Chapter one: Itsuki
It was a crisp morning as Itsuki walked down the sidewalk, listening to loud music through his headphones. The sky was covered in a thick blanket of light grey clouds. He wasn’t cold though, his usual black hoodie and dark pants kept him from feeling the chill. He continued peacefully walking down the street, almost arriving at the coffee shop he favored every morning.
The leaves crunched under his heavy boots while he watched the bustling people, who each had their own red string, tied to their smallest finger. He’d always make an effort to see if they had a connection close by, but they typically weren’t in the same area. Sometimes though, he’d see the occasional couple walking down the street, already visibly in love with their soulmate.
Itsuki could always see the strings as a child. When he was still in grade school, he’d ask his peers and teachers if they could see them as well, but they all dismissed him for having an overactive imagination. Of course as he grew older, he eventually put two and two together and figured the people who were connected, had a predestined love. There’s no way he could ever be sure about the fact, he didn’t have his own soulmate. He didn’t have a string at all.
He finally got to the coffee shop and pulled open the heavy door. There was quite the que, but he took his headphones out of his ears anyway, wanting to listen to the conversations around him. There was a couple at a nearby table and as Itsuki glanced over, he noticed they were in an argument. Of course they would be, their strings lead elsewhere.
The shop was crowded, but Itsuki had a talent he’d developed over the years to distinguish different conversations around him. He knew it was rude to eavesdrop, but he found joy in listening to the sweet words coming from tied people. Whether they know it or not, they are meant to be together.
As the line got shorter, Itsuki rehearsed his order in his head, determined to get it right. He has moderate social anxiety, so he tries not to mumble when he orders, for the fear that they will get his drink wrong. He will not confront them about the drink, so he will go about his day with a drink he doesn’t like. He slowly made his way up to the counter and as he was about to order, someone slammed into him, spilling whatever coffee they had, all over him. He wasn;t annoyed though, just concerned for the person.
“God! I am so sorry! I-I didn’t mean to!” the guy stuttered, not even looking up. He immediately darted to the floor to pick up the things he’d scattered on the ground. Itsuki asked the cashier for some napkins to help clean up the mess that was now pooled on the floor. He leaned down to help the scrambling man clean up and collect the things he’d dropped.
As he lowered to the ground the man suddenly looked up at Itsuki, locking eyes with him. The man’s eyes were a beautiful green, and they sparkled for a split second. Itsuki felt his face flush red and get hotter. They both returned their eyes to the floor and simultaneously reached for the same notebook. Itsuki gasped loudly and fell to the floor in shock. Before he could realize what was happening, he noticed the guy across from him had the same exact reaction.
Itsuki now had a string.
The string was connected to the nameless man’s smallest finger.