Chapter 3:

Greeting Fall With Boredom「Taiyo」

Two Points

1Bookmark here

I was lost.Bookmark here

In the vast expanse of this place known as life, I could not find myself.Bookmark here

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?Bookmark here

“—zawa!”Bookmark here

A voice?Bookmark here

Halting my steps, I looked around. It was still all white. I could not see even an outline of another figure.Bookmark here

After confirming no one was there nor anywhere for that matter, I resumed my purposeless trudge for all of eternity.Bookmark here

“Takizawa!”Bookmark here

At least that’s what I thought.Bookmark here

My peaceful dream was instantly shattered. I jolted awake from the deafening thud of my desk being slammed like a sledgehammer demolishing concrete.Bookmark here

“You seem like you were enjoying your time, eh? Takizawa.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“U-uh, y-yeah.”Bookmark here

What kind of response was that?Bookmark here

“Takizawa, you think I’m joking?”Bookmark here

“N-no sensei, I—”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“Y-yes, sensei,” I muttered.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“If I ever see you sleeping in my class again, you'll be holding buckets in the hallway.”Bookmark here

Was he being sarcastic? Or was he a total old fart? Holding buckets? What is this, the Showa period?Bookmark here

“I won't ever do it again, sensei,” I lied as naturally as I breathed.Bookmark here

He seemed content, though, as he walked away.Bookmark here

I sighed from relief, and my classmates began to laugh at me.Bookmark here

Great.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

I’m overthinking this. I spent the last few days anxiously waiting. I just couldn’t help it.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Ever since our farewell, my life never felt the same anymore.Bookmark here

Days passed by so slowly. Time seemed so unmoving and unchanging.Bookmark here

If I blink, would ten years have passed? If I slept later tonight, would I wake up ten years from now?Bookmark here

If only such a convenient thing existed, I wouldn’t be here, worrying.Bookmark here

Do you feel the same way too? Mitsuki?Bookmark here

2Bookmark here

I sat frozen, blankly staring off the blurred window.Bookmark here

Water droplets trickled down the glass like tears and only displayed my reflection.Bookmark here

This was the last period of the day. I eagerly awaited the end of class.Bookmark here

I yawned and rested my head on my desk. I reached out my left hand towards the window.Bookmark here

I felt a cold sensation on my fingertips as they touched the pane.Bookmark here

Hey Mitsuki, are you there? On the other side? I can’t seem to catch a glimpse of you.Bookmark here

I can’t reach you. You’re just so far away.Bookmark here

Suddenly, a memory flashed.Bookmark here

“If you ever feel alone, you can look at the ring and be reminded that, I’m always here.”Bookmark here

I recalled these words she told me that day.Bookmark here

I looked at the ring on my finger. Slowly, I brought the ring to my lips and kissed it.Bookmark here

You're always here, with me.Bookmark here

“Takizawa-san.”Bookmark here

I heard someone call out to me, then I felt a gentle tap on my head.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I groggily raised my head. A part of me hoped that voice belonged to her.Bookmark here

However, of course, that was impossible.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Truthfully, I don’t remember what her name was, nor any of my other classmates for that matter.Bookmark here

“W-what’s up…?” I mumbled.Bookmark here

“Don’t forget to submit the assignments to me tomorrow, Takizawa-san.”Bookmark here

Her face lit up with a smile. Her eyes were still scary that made her smile feel out of place.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Takizawa-san, what do you think you’re doing?”Bookmark here

Eh?Bookmark here

I was stupid. I was ogling her, wasn’t I? She totally thought I was a creep.Bookmark here

I just wanted to punch myself right now.Bookmark here

When I looked back at her, she had a disgusted face directed at me. I deserved that, if not more.Bookmark here

However, instead of scolding me, she started laughing out of nowhere. Was she actually nuts?Bookmark here

“I’m just messing with you. Don’t forget about the assignment, okay?”Bookmark here

At that moment, I felt a mixed feeling of relief and fear.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, thanks, uh...”Bookmark here

Crap, I didn’t even know her name. This was incredibly awkward.Bookmark here

“Fujiwara...”Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

“Fujiwara, Nanase.”Bookmark here

She introduced herself and reached out her hand to me.Bookmark here

I gulped.Bookmark here

“Takizawa… Takizawa, Taiyo. S-sorry for not knowing your name, er, Fujiwara-san.”Bookmark here

I hesitated before I shook her hand. It felt very soft, like a stuffed animal.Bookmark here

“You can just call me Fujiwara, Takizawa.”Bookmark here

Woah, she should slow down. She closed the gap in an instant like it was nothing.Bookmark here

“Sorry, would Takizawa-san be better?”Bookmark here

“N-no, it’s fine.”Bookmark here

Her lips shaped into a smile.Bookmark here

“If you need help with anything, you can always ask me, Takizawa.”Bookmark here

Even I can’t not blush from this situation. Fujiwara Nanase… she’s a very weird girl, but she seems like a nice person.Bookmark here

“I will, thanks, Fujiwara.”Bookmark here

“Well, I’ll go now. See you later.”Bookmark here

“Y-yeah. See you.”Bookmark here

After a slight bow, Fujiwara walked off.Bookmark here

A single question lingered in my mind. She acted very unusually with me, or was that just how she was with everybody?Bookmark here

Regardless, I wouldn’t know for sure.Bookmark here

At least I was able to make my first “friend”.Bookmark here

Maybe now, time would begin to move.Bookmark here

I looked out the window once more.Bookmark here

I smiled.Bookmark here

The endless downpour subsided.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.