TO: All Students
RE: Culture Day
Culture Day has been postponed until Saturday and will be two days long. We apologize for any inconvenience as the school needs the extra time to get everything together to make it a celebration to remember.
Planned event and workshops include:
Theater and Performance
Heritage (Local and National)
Visual Arts and Crafts
Film and Video
Literary Workshop (including manga)
—A memorandum posted in all of the dorms
At dinner, Murata spoke up, “I heard what happened. Is he okay?”
“Yeah,” Kato said rather glumly.
“That’s a relief.”
Kato looked up at Murata. “Handa-san is my roommate.”
Murata almost dropped his chopsticks. “What!”
Kato looked down at his food. “I never believed in this Christian god of theirs, but I’m beginning to now and I think he hates me.”
Murata chuckled at the joke.
“If only Takahashi-san would have let me move in. This whole day could have been avoided,” Kato said.
“Well, now. He couldn’t have predicted this. Everyone thought Handa-san would be in segregation for a month. Kinda not fair to the others who are still there.”
Kato nodded. He didn’t want to talk about this anymore, so he changed the subject, “How are you and Nakamura-san getting along?”
Murata smiled. “Great, actually. We still talk a bunch, play games, swap, and so on.”
Kato looked up at Murata.
“Not yet,” Murata answered Kato’s unasked question. “I’m not as fast as you.”
Kato couldn’t help but smile to hide his tiny bit of embarrassment. “Ah.”
“I still not ready,” Murata said softly.
“Why not?” Kato asked.
Murata sighed. “I’m still not over my ex-girlfriend.”
“Really?” Kato was surprised.
“Yeah, I did tell you I dated her for a year, right?”
Kato nodded then said, “Yes.”
“Well, coming here ended that relationship. I miss her.” Murata looked down at his food.
“I see.” Kato felt sad for his friend.
“I really like Nakamura-san but somehow I feel that I’m cheating on my girlfriend.” Murata looked at Kato, “And before you say anything about it, I know she’s not my girlfriend anymore. But there was no closure in my heart and I still have feelings for her. I keep thinking that maybe this is all a dream, or that something will happen and I can leave and be with her again. I know that’s completely unrealistic, but it’s hard to let go. Seriously, it hasn’t even been a month yet. Anyways, Nakamura-san is being super patient with me though.”
Kato put his hand on Murata’s shoulder as support but had nothing to say. He always thought Murata was wise beyond his years but he never took the time to really learn who Murata is. He’s been so busy these past weeks being self-absorbed and into Takahashi that he hasn’t really paid much attention to Murata’s troubles. He felt a bit guilty and told himself that he would try to listen more.
Both boys continued eating in silence as they were both lost in their own thoughts about their respective problems.
Kato waited to get into his boxers until after Handa left to the showers. He did not want to undress around that pervert. Thankfully Handa didn’t seem interested in talking and Kato wasn’t going to get him started.
The boys in the showers were abuzz with talk of Handa.
“That freak is on our wing now,” one boy complained.
“Yeah, he’s Kato-san’s new roommate,” another mentioned.
Kato felt all eyes turn on him. He sighed.
“If he tries anything, we’ll help,” came the familiar voice of Higashihara.
“Thanks,” Kato said. He took off his boxers and entered the hot shower. The water felt good as he let it run down his backside and his aching muscles. He amused himself with the idea that his body was kind of beat up too, like Takahashi’s.
After showers, he was thankful that Handa was not in the room. He got dressed, grabbed his plushie, and went to go see Takahashi. He knocked on the door and Xan opened it. Kato was stunned. If he thought Xan was attractive before, he was completely mistaken because the boy that stood before him was absolutely beautiful. He was wearing a long, white robe with his long, silky, black hair flowing down his back, piercing eyes, plump lips—Kato imagined Xan do be one of those beautiful princes he saw in those wuxia shows he saw as a child.
“U—um, I’m here to check up on Takahashi-san,” Kato said.
“Come in,” Xan replied.
Kato walked in and saw that Takahashi was lying in bed. Kato suddenly wanted to crawl into bed with him, but he resisted that silly urge with Xan there. So, he settled for putting his hand on Takahashi’s forehead. It felt hot.
“He’s been asleep for a while. I gave him some food and medicine,” Xan said.
Kato suddenly became very jealous as he wanted to be the one doing that for him. He kept his anger in check and simply replied, “Thank you.” He took the plushie and laid it next to Takahashi and then he leaned over and applied a very gentle kiss to Takahashi’s forehead. He did this for two reasons. The first, he wanted to because he felt a kiss had healing power and perhaps would help Takahashi. The second, he wanted to mark Takahashi as his so that Xan wouldn’t get any ideas.
He stood up and looked at Xan, made a polite little bow, and said, “Good night.”
Xan returned the bow and Kato left to return to his room.
Handa-san was sitting on his bed, reading a book. It reminded Kato of Tachibana. Then he suddenly wished it was Tachibana instead. He would take the fool’s pervy jokes and humor over Handa any day.
“How’s your bitch?” Handa looked up and asked.
“Takahashi-san is just fine. Thank you for asking,” Kato said, emphasizing Takahashi’s name. He was annoyed that Handa found out what happened. He really didn’t want to stay in this room but there wasn’t much else to do right now, and he was exhausted. He climbed up on his bunk and started to read that damned whaling book again. It put him to sleep, again.