Sharply Cold at Zone
“Finally home,” I muttered.
I came back home from visiting my parents that started living across the country not so long ago.
The sun was almost fully down so it was rather dark outside. I opened my apartment door and entered inside while closing the door behind me.
I couldn’t see much inside because of the darkness so I switched on the light, and put my jacket on the coat rack. Then stored my shoes in the closet and put on my slippers.
It was small but I'm living here on my own, me being a teenager who just turned 17 back in May, am not in need of a bigger apartment. Anyhow, what do you expect for a 1 bedroom apartment it had a restroom that included a shower, toilet, and a sink with a mirror on the wall. The living room had a couch, a small table, and a television. It was dressed with some paintings from my favorite artist. The kitchen itself is equipped with all the necessary things like an oven, stove, fridge, and microwave.
You would think that being alone is an unpleasant feeling, but for me, that’s not true. I like to avoid being around people because they are mostly longing for their own satisfaction.
The world likes to see you fail, in front of you they are friendly and always smiling. But in reality, they are praying for your downfall behind your back.
I walked towards the mailbox to see if I got any letters, and found a white letter that had a logo from a school on it. I immediately knew from which school this logo was. They’ve won the award for best high school many times. It's considered the best high school in the country.
But why did I receive a letter from this school? I hadn’t been to school for more than a month.
After some thought, I just opened the letter and read what it said. Immediately I was in shock.
They fined me 20 million yen for not attending any high school! They wanted me to pay within 3 days otherwise it could lead to an increase in payment. And the worst possible outcome could even lead to prison!
The amount of money requested to pay surely was absurd.
I didn’t have that much money saved up, and asking my parents for that amount is out of the question. They will think that living on my own in this big city is not good for me and take me back to live with them.
I scratched the top of my head and took a closer look at the letter.
‘To avoid payment and prison time, you are required to enroll at this high school and get your diploma.'
So I need to get the diploma.
‘If you choose the latter cause come to school and go to the director's office to talk about your acceptance this Friday at 6 PM.’
This made a couple of question marks arise in my head, so I started thinking.
And came to the conclusion that if the government had sent me this type of letter it would be more believable. There just wasn’t any possibility that a high school could fine you this much money or give you prison time.
There was a reason why I received such a letter. But I couldn’t figure it out after thinking for quite some time. That means I need to go to school and find out why.
“Friday huhh..” That’s tomorrow, I better go to sleep.
Today is Friday.
I was walking towards the school and as I came closer to the main gate I saw a few girls leave the school ground.
They looked at me while passing.
“Did you see him? He was so hot!” She said to her friend.
“Yes, he is so good-looking with those cold, yet calm blue eyes! I wish I had such a handsome boyfriend!” Her friend replied.
“Pff.” I sighed. “Relationships are a pain in the ass..”
A year ago I was in a relationship with this beautiful girl, but she wanted so much attention that I was starting to be mentally tired.
It lasted a little over a month.
I was never in a relationship before so in the beginning, it was nice. We did all the things that a new couple would do, we had been on dates, hold hands, and even kissed. But after some time she desired more and more attention. Don't get me wrong, I know that I need to commit to the relationship. But if it starts to wear me out mentally, I get out as soon as possible.
So I just said, “We need to break up.” She started to cry and asked why.
Naturally, I responded by telling her that it was my fault without letting her know the real reason.
“I just can’t live with myself knowing that you are too good for me.”
She never thought I would say that and was surprised to hear that.
If you tell her that she is too good for you she can’t argue back. Or she will belittle herself by saying otherwise. It was the perfect excuse.
As I entered the school ground through the main gate, the first thing that came to my mind is how big the school is.
I looked at my watch on my wrist.
“Almost six o’clock,” I better hurry.
I went through the main door and looked around in the main lobby.
“Where to go,” I muttered to myself.
Then I saw the concierge mopping the floor, I figured I should ask him for directions.
So I walked over to him and asked, “Hello sir can you please tell me the way to the director's office?”
He turned around to face me.
The first thing that popped up in my mind was that he was rather young, in his mid twenty’s I thought. Then I looked at his uniform and saw a scar on his hand. While lifting my head back up to his face I saw his nameplate which had the name of Kogane Keita.
He took a good look at me and said, “You are not a student from this school are you?”
“No, I’m not. But I do have an appointment in the director's office.” I replied.
“I see. Well, you take the stairs to go up then you go straight forward and at the end of the hall, you see a door with ‘Director Office’ on it. You can’t miss it.”
I thanked him and went up the stairs.
Here I am, in front of the director's office. Right on time aswel.
I knocked on the door and soon after I heard “Come in.” That voice... I think I already heard that voice before. But couldn’t think of who.
So I entered without hesitation.
“Long time no see Nage-kun.” He said as soon as I entered the room.
It was my old teacher at middle-school Omura-sensei! So he became the director of this high school?
“Thanks for having me, I would've never thought to see you here Omura-sensei,” I said.
"I became the Director at this school right after the graduation ceremony," he replied.
It was strange he wasn’t surprised to see me, it seemed that he knew I was coming.
“No need to stand around take a seat.” He said friendly.
I took a seat on the nearby chair. Shortly after he came sitting across the table in front of me, and started speaking.
“How are you, how’s your family?” I told him that I’m doing great and so are my parents. “They are abroad and not in the country for a while,” I added.
In my mind, I was thinking maybe he doesn’t know why I am here. But immediately after my thought, he started speaking more seriously.
“Nage-kun I know you saw the letter and everything is true what you read, you need to come and study here or you’re going to pay a hefty fine! I figured you came here to join the school right?”
If I told him yes now then I wouldn’t know the reason why I’m here in the first place. This is an opportunity to find out why, so I bluffed.
“No, I will pay the fine because I don’t have interest in going to this school. I just came here to ask where to deposit the money to.”
He was flustered hearing that I came for a different matter. But didn’t budge.
“Listen Nage-kun I know that you don’t bother with school, but to pay such a big amount of money for not going to school is unnecessary.
After he took a look at my facial expression, he continued.
“I do need to say, you will start as a freshman. As you know school started after summer vacation.”
He told me that If I joined this school I was going to join the first years, which started 1 month already.
“Just see this as an opportunity to get 3 years of free education and school memories! The school wants to give you a scholarship so you don’t need to pay entrance to the school.”
It looked like they really wanted me to join this school, but I still couldn’t figure out why. I do want to know why they needed me so I complied and said.
“Alright I will enroll at this high school for the remaining 3 years and get the diploma, then I don’t have to pay the fine correct?”
“Yes of course.” He quickly replied.
After finishing the paperwork for joining the school he told me that there will be a ceremony so that everyone would get to know me.
What? Every student will see me that’s unnecessary attention that I would like to avoid.
“The ceremony will be held this Monday at 10 AM in the main lobby, you will introduce yourself and get some questions from students.”
I didn’t know why he would do this and asked.
“Why do you want to go through all this trouble and gather the whole school for one transfer student?”
He then said. “In this school, it’s a rule that every new student has a ceremony to introduce himself so that it will be easier for them to get quickly comfortable here.”
That is the first time I heard about this strange rule. Normally you only introduce yourself to your new class. “Fine,” I told him.
There was nothing more to discuss, so I excused myself and went to the door to go home. Then as I was holding the doorknob I heard him say, “It’s nice to see you again Nage-kun.”
I grinned and replied, “Yeah." While walking out the door.
After leaving the school ground, I headed towards the subway station. As I was waiting for the subway I started thinking about everything that happened.
I remembered him saying at the graduation ceremony in middle school that it was his last year at the school and that he will stop teaching, but I didn’t expect him to become the director at this high school. I had great respect for him because he learned me many things about life and society, he was always very friendly and helpful.
I kind of saw him as a father to me.
So I concluded that this was a setup for me to enroll at this school. To help my old teacher.
I arrived at my apartment and began making some dinner, I made my favorite dish omurice that's fried rice with an omelet on top with a swirl of ketchup it was simple but delicious.
I finished the whole plate.
I cleaned the dishes and sat on my bed looking at the ceiling. “High school huhh..” I muttered.
Finally, Monday arrived.
As I put on the school uniform I was thinking that it looked good on me. The uniform itself I received from the secretary when I was in school.
While fixing my hair in front of the mirror I checked the time, it was almost 9:30 AM. Time for me to get out of my room and go to school.
I walked towards the subway station and when I arrived there I calmly waited for the subway. I got on the subway and sat down on a nearby chair.
After a while I noticed someone's eyes fixed on me for quite some time. This person had the same type of school uniform on as me. It was strange she stared at me since entering the subway but I ignored it thinking it will stop after I sat down. That didn't happen.
That person was a girl with short dark brown hair, she looked Japanese. After our eyes met for the first time she immediately smiled at me.
Did she know me? But if that was the case I would remember her face. Maybe she just wanted to be friendly and smiled?
I focused my sight outside the window that was next to me.
As I got out of the subway I walked towards the school. After a couple of seconds, I heard hard footsteps almost like someone was running towards me. I looked back and saw that it was the same girl that was looking at me in the subway.
She must've gotten out at the same stop as me. So she was indeed going to the same school.
When she matched my speed and came next to me she started speaking. “Hey, nice to meet you! My name is Nura Yori. You must be the new transfer student?”
I didn't give her a response and continued walking.
How did she know I was the new student? She must have been informed by her class that there will be a transfer student. She saw me wearing the same uniform and did not recognize me as this was the first time she saw me. And the time being almost 10 AM is the reason why she came to that conclusion.
I could see that she became irritated at the fact that I was ignoring her, and grew more impatient with every step so I asked her a question.
“How did you know I was the new student?” I asked just to confirm my theory.
“I got messages from my classmates that there will be a ceremony for the new transfer student. I saw you wearing the same uniform but didn't recognize you."
I was correct.
While glancing over my shoulder and taking a closer look at her face I thought she looked rather attractive. She was shorter than me but had this nice figure.
"Hey! I didn't get your name, I've told you mine so tell me yours!" She said frustrated.
I replied, "I never asked you to introduce yourself." She was flustered, she didn't expect me to be so cold-hearted towards her.
I could've just said my name to open the conversation further, but I didn't come to school for friends or any bonds. I came for a certain reason, a reason only Director Omura knows.
We passed the main gate.
I looked at my watch and saw that I was late as it was already 10:02 AM. I must've been walking more slowly while talking to Nura-san. I hurried inside, after seeing the surprised face I made while looking at my watch she quickly followed.