Bells of Life Side Stories

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YutoTheOrc
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Bells of Life Side Stories

Post by YutoTheOrc » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:41 am

A Saki Scorned
by YutoTheOrc/KaiserOrc

Hello, thanks for coming! This is a...well, to be fair I'm not quite sure what to call it? A one-shot? No, I plan on doing more of these. Then again, I might not do another one of these for Saki. Would this be a one shot for Saki? Then again, I may do another for her. Alas! Words, have escaped me. Anyway, this is a story about young Saki Enomoto, a story about rejection, anger, and complaints. It takes place within the universe of the story I wrote called; The Bells of Life. Please enjoy and as always leave a comment, I love hearing from you all!


A teenage girl slowly paces to and fro in her small dorm room. Her honey hair trailing behind her in her haste. Her golden-brown eyes, squinted in anger, which is accentuated by the scowl prominently displayed on her face. The sound of her crutches clicking echo as they move the girl forward in the room, creating an uneasy tension between the two girls. Both dressed in the typical uniform of their school, Yamaku Academy-school for the disabled. The green and white garb hug the girls features nicely, while also maintaining a degree of etiquette and refinement. The honey-haired girl lets out a snarl and has been complaining for the past few hours. You see, whilst being beautiful and charming;Saki is not used to being denied her way.

“How could he turn me down? Me!” Saki screams in the room, still pacing.

“I mean I'm beautiful, charming, talented, and not to mention wealthy! Does he not know the Enomoto family is a respected name in Shikokou?”

The girl laying on the bed gives a groan and rolls over onto her stomach, and brings her face almost into the magazine she is reading. The girl reading seems none to pleased to be hearing about this problem, in fact; she was bored with it two hours ago. Yet the unwritten code of friendship dictates that you listen to your bestfriend's troubles, no matter what.

“The Enomoto family has been highly regarded since the time of the first shogunate!”

The every increasing pacing is enough to make one even more anxious, yet Saki seems content to continue to do so.

“Are you even listening to me Mayu?” Saki stops and turns to her friend, an angry glimmer in her eye.

“Yes, Saki. I'm afraid I am.” Mayu replies sarcastically, clearly wanting the rant to be over and done with.

“Good, at least somebody has some common sense in this place!”

Saki lets out a grunt of irritation before flopping down on a chair facing the bed. A deep frown has been carved into her pretty features, as she slumps in the chair. She lets her crutches drop to the floor, so she can cross her arms in an unamused fashion.

“What doesn't Yuuto see in me?” Saki asks, still caught up in the momentum of her anger, that has lasted far longer than it should have.

“I have no idea.” the other girls sighs, rolling her eyes behind her thick glasses; turning the page of the fashion magazine.

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing dearest friend. I'm sure Yuuto is simply not looking for a girlfriend at this point in time, or maybe he likes the hairier gender.” she laughs, amused by her own joke.

“No, I don't think so. Machiko said she saw Yuuto and that girl, Kirino, talking after school this week.”

“Who? The shy girl who never leaves her room?” Mayu asks her interest piqued, she cocks her head and looks at Saki.

“Mhm.”

Mayu sets the magazine down on the sheets before readjusting herself, favouring to sit at the edge of the bed. At least this way her friend can be in better view of our sight-impaired friend. She flicks her long black locks and adjusts her glasses before probing into the now interesting rant.

“I nearly forgot she went here, she barely ever leaves her room. In fact, I don't even see her go to take a shower!”

“That's the girl, her and Yuuto were talking at the vending machines earlier this week. That's not all either, I heard from Akihito that he even paid for a pizza. Guess who's pizza it was?”

“I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, oh... Rika from my year?” Mayu asks, sarcastically.

“Can you at least try to take this life-threatening situation seriously?” Saki sneers, her voice so venomous it could out-poison a viper.

“Sorry, sorry. I'll do my best. I swear!” Mayu grins cheekily, clearly trying to stifle back laughter at her friends displeasure.

“You know, having a best friend who is your junior is hard, they're too immature to understand the real issues.” Saki pouts, the damage already done.

“Ouch.” the other girl says, with a clutch at her heart in mock pain.

Saki gives a wink before returning to her already distraught and venomous rant.

“Nori, and he was studying with Kirino~.” she continues the name on mockingly.

“So, he bought a pizza? He could just be paying back Nori for a favour, or he could be their friend?”

“Yuuto would never make friends with someone like Nori. He could do much better! He must like Kirino!”

Poor Nori.

“Why are you so fixated on Yuuto anyway? Isn't he a jerk to most people?”

Saki moves back in her chair with a short gasp. She looks offended, as if someone just insulted her maidenly virtue.

“Yuuto may appear to be a 'jerk'.” she says, with air quotes.”But he is sweet, handsome, rich, smart, mysterious, athletic, cool, and the best of all-charming.”

“Well, most people who appear to be jerks usually are jerks.” Mayu says, cocking one eyebrow up, not buying her friend's praise

Saki looks around her room conspiratorially. As if she was just about to reveal the plans of a top secret base. She leans closer to her friend and whispers;.

“If I tell you this, don't tell anyone out of this room.” Saki says, trying to coax her friend into a promise.

“Sure.” Mayu replies, not really caring the emotion Saki is putting into the conversation.

“You have to promise.”

“I promise.”

“Cross your heart an..” Saki begins.

“Saki! I'm not gonna tell anyone, frankly-I don't give a shit.”

“Okay. Well, I was talking to him before this and we brought up siblings. Since I only have a disgusting pervert of a brother, we talked about his sister. He was so cute~. He talked so much about her, he was grinning, he even had pictures to show of her! It was so adorable.” Saki gushes, blushing and holding her cheeks.

“He had pictures of his sister? Ew gross. What the fuck?” Mayu shivers, a look of disgust on her face.

“Oh, hushup you. It was sweet. Not to mention he gushed over a kitten that Akio smuggled into the boys dorms!”

“I swear everyone in this damn school knows about Akio and the cat. I'm amazed the school hasn't cracked down on the poor guy yet.” Mayu chuckles to herself.

“He's a really sweet guy, even when he turned me down he was kind. He even bought me a drink!” Saki says, still trying to justify another's actions.

“Isn't that usual? An obligatory drink? A sign of apology? Anyway if he was a gentleman after turning you down, then what's the problem. Live and learn.”

“That's not the point Mayu! I don't have all the time in the world, I can't just 'live and learn'. Besides, I lost-to a hikikomori no less!” She says, as if the idea was more offensive than a drunk vomiting on her shoes.

Mayu lets out a sigh and pinches the bridge of her nose, while managing to usher in another question; wishing for the conversation to be done once and for all.

“What do you plan on doing? You can't exactly do much in this situation.”

“I can always confront the other party.” Saki says.

Mayu looks at her best friend and realizes she has a familiar glimmer in her eye. The glimmer of a plan to solve any issue.
Last edited by YutoTheOrc on Wed May 09, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: A Saki Scorned(One-Shot....Kinda)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:25 am

Her golden-brown eye, squinted into a sneer...
I'm not sure you can sneer with your eyes...
Besides, I lost-to a hikkomori no less!
Hikikomori is a difficult word...

Nice side story, but if you're planning to write more of them, you should probably just post them in the original thread. You're not going to reach brythain levels of complexity I assume...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: A Saki Scorned(One-Shot....Kinda)

Post by LilyKitsune » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:28 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:You're not going to reach brythain levels of complexity I assume...
I hope. I cant take another one of those.

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Re: A Saki Scorned(One-Shot....Kinda)

Post by brythain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:34 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Nice side story, but if you're planning to write more of them, you should probably just post them in the original thread. You're not going to reach brythain levels of complexity I assume...
Hey! I didn't think I was going to reach those levels either. It happens, you know. :(
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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YutoTheOrc
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Re: A Saki Scorned(One-Shot....Kinda)

Post by YutoTheOrc » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:52 pm

It won't reach Brythain's level of mosaic, more likely just a main story followed up by a few short stories from other perspectives, and maybe a canon appearance in a different story that I write. :P

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Re: A Saki Scorned(One-Shot....Kinda)

Post by NekoDude » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:13 pm

brythain wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Nice side story, but if you're planning to write more of them, you should probably just post them in the original thread. You're not going to reach brythain levels of complexity I assume...
Hey! I didn't think I was going to reach those levels either. It happens, you know. :(
These things have a way of snowballing. I never intended to write a Lord of the Rings sized epic, but it's starting to look like that will be what actually happens before I can close my story adequately (and I'm already about 40% of the way there - 180,000 words to cover less than two months of calendar time). As if I didn't have enough plotlines in flight, I just wrote a "what the fuck is Yuuko doing" setup. (You'll have to wait till I write another 40 pages to see it, to maintain my buffer.)

I find I have to periodically re-read chapters I've already written just to make sure I get the continuity of small details correct. I keep a general overview in an outline, but sometimes I need to remember exactly when someone found out about something. (For example, my outline tells me exactly when Kenta broke up with Ryu, but not when he told Emi about it.) This is why I think I'm reasonably well qualified for a project where attention to detail is critical, such as a VN.

Anyhow... I've also learned, don't make promises about the scope of your future output. You may get tired of the premise and cancel it, or you may find you just can't stop writing side threads that take up more space than the primary story. Either way, you'll end up WAY off your mark, presuming you even had a good estimate to start with.
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Re: Bells of Life Side Stories

Post by YutoTheOrc » Wed May 09, 2018 4:28 pm

A Little Taste of Nori


Tlink

The sound of the metal bat colliding with the ball rings throughout the field like a firework in the night. The team stops what they’re doing and watches as the ball soars across the sky, their eyes intently fixed on its trajectory. A loud metal crash followed by the rattling of the chain link fence separating the outfield from the rest of the school shakes the air around the field, allowing the outfielders to quickly snap into motion.

I swing the bat back to position in a wide arc, allowing for my shoulder to crack and release the tension I feel building up. “Haha, good one, but try it with a little more speed!” I laugh to Haruto, my lips spread into an encouraging grin as he catches the ball thrown to him by one of the outfielders. He turns and gives me a discouraged nod before readying himself for another pitch, but I stop him. “No, NO!~” I bellow, my voice practically reaching enough pitch to shatter a few ear drums, which will hopefully get them to listen. I chuckle to myself and lean the bat over my shoulder and close the gap between Haruto and myself, putting a firm hand on top of his shoulder.

“Captain?”

“Haru-chan. What’s with that face?” I tease, giving him a coy wink.

He gives me a confused look and pauses for a moment, his eyes flickering as he thinks of what to say. Before he even ushers in a sound, I hedge my bet onto what he plans to say, instead I give him an encouraging squeeze on the shoulder to try and make him believe the lie he’s trying to tell himself. “Just tired I guess…”

I laugh loudly at his lie, more so for his own benefit than mine. I place my hand on the side of his helmet and lean his head so it’s resting next to mine and I point towards the catcher facing him. “Tell me what you see.”

“Tetsuo?” he says, not really getting what I’m trying to set him up for. “I don’t really understand…”

“Well there’s your problem! Don’t think about what you’re going to do, feel it. The ball is a part of you. When you take a step you don’t think of where it’s going to land do you?”

“No sir?”

“How many times do I have to tell you kids to call me Nori!~” I laugh loudly, causing him to wince slightly “Then pitch like that, feel what ball is best and feel the throw. Don’t think about it, they call baseball a game of heart for a reason!”

“Yes cap...Nori!” he says, catching himself and stepping away from me to bow with thanks. I give him another big smile and laugh before walking back to my box. “Already everybody! This is the last pitch before we end practice for today! Hopefully Haru-kun can give me another one of these,” I laugh pointing to my black eye enthusiastically “and make me look like a cute little Tanuki!~”

The team gives out a few more chuckles, easing some of the tension that’s built up throughout the lofty practice. I give Tetsuo a cat-like grin and a nod as I stand in front of him, readying the bat once again. I take a deep breath, letting the warm late spring air fill my lungs like a good smell and breathing it out just as slowly. I grip the bat tighter and peer through my glasses, anticipating Haruto’s throw.

He throws the ball, this time much more enthusiastically, his eyes glimmering with a new courage. The ball shoots from his grip and hurtles towards me and my bat, determined to fly past us and nestle itself into the old leather of the catcher’s mitt. I feel a confident smile spring to my face once again, that exciting thrill of the game rising through me like bubbles in a soup, making me remember why I love this game so much.

Tlink

The bat collides violently with the ball, sending it hurtling through the air before dipping from the sky and crashing into a mitt like a downed bird.

“Excellent work everybody!~ I can definetly see all the work everyone’s been putting in!~” I beam, doing my best to share my enthusiasm with the rest of the team. Fortunately a few of the other members respond in kind, Haruto included, which was my goal all along. “I’ll see you all in two days, keep it up and we have a good shot at winning the tournament this year!”

“Only thanks to your hitting captain!” one of the first years laughs sardonically, causing my mood to dip slightly. “Ridiculous! It’s only because of all of you that we’ve gotten to where we are today! Don’t ever forget that!”

He takes a light punch to the shoulder by one of the others before frowning to himself and dropping the statement as if it never happened at all; which is the best thing… for everyone.

The team heads their separate ways after saying their goodbyes, some of them happy to be done, others happy to have played.

I give myself the luxury of a short sigh before grinning at the prospect of trying to get more of the team to be happier to have played than be done. That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it, believe it! I laugh to myself and take off my helmet to reveal my sweaty hair to the setting sun. I let the helmet rest against my thigh as I close my eyes and bask in the warm rays, glad that another game has gone by without another narcoleptic attack. I guess it would be more accurate to call it in an invasion of the body rather than an attack, the idea of an attack is that you can fight it off. Sadly in my case, you can’t even do that.

I grab my towel that hangs off the side of the metal bleachers and flop down with it, letting my body hit the bench with a dull thud. As I lean forward I bury my face into the towel, rubbing my face against the fabric roughly. I let out a sore groan as I make the mistake of touching my split lip and opening up the scab again.

“Nori?” a soft voice calls from beyond the void.
I drag my head away from the towel, wiping a few beads of sweat away in the process.

“Ah Saya! How can I help you on this fine evening?~”

“Ummm...you know you’re bleeding right?”

I let out a loud laugh and grin, which won’t help the situation. “Sorry about that.” I bunch my towel up and hold it to my lip, doing my best to hide the blood from the poor girl.

“I guess you got hit really badly, must have been a strong hit.”

“Yeah, it was something along those lines. Something like a little bump can’t put me down though! Now you needed something?”

“Oh yes! I was wondering if you handed in our application to play at Tanabata this year?”

“Haha, well I did, but madam president seems to think that a two person music act isn’t exactly a band. Do you and Ritsu have someone who could maybe fill in? Even just for that? I’m sure that Shizune would change her tune and definitely let you guys play!~”

“Umm...well...we don’t exactly have anyone who has expressed an interest…”

“What kind of person do you need? Maybe I can check around?”

“Would you!?” Saya says, her face lighting up with excitement before quickly being stifled by an embarrassed blush “That would be much appreciated.”

“What kind of player do you need?”

“Someone who could play guitar would be nice, singing too. Well, singing is more of a luxury...I can always do that by myself.”

“Someone who can play guitar and sing...hmm…” I raise my hand and cover my mouth, trying to think of a person who can fit such a request. There are a few first years who I’m acquainted with that may be interested, but It might be better to find someone in second or third year to avoid awkward first encounters. The only question is who.

“Do you have someone in mind?” she asks, leaning forward towards me on her toes.

“HaHa!~” I laugh, moving away my hand and revealing another grin “Not yet i’m afraid. How about we swap numbers and I’ll check around later tonight? Does that sound good?”

She gives me a quick nod and we swap phone numbers. She gives me an appreciative bow and we part ways. Who should I start asking? I guess when should I start asking would be a better question, I’ve already got some class representative paperwork to fill out, not to mention my own homework, and I’ve been asked to check up on Saki due to her string of absences. Maybe I shouldn’t have so readily accepted her request...Oh well, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a class representative If I didn’t do my very best!

I think I’ll start with a shower before doing any of the night’s work. Wouldn’t be the most polite thing to show up and ask people for favours with sweat marks and a bloody lip!~

****************************************************************************************************

The sound of a few sharp knocks on the door catches my attention, causing me to fling the towel I was using to dry my hair over my shoulder. I open the door and look over at the rather distracted fellow gazing down the corridor, his hand in his pocket and his eyes watching something bob away in the distance. I slowly lean forward from the door frame and stare along the hall, watching as a girl trots down the hall, her hips swaying back and forth. Oh ho!~

“Silk and satin, leather and lace.~” I grin, trailing off into a mischievous hiss. “Yu-kun, Yu-kun, Yu-kun… Tsk Tsk. Aren’t you involved with the lovely miss Miki?”

He slowly turns his head back to me, making a grunt like that of a dog. “It’s ughhh a bit more complicated than that…”

I let out a loud laugh and shake my head, before ushering him into the room. “Well, I’m sure you didn’t come up to this floor to stare at an underclassman walk down the halls. How can I be of service!~”

“Tsuda’s havin’ a few people over to his room, I’m not exactly friends with them….so...I was wondering if you wanted to tag along so it’d be less awkward?”

“HaHa!~ Asking me to be your date eh? I always thought you were a pretty calm and cool guy, what do you need me for?”

“Haha. Typically yeah, but I feel a little more at ease around girls. Never really hung around with a whole lot of guys back home.”

“Look at you, a good old ladies man. I’d love to go, but I kind of have a few things to do first. Sorry!~” I say, trying to let him down easy. “If if I’ve got time I’ll drop by after though.”

He lets out a loud sigh and rubs his hand through his hair “Well, guess I need to find someone else. What a pain.” He gives a slight chuckle and turns to head for the door.

“Before you go, do you happen to play any kind of instrument. Or sing, I’m sure you’d be a right hit when it comes to karaoke.”

He turns back towards me, catching a quick glance at his arm and then raising an eyebrow “Instruments” I’m not exactly the greatest when it comes to two handed exercises, besides, I’m pretty much tone deaf. As for karaoke, I’m not that greatest.”

“I see. Well, I guess I’ll need to poke around then!”

“Why do you ask?”

“Some student representative stuff, need to find someone who can play in a band. Guess I’m not lucky enough to hit the point on the head first try now am I?!”

He gives another dry chuckle before raising a finger slightly “I do know someone who can play guitar, but I haven't seen them in quite a time; I’m not exactly on the best of terms with them either…”

“Hmmm. Who do you have in mind?”

“You remember Saki from class? I remember her telling me she played guitar once.”

“Remember her? I’m the class representative!~ Then again It would be hard to forget even her, especially after that little festivity that occurred in class a week or so ago.” My face falls into a frown at thought, remembering the rather awkward and inappropriate outburst that riled up the class. Sadly for me, I only heard it second hand...much to my shame…

Yuuto blushes slightly, his eyes quickly darting to the floor before looking back up. No doubt he too is embarrassed, for a very different reason than I.

“Well, I’ll certainly check up on it. I was meaning to pay her a visit anyhow. Convince her to come back to class, besides nobody is mad at her; least of all Kirino.”

“You really think so eh?” The way he lets the words trail out makes him seem like he’s skeptical, which is understandable given what happened.

“Of course! Kirino is a good person, she’d never dwell too much on it. Even if Saki has been...less than popular with people, nobody wants to ruin something that is good; least of all the last year of highschool.”

“I hope you’re right, you’re certainly more of an optimist than me here buddy.”

I shoot him a happy thumbs up and a wink, glad that he agrees. It is one of my best qualities after all!

“One last thing, more so for you than me,but why don’t you invite Hisao over to Tsuda’s? You two seem to be good friends.”

“I hadn’t thought about that...good idea, I’ll check up on him. See you later?”
“Definitely.”

He leaves the room, the door clicking into place behind him, leaving me to my thoughts. I heave a deep sigh and sit down on my bed, putting my hands together in front of my face and begin to wonder. Am I lucky enough to catch two fish with one hook? Here’s hoping my luck doesn’t run out anytime soon I smile, reaching up and touching the discoloured swelling around my eye.

****************************************************************************************************

“Knockity Knock Knock!” I chime, emphasising the melodic lilt in my voice.

A few moments pass by with relative silence as I stand in front of the door, waiting to be answered. Hopefully this is the right door or I’m going to look like quite the fool! The room must be right, I don’t think Shizune would be the one to lie to me about such a thing...unless she was playing a game; she did look rather mischievous when Misha was translating for us. I can only hope that was youthful enthusiasm!

“Hello? Enomoto-san? Are you home?”

Another few moments pass by before I go to knock on the door once again.

“Go away.” I hear, softly spoken like a muffled whisper.

Well, this could go one of two ways! I’m sure it will end quite well, after all, hard work often goes rewarded.

“Enomoto-san! It’s Nori Akiyama, I’m the class representative from class 3-4. I’m wondering how you’re doing!~”

“I said go away!” The voice still sounds muffled, but it sounds significantly closer to the door than it did before. A win if I ever heard of one.

“HaHa!~ I’m afraid not. It’s kind of my job to be here. Would you mind opening the door? I don’t mind shouting, but I usually prefer it to be through enjoyment rather than through a door!”

“Go away Nori. I’m not coming back to class!” This time her voice is close enough that she must be on the other side, close enough to open the door.

“Is that what this is about? Okay! You don’t need to come back to class!” I smile, closing my eyes, feeling the door opening quickly and forcing warm air into my face.


Checkmate

“What do you mean ‘You don’t need to come back to class.’?” she asks skeptically, her voice dripping with enough venom to take down an ox.

I open my eyes and continue to grin “I’m not here to force you to come back to class. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to. I’m just here to talk!~”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Haha!~ I wouldn’t expect you to. Do you mind if I come in? I’m really just here to talk, the worst you lose is a few minutes of your time.”

She stares at me for a few moments, clearly mulling the thought over in her head. A few moments pass by and she takes a step away from the door, allowing for me to walk into the room. She closes the door behind me and leans against it, staring at me “So what.”

“I hear you can play guitar. I also hear that you’re quite good at it. You certainly look like you’d be quite the musical type!”

“You came here to ask if I can play guitar?”

“More or less.” I grin, leaning against her makeup table, doing my best to avoid putting my pants bottom into an open tube of lipstick.

“I can. I don’t anymore. Why does it matter?”

“Don’t anymore or won’t anymore?”

“Don’t play games with me Nori, I know damn well you know why I won’t play.”

“If you’re talking about your condition, I am well aware of that. I just don’t understand why that’s stopping you from doing something you enjoy doing.”

“Are you screwing with me Nori? Because if you are you can get the hell out!” She yells, breaking the stiff silence that clung to the room. She takes a step away from the door and moves closer to me, looking genuinely angry. “You think I’d want to do something again, knowing full well I may lose control of myself!? You think that’s fun? Do you have any idea what it’s like to know that know matter how hard you fight it’s all useless?”

“That’s exactly why you shouldn’t give up the things you love, even despite that!~ It’s the bes-”

“Enough with the voice, you sound like an idiot! You have no idea what it’s like do you? What it’s like to watch the things you love get taken away? Watch yourself slowly lose control? Do you know how scary that is!?”

At this point Saki stands in front of me, staring up at me angrily, her fists clenched and her eyes shooting daggers at me. I let out a sigh and take off my glasses, rubbing the bridge of my nose as I swallow hard in my throat.

“I know exactly how you feel. The only difference is you get the chance to watch your life flash before you. You ever know what it’s like to be laughing along with your friends one minute to blinking and being in the hospital with a concussion the next?” I say, taking away the playful tone of my voice and replacing it with a typical, deep and serious tone. “So if you’re asking me if I’d fight to the bitter end to at least have the chance to enjoy the things I love, I’d say of course a thousand times.”

“You don’t get it, It’s like a fear eating its way from within me. You don’t know what it’s like to never get your way, to have to struggle for even an inch and even then it’ not enough.”

She turns away from me, her fists loosening slightly as she turns and flops herself backwards onto her bed, landing with a heavy thud. “Do you know how frustrating it is to watch things just fall into other people’s hands? Can you really blame me for getting mad?”

“Take Kirino. She goes from being nobody in class to suddenly being important. I’ve had a crush on Yuuto since he came to Yamaku and he never came up and talked to me, but suddenly he just goes up and talks to her? It’s ridiculous! I try so hard and it never matters, people still look at me like I’m volatile, that I’m suddenly just going to lose control.”

I take a step away from the makeup table and turn towards her, looking at the sympathetic girl curled up in the bed like a small child. Her pillow clutched desperately to her chest, her face buried in it like a child trying to escape from life. Her body quivers slightly as she clutches the pillow, her messy hair becoming even more frizzed in the process.

“Am I really the bad guy here? I know people call me a ‘bitch’, I know they call me a ‘princess’. It hurts ya’ know? I don’t want to be the bad guy, I just want to be normal…”

“You’re not a bad person Saki...you’re a person like any other. Even though you got mad and erupted in class, I can guarantee you that Kirino doesn’t hate you.”

“Of course you’d say that! You’re her friend!”

“If I wasn’t would you take me more seriously? What if the roles were switched and she was the one who erupted at you and you went off crying? Would you be able to hate someone for that? Do you think I’d have anymore reason to lie now then I would then?”

“...”

“I’m not going to tell you to suddenly become someone you’re not. All I’m trying to say is be happy for what you have and enjoy it, nobody will fault you for that. Especially not Kirino. Besides Yuuto’s a weird guy, he kind of just does things sporadically, he wasn’t thinking of anything by talking to her.”
“You really think so?” she asks, moving her head away from the pillow, revealing tears still clinging to her eyes and a small blush permeating along her cheeks.

“Of course!~ Besides he’s much cooler than me, he needs to remain calm at all times or he just becomes a weird guy!” I grin, sticking my tongue and circling my finger around my temple causing her to smile a little.

“Can I ask you something?”

“If it’s about me being devilishly handsome it’s all genetic.” I give her a wink and she sits up, curling her feet in behind her.

“Why are you always so happy? Why do you make your voice so high pitched and energetic?

“Haha!~ Because I like being here. I may not be in complete control of myself, and I might just pass out at any moment, but hey I’m here. When I used to watch my younger siblings I tried to always put on a show and be as happy as I could for them, I never wanted to be that guy who’s always tired. I wanted to genuinely express how glad I am to be here, for better or for worse. Pretty corny eh?”

“No...I think it’s pretty cool actually…”

“Don’t go falling for me now, I know I’m quite the stud!”

She gives a giggle and looks like she’s beginning to perk up. I’m glad.

“Now, I’ve got an opportunity for you and it involves playing the guitar. Sound like something your interested in? It’d be a lot of fun!~”

She gives me a nod and leans closer, causing my grin to spread wider.

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“I’ll give Saya a call and let her know you're interested. I’m sure she’ll be happy to give you the details in class on monday!” I smile at her from the hall, glad to see my little talk has made at least some difference.

“I will see you in class Monday...right?”

She gives me a tired nod, letting me know my job is officially done. I give her an exuberant wave and start to move away from the door before I’m called back “Hey Nori?”

“Yeah.”

“Thanks, thanks a lot.”

I let out another characteristic laugh and pretend as if I’m tipping my hat at her “Just another perk of my job.”

She smiles before closing the door and leaving me alone to my thoughts.

Well, I might as well swing by Tsuda’s room. Promised Yuuto I’d make an appearance, besides I’m feeling surprisingly more awake than usual.

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