Chapter 03 - Private tuition
The rain thumbed against the glass plates - the first indication that you couldn’t really call it a wonderful Sunday morning. Actually it was one of these days you would usually spend in bed.
However, the new Wächterin didn’t waste one thought on that. First of all she didn’t detest rain and in the second place she had something in mind today and thus – just when Pink had barely left her room – she got a happy welcome:
„Good morning, Pink! Did you sleep well?“
By way of exception Green had tied up her hair into a ponytail and smiled gently at Pink.
Said one cocked her head and looked bewildered.
„Good morning...is today a special day? You’re in such a good mood!“ A moment after Pink had sat down on the kitchen table, Green put some pancakes right under her nose - encumbered with a whole lot of chocolate sauce.
„Oh, there’s not really a reason for it.“ She smiled mischievously. To Pink pancakes were equal to receiving an invitation and she took whole-heartedly advance of it.
„Hmmm! Delicious!“, Pink swooned. The other girl smiled in a cheeky way and sat down as well. She had already finished her meal and looked at Pink, apparently waiting for something.
„Of course, I made them! But the best thing about them is: they’re so very cheap! That way you won’t manage to eat me out of house and home - if I have to go on living here with you and all.“ Green smiled in a teasing manner.
Pink smiled back happily; she had totally forgotten what was in store for her today - which was not the case for Green and she was pumped up to learn about Pink’s story.
Intrinsically she wanted Pink to start the conversation of her own accord, but said one was too occupied with pancakes…which meant Green had to make the first move:
„Pink, did you forget about the things you wanted to tell me about?“ Green’s smile faded when she voiced these words, and the bright smile on Pink’s features stiffened until it completely vanished.
She continued to eat, but did not look as enthusiastic as before. Green rose from her seat and rested her right hand on Pink’s shoulder. She jumped out of her thoughts and looked up at Green. Said one smiled sweetly at Pink.
„How am I supposed to continue my deeds without knowing the absolute truth? I just want to help you.“
Tears gathered in Pink’s bluish eyes - Green couldn’t point out whether they were tears of joy or the opposite. The young girl quickly brushed the tears aside though, using her sleeves.
„Okay“ Pink’s voice trembled.
„Great!“, Green said, „but you may want to change first, you’re still wearing your nightdress after all.“
When Pink had finally changed her clothing, the two girls sat down on the couch facing each other.
It seemed to be a hard challenge for Pink to start talking about it, but Green did not want to make the first move again, and thus she waited patiently –
until Pink sighed and asked her where she was supposed to start.
„Well, I’d say you should start from the beginning“, Green replied. Pink hesitated, before she said:
„I cannot remember it.“ She looked at the ground when she said it, and Green wondered whether Pink wanted to get the better of her, but then she explained:
„I…have lost my memory.“
„Amnesia?“ The word instantly sputtered out of Green’s mouth. Pink only nodded.
„I can only remember the time I spent in the demon’s world.“
Green’s hand slipped from her chin and she looked at her conversational partner in silence, unsure how to respond or query.
But luck was on her side and Pink took it upon herself. Without facing Green she continued:
„When I was a child they captured me and since then I lost my memories. Since that day I was held in confinement in the demon world. I cannot remember the time before that… they took everything:
family, friends, dreams, my self…I don’t even know if ‘Pink’ is my real name… “
Green looked at her with eyes full of pity, and all of sudden a feeling erupted in her; the feeling that she wanted and needed to protect this little girl.
She wasn’t used to such an emotion, because what others did and felt didn’t matter to her most of the time. But she felt pity for this little girl, just as if Pink was her very own sister.
„So that’s the reason that demon was after you… but what do they need you for?“
Pink briefly shrugged.
„Because of my protection magic.“
„How could they make use of it?“ Pink took a deep breath.
„I do not know. I do not know what all these experiments were for…“ Hoarsely Green grinded out the word ‘experiments’, but Pink just shook her head. Her answer was easy to understand: She did not want to talk about it.
„I am not really sure about it... but when the demon's last huge fight against us took place, they got sealed into their own world.“
The image of war inevitably leaped into Green’s mind and she had hardly grasped the meaning when the impressions of her dream flashed in front of her mind’s eye. Pink did not notice.
„I think they wanted to try breaking the seal with my magic as their catalyst…“ Green nodded, lost in thought. Pink paused. For a while none of them said a word, till Pink carried on.
„There was no hope left for me.”
„How did you manage to flee?“
„The seal is getting weaker and weaker. A few demons are able to cross it. I overheard a conversation, and they were planning to kill you “, Pink said.
„WHAT?! Why did they want to kill me?! That doesn’t make any sense at all! I’m just an average human after all! “, Green said hysterically. Pink looked a bit surprised.
„But Green-chan, you are not a human! That’s because you’re a Wächter! Just like I am! And demons kill Wächter, because we are the only ones who’re able to stop them“, Pink replied with blistering eyes and once again with zest for action. However, Green did not enjoy being a bubbly target for the whole demonical society.
„Could you tell me what Wächter are all about, anyway?“ Pink stroke out with her fist - in order to perfom a glorious pose.
„We’re the protectors of mankind!“
Okay, Green thought, she would most likely not get any more accurate information on that topic.
Because she was well aware of that, she decided to change the topic once again.
„Please go on, Pink. How did you manage to flee?“, Green asked. Pink’s usual smile faded.
„By accident I learned about their plans, and when I heard your name something clicked. I must have known you somehow…“ Pink gave a shrug.
„I tried my utmost in order to flee, because I wanted to activate your magic, but I didn’t know how…but because of some inattention I could use the way through the seal they also used, and that’s how I ended up with you.“
Pink sighed again. And then the two of them remained silent.
„And that was all I can tell you about it“, Pink said, sounding almost apologizing.
„Do you have some chocolate left for me?“
It was most likely the last warm day of autumn. The sun had given its all, one could detect 30°C. Green was on her way back home from school; she had gotten her maths exam back that day,
and of course it didn’t lighten her mood one bit. She sighed deeply and shook her head. Her whole life got out of control at the moment.
„Well, I’d have to say a 5- doesn’t sound too bad for your standarts, Najotake.“ Green spun around and caught sight of Gary behind her.
Appalled by his sudden emergence she stumbled a few meters backwards and hid the exam behind her back as if it wouldn’t already be too late to do so.
„What do you mean by saying ‘for your standarts’, Ookido?“, Green huffily reacted to his teasing.
Only when the sentence had left her lips, the latest events crossed her mind and she noticed:
this was the first time he tried talking to her after his weird question if she could look straight into the sun.
„Don’t act dumber than you are“, he replied spitefully. Green turned on the spot and walked away without responding to him.
Although she felt anger boiling up inside of her, she deliberated on addressing the weird topic - even though everything was the way it had previously been: he made fun of her and they started to argue.
The fathomless hostility had worn off his eyes this time around though.
The look he sent her wasn’t exactly friendly, but far from being hateful. Green didn’t know why, but it relieved her.
She took a few steps, but instantly noticed the fact that Gary trailed a few steps behind her. Still walking her way she turned around.
„Are you persuading me, by any chance?!“
„What a coincidence, but it’s also my way back home“, Ookido replied placidly.
„Since when, if I may ask?“
„Since I moved here.“ Green looked at him surprised.
„Do you live nearby?“, she asked, slightly stricken with fear.
„Well, I never took an interest in your habitation.“ Green turned around and pointed towards a far-off apartment building.
„That’s where I live“ She dropped her arms. Gary stepped next to Green.
„Sadly, me too.“ Green dropped her shoulders.
Indeed, the day couldn’t get any worse.
„’Sadly’ is an understatement “, she sighed.
„Don’t think you can visit me now!“ She looked at the boy accusingly.
Said one arched his eyebrows.
„Who would try to grow close to you, anyway.“ He looked at her gloatingly.
Green tried to remain calm.
„Shut up! Or something will happen to you!“ It wouldn’t take too long and Green would lose it. She didn’t need to put up with that idiot’s behaviour.
„Look out, or you’ll ru-“ But he didn’t manage to finish his warning. Green had already bumped into ‘something’ and was in a sorry state at the ground, her eyes squinted.
„Hellow~!“ Green opened her eyes again and took a look at the person who had just spoken and whom she had bumped into:
„What are you doing here?“ Pink pointed towards something attached to her hands; Green’s roller skates.
„I only wanted to bring them.“ Green shot the little girl a rather weird look. Where was the point in giving her roller skates when she was already so close to their home?
If Pink had brought them earlier that day it would have been a different issue.
Even so Green thanked her and accepted them, but didn’t pull them on.
Green peered to Gary and noticed that he examined her. Pink cocked her head.
„Pink, we should go. I’ve had enough hedgehogs.“
Looking at her exam with a sigh, she let it slide to her side. Green seriously considered taking private tuition.
The bad mark she got in her last exam spooked at the back of her mind and in front of her eyes homework piled up.
The problem was she had to hand it in by two hours: and there was only one break left to finish her assignment. But just as estimated she did not understand even half of it.
It did not help to read the conceptual formulation again and again. It always ended up the same way: in confusion. If Sho had been in school, Green would have been able to copy it from her,
but said one had elongated her weekend without further ado and was on a trip with her parents. They had asked Green to come along as well, but she had refused.
Green tore at her hair when the assignment once again proved to be ridiculous.
She cursed loudly and used the back of her pencil to erase her answer. That was when she noticed someone was observing her. Gary sat at the table next to her, with a pile of books.
She wasn’t surprised upon discovering him - after all she was in the library.
„These tasks aren’t that hard“, he said and for a change it didn’t even sound offending.
„Maybe for you, but they are hard for me“, she replied and started running her pocket calculator again.
Green tried not to pay attention to him, but her attempts proved to be futile when he moved and sat himself just in front of her nose. Even then, she didn’t say anything.
„I could help you“, he said in a somewhat friendly manner while extending his hand to get her notebook. „You just want to make fun of me.“ Gary shook his head slightly.
„I won’t. It’s a promise.“ Carrying a slight blush of shame she gave him her notebook.
„But please go slow on me.“ He started browsing her notebook and Green braced herself for evasive remarks, but they never came. Gary was quiet, and did not only take a look at today’s assignment but also on her last ones. With a lump in her throat Green noticed: he examined her whole notebook carefully - and her indisposition increased. After a long while he finally looked up to meet her gaze.
„Najotake.“ Green twitched as if she would be waiting for a judge’s sentence.
„Yeah?“, she asked with a slightly trembling voice. Sighing he returned her notebook and she was surprised when he pulled out his very own notebook instead.
„Your problem is that you did not understand the basic principles. We don’t have enough time for any explanations from my side; therefore I'll let you replicate mine for this time.“
Green looked at him sceptically, because she couldn’t imagine he would be doing this for free.
But before she could even reply, he continued:
„And tomorrow after school I am going to give you some private tuition - till you got the concept.“ Her scepticism collapsed and she looked at him in a surprised manner.
„And what do you want in return?“
„Nothing. Simply a diligent student.”
The next day was just as warm as the last. The sun was shining downwards from the blue sky, and it was hard to stand the warmth in the classrooms…
But a lot of students had luck on their side, because school was almost finished. Most male and female students did their their seminars, and those who still had to sit in the classrooms got pitied.
Green was also doing her seminar and therefore eased of sorrows. Thankful (even though she did not tell Gary) she had accepted his invitation and the two of them had made an appointment after their usual schedule;
Gary’s maths course for advanced learners ended earlier than Green’s, which meant he had to wait for her.
And so he did, leaning against the outer wall of the gymnasium, already being slightly annoyed because he had been waiting for 15 minutes straight.
Slowly but surely she went too far, and therefore Gary peered into the hall, insinuating Green that he was fed up with waiting.
All the girls stood side by side in a row and listened to their female teacher. Unlike in the lessons, Green listened attentively and didn’t notice Gary’s attempts to contact her. She voluntarily performed an exercise course.
Blushing slightly, he noticed Green didn’t look all that bad in her skin-tight dress; she had tied her long hair into a ponytail and as usually two strands fell over her shoulders.
Her deep blue eyes captivated his gaze, but they didn’t look at him, they were simply shining with excitement and delight; she was in her element. Actually, he had never noticed before…she did look pretty.
Alarmed he shook his head. He didn’t want to, he couldn’t show any feelings. Would anything come out of it? These feelings didn’t have a future, one didn’t need them.
Green Najotake was nothing but an annoying girl. He couldn’t comprehend how she managed to agitate him so. Of course, he knew that she was different, but that could hardly be the reason.
It couldn’t be…
Neither Green nor Gary were talkative. In silence, keeping a distance between each other, they went back home.
Green quickly threw her bag into her bedroom and decided not to change her clothing, since she didn’t want Gary to have a closer look at her belongings.
Even so, she took too much time, because she heard Gary saying: „Najotake, here’s a slid of paper, and it’s addressed to you.“
Upon hearing this she strode into the adjoining room and joined Gary in order to read said slid of paper, which said in pinkish glitter lettering:
Whil com leter!!!!! Am shouppeng in touwn!!!!!
I Hope too get phancakes whan I com bec leter!!!!
Green took a close look at said paper, and had to read it a second time to comprehend just how many mistakes one could make in only two lines.
Pink was not even able to write her own name correctly – but, to be honest, Green was surprised Pink was even able to write Japanese…
„I’m bound to say she’s dumber than you.“ Astonished, he had read along over Green’s shoulders. Said one turned around furiously.
For one he read her post without any permission, and then he even dared to comment on it with an insult! But Green didn’t have in mind to start a quarrel with him now -
after all they had to spend a few hours at each other’s side - and tried not to answer this one time.
„Quit blowing hot air; could we please start at last?!“
The faster they got their act together, the faster she could get rid of him.
Not even ten minutes later the two of them were sunken into the eerie depths of mathematics – or, you should rather say, Gary was. Because Green got lost in them.
Feverishly she tried to solve the assignment, but somehow it didn’t work so well…Gary sipped on his orange juice and amusedly watched Green wracking her brain.
He took a quick look at her task and instantly noticed her mistake. „Najotake, let me take a look.“
When he took her notebook away, the girl looked up.
„Right from the start you do this one fatal error…!“, Gary said, took a hold of her pocket calculator and deposited it in a way Green could also have a look at what he was doing.
Slowly, he typed numbers into the calculator and corroborated it with explanations.
Green eagerly listened to him, but even so she was till unsure when Gary handed her the pocket calculator, saying it was her turn now.
She gulped as if the assignment was to defeat a demon. Hesitantly at first, she altercated with the task until the thin ice got solid and she had some kind of conclusion on her paper.
The results even seemed to make sense...
Green was honestly surprised.
Stone-faced she handed him her notebook and anxiously waited for his judgement.
„There you go, you can manage it after all.“
„It’s…correct?!“, Green asked as a precaution; she couldn't believe the impossible.
When he affirmed she had indeed done everything correctly, the girl stared at the assignment for a long time. Gary was busy talking about the next task, without noticing Green did not follow any of it.
„These results here…they are…correct?“, Green asked in the middle of his explanation.
Slightly annoyed because she dared to interrupt he looked up with an annoyed expression and replied:
„Yes, of course, or do you want me to write a statutory declaration?“ He just wanted to continue where he left off, but Green dared to interrupt him a second time and this time his heart skipped a beat.
„Thank you!“ Gary had no clue why he reacted that way, but her voice along with the unfamiliar sight of a fond smile in her face, managed to distract him for a mere second.
Most likely because he didn’t believe this girl was even able to look at others in a dearly meant way.
„W-We shouldn’t waste our time and go on from where we stopped, Najotake.“ Said girl innocently looked at him and was a bit surprised when she noticed the stuttering. It couldn’t be…that conceited idiot couldn’t be shy, could he?
„You can call me Green if you want.“ His reply went faster than expected.
„I don’t mind to.“ Both of them kept silent. Green was slightly blushing and when she looked at Gary she noticed he was in the same condition. She smiled a bit precarious.
Such a sappy situation…
„Um, shouldn’t we continue?“