Disclaim or Die: Read Or Die, Read Or Dream, and R.O.D-the-TV is copyrighted by and the property of Hideyuki Kurata, Akitaro Yamada, Studio Deen/SME, Sony, and currently licensed by Manga Entertainment, Geneon, and VIZ Media.

Precious and Special

Her favourite book ended up on the floor again.  Even when she put it up on the shelf the night before, after she read it for the umpteenth time then put it away, she would awaken in the morning to find it on the floor by her bed.

So she picked it up and put it back on the shelf, nice and neat where it belonged.

Hisami had come to regard Red Haired Anne (or Anne of Green Gables as it was known in its native country) as a friend she would want to have.  She wanted to find her bosom buddy, her best friend whom she could share herself with.

She remembered there was a time when she would take that book to bed with her because it held the only friend she ever dreamed of.

For as long as she could remember, she was surrounded by books.

Many would say that her absent parents or her affliction of painful shyness were the root of such behaviour, but strange enough to say, the reason she wanted to be with books so often was because she felt like they spoke to her.  It was easier to hold a book close, to open it up and to have it tell you everything it contained.

People were not like books.  They said things and did things that she didn't like, they made fun of her or pretended to be nice, and she didn't know why they act like that.

People could run faster, jump higher, could do a lot of things better than her and look down on her because she wasn't good enough or because she didn't fit in.

Books did not judge, and Hisami found that comforting, so whenever she read a book, she did her best not to judge it in return.  It was easier to feel and deduce the intentions of a book, and sometimes she felt that when she held a book close, it would whisper to her: You are precious and special.

She wanted to keep feeling that way, and so she stayed with her books, her friends in the library whenever she could.

Hisami's friend was paper until that day in class, when a new student arrived.  The new girl who was everything that she was not, and when she should have been afraid of her, memories of red-haired Anne, Anne with an "e," came to mind.  So she thought to herself: She must be precious and special.

And when they were in the library, getting to know each other and becoming friends, she thought she felt the texts say: She is precious and special. 

Then day that Hisami said goodbye to her red-haired Anita, she knew that she had found her bosom friend.  And as the paper fell around them, and she could almost hear them sing`        , Both of you are precious and special.

All day, she carried such thoughts and feelings, even dreaming of such things when she went to bed.

Hisami woke up and found that her favourite book ended up on the floor by her bed again.

So she picked it up and was ready to put it back on the shelf, nice and neat where it belonged.

She looked at the worn cover, the dog eared corners, and the pages warped by sweaty, timid hands.  Not well used, but well loved.

She held it close and sighed, embracing the book.  Somehow, she felt it embrace back.

Gently, she laid her friend on her pillow, for truly, it was precious and it was special.

Author's Notes: Another "lost" ficlet of mine originally titled "Potential." I wrote this when I theorized that Hisami, being a book lover, had the potential to become a bibliophile and develop paper powers. Looking back, it's a bit off to think such things since her relationship with Anita is supposed to parallel Yomiko and Nenene's relationship - that of an author and a reader. The story is ambiguous about whether or not she has powers; just because she could be a bibliophile, it doesn't necessarily mean she'll develop any. Reading it now, I like to think of this story as showing the mutual love between books and those who love them, and maybe Hisami is just a little more special because she becomes an author: someone who creates stories and books.