Memory is a complicated word. Normally, storing and retrieving memories can be as simple as breathing. It's a biological function. When we can't find a fact in the depth of our mind…it most probably never existed in the first place, or it is long forgotten. Nevertheless, sometimes, not recalling doesn't necessarily mean we have forgotten.
Just on the curve of the street, when it goes on and forks up into more, was one of the town's most famous high schools, surrounded by trees and neighboring with a park. It was early in the morning and the pavements were inundated with pedestrians that maybe wanted to avoid sticking in the horrible traffic. Bunches of students started arriving and filling up the school grounds. A group of loud girls passed through the doors and sat on the grass, under a cluster of trees.
"I don't know about you guys but I think that this year's awesome! We are older, more mature, and first and foremost…we chase after as many boys as we can!" said enthusiastically the one with the long, black hair.
"Mature one speaking!" said Yuuki.
"Yeah sure…as if you haven't dated enough already!" Aiko backed at her.
A couple of others giggled at her comment while Aiko opened her mouth again.
"What about you, Chihiro?"
The brunette with straight, shoulder length hair, who hadn't spoke so far, took her eyes off the ground and vaguely looked at the tree above.
"We're in the middle of fall, and yet everything seems so…difficult. Math, chemistry…even PE is troublesome. I'm stressed already."
"Aw, come on! You always frown like that…you just push yourself too hard…"
"Maybe you're right." Chihiro smiled.
The group gathered up at the sound of the bell and they all rushed to enter the building. The huge mob of students split up and settled down into classrooms. The bunch of girls got in a spacious, bright room. Chihiro sat on her usual seat near the wall. She liked to lean on it and close her eyes when her teachers weren't looking. Everyone started chatting and her group of friends went away into a corner to talk about their projects. Chihiro looked at everyone. All of her classmates seemed so happy.
Why weren't they feeling the same thing as she did? For the last few days, it would seem as if she was absent from this world. Her friends were close to her ever since she had moved into town, but now they seemed as distant as ever. There was something that hindered her merging with her surroundings. Chihiro couldn't tell what it was.
The first two hours of geometry went well, then grammar and another hour of PE. PE used to be Chihiro's favorite subject at junior high. Although she was clumsy and always got caught up into accidents, it was the only subject that kind of seemed relaxing. She particularly liked it because she loved swimming after a tiring day, it would seem as if she could fuse in with the water. However, her current school didn't have swimming premises, and sports didn't look so fun anymore.
After playing and fooling around with the others, she went back to change into her school uniform and grab a bottle of mineral water. Just three more classes…hang in there. For some reason she just wanted to go home and do nothing. She was pretty sure that her friends had noticed her semi-depressing mood, but she had no words to explain it to them. How would they understand anyway?
Upon hearing the last bell, she hastily gathered her stuff and grabbed her backpack. After saying goodbye to her classmates she followed the current of people to the exit. Taking the path on her left, she circled around the building towards the park. She touched one of the wooden benches and looked around.
She couldn't help but admire the beautiful scenery. It was a particularly windy day, and sunny despite being in the middle of autumn. The trees around the premises had started shedding their leaves in the hues of golden and crimson. A thin layer of leaves had already covered the pavement, and the wind still swirled a bunch of them in the air. She followed the dancing leaves with her eyes, until she saw something.
Among the people on the other side of the road, there was someone who caught her attention. A young man in a dark coat and hat, his messy, choppy hair was black but shined green under the sun. He was far away, Chihiro couldn't see his face very well, but something ignited inside of her and it looked as if everything else had frozen. Without realizing, she found herself crossing the road without caring about the cars, making way through the crowd, trying not to lose him out of sight. Someone mumbled some insult as she apparently pushed him over too hard, but she continued headlong onward. She finally pushed aside a couple of students and stopped.
But he was gone. Chihiro scouted the place with her eyes, but he didn't seem to be anywhere nearby. She raised her hand on her mouth. What was it that rushed to escape from her lips? Was it a name? She had already forgotten what she was about to gasp out. The girl was sure that she had never seen this person before, yet, for those few seconds she was thinking of nothing else but to get close to him.
She slowly turned around and strode along the pavement, taking the way back home. Maybe I am starting to go crazy, after all.