You know, I've been sitting on this chapter for a while now. I completed it on Friday night and have not touched it until a little earlier today. I've not lost interest in writing, it's just that there are some chapters that I REALLY
want to write but can't just yet and that makes me sad and discouraged about writing the chapters before it. It's strange really, I'm happy that I'm finishing a chapter but also disappointed that it's not the one.
Seriously though, if you were to see the notebook that I use to write some ideas, you'll be able to see that I'm more focused on those chapters than anything else. There was one time when I woke up in the middle of the night and quickly look over all my room for a pen and paper to quickly write an outline for a chapter in Act 2 before the idea left my head. As of right now, Act 2 is comprised of 15 chapters and maybe about 6 of them I'm really looking forward to write. But I can't jump the gun, I have to do the work before I can have fun.
Anyways enough of my rambling and on to the first Bloodline chapter of 2013!
Chapter Two: New Light
I stretch out my arms and hear several little cracks coming from my back, followed by a single large, resounding crack from near the base of my spine. I'm not use to working for so long after my time in class and if the way that I'm dragging my feet through the hallway of the boys' dormitory is any indication, I'm not going to get use to it anytime soon.
After organizing a workforce of two people and meeting with Miss Mikado, the rest of my day was spent learning and memorizing all of the duties that I'm going to be in charge of. Sure at first it seemed fun, what with Mikado helping to pass the time with stories of her days as a Yamaku student. But soon after, all of the fun was over with and it was nothing but business for the rest of the day.
What the Over Watch Committee has to do is keep track of the budgets of each of the clubs, help build stalls, and monitor the progress made by the clubs. Not to mention, that on the day of the festival, we have to keep a watchful eye on the underclassmen stalls all night to make sure that they are working at their peak efficiency. With all that we're doing, it makes me wonder what's left for the Student Council to do.
I twist my neck side to side and feel a loud crack in each direction. I'm not sure if cracking your neck is good for you or not, but it feels so good right now that I don't really care. When my head is back to its normal forward-facing position, I notice that some people are looking in my direction.
I couldn't have possibly looked that strange when I was twisting my neck. I try my best to straighten myself out and look as normal as possible as I try to reach my room. As I walk past the group of people in the commons area, I feel several pairs of eyes drilling into my back. I quickly glance behind me and each pair of eyes avert their gaze.
Strange. I don't recall doing anything out of the ordinary recently.
I continue making my way through the dorm and reach the stairs to go up to the next floor. On my way up, I pass by a pair of boys who are laughing about something. When they see me, their voices turn into whispers and they keep everything they say in hushed tones, or at least try to.
"Did you say something?" I ask after I hear one of them say something that sounded a lot like my name.
One of the boys freezes in place and doesn't turn around. The other one, who was laughing loudly earlier, turns to me. "Oh, no. We didn't say anything. That wasn't us."
We stand there for several moments in an awkward silence. Only when I nod slowly do the boys continue going down the stairs.
I swear I heard one of them say my name and laugh as they rounded the corner.
Naturally, I'm curious about what's being said about me. It's obvious that there some rumor going around about me; people don't go around staring at me for no apparent reason.
Well, at least not in Yamaku anyway.
If there's one thing that I've learned in my time here, it's that if you want to find out the current rumors and gossip that are circulating about, you have to go to one guy. Fortunately, that guy lives in the dorm across from mine so it's not too out of my way.
Before I knock on Ryo's door, I make a quick stop at my room to drop off my stuff. No sense in carrying all of things to Ryo's room when mine is right there.
As I enter my room, I notice that there's something that wasn't there when I left this morning. There's a tiny brown box sitting on my desk. Someone sent me a package. I pick it up for closer inspection. The box has seen some wear and tear while it was being delivered. So much so that the return address is a little hard to see.
I hold it closer to the lamp to see better.
Written in bold, neat letters is the name of my father and my home address. My parents sent me a package? After being in Yamaku for almost a month, this is the first piece of actual communication my parents have sent me.
Oddly enough, this a step up from their usual thing. At least this time it's their words unfiltered and not through Toshiro.
I quickly open the box and pull out its contents. Only two things were inside of the box, a cell phone and a small letter. I put the phone aside and read the letter:
We hope that you are doing well at Yamaku. We haven't received any messages from you in the past month so we assumed that it was a good sign. It's been so long since you've been outside of a hospital, we thought that we should get you something to commemorate it.
Since it's the first time you've been on your own since your accident, your mother realized that your current phone might be out of date. We bought this new one; it's suppose to be the latest model and ready to play any of those games that you liked so much. We hope you enjoy it.
Mom and Dad
Out of all the things that my parents could have sent me, they decide a phone is the best solution. The one I'm using now is just fine, I don't see the need for it.
I pick up the phone and turn it on. I look through the contact list and see that there are already four numbers pre-programmed: my mother, my father, Toshiro and the family doctor that we've had for years.
It's a little depressing now that I think about it. Out of everyone that my parents could have thought to put on the phone, they could only think of my immediate family and a doctor. No friends or extended relatives that would care about how I was doing.
I guess that's partially my fault. I never was the most social stimulating and I generally avoided people. I don't think anyone from my old school came to visit me while I was hospitalized. Even if someone did, I don't remember any names or faces from that time, only my family and their terrible show of support.
I look at the phone one more time and set it down on my desk. I'll have to program it later. There are other things I want to do now than be bogged down by reminders of my parents and their uncanny ability to not understand what I want from them.
I finish putting my school things away, change out of my uniform, and go across the hall. I lightly knock on Ryo's door several times. After realizing that he most likely didn't hear those knocks, I knock louder than before. I can hear him scrambling as he makes his way to the door.
"Who is it?" he asks before opening.
"Ryo, it's me. I want to talk to you about something."
There's a distinctive click from the lock following by the door slowly opening, revealing Ryo on the other side with a book in his hand. "What' up? What do you want to talk about?"
I'm glad that in the month that I've gotten to know him, he's learned to take whatever stick he had up his ass out. We can actually have a normal conversation without wanting to rip each other's throats out. Now if only he would start wearing something other than Yamaku's full uniform could I consider him to be normal.
"Well, when I got into the dorms, everyone was giving me these funny looks. There were also a couple of guys who were talking about me. I just want to know what that's about."
Ryo holds up his book and folds the corner of a page before closing it. He sighs, "All right, come inside. I think I know what this is about."
With a puzzled expression on my face, I enter his room. He closes the door behind me and takes a seat on his bed. I look around his room for bit before taking a seat. There isn't much in here with regards to personal belongings. In fact, the only thing in Ryo's room that doesn't look school related is a picture of a man and a woman holding a young boy. The adults look like any average couple but the boy has a silver head of hair and big gray eyes. The boy appears to be on the verge of tears as his parents hold him lovingly.
As my eyes wander across the room, I notice that Ryo is watching closely to what I do. I feel a bit ashamed that I'm prying into his personal space so I quickly take a seat in the chair across from him.
He scratches his chin. "So where do you want to start?"
"What do you mean 'where do I want to start'? Is there any other place to start from then the beginning?"
"Well no. It's just to see what you know so far." Ryo reaches over to his desk. He finds a piece of paper and hands it to me. "Take a look at this for starters."
I look the paper over. It's the form I had to sign when I joined the committee. Having none of my questions answered, I look back at Ryo, who in turn hands me another paper. It's another copy of the same form, but this time it is signed by a name I don't recognize.
"Who's Ando Sadayoshi?" I ask while I try to figure out what Ryo wants to show me.
He sits back on his bed and looks over another piece of paper in his hand. "Last year, like many before it, there was a need to create an Over Watch Committee. The problem was that there was no one who wanted to be part of it. The people who were already willing to work for the school were already in the Student Council and everyone else was already doing a project for their class or club. So that left only one group of people, the troublemakers."
At this, Ryo shifts his gaze off of the paper and at me. He looks at me, up and down repeatedly, analyzing my posture and sense of style. His gray eyes finally finish looking me over and they slowly make eye contact with mine. There's a stillness in the air as Ryo goes silent. His eyes remain locked with mine. They remain still and yet have a keen sense of focus about them.
The stillness is short-lived however, as he begins rolling around in his bed while he laughs up a storm.
He sits up and acts as if he's wiping the tears out of his eyes. "Ando Sadayoshi was Yamaku's top delinquent. He was the one who was forced to do be the head of the committee last year. Being committee head is a punishment reserved for the most rebellious of our student."
Punishment!? The committee head is meant for delinquents? You have got to be kidding me! Nakai, why the hell did you make me do it?
"You can't be serious?" I ask in the most deadpan voice I can manage.
"Yep, your official the biggest fool in all of Yamaku Academy." He answers with a smug smirk.
I groan, which actually sounded more like a growl, and sink deeper into Ryo's chair.
Why me? What did I do to deserve this. I'm the laughing stock of the school. I've shot myself in the foot and for what? 'To do my duties for the good of the school'? That's it, I'm out. There not a chance in hell that I'm going to follow through with this.
I lift the paper I signed up in front of me and rip it in half. I take the halves, put them side by side and rip them some more. I continue this until the form is not more than small, meaningless pieces of paper. After being tricked and mocked by the school, I'm surprised that I'm the least bit considerate and throw away the pieces in a nearby trash bin.
Ryo, who was quiet throughout my little scene, takes this moment to speak up. "That's not going to do much you know. You're already the committee head and have already started working. Besides, that was just a copy and not the actual form you signed."
My only response is a glare, a glare so hard that it could set someone ablaze. Sadly, it doesn't.
Ryo hands me another paper, one that I'm about to rip in pieces until I notice the signature at the bottom: Midori Kagami.
His eyes focus on me once more and his voice changes from the elated one he just had to a more stern tone. "What I'm curious about however, is why did she join?"
I feel my body slowly tense up at the question. I had promised Midori that I wouldn't tell anyone about her relationship to Nakai and Satou, regardless of what anyone said about her. Ryo, like many other people, think Midori is some kind of vile criminal, someone who does what she wants no matter the consequences. There have been many times when I wanted to yell at someone for spreading rumors about her but I've had to hold myself back because it would cause her more trouble than it would fix.
Still, that doesn't mean I don't try to change their opinions. "She's my friend and wanted to help me with the workload. There's nothing wrong with helping out someone close to you, is there? She's a good person, I don't see why so many say otherwise."
"I'm not saying that there's something wrong with her. It's just that she's very --I don't know how to say it-- cautious of the things she does."
I roll my eyes and sigh. "We're at a school for the disabled. Everyone is 'cautious of the things they do.'"
"You know what I mean-" He takes a deep breath. We've had 'discussions' about this topic before. Try as I might, I can't make him change his mind about her without revealing Midori's secret, which in turn, frustrates me without end and makes me want to hit him. I'm sure he knows this will most likely lead to an argument if he continues with this conversation. It's his move whether or not we do this again.
He rubs the back of his neck and lets out a tired sigh. "It's getting late so we should probably be getting to sleep soon." Good move, I don't think I would have had the energy to fight tonight anyways.
I nod and hand him back the papers I didn't rip. I say my goodbyes and take my leave.
The first thing I do when I enter my room is fall face first into my bed. It's so comfortable right now that I feel like I could fall asleep any second. Unfortunately, the conversation I had with Ryo creeps its way into my head and takes away my desire to sleep. I turn onto my back and stare at the ceiling as darkness slowly engulfs my vision.
Delinquent work. Am I really stuck doing this? Am I really so gullible that I believed Nakai when he said that I would be doing something good for the school? I mean, regardless of who's part of it, the committee is still needed. One way or another it was going to be formed. It just so happens to be that the new kid gets tricked into doing it.
What about Midori? She must have known about that right? Why did she join in as well? How come no one has said anything about her joining? Do people think she is a delinquent fit to be in the committee? It just doesn't make sense anymore.
A blinking light catches my eye. It's the cell phone my parents got me. I reach over to pick up and look over it one more time.
It certainly is newer and more sleek that the one I have now. At the very least, they did try to help me. I should probably give it a try just to acknowledge their effort. I go back to the contact list one more time. Four different numbers, that's it four. These are the only four people that my parents think I would ever call, no friends just family and a doctor. Just thinking about it discomforts me greatly.
I erase one of the contacts that my parents left me and input the four new numbers that I got at this school. I put the phone down and try once more to fall asleep.
The change in my contacts is not much, but at least it's a step away from how I used to be and that's enough to make me feel better.
It feels good to finally release a Bloodline chapter after so long. It feels oddly satisfying.