Faces

I grew up in Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. At this time this took place, I was in the upper grades of elementary school.

One day, I don’t remember why, but I was in the science room with two or three of my friends. It was summer and the days were long, so the teachers didn’t particularly care that we were there. We played on the school grounds and in the gym until the sun went down. It was a pretty relaxed school.

The school itself was built like a H. The entranceway and halls were in the middle, and on the right were the classrooms for each grade, and the left had the science, music, etc rooms. The windows to these rooms were larger than the normal classrooms to let in a lot of light.

I looked out the science room window towards the music room on the other side. It wasn’t like I felt eyes on me or anything, it was entirely by chance. But all of a sudden it seemed like the sky darkened, and surprised, I turned back to look again. When I did, I saw faces in the window glass on the other side of the school. All of them, full of faces. It was impossible that it was all the students and teachers that were in the school at the time. One window was about 180 cm wide and 90 cm high. The entire window was packed with faces.

“Hey, can you see that?” Scared, I asked one of my friends and pointed to the other side of the school.

“Hmm? What’s that? The music room? Is there something interesting there?”

It seemed they couldn’t see anything.

Of course. How stupid.

Terrified, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from them. The faces started to float up. They looked in pain, they looked scared, and they looked sad. Men and women and children and even the elderly. Then they started to disappear. It was like they were just passing through. Then, just like that, they were gone.

It couldn’t have been more than 10 seconds or so, but I couldn’t move, and I didn’t understand what had just happened, either. I thought that if I told my friends about what I saw they would just laugh and call me a liar, so I said nothing and went back to what I was doing. I pretended like I’d seen nothing, even though my hands were shaking and I was covered in sweat.

I got home around 7 p.m. that night, thinking that I’d seen something awfully strange, and ran straight towards my mother. She was watching TV in the living room.

“Why are you watching TV? I’m hungry!”

“Ah, hang on a minute. A plane crashed today.”

I looked at the TV and there was a news report about a plane crash on a mountain not too far away. It kept playing, over and over. The supposed time of the crash lined up exactly with the faces I saw in the school windows. Instinctively, I knew they were related. Those faces were the faces of the people who died in the crash.

Matsumoto City is a fair distance from Mount Osutaka. I don’t know why I saw such a thing all the way over there. I don’t have any special powers or anything either. But every year, around this time, I say a prayer and hope for they are at peace now.

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