Maeko 'May' Fukumoto never thought of herself as a somebody, especially not a hero, growing up she wanted what most children dreamed of, being an astronaut or a veterinarian.
Her parents, Sandra Maria and Shu, always told her that she had all of the time in the world to figure what she wanted to be.
Sandra 'Sandy' Maria was born in California, both of her parents were businessmen and never made much time for her. Sandra's father, a Caucasian man named Tommy Laudstrom claimed Sandra after he and his wife, a Hispanic woman named Mariana Fuentes, divorced when Sandra was six.
Sandra became a lawyer so she could earn a well figured paycheck to take care of her children while also being able to work from home so her kids didn't miss out on growing up with a mother like she did.
Shu Fukumoto was born in Florida after both of his Japanese born parents moved to America. Shu grew up as a trouble maker, he didn't care much for school work and was constantly being scolded by his teachers and parents. But despite what Shu made himself out to be he was very observant, he learned to read people facial expression and body movements, with this he was capable of telling if somebody was lying and came in handy after he joined a gang in his junior year of highschool.
After his father's death due to cancer, Shu tried desperately to clean up his act, he finished school and began working normal jobs to help his grieving mother, soon he was given an opportunity he never saw coming, an old friend of his offered him a job in security, which turned out to be much more than he led on.
As for her older brother, Kazuo 'Kaz' Fukumoto, he always knew what he wanted to become, a biologist.
May found it strange that an active person like her brother would go to college just so he could learn to spend most of his time inside a lab.
Sandra and Shu were preparing to take their son to his school's annual science fair, unfortunately May wasn't going to be able to go, she had come down with a fever the day before and was confined to her bedroom.
Sandra stood in front of a mirror near the front door, going through the final make-up check. "Shu, dear." Sandra called out for her husband. "Could you check on May before we leave?"
"Sure, no problem." Shu's voiced rang from the home's second floor.
Sandra stepped away from the mirror and called out for her son. "Kaz, are you ready to? Once your father checks on May we're leaving."
Turning the corner from the room next to Sandra was Kaz, struggling with his tie and failing to finish a knot he started moments before his mother called for him. "Almost," Kaz said with a grunt as he continued his losing battle. "I'm trying to tie this knot, but it's harder than I thought."
"I thought your father was helping you with that?" Sandra loosened the tangled mess Kaz made and began anew.
"He was," Kaz said with a sigh of relief, "until he remembered you're the only one in the house who knows how to do this."
With a smile Sandra sighed. "I swear, you two would be completely lost without me reminding you of everything."
Upstairs Shu approached a door with a poster of an all girls rock group called 'Sugar Rockets', the band was one of May's favorites. He knocked on the door and cracked it open just enough for him to poke his head in without too much of the bright hallway lights bursting into May's room.
Posters of rock groups filled the walls, discarded clothing were scattered all over the floor and a trashcan stood by May's bed, filled with used tissues and other assorted miscellaneous items.
"Hey my little sickling," Shu said softly. "How are you holding up?"
In the bed was a giant lump of comforters and pillows, hidden within was a sick May, she only answered her father with grumbled noises.
Shu silently closed the door as he left. "Well, that's a better response than usual."
Heading down the stairs Shu spotted his wife and son waiting near the front door, both of them were ready and waiting for him.
"And how is our little sleeping beauty?" Sandra asked.
"She's doing much better," Shu replied. "I didn't have a single item thrown at me this time."
Sandra kissed Shu on his cheek. "Good, last time she threw a lamp."
Shu chuckled at the memory. "Yeah, reminds me of another little lady in this house when she gets sick."
Sandra turned and picked up her coat from the nearby rack. "Hey, you knew the risks coming into this marriage."
Shu laughed as he opened the door, Kaz walked out with his project covered up and checked his watch, the sly remarks between his loving parents would have to continue on the ride to the school he thought to himself.
"Sandra, my dear," Shu continued. "That may be true, but I wasn't prepared for my children to throw a tantrum every time they got the flu too."
As Shu assists his wife with her coat Kaz walks out checking his watch, he was always a punctual child, he was followed quickly by his parents.
May, finally giving up on sleeping, stared out of her window as her family drove away. Tonight was an important one, Kaz had been working for weeks on his project and he even allowed May to help, she really wanted to see the project flourish and take pride in that she was able to help her older brother win first place.
May wasn't sure if it was disappointment or the flu, but she flopped on her pillow in defeat, maybe it was both working in unison to continuously drain her of energy.
Discontent with her current sleeping situation, May decided to continue her desperate struggle of recovery, which meant getting out of bed and carrying herself downstairs to the fridge.
May's face was a mess, her eyes were dark, saggy and surrounded by dried crusty tears. Her nose was stuffy and dripping thick yellow mucus that left her breathing from her mouth, causing her to experience dry mouth and making her ability to sleep a chore.
Even walking down the stairs was a pain, literally, every step ached, never has walking to the kitchen felt like such an inconvenience. With heavy breath and even heavier legs May dragged and stumbled her way to the refrigerator and managed to pour herself a cup of orange juice.
May rarely got sick, but when she did it would last for days sometimes even a couple of weeks. "I hate being sick." May thought to herself. "And it only gets worse the older I get."
Since May turned thirteen nearly a year ago it felt as if her body couldn't handle be ill, her body burned as if it was on fire, in the past she would have to be hospitalized in an attempt to cool her body temperature. Her head would pulsate constantly, before and after she became sick, her aches would be so severe that she would be bed stricken for days.
May's mother blamed puberty, but she said with such uncertainty that May barely believed her. May began to walk back up the stair and try to lie down once more, she couldn't figure out if the pain of moving or the pain of laying in bed all day was worse, she soon settled on moving.
Done with her beverage and finding herself drowsy, May began to drift off to sleep, or at least she would be if she wasn't burning up under her covers.
May swiftly uncovered herself only to start freezing near instantly, she quickly pulled the sheets over her body and yet again began to heat up.
"Why am I burning up like this?" Frustrated, May kicked her sheets to the ground and once again began to get cold and clammy. "This is ridiculous, why can't I be sick like normal people, is this how normal people get sick? if it is, I don't want to be sick like normal people."
May blindly reached for her covers only to find nothing, looking by her feet she noticed that they were nowhere to be found, she finally kicked them off the bed.
Soon May smelled something burning. "Is that smoke, did mom leave something on, better yet how can I smell that?" May sat up and noticed a small cloud of smoke rising at the foot of her bed. "What the heck?"
May leaned over and burst of fire sprung upwards, May jerked back and nearly threw herself off the bed. "How did a fire get in my room?" May rolled out of her bed, unfortunately it wasn't on the side near the door, she had accidentally backed herself into a corner on the other side of her room.
The fire quickly began to spread and move towards her, almost as if it was following her, May grabbed a random shirt off of her floor and covered her nose and mouth.
Smoke filled the room, May started coughing and wheezing as her vision began to become obscured by the thick cloud. "Oh God, I'm going to die!" May threw up her free hand and turned her head away.
May looked up to see that a path had been created, the flames that were just heading towards her had been extinguished, May could once again see the exit.
"Maybe I can run through it." May thought to herself. "If I sit her I'm dead. I can't stand up or the smoke will get to me, but if I stay low and crawl quick enough I think I could make it to the phone downstairs."
May tied the shirt across her face, leaving only hers eyes exposed, and began to crawl as fast as she could.
The fire's blaze was blinding and had engulfed most of May's room, she again threw up her hands when she thought the fire was getting too close to her face, this time she noticed a burst of fire exiting her hands.
May stood up and dashed for her door when she was close enough, once she made it out May looked at her hands in terror. "How did I do that, what's going on?"
Quickly regaining her composure May made her way down the stairs and to the wall that housed the family phone, or at least it did, the phone was missing and could have anywhere in the house.
"Oh, come on!" May's head was pounding and she could barely stand, she had to rely on the walls to keep her from falling over. "Wait, what am I doing? I'm the only one in the house, I should run out and get one of the neighbors for help."
May tore off the shirt from her face and ran outside barefooted. "Help!" May yelled out not realizing right away that Mrs. Janet, a family friend and neighbor, was already on the phone. "Somebody call 911!"
"...Yes, one of the residents just came out of the house." The tall slender red haired woman ran towards May while staying on the phone. "...No, I saw the rest of the family leave, I believe she is the only one."
May keeled over into Janet's arms, who carried her further away from the burning house. "May, sweetie are you ok?"
"I think so." May answered in a meek voice, her vision became blurred and her breathing was shallow. "No, I take that back, I feel lightheaded."
The world began to spin and Janet's voice sounded as if it was being muffled under a pillow. "May, hold on...!" Janet pulled May close to her bosom. "I'm calling your parents right now, the ambulance should be here soon."
Even the bright moon in the cool night's sky dimmed then faded as May drifted into darkness.
Obrigado pela leitura!