I couldn't hear my music.

Although the headphones were in my ears, the music was eerily absent.

I pulled them out and laid them on the desk, sighing.

But I couldn't hear my sighing either.

You guessed it; I'm deaf. I tried listening to music every day, but...no. I was and always will be deaf. Right now, I should probably be trying to read the teacher's lips, but the landscape outside the window was peaceful, so I turned to it.

Nobody knows about my deafness. I've kept it secret, so secret not even my brother Rinto or my Dad know.

Suddenly, I felt scratchy nails on my arm. I turned to see Miku Hatsune, the most popular girl in the school.

She hissed something through clenched teeth. I didn't even bother trying to read her lips.

"What?" I asked, annoyed. She rolled her eyes.

"Sensei. Is. Calling. You."

I turned to see a very annoyed Sensei.

"Megurine-Sensei." I tipped my head hastily.

"Rin Kagine! You have to...more...attention...class." She kept turning her head towards the chalkboard, so I only caught fragments. But I pieced it together.

"Hai, Sensei."

I looked down and doodled, closing my eyes as I remembered the tune of music that I used to listen to.

When I opened my eyes again, everybody was gone. Shoot! The bell must have rung!

Sensei's arm stopped me as I scrambled out.

"Kagine." She gazed directly at me.

"Er, yes Sensei?"

"Your grades are dropping, and I'm afraid that you may have to repeat 8th grade. So, I've assigned Len Kagamine to tutor you during these class periods. He is very smart, and is ahead of his classmates, so he'll be perfect."

Len...Kagamine? The NINTH grader?

Even I knew the most popular, perfect, smartest boy in the school.

He'd definitely figure out my secret!


"No arguments, Kagine."

I miserably walked home.

"Oh. You're back." Dad eyed me like I was trash. Abusive and horrible as he was, that's probably what I was to him.

"Yeah Dad."

"Now. I want you to clean the floors."

"I cleaned them this morning!" I cried.


He slapped me and I fell backwards.

"Am I...care...worthless!" He snapped, turning towards the TV.


"Am I supposed to care? You're so worthless!" He glowered at me.

"Yes Father."

"Now hurry or I'll make you lick the floors clean."

"Yes Father."

I got on my knees, grabbed the bucket of water, and started scrubbing the floors.

After hours of tasks so meaningless and worthless, Rinto came home. (Obviously I'm failing. I have to work for my dad-I can't even do homework.)

"Hey Rin." he hugged me.
"How was work?" I hugged him back.

Yes. Rinto is only sixteen, but has to work or else our family's bills would overflow the house.

"Oh...usual...boss yelled...morning." He rooted in his bag as he talked.


"I said...boss...morning." I gave up. If only Rinto knew! But I couldn't tell him.

"How was your day?" he looked at me.

"Fine. I'm gonna get tutored, so yeah." I shrugged.

"I hope you pull your grades up! We need at least one educated person in here!" He said. I held up my homework.

"Help me?"

"You know I have no clue... I'm sorry."

I sighed. Sensei talked while writing on the board, so unless I was the board, I wouldn't be able to hear her.

"Don't worry, Rin. We'll pull through." He hugged me again, and I nodded.

"I hope."