Chapter 13: Club touring, day one.

Monday hit and classes began in full.

Look, I’m a freshman in high school—a high-level one at that—so you can’t blame me for feeling a bit nervous.
Well, if you spend more than two seconds thinking about it, there’s no way classes would swing in full day one.

Lo and behold, the feared first-day passed by without trouble.
Each teacher gave only introductions of themselves and their respective subjects since, obviously, it was just the start of our school year.

One thing still took me by surprise though; the cafeteria.
There were a lot of people there.
Well, it’s possible all the new students were curious about it and such a situation wouldn’t be permanent.

This kerfuffle of people brought about another issue.
I felt extremely uncomfortable due to being all alone.
Of course, there were other people like me, but the cafeteria was a social place as much as one to eat.
I couldn’t help but feel awkward and alone.

If I went with someone from my class, I could avoid the awkwardness, but despite everything, I still prefer to spend as much time alone as possible outside of class.
I just don’t feel like socializing, and I’m fine with that.
Contradictory, I know.

That’s why, tomorrow on, I’ll grab lunch and eat it somewhere outside.
Unfortunately, though, buying stuff from the store would take quite a bit of time, if what I saw today was anything to go by.
Guess I’ll have to find a nice shop out of school.
I just hope it’s decent.

“Today you’ll have some time to observe the clubs.
I wonder if everyone found one they liked.
Well, have you all brought the booklets I handed out last week as instructed?” The teacher looked around.
“I’ll tell you which are active and where they happen, so you can go wherever you think you should.
Those who have something to do may, of course, go home, and those who already know what they want to do, please ask the club’s advisor for a membership form.
Be sure to fill it out and submit it to me.
That is all for today.”

‘Kay, Literature Club it is! I thought as I hastened my pace out of the classroom.

However, I was so nimble (and eager) I ended up arriving when they weren’t working yet.
Not all their members were there yet, so I had to wait a bit.

“Okay, the freshmen are here as well.
Let me give you guys a tour.
So, what kind of club comes to mind when I say, ‘Literature Club’, you there!”

“One to read books?”

“True, we do read books! But that’s not all: freshmen are required to write a monthly book report and analysis of what they’ve read.
Sophomores have to write a book of their own, which can be either a full-blown novel or a picture book.
Some days we just read, others we exchange opinions, discuss, and make presentations.
Then, each student exhibits and sells their work at the cultural festival.”

Eh, this isn’t what I had in mind.
I mean, there are more people than I thought there would be.
I had the impression this club would be more compact, with fewer seniors.

“Can’t you write a book as a freshman?”

“You can if you want to,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean you’re exempted from the book reports though.
Well, now I’ll show you how we usually operate.
Ah, yes, I know this happens every year, so let me get that out of the way.
‘This is not the club I imagined!’, if you think so, you’re free to leave any time.”

Meh, I’ll have a look anyway.

After a while, his whole explanation and presentation ended.
Let me tell you, it was heated…

A classroom where silence sat with us.
The gentle rustle of a page turning, curtains slowly dancing in the wind.
Sitting on a pipe chair, a braided girl with glasses drowned herself in words.

—That’s how I imagined the literature club.

Reality, though, was a whole 180 degrees in the other direction.
After this whole demonstration was over, that senior was attacked from all sides with questions.
His skin reddened as an apple, and his vessels looked ready to pop any second.

I’m sorry, Literature Club.
Our relationship was sweet for the short time it lasted.

Well, there’s still time today.
I want to see a couple more things while I’m here.
Walking along the corridors, I noticed the classroom fit for the Executive Committee members.
The fact there were only a few people there made me curious.

“Excuse me,” I said.

“Ah, welcome.
I’m a member of the Executive Committee.
Are you interested, perchance?”

“I was just wondering what it’s like.”

In the classroom with us, several freshmen received one-on-one explanations.
I wonder if it’s due to this personal experience that there aren’t as many newcomers as in the Literature Club.

“The committee members are responsible for planning and executing not only the athletic and cultural festivals but also various other events.
Aside from preparing for these, we also command instructions to others in order to get things done right.”

“Is this any different from the student council?”

“Basically, our club does what the council doesn’t.
They don’t dabble with the events here.”

“Were they too busy for it?”

“Right, well, the council did all of this before but they often got too busy with all the work, so it was decided that a club meant for taking care of events should be formed, and here we are,” the member paused.
“There aren’t many events, only one every two months or so.
Oh, and once a year there’s a discretionary event that we submit to the school, and only if it’s approved it takes place.
Honestly, I think this club is very rewarding.”

The word ‘rewarding’ may mean that it’s also challenging, which gives me somewhat of a negative impression.
Hmm, is there an original event or something they prepare as well?

Either way, it is often said that preparing for an event is more fun than the actual event itself, so this may be better than what my first impressions told me.

From there, I was shown the schedule of future events and told about old ones.
I still haven’t made my decision since I want to have a look around, but this is definitely a strong contender.

—Thus, ended the first day of the tour.

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