Stefan moves to Japan after his parents' death, desperate to find out what killed them, when he meets a strange boy named Ashley
Ever since his parents died, Stefan had promised himself he'd get to the bottom of it one way or another. He always said he wanted to be a detective, and this was the perfect time to try out the skills he'd learned. The only problem was, he was in Japan and the death happened in England. Stefan could barely speak Japanese, so he couldn't get help from anyone. It was terrible in school, as well. He knew some of the language, but that was hardly enough to get him through a conversation. The people of Japan were nice and friendly, there was just a few kids in school who apparently didn't know the meaning of those words.
"Doke!" he heard from behind him, and he felt himself get pushed violently to the side, as a group of kids barged past him. He had no idea what that meant, but he heard it shouted a lot in crowded places, so he guessed it meant 'move out of the way' or something. Stefan sighed and carried on walking. Sometimes he wondered if he was actually suffering from depression or it was just his hormones, like his Uncle told him. Everything was so unfair. Everyone else he knew had no problems, they were attractive, they were popular, their parents loved them and they could speak the same fucking language as everyone else. Stefan never told anyone about his problems. Nobody cared. He didn't have family he could talk to. His Uncle was his closest family member and he was acting like he didn't want Stefan anymore. Dru, the only other British kid at Guri Nuzzu (or 'Za nuzzu' as the other students called it) was also the only other person he knew. They weren't friends, officially. They just stuck by each other seeing as they didn't want to be on their own. But Dru didn't really talk much. He kept himself to himself, and that was it.
So still, Stefan was alone. No family, no friends, and stuck in another country where he knew nobody. But of course, his problems didn't make him special. They didn't make him stand out. In fact, they made him feel even more insignificant than he already did.
He snapped out of his depressing daydream when one of the school doors nearly slammed in his face. He stopped it with his hand about half a second before it it came into contact with his nose. Keeping his eyes fixed on the ground, he let the door swing closed behind him - probably about to hit another student in the face - and ran down the steps.
"Kare no kami!" a girl nearby whispered, followed by a chorus of giggles from her friends. He knew they were all staring at him. Did he have something on his face? He caught his reflection for a second in a car window, there was nothing wrong. What were they talking about?
Out of nowhere, a girl around his age appeared in front of him. He flinched and she laughed, covering her mouth with both hands.
"Anata no kami!" She squealed. Stefan panicked a little, he didn't know what to do. He decided to use up what he knew of Japanese.
"Um... shirimasen?" he asked, hoping he'd said the right thing and not just completely offended her.
She raised and eyebrow and laughed again. It was then that he realised he'd used the wrong kind of 'what?'.
"...Nandesuka?" he asked again, this time praying he'd said it right.
She stuttered a little. "...Kami...?" she said, tugging on a strand of her black hair.
That's when it clicked. She was talking about his hair...
"Oh! Um... yeah..." he laughed awkwardly, messing with his curls.
Suddenly, her hand launched forward and knocked his hat off his head. She dug her hand into his curls and before he could protest she ran off squealing to her friends, leaving him confused and hatless.
He could hear their excited giggles as he searched for his hat on the ground. He didn't get what was so interesting about his hair. Hadn't they ever seen a white boy with an afro? He sighed, picking up his hat off the floor and putting it back on his head. As he walked down the street, he wondered if anybody back in England knew where he was. He wondered if they missed him. Deep down, he knew they didn't, they probably had no idea he was living in Hokkaido. If he became fluent in Japanese and knew his way around better, he might start to enjoy living in Japan. It was a nice place, and at times, it was so much better than England. People were so much different here than they were in England, they had manners, for a start. Well, everyone apart from a couple of highschool kids.
He turned to go down one of the back alleys, scuffing his trainers as he walked. It wasn't the safest route to take but it was the quickest to get home. He started to run, after all, he had no idea who could be there ready to stab him or something.
After a few minutes of running, and trying to dodge all the other schoolkids in fear of being hair-raped again, he got home safe.
"I'm home!" He shouted, pausing for a moment to hear his Uncle's reply. Nothing. He went into the living room to find him. Walking past the coffee table, a note caught his eye.
Stefan, I've gone out. I'll be back in a bit. There's plenty of food so you won't starve.
Brilliant. What a great Uncle. He'd been doing it a lot recently, going out and not coming back for ages. He never told him where he went, but it turned out it was usually something to do with work. The other times, he wasn't so sure about. He guessed it was just another question he wouldn't get an answer to. Another problem he had to deal with alone. Another load of bullshit thrown at him by his so-called 'God'.
Scrunching up the note, he walked off into the kitchen, to get something to eat. He wanted to try and make some bento, like he'd seen all the other kids eat. It looked so amazing and artistic.
His hopes vanished when he opened the cupboards to realise they had no food. He slammed them shut and marched back into the living room, in search of his Uncle's wallet. Sure, he was stealing. He knew it was wrong. But so is leaving a fifteen year old child alone for a few days with no food or money or a way to get help if anything happens to him.
It seemed his Uncle had taken his wallet and all the money in the house with him. Stefan didn't know what to do, he was starving. He trudged up the stairs to his room, slamming the door behind him and flopping down on the bed.
He looked round to his bedside table, and saw a picture of his Mum and Dad. He picked it up and sighed. He missed them so much, he'd do anything to bring them back. These thoughts ran through Stefan's mind every day. Not many people would understand how much it hurts. His childhood was far from normal and his parents would never get to see their little boy grow up. One of the things that hurt the most is that he couldn't even go to the funeral. His Mum and Dad were the nicest people on Earth, they didn't deserve to die at such a young age, snatched away from him like that. They were everything to him. It was all he had. Now, he had nothing. He felt so alone, like he didn't have a purpose anymore. Like he was just wasting a perfectly good soul.
Studying the picture carefully, he sniffled as a tear slowly rolled down his cheek. It still shocked him when he realised they weren't with him anymore. Sometimes he'd daydream about how life would be if they were still alive, how perfect everything would be. He'd be back home in England. He'd have friends...maybe. He'd have people who actually loved him. Everytime he snapped out of his daydream felt like another stab to the heart. He was quickly losing the will to live.
Tears were falling freely down his cheeks as he carefully placed the picture back down on the nightstand. Feeling phsyically and emotionally exhausted, he took one last look at his parent's picture before going to sleep.