This will stay PG-13, because of the small cases of violence and a couple of strong language.
What is the genre? Supernatural/mystery and multiple other things.
I hope you guys enjoy the story!
The Bon-Odori Accident
"I hate my ancestors," I cried.
No one could hear me. I was cleaning a classroom by myself.
Tonight was the Bon-Odori Festival. This festival is a time for us, living folk, to remember our dead relatives. To be honest, I found the whole thing pointless. Why would Buddha tell us to make a festival? Other cultures did not do the big-celebration-with-fireworks like we did. Okay... maybe there are some cultures that do it too.
Why am I here?
Well, my fabulous Geography teacher, Murokashi Akira, took it upon himself to volunteer on my behalf. A week ago, I was on my death bed. I got the worst flu imaginable. My immobility forced me to stay home. The Festival Committee ordered the first years on the cleaning duties, while the seniors were supposed to decorate the school.
I got stuck with 3-A classroom by myself.
Why am I by myself?
The people, who were supposed to be here with me, were busy being elsewhere. My mom told me to stay at school after hours and I was to stay there. What was her threat? Just the simple: you better be there or else.
I knew Okaa-san was not joking. That woman was capable of anything. She raised four people: my twin brothers, Susumu and Tsuge, my father and I. I'm not joking about her raising my father. Otou-san has a very childish personality. He needed someone to wake him up for work, set his clothes, shop for him and feed him. Those are parts of the many jobs of a mother.
"Asuka," I heard my friend Harumi call out.
"In here," I yelled at the top of my lungs.
My best friend, Ojima Harumi, has an awful sense of direction. Whenever we went out together, I had to figure out where we were going. I have always assumed that someone forgot to implant the memory chip in her brain.
She hesitated to open the door. 'Maybe she was contemplating if she found the right place,' I thought.
I said, loudly, "Hi Haru-chan."
Harumi was unbelievably happy when she opened the door.
"Thank goodness," she sighed in relief, "I was worried that you were in another room."
"I told you which class I was in."
"I keep on forgetting that I'm utterly hopeless."
I noticed she was carrying a large plastic bag. I was curious.
"What is that," I pointed at the bag dangling from her hand.
"This," she lifted it up, "It's our yukatas. Your mom called me to pick up yours."
Why did we have to give the dead special treatment? For crying out loud, they departed from this world. Why couldn't we just celebrate life?
Yes, I am aware that I sounded like an ass.
"If it's any consolation," Harumi said, breaking my thoughts, "Murokashi-sensei gave you the okay to leave."
"Really," I felt my heart flutter with happiness. As much as that man annoyed me at times, I knew I could count on him.
Murokashi-sensei was the youngest faculty member at Odaiba High School. Our school was well-known for its academic performance. Usually, the teachers at Odaiba were old and overly experienced. This was Murokashi-sensei's first job post-teacher's college. Often, he joked that he got the job because of the donations. Sensei was the only son of the famous designer, Kamiya Rumi.
Because of his young age (he was 23); he had an easier time interacting with students. Or maybe it was because of his appearance? The man shaved his head every day and always wore sunglasses in class. For a while, we all assumed that the man came to class high. Apparently, he has sensitive eyes.
"I love that man," I grabbed the bag and dumped out the contents. I saw my familiar navy blue yukata with the little cornflowers.
"You love me," I heard a voice say.
I narrowed my eyes as I watched Sumiwara Yuki enter the room. I hated that boy. I hated his bleached hair. I hated his piercings on his ears and eyebrows. I hated how he sucked up to Murokashi-sensei, who apparently had a delinquent past. I hated how he only responded to the name 'Yuzu', because it was a very Yankee kind of name.
God, I hated him.
"Good afternoon, Sumiwara-san," said Harumi, blushing.
That friend of mine was an idiot to be fascinated by this thing. He was not any different from the other bleached boys in our school.
It was no secret that Yuki and I despised one another. Maybe it was because when we started high school, I called him Yuki. Yuki was the name his family gave him. Personally, I thought it was a lovely name.
Or maybe it was because he was an ass to me first.
On our first day of school, he commented on my hair. To him, my hair labelled me as a fake person. My hair was naturally light red. I never understood why he had a thing out for my hair. It was rude of him to call me the 'plastic' type, because of my hair.
He was the plastic one! He was the one who bleached his hair. So, I called him Yuki.
Yes, it was an odd start to our mutual hatred.
"Yuki-chan, why are you here," I asked, sweetly.
"Because," he replied, mimicking tone, "I'm supposed to clean here too."
"Really? Then you have impeccable timing. We were just leaving."
I grabbed Harumi's arm and headed towards the door.
The girl just could not help herself. As we left, she cried out, "See you at Bon-Odori."
Bitch needed to remind me that the ass was coming too.
The festival was on full force. The lanterns were dangling all over the place. People were mingling or dancing to the beats of the drum.
Unwillingly, I noticed at the constructed wooden tower that ass Yuki was pounding at a drum. He looked ridiculous with his clothing. There was a white band around his forehead and he purposefully revealed his chest by not tying his shirt. To me, he looked like a lecherous old man.
I cringed at the sight of him.
Harumi came to the Bon-Odori with me. It was actually our first together.
She and I met at the entrance exams for the school. We were the first to finish and struck a conversation as we waited for our own friends. At the end of the day, we decided to become friends. We liked each other's company and hoped that we would both get into the school. It was an added bonus when we found out we were in the same class together.
She was dressed in a pink yukata that had butterflies embroidered at the bottom. Harumi was true to her girly nature.
"Hey," she said, "Isn't that Honda-senpai?"
I looked back at the tower and saw Honda Nao beating on another drum. How could I not have seen him?
Unlike Yuki, Honda-senpai looked spectacular with the drums. Then again, everything he did was amazing. When he was in a kendo tournament, he did his best to win. When he cleaned the blackboard, you could see his passion for finishing the job.
Sighing, I loved how I could witness his determination at work. It was beautiful.
Honda-senpai was in his second year. He was the student council president, the kendo captain and the student with the highest grade average in school. He was my idol and my inspiration.
I released another sigh as I kept my eyes on him.
Harumi laughed, "God, you're worse than me."
"What," I snapped my attention back to her.
"Honda-senpai. Honda-senpai. You're just awful."
"Shut up. You're just jealous of my exquisite taste."
"It's unfortunate that you can't have him."
"Yes, Harumi. Stroke the touchy subject."
She was right about me not getting him. His obsession with his academic future could break any girl's heart. Everyone knew he wanted to get the ultimate scholarship for Keio University. He wanted to go into criminology. To be the best candidate for the program, Honda-senpai volunteered a lot.
Personally, I thought he was better suited for medical school. If he did go down that route, we could be together then.
I smiled at the thought.
"Come on," Harumi grabbed my arm and dragged me to join the dancing formation.
Forcefully, I removed myself from her hold. At the same time, the drums and people decided to strike at the same moment. My balance went off and I struck my head on the side of a booth.
The last thing I heard was the shrill scream of Harumi, "Asuka!"
Here are some clarifications.
Yukata: A light, casual version of a kimono. It's mostly worn in the summer.