NARRATOR: "Hanako doesn't come to the morning class at all, leaving her seat looking empty and lonely in the back of the classroom. I have to tell her that Lilly was looking for her if I see her later. After the events of this morning, class is pretty boring in comparison. I turn the pages of my textbook lazily. We've been covering the same amount of pages each day, so reading ahead is more or less giving myself a preview of what tomorrow's lesson will be about. The clock at the front of the room sounds unbearably loud. The teacher hasn't said anything in over seven minutes, instead opting to cover the board in rows and rows of equations taken directly from the book. The rhythmic clashing of chalk on blackboard seems to synchronize perfectly with the ticking of the clock. I start to copy down the equations just to pass the time, not noticing Misha's head poking over my shoulder until she is almost on top of me."
HISAO: "What are you doing?"
NARRATOR: "I try to strike a balance between being quiet enough to not draw attention to myself but loud enough to draw hers."
MISHA: "What are you doing, Hicchan~?"
NARRATOR: "Panic shoots through me as Misha starts talking at her normal volume, and I sputter out a hasty reply, still keeping my voice down despite the fact that she just blew any hope of being discreet I may have had."
HISAO: "I'm copying down that stuff, what are you doing? Why so loud?"
MISHA: "Aw~, really? But it's all in the book... That's why no one else is copying it down~!"
HISAO: "I know, why are you so loud?"
MISHA: "Why are you so quiet, Hicchan? It's hard to hear you."
NARRATOR: "I look around to see if anyone is noticing our conversation and it's pretty obvious that everyone has, even the teacher. Shizune smiles coyly and I start to wonder if Misha is doing this because she told her to. Is it because of what happened between her and Lilly earlier? This is what I get for trying to be reasonable? For trying to take the middle path? Shizune is way too prideful, although by now I should know to expect that kind of behavior from her."
HISAO: "Why are you doing this?"
NARRATOR: "Misha is totally oblivious to the awkward stare the teacher is giving both of us, while trying to balance her textbook on one finger. For a brief second it looks as if things could get ugly, but the teacher simply looks away, as if it's not worth the trouble. I guess this is a good thing, and I slump back in my seat in relief.
NARRATOR: "The rest of day passes by uneventfully, and this time I'm able to appreciate that it does. When the bell rings, I'm not in a hurry, so I stay for a while, reviewing what we covered in class today. I prefer to leave last anyway, so I don't have to deal with crowding in the hallways. I notice Shizune and Misha have also stayed behind, talking to someone from another class. Shizune's signing so fast that her hands make noises like swords cutting through the air. Misha is trying desperately to keep up, but it's clear she can barely manage to even understand her. I put my head down. Whatever they're discussing, it looks like serious business. Probably way over my head. Not just that, but Shizune also seems angry, although it could just be her normal severity making it appear so. Shizune signs to the point where her wrists crackle, and Misha struggles to spit it out in word form. Sometimes she trips over herself like she's dealing with tongue twisters. And then on top of that, she has to sign back anything the other girl says. Seems like a rough job. Misha looks tired, like she's about to faint. Luckily for her, their business is soon finished and the girls sit down on their seats again."
MISHA: "Uwaaah! I'm so tired!"
NARRATOR: "She's hanging her head limply on her desk, looking exhausted."
HISAO: "Festival preparations must be tough for you."
NARRATOR: "Indeed, the people in this school seem to be taking the festival very seriously. Whenever I see people idling around before and after classes they're always talking about their plans for it. It's kind of neat to see everyone being so enthusiastic about it. I'm probably the only one who doesn't have something to do. Shizune starts signing at me and Misha perks up, looking at her hands with slightly unfocused eyes."
NARRATOR: "She signs with harsh, heavy, dramatic strokes. Misha translates her signing into speech for me. She does it so well it's almost like Shizune is actually speaking, transmitting her thoughts directly through Misha."
MISHA: "Well, we're in the Student Council, you know, so we're pretty busy."
NARRATOR: "The tone of Shizune's actions make me think she is “speaking” with disdain, but Misha interprets it normally, replacing whatever intent may have been there with her own chipper twist on things. It's still disorienting, I don't think I'll ever get used to it."
HISAO: "Never mind."
HISAO: "How could I forget, with you two trying to get me to join at least twice a day?"
MISHA: "Hahaha~! But, Hicchan, some could say the work is too much. It'd be nice if students were to show a little more support for their leadership, some appreciation to the ones who are working so hard to make it all possible. Maybe, for example, a little help. That's asking too much, is it? Yep~! Help would be appreciated~! From students like you~! If students would show their dedication and school spirit, and offer some help, well, I don't exactly need it... But I wouldn't necessarily refuse it... So~! it would be nice if someone would... Oh? Hello~!"
NARRATOR: "I look over my shoulder and see Hanako peering timidly into the classroom, most of her body hidden behind the door."
MISHA: "Hey! Playing delinquent again?"
NARRATOR: "Hanako blushes hard at Misha's straightforward jab, even if it was only in jest."
NARRATOR: "Shizune stares at her probingly, causing Hanako to look down and start backing away to the point where only her fingers can be seen wrapped nervously around the edge of the door. Maybe she is showing her dislike of Hanako by association of her dislike of Lilly. It appears so, and Hanako probably knows it as well. They seem to have momentarily forgotten about trying to get me to stay for the rest of the day."
HISAO: "What is it, Hanako?"
HANAKO: "H... has Lilly been here?"
MISHA: "Sorry, Satou is not here. She, eh, came by in the morning though."
NARRATOR: "Hanako keeps looking uneasily at Shizune, who stares back at her with her usual studying gaze. What is she trying to do? Of course Shizune isn't going to look away, and she is intimidating enough as it is, so I can only imagine how terrified Hanako would be. It is a little funny though, watching Hanako's reaction to Shizune's normal behavior. This is what happens when two people of two different extremes meet, it seems."
HANAKO: "Do... do you know where she is?"
MISHA: "If she has any sense in her head, she's in her classroom, working on their festival project. But who knows where that woman is loitering at."
Next Scene: Event Horizon
MISHA: "She might be slacking off somewhere, just like Hicchan~! Wahaha~!"
NARRATOR: "Damn, what is it with Shizune and her need to point out stuff like this?"
Next Scene: Things You Can Do