September thirteenth, 2011. The day started off as usual, not that I had expected much out of it in the first place. I carried out my casual morning routine, which mainly entailed the following: I woke up, rubbed the tiredness out of my eyes, removed my sleepwear, tediously bound my chest, and changed into my daily attire. However, rather than changing into my regular school uniform, I decided to simply change into the bright turquoise shirt, dark pants and yellow tie I preferred to wear during these warmer months. I was not going to be attending school today. I proceeded to the bathroom across the hall from my bedroom, squinting my eyes through the blinding light when I flicked on the light switch. As soon as they adjusted, I turned toward the mirror, my own reflection catching my eye. I paused, gazing at myself, a twinge of hatred stinging at my heart. It sickened me to know the reality of what was staring back at me from the other side of the mirror, which seemed all too much like a window, revealing some person I did not know. However, sadly, this person was all too familiar.

Without taking my eyes off my reflection, I leaned against the sink, taking a moment to really look over myself. I couldn't get over the appearance of the top of my head. It was too smooth and too neat... Too feminine. My nose wrinkled in disgust and I retreated to my room, whisking the navy blue newsboy hat I was given a few years back from the nightstand by my bed, and returning to the bathroom. Peering back into the mirror, I placed the hat securely on my head, covering up the feminine crown of dark blue hair. There, I thought to myself, somewhat satisfied, Now, that eyesore is concealed...

I filled my lungs with as much air as I could, feeling the binding tighten around my chest as it expanded. My chest tended to be sore as a result of binding it every day, but it was a necessary suffering. Over time, I had become attoned to the tightness of it anyway, and felt insecure when I did not wear it. I exhaled, letting my ribs collapse, and the tightness lessened. I took a few minutes to thoroughly brush my teeth, and when I finished, I curiously stuck out my tongue, examining it with no definite reason. I then opened my mouth and peered into the back of my throat, out of pure curiosity. Suddenly, I noticed what I was doing, and abruptly shut my mouth, nearly biting my tongue in the process. My face immediately reddened as I tried to forget what I had just been doing. I stared, embarrassed with myself, into the reflection of my own deep, bluish grey eyes. I pulled the brim of my hat down in front of my face. It was childish nonsense and I was wasting time.

When I had finished getting ready, I heard the quiet clicking of computer keys as I walked down the stairs and into the main foyer of my estate. Entering the kitchen, I made no eye contact with the grey-haired man typing busily at his desk. The bitter, welcoming smell of coffee lingered in the air, and I retrieved a mug from the pantry at the sight of a full coffee pot. "Good morning, Yakushiji-san," I said, my first words of the day escaping raspily from my mouth.
Yakushiji spared but a glance back at me, absorbed in whatever he was working on. "Good morning, Naoto-sama. You seem to be up earlier than usual."

"Yes, well," I said, pouring the rich, black coffee into my mug. "I have some affairs to attend to this morning." I faced him, leaning casually on the side of the counter as I took a swig of the steaming black coffee. It was rather bitter for my liking, but I wouldn't be so wavered as to add cream or sugar.

Yakushiji sighed. "It wouldn't have anything to do with those damned murder cases again, would it?"

I scoffed, wrinkling my nose. "Am I not allowed to have an opinion on the matter? As I have told you, as well as the others, something just doesn't sit right with me. I have a very strong feeling that something may be missing in this equation. I don't know what, or why, but I know that something is mot accounted for; something the police refuse to look into. I have a gut feeling about this!"

Yakushiji rubbed his forehead, taking his hands off the keys for the time being. "Well, maybe you should listen a little less to your gut and more to your elders. Naoto-sama, both your grandfather and I support your idea about this, but you must think about what is best. You are putting too much stress on yourself, when your priority at the moment should be getting along with the rest of the department, and more importantly, your schoolwork. Don't forget that you are also still a child."

The words hurt like needles. A Child. I had to stop myself from cringing, and it was even harder to resist lashing out. I swallowed the horrid emotions and tried to ignore it. "That aside," I said ater taking a rather large gulp of coffee, "The affairs I speak of have little do do with the cases." I placed the empty mug in the kitchen sink and wiped the corner of my mouth with my sleeve. Grabbing an orange from a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table, I started for the front door.

"Is that so," Yakushiji began to type again, and sighed. "Honestly, Naoto... We do care very much about you, and maybe you should take a little while just to relax and be an adolescent while you still are."

I paused, my right hand placed on the handle of the door. My shoulders were shrugged insecurely, and I tensely gripped the orange in my left hand. "Adolescence is just an excuse to slack off," I said before sliding open the door and walking out into the crisp September air.