a stray cat.

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“You little , you finally came home…”


Yumi jolted forward to escape the devil, himself. She almost forgot that this scum of the earth existed until now. It only took less than a second for the man to slip his arm around her waist, pulling a rather vulnerable Yumi back into his grasp. 


“What the fuc- LET GO YOU BASTARD!” she shouted, struggling to pull away from his strong grip. 


“You think you can mess with me, you brat? It’s time to teach you a little lesson on respect,” he sneered. 


Looking down at his feet, she began stomp on his toes while her free hands went for his hair. Yumi pulled on his tangled locks until the man groaned out in pain. As the discomfort became too unbearable for him, he instinctively shoved the girl aside. His force sent Yumi crashing into the bedpost with her forehead directly impacted by the wooden stand. 


Meanwhile, Yumi’s mother was greeted by incoherent screaming and shouting first thing back from her job. She quickly dropped her things on the floor as she recognized both voices. The single mother stormed into her daughter’s room to see what was left of the scene— Yumi was found clutching on to her scraped forehead while her boyfriend picked out his loose hair in agony. 


“What the hell happened?!” 


To see her mother running towards the boyfriend first, was far more painful than the wound on her forehead. The one bleeding out was her only daughter, yet she was more concerned about a few pieces of hair falling out of that ’s head. Unbelievable, Yumi rolled her eyes. Not wanting to witness another minute of this madness, the injured girl pulled herself up and quietly exited the room. On her way out, Yumi snatched a clean shirt from her closet, in which she used to stop the bleeding.


“I asked, what the hell happened?” the woman continued to instigate her partner. Obvious irritation showed on his face, but he maintained a clueless facade to mask his interior motive. 


“She didn’t know that I had a day off so she probably thought I was an intruder,” he made up a plausible story.


Yumi’s mother didn’t buy any of that crap. With her fingers wrapped around the collar of his shirt, she yanked the boyfriend’s built down to her level. Her bloodshot eyes pierced through his as she sent him a fair warning.


“I brought your freeloading here to babysit my teenage daughter, do you understand? If you hurt her, I will kill you if I have to.” 


The man held back his laughter as he easily escaped her grip. Before she could react, he switched up their dominant position by securing a hand behind her nape to restrict any movement. He then pinned his forehead against hers with eyes staring down dangerously at the mother of one.


“Sweetie, you brought me here as your live-in dealer. Do you remember that?” he smirked. That smug smile on his face felt like a mockery towards her.


“Son of a ,” she hissed lowly, unable to counter his statement as it does hold some truth. Although he wasn’t the only one to blame here, their toxicity directly influenced one another.



Yumi bolted out of the house quite aimlessly, leaving her backpack behind at the scene. All of her belongings were in that bag— phone, keys, homework. But going back to retrieve it now would be so embarrassing, she thought to herself. She dug out the remaining spare change from the pocket of her uniform jacket, which was enough for a ride back to school. At the moment, she could only hope to see Jaemin on campus as her last resort. Yumi searched for the nearest trash bin to toss away her blood stained shirt, that very well did its job of containing the bleeding for her. Luckily, her bangs were also long enough to hide the wound, keeping weird looks to a minimum during her bus ride.


She managed to fix up her uniform enough to look presentable. The torn threads of her shirt and blood droplets were hidden well under her jacket. Yumi also tried her best to avoid familiar faces while navigating through the campus to look for Jaemin. From her knowledge, he could be attending one of his multiple club meetings. But she couldn’t quite remember exactly what those clubs were. 


“This is useless…” she muttered to herself. Giving up wasn’t even an option now because she had less than a dollar in change left in her pocket. Being a broke student never felt more depressing than this exact moment. Without a choice, she continued her meaningless search. For all she knows, Jaemin might not even be here. 


After wandering around the empty campus for good while on foot, Yumi found herself in a familiar hallway. The once, chatty space felt strangely gloomy when she’s not running late to class. But even the dim hall had a little ray of sunshine at the end of it. Somewhat defeated by her current situation, Yumi plopped down on the tile floor across from her brightly lit homeroom. From the small glass opening on his door, she could see Baekhyun working on his lesson plans for tomorrow. Most likely a plan that would result in a good morning nap for her, she figured. A small smile formed o

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