You can ask your teacher anything!
The timing could not have been any more perfect; soon after the school bell rang, Yukari had just finished her final lesson for today.
"Okay everyone, don't forget about the homework I gave you yesterday. I expect to have it completed for Monday, and no excuses this time, got it?" Yukari told her class, trying to sound serious, but coming off as more of a lazy slur.
"Yes Sensei," replied the class of students, some of them sounding cheerful, others were just as tired as their teacher.
As expected, most of the class exited the school post haste, but to the teacher's surprise, four students were still in the classroom, standing in a line, with the one in front standing closest to her work desk. The student in front of the queue was a brown haired boy named Matsuyama; he wore largish, rectangular glasses, but otherwise didn't really stand out from the rest of the students.
"Sensei, I was wondering if you could help me," Matsuyama said, a touch of guilt shown from his voice.
Yukari... felt an overwhelming awesomeness radiate inside her; her mouth beamed with absolute shining confidence. How many students would ask Minamofor help, Yukari thought to herself. The teacher grinned wickedly; probably somewhere between zero and... super zero.
"Well ask away!" Yukari chirped, already portraying the goddess of all knowledge. She folded her arms and gave her student a reassuring eyesmile. "You know you can ask your teacher anything!"
Matsuyama cleared his throat before telling her the problem.
"It's about the homework you gave us yesterday."
"What about it?" Yukari asked.
"I forgotten what we had to do."
Upon hearing this, Yukari's expression changed from sickly sweet to lemony sour; she was renown for altering her emotions in a heartbeat.
"Do you have your textbook?" she sighed.
Matsuyama nodded as he gave her the book. Swiftly, Yukari opened up the middle of it and pointed at the adjacent pages.
"Here, you read this, and then you answer the twenty questions on the following page," she explained, and she concluded her explanation by tapping the book on Matsuyama's head.
Nodding quickly, Matsuyama left the classroom to meet up with his friends who were waiting for him. The next person in the queue was Tomo, and she was her usual sprightly self. Tomo wasted no time approaching her teacher.
"Hey Yukari-baby!" the energetic girl cheered, "Can I ask you a question?"
Again, Yukari felt like the chosen one, the teacher gifted with eternal wisdom.
"But of course! Ask away!" she replied with total satisfaction, "You know you can ask your teacher anything!"
Tomo raised her hands and rested them behind her head.
"Can I have my game back?" she asked, grinning sheepishly.
For a moment, Yukari looked at her student, confused, but then she realised; during the last lesson, she caught Tomo playing a video game on her hand-held console (Tomo tried to conceal it behind her text book, but the loud sound effects kind of defeated that objective). With another sigh, Yukari fished out the device from her handbag and gave it back to her eagerly awaiting student. In truth, she was kind of hoping Tomo would forget about it; Yukari would have loved to give that shooting game a try.
"Thank you Yukari-baby!" thanked Tomo, and she immediately flipped open the console to play it as she left class.
Yukari deflated her shoulders. Just once, just one time, she would love to have one of her students ask her a proper question, a genuine question. Then, Yukari, the greatest English teacher on the planet, would answer with elegance and perfection, and the student would be like: 'Oh wow, you are so wise, oh powerful and amazing Yukari-sama.'
"Um... Sensei... I'm confused..."
Unfortunately, as Yukari stared at the third student in line, the one with wide and disconcerted eyes, she knew that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
"Yes, what is it Osaka?" Yukari asked half-heartedly.
There was a pause, and if Yukari was to venture inside Osaka's mind, then she would hear and see numerous rusty cogwheels, processing the space cadet's thread of thought.
"The plural for mouse... is mice..." Osaka began.
Yukari nodded. "Yea~h..."
Pause number two.
"Does that mean the plural for spouse... is spice... and the plural for house... is hice?"
Yukari slowly shook her head before explaining to Osaka that, just because certain words rhyme, doesn't mean their plural counterparts have to rhyme as well. Osaka placed a finger on her lips as she tried to soak in all of her teacher's information.
"Mice... spouses... houses..." Osaka listed, after Yukari told her the corrections to the remaining two words.
"Mice, spouses, houses," Yukari repeated, who at this stage just wanted to go home.
"Mice... spouses... houses..."
"Mice, spouses, houses."
"Mouses... spouses... houses..."
"Mouses, spouses... no wait!"
Yukari tore off a piece of paper from a notepad and, with a pencil, scribbled down the 'problematic' words, both singular and plural. As she did this, Yukari wondered why she was going to such lengths just to answer a silly and minor problem. She also wondered if Osaka was thinking about this problem most of the time during the last lesson; from the five times she caught the student gazing at the ceiling, it was a very high possibility.
"There," she concluded, pushing the written paper towards Osaka.
Osaka looked at the paper for a while before picking it up.
"Thank you Sensei!" Osaka said, with an eyesmile and a simple bow.
Yukari slumped to one side of her desk, "Yeah, yeah," she groaned, shooing her student away with her right hand. Osaka happily scampered to the door with the sacred sheet of paper clutched tightly in her grasp.
Yukari felt her tension level lowering when the last student of the line, Kagura, approached the teacher's desk. Finally, it's almost over, the teacher thought to herself. However, for reasons unknown, Kagura didn't appear to be her usual upbeat self, and Yukari was quick to note this altered behaviour.
"Are you okay?" Yukari asked, her eyes showing some concern.
Kagura glanced bashfully to one side; there was a slight... redness appearing on her face.
"Well... um... I don't know if you can help me..." Kagura replied, slowly and softly, "...I mean... I haven't asked my family or my friends about this... but I was wondering if... if you could help?"
Although her expression remained unchanged, Yukari's mind was a bunch of recurring fireworks; to be asked a question that was deemed forbidden for Kagura's friends and family; whatever could this problem be?
"So... what's the matter?" Yukari gently pressed, hoping she would be of some assistance; no, scrap that, of course she would be of some assistance. She would be overflowing and bursting with assistance.
Kagura lightly bit her lower lip, before eventually telling the teacher her ordeal. "It's about a boy in my old class. I... I think he likes me, and he always wants to talk to me whenever we bump into each other. I... I know this sounds kinda farfetched, but what if he decides to... y'know... confess his feeling for me?"
Kagura briefly looked at her school shoes; her feet were pointed together, creating a sort of triangular shape.
"What should I do?" she asked, "I don't want to hurt his feelings, but I also don't feel like committing myself in some kind of relationship. At least... not yet."
As Kagura was done expressing herself, she felt a great weight lifting from her shoulders, though she still felt awkward talking about it. Meanwhile, Yukari's eyes were wide with amazement, and her mouth resembled a tiny, open circle. Yukari's experience with men was... ...well... there was that one time where she flirted with some guy two years ago... even though she was heavily drunk at that moment in time... even though that guy was already married with three kids. Come to think of it, she wasn't really flirting with him at all; she just pointed a finger at him and shouted 'marry me you sexy stud!'
Kagura waited patiently for some advice; it was likely her teacher was still processing the question given to her.
"BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute!" Yukari suddenly said in a high-pitched voice, still retaining her wide-eyed expression.
Kagura watched, dumbfounded, as the teacher rose from her seat. Yukari's arms began to transform into wobbly spaghetti, and she then started to float away in reverse, rapidly increasing the distance from her student.
"BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute!"
Kagura, blinking twice, continued to watch as Yukari left the classroom, her repetitive voice slowly fading away as she continued her retreat from the school corridors.
Feeling more confused than ever before, Kagura eventually left the classroom as well. She walked through the corridors, the presence of the English teacher long since disappeared. With her concentration elsewhere, the athletic girl accidentally bumped into her former teacher, Minamo.
"Ah! Sorry!" Kagura apologised, but Minamo, with a smile, waved it off as no big deal.
"No problem!" the sports teacher said, before taking a good long look at her former student, "Say... are you alright?"
Kagura attempted a cheerful reply, but her face easily told another story. "Huh? Ah, yeah! I'm fine!"
"You sure?" asked Minamo, "You don't look so great."
"Well..." Kagura began to say, feeling brave from Minamo's concern, "...actually... there is... something that's kind of bugging me..."
"Well fire away!" Minamo interjected, "I know I'm not as smart as Yukari, but I can still try my best to help out!"
Kagura gave her old teacher a petit smile before speaking.
"Well... you see... it's about a boy-"
"BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute! BEEEEP! Does not compute!" Minamo interrupted, eerily mimicking Yukari's high-pitched voice and style of movement.