April 2019. 14:00. One night before the disappearance.
Today, the grass was still. With chin rested in the palm of her hand, Kiri sat at her desk at the back window-side corner of the classroom and stared out the window at the golden grassy plains that lay just beyond the buildings of the town. She fidgeted with her short blond hair, cut pageboy style. The afternoon light reflected in her green eyes as she stared blankly.
The outside was bright, comforting, yet painfully monochromatic.
Unable to withstand the brightness, she surrendered her eyes and averted her gaze. Looked into the comparably dark classroom where moved the shapes of students. Took some time to let her eyes adjust.
A boy sitting at the desk beside Kiri reached over to her desk and flicked a note onto it. She looked over in surprise. It was Gabe from elementary, middle, and high school, who she never talked to. So why…?
The boy smiled at her. “You should come. It will be fun.”
Without saying anything, Kiri hesitantly looked down at the note. Written on it was:
Party in the plains! Meet @ the gate tonight @ 6. Bring your bike!
When she finished reading, she looked back at the boy whose charming grin unrelentingly beamed.
“Who’s coming?” she asked with a timid voice.
“That’s not saying much,” Kiri mumbled and turned her gaze back to the note, but Gabe didn’t seem to hear this remark and instead turned towards a few other students seated on the other side of him. Began to talk silly—small talk that Kiri could never bring herself to join.
She side glanced at Gabe and the other students. Something about them kept her eyes locked fascinatedly on them. Perhaps it was the way their words and laughter all weaved together so elegantly. For whatever reason, she was unable to self-insert into their tight-knit circle, but she didn’t really mind—or so she had convinced herself.
She returned to looking out the window with a sad smile across her lips.