True Friends, An Unending Dream

Chapter 1

by

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()()()

"Hi." The voice came from somewhere to Ryo's upper left. Normally, he'd be able to see this person's face, but Ryo spent the majority of every day staring down, normally at his feet but right now his eyes were focused on the drawing in front of him. At some point he'd decided looking people in the eye was a beginning of a conversation or a confrontation, usually both considering his choice of topics. Five year olds weren't supposed to theorize on why soldier's died. When Ryo refused to look up, the voice repeated itself. "Hi."

The voice was soft and feminine, just a tad bubbly and filled with a hidden laugh just waiting to burst out. It was the kind of cute voice that belonged on little girls with dimples and curls. Ryo, of course, hated it and it's owner immediately.

"Hi."

Ryo got the feeling the girl wasn't going to leave him alone if he just ignored her. Deciding there was no other way around it, he looked up. The girl more than filled his expectations her voice gave had given him. Her smile was way too large for her face, dimples filling in any space left over on either side of her face. Her eyes were just a tad too vacant, and her head was cocked slightly to the side, reminding him of a curious puppy.

"Hi, my name's Kit. What's yours?"

Ryo's tactic of getting rid of her through ignoring her abruptly changed at this point to simply glairing at her and hoping she caught the hint. He'd already acknowledged her existence; so ignoring her was no longer an option anyway.

"Hi, my name's Kit. What's yours?"

She's not going away...

"My name is Ryo." He hoped he'd said it clearly enough. He hated repeating himself, and people always asked him to say his name again.

"Ryo? That's a funny name. Row, row, row your boat!"

He just blinked at Kit. That was a response he hadn't heard before. Why would someone sing his name? It wasn't the proper use of his name, his name meant something... else, but still no one had ever sung his name before.

"Ummm.... Can I borrow your red crayon?"

Ryo didn't like letting other people borrow his stuff. He'd learned from the kids on his block, when someone borrowed your stuff, it tended to stay borrowed.

"Please?"

Ryo sighed and passed her the crayon he'd been using to color with. All that was left was the black one, but they were all the same to him anyway. And thus began Ryo's first day of kindergarten.

()()()

Kit's first day away from her mother and father wasn't going so well. They'd told her Kindergarten would be fun, but thus far it hadn't been. During roll call, she'd almost forgotten her own name, and the teacher wanted to call her Kitsumi, which was way too much for Kit's mouth. The Pledge of Allegiance, whatever that was, had made absolutely no sense. Purple waves? Every kid seemed to know all the words too, except her. And worst of all, she was set at the desk across from the scary kid. He was dressed all in black and refused to look at her. It was like he was trying to tell her that he hated her without actually having to talk to her. Kit felt like shrinking in on herself. School was not fun. Mom had lied.

I could really use a friend.

Her mother's advise suddenly popped into Kit's head. "If you're feeling lonely, just introduce yourself to your Kindergarten Partner, and keep at it until they say hello back." Kit absently nodded her head like she did when her mother had said it in person. And I want to borrow his red crayon. All that's left is that yucky black one... But I'm scared...

"Hi." She'd almost choked saying it, but she smiled as large as she could, and tried to sound as happy and nice as possible.

He... he didn't even look up! Kit sniffled. It's like I'm not even here! I just want to go home! But still, she tried again. "Hi."

This time he looked up. Silver/gray eyes peered out at her under brown bang. He looks... Sad. Lonely. He still looks scary though. She'd learned that if she repeated herself often enough, people usually responded. "Hi."

She waited patiently for him to say hi back, but he didn't. He only narrowed his eyes like her daddy did whenever she took something apart, like the phone. After a bit, it dawned on her that he wasn't going to return her greeting. Maybe he wants to know my name first.

"Hi, my name's Kit. What's yours?" That's right, introduce yourself and ask for their name, just like Mommy taught me. She waited a moment but he didn't seem to even move, not even to breathe. He's... he's scaring me... He doesn't like me. Chocking back a sob, she repeated herself. "Hi, my name's Kit. What's yours?"

"My name is Ryo."

Each word was so smooth and precise; it was like talking to an adult, only he sounded funny. She'd talked with a foreigner once, and they had sounded just like this, like he didn't know that you were supposed to say 'My name's Ryo.'

"Ryo? That's a funny name. Row, row, row your boat!" She started to giggle, loving the chance to sing her favorite song. Her giggle died before it reached her lips when Ryo's expression didn't change at all. Oh no, he doesn't like me! Ummm... quick, ask for the crayon before he ignores me again. He's going say no! He doesn't like me!

"Ummm.... Can I borrow your red crayon?" All that's left is the yucky black. He's going to say no. Not even my bestest, bestest friend would give me the red when only the yucky black is left! "Please?"

Ryo sighed and passed her the red crayon he'd been drawing with. Kit held it for a moment like it was the greatest present anyone had ever given her. He really likes me! He gave up the red just for me! Even when only the yucky black was left! She looked up at him again, after having stared at the red crayon forever. He'd picked up the black crayon and continued drawing, even though now the picture didn't look right. He looks so sad... I know! I'm going to make him my bestest friend ever! Kit nodded to herself and started on her drawing. I'm never going to leave his side, that'll make him happy! That'll make him smile! Ryo, I'm going to be your bestest, bestest, bestest friend! Forever!

And that's how Kit's first day of Kindergarten ended.