Nothing is ever as it seems in the world, no ultimate black and white boxes that you have to choose. No, the world is a million shades of grey and in a way and so are people for even those who appear optimistic and bright can harbor demons.

That was the exact predicament that Aurora found herself in because it hurt to think that no one truly cared, especially since her father literally left her in the care of three women when she was very small and only appeared to check up on her from time to time.

Aurora, of course, told herself these thoughts were silly and that her aunties (as she called her guardians) did, in fact, love her but squishing the feeling of being replaceable and a burden wasn't something a mere mantra could do.

Yet she tried. She tried to distract herself or even just remind herself of all the good things that happened in her life. She had plenty of friends (although she lived far enough away that none could easily visit) and she had good clothes, plenty to eat and a warm, dry house to live in. That was more than enough to be happy about.

Except it wasn't.

The young teen wasn't the kind to actively complain but living in an area that was more wood than town and with no one her own age around it could get lonely and even a little boring.

Or it would, had it not been for the strange shadow that she swore she could see following her through the wood.

She knew it should frighten her, however, it really didn't. After all, if it meant to harm her it would have already done so. So instead of pondering on it's the source, she took to trying to find it.

Although she always came up just as clueless as she was in the beginning.

Except for one winter, when she had grown tired of her aunts' bickering and had slipped out of the house and into the woods, which would prove to set into motion a chain of events that would change her life forever.