This was a brief but lovely, emotionally rich, gently-told story of how the girl and Daru met. A lonely, morose girl who just transferred to school, her busy mother thought it would be a good idea for her to have a companion for all those hours home alone.
Like everything at this point in the girl’s life, she’s initially skeptical. After all, even Daru knew then she had a large hole in her heart he wasn’t sure he’d be able to fill.
Still, Daru does his best to cheer her up, in a very catlike way: presenting her with a still-alive lizard, while breaking a mug her (apparently dead) father gave her. When the girl sees the cat take up precious few moments she has with her mother, she decides it would be best if both she and the cat were alone.
She puts him in a box with some toys and leaves him by the river…only to come right back when some schoolboys spot the box; she just couldn’t go through with abandoning the poor thing. And her change of heart is rewarded when Daru becomes a conduit for her to meet her first friend in her new town, who likes her cat.
A sunset in the present day reminds both the girl and Daru of the day they met. And now, though they can’t understand each other verbally, they’ve gotten to the point they know what they’re thinking.