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A Doll's House

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Taiga sighed as she walked through the doors of her apartment, the end of a long day.

She had always hated coming here. She had never thought of it as home; after all, a home was full of love, and this place was not full of anything. It was empty, both physically and emotionally. She always suddenly felt tired after walking through those doors. Others talked of coming home and relaxing after a long day...It wasn't like Taiga didn't want to escape having to interact with all those annoying losers outside, but being in these cold rooms was just as bad, if not worse. She felt like she could suffocate on how empty it was.

She took her shoes off, and neatly lined them up against the side. There had never been any other shoes there but hers. Each day was just her, all alone, from the moment she walked in to the moment she left again. And no matter how many times she walked through those doors, there was never a mother or a father waiting for her. Even before she had moved out, there never had been. The walls of this luxury apartment were a reminder that she had been abandoned, but she had been thrown away long before this condominium had even been built.

She crashed into the seat in the living room, carelessly dropping her bag and coat. She liked to think that if she'd really wanted to, she could have learned how to properly keep the house. But why bother? No one had ever visited, no one but her ever saw this empty corner of the world. At some point, she had even started sympathizing with it. What a fitting home for me, someone who nobody wants, she would think to herself as she looked at the stark white walls and tiles with dust and dirty clothes lying everywhere, a place where nobody wants to go.

Then, Ryuuji emerged from the bathroom and went behind the kitchen counter. He looked at Taiga and smiled kindly at her, like he always did. “Welcome home, Taiga. How was your day?”

She grinned. “Oh, same old, same old. What's for dinner?” she asked, hearing the boiling pot. Even before he answered, she could smell the familiar scent of Ryuuji’s miso soup as it filled the room. Those lonely high school days were nothing but a distant memory now.