Minamino Shiori hummed softly to herself as she shifted the bags of groceries into the crook of her left arm and fumbled about in her handbag for her keys. She engaged in a brief battle with the stubborn doorknob before she finally managed to set foot into her house.
Shuuichi would be late that day as he had to stay in school for a botany project. That gave her quite a bit more time to prepare dinner. Shiori smiled at the thought her son. He always insisted on helping her with the housework. If he were here right now, he would have rushed over to help her carry the groceries. Following that, they would have a light bantering session in the kitchen while he helped her with the preparations for dinner.
From what she heard from her neighbours, Shuuichi was the envy of the entire male population of Meiou High. He was polite and responsible, that and the fact that he excelled in his studies made him every teachers' pet. She had been surprised when he informed her a couple of years ago that he had been given special permission by the school to wear his hair long. Shiori had no idea as to why Shuuchi was so adamant about not cutting his hair, still she had to admit that long hair did look good on him. The silky red strands framing his face only served to further accentuate his lovely emerald green eyes. No wonder she had had to crawl out of bed almost every night at some ungodly hour to pick up calls (from both the male and female gender) for her 'Shuuichi-kun'. Fortunately, Shuuchi was not at all distracted by all these unwonted attention. He still managed to top the school in his studies.
As she rounded the corner to enter the kitchen, a sight froze the very blood flowing through Shiori's veins. There, lying motionless on the floor, was a very familiar figure. Someone who meant all the world to her. His soft red hair pooled around him like a spreading bloodstain. Shuuichi.
End of Prologue