Waiting (Chapter Ten, 7/15)

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Acik
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Waiting (Chapter Ten, 7/15)

Post by Acik » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:55 am

Well, hello everyone. I have been following this forum for some time now and have greatly enjoyed the stories posted here. There is some truly serious talent among you guys. I always fancied myself a bit of a writer, but as of late I have not really felt the spark. I'm trying to get the juices flowing again, and apparently that means trying my hand at some KS fiction.

I mostly write screenplays and narratives from a third person omniscient/limted perspective, and don't have too much experience writing from the first. Always felt a little off to me. Tenses and what not. But these stories never quite feel right written from the third. Impersonal, I suppose. So I will do my best not to butcher it too much. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Anyway, time to get on with it.

Waiting

Index
ACT ONE
Chapter One: Running in Circles (this post)
Chapter Two: Lack of Luck
Chapter Three: Signs in the Dark
Chapter Four: Coming Up Short
Chapter Five: Impertinent Permanence
Chapter Six: Interrupting Interlude
Chapter Seven: Evasive Action
Chapter Eight: Boarding Party
Chapter Nine: Side Effects
Chapter Ten: The Calm

Chapter One: Running in Circles

I'm not sure how to feel.

Cheated? Angry? Depressed? I'm not sure if I have the energy for that. Being angry is exhausting. What's the point anyway?

The white washed ceiling above me is winning the staring contest I've been having with it for the past hour. I blink the moisture back into my eyes and pull up my phone.

4:18a.m.

Ugh. How long have I been laying in this spot feeling sorry for myself?

I sit up and blow a stray strand of hair out of my eyes. Glancing around the room I find nothing to entertain me. Only my mind is a suitable escape at the moment it seems. How boring. Maybe if I could actually get some productive thinking done I wouldn't mind so much. But it will just be circles again. It always is.

I fall back into the crumpled remains of my blanket and resume my competition with the ceiling. There are so many people worse off than me. Relatively speaking, I'm pretty lucky. At least lucky for someone who goes to Yamaku. Why do I always do this?

Because that's how you are, dumb ass. You lie awake all night...thinking. And what is one to do when there is nothing interesting or important to think about? Oh, I know! Let's wallow in self pity. It will be fun!

Equally pointless. The only thing worse than thinking in circles about how pathetic I am is thinking how pathetic it is that I am thinking about how pathetic I am.

Dammit.

I sigh. Maybe I should read something? I sit back up and make my way over to the desk. Unfortunately, the only books gracing my desk is an old sci-fi novel I must have read eleven times and my chemistry textbook.

I doubt I will even be conscious in that class tomorrow. Twelfth read through here we go.

Slamming back down onto the bed I snap on the bedside lamp and crack open Ender's Game once again. It has long since lost its charm, but I always find some enjoyment in it. Plus it beats staring at the ceiling.

After ten minutes I realize I have been rereading the same paragraph over and over. Sighing, I close the book and decide to will myself to sleep.

“All right, brain. I know you and I don't always get a long, but right now I need you to shut up...please.”

Ignoring the fact that I am now thinking to myself out loud, I attempt to clear my thoughts. Just think about nothing. Of course thinking about nothing is thinking about something. Can we really think about nothing? I mean we're always thinking about something. Even if it's nothing.

That went well. It really did.

This is stupid. What's worse is that I know it's stupid. I know it's pointless and counterproductive, but I still can't stop myself. If only I could blame it on my condition. At least then I would have something to direct my frustration at, other than myself at least.

I stare back at the ceiling.

5:45a.m.

I quickly move the blinding screen of my phone away from my face. Did I sleep? I don't remember falling asleep, and I definitely don't feel rested. But I must have. One hour. Not bad.

Knowing that's all the luck I'm going to get tonight, I rise from the bed and get dressed. Luckily my body still seems to remember how. Today's looking up.

I make my way out of the dormitories and into the nippy morning fog. A sliver of gilded orange is slowly making it's way from the horizon, but the grounds are still shrouded in darkness. I have spent god knows how many nights walking the school grounds in the dark, but there is something unnerving about the lack of activity.

It always seems as if the entire place is going to suddenly erupt into chaos. That's what I'm used to. That's what it should be like. But when it's still, as if just on the precipice of normality....that's just creepy.

I try to ignore the unsettling nature of the school and concentrate on enjoying the crisp air. Not too cold, but certainly a far cry from the heat of the day. It's a good time to be outside.

Somewhere in my aimless wandering I made my way to the track. Dew glistens on the grass throughout the field in the center, perfectly trimmed and obviously cared for. Impeccable. Like out of a brochure. Hey, look at these wonderful facilities! It will be wonderful, just as long as you ignore that fact that you're here because you're broken. Can't wait to go!

When did I get so bitter?

More fuel for the pity party that's sure to grace my mind this evening. I really should invest in some sleeping pills.

I decide to take a seat on the bleachers. Watch the sunrise and all that jazz. Never understood the fascination. Yeah, it's pretty, but I would much rather sleep. Sleep beats sunrise; every time. Unless you can't sleep...then why not?

I stare toward the horizon, waiting for the anticlimactic show to begin, when I hear a familiar clack clack sounding off against the track.

Before I can spot the legless wonder I hear her shouting.

“I wasn't aware that I had a new running partner this morning!”

Oh Emi, it's far too early to sound that cheery. It would be cute if it wasn't so annoying.

She stands at the bottom of the bleachers, her signature strawberry twin tails fluttering slightly, hands on hips, and a mischievous glint in her emerald eyes.

“They didn't tell you? Yeah, I decided to get my act together. Eating healthy, running everyday, maybe even doing some homework.”

Emi gives me a snarky little smile before diving into her stretch routine. “So, can't sleep again, huh?

“No, I just thought you needed some company. Gets lonely out here.”

She ignores my sarcasm and keeps stretching. “You know if you ask for sleep aids they will give them to you.”

I chuckle. “Yeah, but then they will ask why I'm not sleeping. My shrink would have a field day.”

“Sometimes we all need a little help. Asking for help isn't a weakness you know.”

“Spoken like a true believer, eh? I know all that. I would rather just buy them myself.”

Emi shrugs and sits down. Whatever stretch she is doing now is beyond me. Why would anyone need to bend like that? Does that really help with running?

“I haven’t seen you out here in awhile. Been sleeping better?”

Have I been sleeping better? I suppose. Or maybe I'm just resisting the urge to wander when I can't sleep. How long has it been since I made my way over to the track in time for Emi's run? A month? Sounds about right.

“I just missed watching you stretch. Quite a show, should have brought popcorn.”

Emi rises and walks to the starting line. “Drink it in, mister.”

“I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you go.”

“Pervert.”

“Eh, you kinda like it.”

She shrugs and sets herself up at the start. Before I can snap off another remark Emi explodes of the starting line and rockets down the lane. I missed this. Emi is easy to be around. Plus, pretty impressive to watch.

I pass the time watching her lope around the track, her gait smooth and unwavering. I envy that. Not so much her physical prowess, but her ability to throw herself completely into something. What's Rin say? Emi at her Emiest?

As she approaches the bleachers again she slows down. She doesn't even look that tired.

“This going to become a regular thing again?”

“What, miss me that much? Geez, let's just fuck and get it over with.”

Emi sticks out her tongue. “You wish.”

I shrug. “Maybe. You're certainly cute enough, but...”

“But what?”

“Oh, nothing...just...visualizing.”

A water bottle flies by my ear.

“Pervert.”

“Geez, Emi! You know I'm just kidding.”

She sticks her tongue out again. “I know. I didn't throw it that hard.”

I slid back and retrieve the water bottle. “Why do you ask?”

Emi cocks her head. “Ask what?”

“If this is going to be a regular thing again.”

“Oh, yeah. Well it's just...I kinda have a running partner now...”

“Oh you mean your little boyfriend? Is that what you have been doing for the past month?” I ask as I toss the water bottle back down.

“He's not my boyfriend! Nurse wants me to help him stay in shape.”

“He's not, but you want him to be don't you?”

Her gaze drops to the ground. Come on, Emi, your shoes aren't that interesting. Spill.

“Maybe...”

“Hah! Knew it.”

I'm met with another tongue sticking. “You're just jealous.”

I smile. “Hardly. Nakai must be insane to put up with your runs every morning. Where is he anyway?”

“He was doing so well I gave him a day off. And he loves running with me, thank you very much.”

“He must really want to hit that.”

Emi pauses. “You think?”

“What?”

“That he likes me?”

Is she serious? “Emi, it's pretty obvious.”

I'm not sure if I have ever seen her so pleased. Her thousand watt smile is in full power, her body practically bouncing. There is no way she was that oblivious.

“You must have known.”

“I had a feeling, but it's nice hearing the opinion of someone else.”

I hop up and walk over to her. “Well, glad to be of assistance. Hopefully you and the new guy hit it off.”

She bounces over and wraps me in a one arm hug. “Thanks. Me too. But he's taking forever!”

I half-heartedly return the gesture before backing away. Still not too keen on casual contact, but with Emi it's to be expected. “Well then you should do something. Dudes love it when girls take the initiative.”

She places a finger over her lips, apparently deep in thought. Hm, Emi...deep in thought? Nah, must be something else.

“I might. Thanks for the advice.”

“Anything to help you nail the new kid.”

Emi rolls her eyes and begins walking back toward the dorms. I decide to follow, if only for the view. Only human after all.

“...new student?”

Huh, what? Oh yeah, out loud.

“Huh, what?”

“I said, 'Speaking of new kids have you met the new student?”

What the hell is she talking about? “Who, Nakai?”

“Why would I be talking about Hisao?”

“Only new kid I know.”

Emi turns about and begins walking backwards, hands behind her back, a look of positive joy plastered all over her face. She loves knowing things I don't far too much.

“This one's fresh. Arrived yesterday. She's a second year.”

“She?”

“That got your attention?” Emi giggles, still bouncing backwards with ease.

I hate playing her little games. They seldom are any fun and somehow I always lose. So what if there is a new girl? Second year no less, I'll never see her. Besides, I'm sure I'll here all about it sooner or later. Yamaku's rumor mill is sometimes good for something.

“I'm sure it's all very juicy. But I think I might get some breakfast before sleeping through my first class.”

Emi pouts and turns away, practically sprinting towards the Nurse's office. “You're no fun, Yuuma!”

Yep, that's me. No fun. At least not Emi's definition of fun. Does that mean I win this one? Or is it more of a stalemate? She just kind of ran off. Eh, we'll say its a win. Who's counting?

The sun is in full swing now, the grounds losing their disturbing essence as a few students shuffle through the morning haze toward the main building. I bet there are some people who think I'm just a very dedicated student. One might be led to believe that, seeing me out here day in and day out. Early riser, right here. Gotta hit the books!

I amble toward the main building, my mind lost in thought wondering what's for breakfast this morning , when I realize something. I just went through an entire conversation. I didn't freeze up. Not a single problem. Maybe those speech classes and vitamins are paying off. Or maybe my brain was too tired to trip me up. Yeah, that sounds about right.

As I push open the doors and head for the cafeteria I let out a yawn. Then another.

Yep. It's going to be a good day.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Last edited by Acik on Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:29 pm, edited 27 times in total.
Wrote a story, here it is: Waiting
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RedRover
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by RedRover » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:14 am

Hmm... I like it. I will be watching this to see how it progresses. Or rather, reading it. Anyway, quick question, is Yuuma an OC? It might have been said, but I didn't see it.

Otherwise, nicely done.

And, just for the lulz, first.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Solistor » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:11 pm

The others can say what they want but I for one think the vague intro is interesting. There's a certain appeal to learning about a character as you go along, rather than having exposition soup for breakfast. I almost thought you were talking through Suzu's eyes, with the whole insomnia thing, but it seems we have another sleepyhead at Yamaku. Or is he? Only time will tell.

Edit: Now that I'm on my PC, I can easily point out a couple spelling mistakes I noticed while reading it earlier but couldn't point out because I was on mobile.
Acik wrote: I quickly move the blinding screen of my phone away from my face. Did I sleep? I don't remember falling asleep, and I defiantly don't feel rested. But I must have. One hour. Not bad.
I think the word you're going for here is definitely.
Acik wrote: I pass the time watching her lope around the track, her gate smooth and unwavering.
You're looking for gait.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Acik » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:10 pm

Solistor wrote:I think the word you're going for here is definitely.
Fixed. Thanks for the keen eyes, sometimes I miss the obvious...
Solistor wrote:You're looking for gait.
...and sometimes I'm just stupid. Can't believe I missed that one.
RedRover wrote: Anyway, quick question, is Yuuma an OC? It might have been said, but I didn't see it.
Yep, he most certainly is. And I didn't mention it, so don't feel too bad. :D
Solistor wrote:I almost thought you were talking through Suzu's eyes
Hm, interesting. Didn't think about that. Unexpected, but I welcome unintentional misdirection.

Greatly appreciate the feedback.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Guestimate » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:59 pm

Not bad, not bad at all. Another fine fic for me to keep my eyes on.

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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:09 pm

Anyway, quick question, is Yuuma an OC?
Yep, he most certainly is.
And going by Emi's question, I think we're going to meet a second OC as well soon.
Good start. The OC doesn't ring any Mary Sue warning bells yet, and that's always a plus. I always like well-written OCs.
Also liked his banter with Emi. If he is supposed to be usually not as good at conversations (as you seemed to imply at the end) he might have been a bit too witty with Emi...
Looking forward to see how it continues.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Acik » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:40 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Also liked his banter with Emi. If he is supposed to be usually not as good at conversations (as you seemed to imply at the end) he might have been a bit too witty with Emi...
I was a little worried about this. Without giving anything away it's hard for to justify the action, but I hope it comes across as plausible once more is known. Dialogue is always what I enjoying writing most, but sometimes I forget the restrictions of a character. Not necessarily writing out of character, but possibly forgoing a certain phrase or series of phrases because it's simply not possible. But fingers crossed that it won't be a problem. If I did my homework right, I should be safe.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter One, 7/27)

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:04 pm

“All right, brain. I know you and I don't always get a long, but right now I need you to shut up...please.”
I've actually said this to myself on more than one occasion... :)
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by Acik » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:41 am

The journey continues.


Chapter Two: Lack of Luck

“Iwasaki?”

Hm? What?

“Iwasaki?”

Jesus, what?!

“Iwasaki!”

A sharp jolt snaps me out of whatever dreamless sleep I might have been having. A large history textbook lies on my desk. Pretty sure it's not mine. Did I even bring mine today?

“Sleep on your own time, Iwasaki! Do it again and there will be repercussions.”

I groggily wipe the sleep from my eyes and straighten myself at my desk. Repercussions? How many times has he said that anyway? Eh, who cares. Pretty sure if you look up bluster in the dictionary Nomiya's picture would be right there next to it.

Nomiya adjusts his ridiculous glasses before retrieving his textbook and returning to the front. Two rows up I see Emi, turned around in her chair, tongue stuck in my direction. Laugh it up, Stumps. Laugh it up.

I glance at the clock. Another twenty minutes. At this rate I might get a full eight hours by the end of the day.

I briefly consider getting a head start on that goal once again, but I figure it's best not to tempt fate. I suppose I could listen to the lesson. What the hell are we learning today? Mid fourteenth century European history? I'll just watch the Holy Grail later. Is that the right time period? Close enough.

“Iwasaki, could you answer the question?”

Coconuts?

Dammit, I must have spaced out.

I glance at the board, but no question is in sight. Damn, maybe he's feeling charitable. I give Nomiya my best smile with a bit of Emi's best puppy dog eyes. They probably don't work on me, but hell, desperate times and all that.

Nomiya peaks over his pink spectacles. Unflinching.

I pour a little more into it. Come on you pink bastard! You'll give. I'm a disabled child. Don't you feel sorry for me?

A small sigh escapes Nomiya's lips.

Victory. Huzzah.

“I asked what started the Hundred Years' War?”

Hey, how about that. I actually know this one.

I quickly answer the question, but Nomiya just stares back at me. I did say it, right? Oh dear lord, now? Really?

I open my mouth to answer again.

“Whe...ed...refusdh...eh...”

God dammit! God fucking dammit!

Nomiya waits patiently, standing there with only a slight look of pity on his fat face.

I have the fucking words. Right here in my head. Come on, tongue, get it together! Lips you too. Figure it out!

“To...psesay...hom...gahhhh!”

I slam my fist into my desk, causing several people to turn and stare. No one looks too appalled. After all, this isn't all that uncommon, is it? Freakin' hell. I thought I was getting better. Probably used all my luck up this morning. Should have known that my luck wasn't that good. Well, time to start the clock over again. Zero days since last incident.

Eh, I suppose four days was too long anyway. A little more and I might have started to believe. That would have been a shame.

I give up on my words and quickly sign the answer.

[When Edward III refused to pay homage to Phillip VI...]

Nomiya nods and vocalizes the information to the class. I left out a lot, but he can't possibly expect me to sign all that.

The class quickly returns back to business with only a few lingering stares from Emi and Makoto. They're probably worried. Not sure why. Outbursts are expected from a frustrated apraxic.

Emi turns back around and turns her attention back to Nomiya's animated lecture. At least she is pretending to. Makoto's gray orbs continue to split between the front of the room and myself. He really worries too much.

The pencil shakes a bit in Makoto's hand as he scribbles something on a tiny piece of paper. He must be having an off day.

I watch as he carefully folds the paper up like a tiny triangle and flicks it in my direction. The paper football lands squarely on my desk. Impressive.

I give him a wary glance as I open it. The script is wavy and hard to read, but I'm used to it by now.

[Hey, you doing all right? I think they heard that in 3-1.]

I grab my pencil and start to write a response.

The tip rests on the edge of the paper, ready to begin, but I can't bring myself to start. I can. I know I can, thankfully. But what if I can't? Jesus, one little hiccup and suddenly I doubt everything.

[Yeah, didn't get much sleep. Little on edge. You know, if you would learn to sign we wouldn't have to do this.]

I fold the paper back up and gently toss it across the row. Makoto keeps his eyes forward as he unwraps the note, his eyes only shooting down briefly to examine the message.

One shakily written note later, the football is back on my desk.

[Har har. Good one. Asshat.]

I chuckle and crumble up the paper. If you can't occasionally make fun of your friend with Parkinson's, then what's the point of having one? No better than him saying 'Cat got your tongue?', that's for sure. He thought that was so funny. Asshat.

Damn, and today started so nice too. I need to start getting some sleep at a normal time. It clearly makes me bitter. But I was doing so well! Four days without a communication error in my brain. That might have been the longest one yet, and I didn't even get to enjoy it. How long since my last ideational incident? Two days? Maybe I'll break a record with that one.

Too bad verbal apraxia, you had your chance. Shouldn't have tapped out so soon.

Nomiya is spewing about something up front, but I can't bring myself to pay attention. I suppose I could do some homework, but frankly sleep sounds pretty great right now. Could I get away with it? I mean, I had an incident ten minutes ago, he can't get mad at me.

I slowly lower my head down onto my desk. A sideways view of Makoto invades my vision, the look on his face clear: Don't do it. You won't get away with it.

Hah, challenge accepted.





That wasn't nearly as exciting as I had hoped.

The class emptied out at some point, to lunch presumably. I look to the clock. Yup. Might still have time to get food too.

I rise to leave when I hear a rustling behind me.

“Does your hand hurt?”

Rin sits on the the floor at the back of the room, a spoon between her toes, a bowl filled with some kind of soup beneath her.

“Hey, Rin.”

“Hello, Yuuma. Does your hand hurt?”

“No, I didn't hit the desk that hard.”

She tilts her head. “What? Desk cards?”

I sigh. I know my speech isn't always that clear, but ten years of therapy have made me pretty damn intelligible. But it's Rin. She doesn't take the time to decipher my speech.

“I didn't hit the desk...that...hard.”

Rin tilts her head back and takes a slurp of her soup. “Oh, that makes more sense. Desks can't play cards. No arms. That would be silly. They just have legs.”

She pauses for a moment.

I grin. “Rin, ever play poker?”

She stares out the window, the spoon hanging lazily between her toes. “No, that would be silly. Emi says I would be good at it though.”

“Yeah, probably.” I sigh. Rin's a little impossible sometimes. Never boring, though. Can't say that about everyone.

“Why did no one wake me up?”

Rin shrugs and continues to eat.

“Why didn't you wake me up?”

“You looked like you were enjoying it. Shouldn't be here.”

“What?”

“Emi wouldn't let me come to the roof today. Art room smells.”

I think I follow. That's saying something. “What's wrong with the art room?”

“Experimenting with different foods and oils for painting and sculpting. Smelly.”

I'm not sure I will ever understand artists. Or art for that matter. But then again, it was never really on top of my list of priorities. Somehow I think I will manage.

“Why doesn't Emi want you on the roof today?” I think I already know, but might as well have some fun with it.

Rin stares upward, as if trying to pierce through the ceiling and see to the roof. “Normally we eat with Hisao, but today she said not to go.”

“Why do you think that is?”

Rin shrugs. “Not sure. Cloud hogging.”

“What?”

“That's what they are doing.”

I nod slowly and make for the door. “Sure thing, Rin. Going to grab some lunch, have fun in here.”

I briskly exit the classroom, not waiting for a response. Knowing Rin there wasn't one. And if there was, well, somehow I don't think it would have made much sense anyway.

Before I can round one corner, Makoto's gangly form springs up behind me and falls into step.

“What the hell was that back there?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” I say as I head for the stairs.

“Right. You look awful by the way. When was the last time you got a full night's sleep?”

I don't look that bad, do I? As we pass a window I check out my reflection. My hair is a tousled mess of coffee colored tangles, but that's nothing new. My uniform is a little wrinkled and my jacket's lapels are in need of some serious rearranging, but I wouldn't say I look awful. Even my...ah...I see it now. My eyes looks tired. Really tired. There doesn't even seem to be a hint of life behind my brown eyes. The lines cascading beneath them probably don't help either.

Damn, I do look awful.

Makoto's reflection joins mine in the window, which only seems to make me look worse. I seem to tower over most people, but in my current state I look like a brute next to Makoto's small frame. Broad shoulders and height don't seem to go well with this look. I'm downright terrifying.

“Pretty bad, huh?”

I nod. “Yeah, not great.”

“Should we go scare some first years?”

I crack a small smile. “Tell them I have some horrible genetic abnormality.”

“Ogre Syndrome?”

“Make them answer riddles or I'll eat them?”

Makoto chuckles and turns away from the window. I spare one more glance at my reflection before following him down the hall. Tonight I'm going to get some sleep. How many times have I made that declaration? I'm pretty sure I mean it every time.

But what the hell do intentions matter, anyway? I intend to get a full night's rest. Rarely ever happens. I intend to do well in school, but let's not kid anyone there. I intended to have this damn condition licked by the time I graduated. Fat chance.

Maybe, though....maybe tonight will be different. Maybe I will fall asleep at a normal hour. Maybe I'll rise rested and ready to go to class. Maybe I'll give it my all in speech therapy and get straight A's and get a job and find love and win a scholarship...

Who am I kidding.

I'll do what I can. That's all I ever can do. Can't blame me for that. See what happens.

“You still kicking around in there, Yuuma?”

I snap out of my musings. When did I get food?

“Uh, yeah. Still kicking.”

Makoto rolls his eyes and turns his sights back onto his tray. I almost feel sorry for his meal. Someone that small shouldn’t be allowed to eat so much, or so ravenously. Where does it all go?

I glance down at my own meager meal. Not sure if I would ever actually be hungry enough to enjoy Yamaku's cafeteria food, but at least it's nutritious. Or at least that's what they tell us. Jury's still out on that one.

After a few sips of what might be called miso soup I notice the fork fidgeting in Makoto's hand. It's certainly more violent than normal.

“Remembering to take your meds?” I ask as I slurp down another mouthful.

Makoto's eyes shift away for a moment before meeting mine. Such a terrible liar. Or he will be if he decides to feed me some bullshit. Second thought, serve it up, Makoto. Has to taste better than this.

“I can lie just fine thank you.”

Ha. Fair enough. “I didn't say anything.”

“You were thinking it loudly enough.”

“You're stalling.”

Makoto sighs and carefully lays his fork onto his plate. “The damn side effects. They don't tell you about those. They just say, 'Take these, you'll be fine.' But they don't tell you about the headaches or the dry throat, or the...well, intestinal distress.”

Nice. I needed that imagery to make this meal go down easier.

“Well, I'm not your mom. But it seems like all that would be better than the alternative. By the end of the day you'll be-”

“I know very well what will happen," he snaps.

I raise my hands up, “Hey now, just saying. You would tell me the same thing.”

Makoto scoffs and looks away, “I'm sorry, what?”

I inwardly sigh. Cheeky bastard can understand me just fine. But that's just his jerkish way of saying this conversation is over.

Fine by me. Running out of luck with words today anyway.

Unfortunately, my lunch does little to keep me occupied. Most of it still remains, but I did what I could. Pretty well considering, I think. Makoto dives back into his meal with reckless abandon, as if nothing had happened. I actually like that about him. Holding a grudge can be so exhausting.

“So, I'm thinking about talking to Miki.”

Wait, what? Good lord, he better be kidding.

“Why?” As in: Why in the world would you do that? Or maybe: Why do you think that would be a good idea? Or my personal favorite: Why the hell do you think that will solve anything? Pick one.

Makoto just stares back at me like he just said the most obvious thing in the world. “Why not? Don't think I have a shot?”

Hm, let's see. No. Nein. Not a chance in hell. Keep dreaming. Good fucking luck. Pick one.

“Don't you think you are just avoiding the problem?”

“Hardly. Miki is hot. Upgrade, right?”

Is it bad form to punch a kid with Parkinson's? Probably. At least it's probably a few years of bad luck. Can't afford that. Damn, maybe some other time then.

“You'll get shot down, and probably beat up.”

“I think I have a decent shot. We had a nice conversation the other day,” he says as he absently stares off into space, clearly reliving the memory.

I swear this kid has a death wish. “Makoto, listen...to...me. Don't do it. It won't make Takara jealous. All it will do is make you look stupid. And maybe get your nards smashed.”

“Who says I'm trying to make her jealous?”

“I am, thought I made that clear.”

“Whatever, Miki is hotter than Takara.”

That's debatable. He doesn't even really believe what he's saying.

“Fine. Go ask Miki out. I know you really like Takara, and you are doing this for her in some weird ass, completely stupid way, but...”

I feel the words begin to slip away again, but stop myself before I can screw it up. Sometimes I can catch myself. Other times, I'm not even sure I said anything wrong at all. Those are the worst. But as long as I don't actually trip up...it doesn't count. At least, that's what I tell myself.

It was going to be such a nice day.

Makoto notices my hesitation. “Fine. I'll wait. Maybe do some recon. Want to hit up 3-3 with me after classes?”

That sounds like a blast. Playing wingman for Makoto's dumbass plan is exactly how I want to spend my afternoon.

“Pass.”

Makoto shrugs and turns back to his food, but meets an empty tray. “Suit yourself. I'm going to go get some more.”

“Also, pass.”

I watch Makoto leave, wondering how in the hell he can stomach another serving, when a slight vibration rattles my pocket. I slip out my phone and check the text message.

[Meet me in the classroom. Now!]

It would sound more urgent if it wasn't from Emi. But it beats sitting here watching Makoto gobble down another portion of this sludge. Besides, could be interesting.

I drop my tray off and make my way back to the classroom. What the hell could she want from me that can't wait until lunch is over? Probably about Nakai. That girl is too excitable.

I barely have the door open before Emi grabs my jacket by the lapels and tosses me into the classroom. Surprised she can even reach that high. Or pull that hard.

“What the hell?”

Emi quickly closes the door and looks around the room as if expecting someone to jump out of the cabinets. “Can't be too careful.”

I sigh. “About what?”

“Sensitive information.”

Yep, definitely about Nakai. “Emi, I'm pretty sure the whole school is clued into your little crush.”

“Shush! Keep it down!”

“Why?” I point at Rin, who is still slurping her soup in the corner. “She knows. Everyone does.”

Rin stares blankly at both of us for a moment before continuing to eat.

Emi puffs up a little more, “Of course Rin knows. But you don't have to shout it to the whole building.”

“Fine, what was so important?”

The petulant Emi that was in front of me quickly morphs into a reserved, shy Emi, her eyes glued once again to her shoes. Not fair. No one should be able to go from annoying to heartbreakingly adorable that fast. Good thing I'm immune.

“I'm thinking about taking Hisao on a picnic.”

Sigh.

“Is that why you wanted to be alone with him today? To invite him on a picnic? That's all?”

Emi looks up and gives me a stink eye. “What do you mean, that's all?”

“What's the big deal?”

She gives me a perplexed look. “It's a huge deal!”

Girls are hard enough to understand. I'm pretty sure Emi's are even worse.

“Just invite him to the park or something. Bring food. Easy.”

“But what if he get's the wrong idea?”

“What do you mean? You want him to like you.”

She throws her hands into the air, “I don't want him to know that!”

Apparently our talk this morning didn't sink in. Oh, and also, Emi's insane. Not sure if that's news.

“Then take Rin. Make it a group thing, then you know, flirt or something.”

Emi considers the idea for a moment before throwing her arms into the air again, “You're useless, Yuuma.”

Good. I'm tired of all this relationship crap. What's today anyway, 'dump your love lives on Yuuma during lunch day'? Forgot to mark my calendar.

“Hey, fine by me. Just remember, you're the one who asked.”

She huffs and returns to her seat, pouting. Nakai has no idea what kind of trouble he's getting into. I should warn him. But that would take me over to 3-3. Maybe just in time to see Makoto crash and burn.

Hm, that could be fun. Make some popcorn first, grab a soda. I'm sure there is a lawn chair somewhere on campus.

But then he might expect me to help. That doesn't sound like much fun. Miki is kinda scary. She's tiny compared to me, but I'm not sure that would matter. If Emi is any indication, those tiny track girls are stronger than they look. Plus, they’re all nuts.

Yep, not going over there. I would prefer to live.

Well then, I suppose Nakai will have to go unwarned for the time being. Good luck, Nakai. You are certainly going to need it.

Soon enough, everyone begins to filter back into the classroom. Math passes uneventfully, same with English. Mutou's science lecture puts me back to sleep, something I am very grateful for. Bless that man and his droning lessons.

I wake sometime near the end of science, a sizable puddle of drool collecting beneath my jaw. I try to stealthily wipe away the pool of saliva, but Makoto is clearly trying to stifle his laughter. Eh, whatever. It was a good nap.

Mutou stopped rambling at some point and is now lounging behind the desk, an old copy of Hitchhiker's perched between his fingers. I suppose we are supposed to be working? Studying? Something I'm sure. School and all that.

“Hirota, would you mind stepping up here?” Mutou asks without looking up from his book.

Makoto perks up and stares forward for a few moments before rising.

I suppose I should wonder why Mutou wants to talk to Makoto, but right now I think I can slip in another ten minutes of precious sleep before class ends. Yeah, totally can.

Nine minutes and forty-seven seconds later I raise my head up from my desk. Close enough. Pretty damn close, one might say.

Makoto is back at his desk, busy packing up his things. See, that's why I don't bring my books. Too much hassle. That and forgetfulness. Oh, and caring. It helps to care.

“What did Mutou want?”

“Nothing important.”

“Sure.”

Makoto sighs, “Fine. He asked if I had been taking my medication.”

“Not surprising. Your like a jumping bean over there.”

“Fuck you, it's not that bad.”

No, it's not. But it's funny. To me anyway. “What did you tell him?”

“That I forgot.”

“Liar.”

“Yup.”

I rise and stretch out my arms and legs. Desks are great for sleeping, but they sure don't leave you feeling too great.

“Well, if the teachers keep noticing you will have to start taking them again.”

Makoto pauses and stares at his desk. “I know. I'll deal with it then.” He grabs the remainder of his things and makes for the door. “Oh, he also said to tell you to stop sleeping through his lectures. It hurts his feelings.”

“No he didn't.”

“Not in those words, but that was the gist of it.”

I roll my eyes and follow him out the door. “Maybe if his lectures were more interesting.”

“But you love that sci-fi junk.”

“Perhaps, but reading it and having it fed to me in monotone are two very different things.”

Makoto shrugs and turns left, “Whatever, I'm heading to 3-3. Change your mind?”

Oh, god no. “Nope, still pass. Hope you're wearing a cup.”

“I'm just going to talk to her.”

“Sure, got it. Godspeed and all that.”

I walk away and deliver a parting wave over my shoulder. Poor kid. Has no idea what shit storm awaits him.

I have speech therapy in about twenty minutes, but frankly that sounds kinda boring and terrible right about now. I have a nice warm bed waiting for me back in my room. Getting sleepy just thinking about it. Yeah, bed seems like a clear winner. I deserve it anyway. For reasons.

I amble back towards the dorms. All around me students are living their normal sleep kind of lives. Running around, excited to be free from their educational prison for a short time. I could do that, too. Maybe if they all switched to my hours.

Probably easier for me to switch. Ugh, I'll try.

I barely close my door before collapsing into the soft warmth of my bed. Why can't I feel like this at night? Because you're tired now, dumbass. You stay up all night and sleep all day.

Shush, brain. Go to sleep.

Fine, but when you get up, we are talking about this.

Yeah, and at great length I'm sure.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Okay, so a few things. It is revealed in the VN that Emi and Rin are in 3-4, but I couldn't find any mention of their homeroom teacher. For some reason I had it in my head that it was Nomiya. He teaches for the art club, but it seemed to me that he would also have to teach a primary class as well. So I figured with his propensity for art history that he would teach history. Could be 100% wrong over here. If anyone knows anything definitive, let me know. Otherwise, if it's all fair game, I'm sticking with it.

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Last edited by Acik on Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:21 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:09 am

Their probably worried.
No, their not. They're.
...I think they heard that in 3-1.]
That would be a feat, since 3-1 is for he hearing impaired ;-)
“Lair.”
He should practice his insults...
Because your tired now
"you're"
About Nomiya, he's always referred to only as the art teacher, but technically they never say he doesn't teach other subjects as well, so why not?
However I'm not really fond of piling several conditions on one character. Apraxia and Narcolepsy are an especially weird combination. Or is the latter supposed to be a side effect of his medications? If so it seems rather extreme: It seems to impact him more than the Apraxia...
Oh and what about the new student that was supposed to arrive?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by Acik » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:26 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:No, their not. They're.
Fixed. I always expect some errors to get through, but damn if I'm not annoyed that I let those through.
Mirage_GSM wrote:That would be a feat, since 3-1 is for he hearing impaired
Ah, so glad someone got that. It's a minor detail for the time being, but I have some plans for 3-1 in the future...(cue cryptic music)
Mirage_GSM wrote:Apraxia and Narcolepsy are an especially weird combination. Or is the latter supposed to be a side effect of his medications? If so it seems rather extreme: It seems to impact him more than the Apraxia...
This is my fault, I probably laid it on a little thick. He is not narcoleptic. He is mostly a slave to his sleep patterns. I suppose one could say he suffers from insomnia, but it is within his control to fix it if he could just get back on a normal schedule. I will keep in mind in the future how heavily I might be alluding to thing.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Oh and what about the new student that was supposed to arrive?
Soon...soon...(refer to cryptic cue above)
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by Guestimate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:48 pm

Well, I don't like being just another " +1 moar" person, but there is no "like" button and I want to show my support for this. Good characters, nice dose of snark. I bet Miki says yes :P . I'm wondering how he got to know Emi as well as he does. Especially given her reluctance to open up in canon.

Huh, guess it turned into more than a +1 after all...

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by CaptainFalcon » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:39 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
That would be a feat, since 3-1 is for he hearing impaired ;-)
I just assumed that it was one of those silly jokes, like "That was so loud a deaf person could hear it" That's the kind of vibe I got from that line but that could just be me
Anyway I enjoyed this chapter, i'm looking forward to seeing how it pans out

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by Acik » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:33 am

Guestimate wrote:I'm wondering how he got to know Emi as well as he does. Especially given her reluctance to open up in canon.
A legitimate concern I had when writing her in to this. Emi is a likable girl and fairly popular, and while she doesn't have too many close friends (mainly Rin and I guess Nurse), she most likely has many friends/acquaintances. As far as her propensity for talking to Yuuma, they developed a bit of a relationship during Yuuma's morning wanderings. Also, she's a teenage girl with a crush. At this point she probably isn't thinking about spilling her guts to Hisao or falling madly in love with him. He's just a cute boy that she is smitten with. She's going to want to talk about it, and given Rin's nature I'm not sure if she would give the best relationship advice. Of course, Yuuma probably doesn't have much more of a clue, but he's a third party that she trusts to a certain extent.

That's my reasoning anyway. Heaven knows if it makes sense to anyone else. Anyway, thanks for feedback everyone. It's nice to know what people think, good or bad, to help aid in the writing process. Churning out the next chapter as soon as I am able.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by Acik » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:48 pm

Chapter Three: Signs in the Dark

I envy people who dream. At least I think I do. A part of me finds the whole thing exhausting. I go to sleep to stop thinking; why in the world would I want to keep my brain busy all night with silly dreams? But it has to be better than just empty sleep.

Of course, I dream anyway. That's what my shrink tells me. I just don't remember. No fleeting ideas left in the corner of my mind moments after I wake. No recollection at all. I wake up. That's it.

Not sure if that's normal.

Can't be too bad or my shrink would have made a bigger deal out of it. But it just seems like one of those things that everyone, or nearly everyone, does. But not me. It is such a small thing. I mean, it's just dreams. Useless dreams. But, sometimes...

Being normal must be so nice. Or boring. Boring can be nice, I suppose.

I roll out of bed and snatch my phone off the nightstand. Not sure why I'm looking, it's still daylight out after all. I should go back to sleep, but oddly I don't feel like it. I nabbed about an hour, far from my intended goal, but I know if I lie back down nothing will get done. No sleep. Just circles.

Screw that.

For once, I feel slightly rested. I should probably capitalize on that. I have a mountain of homework to do, a few library books to return, and I could probably stand to clean my room. Homework seems the most pressing in my mind, and oddly, the lesser of three evils. Now, where did I put my books?

Clothes litter the floor from door to desk and several piles of what I can only describe as 'stuff' collect at the foot of my bed. Several books of varying sizes and colors lay strewn across my desk, but none have the colorful textures and oversized characteristics of textbooks. Where the hell did I put those damn things?

Maybe the room should come first. Hooray.

I sigh and set about my grim work when a sharp knock shakes my door. I snap up and stare at the knob, as if expecting it to start turning upon its own accord. No one knocks on my door. Makoto has a key, and uses it liberally without knocking. No one else on this floor ever comes knocking.

The door rattles once again, the knocking getting more forceful.

“Coming! Good lord, calm down!”

This better be freakin' good.

Before I can navigate around the piles of cloth on the floor, I hear repeated clicking and metal tumblers turning over. Why would Makoto knock if he was coming right in?

The door creaks open and a head of dark hair peeks through. But it isn't Makoto's. Much too long, nearly waist length. And attached to a face I was not expecting to see today. Or wanting too really, but best not tell her that.

“Hello, Eguchi.” I try to sound pleasant, but I'm almost positive it was still pretty full of snark. Oh well, I tried.

Reiko Eguchi, the last person I wanted to see at this exact moment. Wasn't aware of that until just now, but yeah, pretty sure about it.

Eguchi continues to peek around the door as if afraid to come in. But the expression on her face is a far cry from fear. If I had to guess, I would place it somewhere between anger and massive uncomfortableness. Did she think I would be naked? I said I was coming to the door. And why the hell does she have a key? Do all the faculty members have keys?

I open my mouth to ask, but she finally opens the door fully and stands up straight, hands on hips. It's fairly imposing, but some of the effect is lost considering how I tower over here. But for some reason, adults always seem bigger than they are. Even if she is barely older than I am.

“Yuuma, you missed another session.” She says it casually, almost unemotionally, but her face betrays her real feelings. She is pissed. Can't say I've ever seen her mad.

I gently push a pile of clothes to the side with my toes, “Sorry about the mess, was just about to clean, actually.”

Eguchi narrows her dark eyes, “You can't keep doing this, Yuuma.”

“Would you like to come in? I'm afraid the tea has grown quite cold, but I should be able to find some fresh scones somewhere.”

White floods my vision as her hand flies across my face. Did...what the hell!? Did she just slap me?

I bring my hand up to my cheek, just to see if it stings. Yep, sure does. Well, if I wasn't awake before, I sure am now.

“I'm not going to argue that I didn't deserve that. But I figured you would be used to all that crap from me by now.” I say through clenched teeth. It hurt, but it's not the first time I have been hit for being a smart ass. Still, why am I so angry?

I find myself resisting the urge to strike back, but a whole slew of things stop me. She's a teacher, a girl, and an elder even if only by a bit, and most importantly: I don't want to. I feel the anger, and the pain of the slap still subsiding on my face, but I really have no will to hit her. Just reflexes. Or maybe I know I was being a little shit. Who knows?

She looks visibly calmer as she lets out a long breath, “I'm sorry about that. I shouldn't have done that.”

I take a deep breath as well and let my anger flow away. “How long have you been holding that one in?”

She smiles sheepishly, “Honestly?”

“No. I would rather not know.”

She barks a small laugh, “No, you really don't.”

“I'm sorry I missed today.”

Eguchi sighs and begins to pull out her pocket organizer. “And yesterday. And three days before that. And twice last week.”

Good lord, this girl needs a hobby. Unless her job is her hobby. How horrifying.

“I'm sorry.”

“You say that far too often for my liking, Yuuma. I'm glad you can say it clearly, but you need to come consistently or else none of this will stick.”

“You're not my first speech therapist-”

“Language pathologist.”

“-speech language pathologist. I know how it works.”

She rubs her eyes and lets out an exasperated sigh, “Then why do you continue to neglect our sessions? Don't you want to get better?”

Yes, of course I do. I hate tripping over my own tongue. I hate when my brain forgets how to form words and make sentences. I would love to talk without a slight slur or garbling my words. But that kind of contradicts my actions. Which begs the question: Why do I do it? Still trying to figure that one out.

“Yuuma, you have to let me help you.”

I chuckle, “You are beginning to sound like my real therapist.”

She seems to chafe at my mention of 'real' therapists, but chooses not to comment.

“Your father is paying a lot of money for you to attend this school. You should do your best to honor the sacrifices he has made for you.”

“Damn it, you're right. I have brought dishonor to the Iwasaki name. I'm afraid I've lost my katana. Can you commit ritual seppuku with a pen?”

I see her hand flinch and I immediately begin to back peddle, expecting another slap. Instead of another hand ramming against my cheek, my foot catches in a pile of clothes and I tumble backwards. Luckily, I land in the same pile. Must have been a big one.

Eguchi looks more amused than angry as she crouches down to my level. “You're clever, Yuuma. A smart ass about it, but still clever. You have gotten so much better with your words in two years, and I just want to help you express your thoughts more accurately. Now stop being an ungrateful little boy and meet me halfway.”

It seems like we have had this conversation before. Probably have. I would wager it wasn't as...animated?...as this one. Will remember this one better.

“I'll try harder.”

A beaming smile replaces all remains of her bemusement as she leans over with her hand extended. “Good, let's get started.”

I take her hand and rise, “Now? Our time slot is done.”

She helps me to my feet and brushes off my shoulders, “So? You wasted my time by not showing up. I'm going to waste yours now. Turnabout is fair play.”

“Real professional.”

She giggles and turns for the door, “Never said I was professional, just damn effective.”

“You think highly of yourself.”

“No, the Board of Directors thinks highly of me.”

I suppose there is a reason she holds a solid position at a nice private school, but she doesn't have to be a brat about it. It isn't a good look on her.

“Are you coming?”

I blink and realize she is out the door already. “Where are we going?”

“Just follow me.”

I sigh and leave my room. Cleaning and homework will have to wait. Not sure if I'm excited or annoyed by that.

I follow her out of the building and we cross the grounds heading for the main gate. Evening is approaching, so many of the students have retreated back to the dorms, but several stragglers still dot the grounds. A few boys kick a soccer ball around. A group of girls sit under the trees, most likely gossiping or something of the like. Makoto and Miki sitting on a bench, talking closely.

Wait, what?
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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