I was lost.
In the vast expanse of this place known as life, I could not find myself.
A person of only white, trapped in a place of white that seemed to stretch into infinity—a blank canvas. I was stranded, walking aimlessly for what felt to be centuries, millennia, with no end in sight—just what was supposed to be the purpose of this journey?
Halting my steps, I looked around. It was still all white. I could not see even an outline of another figure.
After confirming no one was there nor anywhere for that matter, I resumed my purposeless trudge for all of eternity.
At least that’s what I thought.
My peaceful dream was instantly shattered. I jolted awake from the deafening thud of my desk being slammed like a sledgehammer demolishing concrete.
“You seem like you were enjoying your time, eh? Takizawa.”
My eyes adjusted to the sight of our math teacher, Araki-sensei, in front of me. The expression he had on his face seemed to suggest he was not happy, but the way his facial muscles bent like an anime character made it seem like he was trying to be funny. I was unsure if I was supposed to take him seriously or not, but considering I just dozed off in class, it was probably the former.
What kind of response was that?
“Takizawa, you think I’m joking?”
“N-no sensei, I—”
“Oi Takizawa! You may be a transfer student, but that doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want, you understand?!” he yelled at me. I felt like I wanted to plug my ears and give him a sneer, but that would only make things worse.
“Y-yes, sensei,” I muttered.
“I couldn't hear you! Speak up, Takizawa!” he nagged. At this point, I was starting to lose patience, but I kept it to myself. My classmates were already giving me weird looks. Better to not ruin my first week, well it already was, to begin with.
“S-sorry, sensei!” I stood up and apologized. Araki-sensei squinted his eyes then let out a sigh. Whatever it was supposed to signify, I had no clue. I just hoped that he decided to give it up and leave me be.
“If I ever see you sleeping in my class again, you'll be holding buckets in the hallway.”
Was he being sarcastic? Or was he a total old fart? Holding buckets? What is this, the Showa period?
“I won't ever do it again, sensei,” I lied as naturally as I breathed.
He seemed content, though, as he walked away.
I sighed from relief, and my classmates began to laugh at me.
I sat back down to my seat and ignored their mocking laughter. I looked out the window towards the dark, gray sky. Ever since the end of summer, relentless rain had tormented Yokohoma.
It has been roughly a week since I moved to Yokohama, I’ve had nothing but bad memories here so far. Apart from messing up my introduction, making a fool of myself from sleeping in class, Mitsuki hasn’t replied to my letter.
Though it was mostly just me telling her I had arrived safely in Yokohama. Has she even read it? Did the letter even get to her? Maybe she already wrote one, and it just hadn’t arrived yet.
I’m overthinking this. I spent the last few days anxiously waiting. I just couldn’t help it.
It feels as if there’s a hole in my heart. A half of a whole, a missing piece—like my entire self was incomplete.
Ever since our farewell, my life never felt the same anymore.
Days passed by so slowly. Time seemed so unmoving and unchanging.
If I blink, would ten years have passed? If I slept later tonight, would I wake up ten years from now?
If only such a convenient thing existed, I wouldn’t be here, worrying.
Do you feel the same way too? Mitsuki?
I sat frozen, blankly staring off the blurred window.
Water droplets trickled down the glass like tears and only displayed my reflection.
This was the last period of the day. I eagerly awaited the end of class.
I yawned and rested my head on my desk. I reached out my left hand towards the window.
I felt a cold sensation on my fingertips as they touched the pane.
Hey Mitsuki, are you there? On the other side? I can’t seem to catch a glimpse of you.
I can’t reach you. You’re just so far away.
Suddenly, a memory flashed.
“If you ever feel alone, you can look at the ring and be reminded that, I’m always here.”
I recalled these words she told me that day.
I looked at the ring on my finger. Slowly, I brought the ring to my lips and kissed it.
You're always here, with me.
I heard someone call out to me, then I felt a gentle tap on my head.
The voice reminded me of Mitsuki for some reason. It felt tender and endearing, like her. It was the type of voice that would envelop you in a warm embrace and comfort you with sincere words.
I groggily raised my head. A part of me hoped that voice belonged to her.
However, of course, that was impossible.
The person that stood in front of me was not Mitsuki. She had the same black hair as her, although it was shorter. Her eyes were the color of amethysts, but they didn’t exactly seem happy rather, they looked scary.
Was I gonna get into trouble again? Her expression and the tone of her voice were the complete opposites. I was unsure what to expect.
Truthfully, I don’t remember what her name was, nor any of my other classmates for that matter.
“W-what’s up…?” I mumbled.
“Don’t forget to submit the assignments to me tomorrow, Takizawa-san.”
Her face lit up with a smile. Her eyes were still scary that made her smile feel out of place.
She looked cute, but I wouldn’t say more than Mitsuki. Compared to Mitsuki, this girl had a more slender body, and her chest was far smaller than Mitsuki’s.
“Takizawa-san, what do you think you’re doing?”
I was stupid. I was ogling her, wasn’t I? She totally thought I was a creep.
I just wanted to punch myself right now.
When I looked back at her, she had a disgusted face directed at me. I deserved that, if not more.
However, instead of scolding me, she started laughing out of nowhere. Was she actually nuts?
“I’m just messing with you. Don’t forget about the assignment, okay?”
At that moment, I felt a mixed feeling of relief and fear.
“Y-Yeah, thanks, uh...”
Crap, I didn’t even know her name. This was incredibly awkward.
She introduced herself and reached out her hand to me.
“Takizawa… Takizawa, Taiyo. S-sorry for not knowing your name, er, Fujiwara-san.”
I hesitated before I shook her hand. It felt very soft, like a stuffed animal.
“You can just call me Fujiwara, Takizawa.”
Woah, she should slow down. She closed the gap in an instant like it was nothing.
“Sorry, would Takizawa-san be better?”
“N-no, it’s fine.”
Her lips shaped into a smile.
“If you need help with anything, you can always ask me, Takizawa.”
Even I can’t not blush from this situation. Fujiwara Nanase… she’s a very weird girl, but she seems like a nice person.
“I will, thanks, Fujiwara.”
“Well, I’ll go now. See you later.”
“Y-yeah. See you.”
After a slight bow, Fujiwara walked off.
A single question lingered in my mind. She acted very unusually with me, or was that just how she was with everybody?
Regardless, I wouldn’t know for sure.
At least I was able to make my first “friend”.
Maybe now, time would begin to move.
I looked out the window once more.
The endless downpour subsided.