Fall to Pieces
Chapter 1: The Transfer Student
After ten years of running away from that place she is suddenly whisked back. Ten years composed of six years getting shipped off from different relatives, two years of getting used to Chanel, red stilettos, Clinique, and the Bvlgari and vodka scent of her aunt, a year of becoming the most popular girl in school, and a year of blowing it all off.
Now she is coming back where she came from, where she is supposed to be in the beginning, and where she is to go forward and create a clean slate. It could have been home.
Except that she doesn't belong here.
They move in an apartment around Iwatodai. The unit isn't like what they had back in Tokyo, which was nice and spacious and high-maintenance but this new one is decent and clean. Her new room is covered with an old rose-colored wall paper, a space that would fit a bed, a closet, a desk, and a bedside table — all of which are simply modest; it also has a window with a nice view overlooking towards Port Island.
She is used to moves, after all she had been doing it all her life, but this time it's different. Because this time she's the one who caused it. She and her aunt had to move because something happened. Because she did something. And she supposed that she should pay or get punished for it but she isn't and that was wrong. Really wrong.
She's getting away easily. Too easily.
Her aunt even told her to use this chance and make it worthwhile. Start again.
No. That couldn't be it. She isn't supposed to just move on and forget everything and assume a new face in this new town with this new people who didn't have a clue of what she is.
Five times suspended for five different offenses, caught smoking and drinking at school, got involved in fights, vandalized school property, arson…
And the list went on.
Mitsuru glares at the profile of the new transfer student. If all her offenses were accounted for she sure won't be accepted in any school especially Gekkoukan, but the fact that the girl was a special case made the school Board to do so. No ordinary student would probably get away with it. The Student Council President had nothing to say about her grades though, they were absolutely perfect. The girl graduated receiving the highest Honor award with distinction from middle school and without a doubt she could probably achieve the same at high school. Not to mention that there was a long line of list of extra-curricular activities at the next page. The forms even indicated her very good character from the past years.
Deducing from the information that the faculty had passed on to her, Minako Arisato was an achiever and a very good student before. A very amiable person too from what the other records show. But now, she is a terrible problem to teachers, staff, and students.
It made Mitsuru curious to learn what is wrong with this Minako Arisato. What kind of bad crowd did she get herself into that she would become a problem student (troubled person)? What changed her?
The only thing indicated on the papers was about a tragic accident where the girl was involved and that was it. Mitsuru thinks that she should at least have the right to know what happened if they think that she should help in handling the nightmare. However, Arisato's aunt refused to disclose the event for privacy and other reasons attached. They indeed have a reason for moving to a place where no one knows them and that she understood.
But the principal knows. Because he's the principal he has the right to know and not to mention the guidance councilor. But she's Mitsuru Kirijo, she technically almost owns the school. Shouldn't she have some kind of privilege too?
Nonetheless, Mitsuru will make it her personal duty and responsibility to watch over Arisato. She might likely find out what happened to this girl.
Arisato will be a welcome addition to Mitsuru's work. She has after all had never been interested in a delinquent case before, besides Shinjiro Aragaki of course.
Akihiko walks up the stairs towards the rooftop of the school to locate his best friend who likes to hang out there most of the time rather than inside a classroom, but instead of finding Shinjiro he finds a girl lying on a bench with an arm covering her face. She doesn't stir when he approaches near, which gives Akihiko the thought that she might be asleep. Akihiko wonders if the girl doesn't feel quite cold sleeping there despite the chilly wind of the leaving spring. He opted whether to wake her up or let her be. He is sure she'd get in trouble for not attending class but what if she intended to cut class anyway. Akihiko supposed that he shouldn't intrude on other people's business but he always believed on doing what is responsible, an attitude that irks Shinjiro in lengths.
Akihiko hovers carefully on the girl's form to shake her a bit, but then she shifts and raises a knee that makes a creamy leg get exposed. The wind brushes her black skirt and sends it to waves. Akihiko looks away quickly, his face and ears all red.
Suddenly, he doesn't have the will to wake the girl up anymore. He walks away. He is about to close the door when he hears a voice that makes him freeze on the spot.
"Leave it open." The voice says.
After calming down Akihiko faces her slowly. She is now standing.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you. But…aren't you supposed to be in class?" He is thankful that his voice is even and that his face isn't feeling hot anymore.
The girl merely stares at him with the most striking red eyes he had ever seen. A few seconds later she stretches out like a cat, completely unruffled by his presence witnessing this act.
"I know." She says.
And then passing by him, "Aren't you supposed to be in class too?"
The girl doesn't give him the chance to answer as she goes down the stairs and leaves him on his own.
Mitsuru checks her watch for the umpteenth time. She had been standing in the middle of Gekkoukan High's lobby early since that morning waiting for the transfer student who is yet to make an appearance. The bell had rung already and she's ten minutes late for her own class. Being Mitsuru Kirijo didn't mean you could slack off and take advantage of your position, actually, you have to be more responsible. A Student Council President late for her own class surely would receive a reprimand for being a bad example to other students, not to mention the rumors that would fly about her and her reputation of being a model student.
Mitsuru massages her left temple. She didn't think waiting for a transfer student would produce such dire consequences. She should have expected as much trouble from a transfer student who doesn't show up for a week and has an unruly record from her previous school. Dire indeed.
I suppose I should say I'm lost, but the fact that I've found the place where I should go – the Faculty Office – erases that. I'm on the 3rd floor, the seniors' floor I think, if the statement on the handbook was true and the map was accurate. Not that I purposely read it because I was interested but I read it only because I didn't want to have strangers give me a tour.
I turn left to a corner and I come face to face with a very composed elegantly postured red-haired girl. She looks at me with her startled beautiful face which contorts into a frown but it doesn't lessen her look of perfectness.
"Are you by any chance Minako Arisato, the transfer student?" The red-haired girl asks me with a commanding cold tone, her chin jutting up proudly.
I surmise that she could be my escort. If I remember right the student council president, was it? I'm not very lucky today, I think, to have stumbled across someone of all people, it had to be her. Then again, not many students would be out in the hallway during class hours.
"Yes, that's me."
"I'm Mitsuru Kirijo, the Student Council President. I believe we should have met at the front lobby this early morning."
Mitsuru Kirijo looks at me with steely eyes that she gives me the aura of an adult it's amusing. Maybe I should play along for a while.
"I got lost. I'm bad with directions and I got carried away by a large throng of people when the bell rang. I didn't know who to ask." I say and tuck a lock of hair modestly behind my ear for added effect.
Mitsuru Kirijo gets this confused look on her face before letting off a small smile. "I see."
"Come with me, I'll walk you to your class. It's 2F, on the second floor. It would be wise to read the student handbook so you will know where to go and what to do when the need arises."
She turns around gracefully, like beauty queens do on stage or like models on a runaway, —and she walks like one too— or maybe I'm just exaggerating. She continues to walk ahead of me, as if she's expecting me to follow her with a wagging tail but I just stand there and stare at her and watch. I wonder if she won't notice if I slip away from her from behind. However, I doubt this girl is so easily fooled.
Mitsuru Kirijo —damn, I'll just call her Mitsuru since it's so tedious to keep repeating Mitsuru Kirijo to myself— looks over her shoulder to check if I'm following her and when she sees that I haven't moved from my spot she raises a fine eyebrow and asks, "Shall we?"
"Maybe I should just skip first period and go in at the second period. I don't want to disturb the lesson."
Mitsuru turns around fully to face me and sends me a warning glare. "Arisato."
"What?" I ask, trying to act innocent. Complete with wide eyes and clueless expression.
"I know what you're trying to do. I've been informed of your…misbehavior. That is why I am personally checking up on you along with the faculty staff."
"Oh." Oh, wow, sucks to be her then. I feel sorry for her. Well, not really. But pity maybe. Yeah, I pity her.
"So that's why even though you could have sent a student representative or another member of the council it's the President who came to see me. Now I know. Thanks, that makes it a lot easier."
I grin at her and it makes her a lot more wary.
"Made what easier?"
"Hmmm, you'll know when you know it."
Mitsuru just glares at me and it isn't fun anymore and totally boring that she doesn't have anything to retort. I sigh and walk toward her, but instead of stopping beside her or have her resume her pace I just pass by her and continue along the hallway until I reach the stairs. When I made the first three steps down she follows my heels. I stop.
"So, where are we going?"
"Your class, 2F."
"I'm supposed to show up at the Faculty Office first, right?"
"There's no need. Since you're late I've already made arrangements. Ms. Toriumi, your advisor, will receive you there."
I give Mitsuru a look, meaning where I stare at her up and down and check her out. And as expected she gets irritated. I frown and pout to show her I don't appreciate what I see.
"What?" She asks briskly. I smirk.
"Uptight and…boring. Loosen up. Maybe you should get—"
"Don't even finish that sentence Arisato. I'm warning you." She sounds so scary. But I'm not the type to get scared.
"—laaaiiid." I drawl out.
Mitsuru turns red and her eyes turns into slits, which proves my point. "You!" She bellows at me, her fists trembling on her sides. We really should get moving.
"Let's go!" I scurry down the stairs.
Yukari can hear the voice of one annoyed Mitsuru Kirijo from the hallway scolding someone, someone called Arisato. The door slides open and everyone in class looks at the distraction. Beyond the door stood the Student Council President and a girl, presumably Arisato and the rumored transfer student who hadn't showed up for about a week until now.
The girl walks inside the classroom breezily, followed by an indignant Mitsuru Kirijo. The senior clears her throat and addresses Ms. Toriumi, but all the attention is on the new girl. Yukari notes that there isn't a speck of make-up on her face or a hint of balm or gloss on her lips, but she looks pretty. Definitely more than pretty that she could make the Kirijo princess get unnoticed by every occupant of the room. All eyes are on the new girl as she stood at the front looking bored and giving off an aura that it's the last place on earth she wanted to be.
"Behave Arisato." Kirijo-senpai says icily. Arisato chuckles.
"Don't miss me too much okay."
Yukari watches intently as Kirijo-senpai leaves with squared tired shoulders while Arisato smirks nonchalantly.
"Mitsuru might have mentioned your name earlier but it is imperative that you introduce yourself to your classmates. It will help them get to know you and might as well become your friends." Ms. Toriumi explains to the transfer student, Arisato. Yukari wonders why she didn't catch it when Kirijo-senpai said the girl's name.
The new girl snorts before she takes the chalk from Ms. Toriumi's hand and writes her name on the board. She faces the whole class and then throws the chalk behind her after.
"I'm Minako Arisato. Sixteen. If it's not important don't talk to me and we're going to be fine."
Ms. Toriumi's mouth is gaping open to voice a protest but she isn't insulted so what is there for her to reprimand. Yukari is surprised and thinks that this girl totally has guts to act all high and mighty in front of the Mitsuru Kirijo, a teacher, and a whole class.
Yukari hears her classmates' murmurs and Junpei's amazed whisper but she doesn't pay them any mind, instead she focuses on Minako Arisato's next action. The girl strides across the room towards her and sits (sort of lands herself actually) at the vacant seat beside her, which is also in front of Junpei.
"Someone already sits there." Yukari says blandly.
"Yeah, he's just playing hooky." Junpei agrees.
She gives them both a short glance.
"Well, he's not here. Nobody is sitting here right now so I can take this seat."
"That's right. Minako can take that seat since it's vacant right now. He shouldn't have been absent if he doesn't want his seat taken." Ms. Toriumi assents.
Yukari stares at Minako Arisato as she shrugs and slouches her back on her newly acclaimed chair. It seems school days won't be much boring as usual anymore.
From then on Minako Arisato has earned a reputation.
Lunch break. Junpei feels giddy. He is excited to talk to the pretty new girl in front of him. He won't miss this chance of a lifetime. He watches first as she arranges her things and picks up her bag before she slides her long shapely legs off her chair to stand. Junpei follows behind her closely as he looks (not ogles, mind you) at her features clearly. She has an hourglass shape he could tell despite the uniform, she isn't skinny nor is she built with muscle, she is more on the slender type, definitely slender Junpei muses. Her hair is caught in between auburn and reddish brown, so maybe russet. As for her face he already knows she is very pretty. There is no doubt that the new girl is attractive.
Junpei is startled out of his musings when she turns around sharply and frowns at him.
"Are you following me? What do you want?" She snaps.
"Uh...no, I wasn't. I was…wondering if you wanted to know where to find the cafeteria." Junpei swallows hard. He finds that new girl's scowl can definitely burn.
"If I did I probably would have asked already."
She turns away and continues walking but after a few steps she turns back on him.
"So where's the cafeteria?"
Junpei couldn't help but grin.
"I can take you–"
"No. I don't need you to take me there. I only asked for directions because I can find it on my own. Now, will you tell me or not?"
"Yeah, well…it's on the next building. First floor past the east hall. You can't miss it." And before she could go he adds, "It's Junpei."
"What?" She asks. A fine eyebrow lifted up in inquiry.
"I mean my name is Junpei. Junpei Iori. Yoroushiku Arisato-san."
"Okay. But just call me Minako. I don't like it when people call me Arisato and with a suffix."
And then she leaves.
When he couldn't see her among the throng of crowd anymore Kenji comes up beside him sliding an arm on his shoulder.
"B cup." Kenji says in his conspiratorial tone.
"Really? Didn't notice." Junpei replies. However, the goofy smile on his face betrayed his words.