naomi, okay?" She states, gliding past me. I catch another whiff of her flowery shampoo as she passes, sending my senses and heart into overdrive again.

"Uhm..y..yeah, I'll..uh..send you a text now." I stumble back. She let's out a small giggle, looking back over her shoulder at me.
"See you, Hisao." Her soft, airy voice caressing my ears.
"See you." I respond back weakly.

I look down at the new contact in my phone as she disappears around a corner. "Natty O."
Huh, Natty? I thought that was a nickname that only Naomi used for her. Does that mean she thinks of me as a friend? I don't know how to interpret it really, but I also don't have time to. I send her a quick text, "Hey there.", as I slide the phone back into my pocket and tap on the Nurses door.

'Hey there'?

I'm hopeless.

-----
Last edited by InSaiyan on Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:17 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:06 am

Part 4:
Decisions, Decisions (continued)

------
"Come in!" The Nurses cheerful voice can be heard from the other side of the door. I wonder if he heard any of that? My goodness, I hope not.

He's sitting in front of his desk, steam rising off of a fresh cup of coffee placed on the corner of it. Mountains of neatly stacked papers are lined up on one side of his desk, while an open newspaper lies in the middle, covering the keyboard of his computer.

"Nice of you to stop by Nakai!" He says, rising to his feet and striding over to me, a thick manila folder in his hand.
"You haven't been avoiding me, have you?" He questions, letting a small laugh escape through his big grin.
"Of course not," I answer back. "It's just been a busy week is all."
"It sure has! Any big plans for tomorrow?" He asks, apparently trying to make small talk.

I don't really mind talking to him, despite him being staff at the school. I know that he probably takes his job seriously, but he's pretty down to Earth, from what I can gather.

"Actually, I planned on going with a..uhm..a friend." I answer back, trying not draw too much attention to the word 'friend', but failing miserably.
"Is that so?" He questions back, a playful tone in his voice. "Do I happen to know her?"
"Well.." I start.
I don't know if I really want to go into detail with him right now.
"Yeah, prob-wait, how do you know it's a girl?" I snap back at him in surprise.
"Well, technically, I didn't." He answers with a laugh and a wink.

I wonder if Natsume told him anything?

"Well, yeah." I answer back, trying to push aside my awkwardness about who I'm talking to about this. "Natsume asked me to help her with some newspaper club work at the festival."
"Is that so?" He questions back. His big grin pushing downwards into a stern straight line. "You be good to her Hisao, she's a nice girl with a very respectable family."

Wait, what? He hardly knows me well enough to be giving advice like that. Plus, I just said it was about business, not pleasure. And what's this about her family? Is he some kind of family friend or something? The comment irritates me a little, but I should probably let it go. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it.

"Uhm..sure, no problem" I answer blankly.
His playful smile quickly comes back on his face, as if we didn't just have that conversation.

He checks my vitals diligently, we've both done this a few times, it seems.
"Well, nothing out of the ordinary, really." He states while writing in the file in his hand.
"How's the workouts going?" He asks blankly. His tone tells me that he already knows my answer. Honestly, I'd completely forgotten about exercising. I need to be honest with him though.
"I..uhm.." I start, buttoning my uniform up.
"Running isn't for you, is it?" He cuts in, answering for me.
That's an understatement.
"I just can't get motivated to do it, no." I admit in defeat.
"I can't argue with that." He states with a laugh. "I don't get it either."

Whew, that's a relief.
"Let's look at some other options then. This school has almost everything you can imagine for situations like this." He answers, a sense of pride written on his face.

He really does seem to take his responsibilities seriously. He also seems to take a great deal of pride in Yamaku being so accommodating to its students needs. It's nice to know that the staff here seems to take a certain amount of vested interest in our well-being.

He strides over to his desk, opening the drawers one by one. Some contain hundreds of different folders, just like mine. Some overflow with literature and different kinds of magazines. He seems to have found what he was looking for as he pulls a thick sheet of paper out of a bottom drawer, giving himself a quick "Here we go!" at the discovery.

He makes his way back to me, handing me the paper with an expectant look on his face. At a glance, it looks like a list of different clubs and activities offered at the school. There's a few that I hadn't heard of before.
Music, art, literature, Track & field, newspaper..

Well, I'm sure clubs isn't what he was giving this to me for. My eyes quickly find a separate list on the other side of the paper. "Physical Activities Offered" is printed at the top.
'Track, swimming, cycling, hiking...'

None of these sound very exciting.
'Weight-lifting, yoga, dance..' The list continues.

Well, weight-lifting sounds pretty manly. I doubt someone with my condition could do that though. This is hopeless, none of this stuff even remotely appeals to me.

Sensing my dissapointment, Nurse decides to speak up.
"Hisao, your health is the most important thing you need to take care of during your time here." He informs me, as if I didn't already know that. "If you can't make a decision now, think about it over the weekend and stop back by on Monday."
"I think I'll do that." I answer, dissapointment still lining my voice. "I'm sorry," I offer up. "None of this really seems interesting to me."

I really am sorry. I feel awful that he's trying so hard to help me and I can't even make a decision. He doesn't seem too phased by it though, shooting me his signature grin before speaking up.

"Who knows Hisao," He starts with a playful tone. "Maybe you're a dancer, you just haven't figured that out yet."
The way he says that makes it seem like he has some kind of hidden message behind his words. Maybe it's just me?

I can't help but laugh at the mental image of me dancing. I can barely even get to class and back without tripping up somewhere.

He laughs along, but quickly cuts himself off to wrap this meeting up.
"Just think about it this weekend Hisao," He states with amother big grin. "We'll talk about it some more on Monday."
"Sure, thanks for the help." I shoot back with my own smile.
"Have fun this weekend and be safe." He says, his grin pushing downwards into a thin line as he finishes.
"Oh, and remember what I said Hisao," He quickly picks back up. "Be good to Ooe."
"Uhm..y-yeah, no problem." I awkwardly respond back.

I take my leave from the Nurses office, the awkwardness of that last statement still resting on my mind. There's definitely more to the story than him just looking out for his students. His comment almost came out in a protective, fatherly-manner. Maybe I'll ask Natsume about it sometime.

----
Last edited by InSaiyan on Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby emi » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:59 am

InSaiyan wrote:You can call me InSayain.

You misspelled your name lol.

Also I'm too tired to read this now so I'll give my thoughts when I wake up.
Emi > Misha > Miki > Suzu > Lilly > Hanako > Rika > Saki > Rin > Shizune
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby Mirage_GSM » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:08 am

I've sent you a PM regarding paragraphs and another for some grammar corrections.

A few comments about the story itself:
The Natsume in Chapter 2 is completely different from the Natsume in Chapter 1. Not sure if that's intentional, but it's really strange.
"Third floor," She responds back as we approach the stairwell.

Their classroom is also on the third floor, so no need to use a stairwell.
The cafeteria is a safe bet, but it doesn't compare well to Noamis cooking yesterday. Maybe I coul-

You skipped a few days here. You started on Tuesday, so the lunch was Wednesday. If he continued to eat with them on the days in between you might mention that somewhere.
"Common misconception. Weight-lifting and boxing are great forms of cardiovascular exercise, if planned properly." He explains with a smile.

Also, both would probably kill Hisao within a week.
Wait, helps you sleep? Now I'm interested.

Any kind of workout will do that...

So all in all a well-written story - just Natsume seems to go back and forth between a shy and a playful personality, and I'm not sure if it's supposed to be that way.
And I really don't think that weightlifting is a good idea or that anyone - especially nurse - would think so. Hisao is nott allowed to play soccer let alone something like that...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby emi » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:19 pm

Alright I read what you've done so far, and it's good but I agree with mirage. I won't go into grammar since I'm sure he's already covered it. Keep it up
Emi > Misha > Miki > Suzu > Lilly > Hanako > Rika > Saki > Rin > Shizune
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:45 pm

emi wrote:
InSaiyan wrote:You can call me InSayain.

You misspelled your name lol.



...fml man. Thank you. I would blame it on being sick all day while trying to post this, but I'm probably just retarded.


Mirage_GSM wrote:The Natsume in Chapter 2 is completely different from the Natsume in Chapter 1. Not sure if that's intentional, but it's really strange.


It's intentional, but I totally forgot to put any context around it during some earlier conversations. I went back and added some stuff in to make it a little more fitting, but it won't make much sense still until a little later in the story. ;]

Mirage_GSM wrote:I really don't think that weightlifting is a good idea or that anyone - especially nurse - would think so.

I did some research on it before posting, and both things are surprisingly safe for someone with arrhythmia as long as it's kept to a pretty low level of intensity.
I'm actually really glad you mentioned it though. After thinking about it, I'm going to go back and change that into something that will bring the story together a little better.
I wanted to do something different than most scenarios, but I don't think that was my best choice.

Thank you so much for the help! I wish I could accurately explain how nice it feels to have help learning this stuff!
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Part 5
A Short Trip

-----

After finishing up all my homework for the weekend and putting my books away, I realize that I still have several hours of daylight left in the day.

I could delve into a few of the books I picked up from the library before, but I hate to waste such a nice afternoon being cooped up inside.

I do need to make my way into town eventually to pick up some necessities, but I'm still not sure if I'm comfortable enough to go by myself. I don't think I'll get quite as lucky as I did last time I got lost.

Eh, I do have plenty of time to wander around if I do happen to get lost. I'm sure if I wander long enough I'll find something familiar to put me back on the right track. Besides, I have plenty of experience wandering along unfamiliar city streets, even if these aren't quite as busy as the ones I'm used to.

I grab a blank piece of paper out of one of my notebooks and scribble a few things on to it..
Bread, milk, snack bars, shampoo, deodorant..
Good enough.

I should probably change into something a little more comfortable. There's no sense in wearing this uniform all the time. My wardrobe is pretty basic. A few pairs of khakis, a sweatervest, a few plain t-shirts with the name of a brand on them, a yellow Polo Shirt, and a few dress shirts with one matching pair of dress pants.

I really should get some new clothes sometime. I might be pretty basic, compared to most, but some new clothes probably wouldn't hurt to have on hand.

I decide on a pair of khakis and a plain grey T-shirt. That seems casual enough for a simple trip to the store and back. As I slip the shirt on, I can't help but to look down. The shirt is a little thin, compared to our stiff uniforms. I search for the outline of the scar on my chest, but I can't find it.

A sigh of relief escapes my lips. I can't help but to feel a little self conscious about it still. I know that nobody can see it, but the fact that I have to worry about that at all still doesn't sit right with me. I'm still not used to the feeling of being... different.

I grab the note off of my desk and begin to take my leave from the dorm rooms.

As I stride into the courtyard, the brilliant sunlight hits my eyes in a harsh contrast to the dull lights of the dorm halls. I feel the crisp air of Spring glide against my skin and through my messy hair. You can almost feel Summer approaching in the warm glow of the sun.

It's not too hot out, but hot enough to know it will make for a much more pleasant evening once the sun has went down a little. I can't help but to pause in my tracks for a moment and appreciate the warmth against my skin.

I soon make my way down the hill, the school behind me becoming a distant memory for a moment. The Spring air brings the fresh scent of blooming flowers into my nose and I inhale deeply to take it all in. Maybe hiking wouldn't be so bad? It would be nice to experience this side of nature a little more.

The thought quickly leaves my mind when I realize that 'this side of nature' only lasts for a short time. I don't think hiking in the blaring heat of Summer or the bitter cold of Winter would be nearly as enjoyable. Well, at least I thought about it.

The small town quickly comes into my view as I see fewer and fewer familiar sites. I'm pretty confident that I know where I'm going still, but I'm just going to go with the flow and enjoy the nice walk there.

Soon enough, I find myself standing in front of a building that I would find hard to forget. The Shanghai looks the same as it did earlier in the week when I first came here. It's modern cafe looks on the outside are a misleading sight compared to its more traditional layout on the inside.

I remember Misha saying that the convenience store was just a short walk away from here when we came here before, so I know that I'm on the right track at least.

Although, now that I'm here, a quick cup of coffee does sound pretty nice. I still have plenty of time before it gets dark, afterall.

Deciding on a quick pit-stop, I make my way through the door of the Shanghai and into the foyer. I'm quickly greeted by the same familiar face as last time, still just as tense as ever.

She slams her head downwards violently in an attempt to bow before her greeting.
"Good afternoon and welcome to the Shanghai!" Yuuko spouts quickly. "Please take a seat and I'll take your order as soon as possible."
She snaps her head back up swiftly and must immediately recognize my face, as her eyebrows turn upwards in thought.
"Oh Hisao, I didn't expect you to be here at such a strange time." She states, almost in a worried tone.
"Uhm..yeah, thought I'd stop by for a cup of coffee." I respond back. "Half day at school today, so I figured I would pick up some stuff from the store."
"Ah, that's right. I'd almost forgotten about the half day." She responds back in a dull tone.

I wonder how she almost forgot? She does work at school, afterall. Then again, why isn't she at the library now? She must work some crazy hours between the two places if she's this forgetful all the time.

"I..I'm sorry!" She bursts out. "I'm not being a good hostess am I?"
"You're doi-" I start, but am immediately cut off by her apologetic tone.
"Please..please take an open seat! I'll have your coffee for you in just a moment!" She exclaims, striding off behind the counter.

Nobody can ever say that she doesn't take her responsibilities seriously, I suppose. It's admirable of her to work so hard, but I wish she could tone it down just a little.

I scan the room for an open seat. It's not hard to find one, the place is almost as empty as it was the last time I was here. An older couple sits in a booth close to the door, while a couple of younger looking students are smashed into a booth on the other side of the room. I decide to just take an empty seat at one of the small tables in the middle of the room when a girly voice catches my attention from a few feet away.

"Hisao?" The girl asks quietly.
It definitely sounded more like a question than a statement, as if they didn't really know if it was me or not. I turn towards the direction of the voice to find a pair of big green eyes looking at me. Her sand-colored hair is done up in a set of twin tails with two golden beads at the base of each tail. The corner of her mouth is pushed upwards into an almost annoyed look. She doesn't seem to be very happy to see me.

"Good afternoon Emi," I answer back. "How are you?"
"I'm fine." She states blankly. She's definitely annoyed with me, but wh-
She couldn't possibly be mad that I quit running with her, right? I barely even made it two days.
"Hisao, where have you been in the mornings?" She questions, irritation clearly lining each word.
I guess that answers my question.

I take a seat across the small table from her as Yuuko nervously sits down a steaming cup of coffee in front of me. She bows violently once more, inches away from headbutting Emi in the process, before taking her leave.

"I..uhm.." I hesitantly start. I don't want to make her more mad, but I should be honest. I let out a sigh and begin again. "I'm sorry Emi, I'm just not into running." I state, dissapointment lingering in my words.
I am actually dissapointed that I don't like running. It would make things much easier if I did.

"Yeah," she starts, dissapointment now seeping into her voice as well. "I've heard that before."
"I really am sorry Emi. I should have told you." I answer back apologetically.
"It's fine, I just thought you might have been avoiding me or something." She states, letting a little bit of playfulness into her words.
"No, no. I'm just..no good at running." I answer back with a small smile, trying to cheer her up a little. "Nurse gave me a list of other options to think about this weekend, so I promise I won't turn lazy."
That seems to have done the trick.

She laughs aloud and instantly her demeanor changes into that of a happy, carefree girl.
"So, what are you thinking about doing then?" She asks curiously.
"Eh, I still have some time to think about it." I answer blankly. That's all I can say really. None of it sounds any better to me now than it did before. At least hiking is crossed off my list though.

I take a sip of the warm coffee. The fresh, dark flavor washing away all my worries of the decision for a moment.

-----
Last edited by InSaiyan on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:29 pm

So Emi did happen :-) I was wondering about that, since you made no mention of her at all so far.

She doesn't seem to very happy to see me.

be
That seems to have did the trick.

done
her demeanor changes into a happy, carefree girl.

into that of a happy, carefree girl.
None if it sounds any better

None of

Formatting looks better than before.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Teach Me To Dance - A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route

Postby InSaiyan » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:23 pm

Part 5:
A Short Trip (continued)

-----

I sit and talk about classes and the track and field club with Emi for what seems like an hour or more. A quick glance at my wristwatch lets me know that I'm not too far off. It's been about 45 minutes since I first came in the Shanghai and I have about two hours of daylight left.

Talking with Emi is pretty easy, I find. She seems to not take anything too seriously. As much as I don't want to, I should really get to the store soon. The trip back to school might take longer than anticipated if I end up getting lost again.

"Well, I should probably get going if I want to make it back to school sometime tonight." I state, pushing my empty coffee cup towards the center of the table.
"What's the rush? We still have a few hours until sunset." She asks with a little bit of confusion in her expression. I guess I forgot to mention that I didn't come to town to just get coffee.
"Well, I actually still need to find the convenience store." I answer back. "Just needed to pick up some necessities."
"Well you're in luck!" She answers back with an excited smile, jumping to her...well..prosthetics? feet prosthetics? ...I shouldn't think like that, they're still feet.
"I was on my way there myself, so I can show you where to go if you want some company!"
"Really? That would be great, thanks." I answer back. Looks like I won't have to worry about getting lost afterall.

I offer to pay for the lemon cake she was putting a number on, but she politely declines as we both pay our bills and make our way back into the streets.

The weather outside has cooled a little, but it's still rather warm out. The sun is hiding behind a few white clouds in the sky now. I hope it doesn't plan on raining at the festival tomorrow. The thought of the festival brings forth some feelings of excitement from within me as the two of us begin walking down the street, away from the Shanghai.

I'm looking forward to seeing Natsume and Naomi outside of a classroom setting. I hope they were able to enjoy this nice weather too, but I think I remember Natsume saying something about some Newspaper club work they needed to get done this evening. I should probably text her and see where she wants to meet tomorrow.

I don't want to be rude to Emi by being on my phone so I'll just text her when I get back to my dorm. Thoughts of the festival still fresh in my mind, I decide to attempt to make some conversation.

"So, are you looking forward to the festival tomorrow?" I ask, shooting my attention to Emi as we continue to walk.
"Well, I always look forward to all the food!" She answers with a chuckle. "Oh, and the fireworks!"
"Fireworks? I didn't know Yamaku did fireworks." I question back.
"Oh yeah!" She says, excitement taking hold of her voice. "Yamaku has tons of wealthy donors, so some of that money goes to "extra" things like firework shows and festivals!"

Huh, wealthy donors? I guess that makes sense now that I think about it. A fireworks display does sound awful exciting too. At least now I know to expect it, so hopefully I won't have a heart attack when they go off.

...I shouldn't kid around like that.

"Well, that does sound very exciting." I answer back, trying not to get lost in my thoughts again.
"So, you got a hot date for the festivities Hisao?" She questions with a smirk.
Just when I thought I was safe from this kind of interrogation, I'm drawn right back in to the cruel reality that is my life.
"No date, I'm afraid." I answer back, hiding my face. "At least..at least I don't think it's a date."
"Oh yeah? Who's the lucky girl?" She responds back, jabbing her elbow at me teasingly.
"Well, like I said, I don't think it's a date." I repeat again to make sure she heard me. "Natsume Ooe asked me to.."
"The girl with the different eyes?" Emi blurts out.
"Uhm..yeah..." I answer back. "She asked me to help her with some Newspaper club work."

Well, that was a blunt way of asking. Emi doesn't seem to get serious about much, which is nice, but I can see how that might have its downfalls if she can't find a better way to identify people other than by their disabilities. Then again, Natsumes eyes are pretty hard to miss, not that I'm complaining about that.

"She's a cutie Hisao." Emi says with a wink. "I hope you all enjoy the festival."
I find it hard to argue with that. She is pretty cute and I guess that we would be considered 'friends' by most standards. We talk pretty often, share lunchtime together and she even saves me from the wrath of the student council from time to time. She even gave me her cell phone number.

Friends

That's what I wanted, right? A friend? Wouldn't hurt that she just so happened to be cute? I can't help but to remember myself thinking that, but it seems a little different now. Of course I wanted a friend. I think I already have a few of those though.

I consider Naomi my friend, she's fun to be around and always makes me feel welcome. I consider Lilly my friend, she's very helpful and kind. I even consider Hanako a friend of sorts. She may not talk, but I would still help her out if she ever needed it. The student council girls may have their own plans for me, but I consider them friends. Even Emi, who I've only talked to a handful of times and even blew off running with, I consider a friend.

So what makes Natsume different than all of those situations? I've been around her more than anyone else, sure, but she's still a friend, right? Why do I feel it's different with her then?

My mind suddenly floods with the thoughts of her head pressed against my chest in front of the nurses office as we ran into each other earlier. The feel of her soft hair pressed against me, the scent of her flowery shampoo, the cute look of embarrassment written on her face as we pulled apart..
What the hell am I doing?

I need to keep a lid on thoughts like that. I'm only setting myself up for dissapointment thinking that I stand a chance with a girl like that. She has dozens of better options than the new kid with a busted heart.

I shake my head, snapping back into reality as we approach the convenience store. I should have paid better attention on the way here so I don't have to have help next time. I'll make sure to pay attention on the way back, I guess.

Emi strides in the door before me, picking up a small cart as she walks by before turning back to me.
"Meet you outside when we've finished up, okay?" She asks with a grin. I get the feeling that she's challenging me to see who can get done first. I should accept the challenge, my list is pretty small.
"Sure, I'll be waiting on the bench outside." I fire back.
A spark of competitiveness shoots into her eyes upon hearing my words. She has a big grin on her face as she slowly turns away and then shoots off down a nearby aisle.

I take my time going through the aisles. I don't really care about winning the race, I just want to see what all this store actually offers. For the most part, it looks like just basic necessities fill the shelves. I soon have everything but the bread in my cart. I even decided to get some better smelling shampoo for a change. I really am living life on the edge.

All that's left is the bread, which is located towards the back of the store in the bakery. I begin walking towards the bakery, looking down at my note to double check that I have everything I came for.

'Milk, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, snack ba-'

A shocked "Ah!" leaves my throat suddenly as I feel my right foot hit something solid, sending me off balance. My left shoulder hits the ground first, sending a wave of pain through my entire body.

I try to sit up but my body won't listen. I feel a sudden THUMP pulsate through my head as my vision turns into a blurry red mess. I can't hear much but ringing in my ears, but I'm pretty sure I hear Emi's voice somewhere close by.

I listen closely, trying to control my heart beat..

THUMP-th-THUMP-THUMP-th-THUMP...

Come on...

THUMP-th-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-thump-thump-thump...

There..

My vision starts coming back a little. I can see Emi crouched over me, a terrified look in her eyes.
"Hisao, are you okay?!"She says frantically. "Do I need to get some help?!"

My hand is clenched to my chest and I feel a cold sweat all over my forehead and arms. My body feels weak, but I think I'm okay.

"N..no. I'm...I'm fine..really." I say, gasping for breath between each word. I let my hand fall to the ground to hold myself up better. "Just give me...a second."

I hate this. I hate that my my heart can't handle the smallest of accidents. I hate that someone is crouched over me right now, worried about me. I hate that I have absolutely no control over it.

After a minute, I make my way to my feet. I don't think anybody else is even in here but me, Emi and the few workers that are all out of sight.

"Hisao, what happened?" Emi asks, a concerned look on her face.
"I..I just tripped." I weakly force out. "I wasn't watching where I was going. Totally my fault."
"Are you okay? You looked like you were in a lot of pain." She asks, obviously wandering why such a small thing effected me so much.
"I'm fine, I'm just.." I start but cut myself off, searching for a way around the topic. "I'm just..fragile. Contact like that can be bad for someone like me."

That should be enough to satisfy her curiosity for now, without giving away too much information that I don't want to talk about. Luckily, it does the job.

"I'm sorry Hisao, I didn-" she starts.
"No need to apologize. Like I said, totally my fault." I cut in. "You ready to go? All I need is some bread."
I look around for my cart. Surprisingly, nothing spilled out. It's just sitting a few feet from the cardboard box that I must have tripped over, all of its contents still neatly packed in it.

I quickly stride off towards the bakery, trying to get as far away from that scene as I can. I grab a loaf and throw it in my cart. I make my way towards the front to check out, Emi following a few feet behind me the whole time.

I give my thanks to the cashier as he hands me back my change and step aside to wait for Emi. Once she's paid for her goods I offer to take her cart for her as we make our exit, leaving them both at the door where we got them originally.

The sun is beginning to sit in the sky overhead. Just like I guessed earlier, it's very pleasant out now. The air has a different kind of freshness to it now, a cool, mellow feeling washing over my skin as it glides by. Emi seems quiet, I'm sure the situation probably shook her up a little.

"Hey," I pipe up, breaking the silence and drawing her eyes to my face. "Thanks for being there for me."
"Yeah, you bet." She says. Her voice is still pretty quiet, but I think she's loosening up a little.
"You'll be okay on the walk back, right?" She asks.
"I'll be fine. No more worrying, okay?" I answer back.
"Okay, okay!" She responds back with a smile.

It's like a light switch just flipped on. She seems to get over things pretty quickly too, or repress them. I can't figure out which.

The walk back to school is pretty quiet. I think both of us are content with enjoying the view of the sun setting in the distance. The stillness of everything here is so unlike what I was used to back home. I can hear myself think here. It's nice.

As we enter the courtyard, it seems the school is still relatively alive, busily preparing for the big day tomorrow. Students shuffle in and out of their dorms like ants, each carrying a variety of decorations or supplies.

"Thanks for the company Hisao!" Emi chimes in.
"Sure, thanks for not leaving me stranded." I respond back.
"Why would I do that?" Emi asks, laughing at the statement.
"You never know!" I answer back to her, laughing along. Only one of us gets this joke, but I'm okay with that.
"Good luck picking something to keep yourself active!" She adds, turning towards the girls dorms. "Oh, and have fun with Natsume tomorrow!" She winks hard and gives a kissy face over her shoulder as she jogs away, laughing to herself.

I didn't even have time for a witty comeback, not that I had one ready anyways. Some battles you just can't win, I guess.

I make my way to my room, praying that Kenji stays in his. That little episode really took a lot out of me, the walk back didn't help much, but I really didn't feel too bad at the time. It was just a short episode, nothing to get worked up over, afterall.

I put my groceries and hygiene products away in their respective areas and pull the phone out of my pocket. I'm glad I didn't fall on that, at least. These phones look pretty indestructible, but I wouldn't want to test it.

I wonder if Natsume and Naomi are as busy as everyone else seems to be? I need to text her anyways.

"Busy evening?" I push into my phone before hitting the 'send' button.

I put my phone down on my nightstand. I'm sure it might take her awhile to respond, even if she isn't busy. This is a good time to go ahead and take my nightly dose of pills.


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Last edited by InSaiyan on Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
"We're just two children, pretending to be adults, aren't we?"

Current project: Teach Me To Dance: A Natsume Ooe Pseudo-Route
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