The folowing day, Monday, May 23 2005, arrived.
I grabbed my bag, put up shoes, got onto a bike lying around near the front door (I checked the tire pressure yesterday) and head to the train station. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know where the station was or even where the school is! However, my instincts seem to be guiding me in the right direction.
I reached the station and parked the bike around there. The fare gates looked different from what I was familiar with. On a closer look, there were people taping a card, their wallet, mobile phone and even their bag on a marked area of the fare gates. For the people who tapped their cards, some bought the ticket at a machine at a corner while others just took it out from their pocket. I dug through my skirt pocket, not knowing what’s inside, and found a card that looked similar to theirs and it worked! I want to jump for joy, but I can’t: there is some invisible force that prevents me from doing so. I can see why.
The train platforms seemed to be quite crowded, but I have seen worse. Upon boarding the train, I heard an unfamiliar voice (to me) calling me.
Girl 2: “春奈ちゃん！お早う！(^。^) How are you feeling? I haven’t seen seen you since last year!” (she was referring to the previous school year. The school year here starts in April) 「あなたは、大丈夫ですか？」 (・。・)
Looking at how she greeted me, I assume she’s my close friend. She’s also wearing the same uniform as I was wearing. Recalling the photo in the contact list, the name 高橋ゆかり came to my mind. She has a twin sister by the name Haruka, but apart from living overseas, her whereabouts are unknown since their parents were divorced when they were young.
Me: “Oh, Yukari-chan! I’m feeling better now. I was born with a weak body, that’s all. So what’s been happening since, erm, you know what happened.”
Yukari: “Wow! You actually remembered me! (^o^)丿(笑) ｗｗｗｗｗｗｗ Anyways, I have been so kind as to take down notes for you. I heard from 笹川さん (Nagisa) that when you woke up you looked at yourself as if you were suddenly turned into an adult. 冗談冗談だよ！(^_^)/ I also don’t blame you for what happened to a close family friend of yours. Anyways, did you catch ギアス yesterday? I was so shocked! (・。・) Why must it happen at such an inconvenient time? I think…..”
Yukari talked about stuff I know nothing about all the way until school. There were more people wearing the same uniform (not sure about the males though) the closer we got to the school.
We reached the school, I can honestly say that it looks bigger and better than mine, even though it’s considered average there.
Yukari: “Oh yeah! (>_<) I forgot that you were not around since the school year started last month. あたし忘れた。。。 You go check with 先生 or the principal to see what class はるなちゃん is posted to. じゃ、また。I don’t want to be late for class.”
Me: “Hey! Wait! Can you at least….?”
Yukari ran towards the stairs nearest to the entrance in a hurry without telling me where the school head or the staff room is.
What is the rush anyway?
Hmmm….. Maybe I should start looking around to see if I can find it. It would be quite awakward if I were to ask someone Haruna may know. The problem is that I don’t know practically anyone here.
Let’s see, I think I should change into indoor shoes when entering. (looks around) I don’t see any other “小林” except for this one. (changes shoes) I think I should start on the first floor though, it didn’t take me long to find the staff room from the fact that there is some kind of a keypad next to the sliding door with several large desks and office chairs filled with a lot of books and stuff inside. A man approached me as I was looking inside.
Man 1: “Oh, Kobayashi-san! You’ve recovered already?”
Me (shy): “Erm, yes… I’m feeling alright now, sensei.”
I seem to automatically add “sensei” when I talk to him. Haruna was the one who’s shy, not me. But because I also feel what she feels, I became shy even though I’m not. The name of the teacher I’m talking to did not came to my mind.
Man 1: “Good. Well, I will be your homeroom teacher again this year, but only a few of your previous year’s classmates are now in your class, so I would introduce you to the class when we reach there. Shall we go now?”
Me: “Yes, sensei!”
We climbed up to the 3rd floor and walked over to another building wing and the teacher stopped and turned to me outside of a classroom with the sign “２年Ｂ組” on the outside.
Man 1: “We’re here. Wait for the cue before you enter. Okay?”
He suddenly opens the door, walks in, and closes the door. I wasn’t expecting him to enter immediately, so this actually made me feel more nervous.
Man 1: “Okay class, let’s start the homeroom session!”
Sound of tables and chairs being dragged were heard and the class suddenly dead silent.
Girl 3: “Kiritsu!”
Sounds of chairs dragging were heard again.
Girl 3: “Rei!”
Silence followed. Sound of chairs dragging were heard shortly after. What’s going on? I can’t see!
Man 1: “Okay class, it seems that everyone is present. That’s good. Now, we have a returning student who will be joining our class today.”
I heard several voices from the moment he said “returning student”. I soon hear people saying from things like, “A transfer student? Who is it?” (he said “returning”, not “transfer”), “Is it a boy or a girl?” (does it matter?), and “I hope it’s a cute girl!” (actually, I am, but I wasn’t just last month. I hope whoever said that not a pervert)
Man 1: “Okay, class. I know how excited you all are, but let’s not make that student nervous.” (I’m already nervous!) “Okay Kobayashi-san, you may enter now.”
I slowly opened the door an nervously walked towards the middle-front of the class. I don’t recall walking like this before. Must be with this body I’m in now. I heard some whispers of “Isn’t that Haruna-chan?” and “Isn’t that the girl who fell into a coma back in February?” as I did so.
I took a chalk stick and wrote the Kanji for Haruna’s name vertically on the blackboard. I haven’t written on a board for a long time and obviously I’m not going to write my name since I’m no longer in my original body which was killed in a tragic accident that has appeared in the newspaper not too long ago. I seemed to be shorter than what I recalled to be, so I had some difficulty writing “小” for a while, since it’s at the top.
After writing the name, I turned around to face the class. I spotted Nagisa and Yukari and were waving at me. Most of the guys were staring at me with a “Wow!” expression on their faces. I know what you are thinking: I was like one of you before.
Me: “あの。。。 My name is Haruna, Kobayashi Haruna. I was actually hospitalized a few months ago due to a life-threaning illness. I was scared in the hospital room all alone for many days and not knowing if I would live tomorrow, but I’m fully recovered and I’m willing to study hard. よろしくお願いします！”
There were some cheers and a standing applause. Tears were flowing out of my eyes for some reason and wiped them away. (Wait… wouldn’t that make me look like I’m crying? Hmm…)
Later, the teacher appointed my seat to behind Nagisa, near the back of the classroom.
Lunch break came. Nagisa, Yukari, and 2 guys approached me.
Boy 1: “Oh, Haruna, can you lend me your notes?”
Nagisa & Boy 2: “Kyousuke! How rude of you! She’s only just came out of hospital!”
Yukari nods at Kyousuke.
Kyousuke: “Sorry, I was just making fun!” 🙂
Boy 2: “By the way, have you heard? The blog of the guy who was killed last week was updated the yesterday! On top of that, the description on that post was so accurate that it looked as though he wrote it! How scary!”
It was me who wrote that. The blog has been mine since I created it, but I pretended to be surprised.
Yukari: “＼(◎o◎)／！ なああああにいいいい？ How is that possible?”
Nagisa: “Yeah, I checked it just last night and it was indeed there! However, the part about what happened to him after he died seemed to happened less than a day before Haruka here” (stares at me for a while as though she knew it was me) “woke up from her coma…”
Kyousuke: “That’s way too coincidental! Haruna, do you know what’s going on?”
I suddenly felt as though something took over me. Could it be the the real Haruna that has been in this body? In any case, I lost control of it.
Haruna (not me): “No. In fact I never knew it happened until you guys told me.”
Boy 2: “How mysterious… I’m scared just thinking about it.”
Yukari: “Erm… and how many people knew about this?”
Nagisa: “Everyone! Not only with his close friends, it was reported in the news around the world! The first few people who noticed it saw that post in the early evening yesterday when they went there to send their message of condolences in the chatbox there.”
Kyousuke: “Wow! That many….”
Yukari: “All these creepy stuff is making me hungry… (-_-;) Shall we go? お腹すいた。。。”
We all left and headed to the school cafeteria. However, Haruka was wispering my name to herself on the way there. Could it be for me? She has never even communicated to me directly since I (somehow) took over her body.
Haruna: “The reason why your mind ended up in my body after you died was because I have always wished to. In fact, if it weren’t for our fathers studying in university together, we wouldn’t have met. Good job on scaring people with that post of yours by the way.”
Me: “Thanks, but why did you wished so?”
Haruna: “That’s because I erm… loved you… You were the only one whom I can trust the most and what was said during the introduction earlier was true.”
I was speechless on those words… Well, I did have have the same feelings for you and thought that the once a year visit was not enough.
Boy 2: “Haruna? Did you say something?”
Haruna: “It’s nothing, really. Minoru-kun. ……………….. Anyways, I will be shortly loose control over my body and may not be able to communicate to you directly for quite some time. When that happens, you would either take over, or I will faint like what happened back in February. It’s as though fate wants you to take over and wants me in the back seat. Oh, I don’t mind you dating guys since you are probably going to be stuck in this female body of mine for a long time anyway.”
Me: “…so you are saying that we should be together by being in the same body instead marrying?”
Haruna: “Well, not exactly…”
Me: “And me being involved in the accident?”
Haruna: “Oh that? It really wasn’t my doing. Besides, how can I? …………… Uh oh, I think I’m losing control of my body…. Have fun and stay out of trouble!”
Me: “Hey wait!”
I regained control of Haruna’s body. I suddenly realized that I am seating at the table with Nagisa, Yukari, Kyousuke, and Minoru in the cafeteria with the food in front of me.
We would normally eat a lunch box at lunch, but since none of them brought their own, we ended up buying there, which can get sold out quite quickly, on top of long queues. Otherwise, we could have eaten at places like the rooftop, the classroom, or at the school garden. I wonder how mine appeared in front of me? Did they buy for me or did Haruka bought them when I was busy talking to her? I wonder…
After lunch, the English teacher gave us a surprise test… I wasn’t expecting it, especially on the first day back in school. Everyone complained.
After receiving the question paper, I looked at the question:
問題１． 何が「The Prime Minister said with regards to the issue to take countermeasures immediately. 」と日本語ですか？
問題２． 「病院の入り口は駅の前。 それから、今は午後３時半。」って英語はなんだ？
問題３．「アイ ウェンー フォ アー ホリデー イン ジャーマニ ラスト マンー。 イット ウォス グレット」のローマ字はなに？
(followed by many questions like this)
The only parts of the question that I understand is the English words in the first question…. I wonder what do they want me to do with those words? And what kind of an English test is this? It’s more of translating! On top of that, the English words looks funny.
Well, Haruna indirectly helped me to at least understand what the questions wants me to do and questions that require answering in Japanese and manage to answer all the questions with a lot of time remanding. I took a glance around: it seemed that some gave up, while the rest are still struggling to complete the paper.
Man 2: “Okay, time’s up!”
Everyone immediately made a sigh of relief. For the rest of the day, it was lesson as per normal. I actually already know what was being thought, except for a subject called “National History“.
School soon ended, everyone had club activities, but mine was not today. Oh well, I can use this time to be famillar with my surroundings. Knowing that I will spend a lot of time in school later on, I think it would be better if I were to explore the area between the school and home.
I went to my shoe locker near the main entrance of the building and exchanged for the outdoor shoes before heading out of the school gates (there is a large garden in between and a baseball field visible in the distance).
As I’m not practically familiar with everything around me, including the way home, so I’ll just stick to that for today.
I reached the train station near the school. I looked at the map and realise that my house is actually quite far. I was thinking of bringing the bike all the way to school, but I guess the distance is too far. Bringing bikes onto the trains are not allowed, but wheelchairs and prams are.
I wonder why Haruna picked a school so far away? Hmm…
I don’t really know how long it took for me to get to school as I was too busy getting used to the surroundings and Yukari keep talking about stuff like Anime that I didn’t keep track of time.
I reached the station near my house, collect my bike, bought food for dinner later on, and went home.
I reached home and parked the bike against the wall outside, went inside, put dinner in the kitchen, and then head to my (Haruna’s actually) room. I realised that there are a lot of difficult books on the shelf (at least on the outside). Past test papers that Harka did were placed in several files (sorted and colour coded by subject) on the study desk and the older ones in the bookshelf. I looked at the grades and was shock to see that on most of the test, she scored nearly full marks. On closer look, the questions asked (including recent test papers) were something that I had learnt a long time ago and could have received full marks if I had taken it now.
Again, I have to remove this clothing than is somewhat different from what I’m used to and into another set of clothes. The awkwardness of wearing them still lingers in me.
Since my dinner does not require much preparation, I looked around the house for anything interesing. If I’m not wrong, there should be a guest room somewhere. Let’s see, my room…. Haruna’s parents room…. the bathroom…… storeroom (it looked as though it used to be a bedroom like mine) ….. must be that remaining room on the 2nd floor….
I entered the room. There was nothing out of the ordinary, though I did find things that my parents thought they had lost like credit cards, and old photo of me with Haruka, our parents and late grandparents, and 2 other people that looked older than us but younger than our parents. Who are they?
I headed to the kitchen to have dinner, took a bath, did my homework (which was easy) and headed to sleep.
As I slept, it looked as though I was suddenly awake in class talking to my friends (Haruna, Yukari, Minoru and Kyousuke), except I have no control over it. The place seemed to be cold with my classmates seen wearing warm clothing.
I tried looking at the blackboard at the front of the class.
It said Friday, February 4 on the same year that the bizarre event that happened to me and also the the month that people said that Haruna in. I then tried to talk.
Me: Hey, what’s going on?
Those words never came out of my mouth, but I heard Haruna’s voice as though she’s speaking directly to my ear.
Haruna: These are my memories of what happened on the day of the incident from my point of view. If I recall correctly, I fainted mid-way through the next lesson. Now it’s the comming to an end of lunch break. Watch.
The bell chime was heard in the distance and everyone went back to their seats. Haruna sat at the table near the window, which was at a different seat than the current one. I noticed that there were some patches of snow on the ground and there were hardly any leaves on the trees. The homeroom teacher entered a few minutes later. Everything seemed to be normal with nothing out of the ordinary.
Haruna: I think it should happen around now, because I remember wishing for you to be with me when seeing the teacher doing that when I fainted…
The teacher was fooling around with a strange looking object, that he claim to have found it when he was overseas, as he showed it to the class.
Man 1: “Oh, look! It’s doing the funny dance! Wheee!” (turns the object around wildly)
As he turns that thing around, it seems that a part of it is fixed upon Haruna and another to elsewhere in a fixed direction. Haruna was still wishing to be with me, as though she’s praying.
Then suddenly, I saw a flash of green light and then Haruna froze like a statue in the same position as she was wishing earlier and fell down the chair sideways. (reminds me of a movie I watched earlier) I felt a sharp pain as Haruna’s head hit the floor. The teacher and classmates who were sitting nearby rush to Haruna.
Everyone: “Kobayashi-san? What’s wrong? Are you allright?”
Haruna: I tried to get up and say that I’m all right, but my body refused to move and just lay there stiff. The reason why you are still seeing this despite me “fainting” was because I was still very consous, but unable to move my body. I think that thing the teacher is holding is causing this whole incident to happen.
Girl 3 & Nagisa: “Hey! Someone call for help!”
Man 1 & Kyousuke: “Got it!” (runs out of the class)
As that was happening, my view is stuck from Haruna’s fallen body on the floor at an angle. All I can see are tables, chairs, people’s feet, and people who bend down in front of me to see Haruna’s frozen body, though most of the time was Haruna’s close friends. I saw some of them checking to see if Haruna is still alive, though there are other people who made fun of the situation.
I heard an ambulance in the distance. The teacher and Kyousuke returned with paradamics and a stretcher and carried Haruna into the ambulance and placed her sideways without trying to straighten her body.
Haruna: I think a lot of people saw what was under my skirt, but what can I do? Anyways, I actually slipped from the stretcher on the way so frequently that they end up puting me on the front seat with the seat belt as I was already in a sitting position when I froze. Anyways, at the hospital, they did medical checks and thankfully found out that I am still mentally awake and were aware that I was trying to talk to them as they did so. They later somehow manage to straighten up my body and put on hospital clothing. Imagine if they didn’t: They would put me in the ward on a chair facing my empty bed with my clothes unchanged. If a stranger were to enter my ward, they would think that I’m hoping deeply for someone who’s not at the bed for something to happen when in fact, I’m the paitent of that bed. ^_^ Imagine if they found that out!
I don’t know why Haruna is making fun of the time she herself was hospitalised, but the last bit made me laugh.
Haruna: During the months I was in hospital, my classmates (varies, but close friends visit regularly), my parents (in April), and your father (in late-February) visited me. Some of them were thinking that I would die and were even crying and were wishing that I don’t, while some gave their well wishes and even said about the times I had with them. However, at times when nobody is around, I would feel loney and the days seem to pass by very slowly, not being able to move a muscle of my body.
Haruna: On the day you entered my body, I was questioning myself whether there is any point living in a body that can’t do anything just because I wished for you to be with me months earlier. Nagisa and Kyousuke visited me most of the time, even after school. There was a doctor and a nurse who were there to check my situation. After I felt a force entering my body, they noticed that my body was moving a bit, so they observed for a while. I later discovered that my body was moving by itself and was talking to Nagisa. I was shock at what was going on. The next thing I knew, I was looking at myself in the mirror and then suddenly staring at my breasts. Well, I didn’t know what was going on until I saw you name in a newspaper article as the victim of a freak accident when I realised that it could be you who could be in my body. Well, I stayed back and watch to see what would happen just to make sure.
Haruna: When I saw the message from my parents, I though that you would dash to grab all the money, but you didn’t.
Why would I?
Haruna: What further cornfirmed that it’s you was that you visited your blog. I felt strange entering your username and password because it’s not my account, but my fingers typed those by themselves. I saw you posting that strange post (How can I not since we share my body?) that I know would shock people if they saw that. The post you saw me typing at my blog but did not post was to let you know that I’m aware of your actions with my body, as it’s possible that people could trace to me after you posted that.
Haruna: Anyways, knowing how clueless you are on reading my language or getting to my school, I made it look as though you suddenly gained the ability to know, including the people that I had met, though I also gained knowledge that you know. I tried to control my body over from you in school, especially in front of my friends, but was still weak to do so until the lunch of the day after where I manage to communicate to you directly. However, even with that, I wasn’t able to keep at it for long. If you haven’t notice, I suspect that one of the guys whom I always hang out with is in love with me, even though I love you instead. But since I can’t do it by myself and the fact that you are now stuck in my body, though not in the way I wanted, that doesn’t really matter now.
After all that, I woke up to find that it’s already morning. Time for school. It didn’t seem that I was even sleeping. All that poking and head banging in my dreams seemed too realistic.
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