Falling in love was an absolutely strange thing. It certainly changed people for sure. It was so beautiful, blossoming and a clear sign of the transition to puberty. It was the mode to life, the bane of all human existence. Yet it had its dark sides, from abandonment and alienation to their increased whims and the steady decline in self respect; all for a person who probably never even really cared eventually. It all seemed like a perpetual nightmare to everyone else, changing the most headstrong and independent of people to the weakest and most submissive of lots and was sometimes a seduction towards a mindless path of destruction. It had a lot of its pros and cons, but sometimes forgot the very essence of its existence.

Freedom; the ability of choice.

Wasn't that the main reason to why people ever lived and not existed solely for life's sake? Maybe this was all a long gone feeling washed away in a river of foisting. Who knew? Who even cared?

But when one's best friend falls into its pitfalls and deserts everything in their wake, it meant everything in the world.

"Goodness, what a freak!" Shizuko exclaimed. "It seems like she has absolutely no idea of tolerance!" "Or a sense of humour." Hisami added. Sayuri felt desperate to punch her face- she definitely had no soul. She felt lost in there anyway. "Just how, I mean seriously- she tried to kill me, no?" Hisami rolled her eyes in distaste for the young foreigner. "Meh, who cares, they are foreigners." Shizuko replied in a rather callous tone. It never seemed to matter that much.

"Well, look at her cousin- he was nearly reduced to a nervous wreck, the poor boy!" Erika remarked. "Yet she attacked me alone..."

"Wouldn't anybody be if they had such a psychopathic sister?" Hisami spouted. "I mean, seriously- who would ever want to live with such an acerbic freak? Maybe if she started living in the real world with all of us and at least open her mouth, she'd learn to stop being so angry with everyone, rather than living in that plastic bubble of hers. Of course, that would be the perpetual joke of the year, I guess." The girls giggled in unison, excepting Sayuri. She saw something so incredibly different in Astrid, something nobody would ever understand, let alone agree.

There was something so beautiful in her that just seemed to come out, but with an incredible restraint on her ever possible feeling. It was not one of alienation or ostracising, but one of a very remorseful feeling almost that of abandonment and distress, like fear. It was just so vulnerable, which was hidden in that hard, cold exterior of hers, impetuous and lost, yet covered in that almost impenetrable shell. Only a little flicker of it was bursting out, out of desperation that nearly screamed "Help me. I am confused." But of course, who would ever know?

All the same, why would she ever do this to Sayuri? She was far from perfect and her whole life revolved around dreams and feelings. Nothing ever mattered to more. Or was that really the answer?

The face she had when seeing her cousin- it was almost as if she were face to face with a complete stranger. Someone she could barely recognise any more, filled with fear, dread and loathing. It was inexplicable.

"You know, for all I feel, she may just be really lost and uncomfortable in such an environment. I mean, she cannot really comprehend anything of such that happens to her, so she behaves hostile." Sayuri finally admitted. The girls seemed rather unmindful of her say as they were critiquing Astrid to high heavens.

"I would never ever want to be her brother. I would rather die, I mean seriously, who would not?" Erika commented. "Freak show of a woman." Hisami mumbled, keeping any sort of expletives in control.

"I would not be surprised if I suddenly found her brother deceased on her porch."

By now Sayuri was fuming. Not only had Shizuko ignored her royally, they were accusing her muse and crush of something that was rather obviously not true, incredibly exaggerated. It helped even less when the every so wonderful Erika and Hisami seemed to take every single position possible in Shizuko's heart for friends, rather stealing the one that truly was hers. It seemed criminal for them to lead her so much astray.

But of course, what would they know? The ex-best friend has no say in this closeted bubble world of theirs. Especially after lovers were involved too. And lo, he was actually walking their way, rather charmingly, changed into a comfortable yellow t shirt and half shorts. Sayuri had no words for this; she really disliked Haruka.

"Speak of the devil and he arrives himself. In perceived dapper." Sayuri mumbled. Haruka then blushed a bit seeing Shizuko, his heart skipped a few best as he then tried to wave to her. A naughty smile spread across her face. He was too much of fun to toy with. "Hey, sweetie." She said rather seductively walking towards him, making him falter a little bit, all scarlet. "How's your day, huh?" She cajoled. "It's bee g-great! I love hanging around here and well, I just do!" Haruka said shyly and awkwardly, whishing he died just then.

Sayuri rolled her eyes. The things people did for love.

"I had absolutely no idea you were just passing around here, did I?" Shizuko said suavely, placing her hands on her hips, accentuating their beauty. Haruka was now a tomato in comparison, wondering how to say anything to this beguiled beauty.

"Err, I...I... hadn't a clue! I mean, honestly- I was trying to go over to my friends' house! For... for video games." He stammered. Shizuko then burst out laughing, in the beautiful tinkling laugh she had, crystal clear like a ringing bell across a clear waterfall, their sounds intertwining. Haruka seemed to melt at that moment while Erika and Hisami were watching naughtily- he really was getting it from her. It was so beautiful to hear her laugh or even speak, he had no words. He seemed to really love her very much.

"Video games, eh? At such an age?" Shizuko gasped with mock confusion. "Tsk tsk, such a pity! I was hoping to meet a man with more class and maturity... all the same, what can I expect? I must keep searching now, shall I? Poor boy, I really toyed with you didn't I? I must get going, Goodbye, Haruka!" she then proceeded to leave while Erika and Hisami were struggling to bottle their laughter. Sayuri was incredibly disgusted by Shizuko's erratic behaviour and spat on the ground contemptuously. The things people did... it had no words.

"W... wait!" Haruka exclaimed to the departing Shizuko, grabbing her hand in a romantic desperation. She twirled round in shock, her long black hair dancing in the wind, covering her blushing visage from the boy. "Please, can you stay? I would like to know you better, and be a more dapper man. Can you help me?" Shizuko stopped dead in her tracks. This was too much for the girl to handle.

Blushing voraciously, she smiled at him and put a long, graceful finger to his lips. "Shhhh. Not another word, boy. Of course I would like to know you much better than ever- such a wonderful guy like you; women would be lucky to get you!" The girls stared at her in awkward unison- what was going on?

Sayuri though, had enough for that day. She just turned around and walked off in a huff, tired from carrying the large burden of books on her shoulders. "I wasted all that bloody time walking with them miles away from my house for what? Just to see her flirt with that dapper stud? Far from it!" she muttered. A few passers-by noticed her talk and giggled. It made absolutely no sense to her at all. Her best friend for almost 12 years was abandoning her for two prissy preps and an average youth.

Some friend.

The streets looked rather deserted and busy. Soon the clouds turned darker, but it still never had that joyous, sensual smell of rain. Trees blew with the wind and its gusty gales. Along with it, it blew in dust and smells of spices, tickling Sayuri's nose and igniting some of her senses. Streets were always beautiful. She then pulled out her camera and started to record every possible thing around.

Everything around her just seemed so magical. Nature had its own bountiful beauties the human race had become so oblivious to. The camera twirled round and captured everything she could possibly grasp in the palm of her hands. From the swaying trees to the dampened stratus; everything around could not escape the beautiful senses she felt. Sayuri walked on ahead without a care in the world, carefully grafting every single moment in the camera of hers, flitting and darting in its natural, true glory, not a care in the world, confiding in leisure; living in pleasure.

Yet when the very thought of Shizuko got to her, the ignoring, the abandonment and the insulting of Astrid; it just could not help but make her think. Did she even belong there? How much of a place did she hold in her friend's heart? And why did she hate Haruka so much?

The very thought of him made her blood boil.

"Predators are evil. Predators must be destroyed." She muttered with coldness in her heart. Yet she felt like breaking down on the streets in it. "Just what am I saying?" she wailed. "How on earth could I behave this way? Why am I getting so defensive about a stranger who I barely know and who tried to break their necks? I should be happy she is in love, not so infuriatingly jealous!"

Cutting the scenes, a distraught Sayuri then dashed away to what she felt of as wonderful, her life and everything she ever had made it to the heaven of all heavens- home.