Chapter 1:

Join the basketball club!

Ankle Breaker

Kiyoshi POV:Bookmark here

On the last day before school ended, I found myself walking toward my classroom. It was a hot summer morning and I couldn't wait to go home and play some video games. Bookmark here

"The summer vacation starts tomorrow, why do they call us even on the last day!?"Bookmark here

As I was walking I heard an obnoxious high pitched voice yelling:Bookmark here

"Sir! This is unacceptable! We are a famous high school and yet we don't have a ********** club!"Bookmark here

Hearing that word disgusted me. I hate ********** with a passion. I will never forget that cursed day, the day I was at my highest and the day I crashed down, all my dreams being shattered.Bookmark here

I cleared my mind and entered the classroom.Bookmark here

"Looks like I am the first to arrive..."Bookmark here

The classroom began to fill up little by little with students until we were all there. Then our homeroom teacher came in. He is a 30-year-old man, quite short but with an athletic body. I heard a lot of rumors about girl students confessing to him and getting rejected. He really isn't a bad guy. Well... it's just that our personalities don't match up.Bookmark here

"Pay attention everyone! I know this is the last day of school before summer, but please remember that it still is a school day!"Bookmark here

"Yeah!" everyone responded.Bookmark here

"Today's homeroom class will be dedicated to something special. Akio, please enter."Bookmark here

The door opened and a tall boy entered the class. Bookmark here

"Wow he must be at least 190cm tall," I think to myselfBookmark here

He walked animatedly towards the front of the classroom, then stopped. Suddenly he shouted:Bookmark here

"Hello everyone! My name is Akio Suzuki and I want to revive the school's ********** club."Bookmark here

I immediately recognize that voice. It was the guy that was shouting earlier in the hallway. Looking at him, his voice didn't match his body at all...Bookmark here

"So if everyone wants to join the team please come to the ********** ground behind the school."Bookmark here

"When I heard about that thing, I got worried a little but looks like he is not referring to me. I won't go there today and that would be it."Bookmark here

"Also..."Bookmark here

Saying that he turned and looked at me. Bookmark here

"Kiyoshi-senpai. I want to ask you directly to join the club."Bookmark here

Everyone was staring at me. The bastard knew what he was doing, inviting me in the presence of the whole class, he was hoping that the situation will pressure me into saying yes. Everyone knew that I was quite a good player, but no one know about the accident. Unfortunately for him, I was not that kind of man.Bookmark here

"Before inviting me to your club, what do you say about cleaning the collar of your shirt first?"Bookmark here

He looked at his collar embarrassed while everyone was laughing at the remark I made. This is a standard strategy when someone tries to manipulate you by using a large audience as pressure. The crowd is a double-edged sword, while you can use it against your opponent, it can turn against you in a second.Bookmark here

"Anyway! If you want to join, you know where to find me." then he ran awayBookmark here

"I won!" I thoughtBookmark here

Little did I know that everything up to that point was all part of his plan...Bookmark here

In the eveningBookmark here

"School is finally over!" I yawned.Bookmark here

I left the classroom and was walking down the hallway when I noticed a sign on the wall.Bookmark here

Join the ********** club!Bookmark here

By instinct, I grabbed that poster and ripped it. That was a mistake. A teacher that was walking by saw me and sent me to the principal for "ruining the school props". Bookmark here

There, in that little office, I found the principal staying in his chair.  He was a short, and fat middle-aged man who liked drama. Often when there was a conflict between two students he will try to mediate it. But what he was really enjoying wasn't helping the students, but the drama itself. Still, he was pretty strict about the rules.Bookmark here

But besides the principal, there was someone else...Bookmark here

"Akio!" I saidBookmark here

"Oh, you guys know each other?" said the principalBookmark here

"No-" tried Akio to respond but I cut him mid-sentenceBookmark here

"Yes! He is a very good friend of mine! I saw his poster and I thought that it was not good enough. That's why I threw it away. It was constructive criticism!"Bookmark here

The look on Akio's face changed. He didn't expect me to lie like that.Bookmark here

"Yes, I know him, principal. But still, I felt offended because I put so much work into that poster. And he just destroyed it. If you wanted to point out a problem, you should have kept it..."Bookmark here

Then he continued.Bookmark here

"I am telling you, principal, this man right here is a bully, Just today he made fun of my shirt! His whole class was there and can support my claim."Bookmark here

That was the moment I realized that everything was part of the plan. He manipulated me using the crowd, not to join the club, but to point out the dirty collar which he probably dirtied on purpose. Then he used my hatred for ********** to make me destroy that poster. At the time school ends, the teacher that is on duty patrols the hallways so he knew that I will be caught and sent here... Bookmark here

Probably his next move would have been to propose to the principal that as punishment I should help him revive his stupid club. This freshman... he is something else.Bookmark here

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"But obviously that isn't enough to push me into a corner, dumbass!"Bookmark here

"Principal do you know why Akio wants so bad to revive that club?"Bookmark here

"Um.. no? Why is that"Bookmark here

"Principal I-" Akio tried to intervene, but once again I interrupted him.Bookmark here

"His last love, a girl named Lisa liked that club. But a great catastrophe happened!"Bookmark here

Akio almost started to laugh hearing my obvious lie.Bookmark here

"A tragic accident happened! A car at night... a powerful impact... and then... death."Bookmark here

I articulated every word and made it sound as dramatic as I could.Bookmark here

"Oh dear Akio I understand your pain, but you can't put bad words on the poster to catch the attention of the students. You see, I was actually protecting the students of this school."Bookmark here

"Principal! You couldn't possibly believe this enormous lie he is telling!" said Akio Bookmark here

But it was futile. The principal was already living the story I fed him.Bookmark here

"I SEE! Oh dear Akio I can see why you did that now! But no matter how broke you may be, you have to respect the rules!"Bookmark here

"Then... Then if you saw that my poster was not respecting the rules of the school? Why didn't you simply show it to a teacher? Why did you destroy it?"Bookmark here

"It was also you that I was trying to protect. my dear Akio! I destroyed the evidence so that you won't be punished!"Bookmark here

"HOW WONDERFUL!" said the principal.Bookmark here

Then he continuedBookmark here

"I understand the situation Akio! I won't punish you this time because I understand... I UNDERSTAND your pain. You have a good friend!"Bookmark here

"Now principal, if you would excuse me, I have to go."Bookmark here

"You can both go! Enjoy the vacation and your youth!"Bookmark here

Outside the principal office Akio approached me:Bookmark here

"You are better than I heard, Kiyoshi-senpai! You used the fact that the principal likes drama stories to feed him a lie that he would medially accept. The way you phrased it, the intonation, the accent, it was all perfect. You can't be this good at acting without any experience! "Bookmark here

He was right. I used a very simple tactic to create a story that the principal would like. People don't trust what is true and deny what is false. They accept just the truth that they like and consider the uncomfortable truth, the truth that would put them at a disadvantage as false. People also subconsciously accept lies that appeal to them. For example, someone from a religious cult would believe in a made-up deity, even if deep down he knows that it is bullshit, just because it's convenient to have someone to pass your wishes to. It's also how children believe in Santa Clause. Sure, the little ones might be fooled, but an older kid who still believes, probably knows that is all a lie, still choosing to believe it.Bookmark here

"Get lost, idiot"Bookmark here

After that, I tried to walk away, but he continued:Bookmark here

"Still, won't you join the ********** club?"Bookmark here

Those words haunt me to this day...Bookmark here

"Still, won't you join the bas******* club?"Bookmark here

"Still, won't you join the baske**** club?"Bookmark here

"Still, won't you join the basketball club?"Bookmark here

At the end of that discussion. I agreed unwillingly to join.Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria

Ankle Breaker

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