Chapter 0:

When Things Got Out Of Hand

Josō! A Girl's POV!

Clickity-click-clack. There's nothing more relaxing than the sound of a keyboard.Bookmark here

A few guys were playing basketball. Every couple minutes they'd call to me: "How's about you join in, sissy?"Bookmark here

I'd mostly learned how to ignore them by now, but it was still annoying. Just cause I wasn't an air-headed buff-boy like them, they thought I ought to have been a girl, so they called me names. It wasn't helping matters that I had an ambiguous name. Harumi.Bookmark here

My parents think I need a 'diary', because I'm so secretive about school-life. Baka. I just don't want the hassle of trying to straighten things out. Right now the insults are mildly annoying, but if I tattle things'll get worse.Bookmark here

They'd kept nagging about the journal till I agreed. I said yes, on one condition: I get to do it digitally. No nonsense with a book and pen that could easily be stolen. They couldn't say no to that. My argument was flawless.Bookmark here

So here I am, six weeks later, finally starting it.Bookmark here

A group of girls walked past, and the guys on the pitch wolf-whistled to them. They turned and giggled, waving their arms like there was no tomorrow.Bookmark here

I sighed. No peace here. I got up to find somewhere quiet.Bookmark here

Someone grabbed my arm. "No you don't, Harumi. We got a little surprise for ya."Bookmark here

I turned around to face Inei, who'd grabbed me. "What do you want, Inei?" I asked, struggling to stay composed. My temper flairs up quickly, but I'm too weak to do anything with it.Bookmark here

"Like I said, we got a surprise for ya." He nodded to the other guys. "Grab him."Bookmark here

I struggled. Bit, kicked, swore, writhed. It made no difference.Bookmark here

The guys held me down, and then one of the girls came forward with some makeup. Another got me by the head and held my mouth together so I couldn't bite her fingers.Bookmark here

Everyone was chanting "sissy!" As the makeup got applied. I tried to turn my head, but no luck.Bookmark here

Once they were finished, Inei held my arms by my sides and everyone took photos, still chanting. You couldn't have seen it under all the cosmetics, but i was blushing like a rose. I could feel the blood going to my cheeks.Bookmark here

In the end they got bored and left me standing there. Using my phone as a mirror, I tried rubbing the makeup off, but it wouldn't even smudge. I went into a bathroom to wash it off, but it must have been waterproof.Bookmark here

After about five minutes, I went home, defeated. No way was I sitting through class with my face like this.Bookmark here

Once I got in I went straight upstairs to wash the makeup off. It took an hour and my face was red-raw by the end of it, but my face was completely clear of cosmetics - even the fake eyelashes that been adhered to my eyelids.Bookmark here

Then I started typing this up. I don't usually cry when my emotions get too much to contain: I write it down. I've made hundreds of little short stories, venting my pent-up emotions into them.Bookmark here

The sound of the keyboard calmed me down, but I couldn't get over what the others had done to me. Calling me a sissy is one thing, but actually dolling up my face? Bookmark here

My heart sank. They'd taken loads of pictures, and I was willing to bet ¥2000 that by tomorrow they'd be all over the internet, or worse - printed out and stuck up around the school. Bookmark here

No. I wouldn't be able to handle that. I can deal with teasing, and dish it back out when the situation calls for it, but that was too much.Bookmark here

Then my older sister, Hinata, came home. She came straight up here. "Those bastards." She snarled through gritted teeth. Guess I was wrong. Not by tomorrow; by the time they got home.Bookmark here

Hinata was struggling for insults. "Those - those - aagh!"Bookmark here

I sighed. "Hina, let it go. I'll transfer to a school where they never saw those pictures."Bookmark here

She spun on me. "You think such a place exists? They're all over the web. The most popular websites, chats, logs, you name it!"Bookmark here

Then came the phonecall. Hina picked it up. "Hello, Hanamura residence." Her face fell. "No, that's not possible." Tears started forming in her eyes. "It can't be. No. No, no, no, no, no..." Now she really was crying.Bookmark here

She put the phone down. "Rumi," she started. "Mom and Dad, they're not coming back. The plane crashed."Bookmark here

This could NOT be happening. First what happened at school, and now this. All I could say was: "Shiiiiiiiittt."Bookmark here

She slapped me playfully in the arm. "Hey." She sniffed. "Language." This is exactly what Mom would say when she caught me swearing.Bookmark here

We both fell into each other's arms, taking what little comfort we could from each other and sharing it round.Bookmark here

After a couple hours, I managed to pull myself together enough to remember the issue with Inei. Hinata had, too.Bookmark here

She suggested beating the living daylights out of him, but I didn't want the hassle. Maybe if I'd agreed, I wouldn't be in the position I am in.Bookmark here

Despite being a year older than me, Hina and I are almost identical. People often say that if we dressed alike, you'd barely be able to tell the difference. The most major difference is that her eyes are brown, and mine grey. Bookmark here

That was when I got my genius idea. I could transfer into a different school in disguise. When I told Hina, she said she would do it with me. I told her she had way more reasons to stay than I did, but she wouldn't hear of it. Bookmark here

"No way am I gonna let my little bro get lost in the politics of femininity without me to guide him." Bookmark here

Honestly, I was grateful for that. I was half-hoping she'd suggest it, just so that I wouldn't be alone in the new school.Bookmark here

Anyway, that pretty much sums up the worst day of my life. Hoping for a better one to follow (thank goodness it's the summer vacation now).Bookmark here

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