Chapter One


She was safe, protected, hidden, right there under the soft folds of the warm quilt on her bed. Even though it didn't block out the sounds that echoed through the whole house, empty of love, she somewhat felt at peace. She pulled the material closer, still trying to gain what it couldn't give her. She pulled the covers away as soon as she heard the alarm ringing.

With a small yawn, she reached out for her table clock, and switched the alarm off. A girl with deep black hair and very sleepy, yet very dark eyes rose from the bed, looking around the familiar room she smiled happily, getting up in a hurry and humming to herself.

She walked out into the hallway and heard a loud crash, followed by the booming voice of a man. Ten years ago, when things started falling apart, maybe she would've clutched onto something to try and make all the bad sounds and thoughts go away, just like a dream catcher.

Now, she merely sighed and walked into the bathroom, ready to prepare herself for another day at school. It didn't take her more than fifteen minutes, and there she was, passing her parents room still echoing with their screams. She closed her eyes and whispered, "I am going to school."

She walked down the stairs, bobbing her head up and down as if listening to music. Not bothering to sit down for breakfast, she grabbed a glass of juice, swallowed it in one gulp, and left for school.

It was the beginning of another day.

He slowly opened his eyes to find himself staring at the blank ceiling. The dark curtains were covering the windows only allowing a few rays of lights to pass it through. in contrast to the dark curtains draped on the windows. He stared at the ceiling, speculating on whether he should just skip school again. He deliberated, and in the end decided on going.

He lazily passed his parents' room, which was vacant as usual. He closed his eyes, routinely trying to forget the image of the empty bedroom. A small, nagging feeling was bothering him at the back of his mind.

He wondered what he was doing, why he was even trying so hard to forget, he should be used to this by now. As he chewed on his daily cereal, he looked around the dark gloomy house, empty; the silence was getting to him.

He couldn't take it anymore. He dumped the rest of his breakfast, picked up his bag and left the house. The sky was still dark, and there were small puddles as evidence of previous night's rain. Running a hand through his jet black hair, he pondered on grabbing his coat, but shook his head and just began to walk his way to school.

"So, I mean, he's totally into her!" She heard one of the girls around her continue to ramble, and she smiled and said, "Really?"

"Yeah, totally."
The class room was not completely occupied, she realized as she looked around, absent-mindedly replying to her friend's questions, but at the same times it was crowded as well. At times she would've found the atmosphere suffocating, but for now she was okay.

"Rhea?" She looked around and smiled at a blonde boy facing her. "Yeah?"

"I was just wondering " and then she didn't hear anymore. Instead, she said, "Do you like soccer?"

He grinned back and said, "Heck yeah."

The conversation rolled on, and from the corner of her eye, she saw a boy walk into the room, right before the teacher did and the class groups began to disperse. She saw the boy sit down two rows beside her, and then looked away, trying to concentrate on the mathematics that made her feel like she was in Chinese class.

"Let the boring classes begin yet again," she whispered to herself and sighed, her mind still on the two people fighting at home.

He ran through the empty street as water trickled down his shoulders, and even lower, drenching his shirt even more. He could hear the crackling of the lightning, the splash of puddles against his footsteps as he ran for shelter. He entered the first building that came into view, gasping loudly finally out of the heavy rain, even though the water had already soaked his whole body.

He looked around and realized it was a gift shop, with fancy decorations and cute little souvenirs. He heard a loud groan followed by a, "Damn it!"

Turning around, he found a girl, her hair and shoulders wet with rain, frowning at the window, at the heavy downpour outside.

He looked at her carefully. She had black hair, an average height, with dark brown eyes that were now squinted together in irritation. He didn't seem to notice much. All he noticed was the glare that was emanating from her towards everything she was setting her eyes upon.

She swore under her breath once more, and then looked towards the sound of someone moving. Her eyes widened in recognition, and then went back to normal. It was the boy from her class. She looked him up and down, noticing not only the similarity in her hair colour with him, but also the light blue eyes that she always wanted to have been born with. His shirt clung to his body, and he merely stood there, staring right past her outside the windows as if she was invisible.

He thinks he is too good for anyone, she thought getting more annoyed.

He stared outside to see the heavy rain strongly hitting the window sides. It won't stop anytime soon, he thought to himself, a little frustrated. He noticed the black haired girl staring at him as if he had murdered somebody. He slightly raised an eyebrow in confusion and looked away. His eyes slowly scanned the place and then landed on a middle-aged woman looking at him with worried eyes. She was wearing a ragged dress and her hair was tied behind in a bun.

"Are you okay, dear? You are all soaked," she spoke with a worried tone. Her eyes swept away from him and behind him and she gasped. "Oh dear! You are soaked wet must be freezing!"

The girl behind him jumped a little and looked at her with wide eyes, startled by the loud echoing voice of the lady.

"May I borrow this?" she heard a low, calm voice from the other end. It was that boy standing at the far corner of the shop near the counter holding a used umbrella on his hand. "Of course you can, dear," the lady said, smiling. "Return home quickly, or else you will catch a cold!"

"Thank you," the boy said as he started walking towards the main gate of the shop. He opened the umbrella and as he was about to go out, he unexpectedly looked straight at the girl. "Huh?" she was looking at him, confused.

"You are coming, right? Or do you want to wait till it stops raining?" he asked. She stared at him for a few seconds and then she spluttered out, "Yeah, I'm coming," as she quickly picked up her bag and followed him out of the shop under the umbrella. The lady walked to the window and watched them disappear in the pouring rain and the darkness of the clouds.