December 12, 2008 § Leave a comment
Chapter 0: Aruarian Dance
Kino watched old friends reunites after the long summer vacation. She began reading her book, ignoring the rest of the class, as they ignored her. The teacher entered the room, and silence grew from the loud chattering.
“Good morning everyone.”
“My name is Mrs.—“
All sound was faded as Kino stared out the window, away from her book. Again, this year she sat at the back of the class near the windows, with nobody. Watching the squirrels, the leaves fall, and the wind blow through the trees before returning to the world hidden within her book.
“This year we have a new student.”
“He just moved in the city with his aunt so please give him a warm welcome.”
The teacher turned around and motioned for the boy to enter the classroom. Without even having to enter, the entire class became his fan.
“Everyone, please settle down!”
The eruption dispersed and calmed down.
“Hello. I’m Yuki. I’m 11 years old and I just moved from New York City to Klinton. I hope to have a fun year with everyone!”
“Ok, Yuki you can sit…hmmm”
Everyone tried to make room for him at their table and yet in the end, “With Kino, at the back. If you can’t see the board, let me know.”
“I’ll be fine.” He said with a smile before walking to the back of the room and taking his spot. Kino looked through Yuki, as she heard the whispers.
“How could she do that? Poor Yuki.”
“Why the monster?”
Monster, Monster, Monster
“So today, you’ll be receiving your agenda books and schedules. Also, I’ll be expecting first day of school reflection journals by the end of the week—“
Blah, blah, blah Kino thought as everything turned to mush and she grew bored of the story.
“You’re Kino, right?”
Kino looked at the boy that sat across from her through the corner of her eyes. Her eyes focused outside at the green grass and the schools outdoor swimming pool again, having no interest in being friendly with the boy.
“Why don’t you go sit at the other table over there? They seem to be calling you.”
She said not taking her eyes off the green grass, yet somehow knowing the kids at the other table were signalling Yuki to the other table.
“Wouldn’t you get lonely?”
She tilted her head back, to glance at him wondering what he was talking about. The boy just smiled at her. Kino eyes blinked, and then she turned her body around to observe him with a puzzled face.
The heat from summer didn’t leave the air as Kino sat under the shady tree with a juice box. Peacefully sitting there watching Yuki. He kicked the soccer ball, the goalie misses, and the girls swarm around him. Kino bit her straw and gnawed on it, irritated.
A familiar laugh and fearful cries reached her ears, and the juice box in her hand was crushed.
“Hey kid, do you know who we are? We are the PB&J.”
“So hand over that Kingdom Card.”
“No way! This is a rare card, you can’t take it!”
The biggest of the group of brutes walked passed the two boys and then stood in front of frightened boy like a pillar, swiping the card away from the boy as if the boy wasn’t even holding it.
“Wait! That’s mine!”
The boy quickly tried to retrieve his belonging but the brute threw him easily to the side.
“Take care of him.”
And so the beating began. The boy called for his friends, but they all stood frozen. The girls hiding behind a tree for they were too scared what would happen to them if they told the teacher.
“So its you guys again.”
“Hey you! Give the card back and stop trying to hog all the attention.”
Heads turned, as Kino stood there with her arms crossed, tapping her foot in agitation.
“I hate people who try to be sarcastic.”
“sarcas–what? Are you trying to make fun of us?!”
“Dumb pig, why would I waste my time trying to insult you? Now give back the card.”
“What did you call me?!”
The boss of the trio clenched his fist, crumpling the card at the same time, before running at her. The other two followed.
“Don’t touch me.”
She said brushing the boys off.
“Why you little monster!”
The pig then grabbed onto her arm and Kino retaliated by punching him in the face, while she tried to pull herself free from his grasp.
“I said don’t touch me!”
The boys let go of their conscious and the beating began
“Hehe! This is what you get for not listening to us.”
Kino tried to retaliate, and yet it was obvious how futile it was.
The fatty dropped Kino and they all turned around to see Yuki. Kino lying there on the ground tried to get up, her face bruised.
“Pft, lets go.”
The bullies started walking away while the others followed.
“Wait boss! What about the monster?”
“Leave her to the new kid. We’ll get her after school.”
All three of them, their voices now mumble jumble as they walked further and further from Yuki and Kino.
She gasped, putting everything she’s got to push herself up and sit up before trying to stand up.
“What are you doing?”
“Leave me alone.”
She said angrily as she glared at the three of them, she swayed back and forth. Yuki quickly stood next to her, making sure she wouldn’t fall.
“Oie! You shouldn’t go after them.”
“Fighting doesn’t solve the problem.”
He said, and was about to support her when her arm extended out and smacked him away.
“I’m just trying to help!”
As her back was turned to Yuki, she said, “I don’t need your kindness.”
Kino put her book into her backpack before she looked out from her corner and watched all the kids rush up to their parents and smiled cheerfully. All she heard was “Yuki this.” “Yuki that”.
The comforting silence fell as the chatter disappeared. Kino sighed in relief, yet disappointment and the class teacher came up to her.
“Since Yuki is new will you be his buddy for the week?”
“Just so that the transition into a new school is easier.”
“I told him this earlier so he should know about it. Maybe you could use this opportunity to become friends with him.”
“I have to go now.”
“Ok, have a good rest of the day.”
Mother Nature was playing tricks, as the clouds rolled in, and the sky cried, prompting Kino to pull out her umbrella. Kino saw the boy from lunch break but knew not to expect any gratitude and stepped into the rain.
“Hey that sucks Kevin.”
“Yeah, the monster totally ruined your card didn’t she?”
“Seriously what’s her problem. Because of her my card got destroyed.”
“She’s just trying to look good.”
Splash, splash splash. Kino walked all the way to the school fence until the PB&J trio from earlier stepped out in their designer brand rain jackets, looking big and mighty yet so small like insects.
“You’re blocking the way.”
“Do you know who we are girl?!”
“We are the PB&J gang!”
“And you don’t mess with us.”
“I already know who you are. You’re named after that sandwich. Plus I don’t eat PB and J so there shouldn’t be a mess in the first place.”
“Don’t get smart on us!”
“Why because you’re all stupid?”
The two boys came running at her, and she quickly swung her umbrella and managed to divert them to the side. However, that only worked for a short while, before they managed to twist it inside out, and break the plastic that held it together.
“Hey, you broke my umbrella!”
“And now we’re going to break you!”
Full of rage, she strikes back and began unleashing the demon inside of her. But three against one put her at a disadvantage. While trying to avoid a punch, she tripped. Scrapping her knee, and twisting her ankle. She quickly tried to get up, but she was immobilized and thus sat back preparing to watch herself get beaten. The boy grabbed her face with his ugly stubby fingers, and drew back his arm like a trigger.
“Any last words?”
Kino looked at him with no fear, no anger, and no feelings, as if she was used to being treated this way.
“What’s….wrong with you? Say something!” He said squishing her face and violently shook her. Kino felt her neck was about to snap but she didn’t say anything.
“Monster!” The boy released the trigger and his fist was about to make contact with her face. Yet time froze, his fist stopped in front of her face. Suddenly, she could hear the rain again, the comforting silence brought her back into focus. The fist slowly retreated away from her face and she saw Yuki, his hand gripped around his arm like a snake constricting its prey.
“Let go of her.”
The boy quickly let go of Kino and backed away, yet was trapped within his prey’s grip.
“Where did you come from?” One of the boys whispered. Yuki ignored the question.
“Will you guys leave her alone?”
He spoke to them with a serious tone. As if he was a different person. But Kino looked at him and felt a warm glow radiate from him.
“Hey, don’t be mad. I know, I’ll let you join our group. Yeah…” the boy bribed Yuki, but saw his pathetic reflection in Yuki’s golden stare.
“I’m the smartest person around! Those two just follow my orders. They listen to whatever I say. That’s right, they’re a bunch of idiots! Wait! No I mean—this girl is a monster! She just sits there and doesn’t do anything. Everyone should just listen to me.” Yuki hand tensed up and the boy yelped in pain. The two boys who loyally followed their “boss” looked at him and slowly lost their respect for him.They then fearfully ran from the scene.
“Where are you going?! You guys, what about PB and J!?”
The two boys walked away from their defeated boss and didn’t turn when he called out to them.
“If I were you, I’d listen to your lackeys. They seem to know a lot more about what’s right and what’s wrong then you.”
“You’re wrong! I’m the smartest kid in the school!”
“Last time I checked, you are repeating a grade this year.”
“That’s…That’s because it’s her fault!”
“Don’t bring her into this.”
Kino watched Yuki and noticed the serious look on his face. The boy noticed this too. Yuki let go of the lone bully’s arm. Unsure what to do the boy ran screaming.
Yuki then grabbed his umbrella, which was tossed onto the floor, and held it over Kino, who was soaking wet.
“Thank…you…” she said shivering, not sure what else to say.
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah,” she said before standing up to quickly. She froze as the pain from her ankle exploded. Kino fell back down just as quickly as she stood up and placed her hand on her ankle and held it, but the light pressure from her hand sent jolts of pain throughout her body.
“You’re ankle, is it twisted? Ah, you’re knee is bleeding… Uhh…”
Yuki then looked inside his back, the umbrella not moving from its place over Kino’s head. He held out a plastic wrapped shirt and she looked at him confused.
“For your knee, ah let me do it. Hold this.”
He handed Kino the umbrella and he ripped the package open. He gently tied the shirt around her knee and smiled at his neat workmanship.
“There. I’ll help you stand,” he said taking her hand and waited for her. Kino now standing upright, one hand placed on his shoulder, one hand holding his hand. She then noticed his hair and eyes were more gold then she thought.
“Can you walk?”
“I can try…”
She took a step forward and started to shake.
“Not good. How heavy are you?”
“I don’t know…”
“How far is your house?”
“Uhhh,” Yuki moaned while handing her the umbrella again before he lowered himself so that Kino could get on his back.
Kino blinked before she wrapped her arms around his neck. Yuki hoisted her up onto his back and she held on tightly.
“Hey, you’re really light.”
“Shut up,” she said leaning against his warm back, something melted inside her.
“So I guess, I’m going to have to be your buddy right? I mean taking you around school and stuff. You probably won’t be able to walk for the next two days,” Yuki joked. He then went on a tangent but Kino was too tired to keep up with him. More like she was lost in her own detour. Yuki paused and he curiously frowned before he commented, “You’re being awfully quiet. Well actually, you’re usually quiet but how should I put this…”
“I’m not telling you to leave me alone?”
“Yeah kind of- I don’t know a word for that so we’ll just leave it as that.”
“Why are you being so nice?”
“Me nice?” Yuki responded, unaware of his own kindness. Kino sighed in annoyance at his naïveté.
“Normally, people wouldn’t offer piggy backs to someone who can’t walk,” she informed him.
“But if I didn’t you wouldn’t be able to go home,” he responded easily. Kino was suspicious, she had been convinced that nobody is genuinely kind to a stranger, let alone treat her kindly enough to even carry her back home. Yet…
“What about you’re parents? Aren’t they going to be worried if you come home late?” She inquired frustrated at the simple answer he gave her.
“I should be asking you that. Aren’t your parents going to be worried if you couldn’t come home?”
Kino was irritated, and the fact that he brought up her parents irritated her exponentially for she hated the person who was legally her mother.
“Hey, why is it that you’re always by yourself?” Yuki asked, his question rang in Kino’s ear and cleared up her emotions.
“Like today, every time I see you, you’re either getting mulled by those guys, or sitting by yourself.”
“’Cause I’m not important…”
“That doesn’t make sense,” Yuki argued back at Kino, “That doesn’t mean you have to be by yourself. Humans can’t live by themselves you know, so we have to stick together.”
Look at her. She thinks she’s so cute, with that dress, and her stuffed animal. I know! Being nice to everyone, it makes me sick. Did you see Daniel yesterday? He was bruised apparently because she kicked and punched him. You mean she was beating him up? Yeah! Scary…I hope the PB and J gang get her. She’s a monster, a monster, a monster, a monster.
“Why are my eyes so watery? What’s going on?” Kino thought to herself.
“No matter what I do, they all look at me like I’m some kind of alien, as if I’m the boogie man from under their beds. I’m a monster.”
“I’ve only just met you today. But you aren’t a monster. Besides, just because everyone else thinks you’re a monster, doesn’t mean you are one. Everyone else is a monster. Kino, I think you’re really cool. So don’t go calling yourself that anymore.”
Kino listened to everything he said and even the silent pause that followed. Slowly she had tears forming on the edge of her eyes.
“I’m…crying?” She said surprised, almost shocked. Just like Mother Nature, Kino’s heart was playing tricks on her and the teardrops began to roll down her cheeks.
Kino had more tears come out of her eyes, as the warmth from his kindness totally diminishes her to tears that she didn’t know she had.
“Sorry! I didn’t mean to make you cry. Kino?”
For the first time in a while someone called her name. She buried her face into the back of his shoulders, her embrace around his neck tighter. Yuki stopped walking and stood there under the rain looking up at the sky. This was the beginning.
A monster, I always felt that way…except when I’m around him. It’s as if I’m dreaming.