Himawari Kunogi is bad luck to those who know her. An AU explanation.
After that, Himawari was uncontactable -- the address she gave led to an apartment that was being torn down, all the phone numbers belonged to other people, and nobody remembered seeing her anywhere, on the sidewalks or in a shop or anything. It's not a small town, but it was as if she had simply vanished, leaving no word.
Watanuki was terribly upset. He searched for her for a long time, even considered visiting a witch, yes, there are such things in the world, and in the end I talked him out of it, because the price was not something he would want to pay. So he went through our yearbooks, calling all our classmates, even those who graduated before we did, in case they remembered Himawari and knew something.
He finally found something in a yearbook four years ago. It was a girl called Mariko. She had short hair and was a bit more tanned, but she was unmistakably Himawari.
Watanuki has these hunches, sometimes. It's the kind you get when you're a person who knows a real witch. He checked the yearbooks again, this time eight years ago. There was a girl -- her hair was mid-length, very straight, with long bangs, but her face was unmistakable. Or at least, that was what we thought. When we showed it to a female friend of Himawari's, she couldn't see the resemblance. We thought it very strange at first, really, and then we remembered -- we are both persons who know a witch. We sometimes see things not always visible to the naked eye.
At first we had no idea what to do. Himawari had vanished, for reasons of her own, and chose not to tell us. Watanuki considered going back to school to see the first years, but I talked him out of it. We had no good reason, and we were after all male. People would think we were preying on the girls. We decided to let things lie, and concentrated on our studies -- we had been accepted to the same college, and even talked about plans for university. There was plenty to occupy us.
But after college, Watanuki decided that he wanted to pursue teaching. He succeeded, of course. And as a former student of this school, the school of course gave him preferential treatment and hired him."
In the light of the wicker lantern, Doumeki can clearly see the girl's face, framed by short, curly hair. She tilts her head to the side, like a little bird, bright-eyed with curiousity, dark eyes wide and innocent. To one eye, she looks exactly like Himawari. To the other, she is not.
"What does this have to do with me?"
"Himawari brought bad luck, even when she didn't mean to," says Doumeki softly. "It wasn't personal. But now that I'm certain of what you are -- I can't take the chance you might do it again, and this time I can't be around to protect him."
"I...I'll scream," the girl threatens, eyes widening, backing away. It's a useless gesture; they know it. It's six o'clock and there's no one in school, and the gates are locked tightly. "You're crazy, you're absolutely crazy, you have the wrong person..."
"I'm sorry," says Doumeki, and lets the arrow fly.