Kanon:Volume 1 Prologue
Snow was falling.
White, small shards of snow, falling through the grey sky, fleeting.
Snowing wasn’t anything special in this town in winter.
A handful of people coming out from the station, and a handful walking from the station to the shopping district. Everything was usual, advancing quickly.
Among these people, Yuichi Aizawa looked like a strange visitor. He pulled the scarf over his nose, shoved his hands into his pockets, and sat on the damp wooden bench.
It wasn’t his first time here, but it had been long since his last visit.
The round clock in the middle of the station pointed at three.
Wasn’t the time appointed one?
He didn’t know her phone number, so he couldn’t make a call to confirm. And he didn’t want to scold anyone either, as he returned to this town already with a bit of loss and reluctance.
“Changing jobs? When did that happen?”
A few months ago, his mother told him of his father’s job change, but he wasn’t all that surprised.
His father had been changing jobs as a habit, and Yuichi had been changing schools since primary school.
He thought he would at last settle down in these years, yet things happened otherwise.
“I heard it’s during spring, but after a year, probably he’ll need to move again.”
“Nasty, right? When we think of your academic studies, it’s quite a headache for you to adjust to your homework and classmates.”
“Then please let me live a life of my own joyfully starting from spring.”
“What are you talking about?”
His mother furrowed her brows.
“I don’t think you can handle housework all by yourself. You’ll have to prepare for the exams next year too, there’s no way you can do that.”
“So what can we do? Our house is basically the company’s dorms. We’ll have to move together.”
“Hmm. Right. It’s decided.”
His mother gave him a blueprint of a house. So they were finally deciding to build one. They had planned long for this, but chances always slipped.
“So this is the last time we’ll move.”
It seems we’re finally settled. His mother said happily.
“Where are we moving , then?”
His mother answered a town of the north.
“Do you still remember? That town you always went to at the summer break when you were in primary school.”
Is it that town? But, that town…
“When you were there the first time, you must have thought snow peculiar. We always paid a visit to the Minase family. They have a daughter…what was she called again? Don’t you get along quite well with that cousin of yours?”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. You can meet a girl you haven’t seen for a long time too.”
“There isn't a need for this.”
“What, Yuichi. Why sulking? Do you hate moving?”
I was used to moving, but I hate the town.
I didn’t know for sure what the reason was.
I do remember I had gone to the town several times. But what I did or what happened was long lost.
Lost were such memories, as if they had turned white.
Yuichi had a strong reluctance, but he couldn’t explain since he couldn’t remember the reason.
The matters with the Minase family went pretty quick. At first, the whole family planned to move together in spring, but since they had to deal with the paperwork for transferring to the school, Yuichi had to go first.
And the day had come.
Yuichi was still waiting for the girl of Minase whom he had to live with for a while.
Why did he love snow before?
It was cold when he touched snow, and bothering and dirty when stacked. There wasn't anything nice. If he had lost his memories, it must have been because he had slipped off the snow on the path and hit his head.
Even his nostrils froze.
Yuichi continued to sit without twitching, as if protesting against the cold, white air, as well as the person who made him suffer by making him wait.
The longest time he could put up with this town was until his graduation, he asserted himself. Although it wasn’t a pleasant idea for his mum, he had to live by himself and go off one day anyway. If he kept living in this cold and dull town, he was certain he would become cold and dull himself.
Suddenly, the cold air calmed.
The snow was piling up, even the wind was raging…yet…
Beside Yuichi appeared a pair of brown female shoes. Along the shoes, he glanced, were two slim legs, a uniform he had never seen, and long and straight hair.
Under the snowing sky, the girl looked at Yuichi.
Gentle eyes with a dip of dreamy slumber called forth his memories. It was more feminine than the one in primary school, but they were the same eyes.
“The snow…is piling up.”
The girl murmured. Yuichi noticed the jacket on his shoulders had slowly turned white.
“It’s because I have waited for two hours.”
“What? What’s the time now?”
The girl looked at the clock tower with surprise.
She spoke with a leisurely tone, in contrast with her words.
“I thought it was just around two.”
Even if it was two, it was still one hour late.
“Can I ask a question?”
“Isn’t it cold to stay there, not moving an inch?”
“Wait, have you been numbed by the coldness?”
Yuichi waved his head, and snow fell from his head.
The girl took out a can of coffee and gave it to Yuichi.
“Here, for you.”
Yuichi took out his hands that had been in his pockets for two hours to get it. The can was still hot, and probably too hot for bare hands, but Yuichi felt his hands warm and comfortable by this heat.
“This is a present as my apology for being late.”
A can of coffee for being late two hours, uh?
“And to congratulate our reunion.”
“A can of coffee for two things? It’s been seven years, at least.”
He only remembered after seeing her, so he didn’t really raise his voice.
“Seven years, you say.”
The girl was smiling at Yuichi. Yuichi felt a bit embarrassed and rolled the can of coffee along his palms.
“Do you still remember my name?”
“You too. Do you remember mine?”
Yuichi and the girl spoke together.
The girl looked troubled. He didn’t quite make it.
He didn’t make it again.
Yuichi plucked the ring of the can and drank the coffee in one gulp. The warm sensation spread out from his stomach to his whole body. Making a light sound, he stood up, patted off the snow, and flexed his muscles.
“So, let’s go?”
The girl made sounds of dissatisfaction. Yuichi took his backpack and took off, even when he didn’t know where to go.
“That’s rude, Yuichi.”
The girl followed behind him. So it was this feeling.
Searching in his blurred memories, Yuichi could remember a girl doing her best to follow him, despite being bullied by him.
It was this young girl.
Suddenly, another face, and another pair of eyes flashed in his mind.
But like the snow blurring itself with white fog, after a blink of an eye, that face vanished.
The girl caught up with him. He increased his pace and walked in circles since he didn’t know where to head.
As if he couldn’t reach his destination as long as he couldn’t remember her name, he went in circles, the girl behind him. Others must have thought them freaks.
Yuichi glanced at the streets again.
The tall building in front of the station, the car terminal, and the shopping district. If there wasn't any snow, it could have been just any other street Yuichi had lived in before.
Streets he hadn’t gone to for seven years.
Snow he hadn’t seen for seven years.
“I don’t want to go in circles here now.”
The reluctance to return is imprinted in his heart vividly.
But wherever one goes, the expectation of starting a new life is ignited.
Yuichi turned around to face his cousin.
“How long do you want to keep going around me? Let’s go, Nayuki!”
Nayuki’s eyes flashed, as if she had suddenly been awakened.
The snowflakes gathered in her eyelashes melted and flowed down.
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