This is 100% written by me. DO NOT STEAL. This is just a story I'm working on that I would like to share with everyone and receive some constructive criticism. So far I only have this chapter but if there are many people interested in the continuation, I would be more than happy to keep supplying chapters. It is to be a tragic romance. This is meant to be a manga but I do not have an artist so I will provide it in story form. If I were to get an artist I would re-write it in manga-format. Also, the names are completely made up and this is a work of FICTION. The happenings in the story are not based on any true events. I kept it a bit short because some people complain about my chapters being too long. Please read and enjoy. (:

She shuddered as fierce screams woke her from her dream. The feeling of exhaustion was drained from her body within seconds. She jumped out of bed after fighting off her bed sheets. Her fingers fumbled as she struggled to get dressed. When she finished, she grabbed her comb, purse and a couple other accessories and shoved them into her bag. She made sure not to make a single sound. She swung her bag over her left shoulder and headed for the window. When she got the window a quarter opened, someone started pounding on the door. She stopped and stared at the doorknob as it rattled. Adrenaline flushed through her. She pulled the window up as fast as she could, first throwing her bag through, then following right after. She stumbled down the steps outside of her apartment while her father yelled after her through the open window. She didn't look back, and instead, continued to run.

Today was the very first day of school for Mai Nishizawa. Until now, she studied on her own at home. She went through several different methods to receive the necessary education she needed. She was poor, she worked part time to support herself and her fathers needs. It was just her and her father living together. Her mother passed away while giving birth to her, so shes never actually gotten to meet her. Not a single photo of her mother remains in her apartment. She believes her father got rid of the photos of her because it was too painful for him to see her face. The old friends of her mother continue to tell Mai how she looks just like her. Mai's father resents her for this. He believes his daughter is at fault for stealing the life and appearance of his lover. To yearn for his loss, he drinks the pain away. Mai shook her head to shake away the thought. She got too wound up in her own thoughts that she didn't notice she was going in the wrong direction. She turned around quickly and collided with someone coming her way. She stumbled a couple paces backwards then caught her balance. She looked up to see a boy and two girls trampling up behind him.
"Kei, are you alright?" one of the girls asked while grabbing hold of his arm. The other girl shot Mai a dirty glare. Mai didn't hesitate. She adjusted herself, and without saying a word, walked right past them and headed straight to class.

Kei looked down and spotted a wallet at his feet. He bent over, picked it up and examined it.
"Hey girls, does this wallet belong to either of you?"
He held it up for both girls to see. They stared at it and shook their heads. One of the girls suggested that it must have belonged to the girl he bumped into. The girls reminded him that class would be starting soon and they headed off. He opened the wallet and noticed a name, phone number and an address written on the inside.

After a long day at school, Mai finally finished her shift at her part-time job and headed home. As she walked in the door, she noticed her father waiting for her, standing a couple paces from the door. A single candle was lit in the room. The glow from the candle outlined the frown lines strung across his face. She closed the door behind her and braced herself against it.
"I want a beer, give me some money." he whispered.
She swung the bag off of her shoulder and rummaged through it. She shuffled through the items in her bag but she couldn't seem to find her wallet. She dumped the contents of her bag onto the floor. Her hands shook vividly as she tried to feel the items sprawled on the floor in search of her wallet. She knew it wasn't there. She realized she must have dropped it when she bumped into that boy. Panic ran through her veins. She stood up slowly and hesitantly stepped farther into the room. She stopped in front of her father, fixing her eyes on her feet. She cleared her throat and began to speak.
"I....think...I lost my wallet..."
She didn't feel the pain that came after. All she thought about was how his hand felt so cold as it whipped across her cheek. She was used to this already. She fell to her side and leaned into her hand as the other was cupped on her swelling cheek. She shut her eyes. She felt his nails dig into her scalp as he grabbed hold of her hair. He pulled her up to her feet and yelled into her face, but she couldn't hear a word he was saying...

Outside the window, Kei stumbled backwards, barely able to keep his knees from giving way. He clasped both hands over his mouth and held tightly, trying not to make a sound. He shook from anxiety. He dropped to his knees and crawled to the door, placing the wallet in front of it. He grabbed at whatever he could and pulled himself back up to his feet. He ran down the steps outside of the apartment, not daring to look back.

He got no sleep that night. He was so confused on what to do about last night. The details of that night swam through his mind until it was becoming too painful to bear. He knew he was a coward, running without a second thought. By the time his alarm started ringing for school, his mind was still not made up. No matter how much he wanted to stay home from school, he thought it would be worse to avoid the situation.
He waited at the front gates of the school. She was running a bit late. He noticed that the redness of her cheek was covered up with make-up. When she got close enough, he stood in her path. She gave him a puzzled look.
"Will you come with me for a moment?"
When she noticed the look of urgency on his face, she decided to follow him. He brought her to the side of the school. He blushed at the thought of this seeming like a love confession but shook off the thought and cleared his throat.
"You dropped your wallet when you bumped into me yesterday." he paused and reached a hand for the swollen cheek. "I...came by last night to--" he stopped his explanation when she jumped back, startled by what he was saying. She stared hard at him. He lowered his hand and looked down.
"Are you okay?" he whispered.
She whisked around and began to walk away. It was more of a stride because he had to pick up his pace several times to catch up to her. He called out her name and she froze in her spot as if she hit a brick wall. When he caught up to her, he walked around her to face her. She looked....scared?
"Please, don't tell anyone. I'm handling it on my own, you don't need to be concerned. You don't understand, just forget it."
The air felt so cold when she walked right past him. He reached out a hand to stop her but he let it fall. He watched her walk away. A gripping pull tugged at his heart. He wanted to help her, to be there for her. But as he was now, she was just too far away...