A blue butterfly appeared in my mind. I knew it didn't speak, but I still heard the words in my mind…
Time never waits.
It delivers all equally to the same end.
You, who wish to safeguard the future,
However limited it may be...
You will be given one year;
Go forth, never falter,
With your heart as your guide...
I opened my eyes, waking from the weird dream. I heard the announcers voice; "The next station is Iwatodai. Please take all your belongings with you, we apologize for the delay."
Sighing, I stood up and grabbed my bag, and walked to the door of the train, as it began to slow down.
Might as well introduce myself. My Name's Minato Arisoto. I'm seventeen and from West Yorkshire. Yeah, I know, Minato is a weird name for a Yorkshireman, and Arisoto isn't even an English name, but that's because my dad was Japanese. Me and mom lived with him until I was seven. They died, and I was brought up by my aunt and uncle back in England.
As the train ground to a halt, I remembered once again just how screwed up I was. Nothing ever scared me, I even watched the exorcist when I was ten and didn't even flinch. I rarely showed any emotion unconsciously other than tiredness; even when I was wide awake. As I stepped off the train, I saw the clock and was thankful I had jetlag. If my body didn't think it was four in the afternoon I would probably be knackered right now-
That was when the lights died and everyone turned to coffins. As usual, the walls started bleeding and my MP3 player was silent. I checked the clock again and compared it to my watch. It was midnight here, but this normally happened around four or five back home. This would certainly make things more convenient.
Before, I had enough time to get home and lock myself in a room before coffin time began, which gave me an hour to do what I wanted to do, so long as I got back to my room in time. Normally I studied, or read books, usually adventure or romance novels. I'm fairly intelligent, and I've been called charming by girls and fearless by guys, but I reckon I'm just polite, and as for the fearless part, well, that's not the case.
I am afraid.
I started walking to the dorms that would be my new home for the next couple of years. I've completed my GCSE's, but my uncle wanted me to spend some time in the country my mother fell in love with, and in.
So, here's me. Complete nutjob, walking through coffins and blood in the middle of the night, barely able to speak Japanese, in Japan, to go to school for the next two years, even though I've already got my national qualifications.
Oh, I can understand Japanese fine, and read it great, it was my first language after all. It's just that I was brought up in Yorkshire; it's not an easy accent to lose.
So, in exchange of having time for a good social life, I lack the ability to have one - speech.
I stopped walking then. When I thought about it, I never really spoke much when I was home either. It wasn't that I didn't have much to say, I just didn't like interrupting. Come to think of it, I actually did more listening. Maybe that's why people liked talking to me, not because I was sensitive, but because I knew what to say.
I had difficulty understanding how other people didn't get this before know, but now that I thought about it, I actually put others before myself on a regular basis. Was that really so rare? I shook my head and carried on following the map that had been sent me.
I eventually got to the place. I climbed the steps and tried the door. I guess they were expecting me, because it was unlocked. I stepped through the door and realised that the lights were on. This was weird, normally anything electric died around this time. I put my bag down on the floor and, remembering my manners, took my shoes off.
"You're late. I've been waiting a long time for you."
I almost wet myself at the sound of another voice. I turned to see a young boy, probably aged ten, learning on the counter beside me. The boy clicked his fingers. "Now if you want to proceed", suddenly in front of me, "Please sign your name there." I looked where he gestured, noticing a thin red book.
"It's a contract." He said, as the book opened up on its own. "Don't worry, all it says it that you'll take full responsibility for your actions." By this point, I was actually sweating, as the boy continued; "You know, The Usual Stuff…"
Deciding to ignore the how tripping this whole thing was, I looked at the contract.
'I, Minato Arisoto, give my word that I will take full responsibility for the consequences of my decisions.'
It seemed suspiciously simple. Ah, what the hell, I signed it. I passed it to the boy, who held it to his chest, like a long lost teddy bear.
"No one can escape time," The boy said, looking totally creepy. "It delivers us all to the same end…" He held the contract to his face and continued, "You can't plug your ears and cover your eyes." He turned the book sideways and it vanished, but I'd already given myself up to insanity by now.
Shadows started growing around the room and the lights started dimming. The boy lifted up a hand as he began to disappear into the darkness.
"And so it begins…", and he was gone.
Now it was back to normal crazy time, and I heard another voice. "Darewo gasokoni dearuka?" I turned and saw a girl there speaking Japanese. I was worried why I didn't understand her but then I realised I was talking to that boy in English, so I wasn't expecting it. She was looking at me with intense determination, but I could tell she was scared by the way her hand was shaking. My eyes followed her hand and holy crap she has a gun strapped to her thigh.
And what a thigh!
Told you I never get fazed.
The girl began breathing heavily, and I knew it wasn't because she was tired. She suddenly grabbed her gun and I was just about to move when I head another voice, filled with a different breed of panic, saying "Takeba! Teishi!"
I wasn't expecting there to be a third person, but I knew she was telling the first girl to wait. We all froze there for a moment, and then the lights came on and my music started playing. The first girl, a pretty cute brunette in a pink jumper, breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at the second girl, who was obviously the more in charge.
She was beautiful. Her long, red hair was straitened down her face, and curled down her back. She wore a ruffled blouse and a long skirt, which only heightened her attractiveness. I figured that now it was time to get my brain in gear as she approached me.
"I didn't think you'd arrive so late." I couldn't tell if she was speaking English or Japanese, but she continued, "My name is Mitsuru Kirijo. I'm one of the students living in this dorm."
The brunette turned to Mitsuru and asked; "Who's he?"
I felt pretty awesome as Mitsuru explained I was a transfer student who was moving into their dorm. I could understand Japanese just as well as I could English! Ya -Bloody - Ta. I caught that she said that I'd eventually be moved to a room in the boys' dorm.
The brunette, however, still looked worried. "Is it okay for him to be here?"
It sounded like she thought I might do something, but something was off. The redhead, Mitsuru, smiled. "I guess we'll see…" She then turned to me and, gesturing to her friend, said "This is Yukari Takeba. She'll be a junior this spring, just like you."
I could have mentioned that I had little idea of how the Japanese school system worked, other than the fact I had to turn up on Saturday (Sucks, right?), but I decided not to. Yukari bowed her head slightly and said, almost reluctantly, "…Hey."
I could have asked her if this was really the girls' dorm or, more importantly, why she had a gun, but I figured that I'd find out soon enough, so I settled for a good old fashioned "Nice to meet you."
She seemed almost taken back by this, "Uh, y-yeah…" she bowed again. "Nice to meet you too." this time with a smile on her face.
"It's getting late, so you should get some rest." Mitsuru had a way of getting our attention easily. "Your room is on the second floor, at the end of the hallway; your things should already be there."
She then turned to Yukari, who seemed to take the hint and say "Oh, I'll show you the way, follow me."
As she led me to my room, I considered my chances with the two girls. Yukari seemed just slightly out of my league, and I got the feeling that Mitsuru wasn't interested in any guy who couldn't keep up to her intellectually. Before I knew it, we were there. "This is it," Yukari told me. "Pretty easy to remember huh? Since it's right at the end of the hall." Yukari laughed slightly at her little joke, but it seemed almost fake. "Oh yeah, make sure you don't lose your key, or you'll never hear the end of it." Yep, there it was again. While I didn't have her down as one of those… Objects from my old school, I could still recognise fake smiles and attitudes of someone who didn't like themselves, but refused to admit it. "So, any questions?"
Not wanting to bring up what I'd been thinking about, I decided to go for a less intrusive question, "What's with the contract?"
"Huh?" Yukari was clearly surprised, "What contract?"
I almost slapped myself on the head. It was a freaky contract that disappeared in the hands of that freaky kid, like one of David Blaine's cards. The kid himself pulled a Houdini, which should have been a clear sign that it was just another figment of my insanity.
Yukari seemed to be a bit worried about me now. "Hey… Can I ask you something? On your way here from the station, was everything okay?" Not wanting to sound any more of a psycho that I already was, I was about to tell her it was fine, but then I remembered that she'd almost shot me during coffin time, so I decided to try to work on her. "What do you mean?" I asked, taking my hands out of my pockets.
"You know what I- Never mind…" The girl smiled. "It seems like you're alright."
She seemed genuinely happy for me, as if I'd avoided some grim fate. "Well, I'd better get going…"
With that, she began to walk away, but stopped outside the next door. She turned back, "Um… I'm sure you have other questions, but let's save them for later, okay?" She flashed me a quick smile "Good night."
She walked away and up the stairs. I didn't even bother to tell her that I wasn't even remotely tired yet, so I spent the next few hours unpacking my things, and tried to get some sleep. Bear in mind, four in the morning in Japan is Eight PM back home.
I didn't sleep.