Chapter 1:

The Curtain Rises

The Moon That We Saw That Day


As soon as my little exchange with Maki finished, i realized two things. 
The first one, is that she's in my school. I didn't actually realize this now, but it came back to me. The second one, is that the rain has stopped. As soon as we finished meeting each other, the rain stopped. It feels too perfect to be natural, doesn't it.
And the third one, is that we'll be late for school at this point. The bus is already gone, as i can see far away and it doesn't seem like we're catching another one soon.
"Akane, you did realize we missed the bus to school, right?"
And as soon as Maki said that i confirmed it to myself.
"Let's think about how we are getting to school in time now..."
I wasn't particularly worried about the act of being late itself. Missing the first day was... something else. It didn't fit right to me and i was a bit worried about it.
"Hey, let's run for it then!"
"Huh?! Wait, are you dumb?" 
Wait, there's a bus nearby. We can maybe catch it if we run fast enough. 
I bumped into a bunch of other students on the run to the bus stop, but it wasn't anything that would slow me down that much. Maki was following behind me, but she was a bit too far behind.
"Akane, you are a bit too fast, don't you think?"
"Oops. Hold on, we are close"
I grabbed Maki's arm so we could get through the pack of students that was in front of us, and in about two minutes of running, we made it.
I could hear Maki breathing heavily. I may have went too fast for her...
"Have this. I don't think i'll need it." I handed her over a bottle of water i had in my bag. I don't think i'll have to run full pace for no reason at school, so i didn't mind. I also wasn't tired. Im pretty sure i would have ran much faster for it if Maki wasn't with me.
"You run way too fast, Akane. How do you even?"
"Why would you ask something i can't explain to you?"
She rolled her eyes at my answer and her breathing started slowing down.
"Thank you for pulling me along. You were quite quick to realize we'd be sitting in the bus stop if you didn't."
"I don't like that idea and i wouldn't want something like this to happen so don't remind me..."
The reason i pulled Maki along was to reach the bus in time for both of us. Im aware i run faster than her so i slowed down to pull her along with me. We wouldn't be sitting both here if it wasn't for that.
"Even so, im glad we could catch a bus right after we realized. We won't be that late, even if it was probably my fault you missed it in the first place."
Maki started scratching her  head and laughing softly while she said this.
"I think this is the one and only time i'd be worried about getting to school in time.."
"Are you a school dellinquent? Doesn't fit with your image, i must say.."
"No, thanks. I just couldn't care less about most classes. Its interesting, but it gets boring really quick for me, and i start looking at whatever takes my attention... It usually gets me in trouble aswell.."
As i started speaking, i recalled back to our introduction to each other. My two questions are the next.
Why am i so familiar with her? Im confident i wouldn't pick up anyone's name and start calling them that from the start.
And this is the same, but why did the rain stop exactly there? Its a bright sunny day now, and its like it never rained. Other people didn't seem to pick up on it either, from what i saw.
"Maki. Why did you start using my name so casually?" 
I guess being direct about it is my only way right now.
"I don't really know. I looked at the rain as if i was looking for something i saw in a dream. And then, when i heard Akane i just felt like i knew that name way too well. Is it bad?"
I visibly jumped at this. That description is exactly what i felt aswell while looking at her in my dream. And i felt like i've said Maki way too much, i just dont remember.
"Its not. I thought the same when i met you."
For now, i guess i'll forget it. But i'll dig down on this once i can order my thoughts. 
"There has to be a answer to this, so can we meet after school?"
"Yes. I want to talk about it more if possible."
So we share similar thoughts, huh? This is interesting. I don't feel oddly awkward with her and she seems quick with her mind aswell. I may enjoy this more than usual.
"Well then i hope we can be good partners, Maki"
"That's my line. I hope we have a good time together, Akane."Bookmark here

And that was as far as the bus ride went. We arrived in time to school, and we didn't miss the opening ceremony. It was a bunch of boring things, like the usual "I hope we get along well" and the student council saying "Cooperate with us so we can give you fake proposals and actually ignore you all the whole year."
I honestly didn't mind. Its probably safe to say i don't want to get close to the student council at all, since it sounds like too much work. Even if i would be good at it myself.
My class was 1-A. I didn't see Maki close to me anywhere, not in the ceremony.
I was hoping at least a little bit that we would be on the same class, because that would make talking between us a lot easier. It wasn't going to come free though, me calling her Maki so casually would probably stir up a lot of attention that i didn't really want to myself.
I took a brief detour to just look outside from the second floor, and the rain i saw before was nowhere to be seen. It was a sunny day. It was warm and it seemed so clear i don't see anyone thinking "Oh, it was raining a bit."Bookmark here

My gut is telling me this doesn't feel real at all. But i'll find out what's behind eventually. I'd hate to leave it hanging there.
I took a deep breath before opening my classroom's door. I hope im not too late. 
As i opened the door i saw a really normal atmosphere. 
There was around 20 people inside the classroom, not doing anything at all. A bunch of groups were already formed and it was peaceful. It wasn't loud. 
I actually got surprised by how "normal" this seemed. Almost like i wanted it to be something surreal, and weird.
Ah, i got a bit caught up in my thoughts. 
"..."
Wait, why is everyone looking at me? 
"Good morning. Would you mind presenting yourself to the class?"
A black haired student with glasses came up to me, doing a hand gesture to the rest of the class, inviting me to present myself.
Wow, that was really smooth. Good tone, and good hand gestures. 
"Good morning. My name is Akane Tsukishiro. I hope we have a good year together."
Everyone clapped back at my presentation and shortly after, the classroom reverted to how it was a few minutes ago.
I sat by the window, put down my belongings and relaxed. 
As much as i had a lot in my hands right now, i guess there isn't a need to rush. Im sure i can wait a little bit, and i'd really like to get Maki on board with our meeting before i get to any conclusion or thought process. 
A weird meeting. A weather that vanished so easily it seems fake. And also, my weird dreams along with Maki's weird dreams.  They seem to connect easily, but what kind of meaning is there behind all of this?
Im not sure, but what i do know is that i should not take this as a "mystery."
I'll figure everything out. To the last bit.
"Tsukishiro-kun?"
"Aaah!.. Im sorry, i was a bit lost."
Soon enough, the same black haired person that helped me introduce myself, sat next to me, looking to talk with me.
"Getting lost on your first 30 minutes here? You can't handle people?"
I chuckled a bit at his line.
"This classroom is so peaceful i kinda just got lost thinking about some things."
"Im glad to hear that. I don't think it would have been good for you to get overwhelmed the instant you entered."
"I can handle a bit of a crowd, im not that shy."
"Good to hear. Im Mikado Kousaka."
"Nice to meet you. I hope we have a good year".
Kousaka looked at me with a bit of surprise in his face.
"I don't know if it's intentional or not but you are really good at talking in formal speech."
I think i do that unintentionally a lot... 
"Its a habit i let slide quite a lot, specially in school."
"Well, no need for it. You can leave formalities behind."
I nodded.
"Oh, teacher is here. We'll talk later, Shiro-kun."
What kind of nickname is that?
"Fine, Mikado."
I think i may have sounded a bit more pissed off than i actually am. I'll deal with it later.
"Im Izumi Tachibana. I'll take care of you all, so don't be problematic kids, ok?"
Our teacher seems a lot more laid back than i expected. That makes things a bit better for me. Even if its not much of a problem since im a normal student for the most part...
And that was quite really how the class went. Our teacher made sure everyone introduces themselves, and then explained to us how the year is going to go, and a bunch of other things i didn't quite listen to. Its not that i don't care about them, but i doubt im going to need them anyways. 
As long as i behave and i get average grades, i shouldn't have trouble. And im confident i can get good grades without much effort, so that's that.
It was time for our first break, and i wasn't particularly interested in doing anything, so i just started walking around the campus looking at whatever caught my attention. 
As i walked, time passed and passed. It started flying by. 5 minutes, 10 minutes passed without me focusing on something.
I got my hopes up that i would get interested in something.
Maybe its not today, but later. I just hope this isn't a boring year.
And as soon as that thought flew into my mind, something else did aswell. I could hear a piano.
I was a bit shocked, since a piano is the last thing i expected to find while walking aimlessly. 
I may get lost, but i started using my ear to get closer to the sound. And i arrived to a door.
Behind this door, there's someone playing this melody that somehow got me dying to find out who's playing it. And what is it. What thought was put behind it, or how was it made.
I knocked on the door, and i heard a voice call out to me, while the person still played the piano.
"Come in."
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I opened the door, and maybe i was too attracted by the sound of the piano to realize this.
Coincidences are scary, and i know this very well. I've had enough of them from this morning alone.
But, maybe just now i actually like this type of coincidence.
Maybe, the day won't be as boring as i think.
I know the person behind the long, messy black hair that blocks her  face. And i know her  voice aswell. 
"Maki."
A sour note filled the room, and the melody instantly stopped as soon as i called out to her.
"Akane?!"
I was right. Maybe this day won't be as boring as i thought.

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