Written: April 27th, 2009 (old upload)
When Shiki was five, she knew she was special.
Different than the other girls.
While all the other girls colored their kittens pink and purple, Shiki colored hers green and brown and yellow and every single color in the crayon box. She would grin, staring up at her teacher, and wave her rainbow colored kitten as high as she could, and her teacher would smile back at her and pat her head, placing a gold star on the paper.
The other girls stared at the paper for a few seconds, laughed, and whispered to themselves something about how ugly it was, or how she was obviously color blind, but Shiki didn't care. She would skip right over to her table, take out her glue, and make a sticky mess out of her notebook and rainbow colored kitten.
She didn't care. Shiki was special.
She knew she was.
When Shiki was ten, she thought she was special.
Sure, normal girls her age had friends, but she was special, so, she didn't need them.
Of course she didn't.
She was that girl that sits in the front of the classroom and pays special attention to everything the teacher says and does. While everyone else is laughing, and talking, and having fun, she sits in a corner and works on her homework. She does this during class, after class, during P.E. (in which the occasional classmate would ask her to play, but she would always shake her head. She had no reflexes, and she was absolutely terrible at ball games), and at home.
Everyone gets invited to birthday parties, to pools, to movies.
Who wants to hang out with that weird (special), friendless kid with the glasses, anyways?
When Shiki was thirteen, she liked to think she was special.
She would always sit in the back of the cafeteria, working on some odd, black thing that vaguely resembled a cat, ignoring everything and everyone around her for a few minutes, until one of the school staff called her out on it. Nobody would bother to ask her what she was doing, or even why the hell she brought a sewing kit along with her in her book-bag.
During class, she would be the girl who would never ignore the current assignment in favor of talking, and, maybe, it was because nobody really talked to her. She had fun acquaintances to spend time with, but she didn't have friends.
And then along came Eri.
The girl had come out of the blue. She had said hi, and then she had asked if Shiki had made Mr. Mew (unoriginal and uncreative, but Shiki has thought it was cute at the time) all by herself. There had been some nodding, laughing, and then, somehow, the girl had decided that Shiki was her best friend. The seamstress to her fashion designer.
That was the first time Shiki ever had a best friend.
When Shiki was fifteen, she had come to learn she wasn't really anything special.
Boring, bland and ordinary. Shiki was just that girl that stood behind her group of "friends", not saying anything most of the time unless she was directly spoken to. She was just that girl who got straight A's, had an eye for detail, and watched everyone else have fun while she just stood there.
Eri was the special one. Shiki wasn't.
If Shiki got a ninety-eight on an exam, Eri got a hundred. Eri was sociable, witty, pretty, and she had a lot of friends who always wanted to spend time with her. If there was something new in the fashion market, Eri was the first to know, and if it wasn't for her, Shiki would probably be wearing overalls and ill-fitted jeans.
Everyone loved Eri. Everyone wanted to be friends with Eri. But Eri said she was her best friend, which was ridiculous, really.
Who would want to be best friends with plain old boring, Miss. What's Her Name, when she had so many other friends who were far much better than her?
Shiki wasn't special.
Special people don't have their best friend tell them they're not meant to do their dream.
Special people don't get hit by a car that had been going over the speeding limit and die four hours later in the hospital.
Now that Shiki's sixteen, she doesn't really think or know anything.
She's not the worse (or the best) at anything, and neither is anybody else. She's Shiki Misaki; she's good at some things, bad at others, and normal at the rest. She's an amazing seamstress (or so she's been told), she's not a very good designer, but that's what she has Eri for. She's died, she's lived, and now she's older.
She also has friends who she would do (and has done) everything for, and who she knows would do the same thing for her.
She sits in the back of the WildKat, sipping on her regular (an iced cappuccino with cream and cocoa powder on top), and she's always talking on her cellphone, waiting for one of her friends to be done with their shift, or just causing disruption to the peace and quiet of the other costumers. She goes to Hachiko on what is nearly a weekly basis with her friends (something about a game, but nobody ever delves too deeply into it), and at school, she's probably broken the record for most confiscated cellphones in a year, but Shiki doesn't really care.
She has friends who like her. She's not going to be alone again.
And that makes Shiki feel a little bit special.