Prologue

Mikado bumped my shoulder roughly as he walked past me. "Whoops," he scoffed. "Loser," he spat as he kicked at my books. They slid farther down the hall and were picked up by his friend.

"Did you lose this, Mikado?" the friend taunted.

Mikado smirked. "Yeah, just trash it. I don't want it."

The friend moved to drop it in the trash but Mikado quickly added, "No, wait… trash it in the boys bathroom. In the back."

"No!" I protested uselessly. "Please don't! That's mine!"

The friend shrugged, too scared to go against his leader. "Mikado said it was his."

"Please," I begged, knowing fully well that he wouldn't bend from Mikado's wish.

Mikado put his foot out as I hurried toward the friend, tripping me. My glasses fell from the bridge of my nose and clacked onto the ground before my hand slammed down on them, keeping my face from smashing into the ground. I sat back, cradling my hand, whimpering.

I had been the target of Mikado's harassment since I bumped into him when we were both first years, making him spill juice on his new uniform. I had no friends. No one wanted to be tormented by Mikado's group too. The few people who had stood up for me were now friendless and depressed.

I don't even know why I bother to come to school everyday. My grades are below average and I desperately need more sleep at night. I stay up watching anime every night instead of doing homework. It's not that I'm not smart; I just don't like doing homework.

I pause outside the boys' bathroom and take a deep breath. I've been in here enough times to know that the smell could kill a dead goat. Yes, it was that bad. The janitor apparently doesn't even bother with this bathroom. I adjusted the straps to my backpack, tightening them to make myself feel more secure before I pushed open the door.

I kept my eyes glued to the toes of my sneakers as I made my way to the back. There were exclamations of surprise as boys were distracted from 'relieving themselves'.

I was about to excuse myself, but suddenly, someone introduced me. His laugh was like a throaty cackle. "That's third year, Takahira Kirisa," the boy laughed. He came close to my ear. "Did you come just to play with us younger boys?" he asked, reaching for me.

I glared at him with all my hatred for every one of those boys who idolized Mikado and his tormenting. He shrunk back uneasily, "Whoa. Didn't mean to burst your bubble there," he said, rolling his eyes to the other boys.

I hurried to the back, grabbed my book and left the boys' bathroom. Just as I finished cleaning off stuff I'd rather not mention that had gotten onto my book, the bell rang for class.

Today was just another day for me. My glasses had gained a new crack, my hand was throbbing, and I made a trip to somewhere repulsively unavoidable. This was my senior year at its best.