"Eat all of you food son, do not let any of it go to waste. There are people out there who do not get these blessings. We must cherish them to our fullest gratitude. Your mother worked very hard picking these vegetables. Now go on, eat," Asuma Takeshi spoke with resonance, a hopeful grin spread from cheek to cheek as he reached for his glass of water. Sano bit his lower lip, reinstalling the fork into his hand as he maneuvered its points through the broccoli and carrots. He looked over to his brother who returned the same hopeless gaze. Sano smirked, forcing the fork through a green stem and bringing it to his pallet. He chewed lightly, breaking up the food before swallowing.
"See, not that bad! You are still breathing aren't you boy?"
"Yes sir," Sano answered, eating more of the vegetables persistently. It was breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Skinned chicken and a vegetable medley was their daily menu. The options were limited, but Sano nor his brother ever complained. The food was always delicious, the vegetables were the only flavorless edibles - the reason for their internal struggle to eat them.
"You boys are coming down to the wall today right? Helping out your old man?"
"You're not old poppa, just......seasoned!" Igneous - Sano's brother - joked. The simple tease had everyone at the table laughing, enjoying their early morning before the workday. "Of course father, we'll be there after midday. We have to catch more chickens before, but we'll be there," Sano replied.
"Good, there is a lot of work to get done. The walls are the only thing that protect us from the monsters."
"We do not speak about that at the table," Mother stated, hushing poppa and forcing his eyes to play dumb. "Finish up and get ready boys, we'll head out shortly," she added, picking up the empty dishes as the boys ran to their room. Sano got there before Ignos, always being the more athletic of the bunch. Winded, Ignos threw himself face first against the mattress - a grumbling exclamation escaping him. "Stay positive Ig, it's just another day," Sano expressed with optimism. He changed his sleepwear into work clothes - little kid boots, dirty old pants and a stained shirt. They had plenty of clothes, so used the older ones for the hard labor.
"How big do you think those monsters are out there Sano? Father never tells us. Why is the wall so big?"
"I think they're as big as cows! HUGE! But I don't know. They'll never get through the wall anyway, father is too good a builder."
Sitting under the roofed dinning hall, Sano started the day with warm porridge. The taste was awful, but the nutritional benefits outweighed the need for delight. He'd been up before anyone, deciding to watch the sun rise on is own accord. There had been others up and about, but none from his squad. At the time, the silence felt welcoming. He got to think about things he thought he forgot. It mesmerized him how much history he learned in just a couple of years.
Anyhow, this trance was interrupted by Lauren. The girl caught the side of his eye as she wondered about, nearing the edge of he cliffside. Her walk a bit staggered and not yet conscious it appeared, but her actions were willingly. Sano stood and neared a wooden pillar, holding onto it as he watched closer to the girl's actions.
"Watcha lookin' at there Sano?" a voice came from behind. One of the squad's cadets - Jay - disrupted Sano's current undertakings. "Oh, nothing."
"What are you doing up so early man? There ain't nuthin and none out here yet. Why you all lonely and shit all the time?"
Jay's attitude and temperament didn't sit well with Sano. He wasn't one to relate to big-mouthed people like him - especially when they tested his personal nature. "I like the quiet," was Sano's response, keeping it simple so Jay could understand. The mohawk wielding Scout wasn't really grasping the concept and continued to bother Sano.
"That's bullshit. I think you just like that ass over there as much as me!" Jay laughed, putting his hands on Sano's shoulders playfully. Swiftly, Sano shoved Jay off of him. "Don't touch me," he warned, Jay only forming a fiendish grin. "Oh yea? What're you gonna do huh?" Jay pushed forward, touching Sano again on the shoulder - smacking him hard. Sano grabbed Jay's arm this time, eyes gazing on what was becoming an enemy. Suddenly, Jay threw a punch, landing on Sano's chin, forcing him to let go of Jay's arm. Tasting blood inside his mouth, Sano assumed a defensive position, arms up shielding his chin.
Jay smiled as his pupils staggered demonically. He reached for the end of his shirt and removed it, throwing it over Sano's finished breakfast bowl. "Let's go big boy!"