A Girl And Her Dice
Watching the dice fly from her hand, she paused dramatically, waiting for them to return to her. She'd always had an affinity for playing dice it seemed. She remembered when they'd first made an appearance in her life.
She'd started as a way to fit in with the boys in her town. After her father had left, a lot of the other mothers had kept their daughters away from her, always conveniently busy when she wanted to play. There was always some excuse; some reason the other girls weren't allowed to come out.
At first she had moped around town, sad, lonely since losing her friends. They were girls she had grown up with, played with since she was old enough to walk. All of them had sworn to be friends always. Always apparently wasn't nearly as long in their books. Turning down a side alley one day, she'd found a group of boys playing a game with dice. They were throwing them, bouncing them, slinging this way and that, while always managing to catch them and continue whatever game they were playing. She had been fascinated from that first glance by the graceful way the dice flew, held captive by the way the roller acted dramatically throughout the entire event. Then and there she had discovered her desire to own a set of dice.
The boys though, they were much less picky. She had been a bit of a novelty to them. They hadn't known any other females that would roll in the dirt, spit, plays swords, and roll dice with them. She had never even touched a die before her abandonment, considering it a very unladylike endeavor. Only those loose women from the shady part of town played games of chance, or so she'd always been told. But as a child, it seemed better to be slightly misbehaved than lonely, thus she'd chosen her path.
Over the years, she'd played on many occasions, the now young men making her their official dice roller as they grew older. They'd play against each other, applauding all her new tricks. She'd worked very hard to impress them, after all they were the only friends she had. It had gotten to the point where they would sit with her and help her create new tricks. As time progressed, she noticed them doing this more and more. Wherever she went, one of her friends was with her - always talking to her, helping her, following her, something all the time. It had started to kind of bother her, as she really couldn't figure out what was different now than it had been a year ago.
At first, she'd really enjoyed the attention. The companionship she'd never received from anyone else. It had been nice to feel like somebody who was wanted, someone who was popular. She'd reveled in the attention for quite awhile.
That was before she'd overheard the neighborhood ladies talking one day. She'd been walking up the alley, lost in her own world, alone for once, thinking of new tricks to use in their next dice game. Right before she'd reached the end, she'd heard the ladies talking. What they'd said next, she would never forget. It was etched in her brain until the end of time.
"That girl, running around with the all the boys like that. Why it's downright indecent."
"I always knew she was a bad girl, the little slut. What proper young lady goes around rolling dice for a bunch of young men. She's alone with them all the time now."
"Ever since her father left, she's been running wild. The mother's odd too though. She never visits with anyone. She's always alone. "
"Something must be wrong with both of them to have run the father off. He was always such a nice man, helpful and polite."
She'd fallen to her knees in the alley then, crying. So apparently that's what all the boys were interested in. Not her friendship, not her tricks, not her personality, only in one thing. After sobbing out her sorrows, she'd picked herself up off the ground, not bothering to wipe away the mud, and walked slowly back to her mother's. Turning up the path to their house, she'd stopped. She'd have to think of some way to keep this away from her mother. There had to be a way to keep her from being hurt, she just had to think of it.
Waking up the next morning, Fuu tucked her dice into the pocket of her kimono, tied her hair up nicely, and washed her face. She walked out into the main room, prepared to help her mother with breakfast. Determined to be the daughter she should have been all along. Not finding her mother, she walked out the door, hearing a noise coming from beside the small house.
She'd found her mother then, coughing and weak, collapsed upon the grass. She'd grabbed her hand, throwing her mother's arm over her shoulders and helped her inside. Taking her to her bedroom, she'd laid her mother down on the futon then ran to get the doctor.
It had been the beginning of the end. She'd waited too long and now it wouldn't make any difference how she dressed or acted, her mother would never know.
After her mother had passed on, she'd packed up what she could carry before she was forced to leave their house. She had nowhere else to store any of the things she wanted, nor any friends with whom she could stay. She carefully wrapped up a small painting of her mother and father that was older than she was, and well worn from many years of being petted in place of the man who should've been there. She'd wrapped up her mother's comb and mirror, hoping to be able to keep that little piece with her always. And she'd packed her dice, twirling them with her hand in her pocket as she walked, figuring that she had enough tricks now to support herself if she had to.
Bringing herself back to the present she slammed the now caught pair down on the table, waiting anxiously to see how the bet would play out.
She'd certainly learned many, many things through those dice over the years. They had brought her friendship, truth, and change. Now hopefully they would bring her prosperity.