NARRATOR: "Lilly and Hanako quickly go about the business of making lunch. Before I can even open my small bag of food, Lilly's busying herself with her thermos and teabags as Hanako is setting out both their lunchboxes."
HISAO: "So, is this what you meant by coming here almost every day?"
LILLY: "Yes, Hanako and I usually have lunch here. It suits both of us, so we ended up using this room regularly."
NARRATOR: "After seeing Hanako's reactions to me over the past couple of days, I can understand why that is a boon. That, and Lilly being able to get some quiet away from her class as well. I take my seat last, after Lilly's poured the tea for us and sits down. The more time I spend with these two girls, the more I think they're a perfect foil to Misha and Shizune. Even without a voice, Shizune is direct and brash, and Misha seems to get along with everyone. On the other hand, Lilly is soft-spoken and relaxed while Hanako seems to be the shyest girl I've ever met."
LILLY: "So, how are you faring in Yamaku, Hisao? You seemed a bit flustered before."
HISAO: "Apart from getting lost every now and again, and being crash-tackled outside my classroom? Fine I guess..."
HANAKO: "You... you looked pretty hurt before. Are you really... okay?"
NARRATOR: "For a brief moment, I consider telling Hanako and Lilly about my condition but then, I hold it back. I can't tell why, but for some reason I feel uncomfortable talking about it to these relative strangers, even if they have been pretty friendly."
HISAO: "Yeah, it's nothing. I was just a bit startled."
NARRATOR: "Judging from the two girls' expressions, I don't think that they're buying it. But, in what I assume is their way of respecting my privacy, they don't press the matter. I guess that is one of the unwritten rules around here: 'don't ask.' Even if people's conditions are obvious, like Hanako's, there's still bound to be a story involved. Everyone has things that they don't feel comfortable speaking about, and I think everyone here recognizes that."
HISAO: "So, uh... how long have you been in this school? You both seem to know your way around pretty well."
LILLY: "Hmm... well, I've been here since the start of high school, but only moved into the dormitories a year ago. Hanako joined at the start of high school as well, and moved to the dormitories when she did, if memory serves me right."
HANAKO: "That's right. Since... high school."
HISAO: "So you've known each other since then?"
LILLY: "Since I moved, yes. Hanako lives next door to me, so it's only natural, right?"
HISAO: "Yeah, of course."
NARRATOR: "Living next to someone is probably reason enough to befriend them, though I'm guessing that Lilly's blindness played a part in it as well. I can't imagine Hanako easily making friends with someone who has to deliberately avoid looking at her scars. With the immediate conversation dried up, we start to eat our lunch. It isn't long before the bells are signaling the end of the break. Like me, the girls pack up their lunches as efficiently as they set them out."
LILLY: "I guess I'd better be off. Are you going to go with Hisao, Hanako?"
NARRATOR: "Hanako looks up at me, and for a second I can see that she is considering skipping class, maybe just to avoid walking to the classroom with me."
NARRATOR: "I don't know what to think of it. Hanako really is delicate to the point of breaking if looked at in the wrong way. It makes me a bit nervous too, but I push the feeling aside, trying to be as natural as I can."
HISAO: "We should hurry then. Class has already started by the sound of it."
NARRATOR: "Lilly gives a nod of farewell as she bends down to take her cane, Hanako and I filing out before her. We walk quickly down the empty halls to our respective classes. As we reach the door to Lilly's 3-2 classroom, she turns towards me."
LILLY: "Hisao, thank you for sharing lunch with us today."
HISAO: "My pleasure, Lilly."
NARRATOR: "And with that, we part ways; Lilly entering her classroom and leaving Hanako and I to make off to our own. She's still looking like she wants to run away."
HISAO: "So, do you really want to go back to class now?"
HISAO: "Okay then."
NARRATOR: "I feel like I should say something more to her, but it's hard to come up with anything that would be appropriate and safe enough. And Lilly was right; the more time we spend out here, the more explaining we have to do. I open the rear door to the class, and walk in. The teacher looks up at me, and opens his mouth to say something. However, as Hanako follows me in and closes the door, he simply nods to us and continues his lecture. This is the third time that Hanako has had her truancy practically ignored. There's definitely something going on here."
NARRATOR: "We make our way to our seats, and I notice that Misha and Shizune are both missing as well. I wonder if it is some form of informal agreement with the staff, or if it's a 'perk' afforded to the unique students of this school? Trying to make as little disturbance as I can, I extract the relevant textbooks from my bag and start catching up. The class goes on quietly."
[Next Scene: It Builds Character]