"Bye, see you tomorrow!" Karin called to her boss. Her shift at Julien had just ended, so she was going to the locker room to change out of her uniform.
"Goodbye Karin. Take care, and tell Kenta I said hello," he replied, smiling. Karin blushed at the mention of Kenta, and continued to walk to the locker rooms; the right one this time. She changed out of her collar shirt and dark skirt into a long white coat and dark blue jeans. She let her short violet hair hang loose against her shoulders as she laced up her white snow boots.
It was a cold day in December, a few days after Christmas. Kenta had called earlier, saying that he was busy with his other job, so he wouldn't come in to work that afternoon. Karin worried that he worked too hard, and wished that she could do more to ease the financial burden he shared with his mother, but she knew that he would politely refuse. In any case, she hoped that the food she brought for him eased that burden at least a little bit.
She called out once again that she was leaving, and started on her walk home. It was late in the evening, around seven-thirty or eight, but she didn't really mind. She knew that Anju or her bats could come to take care of her if necessary. She continued her walk, when she came to a fork in the road. One route led up a hill, and the other would lead her across the Nature Park.
She decided to take the Nature route, wanting to enjoy her time alone. It had recently snowed, and the layer of snow looked like a blanket on the park grounds, causing Karin to smile at the beauty of it. As she walked, she noticed small white dots drifting from the sky, and realized that it was snowing. Beaming at the snow, she laughed and twirled in the center of the park, her arms outstretched. She let her tongue out to taste one of the snowflakes, still smiling.
"So this is what it's like to be free," she thought to herself.
Kenta huddled his coat closer to him, the air cold against his cheeks. He walked towards the Nature Park, soft music drifting into his ears as he followed that path that cut across the park. A coworker had bought a CD player for himself, so he had given Kenta his mini radio, along with a small bag of batteries for Christmas. Kenta tried to refuse it, but it had been a gift, so he eventually accepted it.
A light snow began to fall, so he bundled his coat closer to avoid the cold. He tripped suddenly, causing the radio dial to switch to another station.
"Hello this is James K. on Classic 103.2. Next up we have a classic by Danny Elfman called "The Grand Finale", the radio told him.
"Darn," Kenta muttered. He was about to reach into his pocket to turn the dial back when his ears caught another sound; a young girl's laughter. As the music began, he walked closer to the source of the laughing. He noticed that the laugh sounded carefree and happy, something he hadn't heard in a while. He walked behind the trees, not really sure if the owner of the laughter would be very pleased if they caught him searching for it. When the melody of the song cascaded down again (1:07 in the song), he caught sight of a white sleeve and coat, and a strand of violet hair.
"Maaka," he thought to himself as he watched her from behind a tree. She looked completely happy, as if she had lost all her problems. For a moment, he forgot that she was a defective vampire. All he saw was a normal, beautiful high school girl.
The snow continued to fall, the song continued to play into the grand chorus (1:47), and Kenta continued to gaze at Karin as she danced in the snow. He watched her when she attempted a ballerina move, and when she caught snowflake after snowflake. The white snow was a nice contrast to her violet hair, and it seemed to touch her cheekbones and eyelids like feathers. The song continued to play on the small radio, and as the song gradually ended, Karin did not.
She continued to dance, with hand motions like a princess touching a veil. Suddenly, she stopped, her eyes still closed. She dropped her hands slowly, the moment ending. She realized that she had wasted about five minutes, with her sister still at home. Her eyes wide, she started to run home, hoping that her family wasn't worried about her. Kenta smiled at the moment he had just seen of Karin, and thanked whatever had made him trip on his way home.
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