Prologue

The transparent orange light sneaked into the clouds in a wonderful afternoon sky from the slowly dimming sun. Suns are supposed to be bright, but today our sun was not. Like it was ripped up from its light, leaving it with enough brightness to still supply the world's needs. It was cold, the air was chilly and freezing, the clouds covered the weak sunlight and created a huge shadow that enveloped the whole campus. She caught a glimpse and stared outside while packing her things from her desk. She sighed and exhaled warm air from her mouth to her hands.

"Rika, are you ready?" A girl poked her head into the classroom's mahogany sliding door. She had light brown hair, pulled into a one-sided ponytail on the left just behind her ear. She wore a plain white long-sleeved blouse donned with a black loosely tied ribbon, giving her a lousy and lazy impression. A soft yet cool smile was plastered on her face, it matched her dark brown eyes and thin rosy lips. "Oh, are you feeling cold already?" She asked while walking into the neatly cleaned room and noticing the other girl's clothes.

Rika nodded as she threw the black and white checkered scarf around her neck and took her bag from the table. "Let's go." she muttered, or you can probably consider that as a whisper as she passed her childhood friend. She had deep mulberry eyes, pale white skin tone and long auburn hair that were nicely kept underneath her scarf.

"Ne, don't you think it's kind of early for you to wear that winter trench coat?" the other girl wondered out loud while she watched her friend stop just before the closed door and turned to face her. She placed her hand under her chin as if thinking.

"As you can see, it's nearly winter Kana." Rika spoke in a low tone, disappointed. "There's nothing wrong with me, you are... How can you be so calm and look so bright like summer as if it's so warm? And those clothes..." she paused and glanced at Kana from head to toe, "... are so thin..."

Kana gave out a giggle and approached her friend, "Okay, now let's go..." she took Rika's hand and pulled her away outside.

"Your hand's a bit warm," Rika gripped Kana's naked hands on hers, then smiled a little. She was shy, she was afraid to open up to anyone, not even to the girl beside her. But Kana had been patient, she was kind and considerate and never shouted at her. She was more of a sister figure than a best friend.

Kana smiled back, "I wonder why?" Both of them arrived at the school's gate and she took out her green cellular phone, flipped it open and pressed a few buttons. "Come here," she pulled Rika close as if hugging and rubbed her cheek against the other. "Hmm... Cold, aren't you...? Anyway, SMILE!" she grinned brightly and raised her phone then the light flashed. The photo was taken.

"Hey, why didn't you smile?" she elbowed Rika and gazed at the other girl's face, studying her expression.

Rika's face was empty, just like it had always been. A face that's just like a hollow soul, null and almost forgotten but there was still a slight trace of hope before she plunges deeper into despair. Hopelessness is despair, which was what they always thought. And the victim had always been Rika, which made her feel bad, really bad.

"Don't mind me…" Rika whispered as she dug her face under her scarf. This time they were silent while walking on the streets.

~End of Prologue~