Waiting (Chapter Ten, 7/15)

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

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

I freeze and blink a few times, just to make sure I'm not hallucinating. Nope, the image is definitely still there. Makoto is sitting on a bench in front of the auxiliary building sitting rather closely to Miki, their heads together and talking quickly in hushed tones. There is no possibly way that worked out for him. Just...no.

But, I can't deny what I'm seeing. I quickly move to catch up with Eguchi, but keep my eyes peeled to the side, watching for...something. Anything.

Makoto is facing away from me, but as I pass by Miki looks up and gives me a big grin and a thumbs up. I limply bring up my hand in some sort of wave, hopefully. Pretty sure I look as confused as I feel.

Seeing Miki look away, Makoto turns and searches for what distracted her. His eyes fall on me for a moment and I can almost feel how annoyed he is. After quickly staring daggers at me, he turns back to Miki and starts to whisper. Miki rolls her eyes and leans back in.

Well, that was interesting.

I refuse to believe he pulled it off. Miki has to be humoring him or something. Or maybe it's some sort of prank. Would Miki publicly humiliate him? She is a pretty big gossip, wouldn't be hard for her to flirt some embarrassing information out of him. Would she do that? Would he deserve it? Probably. Stupid idea, anyway.

I try to ignore what just happened and focus on following Eguchi...somewhere. Where the hell are we going? We're practically at the gates.

“Are we leaving school grounds?”

Eguchi doesn't turn to address me. “Yes. Thought it would be nice to have a change of scenery. Classrooms are depressing without a full class.”

“They're pretty depressing regardless of what's in them,” I snort.

She ignores my comment, something she's becoming too good at, and walks through the black wrought iron gates leading out of Yamaku. The wooded country surrounding the school breaks long enough for a small road to wind down into the tiny town below. They built this school in such a secluded place, as if they wanted to hide all of us away. They can make it look nice and comfortable all they want, but we know what we are. Or maybe they think they are protecting us? Oh man, that would be a laugh.

It's all so ridiculous. Hide us away for all of high school then thrust us into the world with nothing but a quality education? Not sure if good grades and a scholarship will stop people from staring or snickering at me when I butcher a sentence. Or forget how to use a fork. That's always a little embarrassing.

But they teach us character, don't they! Be the best person you can be! The world will respect that and respect you for it!

Not sure if the real world works that way. Can't be certain, though, can I? Never had to live in the real world. Maybe it's exactly like that. But I'm not counting on it. All I can do is try to become as normal as possible until I'm thrown to the wolves. Not off to a great start. Skipping speech therapy most likely isn't helping, either. What's wrong with me?

Not getting an answer to that today. Or anytime soon. Been waiting for a while.

“Yuuma, where would you like to go?”

I crash back into reality, and realize Eguchi has stopped about halfway into town. She searches my eyes as if expecting me to have a favorite place to go or something. She knows me better than that, doesn't she?

“I don't care.”

She pouts, “Come on. What do you kids like to do these days?”

“Stop talking like a geezer, you're twenty-six.”

“Twenty-six and very out of the loop. So where would you like to go?”

I sigh. Lessons somewhere new. How exciting.

“A lot of kids go to the Shanghai or the Beijing to hang out.”

Eguchi furrows her brow, “I didn't ask where other kids like to go. I asked you where you like to go.”

She isn't going to let up, is she?

“Why don't we just stay outside. There's a park nearby.”

She smiles weakly for a moment as if she knows I'm just giving her an answer for the sake of one, but thankfully she doesn't press me on it. “All right, Yuuma.”

I take the lead and we head over to the small park in the center of town. Hardly much of one considering how much nature is only a short walk away, but it's a small patch of green in a pond of grays and browns.

We walk over to one of the larger trees and take a seat under its branches. The shade is nice, but almost unneeded considering the hour. In fact, under the tree it might get too dark to see pretty fast. Maybe this won't take too long.

Eguchi takes a moment to brush off her pants before going into business mode, “You are speaking well today, Yuuma. Are you taking time with your words? Any incidents lately?”

Oh, boy. Here we go.

“I had an issue in history today.”

Eguchi's face softens a bit. She knows how much I hate tripping up in public.

“I'm sorry about that. Did you realize it right away?”

“Not immediately, but fairly fast.”

She brings up her hands and signs something. In the low light, I have to have her repeat it before I can understand.

[Your brain still isn't pairing things correctly. You know this. Take time next time and really think about it first. Mouth it out. We can't stop all problems, not yet. But we can minimize them.]

Heard all that before.

“Why are you signing?”

She puts her finger over her mouth and begins to sign again.

[No talking. Not until I tell you to. We will sign until exercises.]

I roll my eyes.

[Why? It's not as if talking a lot makes it worse.]

[No, it doesn't. But I want you to think about speaking. Don't just react to it. Think about it.]

Well, this is new. Maybe she read about it somewhere. Must be all the rage.

[All right, then. I'm game.]

She smiles and starts to sign out my exercises. I repeat what she signs to me, but only after she thinks I have had enough time to process the statement. Sometimes it's only a few seconds. Other times she makes me wait minutes before speaking aloud. It's completely different from anything we have done before, or anything I have done with any speech therapist in my life. Seems backwards. When I was a child, the teachers would speak out my phrases for me so I could hear them. How they were supposed to sound. What I thought I sounded like.

I still remember the first time I heard myself speak. I had to beg my dad to let me record myself. He probably only let me do it because he was there. I cried all night after that.

Speaking with a mouth of mush when you think everything sounds fine can get pretty frustrating.

But this process...I don't know. I'm not hearing it all. I'm not mimicking. I'm having to form all the words myself. It's not really harder. I know how to speak, but...I can't place it. I have to think about it more. I suppose that's the point.

Eguchi cracks her fingers and flexes her wrists, “I haven’t had to sign that much in some time. What did you think of all that?”

I let out a breath. “Honestly, it's a little exhausting. I'm not sure if it helps any better.”

“Give it time. Our lessons will be like this for a while.”

Damn. Definitely not an incentive to attend on a regular basis. But if it works, I can't complain. We shall see.

“I'm thrilled.”

“I know! You are practically bouncing in excitement,” she says.

“You know me all too well.”

Eguchi lets out a girlish giggle, one that betrays her true age. She gets so business-like and distant when we sit down to work. But she must have a life, with friends and stuff. She's still a young woman. Easy on the eyes as well, if you're into that sort of thing.

“-should know about?”

What? Damn, she's got me all messed up with my mouth right now.

“What?”

She sighs and repeats herself, “Any other incidents I should know about? When was the last time you had a sequence problem?”

“Since when are you an expert on ideational apraxia?”

“Don't be a smart ass, Yuuma. Any problems?”

I hate talking about my 'other' apraxia. Verbal is annoying enough. But one wasn't enough for me, was it. Two types aren't that uncommon, they said. I should be lucky my verbal apraxia is mild. That's what they tell me. Lucky. Sure feel like it.

“Two days ago. Was getting dressed and locked up for a little bit.”

Eguchi pulls out a pen and pad and starts to scribble something down. “How long did it last?”

Is she really writing this stuff down? Dear lord.

“About five minutes. Couldn't remember how buttons worked, apparently.”

She continues to write and doesn't look up as she responds, “It wasn't the execution? Just the concept?”

Kill me now. Please. Anyone?

“No. I didn't miss or try something stupid. I just stood there. Like an idiot.”

“Yuuma, it's nothing to be ashamed of.”

Really? It isn't? Oh, thank you for telling me that. Never heard it before now.

“Yeah, that's what they say.”

“It's true.”

“Maybe. But it's damn frustrating to forget how to work buttons. Or how about remembering what a fork does? Have you ever sat in the lunch room holding a fork. Staring at it. Trying it a hundred different ways, except the one way it's meant to be used?”

She recoils. “I'm just curious.”

“Why? Going back for another degree?” I spit.

Her face hardens. “You are my patient, Yuuma. Your continued well-being is my interest. I may not be qualified to help you with your ideational apraxia, but it is well within my right to ask about it.”

Why am I getting so worked up? I need a nap.

“I'm sorry. Can we just not talk about it right now?”

She lets out a breath and rises, “Fine. But from now on I want to know everything that happens to you.”

“Apraxia related, right?”

“Of course. You can keep your super secret adolescent love life to yourself.”

I don't dignify her with a response as I rise. She's one to talk. I bet she's still a virgin. Hm, maybe I should say something. There's a solid insult in there somewhere.

As I begin to form the attack in my head a voice calls out to me from somewhere. Both Eguchi and I turn to find the source. My name rings through the air once again, closer. We both turn toward the street and I see the source of the voice. A boy, not much older than me, strides toward us, hand outstretched in greeting. Do I know this kid? He isn't in my class.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Last edited by Acik on Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by Acik » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:49 pm

He's tall. Not my size by any means, but probably only a bit shorter. He's smiling like a madman, his gray eyes sparkling. His short brown hair is gelled up into spikes in the front. Never liked that. But it does seem familiar.

“Yuuma! Hey, man!”

He strides up, wild smile still in place, until he sees my confused expression. His ten mile grin slowly recedes.

“Ah, having an episode, eh?” He turns to Eguchi. “It's okay. He freezes sometimes, but he'll snap out of it soon.”

Eguchi cocks an eyebrow and snorts. “Right. I'll be right over there if you need me, Yuuma.”

She walks a short distance away and pulls out her cell phone, leaving me alone with this crazy ass...hold on.

“Kiyoshi?”

“Yeah, what?” Kiyoshi asks, oblivious of my confusion.

It is him! Damn, he looks different. Different enough in three years for me not to recognize him. Taller for one. But then again, I fully didn't expect to run into my middle school best friend here. Or ever again, for that matter.

“Kiyoshi.” I repeat, as if to solidify who he really he is.

He tilts his head, “Did you get even more messed up in the head while I was gone?”

I punch him on the shoulder, “What the hell, man?”

He recoils and laughs while rubbing his shoulder, “Sorry! You seemed a bit far away.”

“Of course I was! You blindsided me!”

He just shrugs and gestures to Eguchi. “Who's the hottie?”

Good lord.

“That's my speech therapist.”

“Really? Lucky bastard.” He eyeballs Eguchi from the side before the realization hits him. “Shit, I just made an ass of myself, didn't I?”

“Nothing new there.”

“I see you're still a dick.”

I shrug. Almost feels like old times. Almost.

“Why are you here, Kiyoshi?”

“Damn, don't sound so excited about it.” He laughs.

“Surely you aren't here to see me.”

Three years and not even a phone call. Hell, he never even came by when I was home during the breaks. Of course, I didn't seek him out either. We we're probably just friends by circumstance, anyway. He was willing to befriend a kid who could hardly speak, and I wanted a friend. Now, it's different. It's more like a family member you haven’t seen in awhile. We don't talk about how we didn't keep up, we just act like nothing happened. It's far from a comfortable feeling, but it's somewhat familiar.

Kiyoshi shifts awkwardly, “No. Not exactly. I knew you would be here. Not here, here. But at Yamaku.”

The more he speaks the more I feel like I'm a kid again. I don't like it. Not one bit. It's all so confusing. It's nice to see Kiyoshi, but I certainly don't enjoy the memories it brings back to the surface. It feels like going home. No thanks.

“So...what brings you to my neck of the woods?”

Kiyoshi eyes his shoes. Is he really that uncomfortable? He was fine a moment ago.

“Well, I'm-” He stops abruptly.

“What?” I prod. He isn't going to attend is he? I don't think I could handle that. Besides, there isn't anything wrong with him.

He sighs, “Do you remember how-”

“Kiyoshi!”

A feminine voice calls out from the street. At first I think it's Eguchi, but she is still engrossed in her phone call. I glance past Kiyoshi as he turns. A good distance away a girl stands under a freshly lit streetlamp. It's too far to make out anything other than that it is indeed a girl.

Kiyoshi turns back to me and begins to back away, “Look, I gotta go. But I'll be around until tomorrow. We should hang for a bit or something.”

I stand frozen, confused.

“Kiyoshi!”

He turns and walks away, “Sorry, bro! Later!”

I stare after him, thoroughly perplexed. Honestly, if Eguchi hadn't addressed him, I would have thought it was all in my head.

“You know that kid?” Eguchi asks as she approaches.

I stare after the fleeting forms of Kiyoshi and the girl, “Yeah. Knew him in middle school. Friend of mine.”

“Oh, well that's nice.”

“Not really.”

“Well, he sure ran off in a hurry.”

I nod. What the hell was all that about? He comes out of nowhere and then bolts?

I rub my temples. My brain is fried. I'm running on minimal sleep and today was far from fun. I just want my bed. My soft, warm, tiny little bed. And it's only a few hours before normal people sleep. Hell, I might even sleep through the night. All it takes is a truly exhausting day and a teacher who won't let me sleep. Piece of cake. Should do it more often.

“I'm heading back.”

Eguchi frowns, “Speak clearly, Yuuma. Don't let your speech slack because you're tired.”

I mumble an apology and walk away. I'm not looking forward to the journey back, but I'm hoping it will only exacerbate my exhaustion. I'm determined to sleep tonight. I'm going to sleep the crap out of tonight.

Sleep's not going to know what hit it.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Last edited by Acik on Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by RedRover » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:59 pm

Not much I can say, other than nice chapter. For some reason, I'm very interested as to what's happening with this Makoto fella and Miki. Dunno why.
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." -Confucius
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by Guestimate » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Well, since you haven't had many comments, and I don't want you to get discouraged... erm... [insert encouraging message here}.

... :P

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by Minion of Chaos » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:00 am

Guestimate wrote:Well, since you haven't had many comments, and I don't want you to get discouraged... erm... [insert encouraging message here}.

... :P
Just because nobody is saying anything doesnt mean that nobody is reading (awkward phrasing is awkward). I've been quietly keeping an eye on and enjoying this fic

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Three, 8/16)

Post by Acik » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:39 pm

RedRover wrote:For some reason, I'm very interested as to what's happening with this Makoto fella and Miki. Dunno why.
Should be fun. Having fun writing it, in any case.
Guestimate wrote: [insert encouraging message here}.
I suppose that means I get to come up with my own? *thinking* Think I got a good one. You really are far too kind. And I do look good today, thank you! :lol:
Minion of Chaos wrote:Just because nobody is saying anything doesnt mean that nobody is reading (awkward phrasing is awkward). I've been quietly keeping an eye on and enjoying this fic
Always good to know. I blame my new editor for the lack of replies. Didn't let enough mistakes through to lure in the grammar police. :wink:

Thanks for the support and comments, everyone. Chapter Four should be up by the weekend.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Acik » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:58 pm

Chapter Four: Coming Up Short

Mornings are overrated. Then again, a lot of people hate mornings, too. I guess I'm not a morning person. No big surprise there, I suppose. I had hoped after my most normal night of sleep in God knows how long, I would feel a little better. But waking up to sunlight is a little bit awful. Pretty awful, really.

I must have slept for at least ten hours. That might have been the problem. Don't they say too much sleep is almost as bad as too little? Who are 'they' anyway? Where do they get off saying too much sleep is a bad thing? But I can't deny how I feel. Still...

I suppose if nothing else this will help me reset my sleep pattern. I knew it was going to be a terrible experience when I eventually did it, but I didn't plan to start so soon. The next few days are going to be tough. Tougher than normal, anyway.

My goal for today, though, is to just stay awake in class. Not for my academic integrity, but mostly so I don't crap out too soon. Already, I can feel the lull of my bed calling me back to it's warm embrace. That can't be good. Only been awake for twenty minutes.

Is this what people feel like all the time in the morning? Poor bastards.

I take another sip of the rapidly cooling cup of coffee sitting on the table in front of me. It's far from good...or tolerable, for that matter, but I thought I would give it a shot. Coffee is what normal people drink in the morning, isn't it? Can't begin to imagine why. Tastes like crap, and so far, has yet to wake me up. Maybe the taste is supposed to shock me into wakefulness? Seems like a better contender than caffeine at this point.

Setting down the cup, I take a nibble of toast. I should be thankful the small kitchen in the dorms has a toaster and an untended loaf of bread. Otherwise, I would have to suffer another mediocre Yamaku meal. My eyes shift down to my cup of mediocre coffee. I have plenty of that already, thanks.

A few rays of sunlight filter in through the window, seemingly much less than the barrage of light that shone through my own window not too long ago. It seems that my side of the building faces the 'you will get destroyed by sunlight' side. I think I already knew that. I should utilize my curtains. Yes, that would be the smart thing to do. Noted.

Apparently, I'm still not thinking too clearly. After yesterday, I would have thought a good night's sleep would have helped. But I still feel frazzled. Too much is going on. It doesn't seem like much. Nothing, really. How boring my life must be when nothing is suddenly something. And that something, no matter how small, is still too much for me. I'm not even overwhelmed. Just...unwilling.

That can't be good.

My shrink tells me I have motivation problems. Not sure if I ever believed him. He might be on to something. Smug asshole.

Just another thing to work on. One of many. Get in line.

It seems that my nightly pity party that I skipped last night is coming in full force this morning. Can't escape from my own mind. Not yet, anyway. They say alcohol does wonders.

Before I can think of anything nefarious, a shuffling of feet draws my attention to the door. Hisao strides in, sporting gym clothes, and looking thoroughly worn out. Poor guy. I can't imagine the hell be must going through.

“Hey, Hisao.”

He stops cold and stares at me. Deer in headlights.

“Oh, hey...” he trails off. His eyes shift back and forth.

Do I just have that effect on people? What a lame superpower. 'Come on, Awkwardness Man! Two peoples hand's touched in the fruit isle and we need you STAT!'

Maybe he didn't understand me. I still feel pretty tired, I'm probably slurring a little harder than normal. Or maybe he just can't remember my name. Yeah, probably that. Still not ruling out the superpower, though. Could be fun.

“Yuuma.”

Hisao sputters and lets out a strained laugh, “Yeah, Yuuma. Right. Hey.”

Jesus, this kid might be worse with his words than me. “Just get back from running, eh?”

He looks at me like I'm some kind of wizard before realizing the obviousness of it. “Oh, yeah. Sure am. Every morning.”

“With Emi, right?”

He nods. “Yeah, she's...something.”

I don't know if it's a little cute or a little nauseating how they dance around each other. Leaning toward the latter.

“On the track?”

Hisao's eyes widen, “Um, of course. Yeah, she's really good.”

This is kind of fun.

“She sure is. And all that running does wonders for her, don't ya think?”

Can someone convey surprise, outrage, and embarrassment all in one look? He's sure trying his hardest. This should be entertaining.

I do my best not to let my amusement show, but it's a little difficult.

“She's single, right?” I ask.

Hisao narrows his eyes. “I'm the wrong person to ask.”

I grin, “Are you?”

He arches an eyebrow. “Yes. Why do you want to know?”

“No reason.”

Hisao squirms where he stands. He is so easy. Dance, puppet! Dance!

“Of course there's a reason. Why do you want to know?”

Oh, he looks mad. Like, really pissed. Hm, might have miscalculated.

“Always good to keep an eye open. Wouldn't you agree, Hisao?”

He balls his fists and looks as if he is fighting the urge to fling himself at me. Probably shouldn't have poked the bear. Still. Kinda fun.

I wonder if I could even take him? I mean, I'm bigger. Does that count for anything? He is almost my height, if a little scrawny. Can't say I have ever been in a fight. Not a real one, anyway. What if he is some sort of judo master or something? Whatever is wrong with him isn't visually apparent. Could he even fight with what's wrong with him?

Why am I even considering it? I don't want to fight him. I'm the one being a dick. Probably get us both kicked out of here if he started something.

I smirk as if to say it was all a goof, but he doesn't seem to buy it. It probably just looks like a shit eating grin to him.

Come on, Hisao. You know I'm all talk. Right?

Slowly, Hisao uncurls his fists and slackens up his posture. Slightly.

“Can't say I understand what you mean,” he says.

That was a little scary. A little fun, too. Possibly too mean, but he looks like he can take it. Besides, he will get what he wants soon enough. But he does looks pretty peeved.

“Hey, calm down. I'm only messing with you.” I try to explain.

Hisao's expression doesn't soften.

“Look, I'm in her class. We're good...” I trail off. Good friends? Bad phrasing, and probably not true besides. “...well, we're friends. I'm only teasing ya.”

Shrugging, Hisao sets off down the hall. “Whatever. Catch ya later, Yuuma.”

“Later, Hisao.”

He grunts something and walks away.

Yep. Definitely still mad.

Oh well. He will forget all about this little meeting once Emi pounces all over him. He will have his hand's full. Probably literally as well as figuratively. Hm, that left a sour taste on my tongue. I'm not jealous, am I? Emi's cute and all, but...I don't think I could stand being 'with' her. Probably make me run. Eat right. And she's crazy. She has a full serving of insane stored into that tiny frame. Probably a hell cat in the sack, though.

Good lord, brain! Shut up!

Just because she is basically the only female you have had any real interaction with recently, doesn’t mean you suddenly have feelings for her. It's only because she is about to become unavailable. Apparently, there was a corner of my mind that thought there was always a possibility. Ha, who knew? Learn something everyday.

Not the best start with Hisao, though. I probably only said ten words to the guy before today, and I wager a majority of those words were just me introducing myself. Hopefully, he'll lighten up soon. He seems like such an uptight guy. Of course, that could be my fault. I was less than hospitable.

Why did I do that anyway? Was it because of some unconscious feelings for Emi? I don't think so. Doesn't feel that way. I know I sometimes I can be a little...abrasive?...but that was a little more than abrasive, I think. I almost feel like apologizing. Almost.

Mornings clearly don't agree with me.

I do feel a little more awake now. That's something. Someone looking like they are about to sock you typically has that effect. Much better than coffee, in my opinion. Probably not a healthy habit, though. Hopefully not addictive.

I stare back down into the black bitter sludge in front of me. I think I'm plenty awake now. No point in continuing this torture. I rise and dump out the remainder of the offensive liquid before discarding the foam cup into the garbage. Well, I tried it. That should count for something. New experiences and all that. Never again.

Snatching the last corner of toasted bread off my plate, I make my way out of the dorm. I still have about half an hour before class, but I might as well head on over. If I can get a grasp on this whole 'sleeping at normal hours' thing, I should plan to wake a little later. Down time like this is so dull. Too much time and too little time at the same...time. I wonder where Makoto is? Still sleeping, most likely. Oh well, I guess I'll entertain myself, somehow.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Last edited by Acik on Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Acik » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:59 pm

The grounds seem familiar at least. I'm usually already up at this time anyway. Under different circumstances, of course. The normal crowd seems to be out. The same early risers and over achievers that I see on a daily basis. The same ones who probably think the same of me. The ones who don't know me, anyway.

As I reach the main building, I hesitate. It's sort of nice out. Maybe I should spend some time outside before beginning a day of fighting sleep. There is a slight chill in the air, but the sun is out in force, and quite warm. Might help my disposition this morning. Didn't think it needed helping, but my interaction with Hisao sort of shatters that theory. Some fresh air might do me some good.

I take a seat on a nearby bench and close my eyes and take a deep breath. Everything sort of slows down when I do this. I can hear the beating of my own heart along with the chirping of the birds and the rustle of the wind. It's nice. Calming...

“Wahahaha!”

Dear. Lord.

I already know before opening my eyes what assaulted my ears. Not ten paces from me Miss Student Council President and her pink haired toady stomp toward the building. Shizune looks livid about something. Nothing new there. Misha seems to find it hilarious, though. She could be quieter about it.

I'm well out of their eye line, but decide to make a silent prayer to whatever god will listen for them not to notice me. Shizune looks like she doesn't need an excuse to tear into someone, and I'm certainly the closest target. And after the tongue...finger?...lashing she gave me at the festival, I would rather not provoke her. Even though I'm just sitting here. That might just be enough.

Thankfully, they both enter the building without even the slightest glance in my direction. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding in and close my eyes once more. Best to avoid her at all costs. Seems like I have a habit of pissing off people in 3-3. There has to be a few more people in there I haven’t made angry. Taro, maybe? Is he even capable of anger? Not a mean bone in that guy's body.

Well, at least I don't share a classroom with them. Not my problem. At least, not until one of them wants to make it my problem. Cross that bridge later.

Sighing, I lay my head back and try to achieve some semblance of relaxation.

“Ahem...”

Or not.

I swing my head back up to see what new disruption awaits me. It seems this time it is in the form of Takara Asato. She stands in front of me, hands folded at her waist, black hair curled and cascading, her hazel eyes shining. It's far too early to look so prim and proper.

“What is it?” I exhale.

She tilts her head and points to her ear. Ah, seems like she opted to go without her hearing aids today.
It's too early to sign. Sigh.

[What do you want, Takara?]

Takara unfolds her hands and begins to sign with clear and flowing motions. [Last week's paperwork needs to be brought to 3-1 as soon as possible.]

Really? Tanabata isn't for another...hm. When is that thing? This weekend? Still, not my problem.

[Do I look like the class rep?]

She smirks. [Certainly not. You're much too tall.]

I snort. [I suppose I am. Why are you even asking? You aren't the class rep, either.]

[One doesn't have to be the class representative to take an interest in the workings of one's class.]

Geez, she might as well be with talk like that. Another true believer, it seems. 3-1 is full of 'em.

[Well, I'll relay the message to Jun.]

[Thank you.]

She smiles and folds her hands behind her back. She doesn't move to leave. I stare blankly back at her. Come on, just ask about Makoto, already. We both know that's what you really want to do.

Takara takes a deep breath, gives me another smile, and walks away. Well, then. Okay.

Yamaku's rumor mill runs fast. There is virtually no way she didn't hear about Makoto and Miki yesterday. She has to be dying to ask me what's going on with that. Not that I could answer. Hell, I'm still baffled by that whole thing. All I know is that there is no way Miki is interested in Makoto. Hm, that's sounds a little petty doesn't it? As if a girl like Miki couldn't go for a guy like Makoto? Maybe I'm just jealous that he is actually trying for something. Then again, he's being an idiot about it. Miki is just a distraction for him. An escape from his real problem. The one that just walked away.

He will have to handle this one on his own. This little stunt of his was dangerous, and I really don't feel like bailing him out of it. Of course, I will probably still have to, but it's nice to put up a token effort.

I got my own problems, anyway. On top of all my normal annoyances, freakin' Kiyoshi Tagawa had to stumble back into my life. I missed him as a friend, but I closed the book on that part of my life nearly three years ago. I was fine with never seeing him again. I fully expected that to be the case. But here he is. Somewhere nearby is a walking reminder of my past. It isn't all bad, but I would much rather forget.

Why is he here? He never really got around to explaining himself. He seemed really put off about it, though. I can't even begin to guess. All I know is that he can't come to Yamaku. I suppose he could have some underlying problem, but that seems unlikely. Even if he did, he simply can't. I won't allow it. I couldn't handle it. Not as if I have the power to do anything about it. I just want Kiyoshi to go away and fade back into memory as one of the few good things I remember about my childhood. I really hope he doesn't stick around.

He did say something about meeting up today. Where or when, he neglected to say. That is very much like him. Then again, he was cut off by that girl. Who the hell was she?

Gah! I hate this whole thing. Just blow into town and upturn my life! It isn't even a big deal. It shouldn't be. An old friend is visiting...for some reason. A normal person might be excited. But not me. Oh no, not me. Him simply being nearby is throwing me through loops. Or maybe it's the not knowing. If he had simply told me he was here to see me, would I be this wrapped up in it? Yeah, probably.

Kiyoshi is an unknown right now. And that bugs the hell out of me.

I sigh and head inside. I can't do anything about it right now. I just have to tell myself that. Clearly, I need my late night thought mill to get it all out of my system. My mental process right now seems very familiar. Too familiar. Can't escape my own mind. Already knew that.

I climb to the third floor and pass into my prison cell for the next several hours. Funny, it looks like a classroom. That's how they getcha.

Come on, you can do this. Just focus on class. Wow, really? I'm that desperate for a distraction? Well, it's worth a shot.

___________________________________________________________________________________

I'm awake. It's a miracle.

Of course, I feel like I need to sleep for a few days, but dammit I stayed awake for a full day of class. Not bad, Iwasaki. Not bad at all.

Also, I think I might have another superpower. The entire class seemed to be more attentive today, as well. Makoto kept his eyes glued forward almost the entire time, although that could be for the same reasons I did. A distraction. But everyone was on the ball. I think I might control the mood of the class. Damn, if that's true I have been screwing them over for a while now.

Not sure if that power is more or less useless than the ability to make people feel awkward on command.

Then again, tests are coming up. Or I have a superpower. Whatever.

Lunch passed by uneventfully. Makoto scarfed down his meal without so much as a word and left before I could summon the courage to finish mine. He might be avoiding me. Is he afraid about what I will say regarding yesterday? He shouldn't. Because I don't have a freakin' clue about what to say about it.

Even now, he seems to be packing up as fast as possible. I turn to acknowledge him, but before I get the chance he is already out the door. Passive aggressive bastard. He will have to talk to me eventually. Probably when this whole thing blows up in his face. Then he will have plenty to say. Always does.

No speech therapy today, so the idea of getting reacquainted with my bed seems like the best thing in the world. But I need to be careful. If I crash too hard, I'll just end up awake all night again. But a small nap. Like...one hour. Maybe two. Yeah, that sounds pretty damn good.

I leave 3-4 and start for the steps. As I pass the second floor, a familiar head of spiked up brown hair catches my eye. Kiyoshi?

I move down the hall, passing a gaggle of second years, trying to get closer to the head of hair. Oh yeah, it's him all right. What the hell is he doing here?

As the crowd thins, I'm able to get a clear look. Kiyoshi stands outside of 2-3, looking thoroughly uncomfortable. What's his deal? You would think being friends with me would have prepared him a little more for something like this. But, nope. He seems pretty distraught by all the students walking by.

A spark of anger ignites somewhere in the pit of my stomach. Is he really so small-minded? Where does he get off, thinking he is better than anyone here? Look out, Kiyoshi, if one gets too close you might sully your perfectly normal little body. Wouldn't want that, would you? What would your friends think?

Calm down. Calm the fuck down. There could be a thousand reasons he looks so uncomfortable. I have to stop thinking the worst of people. Even though people generally suck. A few exceptions. A few.

He's going to spot me any second, I should probably say something. But what? I don't even know how to interact with him anymore. I can act like we used to, but it just seems so phony. Even our small exchange last night left me feeling queasy. I can't tell him that I just want to forget he was ever here. That's just mean.

Damn, think of something.

Before I can, I'm saved the trouble. The door to 2-3 opens and Kiyoshi turns away from me. A girl emerges from the classroom, spots Kiyoshi, and throws her arms around him. Her amber hair flows around her face as she tightens the hug, a huge smile plastered on her face.

I freeze in place. This is...I don't know what this is. Who the hell is that? Girlfriend?

How could he have a girlfriend here? And one that is so...well...she isn't bad looking. And why does she look familiar? It's like a nagging feeling pulling at the corner of my mind, but something is off. Certain criteria have not been met. Try again later. Does not compute.

Suddenly, her eyes fall on me. Grayish green eyes. Her smile lights up once more.

Before I know what's happening, she is on top of me, wrapping me in a similar embrace. Her hair floods my senses as she buries her head into my chest. My arms hang limply at my sides. I don't think I could move them if I wanted. Or any part of me for that matter.

No. No? It can't be. I mean, come on. This can't be little Kiyomi. I refuse. Nope. There is no way tiny little Kiyomi Tagawa is this...girl.

But, those eyes. Those gray green eyes that change in the light. Those don't lie. I only know one person with those eyes. Except last time I saw them they were in the head of a very awkward thirteen year old girl.

But, um...not anymore, apparently.

And now I know what was wrong before. I recognized her, but the uniform threw me off. The white blouse and green skirt of Yamaku shouldn't be on my friend's little sister. I guess I found the new student. I should have just played Emi's little game. Would have saved me a lot of trouble.

I guess that wasn't a win after all.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
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Last edited by Acik on Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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LandisOverThere
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by LandisOverThere » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:56 pm

Made an account just to post here. Im really enjoying this fan fic, and having read most of the ones posted on these forums this one really jumps out at me as one to watch. Keep up the great work.

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by RedRover » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:09 pm

UUUUGGGGGGHHHHH. Introduce the new character, and then immediately end the chapter? You clever bastard. Now, I have to read the next chapter.

And welcome to forums, sir/madame! :)
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:10 am

Seems like a better contender than caffeine at this point.
What? Coffee is better than caffeine?
Hisao strides in, sporting gym clothes, and looking thoroughly worn out.
At this point I had to reread the chapter to check where the scene takes place. Up to here I assumed he was sitting in the classroom. He does mention toast from the dorm's kitchenonce, so I guess he's still there? You might make that a bit more clear.
I know I sometimes I can be a little...abrasive?...but that was a little more than abrasive, I think.
Hmm.. compared to other stuff your OC pulled in previous chapters, I'd say this was just some mild teasing. I don't think it was too bad. I didn't feel like I wanted to punch him for it this time.
I just want Kiyoshi to go away and fade back into memory as one of the few good things I remember about my childhood.
I don't understand why he would have a problem with his childhood friend being around - apparently they didn't fight or anything like that... If there is a reason, I hope you will explain in the future.
Lunch passed by uneventfully. Makoto scarfed down his meal without so much as a word and left before I could summon the courage to finish mine.
One line of past tense slipping in...
Certain criteria hasn't been met.
"Criteria" is plural, so "haven't"

And the plot thickens...
All in all I think this chapter is a real improvement over the previous ones. That's probably because your OC is getting quite a bit more likeable and less of a dick than he has been before.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Shail » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:15 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Seems like a better contender than caffeine at this point.
What? Coffee is better than caffeine?
He was referring to something along the lines of(not an exact quote) "This shit tastes so bad.. The taste probably does a better job of waking you up than the caffeine does"

At least that's what I got from it..
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Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Acik » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:35 pm

RedRover wrote: Introduce the new character, and then immediately end the chapter? You clever bastard. Now, I have to read the next chapter.
Ha, sorry about that. Originally, I did not have it ending there. But the chapter was already leaning on the long side for posting, and I found it broke nicely there.
Mirage_GSM wrote:"Criteria" is plural, so "haven't"
Fixed.
Mirage_GSM wrote:One line of past tense slipping in...
The present of that particular moment is right after class. Yuuma is recalling lunch. Still, this whole first person thing isn't my forte by any means, so I could be wrong.
Mirage_GSM wrote:All in all I think this chapter is a real improvement over the previous ones. That's probably because your OC is getting quite a bit more likeable and less of a dick than he has been before.
Man, you have no idea. I know I designed his character, but writing Yuuma can be a little stressful :shock:. Can't really say much about the story arc, but he wouldn't be much of a main character if he didn't change. Hopefully he will lighten up soon.
Mirage_GSM wrote:What? Coffee is better than caffeine?
Shail wrote:He was referring to something along the lines of(not an exact quote) "This shit tastes so bad.. The taste probably does a better job of waking you up than the caffeine does"
At least that's what I got from it..
Yep, that's what I was going for.
LandisOverThere wrote:Made an account just to post here. Im really enjoying this fan fic, and having read most of the ones posted on these forums this one really jumps out at me as one to watch. Keep up the great work.
Welcome to forums!

Once again, thanks for the feedback everyone. I know I'm creating more questions than answers so far, but it's early in the story so hang in there. I do my best not to leave solid plot points unanswered. I never really intended to have a concrete release schedule, but I will do what I can to make it as close to as a week as possible. So hopefully chapter five will be out by Saturday. Gods willing.
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Two, 8/1)

Post by griffon8 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:36 pm

I quite like your story. Others have stated the good reasons, so just pick one of those. :lol:
Mirage_GSM wrote:
...I think they heard that in 3-1.]
That would be a feat, since 3-1 is for he hearing impaired ;-)
Is it? I thought that was fanon and not canon.
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Acik
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Re: Waiting (Chapter Four, 8/24)

Post by Acik » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:18 am

griffon8 wrote:Is it? I thought that was fanon and not canon.
Ya know, I searched for quite some time to find definitive answers to the structure of Yamaku. They never mention a class higher than 3-4, only homeroom teachers for 3-2 and 3-3, and only 3-2 has any real theme to it. Honestly I couldn't remember where I read about 3-1 being hearing impaired. I have read a lot of KS fiction and it is more likely than not that that's wear I got the notion. Perhaps Tomorrow's Doom? That's 3-1, right? Can't recall at this exact moment, but as long as I don't conflict with anything in canon I will sleep easy. If someone catches something, especially about the other classes, do not hesitate to let me know.

Also, apologies for the delay for chapter five. I could list off excuses, but that doesn't do anyone any good. I will do my best to get this thing posted as soon as possible. Tonight possibly, if my editor decides to get online. :roll:
Wrote a story, here it is: Waiting
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