Every Night Has a Star
Nagase awakes to the sound of her mother calling to her from the kitchen.
"Nagase please get up! it's time for your 1st day of school!"
"I laid out some clothes for you. let me know if you need any help."
Ever since Nagase's condition arose she had never wanted peoples help doing basic tasks.
She much more preferred to teach herself how to do it and today was going to be no different.
she sat up and using her foot felt the ground for the clothes her mom laid out.
After finding then she quickly unchanged down to her underclothes and picked up the fresh shirt.
She felt around the collar until she felt the tag so she didn't accidentally put it on backward.
Not making that mistake.... again.
Quickly after doing the same with her other clothes, she slipped on some socks and was ready to go.
Nagase remembered the time when her mother had to help her get dressed every day in dismay.
"I'm not incapable of taking care of myself." Nagase thought.
After taking a second to make sure everything was on right and grabbed her pendant Nagase felt her way down the hall to the kitchen.
Her mother gasps. "Oh, you look great sweetheart, who knew those new uniforms would look that good."
"I bet." Nagase says unenthusiastically.
"Oh don't be like that Nagase. At least give this new school a chance. I heard this new one is a lot bigger than your last one. Maybe you'll find a club to join this year?"
Nagase had never joined a club at her old school. all the clubs Minawa were in she couldn't join or at least be able to enjoy.
Her thoughts were interrupted by her mother saying, "Do you want something for breakfast today? I have your lunch already packed."
"No, I'm not hungry. Thank you"
Nagase once again got lost in her own mind listening to the gentle taps of her mom's feet as they seemingly flew around the kitchen as she prepared for the day.
She remembers when she was really little, before the incident, she would watch her mom and dad clean and make meals together and even occasionally dance in the living room. They were the perfect team. Always by each other's side.
Now those memories taste of ash.
"You ready to go?" calls her mom.
Nagase's mother hands over her bag and Nagase takes her first step outside since she moved.
She feels the sun instantly warm her skin giving her goosebumps all up and down her body.
Then a light spring breeze grazes her back and flows like water around her.
An assortment of birds can be heard nearby chirping and flying through the air.
Nagase hears her mom laugh under her breath, "That's what happens when you shut yourself in missy."
Nagase cant help but laugh
"Let's just go"
The longer they drove the more time Nagase had to think about what her new life meant for her.
Would anyone like her?
Will people accept her as a person instead of a disability?
Would she find another best friend?
...Would she even want a new friend?
Nagase realized the silence of the car was really getting to her and she was relieved when she could feel the car slowly ease to a stop.
The sound of other kids talking and laughing was now audible enough to be heard through the car doors.
"We're here sweetheart."
Nagase's mom can be heard shifting in her seat presumably turning to face her.
"I know it has been really hard for you to adjust Nagase, but I'm confident you'll fit in just fine. If anyone gives you trouble tell me and ill make them pay."
They both laugh.
"Thanks mom, love you"
"Love you too hun. Now lets hurry before you're late!"
Nagase takes one last deep breath and steps outside.
A bell can be heard ringing from the inside meaning classes had already started for the day.
Relief floods Nagase knowing that she will be able to walk the halls for the first time mostly alone.
Her mom leads her inside.
Nagase can feel her moms grip on her shoulder. She knows her mom is just as nervous as she is and it brings her comfort knowing her mom understands.
"I'm going to be ok here, I promise."
Her mom laughs quietly. "You can read me like a book Nagase, thank you."
They reach a room and Nagase hears a door open
Her mom gestures her to move forward and the room that was before filled with quiet chatter suddenly goes quiet.
"You must be Nagase Koji!"
"Y-yes." Nagase says awkwardly
The voice sounds like a man with an unusually deep voice, yet a subtle gentleman like tone.
"Oh, my apologies let me introduce myself. My name is Nagai Shuzo but you may call me Mr. Shuzo. I am your principal and I will be showing you around today.
"It's very nice to meet you Mr. Shuzo I'll leave her in your hands I've got to get to work as soon as possible." Nagase's mom quickly spurts presumably just now realizing the time.
"Oh yes of course! Please go ahead, and thank you for escorting her here. It was very nice meeting you miss"
"Thank you, you too." Nagase's mother says as her quick footsteps slowly fade down the hallway.
Nagase begins to feel for a wall to touch to get a sense of the space around her.
"Oh I'm sorry! here take my hand and let's have a chat before you start classes"
Nagase shyly reaches a hand out and takes the hand that was in front of her.
The hand is cold and rough like fine sandpaper, yet gentle and kind.
She is led to another part of the room and is told kindly to sit.
"I've heard a lot about you Nagase Koji. Welc-"
Nagase quickly interrupts. "Please just call me Nagase"
"Of course, my apologies." Shuzo says.
"Welcome to Imachi High School. I've already spoken to your mother on the phone."
"Do you mind if we talk about your condition?"