“Reina, are you ready?”

“Obviously, she’s not listening.”

I looked at those two guys who kept on pestering me since we were children. Nandito pa rin ako sa classroom kahit na tapos na ang orientation dahil hindi ako makapaniwala sa narinig ko. Did I hear it right? Sir Eiichi really said those things, right?

“Since the four of you already completed your core subjects, you only need to do that thing to graduate. I’m expecting good results from you.”

Three minutes, seven seconds. Iyon na ang oras na lumipas pagkatapos niyang sabihin ‘yon. I couldn’t hide the grin on my face anymore. Finally, we’re going to do that.

“C’mon, Reina,” tawag ni Kana kaya napatingin ako sa kanya. Tumayo naman ako at kumapit ako sa braso niya.

“Kana, tama ang narinig ko, hindi ba?” I asked. “Crap, I’m getting excited.”

“Calm down, J. The meganerds are judging you again,” sabi niya at tinignan ko naman nang masama ang dalawa.

“Stop feeding her lies, Kana,” Hayate retorted, “or she’ll believe in everything you say.”

“Excuse me? I don’t lie.”

“Are you sure?” Hiroshi butted in while adjusting his glasses. “Do you want me to enumerate the lies you have said since you started living here?”

“Stop it, you idiots!” I said while glaring at those two. “Tara na nga, Kana. Sulitin natin ang natitirang time na magkasama tayo,” sabay hatak ko sa kanya palabas ng room.

“Aren’t you romantic?”

“Ako pa. Anyway, we still have 361 days, four hours—”

“Okay, stop that or I’m not going to spend my time with you.”

I pouted at her and after a few seconds, we both laughed at each other. Might as well enjoy this time since she would be leaving us after graduation. After all, she wasn’t supposed to be with us.

“Hey, do you think we can do this? Do you think we can graduate on time?” tanong ko sa kanya habang naglalakad kami pabalik sa dorm.

“Well, if you’re asking me the probability of doing this within the time limit, I think it’s about 67—”

“There you go again with your probability computation,” I complained and she chuckled in return.

Sir Eiichi gathered the graduating class of each family for orientation and discussion of requirements before the start of classes. After that, we headed back to the dorm but we halted in front of Midori building to look at the opening of the main gate.

"Seems like it has started," Kana muttered while staring at the intelligence department staffs at the gate.

Sir Tora was leading the group and I could see the anxiety and awe on the faces of the people waiting in the line, as they scanned the surroundings with their mouths hanging open.

"In 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . ." I murmured.

"Transferees," Sir Tora said, calling their attention. "Welcome to Tantei High."

Pagkasabi niya no'n ay nagpatuloy na kami sa paglalakad. Nang nasa tapat na kami ng dorm ay agad naman akong napangiti dahil sa wakas ay makakaalis na kami sa lugar na 'to.

School has always been a monotonous process to me. I did well but it wasn’t fun. Hindi naman ako tulad nina Hayate at Hiroshi na mahal talaga ang pag-aaral. I was just going with the flow because we needed it. I thought my teenage life would end up as a lackluster phase until Sir Eiichi announced the final requirement.

“The final requirement for anyone in the Atama family is to catch a class S criminal—whether they are a humdrum or an Erityian. One year. That’s the limit. Now prepare yourselves because for a year, you’re going to live in the humdrum world.”

My life has always been at standstill . . . until now. Tick tock. Tick tock. I think the clock is finally moving.