Ken had been teaching for four years now. He had two high school student lovers undetected. His record as an educator was excellent, senior management liked him, and he was popular with his students. Perhaps it was overconfidence that made him clumsy.

Her name was Ruka. She transferred into his class halfway through the school year and just looking at her made him hard. With a heart-shaped face, round, double-lidded brown eyes and wavy, light-coloured hair, the girl was physically perfect. She had a soft way of speaking: her voice was incredibly quiet, but her tone was focused and intelligent.

Though popular with the boys, her looks made Ruka the natural enemy of the girls in her class. The bullying wasn’t particularly intense, but it was enough to allow him to intervene. During the break, Ruka was leaning over her desk, attempting to scrub off the insulting messages that had been lovingly scrawled onto the wood by her classmates.

“Tanaka.” He called her by her surname back then. “Do you know who did this?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you sure? As a teacher, I can intervene on your behalf. I don’t want this kind of thing happening in my classroom.” He picked up a cloth and started to scrub at the top corner of the desk.

“Some girls did it. I don’t really know why. I don’t know them.”

He made sure she was looking before he offered her his most charming, sympathetic smile.

“It can be tough being the new girl in school,” he said. “The other girls can be petty and jealous. If this kind of thing carries on, please promise you will come and talk to me.”

She shook her head firmly.

“No, sir. Thank you, but I want to make friends here. I don’t want to go running to a teacher when things get a little tough.”

As much as Ken had been anticipating this would bring them closer, maybe begin a regular lunch date, he couldn’t help but admire her strength of character. Ruka was a real lady. But, alas, for her to be his, the bullying needed to continue, just to make her see sense.

Ken would subtly tut and roll his eyes if he spotted Ruka talking to a boy. The other girls would see and make loud, brash comments about Tanaka ensnaring another one. He avoided the classroom when he knew Tsukiyama and Kamijo were defacing Ruka’s desk. Ruka was not perturbed. She would return to her desk, now dotted with fresh insults or crude drawings of male genitals. She would get on with her work, completely unrattled.

On Valentine’s Day, he had to publically intervene. The school had this childish policy of each student keeping a basket on their desk for love letters and chocolates. February 14th began with Hazuki opening her basket to discover that Onogawa from the rugby team had not given her the gift she expected. First to arrive to the classroom that day, Hazuki went through the Valentine’s baskets of every other girl in class, searching for something adorned with Onogawa’s handwriting that she had come to know so well. Silence was acceptable; they weren’t even properly dating. Maybe it was too soon?

And then she found a box of expensive truffles in the (frankly overladen) basket of Ruka Tanaka.

Ken arrived in his classroom to find the students in uproar. All up from their desks, laughing and shouting at a person backed up against his desk. Struggling through the crowd, he found Ruka cowering, her hands over her head, her uniformed smeared with the contents of her Valentine’s basket. Hazuki had thrown all of it at her, her eye red and sore from a particularly nasty shot to the face with a gobstopper.

After (and with great difficulty) resolving the situation, Ken managed to persuade a now very tearful Hazuki to apologize very half-heartedly to Ruka, who accepted it so easily that Ken feared Hazuki would lose her temper again.

Ken thought that his personal Valentine’s treat would be the sight of Ruka all damp and dewy-eyed after going to clean up the chocolate from her face, and it was a delight. Though strangely enough, he found in his desk a valentine of his own.

“Thank you for always being there for me.”

Was he foolish to hope that shy, solemn Ruka, who refused his help over and over, had a crush on him?

If she did, then she hid it wonderfully.


“It has to be so hard for you, Ruka,” he said one day she finished up classroom duty. “It’s nearly the end of the school year and you haven’t made a single friend.”

If she was uncomfortable with him switching to her first name, she didn’t show it.

“It can take people time to adjust,” she said, shrugging. “And besides, I do have a friend. Kamishiro in Class A.”

Kamishiro: that unfortunate creature was in his maths class. Initially, he felt sorry for her, a teenage girl who would never blossom into something beautiful. More revolting to him than the loud brash girls, Rin Kamishiro was skinny and riddled with acne; her arms were too long for her short frame. Her hair hung down to her waist; it was tangled and cut jaggedly around her face. Her eyes bulged like those of an insect. She had large, bulbous ears. In fact, it had been her ears he noticed first, been initially repulsed by. His father had ears like that.

What horrified Kamishiro’s peers the most, however, was her smell. Her breath was constantly like that of someone sickly with the flu. Her body smelled unwashed. Whoever sat beside her in class would always come to him and complain, begging to switch seats.

Ken himself could only stand being in close proximity to Kamishiro for a few minutes.

The thought of Ruka tagging along with Kamishiro of all people made him smirk. To his horror, Ruka noticed this, as she frowned at him and said, “Kamishiro is a very kind person. I am lucky to have her as my friend.”

She had such a gentle heart. He could have kissed her for being so kind.

“No, no, you misunderstand. Kamishiro is a rather unusual girl, quirky. I am glad the two of you are getting along. I don’t believe I have ever seen her with a friend.”

Ruka’s frown dissolved and she nodded, her expression serious. “People judge her, they’re mean to her and they don’t even know her. And her teacher, Aoba-sensei, he doesn’t even care. She told me people have picked on her since grade school because she doesn’t have a father. Her mother had her as a teenager and people look down on their family. People can be so cruel!”

Ken doubted any of that was true. There were a million other reasons to take a disliking to that strange girl.

The bullying angle seemed a slow-burner, so Ken began the awkward process of having Kamishiro transferred into Class D for the next academic year. Mairui in the administrative team had always been sweet on him. A sympathetic conversation had her swooning and Ruka and Kamishiro together after summer.

Of course it was at the beginning of the new year that the next love letter came. It was typed up once again, so he couldn’t compare it with any handwriting samples from his students. This one read, “Thank you for being my knight in shining armour.”

It honestly made him blush. It was a little hard to think of Ruka using this kind of childish language. But he couldn’t think of anyone else he had gone out of his way to assist. He nearly approached her about it—nearly. But it would be too embarrassing if it wasn’t her.


The wait for sex was driving him crazy. He had never been this fixated on one girl in such a long, long time. Ken would frantically touch himself, thinking only of her. How good it would feel to touch her, leave bruises on those elegant wrists, bite her pretty white neck, watch those eyes get big and scared when he pushed himself inside her for the first time. He’d get flustered in class when she gave an answer; he would find himself envisioning those lips around his cock. Imagine making her gag on it when she answered her name for home-call.

Ruka wasn’t that kind of girl, sure, but he was certain he could teach her how to be for him.

Kamishiro, on the other hand, very quickly became his least favourite pupil. Along with her poor hygiene, she was so loud it was as if she didn’t realise that she was in public. She had no conception of how strange she was. She would interrupt the lesson by blurting out something needlessly obscure. Worst of all, she was always trying to help out around the classroom, staying late, coming to homework club, asking him to help her with her maths problems.

It was to his credit as an educator that he stayed still and unflinching when she pulled her chair closer. Breath like the flu, always itching and scratching at her eczema ridden hands.

What irritated the whole class was her constant spiel of lies. Ken would notice her playing with handheld video games in class; upon calling her out, she would brazenly lie to his face. She would turn up late every day with some kind of ridiculous excuse.

One day, she was twenty minutes late and claimed to have met a movie star on her short walk to the underground station near her house. She spent a further ten minutes explaining how she had to run home to get her camera and a selfie stick. The class would scowl at her in disgust. It seemed too overtly childish to lie at her age.

Particularly irritated as Ruka was absent that day, Ken snapped at her in front of the class, “Kamishiro, is that even true?”

To which she smiled at him wryly and said, “Maybe.”


“You can call me Rin,” she told him one afternoon in front of the whole class. She had interrupted a rare moment with Ruka, who never usually asked for his help; such a bright girl. He had his hand on her slim, warm shoulder, explaining how the equation could be calculated in a different way, when that irritating girl butted in.

One of the other girls began to laugh.

“Kamishiro, why’d you want Sensei to call you by your first name?”

The low chuckling broke down when Kamishiro said, “He calls Ruka-chan by her first name.”

Tsukiyama and the other girls instantly started catcalling and mocking. Fortunately, they were aiming it at Ruka.

“Tanaka has her eyes on Sensei now.”

“Just like our class man-eater, eh, Tanaka?”

“All the boys in school aren’t enough for you, eh?”

Getting control over the class was difficult after that; too aggressive and it would be obvious that the intimacy came from him. His Ruka sat there, scarlet-faced and upset. He tried to laugh it off with the others as a joke, asking Hazuki if she would like him to call her “Kotoro-chan,” knowing she was teased her for masculine sounding first name.

He felt lucky, relieved in fact, that no rumours started. They only said that Ruka had started cosying up with Yasuhisa-sensei.

If anything, it distanced her even further from the others. At lunch breaks, he would spot Ruka and Kamishiro together, huddled up in some dark corner. Kamishiro would have some handheld gaming console or a figurine from some anime. Ruka would sit beside her, docile and smiling, as if she truly enjoyed Kamishiro’s brand of crazy companionship.

Ken had a few more love letters. She seemed to be getting confident. Silly, sweet things, like “I want to kiss you in your office,” “I wish you’d hold me in your arms,” then suddenly and shockingly, “Sometimes I put my fingers inside myself and pretend it’s you touching me.”

He found himself unable to keep from imagining Ruka typing these up, touching herself so timidly and nervously in her little single bed at night. He wanted to watch her; he wanted to see the pleasure on her face. But at school, she never even met his eyes. Her nose would wrinkle when he called her “Ruka-chan.” She’d shift uncomfortably at his touch. It didn’t make sense how she would be so willing in her letters and such a cold fish in real life.


One summer evening, Ken had been pressured off on a date with the daughter of Nora’s friend. The woman was 23 (the age Lisa would have been now), with curly hair that she had dyed honey-blonde like a Westerner. She was pretty but vapid, the leader of an advertising team within a cosmetics company. She talked about her ex-boyfriend and the wine which she had drank too fast stained her teeth. He pitied her. This woman held herself with half the confidence of his 16-year-old pupils. Embarrassingly, this woman, Kiyomi, invited him back to her apartment after an uncomfortable dinner.

Even the way she said it was done so with such self-loathing, such timidity, that he found himself saying yes out of pity.

It was a clumsy encounter on her sofa, both of them partially dressed. Her pussy was dry and he never managed to get beyond half-hard. She asked him to leave as they fixed up their clothes, unsatisfied and lonelier than before.

Frustrated and confused, Ken walked back to his apartment. This evening had made him certain, beyond all reason, that no one would do until he fucked Ruka. Even if it was just the once. He just needed to get her alone. It had worked so many times before, on Lisa and Yuri and Cana.

It had to work now.

It was the week that Kamishiro was off sick. Ruka was alone and the other girls in class were particularly nasty. On the way to school on Monday morning, the recently single Yuki Tomatsu, ex-boyfriend of Chiyo Tsukiyama, asked Ruka out on a date. Of course she said no, but the encounter was witnessed by several girls from Class D.

When Ken got to work that morning, he spotted Ruka’s bag on her desk, but not Ruka herself. The bags of Tsukiyama, Hazuki, and Yamamoto were also present, but without their owners. After finishing the register and setting the class up with some mundane revision, Ken sat down in Yamamoto’s empty desk and rounded on Kuraroji, the fourth and heavily-tanned member of Tsukiyama’s little outfit.

“Would you happen to know where your friends are this morning?” he asked pleasantly.

She looked incredibly anxious and mumbled something about Tsukiyama heading to the girls’ toilets.

Ken left the class rep, Nagachika, in charge before heading straight to the girls’ bathroom. A year before, he had fooled around with Cana in here. Forced her up against the wall of one of the cubicles and made her bite her lip bloody. That was when she said that she didn’t want to do this sort of thing in school.

Respectfully, he knocked on the grimy plastic door.

“Tsukiyama, Hazuki, and Yamamoto, if you’re in there, come out right now.”


He opened the door to reveal the three girls awkwardly scurrying to their feet. On the ground between them was Ruka. She raised her head, revealing big brown eyes, Ken noticed that her shoulders and skirt was scattered with clumps of hair. The flash of scissors behind Tsukiyama’s back revealed exactly what they had been doing in here.

“It’s ok, Tanaka.” He had switched back to Tanaka after that stupidity with Kamishiro. Ken bent down and gently helped her to her feet. Her hand was so small and as soft as he imagined it would be. The hair fell from her shoulders as she stood. Tears brimmed in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. They had cut her long, beautiful hair jagged and uneven. Some locks trailed down to her waist, others at her chin; one painful patch was bloody against her left ear.

“She’s a slut, sir, she stole my boyfriend,” Tsukiyama protested, a hand over her trembling chest.

“This is totally unacceptable; your behaviour is disgusting,” Ken snapped at her. “Tsukiyama, if this is how you conduct yourself, you can expect to be alone for most of your adult years.”

“But, sir—!”

“All three of you, to the principal right now! Right now!” he snarled. “And I would get very concerned, if I were you, about assault charges. Get out of my sight!”

Even the tough talking Hazuki was silent and pale as she followed her friends out.

Ruka’s expression crumpled and she sobbed into his chest. Butterflies blossomed in his stomach as he stroked her soft but now horribly uneven hair. She pulled away when he tightened his hold, pushing his chest gently to free herself from his embrace.

“You had best go and see the nurse,” Ken said gently. He took her chin in one hand and used his other to wipe away her tears. Her eyes became very clear then and she brushed the hand away.

“Yes, sir, I—I’ll be on my way.”

“I’ll come and check on you,” he called after her, but she didn’t look back.

The class was caught up in the scandal for the rest of the day, making them totally useless, academically speaking. However, he had come across favourably. Souta, the class clown, said that Ken had been a hero. Tsukiyama, Hazuki, and Yamamoto were all collected by their parents; the principal had mentioned suspension. Ruka did not return to class; one of the other faculty members said that she had been sent home. A pity: Ken figured that she probably didn’t want to come back to class with her hair like that.

She would come back looking different, she wouldn’t be the Ruka he fell for, but she would be just as lovely regardless. And surely she would want to give her hero a proper thank you, wouldn’t she?

But then, no letters came. Ruka wasn’t in school. His heroics had faded without any gratitude. Tsukiyama, Hazuki, and Yamamoto returned from suspension, quiet and unable to look at each other or at the empty desk where Ruka had been sitting.

Kamishiro returned, now always alone, zoned out in whatever plain of existence she floated around in. He resented that the most: Ruka had considered her a friend, she wasted so much of her precious time on her, and Kamishiro seemed just as able to go on without her as she had when Ruka was there.

He would find himself struggling not to sneer at her when she asked him one of her ridiculous questions.

The principal called him into his office a week after the attack. This had never happened before; Ken’s interactions with his employer had been on a strictly polite, passing basis. On this occasion, he was sat down and asked, rather strictly, about the situation with Ruka Tanaka. As her teacher, had he noticed the issue with the other girls, had she come to him for advice, what action had he taken?

After being careful to explain himself professionally, the principal informed him that the Tanaka family had removed Ruka from the school. She would be attending a private girls’ school in Shinjuku. She would not be returning to collect her things; therefore, would Ken be so kind as to clear out her locker and take them to her.

The news was upsetting. He desperately wanted to see her, to get her to change her mind. But by gathering her things, he would have the opportunity to see her, to talk to her, to maybe persuade her to see him again and again.

There was hope.

A date was set: Ken had called Mr. Tanaka and agreed to meet Ruka from her new school on the following Thursday. The class had prepared a card for her to say goodbye. Tsukiyama approached him after class to ask him to tell Ruka how sorry she was. She had recently cut her own long magenta hair into a short pixie cut. Her eyes were filled with tears as she provided possibly the most sincere apology he had ever heard from someone her age.

He said that he would pass on the message, but knew that he wouldn’t.

Kamishiro seemed particularly uninterested in the proceedings. He recognized her untidy scrawl on the class card. “Hope your new school is better than this shithole. Later. From Kamishiro Rin.” Ridiculous girl.

Ken drove out to the school on the outskirts of Shinjuku. It was a nice, traditional-looking building. They had a formidable reputation in terms of university placements following graduation and only hired female staff: there’s equality for you. Ken had looked into a position there before.

Ten minutes after the final bell, Ruka walked out the school gates with a group of girls. She did look different; her hair was very short, coming down to her chin, but it bounced and curled as she walked. She seemed happier, more confident. She was cuter than ever.

He raised a hand to wave, which she did not return. In fact, her bright smiling eyes narrowed just a fraction.

“You look well, Ruka-chan,” Ken said as she drew in front of him. “The class asked me to give you this.” He handed her the card and a plastic bag of belongings.

“Thank you for your trouble,” she said with a frozen politeness.

“Everyone was very sad to see you go. I know I will miss seeing you in class. But this school seems a good fit for you.”

She nodded, glancing carefully behind her at the four girls waiting for her at the school gate.

“And hey,” Ken said, touching her shoulder to regain her attention. “I was thinking that since you aren’t my student anymore, I could treat you to a coffee? I know a couple of good places around here.”

Instantly she took a step backwards, arms pulled to her chest.

“Erm, I don’t think so.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“It’s not really appropriate, is it?”

“I just said I’m not your teacher anymore.”

“I don’t really…I have plans with my friends,” she said in in low voice.

Trying to hide a scowl, Ken said, “You see your friends every day; who knows when you and I will get together again? Join me for one drink. Please?”

“Mr Yasuhisa, I don’t think—”

“I saved you from those girls,” he snapped at her. “Have you forgotten about that? Are you so ungrateful that—”

“I am NOT going anywhere with you!” Ruka interrupted, anger in her voice, her face blotchy and red. “I don’t want to be alone with you, ever. It’s so creepy how you act! I—I’m grateful for your help, but I don’t have to go anywhere that I don’t want to go!”

She brushed past him, red-faced as she ran off to join the waiting four girls, who quickly closed ranks around her.

Ken was frozen on the spot, humiliated and confused. He stepped out into the road, narrowly missing a bike, and staggering off into the street.

That little bitch had led him on. Writing him those idiotic letters, seducing him, just to turn her nose up at him in public!

He should have let Tsukiyama and the others shave her head bloody and film it!

Right now, he wanted to kill her. If she had crossed his path, he would have throttled that dirty little whore.

Ken got drunk in a bar somewhere, tried to think of ways he could get revenge on her. He could send those letters she wrote to her parents so they could see what a deviant they had raised. That would teach her to play with a man’s feelings.

Only when he got home from the bar, there was a letter waiting for him.

“I’m sorry for how I behaved. I can be so shy, I don’t know what I’d do if I was alone with you.”

Little fucking tease.

He figured if she was hand delivering these things, he could confront her. She thought it was funny to play games? He’d teach her a lesson.

So Ken called in sick. He called in sick for a week, made some excuse. That dowdy woman from the admin team came by with a card. This Ken found a bit dramatic. It was just a week off. Still, a week passed and there was no new letter, no sign of Ruka. Sure, he fantasised about her a lot, but none of the real deal.

Then one night after eight, Ken heard scuffling by the letterbox. Creeping forwards, he switched on the security camera by the telephone. The person stood in the dark pushing letters through his door was not Ruka at all. Clad all in black and wearing some kind of childish goblin mask over their face, this small, slender figure stood, staring at his door.

On Ken’s side, a pale pink envelope fell to the floor.

Something else rolled out onto the floor. Crouching on his hands and knees, Ken reached over and picked it up. The item the goblin had pushed inside was a rolled-up pair of women’s underwear. From this distance, he could smell the odour from them.

Ken wrinkled his nose in disgust. He didn’t want it to be like this. There was nothing romantic about soiled undergarments.

Picking up the security camera, Ken could see the goblin outside, just waiting, watching through that creepy, smiling mask.

Could she…?

A hand reached up and gently tapped the lens of the camera. She bought a finger to the lips of the mask.

Ken got up and rushed at the door, unlatching it and lunging out. That little bitch couldn’t pull something like this. He was not a man to be humiliated.

The door opened and the hallway was empty. Frowning, he stepped out into the corridor. He could see the elevator in the distance, stationary on the floor above.

She had to be here still. Ken walked towards the stairs, keeping his guard up. As he reached the door to the stairwell, he spotted her through the glass.

“Hey! Get back here—!” he called, swinging open the door and stepping out. The stairs soared up above him as he tripped on a piece of rope and smashed into the floor with a thud.

The goblin stepped towards him, a low and familiar chuckle echoing from the mask.


For all installments from True Love, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Part 1