Ch. 1

In times like these
When you wish you could die
People lock themselves up
And cry, cry, cry
Why?

Are you sad?
Are you holding yourself?
Locked in your room
Crying softly
You shouldn't be.....

Everyone is so insecure
We keep to ourselves
Let our feelings out in other ways
What's wrong these days?

Are you sad?
Are you holding yourself?
Locked in your room
Dying lonely
You shouldn't be.......

"So...what do you think?" The 16 year old girl asked her two person audience, which consisted of her boy friend and her best friend, as she removed her reading glasses."Well?" She repeated eager to know their opinions.

"Nanase..." Shiro had a half worried, half concerned look on his face. "Are you ok?"

"Y-Yes I'm fine" She said with a weak smile. Her boyfriend's contagious expression got to her "Why?"

"Your poem is a little....." He looked around the room avoiding eye contact with her, searching for the right word.

"A little what?"

"Depressing." Hiruka chimed in, finishing Shiro's sentence. "It's depressing." She repeated

Nanase pushed a strand of her long blueberry hair behind her ear and looked down at her feet. "I thought it was pretty good...." She said mumbling and blushing

"Oh Nasi, we don't think it's bad!"Hiruka said quickly. At this point Shiro walked over and placed an arm around Nanase's shoulders.

"We're just concerned." He added "Poems are usually about someone's feelings and we just want to make sure everything's O.K." he said with a little hug.

"Shiro, I'm fine." Nanase protested.

"Are you sure?" He asked again.

"Positive. I'm better than ever." She said with a smile as she waved her hand as if she were swatting a fly.

Shiro smiled. "Good. I'm glad" He said before bending over and giving Nanase a little kiss. This caused Nanase to giggle and blush happily; even though they had been dating for a while, she never got used to or expected one of Shiro's sweet kisses.

BBBBBBRRINGGGGGGGG

"Crap." Shiro muttered as the 8th period bell rang."Well,........I got to go to Chemistry" he said as he holstered his book bag on his back."What are you guys doing?"

"Art." Hiruka said with an eye roll and Nanase knew why; Hiruka could care less about art, but the teacher thought she had an 'eye' and was stuck in it for all 4 years of highschool."What about you Nasi?"

"Free period." Nanase said with a little smile as she stretched. Both of the juniors's eyes widened.

"How did you get a free period? Hiruka asked dubiously. "I thought only Seniors were allowed to get those."

"I did two sports last year so now I have a free period instead of gym."

"Duh! I totally forgot about that." The blonde said slapping her forehead. Her normal cluelessness caused Nanase to giggle.

The second bell rang and the 3 dispersed; After she put her belongings in her locker, Nanase made her way towards the courtyard. The chirping of the birds and the warmth of the sun relaxed her. Nanase sat down on a bench and couldn't believe how much Shiro had changed since the beginning of the year; a few months ago the two didn't even know each other, but now that the school year was coming to a close they were closer than ever.

Nanase leaned back and closed her eyes as she remembered the first day they met.

It was a week or so after the start of the school year. Most students were still hectically running around, getting supplies and what-not for the term, but Nanase was already settled. A nice, brisk September night rolled by and she decided to go out for a walk; The fresh air and quiet intensity of the night cleared her mind and focused her on her poetry. There was something about a vacant park and a starlit sky that triggered something in Nanase's mind.

As she gazed up at the twinkling stars above her, she remembered her horoscope from that morning:

There's a seductive aura in your chart in September; so expect admiring looks where ever you go, particularly in the beginning of the month. You'll feel a little reclusive and insecure around the 21st, but don't let it get the best of you. Don't be surprised if you meet a cute boy! This month is full of surprises and unexpectance for you, so don't be surprised if you bump into someone new.

Nanase gave a little chuckle and rolled her eyes at the thought; she never had a boyfriend in her life, and as appealing as it seemed, she doubted that her horoscope was true."Ha..............like anyone would find me seductive......." She mumbled to herself. "It would be nice if I met someone new though..." She added with a little sigh; Nanase had always been somewhat shy and only had a few close friends."But it's not like my horisope will help me find love...". The teen closed her eyes and inhaled a crisp refreshing breath of air. "I have no time for a boyfriend anyway." She continued. She was right though; Nanase either had an anointment or activity almost everyday, and when she wasn't doing that she was either at work or studying.

Her tranquil loneless was disturbed by the footsteps of another. A guy of about 17 stood a few feet away from her. He wore baggy pants and a long, large black tee shirt; his raven black hair matched it except for his red dyed bangs. He pushed a few strands of hair out of his face as he glanced at Nanase; as soon as he did he just as quickly turned away and gazed upward towards the sky.

"So....what are you looking at?" He asked.

"Huh?" For a moment Nanase didn't realize the stranger had been talking to her....or that he was even there."I'm sorry; what?" She asked.

"I said, 'What are you looking at?'" He repeated

"Oh.." Nanase felt her cheeks become warm as she blushed in embarrassment. "I'm just looking at the stars.....why?"

"I was just wondering what you were doing." He said bluntly."I never really saw somebody just look up at the sky like that." There was a brief silence where all that was heard was the sound of rushing leaves. Finally the young man continued "So why are you here all by yourself looking at the stars?"

"Well....I........" Nanase couldn't even remember her primary reason for coming out that night; when she walked out the door she had so many intentions. "Well......." She repeated. "For inspiration I guess." She said in a small voice.

The stranger laughed. "Inspiration for what?"

"I write." Nanase said coldly, getting a little irritated. Who did this guy think he was anyway?

"I see."

There was another moment of silence and Nanase turned towards the guy; he seemed so familiar but she couldn't pin-point where she'd seen him before. "By any chance, do you go to Tokagawa High?" Nanase blurted out.

"Yeah. I do." he said. "Why do you ask?"

"Well....You seemed familiar but I don't recall seeing you in public or anything."

He gave another laugh. "You sure as hell wouldn't."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Nanase asked, placing her hands on her hips.

"I'm just saying a girl like you doesn't hang out where a guy like me hangs out." He said bluntly with a playful, and almost proud, smirk on his face. He stared at her for a moment, and then he turned to take his leave, still carrying that smirk on his face.

Nanase was frozen; she couldn't move and didn't know what to say as a retort. " A girl like..............what's that supposed to mean?!" Nanase demanded. Her outburst stopped the man in his tracks. "How dare you." She continued. "You don't even know me." She paused to turn towards the way home. "So don't you even think about classifying me as one of 'those girls'." She started to make her way home when he spoke again.

"Hehe......you're a feisty little bitch, you know that?" He said turning to her. She said nothing and started walking again. "You'd actually fit in with me if you kept that attitude of yours." He added. He turned back to leave until he added."By the way, my name's Shiro Ammona." There was a slight pause. "See you in school tomorrow." He added with a seductive wink. Nanase said nothing once again and the two dispersed, walking off in different directions.