Chapter 3:

Chapter 3 - Escape

Blondie (On Hiatus)

-June, when things were better-Bookmark here

The day was warm and lively, a young family preparing for a picnic. Bookmark here

“Nadia, is Ayame awake yet?”Bookmark here

A blonde woman worked in the kitchen, cutting up her daughter's favorite snacks and putting them into a wicker basket, a smile on her face. Bookmark here

“No, Seiji. Could you get her up? I’m almost finished.”Bookmark here

”Anything for my lovely wife~” The man briefly kissed her on the cheek, heading to his daughter's room. Bookmark here

He pushed the door open to see the child curled up, asleep. In her arms was a stuffed gray cat- a gift from him. He smiled, gently shaking her awake. Bookmark here

“Ayame, sweetie, wake up.” Bookmark here

“Papa?” The little blonde girl rubbed her eyes. Bookmark here

“Let’s go on an adventure with Mommy!” Bookmark here

“Okay!” Bookmark here

The man picked her up from her bed to get her ready for their picnic. It was an happy outing, and the girl clung to her toy the entire day. Bookmark here

~•~Bookmark here

-July, when things went wrong-Bookmark here

Ayame was three when the fighting started, her fourth birthday a mere week away. Being a toddler, she didn’t understand what was going on, but was scared. She hid in her room, clutching onto her stuffed cat.Bookmark here

“Who was she, Seiji?!” Her mother demanded to know.Bookmark here

“She’s just from work! You know how it is with the agency!” Bookmark here

“Don’t lie to me! I saw you kiss her when you went out last night!” Bookmark here

Ayame's father froze, caught red-handed. Bookmark here

“So I’m right?!” She scoffed, tears pricking her eyes. The man stayed quiet, watching as she cried, her heart shattering. “For how long, Seiji..?”Bookmark here

Ayame listened from behind the door- never in her life had she heard her mother scream or cry as much as she was now. Bookmark here

“I SAID FOR HOW LONG?!” She snapped, enraged Russian words soon spilling from her lips. Bookmark here

“Two years...” He mumbled, looking away. As if on cue, the young girl pulled open her bedroom door, her blonde hair resembling that of the woman in front of him. Bookmark here

“Papa?” Ayame watched from the hallway, the grip on her toy tightening. Bookmark here

“Wh-What?” Her mother fell to her knees, tears now flowing down her face.Bookmark here

“Nadia...I didn’t think you actually loved me, I thought you only did this to get a green card...” Bookmark here

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I HAD A CHILD WITH YOU, AND YOU DO THIS?!” She sobbed out, her body violently shaking, face pressed against the floor. Bookmark here

Seiji turned away, heading into their bedroom and softly chuckling as he passed his daughter. Ayame looked up at him, confused and scared. He grabbed a few bags, which he packed until they were full. He then went back out, kneeling in front of the little girl. Bookmark here

“Daddy is going to go away for a while, okay? One day, I’ll come back to you again. Take care of Mommy for me.” He kissed her forehead, before standing back up, passing the crying blonde woman as he approached the front door. Bookmark here

“Goodbye, Nadia.” Bookmark here

And with that, they never saw him again. Bookmark here

~•~Bookmark here

Ayame walked home, recalling the fragmented events. Those were the last two memories she had of her father before he became absent in her life. His face was mostly a blur to her now, and her mother had destroyed all his photos after he disappeared. The only thing his daughter had left from him was that gray stuffed cat he had gifted her.Bookmark here

She shook her head, trying to repress the memory as she finally made it to a run-down apartment building. It was broken, loud, and most of all, just sad. On the horizon was the red-light district, the neon lights turning on as it slowly darkened.Bookmark here

The two-story building housed a distinct cast of people, but most notably were Ayame and her mother. Bookmark here

They lived on the ground floor, in the third apartment, which made it easy to leave from when Ayame needed to. Taking a deep breath, she pressed her ear to the door, listening intently. She tried to make out if her mother was home, but heard nothing. Fishing her keys out of her bag, she unlocked the door with a click and pushed it open. Bookmark here

The first thing she noticed was the strong scent of booze, which caused her to wrinkle her nose. Glancing down, she felt relief when she didn't notice any unfamiliar shoes left by the door. Kicking off her own, she left them in their usual place. Checking the mail, she flipped through it, sighing when she found mostly bills. Walking deeper into the apartment, she tossed them onto the kitchen counter. Bookmark here

Pulling her blonde hair back into a ponytail, she went into her room, dropping her bag. Letting out another sigh, she sat at her desk, pulling out a notebook to start homework and get as much done as possible. A couple of hours passed.Bookmark here

A loud groan then came from nearby.Bookmark here

Ayame froze, hearing the rustling of bedsheets and sluggish footsteps from her mother's room. She was quick to unlock her window, anxiously getting up from her desk and moving towards the wall. It sounded like someone was in the bathroom now, as she heard retching and gagging from inside. Her mother was vomiting, her heavy breathing audible through the thin walls.Bookmark here

The sink turned on as she rinsed out her mouth and brushed her teeth, soon turning on the shower. Hearing faint hisses of pain, Ayame leans in to make out what she was mumbling.Bookmark here

"Ugh...tonight's gonna be hell...there better still be Asprins left..."Bookmark here

Her hungover mother eventually finished showering, soon coming out of the bathroom in a towel. She padded towards her bedroom, her wet blonde hair now in a messy bun.Bookmark here

Ayame peeked out, watching as she went into her own room. The older woman tiredly sulked, rubbing her temples as she sat in front of her vanity. Bookmark here

“I never should've become a mother...Too much hassle...” The woman muttered to herself.Bookmark here

As Nadia finished drying off her body, she slipped on her undergarments. Grimacing at the loudness of the blow-dryer whirring to life, she began to do her hair. She brushed it out, her long blonde locks falling into elegant waves. She then started to do her makeup, covering her dark circles as much as she could. She did a smoky eye look and applied a dark nude lipstick.Bookmark here

Shuffling to her closet, Nadia opened it, scanning over the many dresses she wore to work. The woman pulled out a simple red bodycon dress, slipping it on. Nadia was almost finished with her typical hostess look, tiredly glaring at her reflection.Bookmark here

Nadia suddenly slammed her hands against the vanity, knocking over some of the items that rested on it. The floorboards creaked when Ayame, who stood in the hallway, stepped back.Bookmark here

The woman quickly noticed Ayame, her light green eyes narrowing in growing irritation, anger building up and taking its place. Nadia stalked towards her younger counterpart, the girl's eyes seeming to resemble those of her ex-husband, only fueling her rage.Bookmark here

Ayame stood frozen in place, the contrast of the two evident, regardless of their likeness. In one quick motion, the woman pounced onto her like a leopard, knocking her to the ground. Ayame struggled to get back up, pinned underneath the woman.Bookmark here

Nadia’s hands seized the girl's neck, strangling her. Ayame struggled to breath, kicking and desperately yanking on her wrists.Bookmark here

“Please-!“ Bookmark here

“You young girls and your perfect bodies!“ She growled out, her nails digging into the girl's skin.Bookmark here

“L-Let go! Please, p-please! Let me go!” Ayame choked out, her mother loosening her grip on her neck, only to grab her uniform instead. She began shaking her back and forth, yelling louder then before. Bookmark here


Nadia violently threw Ayame to the ground, causing her to cough again, chest heaving.Bookmark here

“S-Stop-!“ Bookmark here


The woman swung her leg back, stomping on her daughter's stomach. Ayame let out a strangled sob, tears streaming down her face. Trying to catch her breath, she fought back, grabbing her mother's ankle. She shoved her backwards, sending the woman to the floor. Ayame scrambled to her feet, dashing to her room.Bookmark here

Clutching her throbbing stomach, she pressed her back against the door, unable to lock it. Her lock had been busted in a past encounter. Nadia growled and cursed, furiously pounding against the door. Bookmark here

Eyes darting around the room, Ayame tried to think of how to keep her mother out. Remembering her unlocked window, she decided that would be her escape. Grabbing onto her bookshelf, she yanked it towards the door, shoving it against it. Ayame quickly stuffed her feet into shoes, before she climbed out the open window, running away. Bookmark here

She ran away as fast as she could. Bookmark here

~•~Bookmark here

Ayame sprinted down the sidewalk, not even paying attention to the people who stared and watched. Her body screamed in protest, legs and chest burning, but the adrenaline helped her to push the pain away. Catching her breath, her chest heaved as she gripped onto her knees. Straightening back up, the blonde frantically looked around, before starting to run again. Bookmark here

Finally, she made it to Kozume residence. Hurrying through the gate, she pounded on the door. With her adrenaline running out, she became aware of how much her body started to hurt. Coughing, she collapsed to the ground.Bookmark here

“Kuroo-san, could you get it?” Kenma asked from inside the home.Bookmark here

“I’m going, I’m going!” He quickly walked to the door, slightly concerned by the frantic banging he had heard. Bookmark here

With that, he pulled the door open, revealing a disheveled Ayame curled up on the front porch, but her emotional state was what stuck out to him the most. Bookmark here

She was crying.Bookmark here

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