Chapter 0:


An American Otaku

Typical of a midwestern May, the once bright spring day suddenly grew dark. Gray clouds blocked the sun rays and heavy rains followed. The rain ruined some people’s day forcing them to run through the streets in a desperate attempt to escape its wrath. Ruined to them but comforting to others. A girl sitting in the back of her classroom suddenly perks up as the sound of rain hits the window beside her desk.

With a big smile on her face, Isabel says to herself, “Ah, the rain is here.”

As quickly as she spoke her voice was drowned out by the sounds of others discussing in the classroom.

“Wow, did you hear that he got a perfect score on his test?!” an auburn haired girl in a dark shirt with a pair of boot cut jeans said.

“Yeah, that’s crazy” a fit athletic guy responded, “Does he even have any fun? I don’t think I could spend my entire day just studying.”

“Ha ha ha, I know right!” The girl responds.

The final bell rings signaling the end of the day to the students who already began packing up their books and papers in anticipation of it.

The students hurried out the doors and began to scatter across the front of the school, some running as fast as they can to get to the school buses while trying to avoid getting wet, others holding books over their head and getting into their parents car and others just leisurely strolling through the rain getting soaking wet while laughing with their friends.

Isabel walks outside then looks into her bookbag and briefly glances at her umbrella. Noticing no one else using it, she instead opts to put her hood up and begins walking home.

“I’d rather not bring attention to myself.” She says out loud to herself in a barely audible tone.

Confrontation, anxiety, pressure, expectations, failures, these were all things I’m not good at handling. I know that seems obvious and a common experience for everyone, I mean who says they love those things but for some reason though, I feel as if the way I was capable of dealing with them were different.

Isabel opens the door to her home where she was immediately met with her mother who was rushing her into the dining room area.

“Vamos, de prisa, por aquí!” Her mother says in while beckoning to her.

Isabel calmly takes off her jacket and walks into the dining room where the lights were off in anticipation of the arrival of her brother.

If I could say why my fears were different from others, I guess I would say it’s how I react to them. Things people say, how I felt in that moment, or my bad results would last for days affecting my mood and my mind. I sometimes think I will never forget them as the bad feelings just linger on. So it always seemed better to never just accumulate them.

“SURPRISE!!” The family shouted in unison as the arrival of her brother Miguel walked in the room. The table had food lined up from one end to another along with sweets. Miguel had a smug smile across his face as he enjoyed the adoration and praise he was receiving for making the Varsity Soccer team in his school, his freshman year.

The worst part was that it felt like the world rejected me. Those who fought and overcame them, those who became numb to the pain and didn’t care about suffering were championed as heroes. Didn’t those things hurt though? Was there really no place for me in this world?

Isabel hugs her brother and kisses him on his cheek then heads to her room. She then opens up her window to let the sound of the rain and the cool breeze in. She sits on her bed and wraps herself up in a blanket and begins to smile as she reaches for something out of her bedside bookshelf.

It’s ok, if there’s no place for me in this world because I found my own sanctuary. Something that can make me happy.

The item that Isabel held in her hand was a shoujo manga. The second her eyes met with the beautiful and lively art, they began to glow.

“I can’t wait to find out how this story is going to go!”