Story: Next Day

This is the second of the five main stories I made in high school.

Sousuke didn’t enjoy middle school, so he wanted a new start in high school. The high school he went to barely has anyone from middle school, except for Chiyo who he enjoys being around.

On the first day of school, his classmates wanted to get together to know everyone better, so they went to the karaoke where they traded cell phone numbers. Some time after that, Sousuke gets a threatening text that tells him to follow the demands or else someone he knows will get hurt. Sousuke ignores it, but when he hangs out with his childhood friend, his friend gets hurt.

On his way home from the hospital, Sousuke stops by a bakery he used to frequent to. He meets his classmate, Yasuo, working at the register; apparently, Yasuo’s family owns the bakery, and Yasuo recently began working there. After teasing Sousuke about liking sweets, Yasuo informs Sousuke that Chiyo said she’ll stop by Sousuke’s house.

Chiyo bought a cake for Sousuke and his younger sister, Hanako. Chiyo asked Sousuke what happened, and Sousuke tells her about his friend but not the texts; it’s not that he doesn’t trust her, but he doesn’t want to bother her. Once Chiyo leaves, Sousuke texts back that he will agree to the demands. However, he is determined to figure out who among his classmates is the one threatening him since the only ones who has his number are his family, his injured friend, and his classmates.

The next day, Ryota asks to speak to Sousuke and Shima after school. After school, Ryota warns them about Yasuo; Yasuo was a delinquent in middle school and caused many fights. For a moment, Sousuke wonders if Yasuo might be threatening him since it was a group of thugs who beat his friend.

On his way home, Sousuke receives a text that tells him to leave 5000 yen on the bench in the park of Sousuke’s town. Sousuke takes the train and meets Chiyo and Akari. All three of them get off the train and pass by the park where they see an injured Hanako and a crying Jirou. Hanako said that there were people bothering Jirou so she beat them. Jirou was crying because Hanako got hurt for him. Sousuke tries to clean the bruises and tells Hanako to be careful, but Hanako replies snarkily. There is tension between them.

In middle school, Sousuke was bullied and didn’t do anything. Hanako is angry at Sousuke for not stepping up for himself. She believes that it is better to get hurt stepping up to someone than to do nothing at all.

Jirou’s house was nearby so they went to treat Hanako’s injuries. Apparently, Jirou is the younger brother to Yasuo. They treat Hanako’s injuries, and Yasuo is thankful for protecting Jirou. The next day, Yasuo wanted to repay them for helping Jirou, so he brings them to a sweet shop. Sousuke receives another text reminding Sousuke that he didn’t finish his task. After leaving the shop, a group attacks them saying they wanted to get revenge on Yasuo. Yasuo and Chiyo are the only ones who know how to fight while Sousuke and Akari protect the leftover sweets. Afterwards, Yasuo apologizes for involving them. However, Sousuke admits that it’s his fault.

Sousuke explains about the texts and everything that happened. They agree to help Sousuke figure out who is threatening him. There are only ten people in the class, so there are only six others to figure out from.

The story is about how Sousuke tries to figure out who among his classmates is the one threatening him, which means trying to get to know them better. He steadily gets comfortable with who he is and becomes more confident; eventually, he stands his ground against the bullies from middle school and starts to pursue acting again. The story starts the theme of moving on that many of my stories have. Sousuke and his classmates tries to move on from the pressure and reputations they had in middle school.

Next Day is where I started writing a short biography for each main character; I wrote their birthday, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and short personality description. I also planned to write a backstory for each character. I learned more about the characters and because of that, I struggled to figure out parts of the plot. For example, Sousuke wouldn’t have done anything for the story to start if not for something forcing him. In this case, he was threatened. In the beginning, Sousuke wouldn’t be the type to ask for help him even though I intended for him to have help finding who threatened him. In this case, he only asked for help when he felt that he was responsible for bringing someone else harm.

Originally, the story involved virtual reality and amnesia. Over the summer, they participated in a virtual reality tournament where the last person standing wins. They could change their appearance and had a fake name. After the tournament, they had amnesia to forget what happened. On the first day of school, they received a message telling them about the virtual reality tournament and to figure out who the “traitors” are. I thought the idea was unnecessary, so I cut it out. It didn’t really change the backstories of the characters, but I still tried to keep a mystery element.

Sousuke Miyagi
Protagonist of the story. He is blunt, serious, and sarcastic. When he was in elementary school, he started to learn acting. In middle school, he was being bullied, and when they learned that Sousuke was learning acting, they teased him about it. Then Sousuke quit acting. After Chiyo moved to his school, he became friends with her although they didn’t hang out as much as they’d liked. Sousuke became tired of his situation and asked Chiyo to tutor him, so he could apply to a high school that not many from his middle school were going to. Chiyo recommended a school she was applying to, and they were both accepted. Sousuke decided to start anew and symbolically did so by getting a haircut.

Chiyo Hirano
Friend of Sousuke. She is hardworking, respectful, and serious. She often looked up to her older brother, Kazuo. He is the one who influenced her to join the soccer club, and after he left for university, Chiyo started to focus on her studies. She didn’t enjoy being idealized by others and often had to suspect people of ulterior motives. She enjoys Sousuke’s presence because he’s honest, and despite being good at acting, he’s a terrible liar.

Yasuo Izumi
Friend of Sousuke. He is mischievous, clever, and arrogant. When Yasuo was young, his parents took him to a martial arts class because he was an active child. Yasuo was really close to Jirou and often played and took care of him. Jirou commented that Yasuo looked like a hero, and Yasuo promised that he would protect Jirou. When Yasuo found out that Jirou was being bullied, Yasuo went to scare Jirou’s bullies. Then their older siblings went to find Yasuo, and they fought. He was suspended from school, and his father made him quit martial arts class. For the rest of middle school, Yasuo was labeled a delinquent as he got into more fights. He had increasing tensions with his family but still cared for his younger brother. When he got into a really bad fight in his last year of middle school, he decided that he should try to change his situation. He decided to turn over a new leaf and asked to work at his family’s bakery. However, he misses the thrill that fighting brought.

Akari Fukuda
Friend of Sousuke. She is childish, absent-minded, and accepting. When Akari was in elementary school, people thought of her as funny. When she was in middle school, people thought of her as weird. She took to making original films by the prompting of her oldest sister.

Reiko Sasaki
Classmate of Sousuke. She is prideful, confident, and cautious. She tends to be initially suspicious of people, especially men. She enjoys playing video games and watching horror movies.

Kiichiro Shima
Classmate of Sousuke. He tends to worry and has low self-confidence. He enjoys going camping and fishing with his grandfather.

Keiichi Yoshida
Classmate of Sousuke. He is likeable, polite, and caring; he becomes extremely energetic when he talks about his passion for cooking. Similar to Chiyo, he had to become suspicious of people’s ulterior motives.

Emi Nakagawa
Classmate of Sousuke. She is kind, passionate, and goal-driven. She was inspired to learn how to play the guitar after watching a small, relatively unknown band play. When she was in middle school, her teachers and parents hinted that Emi should focus on her studies and that her future as a musician was futile. Emi disregarded what they said and put her hopes in a future as a musician. She applied to a band that was advertised by her upperclassmen and was accepted.

Ryota Asahara
Classmate of Sousuke. He is laid-back, enthusiastic, and a little mischievous. He doesn’t know what sort of career he wants. He just wants to hang out with his friends.

Takeo Genji
Classmate of Sousuke. He is straightforward and pessimistic. He is clear on what he likes and dislikes. He enjoys sleeping and making videogames.

Classmate Dynamics:
Within the class, Sousuke tends to hang out with Chiyo, Yasuo, Akari and occasionally Reiko. Reiko is close friends with Chiyo. Emi and Keiichi tend to hang out. Emi also tends to talk to Ryota. Shima, Ryota, and Takeo tend to hang out together.