His name was Akira Yamazake.
Five feet, nine inches…
Girls flocked to him at school and out of school, but he was very meticulous when it came to the girls he made advances toward. He liked the subtle type, females who didn't draw attention to themselves.
People just like Kujira Kurokami…
And she knew this…
They were in the same class together and the places where they ate lunch were completely visible to one another. She would sit at the window of the classroom and he would be with his friends and followers outside in the courtyard, stealing glances at her from afar.
To him, she looked mysterious and beautiful. Since she had come to the school a month ago, she had been given the reputation of being withdrawn, but also very sweet as well. She was the type of girl Akira would swoon over.
And she knew this…
A week ago, he was in the library reading up on his favorite manga when he noticed the feint sound of struggling coming from a distant bookshelf, so he went to investigate. When he rounded the corner to discover the source of the noise, his heart immediately skipped a beat. It was the beautiful Naze Youka (Kujira uses the alias to disguise the fact that she was a childhood prodigy) desperately jumping up to grab a book, just out of reach. Her silky violet hair bounced about her face, and the skirt of her uniform danced in a provocative way, revealing only the small outline of her underwear.
He was drawn like a moth to a flame.
It was a sight coveted by many boys at the school. And it was his exclusively to behold. They were in the library, alone, together…wait a minute. He shook himself out of delirium. What was he thinking? This was no time to be thinking like a pervert. This was his chance to get her attention, a moment to make a good impression.
He prepped, walked over to her, and asked politely if he could offer his assistance. In summary, the encounter was textbook high school euphoria: boy meets girl, boy and girl have an awkward, but intriguing encounter, girl walks off leaving a lasting impression on the boy. If you were to ask Akira, he would've said it was a perfect checkpoint in moving his relationship along with her.
A week after the fated "library incident" as Akira and his friends called it, he gathered up enough courage to ask her out to dinner when the next opportune moment arose.
"Um, hey there Youka-san," he had made his move that Thursday afternoon by making his way towards her desk during lunch break. She was engulfed in a book when he confronted her. He couldn't read the title; it looked like it was English, or something along the lines of French. She sat the book down and gazed up at him.
Her voice resonated through his ears like a melodic symphony playing an orchestral ballad. It was official; he was just head-over-heels for her.
He was a stuttering mess, "L-listen, I was t-thinking that m-maybe we could-"
Her sudden glare cut him short. Her sweet enticing tone quickly changed.
"No, you listen to me, Akira. I cannot and WILL not date or even associate myself with someone whose father stepped out on him with another woman and whose mother became a heroin addict because of it."
"W-" he was taken aback by her words. How could she possibly know that? He never told a soul. How is it that she-.
"Last I checked, you can't cure a heroin addict by playing basketball. Get her to a clinic for God's sake."
Her voice kept elevating and a small crowd began to form around the two. Akira was becoming more distraught with each passing word.
"This isn't some manga where every little thing works out in the end. Man up, get out of my face, and don't ever speak to me again."
Needless to say, Akira Yamazake was crushed by her sudden change of heart. He couldn't understand where he went wrong; however, let it be dually noted that in the aftermath, the outcome was very positive. He had to explain to his friends and the onlookers at the school that he was participating at a local basketball team in order to raise money for his mother's treatments. When word got out that there was an even more chivalrous reason for his athletic skills, his popularity increased drastically. He was a rise-from-the-ashes sports phenom, and people liked him even more.
And Kujira knew this. She knew all of this. She was the one who set this event into motion and it all went according to plan. You see, it's not really what people go through that make people resent you, it's actually how you present it, and she knew the hearts of the people at the school. She knew that if they were to find out the truth about Akira, they would receive him with open arms. And it worked out just fine for him in the end.
But that was only half her plan…
She knew full well that there would be dire consequences for breaking the heart of Akira Yamazake. His followers would be out for blood. And just like clockwork, that's exactly what happened the same day. Kujira knew the hearts of man; how they cling on to those they love. And cast out those who are hated…
That afternoon, after gym class, Kujira was confronted.
"Hey there Youka-san," three girls nonchalantly managed to corner her into a spot behind the gym where conveniently, no one could see them. "You seem thirsty. Want some water?"
Kujira had just dried herself off and was on her way to the shower.
They were just in time too.
She took a look at the water bottle they had. It was clear without a label. Sketchy. There was also a slight carbon dioxide build up floating to the top of the water. It was obviously drugged. It was apparent that they had very ill intentions.
Kujira smiled, "Sure, thanks."
She was handed the bottle, took the white lid off, and swallowed four big swigs of it. The drugs took immediate affect making her fall to the ground and lay unconscious. She was at the school girls' mercy.
When she woke up, she was stark naked sprawled out on a commode, hair in a mess and her vision blurry.
'Must be some type of Benzodiazepine…ugh, what do these girls know about date rape drugs?'
She sat up straight and rubbed her temples until the pain subsided, then she quietly opened the commode door and stepped out into the open. The first thing she noticed was the urinals.
'Clever, the boy's restroom…'
Being in the latter wouldn't be half as embarrassing.
She noticed that one of the sinks was overflowing with water. She looked and found all her clothes sitting at the bottom of the bowl, sopping wet.
There was no easy way out of this.
She looked at the mirror and in big bold letters, it read: SLUT
Painful words, but recyclable, she'd heard them being said before…she was going to need them to take a step further if she wanted things to go according to plan.
Any normal school girl would have broken down and cried from the shame and embarrassment, but not Kujira. This was the exact type of life she was constructing for herself, a hell-on-earth, and every piece to her puzzle counted. People would talk about this for months. She would be labeled. She would be hated. She would be laughed at and condemned. And that's exactly what she wanted.
The door to the bathroom swung open.
She smiled slyly and turned to greet the hopefully shocked male spectator, but was rather surprised herself to find that it wasn't a boy at all. It was actually Kujira's classmate Itami Koga, out of breath and with a fresh uniform in her hand. Her usually neat auburn hair that she would have tied up in buns were frivolous bouncing about her head and her chest rose and fell as she heaved and her small frame shook from exhaustion. She had obviously run from her classroom down to the gym in an all-out sprint.
Kujira raised an eyebrow, "Itami-san? What are you doing-?"
"I overheard the girls…in my class what…they did to you, so I…came looking for you myself," Itami's tone was both angry and sympathetic. "C'mon Naze-chan, before someone shows up…"
Kujira lifted up a hand in her own defense, "I don't need your help.
Those words shocked the young girl at the door.
"I said I don't need your help. You should stay away from me. You should already know that-"
"NO I DON'T KNOW!" Itami suddenly shouted out of nowhere. The sudden outburst even surprised Kujira. Tears swelled up in the red hair's eyes. "NAZE-CHAN! SINCE YOU MOVED HERE, I'VE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT YOU! I DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT I JUST DO! I WANTED TO BE YOUR FRIEND, BUT YOU KEPT REJECTING ME! I EVEN WANT TO HELP YOU NOW, BUT YOU REFUSE! WHY?! I KNOW YOU REJECTED AKIRA ON PURPOSE, BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY! YOU'RE SO DETACHED AND IT HURTS ME TO SEE YOU LIKE THAT!"
Itami broke down and slid to her knees , trying to support her weight with the door frame, "WHY?! WHY?! I DON'T GET YOU! WHY WON'T YOU TELL ME ANYTHING WHY WON'T YOU LET ME HELP YOU!?"
Kujira looked on as the innocent, rather desperate, and emotionally conflicted Itami Koga lied in the middle of the floor crying like a little baby.
She was reluctant to smile.
Kujira tried her best to stay away from people emotionally, but even so, she managed to get the attention of one kind-hearted person. Itami had confronted her on the second day she had transferred there and asked if she could eat with her. Kujira ultimately shrugged her off and thought that would be the end of it, but Itami managed to find her way back to the beautiful Naze Youka's table once again the next day, asking the same question. Time after time, she asked, but was turned down and the ultimatum was apparently she being emotionally distraught and confused as to what was wrong with her approach with the new transfer student.
It leads Itami in doing a little investigating and she would come to realize that Naze Youka treated everyone as such. She was distant despite being renowned for her beauty and kindness. And when word got out that she had flat out rejected Akira, it raised even more suspicion. Itami then found out that her classmates had pulled a stunt on Youka for being an apparent "bitch" to the basketball idol of the school and they were hell bent on teaching her a lesson.
'Why would a complete stranger be thinking so much about me?' Kujira sighed and gave up thinking about reasoning with an irrelevant situation mentally already knowing the answer somehow. She walked over to the still crying girl at the doorway, bent down to her and wrapped her arms around her. The tears immediately stopped.
"I'll let you give me the uniform if you stop crying and get off the floor. It's dirty."
Itami sniffled, "…Does this mean, you'll let me be your friend? We can have lunch together."
Kujira's still bloodshot eyes came into focus as she lulled over the word "friend". She sighed again, "We'll see…we will see."
Itami couldn't help but smile, "Does that mean you'll tell me why you don't like talking to anyone else at school Naze-chan?"
They both rose from the floor and Kujira shook her head while taking the uniform from Itami's hand, "Like I said, we'll see." She looked out into the gym hallway and noticed no one was around. "Now c'mon, I'll go get changed and go home."
Itami's smile grew, "OKAY!"
This was an unexpected development, but Kujira could work this into her favor.
She smiled slyly to herself…