Chapter 1

There was a huge rip at the back of her skirt.

She knew it was going to happen again sometime, but she never thought it would be that soon. In fact, she hadn't been able to sew her bag yet from being slashed in one side. She was used to it though; she didn't mind having to walk home with her skirt ripped apart. She would just have to stoop down, keep her head low, put her long ruffled hair in front of her face and walk really fast because people would stop and look but she knew they wouldn't care. She knew they thought she was another poor girl bullied at school… and she also knew that they were right. She never had a problem about being beaten up, thrown food at and made fun of since she had enough stamina to endure everything and just the right intelligence to pass her exams and stay in school.

"Matsushima, we have to call your parents." Mr. Kitagawa said.

I gripped my torn skirt tightly and replied, "Oh, there's no need for that, Sensei."

"What?" He stood up from his desk in shock. "We have to do something about this! Someone tore your uniform and it is my duty to inform your parents." He remarked stubbornly.

"Please, don't call them, Sensei!" She bowed and pleaded desperately.

Mr. Kitagawa appeared perplexed by the student's reaction. "Someone picked on you in class, Matsushima, don't you want your parents to know about it?"

'No, I don't want my parents to know about it…' she answered within herself. "Sir, please… don't…" She continued pleading with her voice.

"Well… I don't understand… but…" he sat down again, "we should at least find out who did this."

'Oh thank god!' she thought. "I will do anything to help you, Sensei… just PLEASE do not call my parents!"

She spoke to herself on the way back, trying to figure out how to explain where she'd been and how to hide the tear in her skirt. 'Dad and Mom should never find out…'

Matsushima was fine to be that way, so fine that she even looked forward to coming to school the next day. She only hoped her family was fine with it too.

"I'm home." She softly spoke as she removed her shoes at the doorstep.

"Tofu or broccoli?" Her father stood in the kitchen wearing an apron and holding a tong in one hand. His hair was fairly long and tied to the back with a bandeau that he looked like a male housekeeper. A woman sat at the dining table reading the evening newspaper, with a business suit on and some slippers. It was her mother, who smiled gently as she entered.

"Any." She answered coldly and hurried to her room, while she tried to cover the ripped skirt with her schoolbag.

The father held his tongs up and clicked it to grab her attention. "Steam or stir fry?" He asked with the same friendly tone.

"I'd eat anything, Dad." She answered again with obvious exasperation. The change in her tone made her mother look up from reading.

"What's with your skirt?" The mother observed at once.

"Uh… nothing." She replied in a low voice. "I'm going to my room to change." She said and quickly walked to her door still with the schoolbag suspiciously positioned behind her.

"SAORI!" She called back like a military man. "You're hiding something there, what is it?" Her mother seemed persistent. Looking like a careerwoman in her stiff suit, her uncanny strictness and investigative nature wasn't surprising. Her father also looked up from his cooking after sensing the wife's disturbed tone.

Saori felt like she'd been put on the spot. She must have a way to escape her mother's inquiry, or she would have to go through the hellish process she dreaded to experience again. "It's nothing, Mom, Dad… I… I just got my period…"

"Oh!" The father literally jumped from his place and leaped to his daughter's side. "You should have told Daddy! Here, let me take that to the washer…" He attempted to take a look at Saori's skirt but he was pushed off violently.

"Dad! I told you not to wash my clothes anymore!" She whined and turned against her father who was still trying to grab the skirt.

The father circled her to the other side. "Why not? It's my responsibility to take care of you, and besides, the blood stain won't come off easily so let me do it…" He replied cheerfully.

"NO!"

"Come on… let me take that…" He calmly tried to pull the girl's skirt.

"DAAAAAAD???!! What kind of grown man washes his daughter's menstrual stains?!" Saori retorted desperately while slowly backing up to her room.

"TAKUYA!" The mother yelled at her husband in the same military tone. "Stop bugging your daughter and finish cooking dinner…" she ordered.

The father looked like he was yet again defeated by the strong women in the house but kept his grip on the young girl's skirt. He sighed and prepared to go back to the kitchen when he caught sight of something. "Kanna…" He called out softly to his wife.

"Takuya… I told you to get back to your cooking and leave her alone." The wife impatiently replied without looking up from her newspaper.

"Kanna…"

"WHAT?!" The wife Kanna seemed infuriated when she finally looked at his husband and daughter.

"Saori's skirt is ripped apart." Takuya stated calmly in a low voice, with his eyes going blank like blackholes.

Kanna dropped her newspaper on the floor and headed for the telephone like a madwoman. "Takuya! The suitcases!" She yelled to her husband.

Takuya immediately ran up the stairs and with him brought down sets of huge luggage. He went back to the kitchen and started packing all the food he had been cooking. Still with his apron and bandeau on, he cleaned up the living room and kitchen in a jiffy and began putting everything inside boxes that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, Saori's mother had just put down the phone after making a serious-sounding call. "My boss just approved my new assignment." She reported to her husband. "TAKUYA!" She suddenly shifted to the commanding tone. "We're bringing the grill! Hurry!"

Saori just watched as her parents began packing up and going about the house nervously. Her mother was yelling all the commands while putting on her heels and her father rushed to the many rooms with all the boxes to fill up.

"My books!" Kanna yelled with a stern voice. "The vase by the window!" "The TV!" "The dishes!" "Takuya, don't forget the vacuum cleaner!"

Saori stood frozen as she witnessed the commotion in awe. She never thought she'd see it happen again. Her mother's eyes then shot directly at her. "Saori, what are you standing there for?! Pack your things, we're moving."

'This is why THEY should never find out', she mused.


A/N: Sorry about the grammatical errors and short, badly delivered sentences. This was an idea that sprang up today and I just had to write it. And I'm going somewhere without an internet connection that is why I'm so in a hurry to publish it. Please leave reviews if you have time, but that fact that you read it is fine. Thank you so much.