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16 Chapter 16 Shoujo Effec

    The first thing Duran did, when he arrived home, was collapse to his bed.

    He had survived a weird and wacky first day of his new school.  On top of that, he found himself locked into a work agreement that saw him working three days a week at Matsu Ramen House. His penance starting the coming Wednesday.

    'What else could go wrong?' He thought wearily.

    His mother flung his bedroom door wide open with a curt wham!  Her green eyes burned fierce with anger and her usually composed face was twisted in an ugly expression.

    'Kita, Duran Akihiko. Tell me you didn't!' Her irate voice pounded against his ears.

    Yep. The ** had hit the fan. The only time she ever called him by his full name was when she was highly pissed off with him.

    He buried his head underneath his pillow hoping she would get the hint and leave him alone. It only made matters worse.

    'Get your head out of that pillow and face me!'

    Duran gulped back his fear and slowly faced his mother's unnerving presence and scowling face staring down on him.

    'I receive a call from a ramen house telling me you'll be working for them for a month. Himeko tells me you're doing it for free because you damaged their shop. Are you that much of a baka?!' She bellowed.

    Duran cringed. He knew it was a terrible idea to Shiro-san his mother's number before he had left the shop. Shiro-san had insisted on informing her as some sort of duty of care. So he hoped they had told her he got a job with them and left it at that.

    Himeko's explanation of his circumstances would have definitely screwed it up for him.

    'What the hell Himeko?!' He cursed in his mind when he saw his sister cowering near his door from the corner of his eye. An apologetic expression was written on her face.

    'Don't you give me that look young man! You're damn lucky they didn't press charges nor made any complaints to the school.' His mother continued to scold him.

    'B-But it was an accident. I was doing errands for my teacher,' Duran explained with a timid voice.

    'Errands? Well. I'll check with the school either way,' she declared, adding her warning for emphasis.

    'Don't do any more stupid things or I'll ground you from hanging out with friends for a month!'

    She stormed out of his room and sight.

    He let out a sigh of relief. His mother was usually an approachable and fair person, but her personality took on a scary change when she was angry. Akin to a Jekyll and Hyde complex.

    'I'm really sorry bro. She cornered me with that scary look on her face.' Himeko apologized as she tip-toed into this room.

    'You're quick to change,' Duran said to change the subject when he noticed his sister in a blue t-shirt and ripped jeans.

    He couldn't be mad at her. It wasn't her fault for his predicament nor did she do anything wrong for telling his mother. His mother would have found out eventually.

    'Always. I get more wear of my uniform if I get out of it straight away,' she said lightly with a big grin.

    He sat up and noticed his room felt cosier. Almost as if the white wallpaper had taken on a soft creamy tone to ease the sterile brown of his flat-pack furniture.  He gestured for his sister to join him for chit-chat.  She plopped herself onto his bed and patted his shoulder.

    'Don't worry D-man. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day.  At least you made friends today,' she consoled him.

    Her eyes landed on the fire-brown burnished guitar propped up on a stand at the foot of his bed next to his keyboard.

    'Hey is that a Loar?'

    'Yeah. Did some part-time work at my music sensei's store for a few months to get that. It's one of their archtop cutaway's,' Duran said smugly. 'Wanna give it a try?'

    Himeko didn't hesitate as she held the guitar's curvaceous frame against her front and started to pick out a tune. Her heart trilled with delight at the vibrant rich timbre the guitar strings allowed her fingers to play.

    'Now this is a guitar!' she said excitedly and kept picking out the tune of a Bleach theme song.

    Duran moved to his customized keyboard next to her and chimed in with her playing. Moments later they were jamming away the entire song in a sweet-melodic unison.

    In his heart, he felt light and at peace. A kind warmth embraced his body and soothed away his troubles for that moment, so his mind was floating in a state of euphoria.

    His mind was so enrapt that he didn't realize Himeko had stopped playing and was staring at him with a wonder-stricken expression on her face.

    'Nii-san!'

    Her voice let out a slight choked up sound that reeled his mind back to his small-sized room.

    'Did you stop playing?'

    'Friggin hell dude! You're like a freak of nature on the keyboards.' She praised him.

    'Really?'

    'Hell yeah! A season prodigy.' She went on.  'We so have to get that club started.'

    Their conversation moved to Duran's suggested plan of attack for getting a club up and running.  They talked and played throughout the nigh. Until their parents interrupted their fun with orders to eat, do their homework and go to bed.

    Duran went to bed that night feeling a mix bag of emotions as he recapped his day. It all led to a conclusion that, despite the weirdness, he kind of had fun.  He was looking forward to waking up to a new day and see what else would come into his life.

    'Maybe the music club will be a good dream come true,' he said to himself before he closed his eyes and succumbed to sleep.
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