I can't believe it's already March! I hope you enjoy my new chapter. It's probably the second last one in this story before I'll start on the second year.
Words to look out for:
White day: A commercial holiday celebrated on 10th March. Guys who received chocolate on Valentines must give a present in return. This is often white chocolate, marshmallows or cookies. Other common presents are clothes or jewelry.
Giri-choco (obligation chocolate) and honmei-choco (true feelings chocolate): Japanese girls give "giri-choco" to male classmates, coworkers or training buddies. "Honmei-choco" is given to guys they have a crush on, boyfriends or husbands.
"What's up people": A song made by the band "Maximum the Hormone" in 2007. This song was featured in the second opening of the "Death Note" anime. The song is very hard rock/screamo song.
STEM: An abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
A freshman's new year!
The alarm bell chided through the room. 'Urgh…I still feel tired. At least this is the only day I have morning lessons. Plus that I finish early as well. Better not forget my gym gear. I got a session with Osamu and Shinichi later on' recalled the male. He dragged his body out of the bed. Stormy blue eyes glanced out of the window. The end of January in Enrai was dreary. Most of the snow was melted thanks to the rainstorms. It was rather frosty, and the days were still short. The positive side was that he got to see his university friends again.
Arkai had befriended two classmates last semester. Everything started during a finance class in October. All of the students were put in groups of three. Next, each group was given the name of a company. Their job was to find financial information about them. The guy had been partnered with two boys his age. Their names were Osamu and Shinichi. Both of them were doing jujutsu plus gym training. To cap it off, the two males were from Kashiwa.
The trio studied together during the end of the exam period. It was the best study sessions the male had attended in a year. Teenagers who were interested in math or economy at Kosame Academy was uncommon. These study sessions made the somber December weeks more fun. Especially when they went to the gym after their finance lessons. Fortunately, the hard work paid off. The brunette got decent scores at his exams, making himself plus his parents proud.
'Can't wait to see my friends again. Too bad I already have a paper to start on. Good thing my teacher gave me a list of book recommendations. Kami...it's still raining outside. Better put on my trusty rainjacket' concluded the accountancy student. He put on his navy blue knitted sweater plus dark gray jeans. His buttercup yellow Converse were still unpacked. A pair of sensible boots were on the shoe rack instead. Some music could be heard from the kitchen.
This made the male raise his eyebrows a little. He opened the door and ignored the familiar creaking noise. At the table sat an unfamiliar woman. Her curly black hair was pulled into a bun. Her luminous skin made him think of espresso mixed with milk. She wore a bright orchid pink Sailor Moon t-shirt plus navy blue sweatpants. "Ehm - good morning" greeted the teenager. "Ah, good morning! Don't worry about me. I'm leaving in five. Do you want me to turn off the radio?" inquired the woman. The spark in her ashy brown eyes made him feel a little jealous. This visitor was definitely a morning person. Something he was not.
"No, please leave it on. I like that song" replied Arkai in a sincere voice. The woman gave him a bright smile before she picked up her cell phone. 'Pretty sure I got some eggs left. I should make some lunch too while I'm still on it' decided the guy. He opened the cupboard above him to retrieve the necessary items. Next, the brunette found a cutting board plus a knife.
'Now for vegetables. I suppose I can chop up some vegetable sticks. Got some miso dip that my neighbor gave me for New Years. I got some bread left as well. Guess I can make a ham and veggie sandwich' decided the guy. He was about to start chopping the vegetables when he heard some laughter outside the door. The accountancy student looked up. Outside the kitchen stood the woman from earlier plus a blue-haired guy. 'Hm. Maybe she's his girlfriend. They got good chemistry' noticed the male.
He started chopping up the vegetables when his mind wandered to relationships. Sure, the brunette was not a wallflower or misogynistic. The sad thing was the lack of knowledge regarding women. He blamed the lack of sisters or nearby female cousins. His mother was wonderful, but not that feminine. This meant that the teenager had to rely on observation of his classmates.
Many of them appeared to love cute stuff, makeup plus idols. Said idols appear to use more makeup than they did. This said a lot given that their fans were teenager girls. Another obstacle was the vocational school two blocks away. Arkai could still remember how his female classmates reacted to the "vocational boys". Most of them became googly-eyed, giggly or weak at their knees. Some even sported a combination of this. 'I never really understand what girls see in bad boys. They're not really THAT cool to begin with. Or maybe I'm just being judgmental and prissy' concluded the guy. The latter word still sent shivers down his spine.
It was White day. Or crunch time for the senior brunette. One of the girls in his class had given him giri-chocolate for Valentines. He walked towards the violet-haired girl with the present in his hand. His heart beat faster for some reason. 'Calm down Arkai. She's not even the most popular girl in our class! Besides, Akemi-san is calmer than the others' recalled the male. He cleared his throat when he was seven feet behind the girl.
The noise made her turn around. "Arkai-san? What is it?" inquired Akemi. "Uhm - today is White day. So I decided to give you a gift. As a thanks for the chocolate you gave me" said the teenager. His voice was surprisingly stable. Next, the guy extended the gift. It was mini marshmallows, light brown hair elastics plus a key chain. The latter had an anime character on it. "Oh. Thank you" replied the girl. She seemed surprised. "I hope you like it. I was not sure which character you liked" informed the guy.
"Ehm - I am quite surprised you remembered the anime I like. Thank you for the gift. Especially the hair elastic. I wear them out like this" laughed the teenager girl while snapping her fingers. Arkai could not help but to laugh in return. Suddenly, he felt something grip his shoulder. The male turned around to see who it was. The owner of the hand was a guy at his height. His black hair was shaped into a fake mohawk. Furthermore, he wore a black leather jacket over his uniform. An embroidery of a Japanese demon on the left side completed the ensemble.
"Hey. Are you flirting with my girl?" inquired the black-haired guy. His voice sounded rather firm. "N-no sir. I just wanted to give her a present. She gave me giri-choco on Valentines. I am not interested in her. As a girlfriend" explained the teenager. He tried to keep his voice steady, yet polite. The brunette did not wanted to get into a fight. Being polite was the best thing to be.
His strategy paid off. The newcomer gave him a smile. "Glad to hear that. Let's go Akemi-chan. I got movie tickets for us" told the male. "Are you his-". She gave him a short nod. "I see. Have a happy white day then" told the guy. "Thanks Arkai-san" replied the violet-haired female. "What did he give you?" inquired her date. She showed him the presents. "Aaaw, how adorable! Just like I expected from a prissy like him. Did you hear that he called me 'sir'? I almost felt insulted!" laughed the guy.
This statement made the teenager confused. His parents were quite firm when it came to manners. Furthermore, this was the first time he received a reaction like this. 'Why did he almost got insulted by being called 'sir'? I was not even trying to insult him!' thought the senior. He went home with a confused mind.
End of flashback.
'I wonder how Akemi-san is doing. She said she wanted to take some cosmetology and photo courses. I bet there is an industry in both of those' recalled Arkai. He laid some his vegetables in a separate box. The rest of them were laid on the whole wheat toast. The male laid both of them into his bento box. 'I need to buy some more carrots' noticed the accountancy student. He started on his lunch as a new song came onto the radio.
Said song made his eyes widen. 'That song...it's from the anime Akemi-san liked! I hope this isn't a bad omen. Especially considering the kind of anime that was' remembered the brunette. He smiled as he laid his food on a plate. The guy took a bottle of Pepsi Max out of the fridge. It was his treat for the breakfast. Nobody was in the kitchen except him. This was an advantage of being up early. Nobody was using the community tools or the cutting boards.
"There! Finally done" muttered the female with a proud smile on her face. This was the only week day where there was no lessons. Himiko decided to spend this day on chores and papers. The girl decided to tackle the chores first. Task number one was to wipe every surface with a microfiber cloth. Task number two was to vacuum the floor. Her dorm kitchen fortunately had a decent vacuum cleaner she could borrow. According to a neighbour, the previous one broke due to a production error. The shop was gracious enough to give the university a brand new vacuum cleaner. The third task was to use a wet mop. Last on the list was to wash her laundry. The effort had paid off. Her dorm room was dust free and smelled of soap.
The nurse student decided to put on her lounge pants plus her Sailor Moon T-shirt. It was time to handle her reading for the week. There were two chapters on the academic to-do list. Her psychology was on the top. It was a chapter that featured sexual preferences. The female felt ashamed that she knew little about this topic. Back in Kosame, "gay" was often used as a slur. "Lesbian" was not much better either. She opened the book at the fifth chapter. Sepia brown eyes flitted across the text.
Some of the terms were not new to the teenager. She had heard about "homosexual" and "heterosexual" during health class. Some of the others did not make sense however. The girl picked up her small notebook to write down the unfamiliar words. Her strategy was to turn up the words after reading the chapter. Next, she would read the text two or three more times. Her friend Chie introduced this reading method to her during the exams. Thanks to this method, the freshman got a better grasp on the subjects.
'I understand why this is important. If I work in a hospital, there will definitely be homosexual or bisexual patients there. Doubt the hospital will be happy with staff members who don't know about this. Or worse. I wonder if this chapter got a table about homophobia' pondered the female. She turned to the next page. At the top was the table Himiko looked for. 'WHAT THE - THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE! Was this survey taken a long time ago?' wondered the black-haired girl. She looked at the bottom of the table. Her eyes widened in surprise. The survey was taken just two years ago! 'This is NOT good. No wonder there were so few open homosexual or bisexuals at my school. They were probably too afraid to come out' realized the freshman.
She shook her head. The girl took a deep breath as she kept reading the material. It was no surprise that seniors were more skeptic than younger people. What shocked her the most was the numbers. Especially since this survey was on a national level. 'I wonder if people are homophobic because they lack knowledge. Me and Marii were fortunate enough to get some decent lessons. However, I doubt people from poor areas got that. I don't think my parents were taught about this in school either' thought the nurse student.
The female turned to the second last page. It featured interview with a homosexual man plus a lesbian woman. 'That guys looks pretty familiar. Hold on a little. He's one of the trainers at the fitness center!' realized Himiko. She rubbed her eyes before she read the interview. The athlete apparently found out about his sexuality at age 14. Fortunately, his father worked as a counselor. Another positive was that he lived close to Kashiwa. This city was very famous for its LGBTQ scene. This combination made it easier for the man to come out of the closet.
It was not very often the girl read interviews like this. Her eyes were almost glued to the pages in her book. 'I wish there was more like this in the newspapers. Or at school. That would make non-heterosexuality seem less foreign. Especially in my hometown' recalled the nurse student. Coming out as homo or bisexual in Kumono was pretty much a social harakiri. Enrai was thankfully more tolerant than her hometown. Still, it was less compared to liberal Kashiwa.
She shifted her eyes towards the bisexual interview. It was a stunning woman who looked familiar as well. Turns out she was a fashion model by the time the interview was done. The woman told she came out during her first year of high school. Her parents found it a bit hard at first. Thankfully, they came to accept it after a couple months. Her older sister accepted her straight away however. This struck a chord with the female. What if Yori came out as bisexual when she entered high school? The teenager kept reading the interview. The model said that she was lucky. Many gay or lesbian models in her industry were treated badly solely due to their sexuality.
A sick feeling churned in her stomach. Sure, the black-haired girl understood if someone were treated badly for being a playboy. 'I haven't heard a lot of heterosexuals being bullied for their preferences. Being gay, bi or lesbian is not against the law either. Better do some research before the seminar. I bet the professor wants to ask us 'young 'uns' about it. We're more open about it compared to his generation after all' thought the girl. She got up from her bed, and put on some clothes.
Today's outfit was a black turtleneck knitted dress plus an elastic belt in matching colour on top. A pair scarlet red knitted tights plus winter boots covered up her lower body. Himiko went straight to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast. Nobody was there. Most of her neighbours were either at the lecture hall, gym or library. The majority of her neighbours studied STEM subjects or medicine. Exercising their mind and body ranked near top on their priority list. A positive was that few of them partied hard unless their exams were done. The negative was the lack of social life with people outside their classes. The female did not blame them for this. She felt more comfortable people she knew than newcomers. It was a part of human nature to be sceptical towards the unknown.
The nurse student weighed up a portion of oats prior to mixing in the soy milk. Next, she put the porridge into the microwave. The girl turned on the radio while she prepared her tea. 'Let's see...I think I'll go for black. That should give me the kick I need' decided the girl. She was about to pick up the sweetener when a familiar song could be heard. A chill ran down her spine seconds later. 'That song...it's from that anime I watched in high school! No wonder I got the chills!' realized the black-haired female.
The brunette was well on his way to the library out of the building. Most of the streets were deserted. It made the extrovert feel a bit claustrophobic and anxious. He always felt at ease with other people surrounding him. 'Perhaps that's why I chose a contact sport like judo. We REALLY break the 'intimate zone rules' when we're fighting' mused the guy. He turned left and entered the library.
Even for a library, it was extremely quiet. The accountancy student only saw three people at the ground floor. Two of them were behind the information desk. Number three was cleaning the floor. 'Better find the floor plan. That should give me an idea of where to find the book I need' decided the male. Stormy blue eyes scanned the lobby. He smiled when he saw the large posted next to the staircase. Arkai walked towards the poster, the book recommendation list in his right hand. 'Let's see. Economy, finance and statistics are in C1. Guess that's my next stop' concluded the guy. He walked up the staircase that lead to the library.
Rows of shelves stood in front of him. The accountancy student went to the left and continued for about ten meters. All the bookshelves were seven feet tall with books lined up in neat rows. A couple of stools were spread around so people could reach the shelves. 'Let's see…I need to find 'Accounting and society' by Hiroki Nasegawa' thought the brunette. His eyes fell on a computer that stood next to the counter.
The guy walked over and typed in 'Nasegawa' and 'accounting' into the search engine. 'Ah, the book is in the library! It has the number 150.861. Should be around here somewhere' thought the freshman. He passed a book with the title 'Mathematical matches'. His thoughts started to wander back to his vacation back in Kosame...
Arkai entered the small restaurant. It was rather rowdy despite being Thursday night. The restaurant smelled of vinegar, cooked rice plus sweet and sour sauce. This was not unexpected since it was an Asian restaurant. "Hey Arkai! What's up!?" exclaimed Masahiko. "Masa-kun, nice to see you again. Your hair is really short" replied the male. "Taro will be here any minute now. What do you want to eat and drink?" asked the blond while he picked up the menu. "Uhm…I'll take some sashimi and root beer. What bring you guys to Enrai?" inquired the teenager.
"We're both having the week off. We just completed some hard work at Yukisaki harbor. I want some orange juice and tarako please" told the male to the waitress. "Coming right up!" stated the pinkette with a smile. "Hello Arkai! It's been a while!" shouted a voice from behind. It turned out to be Taro. "Nice to see you too Taro" greeted the accountancy student. "So, how is it to be a construction worker?" asked the guy. "Well, there are long days sometimes. I cannot complain though. Much better than being stuck inside a classroom" laughed Masahiko.
Both of his friends were definitely tired of studying. Neither of them was interested at taking higher education. Furthermore, Taro had an uncle who owned a construction company. Said construction company was in need of someone who could work for a year. The teenagers signed up straight after their summer holiday was over. "Hey guys…look at the women over there" muttered the blond. His eyes looked at three women in front of the bar. One of them had an hourglass figure that made most guys feel hot under the collar. Her cool beige skin complimented her shiny black hair. Her locks were tied up in a high ponytail, showing off her face. She was dressed in a burgundy skater dress that ended above her knees. A black coat was slung over the back of her chair.
The other girl resembled a video game elf. Her petite frame combined with her minty green hair was the main reasons for this. Her hair was in a ballerina bun. Her dress was a flowy, black minidress with butterfly sleeves. A gray coat hung on the back her chair.
The last of the three looked more like a model. She was rather tall with broad shoulders and few curves. Her orchid pink hair was straight with loose waves at the bottom. Her ivory skin contrasted with her ashy brown eyes. Her dress was a knee-length navy A-line dress. A dark green coat laid in her lap.
"The one with black hair is mine" mutteredd Taro. "I think I'll go for the pinkette. Which means that poor Arkai is stuck with Miss Mintylocks" muttered his fellow construction worker. The trio walked over to the women, who seemed to discuss something. "Hello ladies. How do you feel?" asked Masahiko with a huge grin. "We're fine" replied the one with green hair. Her cobalt blue eyes looked at them with a suspicious expression.
"I just realized something" informed the other construction worker while looking at the inky-haired female. "Oh?" replied the woman. "That dress will look great on my bedroom floor" told Taro. He tried to brush some hair off her face, but she slapped his hand away. "Sorry. I'm not interested in one night stands. Why don't you try some of the girls over there?" suggested the woman. She nodded towards some girls who sat in the other corner.
All of them were dressed in short, tight dresses or mini skirts with slinky tops. Their makeup resembled the drag makeup the teenager wore once during a play. What made the teenager feel uneasy was the state the girls were in. They looked rather intoxicated compared to the trio in front of them. "Nah. We don't like to go out with hookers" said the blonde. "Let's leave girls. I feel sick" muttered the petite greenette. She shot Masahiko and Taro a death glare.
The teenagers pulled a face while the trio walked out. "Eh. It's their fault. They don't know what they're missing" chuckled the black-haired guy. Arkai forced himself to smile. They walked back to the table. Their food had arrived just in time. 'Am I a prude for thinking that their behavior was unacceptable?' pondered the guy.
End of flashback.
'Neither of them spoke much with me for the rest of that night. So much for having manners' thought the male. His feet came to a halt. The book he looked for was just two shelves above him. The accountancy student grinned as he stretched up to remove the book. Next, the guy walked over to a nearby empty table.
'All right! It's time to finish my hand-in!' thought the freshman. He started to write some key words in his notebook. This book had some key aspects that he needed. Half an hour later, the brunette went down to the computer lab in the first room. The only person there was a young woman with dark blond hair. She appeared to be deep in thought.
The male logged on, and put his memory stick into the USB-port. It was time for the last step. All of his fingers danced across the keyboard as he wrote down the remains for his essay. It took quite a while since he was not a great writer. 'I am really glad Marii-san took the time to look over my essay. I think this is the best I can do. I suppose it's time to hand it in' concluded the teen before he printed his essay. The next stop would be his professor's office that was in a building further down the lane.
'Hisame college…here it is' thought the male before he jogged up the stairs. It did not take him long before he found the 'mailboxes' for the different teachers. Arkai laid his essay into the one marked with his teachers name before he biked back to his dormitory complex. The clock was now 12:05 PM. The first lecture of today would start in an hour. It was time to get back to the dorm to pick up the books.
Mini profile 3: Relations.
Name: Arkai Kurosawa.
Closest family: Hisao Kurosawa (older brother), Reiko Kurosawa (mother) and Satoshi Kurosawa (father).
Position in family: Youngest child.
Closest friend: Kininata Hyouketsu.
Friends: Osamu Matsuyama, Shinichi Kitano, Tatsuo Mizutani, Koji Ozawa, Himiko Fujiyama and Marii Kiyomizu.
Not on good terms with: Masahiko Ogawa and Taro Inoue.
Previous love relationships: None.
Current love relationships: None.
Civil status: Single.
I hope you liked this chapter! Reviews and constructive criticism are welcomed.