Kuto awoke to the sound of rain pattering against the window. He slowly sat up, running a hand through his dark golden brown hair. It had been a few days since he’d last shaved, and stubble now lined his jaw. Kuto sighed and pushed himself out of bed, padding across the room to where his purple hoodie hung on a hook by the door. He pulled it on over his head, then made his way downstairs.

The house was empty and silent, as it had been for months now. Kuto’s parents had died in a car accident just before he’d graduated from college. Since then, he’d been living here alone; their death still felt like an open wound that refused to heal.

Kuto went into the kitchen and started rummaging through the cupboards, looking for something to eat. His stomach growled loudly, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday afternoon. Finally finding some crackers and peanut butter, Kuto quickly prepared himself a snack before sitting down at the table with a heavy sigh.

He knew he needed to get out of this house; it was too full of memories of happier times . But every time he tried , something held him back . Maybe it was fear , or maybe grief ; either way , Kuto couldn’t seem to make himself take that first step outside . So instead , he stayed indoors day after day , barely eating or sleeping , letting life pass him by .