Chapter 3:

Encounter With The Enemy

Help, This Magical Boy Outfit is Embarrassing Me

I previously told you that I found a magic wand (or more exactly, it was the wand that found me) and I was able to transform into a magical boy.
Some days had passed since then. My day consisted of going to school and then, returning back home to transform a hundred times per day in front of the mirror. I still hated my costume, but I'd transform to check if everything was real and not an illusion or fragment of my imagination. There were times when I thought I was crazy, but then, I would touch the wand and prove my doubts wrong. I noticed mint green suited me so well.

Apparently, my superpower was enhanced strength. I know, because one night I went out and punched a tree. It got deformed but my hand didn't have a scratch. That night, I was angry with my Math results but I didn't want to destroy anything inside my room. I certainly didn't want to attract any attention from my parents so I went outside.

I always kept my wand hidden in a corner of my room, under a pile of dirty clothes in hopes that my mother would never find it. Luckily she never touched my dirty clothes.

One Friday, as I was going home, I heard Meiko say "Jun, can you please accompany me to the bus station?"
"Is there anything wrong?", I asked.
"Not really. I just like walking with you. So will you come with me?"
I nodded. After all, I wanted to be a gentleman.
Meiko lived in a nearby village and came to school by bus every day.
The bus station wasn't that far away, but I usually had enough time to tell her about my exquisite taste in anime.

I hadn't finished talking about some of my favorite anime from the upcoming season when I saw that we were already at the station.
"Time surely flies when you're doing most of the talking," I thought.
Meiko greeted me goodbye and I told her "See you on Monday!" with a smile.

I stood at the station watching her as she entered the dark blue bus, took a seat near the window, and went into the distance. When the bus left, I saw my worst nightmare across the street.

He was there staring at me. I immediately lowered my eyes to my shoes.

All these months I thought he had disappeared. In retrospect, I believe that would have been too convenient for me. Even though I lived in the same neighborhood as Isas, I never saw him going out for a long time. I didn't suppose he was dead but I used to believe he left the town or had gone to some other country.

I tried to avoid eye contact with him. I started walking slowly with my eyes still on the ground. I wanted to run, but I didn't want to look like a coward.
As I was walking, I heard his footsteps following me.
I heard him shout "Stop walking, Jun!" a few times, but I ignored him. I started walking faster.

Then, Isas started throwing small stones at me. None of them managed to hit me, but he made me furious. I started running and he did the same.
"Jun, I told you to stop!"

I ran with my schoolbag as fast as I could. People around looked at us, puzzled.
When I entered my home, Isas was gone.
I went upstairs to my room. I was sweating and my heart was still beating fast. Then, on the pile of my dirty clothes, I saw the magic wand.

I could just take it and go back out. I started overthinking like I used to do in the old times. I talked without realizing I was expressing myself out loud.
"What does Isas want from me now? I thought I told him that I didn't want to have any connection with him. Why is he stalking me? I'm in high school now. He should have forgotten about me. Why isn't he leaving me alone?"

Mom entered the room abruptly. I didn't dare look her in the eye.
"Hey, how was school today?"
"It was good."
"Hey, so I got a call from one of your teachers. You really need to fix those Math results."
"Mom, I know."
"Alright, Jun. I'm not pressuring you. Just try to study a bit more, okay?"
"I will."
"Also please try to clean your room this weekend."
I nodded.

I saw her staring at the pile of dirty clothes before closing the door.

The room was silent again. It was like that fateful night.
The ringing in my ears made me more depressed.

I continued overthinking even though I wanted to stop.
I reached for the wand but quickly stopped myself. It's not like I wanted to transform. I wasn't feeling in the mood.
"I have magic powers now. Why am I not confident enough? I can fight back anytime I want. It's not that hard to kill him now, is it? I mean, I don't want to kill him... maybe just teach him a lesson. But why can't I? Maybe I still see myself as someone inferior? I don't get it. I don't know what I should do anymore."

I closed my eyes and slept until the sunset. When I opened my eyes, I was still angry. I don't know if I was angry with myself for being a coward or if I was angry with Isas for throwing stones at me.

I got out to breathe some air.

The wind was cold but it made me feel better.