-Assignments and Side Quests-
"Oi! Watch where you're going!" The teenage boy in front of her yelled to someone else he had bumped into while walking by. Kagome sweat-dropped, and quickly wrote down: and has a temper.
Studying the adolescent boy in front of her in more interest, she noted how determined he looked; carrying various gardening tools around the park, clipping overgrown hedges one minute, and raking up fallen leaves the next. Just watching him intrigued her, and perhaps that was why she had unknowingly chosen this guy as her new writing subject. Sure it was a bit sneaky and inappropriate, but she did have a reason for it.
Kagome was taking a creative writing class in school for her 10th grade year, and the latest assignment had been to pick a person to observe and take notes on, so that when she were to write something in story form, describing the natural movements of her characters would be easier to imagine and describe.
The first stage was taking short notes about the facts of the subject, and then adding any ideas she could build on from those facts once she was finished. Piece of cake, right? No. The key here was not letting her subject know she was watching them.
Just thinking of all the times she had nearly gotten caught today by various people made her want to crawl into a hole for a good year or two. ‘By the end of the day, I'll be on the city's most wanted list' Oh well. At least she found a half way attractive guy to study because of all her other failures at being unnoticeable before this. She smiled stupidly, and continued her "work".
By time late afternoon rolled around, Kagome couldn't be more impressed with her results. Who would have thought she'd end up so inspired with this assignment? Not to mention the guy never caught her studying him at all! Kagome was actually pretty surprised at this, and couldn't help thinking maybe he was just enjoying the attention or something. But then again, he still would have gotten irritated with it at some point right? Yeah, he hadn't noticed her. Looking back at her paper of jumbled words and sentences, Kagome again pulled out a writing utensil and took another sheet of paper from her backpack down on the ground beside her feet, and started putting those notes together, a huge grin on her face the entire time.
He is tall, dressed in a uniform, and young. His hair is an odd shade of silver, and reaches down to his lower back, tied in place by a piece of string it looks like. His eyes are a stunning shade of gold, even amber. Though his shoes are a bit worn looking and dirty, they seem to be pretty durable. He looks like he's in shape, and probably works outside a lot, given his tanned skin.
If he's volunteering at a public park, it's safe to say he's probably doing a certain amount of hours for community service; and if he's got community service, he must have done something to get in trouble with the law, but nothing too major obviously, or he'd be in jail.
His overall attitude is a bit gruff and detached, if not just rude. Whenever he accidentally bumps into someone while raking leaves among other tasks, he either yells at the person or grumbles irritably to himself without saying anything close to an apology. The guy must not have been raised very strictly if his self-control levels are so poor. Maybe he was an only child and got spoiled rotten? Or it's possible there were so many kids in his household, he was left to his own devices without anyone to look after him.
Based on everything, I bet he only has a couple friends. People who can deal with his quirks. He's used a fair amount of curse words over the past few minutes too. He definitely gives off an ‘I don't care what any one thinks' attitude.
Everyone has their issues though, and even given his rude first impression, I still think he'd be an interesting person to get to know. The fact he doesn't care what others think says he really believes in himself, and I'm sure in the end it's carried him through in life, even if it is mostly by himself. Just wish he wasn't so mean to people...
Her right hand now beginning to throb, Kagome decided to call it quits. She had enough info to pass the assignment anyway. Though she did admit there was more she could have said about this mystery guy, a lot of it would have just been overlooked by the teacher anyways, sad as it was.
With an exhausted sigh, Kagome proceeded to pack up her things from the picnic table top and begin stuffing them into her fairly large yellow backpack, her next destination being home. ‘I wonder if I'll ever see that guy again. He left while I was writing the final draft it looks like.' She mused, sparing a wandering glance about the little forest floor around her. She kind of wished she'd seen where he was going. That way she could have guessed whether he was leaving the park altogether, or just relocating to a different spot.
Kagome shook her head. What was she doing obsessing over some guy she didn't even really know? ‘I think I'm taking this assignment a bit too seriously.'
So, dismissing all thoughts of handsome looking volunteer guys from her mind for the time being, the high-school girl zipped up the lip of her open backpack, and slung the thing over her shoulders, a small grunt coming from her throat as muscles slowly adjusted to having such weight against them. With that, she started walking, eventually reaching the parking lot.
Realizing she didn't have a ride home made her cringe. There was no way she was walking all the way there with so many books in her bag. She was too tired, and too brain dead for that. Since her mother was no doubt still at work, (given it was only about 6:30 pm based on where the sun was positioned overhead) and she didn't get home any later then 7. So the only other person she could call for a ride was her friend Sango, who fortunately was a bit older than her, and could drive.
Deciding it was her only hope if she wanted to get home in time for dinner, Kagome fumbled through her pockets for her cell phone, and speed dialed her friend.
Kagome's eyes lit up hopefully, "Hey Sango! Are you doing anything right now?"
There was a short pause on the other line, before she answered "Not really, no. Why? Don't tell me you need a ride again?"
Kagome couldn't stifle a nervous laugh "Maybe?"
She heard a laugh on the other line, one that wasn't Sango's. The school girl instantly blushed, "Am I on speaker phone?!" She demanded.
"Maybe?" Sango imitated humorously.
"Just come pick me up, already." Kagome grumbled, too tired to yell at her baka friend for violating their previous agreement about ‘privacy preservation'.
"Alright, alright. What got you in such a bad mood?"
"A neat little thing called manual labor." She grumbled, shifting her bag on her shoulders. "Now hurry up!"
And with that, Kagome hung up, not wanting to have to counter anymore sassy remarks she knew Sango would come up with if she let her.
Figuring it would take Sango some time to get there, given how far she lived from the park, Kagome walked over to the sidewalk and sat at the edge of it, somewhat pouting at having to wait. She sat there for about 5 minutes before she heard footsteps come from behind her.
"Waitin' for someone?" A young male voice spoke up.
Whirling around in slight surprise at being spoken to, Kagome gaped at who was standing there, looking at her with those familiar amber eyes. ‘It's HIM!' she realized. Yep. It was the guy she had been writing about only an hour before. Talk about luck! ‘Okay, Kagome. Play it cool. Act like you've never seen ham before, and HAVEN'T been staring at him all afternoon.'
"Uh...y-yeah." Real smooth.
The guy didn't say anything for a while, but after looking at her for a bit, (which kinda creeped her out a little) his eyes suddenly lit up with something akin to recognition. "Hey, you're that girl who was sitting at that bench writing all afternoon weren't you?" He asked.
Kagome blinked in surprise and inner panic, "You saw me?" ‘Oh no! What if he knew I was watching him?! Not good, not good!'
"Well yeah. You kept staring right at me and then writing stuff down afterward. I was beginning to wonder if you were with the CIA or something." He joked with a smirk.
She felt all the color from her face drain at his words. Never before had she wanted to die so badly. "I...I didn't mean to bother you or anything...I just had a-"
"Writing assignment?" He cut her off knowingly.
"How did you-"
"You're not the first person to do that to me all freakin day. I'm kind of used to it by now." There was a clear amount of arrogance in his tone, and Kagome swore she saw his ego hovering over his head. Suddenly, her nervousness and slight admiration for this guy vanished, and she found herself folding her arms and frowning. "Well you'll be happy to know I won't be bothering you again then."
The guy's face seemed even more amused at her frustration, but he didn't say anything.
Deciding to take the risk, Kagome broke the silence "I already guessed you'd be a jerk anyway. I'm just surprised you didn't yell at me for sitting on the sidewalk you needed to clean."
His smirk quickly vanished. "Now listen here-"
"Forget it. I don't feel like arguing with some stranger." Kagome cut him off. "I'm tired, and my head hurts, so if you don't mind, I'm just going to go sit somewhere else and mind my own business from now on." And with that, she attempted to hawl her backpack over her shoulder, but was cut short as the zipper slid open and a few of her books fell out.
"Ugh! Stupid piece of junk!" She grumbled out loud, practically throwing her bag to the ground in favor of picking up the books. However, as she stuffed the first one in and was about to reach for the second, it was put in front of her, a hand holding it. HIS hand. Looking up with a mix of annoyance and a tiny bit of gratitude, Kagome snatched the book from him with a barely audible ‘Thanks' and picked up her other book, not bothering to put it in the bag, fuming the whole way to the other side of the parking lot.
"You're welcome!" he called out, though instead of a tone of sarcasm as Kagome had expected in his voice, it sounded more annoyed than anything else.
By the time Sango came and picked her up, the mystery guy had long gone. For that Kagome was grateful. However, somehow, she still found him interesting. Now that she was cooled off, a few more questions came to her mind. Why had he come up and talked to her in the first place? It didn't seem like he had a reason too, and even as full of himself as Kagome knew he was, he had helped her with her books, sorta. Either way, she'd probably see him again at some point in time. After all, she came to this park every afternoon to study. And maybe one of those times, they'd actually have a comfortable conversation.
Kagome shook her head. ‘Ever the optimist.' She told herself.
Yet, she was smiling.
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InuYasha © Rumiko Takahashi.
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