"Everyone strives to reach the law," says the man, "so how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has begged for admittance?"
— Franz Kafka, Before the Law
the streets of your hometown are quiet as you walk the streets, both your parents by your sides and holding your hands to keep you from running off as you tend to do. the world is so full of wonder as a child, but the facade is shattered as a plea is heard down the street. wondering what's happening, you break from the grip of your mother and father and start to run off. in a far away alley you can see an older man pushing around a younger teen. you want to go ask what's the matter but you feel a hand snatch your wrist. "don't worry about it ren, just keep to yourself, alright?" your mother says, smiling gently but unable to hide the concern in her face as she pulls you along. you look back longingly until the alley is no longer in sight and think: "is that really okay?"
the hot pain of the bruises on your skin flare as blood runs down your face, coming from your nose. "i thought i told you to mind your goddamn business, ren." your father says, going through a medical aid kit as you sit on a cold, wooden stool in your equally cold garage.
"but narumi deserved it! he's always picking on those younger kids, and i—" "and what you need to do is tell a teacher, ren! you can't just play hero and do shit like this." your father interrupts you as he turns around, holding a bottle of alcohol, gauze, tape, and tissues. what he doesn't understand is that the teachers don't do anything, they pretend to care but they never do anything to solve the issue at hand. this isn't the first time you've fought and it sure as hell won't be the last.
a stinging sensation shoots across your body as your father puts the alcohol on your wounds and sighs as he begins to patch you up, handing you a few tissues to plug your nose. "one of these days you're going to get yourself into some real trouble, i swear." your dad mumbles angrily, but you don't pay too much attention to him. instead, you look through the door into the house, at your mother who's on the phone with the school. you see her sigh and shake her head, hanging up. with a defeated look, she makes her way to the door and opens it, "three day suspension."
you smile bitter sweetly and look away once more, trying your best to avoid the gaze of both your parents. the room is silent and all you can think about is your actions. not the consequences of your actions, no, you hold a strong conviction in what you did, narumi 100% deserved the beating he got; but what you're really thinking about is if it worked, did you change narumi, or was it all for not?
your father stands up and trying his best not to yell, says "clean up in here then go to your room, and don't come out for the next three days. i don't want to see you right now." before continuing his way into the house, followed by the sound of the TV coming on. you look at your mom and she just shakes her head at you and leaves also. you clean the garage of the blood you left on the stool, packed up the med kit, and did some additional tidying before heading inside. slowly making your way through the living room, you look back and both between your parents, neither of which even acknowledge you. you grit your teeth and make your way upstairs, gazing down once more before you head to your room.
they just don't understand.
one midsummer night, you wonder the streets of your town alone. the summer heat fills the air with a humidity that irritates you, but is relieved by the cool breeze that seems to come every time the temperature becomes unbearable. your thoughts wander as you mindless turn corners and make your way home, only to be snapped back into reality by a scream.
what was at first a leisurely stroll soon becomes a jog towards the source of the scream to see what's going on, the voices becoming more and more audible the closer you get. the words "stop it" can be heard from a womanly voice, causing ren to break into a full out sprint. you slide to a stop as you see a man grabbing at and harassing a woman. you watch in shock and off of the situation at hand, feeling your skin crawl and fists clench. the words cross your mind: "i can't ignore this," and you are put into action, running towards the man.
"what're you doing here, kid? get lost!" he says as you get closer, but that's just not an option for you. you get between the two and push the man away. without laying a hand on the man, in his drunken stupor he falls to the ground and bashes his head against the ground. bleeding from a gash in his forehead, he looks up at you and says "damn brat, i'll sue!"
before you know it, the police arrive and take you into custody. you sit in the back of the cruiser and think about what you did, what your dad said once said years ago: "one of these days you're going to get yourself into some real trouble, i swear". your parents sit at home, worried that their son hasn't come home yet; until they get the call.
fall from grace
you get bailed out by your parents, but lose every privilege they ever gave you. when you're not at school you're in your room either reading, studying, or sleeping; even to leave the house is forbidden when it's not for school or his trial. at first, school was your safe haven, but slowly it turns into a place of persecution. who wants to be friends with the kid who's being charged with assault? no one. your friends slowly start to disconnect from you, you hear all sorts of rumours about you in the halls, and even the teachers give you dirty looks and out you as a "delinquent". you don't belong anymore.
when the time comes, you lose your trial as the woman who you defended that night testifies against you, lying to the court. even with the trial over, the effects remain. no leaving the house, no one wants to be your friend, and it's even questionable if your parents want you anymore. you slowly poke at your dinner, sitting in silence with your mother and father. suddenly, your father stands up and leaves as your mother tries to hide her tears, but just can't do it until he breaks into a silent sob at the table. you eat, even though you don't feel like it, pick up the plates and do the dishes.
as you wash the dishes you hear whispers of sending you away from your parents. instead of confronting them, you just keep quiet and continue doing your chores. in all honesty, you don't really care if they send you away; what do you even have here? a fresh start is exactly what you need.
steal your heart
that following april you began to attend shujin academy, living with a man named sojiro sakura, who despite his initial attitude and thoughts about you, would become a part of your new family. what began as what was supposed to be a normal year turned into something more with the formation of the phantom thieves of hearts, a group of teenagers who detested corruption and "stole the hearts" of evil adults to change and reform society. with you as their leader, you and your friends became an international phenomenon and saved the world from the desires of those who seeked to be ruled and ended the thought experiment of Yaldabaoth, to see who had the strongest desire, with the help of those who believed in them and the people you yourself had befriended and created inseparable bonds with.