Chapter 1:

The North Star

Every Night Has a Star

Nagase Koji silently sits in her living room slowly tracing her index around her hand humming a tune she heard her mom singing a few days before. After a few minutes, she hears faint yet quickly paced steps outside the front door, followed by a light knocking on the door. 
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Nagase smiles and yells just loud enough to be heardBookmark here

"It's open! Come in!".
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Her friend Minawa Miharu walks in, "Hey it's me!"Bookmark here

"You know you're not allowed to be here while my mom isn't home." Nagase says as Minawa sits down.Bookmark here

"Yea yea yea, but how could I not come over when you are moving away in a week?!"
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"I guess that's true, I'm still glad you came"Bookmark here

"I can't believe you're leaving Nagase, what am I going to do without you?"Bookmark here

Nagase laughs halfheartedly.Bookmark here

"I'm sure you'll find somebody! you can still send me mail whenever you want."Bookmark here

"I guess." Says Minawa. "I'm still going to miss you"Bookmark here

"I'll miss you too." Nagase gives her a comforting smile in her general direction.Bookmark here

Minawa suddenly exclaims, "Oh I wanted to give you this." Bookmark here

Nagase feels a small object slide into her hand.Bookmark here

"I know you've never been able to see me so I wanted to give you this."Bookmark here

"What is it?"Bookmark here

"Its something my grandma made for me a long time ago. Its a pendant in the shape of a

 crescent moon with my name inscribed on it. So now you'll never be able to forget!"
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Nagase smiles "thank you so much".Bookmark here

"Well duh, you're my best friend. Bookmark here

Just because you're leaving doesn't mean we won't be friends"Bookmark here

Nagase's mom's car can be heard entering the driveway. Bookmark here

Nagase shouts, "You gotta go!" Bookmark here

"Crap you're right. Hopefully, we can talk again before you leave town!" Bookmark here

"Y-yea, bye."Bookmark here

She hears Minawa close the door behind her and begins examining the pendant with her fingers. Tracing every bump and edge carefully with her finger. Spelling out her friends name as she feels over every letter. She then grips it tightly and holds it to her chest.Bookmark here

"Thank you.."Bookmark here

Nagase's mom walks in.Bookmark here

"Hey hon, did I just see your friend sprint out of our house?"Bookmark here

"Nooo." Bookmark here

"Nagase I told you no one is allowed over while I'm gone. What if a stranger came in?"Bookmark here

"I know I'm sorry."Bookmark here

Her mom sighs. "I know you want to see your friends before we leave but please be careful."Bookmark here

"I promise I will."Bookmark here

She sighs again. "Thank you.'Bookmark here

Nagase quietly hides the pendant in her pocket.Bookmark here

3 weeks laterBookmark here

Nagase lays in bed listening to the birds' chirp outside.Bookmark here

She can feel the warmth of the sun from the window beside her.Bookmark here

A light spring breeze envelopes her, shifting the hairs on her arms. Bookmark here

Chilly, yet the looming presence of the approaching summer was apparent.Bookmark here

She sits up and tries to get used to the room she will now be living in for knows how long.Bookmark here

She can smell the new paint as it continues to flood her nostrils blocking any chance of 
enjoying the smells of spring.
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Her mom told her the paint was baby blue because her mom knew it was one of the only 
colors Nagase still remembered from when she was little.
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She made a mental note to thank her for that later, yet at the same time, she hated it.Bookmark here

She wanted nothing more than to forget.Bookmark here

Slowly she stood up and began walking towards the door.Bookmark here

She had to keep her hand on the wall because she still wasn't used to this new environment. Bookmark here

Everyone always kept her door open because she had no real use for it unless someone was over. 

As she slowly and carefully walked down the hall feeling for things that told her where she was like the edge of a door or a light switch she jumped when heard her mom banging around in the kitchen. Bookmark here

Nagase sighed and walked in that direction. "Hey, hon! how was your day?" Says her mom as she walks in. "Ok, I guess." Nagase says as she plops down on the couch. 

Nagase's mom's voice suddenly gets stern, "did you even do anything today? you look like you 
never even left your room"
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"I didn't, not much I can do. all my friends are gone along with everything I cared about"Bookmark here

"Nagase you know we had no choice, don't make me feel worse than I already do. I was really 
happy you were finally getting used to being social" 
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"Oh well." Nagase says as she sighs. She reaches into her pocket and rubs the pendant. She 
always kept it with her and was more and more often having to hold onto it." 
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Her mom clears her throat. "But hey, you start school tomorrow. Are you excited?"Bookmark here

"A little. It'll at least get me out of the house."Bookmark here

Nagase wanted to stay strong for her mom, she knew this was hard for her too. She wasn't Bookmark here

excited at all about going to school. She knew no one there and didn't even know how they would react to her.. condition.

Nagase remembers that it took a long time for anyone to talk to her back at her old school. Bookmark here

Minawa was really her only friend. She would walk her down the hall and make sure no one tripped her or tried unsuccessfully to make her flinch by sticking their hands in her face. 

She was truly the only one who cared. Bookmark here

Nagase went to bed that night thinking about her old school, she remembered going to school for months having to have a teacher take her to her classes or having to use a white cane. 

She hated using that thing, preferring to memorize the places she regularly went and just walking. Bookmark here

Obviously, that's not an option while in a crowded hallway. Bookmark here

Then Nagase remembers meeting Minawa. they met while in class one day when Minawa tapped on Nagase's shoulder. Nagase had never been so surprised in her life that she practically jumped out of her seat. 

"Oh I'm so sorry I didn't mean to scare you I just wanted to know if you had a pencil I could 
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 Still waiting for her pulse to lower Nagase laughs and says "oh yeah you're ok you just surprised me, here." she handed Minawa her pencil. 

"Thank you! you are a lifesaver. I'm Minawa by the way." Bookmark here

"Nagase, nice to meet you too"Bookmark here

Ever since that day they were impossible to separate.Bookmark here

They managed to convince the school to let Minawa escort her between classes. they laughed and made jokes. Even occasionally going to each others house but most of the time Minawa had to come over for obvious reasons. 

Nagase smiles as she remembers the good times they had, Bookmark here

And for the 1st time since they left Nagase fell asleep peacefully to the sound of crickets chirping and the cool breeze once again surrounding her. 

Knowing the stars were shining in the sky above her.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.