In the Classroom
The classroom was already buzzing with activity. Girls chirped incessantly, boys talked about what girls they wanted and what had happened on TV last night. Overall it was a rather happy high school setting.
And yet another day to trudge through. At least until he could get to the range.
The truly fascinating thing was Humanity’s near universal ability to fill any sort of idle time with utter crap. Everyone here talked, but no one really said anything. It was just all superficial stuff. So damned boring. Funny thing was it didn’t matter if you were in the US or here in Japan, everyone did it. It’s just the Japanese at least had the good sense to tone it down a bit with others around. Mason was thankful for that at least.
Mason made his way to his back of the class window seat, dropped into the chair and sighed. He leaned back and closed his eyes as if he could recapture a couple precious minutes of sleep.
Worst of all, he heard near every word of it. Every nauseating conversation about this and that. Details on things he couldn’t care any less about. As a writer, he had honed his skills of observation so he could improve his writing, but at times like this it would be nice if he could cut off the stream of bullshit once in a while.
“Glad to see you’re in a good mood, old man.”
Mason opened an eye and watched as his seat mate, Kurokawa Hyun-Woo sat at the desk to his right. He was pretty much the only one in the class Mason bothered talking to. Only because he was the first one who had talked to Mason when he had transferred into to St. Lazarus Academy when he was a first year. Part of the Welcoming Committee, he helped new students like Mason acclimate to the school. At the time Hyun-Woo was also in the student council, but this year he was vice president.
Normally, Mason wouldn’t have bothered but Hyun-Woo was a persistent bastard. Eventually, Mason relented and started talking with Hyun-Woo and found he a good guy. It was also great he didn’t talk a lot, but was still sociable. Nothing worse than dealing with someone where you had to pull a conversation out of them. Hyun-Woo coined the nickname after one time he had yelled at Mason to stop acting like an old guy. Mason got his revenge though calling him a variety of other nicknames pointing to Hyun-Woo’s ikemen status.
What was it they always said? That all ikemen should go and explode? A bit extreme but not an opinion Mason totally opposed.
Returning to a blissful state of near sleep, Mason grunted.
“You’re just guessing, aren’t you, pretty boy?”
Hyun-Woo’s grin deepened.
“Hard to tell with the constant scowl on your face.”
“What do you mean? I’m actually in a decent mood for once.”
Mason knew he suffered from what the Internet referred to as RBF, or Resting Bitch Face. Usually applied to women who never smile, it just meant whenever he rested the muscles in his face its default position would be best described as a frown or scowl. Coupled with a set of narrow eyes and an angular face from his German heritage you got a rather imposing and intimidating face. If anything, Mason was thankful for it since it usually kept people away who wanted to engage in small talk. Of course he was just reminded of it when he walked by the classroom earlier.
Coupled with a darker complexion, dark brown eyes and black hair which was combed back (but which got curly when it grew too long), and a tall, but stocky frame you got someone who was near the epitome of a guy screaming “Leave me the hell alone”.
So yeah, safe to say, Mason didn’t have many friends. Never mind a girlfriend.
Contrast that with Hyun-Woo. Tall, with well-groomed black hair and brown eyes, wearing a constant near smile and a body all the girls seemed to fawn over, he was never at a loss for friends or girls. Rumor had it that he had to at least fend off two or more confessions a day. Oh, to top it off he came from a rich family and was captain of the Kendo and tennis teams.
Oh yes, he was very much an ikemen. If Mason wasn’t friends with him he would have hated his guts. Thankfully Hyun-Woo was a great guy to be around and was one of the few which made going to St. Lazarus pleasant.
“Putting that aside, not everyone can be like you, ikemen.”
“Really wish you wouldn’t call me that. I’m not that great.”
At the change in voice, Mason opened his eyes and saw Hyun-Woo’s constant smile ticked downward.
“Sorry, guess I went to far.”
Before anything else could be said, the door to classroom slid open and Hiyoshi stood there. He looked like he had been roughed up but he ignored anyone’s attempts to help and went to his seat. Hitoshi didn’t look Mason’s way at all and only stared forward.
A detached part of Mason’s mind wondered if perhaps he should have done something. Maybe he could have made a difference? Maybe he could have saved him instead like he did the drow girl. After all, wasn’t he supposed to not let something like that happen again?
No, no way was he getting involved again. Last time he had a big mess to clean up and stepping in the middle of that would have been just as messy. There was no benefit to doing so.
Then we the hell did he bother with the girl?
Mason had no idea. It didn’t make any sense to go out of his way to just add more aggravation into his life. That was the worst part: He didn’t get why he did it. He shouldn’t have.
He breathed out slowly. Well, it wasn’t like he was gonna see her again, so Mason decided it was for the best to put it behind him.
But God I’m such a hypocritical bastard. Mason thought.
Hyun-Woo went to speak to Hiyoshi, but the other boy shook his head. Eventually, Hyun-Woo returned to his seat.
“That guy. Something bad happened to him.”
“Bad things only happen if you let them.”
The sentence escaped his lips, but Mason didn’t regret them. It was true. People either let bad things happen to them or they did something about it. It didn’t have to be fists, but the guy could’ve used his brain. Either way, he only had himself to blame.
“Wait, you saw what happened?”
“Nope, didn’t see a thing.”
Hyun-Woo was quiet and stared at Mason before finally shaking his head.
“What a cynical way of looking at things, old man.”
“Maybe, but it’s kept me alive.”
“You mean it’s kept you alone.”
Before Mason could reply, the homeroom teacher entered the room and began class.