One Month to Figure out my Future
It was Saturday. It usually meant spending time at home. But no, today I was at school because I was a member of the literary club and we needed to maximize our time in any possible way.
As we were facing the hard dilemma of choosing the right colors to customize the forum section of our website, we were suddenly interrupted. A girl smashed the door open without even knocking, she came in and looked at us with a sort of disgusted expression. It was scary and unconformable at the same time. Paying a bit more attention, I noticed I had already met that girl…
She exclaimed: “So it’s true.”
The calligraphy club president! That’s who she was. How is this even possible? The other day she looked pretty innocent, nothing like the girl I had in front now.
Satoko quickly replied: “Miss. President, what brings you in today?”
Satoko had a really tense smile on her face and the atmosphere in the room was degenerating quickly. One more thing, why did she call her “president”? Yes she is the president of a club but you don’t refer to someone as “president” unless you are part of their club.
“You and your friend here are the problem!”
Me too? What did I do wrong this time? Did I sleepwalk the other night and unconsciously caused trouble? Hardly possible but, at this moment I was really confused.
“I’m sorry did we do something to upset you?” Satoko’s smile now started to look more provocative but still really tense.
“Stop playing around. You know what I’m referring to. Trying to act as heroes, resurrecting this useless club, wasting the school’s money!”
Why did she care so much? She seemed to have a pretty populated club, wasn’t occupying the old literary club room enough to make her happy? While I was still asking these questions to myself, Megumi, was her name Megumi right? Anyways, Megumi focused her attention on me.
“So, how did she convince you to join? Did she promise something to you? I can’t believe guys are so easy to trick.”
“I don’ know what you are talking about, but I joined the club on my own.”
Now her expression was the perfect representation of disgust.
“What a shameless poppy you found, Sonoda. Don’t go thinking this is over yet, I promise, it’s not.”
After this supposedly intimidating speech she left without closing the door.
“Soooo… that was weird. Do you mind telling me what’s going on?”
“I think the president didn’t like you saving the club at the last minute.”
I figured this much!
“But why? And why you call her president? I know she is the president of the calligraphy club but still…”
Rihoko now was looking at me with the expression of a really curious little child.
“Do you know her name?”
“Megumi, if I recall it correctly. Is it important?”
“Yes Megumi, Megumi Takano. Does it sound familiar?”
“Well I met her the other day, she introduced herself so I guess I already knew.”
“Satoshi you are unbelievable! She is the student council president! Don’t you remember the elections?”
To be honest I was never interested in the elections of the student council president. Usually only the smartest and snobbiest kids get that position regardless of their plans for the school.
“Now that you mention it…”
“She has been playing this game from day one and now it all makes sense. Being the student council president she knows the intentions of the school, which are to save money by reducing club budgets. I remember one day, she came in the old club room saying something like that it was a shame that such a beautiful big room wasn’t fully utilized due to the lack of members in my club.”
“So, what you are saying is that, she pushed for the closure of the literary club?”
“Exactly, moreover, the student council is mostly composed by friends of her, so I’m sure it didn’t take her much time to get her idea approved.”
“But this is insane, isn’t she supposed to be helping her fellow students instead of digging a deeper grave?”
“Well, you really don’t know anything about her, don’t you? It’s ok, I will fill you in. Her family is an old style really rich Japanese family, fully committed to maintaining traditions. That’s why she is president of the calligraphy club and why she wants to be the centre of the attention. If she can help the teachers, they will recognize her efforts and probably support her reelection for the next year.”
“It seems all a bit excessive but I think I get it. Aren’t the elections something that gets managed only by students? I’m sure the teacher can’t interfere.”
“Yes, but nothing prevents them from praising her hard work, and the majority of students who don’t care about the elections, just like someone I know…, would vote for her trusting what they heard from the teachers.”
That was… that was accurate unfortunately.
After that we continued working until it was time to lunch and we decided to have a little break.
As I was pulling out my bento box Satoko quickly jumped out of the room exclaiming: “Wait there!”
I waited as instructed and she came back with two cans of soda, just like the other day. I really appreciated it.
“You should let me pay for it next time.”
“Not a chance, I’m treating you because you deserve it.” As you probably guessed, yes he was red as hell in the face.
When I finished eating I decided to go for a walk, I know it doesn’t really sound like me, but my objective wasn’t walking, I wanted to have a chat with Miss. Kamuro.
Once I got to her office I knocked and waited. Shortly after, she opened the door with a burger in her mouth.
“Oh hi Kamizaki need something?” At least I think that’s what she said.
“Yes, can I have a quick word with you? I’m sorry if I’m interrupting your lunch.”
She waved me in. I sat down, Miss. Kamuro sat on her desk while still eating her burger.
“Megumi Takano, do I need to be worried about her?”
She laughed while still chewing.
“Why you say that?”
“I heard things about her. Things like her being the trigger for the club risking to close for good.”
“Yes, that girl is pretty powerful, everybody knows that. But, you have to remember something; we do things following strict protocols. She still needs our approval and, as cruel as we might look to you, we are also fair. The closure of the literary club has been a theme of discussion for a long time, Takano just was the final nail in the coffin. Then, you came in. They are allowing the club to redeem itself even if this means taking a gamble. Do your work as you usually do, maybe keep an eye on Takano and I’m sure you will be fine.”
That’s what I wanted to hear, as long as we delivered, we would be safe from that snobby girl.
“Thank you, sorry for having bothered you.”
“Not at all, come whenever you feel like it. One last thing, next week exams will start. I know you will be working hard, just remind Narukami to study as well.”
After my conversation with Miss. Kamuro I went back to the club room and Rihoko was still playing around with our website.
I finally decided ask that question…
“I noticed you really care about your hairstyle, you change it pretty frequently. Why is that?”
She looked more serious and stopped using my computer.
“It’s something personal, but… it’s ok I can tell you.”
“You don’t need if you don’t want.”
“Don’t worry, just, it may sound a bit childish. You see, I like to wear a messy bun because it’s how my mother always used to do. She was a strong hard working woman, until…”
At that point I saw a new side of her as she was trying to hide the tears.
“..she passed away because of… cancer.”
Now I felt really bad, at the same time I felt… empathy.
“Whenever I feel I need to be strong just like my mother, I put my messy bun back, whereas If I want to feel free and carefree, I let my hair loose.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be so nosy, I shouldn’t have asked.”
“Don’t sweat it, I’m happy you know something more about me.”
“I don’t think it’s childish at all, it shows how much you loved your mother. I’m sure she would be proud of you.”
Rihoko couldn’t hold it anymore, she burst into tears and I thought I made the situation worse, but immediately after, she jumped and hug me while saying: “Thanks.”
She was latched onto me with all the strength possible, making it impossible for me to move. I didn’t really know what to do but, it seemed like, for one time, I didn’t mess up. That moment, It felt… good.
When I was about to lose blood circulation she decided to let me go and after wiping her tears away we moved on with our work.
It was 4pm when we agreed on finishing our working session to go back home so that we would have more time to study for the exams. I would have liked to ask her if she wanted me to walk her home, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
On my way back home I noticed that Hayato was sitting on a bench at the basketball court we had on our block. He was looking at the sky and didn’t even notice me sneaking right alongside him.
“Mr. Narukami I shall remind you to study for the upcoming exams!” I tried my best to mimic Miss. Kamuro’s voice.
Hayato was awakened from his daydream and looked at me almost scared.
“Oh it’s you Satoshi, are you trying to make me have a heart attack?”
“I’m just reporting what Miss. Kamuro told me.”
“She wants me to study?”
“Yes, and she is not the only one.”
He didn’t reply. I guess Mr. Satoshi has to pull out the big guns.
“You know when you are tied at a basketball game, and only a few seconds remain? What do you do in this situation? You push as hard as you can, you don’t want to lose, and nothing can stop you. School is the same. You worked for an entire year, and now, only a couple of weeks are left. I’m sure you have plenty of energies to get trough. Certainly you have more energies than me. Focus and then you can let yourself go.”
Hayato looked at me and slightly smiled.
“Why are you always right?! Damn what was I thinking? Just a couple more weeks you say? Come on I can do it!”
“Yes you can. Now I really have to go because I need some studying too. See you on Monday.”
We both waved at each other as I was heading home.
I guess, after all, I have some talent in being a moral supporter. Should I study psychology? Nah, it’s cool but I don’t really feel like meeting too many crazy people. My career plan was still on the bottom of my bag, surely Miss. Kamuro will kill me after I give it back all wrinkled.