It's been months since I've been to school. Not since the accident, and even before that I was only going sometimes. Most of the time I blew off and found somewhere else to disappear to. Not like my father cared, after all. Now I have to go to school though. Corbin's paying a lot of money to make sure I don't throw my life away. And Re-chan... It'd break her heart.
So, here I am, awake and alert (well, awake at least) at 8:00 on a Monday morning, putting on a uniform. Officially, it's called a gakuran. Unofficially, it's called a piece of shit. I haven't got nearly enough cigarettes to get me through today. Rena's thrilled. She's in the kitchen right now making breakfast and boxed lunches. I think she's been up for a couple hours. She's fifteen and already acts like a housewife. It's a little weird, but appreciated.
"Ja-kun!" she calls. "Breakfast is ready! If you don't hurry, we'll be late for school!" And there she is, dressed her in seifuku, hair tied back in a matching bow, setting out miso soup, rice and grilled fish. I've really got to show her how to make omelettes.
"No coffee, huh?" I ask. I hate miso soup.
"If you wanted coffee, you should have told me, Jemusu. I can buy some after school." She points to the counter, "Your lunch is the one wrapped in black." Hm. Bento. I've never had bento. This could take some getting used to.
Rena and I are in the same homeroom, so that's a bonus. I'm not completely alone. She's fitting right in. The other girls like her cellphone. I'm...not really talking to anyone. I've said 'Hi' to a couple people, but haven't exactly had a conversation. Our teacher is Emi Fukuda. She seems nice enough.
"Date Kimiko?" I hear Fukuda-sensei call.
"Present!" calls a perky girl up front. Fukuda-sensei looks at the roll call. Her brow furrows.
"Du...Duduge-" She's struggling with my name. It doesn't translate well.
"Doduju," I say. "It's pronounced Doduju. Doduju Jemusu. It's American." There's some snickering and I hear someone call me a stupid foreigner. It's taking all my will power to sit still as Fukuda-sensei finishes the roll call.
First period is over. It was English, making it more obvious that I'm American. As I'm picking my things up, a guy comes over to my desk. His name is Sakamoto Hikaru. He looks like a dickhead.
"So you're the new kid. You're from America?"
I say nothing.
"Hey, I'm talking to you, foreigner. Show some respect!"
I stand up, and look down at him. I'm taller then him. "I'd rather not."
"You bast-" I grab him by the collar and lift him off the ground with one arm.
"Say it. I dare you."
"Jemusu-kun?" It's Rena. "Are you coming to gym class? We'll be late..." I drop Sakamoto-san. He's white as a ghost at this point.
"Yeah, I'm coming, Re-chan."