"No! Absolutely NOT!" The Sister's ice cold words stopped me in my tracks. I've heard her get angry thousands of times, but not like this. Something was really biting her on the butt this time. I was so interested in what had her so infuriated that I pushed up against the wall next to the door and eavesdropped. "Never have I ever witnessed such disregard towards human decency! It's sickening! It's revolting." As I listened, I could feel her words on my ears like a whip. It was almost like she was yelling at me. I could almost hear a snake's hiss with every S sound she spoke. "This is absolutely despicable, even from someone such as yourself!"
"Even from sssomeone sssuch asss youssself," I giggled quietly to myself.
I could only imagine what she could be yelling over. It sounded like someone ran out of their dorm naked, or maybe someone defaced the angel statue at the school's entrance. However, I learned that neither of these things happened when I heard the victim's voice. "Please Ma'am, show me some mercy," calmly replied a male…A MALE! I almost fell backwards when I heard HIS voice. A male, at St. Miator's Academy for GIRLS? This was too outlandish to believe, and I wouldn't have if I wasn't hearing it for myself.
"And why would I ever consider letting a man into an all girls academy?" Sister retorted.
"I've exhausted all other options," he replied. "I was kicked out of my other school, and no school in the state will take me!" I heard a heavy thing hit the carpeted floor in the office. It sounded like he dropped down to his knees. "This is the ONLY school I haven't applied to yet. I wouldn't be coming here if I had any other option. Please, I can't afford to move!"
"Money troubles, huh?" Sister replied with her snake like tongue. "Tell me, how exactly were you planning to afford attending this school?" A moment of silence emerged from that question. I could just imagine the freezing stare coming from the Sister Hamasaka's icy eyes. I could hear a slight 'um' noise escape the man's lips, which lead Sister to explode with rage. "Why in all my years!" She was screaming so loud, I could feel the floor vibrate beneath me. "Not only does a MAN want to enroll in an all GIRLS academy, but he also plans to do so with no means of compensation?"
"Maybe we could work out some kind of arrangement!" He shouted. I could hear him raising slowly to his feet, and continuing with a respectfully calm voice. "I see the grass is a little overgrown, and the chapel windows are a tad dirty. These are tasks for people serving detention right? Why don't I do them? I'll cut the grass twice a month, and wash the windows thrice a week."
Another moment of silence spawned in the conversation. In my eyes, it was a reasonable offer. Work for education, especially if he had nowhere else to turn. So what if he was a man? The school could make an exception. It's only one student.
"Polish the bell," Sister finally answered, breaking the suspenseful silence. "You will polish the bell monthly. You will also mop the classrooms on Sundays on top of your offer. While doing these tasks, you will also keep a high grade average."
I could hear the man gasp with excitement. "Does that mean you'll let me attend?"
"You will provide your own uniform," she continued "and you will stay in your own dorm. You will change in a separate room for Physical Education, and if you are late for any class at least once, you're expelled."
"I agree with all of your terms," he replied graciously. "My uncle is a tailor in town, I can have him fashion me something similar to what the girls are wearing. You will not regret this Ma'am."
"Sister Hamasaka," she corrected. "Your first day is next Monday. That's one week from tomorrow, don't forget." I suddenly heard footsteps heading towards the door. I panicked, foreseeing the trouble I would get in if I got caught eavesdropping, so I found the nearest bench, opened a textbook, and looked busy.
The office door was opened and shut by careful hands. I tried my best to look like I was reading, yet still catch a glimpse of what the man looked like. "There is no way you were reading through all that yelling," he said, obviously to me.
Slowly I looked up to see his face. He was handsome. He had bright white hair, and eyes the color of the ocean. He stood about as tall as I did, and looked around my age. His hands were in the pocket of his blue jeans, and he wore a white polo shirt. It was a tad informal, but it looked like the best he could muster. "Umm…" I said a tad embarrassed.
He took a step closer to me, and lowered his voice so Sister wouldn't hear him. "Not only was she louder than a fire truck with a megaphone, but the book you're 'reading' is upside down." He pointed to the book I was holding. Indeed it was upside down. I sheepishly shut it, and tried my best to keep my embarrassment hidden, but I could tell I was failing immensely. He took a step back. "I'm Takashi by the way," he said.
"Ah!" I yelped, realizing how impolite I was being. "N-Nagisa," I squeaked through my sheepish humiliation.
Takashi smiled at me, and calmly said, "I better go. I need to visit someone really quickly. See you around maybe?" I realized he asked me a question, but he left too quickly for me to answer.
He caught me red-handed in a bad situation, so as soon as he left, I felt as though heavy chains were unlocked and taken off of me. I sighed as I slouched in the bench. Replaying the entire scene through my head, remembering him telling me he had to go reminded me that I was on my way to somewhere other than the wall outside Sister Hamasaka's office. Panicking, I ran out the door towards the library.
Listening to Takashi's plead to join the academy, I had completely forgotten that I had made plans with Tomao to meet at the library. I ran as fast as my legs could take me…which wasn't that fast, towards the library. About half way, I was too exhausted to continue, so I sat beneath a tree to catch my breath. "Well hello there stranger," I heard a familiar voice greet playfully. From behind me emerged Shizuma, her beautiful hair flowing like a waterfall of white rose petals down her back from her ponytail. Her amber eyes shimmered in the sunlight with warm glee as she smiled her gorgeous smile. Because of all the days she missed, she failed a lot of her classes, and was told she had to retake her final year. Neither of us minded though, because we go to see each other for another year.
I bounced up and down from where I sat in excitement, too tired to stand. "Shizuma-sama!" I shouted happily.
She took a seat next to me, and I immediately buried my head in her lap, squeezing her stomach tightly in my arms. "How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?" she sighed.
"Oh," I moaned, not removing my head from her lap. My words were muffled from her dress, but I spoke anyway. "Sorry, I'm just used to it. I'll try again." I sat up, fixed my hair, and closed my eyes. Opening them, I pretended like she just greeted me, and said "Shizuma!" I the promptly buried my head in her lap once more. I could feel her stomach move in my arms as she laughed. I loved the sound of her laugh.
"You seem tired," she said. "Were you running just now?"
I suddenly remembered, again, that I was supposed to meet Tomao at the library. "Oh no! I forgot again." Quickly, I jumped to my feet.
"Where are you going?" Shizuma asked a tad disappointed.
"I'm supposed to meet Tomao at the library," I answered.
Shizuma stood, and looked into my eyes with a mixture of jealousy and worry. "Why?" she asked.
"Well, she wanted to work on homework, and we couldn't get together until now…" I answered. I could see that the look in Shizuma's eyes didn't change. "Please don't take this the wrong way," I pleaded. I brought myself closer to her, grabbing her arms, and wrapping them around my waist. "You know I love only you." I looked into her eyes innocently, the way that makes her melt almost every time.
The look in her eyes slowly faded as a smile slowly spread across her face. I put my hands behind her neck, and pulled her in closer, pressing my lips gingerly against hers. I wanted so much to keep kissing her, but I had places to be. Hesitantly, I pulled back, biting my lip a little. "See you at dinner?" she asked.
"Of course," I answered. I gave her one more, childish kiss before bouncing off to the library. We supposedly went our separate ways, but I could tell she wasn't really gone. Whenever Shizuma is worried, she always follows me from a distance. I never minded it though. In fact, it made me feel safer.
Upon arriving to the old building that was the library, I spotted Tomao waiting just outside the door. I waved and said 'hi' to her, but she didn't make much of a response. Ever since the Etoile Elections in the winter, she's been very distant, and silent. She wouldn't speak to me in the dorm room, or eat lunch with me. We saw each other in the morning, in class, and before bed, but nothing more than that. No words were shared either, even I had given up saying good morning or good night, because she never responds. This request to help with homework was something out of the blue. I sort of didn't want to come, but I would do anything to get my old friend back.
When I waved to her, she looked at me, and waved back, opening the door for me. "Follow me," she said in a very low and monotone voice. Obediently, I followed her to a dark corner of the library, a place where the lights weren't very bright, and not many people often go to.
"What do you want to start with, Tomao-chan?" I asked, trying to keep my voice up and happy. It was a little hard, given the vibe of sorrow pulsating from Tomao. "I was thinking we would start with math—"
I was interrupted by a forceful yanking of my arm, and an unwanted pair of lips pressing themselves against mine.