~ Living my own life ~
Chapter One: The Runaway
? 's P.O.V.
''That's it, I'm outta here!'' I said, before I walked outside.
''Ojou-sama! Tsutto matte kudasai!'' The maid shouted behind me.
I ignored her and kept on walking. Away from this mansion, away from this area, away from my thoughts. The gravel crackled underneath my feet. Keep on walking, don't look back.
''Ojou-sama!'' I heard desperate for another time.
I'm sorry, Mai-san… I passed the giant fountain on the terrain in front of our house. The flowing water reminded me of my childhood, where I spended so much time around it. Tears burned in my eyes, but I had to be strong. I was a lady, after all. A girl with manners. A girl who always wore elegant dresses with fitting haircuts and nicely applied make-up. I was flawless, for as long as I could remember. I always kept my mouth shut and nodded with a smile. But ever since the death of mother, father wasn't the same anymore. He was stricter then ever. I had to be flawless in EVERYTHING. And I was, that's not the point. It's just that, I'm not happy anymore. But after a while, father started to abuse me. The smallest mistake didn't go unnoticed. I still feel the striped of father's belt on my back. My shoulders and back were covered in bruises. Father made sure he stayed out of my face and arms, because I had to keep a pretty appearance. I got passed the gates and bit my lower lip. Don't cry. It's not lady-like. I never ever had the guts to stand up against my father this much. I never intended to run away. I never had a reason to. I was a spoiled kid, had everything that I ever wished for. We were rich, happy, wealthy. Mother… I lifted the skirt part of my beautiful, soft blue, short-sleeved dress up and started to run. My white heels clacked on the stones, that lay on the ground. I turned to the right and ran off the stony path that went strictly through the woods. At the end, I reached it. The town where my mother felt in love with. The town where all her dreams came true. Inazuma Town. The source of her happiness… I kept on running, while I couldn't stop the tears now. I didn't know where I headed. At a certain point, I reached a riverbank. I rarely came outside. Father wouldn't let me, because he was very overprotective. And ever since mother died, it only became worse. All my piano concerts, form which I was famous of, would be held inside our mansion. Even strolls through the mansion's garden were forbidden.
''Father, why do you want to make me unhappy?'' I asked in the void.
I looked at my dress. I had to wear formal clothing everyday. A lot of misters and misses from all over the world came over in our house each day. Making business deals with my father and to hear me play the piano. I don't wanna live like that anymore. I want to live my own live! I bet I looked pathetic in this formal wear, in a small city like this. It was evening, eleven o' clock I guessed. The night sky was dark with twinkling stars. I saw down on the ground and pulled my knees up, while I looked at the shiny wonders, so far away. Then, I saw it. Dark clouds appeared and before I could stand up and seek for shelter, the cloudburst was already a fact. Thick raindrops, combined with lightning bolts and loud rumbles, changed the appearance of the just now peaceful sky. I was soaked till my bones and felt miserable. Tears kept pouring out of my eyes and the only thing I could do was sob and hug my knees. After a while, when the rain stopped and it became chilly, I walked towards the bridge and sat down underneath it. I don't know how long I've set there, but I must have fallen asleep, because the next day…
-The next day-
''Oi, daijoubu?'' I heard a worried voice.
Someone shook my shoulders. I slowly opened my eyes, only to widen them and to back away.
''Hey, don't you know it's rude to invade in somebody's private space?'' I asked at the person in front of me.
A pair of dark brown eyes looked confused at me.
''Wari wari.'' He said with a sheepish smile.
''Could you be so polite to give me your name, young man?'' I asked.
''Wow, you sure a polite for somebody the same age as me,'' The boy replied with a grin. ''I'm Endou Mamoru.''
I observed the boy. He had brown hair, decorated with a orange hair band. He reached out his hand to me. I looked at it. It was covered in mud and bruises. I looked at my own soft blue, formal gloves. I thought it wouldn't matter, since I was all dirty myself. I shook his hand.
''It's an honor to meet you, Endou-san.'' I said polite.
The boy, now named as Endou, grinned again.
''Oi, how does it come that you're so dirty. Don't tell me you've spend the night here?'' He asked.
I looked to the ground.
''Unfortunately, I did.'' I replied.
Endou looked compassionate at me.
''Did you ran away from home?'' He asked.
I nodded and tears welled up in my eyes again. I suppressed them. Crying in front of a young man isn't polite.
''Come on, I'll take you to my home.'' Endou said, while he pulled me up.
My eyes widened.
''N-No, that's really not necessary.'' I replied.
''Oh, come on. I bet you want to take a shower.'' Endou said.
To be honest, I did. I felt like a drowned cat and I bet I also looked and smelled like one.
''I-Is it sure for me to come?'' I asked again.
Endou nodded and gave me a happy grin.
''Yeah, let's go!'' He said, before he grabbed my hand and dragged me along.
''Ts-Tsutto matte.'' I replied overwhelmed, while I tried to grab the skirt part of my dress.
''Dosta?'' Endou asked.
''I-I can't run that fast.'' I explained.
Endou examined me.
''Ah, you're wearing heels.'' He said.
''And a formal dress.'' Endou added.
I nodded again.
''It looks funny.'' Endou said.
I puffed up my cheeks.
''Should I be offended?'' I asked.
''No, certainly not. It suits you. Too bad they're so dirty now.'' He replied.
''Thanks.'' I replied.
''My mother can wash the dress for you.'' Endou said.
''N-No, she really doesn't have to. I'm already being a big bother now.'' I replied.
''You really aren't. Girls like you should be helped. Demo, I don't know how to handle girls that well. Maybe I should call my girlfriend.'' He said.
''You have a girlfriend?'' I asked.
Endou nodded happily.
''Uhu. She's called Elle. I bet you'll like her. Demo, she's not that girlish. Maybe it doesn't help much if I call her.'' He realized.
''Won't she be jealous after she hears that you took a girl like me to your home?'' I asked, to know for sure.
''I don't think so. Besides, she trust me, just like I trust her.'' He replied.
''Relationships must be wonderful.'' I said.
''Have you ever had a boyfriend before?'' Endou asked me, while we kept walking.
I shook my head.
''No, never.'' I replied a bit sad.
''That's too bad. Spending time with the person you love is the second thing I love most in the world to do.'' Endou said.
''Second?'' I asked. ''What's the first.''
Endou grinned bright.
''Soccer of course!'' He said.
''Soccer?'' I slowly repeated.
''You don't know soccer?'' Endou asked surprised.
I shook my head.
''Sorry, never heard of it. What's it like?'' I asked.
''It's amazing. You're standing with all your friends on a field and try to bring a ball up and kick it in a goal'' He said.
''Sounds fun.'' I said.
''You should see it with your own eyes. After you're fully rested, I'll take you to my soccer practice. It's lots of fun!'' Endou said, while his eyes lightened up.
I smiled happily. For the first time, I felt like I've made a friend.
''We're here.'' Endou said, when he stopped in front of a house, that was on the corner of a street.
''It's such a sweet house.'' I said, while I admired the outside.
''Come on, let's meet up with my mom.'' Endou said, while he dragged me inside.
''Sorry for the intrusion.'' I said, before I entered the house.
''Endou, is that you?'' I heard a female voice.
''Oka-san.'' Endou replied with a smile, while he walked towards the kitchen.
I didn't dare to move, so I stood still on my spot in the corridor. Endou turned around.
''Eh? Why aren't you coming?'' He asked.
''I-I'm fine.'' I replied.
''Come on, silly.'' He said, while he grabbed my hand and dragged me inside the kitchen.
In front of me stood a friendly woman with an apron on.
''Ah, you've brought a guest.'' The woman said, who appearantly was Endou's mother.
Then, she discovered my dirty clothes.
''My oh my,'' She said shocked, while he placed a hand in front of her mouth. ''What happened to you?''
I explained the story.
''I see.'' Endou's mother replied.
I bowed deep.
''Sorry to bother you with my presence.'' I said.
''Sweet kid, don't apologize. I'm happy you're here.'' Endou's mother replied. ''Do you want to take a shower?''
''I-Is that really okay?'' I asked.
''Let me show you the bathroom.'' She said, while she took me upstairs.
Endou stayed downstairs and gave me a reassuring smile. When I was upstairs, Endou's mother guided me to the bathroom, laid a towel and a bathrobe ready and said that she would look if she could find some clothes for me. I thanked her with a deep bow and waited for her to leave the bathroom. After I got undressed, I stepped into the cabin and let the hot water fall onto my head. The water stung slightly on my back, where the stripes were revealed now. I knew I deserved punishment. Before mother died, I was father's precious treasure. He treated me with respect and like a lady. How could it go so far? After showering, I careful dried myself off and putted on the bathrobe. I wrapped the towel around my hair and took the dirty pile off the ground, which were on my body before, except for my underwear. Endou's mother had walked upstairs, since she noticed that the shower had gone off. She knocked on the door.
''Are you finished?'' She asked.
''Hai, I'm done, miss Endou-san.'' I replied.
''Please, call me Atsuko.'' Endou's mother said with a smile, while she opened the door.
I smiled back and bowed.
''Nice to meet you, Atsuko-san.'' I said.
Endou's mother smiled.
''I think all my clothes are too big for you, so I've fetched a sweatpants and a white, short sleeved T-shirt from Mamoru.'' She said.
I blushed while I looked at the clothes. Boy clothes… Me, as a lady, have never worn boy clothes before. But I had to be grateful. I'm not in my mansion anymore. Besides, being arrogant totally didn't fit in my shy and timid personality.
''Arigato gozaimasu.'' I said, before I bowed deeply again.
''Sweetie, you should stop bowing. I'm not the president.'' Endou's mother said laughing.
''I-It's in my nature.'' I replied.
''I already thought so, by the look of your clothes. You seem to come from a wealthy family.'' Endou's mother said.
''A-Ah.'' I replied, a bit gloomy.
''Where do you live?'' Endou's mother asked.
''The big castle, just past by the big forest at the outskirts of town.'' I replied.
Endou's eyes widened.
''You live in that big mansion?'' She asked impressed.
''H-Hai.'' I replied.
''They say a famous pianist lives there and a wealthy business man. Are those your parents?'' Endou's mother asked.
''The business man is my father. The pianist is me. My mother died three years ago.'' I replied.
''You're the famous pianist? That's pretty impressive. I'm sorry about your mother. How old were you when she died?'' Endou's mother asked.
''I was eleven years old.'' I replied.
''That means your fourteen now, just like my Mamoru.'' Endou's mother stated.
''I guess so.'' I replied.
''What a coincidence.'' Endou's mother said.
Then, she noticed I was still in my bathrobe. She smiled.
''You can get changed now. Did you had breakfast?'' Endou's mother asked.
''I-I didn't.'' I replied shy back.
''Then I make you some. Don't worry about it.'' Endou's mother said.
I smiled and bowed deep.
''Arigato gozaimasu.'' I said.
''Again, no such formalities. It makes me feel like an obaa-chan.'' Endou's mother said giggly.
I couldn't help but to giggle too.
''Well, I see you in a few minutes downstairs.'' Endou's mother said.
Before she walked away, she gave a nod to the large sink.
''In one of the drawers, there is an unused hairbrush. You can use anything you want, though. Please, feel home here.'' She said with a smile.
Then, she took my dirty clothing pile and walked off. I smiled and gave a small bow towards the direction she left in. After that, I dressed myself in my underwear again and wore Endou's clothes over it. I felt so … unfeminine. But I couldn't help but giggle when I looked in the mirror. After putting on the clothes, I brushed my hair and removed the running mascara off my face. I smiled at my reflection and left the bathroom. I saw a pair of pink, fluffy slippers in front of the bathroom door. I slipped into them and carefully walked downstairs. Endou sat at the dining table and his mother stood behind the stove.
''Wow, what a difference.'' Endou said, when he saw me.
''I know, I look awful.'' I replied.
''No, you look so pure.'' Endou said with a smile.
''Huh?'' I asked.
Endou's mother smiled.
''I agree with Mamoru. Without the make-up, pretty done hair and formal wear, you look like an innocent, fourteen-year-old girl.'' She said.
''I-Is that a compliment?'' I asked.
''Yes it is.'' He said.
I made a small bow towards him.
''Come on, sit down.'' Endou said, while he patted on the chair next to him.
With an unsure feeling, I took place next to him.
''Are you hungry?'' Endou asked me.
''Quite a bit.'' I replied.
''I hope you like pancakes.'' Endou's mother said.
My eyes lit up.
''I love pancakes!'' I said.
Endou's mother putted a big plate in front of me and Endou.
''Attack.'' She said with a playful smile, which made me blush.
Endou immediately took a pancake of the pile and started eating. Carefully, I took one pancake of with my knife and fork and placed it carefully on my plate. Then, I cut small pieces off it everytime.
''Wow, you even eat formal.'' Endou said, when he saw my eating style.
''I-I can't help it.'' I replied.
''Oka-san already told me where you come from. So, you're a pianist?'' Endou asked me.
''Do you come from a wealthy family?'' Endou asked.
I nodded again.
''That explains for lady-like behavior.'' Endou said.
''N-Nane?'' I asked.
''Oh, I don't mean it rude! I mean your sitting posture, the way you look, the way you talk and act. That kind of things.'' Endou replied quickly.
''I was trained to be a lady ever since I was born.'' I explained.
''That's impressive.'' Endou replied.
''And you? You are a soccer player?'' I asked.
''Even though I was against it in the first place.'' Endou's mother replied.
I looked confused and Endou explained me the whole story about how he discovered soccer.
''So it was thanks to your grandfather that you've made it so far.'' I said impressed.
''Too bad he's dead.'' He replied.
''My sincere apologies.'' I said.
''Don't worry about it.'' Endou replied.
He sighed content.
''I'm so happy I play soccer. Thanks to that, I've met so many amazing people.'' He said.
''That must be great. To have friends.'' I replied.
Endou looked surprised.
''Eh? You don't have friends?'' He asked.
I shook my head.
''I've always been alone in that mansion. The only people I saw were grown-ups who wanted to listen to my piano plays. For three years, I've been kept away from society.'' I said.
Endou's mouth fell open.
''That's horrible.'' He said.
I glanced in front of me.
''I don't know any better.'' I replied.
Endou's mother looked compassionate.
''Do you know why?'' She asked.
''My father won't let me go outside. He's very overprotective. Always been. But it only became worse ever since my mother died.'' I said.
''I heard from Mamoru. I'm so sorry.'' Endou's mother said.
''It's okay.'' I replied.
''From now on, you have at least one friend.'' Endou said, while he gave me a pat on my back.
''What's wrong?'' Endou's mother asked.
''N-Nothing!'' I replied quickly, cursing myself for showing such an emotion.
Endou looked suspicious.
''Don't tell me…'' He started.
His mother understood where he was aiming for.
''Sweetie, show us your back.'' She said, a bit strict.
''N-No.'' I quickly said.
I stood up from the table, but Endou grabbed my arm.
''We're not going to harm you. We just want to look at your back.'' He said.
''Let me go.'' I said panicking.
Endou held a firm grip on me, while Endou's mother walked towards me and lifted up the back of my shirt. Her eyes widened.
''No…'' She said shocked.
Endou glared at it too and his eyes widened too.
''You've been hit?'' He asked shocked.
''I-I…'' I stammered.
''I feel so sorry for you.'' Endou's mother said, completely awestruck.
''That's why I ran away.'' I said soft. ''I don't want to be hit anymore. I don't want to be forced to live a lady-like life. I want to life my own live.'' I said.
''Can I take a picture from it?'' Endou's mother asked serious.
My eyes widened.
''Why?'' I asked.
''For the police.'' She replied.
''No! Then, they're going to arrest my dad! I don't want that!'' I panicked.
''Sweetie, girls like you can't be hit. Your father knows that too.'' She said.
''P-Please don't do it.'' I begged.
Endou's mother sighed.
''All right. But your definitely not going back to that mansion again. You're staying here.'' She said.
I looked shocked.
''I-I can stay?'' I asked.
Endou's mother nodded and winked at me.
''Of course you can.'' She said.
Endou smiled too.
''I'm so glad.'' He said.
''Well, shall I take you to the soccer field now?'' Endou asked me.
''N-Now? When I look like this?'' I replied.
''We're not having a fashion contest there. Everybody's covered in dirt and sweat. You would be the most decent looking one there.'' He said.
I laughed too.
''Okay, let's go, Endou-san.'' I said.
Endou shook his hand.
''Call me Mamoru.'' He said.
''Okay, Mamoru-san.'' I replied.
''Now that we're talking about names, you never told us your own.'' Endou's mother said.
''It's Misumi. Misumi Naomi.''
End of Chapter