Page woke up to
the sound of her alarm clock. She cringed at the sound of the
damn clock as each buzz pounded on her mind. Trying to avoid
pounding of the clock failed and, giving up, she stretched while
still inside her blankets. Page was still tired, she wanted
nothing more than
to stay in bed
but it was already late. She knew she had to get ready quickly or
she'd miss the bus to her school. She stretched once more,
reaching a single arm out at her pedestal where her alarm lay.
Her palm hit the large button on top of the baby blue alarm
system and the buzzing was replaced by the steady and rhythmic
thumping of her favorite music. Slowly she started to poke her
head out of her blanket, sitting up she slowly pulled her blonde
hair off of her face.
immediately regretted it as her eyes closed under the glare of
. After a minute she looked around her room to
adjust to the light of the day that was pouring into the room
from her large apartment windows. Staring at the window she
cursed her insane act of leaving the blinds open in her room. Not
thinking past her single thought, her eyes traveled from the
window to the door then to Jin, sitting in a chair next to her
bed, and back to the window. As she looked out the window again,
focusing on nothing in particular something heavy pulled on her
mind. Jin? A voice in her head asked.
Page let out a
yelp as she ducked back under her blanket. Her pale white
couldn't keep the sun from making out Jin's outline
from under the blanket. Her eyes darted from right to left, up
then down and every time they found themselves focusing on Jin's
Jin's sitting right next to my bed! The voice in her head
seemed to cry out.
Page instantly started pulling on her hair, a nervous tick of
hers. She could feel her heart drumming unceremoniously on
against her chest which was almost afloat with what felt like
billions of butterflies. She was really freaking out now. Jin
wasn't supposed to be there. No boy was supposed to be there,
especially Jin. Jin wasn't supposed to be anywhere. Jin was
supposed to be dead!
"How'd you get in
here!" Page exclaimed from under her blanket in a frightened yet
meek voice which carried loudly into her own ears. She couldn't
help wondering if Jin was planning on or already had taken
advantage of her in the night. She looked at her loosely hanging
night gown which matched her blanket perfectly. Underneath she
was still wearing her yellow bra and panties from her day
. It was an awful thought but she couldn't help
"You let me in!"
Jin said staring wide eyed with shock and confusion. For a second
Page thought he was going to fall off his chair but he quickly
recovered himself quite smoothly in a way that made it look as if
it had all been planned out and practiced. Jin cocked his head to
the side and raised his eyebrow as if Page had just made some
ridiculous comment about him. The effect of seeing Jin's thin but
rough features, unusually rough for any seventeen year old, at
any other time in the past would have been humorous.
confusion only served to add to Page's confusion. Page couldn't
help but notice that Jin was dressed in his pitch black sailor's
uniform that made the men's summer uniform at their high school.
Under it she could see his white shirt. It seemed to have long
turned brown in areas that weren't completely covered in black
soot, the whole effect made him look as though he'd been crawling
through chimney for hours. Page saw a pink mark from where she
had fallen sleep against his shoulder while
[U5]they waited for the
He'd been wearing the same uniform the whole month
"I did?" Page
began her eyes once again darting at the bed, the door then at
the window. "When? How?" Page stammered out. Page was having
difficulty absorbing this information. She simply had no idea
what Jin was talking about. Page tried to backtrack. She'd
clearly gone to bed and she hadn't gotten up for the whole night,
and yet there Jin was standing next to her bed. Page tried to
work it out in her head once more. It would have been almost
impossible for Jin to get into the apartment. The whole apartment
building was locked tight with a paid guard and there was no way
Jin knew the code.
Someone could have let him in. Rang a thought in her head
but she crossed it off her mind.
It was very
unlikely since no one was allowed to let unknown people into the
apartment. The landlord was quite strict
when it came to that. Page looked up and saw Jin
staring at her. He shook his head and stood up from the chair he
was sitting on.
there's no time for this, just get ready for school. I'll meet
you outside." Jin said getting up stiffly from the chair. He
stretched awkwardly, which took her by surprise, she started
wondering how long he'd been sitting in that chair.
[U8]He ruffled his uneven hair
before walking out her door.
Page waited a
while until her blood pressure and heart rate finally dropped
down enough for her to move again before sneaking out of bed. She
checked herself to see if there was any evidence of him on her.
No, she thought ashamed of herself. Jin was her friend
even if he had disappeared for a month, even if he had been
considered dead. She was ashamed to think such bad thoughts about
him. They been the closest of friends and they still were if Page
had anything to say about it, but Page still checked herself
anyway hating herself for doing it. Afterwards, when she felt
sane enough to move, she took a shower.
later the clear glass doors [P10] of her apartment
building opened and Page stepped out. She was dressed in her
pitch black sailor dress that made for their school uniform. Her
blonde hair was tied tightly against her head unable to move
against the wind that flowed through the trashy streets of the
city. Jin was waiting outside. He leant with his back against
the apartment's walls which weren't quiet as perfectly clean as
the doors. Hundreds upon hundreds of flyers dating back to longer
than she could remember flapped but hung on stubbornly against
the spiraling winds[P11] .
He was reading a yellowed with age flyer he'd
pulled down. Page knew it, it was the one she had made when Jin
had disappeared. She hesitated at seeing it in his hands but then
clenched her jaw returning the resolve she had created for
herself from the moment she had stepped out of her shower.
"So why were you
really inside my house and more importantly, outside my bed?"
Page asked almost accusingly, her face was set down in hardened
resolve. She had not yet decided if she believed Jin or not. The
situation was too weird for Page to ignore. The heart stopping
shock of seeing him right in front of her bed as if he'd been
there for ages was still there. She was glad to see Jin and she
was glad he was alive but she was too weirded out to say anything
other than the single line she'd already practiced in her head.
She couldn't even give a 'welcome back' or a 'where
were you?' as one would expect from seeing a person after
thinking they were dead and buried in a ditch somewhere. Now with
him in her room, as far as Page knew, the answer to that was
'in your room.'
Jin looked at
first as though he were about to make a joke about the flyer
before Page had hit him with her question slash accusation but he
swallowed it. He was frowning now. "I'll explain what you
'SUDDENLY' don't understand when we find Drake." Jin said
looking and sounding unusually annoyed. Jin wasn't the type who
let anything faze him. He had the best poker face in the world.
Drake always said that whenever they were waiting for Jin in the
mornings. But that was over a month ago, maybe things had changed
in him. Maybe Jin had changed for ever.
forced her to look away from Jin, she looked back up at him and
saw Jin was already moving. Page followed after her but Jin had
started walking ahead of Page quicker, she would have to run/jog
to keep pace with him, it was something she'd never had to do
before. Clearly by his blank staring, he was too preoccupied to
wait for Page. Not willing to say anything she just speed-walked
behind him completely lost in her own doubts and fears.
unfortunately turned out to be much easier said than done, she
realized when she got to the bus stop. The bust stop was crowded
as it always was in the morning at this exact time. There was a
group of pupils that they knew indirectly and a couple they knew
directly. They all rode the same shuttle bus. Most were younger
than both Jin and Page. This was to be expected as both Jin and
Page were on their final year of school. There were about
fifteen to twenty students [P14] in total separated into tiny
groups by the non school goers, and out of that Page recognized
four [P15] last year students. Of all
the students there along with the non school goers Page Stevens
was the outcast as she was the only American born student of them
all. Her pale white skin always seemed to contrast brightly
against their own skin tones in her own eyes. Though she knew it
was her blonde hair which made her stand out most. She had never
once considered changing her hair color once in her life because
of her parents but she had tied [P16] it back to make it less
conspicuous to others, and make her life easier. The last year
students who stood waiting took notice of Page but their
attention on her didn't last, it jumped immediately to Jin, who
was supposed to be dead and gone.
The first to
notice was Naoki[P17] Kataoki, he was not an
achiever at the school but he had the biggest mouth in the whole
grade. She had him in at least two classes, though she doubted he
knew that she was in any more than one of his classes. He was
type who stood on the shoulders of bigger students and made noise
and he was never alone. There was always at least one girl around
him. His hair was combed back at an angle and his uniform was
buttoned up to the top. When he normally spoke he had the knack
of pulling on the tiny collars as if they would suddenly turn
elastic. "Jin! I can't believe it. You're alive." He said loudly.
Page could only guess that the group of last year students around
him gave him the energy to raise his voice as high as it so often
did. At his exclamation the whole bus stop seemed to turn their
heads to Jin. Jin looked up, Page noticed that he looked
disorientated. He finally smiled and nodded his head to Naoki
before nodding to anyone who recognized him. "I haven't met
anyone capable of killing me Noaki. Only slow me down." Jin said
laughing out loud. It was an unexpected response.
Jin was normally allot more humble than that. Maybe this isn't
Jin at all. Page thought to herself.
The thought was laughable but she wasn't really laughing,
considering what had happened it felt real enough.
The other three
immediately looked up at Jin. Page saw both Nabatame
Hirano[P18] and Rie Ohba
lazily at first. Page knew for a fact they didn't like Page at
all and Page had never understood why. She could only guess it
was because of her skin tone. They never spoke to her on the bus
nor did they acknowledge her existence in a good way, ever.
Nabatame flicked her neatly cut bangs out her face absently and
eyed Page behind Jin and then turned her attention to him once
more. Unlike Page's skirt, Nabatame's skirt rose up high showing
off her seemingly flawless legs. Nabatame was thinner than Page
and lacked the curvature Page had but she seemed to make up for
it with her height and long legs. She was the second tallest
person amongst everyone in the bus stop at that moment. Her best
friend Rie was quite different. Her skirt was much higher almost
reaching up to her panties, which was completely illegal but Page
knew the skirt wasn't really cut that high only rolled, by time
they arrived in school the skirt would be back to a 'decent'
height. Rie's hair was hazel nut brown, she was almost a full
head shorter Page and a full head shorter, with change, than
Nabatame but in turn made up for it by having better curves. Rie
seemed much happier to see Jin alive than Nabatame was. Page
thought she understood why.
Since her arrival
to the high school Nabatame had known Page but it wasn't until
the third year that she started circulating horrible rumors about
her, which led to Jin standing up for Page when the school had
laughed behind her back and to make matter worse Jin had beaten
up her then boyfriend and humiliated him in her name. Rie had
arrived at the school afterwards so she had no understanding of
the situation she, only knew not to like Page which she did
"Where have you
been?" Asked the actual tallest person in the whole bus stop. He
was just a small amount taller than Nabatame but it was enough to
make him tower over everyone in the area. Jin grinned and flashed
his perfect white teeth at Kazuki Ohba[P20] . There had been an
accusatory tone in Kazuki's voice but that wasn't new. Kazuki,
who had arrived at the exact same time as his sister, Rie, had
found out and gotten a detailed report of what had happened to
Nabatame's boyfriend after the Nabatame and himself had become an
official pair. Page, along with most of the last year students,
suspected some form of confrontation between them, most likely
caused by Nabatame or Kazuki. It had never happened for a year
and a half and now there were only six months left in the school
year. Jin took his blatant accusatory tone with a smile, much
different to how he had taken her accusatory tone from her. Page
took silent offence to it.
"Well Kazuki I
have no idea but I'm glad to be back. That's all I can say." Jin
said smiling. Everyone around the bus stop who supposedly weren't
listening were most definitely listening now. Noaki coughed out
loud as if he'd choked while suppressing a laugh.
"Your one of
Them?" Noaki asked sounding amazed.
"The who?" Jin
"You don't know?"
Noaki asked, if his eyebrows could have risen any higher Page was
sure they were going to break off his face.
Page felt her
cheeks flush when faces from some of the students dropped on her.
They all knew that she was one of 'them' but she wasn't Jin. She
hadn't disappeared for a full month.
"A month ago
people all over the planet disappeared." Rie said clearly not
enjoying being a spectator in their talks.
Jin asked sounding genuinely astounded.
Disappeared for up to a week. You were gone for a month."
Nabatame said sounding irritated at Jin's lack of
Jin shrugged just
as the bus pulled up in front of them "Well all I know is that I
was gone. Can't say where or why. I'm back now. I'm alive and I
just want to be with my friends and family."
Page felt like
some one had just shoved an oil drill into her stomach as guilt
tore at her unmercifully. She was looking for motives and reason
and explanations as to where Jin had been and she'd not once
actually shown how absolutely ecstatic she was that her best
friend was back home. That her friend was alive and just maybe
all he wanted to do was be with his friends and she'd accused him
of breaking an entering.
blankets and sheets
[P4]Page's under wear at
[U5]This is supposed to
add depth to their relationship with each other.
[P6]Bus stop is a common
point in the story.
[P7]Jin's appearance at
[U8]This is supposed to
add some kind of relevance but not sure exactly what. It's
a tad ambiguous even for me the writer.
Apartment appearance 1
Apartment Appearance 2
who pitch for the second morning bus. There's a bus before
it and afterwards. But at this time slot the bus is
fullest. There's 15-20 maybe more not sure how it works on
that side of the world.
last year students waiting on the bus.
New character with no relevance other than to pump the main
story. May be mentioned later to add depth into later
Ohba's twin brother