I, as a commoner, have faced dilemmas that students of Ouran High School could not possibly comprehend. Such earthly troubles would never occur to the pompous, wealthy offsprings; for example, the ominous, continuous rising of pork prices vexed me. After living with such students from incredible backgrounds, I found my daily troubles more enjoyable. The conflicts between business magnates, to me, seemed to be planetary collisions taking place light years away.
However, I found my sanity teetering in the border of soaring into that distance. An odd sense of déjà vu, accompanied by the incredibly strong will to cry, swept across my mind.
The Hitachiin brothers sneered at me. I wildly shifted my gaze across the wide room, hoping for a small consolation for this tragedy—
"Ah." That was all Mori Sempai could offer.
A shattered porcelain vase lay cluttered on the floor.
Mother in heaven, I have a strong feeling that I would be accompanying you soon. Please, have a seat ready for me.
"You do have a knack for breaking the most valuable objects, Haruhi." Kyoya sempai said pleasantly as he lightly held his glasses. "Hmm, a second broken vase? How interesting."
As I was waiting for his verdict, it seemed that gravity took a sudden disliking for me. I was slowly sinking into the marble floor, dreading his next words.
The tragedy was completely unexpected. I should not have stayed late in class today.
The sense of impending doom enshrouded my senses when class ended that day. Hikaru and Kaoru left early, sniggering about a secret plan of which I was completely unaware of. As for myself, I had to finish extra work assigned by the malignant teacher. Finally, after toiling on lists of figures and symbols, I had finished work, and was heading towards the abandoned third music class.
The gigantic doors opened smoothly, and I was preparing to forge convincing excuses for my lateness when—
It took an infinite amount of pain and time to realize that a normal trip would not have caused such pain in my toes, nor the shattering clamor. It took painful reasoning to slowly realize, with my eyes closed, that I tripped, and broke something.
I slowly opened my eyes, and found, in my horror, a shattered vase, larger and seemingly more expensive than the first one I broke.
And thus, I am in this pitiful situation, surrounded by the members of the Host club.
"Hmm, any excuses? Fujioka Haruhi?" Kyoya sempai inquired with an air of controlled glee.
"First of all, what the heck was that vase doing on the floor, Sempai?" I sputtered desperately.
"Profanities should be avoided, Fujioka."
I have a strong belief in physics. According to the law of equilibrium, that vase should not have been in such a precarious position. Doesn't the law state that the person who placed that vase there holds equal responsibility? The fault could not be completely mine!
When I was heatedly defending myself, I definitely noticed the twin's eyes glowing sinisterly. A slow realization crashed upon me. Their secret plans, the reason that they left in such hurry after today's class, the meaning behind their unpleasant laughter……
Mother in heaven, please prepare three seats in heaven. One in heaven, and two preferably in hell, if you can.
"Hikaru, Kaoru……" I seethed.
"You are imagining things, Haruhi." The twins recited in unison.
"How dare we manipulate this expensive, incredibly costly vase-" Hikaru started, "-to increase your towering debt, neh?" Kaoru finished.
"We didn't do anything, right? Hani Sempai?"
"Right, they didn't do anything, Haru-chan!"
Hani Sempai's cheeks were bulging with an unidentified sweet, probably supplied by the Hitachiin twins. It must have been something incredible, incredible enough to bribe him to silence. Ah, well. Hani Sempai was one to easily coax, anyways.
However, there was a conspicuous lack of a certain member-Tamaki Sempai. It was all for the good. His reactions would be easily expected. He would race into the room, observe the situation, and would shout—
"Stop molesting my daughter, you fiends!"
Tamaki Sempai entered the room, with 20 times more noise and flair than I would have preferred. He gazed at myself, currently crouching on the ground, and then slowly redirected his gaze to the silently grinning other members of the Host club, and then finally saw the shattered vase on the floor. Even a 3 year old would deduce what would have happened. However, I believed that I have an accurate estimation of the intelligence of Tamaki Sempai, thus I doubted that he could.
"I—I can't believe it." He surprised me by saying something remotely resembling the human speech. "You all, no, it can't be……"
"Ha-Haruhi." He approached me, knelt besides me, and then whispered, "are you injured?"
I found myself feeling uncomfortable heat and shock at how he quickly assessed the situation.
"Haruhi, did they-" he hesitated, "Did they hit you with the vase?"
Please, cancel all the emotions that I felt.
"No, Sempai." I shook my head, which was previously filled with half respect, and half, a warm emotion that I can't explain. I struggled to stand up, the shock from knocking down the vase still clinging to my thoughts. Tamaki Sempai seemed to have mistaken my struggles as a sign of dizziness, for he swooped down to support me. Ugh, the closeness was quite uncomfortable.
"Haruhi, it's okay. I'll protect you from them and their mental assaults. As a father, I'll-"
He stopped, and gazed at me, probably filled with self esteem and pride for his protective words.
"I'd rather if you would protect me from yourself."
After a tantrum, a depressing silence, and a troubled conversation with Kyoya Sempai, Tamaki Sempai seemed to have regained both his sanity-if it existed in the first place-and his knowledge of the situation.
"Uncanny, Haruhi." Tamaki Sempai was grinning at me. I would have preferred his charming, idiotic smile to this annoying expression. "So, how are you planning to reimburse for your mistake?"
"We were deciding on that." Kyoya Sempai interrupted. Both sophomores stared at me in an uncomfortable silence. "Money would be unthinkable, and paying for this one by only host duties would take," he tapped his calculator for a few seconds. His fingers were plodding a terrifying amount of figures. "approximately 52 years."
There was a long silence while I slowly comprehended how long 52 years would be.
"Therefore, another mean seems necessary." His glasses reflected a haunting light shining from the chandelier above.
"Sempai, just save us the time and say it. I know that you were planning this, especially Hikaru and Kaoru, too. What are you trying to make me do?"
It is tragic how I surpassed all limits and hesitations concerning this group. In this particular time, I was willing to relinquish the control over my limbs and move according to their will, like a marionette.
"As you wish."
Only one word would define his features shining right now: evil.
"You owe us, every one of us, a wish."
A million, a trillion sinister possibilities flitted past my mind, and before I could count a dozen, he continued.
"Oh, of course, on the conditions that you would find pleasing."
"One, the wish does not directly cause you any physical harm to your family and yourself. Two, the wish must be a possible one. And three, even if the wish goes against the previous two rules, if you want to accept that wish," his eerie grin deepened, "then you may permit that wish."
"For how long?"
"Hmm? Do you really want to ask?"
Kyoya Sempai seemed to be genuinely gleeful about this situation. The other members of the host club seemed to share his emotions. Hani Sempai was smiling, Kaoru and Hikaru was sneering, Mori Sempai-ah, only Mori Sempai remained devoid of expressions. And the most terrifying of all was Tamaki Sempai, whose expression was strikingly similar to that a seven year old dictator would have if he was given weapons of mass destruction.
"Well, let's say………52 years."
"Haruhi, everything will be all fine. When in distress, contact me. I'll swoop down-"
"Like an overgrown rabid bat, Tamaki Sempai. With all respect, I hope that you would not wish for something that involves intimate physical contact, kiss maniac."
Perhaps I was a tad ruthless, for Tamaki Sempai already devoted himself to growing more mushrooms in the far corner of the clubroom.
Ah, mother in heaven, please don't let anything terrible befall on your daughter. For I have absolute certainty that this will bring absolute chaos, despair, and misery to my life.