Here is Chapter 9 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy meets Hal Tanaka, the Japanese exchange student.
Nancy left the lounge and went to the study hall, which was very close by. The only person in the room was an Asian boy, who looked like he was wearing a shirt that was too big for him.
"Hey there," Nancy said. "What's your name?"
"I'm Hal Tanaka," the student said. "Actually, my real first name is Halloween, but Hal is my nickname. I shortened it when I moved here from Japan."
"Why do you think it's easier to have an American name?" Nancy asked.
"I want to fit in and be part of the culture here in America," Hal said. "In fact, I want to live here permanently. Right now, I'm just a foreign exchange student."
"I'm from another state, so I guess I'm kind of an exchange student myself," Nancy said. "My name's Nancy Drew."
"It is nice to meet you, Nancy," Hal said. "You picked a bad time to come visit Paseo Del Mar High School, I am afraid. Everyone is very stressed out about the murder."
"Did you know the victim?" Nancy asked.
"I feel uncomfortable talking about this right now," Hal said, grabbing onto his arm. "Please, excuse me."
He then leaned forward and looked at the books on the table in front of him.
"Uh..." Nancy said. Hal didn't appear to be doing anything.
First Connie, now Hal, Nancy thought. Does every student at this school excuse themselves from conversations, only to remain in place?
"What are you doing?" Nancy asked.
"Studying," Hal said. "I must get good grades on all my exams, if I want to get a scholarship and become a doctor."
"Do you know Connie Watson?" Nancy asked. Nancy wasn't sure how she knew Connie's last name, but now wasn't the time to worry about small details.
"Yes, we've been in a few classes together," Hal said. "She was dating Jake Rogers."
Nancy's jaw dropped. "But she thought he was a creep!" she said. "Why would she date him?"
"Maybe she did not learn he was a creep until after the date," Hal said. "I do not know. I have a hard time understanding girls and dating."
"Really?" Nancy asked.
"Yes," Hal said. He could still remember one particularly disastrous meeting he had with a girl, back in Japan. Her name was Yumi Shimizu, and she worked at a bento stand. Hal had stopped by the stand to get some lunch.
"Hello," Hal said. "The weather is nice today."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Yumi asked. "Are you breaking up with me?"
"Breaking up? But you are not my girlfriend," Hal said. "I have never even met you—"
"Not your girlfriend?" Yumi asked. "So you are breaking up with me! Jerk!"
"I think there has been a misunderstanding—" Hal said.
"I'll smother you with bento!" Yumi shouted. She started throwing boxes at Hal, forcing him to retreat into a nearby conference room.
"Girls are strange sometimes," Hal said to Nancy.