Language was given to humans as a divine gift, allowing us to exchange thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions, setting us apart from the animal kingdom.
With language, comes responsibility. We can lift someone up with kind words or crush them with evil words.
Profanity is as old as language itself. From the first blasphemous or obscene thought sprang the first word to describe it.
It is unloving and ungodly to use such language to assault the ears of unwary listeners, evoking in their mind mental images of indecent things best left unmentioned.
I regret my actions of using such language before a man of God and will pray for forgiveness.
Kato was starting to settle into a routine. There was some small comfort in that. Every day, he knew where he needed to be and what time he needed to be there. So, he got up, ate breakfast at the chow hall, then went to class.
For today’s English class, Sister Mary rolled a TV into the classroom and played a 30-minute video from an American comedy. The emphasis of the instruction was wordplay and humor. He learned about a concept called “double entendre.” He inwardly groaned that he had to learn a French word to describe an English concept. But it was explained that approximately 45% of English vocabulary comes from French. Still, he just hated pronunciation of these foreign words.
Kato was glad that Takahashi kept quiet during the whole class. He really did not want to see him get into more trouble. He worried that bruises on top of old bruises may cause some permanent damage.
The rest of the morning’s classes went along without incident. At lunch, Kato made some idle chitchat with Murata. Takahashi was at lunch, but as usual, simply made eye contact and kept eating. It irked the shit out of Kato when he did that.
He took a nap after lunch then went to the afternoon class. Then when that was over, he decided to wait outside for Takahashi to arrive so that they could walk to the Sports Complex together. Murata and Nakamura came out first. They exchanged pleasant greetings.
“What’s on the agenda today, Kato-san?” Murata asked with a friendly smile.
“Racquetball. You?” Kato responded. He had made sure to look at the schedule before he left yesterday.
“Ah, nice. I have track.”
Kato was surprised. “Track? I didn’t know you liked to run.”
“Oh, yeah. I used to run every day before coming here. Kind of miss it.”
“Nakamura-san, what sport are you assigned today?” Kato asked very politely.
“You’re an archer? Wow, that’s so cool,” Kato replied.
Takahashi walked up. “What are you all doing just standing around?”
“Not waiting for you,” Kato snidely replied.
“Oh, is that so? He grabbed Kato in a headlock and started messing up his hair.
“Come on, you two love birds. Let’s go,” Murata laughed.
Takahashi quickly let go. Then they all laughed and started the walk.
“Takahashi-san. What sport do you have this afternoon?” Kato asked.
“But your ankle!” Kato complained.
“Ah, it will be fine.”
“What happened to your ankle?” Murata questioned.
“I was playing basketball, and someone fouled me. I rolled my ankle.”
“Ouch,” said Murata.
“It’s fine now. I stayed off it all night, did some mild stretches this morning.”
“Just be careful,” Kato said worryingly.
“Yes, mother” Takahashi replied with a grin.
“Hey!” Kato slapped Takahashi on the arm. “Who’s your mother!?”
All the boys laughed.
Kato simply loved racquetball. A good game can be very fast paced and exciting. His opponent was a Grade 11 student who was quite competent himself. They had a blast and after 90 minutes, Kato was sweating profusely, and spent. He thanked his opponent for the games and went to the lockers.
Takahashi was sitting there, foot wrapped. Kato felt a pain in his stomach and instant worry hit him. He quickly walked over, “You okay?”
Takahashi looked up. “Yeah.”
Kato looked down, “Yeah? You sure don’t look okay.”
“I rolled it again. The physician said I’m off sports until next Monday at the earliest.” Takahashi sighed.
“Idiot. Shouldn’t have been playing anyways,” Kato said without realizing how harsh it may have sounded.
“I didn’t ask your opinion,” Takahashi said with a hint of anger.
Kato paused for a minute. He didn’t really wanna do this. “Sorry, I’m just worried. Is there anything I can do?”
Kato sat down beside Takahashi. He kept silent. He looked at Takahashi, who was simply looking at his foot. Then he leaned his shoulder and rested against Takahashi.
Takahashi twitched his shoulder and asked, “Are you broken? Why do you like to lean on me?”
“I dunno,” smiled Kato.
“Ugh,” Takahashi replied.
“Come on, class is over. Let’s go,” Kato whined.
“Fine.” Takahashi attempted to stand but winced and immediately sat down hard. “Fuck,” he cursed.
“Just let me help. Damn.” Kato got up and held out his arm. Takahashi grabbed it and pulled himself up.
Takahashi reached behind the bench and grabbed a set of crutches. “Let’s go.”
They left the Sports Complex, Kato taking his time to keep pace with Takahashi. He was sad to see him hurt. He didn’t know much about sports injuries, but he hoped Takahashi would quickly recover.
As Kato was walking, and Takahashi was hobbling, he spoke up. “Kato-san.”
“Can you come over to my room tonight?”
“Because I asked you to,” Takahashi replied sarcastically.
Kato was annoyed. “Ha! I have a right to know first what I’m getting into.”
“Why? Think I’m gonna rip off your clothes and fuck you on the floor?” Takahashi said with a snarl.
“Yes,” Kato snarled back.
Takahashi stopped and simply started laughing. Kato joined in and they were both almost in tears. After a minute, Takahashi wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and said, “Come on, you goof. Let’s go.” Kato grinned and followed him back to the dorm.
When they got to the dorm, Takahashi said, “I want to read to you what I was assigned for swearing in front of Father Benjamin. Honestly I would have rather got the two canes instead.”
“After showers, at 7 pm”
“Okay,” Kato agreed and waved as Takahashi went to his wing.
Dinner was quick. Murata talked about track, Takahashi was absent, and Kato was uninterested in food but ate anyway. He took his shower and then went to see Takahashi.
He knocked on the door, saying “Excuse me.”
The door opened and Takahashi greeted him, waiving him to come in.
Kato didn’t really want one, but he turned Takahashi down last time, so he agreed this time.
Takahashi was using one crutch to get around. “Shouldn’t you not be walking on it?” Kato inquired.
“It’s not hurting. It isn’t a good idea to just let it sit either. Need to keep things mobile.”
“I see,” Kato lied.
Takahashi sat down on his bunk and motioned Kato to sit in a chair. He pulled out a paper and read it. Kato didn’t realize Takahashi could write well. Then again, he could write music so maybe the skills were related somehow.
“That is quite good, Ken-san.”
Takahashi smiled, “Thank you. We have an hour, wanna play some cards?”
“Sure,” Kato smiled.
They played Cribbage for an hour, drank soda, and talked a bit about the day’s classes.
“Tomorrow’s going to suck,” Takahashi lamented.
“Friday’s are main sport day. I’m supposed to be playing baseball all afternoon, but I’m benched because of this injury.”
“Yeah, that does suck. What are you going to do?”
“Probably just watch the game,” Takahashi replied.
They sat there for a few minutes staring at their cards. Takahashi had that complex expression that Kato couldn’t read.
“Um,” Takahashi started.
Kato looked at him and met his eyes. Kato was surprised to see Takahashi hesitate.
“Would you want to—” he paused.
“Want to what?” Kato was curious but a little worried.
“Um, swap with me?” he finished.
Kato wasn’t sure what to say. Of course, he wanted to. He just didn’t know if Takahashi would want that.
“I will cook. We don’t have to go to chow.”
Kato’s ears perked up. “Sure. When?”
“Tomorrow night,” Takahashi offered.
“Okay.” Then Kato wondered for a moment about Tachibana. “Should I inform Tachibana-san?”
“Nah, I already told him that I would ask you. He didn’t have a problem with putting my roommate up for an evening.”
Already asked Tachibana? Kato thought. He was hoping he wouldn’t have to put up with any lurid comments from Tachibana when he got back to the room.
Kato gathered the cards and put them back in the box and stood up. “Do I need to bring anything?”
“Nope, just yourself. You know how to swap right?”
“Yeah, Tachibana-san explained it thoroughly. I’ll be over here a few minutes after 9 pm.”
“Great,” Takahashi replied. “See you tomorrow then.”
“Good night, Ken-san.”
“Good night, Ren-san.”
Kato left and returned to his room. Tachibana was there, laying on his bunk, reading his book. He looked over the top of the book and said, “Finally gonna get some tomorrow night, eh?”
Kato blushed a very bright red and said, “Fuck off!”
Tachibana covered his face with his book and started laughing hard into it.
Kato let Tachibana have his laugh, then afterwards asked, “You okay with it? His roommate?”
“Yeah, Sport. Don’t worry. Aizawa-san and I get along.”
“Ok, cool,” Kato replied.
“Just don’t forget the lube,” Tachibana said as he started laughing into the pages of his book again.
Kato was red again. “I give up. You’re hopeless.” Kato grabbed Moby-Dick again and jumped up on his bed and began reading. He made it quite a few pages before he fell asleep.