Sunday, 8 January 2017

Chapter three, 2017, conflict, segment two

Noriko suddenly clinging to him felt awkward as hell. After all he was old enough to be her father, by a wide margin, and Ulf really didn’t feel up to her childish games of seduction. The only thing that kept him from pushing her away was his knowledge of how much Nao’s betrayal must have hurt.

And then there was the stunning truth.

Ulf needed to talk with her about that, preferably after the sports festival meeting, and talking was what he was doing right now.

Not with Noriko, and definitely not about her love life.

So you’re saying in order to be on the committee you have to be a Japanese citizen?”

Well, young man, it is a Japanese festival after all,” Principal Kareyoshi said.

Ulf shook his head. They were in the principal’s office, him, one Korean girl and the entire student council.

Principal, your reasoning is so flawed I’m astounded you’re capable of sitting upright and talking simultaneously,” Ulf said.

The Korean girl stared at him, mouth agape, and Ulf heard gasps from two or more members of he student council behind him.

Kouhai, show respect to your elders!”

Ulf turned and looked at the student council president. Maybe it was a bad idea not running for president last autumn after all. “Look,” Ulf said and lazily pointed a thumb over his shoulder at Kareyoshi, “the shit-head behind me isn’t my elder. He’s a living specimen of the missing link.”

Outrageous! Just what I’d expect from a foreigner,” Kareyoshi first roared and then whined.

Fine, I’m off the committee.”

I’ll have you expelled for this!”

Shut your trap piss ant! When you’re spewing threats, at least make sure you can go through with them,” Ulf said. He loaded his face with his most arrogant smirk.

Get out!” Kareyoshi roared.

Ulf obliged. He deliberately left the door open as he left. “Don’t shit yourself!” he said as he walked down the corridor to his classroom. There would be another week’s worth of suspension for this, but with the moronic handling of arrivals he was guaranteed to leave Himekaizen after three years and with passing grades to boot.

They really should do something about arseholes like me. This system is thoroughly broken.

He’d fill that week with training, some serious studying and a fair amount of work.

Almost at his classroom he changed his mind and stopped by Noriko’s class. With him booted out of the planning committee there’d be no time to have that chat with her, and besides she deserved to know that she could no longer rely on him when it came to handle the kind of show stoppers that always showed up during any larger event.

Ulf slid open the door and peered inside. A few surprised faces looked at him, but he was well known enough for someone to quickly guess his errand here.

Wakayama-san, your boyfriend is here looking for you.”

Ulf glanced at the grinning girl who had called out to Noriko. Idiot girl, that show of yours earlier didn’t help at all.

Not my boyfriend,” Noriko replied. “Urufu, what’s up?”

Kareyoshi forced the student council to kick me out of the planning committee. You’re on your own.”

Noriko rose from her chair. “He what? Why?”

Her voice was accompanied by surprised whispers commenting Ulf’s announcement.

Ulf looked at her as she made her way between desks all the way to him. “He didn’t tell, but it had something to do with Japanese purity and all that.”

He saw her lips stretch into a thin line. “You didn’t say anything stupid, did you?” she said when she arrived by the doors.

Afraid I did. Told him he had the intelligence of an ape. Forgot to apologise to the apes.”


Ulf grinned. Noriko was kind of cute when she was angry, and despite being a kid she had the capacity to verbally bite his head off. He knew he was in for a serious serving, so he invited her to take walk outdoors. The rest of her class didn’t need to listen to exactly in what way he failed to be a decent human being.

They took the stairs down, passed the cafeteria and headed for the shoe lockers. There Ulf was caught up by his home room teacher who came walking from the other corridor.

Hamarugen, wait!”

Ulf picked up his loafers and put his indoor shoes in the locker. “Yes?” he said and closed it.

You’re wanted in the principal’s office.”


To apologise for inexcusable behaviour, you idiot!”

Ulf met the eyes of his teacher. The man was a decent person and a fairly good teacher. A bit weak in character and prone to obeying any order from above. “I’m afraid that’s out of the question.”

By his side Noriko fidgeted. While her character was superb Ulf still understood why she felt uncomfortable with him defying a teacher.

You refuse?”

Sensei, I was elected by our class to represent us as a member of the planning committee. The idiot in charge of the school had me kicked out because of my nationality.” Ulf had no reason to be rude to his teacher, but apologising to Kareyoshi was an event occurring when hell froze over.

He’s still the principal. You’ll get suspended. You know that?”

Ulf nodded. “Please send the suspension note to my home. I’ll regard your coming down here as notice that my suspension is in immediate effect, sensei.”

Somehow Ulf was surprised his teacher wasn’t angrier.

So be it.” Just as the teacher was about to return he stopped. “The former principal spoke well of you. I honestly don’t understand why, but I’ve always trusted his judgement in people.”

Noriko gasped, and Ulf took hold of her hand to avoid a scene. He was as shocked as she. You bloody just told me you think Kareyoshi is a swine. “Thank you, sensei,” Ulf said and made for the exit with Noriko in tow. None of them had anything to gain from staying here. They had both stated what needed to be said, and Ulf only wanted to leave the school grounds behind him.

Noriko, we need to talk,” Ulf said as they hit the gravel. “I had a talk with Nao earlier today, and something came up.”

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