Up until just now, my perceptions of the way the world worked were justified. I figured that the stages of life took the form of a continuous cycle. Following life would be the afterlife and when that is done, you reincarnate into a new, random life and repeat the process. It makes sense, right?

Most of my peers in my past life did not believe in such things and even I was skeptical along with them. But now, I have no choice but to believe... After all, I lived in the afterlife unless... everything that happened was a dream. No, it can't be. I remember everything! I remember spending most of my afterlife resisting the whole concept of life. I wanted to come face-to-face with God and show it just what I thought about the world it created. I even remember the boy that turned everything around and steered everyone in the right direction. It is because I remember, however, that what is going on now is absolutely wrong!

I am back in Japan! My age is the same, and my memories of the afterlife are intact. What God would allow a creature like me to exist with knowledge like this? To make matters even more complicated, I did not even spawn anywhere close to my hometown. In fact, I am certain that I've never been here in my entire life! Why is this happening?

The winding city is more suburban than my hometown, much to my discomfort. After countless hours of walking around interrogating nearby residents as to my whereabouts, the endless paths of concrete began to take its toll on me. I wore myself out scanning the city and the day had already begun to transition onto the late afternoon. Finding shelter should not be much trouble, but I still felt that I wasted too much time without making much progress.

I ultimately decide to sit down on a nearby curb with my thoughts as weary as my legs. I close my eyes to envision the utopia I was expecting to see in place of Japan. I prance down my desired grassy valleys without a care in the world. I kneel down to sniff the most beautiful flower in my path, but to no avail... not just because it's impossible, but somehow, my nostrils had become constricted at that very moment! I pry my eyes open to analyze the source of the problem. A tall, common-looking young man that appeared to be around my age stares down at me with a nonchalant expression that complimented his actions.

"Hey, what's the big idea?"

"I should be asking you the same thing, Haruhi," the arrogant brat replied.

I then noticed that the front door of the house behind me was open. This boy standing before me must live there, and I'm loafing around on his property like some weirdo. If that is correct, then I'm the one being strange. However...

"Haruhi..? Who is that..?"

My question came out as a shock to him. The stranger took a closer look at me and panicked. It was then that I realized that he has mistaken me for someone else.

"Wah! I'm sorry! I... I thought that..."

"It's okay," I said while standing up to his level. "This is your yard, isn't it? It was careless of me to lie around out here."

"That's not what I'm worried about," the boy said while rubbing his head. "You're not from around here, are you?"

"I-Is it that obvious?"

"Well yeah, sort of," he answered. "For one thing, your school uniform has a different color scheme than any other school around here. Actually... the fact that you're wearing one on a weekend suggests something else."

"How terrible! I don't work on one of those perverted fanservice buses!"

"That's not what I meant, really!" the boy fumbled.

The flustered face he wore said a lot about him. He seemed somewhat honest and kind. It also seems that he is a bit shy and inexperienced, but it is too soon to start making assumptions like that. While I was thinking such things, I realized a bit too late that he told me his name, but I did not catch it.

"...but you'll hear people call me Kyon from time-to-time," was all I managed to catch from him.

"Kyon.. is it? interesting.."

He gave sighed with a wry smile. Did I say something funny?

"I'm Yuri Nakamura," I said out of courtesy. "People tend to call me Yurippe, even though I don't particularly care for that nickname. It was nice meeting you, but I should be going before it gets too late."

"Do you have anywhere to go?"

"Of course I do!" I shouted "I just said so, didn't I?"

"I see. Sorry.."

I defended myself on impulse, but the truth is that I really did not have anywhere to go. I do not even know exactly where I am. Just what drove him to ask a question like that? It almost sounded as if he knew what I was going through...

"Actually..." I started. "I'm not really in a hurry. I was just in the middle of sight-seeing, that's all."

"This isn't exactly a small town," he replied. "If you want, I can show you a few places."

I cannot read this guy's motives at all. Is the type of person that is always this kind to outsiders? Maybe in the end, he wants something from me. Either way, I can't afford to turn down his offer. Anything is better than being alone in unfamiliar territory after all. Keeping that in mind, I reluctantly accepted.

I decided to suppress the more baffling questions in my mind for now. There is no way I can figure out why I am here right now anyways. I will just have to hope that I can get some sort of clue soon enough. Whatever it is, there has to be some sort of reason. After all, every life has a purpose... right, Otonashi?