Chapter 10:

I Don't Like Mondays

The Wizard's Virginity

I looked at myself in the mirror on Monday morning. The bruise on my cheek was still visible but less obvious than it had been, slowly becoming less purpley and more yellow-ish. I considered raiding Mum’s make-up to cover it, but figured that I would cock it up and end up looking like the Joker, so decided against it.

When I arrived at the bus stop, Reiko was nowhere to be seen. I don’t know if that was what I expected or not. Somehow, her not being there felt stranger than if she had been there, smiling and waving at me as usual. It re-confirmed that the events of Friday evening had really happened. Still, I was glad for her absence. I had tried to hype myself up, and told myself that if she was there, I just had to stay around other people and she probably wouldn’t try anything. If she did try something, I had set up quick dial on my phone so I could call the police from my pocket. Although I wasn’t sure how much help they would be if I reported that a magical Japanese school girl was trying to bang me.

The bus arrived, and I immediately noticed Lawrence with his hands and face pressed up against the window, like a kid visiting the tiger enclosure at the zoo.

“Yo James, where’s Reiko-chan?” he asked before I had taken my first step on board.

“No idea,” I replied. “Maybe she’s sick.”

“Nah bro, that’s not it,” said Lawrence seriously. My blood went cold. Did Lawrence know something about Reiko? He always seemed to have the latest gossip whenever a hot girl was involved. Did that extend to knowing about what had happened three days before? “Reiko’s not sick. I’m the one who’s sick. Lovesick whenever my beautiful tenshi isn’t around!”

Thank God. I didn’t know why I was so scared of Lawrence, or anyone for that matter, knowing about Reiko capturing me and her magical powers. Logically, I should have wanted people to know, to be better protected from any follow-up attacks. But for some reason it felt like I needed to keep it secret, at least until I knew more about what the hell was going on. Perhaps it was because I’d kept the whole ‘I believe my dad was a wizard’ thing secret from anyone but Dan for the last seven years, so it felt natural to also keep these latest events under wraps. That’s not to mention the fact that if I did try to tell anyone, they’d think I was crazy. The key thing, as I had decided over the weekend, was that I needed to speak to Miss Byrne and figure out what, if anything, she knew.

I went to my seat, appreciating that Lawrence’s obnoxiousness drew the attention of the rest of the bus who started either laughing at him (in the case of the boys) or hurling abuse at him (in the case of the girls). This meant that nobody else tried to ask me about Reiko, and I could listen to music in peace, enjoying my first trip to school in several days without a raging boner.


Much to my disappointment, Dan still hadn’t returned to school. Without Reiko either, I was sat by myself in form time. Lawrence had apparently already lost interest in the absent Reiko, telling his friends instead about his plan to woo Miss Byrne. I half-listened to him declaring that the way to a girl’s heart was through chocolate and the way to a woman’s heart was through flowers, but had no clue what his basis for that was.

Some of the girls behind me murmured about Reiko being away, pointing out to each other that I had been with her a lot, and even disappearing for lunch together. One of them mentioned that they had seen both me and Reiko rushing out of History class on Friday afternoon, and that she suspected that we had gone off to meet each other. The girls were talking as though whispering, but the volume of their conversation was still easily loud enough for me to hear. I suspected that this was on purpose, and they were hoping that I would turn around and reveal all the salacious details. I didn’t, instead pretending to be focused on scribbling in my planner until Mr Panchal arrived.

Mr Panchal’s mouth was set in a firm line, his brow furrowed, as he entered the classroom. Usually he only looked like this after Lawrence had asked his first stupid question of the day, so it was rare for him to arrive already wearing this expression.

“Good morning. I’m afraid we have to start today with some bad news. Reiko has sadly left our form, and the school altogether, to return to Japan. It seems that she was not enjoying her time here…” Mr Panchal paused and looked meaningfully at me, and I similarly felt the gazes of the rest of my classmates turn towards me. “I did ask you to look after her, Mr Light.”

Mr Panchal only used our surnames when he was annoyed at us, hence his more regular use of ‘Mr Williams’ than ‘Lawrence’. It was rare for him to use mine. I felt as though he was waiting for a response, some kind of justification, but I had none to give.

“Erm… Sorry, Sir.”

This was ridiculous. I had been the victim in all this, but was now being compelled to apologise for it. However, given how my fellow students already viewed me, I felt that any attempts to justify it or shirk blame would fall on deaf ears, or maybe even make people more annoyed.

After what felt like several seconds, Mr Panchal stopped staring at me and addressed the class as a whole. “Well, as sad as it is that we lost Reiko after just one week, we can appreciate the time we did spend with her. There was beauty in her transience, like a Japanese cherry blossom in spring.”

“‘Mono no aware’, Sir,” Lawrence piped up.

Mr Panchal looked surprised. “Yes, that’s quite right, Lawrence. I’m glad your love of Japanese animation has also provided some education.”

“I keep a note on my phone of useful Japanese terms, Sir. There’s loads on here: Shibari, Bukkake, Futanari-”

“Right, I think you’ve had too much education, Mr Williams,” Mr Panchal interrupted. “Anyway, we’re also missing Dan Fernandez, as he’s still recovering from some rock climbing injuries. That boy really needs to find some more sedentary hobbies…”

Mr Panchal continued making other announcements, fending off the occasional interjections from Lawrence, but I had stopped listening. This was odd. Dan had told me that he was off school to deal with a family emergency, but he had told the school that he was away due to rock climbing injuries? It could be that he just didn’t want anyone at school knowing about his personal situation, as he was always pretty secretive about it, even with me. Still, it seemed odd for him to have fabricated a story about rock climbing, of all things.

The bell rang, and I made my way out the classroom. The girls behind me had recommenced their whispering, but this time they didn’t just sound curious, but angry.

“Should have known this would happen.”

“Once a creep, always a creep.”

“That poor girl…”

I again pretended to ignore them as I set off for Biology class. I was beginning to think that it was a mistake to come into school today. My fears had been about getting attacked by Reiko again, but instead, it was a far more mundane problem that was making my life difficult: teenagers gossiping. While I had Reiko with me, I had almost been able to forget my pariah status. A beautiful girl had been enjoying my company, and for my part, I had been letting down the guard I had kept up around girls ever since the Incident. Of course, that turned out to be a massive mistake. Reiko didn’t like me, she just wanted my supposed powers, and being nice to her had almost resulted in the loss of my virginity whilst tied to a chair. Now I was back at school, more jaded than ever before, and also apparently less respected than ever before. It wasn’t fair.

Still, all I had to do was get through one lesson. I would tell Miss Byrne that I needed to speak to her, and then confirm if my suspicions about her identity as my saviour were correct. If so, I would get more details from her on what the hell was going on. If I had got it wrong, and she didn’t know anything, then I would go home and plan my next move.

However, as the saying goes, ‘No plan survives first contact with Sara.’ I entered the science lab and spotted Miss Byrne at her usual place by the window, already engrossed in her phone, already having given up any pretence of actually teaching. I started to approach her, but was blocked by Sara’s skinny form, hands on her hips.

“Well, have you completed your homework?”

Sara’s diligence compared to my more laissez-faire attitude already meant that we weren’t especially compatible. The reason she really had it in for me, though, was because of the time she thought that I fancied her. She had misinterpreted my insistence on emailing her rather than actually talking to her during a group project as a shy type of flirting, and had upped the ante, despite there being no ante to begin with. I had then taken a week off school to avoid her, she realised her mistake, and to add insult to injury, she was left to complete the group project by herself. Since then, I had been squarely on her shit list.

“What homework?” I asked.

Sara’s frown grew deeper. That had clearly been the wrong answer.

“Your topic summary, James. The one that you and Reiko were meant to have ready for this morning, to share with the rest of the class.”

Shit. In light of Friday’s events, I had completely forgotten about it. After Miss Byrne had assigned me the topic of Female Anatomy, Sara had caught up with me and Reiko later to tell us that we were actually to write a five page summary on Cell Recognition instead. Not nearly so interesting a topic, but at least one that was more likely to actually appear in the exam, and far less likely to corrupt my search history.

“Um, sorry Sara, but Reiko’s left the school, so I-”

“Wait,” she cut me off. “Are you really about to tell me that you haven’t done your homework because the exchange student who studied Biology for one week isn’t here to help you?”


“Ugh. You are the worst.”

The students sitting in the first couple of rows had now noticed mine and Sara’s interaction, and were laughing at me. Just what I needed. Everyone in this school was either disgusted by me or found me laughable. I didn’t know which was worse.

“I’m sorry to do this, James,” Sara said, the edges of her mouth turning up in a way that suggested she really wasn’t sorry. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to stay after school today until you have completed your assignment.”

“You can’t give me detention!” I objected. “You’re not a teacher!”

“Miss Byrne!” Sara turned towards the window, her shout snapping our actual teacher out of her Instagram reverie. “James didn’t do his homework. Can I keep him in detention after school?”

“Yeah, whatever,” Miss Byrne replied. She looked back down at her phone, then snapped her head up, apparently having thought of something. “Actually, Sara, I’ll keep him after school. I thought he was a diligent boy, so maybe he just needs some extra… motivation.” She sensually licked her lips after saying that, and I felt a familiar stirring in my loins. Clearly I didn’t need to be under the influence of Reiko’s aphrodisiac to be affected by Miss Byrne’s charms.

“Are you sure, Miss?” Sara seemed a bit taken aback. “I don’t mind staying with him, to make sure he studies the right subject.”

“The right subject? But I assigned him Female Anatomy.” Miss Byrne looked Sara up and down, her eyes lingering briefly on the girl’s modest chest. “No offence, sweetie, but I think I’m more qualified to teach this one.”

Sara’s mouth dropped open, and I could tell she was wrestling between her indignation and her innate respect for authority figures, even if said authority figure had done nothing to deserve that respect. In the end, the latter won out.

“Yes Miss…” Sara hung her head.

“Good. Now, please continue with the independent study, and I’ll continue with my supervision.” Judging by what was on her phone screen, the only thing Miss Byrne intended to supervise was ‘This Week’s Top 10 Celebrity Hair Fails’. “And as for you, James. I’ll see you after school.” She winked at me, before returning to her scrolling.

The stirring in my loins now felt more like an electric whisk. I knew I had resolved to avoid being alone with anyone for the sake of my safety, but then again, it’s not like ‘hey, did you save me from getting boned by Reiko on Friday?’ was a question I could ask with a room full of other students present. And while she hadn’t given any hint of knowing about the events of Friday, the fact that she had wanted to personally supervise my detention, despite otherwise showing so little interest in teaching, suggested that she wanted to speak to me. Maybe just as I had been looking for an opportunity to talk to her, she had also been doing the same.

I took my seat at the front of the classroom. So, it looked like I had a full day of school to get through after all. What could go wrong?