Prologue

My second school year was nearing its end.
It had been really great: for the first time in college, I had a girlfriend.
We’d met in the start of the Winter term; we really seemed to hit it off.
She was amazing at everything she did… except trying to tutor me to keep up in biology.
I found out from a friend of mine that she was already working with some grad students on a project; something to do with nanotech and cancer.
Me? I was more in the “general business, general studies, generally nothing” major.
I think it was she that made me aware how pathetic I was. I kinda started to resent her for that.

Then, a month before the term’s end, she got a call from Tokyo U… they wanted her, and would give her a free ride.
I knew she’d decide to go. She’d have been crazy not to.
But when she told me about it, she paused, stuttered, nervously looked away. No eye contact, fumbling hands, shallow and ragged breaths.
I stood there, mute, letting her go on. Doing nothing.
After that conversation, I wandered the college. My feet just kept moving around school grounds ever so slowly. Then the clock tower chimed. My instincts immediately told me to go to where we had always met. Had.
Surprisingly, there she was.

Girl: “I know you can’t attend, too, but there’s plenty of other colleges in that area….”
Shirou: “Sure. There’s bound to be an Underachiever’s U.”
Girl: “Damn it, Shirou! I’m trying to help you! I thought we had something here….”
Shirou: “’Thought we had?’ I guess it’s all past tense now, huh?”
Girl: “No! I’m sorry, that was stupid of me. Look, I’m trying here, won’t you?”
Girl: “What about you? What the hell about you, Shirou?!?”
Shirou: She’s starting to cry, and I stand there.
Girl: “When are you ever going to make a DECISION?!?”
Shirou: Crying, she turns and runs. What should I do? What?
Shirou: “I... I...”

And now, I’m here. 

Our college has a small teaching hospital attached to it. Lots of student work there, defraying the cost of their education. Another of my problems. When I told a counselor I needed an income and he mentioned the hospital, for once I jumped at the chance.

Was it because of her? In the medical field?
Did I think I could get someone like that… back?
I don’t know what I thought, but now, I’m here: the Purchasing Area of the Pharmacy Department.
Most of the other technicians need some kind of certification, but since this was, I was told, basically just a delivery job, I didn’t.
So, after an interview with HR, then with my prospective boss, a week later…