One Chance Encounter

by Naia Zifu

I first became aware of our new student while standing in the schoolyard talking to friends. I noticed a crowd growing nearby, and my natural first assumption was that a fight must've broken out. However, this crowd seemed to be entirely made up of girls. Perhaps some celebrity was visiting campus today? My curiosity piqued, I made my way over to investigate

"What's all this about?" I asked a tall girl with a brown ponytail and glasses.

"A handsome new transfer student," she replied, "from Redwind Academy."

"Where's that?"

"I don't know," she admitted, "but it sounds impressive. Anyway, who cares-- he's kakkoii! Have a look for yourself."

I went on tiptoe to try to see over the crowd, but was having no luck. I tapped the shoulder of an upperclassman in front of me and asked to be let by, but she rudely refused.

"Michi-chan, what's up?" my friend Konomi asked from behind me.

I shrugged. "A new transfer student, allegedly handsome, but I can't get a look at him to judge."

"You're interested in boys now, Michi-chan?" Konomi asked, raising an eyebrow.

I felt my face redden. "Don't say it like that, Konomi-chan! You'll make people think I like girls or something."

"Do you?"

"Of course not! It's just, as busy as I am with my violin lessons, painting class, and the swim team, I haven't got time to think about boys. I'll find the right one someday, in my own time."

"If I ever got too busy for boys, I would kill myself!" Konomi went on tiptoe and angled back and forth, trying to catch a glimpse of the new student through the crowd. She squealed in delight. "I think I'm in love!"

"Konomi-chan, you say that about every guy."

"Well, this time I mean it," she insisted. "Standing right over there is the finest-looking specimen of manhood I've seen in all my thirteen years on this planet. You have got to see him!"

I went on tiptoe again, then finally jumped up and down to catch a glimpse. The only guy I saw was tall and thin, with tidy black hair, brown eyes that looked huge behind his thick round glasses, and freckles. Though he did have a certain little-boyish charm, he couldn't have been the one all those girls were so enamoured with, could he?

"The one with the dark hair and glasses?" I asked Konomi. "He's not that good-looking."

She giggled. "No, silly, not him, the other one. The blond."

I looked again, and saw to whom she was referring, but, "Konomi-chan, that's a girl."

"Nani? You must be looking in the wrong place again." She pointed. "There he is, see? The tall, athletic one with the blond hair and earring."

I sighed with frustration and looked again in the direction she was pointing. The person in question had short hair, a boys' uniform, and a single gold hoop earring in one ear, but was definitely female. Was I the only one who could see that? Yet, there was something about that girl that made me want to get to know her. She was so beautiful, even dressed as a boy, and I suddenly felt jealous of all those other girls for monopolising her attention. I longed to talk to that girl alone, to find out more about her, to--

The bell rang to go to homeroom, and I silently cursed her crowd of clueless admirers. How would I ever get to meet her if I couldn't even get her alone? I took my place at my usual desk near the door and stared out its small window at the last few students hurrying to beat the tardy bell.

For some reason I couldn't get the new girl's face out of my mind. Why was I becoming so obsessed? I'd never met her, didn't even know her name, yet just seeing her brought about feelings in me I'd never had about anyone before. I couldn't possibly be attracted to her, could I? No, of course not. I was a perfectly normal thirteen-year-old girl-- I couldn't possibly be interested in another girl, not even one who looked and dressed so similar to a boy.

I jumped as my chair was suddenly kicked from behind.

"Pay attention, Michi-chan," my friend Taru hissed. "The teacher just called your name."

"Present," I replied. To Taru, I whispered, "Arigato," and returned to staring out the window.

I involuntarily gasped as I saw her walking down the hallway. A washroom trip, presumably, since class had already begun and the girls' room was only a few doors down.

"Michiru-chan, is something wrong?" Mrs. Inoue, the homeroom teacher, asked.

I felt my face flush and sank into my chair. "N-nothing, Inoue-sensei, I just. . . May I have a hall pass? I have to go to the washroom."

The teacher gave me a peculiar look, but took out the hall pass anyway. I thanked her and hurried out the door, headed directly for the girls' washroom. I went in and knocked on all the stall doors, but got no response. If she hadn't gone to the washroom, then where? Was she the type to skip classes on her first day of school? I felt like such an idiot, lying to get out of class in hopes of running into that girl, and missing her entirely. I washed my hands unnecessarily, and stopped by the mirror to check my make-up and fluff my long aqua hair. When I thought I'd been there long enough to justify the trip I started back to class.

My heart leapt when I stepped out of the washroom and saw the new girl walking up the hall just ahead of me. I hurried to catch up, determined not to miss this chance to speak to her. But wait-- she seemed troubled; walking with such a slow, shuffling gait, head down, muttering to herself. Maybe this was a bad time to approach her. Maybe I should wait until. . . Until what? This could be my only chance to talk to her! I took a deep breath and gathered my courage.

"Sumimasen," I called.

She turned, the motion causing a lock of sandy hair to settle across her right eye. Those eyes were the same deep greenish blue as the sea just before a storm, set like gems into her strong, androgynous, yet perfectly lovely face. Hints of an already curvaceous figure teased from beneath the boys' uniform she wore. Without a doubt, she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.

I swallowed the lump in my throat and continued, "I've been wanting to meet you since I first saw you this morning."

I smiled and offered my hand, but rather than simply shaking it, she raised it to her mouth and kissed it. My face flushed and my knees became weak at the gesture-- no-one had ever done anything so romantic for me in my life!

"I'm Ten-- uh, Takano Hikaru," she said with a charming smile.

I was surprised her voice would be so deep-- she sounded almost like a real boy. And Hikaru, wasn't that sometimes a boys' name? Looking and sounding the way she did, wearing that uniform, and having a name like Hikaru, it was no wonder so many people mistook her gender.

"What's your name?" she asked.


"Takano Hikaru, get back to your class," Mrs. Nakayama interrupted. She snatched the hall pass from Hikaru's hand and said with a disgusted look, "You were supposed to go to the washroom and come straight back, not stop to flirt in the hallway."

"Yes, ma'am," Hikaru said, looking at the floor. I watched her start back to her class, but she stopped part-way to look back at me and give a little wave. I smiled and returned the gesture.

"And haven't you got a class to be in now, too?" Mrs. Nakayama yelled at me as Hikaru entered the classroom.

"Well, yes," I admitted sheepishly. "It's just, I was on my way back from the washroom when I saw Hikaru and--"

The teacher frowned. "It's better if you don't talk to that person," she warned. "Takano Hikaru is usotsuki and only wants to make a
fool of you."

"Well, if you mean the fact that Hikaru's a girl, I knew that already."

Her eyes grew large with shock. "You did? And you still wanted to flirt with her? I wouldn't have figured you for that kind of girl. . ."

That kind of girl?

"I'm not," I protested. "I was just being polite to the new student. I thought she might want someone to show her around."

Mrs. Nakayama laughed. "I assure you that girl doesn't need to be shown around. Her real name is Ten'ou Haruka, and she's been at this school the entire time."

"Haruka," I repeated, smiling. "Such a lovely name. Why would she ever want to change it?"

I hadn't even realised I'd said that aloud until she replied, "Shirimasen. For some reason she showed up to school today with her hair cut short and wearing a boys' uniform, and invented some story about being a male transfer student named Takano Hikaru. Osaka-kouchou told me to play along for now, but I thought I should warn you before you got too close."

Before I get too close? What did she think I would do? Fall in love with Haruka? Start to date her? As long as I knew she was a girl
there was nothing to worry about, right? Although knowing Haruka was a girl hadn't stopped me from desperately wanting to meet her; I'd surely never go to such trouble to meet someone just out of politeness. And the way I felt when she kissed my hand. . . Was I really interested in her that way? Was that why I'd never been serious about boys? Maybe I really was that kind of girl. . .

"Arigato gozaimasu," I said. "May I return to class now?"

Mrs. Nakayama scribbled a note explaining I was late because she'd kept me talking in the hall, and sent me on my way. I hurried back to homeroom, handed over my hall pass, and without waiting for excuse approval, returned to my seat.

I couldn't concentrate on anything but her beautiful face and sexy voice. I wanted to remember every detail of our encounter in the hallway. I sketched Haruka in my notebook from memory, though of course no quick sketch could ever do her justice. I'd have to ask her to pose for a proper portrait someday, I decided, if I could ever catch her without her horde of groupies again.

Ten'ou Haruka had been at my school the entire time, yet I couldn't recall ever having seen her before. I was sure I would have noticed someone with her looks. Of course, she hadn't been dressed up as a boy then. I wished I could have known her before; she must have been lovely as a girl.

The bell rang, startling me, and I began to quickly gather my books for first period. I was again startled by a hand on my shoulder, but
relaxed when I turned to see Taru's golden eyes and bright smile.

"Michi-chan, are you okay?" she asked. "You seem a bit preoccupied."

"Ara, I'm fine," I replied with a shy smile. Then, remembering her status as school gossip, I asked, "Taru-chan, what do you know about a girl named Ten'ou Haruka?"

©1998/2007 (revised HTML version) Naia Zifu all rights reserved
Haruka and Michiru are SM characters that I don't own rights to, but basically everyone else in the story was created by me. As always, I'm not trying to make money off anyone else's ideas.
This is a very short story written to expand on Michiru's role in "Misunderstood," as well as on an important scene that didn't get enough
attention in the other story. If you haven't read misu yet, go read it now, and this story will make much more sense. And don't forget to watch for more Haruka and Michiru fanfics written by me as my obsession continues to grow!