Scott Stephens always liked to keep a low profile. Job? Nope. Clubs? Not in any. Girlfriend? You bet not.
Scott merely existed, the exact average of everyone else. He took classes that were neither for exceptionally smart or exceptionally stupid people, and always got a C average. C, of course, being the average.
The one thing he had on other people was that he got to live alone, for the most part. That’s how it goes when your parents got divorced when you were two and you get to stick with the one who’s a brilliant, perpetually at work surgeon.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Scott turned off the alarm clock. 6 am. He changed into his regular attire of a plain black shirt, a black and white running jacket, blue jeans, and Converse sneakers. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he brushed his teeth, rinsed out his mouth, and ran a comb through his red hair.
He headed downstairs. Secretly, he was excited. Last night, he had heard the door open and keys jingling. Mom had come home, for once in her life.
Looking around, he couldn’t find any trace of her. He popped his head in the garage. No cars. She had come and gone.
Sighing, he walked back to the kitchen. He saw something and his eyes lit up! A cake!
He walked up to the decadent pink affair, which was contained within a clear plastic covering. On it was a yellow sticky note.
“Sorry Scott, had to go again. The President of Paraguay has developed cancerous tumors in his intestinal lining and I’m the only one who can save him. Be back in a month! Happy birthday!”
He tossed away the note, severely disappointed. He might not have mom, but at least he had cake. The cake had delicious looking pink frosting on it and was adorned with strawberries and some writing done in cursive red icing.
“Happy Birthday Smith!”
Scott got sick to his stomach. He was allergic to strawberries, and whoever made this cake had gotten his name wrong. The now seventeen year old kid looked at the label. Sure enough, the icing was strawberry as well, and the whole cake had cost six dollars.
As the teen walked out the door, he pitched the cake into the trashcan. It was only a short walk to the bus stop. Standing amongst a crowd of jocks, nerds, and other high school stereotypes, he noticed three kids he hadn’t seen before. Real weirdos, too.
They seemed to be Asian, but had bigger, bulgier eyes than most. The tall guy had green hair and olive skin, and was big and bulky. The girl of the group, was short, kind of cute, and had pink hair held in pigtails that curved in a very unnatural way. The last member of the gang was around Scotty’s height and build, with a spiky head of red hair. Not ginger like Scotty’s, a legit strawberry red haircut that stuck up straight into the air, giving the finger to gravity. They all wore odd clothes, the boys wearing something that resembled a suit and the girl wearing something that kind of looked what Donald Duck wore, only with a skirt and no hat. A sailor suit, was that right?
And people say I’m strange... thought Scott as the bus rolled up. He got on, and the redhead of the gang ended up sitting next to him.
“Hajimemashite! I’m Kouyama Kayato.” He had some sort of weird accent, not Asian as one might expect from his name, but just… every word was overemphasized and overenthusiastic. Guy seemed friendly though.
“Uh… gesundheit?” Scott said, trying to make a joke.
“I’m sorry, is that some kind of American expression?” asked Kouyama. Scott laughed.
“Nope, just me being stupid. Hi, I’m Scott. Scott Stephens.” he extended his arm in a handshake, and Kouyama took it. “I’m guessing you’re not from around here?”
“Nope!” he copied Scott. “I’m an exchange student from Japan.”
“Cool. I’m guessing your buddies are also part of the exchange?” he jerked a thumb back at the boy and girl that had been with him. He nodded. “Well, cool.”
Casually, the exchange student pulled something out of his bag. Scott identified it as one of those spinny things, the ones that you put between your finger and thumb and flick to see it rotate. Scott thought they were kind of stupid and didn’t know why or how they had gotten so popular in the past months. He figured that just like the previous school trends of Pogs, Silly Bandz, and unsolicited blowjobs, it would fade soon.
“So tell me.” Kouyama asked, leaning in. “What do you know… of the Spinmin?”
Scott raised an eyebrow.