Hey fans and new readers,
This story has gone under massive reconstruction. I decided that they way I originally wrote this story would make it super complicated and hard to move forward kind of like how LOANSGG was. I understand that some of you were disappointed with the ending and I have nothing else to say about besides that it was hard to write and if I didn't just end it, it would've stayed unfinished.
So I'm sorry. I hope that this story goes a lot smoother and I gain new fans with it.
Chapter 1: Tragedy
With my head pressed up against the window of my bedroom and Paramore blasting at full volume in my ears, I am oblivious to the world. Watching the drops of rain slide down the outer pane of the window, everything seems peaceful. The glass of my bedroom window is cool against my head. The light tapping of the rain seemed to drum along to the song's rhythm. I prop my knee up to rest my elbow on top of it. I run my hands through my hair, pulling it up into a loose ponytail. I hadn't showered today just so I didn't have to leave my room. My hair felt thin and greasy. I wipe my hands on the leg of my sweat pants. Normally greasy hair would disgust me, but these days not having to leave my room was worth a little hygiene rejection.
I let out a sigh, blowing the bangs out of my eyes. That's the ninth time I've sighed today and it's not even ten o'clock yet. I always get up early, even on Saturdays. Sleeping isn't the luxury it used to be. I remember when sleeping in on Saturday mornings made the school week worth it. I look around my room; the dark blue walls covered in posters of different bands and famous icons, inspirational quotes, and photographs. The desk in the corner of the room is stacked high with textbooks, notebooks and papers. I take on extra school work and activities so I don't have to be home. I'm on the debate team and in drama club. I help organize school trips and dances and fundraisers.
The bookshelf next to my desk is filled to the brim with books. I like to read. I read everything from magazines to novels. If I have a spare moment, I am reading. On the bus to and from school, during lunch, between passing periods, even in class I am always reading. My teachers have mixed feelings towards me because even though I do my work and take on so much, I am always reading in class. No matter what a star pupil you are, reading in class was taboo. I couldn't care less. If the material in class didn't bore me to tears, maybe I wouldn't be reading so much.
My eyes drift to my vanity table covered in nail polish of different dark colors: crimson, violet, navy, black and dark grey. Outside of my house, I am the perky girl hiding behind fakes smiles. Inside my house, I am a shadow, a fly on the wall, invisible until… My thoughts are drifting. My bed that sits opposite my desk was unmade, sheets rumpled and hanging off the bed. My nightstand catches my attention with my butterfly lamp and a picture frame. The frame is a cheap plastic green frame that I bought at a convenience store. The frame didn't matter though, the picture inside is more precious to me than anything. The photograph is of my parents and me, back when my family was a family. In the photo I'm about eight years old my hair is short and in two tiny pig tails. I was in my favorite bright orange sun dress with yellow flowers on it and a hat that was too big for me was on my head. I held up the front with both hands and smiled into the camera. A pair of big arms surrounded my tiny frame, my dad's arms. Yukihara Izumi was his name and he was the biggest goofball.
Embarrassing himself to the point of injury just to make me smile. His mop of blonde hair that he kept shaggy was my mom's favorite thing about him. He was such a kid. He taught at the elementary school I went to so I was able to see him and have lunch with him every day. In the photograph we're at the park that's not too far from my old house. The hat I was wearing belonged to my mother who took the photo. Back when she was capable of doing anything….
I sigh and turn back to the window. Our town was an average sized suburbia perfect for small families and a loving environment. At least that's where I use to live. Now we live with my mother's boyfriend. I'll get to that later.
It wasn't long after that picture was taken that I lost the most important person in my life. It was summer and our house didn't have an air conditioner, so we kept the windows and doors open during the day and had a fan in each room. It was a little after one in the afternoon. I was sprawled out on the living room floor; Inuyasha was on the television while I colored my giant pieces of construction paper. My mother was doing housework. She worked from home as a sales woman for all sorts of products so she was able to keep the house in order, check my homework and brush my hair. She made breakfast, lunch, and dinner and always asked how my day was. The laundry was dancing in the breeze on the clothesline in our backyard. My mom was washing the dishes when the phone rang.
She answered in her usual chipper tone, anticipating my dad's usual lunch break phone call. I sprinted up from the floor and wrapped myself around my mother's legs.
"I want to talk to daddy! I want to talk to daddy!" I would always scream.
She put a hand on my head and I could tell by her voice that it wasn't my father on the phone. I stopped bouncing, but kept holding her legs. My mother was a beautiful woman. I have her cheekbones, but my father's smile. She had long brunette hair identical to mine and big brown eyes. In the next several seconds I watched my mother's smile fade and the light leave her eyes. The phone fell from her hand with a clack and she turned to stone in my arms. I called to her and tugged her apron. She seemed surprised that I was there and sank to the floor. Her slender arms wrapped around me so tightly I thought I might burst. And then she was sobbing, the kind of sobbing that racks your whole body. It was in that moment on the kitchen floor with my crying mother holding me so tightly, that I knew my life was about to change.
My mom sent me to the country side to live with my Jii-chan. When my mother told me that my father was dead, I asked her what that meant. I watched anime and read manga so I knew about death, but those things only happened in books, right? Wrong. I stayed at my Jii-chan's for the rest of the summer. There was an investigation into my father's death. Suspects and warrants, but in the end nothing came of it. They hit a dead end. My father was shot in broad daylight and no one was going to pay for it. I was angry. I never wanted to be happy again, but I needed to be there for my mother. The day of his funeral, I cried. I cried until there were no more tears left. I held my mother's hand as she trembled throughout the funeral.
I was eight years old, but never in my life had I felt so small and useless, especially when my mom started to fall apart. My mom was a teenage mother who dropped out of high school to have me. She didn't mind because my dad took care of her. He was older and it was completely scandalous in the little town my mom grew up in. So with my Jii-chan's blessing they moved here and started to raise me. My mother was very dependent on my father. He was the bread winner and she was the house wife. The salary of an elementary school teacher wasn't much, but with support from my Jii-chan, my parents were able to buy a small two story house. We were far from rich, but we were very comfortable. Money never seemed all that important.
As time went on, my mother was deteriorating. She wasn't confident or stable enough to get a real job to support us, so we had to move to a smaller house in a less than virtuous part of town. Our one story house was small, but it wasn't too bad. The water was brown for a little while and the roof leaked some, but it was home. Even with my Jii-chan giving us money we got our electricity and water turned off constantly. By the time I was nine I had to take care of myself. I was making my own lunches, dressing myself and brushing my own hair. My mom didn't do much. She did laundry occasionally and cooked when she felt up to it. She was torn between being my mother and being completely destroyed.
I was completely gutted about my dad's death. There were days when I would wake up thinking that I heard his voice or his laugh. My heart would leap and I'd sit straight up, only to have to face the heartbreaking reality. Taking care of myself over the years slowly became taking care of my mom. She wasn't cooping well with my father's death and she didn't know how to deal with it. He was the only thing that came into her life and chose to stay. So when he was taken from her, she was lost. By the time I was twelve I was cooking meals and cleaning and helping her take care of herself. I was twelve going on thirty and I didn't know what else I was supposed to do.
Aside from my rapid aging and my mother's ceaseless depression life wasn't that bad. I went to school and had friends and pretended my home life was perfect. Then I'd come home clean up, cook, do my homework, put my mom to bed and go to sleep. I was fortunate that my school had a uniform dress code; it saved me the trouble of shopping for clothes. My life wasn't great, but I had adapted well because that's what my dad would have wanted me to do.
The funny thing about life is, when you feel like you're on your feet and there's nowhere to go but up, it knocks you on your ass again. Unable to deal with the pain and in no financial position to see a doctor, my mother discovered the next best thing: alcohol. It started with wine: a glass here, a sip there, mostly in the evenings and sometimes in the afternoons. Then it became her focus. She drank from the time she got up, till the time she passed out. The empty bottles slowly increasing on the coffee table and in the kitchen, it became my job to get rid of them. I was in denial about her drinking until she started on hard liquors. My mother never left the house except to buy enough booze to keep her blissfully drunk for days on end.
My denial of her growing problem became my small family's downfall. She was an addict and I knew it, but I was fourteen, what was I supposed to do? I tried hiding bottles, pouring them down the sink and convincing her that she already drank them. My mom is a forgetful drunk so she would buy my story every time I told her. She mumbled a lot too. Anything she thought about, but wouldn't necessarily want to talk about when she was sober, came out when she was drunk. She hated our house even though her drinking was the reason that we were living so poorly. I put up with my mother's drinking to a certain extent because she smiled when she drank and that's something she can't do sober. I missed my mother's smile. It was warm and inviting. The kind of smile you grow up seeing, so when you saw it you knew that you were home.
I sigh against the glass of the window and draw a heart in the condensation. The house we live in now is pretty nice. On the outside it's a two story house made of red bricks in a pretty good part of town with a small yard and a garden. It had four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and a kitchen joint to a living room. The house has nice furniture and to the outside world it's a perfect home for a small family. My small family is anything, but perfect.
In the winter of my freshman year of high school, the devil and his spawn emerged from the snow. His name is Serio Rei and he seemed to come out of nowhere. I was sitting in the kitchen working on my project for my science class when the doorbell rang. I put down the strips of newspaper I was using for my paper mache volcano and wiped my paste covered hands on the kitchen towel. As I walked to the door of the small one story home I shared with my mother, I heard it open. To my surprise, my somewhat sober mother was at the door in the arms of a man I didn't recognize. Behind him was a small boy who couldn't be more than four years old. The boy had a unique grey hair color and blue-green eyes that blended to look turquoise. He was in large coat and had ear muffs over his ears. His hands were buried in the pockets of his coat and his eyes were void of any emotion.
When my mother finally detangled herself from the mystery man, she introduced him. She said his name in a sickeningly sweet tone. He corrected her and said he preferred to be called Persona. I thought to myself that the name 'Persona' sounded like someone who was nothing but bad news. The 'kid' as Persona referred to him was Youichi. He was Persona's foster child. Since Persona didn't seem like the type of person to take in a foster child out of the kindness of his heart, this raised a red flag for me. His whole presence raised a red flag. He was nothing like my dad so I didn't understand my mother's attraction and although I spent the most of my time at school it never occurred to me that my mother would venture out of the house and pick up some guy, especially a guy that gave me the creeps. His dark, clown like hair and his creepy eyes made my stomach twist uncomfortably.
At first Persona just seemed sketchy and nothing more, Youichi didn't ever speak and I thought he might be a mute. They stayed over some nights which made me uneasy. Youichi stayed in my bed and I slept on the couch. I didn't dwell on where Persona would be sleeping. Aside from my mother's new 'boyfriend', life continued on as usual until Persona decided the way that we were living was an 'embarrassment' so we had to move. And without even consulting her fifteen year old daughter, my mother had us packed up and shipped off to our current dwelling.
As far as living situations go, it was a nice improvement I have my own room and there's decent plumbing and hot water. I was uncomfortable living with my mom's new boyfriend and his kid, but I figured I wouldn't be around much to really complain. Then the devil shed his good guy mask and turned into the monster I've come to loathe. Turns out, Persona is into heavy drugs. Using them, selling them, and trafficking them. He also has a serious case of OCD. When we first came to live with them, I was under the impression that they had the place cleaned before our arrival, but Persona is just a neat freak. He always says 'everything has a place'. The pantry was stocked in size order, the spice rack was alphabetized, and every surface had been wiped clean. The house is uncomfortable clean, almost stale, like a surgical wing.
He made me clear on the house rules about cleanliness, noise, and curfew. I made a joke about the sterility of the house and he gave me a glare that could kill. It was only for a moment, but it froze my whole body over. Living with an obsessive compulsive, drug dealing, potential serial killer was bad enough, but the worst had yet to come. At the start of second term of my freshman year I got casted in the school play. It wasn't a lead part, but it was still a decent role. I had to go to rehearsals a lot. One rehearsal ran later than it was supposed to and I ended up catching the last bus home. Persona's 'curfew' is seven o'clock, as in 'be in the house no later than'. By the time I caught the bus and walked up the front steps to my house it was seven twenty three. I didn't have a cell phone, but I figured it wasn't really a big deal since it was school related.
When I got home I called out for my mother and got no reply. She was most likely passed out in her bedroom. I decided to go in the kitchen and see what I could make for Youichi and me to eat. Persona was sitting at the table eating an apple. I didn't bother to greet him, since we already established a mutual disdain for one another, but he spoke.
"You're late." He said in his venomous tone.
The sound made me lose my appetite. I closed the fridge and turned to face him, explaining that rehearsals ran late. He stood up slowly and pushed the dining chair back in precisely. He threw the core away in the trash and turned to me. He grasped one of my low pig tails in his hand and played with it.
"You know that curfew is at seven."
"I know, but-"
He gave my hair a hard yank. I yelped in pain and he tightened his grip. His word was law he said and if I missed curfew again I'd regret it. He shoved me against the fridge and left. I stood there for a long moment replaying the scene in my head. Everything there was to fear about Persona was becoming clear. I ran upstairs to my room and shut the door. I had goose bumps and didn't sleep at all that night. I kept feeling like he would come into my room and smother me.
Who I am now mocks the sixteen year old girl I was then. Thinking that hair grabbing and shoving was the worst of it. As the months dragged on my mother became more different and my number one fear was realized. My mother was a junkie. Strung out on God knows what and physically incapable of doing anything except getting high. This fear was realized on the day when I came home from school with Youichi in tow. We walked in on some sort of druggie party where there were people I didn't recognize smoking and drinking. Persona must've been high too because he smiled when he saw us. I went over to my mother and shook her shoulders. She didn't even recognize me or register where she was. She just smiled and giggled like a child.
My eyes stung with tears and I grabbed Youichi and ran upstairs. I'd been losing my mother since my father died, but I held on to bits and pieces and now there was nothing to hold onto. As my mother lost all grip on reality, Persona decided to take a firmer grip with me and Youichi. We were given chores and responsibilities; since my mother was out of commission and he himself was too high and mighty for housework, but it had to be done to his specifications. So we went to school and we cleaned and we did homework and we cleaned. It was my job to take care of Youichi. He was pretty good at taking care of himself, but I still felt protective of him. The poor thing had the devil for a guardian.
Youichi was a tad mean spirited. He got into fights at school and didn't care who he hit as long as he could hit. No one knew why, but I did. It's all he knows. I'd seen Persona hit my mother and my mother hit him back. I'd seen him hit Youichi and he hit me as well. I'd never witness more than a slap or a rough grab, but we hadn't fully tapped into the devil's true nature. Drugs played a big part in Persona's buildup of rage. Even if the house was perfect like he wanted, he'd find something wrong. A can, not facing forward in the cupboard, the dishes not properly placed in the dishwasher and so on. I guess with me around taking care of Youichi and the chores, Persona felt like he can up his dosage on a daily basis.
One day Youichi got into another fight at school and they sent him home with a note to be signed. He presented the note at the dinner table and all hell broke loose. Persona was shouting, making even Youichi show some fear. Persona raised his hand and I immediately launched myself at him. Dishes scattered to the floor and the mess just increased Persona's rage. He closed his hands around my throat and squeezed, I thought for a moment he might kill me, but he released me long enough to cock back a fist and hit me in the stomach. I doubled over in pain and Youichi crawled under the table in fright. Persona flipped the table over sending the entire meal to the floor and grabbed for Youichi. I pushed through my pain and stood up. I hit him over the head with a plate, which did not faze him at all. It succeeded in taking his attention away from Youichi, but now he was fully enraged. He backhanded me across the face which spun me around. I was disoriented, but he didn't let up.
He grabbed a fist full of my hair and threw me to the floor. The shards of the ceramic dinner plates poked me in my legs. I groaned and rolled onto my stomach. He delivered a swift kick to my abdomen and grabbed my hair again. He crouched down next to me and called me a 'disgusting slut' and a 'waste of life'. He spat in my face and threw me down. I laid on the ground as he left, telling me to clean up the mess. Youichi's damp face suddenly appeared before mine as he wiped Persona's saliva off the side of my face with his sleeve. I forced myself to stand up and convince Youichi that I was okay. He looked so terrified and small for the first time since I met him and I just didn't want him to worry anymore.
Where was my mother through this ordeal? She was present for most of it. She watched a monster choke her own daughter and beat her, but couldn't move from her chair. When Persona flipped the table she slipped from the room as if nothing happened. Probably in need of another fix, my mother was gone and I wanted to scream at her to save me, but I knew she couldn't save me. She couldn't even save herself. I don't even think God can save Youichi and me.
The sound of thunder snaps me from my memories. The light rain outside my window has turned into a storm. I remember on rainy days when my dad would make me hot chocolate and read to me. I read to Youichi sometimes. We'll make a fort out of sheets whenever Persona isn't home and we'd read stories together. In a way, I am his only family. An abusive dad and a strung out mom, all we have is each other.
I stand up from my window seat and stretch my arms over my head. I guess I should clean my room before Persona gets home. He does all of his shady dealings at night and comes home in the morning. I figure he crashes at whatever drug hole he's in and sobers up enough to drive home in the a.m. the house is always quiet except for the downstairs television that my mother sat in front of while she coasted on her high. I pick my clothes from the floor and dump them into my laundry basket. Persona makes me do laundry on Saturdays, which I use to do anyway, but I think he likes having the final say when it comes to chores.
The front door slams downstairs and my heart leaps in fear. I move around my room like a bat out of hell throwing clothes into the laundry basket, fixing my sheets, and clearing my desk. I can hear the ominous thump of his shoes on the stairs. I don't know where Youichi is and I pray he is out of sight. I stick the last book on the shelf and admire my speed cleaning. I pick up the laundry basket as I hear Youichi's bedroom door open and close. He probably hid and Persona couldn't be bothered to look for him. My room is a few steps down the hall from Youichi's and in seconds he's at my door.
"Yuka." He drawls.
He's drunk and looks like he slept in a shit hole. His clothes are rumpled and dirty and he's leaning on the doorframe for support.
"I'm not Yuka." I say monotously.
He blinks at me a few times like I had spoken in gibberish and takes a step into my room. My body tenses. I don't like him being my room. It's my only place of solitude, since he hardly ever ventures upstairs except to do room inspections. He looks around my room and looks back at me.
"Don't talk back to me." He slurs.
"I'm not talking back. You called me Yuka and I'm not Yuka." I clarify.
He takes another step toward me.
I don't move because that would be backing down and nothing is more satisfying to Persona than someone who backs down. He's less than two feet from me and I can smell the stench emitting from him. Why couldn't he have just gotten into a car accident on his way back here and died? I question the universe and 'God'. No answer ever comes.
He slams the door close and I clench the side of the basket until my hands hurt and my knuckles are white. Persona's never touched me in a sexual manner, but his lingering gazes make me uncomfortable. At eighteen years old, I look like a younger healthy version of my mother. My hair is long, but I always keep it up when I'm at home. It makes it harder for Persona to grab me when he's in a rage.
"You haven't done the laundry yet. What good are you?" He says.
I remain calm and keep my face blank and don't look into his eyes. Even though my whole body feels hot with rage, I keep a calm demeanor. In these circumstances, I have learned that you can cushion the blow by not irritating him. Sometimes it doesn't make a difference and others times it does. He pushes the basket out of my arms sending the clothes to the floor and shoves me square in the chest. I take a step back and say nothing, willing him to leave with my mind.
"You look just like your mother. Well before any way." He chuckles.
"Before she met you." I say instinctively.
The smirk never leaves his face. He knows he touched a nerve, "Like she was doing so great before."
"We were just fine without you." I clench my teeth to keep from screaming the words.
"Living in a shit hole with a drunk, at least I showed her the finer things in life."
"Like drugs and living like you're dead." I pick up the clothes so I won't have to look at him because I really want to scream.
"Like feeling good with a little hit and getting your fix for a small price."
I don't reply to him. Talking to Persona about drugs is something I avoid at all cost. I don't want to know what he pumps into his body\, let alone my mother's. His hand reaches out and grabs my shoulder. I'm in a tank top, so I can feel the grim from his finger tips on the skin of my shoulder. Now, more than ever, I want to take a scalding hot shower. He brings his face inches from mine.
"What's. . . your price?" He asks in an uncomfortably suggestive manner.
"You sick bastard!" I yell yanking my shoulder out of his grip which ignites something in his eyes.
The basket is on the floor again and kicked into my closet. He wrestles me down to the bed with his hands clutching my throat. Fear, adrenaline, and rage are all swimming in my veins as I struggle beneath him. I want to scream, but all I can do is choke against his hands. I slap him in his face and wiggle my legs violently hoping to knee him in the groin. His hands move to my shoulders and pin me to the bed. My mind races with thoughts of my virginity being stripped from me by the same man who took away what was left of my mother. He buries his face in my neck and takes a deep breath. Tears sting inside of my eyes, but I won't go down without a fight I kick and scream.
"Get off of me! Get off me you sick bastard!" I yell at the top of my lungs.
"Shut the fuck up!" he says and his hand makes solid contact with the side of my face.
But I don't. I keep screaming and kicking and fighting. He's grasping at my sweat pants and grunting in frustration that he can't get the drawstring undone. Tears are pouring down my face and I keep screaming. I am screaming for my mother, my father, anyone who can save me. With all my wiggling and fighting, I am able to get some leverage and push him off of me and onto the floor. I thank God for hang overs and roll to the other side of the bed and stand up.
"I hate you!" I scream.
He gets to his feet and smiles at me, "You should just lie there and take it like your mother does."
"That woman is NOT my mother." I fume.
He picks up my picture frame and I can feel my eyes widen.
"Yeah she's definitely not your old man's trophy wife anymore, huh?" He chides.
"Give me that back." I say.
He's been holding it too long in my opinion and I'm afraid he might dirty it somehow.
"No. I think I'll hold on to this till you learn how to behave." His smirk widens.
"Give it!" I say launching for the frame.
He pulls it out of my grasp before I can get close enough and grabs my face in his hands.
"You're not behaving." He growls.
My back makes contact with my bedroom door. He grabs my hair and throws me to the ground. I land with a hard thump on my side and he uses his foot to roll me onto my back. He places his foot on my throat.
"You don't know how good you have it." He applies pressure to my throat, "I could kill you if I wanted to. No one would even look for you. You're a dirty little slut who will learn her place."
He moves his foot and kicks my side, dropping the picture frame on my face. I curl into myself, holding my nose. Tears stung at my eyes again, but I refuse to let them fall. Persona throws open the door and his footsteps disappear downstairs. Open my eyes and see two little feet by my door. I look up and see Youichi's tear stained face and it breaks my heart so much I begin to sob. He kneels on the ground next to me and pats my head.
I have to rely on a small child for comfort. What an adult I'm shaping up to be. Not like I had any good role models anyway. I lose myself in my sadness and just cry with Youichi's hand patting my hair.
I have to get out of here.
WE have to get out of here.
Better than the original? Worse? On the fence? Let me know. I thought it might be more interesting to incorporate Youichi in this story.
Please leave me lots of Reviews
Lots of Love,