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I suddenly opened my eyes to an annoying beeping sound. I looked around and saw my alarm, then sighed as I hit the snooze button and laid back down. I didn't even remember falling asleep. It must have taken quite some time though, considering how tired I felt. I had been tossing and turning all night because of what had happened yesterday. My alarm started beeping again, screaming at me to get up. I turned it off and slowly got ready for the day. 

At the table was my family as usual, eating together. I ate breakfast quickly then hurried out the door to catch the bus. Luckily, I had made it just in time. The bus ride to school was peaceful, though I couldn't say the same for when I stepped off of it. My usual small group of friends swarmed me and I stared at them in confusion.

"Is it true that Kizumi didn't hit you yesterday!?" One of the guys exclaimed. It was way too early for this, but I didn't want to be rude.

"Oh...Yeah. He didn't hit me." I began to walk towards my locker, and my friends followed.

"That's so weird. He never holds back..." One of them muttered. The others agreed and then continued asking questions.

"What did you do?"

"...I accidentally blurted something kind of rude." I admitted. I was still a little surprised I had said it, though I can't say I regretted it all that much. It was how I felt, after all.

"What was it?" They asked. I gave a small laugh before turning to them.

"It's not that big of a deal, you guys." They all gave me a look of surprise suddenly.

"Of course it is." They said. "Tell us what you said, dude."

"Well...He told me that 'just because he didn't kick my butt that day didn't mean he wouldn't do it', and so I said 'go ahead, that's just like you'." I explained. "I didn't mean to say it though...it just came out. He wouldn't have been so angry if I hadn't said it."

"I don't think it was a particularly bad thing to say." One of the girls argued.

"After all, it's true." Said another.

"Well...maybe..." I muttered as locked my locker now.

"Maybe?" One of the guys said. They gave me a puzzled look and I shook my head.

"Nothing. Never mind." I dismissed it. After that, I followed them to the cafeteria and we talked and such. After the bell rang, I made my way to first period. I wasn't worried for lunch or English because I had expected Kizumi to be expelled. I was even more sure when lunch came around and I hadn't seen him on the campus then or at all that whole day so far. When English came around, I wasn't surprised to find his seat empty either.

I got my things out and placed them on my desk. The teacher came in the room and smiled at us while she waited for the final bell to ring. As usual, she explained our partner project we were assigned for the day and then everyone joined their partners. I began to head back to the group I ended up working with yesterday, but the teacher called my  name.

"Shirou, could you please come here for a moment." I walked over to her desk and she looked up at me.

"I'm sure you know Kizumi has been suspended." She said quietly. I nodded.

"I figured as much." I answered. She nodded and then said,

"Yes. He won't be back until Thursday, so you can continue working with the group you worked with the other day." She said.

"Alright." I replied. I thought that was all she was going to say, but she continued suddenly.

"Actually...you can work with them for the rest of this project. I'll just have Kizumi work by himself...I'm sure you'd both rather do that than-" She didn't get to finish because of my sudden outburst.

"What?" I blurted. "No...I still want to be his partner." A look of shock crossed her face momentarily, then changed into disbelief. 

"Are you sure? Why?" She asked. I stared at her for a moment, still trying to gather my own thoughts. Why in the world did I still want to be his partner? He threatened me then tried to beat me up. Most kids would be terrified to stay his partner. Suddenly I realized what it was that kept me from choosing another partner. It was when Kizumi didn't hit me.

"I don't believe that Kizumi is as terrible a person as other students believe him to be." I stated. "He can't be..." I said the last part more to myself than to the teacher. She stared at me for a moment, then smiled at me.

"I'm glad." She answered. "Thank you for not giving up so easily."

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