“E-Erm,..hi... I’m Niko Kamawari and I just transferred here from America. I hope we’ll all get along in the future…” the transfer student stammered, as he stood in front of the class and the chalkboard with his name written in kanji etched into it.
The sea of thirty or so students stared at him from behind their desks; well some of them were paying attention to him anyways.
Many of Niko’s new classmates had chosen to either glance at their phones, mutter to a friend or gain a sudden burning interest in their textbooks, avoiding his gaze altogether.
‘Yeah…can’t say I don’t blame them…’ the transfer student thought to himself, his cheeks flushing a slight hue of dark red. “Who wouldn’t get second-hand embarrassment after watching some random guy have an argument with himself? Not a great start to the new term…”
“Well then, go ahead and take that seat by Andou over there. See the fourth desk in the third row?” Niko’s new homeroom teacher instructed. “I’m Mr Goshi, by the way. Your new homeroom teacher. Study hard and don’t get into any trouble, you hear?”
“Yes, sir” Niko replied, beginning to walk down the aisle to his new desk; bearing witness to the whispering and muttering of his new classmates. The experience wasn’t particularly all that great, but Niko was well aware that he had Hanako to thank for all of this embarrassment.
‘Where did she even disappear to? I would have seen her run off, but she was just gone all of a sudden…’ he thought to himself. ‘Thinking about it, Hanako did that whole disappearing act on me before, it happened the first time we met as well actually…’
Hanako always seemed to appear and disappear whenever it suited her…strange...
Haitei Andou glanced up from reading his weekly girls’s manga and raised an eyebrow in suspicion. Why was this random person just standing in the middle of the gangway, staring into space? Having somebody interupt his precious reading time was something he could stand.
Haitei was not one for small talk or any kind of talk for that matter; he was a person who loved his privacy. It was one of the few things that he took very seriously, aside from manga obviously.
The muttering of the class began to rise up a little again as Old Man Goshi began glaring over in Haitei’s direction. Clearing his throat, the unsociable student doggy-eared the page of his manga that he was currently reading, closed the cover and placed the book into his bag, sighing as he did so.
“Hey. Transfer Student, you still there?” he asked, an almost emotionless expression on his face. “Everybody’s waiting for you to take your seat already”
Niko was forcibly escorted from his train of thought by Haitei’s question. Making him realise all the unwanted attention he was receiving. Niko was positive that he had never sat down quicker in his life up until that very moment.
Haitei rolled his eyes and leaned back in his seat a little, attempting to get comfortable, which was not a very easy task. His new classmate didn’t seem like a bad person, but he was definitely a little strange…In Haitei’s mind, he figured that it was probably best if he kept his distance from his new classroom neighbour.
Niko sighed and watched Mr Goshi leave the classroom, just as a bell sounded from somewhere in the school. Looked like he had somehow made it to the end of the school day…
The transfer student had not been paying attention to his classes; his mind had been wandering ever since he had taken his seat a couple of hours ago. How did the rest of the class just sit there and study, though? The material was twice as difficult as the stuff back at home, even with his sudden understanding of Japanese.
‘Oh well, guess I’ll just head back to the apartment complex’ the teenager thought to himself, picking up his bag and standing up. ‘Maybe I’ll even study a little bit, don’t want to fall too far behind or anything...'
Niko pulled up his phone and checked the route to the school station via a map app he had installed earlier on. Since his inicident that morning, the teenager had taken some precations to ensure it never happened again. Walking towards the door, he proceeded to pull out a pair of black earphones from out of his blazer pocket.
‘Might as well listen to something on the way back’ he thought, plugging in the earphones and began scrolling through a playlist of his favourite tunes. Niko was the type of person who just listen to whatever he liked; as a result, his playlist was a mixture of songs hailing from many different genres.
Just as a track was about to begin playing, Niko felt somebody tap his shoulder. Turning around, he was met with the blank stare that belonged to Haitei Andou.
“Uh, can I help you?” the transfer student asked, not expecting anybody to start talking to him so soon.
“Yeah, you can” he replied in monotone. It sounded vageuly threatening, but Andou didn't seem like the violent type.
The two stared at each other for a little longer, before Niko attempted to pick the conversation back up off the ground.
“I’m just gonna go then…” he began, turning to opposite way to Haitei, planning on making a break for it as soon as it was humanely possible.
“Quick. Hide me.” The quiet student ordered as he grabbed Niko by the shoulders and attempted to hide behind him. “She’s coming”
"Huh? Who? Wait, what’re you doing? ”
The two struggled for a little while longer before the classroom door slid open loudly.
“Haitei? You here?”
A girl who seemed to be about Niko’s age wandered into the classroom, drawing the attention of the few students who had not left yet. Her hair was cut short and a hazel-brown colour and her eyes were a just a couple of tints darker.
Her loud voice and sudden entrance had drawn the attention of class, but her uniform was the main reason. The outfit looked very similar to the overall design of Ishimaku’s one, but the blazer and socks were a dark forest-green colour. She was most likely from a different school, although Niko wasn’t too sure which one.
The girl suddenly noticed Haitei, grinned and headed over towards him.
“Haitei! I tried ringing your cell a million times! How come you didn’t answer?” she asked, walking over. “Wait, what’re you doing with that guy?”
“N-Nothing” Haitei replied, quickly releasing Niko and regaining his usual distant attitude.
“Don't go harassing guys, okay? It might give people the wrong idea"
The girl then gave Niko a friendly-looking smile, holding out her hand for the transfer student to shake it.
“Hiya! Sorry about Haitei, he’s a total weirdo! I’m Hanayama Natsumi, this guy’s childhood friend. Oh, but you can call me Natsu, though. 'Natsumi' such a mouthful to say, right?” she said, nodding in Haitei’s direction as she spoke.
“I’m Niko Kamawari, nice to meet you” Niko replied, shaking her hand. "I just moved here from overseas"
“Oh, so you're foreign! I thought so! Still, it’s a real surprise to see you talking with somebody else other than me, Haitei. Are you and Kamawari friends?”
“Not his friend. Don’t even joke like that” Haitei replied, simply; gathering his things and heading towards the door. “Let’s just go home already, Natsumi”
“Sure, sure. Sorry about taking up your time, Kamawari. I hope that you’ll continue to get along with Haitei from now on!”
“Uhm, yeah. I'll try to…” Niko replied, still in a daze about this completely random encounter.
“Thanks, see you later then!”
And with that the two childhood friends left the classroom, arguing about something or other.
Niko shrugged and headed towards the door as well, now completely intent on going back to his room; but the transfer student couldn’t help but feel like he was forgetting something important…