This has to be some kind of sick joke was the first thought I had when my ninja guide led me to my 'new' (well, new to me, at least) apartment. It was filthy, with blots of decay and mold scattered around across the wooden roof of it, had the aroma that of a one month old garbage, and looked like it could fall apart at any moment. To top it all off? It was in the bad side of town. You know the one with all the shady buildings, criminals, and prostitutes? Yeah, that bad side.
"You've GOT to be kidding me," I deadpanned, glancing at my guide, who was quite muscular and was wearing a mask with an eerie resemblance to a lizard. Hopefully, he would be nicer than Wolf- san, the cocky jerk.
The shinobi merely let out a chuckle and patted me on the head sympathetically. "Sorry, Miss, but I'm afraid not."
"Figures," I muttered glumly. I really shouldn't have been so disappointed; after all, I was merely an unimportant teenage orphan who came from another world. What did I expect, a five star hotel? Oh well, it appeared I just had to make do with what I had. Again.
"Thank you for escorting me, Lizard- san," I said politely, inwardly cringing at the thought of living in what SHOULD be a condemned building.
"No problem, Miss!" the ANBU replied kindly. This made me smile slightly. At least one person was being nice to me.
Suddenly, the man straightened as erectly as a proud oak tree, like he just remembered something. Sliding a hand down in the raven black pocket of his leather jeans, he grabbed something before handing it out to me. As it turned out, the thing was a silver key which I assumed was the key to the apartment.
"Thanks," I sighed, reaching my hand out to grab the key, but failed in my task because Lizard- san dangled it about a foot over my head, making me growl angrily. How dare he poke fun of my height! I knew I was short, but come on!
"Miss, I just want to warn you to be careful, alright?" the man said seriously, his tone of voice completely different from the lighthearted man I had mentally labeled him as, "A demon lives right across from you."
At this ridiculous sentence, I let out a loud bout of laughter for the first time since I arrived in the Naruto world. A demon? Please! Honestly, who the heck would truly believe in that piece of crap?
"Heh, a demon? Thanks for your concern, Lizard- san, but I think I'll be just fine," I managed to get out between guffaws, jumping up as high as I could in order to grab the key from his hand. I think the man was so surprised from my reaction to his warning that he merely stood frozen in place for a few seconds, enabling me to successfully get the key from his iron hard grasp.
"Bye, Lizard-san! I hope we'll get to see each other again soon!" I said happily, smiling brightly as I began bounding up the creaky wooden steps to my (crappy) apartment, not once turning back.
The inside of the apartment building had me thoroughly surprised, as it was very organized and cozy- looking with a lime green couch, a small oriental rug, a rusted lamp, a kitchen, a bedroom, a refrigerator, and a bed inside the bedroom. Hm, it appeared this was a prime example to never judge a book by its cover.
I let out a small sigh as I thought of the house in the… real world. It was much nicer than this crappy apartment, and it covered more than just the basic essentials. Also, I missed my family! Why did this have to happen to me? What did I do wrong to deserve this?
I shook my head profusely to drive away these depressing thoughts. Self- pity would get me nowhere. I had already had a proper mourning, so I didn't need to have another. Yes, I missed my family, but they were gone now. This wasn't a Disney movie; no amount of wishing would bring them back. I needed to focus on surviving.
Suddenly my eyes widened as a crazy idea entered my head. What if… what if I died? Would that bring me back to my original world? … No, if I killed myself and nothing happened, I would just plain… die. Plus, my mother always said that suicide was the cowards' way out, and I'm not a coward.
Sighing miserably, I walked over to the lime green couch and plopped into it lazily. If I was going to plan my next course of action, I'd like to be comfortable while doing so. Now… what SHOULD I do next?
My jade eye twitched slightly in agitation, for this was going nowhere fast. As I said before, I needed to focus on surviving, so I should focus on how I'm going to get the four basic needs: shelter, food, water, and clothing. I already had shelter down, now what about food?
I stood up abruptly from my comfortable couch and hobbled over to the refrigerator. Once I reached my destination, I grasped the cold metal handle of the fridge and yanked the door open to reveal a few cans of vegetables and some bottles of water. Satisfied with my search, I closed the door carelessly back over to the comfy, lime green chair and plopping down on it, mentally scratching off food and water from my list of basic needs. I had enough to last me about a week or two, depending upon how I ration it.
Last but not least, clothes. I tilted my head downwards slightly, angling it so I could see the bottom part of my body easily. My simple and slightly ripped up orange shirt and midnight black pajama were what I was currently wearing. I highly doubted that this was acceptable to wear all day every day for the rest of my life, so it seemed I would have to buy new clothes from the store.
Groaning in protest at the thought of getting up again from the comfortable couch, a thought suddenly hit me like a punch in the face, making me feel ridiculously stupid. I needed money to buy clothes, which I had none of. I would need to find a job of some sort to earn enough money to buy a sufficient amount of food, let alone clothes! However, what could I possibly do that would pay well and would be something I could handle? Anything that required exceptional athletic ability was out of the question, as I knew very well from past experiences that I had little to no talent in that area- that was more of my brother's thing.
When I was finished with this train of thought, my face broke out into a bright smile. I knew what I could do. Jumping up off the couch, I dashed towards the door and yanked it open before locking it securely, excited at the prospect of my (hopefully!) new job.
It took me a few minutes of running throughout the busy village of Konoha, but I managed to successfully find the building, but once I did, I released a grin that was a mile wide. The 'building', in reality, was a small stand covered with a mixture of bright red and white with about a dozen comfortable crimson red stools that stood side by side in a long line across from a long wooden table. Behind the table was a kindly looking man with a head of grey hair and bright eyes washing some piece of metal- most likely a cup. Next to the stand stood a small sign that read in fancy writing: 'Ichiraku's Ramen Shop'.
I attempted to calm myself by taking a few deep breathes, but failed miserably, unable to tame my excitement. I was standing right in front of the place where my favorite character, Naruto, ate nearly everyday! I giddily walked toward the old man- Teuchi, was it?- and greeted kindly, "Hello!"
I believe that Teuchi was so engrossed in his cleaning that I startled him, for he jumped slightly and snapped his eyes toward me before letting out a warm grin that made my heart clench slightly due to it reminding me of my grandmother's smile.
"Why, hello, young one. Would you like something to eat?" the man asked, his eyes closed slightly in a 'n' shape.
"Oh, um... thank you, sir, but no thank you. I was wondering if you needed any workers here. If so, I'd love to work here!" I said nervously, beginning to wring my hands which were hidden from sight behind my back together.
The old man's smile turned apologetic and he said, "Sorry, Miss, but I'm not accepting any help at the moment. I don't need any workers besides me and my daughter, but thank you for offering."
My happiness evaporated as if it were a small puddle on a hot summer day at this sentence. "Oh... really? Are you sure?" I said, my voice laced with desperation.
Teuchi frowned at me and gruffly said, "Yes. Now, would you like to order something, Miss, or are you just going to stand there? I'm sorry, but I don't have all day."
My jade green eyes averted to the ground in defeat. Oh well, so much for that idea. "No, sir. Sorry." I said mechanically, my voice slightly sad as I turned around and ran into the darkness of the night before he could say anything else, my eyes misty all the while.
I continued running randomly through the village for several seconds before stopping, my eyes filled with tears which I determinedly swiped away from my face, letting out a watery grin in order to cheer myself up. There were plenty of other jobs in Konohagakure, I just had to look! I obstinately took a step forward, refusing to give into my overwhelming sense of self pity, lifting my chin up slightly.
Hours passed and the town continued to grow darker until the visibility reached where I could no longer see a feet in front of me. I sadly decided to end my job hunt for the day, as I knew that 99% of the stores were closed by now, and the 1% that were open being bars and clubs. Sighing, I dejectedly walked back to my apartment, before noticing a rusted sign that read 'Help Wanted'. When I saw this, my jade green eyes widened and then a grin slowly crept upon my face as I jauntily walked toward the tiny shop, opening the bright blue wooden door slowly, peering inside.
Little did I know that what I found inside would be the beginning of the end.