Chapter one: Uncle's departure equals Kiku's beginning

On a hot summer's day, a young man and wife held on to their 10 year old daughter's hand silently in front of a great white house. They stood before the large blue door, hesitant to ring the doorbell. Beside them was only one small bag of luggage; their daughter's. The young woman with jet black hair that was as dark as night, bit onto her lip and held in her tears. She closed her eyes for a few seconds and slowly opened them to show her hazel brown eyes. She bent down to her child and reached out her white, pale hands. She hugged her tightly. The young husband turned to look away from the scene for it was too much for him to bear. He, too, held back his tears. He heaved a great sigh so that he wouldn't accidentally let out a sorrowful whimper. He brushed back his light brown hair and put his hands over his light blue eyes.

"Mama? Papa?" The young daughter questioned her parents.

"Kiku. You are going to be staying with your uncle for a while. Be a good girl, okay?" The young mother told her confused daughter.

"Why am I staying with Uncle?" Kiku asked.

Without an answer, Kiku's mother turned to look at her husband. She stood up, and nodded. Seeing his wife's signal, he slowly reached to ring the doorbell. Kiku watched, as her father pressed the golden button. As soon as the large, blue door opened, Kiku's father lunged towards his daughter and began to sob in her small arms. Kiku held her sobbing father with a curious expression upon her face. Soon enough, even her mother was crying hysterically. Kiku's parents wiped their wet faces and gently pushed their daughter to the tall man with light brown hair who looked exactly like her father. "Uncle!" Kiku smiled without knowing that her parents sprinted away. Kiku's uncle gave them a last glance and pulled Kiku into his home before she could turn around and realize her parents were gone.

As soon as the door closed, Kiku immediately turned around. Her uncle locked the door and grabbed her luggage. "Uncle?" Kiku questioned. "Sorry princess. You'll be staying with me for a while..." He bowed his head as he walked and wouldn't look at the little girl as he talked. He didn't want to see her face to face knowing full well that she would be sad to know that she would be apart from her parents. Kiku giggled. She liked her uncle. He looked like her father, and she also liked the fact that he always called her 'princess'. "How long will I be staying with you, uncle?" Kiku asked. Kiku's uncle raised his head and stared at her. Here stood this tiny girl with jet black hair like her mother's and light blue eyes like himself, and her father's. She had light pale skin as beautiful and soft as snow, and red lips as crimson as can be. She was smiling brightly.

"I'm afraid it'll be a long time." Her uncle told her.

"How long is long?" She asked, a smile still visible upon her lips.

"Long." He sighed, and began walking up the stairs, holding Kiku's luggage in his hand. Kiku skipped after him. "I'm sure it won't be that long. Nothing would keep my parents away from me too long." She giggled. Kiku's uncle glanced at the chipper young girl, and sighed once more. He knew he wasn't allowed to tell Kiku the exact truth. That angered him more than ever, but for his brother and his brother's wife he vowed to keep it a secret until the day he died. He stood at the door, arms crossed, watching the young Kiku happily unpack her things. She pulled out her princess costume that she adored and danced around with it as she held it to herself. "I wonder if this little princess is going to keep smiling like that when she realizes her parents aren't going to come back for her..." He whispered to himself.

6 years later...
"Uncle! If you need anything, just ring the bell, okay?" Kiku, now 16 years old called out happily from the kitchen when she heard a bell calling out to her. She giggled and ran up the stairs passing all of the lovely pictures that hung on the wall along the stairway. They were pictures of her uncle and his deceased wife, and more pictures of herself with her uncle. She polished the pictures as she ran up to her uncle's calling.

"That took you long enough." Her uncle joked when Kiku walked through his doorway.

"What can I do for you uncle?" Kiku laughed.

"Nothing. I just wanted to see how long it would take you to run up here." He put the bell that Kiku had given him down on his nightstand. Kiku pouted. "If you weren't ill, I'd teach you a lesson or two!" Kiku rolled up her sleeves and pulled off her apron that she had been wearing over her sweater and sweatpants. It was winter at this time. "Oh really?" Her uncle chuckled, and suddenly, coughed hysterically. Kiku immediately grabbed a glass of water and hurried over to her uncle's side. He slowly drank the water. Kiku had a concerned look stretched on her face as she stared at her ill - stricken uncle who was lying in his bed with cold sweat across his forehead. His lips were pale. It was just last year that Kiku's uncle came in contact with a horrible disease and had been advised by the doctors to stay in bed ever since.

"Thanks." He told her.

"Are you cold, Uncle? Do you need another warm blanket?" Kiku questioned.

"No, no. How about a warm glass of cocoa, princess?" He smiled at her.

"You want hot cocoa?" Kiku asked. "And stop calling me 'princess'.. that's so embarrassing." Kiku muttered.

"I meant hot cocoa for you, not me. Wait, you don't like it when I call you princess? I've been calling you that ever since you were little!" He laughed.

"I don't need hot cocoa." She said, ignoring the 'princess' comment. She put the glass of water on the nightstand beside her uncle. "Go. Relax, i'm okay here. You're a good girl, Kiku." He told her. "Thanks Uncle, I just want to take care of you like you've taken care of me these past 6 years... You know, since my parents abandoned me..." Kiku looked at her feet.

Her uncle felt guilty that he allowed her to believe that her parents 'abandoned' her all these years. It was because of the promise he made to them, he couldn't tell her the truth. He stared at her. Kiku had grown up to be a wonderful girl. She's energetic, strong - minded, and knows how to joke around. She's caring and helpful, she's not academically smart, but according to her uncle, she's smart enough.

"Kiku. Go get that hot cocoa for yourself, and come back up here. I need to talk to you about something serious." He told her.

Kiku could tell that her uncle wasn't joking. She quickly ran downstairs and made herself a cup of hot chocolate like she was told. She was slowly walking up the stairs with the hot beverage when she heard a loud thud. Her eyes widened. "Uncle!' She yelled and ran carefully up the stairs. She opened the door to her uncle's room to find him collapsed on the floor. She immediately put the cup of hot chocolate on a nearby surface and ran over to her uncle. She tried to help him up, but he was too heavy for her to handle. So she sat on the floor with him in her arms. "Uncle! Are you okay?" She yelled. "Kiku. I have to tell you something." Her uncle was gasping. "Don't talk uncle, it hurts doesn't it?" Kiku began to cry. He hushed her. "Listen. You have to listen." He told her. Kiku stared at her uncle and nodded frantically.

"Kiku. I'm going to die. The doctor told me yesterday that my time would soon be up. I can tell that today is the day."

"No!" Kiku cried. He hushed her again.

"I vowed to your parents that I would not tell you where they are or why they left you with me until the day I died." He told her.

"What?" Kiku whispered.

"Your parents didn't have enough money to support you, princess. Luckily, they were able to have the chance to find work. It's just that kids are forbidden to be brought along. They knew that if you found out about it, you would cry... and they didn't want to see you cry. You know how they are...."

"So, they left me to work?" Kiku asked. Her uncle nodded as he gasped for air. "Okay, Uncle don't say anymore. It looks painful to talk!" Kiku cried.

"Shut up kid, let me finish." He told her. Kiku's uncle always talked to her like they were close friends. Kiku liked that.

"They're working for the royal family in the palace." He finally said.

"What?" Kiku's eyes widened. She would have never thought that her parents would be serving for royalty.

"How is that possible?" Kiku questioned.

"The empress ran into them one day... it was mere luck, I tell you, princess. She asked them if they were in need of work and they jumped for joy when she asked them to serve her in the palace... So, your parents send money every month." He was gasping more now, and his body was losing it's body heat.

"U-uncle.." Kiku stared at her uncle as he looked very tired.

"Look for them... Go to the palace... Be with your parents. They... were only.. trying to earn .. money for you, so... forgive them.. for leaving you here.. with this .. useless uncle of yours... who can't even stay with you any longer..." tears were dripping from his eyes as he closed them.

"You're not useless uncle! You're the best!" Kiku shouted as she held onto her uncle's cold body.

"I can see my beautiful wife now.. Bye princess..." He smiled, and soon his body was lifeless.

For a few minutes, Kiku held her uncle in her arms waiting for him to open his eyes and laugh at her calling her 'princess'. He didn't. She hugged onto him tightly and promised his lifeless body that she would find her parents no matter what, so that she could be with them once again. "I'll let them know how wonderful you were as you took care of me in their place, uncle." Kiku whispered to him and kissed his cold hand. She cried aloud and waited a few more moments. She got up and gently put her uncle's body in place as she went to go call for help. After she hung up the phone, Kiku felt sadness for the departure of her uncle but at the same time she felt happy that she would be seeing her parents again after 6 years. All these years, she had thought she had been abandoned and forgotten about but it was clear now that, that was not the case. They didn't want to leave her, but they had to for her sake. She told herself that she would not be apart from her parents again. She was determined to find them.

"Royal Palace! Here I come!" She clenched her fists and raised it to the air, invisible to the men wearing matching white suits, who entered, and exited the house with a black body bag (her uncle).

Hi! Imaginexeuphoria here! Sorry, I was M.I.A once again. Anyway, Here's a new story. Hope you guys enjoy! Read and Review please! Thank you ^0^