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Life rarely goes as planned- if ever. At birth, your parents set a goal for you to fulfill, a dream they conjured up with the intention of making you as happy as possible. In childhood, when you decide your destiny does not lay in the hands of your parents, you plan your own course to follow. But as a child, your dreams are usually outrageous and most likely will never come true, and when your teenage years begin you realize this harsh fact and move on to see where life takes you. Sometimes you have a plan, other times you're unsure. But the simple fact remains: Life rarely goes as planned.

Ichigo Kurosaki knows this with all of his heart. It's a terrible truth that he has not only accepted, but has proven himself to be the prime example of.

Fifteen, in his first semester of high school, the boy lay in a growing pool of his own blood somewhere off in the woods. It didn't exactly register what had happened in his brain until at least six whole minutes after it had actually happened. He gurgled, the strong metallic taste stinging his tongue as he choked in breath after breath. Desperately, he tried to cling onto consciousness, but the blackness was ebbing away at his blurred vision, and he would soon succumb to that dreadful dreamless sleep that seemed more an endless void rather than the back of his eyelids.

There was a lot of noise around him, but he couldn't tell if it was far off or right in front of him. The world was spinning, the smell of blood and fire making him all the more dizzy. He forced his head over to try and sneak a peak at the carnage around him, only to find that what had done this had left already. He didn't know what had scared it off, but when he spotted the prone figure not too far from his own he completely forgot about what had done this to him.

"M-mother..." Ichigo called out weakly, trying to force himself up and over to her. But his body was numb, a throbbing sensation pulsing through his limbs directing from the crook between his shoulder and neck. He coughed, blood spilling down his chin. He shivered in the cold of the night, tears running down his face as he stared at the bloodied and lifeless body of his beloved mother.

They'd say it was a bear attack, or maybe some escaped animal from the zoo. A few of the cages had been torn open not too long before, and some animals were missing, while others were dead. "Torn to pieces and shredded into gory messes" the headlines said of the animals...and of his own mom.

The police would scatter their men across the forest in search of what had attacked the Kurosaki clan, only to find more dead animals and odd markings in the mud. They'd never solve the mystery, much to the dismay of the town and its mourning inhabitants. They would bring cakes and send cards or money to try and help appease the pain the rest of the Kurosaki family felt at their loss. They would try to sympathize, try to lend a shoulder to cry on. But it was all in vain, because the Kurosaki's weren't ones to mope and spill their guts. They would huddle together, pray for the victims of this night, and wish a peaceful death for all.

Ichigo turned over, still choking on his own blood as he stared into the starry night, praying for death to take away this pain. Not of the body- he was so numb that all he could feel was the terrible throbbing which promised him pain later- but of the heart. He closed his eyes, letting the darkness take him as the lingering image of his mother smiling at him flashed before his mind. He'd join her soon, and wouldn't let her be alone in the after life.

Sadly, no such bliss came...