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For a little while, I was an exchange student at an undisclosed high school in some part of Japan. On my first day, I was told by the matron of my dormitory that I would be acquainted with a bunch of interesting characters in the class which I had been assigned to. However, she didn't proceed to elaborate in her eerily fluent English which was only apparent when narrating horror stories and speaking of her past lovers in a drunken state. Before I could probe a little further, the matron sent me off with my bento. Well, I should be able to handle even the most eccentric person around! The brimming self-confidence kicked off my first day of school. At least, that was what I had thought before homeroom started. The teacher beckoned my entrance, and was about to write my name on the chalkboard when a piercing scream nearly disjointed his finger. Naturally, the rest of the class wondered what that commotion was about. My own curiosity landed on its trigger; a mysterious girl who had been talking down to the floor. Another girl just behind her was on the verge of bawling. They were Amami Hibiki and Inoue Narumi respectively.

During lunch break, I was invited to join some classmates at their desks. Besides Hibiki and Narumi, there were Uehara Kana and Esumi Kyouko; Ogawa Makoto and Yamada Kenta. Kenta was the only other boy in this happy little group. My gaze encircled the group eagerly as I properly re-introduced myself. I noticed that Narumi was still somewhat shaken from the morning's incident. Hibiki had a perpetually apologetic expression on her face. A grinning Kana offered me her cellphone; the wallpaper was a snapshot of Hibiki and...ghosts. Narumi simply refused to have anything to do with the supernatural. Nonetheless, another picture revealed a benevolent spirit hovering above Narumi. Apparently, her late grandmother had been watching over her day and night. Hibiki sheepishly explained her ability to see and converse with the dead. Although it hadn't been anything life-threatening (in fact Hibiki was unbelievably composed under the most prickly circumstances), over time she became increasingly aware that her gifts might greatly inconvenience those around her. Especially Narumi, whose guts couldn't withstand the slightest aggravation. Interestingly, her other friends were cool and pretty receptive to the refreshing addition of sorts.

Ignoring Narumi and her verge of breaking down, Kana told the story of a ghost samurai that swore protection of Hibiki after the latter had cleaned up his grave and cooked him a warm meal. Apparently, the samurai had succumbed to hunger in the brutal cold. Kind-hearted Hibiki even knitted a thick scarf and wrapped it around his tombstone. Since then, the samurai would faithfully watch over her. While he didn't have a name, Kana and the rest had nicknamed him Daihenzamurai. Daihenzamurai would occasionally help respond to roll call when Hibiki couldn't keep her eyes open. The responses were largely hilarious though. A shivering Narumi recollected an incident where Daihenzamurai conveniently crawled out of an old well and eventually her television one night; he had been spewing out some angry remarks about insulting Hibiki's cooking. Hibiki smiled sheepishly upon hearing that fateful episode.

Wasn't there a movie scene similar to that, I wondered. At that instance, I felt that the air around me had turned cold. Had Daihenzamurai been reading my thoughts? I didn't dare to question, but surprisingly there wasn't any resentment. I simply thought of Daihenzamurai as a divine presence. It seemed like the rest had figured that out of me as well, from the meaningful smiles on their faces. More importantly though, Hibiki had found a place where she truly belonged. Ghosts aside, the daily life of a normal high school student still prevailed. I had the best times of my life with them.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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