Chapter 0:

Yuki's Song

To The Girl of Snow

With a pluck of the third string of my deep blue acoustic, I was instantly whisked away into another world. A world with just my thoughts and my music. A world of pure comfort and imagination, a place where my dreams came to life. 

 As my fingers drifted across the strings, I found myself in front of a wooden lodge. Bare and secluded, but warm and inviting, a contrast to the large downpour of snow. The lodge may have been surrounded by enormous pine trees in a white forest, yet it emitted a soft light, possibly that of a lantern. 

 Peering through the windows, nobody seemed to be home, although the lights were all switched on. A soft-looking, red carpet occupied the floors, and a large knitted sofa sat opposite a cozy fireplace. The lodge was almost seducing me, and I allowed it to - the moment I touched the handle of the door, I was instantly placed under it's spell. 

The melody softened. 

The sudden rush of warmth as I entered the lodge was enough to reduce me to a state of relaxation. Despite that, it was almost astonishing just how spacious the lodge was. Upon entry, I found myself standing in the living room, the very room I just peered into. However, the outside view wasn't nearly enough for me to process just how inviting this place was. And yet, I was still surprised. I had found myself being greeted by someone familiar. 

 Silky black hair flowed gracefully down her back, with a single plaited strand, resting on her shoulder. A small pair of glasses that rested in front of purple eyes. A beautifully unique colour, reminiscent of reflective amethyst. And to finish, a smile filled with more happiness than there was in the world. 

 "Welcome home, Shuji." the woman said, her smile lighting her angelic face up. "You must be cold. Here, I have the fireplace set up already."

"Thank you, Yuki." I replied, with a smile. 

The two of us sat down together in front of the fireplace, accompanied solely by the sounds of burning wood and the soft crunch of snow outside. All of my stress, my worries and fears, all of my negative emotions, they all dissolved instantly.

"Shuji... thank you."

"For what?"

"For being here with me."

Her small hand crept across the sofa. I could feel each finger as it curled around the shape of my hand. She then placed her head comfortably on my shoulder, as we returned to the peace of the lodge.

I was happy. There was nothing to dread, nothing to regret. I had nothing left to do, nothing else to live for, nothing to gain nor nothing to lose. And yet, I truly felt alive in that moment. 

 With a final pluck of the fourth string, my imaginary reality came to an end. I was once again sitting in that empty classroom, on yet another rainy autumn evening. 

 And so, thus concludes Yuki's song.