“I’ll go alone,” you tell her calmly. With a deep breath and clear mind, you make your way to your friend. She already has a rather large sundae in front of her, but has barely eaten any of it. “Hey there, Cirno,” you say quietly, but just loud enough for her to notice you.
“Alex?” She turns her head slightly, just enough for her to see you from the corner of her eye. “What are you doing here?” She quickly looks around, probably for Utsuho, and you do the same. You smile faintly as you notice that you can’t actually see her anywhere.
Making sure you have her attention, you say, “You seemed pretty upset by what we said back there.” Cirno simply goes back to staring at her ice-cream silently. “I just wanted to let you know that I’m not mad at you. Disappointed? More than a little. But, I don’t want you to think I don’t like you anymore.”
You stop to let her respond, which takes almost a minute. “I know. You’re way too nice to let something like this ruin a friendship. But, the others…”
“Don’t worry about the others,” you interrupt. “If they have a problem with you later, I’ll talk to them. But, I think they’ll be fine. I’m pretty sure that like me, they were just annoyed by how one-sided it was.” She actually looks up from her ice-cream now and looks at you with watery eyes. “I know you like to win, but what’s the point if you just wind up upsetting everyone else?”
“I need to win though,” she mumbles dejectedly. “My dad’s a really talented MMA fighter and my mom was a track star in high school and college.” She pauses to shovel a large spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth. After swallowing she continues, “Dad looks down on me because I’m not the top of the class. He’s also upset that I’m not on any type of team or in a club. He thinks I’m a failure…”
Well, crap. That wasn’t something you were expecting her to say. “Cirno, I, uh, I’m sure he doesn’t mean it.”
“Sure he does,” She mumbles sharply. “He wants me to be a winner, to be successful, to be like him.” She pauses for another spoonful, then another, and a third one after that. “Every day before bed, he makes me run laps around the house, do pushups, throw a weighted ball around, and then he has me study for ten minutes every minute over the goal time. For each exercise.”
“Are you okay?”
“Well, I am in great shape,” she smiles weakly before admitting, “But, no. I’m not. It’s way too stressful, but, I’m scared to just say no. He’s never hit me before, and he hasn’t hit mom either. But, I don’t want to push him over the edge.”
“Have you talked to anyone about all this? Besides me that is.”
“No. Not even Utsuho knows.” She quickly looks me in the eye, pleadingly. “Please, don’t tell anyone about this. I love my dad, even if he pushes me like this. And he seems genuinely happy when I win a round of laser-tag, saying that he’ll, ‘make a fighter out of me yet’. I don’t want to disappoint him…”
 Agree not to tell anyone
 Lie to her. Tell someone. (Who?)
 Don’t tell anyone, but if they ask you’ll tell the truth.
 Give her a comforting hug (Like you wouldn’t choose this one)
So, I wrote this, and I feel like a bastard for it. In part because I HATE HATE HATE HATE any form of domestic abuse. So, writing it bothers me on many levels. BUT, I have to tell myself that the world can't be a happy place all the time and we need to see characters hurt, vulnerable, and going through real life problems. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth though...
ANYWAY! On a happier note, this is the 100th update for Myouren Academy! As such, I will let you decide what the next short will be!
 An /at/ update
 A glimpse into someone else's life (Who?)
 Mother and Father