Maka's POV

I tip-toed down the stairs, even though they were covered in gray, stained carpet they creaked slightly every step of the way. I was desperately trying not to wake up my father. I managed to make it to the door and snatched up my dance bag ready to leave the house for dance. Right as I opened the door I felt a harsh tug on my wrist and the back of a hand collided with my cheek.

"Get out of my sight." The gravelly voice of my father spat in my ear before he opened the door all the way for me and shoved me out of the house. I hurried to the bus stop as quickly as I could but I missed it. It wouldn't have helped me get to class anyways; I'd forgotten the change for the fare…

*At School*

I always get to school early, when there is hardly anyone there. This gives me a chance to go to the restroom and apply foundation. I look at my reflection in the mirror and I see an ugly, stick-like girl with a large bruise on her cheek. It had already turned purple! I heard the bathroom door open before I get a chance to put my make up on. I heard a gasp from a girl who'd entered.

"My lord! What happened to you?" I turn around to see Tsubaki. She is a kind girl, sometimes a little too kind for her own good, who is friends with everyone.

"Nothing I just tripped." I tried to walk past her, but she grabbed me by the shoulders and embraced me.

"And fell on your face?" She asked her voice shot with worry.

"Yeah I tripped down the stairs." I lied. I hated lying to someone as sweet as Tsubaki, but I didn't want to tell the truth. Heck, I hated recognizing the truth myself.

"Are you sure? What are all those cuts doing on your shoulder?" She let me go from her embrace and held me by the shoulders.

"When I was biking here I took a shortcut through a forested path, the tree branches were low and scraped me up." Something told me that no matter how hard I tried to convince her I was fine, she wouldn't take it.

"If you won't tell me the truth, I know someone who will." She warned me as she turned to walk away from me.

"Who?" I asked, I hurried in front of her path and stood there to stall her.

"Stein." She said bluntly. Leave it to Tsubaki to never keep anything from anyone.

"If I told him he wouldn't believe me! No one would, trust me," I looked at the ground briefly, then looked up and began to finish applying some foundation over the bruise that had bloomed on my cheek. Tsubaki had taken a comb out of her bag and started combing out her long, raven colored hair. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. I quickly brushed some powder over my face and I grabbed my bag, shoving all the makeup I had used back in several of the pockets. Before I got a chance to leave, Tsubaki asked one more question.

"Why do you have a dance bag for a backpack?" I facepalmed. Ow, I had forgotten already about the bruise and ended up hitting it when I facepalmed.

"I dance." I said quietly, looking at the floor. I looked up to see Tsubaki with a smile on her face.

"I hope you have a good time dancing, I have to go, bye Maka!" she swept her hair up in a high ponytail and then left me in the bathroom all alone. Tsubaki was painfully sweet, god I wish I could be her friend. I couldn't afford to have friends though. I stepped out of the restroom.

I was now in empty hallways in the DWMA. It would be a good 30 minutes before people started to show up. I set my bag down and out on some foot undies, I was going to practice my cheer audition right there in the hall. GASP! I know Maka Albarn the school bookworm was trying out for cheer! I was just trying to get an excuse to not be at home and around my dad all the time.

I started "Star-ships" By Nikki Minaj. I was working on the last 2, 8 counts that we had to make up and I decided upon doing a la seconde into a calypso into a knee drop then pose. I'll just have to do a lot of a la secondes to fill up most of the 2, 8 counts.

I also needed to practice my tumbling. It could get you a lot of points for your audition. I was doing a round off front tuck down the hallway and I was just about to land it someone ran into the empty hallway and I landed right on them. I got up as quickly as I could and I brushed the dust off my plaid skirt. Thank god I wore dance shorts under my skirt. I looked up and saw Soul Eater Evans, school jock and Mr. Popularity staring at me. My face went 10 shades of red.

"S..sorry!" stuttering, I slid my boots back on without even taking off the foot undies and grabbed my bag before I ran down the hallway.

Ugh! I had first hour with Soul! It was going to be so awkward, especially because he sits right next to me in class. Knowing him, he will probably ditch with Black Star or show up late, which for him late is 40 minutes after class starts, leaving him with 5 whole minutes left in class.

Though, of course, it was just my luck that he came to class on time. I just sat there and tried to read my book, which was nearly impossible because he fell asleep and snored loudly. Okay, I had a chance to Maka-chop him. Stein just left to "fix the printer". I quietly brought the book above his head and slammed it down, he fell out of his chair.

"Bitch what was that for?" I smirked at his response to my hit. Served him right.

"You were sleeping and it was hard to read with you snoring right next to me." I spat. He grumbled something I couldn't hear, as he slid into his seat. I slumped back in my seat and enjoyed my book in the silence of class.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Though, Stein directed a dissection during 4th hour that went awry with the live animal he tried to dissect running rampant in the halls. 9th hour was a snooze fest as we all dealt with this annoying, symmetry obsessed freak ranted about how terrible pencil sharpeners were. Soon enough the final bell rang and I ran through the halls to the gym.

I stopped outside the door to the gym and caught my breath. It didn't sound like there was anybody in there so I walked into the gym without care. To my surprise many boys and girls were watching from the bleachers. I tried to sneak into the girl's changing room without getting noticed but, right as I was reaching the door, I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"You aren't seriously going to try out for cheer right?" Soul laughed, his hand grasping his flat stomach and his body bending over from laughter.

"I am indeed, thank you very much." I said coldly rushing into the girl's dressing room.

I changed into my black dance shorts with 3 white stripes on one side, and my plain white shirt. We all had to wear black based dance shorts and white shirts for try outs. That's why there were all the boys in the gym, so they could see girls in short shorts dance around in a provocative manner.

After putting my hair in a high ponytail, I head out to the gym. I swear the room went so quiet you could hear a pin drop, when I walked in. I tried my best to ignore it and I went to stretching. I had my left foot on the bleacher and one on the ground and I slid into over splits as my phone started to ring. It was my dad; I picked the phone up and answered.

"Bitch where are you!" He yelled.

"At cheer tryouts, you said I could try out."

"When did I say that? It's bad enough I let you do dance." He spat.

"I asked last weekend and you said it was okay."

"Well you get your fat ass home now!" he yelled. I was freaking out, what if anyone on my end heard him shouting through the phone. Without thinking I said…

"No dad, I want to experience stuff normal teens do! Can't you let me be normal?"

"You won't even make it; they don't want a portly, fat-bag girl on the team!" He was right. Not right about me being fat, but definitely right on the fact I wouldn't make it. My eyes swelled with fat tears I won't let him control my life, I was going to stand up to him, so I hung up. Quickly wiping my eyes, I stood up and went on practicing my tumbling. While doing a chin stand, I heard my number being called, so I stood up and walked over to the table where the judges were. The judges were Marie, and 2 other of the varsity cheer girls.

I got in the starting position and I heard 'boos' and other rude insults from the bleachers. When I heard the music all that left my mind and I performed the routine with my heart. I got to the part I hand to make up and when I have finished 1, 8 count and I was still doing my a la secondes when I started to hear cheering. Finishing my routine off I did my calypso/ knee drop and I posed with my left knee up with my left arm resting on it and I had a smile on my face. The ground burst into cheers and cat calls. I got up and did a sassy walk off of the mat.

Walking into the dressing room, I got tackled by Tsubaki.

"You did so well!" She squealed, kneeing me right on a bruise on my thigh by accident.

"Ow!" I flinched and Tsubaki quickly got off of me.

"Oh, I am sorry." She said. I could feel her eyeing my bruises but I ignored it as I went to throw some sweats on and head out of the DWMA. How I wish I didn't have to go home. I sighed and looked at the ground as I walked out of the school alone. Tsubaki didn't pursue me any further. I popped in my earbuds and flicked on my ipod and just listened to some tunes as I walked.

Before long, I could see my house around the corner. I tried walking slower but it was a matter of minutes before I was right in front of my house. Slowly putting my key in the lock, I pushed open the door. I set my bag down and looked around; it was eerily quiet in the house. I went into the kitchen, still no one there. Pouring myself a glass of milk I felt a presence behind me. Suddenly I was yanked back by my hair; I dropped the glass and the quart of milk and the glass shattered all over the floor. Slipping back in the pool of milk, I fell into my attacker's arms.

"You little brat! How dare you disobey your father!" He yelled, throwing me against the wall. I slid down the wall into the pool of milk and glass. I was on my knees, about to get up when I felt him kick me in the side.

"Agh," I groaned and coughed as I tried to get back up again. His footsteps faded for a moment, I wondered; did he leave? I hoped so badly that he did. I hoped desperately. I managed to get up, my sweats and socks soggy with milk and my legs spattered with chunks of glass and blood. I turned around and ended up face to face with my father, who bore an exacto-knife in his right hand. With his left he grabbed my wrist and began to make little, painful cuts.

"Are you going to disobey me again?" He asked.

"N..no..," I lied. I could never guarantee I was going to always follow his instructions.

"Good," he made one long gash on my wrist, "Those will serves as reminders of what happens to little girls who don't obey their fathers, understand?" I look at the ground and give a slow nod, "Look at me and answer me you little bitch!" I look up.

"Yes, I understand," I sink to the ground once more as he walks away. I hear the front door creak open and slam shut. He left. Thank god. I curled up in the pool of milk and glass, shaking, crying and hoping that the end of all this would come soon. I knew I was hoping in vain, but it was still nice to pretend every once in a while.

When I managed to recover I got up once more and went to my bedroom. It was small, with a single miniscule window that was extremely difficult to open. I plopped down on my creaky bed and removed my clothing. I noticed in the dusty mirror that hung on the wall a few feet from the foot of my bed all my bruises and cuts. There were more than I could count on my fingers and toes. Shuddering I returned to doing what I had intended to do. Get ready for dance, my escape. It was 6:00pm; I was expected to be at the studio by 6:30, the last bus for the evening left at 6:15!

"Shit, shit, shit…," I muttered. I couldn't go to dance in my typical leotard, not with the new cuts I had. I plucked an obsidian colored leotard with long sleeves and a turtleneck from a hanger in my closet and laid it on the bed. I quickly shimmied on some tights and pulled my leotard and my purple Bloch Booties on. Rapidly, I checked myself over in the mirror to make sure no marks were showing, grabbed my bag and headed out the door. The sky was filled with great gray clouds, swelling full of rain and the air was humid.

I had managed to make the bus to the studio barely. If I had been a second later I would've missed the bus. It only took the bus 15 minutes to get to Deadly. Deadly was the dance studio I had been dancing at for years. When I hopped off the bus it just started to downpour. I hustled my buns as hurriedly as I could into the studio, but still managed to get soaked by the torrential downpour.

When I entered the studio I sat down, slumped in one of the cushioned chairs and sighed a sigh of relief as I looked at the clock. I had made it.

"Phew," I sighed as I pulled my pale pink pointe shoes from my dance bag and began to put them on.

"Maka! When you're done lacing up your shoes, could you do me a big favor? Could you wash the mirror in studio 3?" one of the instructors, Irina, called from behind the front desk.

"Sure!" I gave her a big smile. Taking a wash cloth and bottle of cleaner from the desk, I walked towards studio 3.

"There is a hip hop class in there currently, but I am sure they won't mind the interruption," Irina called out after me. I walked to studio 3 on the box of my pointe shoes, but nearly had a coronary when I saw who was there! Liz, Patti, Kid, Tsubaki, Black*Star, and…Soul!

"What the heck are you guys doing here?!" I said excitedly, "Wait, scratch that, what the heck is HE doing here?"

"Oh my god! I heard from Liz, who heard from another girl who knew one of the judges that you made the cheer team!" Tsubaki squealed and embraced me as she disregarded the question I had just asked. I sighed, typical Tsubaki.

"Well, haha I hope that its true!" I gave her a true smile, "So where is the teacher?" I asked.

"She twisted her ankle; she's probably at Death City hospital right now. She said as she left that we need to stay and practice," Patti giggled.

"Well, I hope she is alright. Um shouldn't you guys be practicing then?" I raised an eyebrow and looked directly at Black*Star.

"Uhh…nope," He laughed.

"I have a half an hour before my class starts, I could run the dance with you guys!"

"Whatever," Liz whipped out her nail file and took a seat cross-legged on the floor, filing her already perfectly manicured nails.

"So what song are you guys using?"

"Uh…I think it's called 'First of the Year' by umh..Skrillex?" Black*Star scratched his head.

"Excellent!" I hit the play button on the Ipod dock, then proceeded to watch in astonishment and horror as they danced like a bunch of elephants. They finished and I began to clap. They all smiled, "I am clapping because it is over!" I barked. Their smiles fell instantly.

"But we did pretty damn good!" Black*Star shouted in defense.

"No, you were a step behind everyone else and the entire group wasn't in sync at all. You call that foot work? I call that stomping around like elephants! And Soul, that head spin in your break dancing solo was weak!"

"Oh really now? I'd like to see you do better bun-head! Let's see who can head spin longest. Challenge accepted?" He grinned toothily.

"Oh it's on!" I let my hair down from my bun and it fell in waves down below my shoulders. I noticed Kid and Black*Star smirking.

"I bet Soul will win this anyone willing to bet against me?"

"Oh you're on! TEAM MAKA!" Patti shouted.

"20 bucks?"

"Deal" Patti and Black*Star shook hands and watched eagerly as we replayed First of the Year. Soul started off strong but finished weak with a time of only 45 seconds. I continued on till a minute and a half had passed. Soul stared with a gaping mouth as Black*Star reluctantly passed Patti a 20 dollar bill.

*After Pointe Class*

Ugh! Class had been a pain in my ass that day. My feet had hurt so bad and were bleeding pretty profusely. I walked out into the girl's dressing room barefoot, exposing my bloody, bruised feet. I heard a gasp, which made me jump, typically I was the last one in there. I turned to see Liz standing behind me staring, a blush rose to my cheeks. My feet were hideous, unmanicured, and I was missing a couple toenails…

"Never knew it hurt so bad." She said, gawking at my feet.

"It does. What are you doing here so late?" I asked her.

"Left my phone here." She answered before walking out of the dressing room. I was shocked by her sudden kindness towards me. Who knows, maybe she was just faking her surprise, but I had a feeling it was true.

I slipped on my shoes and snatched up my bag and made my way back to the bus stop. It was going to be a dreaded ride home. Though, I sometimes fantasized about not ever leaving the bus, my house was seen from its clouded windows far too soon. I was praying my dad wouldn't be home, but just to my luck he was. I heard him drunkly stumbling around the house murmuring things that made no sense. As soon as I was within reach my dad threw his empty beer bottle at my head. I fell to the ground as blood dripped down from my forehead. Standing up, I tried to quietly, quickly make it upstairs, but I was caught once again by my so-called father. Hearing a shattering sound I ducked reflexively.

"Not so fast girly." He slurred. In his hands was a shard of the now broken beer bottle. He ripped the sleeves of my leotard off and slowly placed the shard on my wrist, making even more cuts then last time. I was crying, shaking my head, and mumbling. He stopped, but not nearly as soon as I would've wanted and I rushed upstairs to my bedroom. Fat tears swelled up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. I went to the bathroom and turned on the rusty faucet. No water came, my father must've not paid the utility bill. I took one of my makeup wipes, that I had purchased with my own money and began to wipe down my wounds, it stung like a bitch. Taking another wipe, I removed the mask I wore on my face, all that makeup that covered the evidence of years of abuse. Sitting at the end of my bed, I took a long look in the mirror before I managed to open the window in my bedroom and limberly twisted my body through the small gap. I was free, sitting out on the tree branch of the large Oak in our back yard.

Then, I climbed from there up to the roof and I sat on the flat part leaning against the stack of the fireplace. I thought about my day and how everything went, it was filled with negatives, but I found I could overlook them for once I felt there was hope. I remembered falling on top of Soul and my cheer audition and dance today and my dad cutting me. Then I remembered, seeing Soul, Liz, Patti, Tsubaki, and Black*Star at dance, making the cheer team (supposedly), and standing up to my dad so I could audition. Slowly my thought process stopped as I stared up at the stars, my mind emptying as the night sky lulled me to sleep.

*I do not own Soul Eater, nor do I own Skrillex's First of The Year*