Chapter 21: Ruka
I stood in my room, looking around at everything, trying to decide what to pack. I had so many things that lined my walls or took up my floor or closet space, but most of it was meaningless to me. They were simply pretty things that had no sentimental value.
In truth I was not really thinking about packing my things. I was thinking of how tomorrow night I would be leaving this house to live on a campus with the man I was in love with. Being allowed to see Lord Kaname every night was something I had only ever dreamed of. Throw in the bonus of being able to hang out with Akatsuki and even Hanabusa, plus the fact that I would no doubt get to make new friends, and I was ecstatic.
"Ruka? Are you packed yet?" my mother's voice came from the other side of my door.
"I'm working on it," I replied. She seemed to accept that as I heard her footsteps recede from the door.
I wondered if my parents would miss me. My mother had been crying all night, telling me she would, but as it often did something about it felt insincere to me, as if she was only crying because that was the proper thing to do when your child left for some time.
My father, on the other hand, hadn't spoken to me since I had confirmed that I was going last morning, after Akatsuki had brought me home. He had wanted to bring me back to his house instead, but I had insisted that I needed to be at my house one more night and reassured him that I would be fine. After all, I wasn't weak and helpless. He understood this now.
Since then, my father had done nothing but glare at me.
I was actually surprised that my parents had agreed to this. It seemed odd to me that for years of my life they had basically kept me locked in the house, and then all of the sudden I announce that I want to leave the house and go to Cross Academy and they accept readily. The only explanation I could come up with was that they trusted Lord Kaname and as long as I was with him it was okay. After all, my family was pro-monarchy and supported the Kuran Bloodline fully.
"Ruka. Are you packed?" my father's voice came through the door. "I'm coming in."
I braced myself and quickly made sure that my new balcony was hidden, having a quick pang of sadness that I had to leave so soon after receiving the wonderful gift. I had known he would come here at some point. I didn't know what he would do, but I knew I had to be strong, even if I hated that I couldn't speak out against the injustice. Just this once more, if I could pretend that everything was fine with my father, then I could escape his grasp. Akatsuki had warned me that if I acted differently around my father than I usually did, that he might not let me attend the Academy.
"I'm still working on the packing," I said as steadily as I could.
"You will be leaving us tomorrow night, Ruka. I support your decision…but I want you to promise that you will come back regularly."
"Y-yes, I promise," I told him, choosing to loosely interpret 'regularly'.
"Good. Then, I leave you. I will see you in the evening."
I watched him until he left, closing my bedroom door behind him. This was it. I would never have to endure that man again. I could stay as far away from him as possible, and there wasn't a thing he could do to stop me.
Was this what freedom felt like?
Was it finally within my reach?
As I continued my packing, I let my mind wander to what sort of things we would be learning at the academy. I couldn't picture a room full of vampires doing algebra. Not to mention, we were more than likely all past the early stages of education. The night class at the academy was to be made up entirely of vampires ranked aristocrat or higher. Since vampires in this class were very well educated generally, hiring private tutors for their children, I couldn't imagine that there would be anyone in the class that was still doing general studies.
I also wondered what precautions the humans had against us. Though I hadn't voiced my fears to anyone, I was very worried about controlling my bloodlust. The first and last time I had smelled a human's blood in that alleyway, Akatsuki had been the only thing keeping me from killing that human. Though I knew he wouldn't hesitate to do it again, there was always the risk he wouldn't be there. Not that I didn't trust myself, but I felt that someone's life was not worth the risk. It was probably a good thing Akatsuki had decided to come to the academy for that reason.
Though the more I thought about it, that wasn't really the reason I was relieved he was coming. More than ever, I had begun to realize something: he was so different than any of the other people surrounding me. Lord Kaname made me feel like I wanted to be the best that I could be, and he was a kind and just leader that I admired very much and was in love with. Hanabusa was like a brother, there when I needed him even though he could be very immature and obnoxious from time to time. My parents along with all of the other aristocrats were only interested in my appearances and such.
But Akatsuki made me feel like me. He was never a demanding presence; when I needed him he was always there but he was never intrusive. He could be gentle, but also very stern. I felt as if I could live my life and be exactly who I wanted to be, and he would be there beside me, never judging me. I guess that I just felt at ease with him because we had known each other for so long. When it was all said and done, I felt that I could show my vulnerability around him when I couldn't around anyone else. Most people made me feel like they wanted or evoked something from me, but Akatsuki never did.
I smiled a little, thankful to have such a faithful and wonderful friend such as him.