Chapter 1: Fortune

Shit.

I wanted to move her.

I wanted to say or do something that would have inspired her and somehow that would have made her love me as much as I love her.

But here I am in the midst of a cliche - a lone scenery, and her short, slim figure walking further and further away from me.

My fault.

It was completely my fault.

It was my fault that I felt this way about her and that I had hoped that she would aimlessly fall for me.

How long will I continue to be just another face to her?

No.

I refuse to let it end this way.

Her existence itself gave me something to strive for - a reason for existing.

I want her. I want to stare at her soothing eyes and calming smiles, and claim them for myself.

I need her.

I've craved for her for so long and until I get her my life will be meaningless.

But about a half an year ago, I would have never imagined myself in this situation.

-

There I was, walking and counting each and every step that I took out of boredom.

"Eighty-six... eighty-seven."

I had finally reached school grounds and had looked upon a crowd of students walking aimlessly to their respective classrooms. Some in groups, and some by theirselves. I myself had realized that I was alone and did not know where to go, so I glanced at my occupied hand.

It was clenching a sheet of paper that would inform me my schedule for this upcoming school year.

I felt sick to my stomach - I hated the sudden transition from break to school.

"Hey, Young!!" a familiar voice had shouted towards my direction.

I had turned around and then noticing who it was, turned back and stopped.

"Hey! Wait up!!" the voice had shouted once more, this time closer and with more vigor.

It was strange enough that I had to use my Korean name as my American one but that distaste grew worse when a person outside of my family would call me by my full name.

"Hey, Trent, how've you been?" I replied out of courtesy as I tried to shake the feeling off.

The husky voice had finally caught up to me, and we began to walk side by side. Trent was a particular "buddy" I had met upon entering elementary school about nine years ago. On the outside, he and I had particularly got along well because our parents, who are both Korean, had known each other upon us entering the first grade.

He was lanky, and tall while sporting a shirt that said the words "URBAN LIFE" and this year he had an acne-free face.

This had particularly caught my eye because he once had an acne-infested one three monthes ago.

"Oh, I've been doing alright. A bit busy this past summer helping out my parents but I've been doing well, how about you?" the chatty teenager had asked as we made a left turn.

Apparently, he was headed the same direction as I was.

"Hmm, well I can't say it was the most productive summer I've had." I said, as he spared me a friendly smile.

As always, I was being very subtle and careful with my words.

I had spent the past three months mostly to myself - loitering and moping around the house, while very occasionally going out to eat with a few "friends."

I had somewhat regretted wasting my summer in such a precarious manner.

"So which class are you headed off to?" I asked, for the sake of trying to make small talk.

"To room B-4... U.S. History" he spoke carelessly, as we made another turn upon climbing down a few stairs.

I glanced down and looked at my schedule once more and found out that we had the same class together.

"We have the same class together." I informed him, as we both slowered our paces to show him the document.

"Nice." he acknowledged, as the classroom had come into view and as we both entered slowly.

Nice? Him and I in the same class... nice?

Jeez, what a nonchalant way of putting things.

You see, the truth of it was that he and I could care less about which classes we had or did not have together.

Him and I talking - this was a ruse. This was all an excuse to occupy ourselves with formalities just because he had not seen a familiar face.

The first few hours had swept by fast and already I found myself in a rush - searching for my fourth period classroom.

I had looked down upon the sheet of paper with my schedule once more to check the classroom number.

I looked forward and glanced at the door wall to confirm the classroom.

"OOF!"

Something or someone had deliberately crashed my back with enough force to knock me over and land me flat on my face.

"Oh jesus, what the he-"

I froze as I stood up and turned around to see who or what had bumped into me.

A small, short and slender girl with a very attractive face had come into my view. She had well-shaped, round eyes that complimented her small nose and pink, ripe lips.

What luck - that such a beauty would happen to bump into me.

She was resting on the ground, massaging her head softly while her eyes were squinting in pain.

Upon realizing that she was on the floor, I had immediately snapped back to reality.

"Are you alright?" I asked in a fairly concerned voice, while my eyes were glued on to her face.

She was wearing a pair of blue jeans that covered her legs tightly and a light green shirt with drawings of flowers, trees and birds in various assortment of colors.

"Yeah, I think so..." she replied in an none-too-assuring voice as I extended my hand towards her, while being unable to avert my gaze from her very, very attractive face.

She took my hand in a gentle fashion.

Her hands were fairly smooth and warm - nothing like mine.

I had helped her up as gently as I could.

Upon standing up. I noticed that she went up to my shoulders in height.

"Oh! I'm very sorry about what just happened." she replied in an apologetic tone, as I let go of her hand.

Crap. My hands were soiled upon the impact of the asphalt.

I forced myself to crack a sheepish grin.

"Ah, I'm the one to blame... I shouldn't have been standing by so idly." I lied in a friendly and a non-caring manner, hoping that she would not notice the dirty condition of my hand.

She returned the smile in a relaxed manner.

"I'm assuming that you're headed towards this classroom." I replied cautiously and with certainty.

"Yup, you assumed right." she replied as she headed towards the room.

I followed suit.

I needed to think fast and make some conversation with her because we were quickly approaching the door.

"Th... this is my first year in art, and I'm somewhat nervous... how about you?" I stuttered out.

UGH. That was totally lame.

"Oh.. um.. well, I'm the teacher's assistant so I take a more advanced course in a different period." she replied with a hint of embarassment in her voice.

"Oh..." I replied, feeling somewhat surprised and slightly stupid.

"Well, nice talking to you... oh I didn't catch your name by the way." I replied in a rushed manner without even bothering to hide my curious tone, as her hand reached the doorknob to the classroom.

"It's Haru... Haru Yoshiyuki." she answered in a calm manner, as she opened the door.

I had raised my eyebrow for a split second.

Judging from the way she was dressed and her fluency upon the English language had given me serious doubt as to whether to believe she was from a foreign country.

But it was often uncommon to find second-generation Asian-Americans that retained their respective native names as their American name at this day and age.

I knew this upon seeing as how I was forced to keep mine, and others instead had commonly used American names.

Perhaps if she was an immigrant, then she must have moved to the States at a fairly young age.

Upon entering the room, my eyes had immediately noticed the portraits around the square-shaped room.

I knew that our school was very well-known for our art program.

We had a very renowned artist as our school teacher, thus, many of the art students that attended this school were fairly skilled.

Some were art-paintings, others were pencil sketches and a few of them were even digitally altered.

After appreciating some of the paintings a bit more, I helped myself to an empty stool.

The class bell rang shortly and immediately a flood of people had entered the classroom and the teacher had suddenly come into view and had begun to talk.

In a few short minutes, I had found myself drifting away from the teacher's voice and subconsciously towards the girl I had just encountered outside of the classroom.

She was sitting in a stool that was noticeably distant from the rest of the students - listening to the teacher's every word in an absorbed manner.

I wonder what period she had her art class.

The rest of the day had gone by as quickly as it had come. First days of school were always such a spur and left a dry feeling in my mouth.

Before I knew it, I found myself in the backseat of my father's car.

"How was school?" he asked in our language.

"It was fine." I replied simply.

He frowned.

"You know son, I've been worrying about you.lately." he began.

Oh shit, there he goes again.

"Why's that dad?" I asked, pretending to care.

"Because ever since your frie..."

I blocked his voice out with my earphones, and turned on my mp3 player.

I noticed his lips stopped moving after a few minutes.

"Oh.. well, dad. It's probably a phase that all teenagers go through... I'll grow out of it soon." I answered in a mechanical manner.

This was a lie I always told my father so he would stop hassling me.

I immediately went inside my bedroom upon arrival of the house.

I fell on the bed and clenched my eyes shut.

I clenched my eyes tighter hoping that it could somehow help me forget.

I wanted to, but I could not forget that day.

Ever since that day, it felt as if there was always an empty gap inside of me.

Life had lost its touch and had felt like a routine.