Chapter 0:


The Past in The Present

On his bike, riding to school, he prepares himself for the day to come.

Maybe if I crack a joke and get them to laugh, I’ll leave a good impression this time…but last time I did that it went, poorly, to say the least.

His face reddens as the memories of the embarrassing scene came back to him.

On second thought, I won’t try doing that again.


He came to a stop when he noticed a tugging sensation on his sleeve. However, he sees nothing near him as he looks around his vicinity.

The hell? Am I going crazy?

“That was probably just the wind.”

Looking at the cars pass him; he becomes satisfied after coming to this conclusion and continues biking.

I can’t believe I got scared from wind hitting my shirt.

Once the building was in sight, he felt a wave of anxiety hit him as he would often feel at this time of the day.

I hope I make a good first impression this time around, although being by myself wouldn’t be a bad thing.

“If only there was some cheat sheet to getting everything right, then I wouldn’t need to be so stressed about this kind of stuff.”

As he got closer, other students came into view, some were idly chatting with friends while others were racing to class. He was doing neither, with no friends and no motivation to get to class early, he stood by the gates of the school entrance, passing the time by watching the people around him, as he had always done. However, he noticed someone trip onto the road while waiting for the cars to pass.


He dropped his belongings and rushed to them, running across a 4-lane street flooded with cars, he picked them up and got them to safety.


He looks back at the cars in the road that continued to swiftly pass by him without a second’s notice.


He turned back to the girl.

“You, okay?”

Confused, the girl looked at him and realized what had happened.

“Yes, I’m fine!...and thank you for helping me out there..” With a panicked voice she thanked him… She got up and continued walking

His body froze as her words echo in his mind, like a bomb had been set off right in front of him. Shaking, he turned around and quickly retreated to his original position by the gates.


He felt a pain that for him was akin to being shot in the foot, not that he had ever experienced that. Gasping for air, he attempted to calm down.

Come on, deep breaths, everyone says that helps, right?


After some time, he managed to calm down and continued to walk with newly found determination.

I really haven’t gotten any better at dealing with this.

Joe Gold
Syed Al Wasee
Arashi Sensei