Chapter 1:

Chapter One - Aria

My World and You

One hand slipped beneath my shirt, tracing its way across the gentle swell of my breast. The other moved over my belly, the fingers leaving traces of warmth on my cool skin. I moaned deep in my throat, my lips parting slightly. The hand covered my breast, teasing my nipple into a stiff, aching peak. One finger brushed over the taut skin of my nipple, sending waves of electricity through my breast. My teeth bit into my lower lip to stop myself from crying out. The other hand slid beneath the waistband of my pyjama bottoms, brushing against the silky fabric of my panties. I closed my eyes tightly as the fingers dipped beneath my panties and slipped through the soft triangle of hair at the apex of my thighs.

I gasped as her finger brushed against the soft hood covering my swelling bud, the flickering light from the fireplace throwing our shadows through the room. I mean his finger. His finger. Damn. I scowled. Her finger…his finger, I mean. You know what? I My body heated up mercilessly, sending me toward an edge I knew couldn’t be avoided. Screw it. My eyes closed and the faceless woman who would be my lover tonight appeared in my mind. My hands became hers as they caressed my body and brought me up and over the edge.

I sighed, legs quivering as my hands dropped to my sides, the waves of my orgasm still washing over me. I lay still in the darkness for a long moment as my breathing gradually returned to normal and shook my head in frustration. I can’t even masturbate right. I flopped onto my side in exasperation and closed my eyes tight. How can you screw up masturbation? I asked myself. I mean, I finished, but still...I seethed for several long moments before rolling over and slipping into a fitful sleep.

The cold, miserable weather matched my mood as I stepped outside the house and soon met up with Mizuki. We hunched against the rain over the high path, crossed the river at the small bridge and just slipped through the front gate of the school before first bell. The walls of the school were painted an inexplicable pink and gray in broad and sweeping peaks and valleys which made no aesthetic sense whatsoever. I had thought about the point of the paint choice multiple times and each time came away blank. Our school colors were blue and gold yet there was pink and gray. While a boring and pointless mystery to be sure, it was most likely one of the only real mysteries of the school.

We changed our shoes, Mizuki and I, before heading down the hallway to class, my finger tracing the swooping line between pink and gray as it meandered down the walls. Being a second year our classes were on the first floor which made no sense whatsoever. The first years were on the third floor while the third years were settled on the second, as if to maintain an uneasy peace between unruly underclassmen. The third years were the Switzerland of the school, forever neutral and known for chocolate.

While some schools in the country had a problem with over-crowding, here at the end of the world we didn’t have that issue. There were thirty-seven second years, thirty eight if you counted the boy who was being deliberately homeschooled due to an unnatural love of setting things on fire and an inability to stop himself from doing so. We were broken down into three classes with class 2 having 13 students. Mizuki and I were not in class 2 which she declared to be a good thing since deciding 13 was an unlucky number. I always thought 4 was but she lectured me on how very wrong I was and, since I didn’t really have a strong enough opinion to argue, I accepted her rationale with nothing but a token resistance.

We were class 3 and we had 12 students, seven boys and five girls. Mizuki’s current boyfriend, Yuto, was with us in class 3 but I didn’t care for him. There was something dull in his wide, boring face that made me want to dislike him intensely. He was friendly and quick with a smile so I wasn’t able to effectively feel anything for him other than a vague distaste but, rest assured, I was keeping my eye on him for signs of being a terrible person. As soon as those signs manifested themselves it would bring my righteous fury down on his round head.

I took my seat near the window I’d paid a boy in class three weeks of bentos for and fixed my gaze on Yuto sitting near the front talking excitedly in his high-pitched cartoon-like voice to the boy on his right. Damn right; I thought to myself fiercely, I’m watching you with your stupid haircut and buck teeth. Ugh, I thought. If Yuto and Mizuki were to have children they’d probably get Mizuki’s slightly buggy eyes and big ears, Yuto’s buck teeth, slightly hunched back, wide flat face and round ping pong ball head. I shuddered involuntarily at the monstrosity my mind conjured up.

That poor child would be doggy paddling awkwardly in the shallow end of the gene pool for certain. It might be kinder to send it on tour with a circus. The thought, truthfully, filled me with a mix of sadness and revulsion like one would feel staring at a four headed calf. The thing should be adorable, but was simply too beastly to contemplate. The door to the classroom rattled for a second before bursting open and slamming loudly against the wall.

“Everyone sit down and be quiet!” Our teacher, a balding, rumpled looking man grumbled, holding his briefcase in front of him like a makeshift battering ram. The door swelled during the rain, making it hard to open. At times a scalpel was needed for an operation and other times when a chainsaw would do the same trick. Opening the door to the classroom definitely fit into the chainsaw category.

He made his way along the wall to the front of the class; his suit at least three sizes too large and seemed to swallow him whole as he walked. The fabric of the hem on the pants swished soggily behind him, leaving snail trails of water on the floor. He reached his cluttered desk and dropped his things noisily.

“Be quiet!” He grumbled again. The only one left speaking was Yuto, however. Our teacher fixed him with a gaze from behind water dappled coke bottle spectacles. Yuto misread the room rather badly and chose that moment to horse laugh. “Go into the hall, Yuto!” The teacher growled at him, pointing to the door.

That was the 14th time since summer break ended in August Yuto had ended up in the hall. That averaged out to a little more than twice a week. A new record! At this rather impressive rate Yuto was destined to spend more time in the hall this year than last. It was important to have goals, I thought. He wasn’t a delinquent, just barely sentient. However, with every example of rampant stupidity he committed he was inviting me to swoop down with righteous rage and smite him on the fool globe atop his pencil neck. I felt my palm itch slightly at the thought of a decent smiting.

“But, sensei! I-“Yuto whined. The teacher whipped his arm inward then out violently, silently re-iterating his earlier order with a bit more force. Yuto slumped toward the door, followed mercilessly by our snickering. No, Yuto was not a terrible person; he was merely a hapless moron. I made a mental note to entreat Mizuki not to breed with him. Not knowing, in this case, was by far the safer alternative.

“I have an announcement to make this morning,” the teacher tried as best he could to ignore Yuto’s fruitless struggle to close the door. “Leave the door open and keep quiet!”

“’Kaaay,” Yuto whimpered from the hall, igniting a fresh series of snickering from us. The teacher rubbed his hand across his half-heartedly shaved face and over his balding head in frustration before seeming to recover.

“We have an exchange student that will be joining us from America today,” he began, letting the excited whispering continue for a moment before speaking again. “Don’t act like…well, yourselves. Be kind and courteous. Let’s pretend your parents taught you manners, shall we?”

“’Kaaay!” We all called obligingly. The teacher ran his hand over his face once more for good measure before taking his seat heavily, suit flowing around him like a tweed wave.

The girl who walked into the class with the principal was, in a word, gorgeous. Her long hair was meticulously groomed and very fashionable, falling in golden waves past her shoulders and possessing a bounce that brazenly defied both the drizzle outside and gravity itself. Her skin was pale with a hint of blush and mascara adding a sultry look to her deep blue eyes. Her body was thin with boobs that, I imagined, were more impressive than anything I had ever seen before. Admittedly, the bar was set pretty low as most of my life was filled with unimpressive things. She had come out of a manga to stand in front of the class, glorious in her exoticness, sultry and sweet at the same time. She was like a Nordic goddess come to earth to grace us mere mortals with her presence. I decided immediately I didn’t like her.

“Hello, everyone, my name is Aria Somerset,” the girl said in impeccable Japanese. “I’m from California but will be staying with you. Please take care of me from today.” There were some murmurs of welcome and borderline lewd offers from all of the boys to take care of her in all sorts of ways. The principal quickly put a stop to that sort of talk with a stern glare.

“I’ll leave her in your care, Ichikawa sensei,” the principal bowed slightly, fixing a withering gaze across the class one more time she departed.

“Have a seat up front,” our teacher gestured to Yuto’s chair.

“Sensei! That’s Yuto’s seat!” Mizuki called, raising her hand perfunctorily.

“Yuto will move next to Ms. Fujimura,” the teacher replied. I pitied the poor fool who…

“Wait!” I protested loudly. “Why me?”

“Is there a problem?”

“Can’t we move a desk into the hall since Yuto’s going to spend most of his time there anyway?” I was not pleased by this development.

“I heard that!” Yuto’s voice came from the hallway.

“Shut it, meatball!” I yelled at him. The class burst into muted laughter but I didn’t care. This was a travesty! I’d given up three weeks worth of lunch to sit by the window in my own world and now Yuto was going to sully that world with his existence. It was patently unfair.

“Do you want to go into the hall and visit Mr. Handa?” The teacher threatened me.

“Nooo,” I whined, aware the whole class was looking at me in bemusement.

“Apologize to Mr. Handa, then.”

“I’m sorry, meatball,” I called.

“Me-Meatball?” Yuto mumbled from the hall, his blatant stupidity making me angrier than before, to the point I had to clench my fists to keep from pounding on the desk in a temper tantrum.

“I meant…you know what? Never mind. Sit back down and let’s start class,” the teacher shook his head, plainly giving up on the rest of the week and, possibly, the rest of the semester as well. He gave the impression of a man desperate for either retirement or the sweet release of death; whichever came first.

“So the new girl moves fast, eh, Kasumi?” Mizuki muttered from the desk she’d moved over next to mine as she opened her lunch.

“Eh?” I kicked at Yuto until he moved his desk further away from me. I glared at him while I unwrapped my own lunch. “Two meters, meatball,” I warned him. “Keep two meters away from me or I will kill your inner child. You got that?”

“But my girlfriend’s sitting there,” Yuto whined. “My name isn’t meatball, either.”

“It is, now. Keep in mind. Two meters,” I repeated.

“Ok,” he nodded apologetically. Machiavelli once wrote that ‘Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised.’ I was shocked at how true that saying was. Yuto was intellectually unarmed and I did, in fact, despise him.

“Now what are you on about Mizuki?” I asked, turning toward her appraisingly. Gods, I thought, up close her ears are massive. It’s like someone molded them from a basset hound out of silly putty and glued them on.

“The new girl’s already got all the boys wrapped around her little finger,” Mizuki pointed her chin at the blonde girl surrounded by not only most of the boys from our class, but at least half of the boys in the other classes as well.

“Well, her boobs are huge,” I replied with a shrug. “Say, Mizuki, have you thought about having kids some day?” A smooth segue indeed I congratulated myself silently.

“Ah, no, why?”

“You shouldn’t, you know,” I lectured her sagely. “Using multiple forms of birth control or…abstinence…better abstinence, I think, is all the rage these days.”

“Is it? Well, that seems the responsible thing to do, right?” She nodded and popped a bit of rolled omelet into her mouth.

“Definitely,” I said in encouragement. I glanced over at Yuto and shuddered.