I have decided to rewrite this story! Sorry guys for the sudden change in plans, I hope you will be patient with me! Thank you! :)
At the end of the day when my hair doesn't look as nice as it did in the morning, fumbled by restless fingers and the autumn breeze. When my clothes are crinkled enduring the wear and tear of crowded hallways, I look in the mirror and I'm still me; the same small stature, skin as pale as winter moonlight, and hair as black as a midsummer's night. But everything looks just a little sharper than it did before, just a little less happy. Cat-like eyes stare back at me with an emotion I have not yet learned to recognize. Then I am forced to look away, for if not, I would be lost.
I've always tried to imagine what my childhood was like before my parents died and my aunt took me in. The picture in my mind was always too perfect. I didn't want that. I didn't want perfect to be white flashy teeth that resembled a smile, or sweet words like a love song, but the nice kind of perfect, the kind of days that seems just a little fuzzy around the edges. When I try, it's always the same image. The three of us; my mom and dad and me, are laughing and looking into each other's eyes like one of those neat family portraits inside classy picture frames. Cold, staged, fake.
"Akari! We're leaving!" My aunt calls out from downstairs.
I tiptoe quickly down the grand spiraling stairs to meet them, careful not to make a sound. The soft afternoon slight cast down on the polished wooden steps, my feet sent fluttering shadows along the walls and on the floor. Stopping directly at the base of the stairs, I stand tall with my shoulders square, eyes level, and hands folded like she had instructed me time and time again since I came into her household. My aunt stood by the doorway with a suitcase in one hand and care keys in another. Emiko, leaning casually by the wall checked her phone impatiently. My aunt's disapproving grey eyes search mine, as if ashamed over a gruesome scar only she can see.
I look away.
"Have a safe trip." I say, handing her the umbrella lying near my feet.
My cousin Emi looks up as it noticing me for the first time. "We'll be back before you know it!" She smiles cheerfully and puts her arms around me in a light hug. The smile probably thousands of people have seen in magazines and posters gleamed sweet like honey, yet barely palls the pity in her voice. It causes my heart to clench for just a second. We grew up together and we both love each other dearly, but it's apparent that she pities me for being the person that I am. The girl who's not remarkable enough to even pass the first part of a model audition, the girl who isn't smart enough to get perfect marks, the girl that is me.
"Don't trip and fall," I joke, pulling away.
My aunt shoots me a disapproving glare.
Emi towers a head over me even though she's only in middle school. She is the pride and glory of this family, becoming one of the leading models in the industry at the tender age of ten. Now she's fourteen and growing ever successful. Her honey blonde hair gleamed like sunshine on a warm sunny day and her eyes large and glowed like sapphire gems. A sweet scent like spring lingers as she withdraws from my embrace. We are as different as different can be. I realized that all long time ago. Maybe that is my scar; being someone so completely different.
No wonder our aunt looks upon me with distain. I am like a dirty mouse living in the walls of a royal palace. Unless I can sprint faster than I have ever done, and reach within even sight distance of Emi, she'll forever be ashamed of me. I don't want to be a burden anymore; I don't want to be the useless daughter of a dead sister. But final exams are approaching. If I can be at the top of my class I'm sure she'll finally look my way and smile. Perhaps she will even be proud of me for the very first time.
I wave as the door clicks shut behind them for the twelfth time in two months. The silence should be familiar by now, but instead, it felt strangely alien. I shake off the slight heaviness in the air and scold myself inwardly. I should be doing something, not standing here staring at a closed door. Slowly, I ascend back up the spiraling stairs, my whole body tinted red in the gradual sunset.