1.

His childhood friend Taro is nice to a fault. He often gives people the impression that he is not sociable while in truth his kind nature lets him make many friends.

Perhaps too kind, Osano thought to himself, as he watches Taro apologizing to a girl on the ground-who crashed into him this morning—frantically.

From Taro's widened eyes and paled face, Osano knew his friend was tripped with guilt and worry about the girl.

Tsk, he felt an irritation rise up in his chest when he stares at the girl. Though it is normally not his place to judge one's politeness (he tend to sound too harsh), but to respond to the person who's talking to you should be basic manners.

Just when he was about to interfere to make sure the girl treat his friend with some respect, he saw her move.

She raises her head, smooth ebony hair slides back past her neck and barely touch her ponytail. Her eyes the color of dusk with some…intense emotion clouded in it.

An unknown shiver hit Osano when he peered into her eyes.

His heart rate fastened, and his breath halted.

Ba-dump

"I'm really, really sorry!"

"No, I sho- I-I-I mean- It's alright. T-thank y-you." Her nervousness showed up on her face clearly, tinting her pale skin a soft pink. It's a perfectly normal and flustered response of a girl who just fell down ungracefully, excluding the fact that it's a complete contrast to the unnerving silence she displayed before.

Ba-dump

The girl accepted Taro's extended hand.

The moment she was pulled up, Taro showers the girl with concern, "Are you sure you are alright?"

Ba-dump

The girl nodded, though "shaking her head up and down wildly like an enthusiastic fan at a metal concert" is a better term.

Ba-dump

Osano doesn't know why he relaxed again at the sight of this, he opened his palm and realized it's wet from cold sweat.

He also releases a breath that he didn't know he was holding.

Just as he does so, he noticed the time from his wristwatch, a desperate shout came out,

"Taro YOU IDIOT! We're LATE!"

Panic overtook Taro's face, the fear of getting late on the first day of school led the two to sprint at breakneck speed towards the school gate, and the incident with this odd girl was quickly forgotten.

2.

The "odd" girl, Ayano Aishi, quivers intensively, overwhelmed with her discovery. This is what colors look like. What happiness is like described by her mother. What sound is like as it excitedly pounds in her ears. She placed her hand on her rapidly beating heart.

Joy. Excitement. Comfort. Bliss.

Fear. Anxiety. Sorrow, tears falling.

Despite the tears streaming down her face, she's smiling widely. Creating a haunting image of insanity. Leaning forward to cup her face in her hands, she repeatedly whispered this phrase in her cracked voice,

"Thank you. This is what living feels like. Thank you, thank you, oh thank you..."