"Serah, as you go deeper and deeper into the future, I can't stop myself from reflecting on the past. I'm reminded of when we were young and innocent. When did things start to go so wrong?"
"Claire, Claire." A soft body snuggles next to mine and repeatedly pokes me in the face. "Wake up, Claire." I groan and bury my face deeper into the pillow. Of course this doesn't stop my younger sister. Serah was born with our mother's innocence and Father's determination. Finally I roll over and crush her to me. She squeals out in laughter as I fervently poke her back.
"Is this how you want to be woken up every morning? Geez, give me a break!"
"B-but you have to fix my hair for school! Aah! Claire stop it!" I push her off of me and go into our small bathroom. She comes trotting behind me like a lost puppy. Her face wears a pout that's cute as a button. I'm tempted to kiss it but I don't.
"Aren't you old enough to do your own hair? You're twelve years old." I start pulling the brush through her soft pink hair. Of course, I start at the bottom because she is so sensitive.
"I know, but you do it better." I sigh and begin pulling her hair into its usual side pony. I use a colorful band with two chocobos printed on the beads. It's her favorite.
"This is why I go to school every morning looking like I do; because I have to feed and dress you."
"I made breakfast this morning." Finally I finish and she bolts through the door to get dressed. This is our normal routine. I'm the only one responsible for Serah since our parents passed away. Sure it was hard, but I loved my sister to death. I had to be strong. I had to be the one to make sure she had a normal life. Sometimes I wonder if I've succeeded. Breakfast this morning is a simple bowl of noodles. I slurp it down just as Serah comes out in her uniform.
"I'm ready," she announces.
Walking out the door of the school, I hear a faint scream. I start jogging towards the source and see three upperclassmen surrounding my sister. She's on the ground, bleeding, and blubbering for them to stop. A boy goes to hit her. He doesn't see my fist coming. I punch him hard in the back of the head and he goes down. As soon as he does the other two come after me. I kick my feet landing jabs in their stomachs. One drops to his knees coughing but the other one is persistent. I rear back and wait until I can see the color of his eyes. I punch him so hard I hear something crack.
"Don't ever touch her again!" I scream, hauling him to his feet. He nods, frightened and they all scramble down the street.
I run to Serah and cradle her to my chest.
"Are you alright?" I murmur. She nods, tears streaming down her face. I wipe them away and clean the blood off her face.
"Serah, look at me." Her blue eyes meet mine. "As long as I'm around, no one will hurt you. Do you understand?"
She nods and crushes me to her.
"Serah, if only I could have kept that promise."