Everything that Happens
Day 26: write a short fanfiction that features your favorite characters in high school.
Noriko finds a beautiful boy lost in the halls of her high school.
She isn't sure what to think when she sees the man lying on the floor in the hallway outside of the English room. Her first thought it that he is beautiful. He has long dark hair, longer than anyone she's ever encountered, that lays around his face in ribbons. His brows are thick and furrowed, even in sleep. Long lashes cast shadows down his cheeks. His face is long, perfectly symmetrical. He is almost inhumanly beautiful, if she's being honest. At first Noriko is worried that he might be dead, and she panics. Should she touch him? What if he was murdered? What if he needs a doctor? What should she do?
She looks around frantically, hoping that she will see a teacher or even an older student, someone who will know what to do. Surely enough, she's the only one there.
"Everything happens for a reason," she reminds herself out loud. This is the first time she's forgotten her bag after school. Perhaps she was meant to find him.
Noriko has crossed the floor and is in front of him before she really thinks about it. Her hand trembles when she stretches it out towards him, reaching for his forehead. He snatches her hand out of the air, and she stifles a scream before she catches his eyes. His expression is so intense that she freezes. He leans towards her, far too close for a stranger, and she chalks the rapid beating of her heart up to fear, even though that isn't what she feels when he whispers her name.
"I've finally found you." he breathes in another language, and though she shouldn't be able to understand what he's saying, her mind supplies the words.
For a moment time stops, and all she can hear is the beating of her own heart, and all she can feel is his breath fanning across her face. She sees a world in his eyes; there are brilliant blue skies and trees that stand where she knows only skyscrapers and apartment buildings. She feels pain and love and fear and hope, and her eyes close in submission before they are interrupted.
He is gone and she is alone on the floor, her breath coming too fast. Her arms are empty, and when she opens her eyes the world seems too dull. Atsuko notices the blush on her face. "Did you trip again? Geeze Noriko, be more careful!" Her friend helps her to her feet and hands her the bag she dropped.
"I'm sorry. There was a man."
Atsuko looks around suspiciously. "Like a student, or a teacher? Where did he go?"
"I don't know..." She looks longingly at the spot where he was laying. "He was right here. It looked like he was hurt."
Noriko feels the girl tugging on her arm. "Let's get out of here then. If there was a man here, he's gone now. Maybe I scared him off. Be more careful when you're alone!"
"Okay." She smiles cheerfully at her friend and follows her down the hall behind her. "Next time I'll be more prepared."
"Next time! Were you planning on meeting him again?"
Noriko doesn't bother to answer, but yes, she will definitely be seeing him again.
- - -
She comes back to school every night for a week before she begins to wonder if she just imagined him. She knows that she should be glad. For all that Noriko knows, he could be dangerous. He could be a serial killer or a rapist. The way he vanished, he could even have been a ghost.
But Noriko has always been overly curious, and she's a creative writer to boot, so she often finds her mind drifting back to him, and her feet moving back to the place where she saw him. She doesn't know how to explain that she feels empty to her parents or to her friends. Meeting him was like eating a food that she had never tasted before. She doesn't know what it's called or where to get it, but now that she's had a taste, she's craving more. She craves him, needs him, but she doesn't know where he came from or how to call him back, so she waits.
And then she sees him again. It's during class this time, in the middle of the day. She had almost given up on the mysterious man, but when she sees him again she knows that he's real and realizes that she would have kept waiting regardless of how long it took him to return to her.
He's standing in the middle of the yard, looking around like it's the first time he's seen a school. His knuckles graze the bark of one of the trees and then he's looking up at her again, gazing at her like she's the only thing in the world. He recognizes her, and it's enough to make all of her curiosity melt away. She's standing, calling back to the teacher that she needs a moment and is running down the stairs towards him before she even realizes what she's doing.
When she reaches the lawn he's gone again, and she can't begin to fathom why she feels so alone. The walk back up the stairs is long, slow torture, and she keeps glancing around the hall, hoping that he will be there again. She re-enters the classroom with an apology and sits down in her seat, trying not to shake.
"Are you all right?" The teacher asks, and she nods, ignoring the odd way the other students look at her. She can't bring herself to say that she's fine, because she can't recall ever having felt so lost before.
"If you're feeling sick..."
"I'll be okay," she answers, though she's on the verge of tears. What if she leaves and he comes back?
She couldn't have told anyone what the class was about, but she does know that the bark of the tree beneath the window feels unusually warm where her mystery man touched it.
- - -
Again, a week passes without seeing him. And then one day he's there, standing by her bedroom window when she awakens.
The light has just begun to filter in through the window. He rests a hand against the glass, taking in the world. His eyes seem to categorize every movement, flickering rapidly to follow the cars on the street.
Noriko should scream, seeing him standing there. He's tall and strong looking, otherworldly with his piercing gaze and odd clothes. He's been stalking her as surely as she has him. And he is dangerous, but she loves him.
"You're awake," he says without turning to look at her. His accent is odd. It has a strange lilt to it, making the words sound almost lyrical.
"I've been looking everywhere for you," she states.
He laughs, and his voices is deep when he replies. "You have been looking everywhere for me?" He moves towards her, invites himself to sit on the edge of her bed. "Do you even remember me, Noriko?"
"I know you," she answers, though her voice trembles. His fingers run through her hair in a soothing gesture.
"That you do."
He leans in, presses his lips to hers in a brief kiss. His mouth is warm against hers.
"How do I know you?"
"I made a mistake," he admits. "I thought I could live without you. I thought you would be safer if I gave you back." Sadness fills his voice and tears prick at the corner of her eyes. She can almost remember.
"But you couldn't?"
"No, I could not." He kisses the top of her head. "So I came back for you. I will not take you against your will," he promises.
"What if I don't?"
"My strength is waning. This is the last you will see of me. I will leave you to your life."
Already he is fading, and she grasps his arm in desperation. "I want to go with you."
It makes no sense, this love she feels for a stranger, but she can't stand the thought of being without him again and everything happens for a reason, so she lets him take her into his arms in an embrace and then they are gone, and she knows what it means to be complete.