Feelings will never replace being there. Words will never replace feelings.
There is nothing left, when only memories remain.

HARUKAZE

Chapter I

A couple of hazel-brown eyes opened when the cold sunlight hit them, marking the dawn of another February day. A sleepy figure rubbed his eyes and deeply considered staying in the bed. It'll be another perfectly dull day, he thought in his head. No one would miss him.

The morning was perfectly calm. Birds' singing came through the windows and sun gently shot its rays from between the curtains. All this was broken by the alarm clock, which had hit it's limit after being snoozed 15 minutes ago. The sleepy figure smashed the snooze button and almost broke the digital clock – but he knew that he had to rise now, because he heard his mother's sharp shout from the lower floor.

"DAWN! THE CLOCK IS TICKING, YOU'LL BE LATE! GET UP AND EAT!"

Dawn hated his name, because he hated mornings the most. Living was a nuisance to him.

"Yes, yes, coming…" he managed to mutter. Dawn rise from his bed and started looking for his school uniform. It was very difficult since Dawn's room wasn't the cleanest of the sort. After a while of throwing clothing across the room, Dawn managed to find his uniform and started getting dressed. The uniform was a black suit which included a white shirt and red-striped tie. The pants were also wine-red. Dawn liked it; it made him feel fancy.

The breakfast was as boring as always. It was Dawn, his mother and Dawn's little sister Haruka. Dawn's father… Was not around. He hadn't been for the last two years. No word was spoken during the meal until the sound of raindrops started hitting the windows.

"Oh, what the hell! It was perfectly sunny couple minutes ago!" Haruka said.

"You don't watch very much weather forecasts, don't you? They said it would rain today", Dawn said sharply. Haruka did not like his attitude.

"Oh shut up, Nii-san", he whispered. Not that Dawn didn't hear it, but he decided to let that pass. He was not in the mood to argue. Dawn actually liked rain. He liked the sound, the look and the smell of rain. Eager to outside, he finished his toast and drank his tea.

"Ittekimasu", he yelled, grabbed his schoolbag an umbrella and dashed outside.

"Don't you think Dawn has been kinda weird lately?" Haruka asked her mother.

"Well, he has been like that for a while. You know, since then." her mother said with a worried look.

"But that incident was over a year ago… Wouldn't it be time to move on?" Haruka wondered.

"It's not that easy, Haruka. You should know too how it feels like to lose an important person. To our dear Dawn, it happened twice."

The umbrella Dawn was holding was actually just for looks. As soon as his house was out of sight, he closed the umbrella and let rain penetrate his skin and clothes. Dawn got sick very rarely and was strangely immune to sicknesses overall, so he didn't mind getting wet. He received many glances from his schoolmates, but he paid no attention. Dawn had decided that he wouldn't care about anything anymore. Everything he had believed in, everything he had cared about – it was all long lost. Dawn didn't want to return to those memories, so he had closed everything in his mind. The world was nothing to him.

Reaching school, the rain had stopped. Crowds of students flowed into the school building with wet umbrellas, few with wet clothes who had left their homes before it started to rain. Everyone joined with their friends and left for the classes. Dawn was the only one left in the lobby. It was awfully quiet. Dawn didn't want to go to class with wet clothes and he was feeling thirsty, so he decided spontaneously not to go to class and get coffee from the vending machine while his clothes dried. On the way he encountered a few teachers asking him where he was going and Dawn said he was going to the nurse's office. He really didn't care what the teachers thought and had no problem lying to them with a straight face.

He grabbed a random coffee from the machine and got some kind of espresso. Dawn tried to think a safe place to go drink it, and decided to visit the school's rooftop for once. Walking up the school's four floors was a real nuisance, but Dawn didn't really care. The only thing in his mind was to keep his clothes dry and his coffee warm. Reaching the top floor, Dawn walked the final steps to the heavy metal door leading to the rooftop. Dawn lifted the handle, carefully so his coffee didn't spill. For his surprise, the door slammed wide open from the power of the wind. Raindrops hit his body like needles. The rain had returned, and Dawn hadn't even noticed.

"Well this is just perfect", he said to himself. He reached for the door, planning on leaving and finding another place to enjoy his beverage, he noticed a slender figure behind the wall. Dawn was confused – why would anyone be here when it's raining? Curious about the identity of this person, Dawn took a few steps forward. He probably wouldn't know the person since Dawn had only recently transferred to the school because of various reasons. He merely knew anyone from the school. Now the person was fully visible. The figure belonged to a girl, a beautiful girl, with semi-long brown hair and big… Dawn's thoughts snapped when the girl turned around in surprise. For a moment which felt like an eternity, they stared at each other at the raging wind and rain. The girl was first of them to open her mouth.

"Umm… And you are?" she asked, like it would make a difference in this already very awkward situation.

"Amehara, Dawn Amehara. And you?" Dawn asked back, feeling that it was appropriate to ask.

"Oh, uhm, it's Hotaru. Hotaru Kumiko", the girl said quietly. Good thing Dawn had good ears; otherwise it would've been impossible to hear her muttering in the middle of a typhoon.

"Well then, Kumiko-san, what might you be doing here? It's raining, you know." Dawn said.

"Oh, I don't mind", Hotaru said. "I like the rain."

I like the rain.

That single phrase made Dawn shiver a little. No one before now had said that they liked raining. Dawn felt something going on inside him, but discarded those feelings quickly.

"Oh, right." Dawn said with an emotionless face and returned inside the building, gently closing the door behind him.

"Wha-" Hotaru's words disappeared when the door slammed shut.

I almost did something I do not want to, Dawn thought to himself. He didn't want to be in any kind of contact with anyone. That's why he had merely no friends, only a few mates in his class who he chit-chatted to occasionally. Dawn didn't want to for any kind of relationships with people, since he had experienced the horrors of losing his most precious thing. Dawn was tired of losing, and had given up on forming relationships. There was nothing to him in the world. Only pain, loneliness and the rain. He wanted to forget this moment quickly, that he had never been on the roof, that he had never encountered Hotaru Kumiko. His coffee had run cold.