It's been seven years since that night. I'm now sixteen, and Daddy abuses me like he did Momma. Every day after school, I get hit, beaten, molested, raped, you name it; everything that can hurt someone, Daddy used on me. Since that night I've never been allowed to have friends, Daddy feared I would tell them what he did and does to me.

When Daddy lost his job as a plumber, he began selling me out to men, always saying that I'd better please them or I'd be punished. Sometimes the men lied, they'd say that I did something wrong, tell Daddy lies just to watch him hurt me. Sometimes the punishments were so bad I couldn't go to school. But I always had an excuse for the cuts and bruises, the swollen body parts. I claimed to fall down the stairs, which happened a lot; just never by accident.

When I went to P.E., I'd always bring a note, saying that I was seriously ill, or using my injuries as an excuse to not change into the shorts and T-shirt.

All through the years, nobody bothered to really find out why I became antisocial, why I got hurt so much, or why I never hung out with my old friends anymore. It hurt, it seemed like nobody cared.

Something strange happened today, I can't stop thinking about what caused it to happen. I was limping home after another terrible day at school, well, every day's terrible, but this one was the worst. My constant bullies decided to break bones today. I'm positive my jaw is cracked. Then my locker was trashed; I have to pay for at least three textbooks now, plus I have homework in all the classes with a missing book. My lunch money was stolen, so I starved at lunchtime; I hadn't eaten in a few days, so I was pretty weak. And to top it all off, in Athletics I got nailed in my sore jaw with a football. My life sucks.

When I got to my house,-it's not home, I'm not loved and I don't love Daddy anymore; I just live there- there were boxes everywhere, with Daddy zooming around, packing things and cussing. When he looked my way, I flinched. He came toward me.

"Veronica, pack up everything you can grab as fast as you can, we're moving to Japan." He pushed me to the stairs.

Confused, I climbed the stairs to my room, finding my big black suitcase with wheels, and began packing clothes, songbooks, sketchbooks, my music making laptop, everything I could in my dazed state. 'We're moving? To Japan? Why? What happened, and why do we have to move so far away? Maybe, just maybe, people there will-No; don't get your hopes up, it'll only lead to heartbreak and hopelessness.' I shook my head to clear the thoughts.

Once my suitcase was crammed full, I looked at my room, which had blood smattered on the walls in places. The beige was stained red and brown, spots where the blood had dried and where some were still fresh. Seeing some books hidden under the mattress of my bed-which had substances I don't wanna think about- I grabbed them. 'Gone With the Wind', 'Born At Midnight', and 'The Magic Garden' were just some of the random books I grabbed. I managed to force them into the practically overflowing suitcase, and went downstairs. The necklace Mother gave me was hanging from my neck, all sorts of odds, gems, and trinkets hung from a chain. I quickly hid it under my shirt, relieved that I wore a turtleneck that day.

Daddy stormed in, I froze. He turned in my direction, and grabbed my arm hard. 'Well, looks like I'm going to be hiding more bruises….' I bit my lip so I wouldn't cry out.

"Come on Veronica! We gotta hurry! The police might be here any minute!" He then dragged me and my suitcase to our dark red F-150. He opened the back door, and threw my bag in, not even reacting when crashes sounded. He pulled me to the front seat, picking me up and strapping me in himself. He jogged around to the driver's side and got in. After he started the vehicle, he sped off down the road.

I debated on whether to ask Daddy what happened, but I was afraid he would hit me while driving, causing a wreck. Finally I swallowed hard and shakily asked, "D-Daddy, wh-why are w-we m-moving to J-Japan? W-what happened?" I flinched back, cowering and turning my face to the window in case he tried to hit me.

"Fucking Roy got caught trying to squeal to the police, so me and the rest of the guys had to teach that traitorous bastard a lesson." He growled, smirking. Whatever color that was in my face drained. Roy, one of Daddy's drinking buddies, was dead. And Daddy and the others killed him. Sure he had a turn with me, all of them did, but he only did it once every few months, and he regretted it. Every time after he released, he would quietly sob out apologies to me, saying that he was sorry and he would get the police to save me someday. Now I pretty much had no hope.

"O-Oh…" I mumbled, looking down. Out of the corner of my eye Daddy's hand reached out, and I forced myself not to flinch. The sound of the radio blasted throughout the truck, making my ears ring.

Daddy changed the channels, scoffing at the songs whenever he stopped. Finally he stopped on Hits1, which was playing "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Rihanna. Huh, story of my life, except I didn't love it. No; I feared it.


Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,

but that's alright,

because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry,

but that's alright,

because I love the way you lie,

I love the way you lie…


I can't tell you what it really is,

I can only tell you what it feels like.

And right now there's a steel knife in my windpipe!

I can't breathe, but I fight while I can fight,

As long as the wrong feels right, it's like I'm in a flight!

High off of love, drunk from my hate,

It's like I'm huffin' paint!

And I love it, the more I suffer I suffocate.

And right before I'm about to drown,

She resuscitates me, she fuckin' hates me

And I love it-Wait!

Where you going? 'I'm leaving you!'

No you ain't! Come back!

We're running right back;

Here we go again, it's so insane!

'Cause when it's goin' good, it's goin' great!

I'm Superman,

with the wind at his back, she's Lois Lane!

But when it's bad, it's awful,

I feel so ashamed.

I snapped, who's that dude?

I don't even know his name!

I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again!

I guess I don't know my own strength….

Hah, yeah right. Daddy, ashamed of raping, beating, and trafficking me? Not a chance. I laid my head back on the headrest, fighting tears as I mouthed Rihanna's part.


Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.

But that's alright,

Because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry.

But that's alright,

Because I love the way you lie,

I love the way you lie…

I love the way you lie…


You ever love somebody so much,

That you can barely breathe when you're with 'em?

You meet: and neither one of you even know what hit 'em.

Got that warm fuzzy feeling,

Yeah them chills used to get 'em,

Now you're gettin' fuckin' sick of lookin' at 'em!

You swore you'd never hit 'em,

Never do nothin' to hurt 'em.

Now you're in each other's face,

Spewin' venom in your words when you spit 'em.

You push, pull each other's hair,

Scratch, claw, bit 'em,

Throw 'em down, pin 'em!

So lost in the moments when you're in 'em.

It's the rage that took control;

Controls you both.

So they say it's best to go your separate ways,

Guess that they don't know ya.

Cause today, that was yesterday, yesterday is over!

It's a different day!

Sound like broken records playin' over

But you promised her: next time you'd show restraint,

You don't get another chance; life is no Nintendo game!

But you lied again, now you get watch her leave out the window,

Guess that's why they call it window pane….


Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.

But that's alright,

Because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry.

But that's alright,

Because I love the way you lie,

I love the way you lie…

I love the way you lie…


Now I know we said things, did things, that we didn't mean.

And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine.

But your temper's just as bad as mine is, you're the same as me!

But when it comes to love, you're just as blinded.

Baby, please come back!

It wasn't you; baby it was me!

Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems!

Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano.

All I know is I love you too much to walk away though!

Come inside; pick up your bags off the sidewalk.

Don't you hear sincerity, in my voice when I talk?

Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball!

Next time I'm pissed, I'll aim my fist at the drywall!

Next time? There will be no next time.

I apologize, even though I know it's lies.

I'm just tired of the games, I just want her back!

I know I'm a liar!

If she ever tries to fuckin' leave again,

I'mma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire!

Daddy was mouthing the words to the song too; the ones by Eminem. I found it ironic that they made a song that told the story of my life. The song was ending, Rihanna's sad lyrics playing out one last time.


Just gonna stand there and watch me burn.

But that's alright,

Because I like the way it hurts.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry.

But that's alright,

Because I love the way you lie,

I love the way you lie…

I love the way you lie…

Rihanna really was an incredible singer. When I listened to her, I was always astounded by her voice.

"That song, is beautiful. One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard in my life!" Daddy exclaimed, grinning at me. He pulled off from the main road in Abilene, and headed towards the sign with an airplane on it.

The whole ride there, which took around an hour, I didn't talk to Daddy. I didn't ask about what would happen about school, and us learning how to speak Japanese, or finding a home, you know, things like that. It was better not to talk to Daddy about that type of thing; especially if he hadn't thought about that type of thing. Better to just let him figure it out when we get to our new home, that way, I wouldn't have bruises while on the plane or in the airport.

When we got to the airport, Daddy arranged everything for us; he got our tickets, and a way for us to take our things from our house with us. I waited in the truck while he did this, I considered driving away a couple times, but then I remembered that the bastard had taken the keys…

After Daddy and a man with a cart came back, we went into the airport and were escorted to our gate to Domino City, Japan.

I had never been in an airport before, so I was looking around, my big smoky emerald eyes alight with curiosity. There were so many people in one place, going so many different directions, if I was there by myself, I would've been lost!

Once we made it to the gate, the man left us, taking the cart with him, leaving us with our suitcases only. We sat down on the black seats that were back to back in rows. After about ten to fifteen minutes of waiting, a woman's voice came over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the flight 3910 to Domino City, Japan, is now boarding." We stood up, and I followed Daddy to the lady up at the desk. She took our tickets, and we walked down the little hall that went to the plane.

'Goodbye, Abilene. Goodbye bullies, preps, and rapists. Hopefully, in Japan there won't be anybody who wants to fuck an unwilling, scared and abused girl. Too bad Daddy will still hurt me…' I thought will a sigh. We stepped onto my first plane I'd ever ride in.

The captain and stewards greeted us, they're names were Lily, a tall red-haired girl with brown eyes and a round face, and Brian, an even taller man with sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and a heart-shaped face with a little bit a baby fat remaining. Daddy and I separated as the other passengers boarded with us.

I looked at my ticket. 35D. I walked down the aisle, searching for my seat. I found it, yes! A window seat! I won't have to lean over anybody to see outside! I stuffed my suitcase into the compartment above the seats, and sat down. I pulled out my iPod and blasted Falling in Reverse's 'I'm Not a Vampire'. I murmured the lyrics as I awaited our takeoff. I looked around to find Daddy; he was way up in front; he wouldn't be able to see me, but I could see him. For now, I could relax.

I didn't pay attention to the announcements, if something happened, I wanted to be killed; if Daddy lived, I didn't want to. I looked out the window as Papa Roach's Last Resort played. I nodded my head to the beat, watching with unseeing eyes as the tarmac rolled out behind us, the plane tilted up; for a moment I was terrified; it was my first time in a plane after all..

I didn't even notice my hands clutching the armrests until somebody touched my shoulder; causing me to jump in surprise and fear. I whipped my head to the side, seeing my neighbor-an elderly man with a concerned look in his lilac eyes.

"Young lady, are you alright? You look a little distressed, anything I can do to help?" I tried to smile, I don't think I did such a good job at convincing him, since he raised an eyebrow. "Well, this is my first plane ride, I guess I'm a little nervous. Plus it's a long story…" I shrugged, wincing a little at the bruise on the shoulder. The man nodded, a knowing look in his eyes.

"You know, my grandson has troubles at school a lot, and whenever I'm home, -I travel back and forth to visit an old friend of mine- I always make him tell me everything that happened, no matter how long it takes; besides, we've got fourteen hours, I think you can tell me the story within that time."

I thought about it, finally I could tell somebody my life story to someone…maybe. I sighed, biting my lip, what would happen if I told him, and he didn't believe me? What if Daddy found out? I'd end up like…like Mother. Just that thought froze my insides.

Noticing my hesitation and uneasiness, the man pats my hand, getting my attention.

"Now, I understand that we haven't even introduced ourselves, but you can trust me. I've been through many things in my long life, and you remind me of my grandson, Yugi, and not just because of his size, he's a little on the short side; in fact, you might be the first person shorter than him! I'm Solomon Mutou, call me Grandpa; I feel old when someone calls me Mr. Mutou. It's nice to meet you, and I think you would feel better if you told somebody what's bothering you." He held out his small, leathery hand. I shook it gently, partly from not wanting to hurt him, partly because my arm hurt.

"I-I'm Veronica Zednanreh; i-it's nice to meet you too Grandpa…if I may ask, w-would I call y-you f-friend, perhaps?" I quietly asked, already regretting that last part. But to my surprise, Grandpa's face brightened, his eyes twinkling happily. "Yes child, you can call me friend."

Suddenly tears were welling up in my eyes, here was my first friend in seven years. I collapsed on his arm, sobbing as quietly as I could so I wouldn't alert Daddy.

"Shh, child, shh, dry your tears; Grandpa's here, no need to worry," Grandpa murmured, trying to calm me. Embarrassed, I sat up, hastily wiping tears from my cheeks.

"S-sorry, I-I don't k-know what c-came over m-me." Grandpa chuckled, moving the black bangs out of my eyes. "Nonsense Veronica; everyone needs a good crying now and then! Now then, what's caused you so much distress?"

I bit my lip, still unsure. I came up with an idea; hopefully Grandpa would see it.

"Well, I-I have this f-friend, you see," I began, fisting the fabric of my shirt nervously. Grandpa nodded, his gray spikes bouncing slightly on top of his head. "and, h-her dad u-um, he h-hurts her, a lot. When she w-was nine, h-he…he…" I choked, sobs almost ripping from me.

"He what?" Grandpa prodded gently. I inhaled shakily. "He k-killed her m-mother." Grandpa stiffened, but kept rubbing soothing circles on my back as I told my tale.

"H-he killed her, and there was nothing she could do to help. When s-she tried to run, h-he chased her d-down, dragged her back to t-their house, and r-raped her." I buried my head in his shoulder, after making sure Daddy wasn't looking of course.

"For seven y-years, she's endured the m-most t-terrible things…h-he lost h-his job, s-so he b-began selling h-her out to m-men!" I wailed quietly, shaking hard.

"Hey guys, how are we..Oh my gosh! Are you alright sweetie?" Lily cried, touching me on the shoulder. Grandpa shook his head, and motioned for her to be quiet; he didn't need to, because when I looked over at Daddy, he was already knocked out, an empty glass on his little table. His snores echoed throughout the plane.

"Is there anything I can get you, honey?" Lily asked, her eyebrows scrunched up in concern. I nodded, then hiccupped.

"How about some water?" She asked, which I nodded at. She sped off, and I was alone with Grandpa again. I told the rest of my story, telling all about how 'my friend' went through terrible things, only pausing when Lily came back with my water. Grandpa didn't interrupt me once, just whispering soothing words and gently rubbing my back. He asked for some snacks when my stomach growled; he was by far the nicest person I'd ever met in my life.

When I finished, my eyes were red, swollen, and hurting. Grandpa had held me throughout my breakdown, keeping me calm. It was the safest I'd felt since I was nine. About four hours had passed, I was shocked; it took me that long to tell the story of my life?

After my breakdown Grandpa gave me some advice. "What your 'friend' needs to do," He began, I noticed the way he stressed 'friend'; thank god, he figured it out. "is try to tell someone. She needs to keep trying to get people to listen to her, go to the police." I nodded, taking in every word he spoke.

"I-I'll be sure t-to tell her, thank you Grandpa." I whispered, hugging the small old man.

After a few minutes, he let me go. "So Veronica, tell me, why are you going to Domino City? I shrugged, indifferent.

"Daddy decided it was time for a change, I guess. He made me hurry to pack my bags, then we were on our way to the airport."

"I see…Do you know any Japanese?" Sighing, I shook my head.

"No, Daddy didn't really think of that, neither of us speak Japanese, or know where we're gonna live, or how to get there…" I trailed off, shaking my head slowly, Daddy didn't think anything through.

"Hmm, well how about I teach you some? I'm from Domino, it's not that big, maybe we'll see each other!" Shocked, I looked up at Grandpa.

"R-really Grandpa? You'd teach me Japanese? You don't have to; I'll pick it up sooner or later.."

Grandpa's eyes and jaw took on a stubborn edge. "No, you need to learn how to speak the language, otherwise you won't survive long. Here," He said, reaching into his pocket, pulling out a small business card. He handed it to me, it read, 'Kame Game Shop' along with the number, and street name, in both Japanese and English.

"You can call me anytime, I'm always there, and if I don't answer, Yugi or his best friend Yami will answer. He's always there," Grandpa exclaimed, exasperated. I giggled, and thanked him, putting the card in my songbook.

For the next two hours, Grandpa and I talked, getting to know each other better. I found out more about Yugi and Yami, they look alike, but aren't brothers.

"Can you give me a description of what they look like? I have a sketchbook, and this way if I run into either of them, I'd know who they are." I pulled out my sketchbook, opening it to a clean page. Grandpa gave me a complete description, it was pretty easy to draw Yugi, Yami was a bit harder, the slant of his eyes and the aura he had was difficult, but it gave me a challenge.

"There!" I said finally, content with my work. I showed Grandpa the picture, complete with colors, and he gasped. "T-that's exactly how they look. This is amazing!" His praise made my face heat up. "I-it's nothing much, you did give me a good picture of what they looked like, I just matched it.."

Grandpa had a thoughtful look on his face. "Veronica? May I keep this, to show them? And do you have one of you that I can show them?" He looked at me; pleading with his eyes. I thought about it, then looked through my book for any pictures of me that don't show my injuries or fear. I found one, where I was standing in front of a mirror, the light setting off my black hair. My mouth was parted slightly, and I looked a bit confused, I was holding a knife. Behind me, almost unnoticeable, Daddy was laying on the ground facing me, his eyes dull, blood pouring out of his neck.

I shrugged, and handed it to Grandpa. He looked it over, his eyes widened when he saw the knife. Before he could say anything, I spoke. "It was a dream of mine. I had it when I was thirteen. I dreamed I killed my father, since then I haven't had any dreams like this; I guess it was a phase or something." He stared at it, then nodded, an understanding smile on his face.

"Yugi had a dream like that once, except he had killed everyone he knew, he was in tears and screaming. I couldn't console him at all." He explained, and I nodded, I'd had one like that too, except it was of all the men who'd raped me.

For the next hour or two-I had lost count- Grandpa taught me Japanese, both how to speak, and how to read and write it. I was picking it up pretty quickly.

"Okay, so 'hikari' means 'light'. What is 'darkness'?" Grandpa chuckled quietly. "That would be Yami." I furrowed my eyebrows.

"Like Yugi's best friend? He's named after darkness? That's pretty cool! And Yugi's name means 'game'. Awesome names!" I giggled.

'Darkness and Game,' I thought with a smile on my face. It was the first time I'd smiled in a long time. Then, something clicked in my mind.

"Hey Grandpa, may I see that picture I drew for you?" Puzzled, he handed it over. I studied their looks, noting the similarities. My eyes widened. I then grinned, proud that I figured it out. Well, I think I did.

"Hah! I got it," I exclaimed, smirking at Grandpa, who had a look in his eyes that clearly read, 'Challenge accepted'. "What do you mean Veronica?" He asked with an eyebrow raised.

"Yugi is the hikari, and Yami is the yami!" I stated proudly, sitting back and crossing my arms, which I flinched at.

'Damn,' I thought with an internal scowl, 'forgot about the bruises….' I ignored the burning, and looked at Grandpa, who looked flabbergasted. I bit my lip to stifle my giggle.

"H-how…w-what…what g-gave you that i-idea?" He asked. I shrugged one shoulder.

"Just light and darkness, and how Yugi and Yami look the same, but totally different at the same time." I mumbled, looking out the window at the clouds. It was already dark, a fact that surprised me greatly. Who knew that if you talked to someone you had some things in common with would make the time fly so fast?

Grandpa tilted his head slightly with his lips parted, I patiently waited for him to say something, anything. Finally he spoke, albeit quietly.

"Smart girl, beauty and brains all in one…" He whispered, stroking his small gray beard. I blushed, my face turning slightly red.

"T-thanks.." I whispered. My eyelids started drooping, I was so tired; it had been a least a week since I'd gotten at least six hours of sleep, being Daddy's Little Prostitute does that to you. I was forcing them open time and time again; soon Grandpa began to notice.

"Veronica, go to sleep; you need it more than I do." He stated, smiling gently at me. I yawned and nodded. After I turned my music off and put my iPod in my pocket, I laid my head on his shoulder. He petted my head slowly, stroking my hair in a relaxing way.

Soon I was drifting off to sleep, thinking about my first friend in seven years.

'Maybe, just maybe, things will get better…' That was my last thought before I went under.