Chapter 1:

Life sucks. No really, it sucks. I just slept in, got grounded for the weekend, stayed up way past 4 in the morning to finish my god-damned English project (which looks like crap anyway), and I fell asleep in class. Again. Why am I always so tired?

My name is Riyo Sakuma and I just got sentenced to detention. Yeah, my parents are just gonna love that (sarcasm).

"Riyo. Please stay here after class." says the teacher, Mrs. Furuoka.

I put my head back down on the desk, feeling as though someone took a nice, big butcher knife and stuck it in my head. Maybe someone would do me the kind favor.

The annoying school bell rings again. I knew it was annoying from the first time it rang back when I was a freshman, well, woman. Now I'm a junior and life still hasn't changed. Except for the fact that I have a physiologist to address my problems. Apparently, I'm going crazy (sarcasm). I laid there on the desk until every one of my peers left the room, I don't feel like moving.

"Riyo? Are you okay? You seem so tired. That has to be the third time this week and today is Wednesday." she said.

Like I don't know what day of the week it is? My face is still in the desk. I lifted my throbbing head and tried to clear my vision, rubbing my eyes and fixing my glasses didn't seem to work very well. There's three of her now, that's three too many.

"I'm fine." I tell her. Like I tell everyone. No one seems to believe me though. Guess the lack of sleep really shows.

"I can't go easy on you this time. Come after school for detention and you know that I have to tell your parents, right?" she explained as though I was four.

"Okay."

Okay my ass.

"See you after school then." she said, walking back to her desk.

I walked out the door blinking my eyes to try and adjust the blurriness. The sun shinned down into my eyes anyway, what was the point? There were purple splotches to accompany everything else now. Great (sarcasm).

Soon my vision cleared enough for me to notice where I was headed: to the tree. At least, that's what we called it. I don't know where to categorize myself in this school. If you look at someone's grades, you would call me a nerd. If you pay attention to someone's clothes, you might call me a rocker. If you pay attention to someone's friends, then I am downright gothic.

So I hang around the goths and outcasts (which one of my friends has named the "misfits") at a tree nearby the back of the high school campus. Where else does a crazy person fit in? Defiantly not with the cheerleaders and popular kids, that's for sure. Its littered with cigarettes (although I don't smoke), food wrappers, and various discarded objects here and there, but overall, it's a place to exist, like all others, somewhere to physically be. Mentally? There is no mentally here.

As I walk up to the tree, I'm very unnoticed. Stand there for a while and close my eyes to block out that horrid sun. It's rather peaceful when no one is here.

"Riyo!" I hear. I open my eyes to see Aya coming to the tree. Aya is really nice, she's a senior, and she has a very contagious personality. I don't think that anyone can manage to be angry with her. At least, no one that isn't on something.

Aya greets me with a huge grin and hug to match it. I look around again. As if I'm looking for something, but what? And then I spot him. Obsession.

He isn't a drug or anything and he has a real name. But why use that when I can call him "obsession"? He has bleached his hair and he is rather stupid, and he might be gay (I don't think so, but its always a possibility), but it's still entertaining to obsess about the guy. Stare at him for a while and fantasize on ways I could get him in a soundproof glass box. That way he can't go anywhere and I can't hear him talk, but I can look at him as much as I want.

"Obsession again?" says my other friend, Yukari, rolling her eyes. She has known me for too long. Yukari is nice, but a little frustrating, and over all, good company.

I look around and spot the last of my intimate group of friends. There's Kaoru, quietly sitting there in the corner. To herself again, she is way too submissive.

Everyone here is secretive. Everyone that's smart that is, where else would we be without the drama queen or two? Wonder what holds us together anyway? Love, maybe. Trust, defiantly not. Status, that could be it.

So I wrap my physical self up in another weird, spontaneous conversation with Aya and Yukari. About killer chickens and the food products we get served every lunch hour.

Another day of my fucked up life. Why am I crazy? I don't know for sure, that's the shrink's job. All I know is that I am god damned annoyed with the constant number of untrusting people in my life (mainly adults, but there a lot of others my age). I am sick and tired of them not believing me. I just want to leave the house and this school, move to someplace far away—England—and start my life all over.

There goes that annoying bell. One more class until I see Mrs. Furuoka again. That's twice in one day. Once is bad enough.

So I walk into the classroom and take my usual seat by the window in the middle of the classroom. There's just one empty seat behind me. It's the third quarter so I can assume that it will always be vacant. Well, I was wrong.

"Attention class!" said my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Kasai. "We have a new student joining us today, this is Kowasu."

Kowasu? Never anything like her at our school. Yeah, there's the goths and they dress in black, but this was different. Kowasu had a different sense about her. She was not the submissive new girl. Defiantly not anything near shy as she shouldered the biggest guy in our class as she walked in the door and shrugged off the teacher's fake greeting. She was the kind you would expect to flick off the teacher but didn't. Kowasu watched the floor as she walked past my desk to take the seat behind me. She never looked up once inside the classroom.

She wore a tight black shirt and baggy cargo pants, with short black hair that covered her eyes as she stared at the floor. Black combat boots covered her feet and she wore a huge dark green jacket. She didn't carry a bag or a book or anything. In fact, she was the nearly perfect picture of grunge. Or like she just marched here from military school.

"Kowasu? Isn't that a boy's name?" mocked the dude in the front row. Everyone turned, including myself, to see her reaction.

Kowasu looked up and she looked straight at me. Not the guy, not the teacher, me. As if she wanted some instruction as to what to do. Her eyes scared me, I turned away. I had seen those green eyes before. They were the reason I am crazy.

I have been seeing things that "aren't there" for as long as I can remember. Nothing dangerous or scary, just a fox, a red fox to be exact. Complete with a bushy, white-tipped tail, huge fluffy ears, and those same exact green eyes. Exact same green eyes.

I put my head down on the desk, it was still throbbing and I held it there. I felt like it was going to explode. I tried to contain myself, stay calm. And I felt the feeling pass. Her eyes had moved back down to the desk. Could I see it? No. I could feel it.

The class seemed to go by slowly. Every second seemed to drag by. Kowasu kept her eyes on her desk so I didn't spaz out. I stared out the window again. Oh god. Not again. There it was. That god damned fox, frolicking in the grassy field, chasing a butterfly. I tried to contain myself again.

I laid my head down on my desk and it was all black again. It would be so nice to fall asleep, wouldn't it? The world just got blacker and blacker.