"Is the forgery-scammy-thingy going well, Rubi?"
"I just sent the money last night, it'll be done in few days perhaps. By the way, do you mind not raising your voice, Lulu? Everyone might have the wrong idea."
"Huh? I bet with all money in my pocket right nowーeveryone has NOT the wrong idea."
"Of course they're not wrong, neither are you. Still..."
It's not the first time she did me like this and with tenfolds the amount of money she has at that moment, I bet it'll be not the last. Lulu is my seatmate, we just sit with each other by chance at the start of the first semester. Well, not a pure chance, it was organized by our homeroom teacher. From that we started to chat at anytime we have a chance to do so, including during class, she's my seatmate after all, it's not hard to talk with a low voice.
"...at least don't throw that phrase at people randomly, have a standard or something. If you want to ruin my life do it professionally."
"C'mon I was just teasing you"
"Being teased will ruin my day"
"But it's not your life"
"Every day is my part of life, technically you DID ruin my life."
We are eating our lunch and only half of people are in our class right now. The way she phrase that line was also almost too obvious, no one gonna take Lulu seriously in the first place, I know that. Still, anyone who has the right mind will be concerned when their dirty deeds being exposed. This girl's common sense must be busted once she comes out of her mother's womb.
"Then why were you bother accepted her request? Trying to be a teacher's pet?"
"I owe her for asking some question of her subject a few times in her off time. I was hoping through this request she'll be less annoyed for next time I had a question"
"So she asks you to do crime for questions you ask?"
"She was a delinquent, this matter is nothing to her. She was begin to rant about this teacher job really took her life once when I asked some questions, her permission to take a day off to make a driving license was rejected."
"And you offer her to make a forged license?"
"To shut her up, yes. I wanted to go home asap."
"Just for that, you're willing to commit a crime. I didn't know you are such a dirty girl, Ruru."
"You'd raise your voice on purpose didn't you?"
"C'mon I was just teaー"
"You ruin my life"
"Hehehe, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But aren't you too reckless? I'm speaking about that case last month."
"My dad is working in the government official, I told her so."
"Even more suspicious, the victims were important people y'know"
"I doubt that, looking at the motive it's very possible the perpetrators are common folks."
"Do you think so? Playin' as a detective are you?"
"That information was already public. And don't compare me to you. You were 'interrogating' half of our class until last week. You are the detective wannabe."
"I just want this case to be solved quickly. I'm helping our country y'know?"
"Learnt anything useful until last week?"
"You're no different like everyone else, following this case just because it's a hot topic."
"This has nothing to do with anyone. I'm interested in a murder mystery in general."
"Since few years ago actually, y'know from Youtube and thing."
"What kind? Like Jack the Ripper?"
"The true crime genre, basically"
"Well, just don't be a smartass."
"Don't you have any interest, Rubi? This kind of case happens only once every few decades mind you."
"Not necessarily zero interest, I have another concern right now."
Its PoroーI'm trying to get close to him and confirm whether he's part of that organization.
"What is it?"
"None of your concern."
"Every of your concern is part of my concern. Technically your concern is my concern."
"I'm gonna sue you for plagiarism."
"Haah...whatever, if you want to keep it secret then feel free to do so. If you want the whole school knows that you still sleep with your diaper on you know whom to tell."
"I have a secret, I really hate this girl called Lulu, makes me want to do everything but nice to her."
"Don't worry, half of the half of this school already hates her."
"Probably because she's dumb, so I heard. Most cases could be avoided if she knows when to shut her mouth. And what the fuck is 'half of the half'? Just say 'a quarter'."
"But what she said was always the truth and besides, she doesn't want people who did morally questionable things to roam free and sinless in our school. Y'know she's a professional, every professional has standards."
"I must admit I can't make anything against that... and sorry by the way."
"For calling you dumb."
She doesn't say a word, though it wasn't an act of hostility, we both know it was nothing to take too seriously. I instinctively continued the topic before it became too awkward.
"Never knew you have interest in this 'true crime' genre. It feels a little weird to have a positive opinion particularly on that case."
"No no, never said I adore that case, a murder is still murder. It's how it was conducted, what the motives and the boldness of giving a clue."
"Basically the mystery aspects huh? Weird, the organization seems to have more attention on the internet."
"They're just a wannabe and the weird one, most of us despise them. I mean of course, the whole thing has kind of a 'nice charm' I'll admit it, but we're still talking about a murder here. The person who'll admit to being a part of them will be the same person as those weirdos. Give it a couple of months and you'll hear this a lot."
"I see..., but you did interrogate half of our class remember, aren't you also a wannabe?"
"I tried nothing but to liven up our class' mood. I couldn't bear how depressing it was a few weeks ago. Everyone live in constant fear and felt unsafe. Moreover, I'm sure you could tell that I was just joking and being sarcastic the entire time."
"Either that or you were just really dumb, I thought. I couldn't tell and didn't believe you would do something that virtuous."
"We are gonna have a group project today, good thing I did it in advance. I don't want to be paired with a depressed kid, who gonna do all the work, me?"
"Forget everything about being virtuous, I demand a refund. Waitーa group project?"
"From your client/teacher in crime, I heard it from another class. A group of 2 apparently, randomize."
A group project huh? This could be a chance for me to approach him without raising much suspicion. Too bad it would be randomized, guess I'll just have to rely on my luーWait a second, actually I might seek another way for this, all I need to do now is to think carefully. But, the lunch break will be over soon, I need more time.
"Lulu, wanna try my lunch?"
"Oh hell yeah!" She grabs my lunch and eats a couple of spoonfuls and asks. "Why all of the sudden?"
"Tasted anything weird? my stomach doesn't feel good."
Then she did this in every blink of an eye; grabs a pack of tissue from her bag, takes a few sheets, and spits everything out from her mouth. "Why didn't you tell me first?!"
"I forgot sorry. Anyway, can you pack my lunch back? Put it in my drawer I'm going to the bathroom, if don't come back I might be in the infirmary, my stomach feels really awful. Told the teacher when they ask." I get up from my seat almost in rush and go leave the class.
"Yeah yeah whatever, take care." She speaks with a slightly annoyed voice.
Without visiting the bathroom I directly go to the infirmary. There is a school nurse when I got in, I explained to her what happened to me (which of course nothing but a lie) and she told me to take a nap after taking some medicine she offers.
Alright, now I could think in peace. I have time until short before the 5th period which is the time of her subject, which means I should get everything done until the 4th periodーthe lesson hour after the lunch breakーends. Now, she should be in her office since she doesn't have any lessons to teach in the 4th period. Good, negotiation is possible, but should I just tell her to match me with Poro? She might be quite laid back, but she's a teacher after all. God knows whether she'll be triggered if I ask to be matched with a boy. So, what reason should I tell her? Should I just tell her that I have a crush on him? It's the most obvious guess for her and being frank to her might work out, but since she's quite young I don't know whether she has a relationship problem, if yes this might backfire to me. I wonder if there's an anoーAh, of course! She owes me a questionable deed, the counterfeit license. In that case, no need to give her the reason unless it's necessary. Hell, I could give her any reason and she won't mind it. Since it's an illegal favor it'll be quite easy to pressurize her as a teacher, as long the mood is right. In that case, I should avoid any awkwardness from the beginning.
The 4th-period bell rings. I waited for 10-15 minutes, told the nurse there that I'm going to the bathroom and then leave the room. Of course not to the bathroom, instead I went to the teacher's office (and made sure no one from my class sees me). I open the door partially and took a little peek searching for her (also, again, observing whether there's anyone from my class) and approach her.
While approaching her I noticed that she is actually sleeping while putting her head with her hand, from afar she seems to be thinking. Normally I would leave them be and try for the next opportunity, but this is my only first chance and I doubt there will be another for a while.
Tapping her shoulder I told her calmly "Miss Kurojima, 'scuse me."
"Ack!? Sorry sir I'm just resting my eyes, please don't fire me." Said her surprised and immediately grabbed a pencil and paper and scribbled into it.
Into an origami paper.
After regaining her consciousness she looks in my direction and then upwards to my face.
There was a solid 10 seconds of silence before she said anything. In that time her face becomes gradually redder and redder.
"Oh, h- hi Ru- uh- Rubi. Uhh..."
"W- was the pri- principal just here by any chance?"
"...no, I ju-"
"Sorry I was too focused ehehe, I mean lo- look at this- this assignment, it's so important you know." Said her as she shows her to me that scribble of nonsense.
"Uh... no actu- Wait, is that a pig?"
"Yes, you're ri-, wait, huh!?" She looks at her scribble.
Half mumblingly I read what was written below that pig face. "All piggy belly principal must die?"
She ripped that paper, crumbled it, and threw it into the bin below her desk.
"...so what is it this time, Rubi? Ahaha, got another question as usual?
Great, my plan is already ruined. Eradicating awkwardness thankfully isn't so hard, for example...
"I heard you gave the other class a group assignment, would the same will be given to us?"
"Ah, that one, right right, I would tell you guys the detail in class, don't worry about that."
"Yes, but... why all of sudden, ms. Kurojima?"
"I'm sure you noticed, but the same thing is also happened here, among us, teachers. The atmosphere is definitely gloomier after that happened. I guess it could act as an icebreaker for you guys."
"I see, but... at least could we choose our own partner?"
"I'm making this thing for you guys, it would do nothing but destroy the very sense, nothing will be gained from that. By the way, you acting unusual, what's the matter?"
"Nothing it's just..." I put on a shy smile and glanced my eyes for a moment, I hope she reads my expression "...al teast could you pair me with someone."
"What, is there someone you like?" Said her nonchalantly.
Not replying to her answer, I keep maintaining my expression.
" Too bad kid this is no place for lovey-dovey like you belong, I'm already got my hands full here, don't expect me to get into your horny love life."
"But! you are a good kid, Rubi. You're the only one in class that took me seriously. "
I've never taken her seriously, by the way.
"You won't have to worry about that, ok so, who's this unlucky kid?"
I get closer to her and whispered his name, before she could react I backed up to the door and exiting the room.
"Well, in that case, I'm counting this on you, thank you. Oh, by the way, that thing should be done next week, bye teacher."
The first half wasn't even in my list of expectation, but somehow it was really easy to convince her, disgustingly easy perhaps. No, there probably shouldn't be any expectation in the first place. My working space isn't a formal one, a problem solving without a clear guideline. Well, human in their nature is unexpected beings, biologically we could be compared to animals, that's the fact and I have nothing against that. Though, even that we share the same behavior as them, that doesn't mean their all behavior are a natural thing for us and vice versa. One thing that strongly differentiates us from animals is heart and mindーone reason why we sit on the top of the food chain pyramid. We know how to improve ourself, that's why we are the most unexpected being in this earth. One could give their most clever peformance and high guard, but the same man could have a guard as thin as gas in the next moment, thanks to his heart and mind he could behave as free as he want.
For now there is nothing that I could do except wait, I didn't hear any bell ringing so far which means we're still on the 4th period. With that in mind I go back to the infirmary. I wonder if I took too short for toilet time, but if you think about it, it won't be a weird case since I lied about getting sick, nothing would be too weird if I use that reason again. Actually, just waiting would be waste of time, I should decide from now on how to deal with him. Could I perhaps just "borrow" his phone unknowing to him? It's possible but also no, our schoold has no regulation on using your phone in class as long it supports the current subject. Would be too risky if he aware on losing his phone during lesson, that thing could also making him more careful in the long term.
I'm maybe officialy a detective but I'm also a human, I have heart and mind. However, what I saw in the infirmary makes me petrified, aside from someone that looking at my face at that time couldn't say whether some emotion was written all over my face. That reaction is exactly the result from last sentence of the paragraph before the last one, the coincidence is very laughable. But I'm not laughing at all, because this coincidence wasn't like the one I just mentioned, this one is anxiety inducing.
My eyes are looking at a boy on the infirmary bed.
Not sick or dying, just lying laid-backly.
"Oh it's you uh... it's Rubi right? Oh yeah right, you were absent too."
"...uh... yeah hi."
"...right this is our first time talking right? The name's Poro by the way."