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.
Page almost immediately regretted it as her eyes closed under the glare of the sun[P2] . 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 sheets [P3] 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 form.
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
“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 before[P4] . It was an awful thought but she couldn’t help it.
“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.
However, his 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
bus[P6] . He’d been wearing the same uniform the whole month through[P7] .
“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.
“Look Page 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.
Thirty minutes 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] . [P12] 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.
Embarrassment 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.
Finding Drake 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 [P19] look up 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 impressively well.
“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
“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 asked shrugging.
“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.
“Disappeared?” Jin asked sounding genuinely astounded.
“Yes Jin. Disappeared for up to a week. You were gone for a month.” Nabatame said sounding irritated at Jin’s lack of comprehension.
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
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.
[P3]Appearance of blankets and sheets
[P4]Page’s under wear at the beginning
[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 the beginning
[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.
[P9]Outside the apartment
[P10]Page’s Apartment appearance 1
[P12]Page’s Apartment Appearance 2
[P14]Students 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.
[P15]Four last year students waiting on the bus.
Naoki [P17] Kataoki. New character with no relevance other than to pump the main story. May be mentioned later to add depth into later
[P18]Temp School Character.
[P19]Temp school character
[P20]Rie Ohba’s twin brother
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