Scene 8 – A Sudden Wilting.Wow, it's been such a long time. But I finally got all moved in to my new home and a job and all that! So now with that, I can finally get back to work on writing this story.
I can't remember a time it felt so crowded when I was at my old school, but people sure know how to pack these hallways. Another morning brush with waves of students is becoming routine at this point. Despite the tiring effort to get around, I feel really happy for once in the morning.
The clearing near the classroom is a welcome relief, as I notice Hanako, Lilly, and Hisao by the door. It's great timing on my part.
"Good morning," the smile on my face doesn't feel normal, but it felt good.
"Good morning, Hiroshi," It came out almost in unison between the three of them.
Everyone looks relatively upbeat. I guess everything went without a hitch yesterday. Even with that belief, I don't know what to say, without bring it up in conversation. A quick glance at my watch is the only thing I can do to avoid appearing in a daze. There is five minutes before the start of class.
My attention turns back to the group, as I hear Lilly's voice.
"Since it’s such a lovely day, we should have lunch outside," that is definitely a change of pace, not that our usually lunch spot is anything to talk bad about.
Hanako hesitates about the idea at first.
"O-okay…," the smile she gives is reassuring.
"The bell is about to ring," Hisao informs the group, but I figure it’s more of Lilly's convenience.
"Oh my, we should hurry," Lilly's demeanor never ceases to surprise me, as she hugs Hanako.
Lilly heads down the hall to her classroom, as the three of us turn towards the door.
"Hold it right there, mister ninja!" that voice is unmistakable…, Misha.
Though with Hisao here as well, it’s hard to know who she is talking to. I turn around to face her, just in case.
"We have been looking for you all yesterday afternoon, Hiroshi," Both Misha and Shizune's grin, makes me wonder if they thought it was an elaborate game of hide and seek.
Though I wanted Hisao and Hanako to go inside and let me deal with this alone, as good friends, they would stand by me.
"I wasn't exactly hiding, or anything…, am I in trouble for something?" the amount of effort they gave is something I'm curious about.
"Nothing bad, we came to let you know that you have to go to the nurse's office this morning," Shizune signs to Misha with a proud expression on her face.
"As members of the Student Council, we are diligent in our duties to the school, even tasks like this," from all the things I would be told, this isn't a bother.
"Umm, thanks... I wouldn't want to get in trouble or anything," maybe this is a bit too sarcastic for me, but clearly the tone in my words goes over their heads.
"You're very welcome, Hiroshi," A quick translation of my words makes Shizune smile. I suppose I'll keep the truth to myself.
I wave a simple farewell to everyone and head back to the staircase. On the lighter side, I don't have to worry about the class assignment right now.
The door to the nurse's office is creaky as I open it slowly. To little surprise, Nurse, in his usual cheery manner welcomes me in.
"Well, good morning Mr. Yamashita," most people speaking formally to me felt odd, outside of teachers, it was out-of-place for me.
"So, what do you need from me?" it isn't the nicest way to speak, but by the look on his face, it is clear that he didn't mind.
"Just a physical, we need to make sure you're healthy," I resist the urge to roll my eyes.
He guides me into another room to begin the physical. All the medical tools hanging up on walls and the sterile appearance make me feel like I'm ill. Considering in the last few months of my life, everything was touch and go; I couldn't help but feel disconnected from the situation. The checking of my blood pressure, eye and ear, heartbeat, reflexes. My focus would only return each time I'm instructed to do something different.
This feeling of being in a medical environment was casual and relaxed at best in the past, but now It causes only this sensation of dread in my life, that I have to return ever so often to make sure I don't collapse or worse. With the path they want me to follow, what is worth moving forward for really, after finishing school?
A quick sigh escapes my lips just as Nurse finishes up.
"Yamashita, let us discuss some of the things I've noticed," of course isn't just good news.
"For the most part, things look well enough, though your heartbeat is a little fast from the norm," If that is everything, he made me sound a lot worse off.
"Your blood pressure is border line on the high-end. Considering your size and weight, this is probably due to stress," now it stacks up, but still not horrible.
"Just looking at your face, you seem to have pent-up stress, have there been any difficulties since your return from the hospital? Being more social can usually help reduce stress," once he stops talking, I can feel myself shocked and somewhat insulted.
It's sort of true I'm not exactly in the limelight with other students, but hearing it from him is upsetting.
"What does that suppose mean, I am social…," his face does not change one bit.
"Your sister talked to me the other day about you having trouble making friends, and around your age, that can cause undue stress," of course Katsumi would bring stuff like that up…
"Well she is wrong, I've had a good time with my friends since I've gotten back," I didn't lie, but I deliberately left out a few other things that have been on my mind.
He begins to look at me seriously for a moment, and then suddenly begins to chuckle.
"Both you and your sister have such a stubborn streak about yourselves, it’s uncanny," he looks very amused with himself.
"I suppose…?" I didn't feel like arguing about it, but I know I am not like my sister at all.
"Well, my advice for you is to try to relax more, its very bad for your heart if the pressure is too high," a simple nod is all I give.
"That should do it for the physical, you can head back up to class," the joy from those words couldn't be greater.
My back feels stiff as I get up and walk through the first door with Nurse right behind him. I think science is still going on, I'll ask Hisao or Misha what I missed when I get back.
The front door to the office suddenly opens as I spot Hisao and Hanako walking in, it's surprising to say the least, but my surprise turns to concern as I look at Hanako, she doesn't look well. She gives me a quick glance, but turns away before being brought into the infirmary. Nurse goes in to check on both, as I wait by the door.
A few minutes go by, with my mind racing. Clearly the stress I've been told to avoid isn't as easy to avoid as he made it sound. Hisao finally comes out with what I can only describe as a depressing look. It doesn't help my demeanor at all.
"Hisao, what happened with Hanako?" he takes a moment to find the words.
He begins to describe the situation that happened in the classroom. The group assignment that would eventually bring up Hisao and Lilly's trip to the city and teasing by Misha and Shizune, which lead to Hanako breaking down in class. The story comes to an end with Hisao revealing that Hanako will be back in her room by the evening.
"We should get back to class," Hisao did not want to openly dwell on the event, but I'm sure it's heavy on his mind, just like mine.
As we walked back, I couldn't help but think about my part in concealing the birthday planning from Hanako. If it affected her this much, then I caused her so much pain. What kind of friend does that to someone they care about.
Once we get to the door, we both walk inside. Mutou takes Hisao back to the hall as I get in my seat. Misha and Shizune look at me, but I don't react. I can only think about the people I've connected myself with and think about the pain I caused them. First the being how I made Shizune sad by her expression from my incident a month ago, and now with Hanako.
Should I really try to get involved with people, if it causes this kind of trouble?
Maybe I should just be alone…