Chapter 3

Japanese terminology:

Arigato – Thank you

Kaichou – Leader

Sensei – Teacher, leader, sir, ma'am, etc.

Other terminology:

Absoltively - Absolutely, positively. I got that one from an old sitcom called "Newhart".

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During class breaks, while I was at my locker getting my books for the next class, Mai came up to me. Interestingly enough, Mikoto wasn't there attached to her as usual.

"So your best friend has a girlfriend now?"

"Yeah, I guess so," I said. I really didn't want to talk about it. I was still in shock and despair over what happened.

"Well it's about time! Maybe she acted that way because of all that pent-up frustration ashe probably had in not having a mate. I'll be very happy if she makes Haruka-san mellow out."

I know that Mai didn't mean any harm in what she said but I couldn't help getting mad over that statement. If anyone should be mellowing Haruka out, it should be me. I can't help it but I'm starting to get the feeling that people think she's better off with her than with me. No, I can't think like that, I'm just making it up, yet it feels like the truth.

"If you say so," and I immediately left the area. I couldn't talk about it anymore to Mai. She's a sweet and caring person but she can be on the annoying stupid side at times. Then Miyu came up to Mai and saw a worried look on her face.

When she finally noticed Miyu, she turned around and said "She's not taking this very well, isn't she?"

Miyu shook her head and said "No, not at all."

"So the rumors are true, she does love Haruka-san after all?"

"Very much, she was her most important person. After all, when Kaichou-san exterminated her Child, she went with it."

Mai closed her eyes and did a small sigh from what she heard and then paused a bit. After that, without looking at Miyu, she said "Oh dear…"

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The following day at Arika's dorm, Haruka was helping her out with the English test. If it was any other person, I would have warned them about asking Haruka for anything related to English, or Japanese. But since it's that pea brain girl, I'm glad that Haruka is tutoring her. Maybe her stupidity will turn Haruka off, or maybe Haruka's malapropisms will drive her nuts but I'm not betting on that one. It somewhat puzzled me that she needed help with English, considering the information I've gathered on her. She lived for a few years in America and has a good command in her English. However her grammar is poor, she speaks like an inbred country hick, and her spelling sucks. You can imagine how much laughter I got from that backward logic.

"So ya' good in English, huh?"

"Of course I am, I'm a cheese whiz when it comes to English! I mean after all, I'm not illegitimate (illiterate)!" she boasted. Modesty was never her strong suit.

"Oh that's great, my teacher told me my grammar and my spelling is terrible."

"Well you came to the right person. I can absoltively help you out with your graham cracker (grammar) and spilling (spelling)," she said proudly.

"Well then let's get started!" she said as she pulled out the homework paper. "How do ya spell 'ignorant'?"

"Oh that's easy! I-G-N-I-T…"

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The next day, they were holding hands when they entered the school. Everybody's eyes were on them, they became the current interest in the school and it made me sick. Yet out of all the people staring, there was only one person who caught Haruka's attention. The woman was looking at the couple with some indifference.

"What the hell are you looking at bubuzuke-head?"

"Nothing at all," she said as she sipped her tea and then she finally left.

When they were walking to Haruka's locker, since it was the closest, one of Arika's new friend showed up.

"Hey Arika-chan, how are you doing?"

"I'm great Erstin-chan, how bout' you?" she said. Erstin Ho is a beautiful blonde student in our grade whom she knew since they went to Windbloom together. Just like Arika, she transferred here this year.

"I'm fine thank you. So is this your girlfriend?"

"Yep, this is Suzushiro Haruka, isn't she a doll?" Haruka immediately blushed when she heard that. I was in the background a few meters away watching and listening to this. For all theses years that I've seen her blushed, I never seen her blushed like that before.

"More like a doll on roids rage if you ask me." Tate said. I didn't know he was there until he told me that. He doesn't have much love or respect for Haruka because he's basically under her in the Student Council. Basically it goes something like this: Shizuru is the Kaichou of the Fuka Student Council and any not-so-glamorous or humiliating tasks are handed off to Haruka, who is the Executive Director. Nevertheless, Haruka hands off the dirtiest and most humiliating tasks to Tate and he has no choice but to do them. Thus Tate is not fond of her one bit.

"Tate-san please," I said adequately.

"I don't know what Arika-san sees in that blowhard idiot. But then again Arika is not stable herself."

"No she isn't, but could you please be quiet so I can hear what is going on?"

"Oh so you doing your eavesdropping again, aren't you? Why are you eavesdropping on your best friend and her girl – Oh I see," he said with a sly grin on his face. "A bizarre love triangle is going on here," he smirked.

"Tate-san, will you shut up!" I said. Sometimes I just want to punch that jerk.

He jumped back and said "Okay, okay. Jesus…" He immediately walked away with a grin and said 'this is going to be interesting.' Now with that fool out of the way I listened on to the conversation.

"So what about Nina?" Arika smirked like a devil.

"She's not interested in me," she said with a sad puppy look on her face. Nina Wang is another Windbloom transfer who is in our grade; she's got long raven blue hair just like Natsuki. She has a huge crush on her but it seems that it's mostly one-sided. Which is too bad, Nina doesn't know that she's passing up on a good thing. She looked so cute when she's pouting. I mean she's nice and pretty and while she's no rocket scientist she is above intelligence. If things don't work out between me and Haruka and if she's still available, then maybe - Hey what's wrong with a backup plan? Well I can't help it, I like blondes!

"She likes Tate instead," she said with discouragement.

"Tate? Eewww!" Haruka said. "Your friend got bad buds (taste) for sure," she sure does.

"Huh? Do you mean 'bad taste'?" she corrected, not being used to Haruka's malapropisms.

"That's what I just said, bad buds."

Erstin just looked at her with a questionable look for a while then she moved on.

"Anyway I got to get ready for Japanese Government. It's another snoozer on the judicial system."

"I can imagine. It's not like in America where you have Judge Judy and the Divorce Court," Arika said. "Anyways have fun," she smiled.

Erstin just rolled her eyes and said "Whatever" and head to class.

After a few seconds, Haruka spoke up "That was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."

"What did I say to you?" she said, having a short-attention span equivalent to that of a 30-second commercial.

"You called me a dog (doll). No one has ever called me that, not even Yukino."

"But you are sweetie! You're like a Barbie doll, but a lot tougher."

Haruka was really turning red and was very bashful. I can't believe I was seeing this. Is this really Haruka? Did somebody or something took over her body?

"That even better than when Tate once called me a 'mentally inbrain (insane) Marcia Brady. Because of that I hate The Brainy Branch (Brady Bunch)!"

"Don't let him get to ya', he doesn't know a good thing even if it sat on top of that silly hairstyle of his. Besides, the Brady Bunch is a great show, I like Marcia Brady."

Not willing to talk about a show she really despised, she changed the subject.

"How did you know her?"

"We went ta' school together at Windbloom. She's one of ma' close friends and so is Nina-chan."

"Oh so she's more that just an aquarium (acquaintance) to you?"

"Yep, but she's just a friend, you're my girlfriend and you are the most important person to me," she said as she hugged her and put her head on Haruka's shoulders.

"And you are too," she said feebly. It sounded rather weak and not much conviction in it but still, what the hell? Why is she letting her hug her up like that? I couldn't watch anymore of it so I left and head straight to my class. Physics Honors was the usual, but Physics was not on my mind. More like Chemistry, as in the chemistry that was going on between Haruka and Arika, and how that chemistry was blowing up my chance with Haruka.

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Later on Arika went to English class and took the test. The following day the test scores came back. The score was listed on the wall at the back of the class. It was listed based on the test score, from highest to lowest. She was at the very bottom, with a 5 and the only reason she got the 5 was because she filled out her name, a date in the correct order. The teacher was Mr. Wilkins, a no-nonsense New Englander.

"Oh man, mama is goin' ta' kill me," She said.

"Young lady, I want to see you right after class, immediately!"

"Yes Mr. Wilkins," she said timidly.

Right after class he chewed her out; I wish I was there to see it.

"Arika-san, what is the meaning of this?" he said as he held her test paper in front of her face.

"The meaning of what?"

"Don't play dumb with me girl. What you wrote for the answers on the test. Are you trying to make a mockery out of this class because you know how to speak English?" He didn't think that Arika was really that stupid. He thought that she was being a smart ass and was just playing dumb. He didn't think it was possible for one person to be that stupid. Poor guy, if only he knew.

"What's wrong with them?" she asked naively.

"What's wrong with them? EVERYTHING!" he screamed at her with that disturbing Bostonian accent. "You didn't get one single correct answer!"

"Huh, I don't get it," she said in her typical dumfounded nature. He was turning a furious red in front of her eyes and was about to explode like a Hawaiian volcano.

"You misspelled many words in the test, like how you spelled the word 'constitution' with 'constipation'! You use the wrong homonyms such as when you were suppose to write 'bear', you wrote 'bare'! In the first sentence, when I told you to write 'I gave the old gentleman a veggie', you wrote 'I gave the old geezer a wedgie'! Then when you were supposed to write 'Greet the guests, eat the foods', you wrote 'Greet the foods, eat the guests'!"

"Well that what my grandmother used to say."

"I don't believe that your grandmother would say something that stupid!" he screamed back. "But that's not even the worse of it. In one of your many misspelled words, for the word 'coming', YOU SPELL THE WORD WITH AN 'O'!" He screamed at the top of his lungs.

"But I thought it with a 'k'!" she replied.

At that point he basically lost it and steamed out "GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE! AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE DIRECTOR'S OFFICE, PRONTO!!! AND TAKE THAT PIECE OF TRASH TEST WITH YOU!"

"OK" she said with trepidation and quickly went to the director's office. When she got there, she told the administrative assistant that she needs to see Fumi.

"I need to see the director, Himeno-sensei? Mr. Wilkins, I mean Wilkins-sensei sent me here."

The administrative assistant called her through the intercom and said "Sensei, are you available?"

"Yes I am, do you need me for something right now?"

"Probably, Yumemiya-san wants to see you. She was sent her by Wilkins-sensei."

When she heard that, she laid her hands on her forehead and sighed "Oh God…" She went to her draw in her desk and pulled out some Alka-Selser, before placing them in her cup that already had some water in it. Finally she replied back to the assistant "OK, you can bring her in."

While she was sipping some of the fizzy water, Mashiro came out from the other room. She was doing the school's budgeting.

"Did something happen to Arika-san?"

"Yes, something happen. Wilkins-sensei sent her here. I have a feeling it has to do wit either her schoolwork or her sleeping in class again."

"Let's not assume until she gets in here," Mashiro said with her usual elder wisdom hidden beneath her childish body. Fumi didn't say a word, believing that she is right. When Arika came, a soft smile came on Mashiro's face but a stern look came from Fumi's.

"Ohayo Arika, what did Wilkins-sensei sent you in for?"

"He wasn't very happy with ma' test and he thought that I was just goofin' around taking my test," she said. While she was talking, Mashiro came around from Fumi's desk to behind Arika, checking her out. "What a nice sweet body you got there, too bad you don't have the brains to go with it."

"Let me see your test."

Arika nervously handed her test to Fumi. Mashiro came back to the desk and looked at her test papers with Fumi. They were shocked and somewhat appalled at her answers, but Mashiro noticed something. Throughout the test she was using a lot of big words incorrectly. She knew that Arika is not capable of coming up those words herself. Before she could say something Fumi spoke.

"How did you come up with a sentence like 'It's time to restore chaos and odor'? And what you put down as the definition for a place to conduct scientific experiments – a lavatory? And who taught you how to spell 'coming' this way? Huh? Answer me girl!" Fumi inadvertently screamed out, getting angry over the test. Mashiro put her hand on her right shoulder to calm her down.

Arika, terrified at this point, answered "Suzushiro Haruka-chan."

Mashiro eyes jumped when she heard that and thought "Haruka-chan? Now it makes sense." Fumi's eyes jumped but for a different reason. She couldn't believe that she would be dumb enough to go to Haruka for help in English.

"Well it makes sense, for everybody knows that Haruka uses big words improperly."

Fumi shook her head in agreement and then asked "Why did you go to Haruka-san for help in English?" She had to hear the answer to this one.

"Well Nao-san told me that I should go to her for help in English then when I told her I needed help in English, she told she can help since she's a cheese whiz in English."

They couldn't believe how gullible the girl was, but that shouldn't be a surprise considering who raised her, a senile old woman from the country. However she had more to say.

"Also, because I love her and I wanted to spend some time with her."

That dropped a bomb in Mashiro, she couldn't believe what she just heard. She was about to cry but she knew she had to hold her reserved composure.

"You love her? Does that mean she's your girlfriend?" Mashiro asked, having to know if the feeling has been reciprocated.

"Yep, we've been goin' out fo' about two days now," she smiled.

That was even worse in Mashiro's mind. That meant they won't break up for a while. Now her chance of having Arika to herself is very slim. Then Fumi spoke up.

"Yumemiya-san, it sounds like to me that you're trying your best to do well in English."

"I sure am, I want to get all the help I can get."

"Well we can provide you all the help you need. Starting tomorrow, you will go to the Tutoring Center at 1600 hours. One of the volunteer tutors in the center, Harada Chie, will help you. She's great in English and she will help you with the best of her ability."

"Arigato sensei.," she smiled, being thankful for giving her additional resources.

"No problem, just promise me one thing?"

"What's that?"

"Never, never, never, never, never, ask Haruka for help in either English or Japanese ever again! Because the next time you do that will be suspension for you and Haruka-san and both of you will have to do some janitorial work. Understood?"

"Yes sensei!"

"And one other thing, don't listen to any advice Nao-san give you. She cannot be trusted. Now you can go back to your dorm."

"Yes sensei," she said and she left the office. Arika immediately went straight to her dorm. English class was her last class of the day, so she didn't have to worry about missing her other classes.

After she left the office, Fumi looked at Mashiro and said "Well that's strike one on her. I want to use all the resources we got before we give her a personal tutor."

"Understood, well I got to get back to working on the budget. Do you need anything?"

"Except for two tablets of aspirin, I'm okay," she sighed.

"Sorry, I can't help you there. I don't have any," she said as she headed back to the room. When she got in there, she stood still for a while, looking at nothing in particular. Then she started to cry as quietly as she could so that Fumi didn't hear her. The pain of being heartbroken is a terrible one and I know that one very well.

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