Kira’ Itzayana’s POV
A loud scream set me apart, waking me up from my deep slumber. Judging from the cries, I don’t have to guess that it was my aunt, my mother’s sister, who has gone crazy from being too depressed, according to my father. I instantly sat upright and ran to her room. Since my room is just beside hers, I could quickly check on her.
I passed by my mother’s picture in the hallway, and I paused to look at her beautiful face. Her hazelnut hair matched her chocolate brown eyes and stood out from her fair white skin. Her soft pouty lips and rosy cheeks melted to the sun and the white dress she was wearing had softly flown. But most of all, her gentle smile and her gentle expression calmed me down.
I was only a toddler, and I could only vaguely remember her face as it was etched in the back of my memory, slowly fading as time went by. I went to the kitchen to make breakfast, just a quick sunny side up, sausages, and toast paired with milk, which is for my aunt. I grabbed a glass of water to go to my aunt’s room. Her screams and sobs were now getting closer to me.
“Goodmorning Aunt, I made your favorite breakfast!” I greeted her happily once I opened the door, feigning happiness just to make her stop having a tantrum, but she’s still not stopping. I sighed, put the freshly cooked food on the side table, and sat on the edge of the bed to hug her. “Hush now, aunt Elsa. You’re alright.” I comforted her.
As the only child of my mother and dad, I was somehow used to taking care of myself, especially growing up with an absent father who did nothing but work and left me to his new wife to get abused.
Aunt Elsa seemed to calm down as I stayed hugging her for a minute. When she completely stopped, I broke the embrace.
“How was your morning?” I asked gently, as if talking to a little child.
She pouted and muttered, “I dreamt it again. I dreamt about him again, Kira.”
She shook her head, “It wasn't a bad dream. I was happy to see him, but I saw it happening again."
I sighed. She has been muttering that for 10 years now. Since I was eight and now I'm 18, I still don’t know who she was referring to or what happened to that person in the dream. But it was like a repeating dream to her, haunting her every night.
“Can you tell me who is that?”
“You know, your mother holds a great reputation in our clan, but he chose that man, and we were banished.” She suddenly said, just like she usually does. Actually, my aunt is nothing crazy, I could talk to her normally, but times like this and her replies make me doubt her.
She looked down, “I saw it with my own eyes, how my loved one..was killed, before my eyes.”
Loved one..that was what I was assuming was the cause of her depression. Some of her sudden phrases seemed too real to believe, and all I could do was nod.
Her hand reached out to me and cupped my face, “Trust your mate. He will come for you.”
Mate. That talk again, I really can’t seem to know what is going on in her mind. I searched on that word mate and all it pops up are werewolves. It’s not like we are living in some weird fantasy story, right? This is the real world, and supernatural beings like that don’t exist. Especially now that we are in the 21st century.
“Come on, Aunt, let’s eat now-”
I was stopped when a pair of red heels clicked on the floorboard, and the door opened to reveal my stepmother’s face. “You should shut your aunt up, Kira.”
My aunt’s calm expression changed into a glare, “You bitch.”
I covered my aunt’s mouth, not because I don’t like to hear her say that, but because I swear, there’s no other word that I could describe my stepmom except a bitch. But I value my aunt’s and my body too. It’s still early in the morning and I still have classes. I don’t want to add more bruises to my body.
My stepmom gritted her teeth and tried to slap my aunt, but I was quick to cover her, making the slap hit my cheek. The harsh pain came in contact and all I could do was grit my teeth.
Just a little more savings and I’ll get us out of here, Aunt. I whispered to myself.
“Tsk, you always come to your aunt’s defense. Let me hit her so she can learn her manners.” My stepmom said.
“No.” I firmly replied, “If you hit her again, just do it with me and let’s move on.” My voice was constant but I was shaking, not with fear but with so much anger. God knows how much I fight the urge to hit her back, but no, let me survive this day in peace. I won’t choose violence. Maybe in the future, but for now, I can still handle this little pain.
She smirked and grabbed a little piggy bank from her back. “Know this?”
I gasped, my eyes widened, and I ran to grab it from her, but she pushed my head. “You’re saving money for what? To get out of here?
This was the only thing that kept me going every day, including my aunt. This was my hope. My stash of savings.
I worked part-time jobs and saved those. I tried hard to hide it in my room. How could she find it? ”
“Return that to me,” I ordered, staring at her with a determined look.
She chuckled, waving my money at me, “Or what? You’re going to tell your father about it?”
I gritted my teeth. She knew that if I happened to tell dad, he would just believe his bitch instead of his own daughter. Damn what a world to live in.
“Go do your chores first and let me see if I’ll return this to you.” She threatened and walked away.
My aunt snorted, “I could kill that bitch right now.”
I shook my head, "No aunt, I’ll find a way to get that." She smiled. "You just need to focus on recovering, and once I save enough, I can get you out of this hellhole.” She smiled.
I made sure to let my aunt eat first before making breakfast for everyone in the house, doing the laundry, and washing the dishes. I had 10 minutes more left before I was going to be late, so I quickly took a shower and got dressed with a pair of black jeans and a hoodie, to cover the bruises I have. I glanced at the mirror and saw that my stepmother’s slap left a mark, and I put on some concealer to hide it.
Glancing at the clock again, I sighed, knowing I going to be late again. I’ll be going to detention again. I think I was aiming for clean marks. As I grabbed my red backpack, I heard a yell from outside.
“Itzy!” My stepbrother, Bryce, exclaimed, calling me by my second name, Itzayana, waiting for me by the door, “Let’s go!”
I blinked, furrowing my eyebrows at him, “I thought you were already at school? Did you wait for me? You’ll be late too?”
He shrugged, grabbing my bag and slinging it on his shoulder before putting his hands on my shoulder, “Hm, nothing new. Cmon.”
I uncontrollably flinched when his hands met my cheek and he noticed it. “Another bruise from my mother again?”
I shrugged, “Nothing new,” I replied to his earlier responses, and he clicked his tongue disappointedly.
“I apologize, my mother is like that. She is in her menopausal stage, so bear with her,” he said genuinely.
I raised my eyebrows at him, “She's been treating me like that for my whole life, so she’s having menopause the entire time?”
“As payback, I’ll give you this." Bryce handed me hundred-dollar cash, and I gasped. “Where did you get this?”
“From mom, I stole your money back.” He said with a mischievous grin, and I chuckled at him, accepting the money and hiding it in my bag.
He opened his car, his mother’s gift to him, and started the engine. He opened the door for me, and he drove to the driver’s seat and started to drive away. The school was a fifteen-minute drive, and I’m thankful that my dad had covered my tuition for this. I had to beg him as he thought I would just waste his money and be a whore.
As soon as my brother parked his car, we got out and he handed me my bag.
“Thanks,” I said and glanced to see the popular girl of the campus, the it-girl of our school, glaring at us. She has been desperately getting my brother’s attention, and my brother just didn't want anything to do with her. My brother is the football captain. Like in typical movies, she thinks that a football captain and the all-famous girl should be together.
The mean girl rolled her eyes at me. She hates to see me with her crush so much. Tsk, this just gives me more confidence to irritate her.
“She’s glaring at me again,” I whispered to Bryce.
“Don’t mind her.”
I snorted, “Why do you insist on me going with you? I’ll just get bullied.”
“I’m your brother." That won’t happen because I’ll protect you.” He defended, looking at me with reassurance. Yeah, he always says that, but I always get bullied.
“Cool.” I sarcastically said, rolling my eyes, but then felt a rush of air blowing past me, and a hand blocking my view in front. My eyes snapped shut and I peeked to see who was blocking my view. He was 6’4 tall, with dark eyes encircled with golden rings with a hint of gray. I had never seen an eye like that before. His breath hitched and he gasped and looked at me, his eyebrows furrowed. He shook his head and cleared his throat, “Careful there, miss.”