A/N: Hey! This is my first fanfic! I do not own PoT, but I do own Ryo and Maria! Please R&R!


I sat in the lone sand box on the outskirts of the playground. I could hear all the jeering and thumping of feet from the other kids as they enjoyed their recess.

I picked up sand in my hand and let it slide back to the ground through my fingers. This was both soothing to my mind and my ears. I smiled down at the sand. It helped me forget about things. This little sand box was like my own little world. Just my sand and me.

"Hello, Ryo," a voice from above came, an intruder in my world. I could feel reality slip back with that single 'hello'. I scowled. "Can I play with you?"

I think you can already guess who I am. Yeah, that's right, I'm Ryo Echizen, younger twin sister of Ryoma Echizen. You can tell we're related. Our names sound alike. Oh yeah, and we look a lot alike…

You also might be thinking, "How cool! You're the daughter of the great Samurai Nanjiro! That must be great!" well, stop thinking that, because YOU ARE WRONG.

Unlike the other kids that have famous parents who don't have the time to spend with them, my dad spends loads of time with my brother and I, but that's not the problem. It's all of his fans and the paparazzi that want to spend time with him too.

At first they were just begging him to teach them, or for merchandise, or taking the stalker/molester approach: ripping off clothing. These approaches were not working. One, my dad loves teasing and the only time he yields is when kaa-san gets mad, and two, my dad was getting clothes made of stronger material.

Well, unfortunately (in this case), humans learn from their experiences. Since they could not get to oyaji directly they decide to take an INdirect route. They were going to use my brother and I. Mainly me though, since my brother was somewhat unapproachable. I, on the other hand did not give off the same aura, so the fans, paparazzi, etc. used their kids to befriend me to use me to get favors. The effect of this you ask? Well, now I have no friends and I don't trust people…easily… My life's already this bad and I'm only five years old.

When it first started I'd be getting visits from children from other school and preschools and sometimes they were older than me. They'd ask for friendship and in the beginning I always got hurt when I found out I had made another fake friend, but I learned. I wouldn't fall for that anymore.

"Umm… Ryo? Can I play?" Play? With what, my emotions? I had just turned down someone yesterday. What did they do, stand in line and wait their turn to see who could fool me?

"No." I said, finally looking up. The girl had bright orange hair and piercing light blue eyes. I had never seen her before at the preschool, but she had to go here. I'd never heard of preschoolers cutting school.

"No? Why not?"

"You only want my father." Was 'falls for anything' printed on my head or something?

"But… I don't snow your dad…" she seemed confused and I think she meant 'know'… For a second I wanted to believe her, but I had experience. I wasn't going to get hurt again.

"I've heard that one before. You need a better excuse," I said. This was getting annoying.

"It wasn't an excuse. I guess you don't trust-"

"I don't even KNOW you." I had cut her off.

"OK then!" for some reason she seemed cheery now. What was wrong with her? No one was this persistent. "Then let's start over. My name's Maria! I know your name because I asked the other kids why you were alone. They said that I should ski for myself!"

"Do you mean 'see' not 'ski'?"

"Yeah! That's what I meant! Also I just moved here!" she seemed to be getting happier and happier. I was started to wonder if she would explode with happiness and spray me with her happy guts. " I really wanted to ski, er, I mean see if you would be my first fiend!"

"You mean friend." Was she American? Why so many errors? Well, I guess an excuse could be that we were five. She probably wasn't learning two languages at the same time either, like me. Even if her speech was bad she sounded like she meant what she was saying. Also five year olds are pretty bad liars. I'm a bad liar myself.

I sighed, trying to get ready for the pain that would probably come from this. "Sure." I pointed at the sand and she smiled, giving me a genuine smile. I couldn't help but smile back, giving her a genuine smile of my own. Maybe this time would be different, but I knew that I still needed to prepare for something bad.

Months later…

It was winter, close to Christmas, and it had been different! Maria and I were best friends! Instead of her asking to come over to my house like all the others she invited me to hers. When I did invite her to my house she didn't ask for anything from my father. She was way more interested in me. She even stood up for me. When we unwillingly heard kids talking about me Maria would bust in and say things like, "NO SHE'S SNOT!" 'Snot' meaning 'not'. I also helped Maria with English and she even decided to take up Japanese too. We promised that one day we would go to Japan. What was even better was that she got along with Ryoma. Everything was going perfect.

Right now I was waiting with my mom at a street corner that I was supposed to meet Maria at. I was bouncing on the balls of my feet to keep warm. Sometimes I caught the falling snow on my tongue. Maria and I were going to make our wish lists for Santa and Maria was also looking for me a birthday present. She said that she was going to try to top the present I had given to her.

It had been an early gift that I gave her at the beginning of the month. At that time I didn't know when her birthday was. Truth has it we share the same birthday. Cool, huh?

I had given her a simple gold ring with "Maryo" inscribed on the inside. It was a mixture of our names. I had an identical one. In the end we both had made them into necklaces. We only took them off to sleep so we wouldn't choke on them.

"RYO!!!!!!!" I heard a familiar voice scream. It was no one but Maria! I waved my hand vigorously in the air, smiling a large grin that was identical to the one on her face.

She started to run, leaving her mother that I hadn't noticed before behind her, but she never got to me.

I told you that I was standing at a street corner, right? Well, Maria was coming to the street corner too… but hers was across the street from mine. She had run out into the street her eyes locked with mine when I heard the screech that could only come from a car. No matter how much they tried to stop it was too late.

Maria lay at the tires of the car, her blood staining the fallen snow. Red and white. It was horrible. Her eyes were still locked with mine. I wanted to run to her, but my legs wouldn't let me move. I was frozen and I new it was not due to the weather.

I could feel all the happiness that I had for the past few months seep out of my as more blood seeped out of Maria. I let loose a blood curdling scream as I felt the pain that I had started, but forgotten, to prepare myself for after all this time.

A/N: Thanks if you read the Prologue! Please review!