Thanks very much to centurion911 and BlackWaltzTheThird for proofing this
Apparently, they discovered the Higgs Boson today.
The Higgs Boson is interesting because it initially fails to meet Pauli Exclusion conditions for particles, which pretty much governs all the particles floating around you today.
In it’s most simple form, the Pauli exclusion principle states that if one atom in a given molecular orbital has a given value n, other atoms cannot enter this orbital with the same value of n. Without this principle, atoms wouldn’t be able to bond with each other, as they wouldn’t have any predictable structure.
Bosons are interesting because you can cram a ton of them into an orbital with the same value of n. This tends to screw with physics a bit.
The Higgs field first justifies the existence of the weak force, a universal electromagnetic attraction between all particles. Without it, radioactive decay and nuclear fusion couldn’t happen.
More importantly, the Higgs boson is representative of the Higgs field, which gives mass to all particles by providing an intermediary step where “massless” quantum particles gain mass through a charged field. As a boson, the Higgs boson is both in a large quantity and easy to measure as a “scalar,” or a value that appears without a need for orientation values.
Without mass, our universe shouldn’t exist. That’s why this is so important.
This is sort of hard to explain. Mutou did a pretty good job of it, but we had to cut our meeting short, so he just gave me the scientific journal.
As I stride down the hallway, I recall Mutou’s first meeting with me to discuss science.
“Science is useless unless you can apply it to the real world, Nakai. Always keep that in mind when you read about new discoveries—how can they help you and those around you? That’s when you really grow as a scientist.”
Let’s apply the Higgs Boson to the world around me.
Today, I’m going to get approval forms from the Student Council for the formation of the Science Club.
The Student Council is like the Higgs field; it gives mass to unformed clubs with paperwork. Misha is like the weak nuclear force; she attracts others around her to Shizune and provides a rationale for interaction. Shizune is like the Pauli exclusion principle; she pushes other particles out of their space without a care.
And me, Hisao Nakai?
I feel like I’m a particle trying to shove my way into an already-occupied orbital.
In layman’s terms; trying to push a truck through a brick wall.
Fuck science. Mutou should get these forms.
I really don’t want to do this. Not even because Saki bashed Misha last time, or whatever. I just have a bad feeling about this.
I’m not even sure if they hate me for it.
Is it guilt by association?
I’m not really sure.
Regardless, Misha and Shizune seem to be spiders spinning a web of paperwork and bureaucracy.
I feel like a fat fly who’s just about to crash into an invisible spiderweb.
In biology, that would mean they were the predator and I was the prey.
And what happens to the prey?
They get eat--
The thought cuts off in my head as I open the door to the student council room.
Inside, it’s a predictable scene of chaos.
A massive, shaggy pile of papers sits in the middle of the room, followed by Misha, next to which is a neat stack of papers.
This would look normal, except that Misha’s taking the neatly stacked forms, whacking them with a stamp, and then throwing them onto the mountain of paper.
Well, a genius she’s not. I pause in the doorframe.
Eeeerrrggghhhh. The question strikes me again.
Should I apologize for Saki’s behavior? Should I have to?
It’s been over a month since we’ve broken up, and I’m sure that I’m not associated with her anymore.
However, I was with her when she ripped Misha, and I didn’t say a thing (at least not while Misha and Shizune were watching).
This seemed a lot easier and clean cut in the hallway.
Then again, so did the Higgs boson.
I guess I’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.
I step into the room, closing the door quietly behind me.
Misha perks up, hearing the latch of the door handle.
Her brown eyes focus on me. They’re really huge. I never noticed that before.
For a moment, something changes in her eyes. The muddy, opaque brown gives way to a clear, deep brown glass.
Please don’t blame me for what she’s done. I’m not her anymore.
I watch as her brow furrows, an eyebrow curling in… anger? Confusion?
Her eyes become warm brown again, the milk chocolate rising to the surface.
She’s made a decision. Her mouth opens and her eyes blink at the sides as she brings her hands up.
“~Hicchan, what’re you doing here?”
“I… I.. I, uh, came by to get some forms for a new club.”
She sets her hands on her hips, a clear frown on her face.
“Hicchan, no more clubs! It’s a new rule! Especially for boys who decided not to join the student council!”
Fuck. So she does blame me.
I look at Misha. I don’t know what to say.
I need these forms, and the only people who can issue them are the student council.
It’s a silly little rule at Yamaku. It’s supposed to make the students work together but it just means that everyone has to kowtow to Shizune when they want something.
I look at Misha again. A corner of her mouth twitches.
I guess I’ll just try asking again.
“M-Misha… I really –need--”
“~Oh Hicchan, you didn’t think I was being serious, did you?”
What’s even going on here?
Her eyes are the clean brown of hot chocolate, sparkling with merriment and marshmallows.
She puts the mock frown on again.
“~But Hicchan, you’re going to have to work for those forms!”
Uh oh. I’ve heard about this “work.” According to Miki, it involves tasks like taking inventory of the vending machines in the school by hand… even though it’s automated… and not required in any way… and filing them in a filing cabinet only used by Shizune and Misha and not the grounds staff… I guess I’ll sort this out somehow.
She stands there, hands on her hips, giving me the most wobbly-lipped frown known to man.
Well, two can play at that game.
I put my hands on my hips, giving Misha my sternest look.
“And how am I supposed to do that, Miss Mikado?”
She gives it right back.
“~Well, Hicchan, you’re going to have to show up to the next student council meeting to help us file papers!”
That doesn’t seem too bad. It just seems like a bunch of stamping. Deal.
“~Hicchan, I’m not done! And you’re going to wait for Shicchan to decide, because her department of student council handles club au-thor-i-zation!”
How is one person a department, anyway?
Urrggghhh. While Misha may be quick to forgive, I doubt Shizune is the same way.
“Can’t… Can’t you just give me the forms now?”
Misha beams at me.
“~Nope. We have to wait for Shicchan and see what she says!”
Well, I guess there’s nothing to do but wait.
I lean on a desk and look around as Misha resumes stamping papers.
I guess… she’s forgiven me? Or forgotten. I’m not entirely sure which.
Either way, it’s probably best to leave it be.
The Student Council room is pretty nice. It’s on a lower, unused classroom of Yamaku, near the back, so you’d think it’d be dark and gloomy.
But instead, the sun streams through the overhanging forest to create a golden cascade, bathing the room in warm, muted, light.
Sagging file cabinets on the walls give it a pleasant, old-fashioned cheer, supplemented by the presence of old, dusty, navy-blue typewriters lining the shelves. On a shelf of it’s own lies a well-cared for, sea-blue Braille typewriter.
That must be Lilly’s. Given her old-fashioned ways, I’m sure she still uses it.
I guess this was a place for a typing class.
Quaint. Sort of like Yamaku itself.
If this were the plot of a movie, my ruminations would be interrupted by the arrival of an angry Shizune.
But they’re not.
Instead I’m just leaning on this desk, waiting. Watching Misha.
She’s such a happy person. Always laughing and joking, and always sticking by Shizune.
She didn’t bring it up, but it’s time for me to make good by her.
She looks up from her stamping duties, a light spackling of blue ink on her white shirt.
“I—I’m sorry about what happened with Saki a few months ago. What she didn’t wasn’t right, and I can’t apologize for her, but I just wanted to let you know that I didn’t agree with her actions at all.”
What a lame, shitty, apology, Hisao.
Misha looks at me. Her eyes turn a sad golden brown again.
“~That’s okay, Hicchan.”
I expect her to end there. But she doesn’t.
“~Sacchan has her own problems, Hicchan. She’ll sort them out one day. I don’t hate her for it. I think you and Enomoto were a cute couple, Hicchan.”
If it were anyone else, I’d accuse them of twisting the knife deep.
But Misha seems to have something on her mind, and it might be worth holding my tongue.
Misha looks up at me, probing me with her eyes.
“~Hicchan… do you know why Fashion Club was disbanded earlier?”
Come to think of it, I don’t. Despite the warning given me by Shizune back in October, I never followed through on it.
I look at Misha to continue. She slumps a little, already exhausted by her switch from a happy mood.
“I don’t, Misha. Why?”
“~Eno…Saki… she had gotten into a fight.”
This doesn’t surprise me. But I’m sure it’s not just your average girl-to-girl spat.
“What kind of fight, Misha?”
“~I…I… I don’t know Hicchan.”
Well, that was some really useful information.
But Misha continues. She sighs down into the floor, drained.
“~Eno…Saki… had gone into the city to purchase fabrics. F-for Fashion club. B-but things didn’t g-go right.”
Why is Misha to the point of tears?
“What happened, Misha?”
“~S-She had taken another classmate with her. A Y-yamaku Buddy trip. A n-normal trip. But s-something w-went wrong.”
I’ve heard about this Yamaku “buddy” program. Apparently students who enter normally (in the fall), get assigned to a buddy in their class, who takes them around for the first couple of weeks.
Misha looks like she’s about to cry.
“T-They went into a shop… but some t-thugs were there. They tried to rob S-saki, but she fought them with her cane.”
Misha smiles a tiny bit through her eyes, now filled with tears.
I wonder why?
“S-she took on t-three thugs, with j-just her cane. A-and the entire time, s-she made s-sure that her buddy was safe. Anytime a punch came t-towards h-her b-buddy, she e-either s-stopped it or t-took it herself.”
Misha’s really blubbering now. I wonder who that freshman was? Shizune?
Maybe that’s why Shizune’s so cold to talk about it. She’d never admit any weakness.
“B-but w-when t-they c-came back to Yamaku… the student told her a-advisor. S-she t-thought it w-was right.
Misha looks at at the ground, her voice rising to an awkward wail.
B-But i-it w-wasn’t. F-Fashion club was d-disbanded, a-and Saki n-never f-forgave—“
Why does Misha care so much, anyway? I guess Saki’s a good person, but why does Misha care?
Misha looks at me one more time, imploringly. Her voice drops to a whisper.
Quite possibly the worst thing you could do to Saki.
I guess that’s why Saki was so angry when Misha burst into Fashion club demanding authorization.
I can tell exactly what she was thinking.
The nerve of Misha to burst into the very club she forced to disband through stupidity.
And Misha, as naïve as she was, believed that with the reformation of the Club, Saki had finally forgiven her.
The tears stream quietly down Misha’s face as she stares at me.
The door bursts open as Shizune bumbles in, laden with bags of convenience store cookies and cake.
So that’s what the “student council funds” get used for.
Shizune looks at me, and at Misha, and then stalks angrily towards me. I think she’s going to punch my lights out.
In a way, I guess I kind of deserve it. Forcing Misha to relive those memories.
Shizune stops as Misha signs calmly, slowly.
Shizune flurries back, a blur of fingers and deft movements.
Misha signs once more, a calm flourish followed by a weak smile.
Shizune moves wordlessly to hug her, glaring at me the entire time. But her expression softens.
She breaks from Misha, signing once again, but gently.
“~Shicchan says you can have the forms, Hisao.”
Shizune wordlessly strides to a file cabinet, pulling out a sheaf of neat carbon copies.
Form Authorization Y-4: Club proposal, requirements, signatures.
Misha turns her eyes to me, a weak brown smile. I smile back.
She beams. Misha’s back.
Misha signs once more to Shizune. Shizune frowns, looks at me, and signs furiously back.
She pauses. She makes a cutting motion with her hands, molding her emotions into the air.
“~Shicchan says you can have cake with us, Hisao.”
She grins mischievously.
“~And then you can get started on that work you owe us, Hisao!”
Shizune, lip-reading Misha, gives me a gentle punch on the shoulder. I think she knows how I feel as well.
Cake, and a new club. Not bad for a day’s work.