Hiroshi, I'm sorry for not talking to you very much, even though I have sat beside you for almost half of a term. It's just that in the silence of reading hour it always calms me when you tap gentle rhythms on the desk, it feels like my heart begins to beat at the exact same rhythm. And then you always give Hibari-sensei funny answers when she scolds you for it. And after giving her an answer you squint your beautiful brown eyes and smile this lovely smile. When you smile I feel as though I have stumbled upon a brilliant and undiscovered star. I just enjoy sitting beside you so much, I hope we can talk more. Love, Touko Fukawa
Eleven-year-old Touko Fukawa signed her name with a flourish, finally glad to have a reason important enough for using her glitter pens. Class having ended for the day most of the students were gone…..now was the perfect time to slip it into his desk. Her heart thundering and cheeks flushed she nonchalantly rose from her desk and padded over to Hiroshi's.
It was just like one of the stories she loved so much, wasn't it?
Shy, bespectacled girl has a crush on the class jokester, and after pining away for months she finally makes a move and shyly slips him a note written on lavender-scented paper. The object of her affections would then arrive early to school and ask to speak to her outside, where he would confess that he thought her glasses were adorable and loved her just as much but had just been too shy… Then the school day would be an agonizingly long procession of hours, class is slow when you're going on your first date afterwards. Yes, a date…the ice cream parlor maybe-
Touko sucked in nervous breath as she lifted the lid of his open-top desk. There were his notebooks! Should she look through them to see if there were and 'T.F + H. I's scrawled inside of a heart? No, too late. Her teacher had looked up from her desk and gave Fukawa a questioning look. The girl paled to the colour of dough and let the lid fall shut with a bang, and scurried out the door while tugging on the ribbons she had used to tie up each braid. She better ask her mother to do her braids tomorrow, even though the woman made them so tight that it hurt Fukawa's scalp. Anything to look as perfect as she, a somewhat mousy little girl, could look for the perfect moment.
The next morning, despite choking back her rice at record speed, Fukawa was late to class. Books tucked under one arm she jogged down the street to the small building, careful not to get all messy and sweaty and gross. Phew, the bell had't rung yet, for her classmates were not in their seats. But why….why weren't they talking in little cliques like they usually did? What was the class bulletin board so fascinating- oh, Hibari-sensei had probably put out new cleaning assignments. That's why they were all milling around it like ants tearing apart a large piece of prey
As if to refute her theory a boy standing near the edge of the clump pointed at Fukawa, his face splitting into a gleeful grimace. Grimace, noun, a contorted twisting of the face that expresses disgust, what that the bullies who ripped her books or tried to cut her hair often had plastered on their faces.
"Ohhh Hiroshi!" He cooed, pretending to swoon. "Your brilliant star-eyes shine bright like diamonds!" Fukawa stopped dead in her tracks, the breakfast in her stomach turning to stones. For pinned over the usual bright posters was her love note, the words popping brilliantly off of the crumpled notebook paper in glittery colours. All of her classmates were grimacing now, some of their contorted twistings of the face that express disgust turning upwards as they began to laugh. Hiroshi too, looking mildly kind of embarrassed, was laughingcackling now; she had never noticed how his laugh was actually a cackle.
Like a ballerina on point she swilveled right around, if not as gracefully. The stinging sensation on her cheeks crept up to her eyes and made them to start to water, and before Fukawa knew it she was heaving great sobs as a painful rift tore open in her chest. Waves of self-loathing rocked her to the very core, she had been so stupid, so stupid so stupid. She was an ugly four-eyes, as one kid called at herShe ran blindly for the door and after closing it on their laughter fell unwillingly into Syo's open arms.
"Don't do it, Syo." Fukawa squeaked as her vision began to darken. "He's still my friend, I don't want-"
Of course you do…sheesh, it's thoughts like that that make you so worthless. I'll be taking special care with this boy, alright.