Juriko and Haruka seemed to live a charmed life. They always looked so beautiful. Juriko had the charm of a social butterfly that she needed to survive in the real world. Haruka had a mysterious charm that drew men to her. They were both at the top of their class. Many girls envied them. Guys had crushes on them all around. Even I couldn�t get enough of them. The twins had the perfect image.

However one day before my birthday, I learned an ugly truth about them.

I decided to see where the fox twins lived. My mother was asleep in bed at the time and I had nothing else to do. So I slipped out of the house and walked down the road. Everything around me felt too quiet, almost like an old German horror film. The dying trees along the road didn�t really help either. No birds filled the sky this afternoon. I shuddered as I forced myself to keep walking. The wind helped me to do so.

I came to the end of the road. The house looked like a typical Japanese house of the time. The lawn looked to be dying with the season. Two white benches sat on either side of a matching table. I smiled as I tried to picture the set in the summer time.

But then, I noticed Juriko standing on her front lawn, looking around in a rushed way. Curious, I observed her for a couple of minutes. She had on a Western-style dress with no shoes. I kept wondering what she is such a hurry from. Suddenly, my fox angel looked up and noticed me. She power walked up to me.

�What are you doing here?!� she asked in a hushed tone. I blinked.

�Is� something wrong?� I asked.

�Get out here! Now!� she hissed.

�What do you mean? Why?� I asked. Crash! The sound made me jump in the autumn afternoon.

�What was that?!� I cried. I got the answer to my question before it came out of my mouth.

�You�re so useless! I hate you!� I heard a woman screaming from inside the house. �You never can commit to anything around here! And you always screw everything up!�

�Shut up, you Japanese spy!� a man yelled back.

�Oh, that�s your excuse to blame for everything, isn�t?! I�m so mad I could kill you right now!�

�Go on, try it! I have seen combat and Hell in my years on the battlefield!�

�Oh yeah, you got out of that one by being a POW!�

I didn�t care to hear anymore as my stomach dropped. Juriko grabbed me by the hand and led me all the way into the woods. I didn�t ask questions as I ran after her to the sound of our footsteps behind us. We stopped once we were in the woods and breathed heavily.

�Hey, Juriko-chan,� I said once I got my breath back. �What was that all about? Who were they?�

�My parents,� she replied. I paused and looked up at the tone of her voice. All of the seductive glow died away from her face. Her airy voice became heavy with seriousness.

�What�s wrong with them?� I asked. Juriko looked away.

�My father fought in the war,� she said. �He was taken prisoner in the middle of it. When he came home, their fights got worse.� She grabbed onto my skinny frame. �Hold me, Iwao-kun. I feel sick.�

�Okay�� I mumbled. I slowly put my arms around her and looked up at the sky. For some reason, it was nice to see her all vulnerable like this. It adds a nice change to the situation between the three of us.