A dark room, no light comes through the window even if it’s still noon.
The air was filled with a stagnant smell.
Some clothes, and more, were all over the place.
On the bed there was a girl sleeping on her stomach, with her head facing left, towards the door.
She slowly opened her eyes as the banging on the door became louder..
‹ ..Who is it? ›
‹ Ame-chan.. will you come down to eat? ›
‹ Where is him? ›
‹ ..Kazu-chan left two days ago, at his university there are dorms, so he won’t come back here anymore ›
‹ Then I’ll try to come ›
“ Two years.. and I still tremble near men.. I need to hurry up, I can’t go on like this, not even stepping out of the orphanage.. I need to cut my hair.. yeah! I can begin from there! Ok, later I’ll try going out! “
Ame seemed strangely cheerful while eating alone in her room; if someone were to see her, he’d have certainly thought she had hit her head.
Calmly walking down the streets, Ame’s get-up it didn’t pass unnoticed: a large white t-shirt and cyan-colored jeans, which made her long pitch black hair stood out even further.
The hairdresser she was going to was nothing fancy, but the old man running the saloon was really kind so it didn’t lack customers. Since Ame knew the owner, she thought it’d be a nice idea to start from there.
‹ Ooh Ame-chan! ›
‹ Ah.. he-hello, oji-san.. long time no see ›
‹ Those are some long hair you’ve got there! How do you want me to cut them? Shoulder-length like always or do you want to try a new hairstyle? ›
‹ I want them like usual, I guess.. ›
‹ I see, here, take a seat.. ›
Incredibly Ame didn’t never shake, a huge step forward indeed. This momentarily sense of accomplishment led her to think that maybe it would be possible to go to high school. To finish the third year of middle school, she spent a lot of effort, but after that she never once stepped outside the orphanage, so if this year she wanted to go to high school, she’d be a first year instead of a second year.
Since she couldn’t be in the orphanage forever, when she said to the sisters she wanted to give “school” another chance, they accepted to let her enroll in high school.
Ame wanted a fresh start, to do so, she had to change school. She didn’t want to meet Yui or Makoto, it would’ve brought back painful memories.
She couldn’t even go to a near school, there was a risk she could’ve met Eichirou, besides Kato High, all the other near high schools were close to one another.
Thus her choice was Shiro Academy (seeing that it was built near the Shirotsuki temple, it took the name from it), a full two hours ride from the nearest train station.
Tight jeans, a black sweater and a long white scarf. Ame was standing up in front of the door of the train, looking outside, ignoring the girl, seated near there, that was staring her.
Anyway, the only thing in her mind was that she had to dress with normal clothes, because her middle school uniform was tight. Ame did not grow more taller than 1-2 cm, nor did she became fat, rather she was slightly thinner; the problem was in the chest area, she grew of one size. She wasn’t really fond of it.
While Ame was in her own world, the seated girl with the passing of the time became more and more restless. She stood up, her eyes were burning with courage; such an annoying sight.
‹ Ehm.. you.. you know, it’s the first time I do something like this.. but I thought “ She’s really cool, I’d love to be her friend! “ and when I saw that you weren’t getting off of the train.. I thought that maybe you too were going to Shiro’s entrance exams? S-so what I’m trying to say is.. would you like to try become friends with me? We could, like, go somewhere to-together after the exam, or– ›
Ame glared at the girl coldly, making her blush in embarrassment.
‹ Sorry, but I don’t see the point in interacting with you; besides, shouldn’t you have at least said your name? Whatever, piss off now. ›
As Ame got off the train, the girl remained on the train with mixed feelings of awe and sadness, completely forgetting that she too had to get off.
Later, during the entrance exam, the same girl that was on the train entered the class in which Ame was taking the exam. She was really lucky to be able to take the test.
‹ Ah.. about before.. I’m sorry, I guess? I was really just, like, so excited when I was talking to you that I forgot to tell you my name, thus.. nice to meet you, I am Rurihana Saya. The exams are over so.. would you like to go eat some sweets with me? ›
Saya’s bright smile strangely soothed Ame’s heart a little
‹ ..You’re really persistent, aren’t you? I’ll agree with your offer, so let’s make this the last day with talk with each other okay? And fucking stop saying “like” all the time, it’s annoying. ›
‹ Oh okay! Then let’s get going, I know of a really good place near here! Ah, by the way, what’s your name? ›
‹ Just call me Ame ›
‹ Ehhhh? But I told you my naaaaame ›
Ame’s gaze pierced Saya
‹ And so I did ›
‹ Ah.. uhm sorry.. ›
‹ Let’s go. ›
Saya was a plain girl. She had brown hair and eyes, she wore her middle school uniform so apart from her black glasses she really wasn’t the type to stand out; if only she didn’t open her mouth, that is.
The two girls were chatting (?) and eating in “ Fee Lied “; a popular dessert shop mostly frequented by girls, it had two floors: on the first floor was a counter and lots of tables and chairs, on the second floor was the kitchen and the changing rooms.
The interior had a medieval/gothic feel to it, but it still maintained a modern look.
‹ So you’re from Kato? Then why did you come here? Well, Shiro certainly isn’t a mediocre school, but Kato.. ›
Ame throughly scrutinized Saya, she didn’t want to say more than needed
‹ ..It’s because I skipped a year, Kato High does not accept students who aren’t in their “ proper “ grade ›
‹ I see.. ah wait! This means that you’re my senpai! ›
‹ No, I’m not, as I said I skipped a year, so I’ll be a Shiro Academy first year just like you, if you have passed ›
She successfully adverted Saya’s attention with her little undiscovered lie, though she didn’t notice that not only she was normally chatting with a girl she just met, but she was also doing an imperceptible smile.
‹ Confident aren’t we, Ame-san? What makes you think you passed? ›
‹ I was first in all my three years at Kato middle school ›
‹ Geh! I–.. You’re much more amazing than I thought ›
‹ I really can’t understand you ›
‹ Ame-chan wake uuup! You’ll be late for school ›
Going to bed late at night and sleeping until noon certainly did not help now that she had to go to school, but habits are habits.
‹ Buuut! It’s only the entrance ceremonyyy.. can’t I skip it? ›
Ame stood up and began changing
‹ Come on now.. doesn’t Shiro Academy hold a Sakura-viewing/welcome party after the ceremony? You could make some friends ›
‹ I don’t need friends. Thanks for the bento, I’m going bye ›
Ame still didn’t have Shiro’s uniform, so she wore the same clothes she had the day of the exams; perhaps she hoped to see Saya again? Well, at any rate, she did. From a door of the train a plain girl was lively shouting Ame’s name
‹ Aaameeee-saaaaaan! Please don’t ignore meee! ›
‹ Tsk, so you passed? ›
‹ What was that? Did you hope that I wouldn’t get in? Too bad! We’ll see each other for the next three years, so let’s be friends! By the way, were is your uniform? And, is that bento for the Sakura-viewing? ›
Shiro Academy’s uniform resembled a white suit for the boys and a white dress for the girls
‹ One: no, let’s not be friends; two: my uniform still has to be delivered; three: yes, it is ›
‹ You’re such a meanie Ame-saaan! Did you make the bento yourself? ›
‹ ..That’s right. Now stop pestering me. ›
‹ ..And that’s all I wanted to say. Now, for those who want remain, there’s a Sakura-viewing party organized by us teachers and the student council to welcome the new students, please enjoy yourselves. ›
As the Chairman of the school finished his speech, everyone stood up.
Shiro Academy was built upon the plain near the Shirotsuki temple; it comprehended a gymnasium, a pool, a running track, two dojo (one for males the other for females) and three connected buildings (the first, for first and second years; the second for the third years and the teachers; the third for the various clubs) in between there was a little garden, which the students used as a resting area during lunch and after club activities. The Sakura they were going to watch were behind the school, on the unused path to the temple.
“ Now.. what should I do? Should I eat my bento here or return to the orphanage and eat at the park? “
‹ Ame-san! Won’t you eat with me? ›
“ The park. “
‹ W-wait! I found a nice spot with no one around, Ame-san doesn’t like crowds, right? ›
“ This girl.. she looks dumb but maybe she compensates by being perceptive? “ ‹ ..Fine, let’s go ›
‹ Ah Ame-san, you’ve already finished eating? ›
‹ Yeah, I’m going to buy something to drink, what do you want? ›
‹ Green tea, thanks ›
Fortunately even if this was only the second time Ame came to this school, she recalled seeing the vending machines when she went to the class where the entrance exams were taken. But she did not notice the label “ defective “ on the machine, which brought to her kicking it. A passing girl saw this scene and approached Ame.
‹ Did you put your money in there? ›
‹ ..Yes, I didn’t notice that it was broken.. ›
‹ How much? ›
‹ 500 yen ›
‹ Here ›
The girl took out from her pocket some money and she gave it to Ame
‹ N-no wait, I couldn’t possibly take money from you.. I don’t even know who you are ›
‹ There’s no problem. I am the student council president, second year, Fukuhara Airi. And you are.. ? ›
‹ Ah.. first year, Notsuki Ame. ›
Ame bowed, turned and began returning to Saya after buying everything. Airi observed her kouhai going away and then she began uttering something
‹ Mmmh.. Notsuki Ame.. I thought for sure that it was a boy.. well, it doesn’t matter, we are still going to have her join us; to think she managed to get a perfect score in a test Unzenn-senpai made.. ›
A boy appeared from behind a wall
‹ President.. didn’t you say we were going to have her join only because the Academy’s rules state that the first years with perfect score are to join the student council? So, who is this “ Unzenn-senpai “? ›
‹ I don’t know ›
‹ President, I thought I told you to stop with the nonsensical jokes? ›
‹ Mph! Let’s go ›
‹ … ›
The two walked away towards the second building, where there was also the student council room.