A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

WORDS WORDS WORDS
Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:05 am

Echo Before Speech

A half hour later, the curry and rice for lunch is packed up in four lunchboxes and we are on our way up to the roof. I can hear the various teachers lecturing, but the tell-tale voice of Mutou is missing. What room does he teach just before lunch anyways?

“Iwanaga, it’s good to see you’re recovering,” comes that distinctive voice behind me. Turning around, speak of the devil.

“Teacher, yes. Thanks to the careful oversight of Emi and Rika, it’s been a rather easy recovery. The nurse says I can return to class tomorrow morning,” I tell him with a bow.

He looks Emi over. “Well, I suppose. If you can come to class a little early tomorrow I can give you the handouts. Hakamichi was busy with festival activities this morning so was unable to collect them for you.”

“Thank you, I will.”

Then pointing at Emi. “And you… don’t forget, Monday you have makeup tests after class.”

“Yes teacher,” Emi says a bit sheepishly.

“Now, go enjoy… uh… whatever you are doing.”

“Lunch,” I tell him.

“Yes, that too,” he says as he wanders off down the hallway.

“Strange man,” I say once he’s out of sight.

“He’s funny,” Emi pipes in with. “Come on!”

Finally making it to the roof, I look around and see nobody. I guess we were the first ones to arrive.

“Hello,” comes the flat voice of Rin.

Looking around, I don’t see her.

“Why are you lying down?” Emi asks, having moved out of the doorway and out onto the roof proper.

Moments later, the now familiar shock of red hair rises into view and turns to face us. Her green eyes blink slowly, as if confused about what it is seeing.

“I don’t remember a bell,” she finally says.

“We’re here early,” Emi tells her.

It takes Rin a few moments, then she closes her eyes for a few seconds, like she’s considering the words. “Ok. Does that mean lunch is early?”

“Well, you can start early if you want,” Emi says.

“Okay. I’m not hungry, so I won’t.” Rin stands up and looks around.

“Hello again Rin,” I say. It’s Rin, she’s just this way. Roll with it.

“Hello,” she says in her way.

I glide over to a bench and take a seat. Ahh, the sun, how I love thee. I indulge a little and sit there with my eyes closed, just soaking it up.

A few minutes pass and the lunch bell chimes. I wince, expecting the pain to return, but instead of pain I only get a minor ringing in my ears. Opening my eyes, I find Emi staring at me with a worried expression on her face. I flash her a smile.

“No pain,” I tell her simply.

She then returns the gesture with one of her million watt grins. “Then let’s eat.”

The sound of the door opening announces the last person to join us. I wave over to Rika before she wanders over and joins me on the bench.

“How was class?” I ask, giving some smalltalk.

“Ugh, I hate history,” she says, sounding rather irritated.

I nod. “Didn’t you have a test today?”

“The last full day before the festival, and we get a quiz! How unfair! I mean, how can anyone describe what the first Meiji reform did to the feudal classes?”

I smirk, child’s play. “You mean how it eliminated the ability of the nobility to ignore laws of the peasantry? And also how it gave the lower classes a voice in their governance through the establishment of deliberative assemblies? Certainly it must be mentioned how both together eroded the nobles power base while also reinforcing the emperors control over them?”

Rika can give a very cold shoulder when she wants to.

Emi blinks at that. “Er, was she right?”

“Yes, but she left out how Mutsuhito cunningly used Shogun Yoshinobu’s own attempts at reform as justification for his policies, putting the feudal lords in the middle of an impossible position for if they failed to obey the new edicts, they would be by default falling on a reform policy which was even worse for them, making them in effect slit their own throats in their efforts to retain power against imperial encroachment, while simultaneously exploiting western powers own greed by granting favored nation status to the still young United States, putting Japan in the position of letting the second largest economy and fourth largest navy in the world defend the trade routes to Japan and Japanese policies in exchange for trivial access to Japanese ports and unlike the European nations the United States had most of its navy based in the Pacific giving them direct access to military support during this critical period, enabling Meiji to focus on domestic issues without fear of European reprisals or a repeat of the Opium Wars which Britain was in the middle of with China during this period.” comes the somewhat flat voice of the redhead. I don’t even think she took a breath.

All of our eyes snap to Rin, who is just looking off into the distance as she pops a fresh forkful of food in her mouth.

“What?” Emi asks, shocked.

Rin turns her head back in Emi’s direction. “What?” she says back.

Both girls then start to giggle. It’s terribly cute and I can’t help but join in.

Rika just groans. “Sure, laaaaugh at my paaaaaainnnnn!”

...

No longer tied to me, Emi heads out with Rin to work on the mural some more. I, however, have two days of classes to catch up on, and the all-clear to do so. After a few hours however, it’s all a bit much for me. Looking at the clock, I see it’s about the time I planned on heading to the town. Some of the science catch up work requires material I do not have, so best to go to the library for those.

“Ok, the library was on the second floor…” I tell myself as I head up the stairs.

If I were a library I would be…. There, open doors at the end of the hallway. Scooting in, I look around, never having seen the schools library before.

It seems rather large. The school must be well endowed, but with the amount they charge they can afford to be. I do a quick glance down a row of books, and find the 2nd year textbook I need. Near the back, I notice Hanako nose deep in a book sitting on a beanbag. Well, she seems to be engrossed in it, so I’ll talk to her later.

Setting the book on the main desk produces a slight thump. The larger thunk a moment after makes me jump back as a mousey woman with glasses slowly rises from under the desk, rubbing the back of her head.

“Oh no, sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you,” I tell the woman, clearly a librarian of some sort.

She looks around confused before she spots me. “Er, hello. Did you need to check out a book? Or return one? I'm sorry! I'm sorry!”

“Yes, this one right here. Um… Are you going to be ok?”

This woman seems very high strung, and I really don’t need that right now.

“Oh, yes, uh… yes. I’ll…” She seems very confused. Maybe she hit her head a bit more than I’d thought.

“Um, why don’t you sit down,” I tell her.

She blinks. “Ok…”

She does without even hesitating.

“How does your head feel?”

“I’ve had worse,” she tells me. Somehow, I’m not surprised.

“My name is Iwanako, I began here on Monday. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” I tell her, trying to engage this woman in some mundane activity and hopefully reduce her anxiety.

“Oh, uh… right Lilly mentioned you the other day,” the librarian says. Well, I don’t know why I merit such notice, but oh well.

“What’s your name?” I ask, repeating the questions that the Nurse asked me after my concussion.

“Oh… uh… Yuuko. I’m the librarian… oh! I have to check you out!”

Grabbing the book I just set down, she rapidly checks it out and hands it back to me, before sitting back down, looking exhausted.

Looking at the clock, it’s getting late. I need to head into town for the flowers if nothing else.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:10 am

Long And Winding Road

Outside, the sun is still out, but there is the hint of eventual twilight in the air. Nearing the gate, it strikes me that this is the first time I’ve left this campus since Monday. I almost giggle to myself, feeling like I’ve found a new form of freedom while passing through the wide and open entrance to the school. Rounding the corner however, a solitary figure enters my vision, already walking in the direction of town. The golden color of her hair, her remarkable height, and the gentle tap of the cane tells me exactly who this is.

She slows down and turns slightly in my direction as I walk up to her.

“Lilly, a surprise to see you here,” I tell her.

She seems to be trying to place my voice, and when recognition sets in the polite smile I saw on Wednesday forms on her features. “Iwanako?”

“Yes,” I respond.

“Then the nurse has finally cleared you?”

“As of 18 minutes ago, I am considered recovered,” I tell her.

Her smile becomes a bit more genuine. I have the same mask, I know what to look for, the polite versus the genuine. “That is very good to hear. What brings you here?” She bows politely. I do the same out of habit.

“Heading into town. I have never been there before, but I promised I would pick up some things for Rika. A thank you for helping to keep an eye on me the past few days,” I tell her. “And yourself?”

“My my, what a coincidence,” she says.

“Also going into town?”

She nods. “Fridays are usually when I go shopping.” She pauses, as if confused by something. “That said, Hanako usually comes into town with me.”

“Ah.” I say. “I just saw her in the library not too long ago. She seemed to be engrossed in a book. I do not think she even saw me.”

She lets out a small sigh of relief. “Thank you. She has a habit of doing that.”

I nod, then realize how silly that was. “I noticed that she reads a lot.”

“She doesn't like being around crowds of people, so reading away from everyone lets her relax a bit,” Lilly says.

“Everyone needs a way to relax. I am glad she has one,” I tell her.

We engage in small talk as we go. With little traffic, and surprisingly no students along the path, it is a very pleasant experience.

“How are you settling in?” she asks.

“Aside from the accident, I’m finding this all very nice,” I tell her.

She nods. “I know that transferring schools is already stressful, but with what happened on Wednesday, I would not be surprised to hear you resent it here.”

I chuckle a bit. “You are the second person who has said that. Even with the accident, being free from that hospital bed is enough to make me happy. Having a school so accommodating only makes it easier. Although…”

Lilly frowns. “Although?”

“Rika is a bit clingy,” I confide in her.

She giggles a bit at that. “Oh really?”

“So, how has your week been?” I ask.

“The festival has everyone in a spin right now. I got into a fight with Shizune yesterday over it that still… oh she makes me so frustrated.”

“Ah,” I tell her. “As the Class Rep you would be the one dealing with her, understandable.”

“Correct,” she says. “We used to be close, but ever since she became the student council president, she just keeps pushing, and pushing. What happened to the girl I knew?”

“Known her a long time then?”

Lilly smiles sadly a bit. “Our whole lives. I’m only a few months older than her.”

“Oh, yes, that would make things even harder,” I say.

Families must be close… or it’s the same one. What did Rika say? Shizune made her own cousin quit the student council. And Lilly was on the student council last year. Examining Lilly a bit, yes, I can definitely see some similarities. Jawline, nose, eye shape, yes, she and Shizune are very similar. That’s what kept bugging me in the back of my head over Lilly I finally realize.

“Family can be trouble I suppose, but when everything goes wrong, they’re still there for you even if you can’t stand each other,” I finally say.

“Indeed,” Lilly says in response. “I have enough trouble with my sister. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“No. Only have two cousins but they’re both very young still. You know, it strikes me I haven’t heard from Aunt Meiko since my surgery. I wonder how they’re doing.” They were always so cute too.

“Did you have many friends at your old school?”

I think. “I had people I associated with, but very few actual friends. And while I was hospitalized I… wasn’t much of a friend to them.”

“Large shocks can make anyone resentful or angry. Have you tried to reconcile since?” She sounds genuinely concerned. I suppose she is a gentle soul, so it is understandable.

“No,” I say. “Because they are… they know… There is someone I can’t see again, and if I reach out, it might…”

“Ah,” she says in an understanding tone. “Old boyfriend?”

“Something like that,” I say, trying to end the conversation.

Lilly doesn’t pick up that I don’t like the topic, or is just pushing for her own sake. “Did he abandon you after…?”

I laugh. Every time someone asks that, it reopens the wound, but also strikes me as ironically funny. “No. He came every day. He was wasting his life, waiting for a broken thing like me, so I did what I had to to save him.”

“You broke up with him.” It’s not a question.

“I broke up with him. I was not going to string him along with unspoken promises of a future we can never share.”

Lilly considers before responding. “Because of your condition?”

“Because of my condition, yes,” I tell her.

“It sounds like you are not entirely over him,” she says in a matter of fact tone.

I laugh a bit. “I guess not. I miss him, but I can’t see him again. I don’t think I could keep up my resolve.”

Changing the topic, Lilly says, “So, what are you heading into town for?”

“Oh, two things really. Since I came in late for festival preparations, I’m trying to help out where I can. Rika’s class need some flower arrangements for their booth, so I’m making them. For the other, Rika, Suzu and Saki have all been taking care of me so I wanted to make something for them. The problem is, I don’t know where the art store or the market are”

Lilly hums a moment. “Well, I don’t know where the art store is, but I was just about to go to the convenience store myself.”

I smile. “Mind if I tag along a bit more then? At least knowing where one of my destinations is would be a big help.”

Lilly smiles. “Certainly you may.”

Side by side, she guides me along a path she’s memorized. To some people, she would likely be taking very slow steps, but to me she was perfectly paced. I never liked rushing around. Looking down, it’s clear that she’s being very careful on stride distance, and that means she’s counting how many steps she needs to reach somewhere. In only a few minutes, a lit sign saying “Aura Mart” appears ahead.

As we enter, the clerk behind the counter waves a casual greeting to us.

“Mind if I tag along with you? Usually Hanako would help me, but seeing as she's not here...” Lilly asks, turning her head slightly in my direction.

“Certainly,” I tell her. “After all, you guided me here, allow me to return the favor.”

Lifting a pair of red baskets from the stack aside the entrance, I divide the pair between us. When Lilly stops however, I pause, curious what she is doing. Putting her schoolbag in the basket, then she folds her cane and slides it through the handles before picking it up. As she stands out she reaches for me, and then freezes when she touches my bare arm. Sliding her fingers up and down, she seems like she’s looking for something on me.
Finally settling for just putting a hand loosely around my upper arm, she finally speaks up. “You’re not in uniform.”

“No, I’m not. I was not in class today, so I feel it would be inappropriate for me to be wearing it,” I tell her.

“Is this alright?” she asks.

I smile instinctively at this. “Of course it is, don’t be silly.”

Navigating our way through the store, it strikes me how odd it is that this seems perfectly normal. I don’t recall seeing disabled people in general, but here nobody is giving us any mind. With Yamaku so close, I suppose residents must be used to the students.

We check each aisle in order, and I fill each basket as we go. Telling someone everything on the shelf as we pass is certainly not what I have done before, but it’s not that bothersome. Hitting the last aisle, I check with her.

“And now it’s the bread section. Is there anything we’ve forgotten?”

She thinks a moment before shaking her head. “No, this should be everything.”

“Then let us check out. I still need to find the art store after all,” I say, considering the time. I hope it’s not too late already.

Without an appreciable line, it takes no time at all to pay for our food and head out the door. While Lilly retrieves her cane and unfolds it, I look around to see if I can spot the art store without any luck.

“I’m not seeing the art store, sadly,” I tell her. “But, who is that?”

Heading down the street a very distinctive figure is making its way in our direction. Looking the silhouette over, it takes no time to place the tied off sleeves which are drifting along as she walks.

“Rin! What brings you here?” I ask, smiling slightly.

Lilly perks her head, my guess is so she can focus on listening more keenly. Rika’s actions in my room come to mind, how she described it so Lilly knew where everything is.

“Rin Tezuka is walking in our direction,” I tell her.

At that, Lilly noticeably stiffens, and puts on a mask so solid I could have mistaken it for porcelain. Clearly, Rin is not a person she likes to interact with. With her mask and false smile in place, she says simply “Ah. I understand.”

By now Rin has reached us, and stops. Tilting her head similarly to Lilly, she answers my earlier question. “I used my feet.”

I sigh. She is quite literal, right. Then, I smile, this may be a fortunate meeting after all.

“Ah. Since you are here, do you know where the art supply store is?” I ask her.

She straightens her head, and looks at me. Or rather, she looks through me.

“Right. I forgot why I came down here. You remembered it for me. Are you a mind reader?”

I shake my head. “No, I just need to find the art store and I was lost.”

“Oh, it would have been more interesting if you were a mind reader. Follow me.”

I look to Lilly. “Do you want to head back by yourself, or come with us?”

“If it’s all the same to you, I think I will return to school. I hope we can meet again later.”

I smile. “With you as well. Have a good night Lilly.”

I turn and follow Rin as she heads past the Aura Mart and goes further into town.

Less than 40 meters later, she stops in front of a shop with easels in the front window.

“Thank you Rin,” I tell her as I walk up and open the door for her.

As promised, there is a small but rich floral section in the store, and in short order I had not only the pieces I needed, but I picked up some more tools and bowls as well, so I could give a better variety. I find Rin standing in front of the brush section, looking over what is there with a kind of glaze over her eyes.

“Find what you’d like, Rin?” I ask the redhead.

“Yes, more than I have with me, so no,” She says.

“Which one is it?”

Rin gestures to a wide brush with a rounded tip. Looking at the label, it’s called an “Egbert 28” whatever that is. I don't know paint brushes well, only having used calligraphy brushes in the past.

“Didn’t you have one of these yesterday?”

“Someone stepped on it. Was the last one in the art room,” Rin says.

I pick it up. “Allow me to get it for you. A way to thank you for showing me how to get here.”

She quirks an eyebrow at me, then shrugs.

A few minutes and a swipe of my card later, and we’re ready to head back to school.

“Come on Rin. It’s getting late.”

She stares at me, then falls into place with me.

Studying her face as we walk, it strikes me how with very little work she could be made into something quite remarkable. But, with how she is, such superficial things as appearance just would not matter. Or, nobody ever thought to ask, either.

“Rin, I have a question for you.”

“Then why don’t you ask it?” she replies.

“Has anyone ever taught you how to use makeup?” I ask.

She shrugs. “No. It’s like painting your face, except painting your face is done with actual paint.”

“Do you want to learn?”

She shrugs again. “Not now. Maybe later.”

“I remember the art teacher said that people were coming to see your mural on Sunday. I would think you should be presentable for it. Mind if I help Sunday morning?”

“It should be done before they come,” Rin says.

“Not help with the mural. Help you, do your makeup, that kind of thing,” I tell her.

The walk falls into silence. We nearly reach the gates when Rin says “Okay,” and then marches at double speed through the gate into the school.
I find her on the ground, new brush in… foot, working on a section off to the side lit by the walkway lights. I can’t help but smile as I walk past.

“See you later Rin,” I tell her. She is so focused on painting however that I doubt she even realizes I was there.

Back in my room, Saki and Rika had already made dinner with an extra serving.

Rika looks up as I peek into her room after knocking. “There you are! I was getting worried sick over you.”

“I went into town for supplies,” I tell her. “I should be able to get the flowers done tomorrow after class now.”

“Yay!” Rika exclaims. “Dinner’s ready.”

“Thank you. And because you both have been so kind this week, please allow me to make dinner tomorrow? I insist.”

Both girls just smile and nod.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:13 am

The Last Huzzah

It is so good to sleep in your own bed… alone. I know it was only two days, but those two days felt like forever.

Getting up early, I enjoy a long shower before I start my day. I have the time to prepare, skipping breakfast in the cafeteria, swimming, or joining Emi at the track, and I aim to do so. Taking a few steps back to give my appearance one final glance in the bathroom mirror, you’d never think I was seriously injured three days ago. With my uniform on straight, my jewelry shining, my hair’s brushed out and my makeup is great as always it feels like a return to normality.

In the commons, nobody gives me a glance. I’m just another student, no longer the standout, lone figure with an unfamiliar face. That fact alone is a huge relief for me. It only took a week for me to blend in.

10 minutes until class begins I take my seat. At the moment only those two girls I recall Suzu mentioning were from the newspaper club are here, and both just look up at me for a moment before returning to whatever they were doing, any interest already evaporated. I can’t help but smile at that.

I’m just like everyone else.

A few minutes later Mutou walks in, then looks around confused. It is clear that he is exhausted. I suppose the teachers are busy with festival preparation as well. Glancing at the clock, he then nods in understanding.

“Iwanaga, please join me.”

He motions to his desk.

Walking up he hands over yesterday’s work. “Please work on these and have them completed by Tuesday.”

“Of course teacher.”

He nods. “How are you feeling after what happened the other day?

“Honestly, I feel fine now. I felt fine yesterday but the nurse was being cautious.”

He ponders that a moment. “It is good to be cautious. Anything that can endanger your health is something to be worried about. We try our best here to prepare you for life here.”

I nod. “Like every school does.”

He smiles. “Exactly. This may not be a normal school, but it still has the same goal in mind, to turn all of you into productive members of society. A lot of people have put in a lot of time, effort, and money to make sure that you, and every other student here, can have the same level of education as your peers. We just want to see you live up to your full potential.”

Then he looks lost in thought before continuing. “Well, I think that's all I really had to say.”

I bow. “Thank you again teacher.”

Turning back to my seat, I see most of the class has come in. Noticeably missing however are the two who sit beside me. I suppose being on the Student Counsel they are busy with preparations for tomorrows festival. As I start to move however, Miki reaches out her long arm and grabs my sleeve.

“Hey, where were you yesterday? We were going to take you to dinner to celebrate being released,” she asks.

“Went into town to get supplies,” I tell her. “I need to get back to my seat, but after class I’ll be working in my room if you want to drop by.”

Miki raises an eyebrow. “Working?”

“Doing some Ikebana for Rika’s class,” I tell her.

“Icky, what?” Miki seems confused.

“Flower arrangements,” I explain. “Like the one you saw the other day.”

She chews this over. “Well, alright then. You… you have fun with that.”

The bell rings, pulling the class into session.

...

No sign of Misha or Shizune all morning. Guess that with the festival they are really busy. As class ends, I notice Hanako once more hanging behind. I have a moment to socialize before I get busy I suppose.

“Hello Hanako,” I tell her, walking up to her desk.

“I-iwanako! Um… hi. You’re looking better.” Hanako looks a little nervous.

“I feel better.” I tell her. “I wanted to thank you for joining us for tea the other day. I have not had the opportunity in months, and it felt good to use my set again.”

This seems to surprise her, with those dark eyes looking at me with a shocked expression. What happened to you to make you so surprised at someone thanking you for kindness? She realizes that she’s staring, so looks away before saying “T-then… you’re w-welcome, Iwanako.”

“Well, I just stopped to say thank you. I need to get to work.”

Her eyes flash to me with a curious expression on her face. “Work?”

I nod. “The flowers for Rika’s class will not be ready, so I was asked to make replacements.”

“Oh,” Hanako says, looking a little bit rejected.

“If you want, feel free to drop by. I would never turn down the company,” I tell her, giving a smile a bit more genuine than normal.

“O-okay, I’ll keep that in mind,” she says, not quite looking at me.

“Hanako,” comes Lilly’s voice from the doorway.

“See you later Hanako,” I tell her as she walks up to Lilly. Collecting my things, as I turn to leave, I find myself surprised to see Lilly leaving, without Hanako. Standing there, the poor girl looks slightly rejected.

“Everything alright?” I ask as I walk up, ready to go out the door.

She jumps in place, before realizing it was me.

“L-lilly is going to see her sister. I’d forgot that was today,” she says in a quiet voice.

I smile a bit. “Well, family is important. I wonder if her sister is going to attend the festival tomorrow. My mother is coming tomorrow for it after all. Is your family going to come as well?”

At that, the look in Hanako’s eyes become distant.

“Hanako? Are you alright?”

This seems to snap her attention. “I… I… Igottagodosomething.” In a fluster she bolts out of the room, leaving nothing but a gentle breeze of her passing and lots of questions.

“Did I say something to upset her?” I ponder aloud. Considering the way she behaves, it is clear that whatever trauma she underwent is far deeper than I had even guessed at. “Dear, what happened to you?”

I don’t know anything about her or her past. Did I accidentally trip over some emotional trigger of hers?

Nothing can be done now. She could take Emi on in the sprint if the speed at which she left was any indication.

“Iwanako, are you still in here,” comes a familiar voice.

“Afternoon Saki. I was about to head back to the dorms and work on the flowers for Rika,” I tell her as I exit the room.

“Well, before that, can you give me a hand with these?” She gestures to some sheets of stiff board under her arm. “It’s hard to carry them with one hand.”

“Oh, sure,” I tell her as I take the boards out from under her arm.

“Stencils?” I ask her.

She nods. “Right. Been trying to track these down. 3-2 had them, then 1-4 had them, then the literature club had them…”

“Sounds tough,” I tell her.

She stops before the elevator and presses the button.

“Going up stairs is fine, going down… it’s better if I take the elevator,” Saki says answering my question before I even say it.

Stepping in and pressing the button, the elevator slowly does its job.

Something on my mind finally comes to the surface. Since we have a moment, may as well ask. “You know, something I have been wondering. They paired me up with Rika because we both have bad hearts. Why are you and Suzu paired up?”

She chuckles. “We both fall down.”

“Huh?” I say, confused.

She taps her cane for emphasis. “You’ve seen Suzu’s knee brace, right? She fell and tore it something bad a few months ago. I’m at risk of the same thing happening.”

“Huh. I guess that makes sense,” I tell her.

The elevator door slides open, letting us out.

“I don’t want to be stuck in a wheelchair for a week again, so I’m trying to be extra careful,” Saki says as we head outside.

I smile a bit. “Do not blame you. I never had to sit in one for more than an hour, and they certainly are uncomfortable.”

Considering for a second, I have to ask, “When I saw you at the party, you seemed fine.”

She chuckles dryly. “There was a reason why I was sitting down for most of that.”

“And here I was thinking that you were being spoiled, with your parents bringing you everything.”

“They didn’t want anyone to know,” Saki says, sighing. “As soon as they could send me here, they did. Out of sight, out of mind.”

The darkest part of my own thoughts in the hospital resurface for a brief moment.

Exiting the building, it amazes me how quickly the main school emptied out. She points in the direction of the administrative building. “We’re setting up over here.”

Following her, I find that we are traveling between various things being prepared. A lot of people getting ready for the festival, and here I am without a clue who they are.

Ahead the preparations for some kind of stage are readily apparent. “Theater?” I ask.

“Yup, and music, and singing. It’s for the performing arts clubs.”

I consider. “And you need these?”

Saki points to some placards along the side. “Over there.”

Walking up, she calls out to a trio of girls sitting by the placards. “Got them!”

“About time,” says one girl, bouncing up and taking the bundle from me.

“I need to get on those flowers,” I tell Saki. “Now remember, I’ve got dinner handled tonight.”

“Right. See you for dinner,” Saki tells me, waving as I walk off.

Rin is busy at her mural still. It amazes me how far she’s progressed in so short a time. I wave to her as I walk past, but her gaze is fixed on the space before her. Not wanting to disturb her at work, I don’t say anything before entering my dorm.

My dorm, the shift from impersonal space to personal domain happened while I was not watching. The thought can’t help but bring a smile to my face. My dorm! My space.

Clearing my mind, I set to work.

...

Sitting here, working on flowers, my mind can drift to happier times. It’s been several years since my grandmother’s arthritis took away her ability to work on displays. As she began to lose the ability, I picked it up for her.

“Always free your mind,” she would tell me every time we worked. “Let it wander to happier times, and it will carry through to your arrangements.” And so I am here, thinking about her, and the happy times we spent together.

When happy, time moves quickly. And so it was for me. Before long, I was looking at the last arrangement, and smiling. Eight flower arrangements, all ready for tomorrow. A glance over, and it strikes me that I did not use any of the lavender as I’d originally planned to.

The flowers had survived those months without me. It would be a shame to just use them all on such a trivial thing as a festival I knew nothing about. Tanabata, yes, that’s what I will use the lavender for. The holiday of lovers and wishes. Only fitting.

Alone with my thoughts, I brush my hands over the lavender. Lovingly cared for in my absence, but by whom? My mother was no good with flowers. Maybe my grandmother visited regularly? Yes, that had to be it. She was always so sweet to me.

Care for my flowers takes precedent before I start on dinner. Today I want to treat my hallmates, although my culinary skill is only mediocre. But I can make noodle soup. My grandmother taught me that.

I know the squid is supposed to be fresh, but this is not exactly an area for fishing. The pre-packaged will do fine for us. What amazed me was seeing the variety of spices available at a convenience store. I was all but certain that I would have had to skimp, but they had everything I needed.

As it’s early, I have the kitchenette area of the dorm mainroom to myself. The only other people in here are two second years playing cards and Suzu, who is sleeping away on the couch. This is a quick meal to make, so I find myself finished in a few minutes. Checking the clock, Rika and Saki should be coming soon.

Prodding the sleeping form, I whisper “Time to wake up,” gently to the girl. As reward, she rolls over, and seemingly pretends I’m not there.
“If you don’t get up, I’ll feed your portion to Rika. She is so thin, she certainly could use it,” I muse over her.

A sigh slips from the form, and she slowly rights herself.

“It smells good,” she says, in the middle of a yawn.

“Come on, I made enough for everybody to have extra. A thank you for everything you all have done for me this week.”

She blinks her bloodshot eyes, then nods. “That sounds delicious.”

Offering her a hand, I help the girl to her feet. It takes only a few moments to return to our hall, and I start preparing tea for the other girls I expect to be here soon.

It takes only a few minutes before the sound of snoring rises off of my bed. Looking over, Suzu’s fallen back asleep, lying down on top of my covers.
“What is it with girls wanting to sleep in my bed?” I muse to myself.

Within 10 minutes, my room is quite full, with all of the girls along our hallway stuffed into my room. Banter, gossip, the usual evening fare fills the air. The specifics, not important. I was among friends, laughing and enjoying their company.

Tomorrow is the festival, and now I have done something which makes me feel like I helped. I still wish I could do more, but, what can you do? And tomorrow, my mother will be here. For me. She will be here for me. Not off doing some charity function, or busy with her work, but here, just for me.

For the first time in a long time, all was right with the universe.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:22 am

Beware Unfamiliar Spirits

6am, again. Why can’t I sleep any later than 6 am?

Groaning, I get up and take my first pill. If I take it with anything else, it would make me sick so the doctors tell me. Remembering Rika’s big book from the other day, this is the one which is supposed to make me gain weight. Well, the joke is on you little olive colored pill! Then further, it also the one which is causing my hair to slowly turn white.

I look up at the mirror, and gaze at the twin blonde streaks I have added to cover up that very gray hair. I can only sigh. Never show what you don’t want them to see.

A swig of water and it’s gone. Now to get ready. Shower, making sure my hair looks its best, makeup, the routine I’ve established is a rote upon which my day is built.

My mother is supposed to get here around noon, according to the last message she sent. So, plenty of time to get things done. So, things to do this morning. Deliver the arrangements to Rika’s booth, and I promised to help Rin look presentable for those visitors the teacher was bringing by. But first things first, breakfast.

The cafeteria is blissfully empty, only a few other students mulling about. Using the list the nurse made me, I can complete his requirement without much issue. The kitchen staff however seem to eye me as strange for my choices.

Miso soup, natto, rice, a banana and cod this morning. I am not this hungry, but I know I need to eat. The odor of the natto is a bit stronger than I am used to. Tastes good, even if a bit slimy in texture.

Sitting there, I reflect on the last week. A week ago at this time, I was still in a hospital bed, thinking I would be there forever. Now, here I was, free, enjoying… well tolerating, a rather slimy but calorie rich breakfast.

The cafeteria fills up slowly, few familiar faces enter my view. But that’s fine. I was just part of the crowd today.

It is a school festival, so I wear the uniform. It is what is to be expected I figure. Looking around, I figured right, with everyone else also in their uniform.

I am curious why some people have white hose, while others black. I have black, because that is what I had for my old uniform already. My old, well broken in, shoes go well with them as well.

It is odd that the school does not use slippers, but I suppose that is to be expected for such an institution. I still feel like I should be switching shoes as I enter.

Finishing off the soup, the meal has left me feeling very full, but not to the point of being sick. Returning to my room, I collect the first flower arrangement. I need to move them one at a time for safety sake. Last thing anyone wants is for them to fall apart last minute.

Near the stage where Saki was setting up the other day, I find the girls in yukatas busy putting the booth together.

“Is this Rika’s class?” I ask them as I approach.

“Yes,” replies a blue haired girl, turning her head to look at me. I vaguely recall that she is one of the pair who were playing cards last night in the common room.

“I’m bringing over the flowers. Where should I set them?”

She smiles and walks over to one of the tables. “Here would be perfect. Thank you again for this. When Rika said she found someone to step in… we are very grateful.”

For the next half hour I repeated the trek, one at a time. Must be careful, they are fragile things. Each one is placed at a different location, all to give the right flow of energy through the booth. I must admit, it all looks amazing.

“Thank you again,” comes one of the girls, wearing a yukata I knew I’d helped model for. This girl is almost as thin as I am. It’s adorable on her..

“I am glad to have been able to help.” I bow out of habit, and find that the girls there have returned the gesture. It’s beautiful to see.

Looking back to my dorm, I check the time. It’s almost 8 o’clock. “Now, let’s see to Rin,” I tell myself, and set out to look for the girl.

I have apparently decided that this morning is going to be making up for missing exercise since Wednesday, because I am certainly rushing around like mad. Not surprisingly, I find her… asleep in front of her mural. Did she sleep here all night?

Shaking her gently, I whisper “Rin, wake up.”

The body stirs slightly, and rolls onto its back. Her eyes open slightly before turning to face me. “Is it morning already?”

“Yes, it is,” I tell her. “Come on. You can’t be comfortable down there.”

Not fully awake, she sits up. Wrapping an arm around her, we work together to pull her onto her feet.

“Let’s go,” I tell her, and guide the half-awake form into the dorms.

Sitting her down at my desk, those green eyes of her sweep over my room, taking in every last detail as I get ready.

“Your room is full,” she tells me.

“Thank you,” I tell her, setting my kit on the desk next to her.

“I don’t know why you’re thanking me, but you’re welcome,” comes Rin’s reply.

“Rin, what I am doing for you is as much for me as you. That is why I am thanking you for letting me do this.” I say, starting work on her.
She just holds still as I work, her eyes tracking me.

I smile a bit before looking the girl over a bit. She is my height, and only a little bit heavier than I am if I were to guess. “Since you will not be painting today, do you want to wear the girl’s uniform, to be more presentable to the teachers friends? I figure, we’re about the same size, so you could borrow one of mine.”

“Will you look up my skirt?” She asks in a completely deadpan manner.

I shrug. “It was not on my to-do list, I will admit.”

To avoid interruptions, I mute my phone, and get to work. Yet, she needs so little done it is amazing. While she is not a classic beauty, she has this face which is easy to bring the beauty out of. That hair though.

We fall into silence as I work. As I finish up her hair, the voice which emerges is a bit more emotional than I’d been used to from the girl.

“Why?” Glancing down, she’s looking up at me, her eyes showing confusion, a dramatic difference from the blank slate I have seen before.

I can’t help but smile. “Because I enjoyed helping you the other day, and you helped me find the art store. I want to do something nice for you.”

“Is this nice?” She asks, giving me an odd look on her face.

I consider a moment before responding. “People respond to how things look. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Rarely do people go beyond the superficial, be it a painting or a person. But by making the surface more interesting, it helps get people interested in looking beyond that surface, to find out what is inside.”

She raises an eyebrow. “Like a doctor, or a serial killer?”

I laugh. “No silly. It’s a metaphor. Let’s take you for example. You make me smile because I find what you say and do fun. If I hadn’t taken the time to go past the surface, I wouldn’t know that you are fun to be around. By making the surface as interesting as possible, it helps people go further and learn more about you. And isn’t that what we all want in the end?”

She closes her eyes at this, as if considering what I said. Then she lifts a foot and starts unbuttoning her shirt. “Okay, I can wear the uniform today.”
I smile. “Then back to normal?”

“People will see my panties otherwise. Underpants are the soul of a girl. You shouldn't peek at someone else's soul.”

I pull one of my uniforms out of the closet. Looking back, I find myself dumbfounded watching the girl work. Her feet deftly manage to undo all of her buttons, and even undo her pants, without a struggle. I step over and help finish taking her clothes off.

Standing there in her skivvies, I assess who Rin is. She is angular, very thin. I can see her rib bones moving under her skin as she breathes. Then, her arms, or what’s left of them. Incredibly short, it’s hard to believe how she’s managed to adapt to life without them.

Some work, and we get Rin into one of my uniforms. A little fingerwork, and her ribbon is perfect. Checking ourselves in the mirror, there we are, both wearing identical uniforms standing next to each other. Rin’s hair, once an unruly mess now looks to be behaving itself. Slight makeup to accentuate her face, and it’s as if she is a different person.

“It’s almost time for your teacher’s friends to be there,” I tell her.

Without responding, Rin just turns on her heel and walks out the door. I grab my chair and hustle along after her.

Reaching the mural, no sign of the teacher yet. Just as Rin looks ready to sit on the ground I cry out, “Sit on this. I brought it out for you.”

She eyes the chair, then sits down. “More comfortable,” she admits.

Sitting and waiting, her eyes gaze upwards. Looking up, the azure sky with puffy clouds is beautiful even if impermanent. Always changing, always shifting.

“That is what you were looking at on the roof the other day, wasn’t it? The sky?” I ask her.

Rin just replies with “It’s nice.”

Looking up, and feeling the sun on my face, I close my eyes and just feel it for a moment.

“Yes, it’s nice,” I finally tell her.

Opening my eyes, a quick glance around reveals a dozen people wandering in our direction, with the art teacher in front. He is busily explaining the mural to people, while seemingly lacking any appreciation for what Rin had really done here.

“And here it is. Isn’t it wonderful, those lines, that form… er… hold on…” He looks around, his gaze passing over the two of us there. “Where is that girl?” he mutters to himself as he looks around more. A few passes, he finally seems to notice me.

“Oh, yes, the new art club member from Monday… Iwanaga have you happened to see Tezuka this morning?” He asks, walking up.

It takes a moment for the question to register. “What do you mean teacher? She’s sitting right here.”

His eyes glance down, and then goes over Rin, who still is staring into the sky.

“I… er… Rin?”

“Hello,” she replies, not taking her eyes off of the clouds passing overhead.

“Well… uh… you dressed up a bit. So… you’re… taking this seriously! Glad to see.” Turning to the crowd of people. “This young lady is the artist I was telling you about…”

At this point I check out as well. Maybe Rin has the right idea after all. Before I know it, the crowd has wandered off.

“I don’t get it,” Rin tells me.

“Get what?”

“Why changing the way you look helps people see what’s inside.”

I shrug. “I don’t get it either. But it happens.”

“Can I put on my normal clothes now?” She asks, looking at me.

“Sure,” I tell her.

She shakes her head, and the work done on organization vanishes in an instant, returning to the chaos from before. Clean and organized might look better, but now this looks more like Rin.

Picking up my chair, we head back into the dorms.

Rin makes a quick clip back to my room, and starts undressing even before I’ve closed the door.

“You’re not comfortable,” I tell her.

She stops, and looks in my direction. “Are you sure you’re not a mind reader?”

“Quite,” I tell her.

While still undressing, Rin stops, then shifts in place. A few seconds later, she shifts the other way. The look of distress on her face is plain to see.

“Everything alright?” I ask.

“Yes. No. Yes. I need to find Emi for some help with something.”

“Alright, what do you need help with?” I ask, worried.

“I don’t think you would want to help,” she tells me.

“Nonsense, tell me how I can help, please.”

“I'm having my period and I need some help regarding that,” she says, looking at the bathroom.

Well, that certainly was not on my agenda today. Looking at her arms however, I can see why she needs help.

“Come on,” I tell her. “Let’s get this over with.”

“I don’t know if our relationship is at a level where you could pull my underwear down,” she says.

I look flatly at her. “Every girl has them. No point in being squeamish.”

She tilts her head, a few moments pass as I can almost see the thoughts going on behind those eyes, before she walks into the bathroom. Collecting from my box in the dresser, I follow her in.

That business settled, and back in her usual uniform Rin returns to the mural, then sits down against it. Her hair has already returned to chaos, clearly its natural state. Checking the time, I still have an hour before my mother gets here.

Considering that, I ask “Rin, have you eaten yet?”

“No,” she answers, not looking at me.

“I’ll grab you something to eat, alright?”

She shrugs, not really seeming to pay much attention.

Looking around, I can see what is set up and ready. “The largest booth I see is a noodle booth. Would you like that?”

Rin shrugs, her eyes staring at the sky once more.

The festival is really just starting, despite me being active for several hours now. The line for the noodle booth is nonexistent. This seems to be good for them, because only a scattered handful of students seem to even be there working. They can’t expect to manage this booth with only 5 students and their homeroom teacher.

Stepping up, the golden hair of the girl behind the counter tells me whose booth this is without even needing to look.

“Lilly, good morning,” I tell her.

She pauses, as if trying to place the voice. “Iwanako?”

“Yes. I was about to ask for something to eat, but you seem understaffed.” Glancing around, indeed my initial count is woefully correct. The booth needs more people.

“Half of my class scheduled for the morning have not shown up, and because we’re short handed we can’t send someone to collect them.”
I consider for a moment. “I can do that. Please, let me help. You all have done so much here. I feel bad that I transferred in so late that I couldn’t do much for the festival.”

“Iwanaga?” Miyagi says, noticing me standing there. “I am glad to see you have recovered.”

“Yes teacher. I have already finished the classwork I missed,” I tell her.

“Good to hear. Now, I overheard you offer to find my missing students, is that correct?”

“Yes teacher. I am not working for my class booth, as all shifts were scheduled before I transferred. That means I am free to go looking for your missing students,” I tell her.

Miyagi nods, and takes out a pad of paper. “Here are the students either scheduled for this morning, or who are not scheduled at all, and their room numbers. Don’t go hunting for them, but I figure a friendly knock on the door and a reminder may be more than enough.”

“Thank you. I’ll see who I can find,” I tell the pair.

Lilly pauses, then interrupts, “You were going to order something, weren’t you?”

I pause, having forgotten why I came over. “Oh, yes. Rin Tezuka hasn’t eaten today, so I was going to buy her some food.”

Miyagi nods. “A noble sentiment. I’ll bring her something to eat, a thank you for trying to find my wayward students.”

“Thank you teacher.” I take the list, and head back to the dorms.

5 names, 4 empty doors in the girls dorm. Last name on the list is in the boys dorm, room 117. This is the first time I’ve been in the boys dorm, and immediately the difference is remarkable. They have one hallway instead of two, and all rooms seem to start with the number 1.

Now, the room is on the second floor. And, it seems that the boys dorm share bathrooms at the end of their hallways. Even more remarkable, for the hallway 117 is on, only a single door has any name on it. “K. Setou.”

“Huh, he’s in a hallway by himself?” I muse as I walk up to the door.

Already having struck out 4 times in trying to round up people, I pound on the door.

It takes a moment before I hear the lock undo. Then another lock. And another. And another… after an impossible number of locks are flipped, the door opens up a crack.

“Who is it,” says the squeaky voice on the other side of the door.

“Kenji Setou?” I ask.

The door flies open and a bespeckled boy sticks his head out into the hallway, and studies me intently.

“You can’t be Kenji, I’m Kenji!” He looks me over. “You don’t even look like Kenji!”

“No, I’m asking if you are Kenji,” I tell him.

“Why do you ask? Are you trying to replace me? Is this the rise of…” He looks genuinely in a panic.

“No, wait, stop. Let me start over.” I interrupt him. Taking a deep breath, I say “I am Nanako Iwanaga, but please call me Iwanako. I was asked by Miyagi to find students from your class to help with your booth, because few people showed up this morning.”

He pauses, then puts his face right up to mine. I realize he’s trying to look at me behind those thick glasses of his. Once done, he backs up to a normal distance.

“Er, well, hey, pleased to meet you,” the sudden smile on his face was as plastic as a child's playtoy, but I knew this game.

Putting on my own smile, I bow respectfully. “And you as well Setou.”

“Kenji,” he tells me.

“Kenji,” I answer back. He seems to be afraid of being replaced, so make him irreplaceable. “Your classmates are lost without your help, and have asked me to retrieve you.”

He looks back into his room, then out at me, still bowing, then back into his room.

“Ahh… um…” He stammers, clearly torn here.

“I would consider it a personal favor for you to help your classmates,” I tell him.

“Do you promise nobody is going to snipe me?” He asks.

Snipe? Why is he worried about someone verbally insulting him? “I promise, nobody will snipe at you today so long as I am here,” I tell him.

“Well, ok. Ah… give me a moment.”

He slams his door closed, and I hear loud banging happening on the other side. The din continues to climb until it crescendos with a loud crash. Then, he steps out of his door, all dressed in his uniform. Oddly, despite the temperature being moderate, he is wearing not only the jacket, but a scarf.

“My thanks,” I tell him as we both walk down the hallway.

“So, uh… I don’t think I’ve seen you around before,” he tells me. The odor of garlic is quite strong. But, no matter how foul, I am not going to let him know that I can smell it.

“I am a transfer student. I only began on Monday,” I tell him, keeping the conversation polite.

He raises his eyebrows, like this is a new concept. “Then they haven’t recruited you yet, excellent.”

Who recruited for what now?

Passing by the mural, I see Rin munching away at a noodle bowl, and staring at the sky. Good for her.

Miyagi sees us approaching and steps over.

“Ahh good, Setou. Glad you could make it after all. Father didn’t come then?”

“Er… right. He got called out, last minute thing,” he tells the teacher.

Miyagi then looks to me. “Thank you again. We had two others show up a little bit ago as well, so things are running much better now.”

“I am glad to help teacher,” I tell her, bowing.

When I stand up however, Kenji leans in and whispers to me, “Don’t let them get you. Save yourself!”

Before I can ask what he meant, he has already entered the booth and begins working on the food line. As Lilly is busy with customers, I don’t want to interrupt her, so I head out in the direction of the main gate.

Checking my watch, my mother should be here by now. Why hasn’t she messaged me? Did she forget, or get distracted somehow? A quick peek at my phone quickly makes a groan escape my lips. Sitting there on the notice bar, 4 messages from her. Why didn’t it alert me?

Because I muted it this morning while helping Rin, and then forgot to turn the ringer back on. Glancing around a hand waving over the crowd attracts my attention. She’s here, and likely worried sick about me.

“Sorry,” I tell her as I rush up. “I had my phone on mute.”

“Don’t give it any thought, dear.” She gives me a hug, then looks me over. “You are looking well. Have you been busy today?”

Pointing in the direction of the dorms, I tell her “I’ve been lending various classes some last minute help.”

She smiles. “That is good to hear. It’s good to see you. It seems you’ve taken to this school well, although your language is slipping somewhat.”

I suddenly realize I was not paying attention to my speech and mentally chastise myself. “My apologies mother for speaking poorly. My classmates have been very welcoming. I think you might be interested to know that my room is across the hall from Enomoto. We have been spending a good amount of time together this week.”

She tilts her head. “You two have not been in any disagreements have you? That would reflect poorly on your father. Before I forget, the nurse called and said I needed to drop by his office. Do you know where that is?”

Smiling, I tell her, “Certainly, follow me.”

As we head in the direction of the administrative building, she grills me in on what she heard. “So, he mentioned something about an accident?”

Sighing, I fill her in. “Yes. I was not paying attention to where I was going, and I ran into Emi, who was running in the halls.”

“Emi?”

“Emi Ibarazaki. She is a fellow student from the same class Saki, I mean Enomoto, is in – class 3-4.”

She nods. “Well, I wanted to hear what you would say about it before we talk to the nurse. It sounds like you are making connections readily enough.”

I smile for her. “You should meet my suitemate Katayama. She is a sweetheart. The nurse had her and Ibarazaki keeping an eye on me while I recovered.” Then I glance and realize we’re nearing her booth. “Actually hold on, she’s right over here.”

I rush over, practically pulling my mother behind me. Rika is busy at the counter cleaning cups as we walk up.

“Hello Rika, how is everything going?”

She looks up, takes a second to focus on me, then smiles. “Perfectly. Thank you again for the flowers. They’re quite popular.”

“I am happy to have helped. Rika Katayama, I would like you to meet my mother, Yoshiko Iwanaga,” I handle the introductions.

Rika bows. “An honor to meet you.”

My mother returns the gesture. “And to you as well. I understand you helped care for my daughter after the accident.”

“She is a delight to have around. Plus she helped my class with our booth,” she gestures around.

“Nanako, did you do these?” My mother looks at the flower arrangement in the middle of the table.

“Each and every one of them, yes she did,” Rika says, beaming.

Mom just smiles and brushes my head. “Well, I am glad she could help.”

Rika then looks about. “I need to get back to work, but it is very nice to meet you Mrs. Iwanaga.”

“You as well Rika.”

Entering the administrative building, I knock on the nurse’s door.

“Come in,” comes the voice.

“You wait here, Nanako. I will be brief.”

Alone with the nurse. Joy. Means she’s going to discuss one of “those” topics. Sorry nurse for what you’re about to go through.

Avoiding the helpful pamphlets discussing various health options makes for a particularly boring wait.

After several minutes or a few eternities, can’t entirely be sure which, she finally exits. The nurse just leans out and gives me a wave before going back into his office.

“So, they put the girl with whom you had an accident on nursing duty? That seems strange.” She is giving me the sideways eye I know far too well.
I stand up and we head outside.

“It was fitting. She caused me to be injured by her running, so they felt she should help out in the recovery.”

My mother nods. “A very responsible manner of punishment. I hope she learned that lesson.”

“We shall see,” I tell her. “She is likely with Rin, er, Tezuka, near the dorms right now if you would like to meet her.”

“Not at this moment,” she tells me. “Now, how about your studies? Were you able to catch up alright?”

I sigh. “For the most part. History and English I am handling fine, but science…”

“Oh, right, tutoring. Um… where did that boy go?” She starts scanning the crowd again.

I blink. “You found a tutor?”

“Found? He practically volunteered,” she says, continuing to look around. “We split up to look for you.”

Well, a tutor, that’s good. I could certainly use the help. But why would anyone volunteer to tutor me? And who would she know in the area who could be a tutor? I mean, it’s not like someone is going to drive up every weekend just to tutor me in science.

“I sent him in the direction of the dorms, so we should head in that direction,” she says, already moving that way without checking first. I have to rush a bit to keep up.

Thankfully the crowd is not too thick. People moving here and there, from booth to booth. Games, food, the festival was certainly living up to what the other students made it sound. Some local event to do with sparrows is about the best I had learned as to what the festival was about, however.

When the mural comes into view, I know we’re nearly there. Rin seems to be sleeping against it now, probably didn’t sleep well last night, so best not to disturb her.

Approaching the dorms, her eyes start to roam, then stop. “Oh, there he is. Over here!” She waves her hand again.

Looking in the direction she was waving, the crowd is particularly thick. Then a thought crosses my mind, and my blood turns to ice.

“Mom? How would he know what I look like? In order to find me, that is.” I ask, trying hard not to let the panic creep into my voice.

She looks over at me. “What do you mean? It is not like we just went and plucked up a stranger. There he is now. Go over and say hello, dear.”

Glancing back, a form stands out, and my need to flee begins to climb. I can’t believe my eyes. No, not him. Please, no.

His hair a mess like ever, wearing that sweatervest he always had on weekends when it wasn’t raining, and sporting the smile that wormed its way into my heart, he separated from the crowd and moved in our direction.

My feet carry me away without thinking about it, the voices behind me calling out in surprise.

“Iwanako, wait,” shouts Hisao, running after me.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:36 am

Waiting in the Wings

I don’t know how I managed to make it away from them. I don’t know how I made it into the school itself. But that is where I found myself, moving swiftly down the hallway in the direction of the library. It’s got to be quiet. I can hide there. He won’t find me. He can’t. Not him.

Inside, it seems that the coast is clear. I don’t even see a librarian. Back corner, right. Can hide in the back.

The feeling of marbles behind my sternum still is weird, but I’ve come to realize it means my pacemaker is working. It’s light, which is itself remarkable considering I just ran.

Rushing to the back, I stumble over someone sitting at the end of the row.

“Aah!” we both cry as I fall flat on my face.

It takes me a moment to understand what just happened. Rolling over, I have dark hair fall into my face. Brushing it away I look up into recognizable features, admittedly ones which looked very worried right now.

“Hanako, oh good! Sorry, I’m all out of sorts right now.”

She helps me sit up and looks me over, keeping her eyes a long time on my chest.

“A-are you alright?” the timid voice asks.

“Yes, only thing injured was my pride.”

I scoot back against the bookshelf. “Sorry, I really am sorry about that,” I tell the girl.

Her face a bit more relaxed, she then looks at me with a curious expression.

“W-why are you here?”

I take a few breaths. “Because I figured nobody else would be.”

She relaxes and sits back in her beanbag. “Yes. It’s quiet in here. I… don’t like crowds.” Pausing, she looks at me a bit closer. “A-are you sure you’re ok? Y-y-you are breathing hard.”

I check. “So I am.”

“B-but your heart?”

I put my head back. “The pacemaker is working fine, don’t worry.”

She tilts her head.

I pat my chest. “When it’s working, I can feel it slightly. It still is an odd sensation, but I’m getting used to it.”

Think about anything else. Don’t think about him. Of course by trying to do that I can’t help but think of him, damnit!

Then it sinks in. I ran. I ran, and all got for it was an issue catching my breath. The smile crossing my face must have surprised Hanako.

“Y-you’re making me… um…” she looks more afraid than I feel.

“Sorry, sorry I’m making you worry. It just occurred to me that I ran, and I feel fine. I’ve been… I’ve been nervous about that.”

She looks around, like she expects someone to jump out at her, then manages to catch her voice again. “W-why were you running?”

I sigh. Yes, a fair question, and I left myself open to it.

“My mother was trying to be helpful. I mentioned that I was struggling a bit in science, so she decided on finding me a tutor,” I tell her.

“T-that doesn’t seem too bad,” Hanako replies.

I close my eyes and lay my head back against the bookshelf. “The person she found to tutor me is the boy I confessed to… when this happened.” I pat my chest for emphasis.

“And you don’t want to see him?”

Sighing, I compose my words carefully before replying. “He’s so nice, so beautiful a person, always so kind, always there. He’d come every day while I was in the hospital. Always so happy to see me. Helping me when I needed something. He deserves someone who isn’t broken.”

When I find arms wrapping themselves around me, it takes me by surprise. Then, I just lean into it, and I can’t hold it in anymore. Iwanako, what’s wrong with you? Crying onto the shoulder of a girl you only met last week.

I just stay there for awhile, letting it pour out. No, not letting. It was pouring out regardless. Seeing him, it was too much.

“Why is he here? I told him… no, I didn’t. I lied to him, so he’d leave me. So he wouldn’t look back. I don’t want him to know how broken I am. I’m such a coward.”

Rubbing my face against the shoulder, it tickles slightly. This feels funny, but comfortably familiar too. I just relax and rest my head on her shoulder, and slowly open my eyes.

Blurrily, I recognize Hanako, sitting on the beanbag chair a few feet away, just staring at me, her eyes wide either in panic or surprise while hiding her face behind a book.

But, if she’s over there, who’s shoulder am I on?

Lifting my head and turning to look, I find myself staring into that set of eyes I knew so well.

“I’m here because I wanted to see you,” Hisao says, smiling at me.

“H-how d-d-did y-you…” I stammer out.

“I can run a lot faster than you. I figured you were scared, so I wanted to let you calm down. When I heard what you said, and I couldn’t just stand there.” He leans his forehead against mine and closes his eyes.

“I-I-I…”

“Shh. It’s alright. I know you didn’t mean it. It took me awhile to figure it out, but I got it,” he says, not opening his eyes.

“You don’t deserve…”

Leaning back he places a finger on my lips, stopping me.

“Can you let me decide what I deserve?”

Opening his eyes, he keeps that smile in place. “Come on, your mother’s waiting by your dorm room.”

Glancing over to Hanako, I see she’s relaxing a bit.

“Hanako, I’d like you to met Hisao Nakai, a… my…” I don’t know what to call him.

“Pleased to meet you,” he tells her, not really looking in her direction.

She looks between us, as if uncertain what to say, but finally settles on “H-H-Hanako. I’m… Hanako. I’m in I-Iwanako’s class.”

He looks at me, and keeps a gentle tone in his voice. “Iwanako, are you ok now?”

Closing my eyes, I nod slightly.

Getting to his feet, he gently helps me up. No longer able to flee, I just lean against his chest, and feel his arms around me.

There, in the snow, I failed to confess to the boy I liked. Yet even then, here he is, patient. Yes, patient. He isn’t riding in to save me, or humoring me, or pitying me. He’s being patient with me.

“I’m an idiot,” I tell his chest.

“Hey, stop that,” he scolds me in a playful manner.

Slowly letting go of me, his hands slide over mine and squeeze them. “I’m not going anywhere without you, alright?”

I can only slightly nod.

“So, you tell me, when should we go see your mother?”

Taking a few deep breaths to steel my resolve, I finally say, “Let’s go.”

Slowly my feet respond, and I start to melt into the arm around my shoulders, eventually with my head on his shoulder.

“Ahem! Public displays of affection during school are strictly prohibited,” came an all too familiar voice attached to the most powerful lungs known to mankind from somewhere behind us.

Turning my head, the pink headed voice for the student council president freezes when she sees me.

“Iwachan? Uh… I mean… I thought…” Misha looks like she’s one step away from mental meltdown.

“The nurse cleared me late Friday. I could not find you yesterday however to let you know,” I tell her, in order to prevent serious damage to her mental facilities.

Shizune however seems to be eyeing Hisao up and down.

“Oh, right. Who is this?”

“Shizune, Misha, this is Hisao Nakai, uh… he came with my mother for the festival.”

Hisao seems rather confused at the sight, so I explain. “Shizune is my class representative. Misha interprets for her.”

“Ah, yes. Pleased to meet the two of you. But, ah… isn’t it after school hours now?”

Misha throws on her trademark smile before laughing. “Wahahaha! You’re right!”

“Well, uh, Iwanako tried running earlier, which might not be good for her condition, so I’m just… uh… giving her some support,” he manages to get out. Interestingly, he keeps eye contact with Shizune while talking. I knew you were smart Hisao.

Shizune just stares, then breaks into a smile before waving goodbye to us, and walking off, Misha trailing behind her.

Sighing, I tell him, “Class tomorrow is going to be gossip central now.”

As if to underscore that point, down the hall the echoing roar of Misha’s “Wahahaha” echoes.

“Sorry,” he tells me.

“I don’t mind,” I answer him.

Slowly making our way through the festival, my head doesn’t leave his shoulder. He’s here. He shouldn’t be, but he is. My stubborn, patient Hisao.

“And there you are, silly girl,” my mothers voice carries across the festival grounds.

Standing up I bow to her. “I am sorry mother. I have been foolish.”

She just laughs and beacons to us. “Think nothing of it. This poor boy has been putting up with me all morning. Come on, let us get these into your room.”

She gestures to the suitcase, which I assume has more clothes in it. One thing you can certainly count on her for is being overprepared in the wardrobe department.

...

Unpacked and hanging up, my closet looks very full.

“Oh good, I’m glad you kept it,” Hisao says behind us.

Turning around, he’s running a finger over the lavender. And something clicks.

“You watered them?”

“Every other day,” my mother yells out, still halfway in the closet. “I swear that boy spent more time in your room than I did. Now, where does this go?” She holds up a skirt I haven’t seen in months.

“Uh, over by the pink blouse with red stripe,” I tell her.

The weight of what Hisao says sinks in. “Wait a second… what did you do in my room, exactly?”

“Watered your plants, and dusted, honest. I never looked in your drawers, especially the one on the bottom left corner...”

I bat his arm, putting on a scowl… which I can’t keep up for long, with my smile leaking out. “Jerk.”

“Now you two, behave. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up over the next few weeks,” my mother tells us, still working in the closet.

“Few weeks?”

“Well, yeah. When she said you needed help in science, I, uh, signed up.” Hisao rubs the back of his head nervously.

“He will be coming here every weekend to help tutor you,” she says, still not turning around.

“You cannot be serious. How would you do that? Are you planning on driving him up every week, Mother?”

She turns around at that. “Oh heavens no. He will be taking the train. Cheaper than hiring a tutor anyways. And no arguing, we already bought the tickets.”

“That is a two and a half hour trip. You are really planning on spending five hours every Sunday going here and back again?” I just stare, not comprehending how insane that sounds.

“Saturday. Remember dear, your old school has the full weekend off. He will take the train up Saturday, return Sunday,” mother says, trying to be helpful I guess.

“B-but, where would you sleep?”

“There’s a nearby hostel I figured on staying at,” he tells me.

“It was recommended by one of the teachers here,” comes my mother’s voice. “A Miyagi, if you know her. Apparently her family has been running it for years, and it is within walking distance.”

Sighing, I surrender internally. My mother was always more clever than she lets on. Sitting down on my bed, I just need to wrap my head around this.
Is this a dream? Am I about to wake up to some cosmic joke on my life. ‘Good Morning Iwanako, you’re still in the hospital.’

The bang at my door rather puts those dark thoughts to rest in short order.

“Iwanako, I’m done with my shift. Saki reminded me to remind you about the fire… oh hello there,” comes Rika’s voice from the bathroom door as she pokes her head into the room, still wearing the yukata. Her eyes lock in on Hisao, still standing at my desk, and a coy smile appears on her face. “You’re not Iwanako or her mother. Hi, I’m Rika.”

“Afternoon Rika. This is Hisao Nakai, my… tutor I guess? He came up with my mother. Hisao, this is my suitemate, Rika Katayama.”

Charging into the room, Rika puts her face right up to Hisao’s, a challenge considering his over 20cm height advantage, so the look of concern on his face is quite understandable. A few moments looking him over, she smiles and backs up to a normal distance. “Well, he’s certainly handsome. I was afraid for a moment he was your boyfriend. So, tutor, huh?”

“Well, er, yes. Iwanako… needs some help with science,” he stammers, clearly not used to how close Rika is.

“Oh, science is it? Well, I have some biology questions I’ve…”

“Out!” I tell her. “Out out! Hands off!”

She jumps back a step while laughing and spinning in place. “Ha ha! I knew it! He-e-e’s the boy you’ve been grumping over, isn’t he?”

At this point I am firmly reminded of how red my face can get.

“Anyways, don’t forget the fireworks tonight. I’m going up to the school’s roof, as it has one of the best views in the area.” Her eyes snap back at Hisao. “And I hope to see you there, loverboy.”

She skillfully dodges the pillow as she ducks back into the bathroom in what almost looks like a ballet step, laughing all the way.

“Argh!” I groan, as Hisao and my mother both break into laughter. “This is payback for her history test, I swear it.”

“Grumping over?” Hisao asks between chuckles.

“Shut up!” I say, burying my head underneath my remaining pillow.

“So, does she normally get so close to people?” Hisao finally asks once his chuckling dies off.

Lifting my head out from under my pillow, I look outside, and the bright sunshine, then back to my darker room. I tell him, “Not usually. But her eyes don’t adjust from daylight well, so likely that was the only way she could see what you look like. You get used to it.”

He blinks at that.

“This is a school for students with health conditions, or did you forget?”

He hems a bit. “I guess. It just… it feels unreal, you know?”

I stand up out of bed and bat his shoulder. “Well, stop feeling that, because it is real.” Then it strikes me that I picked that up from Emi. I am certainly picking up my friends habits.

My friends. Yeah, they are, aren’t they?

“Now you two, we should get something to eat,” my mother says, finally exiting the closet.

“Let me freshen up first,” I tell them as I head into the bathroom.

Looking in the mirror, the smile on my face is plain as day. Staring back at me, I see someone who is relaxed, and happy.

“What happened to the shy girl who was nearly in a panic attack back in February?” I ask my reflection. “Who wrote a letter then chickened out on giving it to him?”

“She found out she was broken,” I tell myself.

“No more than anyone else is,” comes Rika’s voice, making me jump.

“Ahh, you scared me,” I tell her.

“Payback for Friday,” she tells me. Then she gets a serious look on her face. “So, seriously, he’s the guy you broke up with, isn’t he?”

I nod. “I told him… a lot of things I shouldn’t have.”

“And he’s here anyways? I hate to tell you this Iwanako, but I think your breaking up skills may leave a bit to be desired,” she says, the smile returning to her features.

I chuckle to myself. “I lied to him, so he would leave and not come back. He saw through me.”

“Sounds to me like he’s a keeper,” she says, walking up and putting her hands on my shoulders, and turning me to face the mirror. “Look here. Right here is the face of the girl he came to see. Why are you denying yourself?”

“B-because I… can’t… can’t…”

“Can’t what? Can’t commit to a long distance relationship? Can’t stand musicals and he’s got a poster of Phantom on his bedroom wall? What?”

“Can’t… have children,” I hang my head.

“Aaaaaand? I hate to break it to you, but we’re in high school. We shouldn’t have kids anyways,” Rika says, massaging my shoulders.

“Ever. I can’t have them ever. If he’s with me, that means…”

“Oh be quiet you. Listen,” Rika says, patting my shoulders as she stands up and spins me around to face her. “There are a thousand things that have to happen in order to have a successful long term relationship. You two are on number eight, and here you are worrying about number six hundred and ninety-two. Cross that bridge when you come to it. Fretting over it now is just making you miserable, and it seems Hisao doesn’t like the idea either, what with him showing up to be your tutor and all that.

“Besides, high school. Romances at our age usually don’t work out anyways. So quit fretting over something that may or may not ever be an issue!”

“And how many relationships have you been in?” I ask her.

“None. Father banned me from them.”

“Wait, banned?”

Rika sighs, and lets go of my shoulders. “He’s… a bit controlling. It got real bad between him and mom a few weeks ago, and, well, now he… Long story short, he’s not in our life anymore.”

I nod, slowly.

She sighs, and draws herself back up. “So, I’ve never had a chance to… and here you are with one, and you’re going to throw it away. It just makes me irritated, that’s all.” She muses a moment. “Well, I know. If you don’t date him, I’ll do it!”

“Well, at least you can have…”

Rika laughs. “With my heart? As if. It would fail me before I even reached the third trimester.”

Right, once again I am reminded, that for all of my own issues, this girl has ones that make mine look pale by comparison… poetic considering the difference in our skin and hair color. Well, for now I suppose I think to myself as a blonde lock sits on the edge of my vision.

Then a glance at the blonde streaks in my hair reminds me, that hair color will be mine soon enough.

Then Rika gives me a devilish look. “And if you ever decide on sharing him…”

I bop her on the nose. “No! Mine!”

She smiles. “That’s the answer I was hoping for. Go on, enjoy the festival. I need to get out of this thing anyways.” She gestures to her yukata.

As she starts to untie it, I notice something and grab her hand. “Did you seriously wear this without…?”

“It’s traditional! I don’t think any of the girls at the booth wore any.”

I make my way to the door. “Then let me get into my room so I don’t give them a show.”

Rika winks at me. “I wouldn’t mind.”

Blushing, I re-enter my room, to find Hisao and my mother both standing there, staring at the door.

“Er, come, and let us get something to eat,” I tell them, moving to the door.

Behind me, I can just feel the amused smirks of the pair.

...

Heading out of the dorms, I see Rin sitting there, staring at the crowd as it passes by. “Wait one second,” I tell them, and wander over to her.

“Hello Rin, how were the noodles?” I notice the empty bowl next to her.

Her gaze shifts slowly up to me and she tilts her head. “How did you know I had noodles? Learning mind reading?”

“Miyagi told me she was going to bring you some noodles,” I tell her back.

“Oh, I was hoping you could read minds. I’d ask you to find out what Emi’s thinking,” Rin gestures with a foot off in one direction, where Emi is busy talking to three other students. I recognize one of them is Miki. They seem upset at her for something, based on the sheepish look on Emi’s face.

I pick up her empty bowl. “Let me return this to Miyagi for you.”

“If you want,” Rin says, her gaze returning to the clouds overhead.

“See you later Rin,” I tell her.

“Bye Iwanako,” comes the sedate reply.

Walking back up to Hisao and my mother, they both look at me oddly.

“That is the girl who painted the mural there,” I say gesturing to Rin. “She is incredibly talented.”

Hisao looks back at her. “But why is she… oh…” Suddenly his face looks all embarrassed.

“Hisao, relax. And stop staring. It is not a big deal about unless you make it one,” I tell him. Movement in the corner of my eye draws my attention. Let me see if I can extract her from her current mess. “And speaking of big deals… Emi!”

She turns, looks at me, then breaks out in a smile. Saying something to the trio, she exits their little group and bounds up to us saying “Hi!”

I give her a stern look. “Emi! You have been warned about running at school!”

Her looks turn sheepish, “Yes Iwanako...”

Then we both break out laughing.

Emi recovers first. “So, this must be your mother? Hello Mrs. Iwanaga. I’m Emi, er, the girl who kinda.. ranoveryourdaughter.”

“Ah, well, I also understood you helped care for her during recovery as well,” my mother says, keeping a polite smile on her face.

Then Emi turns to Hisao, and looks him up and down sternly… “And, I’m going to guess you’re… Hisao.”

He blinks. “Uh, that’s… right. How did you…?”

“Just a good guesser!” Emi says behind her 1000 watt smile.

Hisao eyes me. “Sure you are.”

“Emi, we’re not done with you,” Miki calls out. “Oh, and hi Iwanako! Looks like you’re busy, so, catch you in class!”

Emi sticks her tongue out at Miki. “Okay, I need to get back to them. Track stuff.”

“See you later Emi,” I tell her. “Bye Miki, Haru!”

“Bye!” Emi charges back to the other track members, and starts talking again.

Hisao sticks his hands in his pockets. “Well, ah… track… stuff?”

I nod. “She is one of the schools best runners so I understand. I have only managed to see her training.”

“B-but… she’s…”

“As I said, just don’t think about it, and it stops being an issue. Come on, we need to return this bowl and get something to eat,” I tell him.

All this time, my mother is just hanging back, looking very pleased with herself. Of course, she plans everything.

The noodle stand seems popular, so we fall into line, while mother seems to busy herself looking at another booth.

Once we are out of earshot, I turn to him. “Hisao, are you really ok coming up every weekend?” I ask him. “It’s an awful lot of travel.”

He just smiles. “I can spend the time studying, so no worries.”

I try to scowl at him. The result seems to amuse him instead.

“Can I help you,” Lilly says. Looking, I realize we’re at the front of the line.

“Oh, right, sorry Lilly,” I tell her.

“Oh, Iwanako, thank you again for finding help,” she says.

“Glad to help. I was here to return Rin’s bowl, and see about getting some soup for us.”

“Us?” she asks.

“Oh, yes. Lilly Satou, please meet Hisao Nakai. He came with my mother today for the festival.”

“Nice to meet you,” he tells her.

She pauses a moment, like she’s memorizing his voice. Reflecting back, she did the same thing when she met me. “You as well. Are you enjoying the festival so far?”

He smiles a bit. “Enjoying the company most of all.”

Lilly giggles a bit at that, putting her hand in front of her face as I’ve seen before. “Oh my, so that’s how it is. Well then, is it two or three orders for you?”

“Three, thank you Lilly. Oh, and so you know, Hanako is in the library today.”

She thinks on that for a moment. “Thank you. My shift should be over soon, and I think I’ll be taking Hanako someplace off-campus to watch the fireworks.”

“That may be wise. We shall wait over here,” I tell her, stepping out of the way for the next person in line.

“Why did they make such a large booth,” Hisao wonders aloud. “It’s at least twice the size of every other one.”

I shrug.

“Order up,” comes the voice I remember from this morning. Turning around, I see the scarfed boy setting down our bowls.

“Oh, hello Kenji. Thank you.”

“Oh, hey Iwanako. Yeah, so far no sniper has had a clear shot. Smart thinking of putting me in a crowded area!”

“Sniper?” Hisao’s question comes out of nowhere.

Kenji jumps back, clearly not realizing Hisao was there. “Ahh! Who are you!”

Trying to diffuse the situation, I do the introductions… I am getting sick of introducing people. “Oh, sorry. Kenji Setou, this is Hisao Nakai.”

“Nice to meet you,” Hisao says, putting a smile on his face. He can’t put on a mask, so I know it’s genuine.

Kenji comes back up, and puts his face right up to Hisao’s in the same way he did me earlier. The look on his face seems to indicate that he is deciding what to do. Hisao is holding still, still clearly uncomfortable. When the decision reaches him, he steps back and with a smile this time, extends his hand. “Oh! Sup dude. Can’t be too careful out here.”

“Right, careful,” Hisao tells him.

Then Kenji leans in and says in a voice he seems to think is quiet, but really carries. “So, um, is she safe?”

“Sure buddy, she’s safe,” comes the answer. Hisao picks up two of the bowls. “Right, well, let’s get this over to your mother Iwanako.”

“Talk to you later Kenji,” I tell the bespeckled boy.

“Later!” Kenji says as he walks back into position.

Having moved a good distance, Hisao finally asks, “What’s wrong with that guy?”

I chuckle a bit. “Medically, he’s blind. Beyond that… I really don’t know.”

He just shakes his head.

As we walk back to my mother, Hisao lets out a small chuckle. “You’ve become a social butterfly up here.”

“I don’t think so. I’m just getting used to a new school, that’s all,” I tell him. “I think it’s because I’m new.”

“Mother, here is something for lunch,” I tell her as we walk up.

She smiles, accepting the bowl from Hisao. “Thank you dear. I was just… nevermind. Thank you.”

At this, she turns away from us, and seems to be busying herself studying another booth. Mother! She does this when she’s trying to pretend not to be paying attention.

“Hey Iwanako, when we’re done with this, want to try one of the games?”

I shrug. “I’m no good at those, but if you want to, go ahead.”

He looks around. “Hey, do they have that goldfish scooping game here? I’ve always wanted to try it.”

I think. “Yes, in fact…” I check my watch. “Yes, Saki should still be working there for the next half-hour. Come on.”

Looking over to mother, I call out, “We’re going to Enomoto’s booth, if you’d like to join us.”

My mother turns back to us and says “You two go ahead. I’ll catch up.”

The booth is clearly busy, with several small children all trying to fish at once. And behind the counter, Saki stands there looking very flustered. Glancing around, I don’t see anyone else in the booth.

“Where is everyone?” I ask her, walking up.

Looking up, she immediately gets a look of relief. “Iwanako! Please please please please help! Nobody else showed up this morning and I’ve been forced to run this by myself!”

Looking over to Hisao, I can’t help but feel guilty. “I’m sorry, but, I need to…”

He just laughs. “Hey, I can see that. Maybe I could…”

I shake my head. “No, this is our festival, and you’re the guest. Um… one second.”

I take out my phone and send off a quick text message.

“Okay, Hisao, Rika should be over here in a little bit to keep you entertained, alright?”

“Why can’t she…?”

I look at him sternly. “She already worked today. I haven’t.”

He rubs the back of his head. “Well… okay…”

“Okay, thank you Hisao. As soon as I can go I will, okay?”

He stands there, a bit dumbfounded, as I step into the booth.

“Okay Saki, I am yours to command.”

...

For the next half hour I wind up effectively running the booth, leaving Saki to manage the cash box. By this point she’s worn out. She’s not supposed to be lifting to begin with, and the need to regularly unpack fishbowls, it’s all been wearing her down.

“I wish you called me before it got to this point,” I told her.

She sighs. “You were looking forward to spending time with your family. I didn’t want to take that away from you. Who was the boy anyways? I don’t remember you having a brother?”

I groan. “My mother brought him with her. He’s supposed to help tutor me in science over the next few weeks.”

She eyes me. “You don’t sound too happy about that.”

Taking a deep breath, I tell her “It’s a long story, so maybe later?”

She harrumphs. “Yeah yeah. He’s cute. Is he single?”

I glare at her.

She raises an eyebrow. “Oh, it’s like that. Your mother didn’t just bring a tutor now, did she.”

I mumble, “Shut up,” to her under my breath.

Saki just laughs at that, and hands me another fishing net for the boy currently trying to catch himself a goldfish.

She looks over at the ring toss game and shouts “Hey Noriko? Have you seen my replacements yet?”

The girl shakes her head. “Sorry.”

“Well, our performance is coming up soon, and I can’t do that and stay here too.”

Noriko looks at me. “What about her?”

Saki laughs. “She’s filling in for the help that didn’t show up. She’s not even in band.”

“Oh,” she says. “If nobody shows up soon I’ll come over there to cover.”

“Thanks,” Saki says.

Observing the little boy currently fishing, I can’t help but notice movement in the corner of my vision. Glancing over, Saki seems to be having trouble filling out the receipt journal, with her hands shaking slightly.

“Are you okay?” I ask her.

The fierce look of determination on her face tells me that was not the right question to ask.

I try and put on my disarming face. “Hey, you have been at it awhile today. Relax a bit, I can handle it for the moment”

She looks at me, then at her hand. “No, I need to… need to do this. Can’t have this happening now, not so close…” She throws the ledger down in frustration and puts her head in her hands.

Kneeling in front of her, I put my hands on her wrists. “Will time help any? Or food? I don’t honestly know, but I want to help.”

She lifts her head and sighs. “Right. You’re right. There’s… time before the performance.” She glances at her hands. “I’ve just… been overdoing it. Yes, something to eat would help…”

I yell over to Noriko. “Saki needs something to eat. She’s been going at this for hours in the heat. Can you cover so I can get her fed?”

“Sure,” she says, with too perky a smile on her face. “I don't think it should be too much to handle.”

At this point it hits me, I’ve also been going nearly non-stop for over 6 hours today. Closing my eyes a second, and checking, I can feel my heart working a bit harder than it should. Ok, guess it’s all catching up to me now.

Glancing around, I don’t see Rika nor Hisao, so they must have wandered off somewhere. Checking my phone, I can see that I’ve gotten no messages either. Hope they’re having fun.

“Is there anything you want to eat Saki?” I ask her.

“The fattiest, greasiest thing I can get,” she answers, her eyes looking around hungrily.

The look is amusing, I’ll admit. “What? Don’t want to eat healthy?”

“Screw being healthy. I need the calories. What, you don't want to try whatever deep fried horror someone came up with this year?”

I chuckle, but shake my head. “Can’t.” I tap my chest for emphasis. “Nurses orders, I’m on a rather strict diet.”

“Well boo,” she tells me, still with a smile on her face.

She may be putting on a brave face, but I can see the concern lurking behind those eyes.

“Well, the noodle booth I ate at before is just over that way,” I tell her.

She starts walking in that direction. “Then come on!”

Once more I find myself at 3-2’s booth. “I think they’re going to get sick of me,” I tell Saki.

“Why?”

“This is the third time I’ve been here today,” I say with a chuckle.

“If they say anything, just tell them the food is that good,” Saki says with a wink.

Reaching the front, Lilly says in a tone now far too familiar, if not more strained than before, “How can I help you?”

Glancing around, Saki says, “Hello Lilly. How is your booth holding up?”

Lily recognizes the voice as Saki and addresses her. “Hello, Saki. Nothing ever does go perfect at these things, do they? This morning we lacked people, and now we’re running out of supplies.” she mumbles in resignation.

“Hmm. Well, it’s not as bad as last year at least,” Saki says, trying to be helpful.

Lilly smiles a bit. “That is true. I still have no idea how the three of us ran that booth by ourselves all day.”

“What?” I say in complete confusion.

Before I can say more however, Lilly starts to giggle. “Hello again Iwanako, I didn’t realize you were there. Is our food that good?”

“Hi Lilly. I’m helping Saki out,” I tell her.

“My my, you do seem to be a busy one today, first helping us, and now Saki,” Lilly says with a smile.

“Plus those flowers for the tea booth,” Saki says.

Lilly nods. “It seems you have made yourself quite useful today. I recall you were worried about that.”

Looking behind us, I realize the line has finally dispersed.

“Iwanako, if I may be so forward…” Lilly says, then halts, as if nervous to continue.

Looking back, she is holding her hands, a nervous gesture I guess.

“Oh, certainly, what is on your mind?”

She takes a slight breath. “The boy you were with earlier… is he the one you…”

I sigh. “Yes. My mother, trying to be helpful, brought him with her.”

“But he is not with you now?”

“I asked Rika to keep him company while I helped Saki out at her booth,” I tell her.

Lilly considers a moment. “Is that wise?”

“I need to think. Having him here, it’s confusing me.” I take a breath.

“So, every weekend?”

That’s surprising. “Y-you heard that?”

“I did not intend to, but…”

I sigh again. “Yes. For the next two months, he will be coming every weekend to tutor me.”

She nods. “I do not envy the position you are in.”

“Order up,” comes Kenji’s voice off to the side.

“Your food is ready. I hope you both enjoy the rest of the festival,” Lilly says.

“You too Lilly,” I tell her.

Saki just says “See you Lilly.”

Stepping away, Saki then asks “Can we sit down somewhere?”

Glancing around, I see a low wall just a little ways off. “Over there work?”

“Perfect,” Saki says, heading off in that direction.

Resting there, Saki eats up her order (noodles, soup, and yakitori I note) while I look around. No sign of Rika or Hisao anywhere. Where could they be?

“Worried?” Saki asks between mouthfulls.

“A bit,” I reply. “Rika was acting strange around him earlier.”

“Strange how?” she asks.

I shrug. “I don’t know, a bit too friendly I guess?”

Saki chuckles. “Iwanako, I do think you’re jealous.”

“No!” I exclaim immediately. “I mean, it’s not like we can be together or anything…”

At that Saki just laughs. “Maybe someday you’ll even convince yourself of that.”

When I see him, I’ll keep him distant. That’s it. I can’t let myself become attached.

“Ah, there you are,” comes a familiar voice. Looking over my shoulder, I see my mother walking up. Reaching us, she starts to look around. “Uh, where is he?”

“Katayama is keeping him entertained,” I tell her. “Enomoto was running a booth by herself, so I stepped in to help.”

At that point my mother looks over, and her expression softens. “Saki my dear, it is good to see you again. How have you been?”

“I have been good Mrs. Iwanaga,” Saki says, her language becoming more formal. “Thank you for asking.” The smile on her face is a bit painted on I notice.

In the corner of my eye I finally see the pair I’ve been looking for. “Ahh, there they are,” I say, waving an arm to attract their attention.

At a gracefully slow pace the pair walk up to us. I see Rika’s in something… rather frilly, with a fancy parasol over her shoulder. With her skin color I could easily mistake her for a fancy porcelain doll.

Then seeing Hisao… the resolve to keep him at arms length melts away again.

“Having fun?” I ask them.

Rika groans. “He is so dull. Won’t even accept the slightest flirtation! Way to make a girl feel inadequate!”

Hisao just rubs the back of his head.

Then my eyes drift down to the spotted thing in his hand.

“Oh? What is that?”

He looks down, surprised. “Oh this? Uh, it’s nothing, err…” Setting it down next to me, he then says, “I mean, you can have it if… ah…”

“He won it at the bottle knockdown game over that way. I asked if I could have it, but he said he’d rather give it to you,” Rika says, mock scorn in her voice.

Such a drama queen!

Picking it up and looking it over, I have to ask, “What is it?”

Hisao shrugs. “Best guess I have, it’s either a cow, or a dalmatian.”

This brings out giggles all around.

“Well, I think it is beautiful. Thank you.” Hugging it close, I find it rather itchy. It may need washing.

Saki checks her watch. “Alright, it’s time I head over to the stage. If you want to watch, we will be performing in a bit.”

“That sounds lovely my dear. Hisao, Iwanako, come along,” my mother says in her authoritative tone.

We all fall in step behind Saki. I notice Rika a few times trying to catch Hisao’s attention, to no effect. What is with that girl?

Then again, Hisao always was a bit oblivious, come to think of it. I have to wonder if he ever noticed that I would come to each of his soccer games. Probably not.

I’ll admit, my attention wasn’t on the performance. It seems popular with the audience, but my mind is elsewhere. With my emotions are all over the map, I don’t know what to think, what to feel. Time has finally caught up with me, and the gravity of the situation weighs down.

Nearly two months of regular contact with the boy I’d given up. Already, my resolve has been washed away.

Iwanako, you are a sap.

But this is no romance novel. It is not some movie where a few words can solve all of your problems. Rika is right, that I am worried about a problem long distant in the future, but it is my problem. Glancing at my own mother is a reminder of how I was raised. To have children was the highest honor expected of me. To have that taken away was cruelty.

And to subject it on someone else, monstrous.

When the audience breaks into applause, I am shaken out of my melancholy. Looking to the stage, Saki and the girl she is playing with are bowing, Saki still seated. The look on her face, instead of the joy or exhaustion I expect from musicians after a performance, is pure relief.

I watch as Rika walks over to the stairs down, carrying Saki’s cane for her. They exchange words, after which Saki flashes a smile.

At this point I find myself aware of a hand on my arm. Glancing down, Hisao is holding me loosely. A quick glance up, and he’s not even paying attention. I don’t deserve this.

Rika returns, saying “If we go up to the roof now, we should be early enough to grab the best places. Just… don’t go near the southeast corner. The fence there doesn’t look safe, at least it didn’t Friday.”

Saki has already wandered off with her clubmates. I suppose we will catch up with her tomorrow.

“Shall we?” I ask.

Hisao just smiles and nods.

...

On top of the school, the setting sun has cast the area into brilliant colors. Rika in her claimed spot, a bench near the westward edge. A few other students, mainly couples, have gathered as well. Oddly, my mother sits down next to Rika, and they seem to be exchanging polite conversation. Not going to eavesdrop. Let them gossip.

Sitting down a ways away, Hisao seems lost in thought.

“What is on your mind?” I ask him.

He looks over at me. “I guess, this school. I don’t think before today I’d really met… well, people like this.”

I cock an eyebrow. “Like what?”

He shrugs. “Disabled. I just didn’t think about it before, I suppose. I mean, I don’t think of you as…”

Standing up, I lean over Hisao, take his hand, and put it over my chest. “Hisao, you were there. You know that I am not alright. I am alive thanks to a piece of machinery attached to my heart. I may be able to put on a blouse and look ‘normal,’ but I need to be here, just as much as everyone else here does.” I point to my suitemate, apparently in the middle of some comedic story with my mother, based on the laughter.

“I suppose… I mean, I know… It just… I’m lost right now. I mean…”

I kneel down and look him in the eyes. “How can I help you relax?”

When did this happen? When did I become the person offering support here?

“I… I guess it will just come with time. It’s not like this will be my last time here, after all,” he finally says.

“This is life, Hisao. Life happens. I may be better than I was, but I’m still not fine. I likely never will be fine. But I’ll be able to keep going. Everyone here is like me, we’re not fine, but we keep going.” I laugh a bit to myself as I sit back down next to Hisao. “I regularly have meals with a girl who can not keep her balance, a girl who falls asleep at the drop of a hat, a girl who is missing a hand, and one who has a condition which makes mine look absolutely trivial. Six months ago, I would not even know people like these existed, and I have known Saki for years.”

He looks a bit sheepish.

“It is not an issue unless you make it one Hisao,” I tell him. “Look around you. What is everyone doing that is any different than at our old school?”

He shrugs slightly, not looking at me.

“Stop it, okay? And stop looking guilty,” I tell him.

“I can’t help it. I feel… out of place I guess,” he finally says.

“Just like everyone here does when we’re not on campus,” I tell him.

“Heh,” he says, looking in my direction. “You know, I didn’t think of it that way.”

Before I can say anything more, the pop-whizz sound of a firework launch pulls our attention skyward. The trail of light rising to the sky suddenly explodes in a shower of green. Every color I could imagine roared to life with magnificent bangs, pops and booms. Somehow a warmth filled me, just the simple display of fireworks at work.

In the middle of this, Hisao speaks up. “Iwanako, what were you going to ask back then?”

Brought back to reality a moment, I realize my head was once again resting on his shoulder, with his arm around me. I close my eyes.

“I can’t ask that right now,” I tell him finally.

He considers this. “Why?”

“Because I am not the same girl I thought I was back then,” I answer.

Chuckling, Hisao says, “Well, I can wait until the new you can ask me.”

“And if I can never ask?”

He smiles. “Well, I certainly hope to not find out.”

Looking up at him, I see his eyes twinkling from the reflection of the fireworks still going off. Yes, he will wait, won’t he.

Closing my eyes again, I just rest on his shoulder.

He’s here. He’s here for me. And right now, that’s all I need.
Last edited by Downix on Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:37 am

And there is Act 1. I should have Act 2 up next week.

AJT135
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by AJT135 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:54 pm

I'm still in the middle of reading this, but from what I've read so far, there's a lot of similarities to Mean Time to Breakdown. Like you said, some similarities are inevitable, but there's cases here where it could definitely have been avoided. for example, you wrote:
“Oh, there’s still ten minutes before class starts,” he says, looking a little surprised. “You can just take your seat until we’re ready to begin, if you’d like. Your desk is in the middle row, right next to the window. Feel free to put your belongings down.” He gestures to a seat.
and in MTTB:
Mutou stares inside the classroom for a moment, regarding it with a bemused expression and checking his watch. “Oh, there’s still ten minutes before class starts,” he says, looking a little surprised. “You can just come in and take a seat until we’re ready to begin, if you’d like.”
And in Iwanako's introduction to the class:
i, I’m Iwanako, and I’m here because I can’t confess to a boy without my heart going crazy.

Or how about:

It’s nice to meet you all; I’m Iwanako and this is my first day out of a hospital in four months.

No, that’s no good. Maybe this:

How do you do? I’m Iwanako, and I have a medical device usually used for old people! I’m also quite talented at ikebana…
versus:
i, I’m Iwanako Daidouji, and I’m here because I can’t confess to a boy without almost dying from a severe heart attack.

Or how about:

It’s nice to meet you all; I’m Iwanako Daidouji and this is the greatest catastrophe of my entire life.

No, that’s no good. Maybe this:

How do you do? I’m Iwanako Daidouji, and I could drop dead any day now, so if you make friends with me, there’s no long-term commitment! I’m also quite talented at ikebana...
In fact, most of the start of the plot is basically a retelling of MTtB. You started to go somewhere else with it, then you went right back to copying with Iwanako's attempt to work with Hanako:
“It looks like today is mostly reading with four questions at the end. Do you want to focus on that, and then work on the questions together?”
and:
“Ah, um,” I say, trying to change the subject, “looks like this is mostly reading, so we can afford to take this at a leisurely pace, then work on the questions at the end together, right?”
From a technical perspective your writing's good, but if you're going to do an Iwanako story you should at least do your best not to blatantly rip off other comparable stories. This is your story. You don't need to do the same thing other people have done.
Last edited by AJT135 on Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.


Silentcook
Carelessly Cooking You
Posts: 2507
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:22 am
Location: Imola, Italy

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Silentcook » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:57 pm

First and only warning: don't make me do here what I had to do here.

By that I mean "make immediately vanish anything that might even distantly smell of plagiarism", in case the link wasn't sufficiently clear.
Shattering your dreams since '94.

Image

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:48 pm

AJT135 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:54 pm
I'm still in the middle of reading this, but from what I've read so far, there's a lot of similarities to Mean Time to Breakdown. Like you said, some similarities are inevitable, but there's cases here where it could definitely have been avoided. for example, you wrote:
“Oh, there’s still ten minutes before class starts,” he says, looking a little surprised. “You can just take your seat until we’re ready to begin, if you’d like. Your desk is in the middle row, right next to the window. Feel free to put your belongings down.” He gestures to a seat.
and in MTTB:
Mutou stares inside the classroom for a moment, regarding it with a bemused expression and checking his watch. “Oh, there’s still ten minutes before class starts,” he says, looking a little surprised. “You can just come in and take a seat until we’re ready to begin, if you’d like.”
And in Iwanako's introduction to the class:
i, I’m Iwanako, and I’m here because I can’t confess to a boy without my heart going crazy.

Or how about:

It’s nice to meet you all; I’m Iwanako and this is my first day out of a hospital in four months.

No, that’s no good. Maybe this:

How do you do? I’m Iwanako, and I have a medical device usually used for old people! I’m also quite talented at ikebana…
versus:
i, I’m Iwanako Daidouji, and I’m here because I can’t confess to a boy without almost dying from a severe heart attack.

Or how about:

It’s nice to meet you all; I’m Iwanako Daidouji and this is the greatest catastrophe of my entire life.

No, that’s no good. Maybe this:

How do you do? I’m Iwanako Daidouji, and I could drop dead any day now, so if you make friends with me, there’s no long-term commitment! I’m also quite talented at ikebana...
In fact, most of the start of the plot is basically a retelling of MTtB. You started to go somewhere else with it, then you went right back to copying with Iwanako's attempt to work with Hanako:
“It looks like today is mostly reading with four questions at the end. Do you want to focus on that, and then work on the questions together?”
and:
“Ah, um,” I say, trying to change the subject, “looks like this is mostly reading, so we can afford to take this at a leisurely pace, then work on the questions at the end together, right?”
From a technical perspective your writing's good, but if you're going to do an Iwanako story you should at least do your best not to blatantly rip off other comparable stories. This is your story. You don't need to do the same thing other people have done.
I do feel the need to point out that a section you point to is taken from KS itself, from the scene "Lunch Evolution Theory."
When I actually look at the stuff, it's mostly just reading. In fact, there are only two problems.
For Wednesday's groupwork. No indication on what Tuesday's was is given, so I used Wednesday's as a foundation for it.
That said, I can see what you have pointed to, and will adjust accordingly.

AJT135
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by AJT135 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:07 pm

Also for once not about the similarities to MTtB: I was reading the part after Iwanako ran into Emi (or I guess it was the other way around) and I noticed a continuity error. Iwanako says
“Stairs are not a good idea right now. Glad I live on the first floor.”
despite having room number 314, which would almost certainly be the third floor.

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:44 pm

AJT135 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:07 pm
Also for once not about the similarities to MTtB: I was reading the part after Iwanako ran into Emi (or I guess it was the other way around) and I noticed a continuity error. Iwanako says
“Stairs are not a good idea right now. Glad I live on the first floor.”
despite having room number 314, which would almost certainly be the third floor.
Not necessarily. Hisao is in room 119, on the second floor. I'd picked Iwanako's room # due to reusing the room # I had for Rika.

From "Nobody's Room":
Despite the ornate exterior, the inside of the dorm is fairly new, functional, and boring. Just like in the main building, the halls and doors are wide to accommodate wheelchairs. The same goes for the elevators at the ends of the hallways. I poke my head around the corner of the common room door. Inside a few students are watching the television. One nods and gives a quick 'hello' before turning back to the TV. Seems that only the girls around here are sociable. I suppose that's perfectly fine with me. I climb the stairs to the upper floor.

Here, small corridors branch off from the main hallway. Each of these minor halls seems to have a toilet and shower, as well as four rooms. About halfway down the hall, I spy room 119. The name plates on the rooms adjacent to mine are blank. I guess there are just two of us here. Light shines from below the door of room 117, so I knock lightly.

AJT135
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by AJT135 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:03 pm

Downix wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:48 pm
I do feel the need to point out that a section you point to is taken from KS itself, from the scene "Lunch Evolution Theory."
When I actually look at the stuff, it's mostly just reading. In fact, there are only two problems.
For Wednesday's groupwork. No indication on what Tuesday's was is given, so I used Wednesday's as a foundation for it.
That said, I can see what you have pointed to, and will adjust accordingly.
I have a hard time believing it's just a coincidence arising from extrapolating what the problems were like from Wednesday. Especially when the rest of the scene, including the description of the problems, is ripped straight from MTtB

Also, regarding the room number, there's a bit of weirdness arising from different methods of counting floor number, but if Hisao's is 119 then the floor below probably has room numbers starting with 0. That would make Iwanako's room on the fourth floor. The alternative is there being upwards of 300 rooms per dorm, which I find unlikely for a small specialist boarding school that seems to have less than 400 students

Downix
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by Downix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:45 pm

AJT135 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:03 pm
Downix wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:48 pm
I do feel the need to point out that a section you point to is taken from KS itself, from the scene "Lunch Evolution Theory."
When I actually look at the stuff, it's mostly just reading. In fact, there are only two problems.
For Wednesday's groupwork. No indication on what Tuesday's was is given, so I used Wednesday's as a foundation for it.
That said, I can see what you have pointed to, and will adjust accordingly.
I have a hard time believing it's just a coincidence arising from extrapolating what the problems were like from Wednesday. Especially when the rest of the scene, including the description of the problems, is ripped straight from MTtB

Also, regarding the room number, there's a bit of weirdness arising from different methods of counting floor number, but if Hisao's is 119 then the floor below probably has room numbers starting with 0. That would make Iwanako's room on the fourth floor. The alternative is there being upwards of 300 rooms per dorm, which I find unlikely for a small specialist boarding school that seems to have less than 400 students
That assumes shared numbers between dorms. Instead I went with the first number denoting wing. When Lilly gives her room number she specifies that it is the 25th room, and is on the second floor, as separate entities.

Under this approach, the boy dorm has one wing, with all rooms starting with 1. The girls dorm would under this approach have two wings, the 2 wing and the 3 wing.

AJT135
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by AJT135 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:57 pm

Downix wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:45 pm
AJT135 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:03 pm
Downix wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:48 pm
I do feel the need to point out that a section you point to is taken from KS itself, from the scene "Lunch Evolution Theory."


For Wednesday's groupwork. No indication on what Tuesday's was is given, so I used Wednesday's as a foundation for it.
That said, I can see what you have pointed to, and will adjust accordingly.
I have a hard time believing it's just a coincidence arising from extrapolating what the problems were like from Wednesday. Especially when the rest of the scene, including the description of the problems, is ripped straight from MTtB

Also, regarding the room number, there's a bit of weirdness arising from different methods of counting floor number, but if Hisao's is 119 then the floor below probably has room numbers starting with 0. That would make Iwanako's room on the fourth floor. The alternative is there being upwards of 300 rooms per dorm, which I find unlikely for a small specialist boarding school that seems to have less than 400 students
That assumes shared numbers between dorms. Instead I went with the first number denoting wing. When Lilly gives her room number she specifies that it is the 25th room, and is on the second floor, as separate entities.

Under this approach, the boy dorm has one wing, with all rooms starting with 1. The girls dorm would under this approach have two wings, the 2 wing and the 3 wing.
Sharing numbers between dorms seems like a very odd way of doing things though. Generally the first number of a room number denotes the floor the room is on, which makes sense since Lilly's is on the second floor, 25th room, making it 225. Hisao's is 119 and on what is in some countries called the first floor. Room numbers typically use the first digit to refer to the floor, then sometimes the next to refer to wing.

Post Reply