Haruna drew in a sharp breath, her arms hanging limply at her sides and her eyes staring straight at the house in front of her. One of her hands clutched her bag lightly, the material threatening to slip out of her hand at a moment’s notice. She couldn’t stop the fear the pulsed through her veins. She didn’t want to feel this fear but her mind wouldn’t stop with it. The thought of what her aunt and uncle were going to do to her when she walked through that door was an unbearable thought.

She didn’t really have too much of a choice though. At some point, she had to return home and there was nothing keeping her away now. Rina had a place to stay for the night; Aina’s parents would be out for the night so they’d passed her along to Aina. With Rina safely tucked away inside someone’s home, the last excuse Haruna had not to go home was gone.

Taking another deep breath, Haruna pushed herself forward. This was stupid. Why was she scared? This wouldn’t be anything she couldn’t handle. She wasn’t a child anymore; she didn’t get so easily hurt. She could take their harsh words and she could take their hits. Those were nothing in the long run. She was stronger than that.

She was stronger than fear.

Slowly, Haruna pushed open the front door of her house, silently praying that those two wouldn’t be inside the house. The world never did have a habit of giving Haruna what she wanted and it would appear now would be no different. Stepping into the house, she could hear a small talk begin to pick up before she heard the footsteps. She knew the sound of the door creaking open had no doubt alerted Madoka and Ken’ichi of her presence.

Her body tensed and she closed the front door just as she saw Madoka come around the corner. For a split second, she thought she could see worry in Madoka’s expression. She knew she couldn’t have though; there was no way Madoka would ever be worried about the likes of her. She knew she meant nothing to that woman. Even if she had seen it, it had only lasted a second before an angered expression took over Madoka’s features, the older woman storming over to Haruna with Ken’ichi behind her. Madoka pushed Haruna against the wall, glaring down at the shorter teenager.

“Where were you last night and today? You’ve been gone nearly two days without even so much as a single phone call!” Madoka shouted at her. Haruna rolled her eyes, looking away from her angered aunt. “Do you realize how worried we’ve been about you? Someone could have killed you!” Haruna scoffed at the words and laughed bitterly. Madoka was such a liar, she never changed.

“I thought you would be happy if someone killed me. If someone had then you wouldn’t have to deal with the mistake anymore,” Haruna said bitterly. She could feel Madoka hit her hard across the face just seconds after she finished speaking. Haruna’s hands clenched, Madoka’s hand having come down on the side of her face where the claw marks were still present.

“Don’t you dare say anything like that, young lady. You will not disappear like that ever again. What would your parents say if we had lost you?” Haruna smiled softly, a feeling of pain tugging at her heart. She knew it. Madoka was never concerned for her; she was only concerned for herself. Madoka was only worried about Haruna’s parents getting upset if something bad happened to Haruna on her watch. But Madoka was wrong. Haruna’s parents wouldn’t care; no one would ever care. Haruna’s life was meaningless to most people.

“I don’t think you have to worry about my parents,” Haruna murmured. “They’d be happy with me out of the way.” She pushed past Madoka, taking off her shoes and setting them down in the neat line. She didn’t bother addressing Madoka again as she made her way past Ken’ichi and into the living room.

She could hear the footsteps behind her and she knew her aunt and uncle were following her. Right now, Haruna didn’t care too much. She wanted to get away from them and to her room as soon as possible, hopefully avoiding any kind of ‘punishment’ they might have for her. If she could keep them busy enough, maybe they would forget about punishing her. It didn’t seem like that would be too possible though when she turned around and found them standing in the doorway, blocking her only exit into the rest of the house.

SukebanRead this story for FREE!