In retrospect, It could certainly be said that falling for your childhood/best friend is not the wisest course of action one could take. Especially if that friend happened to be moving. But that's in retrospect, and I therefore wasn't thinking along those lines at the time of the events I have lain out for you. For, had I been thinking as such, I would not be in the current state that I am. My mother calls it 'pining'. Well, I looked that up, and that is nowhere near how I'm feeling. Were you to magically gain the ability to read my emotions, you'd be getting a massive blast of heartbroken anguish mixed in with some morose depression and even a taste of grief. Got a word that sums all of that up? No. I didn't think so. And if any of you answered 'yes', I swear to the great St. Nick that I WILL find you, and you WILL be in pain. Honestly, can't you tell that I'm trying to have a melodramatic moment here?
Anyway, yes, this whole thing started three years ago...Well, the depressing part... I guess the REAL beginning was a lot longer ago than that, when I was barely five. And yes, I am going to flashback. If you have objections, direct them elsewhere. This is my story, not yours. You can listen, or you can bitch. Completely up to you.
Like I said, I had just turned five, and had barely managed to get into kindergarten because of the way my birthday fell. But I did, which was a very positive thing in my life, if I reflect on it. Though I was almost a full year younger than everyone, this is how I met that aforementioned best friend.
Sorry, I got off track. My mom was ever the excitable one that day, and had dressed me up and taken pictures in front of the school. The only reason she got me to sit still long enough for the pictures was because I was terrified of going into the classroom.
After she was satisfied with her pictures, she took my hand and led me to my classroom. The one right at the end of the hall, adjacent to the doors that led to the playground. I'm sure if you're able to read this, you've been through the school system, and therefore kindergarten. We all no how that very first day of school is. It even worse than all of the future 'first days', because it is truly the first day. You are going to be away from trusted adults for an entire day. Surely I can't be the only one that has had this experience... I really hope not.
Anyway, I started freaking out, as several kindergarteners do. As soon as I was through that door, I was bawling, clinging to my mom's leg, begging her incoherently not to leave me there. As my mother was trying to pry me from herself, my teacher walked up and gave her a smile, acting as though I didn't exist, and like it was normal for kids to scream like that. (I realised years later that it is...) She assured my mother that I would be taken are of, but I was most definitely not convinced. I clung to that suit-clad leg like my little life depended on it, which I believed it did.
My mother finally manged to remove me from her leg, and quickly side-stepped out the door with a quick 'I love you.' This clearly distressed me further, as I began sobbing miserably. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one in the classroom that was crying. There was at least five others, and it was pretty clear that all of the others present had cried, if their puffy eyes said anything. The teacher tried her best to console me with promises that she couldn't keep. She assured me that my mother would return for me later, and that we were going to play lots of games together.
This calmed me considerably, and my tears stopped pouring out. This earned me a smile before she turned to greet the next parent that came in. I glanced at the other children, most of whom were at play. I considered joining them, but I'm not known to have a lot self confidence. I therefore chose to sit in a chair that was near the door, and watched the teacher interact with the parent that had stolen her attention from me. They chatted briefly before the lady left. I was a bit confused at first, not having seen the boy that had been behind his mother until she left. When I saw him, I was confused further. He didn't really look sad to see his mother leave. Not a single tear escaped the boy's eyes. I didn't know what to think of this strange boy, especially when he glanced my way. Well, I suppose that I did know what to think, though it wasn't quite on the mark. I was petrified by this boy. His face was so angry looking, like I had just kicked his puppy, and he was out for vengeance. (No, my five-year-old mind didn't use those words. I gotta fluff it up, you know? Make it sound smart!) I was contemplating whether or not to try and run away from him, but I was too scared to move when that gaze was on me. Lucky for me, the teacher called us all to the circle carpet, and told us to sit down. As soon as the boy's eyes were away from me, I bolted to the carpet, making sure that I wouldn't be near him.
After we were all in the circle, the teacher told us what we were going to be doing. We were instructed to say our name and something we like to do. (This was actually exciting in kindergarten, remember? It didn't start losing it's charm until third grade.) She went around, starting from the right, and each child did as they were instructed. I was excited for my turn, and nearly squealed when the focus was on me.
"I'm Tino! I like to color!" I said, smiling happily. We continued down the line, finishing with the boy that I had been so scared off. He was silent, and we all waited for his introduction. After nearly a minute had passed, the teacher turned to him, and smiled gently.
"What is your name?" She asked him quietly. He looked up, staring at her as though contemplating on whether or not he was going to answer.
"Berwald." He finally replied. We all waited again, expecting to learn what he liked to do. He, however, was silent, staring at the floor. The teacher prompted him again, asking what he liked to do, and he responded, after a pause.
"Clay." Though obviously a bit cynical, the teacher nodded, smiled, and moved on. She read to us, holding the book open so all of us could see the pictures, then instructed us to go and pick seats at the little tables. Everyone scrambled, trying to find seats near the friends they had made before the school-day had begun. Not having played with any of the other children, I simply went to an empty table and sat in the blue chair. I was one of the first to sit down, so I had to wait as everyone else picked their seats. A boy sat by me, his long blonde hair slightly obscuring his face. I smiled at him, wondering if I had made a new friend. He smiled back, but there was something different about his smile. Everyone had sat down at that point, and the teacher got out a clipboard. She said that these were going to be our assigned seats from then on, and wrote our names down in the proper spot. As she did this, I finally noticed that there was one child that had yet to choose a seat. He stood in the middle of the tables, looking at the floor, then glanced up and met my eyes. It was that same frightening boy, and to my dismay, he began to walk in the direction of my table. To further my distress, he took the seat directly next to mine, then dropped his eyes to the table. The teacher came around to our table, and said our names out loud as she wrote them down.
"Francis, Tino, and Berwald." She said quietly, writing them down and making them final. I wished to raise an objection, but was too scared to do so. She left us to retrieve a stack of papers from her desk, then handed us each a coloring page. She told us to color it however we liked, and then to write our names on it. This I was excited for. I love to color, even to this day. (Granted, I moved on to bigger and better things than Crayons...) I reached for the crayons enthusiastically, taking a box and opening it immediately.
I'm gonna spare you the details. All you need to know was that I colored that picture, and it looked damn good. I colored perfectly in the lines, and wrote my name as best I could on the top corner. Sure, It looked like some scribbles, but I figured my coloring skills vastly made up for my writing ones. I put the crayons back in the box, and raised my hand, as I had seen others do. The teacher came to my side, and smiled at my picture.
"That's great Tino! You're very good at coloring! But could you write your name on it for me, that way we know it's yours?" I gave her a confused look.
"I did write my name. It's right there." I said, pointing to the scribbles. She looked at them carefully, then did her best to give me a smile.
"Alright Tino, That's a really good try. We'll work on your letters, alright? I'll write your name over here for you." She replied, pulling out a crayon and writing my name in a neat scrawl in the opposite corner before taking it with her and hanging it up on a bulletin board with several others.
I was incredibly embarrassed by all of this. All of the other children were able to write their names on their paper, singling me out as the only one incapable. My face was warm, and I looked down at my hands in my lap, waiting as the other kids finished. I noticed out of my peripheral vision that the scary boy, Berwald, had raised his hand. The teacher came to his side, and reached down to take his picture, but stopped.
"Berwald, I asked you to color it. You did a very good job writing your name, but don't you want to make the picture pretty?" I glanced over, and saw that the paper was still black and white, the only color being a few letters at the top. The boy looked at his own picture, then shook his head.
"No. D'n't want t'." It took me a while to figure out what he had said, realising for the first time that he sounded odd when speaking. The teacher gave him a worried glance.
"Are you sure, Berwald?" She asked once more, and he nodded in response. "Alright, I'll go hang it up." She said as she walked away and stapled it up next to mine.
(I didn't notice it then, but thinking back on it, it had to be fate. I could color, but not write, and he could write, but not color. Fate is such a sick bitch sometimes...)
After everyone was done, the teacher announced that it was time for recess. When she got odd looks, she explained that we would all go outside and play on the playground. After learning what it was, we were all very eager to partake in this 'recess', and lined up at the door, as we were instructed to do. I began towards the beginning of the line, but several of the other children cut in front of me, and I was eventually pushed to the back of the line. Though I objected to this, I was too scared to bring it up with any of the others. And, yep, you guessed it, Mr. Scary himself got in line right after me, though he seemed reluctant to leave the classroom.
The teacher checked to make sure that we were all in line, then led us out the doors to the playground. My school had separate playgrounds for the Kindergarten thru second grades, and then all of the older kids got to play on the big playground. That was okay though, we were pleased to have a playground at all. Once there, my young eyes glanced around in wonder, taking in the seemingly wide arsenal of equipment available to us.
The whole thing was situated at the bottom of a large hill, and was completely fenced off from the rest of the school. We were told that we could play on the hill as well, and some of us did, though there wasn't much to do there, in my opinion.
There was a long row of wooden swings, ten of them for those who care enough to wonder. Next to that was a slide that seemed monstrous to our small forms, but now is only as tall as I am. (Just as a side note, I am currently 5' 6.5". Yes, that half and inch is very important.) There was a basketball hoop, or rather, a modified version of one. It was more like a big plastic basket that had four holes, and the goal was to throw it up and into the top, then the ball would fall through one of the holes. Next to this was a big box that contained several types of balls, basket, dodge, kick, soccer, etc. As well as hula-hoops and jump-ropes. There was a monkey dome, with what seemed like hundreds of bars to climb and hang from. There was an ancient seesaw that required at least five children on each side to make it move, and was, thankfully, large enough to hold all ten of those children. A firetruck-like structure was centered behind the swings. It was made of metal bars and had wooden platforms to stand on, as well as a pole to slide down in the back. And, finally, there was a sandbox, which immediately took to my fancy.
After we had gotten a chance to take it all in, we all bolted for the things that had caught our eyes. I ran to the sandbox, and can proudly say that I was the first one there. I grabbed a shovel and a bucket, which were available in the sand, and started filling it up. No, I didn't really have a plan, I was just filling the bucket. I was soon joined by three other children. I noticed that one of them was the blonde boy from my table, Francis. Not minding them, I continued filling my bucket.
When I felt that the sand was adequately packed into the small bucket, I looked around, trying to decide where I was going to put my castle, for that is what I had decided to make. (I was five! What do you want from me?) To my delight, I found the perfect spot, close to the right hand corner where I was sitting. But when I had glanced around, I had noticed that Berwald had come to the sandbox as well. I was worried, not really sure why. He just looked so angry. I wondered if he wanted the spot that I had chosen, and was contemplating that, when Francis came up to me, shovel in hand. I looked up at him, then offered a smile, but it wasn't returned.
"Give me that bucket." He snapped, pointing at my still sand-filled bucket. I looked at it, then back at him. I didn't quite understand, so I shook my head no. I had gotten to it first, after all, so it was rightfully mine. To this, he bent down, getting close to my face.
"Give it to me, or else I'll hurt you." My eyes widened, but I still didn't understand. I had never been threatened before. I wondered if he was playing a game, and then assumed that that was the case. I shook my head once again, and his expression changed to one of annoyance. Before I could register what was happening, I had a face-full of sand. It was in my mouth, and to my horror, my eyes. It took me a moment to register the stinging before I started to cry. Unfortunately, the teacher was too busy patching up a kid that had fallen off of a swing to notice what had conspired. While I was trying to wipe the sand from my eyes, Francis kicked my bucket over, spilling the sand over my lap.
"Be quiet! Dumb crybaby! And you can't even write!" Some of the other boys laughed at me after he said this. I was still rubbing at my eyes desperately, and barely managed to see that the scary boy was approaching me. I shrunk away, scared that he meant to throw sand at me too.
To my utter shock, he got in front of me, facing Francis, and glared at him.
"Leave 'im 'lone." He said, sounding very calm, but still intimidating. Francis, very surprised, took a step backwards. I can't really blame him for that, considering how tall and scary looking Berwald was. With only one glance back at me, he quickly trotted back to his spot in the sand. I watched in shock through my hands, which were still attempting to clear my eyes, but that soon turned to horror though, as the terrifying boy approached. I flinched away, trying to decide if I should run from him, but found it to be too late. He bent down so that he was eye level with me.
"Ya 'kay?" He asked quietly as he pulled my hands from my eyes to inspect them. Though I flinched initially, I realised what he was asking. I shook my head, still crying from the sand that refused to leave my eyes.
"It hurts!" I whined, still unsure what he was going to do to me. He, to my surprise, took a small handkerchief from his pocket, and wiped my eyes with it. Though I was worried that he would hurt me, I found that he was very gentle, and barely touched me at all. Once he pulled it back, I found I could open my eyes without the stinging sensation that the sand had created. He proceeded to wipe away the tears that had been going down my face, then put the cloth back in his pocket.
"B'tter?" He asked, still very quiet. I nodded, then smiled hesitantly. He gave a short nod, then went to go sit back on the edge of the sandbox, where he had been previously. I watched as he went, then looked down at my lap, my sand covered lap. My eyes were then drawn to the now empty bucket, and finally back up to the boy.
At this point, I took a huge leap of faith. I had decided that he didn't intend on eating me, and therefore was slightly less terrifying than I had initially believed. With one last glance, I sighed, and stood, brushing the sand from my pants. I walked over to him, bucket in hand, and stood before him. He looked up at me, and I nearly lost my nerve under the glare, but managed to keep to my goal.
"U-um... Do you want to play too?" I asked shyly, displaying the bucket. He looked at it, then back up at me. After staring for a while, he nodded, and stood. I tried my best to smile, and he followed me back to my spot.
"I-I was making a castle..." Again, he nodded, and grabbed a nearby shovel. He began refilling the bucket, and I joined him after watching, transfixed for a bit. With two kids filling it up, the bucket was quickly full. I grabbed it, intending to dump it out on the ground, but the boy stopped me.
"'f ya do that, t'll all fall 'ut. G'tta do 't fast." He said. I looked at him, then handed the bucket to him.
"Okay. Show me how." I replied. And he did, quickly turning it and planting it on the sand. He waited a few seconds before lifting it, and to my delight it was in exactly the same shape as the bucket. Never had I seen such a perfect mound. I took the initiative to refill the bucket, and had it about halfway, when the boy grabbed my attention.
"'ll do th's. Ya go an' find s'me st'ff ta put 'n 't." I took a moment to decipher that, then nodded in agreement, getting up to retrieve decorations. I searched all around, even on the hill, and returned to find four mounds perfectly arranged around one another, and then a fifth on top of them.
"Oh, wow! That's so cool! Oh, right, I got stuff." I said sheepishly, holding out the things I had collected. This consisted of a few sticks, some leaves, some spiky seed-balls from a sweet gum tree, a handfull of woodchips, and some plastic beads I found near the door. He looked at them, and nodded. "'m all d'ne, so ya sh'ld p't those 'n." I nodded, smiling as I went to work. I placed everything right where I knew, in my soul, it was meant to go. After I finished, I stepped back to admire our work, and he was right behind me. We both looked at it, proud of our accomplishment.
"Pr'tty." He stated quietly, and I couldn't help but giggle in agreement.
Our teacher blew the whistle then, calling us back into a line, and directed us inside. This time I gladly took my spot at the back with Berwald.
Once we were inside, we were told to go back to our seats, because we were going to do a partner activity. I looked around at my table-mates, and immediately decided I would be partners with Berwald. Yes, he still scared me, but at least he didn't throw sand at me. That left Francis alone, and he was made to go sit at another table, to pair up with another boy. After we all paired up, she told us that we were going to take turns counting. One of us would say one, then the other would say two, and so on.
I wasn't excited in the least. The only thing I was worse at than writing was using numbers. To this day I struggle in math, and no amount of tutoring can help me.
Anyway, she told us to go, and I decided to start us off.
"One." I counted, proud of my accomplishment. Berwald looked at me, then responded lowly.
"T'o" I gave him a smile, and tried to remember the next one.
"T-Three?" It was more of a question than a statement.
"F'ur." And I froze.I didn't know the next one.
"U-Um... Seven?" I tried, and he looked at me, looking slightly less scary.
"F've." He corrected, and I blushed.
"Two." And again he paused, and looked at me.
"N'ne. We 'ready did t'o" My face heated again.
"Nine." I tried, and he continued as if I hadn't messed up.
"T'n." I lost interest then, and decided to change the subject.
"Why do you talk funny?" I deadpanned, not knowing how rude the question truly was. He looked at me, his eyes a little wider than normal, then looked away.
"'m sw'dish. M' Ma 'n Pa t'lk l'ke th's too." He offered. I wasn't sure what exactly 'Sw'dish was, so I inquired.
"Su-e-dish? What's that?" I asked quietly, trying not to attract attention to us, considering we weren't doing what we were supposed to.
"Swedish." He managed to say clearly. "'t me'ns 'm from Sw'den. 's a co'ntry." He tried to explain. I nodded, thinking I understood.
"So you're Su-e-dish, and from Su-e-din? Oh, that's like me! I'm Finnish, and from Finland! That's why my name is Tino, cause that's Finnish!" I rambled. How I managed to avoid getting caught, I'll never know.
"'m Berwald. 'at's Sw'dish." He replied. My face scrunched up in distaste.
"Berwald... That's a weird name. It's hard to say..." I commented, thinking to myself. Then I got an idea.
"Ah, I know! I'll call you Su, cause you're Su-e-dish!" I exclaimed happily. But as I said it, I decided I didn't like the way it sounded. "Hmm... It's too short... Oh, what about Su-San? The people in that movie I watched called each other San! Yeah! Su-San!" I finished, proud of my nicknaming abilities. He didn't seem displeased by his nickname, though his face got a little red.
"'lrigh' th'n 'll call ya Fin, ca'se 'ur Finn'sh." He decided, and I quickly agreed, liking the sound of that.
"Okay! We have new names, so now we're friends, right?" I asked, as this seemed true in all of the movies I had seen. He hesitated, but then nodded.
A/N: So, let's not kill the little author for her pathetic attempt at a SuFin. This is, after all, my FIRST attempt. So be gentle, please? I actually thought that I was doing pretty good, but I HAD to find a way to incorporate Su-San and Fin into this! It just wouldn't be SuFin without the nicknames! I mean, at least I tried! Some authors just make it an automatic thing, not even trying to explain the names! Oh, and Sorry if you are a France fan. I refused to make Arthur and Ivan the bad-guys, because that is SUCH a stereotype now. Whenever I see a mean character in a fic, it is always one of those two. I AM BEING NONCONFORMIST! ANYWAY: This is, clearly, just an intro. I don't plan for the whole thing to be in Tino's point of veiw. I actually think I'm going to switch to third person. But I wanted to lay out some foundations in this one, so yeah. And this is definitely NOT going to be all about kindergarten. Oh no. We are moving on to highschool very very soon. Just wanted to explain the relationship a bit. So... I guess I'll shut up for now... Please review? I tend to update the stories with the most reviews the fastest, so yeah... Be seeing you.