Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 1/12)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:40 am

As I turn to open the door and pull Saki backwards through it, the way I have with every other door today, she surprises me by asking me to stop.

“I'll use the crutches,” Saki states, reaching down to set the brakes on the chair to steady it.

I offer her my hand and help her to her feet, grabbing her crutches with the other. “You sure?”

“Mhm,” she nods. “I need to use them anyway. I just can't walk all the way across the school yet with them, you know?” She takes them from me and I watch as she adjusts them under her arms, testing their positioning. Satisfied, I see her relax to let the crutches take most of her weight, the sleeves of her uniform seeming to puff out even more than normal. She's still favoring her right leg.

“I'll be over there in the corner,” I say, pointing to a grouping of chairs off to the side. “I'll just be reading to pass the time. Want to get something to eat afterwards? We can grab Chisato.” I haven't seen her much this past week, and it would be good for the three of us to hang out again. I'd ask about Noriko, but I haven't seen her at all and I don't know what she does after school.

“All right, if you're okay with it,” Saki answers. “Ugh, I can't wait until I can go into town again. This cafeteria food is driving me insane day in and day out.”

I know how she feels. Eating that stuff for a week straight is pretty debilitating to morale, not to mention what it does to the digestive system.

As I open the door for Saki, the sound of voices and a few instruments flows out, proof that she is indeed late and the last one here. With a final wave, Saki hobbles through the entrance and I let the door close gently behind her, leaving the hall in muted silence and me to my own devices.

I look down at the wheelchair next to me, wondering if I should just leave it there or if I should move it with me over to where I'm planning to sit down. Here, it seems like it would just be in the way, so...

I hesitate as I move my hand across the handle, my brow furrowing.

I had to ride in one of these things a few times I was in the hospital, especially my first month or so out of surgery, but I always had someone to push me around the way that I've been doing for Saki. I've seen a few wheelchairs around the school, something completely normal for where we are...but very rarely do I see someone using their own power to move it. There's the red-headed girl from my homeroom floor, but that's about it.

I'm morbidly curious.

I look around to make sure nobody else is in the room. It's not like I feel guilty, exactly...but more like I shouldn't be using this when I have no disability that would warrant its use. Maybe it's part of wanting to get a better understanding of what some of my fellow classmates go through on a daily basis, or what Saki's been through in the past week when one of us hasn't been around to give her a hand that spurs me on.

Content that nobody will be able to see me, I take a seat in the chair. Unpleasant memories of the hospital start to flood back as the chair feels nearly identical to the one I had to sit in. Completely utilitarian, with only an afterthought put into the comfort of the person confined to it. It just feels alien.

Saki said this was the good wheelchair? I'd hate to have to sit in the bad one.

I reach my hands down and grip the metal rings attached to the outside of the wheels. They're cold against my skin, making me reflexively clench my fingers around them. The position is awkward, as I have to lean slightly forward and pivot my arms further out at the shoulder than I would have thought in order to clear the sides of the chair.

Well, here we go.

I push my hands forward, and my arms immediately start to strain with the effort. Wow. I can't use any leverage here. I thought there might be a trick to it, but no, it looks like I have to use pure muscle.

The chair moves forward an inch or two, but as soon as it starts to roll, the amount of work I have to put in to keep it going lessens. That's not so bad. I move forward from the wall and do my best to point myself towards the aisle though the chairs which will lead me to my destination. I turn too far in one direction first, then the other trying to compensate, but eventually I'm facing where I want to go.

Unfortunately, I stopped while I was making my course corrections, so I have to heave again to get the chair moving. I grunt slightly as I push to get started.

I haltingly make my way through the room with an unsteady, jerking pace, caused by having to reposition my hands to push. It may only take thirty seconds to make it to the other side of the hall, but it feels so much longer than that both in time and energy invested.

I clamp down on the metal hard, trying to stop myself before my momentum carries my knee right into the edge of a low table. I barely manage to succeed, and I'm left breathing heavily with a flushed face. At least my face is already red if someone were to walk in and see me.

Why did I do this again?

I quickly stand up and sit down on the non wheeled chair next to me and sink into it. I sigh as I sink into it. Much better.

I pull out my book and crack it open, trying to find where I left off earlier this week.

-------------

The loud bang of a door causes me to wake up, startled. I quickly try to look around fruitlessly making sense of my surroundings, and spend a few seconds blinking heavily to clear the fog from both my view and my mind. I take in a deep breath, trying to calm down and feeling foolish for having jumped. Something hits the ground in front of me with a much quieter sound, and I realize at the same time that not only did I doze off while reading my book, but I just dropped it onto the ground.

I run my hand through my hair, moving my bangs out of my eyes and sit up straighter. I'm trying to look normal, or awake at the very least. I see about a dozen people streaming out of the band classroom, some of them carrying cases as large as ones you would pack for a full week of vacation. I find it troublesome enough to drag my bookbag to class every morning. I can't imagine what it would be like to have to lug one of those things around.

The deluge makes its way out the main door, half of the people talking excitedly to each other while the other half seems to be content to make the trip in silence and push ahead accordingly. At least they manage to hold the outside door open for the ones they beat to it.

I don't see Saki or Chisato come out with everyone else.

I get to my feet, leaning backwards to stretch. I'm kind of thankful neither of them caught me napping, as I'm sure I wouldn't have heard the end of it. I bend down to grab my book, and frown. Great. I have no idea where I am in it. I guess I'll just have to start searching for the spot tomorrow when I have some more free time.

I walk over to the entrance to the music room and open the door, sticking my head inside. I'm a little surprised at what I see.

Image

The room looks bright and airy, with lots of lighter colors. White walls with a blue border near the top, tile floors, and large windows do a good job of not only letting light in, but holding it. I see about a dozen blue chairs on casters placed in a rough semicircle on the floor, a few of which have music stands in front of them. Larger cabinets, a desk or two, and cases for larger instruments are haphazardly stacked against the walls, but with just enough organization to show everything is indeed in its place.

Near the front of the room is a piano, nestled next to the wall. It's there that I find who I'm looking for. Three people are seated around, or on it. Saki's sitting in a chair facing the other two with her back to me. Chisato is actually sitting on the piano, her legs dangling freely as she subtly kicks them back and forth like a small child in a restaurant booth. The third person is one I haven't seen in a while, and she's the first one who sees me.

“Ah, Hisao Nakai! Welcome! Come in, come in!”

Mrs. Sakamoto greets me with a warm smile, as if she's genuinely happy to see me again. It instantly makes me feel a bit more at ease, a feeling that disappears the second the other two girls pivot their heads and turn to look at me. Saki smiles, and Chisato gives me a quick salute to acknowledge my presence. I wave meekly and step through the door into the room, walking towards the trio.

“I hope I wasn't interrupting,” I start to say, but I'm waved off by the music teacher.

“Not at all. We had just finished up for the day and the three of us just taking a moment to have a chat. We'll be done here in another minute or two, I think, if you want to look around.”

“Take your time,” I respond. “I'm not in any rush.”

The teacher nods, and all three of them focus their attention on each other again. The older woman doesn't seem very nonplussed that I'm here, so I'm assuming Saki's told her about the situation and how I was supposed to pick her up after the club meeting.

They're not exactly whispering to each other, but they talk low enough to where I only catch a few words here and there.

“...next time we go, Takamura will be there. We can try some of the recording equipment...”

I use this chance to take a closer look at the room. It's definitely busy. The walls have posters on them showing various instruments and a lot of diagrams, but there's also handmade notes and drawings interspersed between them pinned to corkboards. One wall has a particularly large board covered in nothing but photographs and what looks to be news clippings.

“...you really do that on a computer? That's...”

Intrigued, I step over to the photo wall to inspect it. I can see that it's actually divided into three sections, to top of each adorned with a hand-colored sign depicting a year starting with the current one and backtracking the previous two. Those areas are completely packed, while the one with this year's doesn't have much in it.

Not surprising, given that the year only started a short while ago, and the only real thing that has happened so far was the festival.

“...speed up the track while keeping the pitch the...”

A few photographs catch my eye, and I recognize the stage from the festival depicting several of the students individually or in small groups, with two large photographs of the entire band present. There's even a news clipping from the local school newspaper that spends a paragraph or two talking about the band and the stalls that “will” be set up. The date of the article is from about a week before the festival.

“...should be easier to try it out.”

The rest of the pictures for the current year are a mixture of candid and more prepared looking shots. A few look like they were taken with a Polaroid, while others are a bit higher quality. I see Saki and Chisato in a few of them, posing by themselves and with each other.

“...well, Chisato can't do that with the piano while I'm playing like that, so I don't know how...”

I look at the previous year, and see a sprawling mural that weaves together a story of all the events of that period of time. There's an identical looking clipping for the festival that year, surrounded by relevant images. I notice that a lot of the students are the same, while there are a few that I didn't see in this year's batch of photographs. I guess those are the students that either graduated or decided to drop band altogether.

“...hard part will be trying to play to sound better when...”

Looking closer, I see Saki and Chisato in several of them, both looking a little younger. Saki's hair is a little shorter, coming down to cover her shoulders instead of another few inches on her back, while Chisato looks the same as ever. I glance at the other pictures on the board nearby, seeing some that weren't taken at the school, with the people in them in casual wear. I see one where the girls are part of a group sitting in a booth at a restaurant, all making silly faces for the camera. I catch one of Saki at the beach, wearing a simple patterned sundress and a large straw hat that she clutches to her head by holding on to the brim.

It looks ridiculously cute.

Of course, right next to it is a picture of Chisato buried up to her neck in the sand.

There's a lot to take in, and I could probably look at these pictures for the next ten minutes and still not see every detail about them.

“...nah, there's only three songs for both of us right now, maybe another two or three each...”

Let's see...these would have been last year, which means that the year before that would have been the first year Saki was in the band, right? Seeing Saki in that outfit at the beach along with her shorter hair last year makes me insanely curious to see what she looked like as a first year student.

I look at the top of the board, and while I don't see Saki in any photos posing with Chisato at first, I do finally find them, but they're much different than I was expecting.

Saki's hair is even shorter here, barely coming to her shoulders and is teased out on the corners.I have to do a double take when I look at Chisato. Her hair looks like it goes half way down her back. It's still the same black that I've always seen on her, pulled back into a loose tail at the base of her neck, but the contrast between the two of them is striking – not just to each other, but to their future selves.

I wonder if I'd have the same reaction if I dug out any of my older school photos, or compare current ones to pictures I'll no doubt be taking a few years from now.

I see a few more of Saki and Chisato, and Ms. Sakamoto looks as regal as ever, but there's something that strikes me as odd, looking at them closer.

“...shouldn't need sheet music just for that, we have it...”

In almost every photo I've seen so far on the three year old section of the board with Saki and Chisato, there's a third girl in the pictures with them. I can make out long red hair done up in two tails coming off the sides of her head, with vibrant green eyes that sparkle in the photographs, even though they're fading with the exposure of age.

I squint. I see her in some of the other photos as well, and a few have her holding a violin, similar to Saki. There's even one of the two of them back to back, playing together. My eyes move further down the board to see pictures taken later in the year, and...

She isn't there.

(continued...)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:43 am

There's a lot of details in the entire portrait from two years ago, but now that I know what to look for, I'm not seeing it anymore.

I'm sure of it. She only appears in photos in the upper half of the collage.

Who was she? Did she quit? Did she transfer out? Or-

The sound of a chair scraping startles me and I move back quickly, feeling as if I've been caught at something. I turn and see that Saki has pushed her chair back to give her some extra room for her crutches. Chisato nimbly hops off of the piano, and moves to give her friend a hand. Mrs. Sakamoto is arranging several papers in her lap, moving to place them into a bookbag by her side.

“Very well,” she says, their discussion apparently at an end. “We'll go the weekend after next.”

Saki slowly gets to her feet with Chisato's help. “Don't worry. I'll try to be off of these by then.”

“I'm still driving,” the music teacher states firmly, in a tone that leaves absolutely no room for discussion on the issue. Saki doesn't even look like she's thinking of objecting to this, and instead nods. She probably still thinks her teacher feels guilty for what happened.

Mrs. Sakamoto's tone sure seems to suggest that, anyway.

She stands up, brushing off the front of her blouse and long skirt, straightening it out. “That should do it for today then. Let me know if there's anything else you need that I can help with to prepare for the session.”

“Thank you,” both girls say with a short bow.

“I'm heading home. I'll see you at the next meeting. You two be safe, and lock up when you leave,” Mrs. Sakamoto advises, grabbing her bag and throwing the strap over her shoulder.

As she passes me on the way out the door, she turns to acknowledge me one last time.

“Mr. Nakai, you're more than welcome to come along with us again if you would like.”

“Oh, um...thanks,” I stammer, a bit put off by the sudden attention focused on me. “I'd like that, if it's not too much to ask.”

“Not at all. I could use the help, I'm too old to keep both of them in check.”

I laugh nervously, which makes her smile. And with that, she's gone out the door, leaving the three of us alone in the band room.

“Are you two ready to go?” I ask.

“Almost,” Saki says. “I have to use the restroom, then I can...Hisao? Did you bring the chair?”

I silently curse myself. “Oops. I left it outside. I'll be right back.”

“I'll meet you two at the cafeteria in a bit,” Chisato states. “I want to change clothes first. Mitsuru and I are going to the Shanghai later...oh, don't give me that look, Saki. You'd just make me feel guilty about how you couldn't go but then you'd tell me to have a good time anyway.”

“So I take it that we're just skipping the whole guilt-trip, then?”

“Yep. Saves time.”

“Aw,” Saki pouts. “But that's my favorite part.”

I sigh while the two of them laugh, and hold the door open for Chisato. She thanks me with a nod, then powerwalks to the front of the foyer and continues to the outside. I go to retrieve the wheelchair, walking with long strides to cover the ground as fast as possible. I don't want Saki to know I left it clear on the other side of the room instead of next to the door. I only take a few more seconds than I would have if that was indeed the case, and push the chair through the door.

“I'll be right back,” Saki says, making her way towards one of the open doors in the back of the room. She must see the look of confusion on my face, because she turns her head towards me to offer an explanation.

“This hall leads to a set of dressing rooms that the drama and music department uses. There's bathrooms back there, so you don't have to push me across campus.”

“Oh,” I say, rubbing the back of my neck. “Alright. I'm not going anywhere.”

Saki disappears down the hall. I hear her crutches clacking in rhythm with her good foot, and after a few more seconds, the sound of a door closing. It echoes down the hall, and through the now-empty room.

So, Chisato and Saki are going to be trying to record something at the studio next weekend? It would be fun to tag along again, although given what happened last time, I doubt we'll be wandering around the city as a group by ourselves again. Not that I blame Mrs. Sakamoto one bit. Truth be told, I would probably raise an objection against doing that if she hadn't already settled it.

I mean, I would probably cave in, but I'd still at least make a token effort to protest it.

Not to mention I'm a bit curious to see what they were talking about earlier, with the computers. I wonder if it has anything to do with what Mrs. Sakamoto mentioned the first time we were at the studio, about some sort of “trick” that Saki wanted to try.

Yeah, I can look forward to it.

I look over to the piano, and the seat next to it where Saki was seated. I frown. There on an adjacent chair is her violin, resting on the padded seat. The case is on the floor under it. In all the talk of the last few minutes, it seems she's forgotten to put it away.

Maybe I should do it for her, and save us both some time.

I move over to where the instrument sits, and bend down to grab the case. There's some small boxes in it that make a rattling noise when I move it, although I have no idea what could be in them. I don't even know if there's a proper way to put the violin away in the case. All I know is I see a hole roughly in the shape of a violin, and a deep groove next to it. I'm going to assume that's where the bow goes, and as for the rest of it, well, it can't be too hard to screw up, can it?

I set the case down next to the violin and brush the wood with my fingers lightly. It's smooth and cool to the touch, the surface reflecting back the highlights surrounding it in a highly polished sheen. It's obvious that Saki cares deeply for this and takes remarkably good care of it. I pick up the bow and gingerly place it into the case, then go to put the violin on top of it.

Hmm. Seems the violin has to go into the case first.

I shift my grip to the neck of the violin, feeling the wires press against the pads of my fingers as I pick up the bow again. I go to put both articles into the case in the correct order, but I stop.

That same twinge of curiosity, the one that made me try the wheelchair earlier, creeps into my mind and doesn't let go of it.

I look down at the violin in my hand, and then the bow in the other.

I wonder...

Ever so slowly, for fear of irreparably damaging this thing due to ignorance, I lift the violin to rest the fat end in the crook of my shoulder. I angle my head sideways in a poor imitation of how I've seen other people position themselves, but the twinge in my neck and instant discomfort tells me I'm either doing it wrong or I would need to do this a lot more to get used to it.

I have a perfect view down the neck of the violin, the strings stretching out in front of my eyes.

Like this, right?

The hand holding the neck curls around so my fingertips can reach the strings themselves and press them down onto the thin strips of metal running perpendicular to them. That's definitely not a comfortable position for my wrist to be in, but I imagine that it comes easier with practice.

Since the bow is already in my hand, I bring it up so it's hovering right over the strings.

I just know I'm not doing this right. But then again, it certainly can't get any worse.

I place the bow against one of the strings and draw it across.

skkrRRrreeeeeeEEEEkkTtt

I was wrong.

Dear God, was I wrong.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:49 am

“Hisao? Was that you?

“Um, yeah,” I say, turning towards the voice. Saki has returned from the bathroom, and stands staring at me, a look of shock and bemusement on her face. She looks at me, and then at the violin and bow frozen in my hands, and starts to laugh. Her hand covers her mouth as her shoulders shake.

I grin sheepishly and blush, bringing the instrument down from my chin. “I don't think it's supposed to sound like that.”

“No,” she answers, still chuckling. “It's not. But hey, most people who pick it up the first time can't even make the thing play a note, so you've got that going for you.”

"I was wondering if there was some latent talent that I didn't know about,” I say. “Good to know.”

“Here,” she starts, moving towards me. “Sit down. I can't teach you to play, but I can at least show you how to not make it sound like you're torturing a cat.”

I take a seat next to me, and Saki stands in front of me, leaning heavily on her crutches. She considers me for a moment.

“Go ahead and bring up the violin again,” she instructs. I do so, placing it in the crook of my neck, resting my chin on top of it.

“Relax your neck muscles a bit more, you're too stiff. You don't need to hold it with your chin, it should sit just on your collarbone and shoulder just fine. You only want to put enough pressure to hold it in place so it doesn't move sideways.”

I try to follow her directions. I don't think I'm getting it, but the position does feel a bit more natural than it did when I tried it before.

“Now what?”

“Same deal with your hand and wrist. Relax it. You don't need to hold the neck very hard, just hook it with the side of your thumb to keep it from moving.”

Her fingers brush against mine as she moves my left hand into position. They're firm and steady, deftly manipulating my own until she's satisfied. She keeps her hand cupping the back of mine.

“Just like that,” she says. “It takes some getting used to until you learn some stretches.”

I'm trying to relax, but the strain it's putting on my wrist is very uncomfortable.

She ponders for another moment, before resting her crutches against the chair and moving to stand behind me, bracing onto my shoulder for support.

“For the bow, hold your hand like this,” she says, reaching across my shoulder with her right hand to show me the grip. She holds her hand like she's using a puppet, the fingers flat and the thumb evenly spaced facing up. “Just your fingertips.”

I pick up the bow and try to concentrate, but it's getting difficult with Saki this close, and halfway leaning on me. She leans forward farther to grab the bow, pressing into me. I know she's only doing it to hold it still so I can get a better grip without dropping the violin, but the contact makes my heart beat a few paces faster.

She moves the bow and the hand holding it to a ready position, lightly touching a string. Her hand moves back to my shoulder. “Okay, now bring it across. Don't press so hard.”

I do so, trying to keep a steady motion, letting the weight of the bow do the work. This time, instead of torturing a cat, it sounds like I merely stepped on its tail. Not much of an improvement, really, but it's not like the bar could have been set any lower.

“Better,” she says into my ear, making me flush slightly from both the encouragement and how close she is. “A little harder, like this.”

Her hand covers mine again as it did a few seconds ago, and under her guidance, we move the bow together across the same string.

The violin gives a clear, sharp note, combining with everything else to send my senses into overload. Saki's presence is enveloping me, both figuratively and literally. I can feel her against my back, one hand on my shoulder, the other on mine, her hair brushing against my cheek...

The sound dies down, leaving a deafening silence in its wake. I'm sure Saki can hear my heart pounding in my chest, if for no other reason that it's thundering in my own ears. I bring the violin down to my lap.

“Good job,” she whispers softly, turning to look at me, our faces only a few centimeters apart.

Our gaze locks, and holds for a few seconds. Her honey eyes are alive with an emotion and an uncertainty that resonates with me, their depths drawing me in. Her brow twitches almost imperceptibly, giving the barest hint that her mind is whirling.

For my part, I'm not doing much better. My own thoughts are a maelstrom, but all they can do is combine into a steady background noise in my head that paralyzes me.

With a sense of the slightest hesitation, I see Saki close her eyes before moving her face closer.

With a sense of inevitability, I do the same.

Image

When our lips meet, everything is stripped away. My world shrinks to just the two of us, alone here in this room, in this moment, in this act.

I know it only lasts for a few seconds...but while it does, nothing else matters.

I don't want it to end, but eventually it does, as it must.

She pulls away, and I follow suit. We both slowly open our eyes, our faces flushed. I swallow hard, unsure of how to proceed, or even what just happened. Saki's the first to break eye contact, biting her lower lip and turning away, straightening up. The sudden lack of pressure and warmth along my back and shoulders brings me back to my senses with a jolt.

There's a violin in my lap for some reason.

“...we should probably get going,” Saki says, her voice as shaky as my thoughts feel. “Chisato will be waiting...”

“Um, yeah,” I agree, trying to calm down both my racing thoughts and my heart. I'm only successful in doing one of those things.

Saki takes the violin from me and places both it and the bow in the case with a speed and efficiency that surprises me. The click of the latches on the case finally shake me into action and I stand up.

A few awkward moments later, Saki has put her violin away and is back in the wheelchair as we make our way out into the afternoon sun. The trees are rustling in the breeze, which teases at my hair. I take a deep breath of the fresh air, letting it fill my lungs.

I don't know how or even if I should bring up what happened in the room. I feel that if I talk about it, I'll lose some of the moment in my mind. It's like a dream you try to remember when you wake up from it, but the mere act of trying to recall it ends up erasing it forever.

Saki seems fine not talking about it, remaining mute in the chair as we move across campus. I'm praying that this doesn't end up putting us back into the funk of the last week.

So...what happens now? I have as much of an idea as I have experience in these things. That being none.

“I hope Chisato has fun tonight,” Saki says, breaking the silence. “I don't think her and Mitsuru have been on a date in a while.”

“Oh?” is all I can manage. Why is she bringing this up? Did she bring up a date because she wants to go on one? Did she bring up Chisato's boyfriend as a way to segue into talking about us? Am I overthinking all this?

So much for my thoughts calming down.

The only answer I know is to the last question, which is a resounding yes.

We're outside the main building about to go inside to where the cafeteria is, when I stop, bringing both of us to a halt.

Hell. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

“Hey, Saki? I've heard about the Shanghai but I've never been to it. It's a tea house, right?”

“Mhmm,” she answers.

“And your doctors and Nurse say your leg should be better next week, right?”

“More or less.”

“When your leg is better, would you like to go together? I'd love to see it,” I say, tacking on the last part as a way to make the motivation for my question sound a lot less obvious than it is. I silently mouth a curse towards myself. Thank god she didn't see the look on my face as soon as those words left my mouth.

“Are you asking me on a date, Hisao?” Saki asks, a hint of her usual teasing creeping back into her voice.

So much for subtlety.

As long as I've known Saki, she's always done this. She pushes me to a limit, challenges me to rethink my viewpoints, encourages me to step outside my comfort zone. But for all that, she only pushes me to the brink. She never pushes me across it.

No, that step is up to me.

Just like now.

“If I was,” I reply nonchalantly, trying to give as good as I'm getting, “would the answer be yes?”

She turns in the chair to look up at me, her eyes sparkling. “I don't know. Why don't you try it and see?”

So much for trying to put her off guard.

“Alright,” I say, with all the confidence I can muster. “Would you like to go on a date next week?”

The usually coy expression she wears blooms into a genuine smile. “Yes, I would.”

“Finally,” I hear a voice behind me, making both of us jump and turn towards the sound.

Chisato is standing a few paces behind us, dressed in jeans, a red blouse, and a light cream colored jacket. She must have come up behind us while we were in front of the entrance, making her way to the cafeteria herself.

“How long have you been standing there?” I ask.

“Long enough to know that Noriko owes me lunch,” she says, a wide grin on her face.

“You're kidding me,” Saki sighs in exasperation, bringing a hand to her forehead. “You two had a bet?

“Sure did!”

“You are a horrible person, you know that?”

Chisato winks at her friend. “I think I'll be able to sleep tonight.”

All I can do is shake my head and laugh. Part of me should be embarrassed at being caught. Part of me should be embarrassed that what was supposed to be an amazing and intimate moment was eavesdropped on.

Remarkably, I feel none of these things. Instead, I feel...happy. Probably for the first real time since I came to Yamaku.

That, and also a little incredulous that all the courage I had to build up to actually ask Saki on a date amounts to a simple lunch. I'm almost annoyed that Chisato and Noriko didn't bet something more substantial.

Almost.

So much for an over inflated sense of self worth.

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 11, 2016 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:02 am

Been a hell of a two years, guys :) Thanks for sticking with me so long, and I'll do my best to make sure this gets completed before 2019 :lol:
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by timetravelzero » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:05 am

Excellent Update, EBJ! Good to have you back.
As for the title, I'm assuming it refers to the Wright Brothers' first successful flight? "Learning to Fly" indeed :roll:
Akira>Lilly=Shizune>Emi>Hanako>Mutou=Nurse>Saki>Misha=Rika>Yuuko>Meiko=Miki>Suzu>Kenji>Rin=Iwanako>Jigoro>Nomiya>{POWERGAP}>Hisao Eh, my opinion anyway

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:07 am

timetravelzero wrote:Excellent Update, EBJ! Good to have you back.
As for the title, I'm assuming it refers to the Wright Brothers' first successful flight? "Learning to Fly" indeed :roll:
Hah! I thought that would be a bit harder to figure out :wink: But yes, I've had this scene and title in my head since I first came up with the idea for the story. Hard to believe I commissioned Eguana for that art piece over a year ago.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by timetravelzero » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:18 am

Eurobeatjester wrote: Hah! I thought that would be a bit harder to figure out
Truth be told, I did a project on the Wright Brothers back in like Middle School. That's the only reason why I knew, to be honest :lol:
Akira>Lilly=Shizune>Emi>Hanako>Mutou=Nurse>Saki>Misha=Rika>Yuuko>Meiko=Miki>Suzu>Kenji>Rin=Iwanako>Jigoro>Nomiya>{POWERGAP}>Hisao Eh, my opinion anyway

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Hesmiyu » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:52 am

2019? That really? Got e-mail saying this had been updated by eurobeatmaster and internally said 'yay'. Lovely chapter and will treat to the next one in few weeks when it comes out :P
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Alpacalypse » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:00 am

*squeeing* *squeeing* *more squeeing* Okay, fangirl session over. That was adorable. :D

Wonderful chapter, Mr. Jester. I look forward to the next installment, as per usual.
Slight nit-pick: This takes place in the middle of summer. Saki's line about the trees makes no sense
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:23 am

Alpacalypse wrote:*squeeing* *squeeing* *more squeeing* Okay, fangirl session over. That was adorable. :D

Wonderful chapter, Mr. Jester. I look forward to the next installment, as per usual.
Slight nit-pick: This takes place in the middle of summer. Saki's line about the trees makes no sense
Changed that line. Totally forgot it wasn't spring. Oops. :P
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Wecthil » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:37 am

You. Magnificent. Bastard.
You had me jumping through the appartment for a solid five minutes after time's post about the update.
This is a great pre-christmas present. Thank you, EBJ.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Blackmambauk » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:56 am

Okay time for my chapter commentary.

First congrats for finishing Act Two, after two years and many setbacks and bad luck on a few occasions, you have made it to this point. I'm sure you will reach the end of Act 3 by this time next year if things go your way.

Now onto the chapter, first up Nomiya. I thought you got him down very well in sight of your worries over writing him. You manage to capture his personality spot on I think, with him coming in all in his passionate way at first and looking to see if he has another student to collect in a way, but then once Saki told him she wanted to leave the Art Club. Then he brought out his real ugly side of his personality. Where he started insulting Saki about her violin and then bringing up her parents in a insensitive way.

While you could say from a certain point of view he was challenging Saki's reasons for leaving out of the blue, the way he conducted himself and Saki's comments afterwards about his attitude to the band and other art clubs, which I think fit Nomiya very well makes his position look very bad in the reader's eyes. Since he is the sort of person who thinks his teaching subject has vast more culture, intelligence and worthiness than other forms of art do.

Of course this is filtered by Hisao's pov and the fact he isn't in the room and isn't there to read their facial and body language, that and Hisao's perchance to spectate colours our own view of the heard exchange. Though Saki's words afterwards definitely develop the sense that the art club thing has never been particularly enjoyable for her. That and being unable to say no to her parents, in the context of Japanese society and social conduct of being taught to never say no to a request or suggestion leaves a lot of subtext to the whole scene.

Well done on that scene overall, it was awkward to read and leaves you feeling like it's not something you would want to deal with. Oh I agree with Hisao, an unemotional Nomiya would be a scary sight to see face to face. When a man who is passionate and boisterous in everything they do and say suddenly stops, you know you have pissed them off severely.

I got the Ron Burgundy reference that really got out of hand didn't it :), we were just missing a trident being thrown.

Liked how Hisao tried to get Saki to let her angry feelings out in a way he thought would be best, while it seemed to do some good in getting her to rant about Nomiya. You can tell how when it came to her parents, Hisao hit a certain nerve and Saki shut it back down with haste.

Loved Hisao being in the wheelchair, childish in a very realistic way (come down how many of us have tried a wheelchair just to see what it's like?) Bloody hilarious just to visualize Hisao moving around in it and almost crashing his right knee into a table. Then acting like it never happened, nice way of lightening up the chapter and filling in the space between Saki ranting and Hisao having a demonstration in Violin holding. Though I do have to wonder if Hisao just wanted to feel some warmth and feeling from the wheelchair :twisted:.

Now onto the band room, really liked the Hisao looking at photo scene, the detail in Hisao's looking of the pictures was great, giving us some insight into what Hisao was looking at, like how Saki's hair was different from year one to two and to the present, with it getting longer and longer. I imagine a few readers will start pondering on why Saki's hair is different now than it was before. I imagine Chisato just wanted to change hairstyle due to not wanting to let her hair grow to the point, where she would feel her hair near her arse everytime she sits down :). Chisato buried in sand is just hilarious to think about, also loved Hisao's observation of her kicking her legs like a little kid. Fit's her character perfectly like the time when she sat on a chair backwards.

Now the red girls, this one is going to start causing some real spectating on who she is. While I don't think Saki has ever mentioned directly about her, I think I might remember some subtle hints or off mentions about someone like her from Saki and Chisato in earlier chapters, though form what Hisao sees in the pictures, it seems she and Saki at least played near each other a few times. Not to mention if this possibly ties into other stuff as well like Takashi Maeda. Though will just have to wait and see in future chapters.

I can't recall anyone but Rin having red hair and green eyes in KS, so I assume this girl is an OC?

Now onto the violin bit, done very well and hilarious for Hisao once again to do a really teenage like action and making a fool of himself. Saki taking the opportunity to feel Hisao up and make her move, then getting Hisao to just come out and ask her on a date. See Hisao it's that simple.

The scene had a certain innuendo feel to it with the way Saki and Hisao were acting and talking, the line of Hisao saying "There's a violin in my lap for some reason" got a good laugh out of me, even though he probably didn't mean it in the way I am imaging it right now :).

Chisato spoke for us all at the end of the chapter, that and her bet once again living up the chapter.

Great chapter overall, great way of ending Act two and leaving us wanting more.

Blackmambauk
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Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:28 am

Was that a Kagami reference in the picture section of the story?

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:37 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:Was that a Kagami reference in the picture section of the story?
Nope, OC. I don't plan on using Kagami :)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Act 2 Complete 12

Post by Blackmambauk » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:44 am

Oh yes forgot to say before, nice picture. Like how it shows Saki and Hisao leaning in just before the kiss, it also emphasises how Saki is in the position of being in control and the one who makes the move, and Hisao is in the position who reacts to it. Foreshowing how it's been Saki throughout Act one and Two who has been in control of the two's relationship for the most part. Whether that changes in Act three and Four we will have to see.
"I think the greatest skill a writer can have is simply having confidence in themselves to tell the story they want to tell, and to have confidence that their audience will make up their own minds on their story and characters." Blackmambauk

Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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