Chapter 1:

Prologue

Never Forget Your First Love


I don't remember how I got here.


It was pouring that day. Renji sat on the bench, looking up in the sky. He felt the slickness of his leather boots riding up on his skin. His clothing, torn; he haven't shaved in days so he has some stubble all across his chin as well as his tiny mustache he kept on. He wasn't sure why he kept it on, but he figured it's to make the ladies swoon. After all, he was near a brothel.


All I remember is...


His hazel eyes kept staring at nothing in the sky. His vision was slightly blurry if for a second.


A name.


He slumped against the bench, trying to ease the gunshot wound near his he-didn't-know-what.


A flower.


He closed his eyes; a sharp pain went right through his brain as he's reminded of the gunshot wound. He gasped as he tried to keep his vision clear.


Camellia. What about camellias? They could mean anything.


He closed his eyes and tried to move to where he would be comfortable. He ended up slipping and falling to the ground. It was then he saw how much blood he actually lost.


He smirked.


Oh shit.


He felt the cool of the ground and the warmth of his blood against his cheeks as it faded away quickly.


Not far from him, there was a girl who watched the scene with the utmost curiosity. She wore a dark raincoat that also doubled as a dress for her. She wore her black boots that looked a bit big for her little legs. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, which rested on her shoulder. She had a blank expression, but if one knew her, it was curiosity that's painted all over her face.


A little time went by, she stood as she watched the man not moving.


She moved up to him with as little noise as she could produce, cleverly avoiding the mud puddles even though she's just a child. She placed the umbrella over his head and just stared at him, not fazed by all the blood that was spouting out; not fazed by the obvious fatal wound.


She merely stared at him.


He moved, but the girl wasn't scared. There was something kind about this man that she couldn't place a finger on.


When he could open his eyes and when it wasn't blurry anymore, he saw the girl, holding the umbrella for him.


"T-thank you, I have hope now," he whispered as he closed his eyes, not quite sure why he said those words. He felt strange warmth enveloping his body; perhaps a way of saying things would get better for him.


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