These are not mine
He likes it here in the library, filled with all different kinds of worlds—worlds away from the place he lives in—on pages. All his other classmates hate library time (which is always on a Monday), but he likes it. While the other kids head towards the picture books, he likes reading the books with all words on them—he can see pictures in his head.
When it's lunch time, he likes to hide here now. There's a window near where he sits on the floor—that way he can watch his classmates play too.
There are other kids that like the library too. These kids are much older than him—probably sixth graders—and they don't read. Instead, they sneak around behind a bookshelf, dragging younger kids with them.
They are like the pirates in the books he reads, kidnapping civilians and kicking them until they give them something they like—maybe a yoyo or just plain tears. He doesn't like them, but he doesn't say anything either. He doesn't want to get them in trouble or hurt anyone in any way by talking to a teacher.
One time, they saw him peeking through a hole in the bookshelf.
"This one's been watching us the whole time."
"What a little sneak."
They rip the pages of the book he was reading and tug on his hair until it hurts. He thinks the hot watery stuff in his eyes is his tears. Closing his eyes, he imagines that he is somewhere else—maybe in a kingdom with kind queens and kings and knights to keep all the evil away.
"Don't you dare tell anyone."
"Yeah, or we'll come back."
When he opens them again, they are gone and he is lying on the ground.
Classes started and nobody realizes that he is still alone in the library.
He is used to this.
Gingerly picking up the pieces of shredded paper, he collects the ruined pages of the book in his hand. For the rest of the day he tapes the pieces together. It isn't his fault that the book is all ruined, but he has to fix it. If he didn't, then someone will ask what happened to it, and then those older kids will get in trouble.
That wouldn't be fair to those kids. He's sure that they are actually nice people. Just like in the books, people all have someone mean and someone nice inside him.
So he won't tell anyone. He'll stay quiet and just watch.
"Ah, the library. My hell." Renji moans, putting his head on the wooden table burdened with stacks of books.
"It's just a book report, just choose two books we've read in the curriculum and compare to the book we're reading now." Kira replies unsympathetically as he reads.
"But I haven't actually read any books since…kindergarten." Renji peeks up at Toushiro, who is flipping through the list of titles and their respective authors. Renji smirks, "Toushiro too. Right, man?"
"I've read almost all of them."
"What?" He ignores their stares.
Renji's gawk turns into a mischievous smile, "Oh…I see. You've read all of them. Not that you didn't use an online source or anything…"
"No, really." He looks at them, "I mean, I read a lot when I was younger."
Kira stifles a laugh and Renji snorts, "Okay Toushiro, joke's over. It's okay, we can handle this report in misery together."
"No, this isn't a joke." He insists, "The translated works of Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, William Golding…I've read them."
He has. He remembers each one of them clearly and used to pretend being each character every book. He can remember that now.
"Come on Toushiro, we know you've never been much of a reader." Kira says.
"But I used to read all the time in the library during lunch when we were younger…" He is confused.
"Um, no. You played soccer with us during lunch." Renji states and looks at him weirdly. "Are you okay?"
He notices that he has his hand on his forehead with a frown set on his face. He smoothes it out, concealing his confusion with what he hopes is a joking grin.
"I can't believe you guys fell for that."
He tried to put his uncertainty behind him in order to familiarize himself with his old friends. Tried smiling at Renji's excessive complaints. Tried laughing about the first year who walked into the girl's bathroom today. Tried reminiscing about their "middle school years" he didn't remember.
Maybe pretending would help him recover the person he used to be.
But it doesn't, and by the time he leaves the library, he finds himself unable to remember anything about the boy he used to be. Watching the two walk ahead of him, he feels like an intruder—some sort of imposter that's stealing the name and the life of a boy named Toushiro.
He looks up at the orange sky and wonders when he will be able to be himself again.
"Yo, Toushiro! Come on!" Renji calls over her shoulder, "I told some guys we'd hang out at seven."
He hesitates for a moment, unsure if he actually wants to overwhelm himself by meeting so many new people or—even worse—frustrate himself by not being able to remember any of them.
But Toushiro would go.
So he pastes on a grin, "Yeah." He quickens his stride to join them.
He follows them to a recreational park. From afar, it seemed to be a huge lot of grass. Coming closer, he could see white lines painted on green. A soccer field.
"Home sweet home, eh Toushiro?"
So Toushiro played soccer.
"Hey! This is place is for players on the team only!" A lean, muscular black haired student in a jersey calls out from the goal post. His most distinguishing trait is the tattoo of the number 69 on one side of his face.
"Stop acting conceited, Hisagi! You know who we are!" Kira calls back.
"You won't be able to be such a bossy ass once you see who we've brought with us!" Renji smirks.
Hisagi…Hisagi Shuuhei. He remembers him—he was one of the taller boys. Bossy. Got into some fights during recess when they other boys played soccer. But he wasn't the most stubborn kid.
There was someone else.
Today the sky is gray—as if the clouds are warning everyone that it's going to rain soon and everyone should go inside. But he is the only one that heeds this warning. Nobody else listens to the sky.
Lately, he has been watching the boys play soccer. There are a few girls, but only a few because most of them are too fragile to handle the rough-play. He finds it all interesting; for those 30 minutes they play, they are mean to the people on the other team even if they are playing the same game.
Some of them are really good and fast like the ninjas he reads about in books.
Now one of them is yelling at the other. One of the boys pushes the other down. The sensei is going over to chastise the over-competitive boy, but he doesn't seem to care because his friends cheer him on from behind. But suddenly, a sulky expression falls on his face as the teacher points to the building.
Soon enough, the library door opens and it's the same boy.
They are in the same class and he knows a lot about him. He's the one that's always surround by a bunch of other kids—the loud ones. Whenever he gets into fights—which was often—he was always backed up by others. He can be nice though, even though his appearance could remind anyone of winter.
Spiky, messy silver hair. Blue-green eyes. Really short yet loud with a characteristic frown on his face.
"What are you looking at?" He roughly asks.
"Hi, Hitsugaya Toushiro-kun."
"Yo, Toushiro—watch out!"
Renji's urgent voice calls him back as finds himself staring at a blur of white and black that gets closer and closer to his face. The leap in his heart screams at him to duck and he almost closes his eyes. Yet against his instinctive thoughts, his body is able to remain calm. Swiftly, he heads the ball and juggles it with his knees, bringing the ball gracefully to the ground.
He stares at the ball, too occupied with his revelation to pay attention to the excited words of the soccer team approaching him.
"It's him alright!"
"Welcome back, Hitsugaya!"
"Look's like you've just lost your captain's seat, Hisagi!"
He doesn't respond. In fact, he can't see anything but the boy from the flashback.
Spiky, messy silver hair. Blue-green eyes. The frown that wasn't quite angry. Short yet loud.
Toushiro. He saw him as another person—someone outside of his body. Someone that wasn't him.
He was never Toushiro in the flashbacks.
These memories belong to someone else.
A/N: Happy Labor Day! I would've uploaded this sooner but I was without electricity for nearly a week. This may be the last upload for a while :(...