Summary: Tanaka Yoshida had always been famed in her class for being uncaring and cold. She showed no real emotions, and is revered as a fantastic (although quite confusing) advice-giver by the people she chose to counsel. There were no tragic incidents in her past, nor any traumatic events that had ever happened to her. So is her emotionless face just a facade and a trick?
Tanaka blinked once. Twice. Thrice. Each time, the number of girls surrounding Niou Masaharu's desk doubled. How? She was not quite sure. She had never been sure of these things. She had remembered the same event occurring many years before. Six to be exact.
It was in a creaky old school, in a small providence, in South Japan.
"Everybody, this is Niou Masaharu. Treat him well." The teacher had introduced him and had written his name on the board neatly. The boy, however, looked nothing but neat. His short white hair was tousled and a smirk was smeared on his tiny boyish face. A mole under the right side of his mouth was also noticeable.
Tanaka, with her dark brown hair as straight as a stick and bangs almost hiding her eyes ("Ghoul", as she was called), raised an unseen eyebrow. Immediately, almost most of the girls blushed at the sight of this smirking boy who seemed to know more than they could ever do. He was seated at the front, next to two other boys so that nobody would get too distracted.
When the lunch bell rang that day and everybody rushed out the door to go to the playground, Tanaka stayed as usual. She would always eat her bento while reading her book, all alone in that dusty classroom. This time however, she was not alone. Niou Masaharu was seated in his seat, his striking green eyes reading her as if an entertaining book he couldn't let go of. He kept staring at her for five whole minutes until the girl could stand it no longer.
She stood up, taking her two chopsticks and stomped angrily towards the new boy. She pointed the chopsticks just an inch before his face and said accusingly, "What is your problem?"
He shrugged and responded, "My name is Niou Masaharu. You are?" He stood up and held his hand out, a blank and unreadable look had now appeared on his face. Tanaka took a full two minutes to try to comprehend this complex enigma. Finally, she gave up trying and shook his hand, "Yoshida Tanaka."
Skip two years later; it was the start of junior high and Tanaka could not wait. Ever since the day she had shook Niou Masaharu's hand, they had been the closest friends. He had the tricks and she calculated how each one would be more successful than the next. He had prompted her to come out of her shell, to finally cut those long dark brown locks of hers and to make her bangs shorter so that her cerulean blue eyes would show.
They were like two peas in a pod. Inseparable and always together. Until Tanaka's first day of junior high. Niou was nowhere in sight and Tanaka would soon learn that he had spent all day packing to move to Kanagawa; to Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku. There had been silence for the first time between them since two years before. Both had no idea how to speak to the other; Tanaka was afraid that the trickster would not tell the truth. Masaharu was afraid and quite sad, although he did not show it.
The day the Niou's had moved, Tanaka Yoshida was nowhere to be found when the goodbyes were said. She had simply took one good look at her leaving best friend and had fled away before the tears had begun to overflow.
Skip two years later. The Yoshida family had moved to the Kanagawa prefecture as well and although she did not like it, Tanaka was curious as to what she would find in Rikkai Daigaku Fuzoku. She was just another girl, going into her third year in Rikkaidai. She found it no surprise that Niou had become a tennis regular; he had always bragged about it.
She also had not found it shocking that he would have a fan club of his own; he had been a heartthrob in their sixth grade year.
But what Tanaka found the most surprising and most painful of all was that Niou Masaharu seemed to have forgotten her completely. Tanaka didn't know if it was just another of his tricks or if he really didn't remember. But in present day, in 3rd year Class B, Tanaka Yoshida still ponders about this curiosity of hers.
And when the lunch bell rang that day and she had chosen to eat inside of the uncleaned classroom, reading a new Danielle Steele book, she had one thing on her mind. Although Tanaka had tried to keep it out, there was a small bit of her, pleading that Niou Masaharu would stay in his seat and watch her one more time with his striking green eyes.