Dichotomy of a Fallen Race Ch2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 of my first ever attempt at a fantasy novel/ light novel. Let me know what you guys think!

The walk to school isn’t bad for us, it usually only takes about 15 minutes to get there. Although today, the first few minutes were abnormally quiet. Aiko hasn’t really said much since we left the apartment, something is troubling her. It’s written all over her face, but I know she won’t open up unless she wants to, so I resign myself to walk with her in utter silence. Her usual bubbly and upbeat demeanor have been completely taken over by a solemn face of confusion and maybe anger, hard to tell with her sometimes.

We get to about the halfway point where Kishiro is waiting for us. He’s sitting outside his apartment complex leaning up against a half wall, eyes glued to his phone, completely oblivious to his surroundings again. No individual I’ve ever met makes me so frustrated and yet so amused. Kishiro has been one of my best friends since I moved back to Japan. He doesn’t look like much on the surface, average height, average features but he never has a single hair color. His latest colors of choice are a bright pink and blue that makes his wispy hair look like he stuck his head in a cotton candy machine. I don’t know where he comes up with these combinations, but I always look forward to what he does next.

“Yo! Kishiro!”

Kishiro hears me and finally looks up from his phone and waves. He waits until we get right next to him to push off the wall and heads with us to school.

“Morning guys,” he says in his usual fake excited tone, then he leans in so only I can hear him, “hey, what’s going on with Aiko?”

Unsurprisingly, he immediately noticed Aiko’s unusual quiet behavior.

“I don’t really know, she’s been like that since right before we left the apartment.” I whisper back. Knowing full well that no matter how quiet I am Aiko probably still heard every word we said. But her facial expressions don’t change, she’s still quietly lost in thought. Honestly, its starting to unnerve me a bit. Not many things usually affect Aiko, especially not to this degree.

“Really? Strange… lets see what we can do about that.”

Before I can warn him, Shiro slows his pace just a bit so that he’s now walking behind us. Mischievous look scrawled across his face tells me things are going to end very badly for him. I sigh inwardly to myself, “well, I got decked this morning already, so I guess its his turn now.” Shiro pinches the air with both hands, mimicking a crab and slowly sneaks up behind Aiko. Shiro pinches Aiko right above her hip on both sides and she yelps in surprise. Aiko whips around with fire in her eyes, I instinctively back up so I don’t get hit in the crossfire. Almost imperceptibly fast Aiko raises her right leg straight up and scissor kicks Shiro hard on the top of his head and he slams into ground, he practically bounces off pavement. Aiko stands there fuming, panting in anger. Her previous demeanor has been taken over by thoughts of revenge.

“DON’T DO THAT! You know I hate that, and I don’t like it when people are behind me.”

Shiro lets out a half groan and half giggle, giant knot on his head already forming from Aiko’s kick.

“What’s funny now Mr. smart guy?”

Between groans Shiro mumbles “You’re a little too old for teddy bear panties don’t you think?”

Aiko suddenly furious and embarrassed, Aiko’s face blushes to a shade a red I didn’t think humans capable of reaching. She reflexively pulls down her skirt, cranks her leg back and kicks Shiro, still on the ground, over the nearest fence.

*Crash, crack, thud* Is all I can hear as Shiro lands somewhere out of sight. Surely, he’s not dead, I think.

“PERVERTTTTTTTTTT!”

Aiko huffs in anger, she looks up at me, I back away slowly with my hands raised.

“No, I’m good. I already took my fair share this morning.” I say as I back up out of reach. I cup my hands together over my mouth and yell over to Shiro.

“Oy! If you’re not dead, catch up with us, we’re going on ahead.”

There’s a grumble sound from over the wall that I take as a response. Well, at least he’s alive. I look back at Aiko, she’s calmed down some but she’s still bright red and I can’t help myself but to laugh.

“WHAT!? What now?”

“You look cute embarrassed, I don’t get to see you like that often.” Aiko almost seems to blush a little deeper but it’s hard to tell.

“You’re an ass, you know that?”

“Yeah, I am” I chuckle to myself “but you’re stuck with me regardless.”

 

After a few moments to recollect ourselves, we start walking to school again. Aiko’s bad mood is gone thankfully but I can tell she’s still embarrassed a bit. I’ll occasionally catch her mumbling to herself,” that jerk.” Thank you for your sacrifice my friend, you will not be forgotten. I salute to Shiro in my head and the thought makes me crack a smile.

“What are you smiling about?”

“You’re back to normal, its not like you to be so quiet. Even though you might not like his methods Shiro was effective in cheering you up.”

Aiko opens her mouth and holds up her hand in a pointing fashion to protest, but she gives up, she drops her head and hand in defeat. Looks like we’re done with violence for the morning, hopefully. We walk through the main gates just as Shiro catches up to us, panting, out of breath with a nice size bulge sitting on the top of his. I was tempted to draw a face on it with marker, but I decided he’s suffered enough for the common good today and let him be.

“How nice of you to join us,” Aiko says in her most sarcastically demeaning voice possible.

“Glad to be here,” Shiro ekes out between gasps of air.

“Let’s go both of you, if we wait out here any longer, we’ll be late for homeroom again. I really don’t want to hear another lecture about punctuality is important first thing in the morning” I say to them.

With all the frustrations of the morning dealt with, we head to our homeroom in a more regular fashion. Chitchatting about random nonsense from the day before like we usually do. The small return to normality for the first time this morning feels nice.

We head up three flights of stairs, passing acquaintances and other teachers, occasionally saying hi but mostly we just enjoy our own conversations on the way. Finally, we reach our destination, classroom 1-C, I pull the door open and head inside. The classroom is the same boring square it was yesterday, the desks sprawled all over the place before class begins. Little social groups scattered across the room. Of course, the class representative’s circle is the largest, she seems to get along with every student and most of the teachers love her as well.

Class representative Yumi Yayurozu, second smartest student in our grade. She’s a little on the short side, long black hair that always hides half of her face. But from what you can see, she’s very pretty, all prim and properly dressed in her school uniform, looks at me, at least I think she did. There was a moment of brief eye contact, but that could’ve easily just been my imagination. Yumi continues her round table discussion without any interruption, I really might just be seeing things today. As friendly as she is with everyone, she and I have never really spoke much. She doesn’t avoid me by any means, then again, I haven’t really made any efforts to try and talk to her either.

I take my seat in the back of the class, throw my bag over the back of the seat, plop myself down in my desk and bury my face into the desk. “Ugh, I’m so over today already, at least the desk feels nice and cool against my face.” I think to myself as I close my eyes for a moment. I can hear Aiko in the background talking to some of her friends from track around her desk. Can’t really make out what they’re talking about but at least Aiko sounds like she’s back to her bubbly self. I try to turn out the background noise and just enjoy this moment of peace, until… THWACK! “Yo! Haru, so give me the real scoop.” Shiro had slammed his hand down on my desk to deliberately annoy the crap out of me. I look up, already annoyed, Shiro is sitting backwards in his desk in front of me, facing me.

“Soooooooo, you gonna tell me or what?”

Honestly, I roll my eyes, he’s such a pain in the ass sometimes. I sit up, and glance over at the clock, we still have a few minutes before class starts. So, I give him a brief rundown of the morning. From the nightmare to the broken shower, to the discussion with Aiko and end it off, “and that’s when we made it to your place.”

Shiro sits in his desk nodding his head along as he listens, not saying a word till I finish speaking. He sits quietly for a moment before he speaks, I already dread the sarcastic remarks that are about to follow. I take a drink from my water bottle while I wait. Shiro being the evil genius that he is waits for that exact moment to speak up.

“Did you ever think maybe she’s disappointed you didn’t have a dream about her instead?”

I spit out the water I was drinking, coughing up the rest that got caught in my windpipe. *Cough, cough* I wipe my face with the back of my hand, then chop him hard on the head right where Aiko kicked him. I nail it, bullseye.

“You jackass” I get out between coughs. “Can’t you ever contribute something useful for once. You’re supposed to be the smartest kid in school and yet all your ideas make me want to strangle you.”

Shiro is clasping his hands over his head, pressing on the lump, mumbling ow ow ow ow to himself. I don’t feel any pity, he deserved that. Although, I could’ve at least aimed for the other side of his head to be kinda nice. My best friend Shiro is by far the smartest kid in the school without even trying, but he’s so dumb sometimes it pains me. He’ll sleep through every class and still ace every exam they put in front of him, the teachers have stopped trying to get him to pay attention. They’ve resigned to the fact that he isn’t going to pay them any attention, but if he doesn’t interrupt their lessons, they usually let him be. That’s one of his traits that bug me to no end, he puts in literally zero effort and still gets perfect marks. Yet here I am trying to study and pay attention and I hardly ever reach above average grades. Maybe one day I’ll learn how he does it.

“You know I was being kinda serious when I said that. Think about it, you two have been friends since childhood. You’ve basically grown up with each other, its entirely possible she wants more attention from you.”

I sit there, unamused, and glare back at him with dead eyes. I just can’t with him sometimes. This is either some elaborate scheme to get me to embarrass myself or he thinks this would be a fun way to mess with me. Either way, I’m not going to take the bait. “That’s definitely not the reason” I say flatly back to him. Shiro shrugs, “believe what you will” he turns back to sit in desk properly so he can nap, right as the teacher walks in to begin homeroom.

The rest of the school day goes by without much new development. But I can’t shake this feeling. Something from that dream is still hanging around but I can’t figure out what. This sensation of the hairs on the back of my neck standing up just keep coming back. How can one nightmare rattle me so bad? What was in that dream? What does it mean? Does it even have a meaning? All these thoughts follow me through lunch and gym. I just hazily glide through the motions of my day, not really paying much attention to anyone or anything. Until I realize, the school day is over. I’m sitting in my desk and most everyone in the class is gone. Aiko and Shiro have already headed downstairs. Shiro has club activities today so he’s probably already heading there. Aiko, on the other hand just hates getting caught in the rain so she’s already out the door. I check my phone and sure enough, 1 new text from Aiko. “I tried to get your attention before I left but you were unresponsive, so I went home ahead of you. Text me when you get home!” I send her a quick text back saying that I will before I slip my phone back in my pocket. I stand up to collect my things and I realize the only other person here is Yumi. She’s at the front of the class cleaning off the board, using a stepping stool to reach the top corners she otherwise couldn’t reach. I collect my things and head towards the door.

“Wait. I want to talk with you for a moment.”

I freeze mid step, I look over, Yumi is still cleaning the board. Seemingly paying me no mind at all, but there’s no one else she could possibly be talking to. Curiosity has me, Yumi rarely ever talks to me so what could she possibly need to discuss with me now? She finishes cleaning the board and puts away the eraser before walking over to the door where I’m still standing. Her face, as pretty as it is, is impossible to read. Her face never shows any emotion, her mannerisms almost seem robotic at times. She takes her time walking over to me, this is the first time I’ve ever really noticed more than just her superficials. Her long black hair hangs just above a slender waist, the stockings she’s wearing under her skirt highlighting the length and shape of her legs. She’s actually beautiful, how did I not notice how attractive she was before? She maintains eye contact up until the moment she stops, just a few steps away from me. Her emotionless expression giving nothing away, slightly irritates me for some reason. She glances up and down, almost as if she is scanning me, or looking for something to point out.

“What did you need to talk to me about?” I blurt out slightly awkwardly, this examination process has me a little on edge.

“I wanted to understand something.”

“Understand something?

“Yes”

“Ok… then, what did you want to understand?” I stand there, growing ever more confused by the moment. She’s close enough now that I can faintly smell her perfume. It’s a pleasant cherry blossom on the surface but there’s something heavy underneath, I can’t quite place it though. I’m letting my mind wander again, I refocus myself back to the strange conversation. Yumi is still standing there, head slightly tilted to the left, still just examining me. It feels more like she’s looking through me at this point, like I’m some sort of department store window and she’s examining the merchandise on the other side. Without speaking another word, she starts to walk closer to me. Yumi reaches her palm out and places it against my chest. For a moment all I can feel is confusion. What is she doing? What does understanding have to do with touching my chest? Before I can open my mouth to ask what she’s doing, it hits me. The sensation of being struck by lighting courses through my body. Immense amounts of pain shoot through every fiber of my body. I can feel every hair on my head to every cell on my feet. All of them scream as if they’ve been tasered by God himself. Yumi is thrown back from the shock and collides into the far wall where she slides down and remains on the ground slumped over. I still can’t move, the pain is gone just as fast as it came but I can’t move, I’m paralyzed in place. I’m worried Yumi might be hurt but I can’t make my feet move, I will my body to move but I’m no longer in control. As I wait there helplessly for my sense of motor control to return, Yumi slowly works herself into a sitting position. She doesn’t appear to be hurt, amazingly she looks completely unaffected. Yumi stands up at the far end of the room, bows to me, collects her bag, and walks out of the room. I want to run after her, I want to scream, I want answers. What was that? Who is she? What did she just do? How is she not hurt? All these thoughts and hundreds more swirl through my mind at dizzying speeds.

Moments pass, maybe several minutes, I couldn’t be sure. My muscle control slowly returns, I lift my shirt to check where her hand was, but I see nothing. It seems exactly like it did the morning. I stare at my hands, slowly turn them over and back again, nothing. I grab my things and run to the closest bathroom to check the mirror. I stare blankly at myself, looking for something, anything, something different, something to tell me what just happened was real. Today doesn’t feel real anymore, I feel like I could easily wake up in my bed right now and realize this was all a dream. Walking around in circles in front of the mirror all of todays events just play through my head over and over again and the less and less they make sense. I go back to the sink to rinse my face, reach for the handle, turn the cold water and effortlessly rip the handle off the sink. The metal twists and shreds under my hand, leaving a deep cut in my palm. The sink flows pink with the tap water mixing my blood down the drain. I stare at my bleeding hand, dumbfounded. This isn’t real, I didn’t do this, this is some kind of prank. My heart rate skyrockets, its thumping loud enough I feel like if there was someone in the hallway, they could hear it. Reality doesn’t make sense right now, there’s no way a person can do this. This invisible pain that shot through me like lighting and sent Yumi flying. Accidentally tearing off the metal faucet. Nothing makes sense, the only facet that ties me to reality right now is that I’m bleeding. I can feel the sting of cut flesh, that sensation of pain is the only grasp of reality I currently have. I fixate on it, trying to center myself back to the real world, trying to find something that makes sense. I wrap my hand in paper towels and head towards the nurse’s office. I know she won’t be there but at least I can grab a real wrap for my hand if its unlocked.

Silently I walk down to the first floor, pressing the paper towels tightly into my palm trying to staunch the bleeding. Its not deep enough for stiches but man does it hurt. After I make it to the nurse’s office, I knock, just on the off chance she’s still there. No response comes back after several seconds, “figures, I would’ve gone home if I was her too.” I think to myself. Grabbing the door and sliding it open, surprisingly enough, it was unlocked. Rummaging through the first aid kit that’s in the cabinet I find some gauze and a clean cotton pad to wrap my hand up with. I unwrap the paper towels so I can redress the wound. Thankfully most of the bleeding has stopped but it still looks nasty. The cut is about 3 inches long and runs right across my palm as if I grabbed onto a knife’s edge. The edges all ragged from the metal not breaking in a clean point. It’s a nasty sight, one I’m not too keen to just keep staring at. Spray some alcohol on the opening so it doesn’t get infected, the sting hurts but its nothing compared to getting the cut in the first place. I lay the cotton down and wrap my hand up nice and tight, grip a few times so I know the bandage won’t come loose. Then throw away my blood-soaked wrap and put the nurse’s supplies back in the closet for next time. “Wait… no… no next time, only this time” I think to myself.

I walk toward the exit. I just want to go home; I want whatever all this is to be over. I grab my phone to check the time, 4:18 PM, shines back at me. School’s been out for over an hour, I stop walking. “How is that even possible?” I say out loud to only myself. Ignoring the time, I throw my phone back in my pocket and head towards the exit. Through the doors all I can see are dark clouds and distant lighting streaking across the afternoon sky. Thankfully I brought my umbrella, but this is going to be a wet and miserable walk home.

No sooner than I leave the main gates of the school it begins to rain. I grab my collapsible umbrella out of my bag and flip it open. It’s a simple umbrella, just an ordinary black color with no real designs. I’ve had it for years but why replace what isn’t broken. I walk home in silence; the only noise is the rain colliding with the surfaces around me. Bouncing off my umbrella and hitting the floor, drop by drop, I just listen. I’m finally alone, there’s nothing to distract me now. I walk home and I think about everything that happened. Most importantly I think to myself, “How much of this do I tell Aiko and Shiro? And will they even believe me?” I ponder these questions as I trudge through the rain back home.


Submitted: September 28, 2021

© Copyright 2021 zprime94. All rights reserved.

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