During school the next day, the children were sitting on the steps and talking. Momoko was going on and on about Jesus while Hajime and Leo were discussing some weird guy thing. Satsuki was listening to about three-quarters of what Momoko was saying, but the purple-haired girl frowned at her. "You're not even listening are you?" Satsuki gave her a slightly confused look.
"What are you talking about? I was listening." Satsuki defended herself, but not with the usual energy she usually had.
"I'm sorry, it looked sort of like you were listening, but without any facial expression that told me you were listening as I explained the word of the Lord."
"Hey, speaking of emotion, did anyone notice anything about that new girl?" Hajime asked. Leo nodded in agreement and adjusted his glasses so they reflected light off the front and hid his eyes behind the glare.
"That is true, yesterday she seemed completely emotionless, but today she seemed a bit happy. Perhaps she has been saved by Jesus." Satsuki sweat-dropped and gave her a slight face, though it wasn't too pronounced.
"Hey guys!" They looked up and saw Keiichirou running towards them. He stopped with a slight skid and took off his backpack. "Hey guys, how're you doing? I bought some juice." Everyone happily took some and started drinking. Satsuki smiled as she sipped at her juice, but not as much as she normally would have. Keiichirou noticed this and gave her a look. "What's wrong, don't you like it?"
"Yeah, it's delicious." Keiichirou nodded, but kept thinking that maybe she didn't mean it. He looked around at the school grounds as he sipped through the straw. When he saw Amanojaku in the tree, he smiled and waved.
"Hey guys, it's Kaya!" Everyone looked up and saw him in the tree. He jumped down from the branches and onto the stairwell.
"Well, it looks like the whole gang is together, how nice. I think I may have found a lead to our mystery spirit. I'm still not too sure about what it is, I'm gonna keep a sharp lookout and tell you when I find anything." He turned as if to leave, but stopped and turned back to Satsuki and Keiichirou. "By the way, you two might want to be careful. I sensed a presence last night in your room, so keep a lookout." With that said, he disappeared off to somewhere.
"There was something in our room last night?" Keiichirou asked as he latched onto his sister.
"Sounds like it, probably just a mouse or a rat or something. He may be in a cat's body, but he's a horrible mouser." Everyone nodded in agreement to Satsuki's statement. "Well, whatever it was, we'll just have to stay vigilant. Maybe we should start watching the bedroom in shifts, that way nothing could ever sneak up on us." She stopped for a moment to think about that and shook her head. "Nah, Keiichirou would probably fall asleep during his shift."
"Excuse me." Leo, hearing the voice, turned and saw none other than Kokoro standing a few feet behind him. "Hello, are you some of Satsuki's friends?"
"Umm, yeah. I'm Leo, that's Momoko, Hajime, and that's Satsuki's brother Keiichirou."
"Hello to you all. Um, Satsuki, since we sit next to each other, I'd like to offer you this as a sign of friendship." She almost shyly held out her hand, and in the center of her palm was a perfect-looking, homemade friendship bracelet.
"Wow! That's so pretty! Thanks!" She took the bracelet and slipped it on her wrist, it fit perfectly. "It's perfect, did you make it yourself?"
Kokoro nodded her head with a barely noticeable smile adorning her face. "Yes, I did. I have some for your friends too if they want one." She reached into her bag and pulled out a small amount of friendship bracelets which each of them took. They all complimented her as they looked at them. The bells chimed to go home and they said their goodbyes to Kokoro who was taking a different route home than they did.
They were talking as they walked down the street that went by the shopping district. They were so busy that they didn't notice a man coming up behind them until he grabbed Satsuki by the wrist and whirled her around. He wasn't that old, maybe in his mid-twenties or so.
"Hey! What the hell! Let go of me!" He immediately let her go and jumped back.
"Oh God! I am so sorry! I thought you were a completely different person. I'm very, very sorry!" He yelled the last sentence back because he was running off.
"That was weird." Keiichirou commented.
"See Keiicirou, always be on your guard." Satsuki lectured to her younger sibling.
In a hospital a mile or two away, the man who had grabbed Satsuki was sitting in a chair next to a withered old man who was asleep in the hospital bed. He looked at the flowers on the old man's bedside, then to the man himself. The man in the bed woke up and turned his head slowly to the man in the chair. "Is something wrong? You seem a bit tense."
"I saw a girl today, I thought it was her. I grabbed the girl's wrist, but it wasn't her. They looked so alike though, almost like they were twins." He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "Her friends must have thought I was a pervert or something." The old man in the bed reached out a shaky hand and held the younger man's.
"I kept her safe, blind for far too long. Please, I know you already have so much to do but, please try and find her."