Let’s get straight to the point.
You’re a foreign student in a country with literally no savings left. You’re attending college and struggling to pay off enough of what you owe before you get dropped from the classes you’ve already put time and tons of $$$ into. You’re desperate. Your parents can’t send you money. You need to find another source of income.
There was an opening for assistant college advisor.
At first, all you really were was a pencil pusher. You’d help file out paperwork and your mentor would check over it and make sure everything was right. It was a lot like being an intern. Whatever was left to do that wouldn’t have a chance of ruining someone’s academic career was handed over to you.
Except a few weeks in your mentor was completely overloaded. She warned you that you needed to help take on some of the advising roles that she couldn’t. She spent a solid week training you before she finally handed you the reigns of some poor unfortunate student who you prayed wouldn’t sue you.
“Osomatsu Matsuno,” your mentor said, showing you a picture of the student’s ID.
Even though you attended the same college, you had never heard of him. “Huh. Who is he?”
“Between you and me, more than likely a future college drop-out,” your mentor told you flatly, scowling at the picture. “He’s one of those kids that’s being forced to go because of their parents. Do what you can. It won’t be easy, but a delinquent like him will be a good start for you.”
You nodded. Your hands shook, but since you were sitting at a desk, and they were under said desk, your mentor didn’t see it. You could do this!
You repeated that phrase to yourself until the very last few seconds before the student walked in. He looked exactly like the picture of his ID, same outfit and all. It must have been his favorite.
He stopped and, for some reason, stared silently at you for a moment before snapping out of it.
“Hey!” The man said, giving you a friendly wave and smile.
You secretly prayed to every god out there that you wouldn’t accidentally destroy this poor kid’s life.
“Uh, hi! It’s nice to meet you, Matsuno-san. How can I help you today?” Despite all of your fears, you put on your best customer service smile.
“Well,” Matsuno-san said, taking a seat in front of you. “There’s a lot of things I need help with,” he admitted.
“For one, I don’t think I’m cut out for college.”
Oh! Wow! Starting off strong, aren’t we? “Why do you think that? Is there anything you’re struggling with?” Hey, you’re pretty good at sounding professional!
Matsuno-san placed his head into his hands. “College isn’t going right at all. It’s not like the movies. I keep getting kicked out of all the parties I go to. I get in trouble for waking up late. I haven’t even gotten a hot girlfriend yet…”
You blinked. “And… as for your academics?..”
He peeked out at you from in between his hands. “Oh, yeah. That’s hard too.”
“Well I’m not a counselor or therapist so I can’t exactly help school be like the movies.” Or get you a girlfriend?? You didn’t give that question a voice. “But, if you need help with your courses, I can do that!”
Your words seemed to invigorate new enthusiasm in Matsuno-san. He sat up immediately. “Really?!”
“Yes!” Though you sounded just as enthused as he, on the inside you were cringing. What exactly did he think you were working as?
He laughed. “This is awesome! You really are like what my brothers said!”
You simply smiled. Please get on with it.
“So,” he began, clearing his throat. “There’s this really hard homework I have to do for my second class. It’s some essay or something- hold on, I think I have it written down somewhere.”
You kept listening as he searched his pockets for a piece of paper and unfolded it, showing it to you. You couldn’t read the handwriting.
“Okay?” You said, waiting for him to continue.
“Really? You’ll do it?” Before you could process what he said he leapt to his feet and whooped and hollered.
“Wait, what??” you exclaimed, losing all professionalism immediately.
He stopped celebrating and stared down at you. “Eh? You said you would do my assignment, didn’t you?”
“That’s not!!” You couldn’t think properly. Was this guy serious?!
You quickly recollected yourself. “That’s not my job. I’m supposed to help you with academics.”
“Yeah, right, so you’ll do my homework?”
“No, advising,” you corrected him, exasperated.
The gears seemed to turn in Matsuno-san’s head. Apparently very slowly though, because he asked you if that meant you would do his work. Again.
“No,” you repeated, more firmly.
Matsuno-san stayed quiet for a moment, then spoke, “Okay, how do I get a refund?”
As baffling as this situation was, you felt a little bad for the guy. You didn’t want to steal his money for a program he didn’t even need, but… “Sorry, there are none. The contract you signed said that we can’t do that.”
“Oh,” Matsuno said quietly.
You were about to apologize again, when suddenly Matsuno-san reached an arm out and grabbed the nearest bookshelf, pulling it to the ground in one harsh motion.
“WHAT THE HELL?! YOU THIEF! THAT’S MY MONEY, I WANT A-“
The moment you pulled out the bat hidden under your desk Matsuno-san froze, then changed his mind about the refund and ran back out the way he had come.
You were left standing in a somewhat destroyed office wondering what the actual fuck just happened.
As there was a potential risk of losing your job in doing so, you didn’t tell your mentor what had happened. You weren’t sure what she would freak out about more. Matsuno-san flipping out or you reacting by pulling out a goddamn baseball out, ready to beat his ass in self-defense.
Needless to say, you were off to a pretty bad start.
The next day you received a phone call from an unknown number. You answered and gave your typical work greeting.
“Hello?” A woman said. “Are you the one who advised my son?”
There was only one answer. “Matsuno-san?”
“Yes, that’s him.” From her tone, she didn’t sound very happy. Great. Were you about to seriously get screamed at for a refund?
“As his very disappointed mother, I’d like to apologize for my son’s behavior.” That wasn’t what you were expecting. “I’d also like to ask if you will continue helping him. I know that he needs it to get his degree.”
You hesitated. “I would, but he destroyed my office yesterday. I’m not sure if I can schedule another appointment if he is going to act like that again.”
The other end of the line went very quiet. “I’m sorry, what did he do?”
“Pulled a bookshelf down and screamed at me for a refund,” you answered.
Her tone turned cold. “Well. That’s certainly not what he told me, but I believe you.”
Even though you were certain whatever she was feeling wasn’t directed at you it still managed to be just as terrifying.
The woman turned around quickly though. “What if I paid you extra as a tip? And also paid you the fee and more to help my other sons?”
You could hear your bank account squealing with delight at the prospect of not being in the negatives for once. You were still pretty freaked out by Matsuno-san but starving sounded a lot worse than dealing with him again. “How much money, exactly?”
Just like that and you suddenly had six more clients and the potential for a very full wallet. Your mentor, upon being told, seemed discouraged, but you reassured her that you would be able to handle it. She didn’t let up on you, however, until you mentioned that the new five were all brothers of the first client. At that, she finally sighed and let up, muttering something that you couldn’t hear. She wished you good luck and in the meantime let you return to your pencil pushing.
At the very moment the clock struck four Osomatsu-san stepped into your office. (They all had the same last name, so it was easier to start mentally referring to them as their first.) You felt for the bat just to make sure it was still there.
To your surprise, he sunk to his knees and started bawling.
“Please forgive me!! I’m so sorry and I’ll never do it again! I don’t need a refund! I need your help!”
Somehow he had managed to make this next session even more bewildering than the last. You stood up and tried to make soothing motions with your hands. “Uh, it’s okay!” You didn’t know how to comfort him. You kind of also didn’t want to. “Please stop crying?”
“I’ll stop crying… I-if!” he sniffled pathetically. “You tell my mom I apologized!”
“Okay, okay, I will!” you replied. For the love of God act normal, dude!
To your amazement Osomatsu-san immediately stopped crying. He stood up and wiped what you just realized were nonexistent tears from his face, taking his spot in front of your desk.
Goodbye, already nonexistent patience. Hello, asshole.
“Aww, where’d your smile go?” Osomatsu-san asked with the most obnoxious sing-song you had ever heard. “Did my crying really upset you that much?” He wiped a finger under his nose and the motion somehow made him seem even more repulsive. Could he seriously not reach for one of the Kleenex on your desk??
You decided to ignore his question. “Hey, why don’t we start with you telling me more about your major?”
Osomatsu-san grinned at you.
You knew something bad was coming.
“I don’t know what that is,” he finally said.
“It’s what you’re classes are supposed to lead up to.”
“Oh!” Osomatsu-san tapped his chin, thinking. “Which one is the doctor major, then?”
Your mentor had truly underestimated how dumb this man really was.
Osomatsu-san must have seen your mask slip again, as he put his hands up. “Woah, woah! I’m not some idiot, I swear, my mom just did the application for me!”
That didn’t make the situation sound any better. “That’s okay.” You decided to be kind not for his sake, but for his mother’s. And also maybe her money, too. “I’ve heard of dumber stories about students.”
“Oh?” Osomatsu-san seemed intrigued, leaning forward to listen. “Like what?”
You figured you wouldn’t get in trouble so you told him. “Like the kid who got kicked out of philosophy on the first day for trying to serenade girls during the lecture.”
Osomatsu-san laughed so hard that he started banging his fists on the tab. He laughed until he started coughing and was forced to stop long enough to actually say something. “Ah-ha! Of course it would be one of my brothers you’re talking about!”
You smiled politely, but noted that, compared to their mother, these apples must have rolled very far from the tree. Possibly catapulted all the way to America, even.