“Incident number three...” Okamoto-sensei says almost sternly when Yamada finds himself once again in front of his teachers desk in the staff room. “That’s three times in as many days you’ve been sent out of class.”. In Yamada’s defence the first had been an accident, he hadn’t meant to fall asleep in maths but he’s not going to admit that the other two aforementioned incidents were on purpose. Okamoto-sensei shakes his head. “I don’t understand it, I’ve never had any trouble in home room...”
Yamada just nods his head apologetically, his hands clasped in front of him. “I’m sorry sensei.”
When he looks up again Okamoto-sensei is sill shaking his head. “I’m going to have to punish you Yamada-kun.” he says and Yamada’s breath catches in his throat before Okamoto-sensei continues “Detention, tonight after school.”
“Detention?” Yamada asks, sounding out the word that he presumes is English, and Okamoto-sensei’s eyebrows furrow a little.
“Come to my classroom as soon as school finishes.” Yamada nods his head and excuses himself, but he sounds the word out again as he leaves the office, wondering what it could mean. He’s still wondering when the last bells rings and everyone starts filing out of the school and across the field to the gates. Yamada turns instead for the stairs and goes up the three flights to where his home room classroom is.
“Sensei?” he says as he steps into the empty classroom. “I’m here for detention...”
“Good.” a voice says from behind him, low and smooth but with a hint of impatience. “Take your seat.” and Okamoto-sensei brushes past him, carrying a large stack of papers.
Yamada does as he’s told, placing his bag on the floor and taking out his pens but Okamoto-sensei barely seems to have noticed. He’s busy with the papers, separating the stack, placing the papers in several piles. Yamada just sits for a few minutes watching him, bemused. “Sensei, is there something you want me to do?” he asks and Okamoto-sensei looks up at him with an almost surprised expression.
“I want you to sit quietly for the next hour and think about what you’ve done, think about how your actions inconvenienced the people around you and reflect on how you can change your behaviour in the future.” Okamoto-sensei tells him, but he seems a little distracted, preoccupied with his papers maybe and Yamada sighs because this isn’t going to plan at all.
Sure he’d been a bit of a nuisance, but it’s not like he’d done anything too bad, flicking spit-balls across a classroom is hardly grounds for repentance. He’d just wanted to stand out, he wanted to be one of the few whose names Okamoto-sensei actually remembers, a face he’d recognise. He’d just wanted the new teacher’s attention. Why he’d been so desperate for Okamoto-sensei’s attention, Yamada isn’t sure, it’s something to do with the fluttering feeling he gets in the pit of his stomach every time the guy walks into the room, but Yamada isn’t willing to sit and think about what that means for the next hour. He’s not that stupid.
Okamoto-sensei is new. He’s only been at Yamada’s school for three weeks and Yamada has heard he’d only been in Japan for two before that. He’s Japanese, that much is clear, but he’s heard that Okamoto-sensei moved to England while he was in school and finished out his education there before working as a teacher in England for a while. For whatever reason, he’s moved back to Japan and continued with teaching, the timing perfect since Yamada’s school’s English teacher had to retire early due to health problems. He doesn’t know if the rumours are true, there are a lot of rumours that go around about teachers, especially when they’re as young and attractive as Okamoto-sensei. It would explain the almost awkward way he has of speaking Japanese though, and how he sometimes talks about things that Yamada has never even heard of as though they’re completely normal things.
Like detention. Yamada still doesn’t quite understand what it is, but Okamoto-sensei is enthralled in what appears to be marking, so Yamada doesn’t interrupt to ask. It’s certainly not bad, spending an hour alone in Okamoto-sensei’s company, just watching him quietly. Yamada’s not sure how that’s even a punishment at all but he daren’t go as far as thinking to himself that it’s really more like a prize.
The clock ticks by slowly, and Yamada does start to get a little bored. Okamoto-sensei is fun to watch for sure, his facial expressions are cute, the way they look troubled every now and then as he reaches for a dictionary to look something up. It’s cute how he occasionally huffs in annoyance, or wipes his forehead as though it’s mentally taxing marking school-work.
Eventually, Okamoto-sensei puts his marking aside and turns instead to another large stack of papers. This time he gets up from his desk and splits the pile across the front four desks, a few piles on each. From his seat at the back Yamada can’t see the papers properly, but he catches a bold title across the front of one of them ‘Romeo and Juliet’ .
Okamoto-sensei then proceeds to gather together one page from each pile and fold them carefully into a booklet before stapling them through the centre. It takes him a while, Yamada notices, mostly because he keeps checking that the pages are in order by flicking through it from left to right. Yamada doesn’t laugh, but he smiles to himself and clears his throat before asking. “Do you want me to help?”
There’s not long left of his detention, barely ten minutes, and he wonders if Okamoto-sensei is just thinking that too because he looks back down at the piles of paper and nods. “Please...if that’s alright?” Yamada does laugh a little this time, because it’s a strange thing for a teacher to say, but he gets up all the same and jogs to the front of the classroom to help.
“Is this for the drama club?” Yamada asks as he passes his fifth booklet to Okamoto-sensei to staple. It’s obvious it is, not just because he knows what ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is, but because it says the name of the school and ‘drama club’ right there below the title, he’s just trying to make conversation.
Yamada doesn’t mean to actually snort but it comes out all the same and he can’t tell if Okamoto-sensei’s brief glance towards him looks hurt or just resigned. “Frilly costumes and tights, no thank you” he says, and he gives another internal snort. The guy is new after all, and he doesn’t seem to know who Yamada is. Yamada doesn’t like to brag, not when he’s off the football pitch at least, but he’s the ace of the school soccer team and arguably the most popular boy in school. Yamada doesn’t do drama.
“Drama is really cool.” Okamoto-sensei tells him, though it’s with that same half-attention that irritates Yamada, it’s the reason he got himself into trouble to actually get the guy to look at him properly.
As though to counter Okamoto-sensei’s statement, Yamada flicks through the little book they’re putting together, and picks a random line to read out in the most overly dramatic voice he can muster. He expects Okamoto-sensei to ignore him, or to sigh at the mockery maybe, but Okamoto-sensei freezes, and then slowly lifts his head to look at Yamada directly. His eyes seem to rove every inch of Yamada’s face and Yamada swallows heavily under the scrutiny. His face feels warm and he wants to look away but then Okamoto-sensei’s eyes are on his and they’re so deep that Yamada feels like he might be drowning. There’s something twisting inside him, something he doesn’t understand at all even though he kind of expected it, but it’s still so sudden, so strong, that he panics.
“My hour is up.” he says, his voice coming out quiet, breathless. He swallows again, wets his lips and ignores the way Okamoto-sensei’s eyes follow the brief flash of tongue. “Can I leave?”
Okamoto-sensei nods, and Yamada drops the booklet he’s holding and walks as fast as he can without actually running, to pack up his things.
“Yamada-kun.” Okamoto-sensei calls when Yamada reaches the door, and Yamada pauses. Okamoto-sensei walks hurriedly towards him, stops just a little too close, it’s close enough for Yamada to see tiny beads of perspiration forming along Okamoto-sensei’s hairline. “Here. You should come to auditions.” and he presses one of the booklets into Yamada’s hands before looking briefly into his eyes and then withdrawing to the other side of the classroom.
Your turn leader faded_lace