Chapter 2:

Winter Sky Graffiti

Dazzling World


Amina Shiina woke up not thanks to the sunlight that entered through her curtains. Nor for the alarm that always ringed at the same time, every day. Grumbling, she scratched her hair after being tangled by the pillow. Her hair and the static weren't very good friends, so they always ended up with several bed hairs as well as releasing small electric shocks when touching some metal object. She gave a long yawn, given that the previous night she had spent reading one of her favorite authors. 
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Her fingers remembered the texture of the paper with delicacy and grace, smiling inwardly. However, it didn't last long as the noise that made her return to reality kept knocking. Oh, but it didn't count on her pride. That pride that rarely made her behave like a childish girl. She definitely wouldn't go towards the sound.Bookmark here

I want to enjoy this free day drinking tea.

That day she had decided not to take off her pajamas, just to give an extra air of tranquility to her morning. Amina took a cup from the kitchen shelf and lit the stove. The girl clasped her hands to blow them with her breath as a sudden cold blizzard entered the room. She thought that the perfect accompaniment to her morning tea would be a sweet or salty snack. She tried to reach the highest cupboard where she kept a couple of sweets, only to have some fall into her head. Being just crumbs, it didn't matter much after having some rice crackers in her possession.

After hearing the sound of the kettle as a signal, she went to it. Amina poured the hot water next to a bag  tea of clove and cinnamon; rice crackers on a plate and she was all ready. The girl sat in the living room of her home, enjoying her breakfast next to a book written by an author that went by the name of Kanon Tachikawa.Bookmark here

A small story had just been released, and it told the story of a boy and a girl who were childhood friends, but didn't become a couple but instead helped each other to reach their goals and aspirations.Bookmark here

It's a really short novel but I wonder if they'll release something bigger in the future.Bookmark here

But the damned noise kept insisting, with a huge unbearable knocking.

Forgetting to leave a bookmaker, she closes her book with fury.

Amina wondered over and over again who would dare to knock without stopping for more than an hour, mentally practicing the answers if it was the classic salesmen of unnecessary objects or a witness of some invented deity. She tried to look out through the door hole, but it was useless. No one was in sight.

She curled her lip with annoyance.

Amina turned her back to return to a world of an amusing fantastic reality in beautiful words written in ink only for the sound to return.

Knock Knock. Knock Knock. Knock Knock.

A vein exploded in her forehead, and the poor girl with tanned complexion growled. She was starting to get moody. No, that was not Amina Shiina at all. It just made her uncomfortable when someone altered her personal plans. Or that was the impression she conveyed. With determination, she opens the door without removing the padlock to get answers from a noise without an owner and thus know the sender.

A gigantic amber eye that dazzled her vision was what received her. Amina's heart skipped a beat after the sudden surprise, extending her index finger to hit the target without flinching.

"Ahhhh, holy crap!!! MY LEFT EYE!"
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Amina blinked more than three times. She opted for five to analyze the situation in which she was in. Her tea had cooled down, and the cookies became softer. They wouldn't be so crispy anymore by the time she got back, or they might be. The paradox of rice crackers, interesting title, she thought.

She shook her face, her long black hair sticking to her mouth. She snorted without knowing how to deal with the matter. Exactly, that person was always an issue. Shinya Shida, a friend from school,  helped her to find the best way to solve it but it was still not enough to control it on her own.

"Izuno, it's seven thirty in the morning. You've been knocking since 6AM. Did you burned down your house or what?"

She placed both hands on her hips, moving her face in weariness.

"If you let me in, I could explain it to you. I have waited so long for this day!"

"What are you talking about? And no, I will not let you through. The last time when we were with Shinya..."

"Shinya, Shinya, Shinya. Always mentioning Shinya, since when did you two become such close friends?" Izuno played with the chain of the door.

For her own luck, he was not able to see the slight change of color in Amina's cheeks.

"That's none of your business ..."

"But that's not of great importance right now" interrupting her with a similar response, he insists on the previous topic. "Let me in though! I'm freezing out here! I need some heating, dammit, November."

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, just because she felt empathy for the weather, she begged that nothing bad would come from having made that decision.

Everywhere he went, Izuno Imaizumi was creating a huge chaos. A chaos within someone's activities, with sudden occurrences and plans.

Once inside, he removed his shoes while Amina sighed and closed the door again, now removing the chain. The brunette hugged himself after feeling the hot air warm each bone of his body, shaking like a puppy after receiving a bucket of water. A puppy that always waved his tail to be full of energy to play all day without stopping.Bookmark here

"Ah, that feels sooooo much better!" stretching, he invites himself to the living room and sits down on the couch. Ignoring the tea and the book,  he goes straight towards the food. He takes a bite of the cookie, complaining a little. "They're soft. Were they open for a long time? They lost their crispy texture."

"Is that the first thing you have to say after attacking my house?" with some annoyance, Amina holds her forehead with her right hand and makes a fist that goes straight to her hip with the left one. "I don't know what you want but just don't cause any problems."

"Oh yeaaaaah.... What are you doing in your pajamas?" with a half-finished cookie in his mouth, he looks at Amina's apperance. "I've never seen you except with the school uniform and the clothes you wear when you go out. Your classic skirt with under pants!"

Those cheeks that blushed earlier with the mention of Shinya, now were only shame mixed with fury. Izuno always pushed a button on people with his obvious lack of delicacy on obvious subjects thanks to his innate lack of politeness.

"Just leave, I beg of you." 

Amina covered her face with a palm, pointing to the door with the little finger of the opposite one. 

"Outside. NOW"Bookmark here

"Ah, c'mon. It's just a pajama. It's not even revealing" with another cookie, Izuno tries to make amends for what he said to only make things worse.

"It bothers me!" she was unable to believe that she behaved so childishly thanks to her pride. Amina's capable to say things in your face but when it comes to herself, oh no. Amina Shiina becomes stubborn about it. "I feel like I've lost everything. My soul feels empty."

"Did you lose something? Can I help you find it?"

"Find some common sense and moderation for yourself."

She leaned her head against the wall, unable to accept the facts.

However, with the newly created silence came the singing of the wind chime made of glass. A moment that both shared that indicated a somewhat strange friendship. Amina didn't know when she became closer with Izuno. It could be just because they had always been childhood friends and studied at the same kindergarten, junior school and now middle school. There was something there that she did not know whether to classify it... maybe she was a kind of guide for the boy to finally take the first step towards maturity, or simply a predestined friend to always align with him thanks to the whims of the stars and the sky.

"That's right! We don't have time to look for something. We have to leave soon!" impatient, he rises in seconds just to go to her and take her hands. Unable to process his actions, Amina lets herself be guided by him to her own room. Izuno stretches out his arms, then points to a wall where her school uniform hung. "Time to change your clothes!"

The girl could feel how her arched brow began to tremble from the incredulity that was before her view. Her mouth was half open because of how she was being manipulated by an endless hurricane category five, mixed with a typhoon of more than 194 kilometers per hour. Before being able to reproach in the most humane way possible, she realizes that Izuno was wearing his own middle school uniform. The gray trousers next to a blue tie perfectly combined with a yellow coat.

"What are you doing with...?"

"Come on, hurry up, we don't have all morning" applauding as a gesture of haste, he whistles. "Also, I've been waiting since before yesterday for this day."

"To begin with, today is Saturday! Why would we wear the uniform on a Saturday? There is no school" she crossed her arms. "Secondly, you can not come here and tell me what to do. Finally, what does that before yesterday mean?"

"Dishonor on your cow for not remembering it, Acchan" Izuno gave a mocking laugh. "Today is our last school festival for which we prepared for weeks! I will never forget to carry all those fabrics for my class. Who happens to make a plushed animal coffee?"

"School festival…?"

Memories came to Amina Shiina. Memories of more than a week of back pains, swollen fingers and endless bandages, along with conversations between girls in the veil of the night after staying up late at school to finish on time. The smell of fresh paint from the activity that her class planned, along with the endless talks of the representatives. Her eyes were wide open  processing without stop the information.

How could I forget something so important? The fatigue of that whole week made me believe that this would be a Saturday to rest, she thought, but no. Welcome to the reality of going to a mandatory event to see the fruits of your hard work.

"Exactly. Now I leave you to put on that sweet uniform. I've waited 53 hours and 3227 minutes with 193.620 seconds and counting, for this" smiling from ear to ear, Izuno was about to disappear locking the girl, just so she would end up pulling him from his tie. "Acchan...?"

"How did you know I was going to forget about this? Why exactly do you know the hours and minutes? Why were you waiting for this before yesterday?"

"We had already planned this. Shiina-san is always forgetting the important details" he mused.

"Planned this?" she still did not believe it. "How did we...?"

"Dishonor on your cow for the second time. Gimmie your phone for a sec" Amina did not imagine in a thousand years that she would play along with it. "Thankies"

Izuno started the APP to find the answer to his question, only to not find the conversation in question. He narrowed his eyes, believing that he was seeing something evil after so many blows prompted by Hanae, sometimes Fuyuta, and lately Kozue Shida who wasn't even from their school. Amina continued to watch without knowing what direction this morning would take. She just wanted to read her book in peace with a cup of tea and gluten-free snacks.

"I cannot believe this..." the burgundy-haired boy showed her the phone's screen with a face full of disappointment. "It never crossed my mind you'd be so cruel!"

Nervous, she raised her palms in front of her face. She was annoyed by the fact that his cell phone was so close to her face plus, with the brightness at full capacity. She tried to read Izuno's intentions, wondering if the boy was in full disappointment, anger, or simply wanting to cry like a lost child. Until she found the lottery, which was the famous spam tray.

SpamBookmark here

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[01:43] +81 080-95XX-21XX: See you on the REAL tomorrow! (.-Ω-) zzz

[01:43] Go to sleep you idiot. It's almost 2AM. And stop using those stupid kaomojis, it's embarrassing.

[01:43] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)Bookmark here

[9:25] +81 080-95XX-21XX: Good morning! It amazes me to think that I woke up early after being unable to sleep last night because of the excitement. (*'∀` *)

[9:25] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I forgot to tell you yesterday that Hanae called me to confirm details about the festival. Apparently there will be a show or something at the end.

[12:03] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I just defeated annoying boss from this stupid dungeon! It was a mistake to put this game in Proud Mode.

[14:59] +81 080-95XX-21XX: Our dog ate the food that mom prepared for me! I got distracted a lot since I was playing, he'll see! (# `Д')

[18:32] +81 080-95XX-21XX: You must be busy ... but I can't wait until tomorrow! (wwwww)

[23:59] +81 080-95XX-21XX: A little more...

[23:59] +81 080-95XX-21XX: Seconds!


[24:00] +81 080-95XX-21XX: See you in a few hours! ('• ω • `)

[05:47] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I'm OMW to your house, I'll see you there. 

Let's go happy! ⌒ (o ^ ▽ ^ o) ノBookmark here

[06:29] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I arrived!

[06:36] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I knock on the door but you don't hear me. You fell asleep? Acchaaaan, wakey wakey, eggs and bakey!

[06:36] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)

[06:36] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)
[06:37] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)

[06:37] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)

[06:38] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)

[06:38] +81 080-95XX-21XX: ('· ω · `)

[07:01] +81 080-95XX-21XX: Hewwo owo? Sleeping Beauty? It's cold out here...

[07:01] +81 080-95XX-21XX: Did the little faces I sent bother you? They were just to wake you up!

[07:04] +81 080-95XX-21XX: If I'm still out here I'm going to get sick, please open up.

[07:30] +81 080-95XX-21XX: I hear the padlock, yay!

A new message has arrived on the "Desired Box"!

[08:13] Shinya Shida (Shin-kun): Amina, at what time do you come to the festival? I'll be with some friends at the food stands during the afternoon. If you want, you can come with us.

[08:13] Shinya Shida (Shin-kun): We're also going to gather to see the famous show.

A new message has arrived on the "Desired Box"!

[08:13] Hanae Manai (Mana-chan): Ah, I'm sorry for writing so early in the morning... It's just to let you know that we're going to meet early in class to make sure the preparations are ready. I can't wait! Let's give lots of smiles to our guests today...! ... As if, I just want this pain to end and it hasn't even started. Well, it's out last year of middle school so... just gotta give it our best...

[08:13] Hanae Manai (Mana-chan): Aren't you excited to know what the show will be like though? Very little has been said about it... 

"It's been more than ten years that we know each other, I have a cell phone since... uh.. I don't know maths okay?? But for a VERY long time and you haven't saved my number, but Shinya is there AND WITH A NICKNAME!" for Izuno, that was absolute blasphemy. "No wonder you never answered yesterday. I was INSIDE THE SPAM FOLDER! Even Hanae has a very nice nickname and I have nothing!"

"It must've been a slip of my finger. You know, I was really asleep when you texted me" Amina looked away and whistled. "Wait, so if we're going to the school festival, why come for me? We could have met there with the others."

"We want to do something together, right?"

The dark-haired girl was surprised at the ease in which Izuno forgets the details that hurt his feelings in a hilarious way.

"I want you to have an experience of a normal girl."

"Am I abnormal now?"

"I don't mean that! Shiina-san, why do you take things so literally?" He puffed his cheeks.

"You should be more detailed" she replied.

"Normal in the sense of having fun without stress. Laughing honestly. Spend time with your friends. You have always been distant in school and events in elementary school. I want you to have some very beautiful memories from your last year of middle school. What better way to celebrate it by going to the cultural festival with your friends? Come on! Next year you're moving away, so I really REALLY want to make you have a super last school festival before you go."

Amina didn't know what to say. She had remained speechless at Izuno's words.

"Now, dress up! That we have much to explore this day."

"Don't think that after this I'll save your number" was her response before she was left alone in her room, observing the winter uniform.

So a normal girl, huh? It's not like I am an animal in danger of extinction about to go out to its natural habitat.

She froze in place, closing her eyes.

I don't think it's that bad, she thought as she undressed, ignoring the storm that lay behind the door of her room. She approached her cell phone to start answering the messages, but not before turning it off to do something.

+81 080-95XX-21XX - Add to contacts

Name: Izuno Imaizumi

Nickname: Annoying-kun.Bookmark here

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