“Yo, what up Tanaka,” one of the other students said. Near me they were talking while I’m trying to get ready and do my work in the classroom. They hadn’t noticed me yet, and I was trying to finish up my math homework while things were going on around me, but it’s easy to get distracted.
I’d tried to finish the math work last night, but the last two problems happened to be difficult story problems. I hadn’t quite managed to figure them out, but felt I was really close. If only Sensei were late today, I might be able to finish at least one more of them so I could get an A on the homework.
“Hey man, did you bring it?” Aikawa said. They were acting like they were smuggling drugs, but they weren’t that clever. Unfortunately it was only video games with risque ecchi themes and they didn’t want to get caught.
“It’s right here! Check it out!”
They were talking about their new games. One of them had pulled the game manual from their backpack and they were whispering about it excitedly after that. There are all kinds conversations like this too. Also some girls nearby are talking in a small mob with hushed voices and I can’t tell what they are saying either.
Like them all of us are in school uniforms. Even the girls. Everyone wears dress clothes with a jacket. The women also have a dress clothes style jacket but with skirts instead of pants. The teachers also dress up since this is a good school.
I kept marking my paper and the sounds of my furious pencil worked nervously that others heard near me.
I wasn’t really officially part of their group but sometimes they’d talk to me, particularly if there was a new game out. They sat next to me, in front of me to be exact. Because of it, I was always pulled into their chatter even if I didn’t like it.
They were also really loud in the morning. Plus they were so nerdy it was embarrassing to hear about. I didn’t want to be included in their odd manners and strange behavior. Already some of the girls had zeroed in on their weirdness and were glaring at them.
Yeah, I’m glad they didn’t identify me as part of that. I didn’t mind the games but losing pretty girls to be branded the nerd club sounded like suicide to me…
Around us the girls were also talking on the side of the room closest to the door. It was Aigawa (no relation to the other Aigawa), Inoue, and Yoshida. Most the girls in the class wanted to be just like them. They were a mix of both disciplined and studious girls and one of them a bit of a rebel. But they were all nice looking, like some of the best looking girls in our school.
Several of them had come in just late enough to be cool but not actually be on the edge of discipline. Because it was Monday we knew Miss Asakura was coming in late from a faculty meeting like she did every Monday morning. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, because the room was full of kids. All together this class had about thirty people in it.
Because of a new development nearby and because we were deep in the city where all the jobs are it was like this. All of our classes had every seat filled and every bit of space in the room had a desk at it.
This was how it normally was, first thing in the morning at our school. I was eighteen and school had started a few weeks ago. This was the normal routine. This was also our homeroom and first class of the day.
Outside the weather was sunny and wonderful. I wanted to go outside. It was so beautiful outside. It was just the perfect temperature…
What a beautiful day it is!
“Hey Shun what’s up?” Yumi said cheerfully suddenly, as she came in and sat down. She had a good pace as she went up the aisle so quickly and was very athletic. Today gym being right after she was dressed to join the volleyball team which she was captain of, and displayed proudly. Our school was high ranked regionally for that sport after all. She sat by me too. She greeted me often because she was friends with my step sister.
Well technically the step sister is my cousin actually, but she lives with us.
“Hey Yumi!” I greeted happily. It was nice to talk to her. She was also good looking. “So, what’s new?” I smiled.
She was the one distraction that could break me from the A I wanted…oh well…I couldn’t figure out anymore anyway. There was no more hope to finish the math. Its fun to talk to Yumi, though she can be odd at times.
“Why does she even talk to him?” I heard some guy say.
“He doesn’t deserve her attention,” came the reply from his friend.
“Should wipe that smirk off his face,” another said. It was coming from some guys in the back that I didn’t mix well with, Mori, and Abe, and their crew. They were always in trouble, fighting and all kinds of stuff happened around them.
I ignored those guys. It wasn’t my job to be policed by them. In truth, though Yumi was just being polite. She didn’t actually like me, but was doing it out of courtesy of being with Aya’s friend, who was my step sister, or cousin.
Then the bell went off to start class.
We could hear the footsteps of our teacher on the linoleum style floor just before the teacher entered the room with a big smile.
Miss Asakura came in right after. She was dressed nice in a pencil skirt, crispy white dress shirt or blouse and suit jacket. “Hey class!” She was always really excited. She taught PE as well, and was one of the most beautiful women on the planet, at least many students thought so. It could be we’re exaggerating a little but not by much. We often wondered why she chose to work as a teacher, instead of going after money by using her looks for something. She was good looking enough to get any job she wanted just from the aura she projected, plus she was pretty smart too.
But she chose to be a teacher instead.
“OK, let’s start with our opening exercises! Isn’t the weather great today! Learning is sooo great! Isn’t it?!”
Most the boys weren’t listening though. They were staring at her giant boobs that strained her shirt and suit jacket. How did she grow them like that on such a skinny body? They also seemed to have just enough sag to tell they were real.
The girls were mostly groaning. “Oh do we have to?” some of them said together.
Sensei just laughed. “Oh come on! It’ll be fun! Learning is so wonderful! I also get to spend the day with you guys!”
“Are you mocking us Sensei?” I joked aloud.
She laughed. “No, being in school is fun! Really!”
“Did you have a fun time with your boyfriend Sensei?” Yumi asked cheerfully.
“Wha?! No! It can’t be true!” Some of the boys had near heart attacks.
“No! Our precious teacher can’t have a boyfriend! That’s too much…”
Some of their minds couldn’t handle the bad news…
Someone else is crying out in frustration also while the girls giggle.
“Tell us who your boyfriend is teacher, so we get off him and take you for our own,” someone in the back said.
“Uh, that’s super creepy. How could you say that?” Yumi said shocked. Although truthfully Yumi would soon be a beautiful woman too, her own figure wasn’t bad.
There was an awkward silence.
“But…telling us teacher has a boyfriend…that’s too much. Our dreams were all crushed,” one of the other boys said. He sounded like he might cry, but teacher still had no pity on him; in fact, I think she secretly covered a smile.
The girls and our teacher just laughed after another boy also said a very similar thing right after the first one did. It was like this often, though I didn’t know teacher had a boyfriend either…? Or was it just a show? Yumi and Miss Asakura might be deflecting attention too.
Actually she could just be saying that to get them to leave her alone right?
Yumi shrugged at Miss Asakura, who also shrugged back in return.
But then it happened. The unforgettable event…
There was a huge dull boom in the distance and then a small shaking of the windows and panes for like five seconds. It was something deep and far away, sounding really heavy. I felt the earth even thump underneath us strangely, even though it was so far away. It sounded like it was coming from the mountains, or under the mountains.
“Well turn to page…” Miss Asakura started to say, but then she looked puzzled. A big crease went down the middle of her forehead in worry. “What was that?” she tried to continue to say. Her smile stopped and turned into a frown. We all looked at the windows lining one side of the room. All at once everyone started looking outside and then being confused.
Miss Asakura hesitated some more and stopped for a sec. everything was quiet all the sudden. Everywhere everyone was deathly still. We were afraid…very afraid. People here in Kobe, Japan have an unnatural fear of earthquakes after all. Many still remembered the previous one that had smashed our town to bits. The other classes in rooms near us had suddenly gotten really quiet too. One of them had been making a ruckus just a few seconds ago and the quiet felt weird and strange somehow.
“Whew, I was afraid that was an earthquake. I’m so relieved its over,” Yumi said. Yumi was pretty outgoing and often commented and talked in her class. The look on her face was seriously stressed out. I’d forgotten her family lost their old house in the previous earthquake when she was a baby. Sometimes they forgot and mentioned it, when they got together.
Then there was another really big thump under us and the ground vibrated, but for longer this time. We heard something else rumble near the mountains and in the distance we could see hundreds of birds all over the valley suddenly hit the sky in sudden flight. That was the first big signal something was terribly wrong. The shaking continued for a bit longer. It then stopped after about ten seconds. This time it felt more powerful than before, even though the school was on a strong concrete foundation that didn’t feel good at all.
This place is supposed to be earthquake proof! What the hell just happened?!
But the ground movement felt so extreme, as if…almost as if the whole floor had dropped a few feet! Yet it seems everything is intact, and that’s almost as confusing!
“Oh FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK*!” Someone yelled loudly.
All the sudden everyone stopped what they were doing. It went deathly still.
That wasn’t the F bomb of someone, who had loose lips. Rather, it was the F bomb of someone who saw something unreal, something dangerously bad, and in pure terror!
But we can’t see what it was, on why they cried out.
“Something’s wrong,” someone said.
“Hide! Run!” Someone began to panic.
“Everyone under your desks!” Miss Asakura cried out.
Then others panicked one by one. Many people got under their desks just in case. But then they were terrified when the rumbling continued with several aftershocks. Some tried to run out the door though, thinking they’d be the first to save themselves first.
When I looked at Yumi and Miss Asakura their faces were terrified with big eyes.
“Dang it Yumi! You jinxed us!” One of the girls said viciously, it was Tanagawa. She had some kind of big rivalry with Yumi. They’d never gotten along for years of bad feeling together.
Then the shaking started again for the third time. It was really small at first. It was so small we didn’t notice it at first, but it kept growing bigger. It grew more and more, but then it wouldn’t stop. It felt like it was going on forever. I started to lose track of how long it was going for until I heard teacher’s voice.
“Get under your desks again! Now! Hurry!” Miss Asakura ordered quickly.
One by one, the students started going under their desks. Some of us went quickly, and others just lazily shrugged.
“It’s not real, it’ll stop any second,” Jin said. Jin was kind of a rebel and didn’t take orders easily. The others were too scared to get out from under their desks to pull him under forcefully. He also liked to get in fights too. But unfortunately his number was up. His was the first bad luck and the first of many bad luck, I later realized. He kept standing there out in the open while the rest of us were huddled under our desks. He acted unafraid and just yawned, trying to act cool.
But when the tremors increased, suddenly the room was shaking itself apart.
Jin never knew what hit him. The girls and a lot of the guys in the room started screaming when chunks of the ceiling started falling and hitting everything. One fairly good sized piece of concrete hit Jin so hard part of his skull was broken open and blood flowed out his eye sockets after he hit the ground, hard. The sound was really gross when his head hit the floor. Just like a watermelon popping, the mess sprays on several nearby students while they scream.
His sightless eyes were staring at the class as we shook with fear and dread.
We heard other screams in the hall suddenly end fast also, probably ending just like Jin.
The shaking was getting really big and the walls, ceiling, everything was shaking and rattling. Then the windows started breaking and shattering in pieces while students were crying. There were big dust clouds outside too as the earth kept shaking. The metal of the reinforcement around the windows sounded like tin or aluminum of some kind. The ceiling started to shake a bunch of dust loose.
It can’t go on forever like this can it?! Aren’t earthquakes supposed to stop? This one seemed to go with no end. Not good.
Then two seats in front of me someone vomited their breakfast and a nasty smell hit the room.
It was suddenly getting really dusty. I couldn’t see and the vomit smell was drowned by our trying to cough from all the dust that was choking us like fog. Suddenly it was too foggy and getting dark. It was hard to see anything. Then the lights went out. Or was it the fog? Why was everything so black? I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face after that.