Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kouma Part 8

"So, you and Kouma-san, huh?"

Her presence kind of fascinates me, and I am not quite sure why. Probably because her attitude is so different in class that I feel like I’m having dinner with an evil twin or something. If I were to describe her in the form of a school-like multiple choice test, my options would probably be:

a)A doppelgänger;
b)A dissociative identity disorder victim;
c)A true born sadist;
d)All of the above.

I am not talking about Kouma Yon, but now that I think about it I realize I could be. The cases are absurdly similar. Both of them are wicked creatures who occasionally show small hints of kindness, despite living in an inner prison, a masquerade of their own. It surely sounds a little bit like a writer’s lack of inspiration to me, having two characters with practically the same basis in a story.

However, instead of spending a considerable amount of time pondering on such unfortunate and rather uninteresting things, I’d better quickly answer my visitor’s question before she starts thinking too much. It seems like I am not the only one here who is often more interested in the context.

Obviously, I’m also not talking to Kouma. How weird would that be, taking into account the sentence the other character used? Now that I think about it, not that much. It would be Kouma we’d be talking about so it would actually make some sort of sense, I suppose.

I hope so.

“So, you have seen her leaving, huh?” I reply, taking a mental note to never ever let Kouma use the back door again. Or even the front door, for that matter. No, wait, she might want to invade my place by breaking the windows, breaking my ceiling or even digging her way in. I’d better still have that in mind when I decide to turn this house into a fortress. Which will most likely happen soon, if things keep like this.

She nods.

“Mimicking someone else’s sentence structure is an awfully sharp double-edged sword, Koukishin-kun. It can ridicule the other party when used against a poorly devised argument, yet make you sound like a royal-level fool if not properly manipulated. Pretty much like any weapon, if you ask me.” Her lips contorted a little bit, as if she was holding back a grin. “Just try and guess which case your lovely example fits the most.”

“I’m sorry.” I raise my hand in defeat. Now that I think about it, it’s the same gesture Kouma made yesterday when I convinced her to come help me by suggesting that it was the only way she could avoid things that she would (for unknown reasons at the time) find extremely displeasing. That’s karma for you. “Yes, Kouma did spend the afternoon here. No, I am not in a relationship with her. Unless the red string of fate that connects us is a bloodstained chain of rivalry, I mean.”

Reikoku-sensei seemed genuinely interested.

“Rivals are often closer than friends, like their lives truly depend on each other. They usually do.” She miserably failed to suppress a giggle. “And it surely counts as a relationship, whether you like it or not.”

“How so?”

“Being aware that you have lived abroad for a long time, I cannot do anything but ask: are you familiar with the concept of tsundere?”

Nervous coughs suddenly erupted from my throat, making it sore as it never had been.

After that fan-service scene when I restrained Kouma earlier today, I’m guessing this kind of comment will most likely make me flinch. Every single time. It’s very hard not to think of her as a girl now that I’ve seen there’s really more to Kouma Yon than just sharp words, expressionless eyes and a killing intent. Keep in mind that I didn’t say that those things aren’t a major part of her, just that there is more (just a little more) than that.

That girl is most likely too rational, which is far worse than completely insane. Either way, one cannot deny the fact she is truly mental.

However, she looks really cute (while not trying to smile) and is a walking fashion show, so it’s quite tempting to picture her becoming a love-struck beauty after several seasons of quarrels and awkward misunderstandings. Reacting with fake anger to every demonstration of care, blushing madly while calling me a stupid dog, saying it’s not like she loved me or anything.


“…I’d rather talk about something else. Pretty please.”

The karma wheel started moving again when the teacher raised her hand.

“So be it, then. It’s your badly written school drama story, your full-of-teen-angst love life. Your business, anyway.” Reikoku-sensei sounded honestly disappointed, yet somehow relaxed. “And just for the record, I do believe she is a good catch and you guys would make a fairly good pair.”

This makes perfect sense. They are so similar Reikoku-sensei actually roots for Kouma’s happiness. Which probably means Reikoku-sensei thinks I’m a good catch too, and worthy of dating a younger version of her. This train of thought leads to some complex, rather disturbing paths, which either could send me to a psychoanalyst or should send my homeroom teacher to a slightly different type of psychologist (or to jail, depending on her actions from now on).

That doesn’t make much sense.


After a few seconds of silence, I finally noticed there was something else that didn’t make sense.

“Wait, what on earth are you doing here?”

She curiously looked down at her chicken salad bowl and then straight at me.

“I’m having dinner. Isn’t it obvious?”

Sometimes it feels like I’m surrounded by aspiring comedians, and these girls don’t seem to be very good at anything but playing Japanese comedy-like games with me. Don’t get me wrong, I do have a sense of humor. What bothers me is the fact that despite probably being the sanest person around, I only get the tsukkomi role in my own mind.

Life can be so unfair.

“Don’t play stupid, sensei.”

“Fine, enough with that. I’m here to check on you.” She raised an eyebrow. “Someone I happen to know decided to skip classes this morning, and as a fairly good teacher I supposed I should pass by and see if there was a problem I could help with. Unfortunately my plans of visiting that particular student were delayed, the reason being simple: this responsible teacher had a school committee meeting to attend to discuss a few issues involving the cultural festival the school will be hosting next month. After finishing her duties the awesome teacher gallantly and nearly literally flew towards her student’s home worried that something could have happened to him, only to see that not only he was doing well but also had a pretty girl of his age inside his house for company. Not a trace of a responsible adult around. Their actions only became more suspicious to me when the girl left as soon as the doorbell rang. ”

“Is that the truth?” I said, my attention completely drawn to a certain detail (which helped me ignore the rest of the story). “About you being worried about me?”

Reikoku-sensei sighed in a cool manner, like a cat.

“Obviously. I am a teacher, after all. Your teacher. If I don’t worry about my students when they are not present in class, who will?” She really sounded reliable at that moment, and I could see that she really meant what she said last night. “Besides, you could not be expecting me to be coming here just for the delicious, wonderful, free homemade food you cook.”

I could have taken it as a joke, but it really bothered me; I never said anything like that, and she didn’t sound as sarcastic as she usually did when playing with me. There was something different, and I wanted to know exactly what it was.

“I can, now,” I replied calmly with the intention of testing her.

Her surprised silence only confirmed my suspicions. Touché, sensei.

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