Chapter 9:


The Wizard's Virginity

I couldn't believe it. Magic was real. I mean, sure, I'd acted like I believed it all this time. I thought that I had. But now, after having seen it first-hand, it felt completely different. I mean, I imagine that a devout Christian who prayed every day would still probably exclaim “Holy shit!” if Jesus suddenly popped down to see him.

I started to feel cold from the night air blowing through the smashed window. I located my bag in the corner of the classroom, presumably placed there by Reiko after she ‘breathed’ me to sleep, and retrieved my phone from it. The time was 9pm. I must have been unconscious for a good few hours. What was Reiko doing all that time? Just creepily watching me, waiting for me to wake up? If she just wanted to have sex with me, couldn’t she have done it while I was asleep? I already had a million questions bouncing around my head; I would have to add these ones to the list.

Checking my phone, I saw I had received a message from Mum an hour ago: “I gave your dinner to a homeless man. He enjoyed it so much that he’s moved into your room now. Better come home quick before he gets too settled, or you’ll have to move in with Grandma.”

That was as close as Mum got to showing concern for my whereabouts. Usually if I was late it was because I had lost track of time hanging out with Dan, so it made sense that she wouldn’t be too worried. I mean, how was she to know that I had been this close to getting sexually assaulted by a psychotic Japanese school girl?

I sent a quick message back: “Home later.” I didn’t even consider telling her about what happened. I guess I’d gotten into the habit of hiding things from her, even since secretly saving my dad’s notebooks all those years ago. Besides, it’s not the type of thing I would know how to explain even if I wanted to.

Before I left the school, I decided to clean up the classroom a bit. I felt it wasn’t fair for Ms Matthews to return on Monday to a messed up room, covered in blood. On reflection, this was a strange decision. I justified it to myself that Reiko was unlikely to come back to the classroom after running away injured, but really, I had no way of knowing that. I realised later that I had been in shock, and trying to clear up the classroom was an attempt to bring a bit of order to the chaos of my mind after that crazy experience. Either that, or my armchair psychology is way off point, and I was just an idiot.

As I returned the tables and chairs to their correct positions, and tried my best to soak up the blood with clumps of toilet paper I had taken from the toilets, my erection finally began to subside. Just by virtue of my adolescence, I was no stranger to unwanted boners, but this one had definitely broken any of my previous records. Now that the effects of the aphrodisiac were wearing off, I felt that I was able to think more clearly.

I tried to arrange my thoughts in a logical order. Most critical was that yes, magic was real. I had seen Reiko use three varieties of powers, all related to her breath, strangely, but no less magical because of that. Whilst the aphrodisiac and putting me to sleep could theoretically be explained by drugs, the invisible projectiles that she launched from her mouth were beyond anything that science could explain. Or at least, beyond anything that my very limited understanding of science could explain.

Then there was the hooded figure who had bested Reiko and set me free. The way they moved and the strength they possessed was unlike anything I had seen before. Either they were an Olympic gymnast, or they were also using some kind of magic. Something to speed them up and increase the power of their attacks. It reminded me of the Incident, where I somehow fought off four older guys despite having never had a fight before in my life. Back then, I had taken a toilet cistern lid to the head and barely stumbled, and had then punched a guy so hard that he flew through the air and smashed into a wall. If what I did back then wasn’t just adrenaline, but somehow a subconscious use of magic, then suddenly a lot of things made sense. Including why Reiko had told me that I had magic powers, ‘Even if you do not realise it’.

My research into Dad’s notebooks had been right. The stuff from my childhood that I attributed to magic was all justified, not just the misrememberings of a kid idolising his dead dad. It was perhaps odd, given how I had just narrowly escaped a dangerous situation, but I felt relieved. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My decision to maintain my virginity was the right one. I really would be getting magic powers!

However, it was also clear that Dad’s notebooks hadn’t told the whole story. I knew that I needed to stay a virgin until I was 30 years old in order to become a wizard. But I had never considered what would happen to my potential powers if I did have sex. I kind of thought they would just vanish, as some kind of divine punishment for being too horny. Based on what Reiko had said, that was far from the case. ‘I will have sex with you, and I will take your magic.’ It seemed that all my talk about protecting my virginity had been more accurate than I knew. Whereas before I had just thought that I needed to resist the usual temptations of horny teenagers, more of a battle against my own libido than anything else, I now realised that there were people actively trying to take my powers. Reiko had been one of them, and she had mentioned ‘others’. My relief promptly turned to fear.

Then I had a very disturbing thought. What if it wasn’t just women who wanted to take my magic? I liked to consider myself a pretty open-minded dude, but the idea of losing my virginity to some power-hungry man was far from appealing. If that was a possibility, then maybe I should have just gone along with Reiko’s plan…

I shook my head, trying to disembark that train of thought. As I did so, I saw that I had done about all I could in the classroom. The furniture was back in place, and the worst of the blood had been mopped up, although there was little I could do about the staining that had already sunk in. Still, given the generally grotty state that all the rooms of the old building were already in, it didn’t look too terrible. Obviously there was nothing to be done about the smashed window, but I did at least pull the blind down to dissuade any birds from flying in over the weekend.

Content that I had done a good deed, and also feeling the fatigue start to set in now that some time had passed from the earlier excitement, I decided to make my way home. I left the old building, its outer doors helpfully unlocked, presumably as the caretaker knew there was nothing worth stealing inside it. I left the school grounds, looking around me for any sign of either Reiko or the mysterious person who had saved me, and thankfully seeing none. I safely made it down the road and onto the public bus.

The driver looked at me quizzically when I boarded. I had cleared the blood off my face, leaving only a small cut on my left cheek, but the bruise on my right cheek had already grown big and purple. Reiko’s back-hand was impressive. Thankfully, he didn’t ask me about my bruise, nor why I was catching the bus near the empty school late at night.

The further I got from the school and the more I saw the sights of my usual bus route, the more unreal all the events of earlier felt. I had to touch my face occasionally and feel the stinging pain there, just to remind myself that Reiko really had kidnapped me. I continued sorting through the multitude of thoughts in my head.

So, Reiko wasn’t a normal transfer student trying to experience British culture, but had used that as a cover to get close to me and seduce me. All the red flags that I had originally considered popped up again, and I felt like an idiot for choosing to ignore them. The unlikelihood of a Japanese transfer student suddenly joining our school in the summer term, her getting on my bus at my bus stop, sharing all my classes, and aside from all that, having an interest in me. I blamed Dan for giving me that spiel about being nicer to girls. Maybe if I’d kept up my regular unpleasantness towards her, I would have picked up on her intentions earlier. Of course, that might have just made her capture me sooner to try to force me to give up my virginity, and who’s to say whether the hooded figure would have been around then to save me.

Which brought me to another question. Who the hell had saved me? They had literally popped into the room, fought Reiko and taken some serious damage while doing so, set me free, and then silently disappeared into the night. Very Batman-esque. Just based on their actions that evening, they were presumably on my side. Then again, that was a big assumption to make. Maybe they had saved me from Reiko so they could later come and claim my powers for themselves, and the only reason they didn’t do it there and then was because they had been injured by Reiko.

Something else interesting was that they seemed to have made an effort to hide their identity. There was the hood and dark clothes, although they may just have been helpful as camouflage in the darkness. But then, even after Reiko left, they didn’t let me see their face, and didn’t say a word to me. Could it be that I knew the person, and that’s why they avoided me? I assumed that ‘they’ were a ‘she’, due to their petite build, at least from what I could make out in the dark classroom. So what woman would have business saving me from Reiko?

My first thought was Ms Matthews. Maybe she came to collect something from her classroom, and saw me being held captive. No, that was ridiculous. Ms Matthews was ancient, and I suspected that the only reason she hadn’t retired yet was because she enjoyed gossiping about the students and other teachers too much. It seemed impossible that a frail old lady like that could pull off somersaults like those I saw, even with some kind of magic helping her along.

There was another, more obvious possibility. A person who, like Reiko, had only come into my life recently, and was very clearly out of place. Could it be that Miss Byrne had been the one who saved me? It was hard to say. The figure I saw was a similar size to Reiko, whereas Miss Byrne was clearly taller than her. Then again, it had been dark, and I realised that I had only seen Miss Byrne wearing high heels, so it was hard to know what her true height was. It would also make sense why I noticed Reiko staring at Miss Byrne with such intensity in Biology, if she had already identified her as a potential opponent.

I just barely snapped out of my thinking in time to notice that the bus was approaching my stop, and I pressed the button to let the driver know. I got off and took the short walk back to my house. Once inside, I let out a sigh of relief that I didn’t know I was holding. Leaning against the locked door of my home, I finally felt completely safe.

I passed the living room and saw Mum and Hayley watching some film that seemed to involve teenagers running away from an axe murderer. I definitely was not in the mood to see something like that, so I briefly told them I was home, and retreated to my bedroom before they could see the damage to my face and ask any questions.

Now alone and in my own room, I considered the final question that had been rolling around in my mind. Why had Reiko, potentially Miss Byrne, and apparently ‘others’ decided to come for me now? I pulled out Dad’s notebooks and checked them again, especially the diary from his teenage years. There was nothing to imply that there was something special about my current age, 17 years and 5 months, which could explain it. And it’s not like I had changed anything about my lifestyle recently. Nor had some powers suddenly awakened in me, unless I counted the fight I unexpectedly won half a year ago, which I was only now beginning to suspect could be related to magic.

Just like most of the questions I had been asking myself, there were no clear answers. As such, I put the questions that I couldn’t answer aside, and tried to focus on one that I could answer. How did I feel about all this crazy shit?

My mind was in two places. I know they talk about the right side and left side of your brain, and I’m sure this isn’t what they mean by it - but I felt like one side of my brain was filled with happiness and excitement at learning that magic was real, whilst the other was overridden by the fear of what that actually meant for my life. The two sides were constantly battling with each other, and I found the only way to stop it was to distract myself completely.

I decided, therefore, to spend my weekend distracting myself; specifically, by gaming all day until I fell asleep. A part of me knew that I should be spending at least some time doing homework or revising for our upcoming exams, but after the revelation I had experienced, that all felt pretty low priority. I managed to avoid my mum and sister, only going down to the kitchen to get food when I knew they were either out or occupied. Spending an entire weekend gaming in my room wasn’t that unusual an occurrence, and so the two of them didn’t bother trying to interrupt me.

Dan messaged me at one point to ask how I was doing. I had no idea how to answer him, so I just didn’t. I figured that the events of Friday evening really needed to be shared in person, so I would tell him once he was back at school.

That was one of the reasons why I resolved that I would go into school on Monday, to catch-up with Dan. The other big reason was that I had to confirm whether my suspicions were correct, and whether it had been Miss Byrne who had saved me. And, more importantly, what her motivations were. My first period on Mondays was Biology, so I wouldn’t have long to wait.

I was scared, for sure. Miss Byrne might have been the one who saved me, but that didn’t mean she necessarily had my best interests at heart. And I had no idea whether Reiko would be back at school, or what she might try to do after her previous plan was foiled. A big part of me just wanted to continue my gaming marathon, to pull a sickie and avoid going back out into the real world. But… No. I had too many questions, and the one person who might have the answers was at school.

To keep myself safe, I would stay in populated areas at all times, where there was no chance of anybody getting to me.  And I would avoid inhaling the breath of any beautiful girls…