Tearful Reunion

Note: This is my first I, My, Me ! Strawberry Eggs fan-fiction. For those who are unfamiliar with this stupendous, but sadly short-lived Japanese animation, I have begun the tale with a prologue of the events that have already come to pass in the OVA.

"Knowledge is power."—Albert Einstein

Prologue

The story began with Hibiki whose lifelong aspiration was to teach athletics. He tried applying for a teaching position in Seito Sannomiya Junior High School, but unfortunately, the President of the school only hired women to teach the students.

Ironically, the private school was co-ed, but the teachers were not. Determined to teach he decides to go in the guise a woman named Amawa Hibiki with the help and training of his Auntie Lulu. Resourceful Auntie gives him a voice changer to disguise his voice, giving him the initial edge with the Principal.

However, the Vice-Principal, Kyoko suspects Amawa of being a male in disguise. For a while, Hibiki eludes the Vice-Principal but is soon exposed to be a fraud. Although Hibiki was a fraud as a woman, the students he taught stand up for him during the Seito Sannomiya's Meeting to vote either to keep the stuffy traditional, unequal ways of the Principal or to change the School's ways to be more egalitarian.

The students and parents stand up for Amawa, because "she" taught the students about confidence. Then, the students rush after Hibiki's train to another city. Fuko Kuzuha, who adored Hibiki, catches up to him and he sees her. Jumping from the train, he lands on the soft grass and the two join in an affectionate embrace. The students come to embrace their teacher again as well. Will the Principal and Vice Principal change their old-fashioned ways and allow Hibiki to have another chance ? Perhaps.

Chapter 1—Joined Together Again At Last

Fuko hugged Hibiki tenderly. She blushed terrifically looking into his cerulean eyes. His eyes were extremely entrancing. "Sensei, I meant to tell you before but I had such difficulty how I really felt about you.", Fuko said, looking away from him momentarily. Gently, he lifted her chin and smiled graciously. "Fuko, I knew all along. I care about you as well, but if we had a dating relationship together it wouldn't exactly be professional.", Hibiki said, stroking her hair softly. He kissed her cheek and she flushed even darker than before. "I understand, Sensei. I'm just happy that you are here. Promise you will stay !", Fuko said, smiling brightly. "I'm not certain about that, considering that the President probably won't even consider re-hiring me after that awful Kyoko exposed me.", Hibiki answered, honestly. "Yes, but all of us are behind you.", Fuko said, gesturing to her classmates. They had followed Fuko to the field where Hibiki had ejected himself from his train ride out of the country and into the suburbs. It brought tears to Hibiki's eyes. "You actually took a stand for me ?", Hibiki questioned, in a tone of shock. Everyone nodded. Gently, Hibiki got up to his feet and helped Fuko up as well. "Of course we did, Sensei. Our teachers took a stand for you as well. Maybe our crotchety Principal will have a change of heart ?", one of the male students said, placing his finger on his chin rather thoughtfully. "That old bat ? Well, who knows ! Anything could happen. I am keeping my mind open and my sights set toward the stars !", Hibiki said, raising his hands toward the horizon. The Junior High School students cheered aloud for him and followed him as he sprinted toward Seito Sannomiya. Things were about to take a dramatic turn. The Principal probably wouldn't enjoy the swift power of change, but perhaps her hardened heart would be opened to the fact that male teachers were just as capable as female teachers in enlightening students as well as encouraging them. Through Amawa, although she didn't want to admit it outright, she had learned that even "brutish males" could be a positive influence on her students.

Chapter 2—The Principal's Admittance

Hibiki returned to Sannomiya and was welcomed by cheering parents. They had believed that he had done so much to improve the students' ability to perform better in athletics. The girls couldn't run in the pleated skirts that they were forced to wear before Amawa came. The bloomers would make it easier for them to run. The bloomers, in fact, made it easier to do an enormous lot of sports without getting tangled or in the way. It was a little embarrassing to wear them for the first time, but soon, the girls became used to performing to their utmost potential.

Soon, Hibiki was back in the school and had still been cheered on by his students and the teachers. Kyoko, still in uttermost shock, couldn't believe that everyone was actually applauding a phony. But, in a way, she could see how much Hibiki had changed the private co-ed school for the better. She still found Hibiki quite insolent, just as the Principal did, but still, yet, there was a certain quality about him that made him the perfect athletics teacher.

The meeting had come to a close. Hibiki could stay. Some rules would have to be broken, and it made the poor Principal faint to even think about breaking tradition, but it was inevitable sooner or later. Her old rival would probably be laughing mockingly at how she had gone against her own conscious just to rewrite the school's constitution. But, then again, he might actually appraise her. She didn't bother boggling her mind with thoughts of what the Principal from the all male Junior High School was pondering. In her heart, she felt like a part of her had passed away. However, something inside of her began to grow. It was a feeling that there wasn't anything that Hibiki couldn't accomplish with his go-getter attitude. It was very odd and unfamiliar to her, but surprisingly welcome, fresh like a cherry-scented spring breeze. For the first time in a long time, she allowed herself to smile. She felt her heart actually becoming full of joy and happiness. Could it be that she had actually found peace in her elderly age ? Maybe. Miracles often happened, even in schools.

Chapter 3—A New School Year

Even Auntie Lulu was slightly shocked at the sudden change of plans Hibiki had. "I was hoping I would get to enjoy some dog soup...", she said, eyeing an adorable fluffy looking Kurage. Kurage whimpered, and then rolled his eyes. Hibiki teasingly answered, "Baa-chan, you know I would never let you eat my Kurage ! Look at that cute furry face ! How can you resist it? Plus, he's too smart to become soup...And you know it !" Lulu laughed heartily. "Seeing as you've paid the rent, you can still stay with us. Oh, and one more thing, Hibiki...", Lulu paused, smiling brightly at him. "Hmm ? What's that, Granny ?", he questioned, curiously. "Do your best. Remember that we're all rooting for you.", Lulu said, seeing him off.

When Hibiki arrived, the students literally roared with cheers and applause. It was enough to bring tears to his eyes, and bravely, he let some tears fall. One by one, the students uncharacteristically embraced their Sensei and allowed class to finally commence. As usual, Hibiki began with the typical roll call and Homeroom duties. Then, at long last, he could start the class with physical warm-ups before the rigorous exercise began. He wanted to continue teaching them that it was important to nurture the body as well as the mind. Too much of either would put a strain on one, but when balanced, the whole Self was healthy. It was a mantra of his that he kept close to his heart. He had learned it from his father, whom he had idolized at an early age. If only his father could see him now. His parents would've been so proud of him.

Epilogue

The Principal's arch-rival had actually been stunned at how well the girls were doing. They were really beating the boys of the other private all male school. Hibiki was exceptional at instructing the girls to use their bodies to their utmost potential. The boys too, learned to do the same, and also learned the importance of teamwork. Even Akira, the young alpha male of Sannomiya had dealt with his own personal issues and developed more of a positive attitude. Akira and Fuko had started dating. Fuko had matured so much, yet she would always have that lovely innocent glow about her, like a lovely flower that would never fade away. Hibiki was pleased to see that his students were so happy. He too was happy, especially since he had started dating a fellow teacher named Aika Himemiya. They had only just started dating, but it was obvious that the two were meant to be together. In time, he hoped that he could marry her and live with her in his own place with Kurage. Kurage would be pleased about the initial move in time, since Auntie had that leering eye upon him as a potential entrée. Only now, he could sense that this would be another year that Seito Sannomiya would win another trophy for their accomplishments in athletics. Indeed, he was correct. No longer did the Principal's nemesis decide to challenge Sannomiya Junior High students. They were best regionally, and they were best in the country, to be exact. They would have new challengers next year. But, this was a time for celebrating.

The classmates enjoyed feasting on pizzas, cake, ice cream and soda 'til the sun began to set in the west. Hibiki congratulated them on another job well done for yet another year. Kyoko, who had criticized him so much in the past, actually thanked him for making the students realize their potential. The Principal was even pleased with the stamina of the students. The Junior High School had been producing cream-of-the-crop upright citizens, and the tradition was continuing. The Principal pondered as to what her great-grandmother would've thought of the new ways of Sannomiya. But, she didn't wonder any longer. She could see the granite statute of her great-grandmother smiling at her. It was almost as if she were saying, "Thank you for bringing this school back to life, great-grandchild. I do so hope your honored traditions continue as soon as you, and your friends live." With the message from her great-grandmother's spirit, the President vowed to always keep the standards of Seito Sannomiya high, and of course, egalitarian. For anyone who wanted to enlighten the mind of a child was always welcome in the halls of the Junior High School.

The End

By: Elizabeth Berndt September 13, 2002

Dedicated to every teacher who ever inspired, encouraged, and uplifted me. God bless each of your souls, I love you ! -