• “Miki? That’s such a cute name!” A bunch of my classmates had crowded my desk. It was lunch break. I was surprised, at my old school, no one dare speak to me.
    “Yeah, and you’re really cute too!” What should I do? How should I answer?! I panicked. I was already clenching my fists under the table.
    Calm down Miki, you can do this. Just like we practiced. I coached myself. OK!
    “Thank you.” I smiled sweetly. They all paused for a minute, then they became rowdy again.
    “HOW CUTE!” They all cheered. For the first time, I felt truly happy.
    “Aw, Aya. Your mommy made you another lunch box today? Mm.” I looked to the front of the room, where a girl with rimmed glassed and braids was getting bullied. I narrowed my eyes. They were eating her lunch.
    “Give that back!” She shouted.
    “Hold on.” They ate the rest of her lunch, and gave it back to her. The girl began crying, and ran out of the room. I felt bad about it, but I didn’t know just quite how to deal with it. All I could do was keep quiet and eat my own lunch.
    After school i went straight home, even though some classmates invited me to hang out.
    “What’s wrong Asami? Are you gonna start crying?”
    “Guys, what are you doing? Leave her alone.” I rolled my eyes.
    “No way, she’s the one who bumped into us Miki. Hey Takeru, what should I do for her punishment?” Shin looked at Takeru who had his arms around me at the time.
    “Who care.” Takeru smiled. So Shin smiled back, and pushed Asami against the wall. We were still in school, but nobody could see us because everyone had left the premises. Asami struggled as Shin kissed her. You could see he was forcing his tongue into her mouth. Suddenly, Shin jumped back in pain.
    “You…!” He slapped Asami across the face. Takeru started laughing. Even though I wasn’t the one who was slapped, I felt the impact. Asami ran out the school door.
    “Asami!” I ran off after her.
    “She bit me!” I could hear Shin yell as I followed Asami.
    “Asami wait!” I grabbed her arm and she stopped to turn around.
    “No!” She looked at me with tear struck eyes. I remember that Asami and I used to be close…and now she seemed so far away.
    “Ever since you started going out with Takeru this year, you changed. You always stepped up for what you believed in. Now all you’ve done, is bully everyone weaker than you! Well guess what? I’m tired of it, I don’t want to see your face ever again! I HATE YOU YOSHINORI MIKI!!!” I let go of her arm. She slapped me across the face, and ran into the street.
    “Asami!” I woke up in a gasped. That dream…I haven’t had it in a while. I touched my cheek, I was crying.
    “Asami, I’m so sorry.” I held my head in my hands and cried some more.

    “You look tired, everything OK?” Shiori asked as I came down for breakfast.
    “Yeah…” I poured myself some juice.
    “Bad dream?” She asked. I put down the drink and nodded slowly.
    “I figured as much. Since I heard you crying last night when I went to the bathroom. I waited by your door until you stopped. If you didn’t stop within the hour, I was going to go in. I smiled at her, of course she knew I didn’t like to be bothered at those times. It was demeaning to woman if you ever cried in front of someone else. It didn’t matter who it was. You are a woman and should always be strong.
    “Well I better get going.” I said.
    “Later.” She replied as I walked out the door.
    As I walked, I kept thinking about that dream I had last night. It was crazy, I knew people couldn’t forget everything in their past, but I wanted to be different. I cried it all out over the summer. It was part of my altering that I did.
    “Have a nice day at school, I love you son!”
    “Be quiet old man!” I looked up to see that boy from my class. The troublemaker. My eyes widened, I didn’t know he lived two houses down from me!!! Well this sucks. I thought. But as I watched his father waving from his doorsteps, I couldn’t help but laugh. Suddenly the man was looking at me.
    “Oh, what do we have here!” The man ran down to me as I was just passing his gate.
    “You have the same uniform as my son! Don’t you think this is fate that the both of you are meeting here, in front of our house?” I gave him a half-hearted smile. This creepy father is a little too much of an enthusiastic.
    “Hey! Old man!” His son yelled with frustration.
    “My son is too shy to ask girls out so, will you go out with my son? You’re very beautiful! And cute too!” The man held my hands. My fake smile couldn’t hold out much longer, I was going to crack. I wanted to punch him right here, right now!
    “OLD MAN!!!” The boy yelled furiously.
    “Kei, why are you so mean? Can’t you see, you two are a perfect match.” His father smiled. Now I remember his name, it was Kei.
    “Let’s go.” Kei grabbed my arm and we began to jog down the street together.
    “Ooh, Kei my son, you are so forceful!” His father yelled out. I could tell Kei was getting irritated.
    The whole time, we kept jogging, and I didn’t stop him. Even though he was stilling holding my arm, I didn’t even want to say one word to him. Starting even one conversation with him, would start something to blossom. I came here to do better, not do worse. So I just went with the flow, but soon I wanted to tell him to let me go because we were reaching the school. But how do I tell him, without actually telling him? Hmm…
    I needed to think fast, the school gate was coming up fast since we weren’t just walking. The only thing I could think of was pulling my arm away. So that what I did, and he noticed. He let my arm go and stopped to look at me. He kept looked at me with a confused expression. I smiled my fake smile that everyone loved, and bowed to him. It was saying thank you, without really saying the words. When I looked up, he was glaring at me. How nice, I thought. Oh well, I ran passed him and towards the school gate. He was probably confused, but this was how I wanted it to be. No conversations at all.
    “Hey Miki.” Jiro!!! I almost screamed. He was standing in front of the school gates.
    “Why are you just standing there?” I asked.
    “Well…” I could see the blush creep into his cheeks. “I was waiting for you.” He smiled embarrassed. I was so happy to hear that!!!
    “Oh ha-ha.” I giggled. It felt weird to giggle, I haven’t really done that for a long time. I thought, as we walked together.
    “Did you sleep well?” Jiro asked. I nodded, even though that was another lie.
    “Why do you ask?”
    “You look a little tired. Maybe you should go see the nurse.” He suggested as the bell rang. I nodded. Even though I really didn’t want to, and I knew I wasn’t going to. This relationship is not going well. All I do is feed him lies, lies, and more lies. In the back of my mind, I felt guiltier than I should have been.