Chapter One: TracesEdit

Mom, dad, I wish you were here. I wish you were here to support me in every way, like all of the other people at school. I wish you were here to encourage me, to help me work out problems, to be at the door when I come home from school everyday. I wish you could wish me good luck on my first day of school, and let me know that you love me and accept me. I just want to see your smiling faces and hear your voice. That's all I want.

I stood there, on the grounds of an old cemetery. The rain poured down, just as the weather forecast had said that morning. And yet, I still came to give them a small gift on the day of the anniversary of their death. A rose, a white one. My mom told me the white ones always gave off the sweetest scent, and that my dad persistently gave her a white rose almost every day to try and get her to kiss him. I personally preferred black roses. They were a symbol of how my life was now-sad and nothing.

I placed the rose between their two gravestones. Hiro and Ayaka Endo. I smiled, and forced my tears back. I knew they wouldn't want me to cry in front of them. It had been eight years since they died-I was fifteen now. I haven't cried or really laughed ever since.

'Why do you never cry or laugh? You're creepy, you know that."

"You're a witch! You never hang around people, and you never wear bright colors."

"I'm glad I still have my parents and family. You have nothing."

Their voices rang through my head. Those that thought I was creepy, those that thought I was an outcast or witch. There was once a time where I smiled and cried and laughed. Those days were over.

I slowly turned away from their graves, my boots sinking in the deep mud. I walked away, hiding my face under the shadow of my face. Yet, through the midst of all the gloom and sadness, I could feel their eyes watching over me.

. . .

I collapsed on my futon with a bowl of ramen noodles in my hands and flipped on the TV. I was exhausted from my stupid job as a cashier at the megamart in town. Stupid Mr. Kobayashi had made me clean the men's restroom on my break and some lady had a panic attack after I told her that her coupon for half off toilet paper had expired.

I sighed. Just as I was about to take a bite of my ramen, there was a knock on the door of the tiny, crappy, rundown apartment that I called home. The cat, which I had found on the street and named Shiro, scampered away as I groaned and place my ramen on the coffee table. I stood up and slowly headed towards the door. "Hello?" I said warily as the door creaked open. I had barely opened it when Mrs. Hayata, the social worker in charge of my well being, burst through the door.

I sighed, "Hello, Mrs. Hayata," I said as cheerfully as I could manage and put on my fake smile.

Mrs. Hayata was an older woman, around the age of forty with crows feet and deep worry lines. "Hello Ms. Endo, are you ready to go?" She said and smiled, causing her worry lines to deepen even more.

I furrowed my brow. "I'm leaving today? I thought I still had a couple of weeks!" I looked around at the messy room.

"No dear, the judge decided you should leave today. I'm sorry I couldn't have told you sooner, I was to busy filing paperwork after the hearing. I'll help you pack if you want." She said.

I sighed again. "Okay, fine." I looked around at found Shiro sitting on the coffee table, eating my ramen. "Who will take care of Shiro while I'm gone?" I asked her.

"Who?" She said, then notice where I was looking. She sighed. "Don't worry dear, I'll stop by weekly to check on things. Now get moving so we don't miss the train."

. . .

I wake up to feel someone poking my shoulder. I jump and realize I'm still on the train. I had fallen asleep on the long ride. I groan and turn my head to see a guy with black hair and bright blue eyes sitting in the seat behind me. "Hey, we're about to get off, you might want to get your bag," he said.

"Oh yeah, thanks," I said, grabbing my suitcase.

He smiled. "No problem," he said. "Do you want me to help you with that?"

"Uh, sure," I said. He grabbed my suitcase and followed me outside. Mrs. Hayata was standing by the door, tapping her foot impatiently.

"Sorry for keeping you waiting," I said.

"It's fine," she said, but you could tell she was lying.

The guy handed me my suitcase.

"Now come on, Ms. Endo," she said, walking away.

Why didn't she say something about that guy?

I turned around to say thanks, but he was gone.

I was confused, but ran to catch up with Mrs. Hayata.

There was an awkward silence between us, so I spoke up.

"Um, Mrs. Hayata, did you happen to see a guy with black hair hand me my suitcase?" I asked.

Mrs. Hayata looked at me with a confused expression. "Um no..." she said, pushing her glasses up her nose.

I paused for a second and watched her walk ahead of me. "That's weird," I muttered to myself, and rushed to catch up with her.

. . .

"Oh bye, Ms. Endo, it was great being able to work with you," Mrs. Hayata said, shaking my hand and giving me a hug.

"You too Mrs. Hayata. Thanks for everything," I said.

I watched Mrs. Hayata board the next train back to Tokyo. I was a bit depressed for some reason. I didn't know why, but I kind of missed Mrs. Hayata. Even though she could be a pain in the neck sometimes, she was kind of like a mother to me. The thought of that brought back painful memories though.

For a second I almost forgot why I was here, why I was in this situation. It was all because of Yuki, this high school jock at my old school. For my entire life I've been bullied and teased, and I learned to ignore it, but Yuki passed my breaking point. I don't know how, but this electric shock came from my fingertips and shocked him. It must've been strong because he laid on the floor paralyzed. Some students ran to tell the principal, and of course the principal called Mrs. Hayata and I was expelled.

But I was glad, I hated my school. Maybe this new school will be better, I thought.

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