Chapter 1:

Flower stumble

My darling is a mess

Getting a lung puncture saved my life. Well, kind of, it just made a lot of stuff fall into place in my life. I’m not a total weirdo who thanks for bad things happening! I’m sure that was it. I now have a group of awesome friends; I have better grades and I even got a girlfriend. Everything’s perfect really.

I’m staring at the text I sent her. The busy train moves around me. A loud yelp sounds right next to my ear. That yelping person lands right on my chest. They have really nice smelling long hair. Mm. Flowery.

I catch myself being a little creep so I shoot up and apologize.

"I'm sorry." I say to the sparkling clean shoes of whoever I just bumped into.

"It's okay, please don't worry." A trembling high pitched voice replies.

My eyes dart upwards and there she is, a strangely perfect looking girl wearing the uniform for my school and sporting a rather elaborate hairstyle. I said perfect but her expression is nothing of the like, it looks like she'd fit right in an ad for excessive sweating medicine. I wonder if it exists, should I recommend her some? We go to the same school. She's practically my friend already.

"You’re glistening.” I probably shouldn’t say she’s sweaty as an introduction.

She looks like I chewed her hair off and then spat it in her face. But to be fair I covertly just told her to her face she sweats a lot. She lets out a mumble screech sound. I don't know what to make of it.

"We go to the same school, right?" I try my best to not sound like a creep who judges and smells random girls. "What's your name?"

"Mia, Mia Asuno."

"Cool name, I'm Majima. Just call me that. Do you mind if I call you Mia?"

She looks at me like I just pissed gas on her and lit her on fire. I'm sorry random girl from school, I'm trying my best to be friendly. I smile at her, cringing internally at how awkward this is.

The train arrives at a station, and the flow of people surrounds me, separating me from that girl. Kinda weird we go to the same school and I’ve never seen her before. Anyways. I look back at my phone. Checking my texts is beyond a habit now. I'm lucky enough to see my love's text bubble showing me she's writing a message. We write to each other the whole way to my station. It fills me with motivation for the day ahead of me.

That girl is nowhere to be seen when I get off the train. All the best, it had been awkward. I can't imagine having to walk to school with her—

She's here. Right next to me. Also walking to school. Because we go to the same school. I'm trapped. Forever (until we get to school) trapped in the hell that is social niceties.

I look at her through the corner of my eye. She's staring at the floor and sweating profusely. Woah she must drink a lot of water.

It feels like forever but school is not too far from the train station so I soldier on. I feel a shiver down my spine and somehow I know she's staring at me.

It feels like walking through hot coal.

Like dredging through molasses.

Like drowning on sand.

I think she's moving closer, and I don't even know what to think, is this punishment for calling her sweaty? Please, I just wanted to be friendly and failed miserably. Have some mercy. Please, anyone, help!!!

"Oi! Majima! Come here, come here!!"

The heaven parts and an ugly angel helps me.

I sprint towards Naoto. In my whole life I've never been so glad to see his pitiful face.

"Hey hey what's up where's the rest of the club?" I pick up the pace and when I reach him I sling my arm over his shoulders juuust high enough to cover the back of his hair.

"They still haven't come, I have no idea what's holding them back." He fidgets anxiously with the long strands framing his face. "Do you think you'd be able to sneak me in by yourself?"

"Anything for the club leader!” I reply with all the confidence I don't actually have.

At the entrance to school there’s a girl with a clipboard. Hiroko from the moral committee is a scary girl who towers over half the students. She looks like a gang member escaped out of a juvenile correction center and she’s the one who supposedly checks for uniforms and hair styles. I honestly don’t understand what the teachers were thinking, picking her. Ah, it’s no matter now. We’re approaching and we’re probably looking as much of a mess as that girl from the train. Naoto’s hidden long hair hasn’t been a problem whenever we were all here as a group. Ah, Naoto I’ll cut off your rat tail whenever I get the chance to. I swear I will.

When we stand in front of Hiroko, I feel my heart beating in my chest and in my mouth and also like it’ll fall down. I’ll never make fun of anyone sweating ever again. Not with the way I’m sweating bullets right now. Hiroko is squinting at us. It can’t be my imagination, the way she’s looking at Naoto. He’s definitely noticed it too, he’s shivering like a chihuahua against my arm.

“Hey. You. Turn around, show me your hair.” Naoto looks like he’s going to cry.

He turns around slowly and raises his hands.

“I don’t have a gun, put your arms down.” She huffs. “What’s wrong with you?”

He lets out a cry. I watch like a coward. I should do something.

I gather my nerves. I take a step forward.

Before I do so, though, that girl from the train Mia walks up to her.

Clack Clack.

Her shiny shoes stumble a bit before standing right in front of Hiroko. She says something I can’t hear. Hiroko squints at her. She moves away from the door. Mia passes through the gates.

“Okay, you guys can pass, Mia is vouching for you.” Hiroko even smiles the tiniest bit at us.

Just who the hell is that girl?!

Dhamas Tri (dmz)