Chapter 1 – Welcome to High School…
High school. The mere thought of the words sobered my mind. For me, high school is a time for a reality check. It's a time for transition from the fantastical imaginative days of middle school to the realistic materialistic days of post-school life. So, following the tradition of becoming a high school student, I abandoned my silly fantasies of my childhood and accepted the reality of life as truth. After all, aliens, time travelers, and psychics simply don't exist. I often laugh at my childish beliefs and wondered how in this world I had ever believed them.
As I stand in front of the gates of Radiant Garden High, only one thought passed into my mind.
I can't wait to live an ordinary life.
Roxas Uchiyama stood in front of the gates of Radiant Garden High with his bicycle at his side. Before him was a rather lengthy path upwards to the actual school campus. The high school itself stood on top of a hill overlooking the nearby canyon known as the Dark Depths for the canyon floor is a place where sunlight never reaches it. Beyond the canyon was the bustling city of Radiant Garden, home to thousands of denizens who lived a simple life.
The blond-haired teen parked his bike alongside the various other bikes and locked it against the bike racks. The sheer number of bikes that were parked made one wonder how in the world could anyone bring it out. But Roxas shrugged off the possibilities and began his slow trek up the hill.
The name grabbed the said boy's attention and Roxas turned to see a familiar face from his middle school, Demyx, as he walked his bike to the gate.
He waved back silently in acknowledgment; he wasn't one for words after all. He waited until his friend had locked up his own bike before turning around again to begin his hike up the hill.
"So, are you excited about the first day of classes?" asked Demyx with a grin.
"As excited as I'll ever be," replied Roxas with a shrug.
"You're no fun," replied Demyx while shaking his head.
"I'll have fun during weekends, thanks," replied Roxas with a grin.
"Oh, doing what? Watching clouds pass by?" joked Demyx.
"Hey, now. I know how to have fun. In fact, I was thinking about going to the movies this Saturday. I heard there's a new Heartless movie coming out."
"Yeah, I heard about that. It's supposed to be really good, right?"
"You free on Saturday?"
"Ah, sorry. I promised my grandparents that I would go visit them in Twilight Town this weekend. Maybe next weekend?"
"Maybe," replied Roxas. The pair stopped in front of the entranceway to the campus of Radiant Garden High. A beige colored building stood in front of them with a banner saying "Welcome to Radiant Garden High" blazed across the clock tower in the middle of the building. A set of stairs led upward into the shoe lockers. Beyond the shoe lockers were corridors leading to various areas of the school, including an indoor pool and a courtyard of green grass and fragrant flowers.
Many students were already entering the glass doors that led to the shoe lockers while others lingered in the front of the school chatting with their friends and catching up over the summer break.
The two first years looked at each other and laughed at their expressions of surprise. Their middle school had been fairly small, and therefore, fairly quiet. The transition to the only public high school in Radiant Garden was quite a difference.
"Time to see what high school life is like," grinned Demyx.
"Yeah," replied Roxas.
The two boys walked up the stairs and entered through the open doorways into the shoe locker area, just in time as the first bell rang.
The rest of the students that had lingered around the grounds all filed into the building and soon, class would begin.
Homeroom was as boring as I had imagined and heard from my parents. Being the very first period of the day and of the school year, it was natural that introductions had to be made. I took note of the students in my class with a cursory glance. Demyx sat next to me on the left while our new friend, Axel, sat to Demyx's left.
Mr. Leonhart, a rather lanky man, has the unfortunate job of being class 1-B's homeroom teacher. Amongst his responsibilities are to inform us of upcoming school events, what is expected from the class in terms of contribution to the school, and to provide advice to all high school related issues. I would hate to go to him for counseling. His face appears to be set in stone with a mysterious scar that runs down his forehead. When someone in class asked about the scar, he frowned and stared at the said student for a full minute before segueing into another topic.
Introductions went well and everyone's responses were expected. Besides Axel's and Demyx's own introductions of their selves and what they had expected from the upcoming year, I noticed that everyone wanted to learn more, get to know each other better, and otherwise have fun in the first year of high school. Eventually, it was my turn to introduce myself.
"Hello, my name is Roxas Uchiyama. Nice to meet you all. Hope I will get to know you all better as the year progresses and let's all work hard to make this class the best class on campus."
Not a bad introduction, if I'd say so myself. I sat back down with a smile and follow suit with the rest of the class to pay attention to the next person to introduce himself. A mop of brown spiky hair met my eyes as I looked up at the serious face of a boy who looked very much like I do. How in the world did I ever miss seeing him when I got in class is beyond me.
The standing boy looked about him with scrutiny and I started to wonder what is keeping him from introducing himself.
"My name is Sora Kazano. I have one declaration to make. If you are ordinary, then don't talk to me. But if you are an alien, time traveler, or psychic, I want you to join me. That is all." He sat back down with the end of his short introduction and no one could respond to the rather strange declaration.
You must be kidding me. Who does he think he is to talk such nonsense in a high school class?
At first, I thought that the entire class must have thought that this Sora Kazano, a boy of fifteen, was joking. But, when I looked upon the serious face of Sora, I believed that he was actually being serious. That he actually believed in aliens, time travelers, and psychics. No one talked for several moments as we all mulled over Kazano's words until Mr. Leonhart cleared his throat and the rest of the introductions continued as if Sora's introduction did not actually occur.
I, too, wonder if my mind was playing tricks on me or if the mysterious teen's declaration had actually occurred.
That afternoon, after we had changed into our athletic uniforms, the boys of class 1-B sat upon the bleachers overlooking the track while the girls underwent their physical tests.
"So, I've evaluated all the girls in the first year," said Axel with a smirk. I stared at him disbelieving.
"How did you evaluate them?" asked Demyx curiously.
"Well, first, there's the issue of grade. Then, there's the issue of appearance. Take Selphie Tilmitt, I give her an A for her smartness and energy. She's decent looking compared to some others. Now, Jessie Kramer is an A+ for being the top of her classes in middle school, and she's really pretty."
"In your own opinion," I added offhandedly. "I'll bet you did the same for the guys too, right?"
"Of course," he replied.
"Carson, Hopkins, Kazano, Lee, Walters, and Williams, down on the track now!" shouted our physical education teacher, Mr. Wallace. A rather brute of a man in my opinion. The name "Kazano" caught my attention and I watched as the brown-haired teen stood up from his seat on the bleacher and silently walked down onto the track.
I can't believe that he seems to be treating this test so seriously. In fact, it seemed that he took everything too seriously. I jerked in my seat when Axel slapped me on my back.
"Oy, Earth to Roxas," he said, waving a hand in front of my face.
"What!?" I replied with annoyance.
"Roxas has a tendency to like weird people," commented Demyx with a grin.
"Oh, thanks," I said sarcastically.
"You don't want to go after Kazano," said Axel.
"I'm not thinking about it." I'm offended by his suggestion, but I'm sure not going to admit it.
"Ready, set, go!" Mr. Wallace's voice boomed across the field. I watched with surprise as Sora easily raced down the track to finish first amongst the six runners.
"He sure is fast," commented Demyx, awed by the strange student's feat.
"So what's so weird about Kazano, anyway?" I asked casually, trying not to sound I was too interested by this strange boy who sat behind me.
"Kazano is probably the smartest, but also the most eccentric guy I've known," said Axel. "He's gotten nearly perfect grades in all of his classes while we were in the middle school together. He's athletic and good at everything he does. The only problem with him is his behavior. He never turns down a guy or a girl who wanted to date him, but the relationships never turn out well. His longest relationship was probably a week while his shortest was three hours. Anyways, I digress. His most amazing feat of weirdness during middle school was when he drew crop circles on the pavement in the school courtyard."
"Crop circles?" I asked while raising an eyebrow. Axel nodded.
"One day, we found crop circles drawn in chalk. The school administrators were outraged by the 'vandalism' and demanded that perpetrator reveal themselves. Kazano made no hesitation to admit that he was the one who drew them and said that they were there to attract aliens."
"Huh…" I replied, unable to come up with a better response.
"Ashborn, Cho, Evans, Lee, Rush, and Uchiyama, down on the track now!" came Mr. Wallace's voice. The three of us got up from our spots and began our way down onto the dusty, worn tracks. I dared another glance at the antisocial genius that is Sora Kazano and put the rest of my inquisitiveness of the boy in the back of my mine.
"Ready, get set, go!"
A month passed by and in that one single month, I seemed to have developed special observational skills when it came to be about Sora Kazano. For example, the color scheme of his clothes changes every day. Not to mention, the style of eyewear he wore changed as the week progresses. On Mondays, he sported shining silver scheme; Tuesdays, red; Wednesdays, light blue; Thursdays, navy blue; Fridays, yellow.
I also heard that Kazano had joined every single club on campus, only to leave them within a day. Each club had sought after his skills, but he ignored their pleas.
As I entered the classroom on that fateful day, I noticed that he wore a familiar light blue jacket. On his face sat a pair of water droplet-shaped spectacles that made him look rather nerdy and awkward. Upon closer inspection, I suddenly realized the number of zippers being at a whopping seven.
"That makes it Wednesday," I muttered to myself. I hung my bookbag on the hook on the side of my desk and sat down… sideways.
Even now, I don't know what prompted me to talk to Kazano, but I did.
"Do you change your appearance everyday to attract aliens?" I commented.
The brown-haired boy drew his attention away from whatever he had been staring at before—he must think that life is so boring—and looked at me, a frown on his face.
"When did you notice?" he asked with narrowed eyes.
"Just recently," I commented, even though I had known this ever since the second week of school.
"I think that aliens are attracted to numbers and color symbolism…" he began to rant on. As I sat there listening attentively to him, I couldn't help but wonder at the many fantastical theories that the guy had. Of course, I hadn't expected him to actually talk to me. Usually, he would say, "I'm not interested," "You're bothering me," or "Go away," whenever someone approaches him with a friendly smile. In effect, I was expecting him to say those things to me too. To have him actually rant to me about how silver symbolizes Monday, red symbolizes Tuesday, and so on is actually rather endearing for me.
"I assume the same goes with the number of days?"
He nodded. "Monday, being the start of the week, is zero. Tuesday is one, and so on."
"I think that Monday should be one."
"No one asked you!" he replied tersely. He stared at him and I looked back, feeling ever so disturbed by his behavior.
"Have I met you before?" he suddenly asked.
"Uh, no," I replied with a slight frown. Who did he think I am? An actual time traveler!?
Luckily for me, the bell rang and I quickly turned my back to face the front before I started another awkward conversation with my neighbor.
Unfortunately for me, the next day I arrived at class, I noticed that he no longer wore glasses and all but abandoned the rings that he had worn so religiously prior to our conversation. Not to mention, he appeared to have abandoned the same color-scheme fashion and now sports a white jacket with a black vest over it, red shirt, red baggy shorts, rather large yellow sneakers, and fingerless white gloves. It had made him look rather colorful. This sudden change disturbed me very much.
When I voiced my concern, he replied with a simple "Not really."
Strangely enough, a short conversation with Sora before class became a strange daily ritual. One day, I dared to ask him about what Axel had said about him.
"Did that Axel Ashborn tell you?" he replied tersely. "Whatever. If you want to know, it's all true. All of them were completely boring. And what's with them asking me over the phone? If they really wanted to go out with me, they should do it in person!"
"So what kind of person would you want to go out with?" I asked with all seriousness. I have a feeling Sora would've dismissed me if I didn't treat our conversation seriously. "An alien?"
"Something along the line of an alien."
"Don't you think it would be more fun?"
I could only stare at him with disbelief.
"Oy, Roxas, what the hell did you do to Kazano?" asked Axel upon the ringing of the lunch bell. "I've never heard him talk so much before."
"I did nothing!" I replied defensively, bringing up my hands for emphasis.
"What did you say to him?"
"I told you, Roxas likes strange people," Demyx said with a smile on his face.
"Oy, oy. Don't say things that will make people get the wrong impression," I said with a frown. Sometimes I really hate Demyx for his tactlessness.
"This is the end of the world," Axel said dramatically. I stared at him with disbelief. You have got to be joking.
"Well, I'm glad that Sora's got someone to talk to in class. Though I would also like to know how you managed to get him to talk too," came a quiet tenor voice. I turned around to see who was standing behind me: Zexion Walters, our homeroom representative as a result of exercising our democratic rights in homeroom. "I can never get him to talk to me when I ask him questions. Is there a trick to it?"
"I don't know," I replied as I crossed my arms in front of my chest.
"Anyways, I'm glad that he has a friend in class."
"Friend… huh…" I don't think I ever thought of us that way. I would've preferred the term "acquaintances" better.
"In any case, if we have anything we need to tell Kazano, you can tell him for us, right?"
"Uh… I'm not his spokesperson or anything." I'm starting to hate how I've pigeonholed myself into this position.
"We're counting on you," smiled Zexion.
"Oy!" I sighed, knowing perfectly well that they didn't care for my own opinion. "Fine, I understand."
When time came about to switch seats, I was ecstatic. After drawing my lot from the tin, I inwardly cheered at my luck, with my seat second seat from the back right next to the window. I also preemptively said my farewells to the strange boy called Kazano, cheering for my luck to be able to get away from the boy. But when time came to actually switch, my heart fell to see Sora's new seat was right behind mine.
I guess it's fate that I would be stuck with the loner of the class.
"So I noticed that you've managed to try out every single club." I decided to talk to him the following morning for lack of a better thing to do when I had arrived at school early. "If you find any good clubs clubs, let me know?"
"They're all completely worthless. Not one of them is completely good." I noticed that he has a tendency to use completely. I guess it's just black and white for Kazano and no shades of gray in between.
"I thought high school clubs would be better than middle school ones, but they're just as bad. There is a Mystery Club, but it's just a bunch of mystery novel bookworms. They have no chance of dealing with any sorts of cases. Then there's a Supernatural Phenomena Research Society, which I expected more from, but it's just a bunch of occult freaks. What do you think about that?"
"Nothing, really," I replied while scratching my nose. It was true, I have no idea what to say to that.
"Man, why is it so boring!? You'd think with so many clubs out there, there would be at least one strange one! Maybe I went to the wrong school."
I wondered which criteria Kazano was using to choose schools. I'd choose schools based on their reputation and not based on their clubs.
"You can't choose what you can't have," I commented, my rational side getting the better of me. "You can't be looking for something that doesn't exist. Humans just have to accept what's in front of them and make the most out of it. After all, inventions, discoveries, and advancements are all due to human achievements. Such innovations only came from humans who had the plans and concepts. In other words, geniuses made it all possible. We non-geniuses should just live out our ordinary lives."
"Shut up," interjected Sora. I turned my face to look at him and saw annoyance and irritation in the deep blue eyes. He turned his face toward the window and I frowned, knowing that I had potentially strained the wisps of connection we had. Wait, why am I caring about Kazano's connection with the rest of the class?
Now that I think back on it, I guess the conversation gave him the idea. That afternoon, I had started to doze off in history class when I felt a sudden yank on my jacket collar. My body jerked back with the motion and my head hit the edge of the desk behind me.
I stood up immediately upon regaining my balance to shout at Kazano. "What do you think you're doing!?"
"I figured it out!" he replied excitedly, a gleam in his eyes.
"Figured what out?" I asked while rubbing the back of my head tenderly. I wondered if I had gotten a concussion from that blow.
"I'll just have to make my own club!"
"Good for you," I replied unenthusiastically.
"What's with you? You should be happier for my discovery!" he replied with a pout.
"I would, but you see, we're in class right now," I commented lamely. A harsh clearing of the throat drew our attention to the front of the classroom where Mr. Merlin glared at us through his glasses. I quickly bowed and muttered an apology before sitting back down. Sora did the same, though with less concern about disrupting the class. I surmised that he only thought about what club he was going to make for the rest of the period.
Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts belong to Square Enix. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya belongs to Tanigawa Nagaru. Yada yada yada.
A/N: I had the hardest time trying to figure out whether I should write this work in Sora's point of view or in Roxas's point of view. In the end, I felt Sora fit the impulsive child role better than Roxas, so I chose to write it in Roxas's perspective. If you have any questions or concerns… feel free to review :P