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Returning to school is an event that neither student nor teacher at Jeffersons High looks forward to, with an exception of the fresh, passionate new faculty, eager to start their knowledge sharing career, and The Roughhousers, eager to make these enthusiastic teachers wish they never met a child in their life. Rumor says there’s nearly 30 students made up this cult-like group, but no one really knows. The members create a wide spectrum of student types between Jessica and Jerrica, the cheerleaders, to Kyle Kalamity, the bully of Jefferson High. The brain behind the stunts and shenanigans was just that, Ben the Brain, the most intelligent, least challenged kid ‘in the county. The unpredictability of The Roughhousers members was the teachers’ downfall.
The primary target, this year- Arakaki Sensei. The Brain has been observing the new Japanese 1 teacher that just flew from Tokyo a month before classes started. He was always seen with his oversized briefcase, formal attire, lowered head, and that professional, almost somber aura he would drag about with him. Even though they predicted Arakaki Sensi has been teaching for some time, with such a disposition, The Roughhousers just had to step up to the challenge. All of a sudden, Japanese sounded like a good language to take up.
As he placed the overpowering black leather case upon his desk in the back with a slightly audible thud, the students hushed, took their seats, and folded their hands tidily either upon their desks or upon their laps, no variation of that. Jessica glanced about the room, feeling as if he was the only one noticing this phenomenal change of mood. There was a certain aspect about this Arakaki Sensei, his poise, his stiffness, his solitude that demanded the students’ discipline, whether it had been there prior or not. Scanning his eyes discretely over to Kyle Kalamity, it amazed her that even he, the infamous Roughhouser, kept his fingers laced atop his desk. What the hell was going on?
Weeks passed, yet The Roughhousers made not attack on this great challenge of a teacher, Arakaki Sensei. In the halls, Ben, Kyle, Jessica, and Jerrica all congregated to work up a strategy.
“It’s been years and we’ve still been going along with this eerie little charade. Sitting nicely, quietly. We’re nodding in sync already!” cried Jerrica in a harsh whisper.
Ben the Brain scoffed. “Stop the excessive over-exaggeration, it’s been barely seven point eighty-six percent of a year.” Jessica and Jerrica sent him a double deathly death stare.
“Aww, c’mon Brain,” Kyle slurred as he punched him in the arm. Putting his arm on the girls’ shoulders he admitted, “but you sure are right, Jerr. It’s time to get on with this devious deed of ours.” He nods to Ben, now rubbing his scrawny bicep.
“Well, erm,” he muttered as he adjusted his glasses, pulling out his notebook. “I’m rather positive simple pranks is not nearly adequate for such a professional task as this one. A personal attack would be effective. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have any family. In all this time, Sensei never spoke of anyone, had no photographs up, and not once has he received a phone call. I’ve been quite aware and interested in Suki, that girl that sits in on our classes?” The other three nodded. “There’s a lot of potential there. I’ve discovered that she’s a foreign exchange student from Tokyo as well, and she finds comfort in Arakaki Sensei. His exceedingly more fluid, relaxed body language and posture when speaking to her indicates that he finds comfort in her as well.” Ben took a breath, only to be interrupted.
“We get the girl,” Jessica stated, coldly and slyly.
A month later, Suki was reported missing. Under so much horrible discrimination for her ethnicity, the quite, intrapersonal Jefferson High student ran away. A week after that, her car was driven off a nearby cliff, and a suicide note was found in her room as well as another room- the classroom of Arakaki Sensei’s Japanese 1 class. All over the walls, almost passing as wallpaper, were the Japanese symbols smudged with tears- photocopies of Suki’s final letter. The Roughhousers softened up, their foundation wobbling. The little hoaxes, the racial comments, the started rumors in the halls- they all built up, to this. Such an event was far beyond the predicted consequences of Kyle Kalamity, Jessica, Jerrica, and Ben the Brain combined.
For the first time that semester, the class witnessed Arakaki Sensei’s first physical manifestation of any emotion as he shed one single tear while addressing the class, in his monotone voice, about the severity of bullying. In respect for Suki, the class was assigned to create their own suicide letters, thanking their parents, friends, and peers for what they’ve done. In that sense, the guilty students will might just “find better appreciation for life and relationships,” as Arakaki Sensei put it.
The Roughhousers retired.
The whole event died down three months later. Sensei was still as professional as ever and the class returned the respect. To commemorate Suki, a cutout of her signature in the Japanese characters was taped in front of the classroom, above the board. Arakaki Sensei started to grow on the former Roughhousers members, and so did the professionalism.
Friday, the last day of the week, and this one specifically, the last day of the semester, was that fateful day. Arakaki Sensei seemed to be in a looser, more casual mood, if he ever had one. Approaching Kyle, Jessica, Jerrica, and Ben, he asked them to see him later that evening to discuss and praise the progress they’ve all made in his class. The four were more than pleased with themselves.
“Do you think he’ll throw a party for us?” Jessica asked excitingly. “I mean, we made such a change from, like, the beginning of the year.”
“We’ll have sata andagi, and wagashi, ohhh! And chichi dango mochi!” Jerrica squealed in delight.
“Naww, knowing ol’ Arakaki San, we’ll be having a nice quite talk over some tea,” Kyle said with the greatest of confidence as the others laughed. He was probably right. Probably.
Opening the classroom door, Ben halted at the threshold, stunned. “What’s the big idea?” Kyle Kalamity uttered as he shoved Ben the Brain aside, the girls following.
The room was exactly the same as it had been earlier that day, or so it appeared. Kyle scanned the room a little more carefully. And there it was! He took a few paces back, stepping on Jessica’s foot.
“OWW-“ she complained before The Brain clasped his hand over her mouth and pointing to the board. Taking her focus from her foot to the class whiteboard, Jessica read aloud the violently written Japanese characters, “Satsujin.” Whimpering, she translated it. “M-mm-m-murder.”
Above the board, with Suki’s signature, were three other sheets of paper- each of their mock suicide notes. “What’s going on?” cried Jerrica in her confusion.
A barely audible squeak came from the opposite, unlit corner of the room. Arakaki Sensei’s figure sitting on the swivel chair could be made out. Slowly and ominously, he rose. “Satsujin.”
“Stop, don’t say that. We didn’t mean to,” sobbed Jessica.
“Satsujin,” he whispered once more.
“No, Sensei. It was an accident,” Kyle pleaded as he embraced Jessica in hopes to comfort her.
“Satsujin,” he repeated louder.
“We didn’t know any better back then,” Jerrica said. “But you said so yourself, we’ve changed.”
“Satsujin!” Arakaki Sensei yelled as he grabbed a katana on the side of his desk.
The Brain’s mind was going a million miles a minute trying to comprehend the situation. “GET OUT OF HERE, NOW!” he commanded going for the door.
The door giggled innocently, almost cynically, at him as it slammed itself shut. No, it wasn’t the door. “Why, Ben?” a little Japanese voice asked with the same sarcastic innocence. Suki emerged from the shadows of the door crackling a hammer and nail.
“No, this isn’t possible.” Jessica denied, collapsing to the floor, weeping.
Kyle falls to his knees, firmly holding her, together so it seemed. Darting his head back to the corner he screams at Arakaki. “WHAT KIND OF SICK TRICK ARE YOU PLAYING?!”
“This is no trick, Kyle,” he responds in his nonchalant tone. “This is a trap,” he says as he unsheathes the katana. “Come to me, Suki.”
“Yes, Otosama,” she replied as she skipped towards him, after nailing the door shut with a surprising amount of strength and skill.
“Otosama…” Ben the Brain whizzed through his mind for the translation, “ARAKAKI SENSEI IS YOUR FATHER?!” Kyle got to his feet. Jerrica stood there frozen in awe.
“Can I tell them this time, Otosama?” Suki pleaded childishly. With his nod of approval, she explained, “My daddy and I, we travel through the United States looking for naughty boys and girls to punish, mean boys and girls.” She made a playfully mad face. “I pretend to be his adoring pupil, a teacher’s pet, as you would call it. Then when the other students get mean and make me sad, I pretend to die.” She performed an over-exaggerated death scene and giggles at her own performance. “Then you do the same, but for real. With our help, of course.”
“How could they get away with such a plan?” Ben the Brain asked himself aloud, “There’s much to many flaws. All the suicide letters being in Japanese, from first year students, and the assignment; the pattern is obvious enough for any police officer to spot out.”
“We work on individuals, up until now,” Sensei spoke quietly. “ The four of you have displayed to us the most spiteful, demonic, malevolent treatment. For that, I will personally ensure that you will have the most excruciating, sorrowful, dishonorable death of them all. The group of you, the elements of the main source of scrutinizing and negativity, all deserve to be PUNISHED!” he shouted as he began to run towards Kyle. His yell resonated about the room, the volume so immense, as if his silence was simply his voice building up to this very battle scream.
Shifting his weight to one side, just as he had done in so many fistfights before, Kyle Kalamity dodged the katana. The broken down Jessica wasn’t so lucky as the blade struck her straight across her cheek. Screams of terror and agony crawled out of the deepest crevices of her being as Arakaki Sensei swiftly grabbed Kyle, put him in a headlock, and held the katana against his neck.
“Teens these days are more creative with their suicides,” Sensei panted as he struggled with the squirming boy whose head he held in his arm.
Kyle grabbed Arakaki Sensei’s forearm with one hand, and the katana handle with the other. Suki pranced about the classroom, circling the group as she giggled eerily singing a song of death. Kyle, blocking her out, watched in agony, the catastrophic mess that was his friends. Jessica’s sobs and screams grew louder as she witnessed the blood gushing from her face. Jerrica shouted and moaned in frustration unable to handle the situation, trying to decide whether to assist Kyle or Jessica. Ben ‘the Brain,’ Kyle’s right hand man, stood there, face blank, flabbergasted. For the first time in their friendship, Kyle witnessed Ben without even one idea, a plan of action, a strategy to get the two of them out of the hole they dug. The plan showed itself to Kyle, this time.
Releasing Arakaki Sensei’s forearm, Kyle grabbed the katana with both hands. Overpowering the rather lightweight Japanese teacher, he guided the katana away from his throat.
“You’re wrong, Arakaki. Teens these days…” he started as he clenched his jaw, struggling with the blade. “are more creative…” he continued as he brought the blade in front of him. “…with their…” he muttered through his grunts.
Kyle turned the blade to his body and pulled, puncturing right through his body, and killing the both of them.