Today was my first day of kindergarten. I was supposed to go two days ago, but the school bus wasn't working, and Kari was sick, so Mommy had to look after her and couldn't drive me to school. But today Kari's better, and I'm in the car while Mommy drives to my school. Kari's in daycare.

"You're going to be a good boy at school today?" Mommy said.

"You asked me that a hundred mazillion bazillion times already. I said yes." I said, a little annoyed.

"Sorry Tai. This is a big day for me to. My little baby going off to school…" Mommy wiped a tear from her cheek.

"Mommy…you're embarrassing me!"

"No ones here Tai. How are you going to be embarrassed?"
"Mommy!" I kicked the driver's seat she sat in.
"Tai! Stop it!"

"I don't wanna."

"If you're like this at five, I don't want to know what you'll be like at fifteen!"

We came to my school. Wow, it was big. I'd never seen a building so big. Mommy said it had a lot of schools in it. Mine wasn't the only one. It even had a high school! That's where the almost-grown-up kids go. Mommy said I couldn't go to that school when I'm almost grown-up, because it's a bad high school. It can't be too bad. Anyway, I'm going to kindergarten now, not high school.

Mommy opened the car door. "Come on pumpkin." She grabbed my hand and led me into the big building. "Excuse me?" She said to a fat lady sitting at a desk. "Can you tell me where the Odaiba Elementary School is?"

"It's on the third floor." The lady said.

"Okay, thank you." Mommy walked off towards the stairs. I bumped into a little kid with blond hair.
"Hi…" He said shyly. "Are you going to kindergarten to?"

"Yup." I nodded. "Mommy," I tugged on her sleeve. "This kid is going to kindergarten to."
"Oh?" She turned around and saw the kid. But she was looking at the lady holding his hand. "Hi. My names Kamiya Tika. Whats yours?"

"Ishida Leah." She mumbled.
"I've heard of your family. You live in Flower Gardens, right?"

"I heard your name was Nancy."

"Oh, that's my first name. But I think it's stupid, so I use my middle name, Leah."

"Oh, I see. I could never use my middle name. It's my mothers maiden name, Sorkachinoki."

Mom and Leah babbled on and on. "Hi." I said to the little boy, mimicking my mommy. "My names Kamiya Taichi. Whats yours?"

"Ishida Yamato." He mumbled the same way his mommy did.

"I heard of your fam'ly. You live in Flower Gardens, right?" He nodded.


"I heard your name was…was…"
"Matt." He supplied.

"Right, Matt."

"Oh, that's my English name. But I think it's stupid so I used my Japanese name, Yamato."

"Oh, I see. I could never use my…" Come to think of it, I hate my Japanese name, I love my English name. "Well, whatever. Just call me Tai."
That was fun, mimicking our parents. But it was hard. Yamato didn't seem to have any trouble with it. Maybe he played this game all the time.

Our mommies walked up to the third floor, and we had to run to keep up with them. They were still talking. Yamato tripped on the stairs. He started crying. He got up and walked over to his mommy, crying to her that he fell. He's really babyish. His mommy kissed him.

Yamato didn't walk back down to me. Maybe he knows I thought he was babyish.

We walked out of the stairwell and Yamato and me found out we were going to the same class. Our mommies led us into the classroom. A lady who didn't smile came to the door. "Mrs. Ishida, you can stop bringing Yamato to school. It's not the first day anymore."

"There's no bus. I don't want him to go alone." Leah said.
"Well you can at least leave him to come in at the floor."

"Alright, alright." Leah kissed Yamato goodbye and left. The kids were laughing at him. He hurried over to a plastic green chair and sat down.

"So…" The frowny lady said. "You are…?" She glared down at me.

"Kamiya T-taichi." I said nervously. This lady is scary.

"Why havn't you been at school the last few days?"

"My sister was sick, and Mommy had to take care of her, so she couldn't drive me to school."
"I see. Well, Taichi, you-"

"Tai, it's Tai."

"Tai, go sit down next to the girl with that hideous hat." I looked around the room. The only person wearing a hat wasn't wearing an ugly one. I kissed my mommy and went to sit with the hat girl.

"Hiya." The hat girl said. "I'm Sora Takanouchi, I mean, Takanouchi Sora. But you can call me Sora."

"Hi Sora." I said. "I'm-"

"I know. I heard you before."

"The frowny lady said your hat was ugly." Sora burst out laughing.
"Frowny lady! That's funny! I call her Froggy-lips."

I started to laugh to. The frowny lady glared at us with death-ray-eyes. We stopped laughing. "Whats her name?" I whispered.

"Miss Hihato. She's a meanie."

"I could tell."

Miss Hihato taught us that 1+1=2. Everyone said, "I already know that!"

"Alright, fine!" She shouted. "I'll teach you something harder!" She put an adding problem on the board with a lot of numbers. "Do this, you won't find it easy." I took the piece of paper and pencil on the desk. I wrote down the problem. I didn't understand it.

"Miss Hihato?" I raised my hand. "I don't understand this."

"Good. You shouldn't. I'm trying to prove to you children that you're going to learn what I teach you. If I want you to learn calculus, you learn calculus. If I want you to learn simple addition, that is what you're going to learn!"

She began to teach us more stuff. It went on like this until lunchtime. When it was lunchtime, the bell rang. Miss Hihato had us line up in two lines. Nobody would go next to Yamato. So I went over to be his partner. "Hi!" I said. "Remember me from this morning?"

He nodded his head.
"Why doesn't anyone like you?" I asked.

He looked at me angrily. He had started to cry again. Everyone laughed at him.

"Oh." I said. "So that's why."

We walked down to the lunchroom without talking much.

I could smell the cafeteria food. It smelled icky. I couldn't make out what it was, but it couldn't be any worse then Mommy's cooking. We lined up for lunch. It was a yellowish stinky patty. Eew…"Gross, I'm not eating this!" I said.

The cafeteria ladies said, "Fine, don't eat it. Starve, see if I care."

I walked out of the line without any food. I didn't want to sit with Yamato, so I found Sora. "Hi." I said, waving at her.

"Hi Tai!" He waved back. "Where's your lunch?"

"Too icky."
"That's why I bring lunch from home." She took out a plastic container of rice. "Want some?" She asked, handing me her chopsticks.

"Sure." I picked up the rice and ate some. "This is really good."
"It's just some rice my mommy made."
"Well your mommy's a good cook."

"I guess." We ate her rice for a while. "Tai?" She said, her mouth full of rice. "Wanna go outside and play soccer?"

"Sure." I liked to play soccer, but I wasn't to good at it. Daddy says I'm really good for someone my age, but I don't believe him.

Sora packed up her rice and ran outside. "Race ya!" She shouted.
I ran as fast as I could but she won. We laughed and started to play. I was the goalie, but Sora said I was a bad goalie, so I should kick. She'd be the goalie. I got in a lot of points. I never played two-people soccer before.

We played for a long time. But out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Yamato sulking by the swings. "I'll be right back Sora." I shouted as I ran towards him.

"Yamato!" I shouted. "Hi!"

He was still crying. Does he have a lake behind his eyes? I asked him if he did. He shook his head and kept crying. "Leave me alone."

"Whats wrong?"


"If nothin' was wrong you wouldn't be cryin'."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay. But what's wrong?"

"Everyone keeps making fun of me…" He cried harder.

"That's because you're always cryin'."

"I can't help it. I hate kindergarten. I want to go home. I want my mommy."
"I miss my mommy to. But we're both gonna see our mommies when school is over."

"I was crying on the first day, 'cause I didn't want my mommy to go. But then they all laughed at me. And don't try ta say different 'cause you don't like me either."

"Yeah I do. I thought you didn't like me, 'cause you looked at me mean."
"I'm sorry. But you made me cry again, and I don't like crying."

"So don't cry."
"I'll try not to."

Miss Hihato called us all back to class. We had art class next. We were supposed to draw a picture of our family. I drew Mommy and Daddy. Mommy was holding Kari's hand, and Daddy was holding mine. I finished, and looked over at Sora's. She was finishing up her mommy. Her daddy was in the picture to. She didn't make herself. "You forgot yourself." I said.

Sora laughed. "I'm not my family."

Miss Hihato came and ordered Sora to draw herself. "But-" She protested.

Miss Hihato glared at her with death-ray-eyes. Sora shut up and started drawing herself.

For the rest of the day, Miss Hihato had us do worksheets. It was boring. Finally she sent us out in the yard. Everyone's mommy was there. Yamato ran over to his mommy, crying. She put down the little kid she was carrying and hugged him. Sora ran over to her mommy. She hugged her.

My mommy was holding Kari, looking around for me. I snuck up behind her, and hugged her. Mommy looked around, trying to see what was happening. Kari was laughing really hard. "Tai!" She shouted. That was one of the only words she knew how to say. "Tai-y, Tai-y!" Mommy turned around and saw me.

"Hello Tai!" She put down Kari and hugged me. "How was school pumpkin?"

"Did you make any friends?"

"Yeah. I'm friends with a girl named Sora, and sort of friends with that kid we met on the stairs."


"Well great. Come on, I'm taking you kids for ice cream." And we walked off to the ice cream parlor.