I'm sure there's some dipshit out there, some famous dude or historical person, that said something along the lines of "You define yourself with the kinds of friends you surround yourself with".

I need to find out who that is so I make sure I can punch that asshole in his grave.

'Cause like, you know, historical figures usually aren't girls.

Which is funny, 'cause I'm a magical girl.

Dunno where I'm trying to go with this.

After waking up Hae Eun today, I figure we needed to go out shopping for school supplies. School's gonna start up in just under a week, and now that we're going into high school, it's time for me to take shit seriously.

As usual, I find her all rolled up in her freakin' castle of a bed. By castle, I mean that she's got like a fortress made of pillows and blankets on her canopy bed, and she's underneath all of it. I'm not exactly sure if she does that on purpose or if she does that in her sleep. Actually, doing that in her sleep would be pretty damn impressive.

Just so you know, Hae Eun isn't a morning person. At all. When it comes to school, she can manage to get up on her own most of the time so we can haul ass to school, but if she's had a rough night, either because we're out hunting witches or she's up playing GameBattles with her friends online over Xbox. Either way, not a good morning person. At all. Did I say that twice in a row? Whatever.

Which is the exact opposite of me. I hate staying up. I need my beauty sleep, is all it is, so don't judge me!

She wanted to sleep in (no surprise) since she said she wanted to enjoy the last bit of summer vacation we still had. While I'm sympathetic to her reasoning, the only problem with that kinda excuse is that she's said that everyday for the past two months. Only so much a single freakin' excuse can do for you.

I let her sleep about a half hour more so I could finish up cooking breakfast for us. I was kinda hoping I could get Hae Eun to teach me how to make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast before school starts. I just don't get how she's able to get those chips melted so damn perfectly into the pancake batter...urgghh, pisses me off so much. Not at Hae Eun specifically, mind you, just at my own stupid incompetence of not knowing how to properly melt chocolate chips! ! ! !

Once I get done cooking, though, I go to wake up Hae Eun for good. Literally, I just rip off the layers of blankets and pillows she got going on there and pull her out, drag her to the breakfast table that we use for all three meals of the day, which is kinda weird why we even call it the "breakfast table", and sat her down on her usual chair.

Honestly, for fuck's sake, sometimes I wonder how that girl's been able to live on her own during middle school before we met each other. Shit, wait, she had maids and stuff to look after her, didn't she...I forgot.

And while we're at that, it was her who met me, wasn't it.

Sigh.

Today's breakfast is plain pancakes with raisins, whipped cream, and strawberries, with a bit of Hershey's chocolate sauce to top it all off. That's to make up for the fact that I don't know how to melt chocolate chips inside pancake mix just yet.

"Why didn't you just let me sleep a little bit more?" Hae Eun asks me when we started eating. Oh, that girl's so cute sometimes.

"Because we need to go get school supplies. You don't have any at home, right?" I tell her.

"...you can go by yourself, can't you?"

"...hey, now..."

Part of me just wants to let the girl sleep more, but the bigger part of me knows what's better for her. Or, at least this's what I think is better for her.

Nah, I'll be honest. I just wanna go shopping with her again. It's fun to me.

Even though I know she hates going shopping, since she thinks it's a waste of time, hehe. Hey well, at least we're not going out shopping for clothes. If there's ever a single way to piss her off for the rest of the week, it's shopping for clothes. Honestly, this girl sometimes doesn't even act girly at all. And she calls it "refraining from participating in mainstream acts of societal idiocy". Like, what the fuck does that mean!?

After breakfast, we get ready to head out. It's like, what, already 10? Which is positively early by Hae Eun's standards. I'm usually good to go whenever we head out anywhere - just throw on a tank top, some jeans, and boom, I'm ready to roll.

Hae Eun, though...now, this's something I don't ever think I'll get, but she never wears casual. Well, actually, I take that back, she's worn casual before. But rarely. Like, geez, ten days out of the year she'll wear something other than a business suit. Tight black jacket, gold buttons, white button-up shirt, knee-high socks and a long black skirt. She'll always wear that, even if it's hotter than the Sahara outside. The only variations to that'll be pants for the skirt, maybe some pantyhose on some days, or she'll go totally Gothic lolita but still manage to look professional. Dunno how she does it. Maybe it's just that I've gotten used to her...eccentric dressing habits.

Hae Eun Jeannie Baek. What a name.

Because we're both emancipated orphans as far as the state of California's concerned, we both have our drivers' licenses before high school. Normally they'd normally never allow that, but Hae Eun's pop was a military general. I think she mentioned at one point he was a four-star, I could be wrong though. Well, that was before he got assassinated.

We hop into our Chrylser 300, and I get into the driver's seat while she rides shotgun, and we're off for the day.

Kyuubey's sitting in the back, that little fucker.


Baek Hae Eun, American name Jeannie.

She was born here at Torrance Memorial Hospital. Her mum died in childbirth. She says that she's never known her mother outside of photos and whatnot. She can say some real obvious shit sometimes.

Her pop, like I said, was an American general. Being mostly South Korean by blood, he vowed revenge upon the North Koreans by moving to America after a North Korean-backed assassination plot to kill the South Korean president back in the day killed his family. He intended to rise up through the American military ranks and take revenge for his family that way, since America's military's considered the strongest in the world right now. Another obvious point. And that's what he did, and he came surprisingly close to it, too. Before he took a bullet to his heart.

Kinda hits me hard every time she talks about her parents. Seeing what I had to go through.

She's younger than me, though. By like, five months. Maybe less. And like, three inches shorter, too. I guess you could say I pose like an older sister image to her, but I'll talk about that later.

Because of her pop's job background, Hae Eun traveled around with him. And by travel, I mean all around the motherfuckin' globe. There isn't a single continent that girl hasn't set foot on at some point in her life.

Yes, she did feed a baby emperor penguin once. She says she only remembers the part where the daddy penguin chased her away.

Back on track, her pop also trained her as a covert op. At first, when I heard that from her, I was all like, "Dafuq kinda dad does that to their kid?" But when I thought about it, I can't blame him. I mean, if you're so hellbent on getting revenge on the deaths of your family, I can see why you'd pit your own kids against whoever did it. Kinda like sweet revenge, if you think about it. Not that I should be talking about anything family related myself.

I think she was a Master Sergeant, 3rd class before her pop got shot. I'd have to ask her again, but at the same time, for obvious reasons, I don't wanna.

We met right before eighth grade started. We actually knew each other way back from the summer going into sixth grade, but we never talked. It's like one of those weird relationships where you know the other person enough to talk to them and not feel like the most awkward turtle in the world, but yet you don't, because you never talked before. Ooohhhhhh, the irony.

But before eighth grade was when I learned that she, like me, was a Magical Girl. I won't delve into the details since that's something I can live without thinking about any further in my life, but bottom line is that she was the one who saved my Soul Gem from becoming fully tainted from despair. One of those cliche "you're not alone" moments. Makes me wanna die of embarrassment every time I think about it. But I do owe my life to her. That's why I'm usually lenient on her whenever she doesn't do as I say when I'm trying to take care of her or whatever.

Did I ever mention her monocle? Dayum. Like, I've read about people wearing monocles 'n shit, but in my mind, I dunno 'bout you, but I always thought monocles were like, stuff that British dudes would wear. Am I weird for thinking that? Hopefully not, and if I am, then well, shit, I guess I'm weird, then. But Hae Eun wears a monocle on her right eye.

Hae Eun's an albino. Her hair is pure white, the whitest white you'll ever see. Because of that, it's hard for people to know she's Asian, 'bout half South Korean and a mix of Japanese, Chinese, whatever else's in her blood. Honestly, there've been times where I thought her hair was just one massive pillow and I'd literally sleep on her hair. Usually she'd kick me in the nose or something, but I was sleepy, so hey.

Her eyes are black, though. Reason for that's 'cause her wish was to get her eyesight back. When she was first born, she was full-blown albino, red eyes 'n white hair. Before her pop died in the hospital after his assassination attempt, he arranged with his other generals and officers to have her return home so she would be safe from the political hell that the Koreas were going through at the time. But when she did, she started going blind. If you don't know already, albinism sometimes fucks with your eyesight, for whatever reason, I hear there's a couple ways that it does. Hers was something called amblyopia, but her case was apparently way worse than the usual. Her right eye started giving out first. She says she got pissed and sliced her own eye open, which explains the scar she's got running across up 'n over her right eye. It's kinda faint, but it's definitely still there. When her left eye started going bad, too, Kyuubey found her, and boom, Magical Girl status.

I don't really get why her eyes returned to black, though. Honestly, red is wayyyyy cooler. But whatever.

Oh, and just for the record, this is just a personal opinion, but...I honestly think she's way stronger than I can ever be. Back when we first became BFF's like we are now, I was just some middle schooler swinging around a double-ended halberd not knowing how the fuck to even use it.

So when we first met as Magical Girls, imagine my surprise when she walked over to me slingin' a freakin' battle rifle. An M-14 Aimpoint, specifically.

You're damn right I remember our first meeting together as Magical Girls with perfection. That's not something I'll ever forget. Period.

Y'know, this whole Magical Girl thing, at first I thought it was all fantasy 'n shit, but nope. Nope, nope nope nope nope nope nope.

Hae Eun taught me the ways of the Magical Girl, so to say. Witch killing, mainly. But it was she who got me conditioned to who I am now. Did she change my personality along the way? There's no denying she definitely might've. But she's the one who kept me alive, and I'll never forget that, either.

So after Hae Eun saved me, she invited me to come live with her. Given my circumstances, I couldn't refuse. Back then, I thought, "Well damn, I owe my neck to her, so I guess I gotta do what she says." But I quickly realized that she wanted us to live together for the sole purpose of being able to defeat witches together. Because for all the ridiculous fucking power that she's capable of, there're some things that she'll come across and find that it's kinda nice to have someone else get her back.

It's also nice to have someone else wake her up for school every day, I suppose. But I don't mind that at all. Never did, never will.

I guess we quickly became good friends after that. Even though we never had like a sit-down talk, saying all that bubbly shit like "Oh, you're my bestest friend evaarrrrr~!", we both kinda silently acknowledged that we were best friends and comrades.

Now that I think about it, we just might be a little bit closer than just best friends. But that'll be a secret between us two only, heh.

People at school and anyone who's not Korean call Hae Eun by her American name, Jeannie. Not me. I'm the only non-Korean who she'll let call her by her Korean name. Even though she's never told me why, I'm pretty damn sure it's because she hates her Korean name. Presumably 'cause of what happened to her pop. So the fact that she lets me call her Hae Eun makes me feel all warm and bubbly inside.

Or, maybe I'm just being a clueless bitch and that the only reason why she's ever let me call her by her Korean name is that she's gotten used to it by now. I do remember her giving me stinkeyes before when we first met, when I asked if I could call her by her Korean name. But she never told me that I couldn't, so there you go.


We arrive at Staples. As usual, the parking here is terrible. Fulla people also coming down to buy school supplies too, but it's whatever. I have Kyuubey stay in the car, he can roast in the morning summer heat. Sucks that Hae Eun's Chrysler isn't black so he can roast even more.

Lemme tell you, I used to feel so damn awkward just being with Hae Eun whenever we headed out to go do stuff, whether it was just to go out 'n eat 'n have fun or on important business of some kind. Imagine a girl in a tank top and Levi's three inches taller than another girl who's all formal and neatly dressed for like a business meeting or some shit, and you have me and Hae Eun. That's what we look like 360 days out of the year. But I quickly got used to that, too. It ain't nothin' but a thang now.

We spend a good half hour there picking out whatever we need and don't have back at home. We also met a few familiar faces while we were there, too. Lemme tell you this right now, the only thing that'll make Hae Eun stay longer for shopping is people we know. I dunno how ta say this without sounding like diva queens, but we're both really fucking popular, and it's because of our hair. I remember Hae Eun being plenty popular in middle school because she's naturally albino, 'n that snowy hair of hers really brings all the boys to the yard, I'm not even kiddin'. After I became a Magical Girl, I decided it'd be cool to dye my hair, and I just went with an orange-blue gradient on a whim, but when I saw it for myself, I thought it looked hoooooooooooorrible. I had to stick with it, though, since it's what I had chosen, but surprisingly people really liked it on me, saying I looked a lot cuter. Honestly didn't expect that, and I thought people were only saying that because they were low-key making fun of me, but too many people said I looked so much better with my dyed hair that I decided people liked seeing it on me, I suppose. I still think it looks like shit, but I've kept dying it the same color ever since.

One of the girls, Lucy Maybell, ran into us as we were debating whether to stick with normal Ticonderoga pencils or switch to mechanical like everyone else.

"Hey, you two! So you're going to Narbonne High too, right?" she asks us, and I cheerily reply.

"Yup! You're coming with us, aren'tcha?"

"Yeah. I hope we're in the same classes again."

"I mean, we all chose the same classes, I think. Not that there was a lot of classes for us to choose, anyway."

"Yeah, especially when Jeannie's, like, three grades ahead in math and already taking Latin 3 Honors."

Hae Eun doesn't respond to praise at all, mind you. "I'm bad at English, though. I don't like essays," she says in her usual quiet but distinct voice as she busies herself browsing through different kinds of mechanical pencils.

"Well, hopefully we get into the same English class together, since I'm pretty good at writing essays," Lucy mentions, with an obvious tinge of hope.

At that, Hae Eun faces her and grabs her hands, shaking them up and down. "I'll be sure to copy them," Hae Eun says with the straightest face a cheater can ever pull when asking such a thing.

"Er...just straight up copying them is a little much, but..." we all laugh, and Hae Eun breaks a smile, too, saying "Yay!" in her usual cute way.

Whenever Hae Eun's happy or hears something good, she's got a habit of raising her arms and utterin' "Yay!" I dunno why she does it, but she's freakin' adorable whenever she does it.

We decide to shop around with Lucy for the rest of the way. "Are you excited for high school, though?" Lucy asks us. "Honestly, it kinda scares me. They say it's a lot tougher."

"Well, maybe for us two, but for Hae Eun, it ain't," I say, and both of us giggle. "Nah, personally, I don't think it'll be that bad. I think makin' friends is a better idea. That way, you can have a lot of people you can go to for help with schoolwork and whatnot, right?"

"Oh yeah! And then we can ask around for upperclassmen to help us, too!"

"Well, you do realize we probably won't be having upperclassmen as classmates for most of our classes, right? I don't even think it's a good idea to trust them anyway for anything..."

"Aw, c'mon, don't be so mean! They can't all be like that!"

"I'd much rather trust people from middle school, that's all I'm sayin'. I'm sure we'll get to know other people, but for now...actually, do you know how many people from our middle school's gonna go to Narbonne?"

Lucy doesn't know, either. "Our middle school's not too far, so there should be a lot of us going there," she thinks. "I wonder why there aren't more people here, though. It's only a week before initiation."

"Oh God, you're really expecting crap outta all of 'em?" I laugh really loudly. "I swear, our class's gotta be the laziest class our town's ever seen! You see all of 'em? You can count the number of kids who actually cared about school with one hand, and one of 'em's standing right next to me."

Hae Eun gives me a "did-you-say-my-name" kinda look.

We also run into Haley and her older brother Raphael, who we call Ruffles for shits and giggles 'cause he loves the chips. Specifically sour cream 'n onion. Haley's also going to Narbonne, and her brother's a junior, one of the captains on the swim team. We kinda mesh with them, so you can imagine us walkin' around buying school supplies and whatnot for another hour, debating the merits of having more highlighters as opposed to red pens and stuff that concerns problems with school supplies.

Stuff that Magical Girls, at the end of the day, really don't give a shit about but do it anyway because it's way better than what they'd normally have to do.


We drive back home, but Hae Eun says she doesn't have time to make lunch with me because she wants to reach Grand Masters on the Starcraft II N.A. ladder by the tonight, so we swing by Panda Express to order some to-gos before heading back home. We live in a house that's way too damn big for two girls living by themselves in some random pocket of the woods up on a hill big enough for a town. I'm not too sure how to describe it, so I'll shut up since I know I'll screw up with the descriptions somehow.

Magical Girls don't ever age, do we. But for some reason, Hae Eun and I've been growing like normal girls would. Maybe Magical Girls have a certain age they grow 'til before they stop? We'd know sooner or later. Hopefully later. I like working out, so it'll suck to know that I'm just working out for absolutely no gain whatsoever. Then again, we're Magical Girls, so the whole concept of working out is completely unnecessary, theoretically speaking, right? But I do it anyway. Helps me build my endurance and whatnot.

Hae Eun tosses a piece of orange chicken over to Kyuubey, who snatches it with his mouth and eats it.

"There'll probably be some more tonight too. You should be able to see them," he mentions.

Fuckin' furball.

"How far?" Hae Eun asks.

"It's not within this town. Probably the next one over."

"Hm. Not far at all," she says and returns to eating.

For the record, just know that I fucking hate that thing. Whatever the fuck that thing is, if there was a way to annihilate him and everything about him, I'd do it. Even if I became a witch to do it, I'd fucking do it. It's no secret to us that witches spawn from the tainted Soul Gems of former Magical Girls. We found that shit out the hard way one time, when one of our classmates from middle school also turned out to be a Magical Girl and had turned into a witch. I just remember that she was a bitch to put down.

Kyuubey's fucking up to something, like something on like a grand scale or something. I know he and his motherfuckin' godforsaken kind's got something planned in the works. Dunno what it is, but if I have to, I'ma die trying to find out and make sure everyone knows.

Which is strange. Besides that one Magical Girl I mentioned we had killed because she'd turned into a witch, Hae Eun and I haven't run into another Magical Girl since. Kyuubey says it's because he's already told the Magical Girls closest to our range that we're more than capable of taking care of any witches that pop up in our area, but our range is fucking huge thanks to Hae Eun's powers. All we need to do is ride a goddamn harrier jet over to where we need to go, kill it, and come right back. Don't think there's a single Magical Girl out there who can do that quite yet. I'd like to meet them if they exist.

I suppose God's the only one who can match Hae Eun's power, let alone exceed it. But whoever God is, he'll have to show himself first.