Asahi noticed the time and winced - the bus was leaving in 3 minutes. He forced a few slices of toast into his mouth and ran to the station, coughing dryly because he forgot to add the butter. On the journey to school, he stared out of the window. No, he wasn't thinking of anything too philosophical, he was just trying to remember whether he'd actually put on any underwear before leaving the house. Unfortunately, he could not see a waistband under his trousers.
It was the first day at his new school. If he wanted to make any friends and have any level of social standing, he would have to put in the effort to make himself known to the class. So, he tried to make things interesting.
He walked to a desk labeled with a girl's name, sat down, and feigned sleep.
Immediately after this move, a girl walked over.
"Erm, who are you?"
You see, Asahi was hoping for a cute, feminine girl to come and tap him on the shoulder and tease him a little for his trivial mistake, perhaps leading to a nice conversation and possibly even a phone number exchange - but her remark made it clear to him that he was being a pest.
"Whoa, you startled me a little," he replied.
He blinked multiple times and was cautious not to yawn; that way, it didn't look like he was faking being asleep.
"No, I didn't. You weren't even asleep."
"What do you mean?", he replied in an (attempted) fatigued voice.
"You were tapping your fingers on the desk. Unless you were dreaming about playing the piano, I know you weren't asleep."
Ah, what an unforeseen mistake to his brilliant plan. He had to rectify the situation, so he tried to divert the attention away from himself.
"So, what's your na-"
"God, you're annoying. Can you get off my chair now?"
The whole class was now staring at the pair of them.
"Hey, I'm really sorry. I'll leave if you wa..."
he raised his head, he got a good look at the girl he was talking to.
His voice trailed off as he stared at her more. She was rather tall, at
5'8, and her back arched gently, highlighting her proportionate torso
and wide hips. Along with her rich black hair, face-framing bangs, and
apple-green eyes, she gave off the aura of a girl much older than 16,
possibly 21 or 22.
"Thanks, I'm ever so grateful."
You could taste her sarcasm.
"Everyone, settle down please," a middle-aged woman said as she walked in front of the class. She donned chestnut shoulder-length hair with a black suit, looking more like a businesswoman than a high school teacher.
"My name is Rebecca Lock, and I will be your form room teacher for the next three years,"
She spoke with pure confidence. It was uncommon for teachers to refer to themselves by their first name, and this caught Asahi's attention. Perhaps her unconventional introduction was intentional.
"Damn, I wouldn't mind if you locked me up, Miss!"
A couple of boys in the back high-fived each other, creating an aura of slight discomfort that emanated from the right corner of the classroom.
"Try getting some attention with girls your own age before thinking you have any shot with an older woman."
The boy stopped laughing and buried his head in his hands in embarrassment as the whole class started giggling. To fit in, Asahi laughed along with them. Girl 1 noticed his plastic behaviour, and stared at him. At the very least, it seems Asahi's plan did manage to get her to take notice of him. He couldn't handle the pressure, so he sheepishly broke away from her gaze.
"I'll be honest with you; this school isn't the best I've ever worked at. We've ranked perfectly average in the examination tables ever since the school was established. However, there has been an exception. The current second years are perhaps the most talented class that we have ever received as a school. The average entrance exam score for the year group was a brilliant 72%, a 20% increase from the last record. We didn't have any examinations last year, so we don't have any grasp of how good of a class you all are. As such, there lies a high expectation for this year to meet the standards of the year before."
Frankly speaking, this was not what everyone wanted to hear. After all, they had just had a summer break, and the fact that their period of freedom had ended had not quite dawned upon them. At this point, Asahi was now genuinely sleeping on the desk; It wasn't his fault that they released a 12-episode sequel of the most popular drama series of all time just yesterday night.
"This year has an abnormally large student enrolment, and so to accommodate that, we have had to increase the number of classes from four to six. This class will be known as 1-E, the fifth class."
Whether it was intentional or not, the fact that Miss Lock referred to the letters as numbered classes made it feel like it was a ranking. A couple of students caught onto that fact and looked slightly disappointed with their placement.
The teacher left the classroom and allowed the students in the class to mingle with each other. Asahi took note of the movement of people and noticed that cliques were starting to be formed. He wandered around the classroom, slightly dipping in and out of the groups of people, hoping they would invite him into the conversation. Amid his pitiful attempt at making friends, A boy, about 5'9, with short, messy blonde hair stood up.
"Hey everyone! I think that we should all introduce ourselves. Let's get to know each other - after all, we are going to be in the same class for the next three years,"
If he had been unattractive, I'm sure that no one would have even bothered to turn their heads. But his long eyelashes and slender frame attracted the attention of possibly every female in the class. The other boys noticed this and felt slight animosity toward him.
"Yeah, I think that's a great idea!"
"Yeah, me too!"
"Alright then! I guess because I suggested it, I think I should start. My name is Julian. I'm not all that smart, but I love tennis. I used to be the captain of my junior team, and I am going to play at this school too. Hopefully, sometime in the future, I can become the captain again. It's nice to meet you all!"
Everyone - no - every girl in the class cheered. A perfect introduction. Asahi quickly wrote it down and analysed it like a piece of poetry. Julian's act of taking on the responsibility of introducing himself first, as well as starting with a flaw of his own, made him come across as amicable and pleasant to talk to. Following up with an insight into his passion as well as his intentions for the future let others know that he was someone who had goals to achieve. Asahi had a newfound respect for him, but he couldn't deny that he too was jealous of the attention being given to him by the girls of the class. Fortunately, he realised how weird it was for him to examine someone's introduction, and quickly scribbled out his analysis.
"Well...I guess I'll go next,"
This was the girl. The "next-door neighbour", or whatever trope you want to call her. This was the kind of girl Asahi was hoping would wake him up from his slumber.
"Hey everyone, I'm Leigh... It's nice to meet you all. I find it hard concentrating, and in my middle school, I spent too much time messing around. Even though I'll be doing my best to work harder, I hope we all get along well together!"
This time, it was the boys that clapped the loudest. Her slender frame, bob-cut hair, and her bubbly voice (as well as her highly developed figure) attracted the attention of every male gaze. Asahi noticed that many girls were also paying attention to her. She was the type of girl that appealed to any gender and sexuality. Her cute aura meant it was hard not to find her endearing.
"Okay... how about you next?"
Julian hinted at Asahi.
"Oh, Er, Alright. My name is Asahi. Erm..."
He realised that no matter what he said, he couldn't not make it sound awkward. He wondered if there was any way to make himself look cool, even in the slightest.
"I don't really have too many hobbies, but I hope we can all get along."
Yes. Going for the "mysterious" vibe. A wise choice, all things considered.
"he looks kind of boring, don't you think?"
He heard a couple of girls whisper behind him. Alas, another failure, he thought.
"Thanks, Asahi, I'm sure we will. You, with the black hair, would you mind introducing yourself?"
Asahi had been waiting for this moment - how would Girl 1 introduce herself? This one speech could determine her whole high school life. Whether she was an outcast or popular. Whether she was liked or hated. Considering her attitude before, Asahi was praying for the worst. However, just as she was about to start talking, the most beautiful ray of sunlight shone onto her hair, causing it to glisten and highlight her face. The sky outside was clear and blue. The room was filled with natural light, enhanced by the pure white walls and the large windows. It was like all the stars had aligned.
"Hey everyone! It's nice to meet you all! I've never been to this part of the country before - I used to live way up north. I'm not really used to the environment here, so I hope you will all help me get used to this new city! Let's all have a brilliant 3 years together, and maybe even more!"
Whispering from the boys and clapping from the girls. Her enthusiasm, her delicate demeanour, the way she scratched her cheek with her ring finger as she tilted her head to the side - In one fell swoop, not only had she just diminished Asahi's introduction into nothingness, but she had just placed herself as possibly one of the most agreeable people in the whole class.
"... so... you're two-faced,"
"Not really. I just feel like I don't like you,"
"That's not very nice, I didn't even do anything. You're going to hurt my poor feelings,"
"Haha, yeah, sure I am. Just know that I'll do my very best to avoid talking to you,"
"Hey hey, what's with the antagonism? We're desk neighbours, we should be getting along. That kind of relationship is a sacred thing, you know,"
"Yeah, about as sacred as your hair,"
Asahi felt his hair. It was a pure mess.
"Hey, the natural look is all in right now: I'm just on trend,"
"If that's what you want to believe, then sure."
Evelyn promptly got up from her seat and left the classroom. All the girls had left the classroom, so it now contained only males.
"So, guys, who are we saying is the hottest girl in the class?"
The boy who earlier catcalled the teacher, Mica, had already recovered from his embarrassment.
"I think there were 2 standouts, personally," Kai quickly replied.
"Yeah, I have to agree," said Mica.
"Leigh is damn hot, honestly. I think I'm already in love!"
"I'm going to talk to her later today,"
"Mica, I can't lie, you're not hot enough to get with a girl like her,"
"Do you want a fight?!"
Asahi found it amusing how two boys could fight over hypothetically going out with a girl neither of them had a chance with.
"Guys, come on, let's not argue. You should first actually try getting to know her before you start mauling each other to death."
Of course, Julian spoke the voice of logic.
"Okay Okay, enough about Leigh. What about Evelyn!"
"Yeah, I was just about to say, I think she's even hotter than Leigh. She's just straight-up sexy,"
"God, I'd let her dominate me,"
He felt a little strange listening to five boys start wildly fantasising about a girl he had just moments ago been talking to.
"Hey, er, Asahi, was it? I noticed you talking to her earlier... Do you know her?" Noah asked.
"No, not really. She sits next to me, that's all."
"Well then...do you want to swap seats?"
"No thanks, I personally like my seat. I have really bad eyesight, so I need to sit in the middle of the class,"
He needed a good excuse to stay where he was sitting.
"Fair enough, I guess." Noah replied.
As the boys carried on talking about who they were into and who they were hypothetically marking as their own, Asahi wandered around the classroom to see if there was anyone else. There was another boy, sitting nearby the group, who was playing videogames.
"Hey, you alright,"
This may have been his first-ever time initiating a conversation.
"Yeah, I'm alright. What's your name?"
The boy didn't look up from his screen.
"Asahi. And you?"
"So, you weren't listening to everyone's introductions?"
"Hey, come on, you can't tell me you were listening to them too,"
"Fair point. Ari."
"Nice to meet you. Did you watch the new season of 'the false girl'?"
"Yeah, It was insane!"
Ari lifted his head from the screen for the first time. Ari's black eye bags told Asahi that he, too, had stayed up all night watching the show. Asahi could sense that they were of the same kind.
"Do you watch any oth-"
"Alright everyone, that's break time over. Everyone, please return to your seats!"
Miss Lock strutted into the classroom and promptly sat at her desk. All the boys quickly exchanged phone numbers, and returned to their seats.