She cowered in the corner of the room and covered her ears. Her breathing was erratic and sweat coated her forehead. And the banging of a fist against her apartment door continued.
A gruff male's voice yelled, "Asari, I know you're in there! Nobody has seen you leave this place in days, so why not come out and pay what you owe me?!"
She squeezed her eyes shut and attempted to block out the noise, but it was no good. If she had the money for rent she would've paid it by now, but she had been fired from work a couple of weeks ago. And her money had dwindled into nothing. She was poor, useless and exhausted. More than anything she wanted to curl up in a warm bed and sleep until it was all over.
But that was impossible; her bed was nothing more than a mattress on the floor and she couldn't sleep for the life of her. Too many thoughts buzzed round her head, like pesky flies that just wouldn't quit.
Half an hour had passed and the landlord had not given up. He incessantly banged her door, not caring if the neighbours heard and Asari was sure that they were all basking in her humiliation, enjoying every moment of her misfortune.
It's not like she hadn't tried to get acquainted with them, but they all looked down on her and all because of her appearance. Because she wasn't 'normal' in their eyes. She was seen as a bad kid and in truth, her reputation didn't precede her.
She had done whatever it took to survive: whether that be fighting or other things.
And she had been fine with how they saw her, she was.
She was used to the disappointment clouding the eyes of those who looked at her - including her parents.
Asari didn't want to think of them, because of them abandoning her when she was young.
She had bounced from place to place, until she had had enough and when she was old enough she had got a job and saved up enough to get her own place.
Suddenly, her inner musings were interrupted by the door crashing open, practically ripping off the hinges and three burly men stormed in.
They reeked of cigerettes and cheep aftershave. Their heads were shaved and one of them had a scar running down his cheek. A menacing aura seeped off their bodies and surrounded the girl still quivering in the corner.
"Bitch, where's my money?!" The landlord, the most evilest of them all, shouted and when she didn't answer he signalled to one of the scary men. The guy crept foreword and pulled her up by the hair.
They dragged her out off the apartment and beat her, until she couldn't stand properly without coughing up blood.
The landlord spat near where she lay and flung her belongings on top of her.
"I don't want people like you living here! They all said you were bad from the start. From now on I don't want to see you around here!"
Then he stormed off with the goonies trailing behind him.
For a while she laid there and waited till she was able to move a little. It still hurt, but she couldn't stay there forever; the wind was picking up and she was freezing.
Pulling on her jacket, she took out her phone from her pocket and thanked the heavens that it wasn't broken. She dialled the one person she thought she would never speak to again.
"Hello, it's me." After a brief pause she continued, "I want to come home."
Ten minutes later a black car pulled up next to her, then her grandfather stepped out and didn't ask any questions about her bloody appearance. He simply helped her into the car and then they returned to their home.
One of the live-in guys, handed her a cup of steaming tea and she bestowed him a thankful smile.
"Are you going to tell me what happened?" Her grandfather asked her in a soft voice.
Asari sighed and watched the dregs of tea as they swam in the warm liquid, then she told him everything. She noted the sympathetic looks she was getting from the guys situated around the room; the looks on their faces didn't really match their appearances. If she wasn't feeling so down she would've laughed at the contrast they all presented.
Then a woman barged into the room and brandished a finger at Asari, who was sipping lightly on her tea.
"Who is she?"
Grandfather looked between Asari and Kumiko.
"I think you should sit down, there is something I have to tell you."
Kumiko looked as though she wanted to say more, but she complied to her grandfather's wishes.
She sat down next to the unfamiliar girl and listened to what he had to say.
"This is Asari... your sister."