|Characters|| Hisao Nakai|
|Previous Scene||Bundle of Hisao|
|Next Scene||Enter Stage Left|
Summary goes here.
The gate looked far too pompous for what it was. In fact, gates in general seem to do that, but this one especially so. Red bricks, black wrought iron and gray plaster, assembled into a whole that didn't feel welcoming at all. I wondered if it looked like what a gate for a school should look like, but couldn't really decide. Probably not. Of course, I didn't want to get stuck thinking about the gate for too long, so I entered through it with a brisk pace that felt surprisingly good. Moving forward feels good.
So I walk toward the main building of Yamaku Academy with this brisk pace. I'm alone, as my parents are taking my stuff to the dorms, and there's supposed to be someone waiting for me. The grounds are incredibly lush, filled with green. It doesn't feel like the kind of grounds a school would have, more like a park, with a clean walkway going past trees and the smell of fresh-cut grass and all other park-like things. Words like "hygenic" and "clean" pop into my mind. It makes me shudder. I shake them off. Stay open-minded now. It's your new life. You have to take it as it comes. That's what I tell myself. A few big buildings loom behind the leafy canopies, too big and too many for just a school. Everything seems off; it's different from what I thought I knew about schools. It's an uncanny valley. Even though I was told this is my new school, in the back of my head, it doesn't feel like one. I wonder if the feeling is real or caused by my expectations of a school for the disabled. Speaking of that, I don't see anyone else here. It's kinda eerie. It makes me wish there was somebody here so I could anchor myself to something tangible instead of having this feeling that I've stepped into another dimension. The trees hum with the wind and the green hues flashing all around me catch my attention. It makes me think about hospitals again, how they say that the operating rooms are painted green because green is a calming colour. So, why am I feeling so anxious, despite all this greenery? ... Only after I stand in front of the haughty main building. I surprise myself by realizing why the gate bothered me: it was the last chance I had to turn back, even if I had no life I could return to. But still, after entering, there was no chance I could go back anymore. Feeling nervous and with this realization set in my head, I open the front door.
A tall man with bad posture notices me as I enter. We're the only people in the lobby, so it's only logical.
Tall man: "You must be... Ni... Na... Niki?"
Tall man: "So you are. Excellent. I'm your homeroom and science teacher. My name is Mutou."
We exchange a handshake that is neither firm nor sloppy, and he looks at his watch.
Mutou: "The head nurse asked you for a brief check-in visit, but there's no time for that now."
Hisao: "Oh. Should I go later?"
Mutou: "Yes, afternoon is probably fine. We should get going and introduce you to the rest of the class. They're waiting already."
Waiting for me? I don't really like being the center of attention, but I guess it's inevitable in a situation like this. Somehow, not knowing what's waiting for me makes me feel really nervous. Thinking of this, I almost miss what the teacher is saying.
Mutou: "Do you want to introduce yourself to the class?"
Hisao: "Why? Do I have to?"
Mutou: "Of course not. That's why I asked."
Mutou: "Let's go, then."
My heart is pounding in my chest and it keeps me thinking about my condition as I follow the teacher up the stairs. The third door down the third floor corridor is marked as the classroom for class 3-3. Mutou opens the door, then enters.
Mutou: "Good morning everyone, sorry I am late again."
I hesitate for a split second at the door, freezing on the spot.