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Left in the Shadows

by Hieinokoishi

Chapter 1 "A Death"

It was a beautiful Friday morning. The sun was up and there was not a cloud in sight. As Amanda emerged from her house, she had the feeling that someone’s eyes were watching her every move. When the dreams began plaguing her sleep at night, she had become a little frightened to go out alone, afraid that some perv or killer would attack her. She had told her worries to Yusuke and Kuwabara; Kuwabara looking a little guilty (though she didn’t know why) while Yusuke laughed at the matter and scared the living daylights out of her every chance he got.

Amanda looked around, her emerald eyes scanning the street and house windows. No one was in sight, which meant that her friends left. Cursing under her breath once more, she shivered a bit from the cold winter air and ran as fast as she could towards her school, Sarayashiki Jr. High. What she didn’t know was that a certain black shadow was watching her from the rooftops of her neighborhood.

When she reached the school, Amanda saw Yusuke and Kuwabara talking with a red-haired boy who, looking at his uniform, went to the high school down the street. Looking around, she saw many girls who walked past him literally do a double take and walk off giggling with their friends occasionally looking back. Amanda shook her head and walked over to them when Yusuke saw her and waved. She didn’t believe in love. Love was something she could only dream of. She once loved somebody and it ended up being violent and a wreck. That was one of the reasons she welcomed moving away. She wanted to get away from it all. She was still very touchy on the subject whenever Yusuke brought it up. (When he was at her house one time, he read about it in her diary)

“Are you sure Kurama?” Yusuke asked the red-haired boy.

“Yes. She has a strong…of…energy…her…” The boy’s words became incoherent as the wind blew through the area. Seeing her arrive, they hastily wrapped up their conversation.

“Hey Amanda! Took you long enough!” Kuwabara said in greeting.

“Sorry,” Amanda answered, “Slept in late again.”

“This is Kur-” Yusuke, gesturing to the boy, was cut off.

“My name is Shuichi Minamino.” He said with a smile that could make most girls melt in their shoes.

“Very nice to meet you Shuichi,” Amanda replied returning the gesture, “Is Kurama a nickname of yours?” A surprised look came over the fox spirit’s face.

“Uh…well…” He was cut off when Mr. Takenaka came rushing up to the little group, his face full of grief.

“Hey Mr. Take,” Yusuke said, “Why so down? Have you finally given up on taking me to the student guidance room?”

“This only concerns Amanda and needs to be told in private.” He replied sternly, “Amanda, we need to go to the office.” Amanda shrugged and followed him. School didn’t start for another ten minutes, at 9:10a.m.

“Well…I don’t know how to say this but…your mother…there has been a terrible hit-and-run accident. Your mother died on impact.” There were soft gasps from outside the room where the boys were eavesdropping. Amanda’s face paled. Mr. Takenaka wasn’t the one to lie. But she refused to believe it.

Amanda forced a laugh. “Ha ha Mr. Takenaka. You almost had me there for a moment. Now what did you really need to talk about?” When he didn’t reply, Her face paled even more as the truth sunk in. Her mom was…dead.

“Y-your…joking right?” She asked in a feeble attempt to still hear the words ‘I’m just kidding,’ or ‘you shouldn’t always believe what people tell you’ or anything to deny the truth. “Will you boys escort her home?” Mr. Takenaka asked, looking at the door. Yusuke, Kuwabara, and even Kurama (they forced him to come along) came from behind the door. They nodded.

“You don’t have to come back for the rest of the day, seeing that Monday is the start of winter break. Do you know where she lives?”

“Yeah.” Kuwabara replied quietly. “She’s my neighbor.” The boys then proceeded to kind of awkwardly lead her out of the room.

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