No...no it's not real...

    "Mom, dad!" I continued to scream and cry.

    Their room smelled of blood and their corpses were the ones bearing the blood. I rocked back and fourth in a ball, nearly going crazy. I squeezed my fists so hard that my fingernails bore into my palms and started bleeding. I wanted to die after seeing my parents sprawled across the bed in such a lifeless manner. I allowed my body to take control and I approached the phone in the bedroom, shaking violently and panicking. I dialed the emergency number and waited as the phone rang, my heart lodging into my throat again.

    "Hello?" a woman on the other line answered.

    "I-I-I need help!!" I cried. "My parents!! They're-they're-oh my God!" I couldn't get my words right.

    "Ma'am, you need to calm down and tell me what's wrong," the lady tried to console me.

    "My parents have been murdered!!!" I screamed and cried again, unable to tear my eyes off of my parents.

    "We'll have help there immediately," the woman was starting to panic a little. "Can you tell me where you live?"

    "I-I--" I was about to tell her until an unknown hand covered my mouth and another arm wrapped around my midriff and pulled me back, forcing me to drop the phone.

    I tried to pry the abnormally cold hand off of my mouth and tried to elude his grip, but was incapable of doing so. The man that had a hold of me growled...since when do humans growl? I struggled harder, even stomping on his foot, but it didn't seem to phase him. I couldn't think anymore, my adrenaline was rushing all throughout my body including my head. The man drug me back, away from my parents. I managed to open my mouth and bite his hand as hard as I could, but he didn't even seem to feel that either; instead, I got hurt. I could taste blood on his hands, the blood of my parents. I wanted to vomit from all of the blood and fear I was experiencing. I continued to claw at the man's hand and I could tell he was becoming agitated with me.

    "Quit squirming, you rat," he hissed into my ear and I immediately froze.

    The paramedics and police can trace my call, right? They only lived several blocks away, so they should be here soon! Something sharp pressed against my left cheek near my ear. After another sliver of a second, a pair of talons drug across my cheek. I screamed and struggled in the man's grasp once more. So much blood, so much horror, I was sure this man had an intention to kill me as well. My thoughts were interrupted as the man swung me around and rammed my back into the wall of my parents' room. I could feel a crater form from behind me and the wind was knocked out of me from my back hitting a wooden post behind the drywall. I fought to adjust my eyes again and catch my breath. The man extended one large hand towards me and I slapped it away, only to have him grab my wrist and squeeze.

    "No!" I shouted at him.

    It was too late. He squeezed harder and my wrist snapped under the pressure. I stared in shock and shrieked as soon as the pain reached me. I hit the man's chest and he responded by slamming into the wall again and pressing his bloody thumbs against my airway. My breath was immediately lost and if I didn't know any better, I'd have thought that his thumbs would penetrate my throat. I couldn't breathe in the slightest way, but I could still moan and try to scream. My attention went from my bloody dead parents to the silhouette of the man attempting murder on me.

    From the corner of my eye, another man came into the room and immediately destroyed the bedside lamp. He pulled the covers over my parents to conceal their bodies. He turned around and watched this man choke and suffocate me. My body was running numb already and I could barely moan anymore. I released my one grip from the man's wrist and let my arms fall numb at my side. I was allowing him to finish me off; there's no point in trying to escape alive anyways. I'm losing everything; my sister, my parents, my life. My life was already flashing before my eyes as my vision started to black out. The reminiscing helped me calm down a little bit, seeing as it was about mom, dad, and Aya and I'd be with them soon. My eyes started rolling to the back of my head and the pain from my wrist was starting to become absent from my departing life.

    In the next instant, I was dropped to the ground and the pressure from my throat was gone and the pain from my wrist was coming back. I gasped and attempted to catch my breath and my vision was barely coming back to normal. The silhouettes of the two men looked as though they were conversing, but the only thing I could hear was a deafening ringing in my ears. I couldn't move, I couldn't think, I couldn't believe what was going on. Red and blue flashing lights let me know that the paramedics and police were here and the two men dashed out of the bedroom. Where would they possibly run that they couldn't get caught? And why didn't they finish me off?

    Another silhouette--a female--appeared in the doorway and she turned to call some people in, I assumed. She waited until a man with a stretcher and emergency supplies rushed in to attend to me at my side. Before they could examine me, I coughed and finally threw up. Luckily I was on my side so I wouldn't choke on it. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak, I couldn't hear, I couldn't think or do anything. I was only an empty shell now and my eyes were glued back to the bloody bed of my parents once more. The paramedics attended to me and the police attended to my parents, investigating the murder. After nearly twenty minutes, the paramedics loaded me onto the stretcher, cautious of my wrist. Some more paramedics came in and brought two stretchers with body bags to take my parents away in...


    My throat was sore, my wrist was throbbing, my head was hurting and my stomach was still queezy. Was I just home sick again? Maybe I had gotten the flu and bruised my wrist while falling...maybe I passed out. I would wake up and mom would be standing by my bed with miso soup and an ice pack. Aya would be running into the room at any second because she would hear that I have finally woken up. Dad would be out buying medicine...everybody would be here...right?

    I cracked my eyes open and the gray paint and tiles of the hospital room came into play. I opened my eyes a little more and allowed them to adapt to the light before I made anything out. I looked around and was confused to not see mom and dad there. Where did they go? Are they--?

    It hit me. I don't think even a car could hit me that hard. I closed my eyes and clenched my fist and screamed, screamed as loud as I could. The tears overwhelmed me and I was hurting even more. Adrenaline came into play again and I ripped the IVs out of my arm and climbed out of my hospital bed, in worlds of pain. I ran out of the room and searched through the floor of the hospital I was on. I couldn't find mom or dad or Aya anywhere. A few nurses spotted me and tried to get a hold of me to send me back to my room but I responded by pushing them away.

    "Mom! Dad!!" I shouted out for them. "Mom, dad, where did you go?!"

    "Miss, you are supposed to be in your room," a nurse grabbed onto my arm.

    "Who the hell are you to tell me what to do?!" I blustered at the nurse. "I'm trying to find mom and dad!"

    "Your parents?" the nurse's face fell. "Your parents...you remember, right?"

    She knew? "You know about their job? They're working, right?" I was losing it.

    "Sweetie," the nurse gathered tears in her eyes. "You remember...they were murdered the other day."

    "Shut up! They were not!!" I blustered at her and I became dizzy. I sat myself down and leaned against the wall in the hallway.

    "Miss...are you okay?" the nurse bent over to examine me.

    "No," I cried, avoiding eye contact. My chest immediately tightened up and my breathing became difficult. I clenched my chest and wheezed. "I can't breathe...!"

    "We need help over here!" the nurse called out. "Someone bring an oxygen machine and a wheelchair!"

    A couple of nurses left to go fetch whatever they needed to and the one nurse continued to sit by me. She helped me lie down and try deep breathing. Every deep breath made my chest hurt. I should just stop breathing; I couldn't handle this anymore. My sister died six months ago and I was just starting to recover and then my parents get murdered! The two nurses rushed over with an oxygen machine and a wheelchair. They helped me onto the wheelchair and then fixed the oxygen mask on my face. I was too exhausted to fight them off. I didn't want to go back in the goddamn hospital room. It was this hospital that couldn't save my sister!

    There were so many eyes glued to me, so many people staring. I was sure they would send me to the nuthouse soon enough. I was acting crazy now, running out of my room, telling them my parents weren't dead, looking for my parents. Just like I had never truly known the strong bond between twins, I also never knew completely about the strong bond between parents and their child and how lost a child can be without them...I was alone. I was abandoned in this world...nobody here...


    There was conversing in my room. A group of adults? What were they doing in here, interrupting my sleep?

    "The rest of her biological family is either in too poor of condition or unsuitable to take care of this child," I heard one man say.

    "There has to be somebody. Aunts? Uncles? Grandparents?" another said.

    What were they talking about? Did the rest of my family die too? Were they deciding whom I should live with? I kept my eyes close so I could listen in on their conversation without them noticing.

    "Maybe we should ask her?"

    "Did you not read her parents' wills? They specified that if they were to pass on while their children were at an early age, then they should be sent to an orphanage."

    An orphanage? As in adoption? Why would mom and dad want to send me there? How long has it been since they died? Did they catch the murderers yet?

    "Her parents have already signed their children into our orphanage," a woman said, "so it's already decided where this child is to go."

    "Oh..." one man stared at me in surprise.

    I hadn't realized that I opened my eyes. I was still in the hospital, still lying on the bed with the broken wrist and a bruised throat. I looked around the room lazily; there were social workers everywhere, all conversing. They all went silent and turned their attention to me. Many, many of them wore sympathetic looks as soon as they turned to me. I removed the oxygen mask from my face and set it aside.

    "Where is mom and dad?" great, I was starting this up again.

    "Sweetie," one woman--who I heard talking earlier--approached me and rubbed my arm, "I'm so sorry for your loss."

    Silent tears eluded my eyes and I looked away, "When is the funeral?"

    The lady pursed her lips together, "There is no funeral. Your parents had agreed before that their bodies be donated to science."

    I flinched violently as the immediate image of scientists cutting open mom and dad dictated my mind, "Then...what am I going to do?"

    The lady paused for a moment, "I will take you to downtown Sapporo...to the orphanage down there. You will be living there until you're old enough to move out."

    "I-I--" I couldn't speak. I was too choked up on tears.

    "You'll be alright," the lady reassured me. "You've gone through some horrible events the past six months. We will make sure it will all be better."

    "I-I just want my parents back," I cried silently.

    "Sweetie, we know," she whispered. "I'm sorry."

    "What happened?" I asked her a rhetorical question. "What happened for all of this to suddenly happen?"

    "Nobody knows," she looked down and there was a long pause. "My name is Ms. Okenawa, I am the owner of the orphanage you will be staying at. Once you are ready to walk again, we will go and get your things."

    I shook my head, "No, I don't want to go back there," I didn't want to see the blood-stained bed and carpets. I wouldn't be able to stand the empty feeling of the once crowded house.

    "Okay," Ms. Okenawa rubbed my arm again. "I will call somebody to get your things. You're Kurabashi Arisa, right?"

    I nodded, "Yes,"

    "We're going to help you through this," she whispered to me, some of the other social workers leaving. "We're going to make sure your life gets back to normal."

    "It won't be normal anymore," I sniffed. "I don't have any parents, I don't have a sister. I have nothing."

    "We'll try to get it back as well as we can," she smiled halfheartedly.

    I didn't want to go to the orphanage, but where else could I go? Many memebers of my family were either sick or not suitable to be parents. And none of them seemed to appreciate my parents much. Aya and I never knew our cousins. It's almost as though we were quarantined from them.

    "I want mom and dad..." I cried again and turned onto my side, allowing Ms. Okenawa to rub my arm and console me as much as she wanted. But the consolance she gave me was nowhere near the amount I needed.


    After two more days--after spending a total of a week in the hospital--I was finally released. When I came outside with Ms. Okenawa, a cab was waiting for us with my things in the trunk. During the twenty-minute drive to the orphanage, Ms. Okenawa told me how many kids there were, how old they were, but didn't tell me why they ended up in the orphanage. By the sounds of it, there was only one other girl my age. Other than that, they were all younger. I never spoke to her; I would either respond to her with a small nod or not respond at all. I still didn't understand anything that was going on. Here, people are talking about where I should go and what to do with me. Why wasn't anybody discussing anything about my parents' murder?

    "Here we are," Ms. Okenawa smiled halfheartedly at me.

    I waited for her to leave the taxi before I did. I helped take out one bag and Ms. Okenawa grabbed my large suitcase. I was limited as to how much I could have, so I was only able to bring clothes and my jewelry that mom, dad, and Aya had gotten me for Christmas over the past several years. I brought along Aya's and mine matching hair ribbons with our names embroidered on them. I stood in front of the orphanage and let out a long sigh of apathy and entered the large hellhole I was to start a new life in with nobody I knew and nobody I intended to know in this hellish world. A world where I'm lost and nowhere to be found; without proper consolance, family, answers, meaning...