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Stories
Soul Shift
A boy and a girl connected mysteriously from long distance in Japan discover that their fates are tied up with each other. Will the two find true happiness, finally?
Author(s): Rellawing | Editor(s): Trismegistus Shandy | 2 Warnings!
Content Keywords | Status: Ongoing | To Disqus!
MyReviews: 0
Preface
Meet Hideki-chan, a poor boy who faces various issues.



Chapter Two : Existing
Posted: 2018-10-31 18:40:27 | Updated: 2018-11-01 12:25:56
Words: 5206


"Hideki-chaaaaaan!!!" A cute blond girl waves as she runs down a narrow suburban street towards a quiet, cute-looking boy. When she reaches the boy, she gasps for breath and grins at him.
"Good morning, Hideki-chan!" she says in a pleasant and energetic voice. "I'm sorry that I'm a little late this morning!" she says as she flips her hair out of her face with a hand. The girl wears a pristine white dress shirt with a plaid navy white and gold tie. Her skirt matches that pattern. Her socks are navy and her shoes are clean white loafers. The girl's eyes are a pleasant hazel color, and her face is friendly and energetic.

Over her shoulder is slung a heavy-looking book bag. As usual, it looks fully packed with various odds and ends such as her books, her cosmetics (even though she wears light make-up), and other odds and ends.

"It's alright, Kaori-chan... I waited for you, see?" He smiles at her. They have only been going to High School for about a week, so neither of them are used to the uniforms yet, although they’ve seen plenty of older students wearing the uniforms before. Hideki can't help but think as he looks at Kaori that she looks much cuter in this high school seifuku than she did in the more modest one she wore before. In comparison, it seems much more fashionable than her junior high seifuku.

The boy has a somewhat cute face, and medium length hair. His eyes are a startling blue shade, unusual for a Japanese boy, and his body is thin and only slightly muscular. His expression seems tinged with a kind of deep sadness or longing, as opposed to the carefree girl that stands before him. The boy wears a navy jacket with a row of buttons down the front with a white lining in the collar that is just visible at his neck, and navy slacks, both well cared for immaculately. To be honest, despite his care for the uniform’s condition, Hideki hates it. He hates having to wear it so much, he particularly hates how angular and blocky the uniform style has, which is typical for boys uniforms.

Whenever he sees Kaori in her seifuku, he always catches himself wishing that he could wear it instead... but that’s impossible, he thinks wistfully. It’s a perverted and silly thought, at least everyone else seems to think so. If he really were to ask to wear something fluttery and cute like what she wears, he is certain that the boys would beat him up even more than they’ve been doing and throw him in a dumpster somewhere, not that they haven't done so already. He has a hard enough time dealing with them without something like that to give them an excuse to be violent. The girls of the school would probably not be much more forgiving than his male bullies.

"Thanks." Kaori smiles gratefully at Hideki. "I made you a lunch... that's why I was so late..." She smiles and reaches into her bag, and offers Hideki a tightly sealed black plastic box with a cute green kerchief tied around it. Hideki absently recognizes it as the usual bento box that she packs his lunch into, though the kerchief seems to change every day, demonstrating her care. The picture of a red rose stands out on the lid, through a gap in the tied kerchief. Hideki really approves of Kaori's taste, even though he has gotten more grief from the boys over it. It is the box that she always uses to pack his lunch. Perhaps it’s jealousy that they don’t get a specially prepared lunch from a girl like he does, but maybe the packaging and kerchief are too girly for them.

"Promise me you won't peek at it until lunchtime? This one's special... I've been feeling like you need cheering up." She keeps it just out of reach, waiting for a response with a smile on her face.

"Alright... I won't peek. Thank you for taking care of me, Kaori-chan." Hideki smiles, his sad expression relaxing. Kaori always has that effect on him. Kaori smiles more brightly in response, and presses the wrapped box into his hands. Hideki accepts it with a small smile and a bow and tucks it into his book bag.

"Baka!" Kaori blushes faintly and smiles. "L... let's hurry to school. If we walk fast we'll be okay, probably," she laughs. Hideki nods and the two walk quickly on towards the school together.

The neighborhood Hideki and Kaori live in is a nice one. Many of the streets are narrow two lane roads, many with room for only one vehicle at any given time. All the streets are well maintained without a visible gap or even a pothole to be seen.

At the sides of the street are narrow and smoothly paved sidewalks, and the line down the center of the road which marks the two separate lanes is a clean and white. The two continue along a high wall which Hideki supposes is intended to help keep the many high-quality homes and apartment complexes along the way more private. Along the way, they cross several streets, and soon the two notice other students making their way in the same direction, coming down the various side streets. A large group of students walk along ahead. All wear the uniform of the high school that Hideki and Kaori attend so close to it now.

Soon a large clean white building with a large campus comes into view. The whole campus is surrounded by a low red brick wall with large brick columns built into the wall at intervals to reinforce it. Decorative cement spires crown the tops of these columns, depicting sculpted angels and other more scholarly images. Rows of trees are planted in intervals around the inside, just visible over the wall. The leaves of the trees are green, and the air is cool, as is normal for early spring. As the two draw near in the thickening crowd of students, Hideki is able to see a bronze plaque inlaid on a column to which a large decorative gate is firmly bolted on one side.

On the plaque, the name “Shirotsubasa Gakuen” is written in kanji and hiragana. Once through the ornate iron gates, the students shuffle along a red brick walkway with trees and grass to either side. In the center, right between the main building and the gate is a large fountain. Water trickles from the outspread arms of a girl, tastefully sculpted, but suggestively nude. The most remarkable feature of this sculpture is the wings that stretch outward from her back. On each wing, the feathers are delicately and carefully etched. They are so detailed they would look real, except for the fact that it is very obviously a statue made of white marble.

The sound of splashing water and birdsong and the faint sound of crickets chirping are almost drowned out by the sounds of excited and vibrant students, talking and playing as they make their way steadily up to the building and inside. Once Hideki and Kaori enter the building, they turn to each other with small sad expressions. They have different homerooms and very few classes together.

The two classes they do share are English and Music class, but other than those, and lunch of course, they won't see much of each other all day, as usual, until they walk home together. The two have had a long friendship. They weren't exactly childhood friends, but despite that, they are very close and have been ever since their early junior high school days.

Back then, they went to classes together. They always partnered up on projects and did their homework together. Now they do homework together only once in a while, and can't partner up anymore. Kaori has been making lunches for Hideki since late junior high when she was determined to learn to cook. Hideki didn't really understand why she was so focused on it, but gradually her cooking abilities improved, and now he looks forward to her lunches. His own mother doesn't believe in making bento boxes for him... she would rather give him an allowance of money, like a lot of more modern mothers do these days. Hideki is grateful that that part of their friendship didn't change when they started going to Shirotsubasa Gakuen.

The foyer they stand in is a large arched room with trophy cases and inspirational writings in kanji scrolled on the walls. Directly across from the front door are a series of glass doors that lead directly to the administrative offices of the school. The headmaster and secretaries have offices there, as well as the student council. To either side of these glass doors, further along to the right is the door that opens into the spacious gymnasium, and to the left is the door that opens into the auditorium.

The right and left buildings are dedicated solely to classrooms. The clubrooms are mostly located on campus. The standard clubs are available to students: sports clubs, reading clubs, table games clubs, computer clubs, a judo club and of course the obligatory kendo club. There is really a wide assortment of clubs here, and clubs often have to share the same clubroom, though the sports clubs usually take turns using the gymnasium.

The two wave to each other and part ways amidst the crowd of loud and noisy students making their way to their first classes, Hideki walks into the right wing, and Kaori the left. Hideki sighs softly as he paces down the hall. It always feels lonely when he is separated from Kaori like this. She really is his only true friend. He has been labeled as something of an... anomaly by his male peers. He is so quiet and shy, they often misunderstand it and interpret it as unfriendliness. However, it isn't just that.

He has a very feminine and shy nature, and so he usually fits in better with the girls than the boys. A lot of his problems stem from his nature. There are a few boys in particular who actually bully him because of it, though thankfully he doesn't have to deal with it on a daily basis. Guro and Jiro in particular are harsh with him. They have a long-standing theory that the reason why Hideki seems to be so shy around boys and so comfortable around girls is that Hideki is gay. They seem to have a problem with the idea that Hideki might be attracted to them, and that makes them angry.

They vent that anger on Hideki physically sometimes, though it is rare for them to take it beyond mental torture. Since Hideki is a quiet boy and not violent, he just accepts their treatment, though Kaori has often told him that he should stand up for himself and be a man. That is easier said than done!

Hideki doesn't really know if he is attracted to the boys in his classes or not. He hasn't been attracted to many people really, though Kaori is high up on the list of people he has liked in that way. He is too shy and unsure to come forward and tell her, though, and he is certain that she wouldn't be interested in him in that way. He isn't even sure he wants to risk ruining their special friendship... if he ever were to hurt her, he knows he would be alone, and that would make his life a living hell. So he clings desperately to their friendship.

Soon Hideki comes to a stop before his locker and begins to mechanically enter the combination. It pops open with a loud click after several quick and sure turns of the dial. It has only been a week since he was issued this locker, but Hideki is good at memorizing little things like combinations. Hideki quickly stashes his bag inside and gathers his supplies, a notebook, his pencil case and his Home Economics project for first period.

Suddenly a loud noise from behind Hideki makes him leap into the air, his heart beating raggedly in sudden terror; his hands spasm and everything in his hands goes flying. As he turns around, looking for what made the sound, he notices that Jiro and Guro are there, grinning at him. Jiro and Guro are short-haired clones of each other. Their personalities are so similar, it is no wonder they hang out so much with each other. They are practically soul mates. Guro, however, is definitely the leader of the two. They are usually up to some kind of mischief in the school, and like pranks and other tricks.

Hideki glances down and dully notices that in Guro's hands is a paper bag with its side blown out. That must have been the source of the loud noise. As Hideki makes the connection, he flinches inwardly, feeling suddenly sick as students in the vicinity pause and start laughing. He knows he is in for some trouble if they are starting this early. A few of the girls glance in Jiro and Guro's direction with disapproving expressions, but they don't do anything. As usual, everyone seems to take pleasure in his suffering or don't care enough to do anything.

Hideki glares at them and crouches, and gathers his Home Ec project, which is a scarf that he is making for Kaori, and other supplies, in addition to whatever dignity he can manage to regain, which isn't much.

"Ohhhh, what was that look for? Wanna fight? Faggot," Guro taunts in his usual annoying tone of voice, kicking the hand that Hideki clutches the scarf tightly in. Hideki cries out and clutches his hand tighter, as intense pain shudders up and down his arm.

"Whatcha got there, pussy?" Guro asks, kneeling down and lifting a corner of the scarf to examine it, and sniggers. In a fit of panic, Hideki wrenches it out of his hand and stands quickly, holding it behind his back. This nets Hideki a glare from the two boys that causes him to wilt a little in front of them.

"Maybe we should drop him in the dumpster for that," Jiro jeers, suddenly smiling gleefully again.

"Yeah... I think we're going to have to do that." Guro nods to Jiro in a mischievous drawl. Hideki swallows nervously, and finally responds, not as strongly as he would like.

"I don't want trouble, guys... let's just go to class, alright?" Hideki says in a tone bordering on pleading. The two chuckle then and Guro gets a particularly nasty look in his eyes.

"Apologize, fag. Maybe we'll let you go to your baby class." Jiro nods with a smirk. It doesn't help that this year Hideki has been given Home Economics again for first period. The class also serves as his home room. More than once, Hideki has cursed the fact that he did so well in that class in junior high. He is a natural at sewing and decent at cooking, and even enjoys embroidering.

All this has served to reinforce their theory about him being gay, at least in their minds. The ironic thing about this situation is that the two aren't exactly athletes themselves. Hideki has heard that whenever they aren't pulling pranks, the two usually spend their time playing video games in a local arcade. Even so, they are better built and stockier than Hideki, and he is outnumbered.

Hideki frowns, backing away from the advancing two. "Look... I'm sorry I glared... I know it was just a joke... no hard feelings," he says, trying not to plead. He hates giving in to these two. Resisting usually only nets him a beating, though. The chime rings at that moment, to Hideki's immense relief, and the two bullies look at each other with a frown.

"Fine..." Guro leans back. "Watch yourself, Hideki-chaaaan," he teases. "After school today, we're going to teach you another lesson. I'll beat you straight, fag." He smirks, and Jiro's smirk mirrors his.

"If you're not there, you'll get it worse tomorrow... there will be no mercy," Jiro adds with a grin. Hideki flinches again and the two, apparently pleased with themselves, march off, patting each other on the back and laughing. Hideki glances down at the floor, his eyes tearing up now that the two are gone. His stomach twists and gurgles, making him queasy. He is used to this feeling by now... and yet he keeps smiling... he keeps coming back to school. He doesn't have any other choice. He again catches himself wishing that he were born a girl. No one would have bothered him then... they wouldn't have thought he was weird, and they wouldn't want to hurt him. Red eyed, Hideki rushes to his homeroom class, knowing that he's going to be late again.



"Mori-kun! Nice of you to finally join us." The tone of the teacher, Oonishi-sensei's voice is stern as usual. Hideki flinches involuntarily and and looks away.

"I'm sorry, Sensei. I had to look for my scarf." He bows, lowering his eyes. The rest of the class is well mannered enough to be relatively silent; though Hideki hears a few whispers, he is unable to understand what they're saying. The teacher steps forward and Hideki feels her hand under his chin, drawing his head up and angling it so that he is forced to look into her eyes.

"You can't continue like this, Mori-kun. You need to be punctual. It's not an impossible thing to ask of you. No one else seems to be having that problem..." Something in Hideki's eyes causes her to pause and frown.

"Are you feeling alright, Mori-kun? Your eyes are red. Do you need to visit the nurse?" she asks, in a more sympathetic tone. Hideki wonders if she's noticed that he's been crying, and he feels a sudden surge of shame at being caught. He is a very sensitive boy, but being a boy means that you aren't supposed to cry. Boys are supposed to be strong and capable.

"No... I'm okay, Sensei... I'm fine." Hideki feels a twinge in his stomach at that moment. He really doesn't feel very good at all, but it isn't sickness... it is depression, and anticipation of his beating after school.

The teacher nods after a moment, and points at Hideki's seat. "Alright, then. Go on and have a seat. If you change your mind, let me know... if you have any problems at all, you can talk to me about it." She smiles in a more friendly fashion, and Hideki nods, blushing faintly at all the attention he is receiving in front of the other students. He quickly makes his way back to his desk and has a seat. He's gratified to note that he receives some sympathetic glances from a few of the girls in the class.

The few boys in the class just grin at him. They don't usually give him any trouble since they are in home economics too, but they still find his suffering amusing. Hideki sighs and stares out a nearby window as the teacher resumes the morning announcements. The classroom has several large and sparklingly clean windows which let in more than enough light to cheer the room. At the front of the class is a large blackboard, and along the walls are motivational scrolls, written mostly in kanji. These, however, unlike the ones in the school foyer, which are more general and speak to the student body in general, have to do with art, perfection, and hard work specifically.

Also hung on the walls are art, a few scarves, and a lot of embroidery. All work that the previous class donated to inspire this year's class. They are all well-done examples of what the students would be able to accomplish after half a year or so of learning. Already Hideki is nearly at that level... but that is only because he has a passion for crafting.

The desks are sturdy and a little bigger than the typical desk, for the purpose of crafting individual projects, and in the back of the room are larger project tables with scarred surfaces that show their age and use, though there is a fresh coat of black paint on the surfaces of the tables. In the back corners of the room, several shelves and cabinets are built into the wall. Inside each of the different-sized cabinets are numerous arts and crafts supplies, meticulously organized. There is also a sink built into the wall, for washing up after a particularly messy project.

As the teacher ends her announcements to the class, she starts talking about the class' knitting projects.

"Many of you are making great progress. It's been only a week and most of you are knitting very well. I realize that some of you have prior experience from junior high. The ones that don't have any prior experience, you may come to me for advice. I will remind you that you need to finish your projects today.

“Anyone who isn't finished with their project will be graded based on the quality of their work alone, but there will also be a guaranteed grade deduction. If you would have received an A you now have a B, assuming you don't finish by the middle of class. So please resume your work... you have a half hour."

Hideki quickly pulls a set of knitting needles from inside of his desk and the yellow and burnt-orange colored yarn that he has decided to use. Kaori likes yellow, and he thought the burnt orange would go well with it, and it turns out he was right. The scarf is all yellow with burnt orange on the ends. Hideki has only a little bit left to go.

"Not bad, Hideki-kun." Hideki glances to his right and notices a girl with long dark hair. He has noticed her before, but she hasn't spoken to him before today. He notices that her hair is held back on one side with a flower pattern clip. It is really nice and pretty. Hideki catches himself fantasizing about wearing a clip like that in his own hair. It is nearly long enough if he unties it at the back. She has an open and pleasant face, and a graceful and small body. The kind of body he wouldn't mind having.

Hideki sighs, and shakes his head. Guro and Jiro would kill him if he even wore something simple like that.

"What's wrong, Hideki-kun? I was giving you a compliment." The expression on her face changes from friendly and open to hurt.

"Sorry..." Hideki snaps out of his thoughts quickly. "I was just admiring your hair clip... it's pretty," he says with a little blush and a smile.

"Thanks... I've been working really hard on it," she says with a tone of pride. She seems to relax and smiles again. "My name is Chie. It's nice to meet you," she murmurs. Hideki nods and grins.

"It's nice to formally meet you, Chie-san." Hideki nods and glances between her delicate hands. She has already finished, it seems. She has knitted an intricate set of gloves in a pink color. There are pleasant floral designs on the backs of them.

"You did an amazing job, Chie-san! I don't think I could have done something like that!" he says in an awed voice. Chie blushes faintly and nods. "I think you could, Hideki-kun. You just have to try."

Hideki smiles and nods. "Maybe... I don't know... but I wanted to do a scarf... I have a friend that I want to give it to... though she won't be able to use it for a while," he says in an embarrassed tone.

"That's nice of you! I was just going to keep these." She grins. "I mean, I don't really have anyone to give them to, and I needed a pair of gloves, so I thought, why don't I make them instead of buying them?" She grins and Hideki grins back.

"That's a really good idea... maybe I'll do something like that in the future..." Hideki's thoughts turn inward again as he considers the possibility of knitting cute things that he could actually wear... in private, of course.

He isn't suicidal... but he does have a sudden urge to try making a set of gloves of his own, or pretty socks, or a shirt... no, that would be going too far... people would catch on if it was something like that. He could try knitting a sweater next time though... no one would think it was for him... it could be for someone else. He grins a little at the thought, blushing a little.

"Hideki-kun.. you're not having perverted thoughts are you?" She seems to blush faintly. "I didn't think you were that kind of boy," she says in an upset tone.

"No... it's not that!" Hideki blushes more brightly and snaps out of his thoughts again. "I was just... um, I was thinking about how happy my friend would be if I knitted her a sweater next time," he says with another embarrassed laugh.

She looks at him for a long moment and smiles.

"You're really kind, Hideki. I'm sorry for accusing you of... well, don't you mind. I'm sure the rumors about you are completely wrong, the way you're thinking so much about your friend." She smiles, and Hideki laughs a little in response. "If she ever stops being your... friend... come talk to me. I'll make you something nice." She grins. Hideki blushes, smiling, feeling himself actually relax a little.

"Okay. I will. Thanks." He smiles and turns back to his scarf. In a much cheerier mood, he begins to knit quickly, working on finishing Kaori's scarf. Maybe I'll make something for Chie-san next. He smiles to himself.



All too soon, class is over. Hideki smiles, thinking back on class as he makes his way to his next period. Chie received an A on her gloves. He is happy for her. She really put a lot of effort into those gloves. Hideki himself received an A on his project as well. Hideki smiles for a change as he makes his way through the halls. Maybe things won't be so bad. He has made a new friend and he is happy about that. Hideki returns quickly to his locker and opens it, carefully tucking Kaori's scarf into his book bag. Hideki continues going to his classes, and thankfully has no more run-ins with Jiro and Guro.

At lunch, Hideki joins Kaori and the two sit together. Upon opening his lunch box, Hideki gasps, smiling. Inside is a cat. A black cat with a white stomach. Kaori has shaped it meticulously with nori and rice and did so with an amazing artistry. On the side is a mix of cooked vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and squash, and to either side of the cat are piles of beef in a thick sauce. Hideki looks up at Kaori, overcome with tears.

"Thank you! It's so cute..." He looks down, tears dripping down his cheeks.

"H-Hideki-chan?!" Kaori gasps in a strangled tone, blushing a little at his reaction. "I'm glad you like it, but be a man... you're embarrassing me!" she says in a whisper.

Hideki nods and wipes his eyes with a paper napkin. "I'm sorry... it's just... Jiro and Guro were picking on me again this morning... seeing this made me happy," he murmurs in a whisper. Kaori nods with a sympathetic expression. "You should just punch that snotty Guro in the face, Hideki-chan! They don't have any other friends... it'd be easy... and then you wouldn't have to worry about them... and your reputation would be boosted! Everyone would know you as Super Hideki! They'd admire you!" she exclaims with a grin.

Hideki blushes in response; his face turns a little sour. "You know I can't do that... I want to, but... I don't have it in me... I don't want to hurt anyone... I just want them to leave me alone... I want to be myself. I don't want them to make me into them," he says in a sad tone.

Kaori shakes her head and smiles and puts her hand on Hideki's head, ruffling his hair.

"You're such a girl. Sometimes I wish you WERE one... then I could protect you... but you're not... and I like Hideki the way he is," she smiles at him, blushing a little. Hideki nods and blushes again in return.

"Anyhow, please eat! Enjoy it, Hideki-chan!" she says in her usual energetic tone. Hideki nods and starts in on the food ravenously. The two spend the rest of lunch together, talking animatedly, until the chime goes off. Hideki sighs when he hears it and pushes the bento box across the table to Kaori as she shoulders her bag.

"I hope you're cheered up a little, Hideki-chan. Please smile for the rest of the day, okay?" She winks at him and walks off towards her classes. Hideki sighs and stands, shouldering his own bag. The day wasn't going badly exactly, but something is eating at him... something he can't quite put his finger on. He is bothered inside as though he's forgotten something important.

Hideki makes it through the rest of the day without further incident, and returns to his homeroom class for the final chime. Chie smiles at him and he smiles back, feeling more cheerful.

"Okay, class. Tomorrow we'll be starting a sewing project. Please bring in any damaged clothes you have. I'll examine them and select certain pieces according to how damaged they are. If you can't find any, I'll have some to give you. That will be all... have a nice night, children!" Oonishi-sensei smiles at her class, and moments after that the final chime rings and everyone packs up and starts to leave.

"See you tomorrow, Hideki-kun!" Chie smiles at Hideki and waves as she starts moving away. Hideki waves back and shoulders his bag. He heads out the door and back towards the foyer to meet Kaori. He doesn't get far, however. He finds Guro and Jiro waiting for him, about midway down the hall.

"Come on, fag... it's time for your beating." Guro pushes Hideki back in the other direction harshly, with a nasty chuckle. Hideki flinches and stumbles back and the two begin to push him down the hall towards the end of the wing. There is another door there. Students usually use it when they wanted to get to the field and grounds faster, and its secondary purpose is as a fire exit, in case of emergency. The two continue to push him mercilessly towards the door. The boys still heading towards the foyer and out of the school by the usual way just chuckle, and the girls just avert their eyes.

No one is going to do anything...

Hideki despairs as he's pushed through the door and it slams shut on its tight hinges behind the three boys in severe finality.

Postface
Poor Hideki-chan! I'm sorry if the cliffhanger was affecting!


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