Chapter 11:

March 16: Career Plan

One Month to Figure out my Future

It was already Tuesday morning and Miyo and I were eating the leftovers of the birthday cake. The letter I left the night before was still there but when I grabbed it, I noticed that someone had drawn a little heart at the bottom. It was probably my mother who did that. Bookmark here

“Big brother, where are you going for the field trip this year?”Bookmark here

I totally forgot about it! During the last week of school I would be going with my class for a field trip.Bookmark here

“Where… Oh yes, now I remember, Kyoto. Why you ask?”Bookmark here

“I need to look up a couple of cool and romantic places you can take Rihoko to.”Bookmark here

Can I ever get a break, please?Bookmark here

“Sure, remember to give me the list so that I can stay away from all those places.”Bookmark here

“You don’t need to act all tough, I know you have a soft spot for her.”Bookmark here

“Keep dreaming girl. Where is your class going instead?”Bookmark here

“Nara, we are going to be looking at the cherry blossom.”Bookmark here

“Cool, the last week of March is actually the perfect time to watch the cherry blossom in Nara.”Bookmark here

“It would have been the perfect place for you and Rihoko...”Bookmark here

“What a shame…”Bookmark here

I was done having breakfast so I left the kitchen to avoid further nonsense from Miyo.Bookmark here

Once at school I immediately looked for Hayato, I wanted to apologize for that afternoon when I caught him hanging around with Rihoko. It was pretty early, there were still many people missing including Rihoko, but I know Hayato well and he always likes to be one of the firsts to get to class. That’s why we find it difficult to walk to school together; I like to take it easy.Bookmark here

He noticed me walking in: “Look who is here, did you have a great birthday yesterday?”Bookmark here

“I surely did… Listen I’m sorry, I know that day you were out with Rihoko buying me a gift and I just acted so childish for no reason.”Bookmark here

“It’s all good you don’t have to apologize. Actually, that day you really scared me, I thought you might be able to figure out everything and consequently ruining your surprise. Fortunately your love for Rihoko blinded you.”Bookmark here

I looked at him with the face of someone who is ready to commit a homicide.Bookmark here

“The love of a friend… what were you thinking Satoshi?”Bookmark here

“Whatever…”Bookmark here

We spent another couple minutes talking and then Hayato came out with something interesting: “You know, lately I have been doing some thinking. I realize that I can’t really play anymore, but what if I taught how to play? You know, like a PE teacher… I could write it in the career plan. What do you think?”Bookmark here

“It certainly suits you, good thinking.”Bookmark here

“Fortunately we have lots of time to fill the career plan, otherwise I could have ended up without knowing what to write.”Bookmark here

I think my career plan is still sitting on the bottom of my bag. I should probably get a new paper. It would be too embarrassing to give back something that resembles more a roll of toilet paper rather than a career plan.Bookmark here

“About that, I have to do one thing, be right back.”Bookmark here

I left the classroom and my destination was Miss. Kamuro’s office one again.Bookmark here

“Oh Kamizaki, you are here early today. Is everything ok?”Bookmark here

“Yes, I was wondering if you could give me another copy of the paper for the career plan.”Bookmark here

“Sure I can make you another copy, what happened to the one I gave you two weeks ago?”Bookmark here

“Let’s just say that, it’s not in the best conditions.”Bookmark here

She rolled her eyes and let me in.Bookmark here

“You know, it’s not really nice to treat you teacher’s assignment like that.”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry.”Bookmark here

“Did you already start writing something?”Bookmark here

“Yes, I am already done. I will just copy what I wrote before.”Bookmark here

“Can you get it for me, I would like to read it. In the meantime I’ll make you a photocopy.”Bookmark here

I didn’t really like the idea of her reading it but, at the end of the day, she would have read it anyways. But the fact that she would have read it in front of me, made me a bit nervous.Bookmark here

After digging in my bag for a little while, I was able to extract the paper.Bookmark here

“Wow, that is in really bad shape. Here is the new fresh copy.”Bookmark here

We exchanged our papers and she started reading it, but I don’t think she even read a word because she immediately started complaining: “Is this all you wrote? It’s like two lines! Do you think you managed to write all your future in just two lines?”Bookmark here

“I think it’s pretty self explanatory…”Bookmark here

Her expression showed she wasn’t really convinced. She quickly read through what I wrote.Bookmark here

“Just as I was starting to think that you were changing a bit, you bring me this… this abomination.”Bookmark here

Well, that was harsh…Bookmark here

“Why? What’s wrong?”Bookmark here

“It lacks character! What university you want to enroll? Which are the things you want to learn? Which big company you want to work for? All these things should be included to show your ambitions. Right now it’s all boring and soulless.”Bookmark here

“But I don’t know all this stuff yet.”Bookmark here

“That’s why you had one month to figure it out. I’m sure there will still be things you won’t know yet, but it’s good to start thinking about it. I don’t want you to write something to satisfy me, I want you to write what you want from your future, even if it’s sound unrealistic.”Bookmark here

Unrealistic she says, well I would like to be a billionaire…Bookmark here

“You don’t seem convinced, do you?”Bookmark here

“It’s just… I don’t see the point in fantasizing.”Bookmark here

“Thinking outside the box helps you looking at things in a different light. Here you mention you want to work for a company, right? What about starting your own company? I know there might be difficulties, but I’m sure you would put your heart and soul to make it happen.”Bookmark here

“I can imagine what you are thinking; you just want your typical employee job. Sure you would get a decent salary but nothing more. You won’t probably ever enjoy your time spent working.”Bookmark here

“Do I have any other options?”Bookmark here

Funny for me to say those words. Rihoko used them against me a couple of days before, now I can see how pointless of an argument it is.Bookmark here

“You have many opportunities but it’s up to you to find them. You can’t just accept what life throws at you. Fight back!”Bookmark here

“Can I ask you a question?”Bookmark here

“Sure I’m here for that.”Bookmark here

“What did you write on your career plan back when you went to school as a student?”Bookmark here

“Well, now I risk getting a bit emotional. It might sound silly, but back when I was in high school, we had an amazing homeroom teacher. She was always there for us students, she became an extension of our families, and we admired her. I wanted to make other people feel exactly how I felt every time she would come to help me. That’s basically what I wrote.”Bookmark here

“I think you reached your goal.”Bookmark here

“Don’t try to be a sweet talker. You still have roughly two weeks to fill that paper, this time do it properly. I promise, it will the first one I will read.”Bookmark here

“I’ll try…”Bookmark here

I got up and started walking to the door. And before opening the door, Miss. Kamuro shouted friendly: “I hope so!”Bookmark here

I got back to my classroom and Rihoko had arrived. When she noticed me, she quickly approached me: “Was the game ok? If you don’t like it I can return it and choose something different.”Bookmark here

“No need to worry it’s perfect. Thanks again.”Bookmark here

In the meantime I could clearly see in the background Hayato having a good laugh.Bookmark here

“Ok…”Bookmark here

“Oh right I got to ask you something, do you know a good library?”Bookmark here

“Yes! Why, you want to buy a book?”Bookmark here

Usually people go to libraries to buy books… Ok, ok, I’m being annoying.Bookmark here

“Exactly, it’s one of those you recommended me, the title is “The club murderer” if I recall it correctly”.Bookmark here

Rihoko immediately got super excited: “REALLY?? I’m so happy! I actually have my copy back in the club room, come after school and I will lend it to you.”Bookmark here

That was nice.Bookmark here

“Fine by me, are you sure it’s not a problem?”Bookmark here

“No problem at all.”Bookmark here

She was going back to her desk but I stopped her: “Wait, I will probably read it during the summer break, how can I give it back to you?”Bookmark here

“Well, you already know how to get to my home, don’t you?”Bookmark here

“You have a point, thanks then.”Bookmark here

She smiled at me and sat at her desk. I did the same and asked Hayato: “What was so funny before?”Bookmark here

“She was super anxious when we were shopping for your gift. Her main concern was that you wouldn’t like it. That scene before, it reminded me about that day, it was fun.”Bookmark here

“Confidence is certainly not her strong point.”Bookmark here

“Sounds like you know her pretty well…”Bookmark here

“I sure do.”Bookmark here

I think Hayato wasn’t expecting that reply, but it was the truth. In that class I knew Rihoko better than anyone else.Bookmark here

After another excruciating day of school was over, I went back to the club room to get the book.Bookmark here

On my way I heard someone saying: “Hey doggy, wait for me.”Bookmark here

No… not again…Bookmark here

Unfortunately I turned around and there she was, Miss. student’s council president.Bookmark here

“I already told you not to call me like that, anyways don’t you have anything better to do, like studying?”Bookmark here

“I have duties you know?”Bookmark here

“And is one of your duties to annoy me and Rihoko?”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry am I annoying? I didn’t know that…”Bookmark here

I couldn’t stand her anymore so I kept on going.Bookmark here

“You know my father knows a lot of people…”Bookmark here

Good for him.Bookmark here

“…people who know other people…”Bookmark here

Almost mind blowing I would say.Bookmark here

“…and it just happens that one of these people might help Rihoko’s father recover from his drinking addiction.”Bookmark here

I stopped. Did I just hear what I think I heard?Bookmark here

“How… how do yu…”Bookmark here

“I’m just like my father, I know people who know people.”Bookmark here

“But this is insane!”Bookmark here

“Since you didn’t want to collaborate, I had to bring out the big guns.”Bookmark here

“This is blackmailing, and what makes you think I can’t find someone else?”Bookmark here

“You need proves of him being really addicted and being a threat for the daughter, I don’t need that.”Bookmark here

This really sounds like mafia.Bookmark here

“No, I don’t need your people.”Bookmark here

“Why are so obsessed with that club! What are you gaining from it?”Bookmark here

“I’m gaining something that you’ll never experience being surrounded only by fake friends that you drag around like puppets. But I can ask you the same question! Why are you so obsessed with our club? Do you think helping that by getting rid of it the teachers would give you their support for the next year’s elections? Regardless of that, nobody would ever stand a chance against your connections.”Bookmark here

“You wouldn’t understand.”Bookmark here

“Oh really? I get told this thing quite often, maybe I’m really dumb or maybe it’s because I hit delicate spots.”Bookmark here

“It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.”Bookmark here

Her voice was starting to tremble.Bookmark here

“I’m so unpredictable?”Bookmark here

“Cut it out, you don’t know what it means to live in my family, you don’t know anything.”Bookmark here

“Maybe, but I know one thing for sure. I don’t care about knowing. See you around Miss. President.”Bookmark here

Wow, that was quite an exchange, I think I came out on top. I love this feeling, the feeling of winning an argument.Bookmark here

Rihoko was already in the club room when I got there.Bookmark here

“Sorry you had to wait.”Bookmark here

“No worries, here, this is the book you were looking for.”Bookmark here

On the cover there was a school desk with a knife stuck in it as if it was a cutting board. The title “The club murderer” was written in red on top.Bookmark here

“Thank you very much, I’ll take good care of it. Are you going home or you have some work to do?”Bookmark here

“I think I’ll head home.”Bookmark here

“Great, may I accompany you at home?”Bookmark here

“But it’s the opposite direction from yours.”Bookmark here

“I’m not in a rush, but if you don’t want it’s ok.”Bookmark here

“No, I want to. Thank you.”Bookmark here

I do this just because she lent me her book.Bookmark here

When we were walking in the street, Rihoko asked me: “Sorry to bring this out, but did you speak with Miss. Kamuro?”Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“I see. And what did she tell you?”Bookmark here

“Nothing special.”Bookmark here

“I think I know you well enough to tell when you are hiding something.”Bookmark here

“For real it’s nothing; furthermore it’s not my business to know everything about you.”Bookmark here

She didn’t reply and for the rest of the time we didn’t speak much. Strangely enough, this time, it didn’t feel uncomfortable.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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