An improbable meeting

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If the imagination of men is limitless also as Gaea was created by their dreams, so, in this world, nothing is impossible ...


"The red is beautiful, but .... no! To be honest, I have to be realistic, the red is really too flashy ...
Um,I think I'll have to resign myself to choose a pastel version ... Maybethis one, the green with the embroidery of pink and purple flowers,would be a good solution, because the white is out of the question!
Isn't it, Hitomi?"

No answer.

The young woman with red hair got angry in front of mirrors.

"Hitomi ?"

Still no answer ...

This time, she turned around and hit the garment on her sleepy friend's lap.

"Hitomi, wake up!"

A jump, Hitomi suddenly came out of her lethargy. She was sitting on a chair surrounded by a field kimonos thrown to the ground.

In front of her, her friend Yukari, hands on her hips, looking upset.

"Well, it's useful to bring a friend with I to choose your wedding outfit ... How long have you been sleeping?"
"Um ... I don't know ..."
"Yeah ... Well, now that you're awake, tell me what you think!"

Ceasing to grumble, Yukari donned the famous green kimono andpretended to close it with a nice pale yellow obi before admiringherself in a mirror screen.

And it had been three hours since the show had begun. After allthis time to hear her best friend comment and re-comment one by one thekimonos of the shop, it was difficult to stay awake ...
That's why Hitomi, despite herself, had fallen asleep, the comfort of her armchair helping.

"Huh, what, that one, the green? Yes, it's not bad ... She nodded, still drowsy."
"Not bad or nice?"
"Frankly, he's handsome! And since you don't want white, it should be okay ... A good compromise ..."

Apparently satisfied with the answer, Yukari dropped thekimono carelessly on a seat, while the saleswomen picked up the messleft by the endless fitting.
Then she slumped on an armchair andsighed, looking at the ceiling. In this shop dedicated to traditionalceremonial dresses, one of the most posh of Tokyo, she felt veryuncomfortable.

It must be said that her flamboyant hair, tied in a ruffled bun andbrimming with whimsical pikes, contrasted with the sober and chicatmosphere of the establishment.
Regarding her attitude ... The least we can say is that it was the opposite of calm and posed employees.

"You know what Hitomi? I'm fed up ! Yukari muttered by wallowing even more, arms dangling on the sides."
"Oh? Her friend wondered, turning her head.
"Yes,all that, it exasperates me. Susumu's father demanded that he finishhis studies of management and international trade before we can getmarried.
I've loved it for ten years and I've been waiting all this time ... But now that the long-awaited deadline has come, and ..."
"I don't know, I'm not totally certain. Warning, it's not that I don't love Susumu anymore, but ..."
"But?" Hitomi asked by straightening up.

Yukari sighed. And, leaning on her arms, she sits down properly.For a few moments, she raised her head before starting to stare at thefloor with a sad look.

"I think what's waiting for me doesn't reallysuit me. The Amano family is very traditional. Although they havetraveled a lot, they remain Japanese first and foremost.Susumu's grandmother is English, but when I see her, only her notslanting eyes betray her origins."
"And of course, you feel different, right?"
"Oh that!" Yukari said with a more playful, voice. "Do you remember when I told you about the first meeting with the family?"
"Yes, they all stared at your flamboyant hair."
"Indeed, there are some who naturally have brown hair because of the grandmother, my color has traumatized them all!"
"At the same time, Yukari, red, isn't natural as a hair color!" Hitomi replied with a laugh.
"Certainly,but from there to believe seeing a dragon land at home! Anyway, youalready said when my hair was brown with pink highlights ... While you,you are ash blonde, very Japanese too ..."
"I remind you that for me, it's natural! It comes from my mother's great-grandmother ..."
"Who was Russian ... And who knew the great-grandfatherwhen he went to Sakhalin to fish for his restaurant because thisbranch of the family is from Hokkaido ..."
"My word ! You know my own family better than me!" Hitomi noticed between two yawns.
"But enough joking, I think that green kimono will suit! Come on, let's go, I really need to stretch my legs!"

Whereupon, Yukari finally got up and picked up her things beforetalking to one of the saleswomen, still traumatized by the afternoonthey had lived.

"I think I will opt for the pastel green one with the yellow obi. I'll come back and try it again anyway, okay?
I still have some time before the wedding and the dresser is already booked!"
"Well, Miss!" The lady replied politely, her voice nervous, visibly terrified imagining the tornado coming back to ravage her store.

Taking advantage of mirror, the young woman adjusted the chopsticksadorning her red hair, did the same for the wide petticoat of hermulticolored dress and headed toward the exit to put on her ballerinas,as colorful as the rest of her outfit.

Hitomi, meanwhile, got up and picked up her bag, that she overthrowed awkwardly, dropping some books.
She hastened to pick them up while her friend quietly laughed at her clumsiness.

The saleswomen saluted them, opened the door to them, and watched themgo away, visibly relieved. Now it remained for them to tidy up the mess!


As the two friends walked in the streets of Tokyo, thetraditional district gave way to the glass buildings of Shibuya, thetrendy place of the Japanese capital.
Yukari felt instantly released. she was walking lightly in the crowd, almost skipping.

Amused, Hitomi followed her but more calmly. Her hair, still ashyblonde, now touched her shoulders. They were quite stiff and floatedfreely with the wind.
Dressed in a simple blue dress, discreet little matching shoes, onlyher tote bag full of books betrayed that she thought of her studiesfirst and foremost.

After several minutes to stop in front of the windows and toobserve the new gadgets, followed by a salute to the statue of the dogHachiko,Yukari continued her way more calmly and took a more serious look.

"It seems that in Europe, it doesn't rain in summer, but more in autumn. No luck for me, we should leave in September for London!" She grumbled trampling on.
"So soon?"
"Yes, exams on July 23th, results on the 30th, summerparty on the 31th and we take care of the preparations for the wedding,which will take place on August 15th. After the family leaves us a weekof respite and we're going to pack for Europe. I think that, this time,Susumu just has a training. We should come back to Japan by the end ofOctober. But the next trip may be longer ..."
"You shouldn't complain, you're going to travel!" Hitomi remarked, surprised by the melancholy of her friend.
"Yes,that's not wrong. But, Susumu warned me: to be Madame Amano willconsist mainly in waiting for him because he will work enormously ...So, I would be alone most of the time ... I will miss you very much.You know, I'd like to take you with me ..." Yukari answered with a sad little smile as she turned to her best friend.

Imagining herself to play gooseberry betweenhis two comrades and be lugged in front of all the monuments of Europeby a Yukari overflowing with energy, which would also make a shoppingtrip, Hitomi burst out laughing.

"Obviously it amuses you ... My my my ... But seriously, Hitomi, will you doing on your side?"

The question touched the person in the heart. This time, the youngwoman no longer smiled and began to flee the gaze of her accomplice.

"If I pass this year's exams, I think I will have to start my internship. My father assured me thathe would get me a good place in a quiet service. He told me aboutresearch labs. He is so happy that I chose to study medicine to followin his footsteps ... At first, he placed great hope in my brother, but ..."
"Well, you know, Mamoru, studies, he never liked that ...From primary school, he didn't work much. His only talent was toimitate your father's signature on his notebooks full of bad grades,however every time ..."
"He was caught ... Dad finally resigned himself to thefact that his son never study on the long term. So, now everythingdepends just on me, while Mamoru wallows in front of the console sincehis return from high school, he has no problem, as long as his notesare average and he does not receive any words from the teachers ..."
"You should be happy, your father believes in you. Noone encourages his daughter in a long and difficult universitycurriculum and then tells him to get married and stay home wisely!
Me, before I met Susumu, my parents wanted me to do something simple, like a saleswoman, then once married, hop, at home!"
"They have underestimated you!" Hitomi remarked. "I still think that you well studied in medicine ..."
"Yes, but I chose this channel only to be with you,because, since I only study while waiting for this wedding, I had to dosomething and, good thing, it was with my best friend! And then, youexaggerate, last semester, I was still a client for remedial teaching,and I succeeded by a miracle ..."
"You know Yukari, it's not because my father is a cardiologist that I want to become a doctor ..."
"Oh really?"
"Yes, a long time ago, I met a person who didn't needto work at all. She had chosen to become a doctor by conviction ... Iwould like to make it happen to realize her dream because she couldn'tcarry it out ..."

At these words succeeded a silence. Yukari instantly realized that her friend was referring to her disappearance ten years ago.

Immersed in her thoughts, Hitomi saw Millerna again. His mimicry and eccentricity reminded her of Yukari's.
Like her, her friend would also have to assume a marriage that would take away a lot of her freedom.

Hitomi realized that it had been years since she had thought abouther trip to Gaea, but it was clear that it was well hidden in hismemory.

After, briefly, Van's face appeared to her. Carrying her hand toher neck, she tried to tighten her pendant, but her fingers closed onthemselves, reminding her that she hadn't had it for a long time.

In order to chase away all her memories of Gaea from her mind, theyoung woman shook her head brightly, under the astonished and worriedlook of Yukari.

"Hey Hitomi, what the matter?"
"Nothing!" The latter replied with a wide and forced smile.

Yukari wasn't stupid, she felt that her friend had suddenly changed her attitude.
Sincethis mysterious year she had disappeared and which she claimed not toremember, Hitomi sometimes had such moments of absence.

Indeed, despite suggestions for the kindly listening of her motherand best friend, Hitomi was convinced that oblivion seemed the best wayto move forward.

"We will go home!" The young blonde woman said, deliberately changing the subject. "Didn't you tell me you had a dinner with the Amano family tonight?
Remember that you mustn't be late if you do not want the grandmother's famous look!"

What her friend has just said suddenly made Yukari completely livid.

"What time is it?"
"4:30 pm, why?"
"Because the family has also planned a kind of"tea-time", another idea of the English grandmother! My God, I justremember now that these damn British drink their tea at 5 pm!" Yukari yelled, holding her head in her hands.

As fast as possible, on the edge of panic, she grabs the hand ofher friend, and ran to the nearest metro station, hustling manypassersby.

With difficulty retaining his book bag to prevent him from fallingback into the street, Hitomi was having trouble following the pace ofwalking.

Suddenly, Yukari stopped as fast as she started.

"Hitomi, I have a problem ! At last, another!"
"I borrowed books from the university library, thedeadline expires tonight! And as I have accumulated the delays, I thinkI will have a word in my file! A few days before exams, it's very bad!Already, that I'm not very talented ... I don't need this diploma, butif I fail at this session, the in-laws will not be happy!"
"So, I have to go return them for you, right?" Hitomi concluded, amused.
"Yes, s'il te please!" Yukari begged with big watery eyes. "Save me!"
"Okay..." The blonde young woman sighed smiling. "Give them to me, as if I didn't have enough in my bag!"
"Thanks, you're a love !" Her friend said kissing her on the cheek.

Hurry, Yukari pulled out two torn books from her bag, dropped themon her friend's outstretched arms, kissed her again, and fled at greatspeed.
"You surprise me there ..." Hitomi said to herself, puzzled. "You,who was the Queen of logistics, my "manager", as you said when I run,you really have the head elsewhere with this marriage ... My poorYukari, this careless attitude doesn't look like you ... So ..."

Then, sighing ironic, the young woman went to the faculty, overhasty because the doors were closed at 17 pm on Friday nights ...

"5:15 pm ! Damn! Hitomi mumbled, lookingat the clock which dominated the university library. Failed!Definitely, it's really a bad day! I couldn't revise because offitting and, now, I'm coming too late ..."

Upset, she was ready to leave but mais a sudden breeze stopped her steps. So she turned back to the establishment.
The wind was rising and, come from nowhere, clouds began to darken the spring sky, until then clear blue.

However, Hitomi didn't really pay attention to this sudden changeof weather, she felt attracted to the whisper of the wind, as if itasked her to enter the library.

The attraction was too strong, Hitomi stepped forward almost inspite of herself. Essayez avec cette orthographe : Gravissant lesmarches, elle s'aperçut que la porte était encore ouverte
Climbing the stairs, she realized that the door was still open and, passing the threshold, immediately got a grip on herself.

"Oh, a miracle! I may be able to give back these books eventually!" She noticed, relieved.

Once in the hall, she went to the only place still enlightened: thecounter. The old guard was still struggling with his computer.
Hewas smoothing his mustache trying to solve an umpteenth bug of thissystem that he did'ot understand, but which he had to accommodate atthe end of his career.

Having several times solved his computer problems, Hitomi knew himwell, she went to her office without fear of being reprimanded.

"Hey young girl, you know it's closed at this time!" The old man remarked without stopping look at his screen.
"I know Mister Tanaka, but my friend forgot to return her books."
"Your friend, Miss red hair Uchida, right? She lost her mind? Lately, she's still out of time to bring back her borrowings."
"Yes, but she is getting married very soon!" Hitomi answered, with a smile. "And the date approaches, the more she becomes distracted!"

The old man raised his head and shook it, looking jaded.

"Ah these girls, a party withbeautifuldresses, and they forget everything else ... Finally, it's good, I notethat she respected the date.By cons, I'm too late and I don't want to wait for my train too longbecause my wife isn't patient, would you help me?"
"Yes Sir, if I can!"
"I don't have time to tidy the books and if thechief librarian sees them here, he will suspect that they were broughtback after the deadline. So, you'd have to go upstairs, there's atrainee, a tall, pale guy, a Russian, I think. His name is Alexander,with an unpronounceable family name. Go see him and give him yourfriend's books. He will tidy them neither seen nor known. It's a niceguy, although at first, his allure scary me as that of the flamboyantMiss Uchida!"
"Really?" Hitomi asked, looking interested. "Why he's so special?"
"Well, it's white like snow and tall like a tree. Andto add a little more originality, he has pierced ears, gray hair andclothes ... unusual ... Finally, as the chief found him very erudite andthat he was anyway too big for our uniforms, he doesn't say anything ...Especially with his height, he quickly puts books because he doesn'tneed ladder. Also, he doesn't work in front of the public, so theappearance ... So, having said this, the guard said, finally turning offhis computer, I go! See you next time, Miss Kanzaki!"
"Thanks again!" The young woman answered, bowing.
"It'sokay, after all the breakdowns you repaired, I owed you that! Goodbye,and say hello to Miss Uchida reminding her to think of keeping her headfixed on her shoulders instead of daydreaming at her D-day!"

After these words, the old man left the place, Hitomi watched himgo away. When he disappeared from her sight, the wind was heard againand the atmosphere became oppressive.
This time, the murmur seemed to come from the floor. Feeling again like caught up, Hitomi started to climb the stairs.

At the upper level, a single lit lamp betrayed a presence. Therewere also some noises of books knocking on the shelves or falling onthe floor as well as some incomprehensible swear words, probably inRussian.

Hitomi was intrigued by this voice. However, she was unable to knowwhy. She had already heard strangers talking, so she shouldn't havebeen overly surprised, but there was something more subtle.

At the turn of an alley, she found the one she was looking for.Perched on a chair to reach the last shelf to put a book despite hissize, he was an immense man.
Turning his back, he seemed visibly busy with his work.

His look caught the eye of Hitomi: faded jean, psychedelic tank top... To this was added an eccentric hairstyle: gray hair with anarchiccut.
This simple observation made an obvious observation: he didn't have anything of the traditional librarian.

When she saw that he had finished putting away his last book, the young woman allowed herself to interrupt him

"Excuse me, Mister Tanaka allowed me to bringback books for a friend after closing. He told me that you could takecare of them. It doesn't bother you?"
"Absolutely not! Please wait, I'm going down and we're looking for that."

He had spoken in an awkward Japanese, but perfectly understandable.Her intonation was strangely calm, which troubled the young woman.

This time it was sure and certain, that voice she knew it.
But from where?

She didn't have time to think that the young man turned around. Seeing him, Hitomi froze, dropping the books on the ground.

"No, it's not possible, it cannot be ..." She stammered.

Terrorized, the young woman stared at the man with fine featuresand lying. His hair was gray, with no green shade, his blue eyes,partly hidden by rectangular glasses with fine legs of glasses and,above all, his right arm of flesh and blood.
Apart from of these differences, Hitomi thought she saw Folken.

Then, all kinds of images flashed through her head: the first timeshe had seen him giving back his sword to Van in the floating fortressof Vione, their conversation in the ruins of Fanelia ... And then hisdeath ...
She even saw his grave again.

In front of this unrealistic vision of a death that smiled on her, Hitomi lost consciousness.

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