A/N: Hello! It's Aqua here! I hope you enjoy my story and continue to read it until the end!
Disclaimer: I do not own Kimi Ni Todoke or its characters!
Italic = Either memory, thought or empathized words (You'll be able to tell the difference)
Bold/Italic= Empathized words in a memory or thought
Sawako knows she's not refreshing and she knows that she looks scary. She doesn't need to be told that and she defiantly doesn't want to be talked about like that behind her back. It hurts her to hear those words like 'scary' and 'cursed'. She didn't ask to be like that; all she wanted was to be friends with everyone to get along with them. She wishes she was something more, but she can't seem to get her feelings across even with the help of her friend, Shino. Though she grew up with the name, 'Sadako', clinging to her like moss, it doesn't mean she's like that. It doesn't mean she can't get hurt by that name even if it's been years. They just don't understand her feelings.
The people around her don't even to consider there could be a bright and lively side of her. They all think there's just that 'Sadako' person, but there isn't an ounce of that character within Sawako. They don't even notice she tries everything she can to appear sweet and refreshing. They don't notice she tries to bring happiness to those around her. While all of this was happening though, she noticed the one person who sparked her life; that person was Shouta Kazehaya. He treated everyone with equality and she could tell with one look. He was kind, refreshing, cheerful and everything she wanted to be. It took only seconds for her to praise him like a god in her mind. She knew that with meeting Shouta her life would take a huge turn, but was it for the best or for the worst?
"Hey, isn't that 'Sadako'?" A girl quietly whispered, intending to be quiet.
The murmur was not as quiet as they thought. Sawako could hear every single word they said and it hurt. It hurt a lot. The more she heard her name mentioned by people she didn't even know yet, the more she got cautious and worried she wouldn't be able to fix their thoughts on her.
"Yeah," another girl replied. "I heard that she was the girl that could see evil spirits."
That isn't true; I'm sorry to disappoint you! Sawako thought, but could never say that out-loud so she listened silently to their conversation while she sat in her desk fidgeting with her fingers nervously.
"Huh? No way!"
She felt their gazes on her back for a moment before they huddled back together and returned to talking about her.
She let out a small sigh. That's alright! Sometime I'll be able to tell them clearly! She quickly regained her confidence and clenched her hands into small fists in the air which was a common pose to her. Yes!
The girls looked at her a little frightened, however, Sawako never even noticed, she was too engrossed in a memory that came to her suddenly.
She was walking along the path towards the school. The wind billowed through the branches of the trees, making them come alive. Sakura petals danced at her feet with each step she took. She stared intently at the pirouetting petals with gleaming eyes. She thought they looked so beautiful like that in the sun. She glanced up remembering that this was where the path parted and noticed a boy standing there. She suddenly took note of the uniform he was wearing and realized he was from her school. He looked from left to right at the paths, clearly confused, which Sawako also noticed. She couldn't help but want to do something even if he was going to ignore her, and that was something she expected, even so, she shakily lifted her finger-
"Um… if you're looking for the Kitahara High School, it's over there…" She said so quietly she was afraid he might've not heard her.
He turned around though, and looked at her, surprised, "Eh?"
Great! He heard me, but now he's going to... She thought he was going to realize how eerie she looked and run away, but what happened next was nothing like that.
He tilted his head and gave her a giant smile, "Thank you!"
She widened her eyes and suddenly felt herself being greatly influenced by the simple gesture. She surprised herself when she smiled back at the boy. The wind tossed her hair along with all the sakura petals that decorated the path and a soft aura enveloped them. The boy widened his eyes at her then quickly realized he must be going and shook his head. He gave a small bow and took off speedily down the path. Sawako could feel her heart fluttering in her chest and thought that this was what it must feel like to help someone out. She clenched her fists in the air.
I was able to be of some use!
She breathed out a sigh and looked over at the person she met this morning. She found out what his name was: Kazehaya Shouta. Also known as: Her idol.
Shortly after admiring him for a while, the bell for class to start chimed across the school with a heart pounding ding dong ding dong, ding ding dong ding. Everybody filed into their seats and quieted down as the teacher walked in. She saw the nervous tension in his eyes as he shakily made his way to the front of the class.
"W-Welcome students, to c-classroom 1-D. I'm your homeroom t-teacher, Arai Yoshiyuki, you may call me Zen if you'd l-like."
She saw him glance in her direction before averting his eyes from hers.
Oh, it's like that, she thought sadly, and mentally sighed.
She straightened her back while she clasped her hands in front of her on her desk.
That's okay, there's still time, she assured herself.
Although, she couldn't evade the remembrance of a rumour that haunted her since middle school: Don't hold your gaze for more than three seconds or else you will be cursed! She slightly shifted in her desk uncomfortably and looked around.
It's alright, she thought, and nodded, I'll be able to fix this!
Lunchtime came way too slowly. It was tough being new to the school with no friends to company her in her class. Student's voices buzzed in her ears as she quietly sat in her own seat eating her homemade bento. Suddenly, a voice broke out in the classroom.
Her face lit up when she recognized the voice.
"Shino!" She rushed over to her by the door without another thought.
Shino smiled and then lowered her voice to a whisper, "Hey, how are you doing in your new class?"
Sawako stared at her briefly before replying in a whisper as well, "It's alright, no need to worry."
She knew that it was going to be hard to tell them her real feelings, but she knew she still had time. After all, it was only the first day of school.
"Well, that's good. I was afraid the same thing that happened in middle school was going to happen."
Her friend laughed a little shakily which Sawako noticed, but ignored it. She nodded quietly. Disappointment quickly washed over her when she remembered they weren't in the same class and it would be suffocating without her.
"I hardly get to see you too…" Shino's face saddened and she pulled her into a tight hug.
The room behind them suddenly got quiet someone spoke, "Aren't you afraid of being cursed," a high-pitched voice asked.
Sawako immediately froze rock solid. Shino started and slowly unwound her arms from around the smaller girl. She took a few steps so she was right in front of Sawako and put a hand on her hip.
"Excuse me?" She raised an eyebrow while Sawako turned around from behind Shino and stared at the class with flickering eyes.
"Ghosts," she said, " she can see ghosts and summon them to haunt you." The girl laughed, "In fact, isn't she a ghost herself, was there anything you were even hugging or... were you embracing yourself," she scoffed, and other people laughed.
"Wouldn't that mean you could see ghosts then?" Shino snapped back before the girl could get too cocky. And she was just on time.
The girl looked taken aback and opened her mouth to argue back, but couldn't seem to find any words. Meanwhile, Sawako noticed movement in the crowd and sure enough, she recognized Shouta's head poking out from the crowd revealing his black, messy hairdo. Her eyes gleamed when she realized it was him and a ever-so slight smile crept on her face. A moment later, he stepped out and turned back around to face the bad-mannered girl.
He held a hand out a hand in a protective way in front of the two girls, "Look, Kuronuma is not a ghost and in fact, she is very pleasant."
Sawako's ears turned bright red when she heard that. He thinks I'm pleasant and... he knows my name?! Sawako thought excitedly.
Another girl jumped in, "What, standing up for the girl you like?" She sneered.
Sawako completely forgot what was at stake for a moment. Wait, what am I thinking? Kazehaya-Kun is standing up for me and I'm letting them misunderstand! I have to tell them what's right.
Sawako gave herself a little nod and stepped out from behind Shino with a clenched fist firmly planted against her chest.
"It's a misunderstanding," she said, and the room went dead silent.
Everyone, excluding Shino and Shouta, stared at her like she was some kind of mutant. Their eyes told her they were looking at something horrific, something completely disgusting. She looked around with her quivering eyes and began again, pressing her true feelings onto them.
"It's true that he was just standing up for me, but I'm not…" she paused, trying to find the right words. "Anything... special," she said finally. She looked around and continued, "It's because, as everyone knows, Kazehaya-Kun's a person who treats everyone equally without discrimination."
Their mouths gaped at her with surprise
I still need to tell them one more thing, Sawako thought, determined.
"I'm just… Truly captivated by Kazehaya-kun's kindness… And cheerfulness… And brilliance," she told them. "That is the truth. There are no misunderstandings about that."
Shouta felt his ears go red and Sawako exhaled a shaky breath.
I said it, she thought and realized she had closed her eyes and opened them quickly, finding out they were all still staring at her with eyes that looked like they would pop out of their heads.
"Ah! E-Excuse me," she said softly and quickly bowed her head.
She scurried out of the classroom towards the bathroom.
"Do you think we went too far?" Someone asked quietly.
Sawako splashed water on her face and glanced at herself through the mirror.
That's it, she thought, and began gently wiping her face dry with a paper-towel. She gave out a small sigh and jumped with surprise when the bathroom door opened.
Sawako knew who it was without even having to guess.
She looked through the mirror seeing her come up behind.
"Everyone apologized," Shino told her, "and they want to tell you personally when you come back."
The burgundy-haired girl looked down at her feet and shifted from foot to foot.
Sawako noticed sadness in her eyes. "Are you okay?"
She looked into Shino's eyes and she returned her gaze.
Sawako noticed tears brimming her eyes and took a teetering step back, "Shi-"
"Sawako!" Shino wailed, and threw herself on Sawako to give her a hug.
She clung onto her for a moment while the black-haired girl stood stiff in her arms. Sawako gave a little sigh and started to relax. She wound her arms around her for only seconds before she was shocked again.
"It's only the first day and you already are being rejected by the class; why didn't you tell me?" Shino asked, upset.
Sawako's eyes widened and she pulled back enough to look at her.
"I-I didn't want to worry you." Her eyes glazed with a bit of sadness and her voice got quieter, "It was like this for years; what's so different this y-" She cut off abruptly by Shino grabbing her arms tightly.
"Because even if you say that you don't want me to worry, I still worry," she told her desperately. "I know from last year. I know how people treat you. Don't tell me to not worry over this when I do already! What's different this year is that I'm still your friend and I will help you. Nothing is going to change that," she said. "I know that everyone in the past has left you, but I'm. Not. Like. That! I know you so well."
Her grip was threatening enough to make Sawako widen her eyes more than they already were. She never knew Shino was worried this much about her.
"I want you to have more friends, because with friends you can experience new things that you can't with only one!" She said, and finally, her brimming tears ran down her cheekbones.
Sawako was speechless. "I'm so sorry, Shino," she wanted to say, however, it seemed like Shino already knew and gently released her grip on her arms. Sawako quickly brought her into a hug and squeezed her tightly.
"And thank you," she said quietly.
Shino hugged her back, "Don't mention it."
A minute passed before they were interrupted by the bathroom door opening revealing another student. They quickly jumped away from each other and stared at the new arrival for a moment before the student headed into a stall. They both looked at each other and giggled. Shino brought out a handkerchief and wiped her tears off. After, she took Sawako's hand and looked at her.
"Ready to go back?" She asked, and Sawako nodded.
When they got back to the classroom, surprisingly to Sawako, everyone apologized just as Shino said they would.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed this chapter and look forward to reading more! I made a huge edit on this chapter so if you're new to this story you're lucky because before, it was kind of wonky. Now I think it's better!
This is my first fanfic on Kimi ni Todoke... How do you guys think I did? Please review if you have the time! :')