Maki and Izzy stood by the window the next day. Hazuki arrived their location. "Hi." They turned around to look at her, but gasped in shock of seeing the unexpected. A certain amount of dried blood trailed down her cheek, stopping by the lips. It came out from a tiny hole in the forehead.

"You're bleeding!" Maki exclaimed, not too loud.

Hazuki scratched the back of her head. "I helped Mom moving some books yesterday, and I kind of tripped and hit my head in a table."

"That's dangerous, Hazuki," Izzy said and folded her arms in suspicion.

She laughed nervously. "I'll go and wash it off. Please wait for me." She ran out of the classroom and into the girls' bathroom at the end of the hallway.

Cold water was carelessly splashed against her face, trying to wash of the evidence of injury. Memory of yesterday's incident tackled her mind as she tried to shook her head, making it disappear.

Short flashbacks entered the head like rockets, disappearing as quickly as appearing. Hits, kicks, loud swear words and uncontrollable emotions disturbed her enormous wish for peace. She touched each side of her head and closed her eyes tightly, trying to get rid of the headache.

"Go away...!" Hazuki stopped moving, opened her eyes and looked into the mirror. The blood was gone, and the small injury could easily be hidden underneath the dark-haired fringe.

She exited the bathroom and was about to return to her friends when something stopped her. Her attention was drawn towards Shota, who was walking as he happily had a conversation with one of the older teachers.

"I understand," Shota said and stopped as his colleague did the same. "Good bye." He waved to him as he went off to somewhere else, and saw Hazuki looking at him. "Oh, hello. You're the student from English, right?"

Hazuki nodded without saying a word. Shota walked a bit closer, smiling friendly at her. "Is there something you wanted to ask about?"


"Have we met before?" The question made her quiet. Had he recognized her? "Oh, I'm sorry. I suppose I mixed you with someone else."

Tears of sorrow started to force themselves into Hazuki's eyes, but she blinked quickly to chase them off. "G-Gomen nasai, Sensei. I didn't mean to waste your time like that?"

"It's OK," Shota said and smiled brightly, "Ms Harada. Harada... Aren't there two of you in my class?"

"Hai..." Hazuki said hesitantly. "Haruhi and I."

"Haruhi...?" The bell rang, interrupting Shota from saying anything more. "You should go back to your class now." She ran off quickly. "Haruhi..." He looked out of the window nearby, revealing the bright blue sky. "Why does it sound so familiar?"

- - - - -

Hazuki, Haruhi and Misaki walked together from school later that afternoon. Hazuki had kept quiet ever since the incident earlier today. "Is something bothering you, Hazuki? You're so quiet," Misaki said.

"Huh?" Hazuki realized she was being talked to. "Nothing's wrong. Why do you ask?"

"I don't know. You seemed more spaced out than usual," Misaki replied.

Hazuki smiled slightly. "I'm all right."

Misaki made a dubious and somewhat suspicious sound, but said nothing. They stopped. "My house is this way. I'll see you guys tomorrow."

"Goodbye," Hazuki said and waved as Misaki walked in the opposite direction.

The twins walked home by themselves. Hazuki stopped in front of the house, and went in through the back door, remembering yesterday's brutal threatening.

Yume was sitting in the kitchen and wrote on her computer when she noticed Hazuki. "You're home."

"Hi, Mom. I went with Haruhi today." Hazuki took orange juice out of the fridge, found a glass and poured the juice into it. She put it back it back in the fridge and took a small taste. "Refreshing."

Yume smiled and opened her mouth to say something, but stopped as the phone started ringing. Hazuki ran over and grabbed it. "Hello, Harada residence."

"Hey, Hazuki."

"Ayame-chan?" Hazuki's voice revealed surprise and non-expectation. "Why are you calling? Aren't you in W... W..."


"Yeah, that's the place! And right now, you're in... uh..."

"Madison, Hazuki. The capital city," Ayame told her. She let out a small laugh. "You're not much of a geography expert, are you?"

"Not really," Hazuki replied and giggled slightly. "Isn't it expensive to call from America?"

"It is, but this is my last day here. I'll be home by tomorrow," Ayame said.

"That's great, Ayame-chan!"

Hazuki became full of happiness and wanted for some reason cry joyful tears. "We will see you at school, right?"


"OK, then. Was there anything else?"

"Mm... Not really. I'll see you later, then, ok?"


Hazuki hung up and smiled joyfully. Her best friend was coming back home.