"So," Nishi Asuka, a blue-haired 16 year old girl with bright pink eyes muttered in a stale rocky voice. Her eyes moved around the room , her arms crossed and after less than a minute, her lips set in a pout as she rolled her pink eyes. "This is it?"
Gray paint coated the wall of a 7 x 7 room with not a bit furniture to decorate it but a two double decker bed on both sides with white bedding that appeared as though it had not tasted wash for a century. On one side was a small lavatory with gray metal doors. No windows were in sight and the only connection to the outside world was a metal door about a foot wide some ten feet high and about five inches thick. Also gray.
Asuka looked at the place like she had tasted something undesirable. "What kind of --"
Mori Sakura, a girl two years younger than most of them, but ten times more gutsy, spun at Asuka. "Stop whining, Nishi! It's not like you are the only one who isn't happy with this place!" Sakura's hands clenched, the other threatening to crush the disk man she was holding, her brows furrowed and her purple eyes flashed. Trust Asuka to make her mad. That was always the case.
"Why?" Asuka went on, unwilling to lose a battle that was just beginning. "Don't I have the right to express myself?"
Sakura stepped forward, ready to hit the other girl with her balled fist. "If there is someone who has the most right to complain, that is no other than me, you baka!"
Asuka would have her cheeks swelling if it weren't for Ogata Hitomi who stepped in between the two clashing sides. She gave the two her usual don't-you-have-anything-better-to-do-than-fight kind of look. Asuka was going to speak, but she halted her with her words. "Sure, Asuka, you're rich, but Sakura's richer. And Sakura , if Asuka is such a baka, why bother talking to her?"
Asuka fumed, but Sakura decided to drop it in realizing how much Hitomi just made a complete sense. Sakura chuckled ,slumped on the bed and concentrated on her disk man which she had on full volume while Asuka stomped angrily and walked out of the room.
"That's pretty mean, you know. You shouldn't have done that," Amano Nanase mumbled , watching after the raging Asuka, worry crossing her brows. At fifteen, she had the body of an eighteen year old model standing five feet and five inches tall , had the face of what most men had usually mistaken as an angel's and deep blue eyes the surpassed the beauty of the sky's. She sat on the edge of the other bed and gave Hitomi, who was at that time busily unpacking her things from a suitcase, a questioning look.
Meanwhile, Rei, who had not spoken a word since they had entered the room, sat beside Sakura. "There are more things to worry about than those stuffs. Number one of those things is our mission."
Sakura throwing her disk man aside stretched her arms sleepily. "We just arrived, Rei. What's the hurry?"
The 17 year old girl gave Sakura an arid look with her firm golden eyes, but spoke not a word of objection. "Hand me over the mirror, Hitomi."
Hitomi, the only one who had a suitcase with her, fished something out of her leather bag and brought out a rounded mirror with pink handle. Its surface was unusually stable but a little gleam was still visible. Rei reached over it and inspected it.
"What does it say?" Nanase asked.
"Well, it looks like it ain't talking no more," Sakura answered in Rei's behalf. Rei had other things in mind than to be polite enough to answer a question she had just been asked and Sakura knew it as well as Nanase did so as to answer a question meant for her friend. They had gotten to know each other pretty well regarding the span of time given to them and was on their way to developing something that was only one of those things substantial for them to succeed in their mission -- friendship.
From things were taking its course, it appeared as though it needed time to fully develop. But there are always a mixture of mystery and miracle in life, that sometimes, may only cost you your belief. That was no exception for their case.
had nothing in common except from the fact that they attend to the same
school -- Yamamoto High School, a school which accommodated most kind of
people from different status in life. Only girls with apparent bearing
of friendship was Ogata Hitomi, a clever fifteen year old girl who
had shown high IQ level in her academic and non-academic performances,
and Amano Nanase, also a bright girl that most men consider an angel from
heaven for her kindness, compassion and beauty. But to what was left --Mori
Sakura, Nishi Asuka and Hamada Rei -- mutual esteem was far from
possible. Then, next thing happens and changes their lives.
Ogata Hitomi, the witty girl who was as equally obsessed in making money as knowing the latest gossip in town, found a mirror in a sidewalk which anybody less observant and less superstitious would have taken as ordinary one. Despite her modern knowledge, she had grown to become superstitious, having uneducated parents to guide her, and so as she hurriedly picked it up and rushed to school with one thing bothering her : if it had been lying in the sidewalk, why didn't it obtain a single crack? Stuffing it in her backpack, she hastened to school and headed for her locker room where she knew one person would listen to her usual insubstantial beliefs. Most people there had left quickly in hearing the bell ring, while some other were still left, so usual. One girl, commonly late, was adding on her make up, while another girl was plainly sitting on a chair listening to her disk man as she chewed on a gum, and the other one was busy with some stuffs in her locker, still in her military uniform. After some minutes of whispering to Nanase about the mirror, Hitomi decided to show it to her. The other girl, with her with not least bit intention to offend her friend, decided to take the time and looked at the mirror. They both looked at it. Instead, they found themselves looking at the other three girls through the mirror who caught their interest. Then, suddenly, white light flashed from the mirror, so blinding that they had to shut their eyes. Hitomi, in her attempt to cover her eyes, dropped the mirror. For a while, only the blinding light and peculiar silence filled the whole room. The light gradually decreased, but the silence deafening them, took more time to vanish.
The first one to speak was the girl in military suit. No other than Hamada Rei , the bold and chivalrous young soldier, the daughter of the ardent General Hamada, who had grown up to be certified spitfire and was currently the leader of the military academy in Yamamoto. However, all of a sudden, she seemed to have changed. "What is this? What happened?" she demanded in a snobby voice. The voice that never in years belonged to her.
Hitomi was next to speak. "Gosh. Ask yourself that idiotic question, baka." Then gave out an irritated look meaningfully pointed at Rei.
Sakura stared at Hitomi. She was no other than the girl in disk man, 14 years old, who was just a minute ago too occupied in chewing a gum. Purple eyes adore her shoulder-lenght black hair which usually go in a barrette, but despite her good looks, she wasn't in anyway concerned with it and it was pretty obvious by the way she neglects it. She was the girl who all day long did nothing but chew gum , not participate in any class and listen to her disk man. She was the type not to care about the world, but in split second, she seemed very caring. "That's pretty mean, you know. You shouldn't have said that ." Her tone was obviously worried, not really hers, and her voice was unusually gentle and very........feminine. Sakura was scarcely worried. Not gentle. And never feminine.
"We don't have time for this, people. " Nanase interrupted coldly. "There are more things to worry about than those stuffs ."
In one corner where the girl adorning herself with various mascara and other beauty aids quickly dropped her powder as she snapped her fingers. It was Asuka, the snob air head , number one flirt and super popular girl in town. "I get it!" What? Asuka? Get anything? Now, it was far from reality.
And before things got any worse, they realized Asuka - oops - Hitomi's explanation rather. They later found out he mirror was charmed and the first set of people to be reflected in it will experience its spell - the incident in the locker proved that : they switched souls accidentally. But why didn't it happen to Hitomi alone? It was because she did not bother looking at it alone as she just rapidly stuffed it in her bag and headed for the school. Why did the three other fellows got involved? It was because they were reflected in the mirror when both Hitomi and Nanase looked into it. Then, the light came out and when it vanished, everything had changed. Now that was the explanation. At least, that was the most rational one they could all agree on. However, later, after they had sorted out everything and was able to go back to their particular bodies, they resolved not to tell anything about it and just let everything be the way it was. Yet, nothing will ever be the same again.
later on, they found out that the mirror had not only one charm, but another
- the next time all five of their reflection was caught at the same time
in the mirror, it sent them to the future . And darnit, they found out
the mirror could actually talk and it explained to them, not why, not how,
but what happened and what needed to be done. Their mission : to save the
future. The mirror gave them only bits and pieces of what they need to
know, leaving them to work for themselves. According to the mirror, they
were in the future, a place called Ceylon where the strong rules -- with
science, that is. Who are their opponents? Their allies? They never knew.
The mirror had stopped talking suddenly after they reached the place called
Sanctuary, where people with no means of living, the poor, the abandoned,
the refugees and all other people with problems for their means of living
lived together in one big compound supported by the Ceylon government.
Tough, since before they could be admitted, they had to prove they were
indeed deserving to be a supported by government and must be qualified
with requirements. Weren't it for Hitomi whose subtle mind and sweet tongue
made almost the interrogator cry in her fallacious story of slavery. And
by that minute, they were brought to their room -- that gray 7 x 7 room
with no furniture but two double decker beds.
Asuka came back later on with a happy smile on her face like a kid who had just found the toy of his dreams. They found out why : there was going to be a dance to be held the day after the following day at a nearby plaza to be attended by important people - and one of those was the young general whom she had heard as one hell of a gallant young man blessed with good looks. By the way she clasped her hands together, it was like she wasn't letting anything stop her from attending that dance no matter what and there was no way the general wasn't going to be hers.
Sakura rolled her eyes and gave a stiff laugh. "Don't worry, Asuka. He's gonna be yours. I just lot my interest in hearing he fits your taste. That means --"
Nanase ,who was sitting at the edge of the , bed motioned at Sakura to stop her insult, witnessing Asuka's happy delight as she twirled around dreamily. Sakura rolled her eyes, but dropped to the bed. Asuka, unable to stop her excitement, decided to go out.
"Wait, Asuka! Where are you --?" Nanase begun.
But the girl was out of sight. "I'm gonna find out how he looks like and make Sakura eat her words!" was the reply Nanase heard.
Worry crossed Nanase's brows. "But it's time to-" she protested weakly. They had arrived in Ceylon about four in the afternoon and was able to check in at quarter to six after the orientation and interviews. By six o clock , the sun was still up and according to the orientation, they will get their meal by nine, Ceylon's nighttime. Asuka and Sakura had a fight by around six fifteen, Asuka came back at eight with news and by eight thirty or even earlier, the sun began to set. At least, that was what they saw in the wing's monitor.
Rei went over to the other girl and gave her a reassuring pat on her shoulder. "Don't worry, Amano. She's a big girl now. She can handle things herself. " She let out a thin grin. "Now, if we can only get another bed........" Spinning to the lying Sakura on the bed who was clutching the mirror, Rei gestured for her to throw the mirror to her. Without thinking, Sakura threw the mirror with a grumble of 'the baka's not talking!' and Rei caught it single-handedly. "I'm going out for a while, Amano. Need not to wait for me. Use all the bed. I don't usually sleep anyway. Ciao."
quarter to nine, Rei Hamada disappeared only to appear again miraculously
at meal time.
The Sanctuary was like a big house only with hundreds of residents. Heavily secured, it was located in a compound with large metal gates, some miles away from the main town. Unauthorized entrance from the outside and exit from within were prohibited, leaving the Sanctuary residents isolated from the world. Inside the vast compound was all the necessary equipment needed for their survival supplied by the Ceylon government. The Sanctuary was divided into four wings : the north, east, west and south. Each wing had their own kitchen, had about a half thousand rooms each, and all other necessity they needed to share. The gang was in the East wing, section KY, third floor , room number 40152.
Before they were admitted after Hitomi's spectacular lying, they were given brief orientation of what they had to do, rules and regulations of the Sanctuary.
meal, they would have to go to the huge dining room where all residents
of East Wing gather together to dine in a huge long metallic table like
what most people in a communist state do. The government would supply their
needs, but they have to do the necessary works , since the regime
never provided them with people to assist them. Inside, there were schools
- elementary, intermediate and advance. All kids were required to go to
school, while the older folks were obliged to work in return for the supplies
of the government. Later, when kids finished the education needed , the
government would hire them and remove them from the Sanctuary , allow
them to have their freedom and practice a profession for their living.
NIne o clock arrived and as the bell rung signaling the time for meal, they gathered around the long table where everybody was directed to take three meals. The dining hall was huge, but coarse and was enough to slip an icy comments from Asuka's tongue.
"So," she begun observantly. Asuka loved attention , whatever kind, and even when the other residents stared at them quietly as Asuka complained, the girl never seem to care as long as she revealed her right of expressing herself, which most of the time was her right of complaint. "This is it?" She inspected the place watchfully with one brow raised with much sarcasm.
Rei inspected the place as well with her keen golden eyes, but showed no signs of dissatisfaction. Although the place may not have fit her taste either, she was never too vocal about it and knew better than to complain, an act that was never directed to anything beneficial but Sakura's rigid retorts. She was more enduring and could take what was laid before her, and so, in seeing five vacant chairs with their designated room number, she sat down and lead the group to follow her with no words needed.
As usual, Asuka and Sakura were fighting, while Hitomi was occupied in snapping just to shut them up and Nanase was worried they might hurt each other's feelings. Later, some fellows arrived and served them equal amount of food in a metal plate. Again, Asuka begun complaining in the loud hall, but was , again, met by Sakura, who demanded her to stop her whining.
"By the way, Sakura," Asuka said after being able to swallow. "I'll find a picture of the general they're talking about. I bet he's fine looking.. And man, is he gonna be mine!" she declared in her matter-of-factly kind of voice.
Sakura looked up with a phony smile, shrugging. "Sure. I bet he's a loser."
The whole hall which had been quiet except for the duo's arguments, suddenly was filled with hushes. One woman spoke up. "Yeah. Better get rid of him." She was a fat woman with curly red hair and freckles all over her fat face.
"No! He's pretty good one," a man mumbled thougtfully, his mouth full. "If not, we would have nothing to eat right now."
"Yeah. We would be free to find our own food and not be secluded here in this hellish sanctuary!" the woman protested cynically.
"Then leave! Why did you go here anyway?" the man cried ot, standing up.
The woman stood up too. "I would have loved to leave! And for your damned information, they promised something better an and not like this when the rescued us!! "
More arguments followed as their idea collided. A guy about their age sided with the woman and cursed the general, but another woman , probably of relation to the old man who was standing up, announced her pro-idea of the general. Hitomi stared at Asuka and Sakura in her carmine eyes. "Great work, both of you."
After their dinner, they were obliged to toss their metal plates to a moving vehicle collecting it for washing, then directed to them straight to their rooms . Asuka bounced happily with Sakura, exchanting insults and singing, 'he's gonna be mine' repeatedly in no particular tune. Sakura threw out her hands and yelled in her loud voice for Asuka to cut it out. Asuka just giggled, waving the paper in front of their faces.
That night, before things could get any worse and even before Rei disappeared, Hitomi decided to start talking about their mission. The mirror, contrary to what it had been some time ago, was mute and silent. Sakura gripped the handle with disgust and almost threw it tot he floor if it weren't for Nanase who abruptly calmed Sakura's hot temper.
"We better begin our mission ," Rei was saying.
"What's the hurry, Rei? We just arrived!" Sakura protested angrily glaring at the mirror. "Besides, I guess that idiotic thing just framed us up here !!! Maybe there is no mission. There needs nothing to e done. We're stuck here forever!" Throwing her arms, she slumped down to the bed closing her eyes and sighed, .
Asuka, who was sitting to the opposite bed, glared at Sakura. "Don't say that!" She hissed. She crossed her arms and stared somewhere else, pouting. "I just loathe negative thinkers!"
Sakura opened one eye. "Yeah? But that's reality, Asuka," was all she said.
Rei, standing by the wall, one hand on the pocket of her military jeans, the thumb of the other arched on her belt loop, dropped one foot which rested underneath her as it sat against the wall. That was enough to quiet the two arguing girls. "Let's start talking sense. " Then she left without another word.
"She'll probably get a bed," Nanase mumbled softly watching after her. Hitomi shrugged. Sakura groaned. "You know she doesn't sleep."
was ten twenty six early in the evening in Ceylon's time, Sakura and Asuka
hadn't stopped arguing yet, while Hamada Rei disappeared once again.
The next day, a loud alarm sounded at dawn - ten o clock in the morning was the sunup, obliging everybody to wake up. The alarm, unlike from the one from the previous night , was louder and longer. Nanase was the first to wake up to find Rei gone. Sakura and Asuka, both occupying the double decker, was still in her dreams, while Hitomi above seemed to be in the same state. In the paging system echoed, telling what had to be done.
"Hey, people! Wake up! According to school , we have to go to school today!!!!" Nanase urged.
It was ten, Hamada Rei was gone, Amano Nanase was urging her comrades to wake up in vain and everything was starting. Except for the other three people that is.
Nanase groaned, walking over to each one of them and giving them each a mild slap. All in vain. In frustration, she threw out her arms and let out a loud shout. Only Hitomi's attention was caught. For the other two, she should try making her shout louder.
The green haired girl rubbed her carmine eyes and stared at Nanase. "Whadya have to do that for?" she asked expressionlessly.
Nanase put both of her hands on hips and made a face at her friend. "According to the orientation, we have to go to school today!"
Hitomi's expression didn't change. "We can't. We have to arrange everything first and foremost, remember?"
Nanase looked dumbfounded. "Huh?"
have to get clothes and all that. Plus another bed. I'll talk to
them about it if they asked why we didn't go to school today. Now if you
would excuse me, Nanase, I wanna sleep. " Then she fell heavily on her
bed with a loud thud.
It was twelve thirty two in the morning when Hitomi opened her eyes. 11 am. That was the equivalent earth hour in her watch. Veering her head to the opposite direction, she saw both Asuka and Sakura still in slumber. Both Nanase and Rei were not in sight. Sighing, she jumped down , folded her blanket and inspected her surrounding.
"What now?" she asked herself sitting on Nanase's bed. "Oh no, I can't afford to sleep no more. " Looking at the room, she stood up , walked to the lavatory with a yawn. "I guess it's time to start the day." With no idea on her head, she went in the lavatory and began readying herself to face the day.
Meanwhile, Nanase was in the Ceylon market, Emporium, where throngs of people where shopping around. She had left the East Sanctuary early in the morning, around seven thirty in the current earth time, while ten thirty in Ceylon time. The market was a huge one, enclosed in a metallic structure that had a very tight guard systems and a conveyor. Rei had appeared some hours ago and slipped her out of the Sanctuary's heavily guarded gates, saying the Sanctuary Emporium had nothing but high priced junks, and brought her outside where she claimed to have found a "little outlet" where she could get some stuffs needed worthy of their prices. Then, as usual, Rei disappeared after telling Nanase she would pick her up by 12 without saying a specific place where. By the way Rei handled - everything slipping her and there for a shortcut and a bargain - it was like she had familiarized herself with the foreign place very much like the palm of her hand in a short span of one night - the night which also happened to be their first in Ceylon.
Before her lay a push cart that held a basic need that will surely achieve Asuka's snide comments - some clothes she got in a bargain. How did she get money? Well , she went to the Sanctuary pawnshop and sold her watch , which the owner , living in the future, highly advanced Ceylon dominated by science, thought of it as some ancient artifact and paid it a quite great deal. At least, enough to buy them bargained clothes. Plus, Rei handed her some few Ceylon money which Nanase faintly remembers called as "Bytes" and asked her to buy whatever they needed. Before Nanase could even ask where she got it, the young Yamamoto military academy leader was gone. As usual.
Half of the remaining money was spent in purchasing a shriveling bunk which Nanase meant for Rei so as to keep her from disappearing at night like she just had. She was already paying for it, when a guy, bumping to her dropped to the floor with a loud thud. Some items on display also collapsed, all enough to drive the fat shopkeeper shouting with fury at the newcomer along with some people were already after him shouting "mugger! mugger!". The crash gave Nanase a mild headache, but she decided to forget about her discomforts and help the guy out.
"You ok there?" she asked, reaching her hand. The guy looked her hand with a mixture of annoyance and surprise, then it transformed to a great shock in seeing Nanase's lovely face. Nanase, not noticing any of his amazement , grinned. That was enough to take the guy's breath away. "I'm so sorry. I should have been more careful."
The guy reached for her hand without taking his eyes off her face. He was a guy, some inches taller than Nanase, dressed in a brown cloak that hid his manly figure. Short bronze hair fell down from his cap while his eyes, emerald green, never left Nanase. In fact, of his hand and admiring eyes never left Nanase at all.
"The mugger! He's right there!" those echoing words were enough for the guy to drop her hand as he bounced back to reality and himself. Some folks, three to be precise, were running to the guy. By the way were clad, it appeared to Nanase that they were shopkeepers as well.
"Hell," he muttered, looking around him for escape.
The fat shopkeeper from whom Nanase was purchasing the bunk, walked toward the guy. "Pay for the mess, you mugger!" he demanded.
The guy balled his fist walking toward the fat shopkeeper. "I am not a mugger!!!" he protested angrily.
Turning to the people around the shopkeeper shouted. "The damned mugger is here! Alert the guard systems!!!"
"I am not a mugger!" the guy protested.
Nanase walked forward, before the guy could, stopping him. "I'll pay for it, just stop calling him mugger. Deduct it from my change. "
The guy looked at Nanase in surprise with new form of admiration in his eyes. For a while, he was speechless, just looking at Nanase with his emerald eyes.
The fat shopkeeper fumed. "You don't have a change, lady. "
"And whaddabout the items you owed us?" a voice came from behind. The guy spun , getting angry again ,but Nanase stopped him, holding him in the shoulder.
"Fine. I'll pay for it," Nanase muttered, fishing the bytes Rei had given her.
One of the folks walked forward and grabbed the remaining money, counted it and made a face. "This is not enough!" he yelled.
Nanase sighed, but spun to the fat shopkeeper and gave an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, but I may have to cancel the bunk."
The fat shopkeeper, both hands on his hips, gave a stiff look at Nanase. "Read the sign, lady. No return, no exchange. "
"But --" Nanase began pleadingly.
The guy , already burning with ire, grabbed Nanase's wrist . "This people are impossible!" he grumbled and after sending each one his venomous stares, pulled Nanase and broke into a run. She felt the folks after them.
"Let's not run!" Nanase suggested. "This'll give them more reason to assume you are a mugger."
"I am not a mugger, you get that?" he yelled without turning to Nanase. His firm words were enough to stop Nanase from her suggestions. Hitting many people on their way, they made it through and after several minutes of running, Nanase had the feeling they had lost the folks . However, later, they heard the alarm sounding and the paging system urging everybody about the "muggers". All the exits and entrances were closing. Luckily, the guy appeared seemed to be in any way acquainted with the place and had successfully brought her out. They made it out as the door began to shut and ended up in a dirty abandoned alley.
Gasping, Nanase fell on the ground. The guy was gasping as well, but not so much affected of the run and was still able to stand up. Nanase looked up to the guy and grinned at him. Another of those which was sure to put a spell on him. "Thanks," she said softly.
The guy gazed at her, breathless. Probably, he had never seen anything that stood five feet and five inches, had those dazzling blue eyes and chestnut brown hair, had just run around gasping in weird clothes and look great. Awfully great. "What for?" he asked.
"You saved me, Mister -" Nanase let her voice trail off meaningfully, watching him with her azure eyes.
He fell silent, his gaze somewhere, then looked at her with a grin. "Call me *"
"And I'm Nanase. Amano Nanase."
The guy's grin broadened. "I didn't save you. It was all my fault anyway."
For a minute or two, they were both busy in catching up with heir breath. Then the girl slapped her forehead . "Oh no!"
The guy's grin faded concern ran to his emerald eyes. "What?"
Nanase sank lower to the ground. "I left the clothes I bought. Rei'll kill me."
The guy's eyes dropped to the ground. "I'm so sorry. I'll pay you back --"
"Oh, you don't have to !" Nanase cut in cheerfully, standing up and walking to him. She patted him on the shoulder. "It's ok."
"Yeah , it is," a voice joined in. Both of them looked up. Rei was atop a roof, her arms crossed.
"Rei , I'm so --"
go. It's 12. "
She was the last one to wake up. three o clock in the morning. That was equivalent to twelve o clock noon in Earth hours. For her, It was a usual and nobody had the right to make a big deal out of it. By three thirty, she had readied herself to find a picture of the Young general that was bound to be hers. So, by the remaining hours, she had spent it wisely to searching for one , so at least she could experience real joy in seeing Sakura eat her words. And right outside the edifice were posters of the general. And............. man, she was hell right, The rumors were right. He was one good-looking general worth dying for. However, Sakura was nowhere to be found. And so were the others - Nanase, Rei, and Hitomi. The bitches! They framed me up again! she mused with irritation. By the way they were acting toward her was like they hated her for some reason. Seeing them all gone at one time told her something was up. But she was not just going to sit and wait. WHo cares if they didn 't like her? She was so used to people cursing her -- all kinds of people : from her maids at home, to her classmates and friends who she had assumed were just jealous of her comfortable status. People would deny it, but she had every reason to her belief. After all, she was not only one of the most popular and respected girls who also happened to be smart and graceful but also the richest in school. After that weirdo Sakura that is. I'll get her for sure this time! But where is that bitch anyway?
She had searched for almost all the rooms in East Wing section KY, third floor for Sakura after going outside to find a single proof of her fine tastes . She can't bear to go further. It was way too big. Finally, she decided to go out. The school. Right!
That night, as the bell rung, they all headed for the huge dining room. Asuka and Sakura were so absorbed in hating each other, as Asuka swung a poster in Sakura's face. Most of the people they were eating with had probably gotten used to see that the residents of room number 40152 were always bound to be the noisiest despite the fact that there were only five of them of them and less than half were speaking. The names Sakura and Asuka were always to be heard. In fact, they were getting all that popular.
"Oh , Nanase? Do you like know where Sakura went today when we were all busy with important stuffs?" Asuka was saying between giggles.
"Huh?" Nanase murmured absently, to Hitomi's observation. Nanase had been unusually quiet that day and anybody who was less self-centered would have noticed that.
Asuka giggled louder. "In --"
"Shut up, pig!" Sakura cut in, dropping her eating utensils loudly.
Hitomi sighed. It seems to her that only she herself could notice that.
"School " Asuka continued, laughing hard so that she was unable to eat as Sakura glared at her purple eyes blazing with fire.
"Shut Uuuuuuuuuuuup!" Sakura shrieked, standing up.
"And she was --"
"I hate you, Asuka!"
"Gambling!!!!!!!!!" Asuka cried at the top of her lungs. Only Hitomi was sane enough to look at Sakura with disbelief. Nanase was on her own thoughts and Rei made no move to show surprise in at least to acknowledge that her ears were still working to her Asuka's blastering voice.
"You what?" Hitomi demanded.
"Oh, Hitomi , she was gambling and --"
Before she could finish a knife was pointing at her neck. "You open your mouth one more time and this thing sticks to your throat," Sakura warned with a cynical smile.
Hitomi nudged her chestnut haired friend , who was obviously in space. "Nanase! Didn't you hear that ?" she asked, ignoring the situation, For one thing, she preferred Sakura than Asuka, who was nothing but a hairy big mouth and snob. Sakura was a lot kinder and it will be really big comfort to have the complaining Asuka gone.
"Yeah, I did," was all Nanase was saying without looking at Hitomi. The latter followed the former's gaze with her ruby eyes. Her friend was only staring at her fork blankly.
Hitomi fiddled her food with her fork after three time of consecutive sighs and all of which nobody noticed. Silently, she attended to her own food without saying another word. That day, she had been to the East Sanctuary command center by accident in looking for Nanase. She had intended to tell her friend, the only one who seemed to have the ability to care, about it, but suddenly lost her interest in telling anybody. Clear enough, nobody was interested in what she did that day, and even if she was a little curious as to where Nanase had been that day without her watch and no nothing, she didn't pester asking. Nanase would tell her if she wanted to. But now that her friend ain't doing nothing to share a fraction of her thoughts, then the only option was to let Nanase be....... and find out things herself .
Abruptly, Hitomi had lost appetite - both - (1) in sitting in a long table to eat some foreign food she had just tasted the night before with comrades who all seem to be getting crazier every minute and (2) in scolding Sakura and making her stop aggression over her archenemy. There was no point evident in scolding them. Besides, she is the second youngest. If there were two people mainly that should act as boss with regards to their ages, they were Rei and Asuka, both two years older than her. Also, she had been tired that day. So much for that so-called adventure. She was almost caught messing up with the East Sanctuary command center computer. She needed a break.
With a fourth sigh that seemed like the hundredth time instead, she stood up went over to the moving vehicle and tossed her plate. Plate collection had not yet begun, but she had enough. She heard her plate fell with a loud clank and nearby residents noticed it. But not her comrades. In fact, it appeared as though they had not even noticed her leave her seat. All was too busy minding their own business. It was probably about time she should mind her own.
"Leaving so soon ?"
So, somebody noticed her. Hitomi spun and in meeting Rei Hamada's flaxen eyes, let out a feeble beam. " Yeah."
you in our room," was all Rei had to say, then drank from a carton of milk.
Hitomi turned her back at the long table and headed to her room saying,