"One word frees us from all the weight and pain in life.

That word is love." - Sophocles

I remember that time I used to spend alone. For me, being human meant being damned to loneliness. I would sit there in the school yard and watch as everyone else met up with their friends and walked home together. They would giggle and gossip, go off to play basketball together, and plan parties and adventures for only certain people to share in. And as all of this would happen, I would eventually realize that I was excluded from everything. It was evident from the beginning that I didn't belong in their world. I would never be a part of it.

My life was a sort of tragedy growing up. Both of my parents were workaholics with quick tempers and no time on their hands. I saw my father late at night when he was finally coming home and my mother early in the morning before I went off to school. They never smiled at me, never bothered to say hello or ask me about my day, and they certainly never did things with me. They never took me anywhere that wasn't necessary, never bought me any toys, never played games with me, and we never celebrated anything together.

It wasn't until I started kindergarten that I knew what a birthday was. That's when I found out I was getting older. When I asked my parents why I never got a birthday party, they scoffed and told me that birthday parties were for spoiled little brats. They refused to buy me anything in order to keep me from hounding them to buy me toys. They said I didn't need to grow up that way. That was also around the time I learned about Christmas and other winter holidays. When I asked my parents about that, they told me the same thing.

"Honestly, Marshall, give it a rest! Birthdays, Christmas, Easter - they're all stupid "holiday's" that are designed to spoil children. Do you want to grow up to be a spoiled-rotten brat?"

After mother got angry, I stopped asking her questions. So for the next couple of years, my classmates would try and offer me things on those days like small pieces of chocolate and gumball machine toys. I rejected them every time, telling them what my mother told me. They all got really angry with me and then eventually they stopped talking to me altogether. I asked my teacher one day why the other kids wouldn't play with me and she told me that it was because I thought they were all spoiled brats. That wasn't true.

I tried to apologize to them, telling them that I was just repeating what my mother had told me. They didn't accept my apology, though, and I was still left alone. I went and cried in the bathroom for awhile after that and then on the bus ride home, my anger started to build up. When I saw my mother the next morning, I lost control of myself, and yelled at her. I blamed her for me not having any friends and told her that everything she said to me was wrong. I knew I took it too far after the words escaped my mouth, but it was too late to take them back. She got angry and started hitting me. She didn't necessarily beat me up, but my butt was sore and my arms were beat red.

I went to school that day very frightened and sad. Not only was I going to be alone again, but I feared learning anything new. If I found out something else and got curious about it, it could lead to more pain and suffering. It was a little dramatic for a child, but it was true nonetheless.

So I went through elementary and middle school barely getting by. I paid just enough attention in my classes to pass them, with hopes of not learning much anything new. I accepted the fact that I would never have any friends. None of the kids in my class forgave me and when we got new students, they all warned them about me before I could introduce myself. It was hard to handle sometimes, but I never let anyone know how much I was bothered and hurt.

So I finally went on to high school and found myself simply observing. I was at that point where I didn't even want to talk to anyone. I didn't want to be part of their cliques, I didn't want to hang out with any of them, I didn't want to sit at the lunch table with anyone... I didn't want anything to do with anyone. Yet it would kill me inside everyday to see everyone going off with someone and realizing that I had once again been left behind.

By that point, my parents were practically gone. They hardly spoke to each other, they would go on extended business trips all the time, and I would have to go hunting around the house for money to buy food and stuff like that. We weren't poor by any means, my parents were just cheap. There was one day that I got fed up with it all and stormed out of the house. I don't know why I snapped, but I did, and then I went flying down the street in a pathetic attempt to run away from my own life. And it kind of worked.

When I finally stopped running, that's when I finally met him. I met the man with the red pendant. I vaguely remember our conversation, but that's when he told me the pendant would give me special powers and wings. He told me it would make me a demon and then I could use my wings and powers however I wanted. I was contemplating revenge on my parents and those stupid school children who refused to forgive me. I could have ruined them all, but I decided against it. For some reason, flying away just sounded like a much better idea.

I put that pendant on and watched in awe and my wings sprouted. It didn't hurt a bit and I was surprised at how easy it was to control them. So I took off towards the sky and never looked back. I soared onward from city to city until I felt like there was no place farther away. I took refuge in the clouds and fooled around with my powers to pass time. But even so, I eventually found out that being a demon alone in the clouds was no different than being a boy alone at school. I felt the same pain and everything, even with my change in location.

But just like I had before, I accepted my lonely fate and continued to live my life as I always had. It was always boring, always quiet, and always pointless. I never did anything significant, nothing good or bad... just nothing. I found myself sleeping a whole lot and wandering around closer to the ground at night. I spied on people, scared a few of them, but mostly kept to myself. I would hang out in isolated places so people couldn't see my wings, but even then there was nothing to do. It was then that I was absolutely sure that I was damned to live like this for the rest of my life.

And that was my life. In all its boring and hopeless glory, that was how I lived. It was miserable and depressing, but very real and seemingly inescapable. I had never really considered suicide, because it always seemed even more pointless than living to me. But then there was that one day when everything changed. That day that I was napping in the clouds and I fell to Earth.

You found me sprawled out across your lawn and carried me inside. You made sure I was O.K., you fed me, and gave me a place to sleep. Even though you didn't believe I was a demon, you didn't seem like you would be bothered if it were true. You accepted me and welcomed me into your home, into your life, with open arms, and asked only that I stay with you. Even though I was harsh and brash, cold and borderline cruel, you still smiled. You cooked my food every day, spent time with me, told me stories and jokes, and gave me an idea as to what it was like to be a human being.

My human life had never been anything like what you showed me. There was no more silence, no more always empty house, no more bitter parents, no more unforgiving reminders, no nothing that I had ever known! You took that all away and replaced it with warm, cheery smiles, wonderful smelling food, patience and kindness, and everything that I had always dreamed of having. Even though you, yourself, were always alone, you never let it affect how you treated me. Your parents died and left you by yourself, the school kids would bully you and push you around, but you still knew how to smile. I admired you so much for that, although I never told you so. I think... I think that's how you changed me. That's why nothing could be helped when it came to you. I was always a sucker for your requests, never being able to turn you down.

So that's how we ended up here. I kept my promise and stayed with you until we found my pendant. I gave up my frantic search for it after a couple days of being with you. It got less and less important over time, and by the thirtieth day, I didn't want it anymore. I was surprised when you found it and it was rather amusing to see you floating there with what used to be my wings, scared out of your mind. You didn't know how to use them, after all, and you were so awkwardly suspended in the air, that I had to suppress a chuckle.

When I offered you my hand to help get you down, you reached for me only to jerk yourself back. You refused to come to me, because it would mean I could have my pendant back and leave you. It was then that I was finally able to tell you how happy I was. How happy you made me and how I had no desire to leave you. I didn't want to be a demon anymore, I didn't want to live in the clouds... I wanted to stay with you. Forever. And I wanted to live in this house with you, and walk you home from school, and share delicious meals with you, and fall asleep on the couch with you... I needed you.

So I did it. I confessed myself to you and you cried happy tears. We tossed out that pendant and went inside for dinner and I knew I would never be more happy anywhere than here with you. I need you, Mayuka Fujisawa, now and forever. For showing me what real human kindness and warmth feels like, I want to show you what all the love in the world I can muster feels like. I hope that it's enough to repay you for all you've done. And if I have to stay for the rest of my life to repay you for what you've done for me in this past month, then count me in.

"I love you, Mayuka."

I am Marshall "Masaru" and this is the story of my wonderful, bittersweet life. And I owe it all to her.

"A/N: So how about that ending? Cheesy? Corny? Too fluffy? Overdone? Damn right! I thought this manga was really cute, but it was very short. Just so it's painfully obvious, I don't know anything about Marshall's past. I made up everything up until the point where he fell from the clouds. If you just sort of stumbled upon this, you can read BlackXBlack on mangafox for free. It's only one volume/chapter, so it's an easy read. I recommend it. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. Please leave a review?"