I opened the door, and there she was…

"Hi, I'm Keiko you're new neighbor."

When she held her hand out to me I stared blankly at it.

"You still half asleep," she asked lowering her head to look me in the eyes. "Hello, anybody home in there?" When she waved her had in front of my face I finally snapped out of it.

"Good morning," I finally greeted. The girl had blonde hair with black highlights and was probably five or six years younger than me. She had two scars on her face, one above her left eye while the other lay horizontal on her right cheek.

"That's better," She said with a smile. She was wearing a black sleeveless hoodie and khaki cargo pants even though it was freezing outside.

"Aren't you cold kid," I asked leaning against frame of the door.

The girl shook her head, "Not really, you see I was born around this time of the year. There was a blizzard that day too, and it continued to snow for the rest of that week." Her eyes shifted to a sad downward gaze. "But enough about me, what's your name?"

I hesitated to answer her, "I'd rather not say…"

"Aw, why not, I told you my name."

"My name's embarrassing," This time it was my eyes that were filled with sadness and I start to stare at the wall.

"I don't care what you're name is. You could lie to me and I wouldn't mind. You can tell me what you want me to call you."

"… It's Eve…"

The blonde girl stares at me for a moment before holding her hand out to me again and smiles at me again, "Hi Eve it's very nice to meet you."

I stare at her hand like before but eventually shake it.

After we release each other's hands Keiko starts to press her pointer fingers together, "This may sound odd… but could I come in for a while? My Mom went to work and locked me out of our apartment and I don't have a key yet."

Again I hesitated but opened the door up further and stepped out of the way.

"Pardon the intrusion," She called out as if there were others in the apartment. She took off her shoes before stepping up into some light blue slippers that were slightly too big for her.

We walk down the short hallway into my living room that had a T.V., couch, table, and was connected to my kitchen. "You can sit anywhere," I said walking over to my fridge, "want anything to drink."

"Milk would be nice if you have any," The girl replied as she sat down on the couch."

I pulled out a milk carton from a shelf on the inside of the fridge door and a bottle of water off of the same shelf. I walked over to Keiko and offered her the carton of milk, "I don't really get visitors so sorry I don't have any cups. Is drinking from the carton fine?"

"That's fine," She takes the carton from my hand and opens it, "I like drinking from the carton better anyway."

She took a sip and an awkward silence followed.

"So," I break the silence, "Shouldn't you be in school?" I pull a chair over and sit down.

"No, I got expelled. They kept nagging me about how I got around the school. Said students shouldn't be climbing in or jumping out of windows. And they didn't like the fact that I would wear the boys' school uniform instead of the girls'." Keiko pulled her legs toward her chest so that she was curled up in a ball. "I don't see what's wrong with it. I hate wearing skirts and tight clothing…"

"Is that why you're wearing boys' clothing now?"

"Yeah… I've been like that since I was a baby. It took my parents forever to figure out how to get me to stop crying. My mother said she noticed that I would always sleep better in my father's arms as a baby." Her eyes were filled with hate and sadness. "But anyway, what about you, do you go to college?"

I looked down at the water bottle in my hand, "No I don't, I just work a couple of part time jobs."

"Where do you work?"

"The nearby convenience store most of the time and a couple of other nearby stores."

"Hey I'm applying there!"

"Really, I would have thought you were too young to work."

"My birthday is just in a couple of months. And the owner was a friend of my old man," She commented with bitter feelings.

"Do you not like your dad?"

"I can't really say I don't like him cause I didn't really know the guy." She drops one of her legs and lets it fall off the couch as she pulls the other in tighter. "…He left when I was a kid…"

I wasn't expecting her to be so open to me. I mean she literally just met me. But I soon learned that this was a mild version of just how open she could be.