This entry is a lot shorter and a lot more text-heavy than I remember. Sorry about that, guys! Honestly, not much happens, but it does follow the plot, such as it is. I really should have just included it as an extra section of the last update. Oh well.
Kari sat in class and smiled to herself. Nina always had something going on, and she found no shortage of interesting happenings over the course of their friendship. There Nina was this morning, boldly facing down a girl who had already proven herself to outmatch Nina physically, and despite her obvious physical inferiority, refused to back down.
Kari: Too many comic books for that girl, truly. You'd think she was a boy, acting as though her honor as in constant need of defending. That attitude's gotten her into some trouble, hasn't it? I can't believe she got herself caught up in cheer-team business with that rude junior girl, Tsuki-something, getting all mad. Honestly, though, Kana's been a pretty good friend, sticking by her and Ayumi like that...
Kari sighed and looked out the window. That day had begun so sunny and pleasant, but clouds had quickly filled in the sky and kept the air humid and thick. As was usual for this time of year, tehrew was the promise of rain in the wair. A rumble of distant thunder drew everyone's anxious eyes to the windows, and when it was followed by the dull flash of lightning and eventually another low rumble of thunder, everyone in the class released breath no one was conscious of holding. There was a nervous murmur that ran through the class and everyone looked at Billford-sensei to continue their lesson.
Her face, however, had gone white as a sheet, her eyes wide with fear as she gazed fixedly out the window. One of her closest friends had been Mukai-Sensei, and it had been a terrible shock to see him killed in such a way. Hearing about little Clarissa taking her own life frayed her nerves further. She had hoped that returning to work would help, but th injured students, the empty desks in the staff room...
Swanson: Billford-Sensei? Sensei, are you alright?
She blinked and turned back to the class, her face lined with the stresses of someone quite a bit older than her thirty-some-odd years. She forced a smile back on her face and nodded to the class.
Billford-Sensei: Yes, of course, Mr. Swanson.
She was immensely proud of how her voice didn't waiver when she spoke. She decided to ignore the skepticism on her students' faces and continue where she left off.
She paused and stared at the papers on her desk, suddenly completely lost. The moment she felt as though profound sadness would cause tears to overflow fro her eyes, a student popped up to save her.
Suzy: *small voice* Sensei, I think Haru just had an accident.
Haru, a boy about 5'8” with a small face and slight features framed by usually carefully sculpted black hair, shifted uncomfortably on his seat as Billford-Sensei strode towards him. The wet, squishing sound his pants made alerted the classroom to the contents of his bladder being pooled in his chair. There was a general leaning away from him by the surrounding students, and as the liquid fear dripped onto the floor, a pair of girls Kari knew and didn't like started giggling.
Billford-Sensei: QUIET. IF I hear ANY gossip about this, if this boy suffers AT ALL at ANY of your hands, I will quite literally drag you by your hair to in-school and serve up a punishment so unbelievably harsh that you'll still be serving in your last year of college.
Her voice, while strong and steady, sounded nonetheless on the verge of hysterics. The students stared at her with a mix of fear and obediance. There were no further ripples from the class as she pulled Haru to his feet and began issuing orders.
Billford-Sensei: Suzy, go to the office and get Ben or Harriet to come down here to clean up. Kari, finish reading through the rest of the new syllabus, there are notes on my desk to help explain. Come on, Haru, you can wear your gym uniform the rest of the day...
Billford-Sensei and Haru disappeared out the door after Suzy had run off, and everyone turned to Kari to finish carrying out her orders. Kari smirked at them and rose to her feet, unconsciously tugging the bottom of her shirt as thorugh to straighten it. She walked heavily to the front of the silent classroom, shoulders slumped under the burden of their silence.
Kari: Does anyone remember where we were?
Her question was half to herself as she stared at the papers lying on Billford-Sensei's desk. They were a jumbled mess that Kari was unable to sort out at her first glance. Thunder rumbled again, a bit louder this time, and the class reacted with nervous laughter. An uneasy silence followed, and all of Kari's classmates looked to her hoping that she would rescue them from the weight of it. And then, finally, Kari smiled.
Kari: You know, I was totally not paying attention to this at all.
Her admission earned a smattering of laughs.
Kari: But it does look like it'll be easier until graduation, we don't have to do the big report...
Kari's voice trailed off and she sighed, leaning heavily on the desk.
There was some commotion at the back of the room as Suzy hobbled back in with Ben, one of the school's two full-time cleaning staff members. He was an older man, an American veteran who had fought years before in lands far, far away. He smiled sadly and went about cleaning up the mess, a mess not even close to being the worst he'd ever seen, and Suzy went back to her seat.
Kari: Well, anyways, it should get easier from here on out.
Kari's words held a bit of extra meaning for the class, and the tension drained from the room to be washed away by the rain that had begun to fall.