The school bell rang as all of the students of Kikuchika Elementary School rushed out of their classrooms and out through the main entrance. A certain girl was walking slower than the others. She belonged to fourth grade, being the youngest and smallest girl of Class B.
Her midnight black hair, tied in a short ponytail, danced slightly as she walked, and her brown eyes were filled with mixed feelings. She wore a pink coat over her red and white outfit while carrying a white scarf around her neck.
She walked in the hallway, not reaching the door yet. Her hands with in her pockets, and somehow she had taken on her outdoor clothes and went back inside. The reason was unknown.
"Mr Tsukishima, you've been great help for us." A female voice surprised the girl slightly, making her peek in through the nearly closed door, where the voice certainly came from. A woman was standing there, talking to a very young man, not older than nineteen.
The young man smiled gently to her. "I'm just glad to help. Elementary kids aren't as troubling as most teachers say."
"Certainly not," the woman said and corrected her glasses before brushing away a few locks of hair. "You're really good with the children. Did you learn from somewhere before?"
"I have three little sisters at home," Tsukishima answered her.
"Then I understand why." The woman smiled and shook hands with him. "You having practice here is our lucky chance. Do you by any chance plan to become an elementary school teacher?"
Tsukishima shook his head. "Elementary school is fun, but my real wish is to be a middle school teacher. Many of the students have hard times there, and I want to be there if they need support."
"A beautiful thought, Mr Tsukishima. I admire your passion of helping others," the woman said and smiled warmly.
He bowed his upper body. "Please have a safe trip. I'll be going now."
"Take care of yourself. We'll see you in the morning."
"Yes, ma'am," he said and exited the room.
The girl tried to run away, but Tsukishima saw her. "Hey, you. Haven't you gotten home yet? Did you forget something?"
"No..." She looked down. "I'm just really, really slow."
"Oh, you're not slow," Tsukishima said and patted her head gently as he bent down to do it. He was plain looking, but wore a gentle smile and had beautiful eyes. He would be really pretty without his glasses. "What's your name, miss?"
"Harada..." She hesitated a bit. "Hazuki Harada."
He looked happy and a bit surprised. "That's a nice name, Harada. Or may I call you Hazuki?"
"Hazuki is fine..." she said in a really low tone.
"What class are you in?" he asked carefully.
Hazuki looked at him. "Fourth grade."
"A or B?"
"Aah, I see. You must be the very smart girl I've heard about."
Hazuki didn't say anything, even though she knew he was wrong. He mixed her with someone else.
Tsukishima smiled at her. "Where are my manners? I'm Shota Tsukishima. And I'm trying to become a teacher."
"Teachers are mean," Hazuki said, "but some are very nice and kind."
"Well, I will become one of those nice and kind teachers. I won't turn bad, I promise."
Hazuki bent over and kissed his cheek very quickly. "Don't promise something you can't keep. Bye." She turned around and walked off, not sparing enough time to see the young man's reaction. She remembered something her mother said:
Kissing is for someone who like each other.
"But why do you and dad kiss when promising something?" Hazuki had asked curiously.
Her mother had answered: "It's our way to seal the promise. We kiss each other's cheek, and we'll know the promise won't be broken."
Hazuki looked up in the sky, watching as it started to snow. "Pretty..." She looked down. "A kiss to promise... He made a promise, and I sealed it."