Chapter 1:

A Fresh Start! Hope Nobody Recognizes Me

Josō! A Girl's POV!

The time had come. I was terrified. I kept nervously tapping random keys on my laptop while Hinata sat next to me. Bookmark here

We were taking a train to our new school, Chinō Academy. Hina had her arm around me. A message saying "don't worry, I got your back". Cliché though it was, it still comforted me. Bookmark here

I mean, you'd be as nervous as I was, wearing a skirt for the first time in public. Well, unless you're already a girl, that is.Bookmark here

I won't try and tell you it was the first time ever - it wasn't. But it was the first time when it'd been of my own volition. Hina had used to make me play dress up with her when we were little. I'd complain, and she'd just do it anyway. After a couple years I got used to it. She'd always just done it for fun, though. It was her way of seeing what an outfit would look like on her without having to put it on. She never made me go outside dressed up, not even to answer the door.Bookmark here

And now here I was, taking it even further beyond that.Bookmark here

It hadn't taken much work on Hina's part to get me ready. Just a month of helping me practice speaking in a higher pitch and a touch of make-up and I was done. And it wasn't make-up like the kind Inei and his gang had used on me, no over-the-top eyeshadow and whatnot. Just a smudge here and there and even my phone's face-ID couldn't recognize me. In the end I had to change it so I wouldn't draw attention to myself. After all, I'm a nerdy kid - and a nerdy kid that doesn't have at least three levels of security on their phone just ain't doing their job right.Bookmark here

The train pulled to a stop. My heart was pounding even worse than before - and not just because of my outfit (white shirt, red scarf, blue skirt and thigh-high socks, and 2 inch heels, for those who are interested).Bookmark here

Hinata and I had come up with a backstory - twins, looking for a place to get a good education. I know it's half-assed, but usually the most half-assed cover story is the easiest for people to accept. Really, it was that Hina'd made me a fake ID to support the new look. If we got caught out we'd go on the young offenders list.Bookmark here

The academy itself looked pretty good - at least from the outside. There were a couple kids hanging round, enjoying the sunshine while it lasted. Hina and I walked straight past them, into the school building.Bookmark here

Wr found our classroom and walked in. It was empty, save for an arrogant-looking boy in the back corner. Hina and I took the other corner.Bookmark here

The bell rang, and another seventeen students walked in. So our class was out of twenty. Nine boys, eleven girls, from the schools standing point. Of course, that grouped me with the girls, so the actual split was fifty-fifty.Bookmark here

Then the teacher walked in. Bookmark here

He was a tall, no-nonsense kind of man, with wiry spectacles and a short black beard.Bookmark here

He took one look around the classroom and said, "Good, everyone's here. I don't like slackers."Bookmark here

His voice was deep and rich, and it reminded me of Dad.Bookmark here

I quickly turned my thoughts away. I would NOT let myself cry in the first five minutes. Hina put her arm around me. She saw the resemblance, too.Bookmark here

The teacher turned to his chalkboard, speaking and writing. "My name is Goro. Ironic name, considering my profession, don't you think?"Bookmark here

I smiled. It WAS ironic for a teacher to be named "enlightened". But then, names have a way of affecting people. Hina's name meant 'sunny place', and I rarely saw her upset or in a bad mood. It takes a lot to lower her spirits. Even now she was bobbing up and down in her chair to an imaginary song.Bookmark here

Sensei noticed. "Sit still, Hanamura. Have you got ants in your pants?"Bookmark here

Hina made a show of looking at her legs. "Well, Sensei, I should think not, considering I'm not wearing pants."Bookmark here

I almost fell out of my chair. Was she TRYING to get herself expelled already?Bookmark here

This earned a snicker from a few classmates. Even Sensei cracked a grudging smile. "Well, at least I have ONE witty student this year."Bookmark here

I let out a sigh of relief. Sensei Goro wasn't as strict as first impressions led me to believe, it seemed.Bookmark here

Of course, that brought his attention to ME. "And what about the other Hanamura?" He asked. "Are you as smart-lipped as your sister?"Bookmark here

I thought for a second. He wouldn't be happy with a simple yes-or-no answer. "Well, Sensei, if you take the 'lipped' part out, you'd be correct." I said, thanking every otherworldly power I could think of for Hina's voice lessons and knowing my wordplay would never be as good as hers.Bookmark here

"Oh, so you're just 'smart', are you?" He asked, a twinkle in his eye.Bookmark here

I nodded. "That sums it up, yes."Bookmark here

He smiled. "Okay, let's test that. What's thirty-two times five?"Bookmark here

I did the calculation. Five tens were fifty, times three was one hundred fifty, add five times two was ten so "One hundred and sixty." I answered.Bookmark here

He nodded. "Good. Have you got any specialties, Hanamura?"Bookmark here

"Computers, sensei. I'm best with tech."Bookmark here

Hina laughed. "That's gotta be the understatement of the century! You're a lot more than 'good with computers', Harumi, you're a tech-wiz!"Bookmark here

I blushed and buried my face in my hands. "Stop it, Hina."Bookmark here

That made her laugh even harder. So hard she could barely breathe.Bookmark here

Sensei to the rescue. "Alright, enough teasing your sister, Hanamura. We can continue this conversation later."Bookmark here

And just like that he moved on. He asked the other students about their interests and hobbies. I guess this was his way of getting to know them.Bookmark here

Typing this up at lunch was... interesting, but the bell's about to go and I really don't wanna be late. I'll tell you the rest of my first day next time.Bookmark here

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