Author’s Note: I have chosen to write the prologue in first person from the point of view of Tationy the rest of the story will be written in third person.
Summer vacation is suppose too be the time of the year that every high school student looks forward too; the sun, the sand, the summer romance. Needless to say there was disappointment when I found out that I would be spending the summer doing community service with six other students and Mr. Nakamaru.
I had the perfect bikini picked out for Aslann Beach. My friends were excited as they talked about what they were going to wear and do. It did not seem to bother them much when I told them I could not go. In fact my best friend remarked with a cheeky smile, “More guys for us then.”
Disappointment; All night I could not stop thinking about the fact that I was going to be stuck with a bunch of geeks and the most boring teacher I had ever had. I had the worst luck of any girl at Aslann High School. I suppose it is rude to call them geeks after all, I probably would be called one too.
It was not like I was popular or anything. I was a pretty average girl, with nothing overly exciting going for me. My parents were not wealthy. I did not have a car. The most I had was a handful of friends who were about as socially challenged as I was.
I do not know why I thought I was actually going to have a summer romance with anyone. It was not like it had ever happened before. Seventeen years old and I would probably die a virgin. Not that I was looking to get rid of my virginity or anything of that nature, but it just seemed like I was never going to experience love.
Early the next morning I was up and packed. Dressed in my school uniform, I said goodbye to my parents and off I went to catch the train. Mr. Nakamuaru lived in Sobatole which was about a two hour train ride from my home in Aslann. I was hoping to nap a little before I arrived, but the train was extra crowded today with travelers heading to their vacation destinations.
Arriving in Sobatole, a driver was there to pick me up. I was curious to know how Mr. Nakamaru could afford to live in Sobatole after all it catered to the rich and famous. This conjured up all sorts of random thoughts such as him being secretly wealthy or married to some famous starlet.
Eventually, I had arrived to his home which could only be described as a small mansion. I live in a little two bedroom apartment complex with my parents so my idea of a small mansion might be considerably different than those of others. Outside the lavish home stood several others, before a man that I recognized as Mr. Nakamaru.
We were all dressed in our school uniforms. I recognized some of them instantly because of who they were. I had suddenly become the luckiest girl at Aslann High School.
“Welcome to my home. We have an exciting summer ahead of us.” Mr. Nakamaru greeted. At Aslann High School, Mr. Nakamaru taught Classical Literature. It was the class that every student did their best to avoid if at all possible. Sadly, I had to take it two years in a row due to a near drowning incident after I slipped and fell, hitting my head on the diving board at the local community pool. I had rather wished I had drowned.
He had graciously showed us around his home. I could not believe how many bathrooms there were. I tried to keep my cool so the boys did not think that I was some weirdo all jacked up on sugar over a bathroom, but I have to say I was rather excited. I had never had my own before and when Mr. Nakamaru informed me I would be staying in his room, while he bunked with the boys I could not help, but feel my heart jump with excitement.
Mr. Nakamaru had told us to take some time to ourselves and settle in. Once we were finished unpacking he wanted us to meet him in the ‘classroom’. We had seen it on our tour it was small office that he had converted over to a classroom for the summer. This told me that we were going to be schooled even though it was our summer vacation.
Mr. Nakamaru went over what we would be doing for the summer. It did not sound too terrible though it hardly seemed as though we would have any time to enjoy our summer vacation. I suppose I should stop thinking of it as a summer vacation after all my ideal summer vacation would not be filled with community service.
Mr. Nakamaru grew silent as he looked around at us. The silence was a little strange and something that I had never seen from him in the entire time I had him as a teacher. He seemed somber at that moment and I could not help, but wonder what he was thinking about. Though he quickly perked up and smiled that ‘demon smile’ of his and spoke, “How about we introduce ourselves. I shall go first.”
“As you are all aware, I am Mr. Nakamaru and I teach Classical Literature at Aslann High School where you all attend. My parents gave me the name Atsuki. I grew up here in Sobatole where I attended Sobatole High School. I would attend Aslann University were I would Major in Classical Literature with a Minor in History, but ultimately would get my PH.D. in English with specializations in Classical and English Literature. I am not married, have no pets, and my family has long since passed on. I enjoy reading, cooking, and helping out my community. Every year I invite seven students to stay at my home and give back to the community for the summer.”
It was interesting to learn a little bit about Mr. Nakamaru. I had to wonder how he got into doing the community service stuff each year. Was he a bad seed that had been taken under the wing of a kindly older mentor or was it something his parents had previously been involved in. I let my mind wander a bit until Mr. Nakamaru’s voice broke my thoughts. “Abe, how about you go next?”
“Come on Abe. You are always pulling this, I am too cool for everything attitude. It gets old quickly.” Sadoo spoke up. He flamboyantly moved his arms as he talked and I had to keep from smiling at how he reacted to the situation with Abe. Sadoo and Abe were two of the most popular guys in school. A girl like me would never even be looked at by guys like these and here I was sitting not too far away from one and right next to the other. Despite the bickering going on back and forth between Abe and Sadoo, I could not help, but inwardly smile.
Abruptly Sadoo and Abe stopped arguing. It had nothing to do with Mr. Nakamaru stopping them. In fact I was rather surprised to see that he had not intervened at all during the course of the argument between Sadoo and Abe. “My name is Abe Sosa. I don’t really have anything I care to share with any of you.” He said simply.
We all turned to see how Mr. Nakamaru would react to it, but he did not seem at all surprised by what Abe had said. Though I could not honestly place the look on his face either.
“Indeed I am sure you do not Abe.” Mr. Nakamaru remarked. “Sadoo you seem talkative, how about sharing with everyone.” I was a little disappointed that Mr. Nakamaru had not forced Abe to talk more about himself, but when he gave the push for Sadoo to talk, I quickly forgot about Abe.
“Sure.” Sadoo said. There was something about him that pulled everyone to him. He had this quality that made people instantly want to be his friend or be his rival. “I am Sadoo Takahashi. I was born in England, but raised in Aslann. I live with my father and mother in Hoshino which most of you should know is a suburb of Aslann. I am captain and pitcher for the Mighty Aslann Warriors. I don’t really have a lot of hobbies other than baseball. Otoha and I play baseball during the summer normally so this is a little strange for us to not be participating in the league tournaments. This is our first year actually since we started that we are not playing, but I think this will be a rewarding experience in its own and I don’t want baseball to be all that I am.”
“He does not really talk much so if it is alright I guess I will introduce Otoha.” He remarked as everyone looked to the person sitting next to Sadoo. Mr. Nakamaru simply nodded his head to give the go ahead for Sadoo to continue talking.
“Well, this is my best friend Otoha Sweela. We have known each other since we were kids. He also lives in Hoshino in fact our families have been neighbors since we were babies. He is catcher and vice-captain for the Mighty Aslann Warriors. Our teammates joke that we are like an old married couple because we are always together and because I usually do the talking for him. He is pretty quiet so it is difficult to get him to say much so do not be offended if he does not talk to you it’s just his way.”
“I see the two of you have not changed.” Mr. Nakamaru remarked. Sadoo simply shrugged his shoulders at the comment and smiled. It was true they were really like an old married couple. They were always together in school and from what I knew about them even outside of school. The girls adored them. I could not help, but find the two of them interesting though I had never talked to either of them before. In fact I could not recall a time I had ever talked to any of the guys in the room with me other than Mr. Nakamaru. “Chochi would you like to tell us about yourself next?”
Chochi Waichia had a reputation for being a violent delinquent. Everyone at school knew who he was and those with any sort of brains avoided him. I could not figure out why he or his friend, Taku were here. After all these type of guys do not show up for school half the time and the other half of the time they are spending their day in detention. Most of the people at Aslann High School were afraid of him even the jocks avoided Chochi. I had only crossed paths with him once when I bumped into him by accident as I rushed to get to class, I went completely pale. I thought for certain he was going to beat the snot out of me.
To my surprise he said nothing. Simply stepped aside and off I ran. I still to this day wonder why it is he did not punish me for getting in his way. “Chochi Waichia.” He said simply. It seemed like a long pause as we waited for him to say anything else. “I am here because it sounded interesting, and that is all I have to say.”
“Thank you for joining us Chochi.” Mr. Nakamaru stated then turned his attention toward Taku. “Taku, it is nice to see you awake still.”
Taku smiled and I could not help, but smile as well. I could not stop myself he was so adorable, well for being a delinquent that is. “Well as Mr. Nakamaru said I am Taku. I am from the very large Kensuku family. Some of you may know my big brothers; Tien, Sonchiro, Kensuke, Hidesoda. I have an older sister as well named Masae. Our parents died when we were kids and we were all pretty much raised by her. I am not in any clubs and don’t get into sports. I like strawberry milk, bunnies are cute, sleeping. I do a lot sleeping. Music is cool, I like TV too.” He rambled as everyone listened to what he had to say about himself.
I stared blankly when he mentioned he liked strawberry milk and bunnies. I was certain he had to be joking after all he was a well-known delinquent who loved to get into fights. He and Chochi were known for picking fights with everyone and anyone. He grew silent and Mr. Nakamaru must have known that Taku was finished talking. “Sohma, it is good to see you.”
“It is good to see you as well. Thank you for inviting me.” Sohma spoke. Sohma was one of the kids in school that was like me, pretty average. The biggest difference between the two of us was that Sohma had a very good relationship with most of the teachers at the school. It was not uncommon for him to volunteer to help teachers and staff with various things that they needed completed.
“I am Sohma Hamara. I am from Sobatole. My older brother is Chee Hamara who plays professional baseball for the Aslann Wild Cats. It might come as a surprise, but I do not play baseball myself. I am in the martial arts club which I have been in for two years now. I chose to attend Aslann High School over Sobatole because Mr. Nakamaru was going to teach there. My brother was a huge fan of Mr. Nakamaru and told me to definitely take his class when I entered high school, but by that point he was already in Aslann. So I decided I would live part of the year with my aunt and uncle in Aslann so that I could attend school there.”
I wondered what was so amazing about Mr. Nakamaru that would cause Sohma to go to such lengths to be a part of his class. When I had him he did not seem like anything special, in fact he was rather boring. I nearly fell asleep several times in his class. I had been considering it for a while and had not noticed that Mr. Nakamaru had spoken to me. By the time I did everyone was looking at me and I quickly composed myself.
I hated to feel like I was put on the spot even though I knew it was coming. I kept my eyes on Mr. Nakamaru, trying to not look around because I was certain they were all staring at me. “I am Tationy Tylo it is nice to meet everyone.” I said politely before I continued, “I am not in any clubs or sports. I live with my parents and a good share of my free time is spent helping them with the family business. I usually spend time with my friends, play piano, and read when I am not helping my parents out.”
I stopped talking as soon as I could. I did not want to start rambling like Taku did and certainly did not want to share anymore then I had too. If I had the type of personality that both Chochi and Abe did, I would have said a lot less.
Mr. Nakamaru smiled kindly at all of us, but it was difficult to take any comfort in the ‘demon smile’. He always seemed like he was coming up with something truly evil with that smile so the girls at Aslann High School dubbed it his ‘demon smile’. “Enjoy yourselves. My home is your home.” I watched as everyone began to depart the room, one by one heading off to do their own things. I felt oddly out of place. I thought that being the only girl might be a good thing, but I realized quickly that I had no friends here. I felt like that prince in that old storybook my mother use to read me when I was little; alone and exiled.
To Be Continued