[CLOSED/INTRODUCTION] Settling In

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[CLOSED/INTRODUCTION] Settling In

Post by Jimmy Cohen on Tue Aug 05, 2014 3:03 pm

Jimmy Cohen stood at the black wrought iron gates of Yamaku Academy, wearing his father's soccer shirt a white shirt with a light blue and black stripe going vertically down the left breast. The number 38 on the back and underneath it in block capitals, his surname. His messy, sandy blonde hair swaying with the wind. He had an even, almost golden tan and used to have an athletic and muscular frame. Since his health problems first came up, he was left as a thin and wiry boy, no longer able to engage in heavy exercise. Or much exercise at all for that matter. The air smelled fresh and clean, an unfamilar quality to Jimmy who had spent his whole life so far in cities. He was used to smog and the dirty heat from car exhausts pervading the air, not a refreshing breeze and the smell of freshly cut grass. He smiled, the prospect of a new start had become more and more enticing as his hospital release date had approached. Now it was finally here, he was excited. No nerves, he felt like this was a nice and peaceful spot and he thought it would give him closest chance he'd have at a 'normal' life now. He took a breath from the chrome oxygen tank on the crude metal trolley by his side. His lungs ached less than usual, maybe the lack of particulates in the air helped his condition a little.

"Want some help with your bags, Jim?" His stepfather asked. His stepfather was a man with an imposing and muscular figure, just a little over 6 feet, with a strong jawline and sharp nose. He had a rugged handsomeness to him, and wore his age well. He was more dressed down than normal, wearing a white buttoned shirt and a thick black tie done in an immaculate Windsor knot. His dark brown hair was average length and always neatly parted, a little bit of grey beginning to invade the roots of each hair.
"That would be nice. Thanks Hirokazu." Jimmy smiled at his stepfather. Hirokazu took Jimmy's bags out of the back of the black sedan and they entered the gates together. His mother drove into the town in the hope of finding a place to park, his stepsister sitting in the back still.

Jimmy was struck by the building, it looked very traditional, seeming to echo old European architecture. It was an alien asthetic to Jimmy. The various patches of small field and flower beds were a welcome change of scenery. Tokyo seemed like a distant echo already, but this new setting would take a while to become familiar. Jimmy would get used to it; he had plenty of time to adjust. He still had the summer holiday to make some friends and get into the rhythym of life here before having to start attending classes. Hirokazu had Jimmy's black suitcase in his right hand, and the boy's school satchel over his left shoulder.
"The boy's dorms are over here." Jimmy said, leading his stepfather towards the room he had been assigned.

All of the rooms were either empty or had closed doors, most of the sudents were probably outside enjoying the warm weather on a trip to either the city or the village that lay down the hill from the school. They entered Jimmy's new room, a simple room with a bed, desk, small wardrobe and a bedside table. It might see a few customizations before Jimmy could safely call it home. Hirokazu dropped the case and satchel on the bed.
"You can unpack later, right? Then you'll know where everything is, at least. I'll make sure your mother fights the urge to mess with your things so nothing disappears." Hirokazu said with a smile.
"Sure thing. It probably won't take me more than ten minutes to unpack all this anyways." Jimmy agreed.
"Ok. Good. I'll go get your mother then, you can unpack while I'm gone."
"Will do." Hirokazu took off in search of Jimmy's mother and stepsister while Jimmy rapidly unpacked everything from his suitcase. He then removed his sleek, metallic laptop and charger from the satchel, placing them on top of the desk. He put his phone charger alongside them. He wouldn't need to touch anything else in the satchel for a while yet. He finished hanging his clothes in the wardrobe just as his mother came in.

Azumi had long, silky blonde hair. Her usually soft features had been hardened by time and age, her neuroses giving her a furrowed brow as she trembled in her panic for her son.
"Take it easy, Mom. I'll do just fine here. You already made sure of that, remember? I'll still go to class. I'll do well in my exams. I promise" He said, soothingly. He always had to take a certain tone of voice when dealing with his mother, making him well-versed in calming people. With whatever his mom's deal was, he was the one who had to hold it together around her instead of the other way around.
"B-But, you don't know anybody here."
"It's ok, I'll make some friends with time. That's what happens at school."
"He's right, Mom. You need to stop worrying." Ayuko stepped in, backing Jimmy up. Jimmy's stepsister was as good as him at calming Azumi down too, proving to be a useful ally. Usually Ayuko just calling Azumi "Mom", despite the lack of biological relation helped the nervous breakdowns immensely. Jimmy loved his mother, but calming her down in these sorts of moments was a mental strain he had put up with for a long time. Azumi sighed and calmed down a little, still incredibly on edge, but something told Jimmy that they wouldn't get much more out of her. Ayuko shrugged, as if to say "It's better than nothing."

Ayuko was small, with dyed dark red hair, a cute rounded face, a beautiful smile and a twinkle of playfulness and passion for life that never left her eyes. It was often hard for Jimmy to think of her as a stepsitster, instead regarding her as his own sister. They fought and teased each other like real siblings, and got on in much the same way. Jimmy knew that no matter how bad things got, he had Ayuko to be strong for. Despite being a few months younger than her, he often found himself in the role of her protector due to her naïve and trusting nature.

"Have a great time Jimmy. Call us as soon as we get back home. I can't take it any longer, I'm going back into the car." Azumi said, wiping tears from her eyes.
"Ok. Bye, Mom. Please don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I love you." Jimmy said, giving her a hug. He could feel his mother still trembling as she struggled to calm herself, a situation that was all too familiar. With that, Azumi stepped outside. Ayuko stepped forward too.
"My little brother's all grown up." She said, with a condescending smirk.
"Whatever you say, old hag." Jimmy teased back with a grin. They often teased each other over the almost negligible age gap of a few months between them. She then produced a plastic bag that she had been carrying with a large, gift-wrapped box inside it.
"It's a present for you. I figured it might be useful." She said, before pulling her brother into a hug and whispering in his ear.
"I wouldn't open it until you're alone. I packed you a little survival kit." She said, quietly so her father couldn't hear. Jimmy began to piece together what it probably was as he felt how heavy the box seemed. He put it down on his desk.
"Thanks sis, I'll use it wisely." Jimmy said cautiosly, trying to avoid his stepfather's suspicion.
"Don't take this as an excuse to lose contact. Keep in touch, brother." She said, giving him a firm punch in the shoulder and smiling before drifting out of the room. It was just Jimmy and his stepfather now.
"Hey, uh..." Hirokazu began.
"You don't have to say anything. I'll put some effort in this year. New school, new grades. I promise." Jimmy said, obviously having repeated this agreement several times before. Hirokazu shook his head, still thinking. It was obvious he had prepared something to say, but couldn't quite remember where to start. He pondered a little more and then launched into his speech.
"Ok, Jimmy, I'm trusting you to do well in your exams." He began. Jimmy rolled his eyes, another speech about how he needed to straighten up his studying.
"But I'll be proud of you no matter what. I'm already proud of how you've handled this move and everything else recently. Even if it's not A grades across the board, I just want to know that you did your best at this school. That's all. I know you're young, so go and enjoy yourself, make some friends, be stupid sometimes. Believe it or not, I was once. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes and don't make ones that you can't move on from. Stay safe. That's all I want from you, Jim." He said. Jimmy was floored by this speech. Hirokazu was good at reading other people's emotions, but he was awful at conveying his own. Jimmy noticed his stepfather was holding a small blue box of condoms, his face now bright red.
"Stay safe, Jim." He mumbled.
"Thanks, Hirokazu." Jimmy said, embarrassed as he took the box.
"I know you're busy with work a lot, but look after Mom and Ayuko for me. If a boy breaks Ayuko's heart I won't be around to kick the shit out of him for a while, and you know how Mom gets." Jimmy said. Hirokazu gave a small smile.
"Language, Jim." He said softly, obviously not bothered by the foul-mouthed exclamation at all.
"Hey, if I wasn't using any language I wouldn't be implying a severe beating, would I?" Jimmy beamed.
"I suppose not. But she is my daughter. You know I'll look after her. And I'll be ready to kick some ass for Ayuko if I need to." Hirokazu joked.
"Of course." Jimmy said, laughing.
"Your mother might be another story. Make sure you call often. I think she might have an aneurysm otherwise." Jimmy laughed loudly.
"You're probably right. Ayuko can handle her pretty well, but I'll just be a phone call away. Take her to a damned therapist while you're at it." He assured his stepfather.
"Well, I'll see you... When, exactly?" Hirokazu asked.
"I can't remember. I'll let you know." Jimmy replied, grinning sheepishly.
Hirokazu extended one hand for a formal handshake. Jimmy took the firm hand and shook it. His stepfather smiled warmly.
"I'm proud of you, Jim. Remember that." He said, walking out and leaving Jimmy alone.

Jimmy went to his desk to open the mysterious present from Ayuko. He was greeted by a large mass of...stuff. There was no other way to put it. Ayuko had crammed all sorts of crap into the box. It was all disjointed and thrown together in Ayuko's typical and chaotic fashion. Mostly consisting of Jimmy's favourite candy, some of which came from Australia. He was stunned and intrigued as to how she'd gotten all of it. How much had she spent on all this? He saw a poster rolled up amongst the chaotic Pandora's Box of crappy food and nostalgic trinkets that would mean nothing to anyone except for Ayuko and him. As he unpacked the things, he saw the bottom three items. One was a tortured and completely ruined stuffed rabbit. Its fur was in matted clumps, the colors had faded to a strange spectrum of toned down grey and blue, and the material of the outer surface of the toy could be seen through the thinner parts of fur and the parts where it was completely missing. One of the beads that made up one glassy eye was gone completely, leaving a small socket with torn grey stitching protruding a little. One of its ears had lost a considerable chunk from the side. He hadn't seen this thing in a very long time. It had been Ayuko's favorite toy when they first met. Jimmy had tortured the poor thing to get to her. In the end, they began going to town on the poor stuffed rabbit together. That toy rabbit was the foundation of their relationship. Looking at it now, he could almost hear their own gleeful giggles as they ripped at its fur. The last two items were bottles of his favorite alcohols, as he had suspected. He hadn't expected the rest of it, though. She had given him a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bottle of J├Ągermeister. Underneath the bottles was a scrawled note.
"Enjoy. I found the rabbit packed away in a box in the garage while I was looking around. Can't remember his name. Can you? Don't forget about us back home any time soon. - Ayuko" The note read. She had written it in English. The thought she had put into this was staggering. He put the lid on the box and hid it in the bottom of his closet. The poster was resting against a wall, still rolled. The rabbit was sitting on his desk, almost as though it was staring at him with its one eye. He decided to go out for a walk into town. The village was just down the hill. Perhaps he'd meet someone from Yamaku around there. At the very least he'd learn a little bit about the layout of the town. He stood up and grabbed for the trolley with the oxygen tank, wheeling it by his side and left the dorm. He hoped there wasn't anything else he was supposed to be doing.
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Jimmy Cohen

Posts : 228
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Join date : 2014-08-02
Age : 22
Location : Yamaku Academy

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