I'm back, to say the least. Lots of things have been going on. I'm changing my style of writing to first person, I feel as though I write better that way, I can put myself in my character's shoes. Etc. Etc.

Ok, I'm not going to apologize for any unfinished stories, I plan on starting anew...I know I've said that before. But I think I'll be able to finish this one. I'm already on chapter 3, and I don't know how long it's going to end up being. I hope you all enjoy it.

--Jen


Dismal

Chapter 1

The blood ran down my arms, it was something I'd become quite accustomed to. It had become an everyday ritual for me now. To take a blade to my skin. My arms were covered now with scars and scabs of fresh wounds. I no longer feel anything.

'Why do you always do this?' I thought as I looked at my reflection in the mirror. I'd just gotten my hair cut, it was short now, as I'd always liked to keep it. My eyes moved down, along the wrinkles on my forehead to my left eye, where there was a scar. It started above my eyebrow, and went down to the middle of my cheek. It has been fading over the years, but I don't think it'll ever go away. I closed my eyes as it all came back to me, yet again…

"Get in here Haruka!" I remember my father yelling for me. I was seven and I'd just cut my hair for the first time. You see, I may still have been young, but even then I knew that I wasn't a normal girl. I was stronger then almost all the boys, I could definitely run faster then they could. So why not look like one of them too?

"Your mother here tells me…" he stopped when I came into the living room, my hair was shaved in the back, I'd used his razor, on the top, it was choppy and uneven, done with a dull pair of scissors. I saw my dad's face go from angry, to pissed. The blood rushed to his face, making it red, beyond red. I'd never seen him get so mad before. "For fuck's sake, you're not a fucking boy Haruka!"

He grabbed my collar and, before I had a chance to pull away, rammed my head into the door frame. I don't remember much after the second impact. I do remember waking in the hospital, and only seeing out of one eye, on the side that wasn't hit against the wall. I was so scared, there were people around me, all wearing white, and strange machines beeping at different rates. It was so terrifying for me.

My eyes opened, they were red, but no tears had left them. I no longer feel. Everything that my group of friends sees is a mask I've been putting on for years.

I think it all started when I was placed into my sixth foster home. You see, all the other five wanted a little girl, yes, but not a little girl who thought and acted as though she were a little boy.

I got lucky, it's been nearly ten years, I'm still in the same home, number six. They're a nice couple. Naomi Kimura and her American wife Alyson Taylor. Yes, wife, I'm lucky enough to have lesbian parents. Naomi wouldn't let me go when we all met. She'd always told me that I reminded her a lot of herself when she was my age. They've been so amazing to me. But there are just many things I have to deal with on my own. My past, I wish I could face it head on.

They showed me what it was like to be loved by parents. My original parents weren't always nice to me. The door frame wasn't the first incident of injury. Just the first one I'd been forced to be hospitalized with.

They'd been fighting all day. Why won't they stop? Everything they're saying is about me. I can't stand it anymore. I finally screamed. It turned out to be a huge mistake. Before I'd done that, they'd apparently forgotten I was still in the room. They both looked at me, my mom approached me. My hands raised to try and protect my face, but it didn't work, she overpowered me and exposed my 4 year old face to her hard hand. I had a bruise on my jaw for two weeks. I remember having to lie in school, that I fell off the slide at my house, which I know I've done many times before, but it never left a bruise like that.

"Haruka, can I come in?" Michiru was at my bedroom door. It was always common for her to come over this time of day. My parents thought we were dating for the longest time. Oh, how wrong could they be. I mean, I barely know anything about Michiru. It would never work.

"Hold on." I said as I pressed a hand cloth to my bleeding wrist.

Besides, there's just no way anybody like her would love anybody like me. Not to mention the fact that I'm a woman. She's one of the only people at school that knows who I am.

"Ruka…?"I heard her try the door again. My heart leapt forward, in a vain attempt to escape my chest.

'Oh forget it.' I pulled my sleeve over the still bleeding wound. I threw the cloth down and kicked it under my bed. My hands shook as I pushed everything else back into my dresser drawer. "I'm coming Michi. I was getting dressed." I unbuttoned the top few buttons of my shirt, to only add to my ploy. As I opened my door, my hands worked at those few loose buttons.

"Well it's about…time." she flustered slightly as she looked at my bare chest. I don't think I've ever seen that look before. I wish I knew what it meant. "I swear, you're as bad as a woman when you get ready to go out." she laughed, as did I. Though it was a fake, forced one. "Are you ready to go?" she watched me, I could feel her eyes on my back as I turned away to check my wrist. The bleeding had stopped, finally. "Ruka? You OK?" I jumped when her hand touched my shoulder. It was a natural reaction for me to jerk away whenever someone got that close. I can blame my original parents for that.

A faint 'yeah' left my lips. "I'm ready when you are." I smiled at her. For some reason it was a real smile for her. I've tried with my other friends, but I could never do it. It's almost like it hurts too much. I hated it all. Not them, but myself for being so quiet and solitary about everything. I've even tried to tell Michiru before. I told her that there's something I've been hiding from them, but I clammed up. I just couldn't tell her 'Michi, I hate myself' or 'Michi, every time I'm alone, I cut myself.'

I followed Michiru out to her car. Normally I drove us everywhere, but my car has had engine problems that I haven't been able to fix on my own. I hate when I can't do something on my own. I feel helpless. I hate relying on other people, I don't need them, I never have.

"What's on your mind Ruka?" she looked at me, her eyes concerned. Maybe she really did care. It's seemed, ever since I let her know I had a secret, she's been looking at me differently. It was very much like the way Naomi and Alyson looked at me when they heart my story. You see, nobody knows what else has happened to me. They only know about my scar and how I live, not everything else. I could never put that on them, they wouldn't know what to do. Hell, I don't even know what I'm to do.

"Ruka?" she sighed, this happened a lot. Me getting lost in my own thoughts. I just looked at her and told her I was fine. I wish I didn't have to, but I did. It's the one lie I just had to tell. One I always had to tell.