She wonders why red means “stop,” but then remembers most people don’t like blood. She doesn’t mind it. Sometimes when she cuts herself or skins her knees (again), she imagines all her blood trickling out, sees herself shriveled up like a raisin. Should she carry beakers to catch the blood in? She’d asked Chiyo-chan once, and she’d said, “Um, I don’t think that would happen to you, Osaka-san.” Then Chiyo-chan turned away, and she’d imagined her Hello Kitty bracelet getting smaller and smaller until her hand swelled up and turned blue, and then fell off. She’d pick it up and give it back, of course—it was the neighborly thing to do.
Pay attention, Osaka, she tells herself, because she doesn’t even think of herself as Ayumu anymore. Then she asks herself about the cat. Does someone feed it? Can it fly, like Chiyo-chan’s dad? That must be it—why else is it out in the middle of nowhere? And then there's....America? What's that doing there?
“What the hell?” she says to no one in particular, handing him back his map. Then she wonders if leopards dream.