(Title – はじめ – Hajime – “Beginning”)
A year has passed since I graduated from senior high. I got bored of schooling so I decided to laze around for almost a year. My mom was not happy about that. She kept on nagging me, saying “You’re a disgrace to the Ishikawa family! I should have aborted you had I known you were this worthless!” and all that shit.
My dad was fine with my decision. He is a very silent person and he rarely butts in when my mom is the one talking. I know that he supported my decision based on what happened to me previously and I’m thankful for that. At least, he understands.
I’m just a typical guy: I have black, wavy hair with a short, bob cut (same haircut since elementary, LOL). My radiant brown eyes are big for a typical Japanese person. I have thick eyebrows, stand 165 centimeters tall (I know I am too short for a guy), and fair skin tone. People always mistook me to be Thai and I don’t know why. Thin and so clumsy. Some girls would call me “kawaii” but I don’t like being described like a kid or a girl. Most bullies would call me a sissy due to my features. I hated it. Yeah, I’m also one of the nerds; I am so fond of anime and manga. Fortunately, I don’t wear glasses as I would really look like a legitimate otaku. I hope you can imagine how awkward I look.
(kawaii, かわいい – means cute or adorable)
On with the story…
I finally decided to enroll in college a few months ago. My mom stopped nagging and started to praise me for deciding to become a nurse. God! My eardrums were almost damaged because of her constant nagging. I know this is what she wanted for me because we came from a family of nurses and doctors. I actually wanted to become an engineer someday but, well, I ended up taking nursing classes.
Days passed by so fast and I felt a bit depressed since my long vacation has finally come to an end. It’s the first day of school, I can feel that the breeze is starting to become warmer, the cherry blossoms are blooming, and here I am, I’m lost! I can’t seem to find my classroom! There are so many tall buildings and I can’t find my designated room for my first subject. After going around in circles, I got tired so I decided to rest in a small park inside the campus. I didn’t know that our campus was so big. What’s even worse is that our campus doesn’t have a designated building so I know that I will definitely get lost some more in the future. Dear me.
I don’t have any friends to ask help from. I used to have a few close friends but I decided to cut my ties with them a few years ago. I have some familiar senpais studying in this university but I’m too shy to approach them. Now I have to rely on my own strength and capabilities. It’s really hard to be alone and not to mention, to be an introvert.
(senpai, 先輩 – term for an upperclassman)
It’s a good thing that I’m early for school. I guess I was too excited since it has been a long time since I stopped schooling. This excitement came to an end, earlier than I expected. I felt lazy again so I fell asleep in the park. My laziness is something that’s hard to remove from my system.
I laid down on a bench and placed my backpack under my head. The gentle spring breeze was so cool. I can feel it caressing my face and cradling me to sleep. Finally! I can now really say that winter is over. I hated it when it’s too cold. The cherry blossoms here in Kyoto just started blooming about a week ago and you can imagine how peaceful it feels to be laying underneath one on a clear, sunny spring day.
I was half asleep when I felt someone sit down near my head. I heard this person coughing. I’m sure that he/she may be irritated since I’m using too much space on the park bench. So I immediately decided to wake up and sit properly. I’m the type of person who would always give consideration to others even though I’m going to end up being aggravated. Pathetic right?
I checked on this person sitting beside me but I can’t see that person clearly. My eyes were still blurry from my nap. I rubbed my eyes to make it clearer.
“It’s a quarter to nine in the morning and you’re sleeping on a park bench. Great.” The person sarcastically said while reading his book.
“I’m sorry senpai,” I said. “I am a freshman and I’m lost. I’m not good with directions and I got tired so I stayed here to rest. I didn’t know that I fell asleep and that I was causing an inconvenience for you.”
He did not respond and continued to look at his book.
I was facing forward with my head bowed down. I was too shy to face him directly. I can see with my peripheral vision that this guy looks tall judging by his long, slender legs. He’s really masculine with a slim, fit body. He’s got a buzz cut and pale, flawless skin. I can tell that he’s a basketball athlete by the uniform that he was wearing. This guy may be one of those that girls sought out for – a popular jock. Apart from that, I can’t see his face clearly (but I can tell that he was good looking) since he was on a side view and was staring at the book that he was reading.
Since I was spacing out, it was just now that I realized what he said. I checked on my watch and saw that it was almost 9 in the morning. My class starts at 9!
I hurriedly asked: “Sorry if I’m such a pain but can you…”
I haven’t finished my request and he immediately cut me off.
“Do I look like a map to you?” he snorted.
I was dumbfounded so I bowed down to him and said “I’m sorry” three times. I run off afterwards without waiting for his response. I’m a really shy person and talking to him made me reach my limit.
After running past two buildings, I stopped by a drinking fountain to have a drink. I was gasping for air from running. I can feel beads of sweat running down my forehead so I wiped it with my handkerchief. My heart was pounding hard. So hard that I can almost hear it. “Gosh, I’m really not used to running,” I said to myself. “He’s so rude! I was just gonna ask for directions,” I followed up while pouting. Not knowingly, my heart was loudly pounding for something else… That was our first encounter.
Oh, I almost forgot to introduce myself. It’s nice to meet you! The name’s Kichirō Ishikawa, 19 years old, and this is my story.