The New Student
“I AM SO LATE!!” you shouted, running down the streets as quickly as you could. Your short, straight, chin length hair was now a complete mess as you turned the street. You began running down the stairs, hoping to see the school you’d practiced walking to for the past week since you moved here. You hadn’t met any of the students of that school during that time, so you were incredibly nervous. It was half way during the school year when your parents had decided to move here and enroll you in a different school. You’d left your best friend from your previous school due to your father’s work, and your mother had finally landed her dream job. Both were so busy now that you rarely saw them. So you had no choice but to settle yourself into your new school.
Finally you approached the school gates. The students had just begun filing into the building to get ready for the day. You quickly jogged inside, carrying your school case in your hand jerkily. When you reached the halls, you looked around in confusion. You were supposed to go to the Teacher’s lounge first to sign the final paperwork for your enrollment. But where the heck was that? You wandered the halls, looking around for a sign of some sort to find the Teacher’s lounge.
“Excuse me? Are you lost?” asked an unfamiliar voice. You turned, wondering who was behind you. The boy standing behind you had short, messy brown hair and emerald green eyes, though both his eyes and hair wasn’t nearly as dark in colour as yours. He smiled kindly at you, wearing the green necktie that signaled he was in the same year as you, second year.
“U-Um… I need to find the Teacher’s lounge…” you admitted, hiding your eyes with your long fringe. The boy chuckled, still smiling kindly, then put a hand on your shoulder, turning you around, then leaned forward so his face was just over your other shoulder, then pointed ahead down the hall.
“Just down that hall and first room on the left. I gotta go now or I’ll be late. Good luck” the boy stated, letting your shoulder go and walking away. You turned, watching him walk away. It was then that you noticed how broad his shoulders were. He was definitely well built, probably did a sport of some kind, like baseball or football. You watched him disappear into a classroom, then began following his instructions. You knocked on the door, peeking in shyly.
“Hello dear, you must be [first name] [last name]? Welcome, I’m your homeroom teacher, Miho Amakata. Just come in here and sign these papers, then I’ll take you to the classroom” a woman with short length, curly brown hair said. Her eyes were an earth brown and she had a slight ditzy aura to her. You stepped into the room, walking to the desk she was sitting at. You quickly signed the forms, most of them just being permission forms, then watched as Miss Ama stood, walking out the room. You jogged after her, looking around to try and memorize the paths. Miss Ama opened the door to a classroom, then stepped in as you followed closely behind her. A small outburst caught everyone’s attention as they looked to the back row. The boy that had given you directions was looking at you with a shocked expression.
“It’s you!” he stated as you gasped as well.
“Broad shouldered guy!” you said back, looking just as shocked as him. Everyone in the class began giggling at your remark and you blinked, realizing what you’d just said. You covered your mouth quickly with your hand, blushing as you stepped back.
“Now settle down everyone. This is our new transfer student from Hokkaido. Her name is [first name] [last name]. Please make her feel welcomed” Miss Ama stated, introducing you to the class. You bowed to the class, hoping no one would ever bring up what you’d said ever again.
“Let’s see, you can sit in front of Makoto. He’s the one you already know. Makoto? Can you help her out today? If you’re not too busy with the swimming club?” Miss Ama asked and Makoto nodded, smiling gently.
“Sure, I can do that” Makoto replied. You saw Miss Ama smile at you, then nodded her head in confirmation. You looked ahead at the class, then looked down at the ground as you began walking down the aisle, heading for your seat. You placed your bag on the hook on the side of your desk, then sat down. You just wanted to hide, what an embarrassing thing to do on your first day. Your cheeks heated up a little as you placed one of your hands on the side of your neck, as force of a nervous habit. You could feel eyes on you, so you looked around the classroom. Not a single head was turned to glance at you. So you turned to look behind you slightly, but Makoto was paying attention to the teacher. Who was it? That was when you noticed the boy sitting next to Makoto. He had black hair and the deepest, purest blue eyes you’d ever seen. His eyes reminded you of the ocean.
He was staring at you, as if trying to assess you. You raised a brow, wondering why he was watching you, then a small smile formed on his face as he turned to gaze out the window instead. What the heck was that about?
After class, you wandered the halls while carrying the bento lunch box you’d prepared for yourself the night before. As you walked up the steps, heading to the roof, you heard other students talking to each other. Most of the students were talking about the clubs they were in.
‘What club should I join?’ you thought to yourself, stepping out onto the roof. Not a single soul was in sight. You sighed in relief, feeling claustrophobic from your first day so far. You sat down on the air vents, opening your lunch to eat the simple rice balls you’d made yourself with last night’s leftovers. As you bit into the rice ball, you paused to see four boys step onto the roof as well. It was Makoto, that boy that had smiled at you, and two first years. You could tell due to the red tie they wore around their necks.
“Hm? [First name]! Fancy seeing you up here!” Makoto greeted, stepping forward.
“Someone you guys know Haru?” the blonde haired, mauve eyed boy asked. The black haired boy that had smiled at you nodded. So he was Haru.
“She transferred today from Hokkaido. Her name’s [first name] [last name]” Haru stated, turning to look at the blonde boy. He didn’t seem to want to make eye contact with you.
“Hey, mind if we eat lunch with you today?” Makoto asked and you turned your attention back to him, suddenly realizing how close he was and jumped in fright, your lunch jumping up a bit and losing its shape as it landed back in your lunchbox. Makoto had been startled by you being startled, and jumped back in shock as well.
“D-Did I startle you? Sorry…” Makoto apologized as you clutched near your chest to try and calm down your heartbeat.
“I-It’s alright… I just wasn’t expecting it. Sure, I guess you guys can make yourselves at home here” you replied, seeing Makoto smile at his friends as they approached, sitting on the floor and on the air vents with you.
“Oh, your lunch doesn’t look much like lunch now…” Makoto stated, noticing the mess of rice and chopped vegetables in your lunchbox.
“Well, with how high those rice balls flew up in the air, it’s no surprise they lost all their shape” stated the blue haired boy with purple eyes and red glasses.
“Yeah, I have to agree with Rei, those rice balls looked like they tried pole vaulting, eh Rei?” asked the blonde and Rei stammered, looking horrified.
“Pole vaulting is much more beautiful a sport than that Nagisa! Oh, sorry… I shouldn’t yell around the lady…” Rei apologized when he realized he was yelling. You giggled, finding their conversation and how they treated each other refreshing.
“Not at all, don’t apologize! I haven’t had this much fun in ages!” you stated, giggling more. You could feel the boys smiling at you, so you looked at them all. Makoto was giving you that gentle smile of his as he sat on your right. Rei was sitting on the floor, as was Nagisa, and Haru was sitting on your left. You guys had made your little circle of friends. Nagisa was grinning, while Rei was smiling almost proudly. But when you looked at Haru, he quickly averted is eyes, looking lost in thought. Again?
“Here, want some of my lunch to make up for messing yours up?” Makoto asked, using his chopsticks to pick up an octopus wiener and drop it in your lunch box. You glanced at it, then glanced up at him as Nagisa suddenly jumped up to his knees.
“I wanna join in!” he shouted, breaking off a piece of his bun and dropping it in your lunch box as well. Rei decided to join in as well, putting some veggies of his in your lunch box, then Haru dropped a piece of fish in it, quickly looking away. You giggled, thanking them for the food, then began eating. You’d eaten everything put the piece of bun and fish. You picked up the fish, nibbling it, noticing Haru glancing at you out the corner of his eye. Again, he was observing you. You finished the fish quickly, then grabbed the bun. Makoto suddenly began to panic as you placed the piece in your mouth and began chewing.
“Don’t eat that…! Oh no…” Makoto exclaimed as you suddenly froze, feeling your face getting colder. Too sweet! Way too sweet! You tried about three times to swallow before you succeeded, then coughed to clear your throat.
“A-Are you okay!?” Rei asked, looking just as concerned as Makoto. Nagisa raised a brow, looking at the remainder of the bun in his hand.
“Eh? It tastes just fine to me… Why’s that everyone’s reaction?” Nagisa pondered, scratching his head before shrugging his shoulders and eating more.
“W-Water…” you pleaded, looking for your drink bottle.
“Is this yours?” Haru suddenly spoke up, offering you your drink bottle. You smiled in gratitude, nodding and began guzzling your water. When your throat was clear, you stopped, remembering you had to breathe.
“Thank you Haru” you thanked, smiling as he turned away again. You raised a brow. Did he not like you very much?
“Are you okay [first name]?” Makoto asked, peering at you. You nodded, putting your lunch box away.
“Oh, by the way, have you decided what club you’re going to join? There’s loads!” Nagisa suddenly exclaimed to you, startling you for a second.
“Club? Is it mandatory?” you asked, and the boys looked at each other.
“Um, not sure… everyone just seems to be in one…” Rei responded.
“I don’t… really know… I don’t have any specific talents… nor am I really bad at anything… I’m about an average at everything… I guess…” you responded. Suddenly, Haru spoke up again, looking you directly in the eyes.
“Join the swim club” Haru almost practically demanded. You sat there, blinking to absorb what he said.
“Haru! You can’t just force someone to join the swim club!” Makoto objected, sounding almost horrified.
“Why… the swim club specifically?” you asked, having not taken offense to Haru’s demand.
“Because all four of us are in the swim club, I think… Was that your reasoning Haruka?” Rei asked. So Haru’s full name was Haruka.
“She… she smells like water…” Haruka stated. Everyone remained silent, processing what he’d said for a few seconds, but then everyone exclaimed their confusion and shock all at the same time.
“What do you mean she smells like water!? Does water even really have a smell!?” Makoto asked, flustered and confused. Haruka sat there, unfazed.
“I meant she has a much cleaner smell than most people… Therefore she must like water a bit, right?” Haruka answered, looking to you for an answer.
“Well… I do take a long time with showers and baths and stuff like that… if that’s what you mean…” you replied, seeing Haruka smile at you.
“Then join us, just come see what it’s like, then you can decide” Haruka reasoned.
“Is it just me, or does Haru seem intent on getting her to join?” Nagisa whispered to Rei. Rei nodded, also shocked by Haruka’s bold behavior.
“Haru…” Makoto started, but stopped himself as he turned to you and said, “You know what? Haru’s right! Just give it a try [first name]! I’m the Captain of the swimming club, so if you want to join, you’ll definitely be accepted! If you want, we’re having a meeting for the club after school, why don’t you join us?”
You blinked at him, then looked down at your knees. You remained like that for a little, debating over it.
“U-Uh… you don’t have to if you don’t want to…” Nagisa tried to add in, thinking you were feeling pressured.
“No… I’d love to! You guys have been nice to me since I got here, it’s the least I can do” you replied, smiling at all of them as they sighed in relief.
“What a relief… I was beginning to think you didn’t like us” Rei responded.
“No, not at all! I think you’re all really funny and fun guys!” you answered, seeing them all smile at each other happily. You’d found it, the place you were supposed to be in Iwatobi High School, and that was in the swimming club!