Monday, August 22, 2011

Finite Life Chapter Four: First Day Part 2

The inside of the school was not unlike the inside to any other school. There probably wasn’t much variation that people could put into the halls of schools. It was still cleaner and nicer than any other school I have been to. Akane skipped ahead of us, leading us to our classroom. Aki stayed back behind her next to me. I could feel him studying me out of his peripheral vision, which was probably my fault because I was not so subtly doing the same thing to him. Eventually my own patience broke, and I returned to observing Akane’s less than stationary skirt. Once I did, I felt my internal body temperature drop ten degrees as a cold hard stare of daggers began to stab me. I turned back Aki, and found him glaring at me without any of attempts at being hidden that he had before. I wasn’t the only one who felt the glare, because Akane turned around and filed a glare of equal or greater strength in return. Then they stared at each other, unmoving, as if having a mental conversation among themselves.

Then they looked away, and continued walking. Judging from the look on Aki’s face, I could tell that he was slightly less than joyful about what they had gone over in their imaginary discussion, though it quickly changed from minor disappointment back to his neutral expression. Akane had another cheerful grin on her face, so it was clear that she had gotten her way. For some reason I had the feeling that had happened a lot in that family. Nevertheless, I put that out of my mind, no need to worry about something like that on my first day as a schoolgirl! Though I did make a mental note to ask Akane about that later, especially if I wanted to become incredibly close friends with her. (My internal justification for my deep desire to become her friend was that it would be considerably easier to act like a girl if I had one near me as a reference. The fact that she apparently is very willing to be in close contact with other girls is only a bonus.)

Akane leaded us to the room that was presumably our classroom. In there was… were… somethings. I think they were people, or maybe they were the same person copied and pasted over the entire area. It was a girl, I think. I couldn’t see her face, anything above the neck. I just knew that she had a face and hair, without being able to see it. The area where said pieces of her body would be were glazed over with gray, making them impossible to identify. They were the exact same as each other, no differences. I looked over to my current companions for notice, but they seemed not to care or even notice. Instead, they walked in as if nothing was odd, and I did my best to do the same. There was a seating chart on the blackboard. I looked at it and saw that, by some twist of fate, I was seated next to Akane. She caught onto this as well, and gave me her trademark grin.

“Looks like we’ll being seeing a lot of each other, you really are destined to be my friend!” I put on a smile, but what she said bothered me for some reason. I felt that maybe, if my game theory was correct, she was the one destined to be my friend. While I have never had enough money to buy a game system, I have heard my classmates talk endlessly about them, so I knew that games typically had a ‘best friend’ character, and that it was looking more and more and more likely that Akane was designed to be mine. This wouldn’t have rubbed me the wrong way at face value. After all, I have already expressed desire to be very close friends with her, but I really did not like the idea that my life, and hers as well, was controlled or preassigned. My boy-life should have been a tale of poverty and woe, and I prevented that with my own hard work, paying the bills and putting food on the table with my precious sweat and tears.

This proved to be a problem for another moment in time, as Akane grabbed me by the arm and dragged me back to the second to last row where the seating chart said we were to sit. After I got my balance and was able to stand up without any external support, Akane leaned in really close. Her face was so close to mine that I could feel her breath on my cheeks, which now sported a rather healthy blush. Akane then whispered quietly into my ear.

“I’m sorry about Aki, he isn’t normally so… reactive.”

“Yeah I kind of got that vibe for him before hand. Any idea of what got him so… riled up?” I asked. Now Akane looked to be a bit nervous.

“Well… the only thing that could get him really worked up would be-” was all she was able to get out before a teacher entered the room. He was a strong man, clearly athletic. It was quite obvious that he was the coach of something, given the fact he was still wearing a sweat-suit. He had rather good hair, short, brown, well kept. The teacher was in his late, or perhaps middle, twenties.

“Now now, lets get seated!” He boomed out, and while he didn’t sound angry, he wasn’t in the best of moods. Everyone followed his instructions and sat down in their assigned seats. It was weird watching the faceless girls. I couldn’t describe it, though it seemed akin to a bunch of mindless drones that were under a collective intelligence. I designated the title of ‘Blanks’ to them, as that was the best I could come up with on short notice. Well, after the Blanks had sat down, I patiently waited for something to happen. Lo and behold, the teacher became that something. “Today, we shall go through introductions. My name is Mr. Yamamoto. I am the wrestling coach here, and I hope that everyone, not just the boys, will give it a shot.” I mentally gave myself one point for guessing correctly, but the same time I was rather confused at his choice of wording, and apparently I wasn’t the only one.

“That sounds rather pervy doesn’t it.” Akane whispered over to me, to which I nodded in response. Mr. Yamamoto, who might as well be the descedant of a bat, heard us, and by us I mean Akane, and sent us, and by us I mean me, a glare that promised a thousand deaths. Great, one day, not even an hour in, and I just pissed off someone who could clean my clock if he so desired. I hoped that it wouldn’t happen again, because thats what Mr.Yamamoto clearly wanted. I shut up, despite the fact I wasn’t talking in the first place, and focused on what he was saying.

“As I was saying; Introductions. I will call off your name, and if you are here, you will stand up and give us a short little diddy about who you are. All clear.” The Blanks and I nodded, it was something I had done every year that I’ve been in school.

He called out names that I couldn’t understand, or couldn’t hear, either way, a Blank stood up and responded with equal clarity. I didn’t know what the hell was going on, why couldn’t I understand them no matter how much attention I payed them. I glanced over at Akane, and she looked incredibly bored. I was tempted to send a message to her, anything to rid myself of the boredom, when the teacher said something understandable, shocking I know.

“Kudomine, Kenta!” Mr. Yamamoto called out. A student, a male one obviously, as no girl would have the name Kenta, stood up near the front of the room, as his desk was placed directly in front of the teachers. He was neither tall nor short, but only if you thought about him in terms of the average height of high school boys. As it was now, he seemed more than a little bit taller than me, though I wasn’t exactly good as measuring someones height against one that I had just received. His hair was incredibly short, probably having shaved it over the summer. It was clear that he was athletic, given the wiry muscles on his body. I could only see part of his face, but that was enough to see his smile. It was an infectious smile, one that inspired millions of others. He raised his arm to awkwardly scratch the back of his head, which obscured my view of him while he began to talk.

“Ah, my name is Kenta, feel free to call me Ken-kun, most people do. I enjoy sports, but my favorite is wrestling,” Now I know why Mr. Yamamoto placed him directly in front of himself. “and the school I was just at placed second in Nationals for wrestling, so I feel like I’m pretty good at it.” He stopped scratching his head, and once again I caught a glimpse of him smile. While it was still quite infectious, I couldn’t imagine it being… genuine. No, it was genuine, but there was something else in that smile, something that I did not recognize. I frowned in puzzlement, before shaking my head to clear my thoughts. That wasn’t the important thing, what is significant is that I could hear him, and so far, only him, out of everyone giving introductions, but at the same time, I didn’t notice him before that, even though he was a guy, and all the Blanks were most definitely female… I think. It was as if he had separated himself from the Blanks when he was called on. This didn’t make any sense.

I mentally slapped myself.

Of course it didn’t make sense. Nothing in the universe has made sense so far. This body’s long and impossibly colored hair, the Blanks, the fact I was a guy before all of this! Sense isn’t a requirement, it is a luxury. I needed to ignore everything that boogled me, and instead focus on surviving, preferably without getting thrown into a insane asylum.

I was thrown out of my crazy head and back to reality when I heard my name. Specifically, I heard something similar to my name from Mr. Yamamoto. I stood up in place and looked around briefly, mostly because I needed time to think about what I was going to say. After all I couldn’t tell the truth by saying, ‘Hello, my name is Michio Fuuji, I used to be a guy. Please treat me kindly.’ As that was something that would get me tossed into an asylum, which, as the paragraph above this one describes, is something I really didn’t want. Not to mention I didn’t really know what my name was, and if I was wrong Akane and the teacher would be very displeased/confused. My eyes found Kenta, and his eyes found mine. There was a brief staring contest (well, I thought it was a staring contest) that seemed to take longer than the time that actually passed. I broke off eye contact, and took a big breath in.

“Hello, my name is Michio Fuuji, I been through a few changes recently, and I am new to the area. (I hoped that was true, because if it wasn’t I would have a lot of explaining to do.) Please treat me kindly.” I managed a mini bow before collapsing to my chair. Mr. Yamamoto was still glaring at me, but hopefully it was because I was not as punctuational in my response as he wanted, and not because I had screwed up and said something that wasn’t true of this body. Thankfully, even if I did mess up, he didn’t call me out on it, and he went onto the next name on the list; it was another Blank.

My body was in the perfect sagging position, something that took years of practice in school to master. It involved a slight hunch of the back, the spacing out of the legs, a decline of the next, and both hands on the desk. I invented this position to maximize my sleep time during school, and without it I quite feasibly would have passed away due to exhaustion. It was my plan to sleep, as it was something I always did after attendance, but I was interrupted by someone. Or rather, someones eyes. I rolled my eyes up so I could see the offender out of the top of my eyesight. It was Kenta, who was staring in my general direction with a light- no, a medium blush on his face, and generally looking guilty as he did so. I didn’t know where he was exactly looking, as it was straining my eyes to look at him in this position at all! I received a slight tap on my shoulder from Akane, who I turned to face. She pointed at my legs and mouthed three words. ‘He. Can. See.’

It took a few moments to process the words she just said.

It took a few more to realize that she meant he could see me.

It took a few more after that to think of what he could see at that angle.

Then it only took a mere millisecond to realize that I was in a girls body, in a skirt, in a very compromising position.

… Oh crap.

My legs slapped together, shutting his view from his previous view, only a split second after a great deal of blood rushed to my cheeks like it was being paid overtime to do so. Thoughts were flying through my head at a million miles per second, or whatever distance thoughts traveled, a million of those per second. Some of them were perfectly legitimate claims, like ‘Being a girl is troublesome’ and ‘Well that was awkward’. The ones I didn’t consider legitimate are ones that will stay in my mind until the day I die, or rather, the day after I die. I couldn’t believe this situation! I was a guy, sitting like a guy always does, minding his own damn business. It didn’t matter if my body was current a girl’s, I was still a guy dammit!

But that didn’t answer those thoughts in my head, the thoughts that no one could answer, no one but the devil’s advocate that lives in each and every one of us. He had an answer, and he wasn’t feeling particularly willing to keep it to himself. No, that thought rang in my head loud and clear, silencing every thought that came before it.

‘Its because I am a girl.’ That was it. That was the reason that I unconsciously gave myself. It was stupid and unreasonable, and I attempted to mentally shoot it with a every firearm in known existence, but no matter what I did, no matter what internal justification or excuse I gave myself to prove that thought was wrong, it didn’t die. It just backed away into a dark little corner of my mind, ready to spring out at a moments notice, and nothing I had in my mental arsenal could beat it, and I knew it.

That was when I heard something similar to my name being called out again. I snapped out of my trance and looked at Mr. Yamamoto, who had a textbook in his hands. Out of corner of my eye I could see that Aki had one out as well. It goes without saying that I did not have it out. I apparently missed it when he stopped the introductions and went onto actual class.

I was lost. I looked at the blackboard for any sort of clue that could point out to me what problem, heck, what subject we were on. Still lost. The blackboard, if it had anything written on it, was blocked by Mr. Yamamoto.

“Yes?” I asked tentatively, afraid what he was going to say.

“Could you please solve problem three?” He asked, saying the exact thing I was afraid of him saying. He moved out of the way so I could see the problem on the board, and while I was thankful that he didn’t point out my lack of textbook, I still wasn’t in a much better shape. It was math, Algebra if I was correct, and chances are I were. Math was not my strong subject, that is something I would have known even if I stayed awake long enough to see what it was actually about. Nevertheless, I took a moment to actually study the problem, hoping that I might have a idea of what was going on. I didn’t. Desperate was tempted to say that the truth, that I didn’t know the answer. That was when I heard a voice, a whisper, speak to me.

“X = ± 3^(1/5) + 7” was what it said. I frowned, but did my best to repeat it.

“Umm, is it X = 3^(1/5)… + 7?” I asked. Mr. Yamamoto’s jaw dropped a few noticeable centimeters, before he regained his composure and cleared his throat,

“Almost, you missed the ±, but that was still correct…” He said it as if he couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth. “Anyway… the reason you have to have the…”

I stopped paying attention this time, not because I needed sleep or were confused about my general situation, but because he started to talk about things that I really didn’t understand. I was glad that he didn’t hear the voice, but you were still curious as to who that voice belonged to. I looked behind me, and say a person. A male person, not a Blank. He was blatantly asleep with the conviction I could only hold after a really horrible all-nighter at work. He had long, blue hair, that while it didn’t look it it was cared for that much, still looked rather good. Or rather, I thought it would only look good on a girl of course. There was a winter jacket resting on the back of his chair. On a lark, a quietly mouthed two words at the sleeping figure.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” The same voice whispered. I nearly jumped when I heard it. It sounded like he was speaking right into my ear! Deciding that you needed to know this man’s name, I asked him.

“What is your name?” I felt him smile (no, I didn’t see him, I literally felt him smile. Needless to say, it was weird.

“Minoru. My name is Minoru. Now, I suggest we talk later, or at least not now, because the teacher might spot you. Later?” He asked, and I nodded, not trusting my mouth to fake the words instead of say them. Minoru shifted his head down, clearly ending the conversation. After a moment, I turned back to the teacher, intent on maybe learning something.

It was a pretty big Maybe.

Next Chapter

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