Miyako dozed as her English teacher droned on about the importance of word order in the English language. She couldn't wait for the bell to ring so that she could move on to a more interesting class. There was a knock on the door.
The new boy entered the classroom. He was tall and well built, his hair falling in his face. He looked like trouble.
"Class, this is Fujiwara Shou. He has transferred from another school. Miyako-san, who sits in the seat next to you?"
Miyako was sure somebody sat there. She never remembered having fun in this class at some point in time, but when? With who? People left the school mysteriously all the time, probably because of the dream. Once they were gone you had a vague feeling that something wasn't right, but you couldn't remember who they were, or what had happened to them.
"No one sits there, Sensei."
"Please have a seat in that empty place, Shou-kun."
Shou meandered over to the chair, his cheeks flushed with embarrassment. He didn't seem to like getting attention from people. After taking his seat, Shou extracted a notebook from his bag and placed it between himself and Miyako. Shou glanced up to make sure the teacher wasn't looking before scrawling a note on the paper.
"You are Miyako-san?"
Miyako looked at the note and nodded. Shou picked up his pencil again and began to write.
"You already know, but I am Shou. I need to get out of here."
"This place is evil."
Miyako frowned at this, not sure she understood. She thought about what he could have meant and realized that Shou was referring to the Dream.
"You mean the Dream?"
"Yes. I don't want them taking my soul. I need to escape."
"We aren't supposed to talk about this."
"I'll talk to you again later, behind the gym. There will be less proof that this conversation ever took place."
"Maybe, but if I think someone is watching, then I won't go."
Shou nodded and ripped the sheet of paper out his notebook. He crumpled it up and shredded it delicately with his fingers. All the while he kept his eyes on the teacher to make sure he wasn't looking in their direction. He knocked the little pieces onto the floor and stepped on them a few times with his foot before appearing satisfied with their destruction. Shou smiled sweetly at Miyako before turning his head to look out the window.
The appearance of this strange new student had brought about more questions than answers, but Miyako was determined to find out what was going on. She would meet Shou behind the gym and he had better have a good explanation for all the nonsense he was spouting.