General Meal and Study Schedule for Monday thru Friday as follows:
06:30 – 07:30; Morning Meal
08:00 – 11:00; Morning Classes
11:00 – 12:00; Afternoon Meal
12:00 – 13:00; Afternoon Break
13:00 – 16:00; Afternoon Classes
17:00 – 18:00; Evening Meal
18:00 – 19:00; Evening Showers
20:00 – 04:00; Wing Only*
* Wing only means you stay on your wing.
** Please refer to the Religious Services Schedule for appropriate dates and times.
—General Meal and Study Schedule Handout for New Students.
Kato jumped a mile high when he heard the alarm clock go off. He wasn’t even aware that Tachibana had such an obnoxious thing.
“Rise and shine. It’s 6 o’clock.” Tachibana cheerfully sang.
Kato was fuzzy in the head and could only mumble, “What the fuck?”
“Whoa ho ho! Don’t let a Sister hear that roll out of your mouth.”
“Sorry,” Kato said while stretching.
Kato looked over and glared at Tachibana, who laughed and said, “You look like the dead. Breakfast is 6:30 to 7:30, then class starts at 8:00. Don’t be late.” He then grabbed a few things off his shelf and headed to the door. “The bathroom can be used by semes and ukes at the same time except for showers. So, go wash your face or something and then come back and get your suit on for breakfast and then get to the chow hall.”
“Yes, dad,” Kato wearily responded.
Tachibana started to chuckle. “You are a completely different person when you wake up. Full of piss ‘n’ vinegar. It’s too bad you weren’t like that for more of the day. You’d be much more fun.” He winked, opened the door and left, shutting it behind him.
Kato didn’t know what to think of his roommate, so he decided to not think of his roommate and just get up. He collected some of his hygiene items and left the room to go down to the bathroom. There were a lot of boys there, and quite a few tall boys. He guessed that they were semes because there weren’t any tall boys during showers. A voice in his heart warned him from making any unnecessary eye contact with any of the semes.
He waited by the wall; eyes downcast as he fiddled with the end of his towel while waiting for a bathroom stall to open. It was quiet with only the noises of boys in the morning routine. A stall opened and it was obvious that he was the only one in line waiting so he took it. After finishing his business, he exited the stall. There were only a couple boys left. He finished cleaning up and went back to his room. He looked over and saw that Tachibana’s suit was gone, so he must have already gone to the chow hall. So, he changed clothes and left.
The chow hall was almost completely full this morning. How do all these students get here so fast? he wondered as he stood in line. When his turn came, he received his food which consisted of 2 large, hot, golden-brown croissants, full of bacon, egg, and cheese inside, a mess of hash browns, a banana and a large glass of milk. The smell of this was intoxicating. He wasn’t sure about any of the other meals here at St. Catherine’s, but he was damn sure he’d enjoy this one.
As he scanned the area, he saw the familiar table of death with four empty seats in that lonely corner. He looked for other seats but about everything was full except the two tables beside it, which both only had two students apiece. He chose the table on the right, so he put his food down and sat in a chair that put his right side facing the table of death and almost started in before he remembered to wait for prayer.
Kato was hoping to not have to wait too long. He really wanted to enjoy these croissants while they were still piping hot. And, what are we really waiting for anyways? The prayer, or Takahashi to show up? he thought to himself. He didn’t have to wait long.
Takahashi walked in while there were still about 20 people in front of him. Takahashi looked over to his chair, then looked right at Kato. Then he looked back at the serving line. What was that about? Kato asked himself.
Kato shamelessly inhaled the two croissants on his tray. The bacon was crispy, the cheese melty, the egg was soft, the croissant was yummy, it was amazing. He looked down after the second was devoured and was sad to see that they were gone. He caught out of the corner of his eye that something being handed to him. It was wrapped up in one of the paper napkins. One of Takahashi’s boys quietly said, “From Takahashi-san,” and turned back to his own food after Kato accepted the package.
Kato pulled the napkin and saw it was another croissant sandwich. Kato was touched, to say the least. He looked up from the package and met Takahashi’s eyes, who simply returned a smile and then broke eye contact to continue his conversation with his companions. Kato wasn’t certain if he should eat it or save it for later. He chose the latter. If, for some reason, he didn’t like lunch or missed it, he could still have this little golden gem. So, he squirreled it away in the inner pocket of his jacket so that he could put it in the room after breakfast. He finished up his hash browns, which were golden and crispy. He decided to squirrel away the banana too. He downed his large glass of milk and then waited patiently for that all-too-familiar last crack of the headmaster’s cane to signal the end of breakfast.
Back in the room, he put away his treasured little package and his banana and began rifling through the folder of papers he received during orientation. He seemed to remember something about his assigned classroom being on it. Honestly, things were so outrageously hectic, frightening, and everything that it seemed like a month ago when it only had been less than 24 hours ago.
He found a paper about the class and meal schedule. Would have been nice to know that was in there, he thought. Flipping through a few more pages, he found the ones with his classroom assignment. He was in class 10D (Sophomore). He wasn’t sure what a “sophomore” was, but he’d probably learn that when he got into class. There was even a little map with directions to the School Building. He grabbed his packet and left the room to head to class.
2 thoughts on “SP: Chapter 11: Breakfast at St. Catherine’s”
I’m reading with trepidation, not because the writing isn’t good, which it is, but because abusive school teachers and abusive people in general are one of the things that make me really nervous in fiction and real life. However, I find myself reading as I have become invested in what happens to Kato and see glimpses of hope in his roommate and in his seme. It looks like things aren’t maybe as dire as they seem? Anyway, kudos to the author for hooking me in!
Thank you for this valuable feedback. I’ve been writing it with trepidation too! But the tide has turned and things will start looking up for Kato.