I don't own! Do I really have to say it? Anyways, enjoy!

The darkness of time

In the darkness of night, bathed in moonlight, a boy sleeps. Even surrounded by teammates, he's alone. A child sleeps. A child.. "You'll understand when you're older," they always say. He's not a child, anymore. He's older and he still doesn't understand. He's me. I am not the child others see. I don't understand, and I don't want to understand..how my life got ripped apart. Because if I understand, I'll become an adult, just like them. I don't want to be like them, I want to be a child forever. But I can't stop time. So for now, just for now, let me sleep. Let me sleep, in the darkness of night, the darkness of time.

Tyson's so brave, Rei's so confident, Kai is strong and Kenny is smart. Me? They call me cute all the time. Is that all I am, cute? I look up to my teammates, I want them to be able to look up to me as well. Cute isn't good enough. I want to be brave, confident, strong and smart too. I want people to rely on me but..at the same time I want to be looked after and I want them to take care of me forever. They tell me I'm getting too old for my old plushies, my little cars and all the other toys of my childhood. But they're mine. They are part of my childhood and my childhood is part of me. Getting too old. I don't want to be "too old". There's no such things as being "too old" anyways. It's a good thing people of all ages like beyblade. I couldn't take it if they took away from me the thing I love the most. But..will it come a day when being "too old" for beyblade is possible? Can I be strong and be a child at the same time?

How old was I when it all began, again? Eight or nine I think. There was this bully at school, and he was always after me. Why me? Because I looked weak and vulnerable. But it's allright. While he was after me, he wasn't hurting others. So he'd push me down, steal my books, and made me give him my lunch. When I came back home, I didn't tell my parents. Parents. How long has it been since I last use the plurial on that word? Back then my mom was still living with us. I remember that she noticed that something was wrong with me when I came back home. I always went straight to my room, but came down later to actually take food from the fridge and hurry back to my room. I didn't want my parents to know I didn't eat at school because that guy was stealing my lunch. But that particular day, my mom saw me taking food. She went to my room to talk to me.

" Max? Is there something you would like to talk about?"

" No, mom." I just managed to hide the food under my bed as she entered my room.

" Max, why are you taking food in secret? You can take all you want without hiding, you know." I turned my head away from her, not knowing what to say. Then, she took my hand and placed me on her knees and hugged me tight. I always loved when she did this. It made me feel warm and safe. But as I leaned against her, she noticed a big bruise down my back. "What the..your back! Max! What happened to you?"

I started to cry, because she found out and now I would have to tell her everything. That's what I did. I told her all about that creep. How he humiliated me in front of others, stole my food, how he called me names, such as 'half-breed' ,and all the other stuff he did. She was shocked I never told her any of this. She whispered things like : "Don't worry, it's all over." "It's gonna be allright." , put me to bed and went to explain everything to my dad.

"Half-breed". Born from a japanese father and an american mother. It never bothered me until that day when I discovered what racism is. I'm not any different from my classmates just because I'm half japanese. I'm proud of both my parents. That bruise on my back, I received it the one time I actually stood up to the bully. He insulted them. My father and mother. What he may say to me, I don't care. But my parents who are always doing their best for me? No way. So I received the beating of a life-time..But at least I know I did something against it.

As I was trying to sleep, filled with dried tears, I heard a few words from the conversation my parents were having in the next room. Words like: "That's horrible!" "Why him?" "American schools are." "Schools back in Japan.". My father thinks school in America are more dangerous then schools in Japan. He never liked America. I was born there. Back then, I didn't know any better. The only solution they came up with was changing my school for a private one. So I had to say goodbye to the few friends I had there and went to private school. Sure, no one was mean to me there but I never wanted to change school. But I never told them about it. They wanted what's best for me, right?

Private school was harder than the school I went to before. My grades went down considerably. I really tried my best, but my mom thought that getting me a tutor would help. My play time was cut in half. And when I did have some free time, I had to spend it doing homework. The tutor was weird. He acted like some kind of creepy robot. He couldn't understand my feelings, I even doubt he had emotions of his own. I didn't like being with him, he made me feel unconfortable. Nevertheless, my grades did go up again and my mom was happy. All I wanted was to make her happy.

Then my dad started complaining that I didn't have enough free time, that a kid my age should be out playing instead of studying. Even though I kept telling him that it did not bother me (which was a lie), he kept ranting on about how the american school system sucked, and that it wasn't like that back in Japan. My mom argued with him, but saw how upset it made me. To stop the arguing, she asked me if I wanted to continue having a tutor or not.

" Sure, mom. I want to keep the tutor." Big lie.

My mom was happy to hear that and my dad was surprised. But as days went by, they both started to realize that I continued the tutor stuff just to please them, as it made me uneasy each time they mentioned it. I denied their questions and said it didn't bother me at all. But there comes a time when lies show on your eyes. I remember one day, when I was little, my dad was about to give my mom a kiss, I grabbed her and said: "No, mommy is my girlfriend!" They both laughed at this. This moment seems far away now.

It started slowly. One or two arguments per day at first, then three or four. You know how it is. I've never seen my parents argue like that before. It pained me dearly. They were arguing because of me. They eventually got rid of the tutor, they saw it was making me unhappy. But then my grades got slowly down again. There you got my dad saying bad things about american schools, and my mom saying that it was those american schools which made her the scientist that she is today. The little always- happy boy that I was was slowly disapearing. Then it happened.

One storm night, when I was eleven, I was quietly playing video games in my room when I heard my parents's tone of voice going higher. Then the door of their bedroom slammed. They turned on the radio real loud. I'm not stupid. They didn't want me to hear them fighting, that's why to radio was so loud. I hid under my covers and cried. Stop. Please make it stop.

You can imagine the rest. The court said it would be better for me to live with my father. Not being able to stay with me broke my mother's heart. Being seperated form her also broke mine. All this time, they were fighting for me, because of me. Yet, I've been told many times that I'm not responsible for anything. They really expected me to believe that? I used to be an happy kid. Later, my father moved back to Japan with me. I finally got into a japanese school. Yeah, I liked Japan better than America. My dad's hobby shop was an even bigger success here. Everything finally looked perfect. But then why? I felt teared inside. My mom was in another country, so far away. Whether it would have been my mom or dad, being apart from either of them was too terrible. Living in sadness didn't suit me. So I somehow made myself believe that everything would be okay, and started to smile again.

But why? Why did it happen? "You'll understand when you're older." No. If being older makes me understand this kind of thing, I don't want to be older. I never want to understand how adults can hurt children like that. I never want to understand this feeling. No, never. When you act like them, you become them. No way. I don't want to hurt others, ever. Adults are mysterious and too hard to understand. I hope I never understand.

I'm Max Mizuhara. The kid who chooses defense over offense. And right now, childhood is my greatest defense against the world. Offense is adulthood. I'm the child of two wonderful parents. There's probably a good reason they did what they did, but that reason is their own. It belongs to the adult world. It's not mine to understand. I'm just a kid, an infant. I like kids stuff, like every children. Time will make me grow up, but as long as I want to be a child, I'll stay a child forever. Maybe I'll decide to understand someday, but I don't want to think about it. I'm thirteen, and I like that. Surrounded by children and adults alike, I'm not alone. I don't want to understand adults, because I may become one if I do. I want to be a child forever. But I can't stop time. So for now, just for now, let me sleep. Let me sleep, in the darkness of night, the darkness of time.