In 2017, I wrote and finished Charm, a BL story. I was pretty proud of it. I finished the book somewhere in 2018. A few months ago, I thought of a plot for it's sequel. Before writing, I reread the first Charm. I noticed there's a lot of flaws with the plot and characters. Especially on the first act.
So, I've decided to rewrite the story. With a bunch of changes. Hotaru and Hiroshi's relationship in the first part will hopefully be more polished. Shunsuke will also be more involved.
I hope you all will like the retelling! Please also comment and vote! I appreciate it! Thank you so much~! :D
"Welcome, Class of 2016!"
Sky blue eyes sparkled brightly as they stare at the huge welcome banner hanging in front of the campus gates.
His pink lips mouthed silently, 'wow'.
He made it. He actually made it!
Inochi Institute of Arts and Culture. His dream university. As of now, Hotaru Seki is a student of this well-known institute. He worked hard for this, to get himself to a good university that is still within reach from his home and family. Slender fingers run through wavy blonde locks, still somewhat in disbelief.
"Ho~Ta~Ru~!" A familiar voice enters his ears. The young man named Hotaru turned around to the source of the voice. He sees a tall, slender figure running closer to him. He immediately realizes who it is. His best friend forever from ever since middle school, Marie Suzuki.
His blue pupils light up, his pink lips formed a bright smile as he sees the spunky brunette getting closer to him.
"M-Marie-chan~!" He leaped towards his friend, who is inches shorter than him. Marie's expressions changed from delighted to shock as he sees her lanky friend towering over her.
"Wh-Whoa!" Marie stumbled, almost falling down. "W-What the heck? What's wrong?!" She asked, worry in her voice. Her tall friend is hanging onto her, his slender arms wrapped around the small girl's body.
"I'm so glad you made it~!"
"You think I'll miss the first day?"
"N-No…" Hotaru let go, he grabbed onto his tucked in shirt, fiddling the cloth in a childlike manner. "B-But I don't know if I can survive the first day of college alone…"
Marie tidies up her outfit after her friend lets go of her, pulling her ruffled band tank top and patting her overskirt.
Marie let out a sigh, but still has an apologetic smile on her lips. "I'm in a whole different major anyway. You'll have to be alone most of the time."
"I-I was thinking of meeting up in between classes… Maybe have lunch together." Hotaru explained.
"Oh." Marie tiled her head. "I guess we could do that! Yeah, let's have lunch together!" She nodded. "But, uh… Is it okay? A bunch of people saw us hugging earlier… And we're going to have meals together… People might think we're a… ya know?"
"Oh?" Hotaru's shoulders moved. " B-But we aren't!"
"I know!" Marie exclaimed. "But people here don't know you're into guys, yet!"
"But it's not like it'll take even a day for people to figure it out. You're radiating with gay energy." Marie said with a teasing expression. The blonde across her giggled.
"It's not like I keep it secret."
"Right!" Marie patted Hotaru's back, but Hotaru felt it was more of a slap than a pat. "Well, people in college are more open minded, maybe you can finally snatch yourself a boyfriend!"
"Sheesh." Hotaru pouted. "I didn't apply to college to get a man…"
"Oh, how could I forget?!" Marie lets out a loud laughter. " You wanna be a famous painter, am I right?"
"Illustrator." Hotaru corrected her bluntly.
"Right, right. Like those guys… Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Mikey." She said with a finger on her chin.
"You're just naming the ninja turtles, aren't you?"
"No way! Look, I can name another one." Marie pointed out. "Shredder!"
"M-Marie… You're…" Hotaru's almost speechless at her friend's lack of art knowledge.
"Oh, c'mon! Cut me some slack! I'm in graphic designs, not fine arts! I'm not old fashioned!" She crossed her arms.
"Fine arts is not old fashioned!" Hotaru puts his hands on his hips. "You'll get art history, too, you know! You need to at least know these stuff!"
"I-I will?!" Marie shouted, a little too loudly.
"Y-yes!" Hotaru answered. A bit surprised by his friend's overreaction. "It's a compulsory subject for all Arts and Design students!"
"Shit! Can't we get physics or math or something instead?!"
'Is she serious…?' Hotaru thought, staring silently at his friend.
"Oh, c'mon, now! I'm just joking. " She giggled. "Besides, you can't seriously not have any intentions to get a man, right?" She asked. "Listen, when my ma' was in college, a bunch of guys she tried to score turned out to be gay or bi!"
"Y-Your point?" Hotaru asked with a worried look.
"My point is that we can totally help each other out, here!" Marie explained with full excitement and determination in her eyes. The sight of it made Hotaru's shoulders somewhat tense. "If I find a gay guy, I'll tell you. If you've found a straight guy, you tell me!"
"No, thank you!" Hotaru waved his arms, refusing. "Besides, straight guys are everywhere! That plan of yours wouldn't benefit me at all!"
Marie lets out a frustrated noise.
"C'mon, Hotaru! You're the guy who reads romance novels and mangas on a daily basis, for christ's sake! Back in middle school, you're always pointing out how 'this guy is hot, that guy is handsome', you're seriously here telling me you're not interested in finding a boyfriend?" Marie crosses her arms. "Wow. What has high school done to you..."
"I-it's nothing like that~!" He reassures her. "Of course I wanna fall in love, I really do!" Hotaru puts a knuckle on his chin and looks down shyly. "It's just that... I wanna focus more on college, that's all. This is the University of my dreams, after all. So love isn't really my main concern..."
His pupils move down even further. "Besides... this isn't a romance manga or novel..." He continues, with a somewhat bitter smile. "I'm happy to be able to attend this university with you, my best friend. That's enough for me!"
After a few seconds of silence between each other, Marie finally responds.
"Wow. Is it any wonder this guy's single? Jesus." She pointed out with an annoyed look.
"Wh-What?" Hotaru flinched at his friend's reaction.
"Listen." Marie stared into Hotaru. Dead straight into his eyes. "You have got to have more confidence in yourself. You can focus on studying AND get a partner! Hell, sometimes a partner will be able to support you when you're having a hard time with college work. And you know how frustrating it can be here in the arts major!"
Hotaru stops and thinks, digesting the mini-lecture his friend just gave him. Then, his face lights up, and he smiles. "Y-you're right! I should be more positive! M-maybe I will find the man of my dreams here!"
Marie smiles at him and pats(read: slaps) Hotaru's back again. "That's the spirit!" She chuckled. She pulled out her phone, then her smile quickly fade away.
"Darn. Look at the time."
"Time for your first class?" Hotaru guessed.
"Yep. I gotta go to the nort building, we're separating, right?"
"Mhmm. I have to go that way for my first class as well." Hotaru nodded. "We'll part here, then. Bye, Marie!" The blonde waved to his best friend of 5 years.
"Bye, Hotaru~! Don't be a stranger!" She waved back.
"I'm heading the other way. I guess we'll part here." Marie waved. "Bye~!"
As Hotaru walks away, he feels the spring breeze on his face. Cherry blossom petals flew around, decorating the campus grounds.
A warm, excited feeling blossoming in his heart, looking forward to the fun-filled college days ahead of him.