Chapter 58: When Family is All You Have

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"Let her go, Yukako. She just needs some time to cool down," Hinako spoke up again. Yukako sighed in response, her body turning slightly so she could watch the blonde disappear into the crowds of students scattered around the courtyard. She shook her head, turning back to her three companions.

"I don't think Haruna is the only one we have to worry about right now."

***

Mami shoved past a group of students standing in the stairwell, hearing a chorus of gasps before angry murmurs filled her ears. She scoffed lightly and rolled her eyes at the reaction the students had given her. At the current moment, Mami didn't particularly care if she offended or hurt anyone. She just wanted to get away from everything and everyone. She wanted to stop hearing the constant talk around her – the stupid whispers and gossiping murmurs. She wanted to be alone – to be away from it all.

There was only one place in the school Mami knew of in order to do that.

With a small sigh, Mami climbed the last flight of stairs, her hand laying gently on the silver doorknob. She turned the knob, feeling a slight sense of relief when she found it unlocked. The janitor must have forgotten to lock the door to the access way. There was a rule to have the door to the roof locked at all times but Mami knew that occasionally, the janitor either forgot or didn't care enough to lock it afterwards.

She pushed open the door only to be met by a rush of cold wind that easily chilled her through the thin material of her school uniform. She shrugged it off, stepping out onto the rooftop and allowing the heavy metal door to close harshly behind her. She groaned softly, rubbing a hand over the back of her neck as she rolled her head from side to side.

Her actions suddenly stopped when she noticed someone out of the corner of her eye. Mami's body turned quickly, her eyes narrowing in the direction that she had seen the figure from. Her body only softened when she saw a familiar teenager sitting idly down on one of the school's many air vents.

"Haruna...?"

Mami heard her own voice say the name in a soft manner, just enough to capture the attention of the teenager sitting not too far away from her. The brunette turned around, looking directly at Mami with a blank look but confirming for the blond that it was indeed her missing friend. Mami gritted her teeth, clenching her hands as she walked briskly over to where Haruna sat, coming to stand in front of her.

"What are you doing up here? Why weren't you in class?" Mami hissed. She knew she sounded angry but for once, Mami could say that the angry tone she used wasn't real anger. The blonde spoke out of nothing but worry for the brunette. This was the last place Mami had expected to find Haruna if the brunette was even in school and to find her all alone up here like this after everything that she had been through as of late... It didn't sit well with Mami.

"I guess... I just didn't feel like facing everyone," Haruna replied honestly. She shrugged her shoulders slightly, refusing to look at Mami as she spoke. For the blonde, it felt like the older teenager was trying to look everywhere but at her. Haruna's answer hadn't made sense though. Since when did Haruna care about what others thought or 'facing' anyone? No one would face Haruna. Everyone was far too intimidated by her to say anything to her face.

"What do you mean, Haru?" Mami asked. She knew it was best to be direct about her thoughts. She wasn't interested in beating around the bush or try to be nonchalant about this. Something was up with Haruna and Mami wasn't about to let the brunette get away with attempting to hide whatever was going on with her today.

"Maybe you could tell me what I mean, Mami."

"That's not funny," Mami bit back at the sarcastic response she had received from the older teenager. She sighed in frustration, walking to the side and taking a seat next to Haruna. Her body leaned forward a bit, her arms draping themselves over her knees as she bowed her head slightly. "You left the girls so worried when you didn't show up for class this morning... It's not like you to disappear like that."

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