Today should have been like any other day.
The clouds were a bit darker, and it looked like it might rain, but it should have been no different. I had three calls today, so I went to the addresses they gave me and fixed whatever it was that broke down. That's pretty much my job.
The first place was a computer with a virus. It wasn't a particularly nasty or complex program, only designed to slow the computer down, so dealing with it was simple. The second place was just a faulty circuit that kept shorting out light bulbs. Easy, as far as my line of work goes.
The last place was a different deal altogether. It was in the back of a small diner, in the owner's living space. His personal computer had dried champagne all through the circuits. I'm surprised the thing was still salvageable, although that would likely not be the case if it had been a decade or two newer. It's true, they really don't make them like they used to.
Because my last job of the day was in the back of a diner, I decided to stick around a bit longer and get something to eat. When I finished my burger, which I must say tasted rather poor, I turned around in my seat at the counter and glanced around the diner. My first assumption should have been my last. I shouldn't have looked again.
But, of course, I did. Why? Because I saw something I thought was a bit familiar. There, at the back of the diner, was a young woman I was certain I had seen before. Her brown hair reached just past her shoulders and had a yellow ribbon that kept it out of her face, revealing her amber eyes. A few moments passed before I matched a name to the face.
She probably doesn't even remember me, seeing as we haven't met since high school. That was about twelve years ago, and considering that we were never really on good terms, I would have completely forgotten her too if she hadn't been so unforgettable. She had always been energetic, that much a remembered for sure, which is why it was disturbing to see her like this.
She was slumped over the table, her head buried in her arms. It almost looked like she was crying, but she was definitely exhausted. Something else seemed wrong, and that's when I found myself looking around for the rest of her brigade. I chided myself, remembering again that twelve years is in fact a very long time. I realized fairly quickly that that was what was bothering her. She was alone. Her friends were all gone. It also occurred to me that the diner wasn't too far from the high school we all went to. Her brigade probably came here often. It must have been a place full of memories for her.
That all said, I'm not sure why I stood up and walked over to her table. Again, we were never really friends. The closest we'd ever been was when she kicked me in the face. That happened at least once. Come to think of it, I was probably putting myself at risk just by approaching her. Why I went ahead and said her name is beyond me.
After a few moments, she slowly raised her head up to look at me. There was no recognition in her eyes, so I figured I might be safe. Now that I could see her face, I confirmed that she had indeed been crying. The look she gave me was one of complete loneliness. It would have broken my heart if it weren't for the memories of her almost breaking my face.
Apparently, once she determined she didn't know me, she buried her face in her arms again. I was about to leave when she finally spoke. "How do you know my name?"
I laughed, trying not to sound like I was enjoying her situation, but laughing all the same. "You're not an easy person to forget. Sure, twelve years wears on the memory, but you... you're one person I'll probably never forget."
She didn't even look back up at me to deliver a cutting retort. "You, on the other hand, must have been really forgettable. I haven't the slightest clue who you are."
Ouch. Still, even if she ever did know my name, I know she never said it when I was around. I was just a rival or enemy or possible resource to her. In the end, it might be best not to jog her memory. Just thinking about that kick makes my face hurt. I guess some of the truth can't hurt though.
"We, uh, we went to high school together. We never really hung out or anything, but we weren't exactly unfamiliar with each other."
She looked up at me again, trying to remember my face. I've changed a lot more in the past twelve years than she has, so good luck to her. She rested her chin on her arms, still studying me. "So, just vaguely aware of each other's existence?"
A little more than that, I would say. My face agrees. "Yeah, pretty much."
She sighed, obviously bored. Lonely and bored. "I... I don't suppose you know where the rest of my, er, my friends are, do you? After high school, we pretty much scattered. I wanted to keep in touch, but everyone just moved away. You're the first person who's recognized me, other than my parents, in the last decade."
Okay... to be honest, I guess it's the same for me. I only have the contact information for one person I knew in high school. She moved to Canada, so... yeah. Actually... I may be able to help Haruhi. "Come to think of it, I do know where one person went. She wasn't a member of your brigade, but she might be a good person to start with."
Miss Suzumiya looked up at me hopefully. "Who? Where?"
Here we go. "You may remember Miss Emiri Kimidori. I happen to still have her phone number and e-mail."
Her eyes went wide. "Kimidori? She used to live in the same building as Yuki! They probably keep in touch at least a little." I grabbed a napkin from the table and wrote Kimidori's number on it, then handed it to Miss Suzumiya. She looked at it, studying it for a second before asking a question. "Four one six... I don't recognize the area code."
No wonder, really. It's on the other side of the planet. "That would be in Toronto." She gives me a look that says she isn't sure where that is, so I clarify. "Canada."
The look on her face changes drastically, now showing surprise and something getting pretty close to joy. She pumps her fist in the air and shouts. "Canada!"
Before I can tell her to keep it down, she wraps her arms around me in a hug that nearly strangles me. Then she runs out the front door and down the street. I take it this means she's going to go to Canada now. Well that certainly was an interesting reunion, and she never once recognized me as the former president of the computer club. That's okay, I can live with one less kick in the face. So long, Haruhi Suzumiya. I hope you find what you're looking for.
This is just the prologue. Chapter one will be much longer.