© Beloved Doll
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Maria is being raised by her grandfather, Gerald, as tragedy had struck her parents and their lives were taken. She was 15 years old when it happened so it was difficult for a young teen to handle losing her parents and having to move in to a very different environment. It would also mean changing schools since her grandfather lives a great distance from where her parents` home is. Once she is packed up with her items, Gerald takes her on a 2 hour drive to his place. Maria is silent during the ride. She keeps her eyes mostly directed downward in silence, trying to keep herself from crying again. She has never actually been to her grandfather`s place or the lab he works at so she will be in a totally unfamiliar area.
It`s night when Gerald and Maria arrive at his large house. He helps Maria carry her items into the house and to her new room. It`s a nice room with a respectable closet. It isn`t the room Gerald intended her to have but it was the only room ready on such short notice. The bed is a modest queen size bed, plenty of room for Maria and her collection of plushes and pillows.
Since the incident took place just this morning, Gerald decides to allow Maria some time to be by herself. Once all the items are in Maria`s room, albeit still packed up, Gerald exits the room and closes the door for Maria to have her peace by herself. Now that she is alone in her new room, Maria fishes out a hedgehog plush from one of her bags and clutches it to her chest with both arms. She walks to the bed and climbs on top of it. She lays down on her side, curling up into a fetal position, still clutching her hedgehog plush which she received as a birthday gift from her parents. Maria tucks her head into the fluffy quills of the plush and begins to quietly sob into the plush.
Downstairs, Gerald goes into the kitchen and begins to make some tea for himself. He sighs. He hasn`t allowed himself much time to emotionally react to what has happened, not much time for it. Soon as he had received the call about the death of his son and daughter-in-law, he was at the same time requested to come get his granddaughter. He had to set his emotions aside to be sure that he got his granddaughter taken care of. He feels bad for Maria for losing her parents so young, but he is also saddened at his son and daughter-in-law dying at such a young age themselves. Gerald sips the tea from his mug, mentally going over the day`s events.
His thoughts are interrupted by Shadow bursting in through the front door without care. Gerald jumps a little at the sudden loud sound. Then he quickly calms himself and closes his eyes. His sigh this time sounds more weary. Gerald then calls out to Shadow,"Where have you been this time?"
Shadow steps inside the kitchen, walking methodically and almost like he`s stalking a potential prey. He`s 17 years old and is a scientific project of Gerald`s that he brought home with him. Though like all normal people, Shadow started off as a baby but was formed in a tube and is anything but normal. Gerald wonders if the boy`s haughtiness is derived from knowing just how special he is. Shadow has been quite the handful for Gerald to try and raise, especially by himself. Shadow doesn`t exactly have a clean record and seems to make trouble a lot at school and in the streets.
One heavy shoe in front of the other, the black and red-haired boy with red eyes makes his way towards the fridge. He looks at Gerald as he moves. Despite it being a cold look, it isn`t threatening. The boy make be trouble for everyone, but he has never lifted a finger to physically harm his creator.
Shadow`s hand grabs the fridge handle and pulls it open but his eyes remain locked on to Gerald,"The usual."
His stare would seem uneasy to anyone else. His voice is deep and quiet, as if it didn`t matter and it was of no one`s business as to where he was or what he was doing. But Gerald isn`t scared by Shadow. Gerald swishes the tea in his mug gently as he quietly watches Shadow grab a soda from the fridge and close the door. Shadow pulls off the cap and takes a sip of the soda, tossing the cap into the trashcan.
Gerald speaks again to Shadow,"You do plan on cleaning you room soon, yes? Amazing you walk around in there without tripping over something."
Shadow sips his soda again as he makes his way to the door to exit the kitchen,"It helps to not be in there at all."
Gerald folds his arms, still holding his tea mug but getting impatient with Shadow`s apathy,"You remember that I had to go and fetch Maria, right? She is here now. leave her be tonight but I do expect you to be kind and courteous to her."
Shadow leaves the kitchen without saying a word to Gerald. Gerald sighs again and shakes his head, turning to the window to search for something to ease his mind. How is it that Shadow developed into a taciturn individual?
Shadow ascends the stairs with his bottle of soda in hand. Once on the top floor, he walks down the hallway towards his room, lost in his own thoughts. He is always thinking, brooding about things. But his thoughts get interrupted when he hears quiet sobbing in Maria`s room as he`s passing her door. He stops walking and turns his head to the side to the door. He reaches a hand over and grips to door handle. He quietly and slowly twists it and opens the door a crack. He peeks through the crack and his red eyes quickly find Maria. She is still curled up on the bed with her back to the door. He can`t see her face but watches her sob for a moment. Then Shadow pulls the door shut quietly and continues his way to his room.
His room is at the end of the hall. Shadow opens the door to his room. As already noted by Gerald, Shadow`s room is a wreck. Clothes are tossed haphazardly everywhere, discs are thrown around without care, wires are crossing the room from one direction to another to connect electronic equipment to each other and to power outlets. Then there is various empty soda bottles sitting around and magazines. Shadow steps over everything, ignoring the mess and closing the door behind him for his own privacy. He makes it to his bed, plopping down on the side of it. Shadow sets his half full soda bottle on the overcrowded nightstand beside his bed, knocking over a stack of items. Shadow takes immediate notice to the fallen items and leans over to pick them up.
The items are mainly a stack of photographs. The photo on top of the stack is a photograph of Maria. Shadow takes this photo in one hand while the rest of the stack gets placed back on his nightstand. He lays on his back in his bed with his shoes still on. He holds Maria`s photograph over his head as he examines it. The photograph shows Maria wearing a blue summer dress, standing on the porch of her parents` home. She has an arm wrapped around one of the vertical posts of the porch and her other hand placed flat on the pole, smiling sweetly to the camera. The way her dress and hair are waving suggests it was a windy day when the photograph was taken. To Shadow, her pose resembles what he sees girls do to their boyfriend`s arm.
Shadow flips over the photograph to the backside. It`s white blank except for a hand written note saying: "Looking forward to meeting you soon! -Maria"