leekspins: (Dah ha ha shucks!)
Orihime Inoue ([personal profile] leekspins) wrote in [community profile] bravenewworld2016-07-01 03:23 pm

Groceries and Delinquents

[OPEN - Running Errands]

Orihime's short, chestnut hair swung lightly at the edge of her jawline as she walked. Clasped in both hands was a sack of her week's groceries, an assortment of inexpensive vegetables, a box of butter, a quart of milk, and a sack of rice. Nothing too fancy. There was a second smaller sack behind that one containing a few spools of thread in black, white, and light brown. Her long khaki shirt brushed at her shins, a simple pair of brown flats on her feet. There was nothing all that extraordinary about her at first glance, as she walked with her head down and an absent, faraway smile on her face. Her long-sleeved turtleneck shirt had the collar rolled down, the fit snug but modest.

There was still a little dusting of powdered sugar on her top, and a smudge of chocolate batter on her cheek, but either she didn't notice or didn't care. She'd worked hard at the bakery today, just as she always did now that summer vacation had started. She'd need the extra money for the upcoming school year, but for now, it needed to be spent on other things.

Like paying the deposit on her new apartment, since her last one had a giant hole blown through the wall, as well as the heavy fee she'd had to dole out for breaking her lease in order to live somewhere with all of its walls and bathroom in tact. Still, at least her brother's picture hadn't been damaged, and that was all that really mattered.

As she walked, her gaze was caught by something gleaming in a shop window, and she stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. She stared. Then she drifted forward, as if caught in a magnetic beam until she almost had her nose pressed against the glass.

Wow... A limited edition signed photograph of the great Pokemon Trainer and celebrated idol, Rise Kujikawa! And next to that... "OH! That's a rare one!" This time she did push a hand against the glass, her eyes wide as she spotted the trading card featuring Haruka Tenoh and her Rhyhorn. Was that signed too? She couldn't tell from the glare of the window, no matter how she squinted. She ached to rush right in and buy either one, but her wallet ached far more. With a resigned sigh, her shoulders wilted and she dropped her head, before forcefully pulling herself away. Maybe someday. After she finished school, and saved up enough money to open her own cake shop, she might be able to splurge on something nice like that.

For now, she just wanted to get home and roll herself into a hot bath, and cook an 'interesting' meal.



There was a time when walking home in the dark used to make Orihime nervous. She'd walk faster, take smaller side roads at a sprint if there wasn't anyone else around, and nervously clutch her keys in her pocket.

She'd since learned that it didn't matter what time of day it was; she was still going to be bullied even if it was broad daylight. When she first heard a familiar harsh voice bark her name, Orihime flinched, dread flooding through her entire body. She held her groceries a little tighter and forced herself to stand still, even though every instinct inside of her screamed that she should run. Running was a mistake. That was something she'd learned four years ago when they'd punched her in the stomach until she lay gasping on the floor in a puddle of her own vomit.

Nervously she cast a glance to her left and right, hoping to see anyone else nearby that might speak out if they saw anything violent, but all she saw were the piles of construction supplies and lumber behind the chain link fence. She waited, swallowing hard, and trying to squash her anger and fear. She had to be calm. She had to be quiet.

It didn't take the quartet long to reach her. The chain link fence rattled noisily as Orihime stumbled into it, roughly shoved back by the older girls. She'd encountered them many, many times before. They were the reason her hair was short. They were the reason she tried to leave school very early, or failing that, very late. She'd even tried changing up her route home, but all of these solutions were temporary. Eventually they found her, bruised her, and humiliated her, over and over again. Orihime had hoped they'd be too busy at the beach during summer vacation to bother her, but she was wrong.

"I told you, the color of your hair pisses me off!" the older girl loudly declared, and spat on the ground. "You still haven't dyed it? What an arrogant brat."

Orihime didn't deny it. She kept her head down, avoiding eye contact, and clutched at the fence as if it were a dear friend silently supporting her. Another girl seized her by the front of her shirt, forcing her to put her back against the fence and face her bullies.

"How should we punish her this time?"

The leader took a drag on her cigarette, tapping the ash, and smiled. "Push up her sleeve."

Orihime struggled despite her earlier resolve, but they grabbed her by the hair and shoved her up against the fence again. They restrained her as she flailed, and pushed up the sleeve of her shirt to bare her arm. No. Stop! she wanted to scream, but she held her tongue. Her eyes widened with fear as they kept her secure, while the leader brought the burning cigarette closer to Orihime's exposed skin.

Suddenly the sharp heat broke Orihime's silence, and she bleated in pain. One of them slapped her across the face.

"Don't be such a wimp!"

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