chapter one.

Konnichiwa! Ami desu, kotoshi jyuunana sai, dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu! E? Wakaranai no ka? Sumimasen!!

Ahem, that seemed to have started off on a bad note. Maybe augmented or diminished or something. Anyway, um, hi there! My name is Ami and I'm seventeen this year, nice to meet you! I've just been transferred to Ash Academy against my wishes because my dad got a new job as a psychologist in some renowned mental hospital. Which gives me the creeps if you ask me. Somehow although I'm seventeen it feels like I'm in elementary school all over again when I look at the huge black metal (and I mean really huge, they're thrice my height and I'm 1.6m tall!!) gates of the Academy for the first time, up close. Maybe its because I'm used to going to public schools almost all my life, going to a private school suddenly makes me nervous, there's butterflies fluttering in my tummy, my heart is pounding so hard against my chest that I swear its going to burst out any moment and the dark blue tie around my neck feels as if its strangling me.

I took a deep breath and walked through the gates when RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING! The bell rang and I jumped as the gates started closing automatically behind me. I ran for my life, wondering if I was late. There were no other students in sight and I felt wave after wave of paranoia assault me as I wondered if I had just ran into the bad ending scenario of some sick visual novel.

*

I stood in front of the Higher Year 2, Class 3 classroom for very long time. It felt as long as the time taken for all the dinosaurs and mammoths to get wiped off earth and slowly, I placed my hand on the door handle to open the door when it suddenly opened in my face.

"Eek!" I jumped and came face to face with a boy way taller than me, smoky quartz eyes cold and emotionless as he stared at me as if I was an alien from Mars. I mean, Venus. I stepped back and tried to smile. "Um, hi?"

The boy ignored my feeble attempt at striking up conversation and turned his back on me. "Sensei, she's here," he walked off into the classroom.

There was someone quite short standing on this really tall chair and he turned around to look at me, blonde hair sparkling in the sunlight entering through the windows. "You must be Rin Ami-chan!" he smiled. "Do come in!"

I hesitated for a moment, then entered the classroom. And stared. It was totally different from my previous classroom. For starters, this one was fully air-conditioned while my old classroom only had a lousy fan to keep us cool in the summer heat. The room was spacious and everyone sat in twos, all had a desk partner, except for the boy who, er, greeted me. He scowled as he noticed me staring at him and I gulped.

"So you're the transfer student?" a girl who sat in the front row asked loudly.

"Um yeah, you can call me Ami, dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!" I bowed and there was a loud, monotonous chorus of 'Kochira koso' (same here) from the class as I stood at the front, not quite knowing what to do.

"I'm Chion-sensei," the Sensei smiled. "I teach Economics. Please take a seat next to Sekirei Ren-kun at the back and we'll start by introducing ourselves one by one!"

I walked towards the empty seat, painfully aware that all eyes in the class were on me. As I put my navy blue messenger bag on the ground by my desk, I felt Ren looking at me from the corner of his eyes but when I returned his gaze, he looked away, as if he was angry with me. I wondered what I had done to offend a complete stranger as the girl who had talked to me stood up and introduced herself.

"I'm Usagi. My parents were idiots when they named me," she sat down and the entire class burst out in laughter.

"Now now, class," Chion-sensei shook his head, with a mischievous twinkle in his light blue eyes.

I smiled. I was starting to like this class, despite having unknowingly offended my new desk partner.

*

"The cafeteria's here," Ren said irritably as we walked towards yet another air-conditioned area. I shivered in my navy blue pullover, man, these people sure knew how to keep cool! "Since today's your first day, I'll sit with you for lunch."

I felt a sense of gratitude overwhelm me, although it wasn't as if there was a lack of friendly people in the class. Usagi seemed pretty nice and we shared a history textbook because I didn't have one the lesson before our break. "Sankyuu! (thank you!)" I smiled.

Ren turned around and glared at me. "Its not like I'm doing this because I like you or anything, so don't get the wrong idea. Got that?"

I blinked slowly. Was that a sign that he had accepted me as his new desk partner? I bit my lip. "Um, ok... So you usually eat alone?" I asked lamely, trying to keep the conversation going.

He shrugged and I noticed how well built his shoulders were as my gaze drifted to his toned arms, which were peeking out beneath the crisp, white short-sleeved shirt he wore. I wondered if he was a sportsman and thoughts of him playing basketball, playing tennis and then water polo, catching the ball, jumping out of the water, toned body on display, throwing the ball and then scoring as the crowd went wild, cheering him on drifted into my head out of no free will of mine...

"Why are you drooling in the middle of the cafeteria?" Ren demanded, a slight look of irritation apparent on his suddenly adorable face. The colour of his eyes was further accentuated by his spectacles, which was a slim, black, square-rimmed frame. His mouth was shaped in a slight pout and I wondered if he knew that his almost-pouting face was so damned cute.

"Ah," I realized that my jaw was hanging open and I was gaping like a goldfish. I felt heat rush to my cheeks, mortified at my behaviour as I shut my mouth. "Er, no, I'm just, um, er, hungry!" I gave the most logical excuse and my stomach growled involuntarily.

He frowned and for a moment it was as if he doubted what I said. I laughed nervously as he shrugged once more and he continued walking to the other end of the cafeteria.

"Um, where are we going?" I asked, attempting to break the awkward silence caused by my stomach.

"To buy oyako-don," Ren answered and for a fraction of a second, I thought I saw him smile.

Halfway into day one and I already felt like I belonged. I grinned to no one in particular, causing Ren to roll his eyes. Mm, I've decided, maybe coming to Ash Academy wasn't as bad as Kirie said it would be after all.


a/n: was inspired by someone i know who's a tsundere... anyway, do read and review, hope you like it!!