Snow covers everything...
Even the depths of my soul
It was a nice winter day in Karakura Town. The sky was grey, no trace of blue. The clouds were covering that mesmerizing blue that usually was above the town. The air was cold, drying my nose as I tried to breathe it. I yawned tiredly and continued my walk.
I was on holiday since yesterday and I didn't have much to do. So I walked streets alone to break the boredom.
White snowflakes started to dance in the cold air, some of them spinning in the air before they touched the frozen street, some of them just floating in the air being worn by the cold wind that was blowing gently. The trees were empty, all their leaves laying who down their foot. Some of the trees seemed to try to bend down at their leaves as if they were trying to take them back. But that was only my imagination. The wind wasn't blowing that rough.
I looked at the sky thoughtful and I raised my left hand to catch a snowflake. As soon as it landed in my hand, it melted transforming into water, but to me it looked like a tear. What were snowflakes, anyway? Weren't they tears that pretended to be something else just because the truth hurt too much? No, of course not. It only seemed that way.
I was staying on the river bank, staring at the frozen water that was slowly covered by the cold white snow. Some crows were cawing breaking the silence. Their cawing seemed so lonely, so desperate and a part of me understood that. Weren't they just lonely? Being hated by everyone wasn't simple at all. I know that very well.
The cold wind was blowing gentle, probably, but to me it seemed that it wanted to cut my cheek's skin. White snowflakes landed in my hair, some of them melting and running down my cheeks making me shiver at the contact, the other staying in my hair, but I wasn't bothered by it.
I shoved my hands in my pocket trying to warm them up and I looked. That place was the place where my mother has died to protect me. I can remember that day perfectly as if it were yesterday. It was a winter day, just like this one. I was little at that time so I kind of messed up when I tried to put my neckcloth on. It somehow loosen up and flew to the river. At that time the water wasn't frozen and I ran to catch it. My mom followed me but she tripped and hit her head. She died. At first I didn't want to believe it. But it was true. When dad found out, he was so angry and sad that he left me. Zangetsu left me in the train station, his eyes full of hatred. I've killed my own mother…
Winter passed, spring came and passed too, summer as well. I've lost the track of time while waiting for someone to come. Lucky me that Zangetsu left me enough money to spend them my whole life. At first it was very hard, but in time I have adapted. I had to.
I tried to call Zangetsu but he didn't pick up. Years passed and no one came…and I was still waiting for a certain someone to come and hug me and tell me that everything was going to be okay. That dad was going to tell me that he still loved me. But in vain. I knew very well that he would never come back. And I couldn't blame him.
Today it has passed seven years since my mom died. So much time has passed but it seemed like it just happened. The pain hasn't disappeared, not even one moment. I remained alone, unable to make any friends. No one would like to have a criminal as their friend. Well no one knew what happened and I wouldn't let anyone learn the truth. I isolated myself from the others to protect them. Rukia tried to befriend me many times but I refused and she gave up in the end. Now I was just a shadow in my high school, except those moments when people picked on me because of my hair color. They beat me up and there was no one who would help me. People ignored me or just stared at me as if he was some sort of a creature. But I can't blame them. I deserved it.
"When is it going to end? My punishment?" I said softly looking at the sky as if I was trying to interrogate someone, as if someone would listen to me, as if someone could actually care for me. "Baka! You know very well that no one cares about you…" I scolded myself with a bitter voice falling on my knees. "Mom…" I said softly as if she could hear me, even though I knew she couldn't. "Happy Birthday…" I continued tears blurring my eyesight, yeah, the day she had died was her birthday. "And I'm sorry…I…I am so useless. I couldn't protect you. I…I killed you and I'm sorry. Not that I can do something to change it." I continued to talk though no one listened, burning tears running down my cheeks remembering all I've done. "I'm sorry, mom." I said closing my eyes and letting all my tears burst out soaking my cold skin. I put my head on the ground ignoring the cold snow and cried just like I did seven years ago. No matter how much I tried to forget it was impossible. Memories that were once the sweetest thing I've ever had now where the most painful things. My mother's smile, her eyes full of kindness, her warm protective arms. Everything was gone…I put an end to it. And I would give anything to see her once more. To see her gentle smile, to feel her warm arms wrap around me as they always did. But if she somehow came back, would I let her go? No. That one and last meeting that I wanted had to last forever, because if she came back I would never let her go. Never.
"I'm so sorry, mom" I said opening my eyes looking at the frozen water as if I was expecting her to come out from there while tears just insisted to soak my skin to no end making my face feel frozen. "I shouldn't have been born…After all I only cause problems. I'm so sorry. Will you ever forget your useless and criminal son?" I said closing my eyes again. "No, of course not. You shouldn't do that. I deserve it. The pain. It's my fault you died and it's my fault dad turned that way…" I thought not daring to tell that. It hurt too much. "Bye, mom. See you some time, maybe." I said and threw myself in the snow looking through tears at the grey sky. '
Snow was falling down, slowly covering me while I was staring blankly at the sky. Hours passed, clouds moving lazily on the sky, snow falling down, the snowflakes floating lazily in the air. I could remember the crimson snow I saw that day. I lifted my mom's head with my small hands and took it in my lap trying to wake her up, but in vain. She was already dead. When I realized I started to scream. I stayed there long time until someone heard my desperate screams. When they took her my hands were crimson too. I felt like a murderer. They said it was ok, that it wasn't my fault, but how I wished they were telling the truth. Then I saw my father's expression. He was so shocked, so sad looking at her dead body. When he looked at me, he was scared. Then I could see hatred flickering in his eyes. He shook his head in disapproval. In his eyes I was a murderer. After a few days he left me without saying anything, but letting a ticket on the table saying that I had enough money to live until I could get a job. I was shocked. For a long time I stood in the kitchen with the ticket in my small hand, staring at him as if it was an OZN. Then I slowly understood. He left me!
Memories were developing in my mind and I could feel my body froze, but I didn't stand up. I was trapped in my memories.
"Mom, hey, mom!" I said with a hand full of daisies hidden after my back.
She turned her kind gaze at me and smiled.
"Yes, Ichigo." She said with her warmth voice being a little curious. "What is it?"
"Here." And I offered her the flowers I collected earlier that day without her knowing. "For the best mother in the world." I said and she took them smiling happily at me hugging me tight. I hugged her back and dad took a picture of the two of us staying under the sakura tree. It was a spring day, the petals were floating in the air carelessly, the sun was shining brightly sinking the meadow in a warm light. The birds were singing happily in the trees and we were at a picnic.
How old was I back then? I couldn't recall. But it didn't matter. I was happy. We were happy. So happy over such trivial stuff, but for me it was important.
I closed my eyes feeling the snowflakes landing on my eyelids. My body was almost frozen, but I couldn't care less. Even if I died there no one would mind right? So it didn't matter. I just wanted to stay there. I wasn't waiting for anyone to save me, to care for me. I've stopped thinking like that. It was useless to hope, in the end I only got hurt.
Staying there, I felt like if I was slowly falling into an abyss, crushing slowly, and crimson feathers floating in the air…
When I opened my eyes it was already night. The sky was still black and it still snowed. I slowly stood up. It was a miracle I could still stand up. I stretched my back and made a few steps. I knew very well that I was too afraid to kill myself. "Pff…What a chicken!" I thought. I looked at the river again and left.
It was very late and only a few people were out at that time. Mostly couples, but there were also single people probably going home on foot since they probably missed the last train. I looked at my clock. It was 12 o'clock. Sighing I shoved my hand back in the pocket trying to warm it. Wandering in the night, moving my legs slowly, with my mind blank I didn't observe that someone was following me.
I retreated into the corner of the carton box trying to warm myself up and hiding from the snow that didn't cease to fall. It was already night when I woke up again in that cold box. How much time passed since I was dumped there? At first they were hours that slowly transformed into days…days into weeks…weeks into months. And finally months into years. And no one came to take me back. They took me and left me in this stupid box while I was sleeping.
At first I just stayed there, waiting for them to come back, being convinced that they would. But time passed and no one came. In the end I had to admit that I became homeless.
I scratched my ear as if I were looking for an answer there. Heh. There was nothing to be told. I was abandoned in the street. That was all. I wasn't the only one who was homeless. It wasn't such a big deal. But what puzzled me for a long time was why did they leave me? I wasn't that bad, now was I? I mean, yeah, I did a lot of stupid things but no one was perfect. Maybe they just grew tired of me. Humans, who can understand them?
I sighed and I wanted to stand up but something caught my attention. There was someone walking down fast as if someone followed him the principal street. It was a boy and he seemed really scared. Then I saw someone behind him. At first I didn't know who that person was but then I understood and froze. It was Grimmjow. The kid was in deep shit if he were followed by Grimmjow. Without even thinking about it I jumped out of the box and ran to the boy. I grabbed his arm and pulled him in my territory. Grimmjow wouldn't dare to come in my territory. It was a well-known fact that if someone entered my street would end up dead. He retreated giving me cold glare but stuck my tongue at him as an answer.
The kid was staying on the ground pushing his back against the wall and panting. He really was scared, poor kid. Well I couldn't blame him. Grimmjow was scary enough to scare the crap out of us (our race) not to mention humans.
"Thank you…" the kid said while trying to calm down his breath.
"No need to thank me, kid. Consider yerself lucky, I usually don't help anyone." I said closing my eyes and throwing myself next to him.
"I-I'm not a kid, you know!"
"Yeah, sure. Whatever." I said turning my head to look at him and opening my eyes. "Kid." I added to tease the boy.
He frowned and punched me in the right shoulder. I grabbed his arm and pushed him on the other side making him fall in the snow with me on top of him.
"Uhm…" he started obviously feeling awkward because of our position trying to remove my hands that were keeping him down his chocolate eyes looking curiously at me. He was so damn innocent! So cute!
I grinned at him and approached my face to his until only five centimeters parted our faces. His eyes widened in shock then his face tuned red and looked away. So cute!
"Uhm…could you please let me go?"
He turned his gaze at me. Now he was angry. He tried to shove me off but in vain.
"Ya hafta pay tha' I saved yer but. Ya know what tha' man does? The one who followed ya? Well, I'll give ya a hint. He's a pervert. And he's not straight. Ya know what I mean?" I said grinning at him.
"Th-thanks." He said again adverting his chocolate eyes from me. "What do you want me to do to repay you?" he asked and started to shake.
I started to laugh. Very laugh. Holy Aizen, he was so cute!
"Wh-what's so funny?" he demanded.
"Nothin'. I don't want anythin', kid." I said.
His eyes widened in surprise. And so did mine. Wait. Somethin' was wrong with me. I've just helped a stranger and now I wasn't going to make him pay for it? What was wrong with me? Well, it was too late. I've already said it, anyway.
"My name's Kurosaki Ichigo, not kid." He said interrupting my thoughts.
"Heh. Ichigo. Nice name ya have there." I said licking my lips to tease him.
He gave me what people would practically call a death glare then said angrily that his name meant "the one who protects" or 15.
"Alright, Ichi-berry, whatever ya say." I teased him grinning at him.
"You are the worst." He said simply closing his eyes in annoyance.
"Aww. Is that how ya treat the man who saved yer virginity? Yer so cruel."
"Teme..." he said lowering his voice, pushing me so I fell on the ground.
He stood up fast and looked at me obviously pissed off but I only grinned at him.
"Anyway, I guess ya should go. I'm sure yer parents are worried 'bout ya." I said standing up and stretching my back.
"Yeah." He said looking in the ground. I think I said something I shouldn't have.
"See ya aroun', Ichi-berry." I said throwing myself in my carton box.
"See you around…" and he stopped obviously troubled.
"Shiro. My name's Hichigo Shirosaki, but you can call me Shiro. It's more simple this way." I said grinning at the little berry. He was so cute when he was confused.
"Ok, Shirosaki. See you around." He said shoving his hands in his pockets and turning his back.
Something was wrong. I didn't know that guy, but judging his actions and his voice he was sad about something. Something upset him, something so heavy, something a kid like him shouldn't bear. I watched him disappearing in night. It was no like me to help others. Not to mention strangers.
Sighing I turned my gaze to the sky. Snow continued to fall and so I fell asleep…Holding my legs, with my tail wrapped around me, with my ears plugged, hiding into a corner and covered by snow. I fell asleep just like any other stray cat. I was one after all, even if I wanted to admit it or not.
When I woke up it was still night, but judging the sky color morning was near. I stood up stretching my back, trying to get off the snow that covered my body when I was asleep and yawing very loud then meowed. Being a hybrid cat wasn't simple. People thought that we were animals just because we had cat ears, a tail and cat reflexes. So shallow. We were human too, one way or another. We had feelings too, we could think too. How stupid of them to consider us animals. I looked back at my box but I saw made me froze even more than I already was.
Near my box there was a teen sleeping. The carrot top from the other day was sleeping there holding his legs with legs looking like a ball. He was covered by snow, but his orange hair could still be seen. He was breathing slowly and it meant that he was still asleep. Why did he come back? Did he not have a house too? That wasn't the case. His clothes were tidy and even if he was skinny and his eyes tired he ate enough. It wasn't food that caused him problems. It was something else. Something really heavy, that consumed him inside. I could see it in his eyes when he left. Did his parents knock him out of his house? No, no normal parent would do that. Whatever the reason was it didn't matter.
I went near him and shook off all the snow that covered him. His hands were cold and purple. This idiot…what was he doing there? Was he trying to kill himself or what? If I had a blanket to cover his frozen body…But I did not expect guests and I somehow was used to the cold weather. But Ichigo was only a human.
I dragged him farther from the wall, then I sneaked behind him putting my hands around him, resting my head on his frozen shoulder with my back against the wall. I looked at the sky lazily asking myself too many questions to remember them…