It was a normal morning, I suppose. I was walking to school a little earlier  than usual, mostly because I was meeting a friend of mine to discuss the school spring festival. We were both on the committee. It was getting cooler, but slowly. It was about mid-November. The leaves were a pretty burgundy red, mixed in with orange and cream yellow.

            The unusual thing about my walk was who I bumped into on the way. There is this boy in my class who truly is a complete enigma. He wears black pants and a black long-sleeve turtle neck every day, even in the summer. I don't know how he got out of wearing the uniform either. He has pitch black hair and he always wears a pair of sunglasses. He refused to take them off, so as far is I know, he could have black eyes as well. He barely talks and when he does, he hardly moves his mouth.

            That morning he strolled out of the cemetery casually and continued down the road. The cemetery? That was strange. Who would be there this early in the morning? Even if I don't get an answer, I might as well try. I run up to him and pop my question.

            "Why were you in the cemetery so early in the morning?" I ask. He jumps in surprise.

            To my astonishment, he collected himself and replied in his usual dry tone. "Paying my respects."

            "To whom, may I ask?"

            He waits a while to answer. "My father."

            "Oh, I'm sorry." I say. "I had no idea your father passed away."

            Again he pauses. "It was sort of an accident, but…nobody knows what really happened."


            He walks faster. "Enough on my dead father, okay?"

            "Wait!" I run after him. "Can't we walk to school together?"

            "Why would you want to walk with me, Kasumi?" The boy asks.

            "Do you not want me to, Satoshi?"

            He sighs. "I guess it's alright."

            I smile. "Arigatou."

            "Yeah." He mumbles.

            I had never heard him talk that much in along time. It was nice. The aura and mystery about him I liked. He made me very curious. Things were just bound to get stranger from now in. I just knew it.

            "Kasumi!" Sae called out to me as I reached school.

            "Good Morning, Sae. Looks like you almost beat me here." I reply.

            She talks a piece of paper out of her pocket, unfolds it and shoves it under my nose. "Look at these! They're my plans for the festival. Well, not really plans, just ideas. But I want you to look them over and tell me what you think. You have ideas as well right? Of course you do, that was a stupid question. I hope mine aren't too extreme or anything. It might be too far out of the budget. How much is Nazumi-Sensei giving us for it?"

            The usual ramblings and random thoughts of the morning. I was used to it by now. Sae loves to talk and she can talk…fast. I quickly glance over her notes and make my own checklist. She had the basic thoughts on this festival. You have your plays, musicals, talent shows, school market, etcetera. I told her that it was a start and we could revise things to Nazumi-Sensei's requirements.

            "I noticed Satoshi-san next to you this morning." Sae mentioned. "Why?"

            I just look at her and shake my head. "You suspect something don't you?"

            She pouts her lip in embarrassment.

            "I just bumped into him on my way here and I asked if I could walk with him, that's all." I reply.

            "Ah, okay!" Sae smiles. "Just don't tell Naoko-chan."

            "Why not Naoko-chan. She should be here any minute." I say.

            "She's never told you? She thinks Satoshi-san is quite gorgeous."

            I laugh. "You are talking about Naoko, right? Naoko, the bookworm?"

            Sae nods. "I was surprised myself when she told me. She said something about his eyes."

            I look at her strangely. "You can't even see his eyes."

            "For some reason she likes the fact that you can't see his, but he can see yours." Sae guesses. "If you ask me, it's creepy."

            "He is pretty mysterious. I saw him walking out of the cemetery this morning."

            "You did?" Sae gasps.

            "He told me he was paying respects to his father." I reply.

            "His dad works at the cemetery?" Sae questioned in confusion.

            I sigh. "If he has a job six feet under, sure!"

            "Sugoi!" Sae exclaims.

            "He's dead, Sae!"

            "Oh…" Sae mumbles. "You could have just told me that."

            I sigh.

            "Kasumi-chan, Sae-chan."

            I turn around to see Naoko. "Good Morning."

            Sae blurted. "Kasumi walked to school today with Satoshi-san."

            "Sae!" I whisper.

            Naoko looks at me funny, and then smiles. "Interesting. Did you two talk?"

            "A little, not much." I reply. "You know him."

            Naoko nods slowly.

            I had to break the silence. And with the information that Sae gave me about Naoko-chan, I could break the it and ease the tension. "I'm really glad that Nazumi-Sensei put me with Ryu-san for that project." Ryu was the boy who sat next to me in class. He was sort of cute…a good excuse at least to get Naoko out of my hair about Satoshi. "Zettai kawaii, ne?"

            Sae giggles and shakes her head in agreement. Naoko even chuckles a little bit. It made me feel a lot better. After putting our shoes away in the locker room, we head down the hall to homeroom to start the day. On the way, Satoshi passed us. He turns his head and those sunglasses land right on me. I could feel my eyes getting wider, but I try not to stare. Something about him made me look back though. Naoko-chan was smiling though. She must have thought he was looking at her.

            That was the beginning of everything.