Playing Cupids – Chapter 3

Playing Cupids

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Saturdays were the holy days for student gamers. No school and no family get-togethers for the whole day. And just as I was about to start my day in front of my PC, a vibration came from my phone: a text.

“Meet me at the lobby of my apartment ASAP. Please just come, you don’t have anything to do anyway.”

It was from Clarissa. Shit.

Why are you even going?

I am forced to.

No one is forcing you.

If I don’t come, she will beat the living shit out of me when Sunday comes. And we have work on Sunday.

What is happening to your lifestyle?

Actually, I think it’s getting healthier.

BULLSHIT

It’s technically true. So quit your whining.

I changed to something that was presentable. Well, I think it is presentable but I don’t know if it is: a tracksuit, sweatpants, sneakers and a cap.

If you’re going to get out of the house, make sure to be more presentable than “normal”. Dipshit.

What do you suggest?

I got nothing.

I’m going with this then.

I wore the fake glasses my mom gave me too. She said that I should wear this when I play so that the radiation from the screen of my PC wouldn’t reach my eyes directly.

This is the first time I’m using this pair of glasses and I’m not even using its original purpose. I just don’t want anyone from school to notice me going out with Lisa on a weekend. Rumors will definitely rise if someone saw us.

I got downstairs to find the kitchen empty.

Well, that was a given. Since my mom knows I’m always using Saturdays are the days I like to lock myself in my room, she was still asleep in her room.

Whenever it was lunch time, she would just cook some food and leave it in the table for me to reheat when I come down.

I grabbed a bowl of cereals from the cupboard and a carton of milk from the fridge.

I’m actually surprised to why there is a carton of milk in our fridge.

Why is that?

It’s mostly filled with energy drinks. It’s kind of rare for mom to stock some milk.

Oh yeah. She only makes you run to the convenience store for milk whenever needed.

I had my breakfast and dumped the dishes at the sink.

I left a note that I was going out. I also added that I had a part-time job since she still doesn’t know about it.

When I reached the lobby, I met Lisa there. But I also met Kate who was now glaring at me. But after a few seconds, she was laughing.

And you call these people normal? Unbelievable.

She is laughing at something normal people would – you.

At least rephrase it into something less hurting.

“Why are you wearing those?”

Kate bursts into laughter again as she takes a second look at my attire.

“This is the usual things I wear whenever I buy games or comics or books. What’s wrong with this? It’s comfortable.”

She suddenly settles down and the only thing left was the pity in her face. Looks like the thought of me being a loner finally came through her head.

“So,”

I said, shifting my line of sight towards Lisa.

“What am I supposed to do here?”

Lisa was spacing out when I looked at her. When she finally caught up with us, she panicked and ran while dragging Kate with her.

I think this is a sign that we should wait here while they do their thing.

Good thinking.

And so I waited for five minutes but they were still not coming out.

What do you think they’re doing?

Dunno. Girly things.

Makes me really curious. Why the hell are they taking so long?

They’re not men, okay? It’s either they take delight in taking their time or actually stressing out things that men do not. Take it like a man and zip it.

When they finally came to be, Lisa was blushing and Kate had that smirk on her face. Awe shite, something is going to happen.

I know I said I can read the motives of people. But I cannot specify what every time. Every other human thinks differently. I can never generalize situations except for seriously obvious ones. I can’t explain why, I just happen to know. And this time, I just know that something’s going to happen. I just don’t know what.

“Ra-rai -Raijin?”

Why is she stuttering?

She breathed in deeply and readied herself… for some reason.

“Go out on a date with me!”

It took about seven seconds for me to realize that she was not kidding.

By the time I realized that she was serious, I took my glasses out and covered my face with one hand. Part of me was actually happy. Another part was nervous and the most part was that I was confused.

Narrator dude, any comment?

*confused screaming*

Thought so.

I massaged my temple and cleared my mind.

“What do you mean?”

“She meant a date date.”

Kate answered with that smirk still hanging on her face.

I want to wipe off that face so bad.

“Why?”

I put my glasses back on.

“I was bored. I wanted to see how much of a gentleman you are since Lisa was boasting about it since I got here.”

“Kate!”

Clarissa is still blushing.

Of course she would still be.

But I wonder: why did she boast about me being… wait, she meant a gentleman?

Like the side you showed to Brenda, the class rep.

Oh man. Okay fine, let’s get this over with.

“Good thing I have a decent amount of money in my pocket. Come on then, milady.”

I reach for her hand as I stare into her eyes.

In the corner of my eye, I could see Kate with that smile where I could predict that she’s going to tease her big sis so bad later.

She shyly took my hand.

I smiled at her to try to make her feel more comfortable, but it looks like it had the opposite effect since she looked away.

Okay, meeting time: “How to be a gentleman.”

Number one – Dress up.

Um, you already failed that one an hour ago. Onto the next step.

Number two – Plan ahead.

You are a failure as a gentleman, shit.

Oh shut up. Even if I don’t plan ahead, I can compromise stuff.

According to my mom, girls like to go shopping er… window shopping. So we went to the mall first, killing time before lunch.

The local mall was quite small so we could take our time.

Wandering around with shops everywhere, we went to every single one.

We went to the clothes store, glasses store (for some reason) and ate anything like pizza or doughnuts.

She spotted a nice necklace when we passed by a jewelry store, huh. Okay, might as well spend some for that.

Uh, why are you taking note of that.

Trust the gentleman.

It was almost lunch time when we decided to grab a bite. Since we were in the mall, I took the liberty of choosing one of the best places here.

Eating lunch with a graceful-looking girl but has a black hole of a stomach was actually quite terrifying. You have no idea how much you need to order for her. If you order too much, she gets angry. If you order too less, she gets angry.

The little sister is not with you. Have you noticed that?

Oh yeah, come to think of it…

I turn my head left and right to look for her, but it looks like she was committed to spying on us without getting caught.

After eating, we went to the arcade.

I don’t know if it was funny or not but he guy in that date excelled in the games where physical strength wasn’t needed while the girl was impressive with those that include physical power. The roles switch from time to time.

We spent most of our time there but the least of my money. It was because I gained a ton of tokens that we used to get a butt load of tickets.

We exchanged the tickets for a small stuff toy. But it costs a lot of tickets and if you were to count it and look at the prize, you would rather want to buy the damn thing with real money.

“That was fun!”

Clarissa was happily skipping beside me as I carry the bags of clothes she bought and the stuff toy we won.

“Good thing I’m working at a part-time job. Otherwise I’d be broke as hell.”

When we finally reached the exit, I asked her to stay there for a while.

“I just need to use the restroom for a bit. Wait for me; I’ll be back in a jiffy.”

I ran back to the jewelry shop earlier where she spotted the necklace.

I asked how much was it and it was outrageous. I’m a high school student: I can’t afford shit like that.

But I did buy it anyway. I used the allowance I received from my mom last Christmas which I rarely use anyway. You were so close to buying the new release you know. Don’t remind me please. You’re only rubbing salt on my fresh wound.

When I got back to her, her arms were crossed and she was pouting.

“You took your precious time.”

I was catching my breath so I couldn’t retort back as fast I normally could.

“Yeah, just to acquire something precious for you. I hope.”

I gave her the small little box containing the necklace.

“Don’t open it until you get home, okay?”

She was very curious as to what it was but she obediently nodded yes.

We were walking outside through the main gate of the mall when Kate suddenly ran towards us from the back, knocking me over.

The hell?

I groaned as I hit the ground, receiving all the impact as Kate uses me as a shield. It hurts you know.

“What the heck sis!”

Hey, you have no right to say that after knocking me over and sitting on my back right after.

“Stop lying that he’s a good-for-nothing shut-in! What I saw back there was a gentleman!”

“You were spying on us?”

My face was still planted to the ground, so I had to lift my head up to talk.

I couldn’t see the look on her face, but she was probably embarrassed. So embarrassed that she pushed my head unto the ground again. Another groan came from my mouth of course.

I’m starting to wonder if she’s a sadist…

Why, of all things, do you wonder about that?

I was just thinking: you’re not complaining about this. Might you be a masochist?

I think your head’s fucked up because of the impact.

They started to converse whilst I was lying on the ground. For some reason, I cannot feel the people crowding on us. Usually when things become like this, we would be surrounded by a lot of bystanders.

I tried to eavesdrop on them but I can’t. It was either they were whispering or my head isn’t functioning properly.

After a few minutes I finally came to be after Kate lets go of my head.

I straighten myself and stretch my body. When I stretched my neck, a few bones made a crack sound. Damn it feels good man. Don’t forget how the take down from Kate a few seconds ago. Oh yeah right, that felt like shit.

I looked in their direction and found them with their faces red. Ugh, what is it this time?

“Hey, can we go home now?”

I asked, trying to break whatever was going on with them.

“No, you’re going to my place.”

“Lisa and I will decide things there.”

“Uh, what about my opinion?”

“You don’t get one!” 2x

I fell silent as they began dragging me towards Lisa’s apartment.

Are you even considered as a human now?

They don’t care about my feelings. What do you think?

Oh. I’m sorry.

On the way to Lisa’s place, they were both talking about something. I didn’t even have the energy to try to listen to whatever they were talking about.

They finally agreed on something. Then Lisa asked me as we stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.

“Do you have a laptop that can run your games?”

That’s a weird question.

“Um…”

Hey, you don’t have one right?

I only have my PC. When I was first starting off as a gamer, I only used a PC as well. And it was a low-end one.

Then just tell her so we can get this over with.

Let me think.

Why? You nitwit, just say it.

Whatever I say may affect their attitude.

But the effect would be the same on both choices. Just say it already.

“I don’t have one… Why?”

Lisa and Kate looked at each other.

“Uh guys? Answer my question.”

They talked about something again and decided on another thing.

“Call your mom. We’re having a sleep over?”

Kate answered as she pulled on my arm.

“Wait, what sleep over?”

“Just do it!” 2x

Cut it out with the synched shit, will you?

“Alright alright, let’s stop first then. I can’t tap on my phone.”

The moment I said that, we were already a few steps away from Lisa’s apartment.

How convenient.

For them, that is.

“Okay, wait here. We’ll be back in few minutes.”

The sisters ran away from me and towards the stairs as I prayed that they will come back in ten minutes, not in an hour.

I grabbed my phone and started to dial my mom. It took three rings when she finally picked up.

“Hello?”

Together with her voice, the voices from the TV show my mom watches was in the background.

“Mom, there will be two girls sleeping over.”

As soon as I finished, the sound from the TV suddenly died and everything fell in silence.

“It looks like you’re home too. Please don’t dress up or dress the place up and don’t be weird.”

“I got the night shift tonight”

Awe shit, now of all days?

“so eat outside or just order stuff. I’ll leave the key under the door mat.”

“Wait, mom-”

The static voice of my mom was cut off and all I could hear was a beeping sound.

Tch, this is just getting better and better.

I shoved my phone back inside my pocket and waited for a few minutes. Then I saw Kate and Lisa climbing down the stairs covered in sweat. Oh wow, they took their time.

“Uh, why are you in a hurry?”

“N-n-nothing!”2x

Even in stuttering they are synched.

It’s kind of starting to scare me now.

The hell. You’re scared of that shit?

Shut up man.

Man, you suck.

Just as I was about to turn around, I notice a white cloth lying out of the duffel bag that Liza has. I take a closer look without looking to suspicious.

On a closer look, it has a lace on it.

Wait, a lace?

Yup. For some reason.

And you said it was white?

Yeah. Hey why are you so interested?

Those are panties.

I suddenly realize that and now I’m panicking; how can I tell her about the panties without being labeled as a pervert?

I look at Lisa’s face. It looks like she’s still unaware of the situation.

Okay, try to remind her of panties.

WHY THE HELL SHOULD I DO THAT?

She might remember that she didn’t stuff the damn lingerie correctly.

“H-Hey, Lisa.”

“Yeah?”

Why were they such in a hurry that one of them didn’t pack their stuff right?

“P-pa-pan…”

“Pan?”

Oh shit, just spew it lad.

You do it. I’ll look more of a pervert if I suddenly say “Panties!” out of the blue.

Okay, Plan B: Plan B? Make her look at her bag.

Alright, that should be fine.

“P-p-pretty!”

What?

I don’t even know why I said that.

“Uh…”

“Raijin…”

Kate couldn’t help but utter my name. I feel like trash.

You are trash.

Oh shut it.

“No I mean, don’t you think that laces are pretty?”

Why are you going for Plan A?

Let me do my thing, okay?

Oh yeah, this is going to be a disastah.

“I guess so. Alright let’s go-”

“W-wait a minute!”

I block Lisa’s exit and stall for a few more minutes.

You big retard.

Why is she not reacting to laces when she has laced design underwear?

Why don’t you just say it directly?

“Actually…”

“Hmm?”

The atmosphere is really intense. I just have to say it!

Don’t let your dreams just be dreams.

Yeah.

You are who you want to be.

Yeah!

JUST DO IT!

YEAAHHHH!!!

“Let me carry your bag.”

An awkward silence fell unto the mind of the young Ayasaki Raijin as he betrayed his own imaginary friend.

I fucking hate you man.

I’m sorry.

“Oh okay…”

Lisa hands me her bag as she turns away and starts being bashful.

“Lemme have your backpack too, Kate. I bet that thing’s heavy.”

“Ah. O-Okay…”

She tosses me her bag and does the same thing as Lisa.

AWE COME ON! IT WAS A SIGN TO TELL THE BOTH OF YOU THAT LISA’S BAG HAD A PANTY STICKING OUT OF ITS ZIPPER! AT LEAST LOOK AT THE DAMN DUFFEL BAG BEFORE GIVING IT TO ME!

You can just stuff the thing in when they come out.

Oh wow, great idea.

I opened the doors for the sisters.

“Ladies first.”

They walk out quickly. Wow, I thought girls had a slow pace when walking.

Okay, time to just open the zipper, stuff the panty and zip it back as if nothing happened.

“Oh yeah, Raijin-”

The timing was too perfect.

As I was about to grab the panty after opening the zipper, the owner suddenly turned around to face me.

Her face was red akin to a tomato the moment she realized I was holding her underwear.

She storms toward me and – oh shit. Shit indeed

“I keep telling you: I was trying to warn you!”

“Tell that to the marines!”

Kate retorted as she was keeping her distance from me. She had Lisa beside her as well who was now scared because of the misunderstanding that was caused by her clumsiness.

My hair was now messy due to the pulling Lisa did. My face was beaten to a pulp and everything hurts. But for some reason, I think these bruises would go away sooner than expected.

“My hair and now my panties?”

“Hey, I never tried to smell your shampoo. Not one bit.”

Lisa turned around with a much more angered look towards me.

You see that? I told you they’re aliens.

No they’re not. Shut it, bozo.

Awe jeez, come on man! You told her that you weren’t doing perverted things yet she treated you like a pervert.

Any normal human would want to believe what they see instead of what they hear.

I don’t want to hear the term “normal” from you. And another thing: when you told her you didn’t sniff her hair, she got mad at you!

I cannot explain that but I can just tell that girls are like that.

How can you possibly know if you haven’t even been conversing with girls since you got picked on because of your name? You just met the girl Monday, last week. And you got on the wrong foot.

I just know. Just stop trying to annoy me for now.

Your brain works in the weirdest way.

Your existence proves that you moron.

We finally reach my place a minute after the tiny quarrel inside my head.

“Uh, try not to get chummy with her. She’s not the most comfortable company. Trust me.”

I warned the girls just before I knock on the door. The door opened as soon as I put my hand down and it scared the living shit out of me.

How on earth did mom reach the door so fast?

Look on the bright side: she’s not wearing any weird clothes.

Yeah. It looks like she was about to go out as well.

“Oh hey Raijin. Didn’t I tell you where the key was? Never mind. I gotta go.”

She slipped through our group while greeting Kate and Lisa casually. She then hops in her car and drives away from the house.

Oh my God. The way she acts normally is now creeping me out.

“I didn’t get a chance to be chummy with her. All good?”

I looked at Lisa and I saw her face thought the same thing: what an innocent child.

“What? What do your faces say? Hey tell me!”

I ignore Kate as I go in the house with both of them following me inside.

I had them go upstairs. I called for pizza since I’ll be too lazy to go out and eat.

I got back upstairs and I saw both of them lying on my bed with their faces planted.

“Uh, that’s my bed. You do know that, right?”

“It’s comfortable.”

Kate said with her voice muffled through the sheets. She then got up and continued.

“And Lisa said you don’t sleep here. Where’s the harm?”

“I started to use it around Tuesday… or was it Monday?”

In an instant, both of them sprang out of my bed and they positioned themselves on both of my chairs with Lisa on the gaming one and Kate on the studying one.

“So that’s why”

“there was that nice smell.”

Lisa and Kate said, making and finishing each other’s sentence.

“Nice smell?”

“IT WAS A HORRID SMELL!” 2x

Unison again…

I slam my body unto the bed and felt the softness of it. Ah, it was soothing. But then both of them dragged me out of it while shrieking.

“Don’t lie down there!”

“Go somewhere else!”

“Where? Both of you are now sitting on both of my chairs!”

Lisa pointed the floor, gesturing me to sit there while Kate nodded in agreement.

I sat obediently and mumbled some complains.

Ten minutes have passed and nothing has happened.

“Hey, what the hell do you want? Just spit it out already. My butt’s hurting.”

Lisa stood up from my gaming chair and offered it to me. I sat down without hesitation of course.

“Listen: we’re going to prove that you’re a hard core gamer. You will play until tomorrow morning. Taking breaks are fine but you must be up until 8. We will take turns in watching as you play. Got it?”

So that’s why.

I cannot believe this.

What the hell do you want this time?

Why do they have to go to this far just to prove you’re a shut-in? Isn’t that shit offensive.

I have been a victim of every offensive word you know. I can’t even tell if this is offensive or not anymore.

“Alright. Let me grab a couple of bags of chips and cans of soft drinks.”

I thought you had energy drinks?

Mom said that it would kill me since I started drinking twice a day.

Oh. Soft drinks serve as an alternative.

I got some from downstairs and went back up together with some tissue.

I cleaned the whole desk with a bunch of tissue that showed a lot of dirt. I also wiped the mouse and keyboard since they were kind of greasy.

I also went and sprayed some of the screen-cleaning liquid I have on the monitor and wiped it dry with tissue.

Then I placed the snacks and the drinks – party time.

And so we, I played until 8 without sleeping. I knew that they can’t pull an all-nighter, so I set a screen recorder in my PC and began recording my gameplay.

Mom got home at around 11 and didn’t bother to knock since she knows that I’ll be up all night. At around four, Lisa, who was in her shift of watching over me, fell asleep already. Together with her sister, they were asleep and beside each other.

I took the blanket from my bed and placed it on my chair. I went downstairs and grabbed a new clean blanket and covered them with it. I used the used blanket and cover myself and resumed grinding.

I stopped at around 8:30 and went downstairs to greet my mom who was making breakfast. She asked if they were awake and I told her no.

“I think they’ll wake up at around ten or eleven. Brunch, probably.”

“Have you slept yet?”

“Nope. But they will wake me up when they wake up.”

“Okay. I won’t go out today anyway.”

I went back upstairs and was about to leap towards my bed when I suddenly realized that there were people who occupied it.

I tried to not land on the bed and hit the wall instead.

A knock came from downstairs.

It was a question. Mom doesn’t talk much in mornings and so do I. So every time she knocks, it asks me what’s happening.

My response was a single knock.

There were two responses: a single knock and two knocks. One knock means that everything’s fine or under my control. Two knocks mean I need help.

We have been using this form of communication since I isolated myself in my room. It was pretty handy. Besides, it is quite annoying to yell so early in the morning especially when I haven’t slept a wink.

I stand back up and hop towards my gaming chair with one leg.

I covered myself with the blanket I used and adjusted the chair so that my back would be lying down and comfortable.

From there, my consciousness slips from my grasp as quick as air.

There, I was sitting in the middle of the void. Ah, I’m dreaming.

There was nothing to see – it was only pure white.

I turn around and saw myself, sitting with crossed legs with my head bowed down.

Then suddenly, a girl full of color came to be and offered her hand.

She said,

“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!”

Uh, what?

I wake up to the sound of a phone alarm. I looked at where the sound was coming from and it came from Lisa’s phone that was sitting on my desk.

I looked at the girls and it looks like they’re still not going to wake up at any moment. I turned the alarm off and looked at the time: it was already twelve.

Your mom prepared brunch right?

Nah. She didn’t have work so she’s probably cooking right now.

But I was pretty amazed to how you can remember the dream correctly.

Me too. But the girl’s face was vague.

She emitted weird wounds, of course you would turn you attention away from the face.

Either way, that dream was way too weird.

A world where everything is white, huh…

They say dreams are full of clues but lacks solid facts.

Symbols rather than literals.

I wonder what that meant.

I began to open my PC to find anything to do online when I remembered Brandon.

I opened my account began to message the manager – HOLY SHIT I HAVE WORK TODAY! Ugh whatever, I’ll just tell him I had a cold and Lisa caught it.

I told him my alibi first then asked how the convincing went well with Brandon.

Knowing that Alex wouldn’t reply as quick as lightning, I looked around for videos of anything. A couple of videos later, he replied.

He told me to get well soon. And he said that the timings were bad since his first attempt but he managed to make Brandon agree without being noticed by Giselle of course.

R: “Please contact him after three weeks when we begin to prepare the venue so that we can train him.”

A: “For what, exactly?”

R: “Gentleman stuff. A lot of people say that I’m a gentleman but I can’t see the point. I thought that maybe if I show him how I normally treat women then he can learn from that.”

A: “Isn’t that kind of boasting?”

R: “Nah. I’m just using this as an advantage.”

A: “Lol okay. I’ll also handle his clothes and shit because I can tell that his outfit would be a mess. Later.”

After that, I made a list of the possible needed equipment and finance needed for the operation. I confirmed it with Rex whom agreed without any hesitation. He also added that he’s going to hire a party planner so Lisa’s job can be a bit easier. How much does that dude make in a month?

I went and took a bath after the discussion about the equipment with Rex. Since there were people in my room who could wake up anytime, I took the clothes I’m going to change to with me to the bathroom.

And then the my child was standing up.

Ah shit.

Nice timing, you’re taking a shower.

No, stop tempting me.

Then how will that thing settle?

Ah fuck it. Alright fine.

By “fuck it”, you meant literally. Right?

FUCK OFF!

*Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk, Jerk – SPLAT*

Feels good man.

I can’t even deny that.

Even after “that”, I was still sleepy. Four hours of sleep was normal for me, but my body couldn’t possibly keep up for a week with that amount of daily sleep.

I got to the kitchen and made some coffee. I got back to my room to face my PC again.

I decided to go to the guild.

In AR, there is a guild where all of the quests are piled up. This is where you get the quest, receive the rewards, and where you keep track of the places you have visited.

I have been playing AR solo so I don’t have a certain party. I always end up together with different people in different quests. And right now, I’m looking for a player to party with later tonight.

As I sip my coffee, a pop-up box came to be.

“Hmm. It says ‘The server is updating. It will be in maintenance until tomorrow 10:00 P.M.’ Quel’thalas – Why does this server suck so much?”

The launcher for AR forcibly crashed and now I’m left with nothing to do.

“You’re still at it?”

Lisa’s morning voice; she finally woke up.

“I took a break around 8.”

I said while turning around to face her.

“Wanna grab some coffee?”

She nodded and we both went down to make her some coffee.

We hanged out in the kitchen after that, talking about Brandon and Giselle and the preparation for the hook up.

Mom was there and she was back to normal. By normal, she was saying embarrassing things like how I used to cry over a balloon. She was also asking Lisa about our “relationship” which made everything vaguer.

“So have you ever had Raijin at your place, Clarissa?”

Mom asks with both of her hands holding her chin up.

Lisa nods shyly and I smack my face with a face palm.

“Ah. They grow up so fast.”’

My mother wipes her invisible tears.

“It was as if yesterday you were still wetting the bed. And that was actually ten years ago.”

“Mom…”

She laughs and pats my head before leaving the kitchen.

“Just kidding, son.”

I picked up what I left about the 20 year old unrequited love.

I told her about the conversation I had with both Alex and Rex. I also told her that she needs not to design the mansion.

“So, what am I supposed to do? Rex took my job.”

“We’ll be in-charge of training Brandon and transform him into a fine man.

“Uh, how can I even help with that?”

Lisa asks with a confused face.

“We need a girl’s point of view of what they want with a guy.”

And it looks like the confused face got the gist of things.

The topic strayed away after, talking about how I don’t get held back every year even with disastrous grades.

Kate came downstairs with bed hair and her pajamas a little revealing.

Let’s not look for our own sake.

Definitely.

I offered her some coffee but she refused and requested milk instead. Lisa teased her, saying “Milk for bust?” and they started their little fight as I pour milk unto a glass.

Wait, did they even shower yesterday?

I don’t know bruv. I didn’t eat yesterday since the raid took so long.

You were probably too focused on the game that you didn’t take note of the surroundings.

Wait if they messed with my stuff?

That has a very low probability. They’re not like you.

Lisa was searching through my stuff last time though.

Oh… oh no.

Nah. With Kate around she wouldn’t dare.

I gave the glass of milk and Kate drank it in a matter of seconds. Woah. After drinking it though, she started to quarrel with Lisa again.

“You guys sure are close.”

“We’re not!” 2x

“…”

And so we have proven that I am a hard-core gamer and anti-social being. With that conclusion, Kate finally believed it.

They packed their stuff and went home without eating lunch. I, on the other hand, asked mom for lunch and waited in the kitchen.

While we were eating, mom suddenly asked me.

“Why do you have two girlfriends?”

“Why is it that when I have a female friend you always assume it as a girlfriend?”

I’m starting to think this was abnormal…

For the rest of Sunday, I slept in my room. Fucking Quel’thalas.

It seems that we had no school on today even though it was Monday. So I here I am with Brandon, Alex and Lisa illegally trespassing school grounds.

An hour ago…

I came to school as usual and was about to get to school on time when I saw Brandon sitting in a bench near the gate.

He saw me and greeted me good morning.

With his casual clothing, it looks like he knew that classes were suspended today.

“Hey teach. What are you doing here? You know that school wasn’t open, right?”

“I know. But a friend of mine asked me to come to the school gates. He said we need to do something for our alma mater.”

Alex or Rex? Probably Alex. He was the one who convinced Brandon after all.

Just as I was about to ask him another question, Alex came.

“Hey manager. How come you’re here?”

“Come on man. Call me by my name.”

“I kinda got attached to the nickname.”

“Oh hey Alex. So what are we gonna do?”

Yup I knew it.

Alex explained the plan and how I’m connected with it. The teacher didn’t believe him first. “A student planning all of this?” he said. So I showed him the plans from my phone where in I was the one who was doing all the strategy.

“With that said, let’s break in!”

Wait what?

I could tell that Brandon was confused as well, so Alex began to explain.

“We don’t have a place to stay. We can’t stay at Raijin’s place since he’s a student. We can’t stay at my place as well since my parents live there. And your place is too small for the three of us.”

“So you decided to break in the school?”

I was a bit surprised with Brandon. I thought that he was a passive dude, hut he retorted to Alex. It looks like they’re close until now, huh.

“I asked Jim, the principal of this school, to suspend the classes and give me keys to the school gate and the gymnasium. Don’t waste my efforts here.”

This is so wrong.

We are witnessing a fucking crime right before our eyes.

And the principal is lets people break in for the sake of his friends?

Yeah, I mean – wait how come you know they’re friends?

All of Brandon’s friends are desperate to hook him up with Giselle. He has been looking at her for twenty years. It kinda hurts to do that. Probably.

“Let’s wait for a while first. Lisa will be coming any minute.”

“Hey, what about what I think?”

“Brandon, you’re a coward. We don’t fucking care about what you think so shut it and man up.” Is what Alex’ face said when he turned towards the bland teacher.

Zero respect, huh.

So much for “Friendships build respect”

Alex just killed that phrase.

RIP.

We waited for a few minutes until Lisa came running with bread on her mouth.

When she finally reached us, she was panting and chewing and talking with a surprised-tired face and I can’t tell anymore.

“Swallow the bread first please.”

After hearing my words, she stopped and swallowed the slice of bread on her mouth.

“Why are manager and Mr. Bland here? And why is the school closed?”

I explained the situation to Lisa and her reaction was the same as me – she was calm. That’s weird. If Brenda saw this, she’d probably call the police.

“Okay then let’s go in.”

Alex said, opening the lock of the school gates. We went straight to the gym and here we are, back to the present.

“Okay, let’s start with the training.”

For two hours, Brandon was directed by both Alex and I while Lisa made comments to help us with what we want Brandon to do. There were a lot of stuff that had to be changed like how he walks and how he greets any person regardless of gender. We had to start from square one.

We took a break after that. It was tiring to either direct Brandon or just watching him. It’s like being formal was his arch nemesis, so we had to make him take a knee for now to clear his mind.

And now, for some reason, Kate was here.

“Uh, what are you doing?”

“I don’t study here so I cam since Lisa texted me about the situation.”

She wasn’t attending this school so she probably skipped her classes.

No shit, Detective Conan.

“And since you were helping a grown up man to date his long-term crush, I’ll show him the video of you having a nice date with my sister.”

Uh, what?

“Lisa! Show him this video! It’ll help you teach him.”

Still confused on how and why Kate was here, Lisa gave Kate’s phone to Alex and Brandon.

“Hey Lisa! That’s a hidden camera recording our date yesterday!”

Oh well too late.

Kate was now trying to fend us off with. She dealt with Lisa by blabbering embarrassing things that she doesn’t want anybody to hear. And to deal with me, she’s going to scream “Pervert” if I try to hold her.

Ugh, what a pain.

With us being held back by Kate, we couldn’t do anything but watch as Alex and Brandon watch our date with faces filled with envy and joy.

They’re jealous?

They don’t have girlfriends.

They’re happy?

They like to tease “young couples”

That explains everything then.

I looked at Lisa to check on her but instead I noticed the necklace I gave her.

“Oh hey, you wore it. It suits you.”

She turned around and said,

“I never said thanks so I’ll say it now.”

She sighed deeply, turned around, kissed my cheeks and turned back around again.

“T-tha-thanks…”

Uh, what was that?

What was what?

How should I know? You’re the one who made that happen.

How exactly?

Your “gentleman ways” right?

Oh shit. No, this is not the result of that.

Then what? That’s the only thing I can possibly think of. If not, then what?

You’re right: she is an alien.

No she’s not!

You told me that she was!

I changed my mind. Anyway, snap out of it and say something or do something about this atmosphere!

Like what?

Any fucking thing because right now, those men and his sister are looking at you with smirks on their faces.

“W-we… you’re welcome…”

*INTENSE INTERNAL CONFUSED SCREAMING*

*ROLLING ON THE FLOOR, SCREAMING*

“You guys look cute together!”

Kate suddenly said out of the blue. What the fuck are you saying?

“I think I can learn from this… perhaps you’re a dating master?”

Brandon said with “respect for Raijin” written all over his face. Hey, have a little pride as an adult.

“I have been learning how to make girls fall for other guys. But damn you’re skilled!”

Alex commented. BEING A GENTLEMAN IS NOT A SKILL!

“I think I’m gonna go buy some drinks. I’ll buy Coke for all of you.”

I ran outside without thinking. But of course, it was the first time that I was given thank you via cheek kiss. I don’t even know what that meant so I’m confused. But for some reason I was really pleased. I’m now starting to doubt my own brain for this.

When I got tired, I saw a bench and sat there to catch my breath. When I looked at the gym, it wasn’t actually that far. My stamina has always been like this.

I used to refuse any kind of physical activities like sports, the beach or even P.E. class. I managed to pass my P.E. class due to a doctor’s note. It was a fake one though.

There was this one time when I managed to get a doctor’s note due to a flu I had and stayed in bed for three whole days. The loophole there was that the note had the month and day on the date as blank so I could just write whatever day it was.

I only used it on P.E. though. If I were to use it every day, my mom or the teachers would eventually find out.

But like the phrase everybody says: All good things must come to an end. Except for my case, since it was a bad thing.

Last summer, my mom found the note when she was cleaning my room. My rights for the fridge were taken away for a whole month. I had to buy snacks in the middle of the night five times a week for a whole month!

Man, you’re a big coward.

What?

Whenever you need to calm down, you always think of something else that isn’t related to a problem in hand.

It works every time.

The cans of coke for everyone; you should go get them now.

There goes half of my money.

In the end, I took six cans. I drank the first can before going back to the gym and by the time I got there I was quite thirsty so I drank one more can.

“Oh hey, gimme one.”

Kate grabbed one of the cans I held and sipped from it.

“Good timing. Check this out, it looks like they’re practicing the date.”

The date.

When Alex and I were discussing about the flags we could raise in the reunion, he proposed a date for both Brandon and Giselle a month before. I was quite hesitant first since Brandon is… Brandon, but he explained that Giselle wasn’t really lady-like so she only had casual clothes.

Alex’ info is probably correct since he should know the tiny little details about Giselle that is crucial for his strategies when they were still in high school. One main objective was added: the date a month before the reunion.

While I was overseeing their practice, Brandon had Lisa as his practice partner. What annoyed me though was the fact that he was doing everything wrongly.

I don’t know what came over me, but my body was suddenly filled with rage and I started charging towards them.

I immediately took Lisa away from Brandon’s hand, getting everyone’s attention.

“What the fuck, old man!”

I started to yell at the person I was trying to help.

“You’re doing every single opposite thing a ‘nice guy’ should do. Walk on the more dangerous side on the road, match her pace, hold her hands when the mood is nice: these things are the basics. This is being a gentleman – how to get a girl 101. Stop being a coward, man the fuck up and steal her heart away by being a nice guy!”

Everything I said echoed through the gym. And now, there was silence.

“Look man, Lisa is a fair lady. And I bet Giselle is too. So please try to be able to keep up with her and treat her right, okay?”

“Alright, you heard the man. Kate come here and supervise these two. You guys just keep practicing.”

Alex dragged me towards a corner after he gave instructions to everyone.

“Hey, get your shit together.”

Ah, it looks like he’ll tell me to be more patient with Brandon.

“I know you like Clarissa and all but-”

“No I don’t.”

Alex looked at me with a confused face. Seriously?

“Huh. But it’s so obvious that you like her. It’s clear as day.”

I shook my head no and shook my hand sideways until Alex decided to believe me. I think he believed me. Ugh, I probably made a flustered face. What was that all about, Alex?

Another couple of hours have passed until we finally call it a day.

It was still noon so we I planned to go back home and play video games when Brandon decided to treat everyone to lunch.

Yikes, he probably wants to talk to me about the thing that happened a while ago. It looks like everybody’s going as well. Damn, I kind of feel responsible as well. I should just go.

On the way to the fast food chain Brandon described, I was walking on the back part of the group. This was an invitation so Brandon can get this over with.

He then took the invitation and started to initiate a conversation.

“Hey man. Sorry about treating your girl that way. I’m pretty new about this so, yeah.”

“No biggie. You just need to-”

Did he just call Lisa my girl?

He called Lisa your girl.

“Ah, was it supposed to be a secret?”

“I-It’s not even existing man, that relationship you’re talking about.”

God damn it. This was the first time that I’ve been caught off guard by something peculiar. What’s happening to me?

“Ah. It’s a one-sided crush.”

“Huh!?”

“It’s okay. We’re in the same boat.”

Brandon started to spout nonsense about how he secretly gazes upon Giselle whilst ignoring my denial about liking Lisa.

It took a while but I finally cleared the misunderstanding. Are all old men like this?

“You’re face is quite different from what you think. Or is it?”

Kate suddenly came out of the blue and whispered to my ear.

My heart almost came out of my mouth as I step back from Kate who was chuckling, probably from my reaction.

As she skipped on ahead –

Are you sure that you don’t like Lisa?

Yes I am sure. Aren’t you supposed to be sure too? You’re a part of my consciousness.

Well, there are things that I think are in sync with you. But it’s not always.

I’m starting to doubt that you are a figment of my imagination.

Are you really sure that you don’t like Lisa? I don’t only mean romantic feelings you know.

If you say that then I guess I like Lisa as a human being?

I wonder if you’re father was this retarded.

Hey, don’t switch the topic to something else!

I look to the group and it looks like Lisa was behind everyone else. It looks like Alex and Kate are talking about something, why is Brandon only listening? Oh wait, I already know.

“Hey.”

I picked up my pace and started to talk to Lisa who looks like she’s deeply thinking about something. She has been in a daze for a while now.

“It’s your fault you know.”

“How exactly?”

“You tried to look cool by ‘educating’ a grown up man on how to deal with girls.”

With a red face, she mumbled. But I heard it so loud, holy shit. She’s probably so embarrassed right now and when I think about my actions towards her – fuck! I’m probably covered in red right now too.

“Well whatever. Should I eat something light today?”

I tried to brush off the topic, pretending not to hear what she whispered. Actually, I don’t think I can consider that a whisper anyway.

“I bet you’ll be eating a lot again.”

“How rude! I know how to be lady-like when facing other people.”

“Oh, really now?”

There we go. Chatting casually as we were on our way to eat lunch together. What’s with this nice feeling…

We finally reached the place. There weren’t any people. Wait; is this the handy work of Alex’ connections again?

For some reason, the three of them rush inside and sat on a free table. What the heck?

Since the rest of us were ahead of Lisa and her company who was me when we were on our way here I guess it was sensible that they sit first. But they don’t have to be so competitive with the seating arrangement.

When Lisa and I finally reach the table they sat on, Alex, Brandon and Kate were on one side of the table. Oh, I get it. They want to do something that concerns me and Lisa sitting beside each other.

“What a coincidence!”

Kate, if you want to do something then at least make your voice sound natural.

“It looks l-like we a-all wanted to sit on thi-this part.”

Brandon, stop trying.

“Sorry Raijin. Sit on the other side.”

Alex’ acting was better though.

I looked at Lisa and it looks like she caught up with their plan as well. I winked at her, saying that we should prank them by being a lovey-dovey couple. Damn, that would be hilarious.

When she saw me wink, for some reason, she blushed and looked away. Huh, okay? As long as she plays along.

“My dear lady, you may take the window seat.”

“Why thank you, sir.”

I wanted to tell them that our acting was better but it was so good that they bought it. Oh man, oh man. Wait, why is my heart pounding like a jack hammer?

Lisa walked in and sat on the window seat. I followed and sat beside her. Brandon is staring at us with his mouth open. He’ll come back to his senses after a while.

“What would you like to order?”

Brandon asked. Oh yeah, he was treating us today.

“I think I’ll have this.”

Lisa pointed to whatever she ordered on the menu. She showed the Brandon what it was and he confirmed it. I, on the other hand, didn’t even take a peek on the menu

“I’ll have what she had.”

“Are you sure? A burger with fries and coke: is that okay?”

I nodded my head yes and looked at Lisa in a manner that it looked like I tried to steal a smile from her.

Fortunately, she was looking at me. I smiled at her and she giggled. Damn, that acting is really good.

“O-okay… what will you two get?”

Brandon is breaking in character. Oh well, two more to go.

A few minutes later, he came back with the food. In that few minutes, I fake flirted with Lisa. It was hard to fake it since I didn’t actually know how to flirt, but I remember how people RomComs do it and applied the principles here.

It looks like Lisa is having fun flirting with you.

Is that supposed to be strange?

What’s strange is that you’re enjoying this as well.

What!?

Don’t “What!?” me. You know yourself.

I was trying to ignore it but damn I think you’re right. The question is why I’m enjoying this.

Brandon distributed the food according to our orders.

I signaled Lisa to purposely eat the burger and have some sauce on the side of her lips. She did as she was told and when she did have sauce on her face –

“Hey, there’s something on your face.”

I reach her face, wiping the sauce on her chin with my index finger. I looked at Lisa and secretly towards the rest as well and they were staring at us. They bought Lisa’s facial expressions too.

“I thought you were supposed to be lady-like today?”

“P-please don’t tease me. It wasn’t on purpose that I had ketchup on my chin.”

With the blushing face and the bashful attitude Lisa showed, I licked the finger I used to wipe the ketchup off of her face.

“Ahh! Stop that’s embarrassing!”

“Don’t worry, it tasted good.”

My (probably) seductive smile towards Lisa was the finishing blow. Kate, who wanted to prank us, decided to explode and ran towards the comfort room.

I couldn’t hold my laughter in so it came bursting out. Lisa did as well. We were laughing so hard but Alex and Brandon were still dumb-founded.

“This is what you get for trying to prank us dude!”

Brandon planted his face on the table and Alex did a face palm – total defeat.

I looked at Lisa who had her hand raised towards me for some reason.

“Uh, what?”

“High five!”

“What five?”

Lisa suddenly grabbed my right hand and used it to make a clap movement with her right hand.

“High five!”

The smile on her face as she let out a cute voice when we did a “High five” made my heart beat faster. Oh wow, shit.

“Come on! I thought you knew that thing.”

She began giggling naturally as well. My only response was a shy smile.

“Are you okay, Raijin? Your face is red.”

“Y-y-yeah yeah I’m fine.”

I looked away to try to hide my embarrassment. Damn, I never thought my face would react that way. What’s with the sudden changes in my mind?

Oh shit! I forgot about the two other people who were probably looking at us.

I looked at them only to find that they haven’t moved at all. I guess the shock was too much for them, huh.

After a while, Kate came back with her sanity. Brandon and Alex also managed to function properly as well. I had this joke’s-on-you face when she came back and she was so pissed.

After that, the lunch was normal.

By normal you meant that you were passive

That’s the normal lunch I always had with different people.

I’m not done yet. By a normal lunch you meant you’re passive except towards Lisa?

What are you talking about?

You suck.

She’s the only person I’m close to.

You’re now the one who’s acting like a dog.

How come?

You’re being loyal to the person who saved you from solitude.

No, it’s a matter of responsibility. I just need to pay her back.

That’s how a dog thinks.

I was about to go home after the lunch when Lisa wanted to hang out at my place.

“Kate’s friends are coming over later and she said that I’ll only embarrass her. It’s true though.”

I’m actually surprised: she knows that she’s a jerk to her sister.

We went back to my place and did nothing but laze around and play.

Mom wasn’t home so the key was under the mat. I opened the house for us and we went straight to my room.

I sat on my gaming chair while she owned my bed: this is kind of like our position when we hang out in my room.

Talking about things as I grind xp and gold in AR wasn’t the best thing in the world. But it was something that makes you feel serene I guess.

A couple of hours later, I started to feel sleepy and wanted coffee.

“Hey, I’ll make some coffee. Want some?”

“I’ll sleep rather than fight it. Your bed… too soft.”

Lisa’s speech abilities were starting to degrade due to the bed’s softness. I don’t blame her, that thing is like cloud nine.

I made my coffee and brought back some snacks while I was at it. I continued to play AR as Lisa fell in a slumber.

Hey, Raijin.

Come on man. I’m grinding, don’t fucking talk to me.

No, this has been on my mind for a while now.

You meant our mind. Wait, you’re a freeloader in my brain so yeah it’s my sole property only.

Whatever. Did you really think that she was just going according to your plan?

Who was?

The sleeping beauty in your bed.

I think so. I can’t read her but she was acting smoothly and playing along. I mean, she even controlled her facial expressions.

You can’t read her. Are you sure that she’s playing along? What if she actually had some motives hidden under that act?

Like what?

Enjoying your company, pretending to be your girlfriend, dreaming of this scenario to come true: that stuff.

I doubt it.

Think about it man.

Maybe. But I can’t tell. What can I possibly do other than playing it safe and not assume anything?

Now you’re getting the hang of being a normal kid who isn’t smart enough to be know the other normal kid’s feeling.

I stopped paying attention to the game and smiled all of a sudden. I wonder why it felt good to be normal.

I abandoned the currently ongoing quest I had and looked at Lisa.

She really is cute if she could just stop being a glutton and a brute.

How come she’s so strong? Is it because she eats too much? All of the food she eats goes to her muscles then, wow. Wait a second, no. She still eats too much. Where do all the nutrients go?

I suddenly looked at her breasts which I assume are about D cup.

Case closed. You’re becoming a healthy young man.

I hate my brain. Dear God, please cleanse me.

I faced my PC again and began grinding. That quest should’ve given me enough xp to level up; I wonder what came over me and dropped the thing.

A few hours later, mom came home. She knew that Lisa was here and brought home some food for our dinner.

Lisa woke up from the sound of mom’s car driving to the garage. She was dreaming about food because she suddenly said “I said no pickles” while half-asleep with drool coming out of her mouth.

I told her to come greet my mom downstairs so that we can have dinner and went on downstairs. Girls tend to fix themselves for a couple of minutes before meeting someone or doing anything at all. Or at least that’s what my mom told me.

After five minutes, Lisa came downstairs with her hair combed and her face washed. How did she do that? I don’t think I have a comb on my room.

She probably had one on her bag.

And the face?

That, I do not know.

Mind blown.

We had our dinner as usual: Mom saying things, Lisa fidgeting, blushing and the lot and me retorting to almost everything my mother says. But it’s starting to get livelier actually. I’m starting to love it too.

After dinner, Lisa had to go back to her apartment.

“Sorry, I need to clean up the apartment.”

“How do you know that the apartment is a mess?”

“Kate’s there.”

She went and got her stuff from my room before she left. When she met mom, she politely excused herself and addressing mom as Mrs. Ayasaki.

“Dear, call me mom.”

My mother had no ill intentions with that. I could tell from the smile she had that glows brightly. It looks like mom got attached to Lisa as well.

“Okay… mom.”

As my mother smiles, she hugs Clarissa like how she only used to hug me. I didn’t feel jealous. I felt happy that a new person was added to the few people I care about.

“Take care. Raijin walk her home.”

I gestured “roger” in the form of a two finger salute that looks like I’m about to go somewhere.

When we got out of the house, Lisa stopped me from going down the porch.

“What’s wrong?”

The lamps on the door laminate the area but it shadows her face. I couldn’t tell what she was feeling so I tried to get closer.

When her face was visible, it was only a matter of inches before our noses collide.

Her face was flushed red for some reason. Her eyes sparkled as if there were a galaxy filled with stars stuffed inside them. Her glasses were starting to slide down from her nose that revealed her brown eyes.

I slide it back up for her and ask again.

“Hey Lisa. Are you okay?”

“So we’re official?”

Official?

What does she mean?

“About what?”

“We just had your… er… mom’s blessing. Does that mean we should be?”

The redness in her face started to spread to her cheeks and towards her ears as well. I caught it as well because I could see my reflection in her glasses.

“I cannot keep up with what you mean.”

Holy shit, my heart is pounding so hard and so fast. Can she hear it? She can probably hear it. Oh man, my other senses are starting to sharpen as well. I can smell her shampoo that I have taken a liking recently. I can feel the warmth of her body even if we weren’t physically touching – and I wanted to hold her.

“T-that… you and me… lovers…”

“!”

My face is hot.

“S-she she meant that she a-a accepts you like her own child! What are you s-s-ss-sa-saying?”

After I tried to clear the misunderstanding, it looks like she got more embarrassed as well.

“Ah, i-i-is that so? T-the-then we should get g-gi-going. Sorry f-f-ff-for that!”

She then went ahead of me and started walking quickly.

As for me, crouched, hugged my head and screamed softly since I was so confused and I don’t know why she assumed that.

Speaking of which, when I never did this crouch thing when I was a kid. I always –

You don’t have any time left for that shit. Go to her, she’s probably far away now.

God damn it. I hate it when you’re right.

I ran towards her but she also started to run away from me. Come on! Don’t do this to me. I’m not physically fit. I still chased after her. She wasn’t that fast so I was gaining on her. But my stamina is about to drop too. Oh shit, I need to be able to hold on.

A few inches away before I could reach her, I almost tripped on a rock making the gap between us wider. I managed to close the gap fast but my body is about to give up. And just before I thought I would die, I managed to her shoulder that stopped us both from moving. She desperately wanted to escape from my grasp but I took both of her hands and held it against a wall.

There we were: I was facing Lisa while heavily breathing. Lisa, who was against the wall, had her hands bound by mine and was also breathing heavily.

An untouchable force pulls our faces together. Our lips were starting ache, desperately wanting to infuse with each other. And as we draw closer, the heat from her breath hastens the process and just as we were about to finally feel what our bodies longed for, something fell to the ground and made a clank sound.

I turned slowly to where the sound came from and it was a phone that was dropped by someone. And that someone was Kate.

“…” 2x

She picked her phone up and ran back to the apartment.

Lisa looked at me with eyes that wanted to run for her. I let her go and she started her pursuit. But just as she was about to run again, she looked back.

“Call me.”

A vibration of some sort came down towards the bottom of my spine when I heard her.

She then ran to catch up to Kate and try to clear the misunderstanding.

That was intense.

So intense that I couldn’t even think about anything.

Me neither. That sensation was too dangerous.

Try not to trigger that again. Dangerous feelings rise in those kinds of scenarios.

It felt wrong but it felt good that it was wrong.

Your way of thinking is starting to crumble

But, I think something triggered it.

An example?

The coldness of the night? Humans tend to be warmth seekers and are desperate when needed to survive.

You have a coat on and you were running before those dangerous feelings rose. You were hot.

Then it was the curiosity. Humans are always curious and will not stop to be curious.

You can’t apply that when you couldn’t even think about what you were doing.

With that, I went home trying to come up with excuses.

When I got home, I went to my room and fell on my bed.

With my face lying down, it could feel the softness of the mattress. I also smelled the faint scent Lisa had when she was lying down here. Oh man, it’s really stimulating. Even though it was faint, it was all over me.

I can’t move. No – I didn’t want to move. Her sweet smell glued me to my bed. Ugh, I sound like I creep. But it’s feels good to do something bad. Damn it!!!

When was the last time I smelled something nice?

Oh yeah, the time when mom gave me a perfume. I don’t really like perfumes and this was the reason why. I was around nine when she gave me a bottle of perfume.

I sort of tried to smell it to know how good it was and it was okay. I put it on and it was attractive to some of the girls I pass by when I would stroll down at the school grounds.

I was too amazed by the power of perfume that one day I applied too much on me. Not only did everyone avoid me, my nose also couldn’t take it and I was sent to the hospital.

Ever since then, I never liked perfume. When I would smell some, it makes me remember that day I was sent to the hospital.

I know it sounds stupid that I should get over it since it was just perfume and I already learned my lesson that too much of that shit can send me to the hospital but the trauma is still there. You can’t just yank it out all of a sudden and you’re okay.

While I tried to calm myself down, my phone rang – it was Lisa. I was supposed to be the one to call her but I guess this works too.

I answered the call.

“Hey Raijin. I want to –”

“No wait, stop. Let me talk first.”

I don’t actually know what she wants to say, but I wanted to say something first. No, I didn’t want to say something. I was afraid of what she wanted to say, so I interrupted her.

“Um, about the kiss…”

I could hear her gasp through the phone.

“It was your way of saying thank you but I’m going to thank you for that. I have never been kissed by a girl and I was actually happy that someone would go that far and do an embarrassing thing just to show gratitude.”

“You’re kind of sweet, you know that?”

It kind of makes me happy to hear that from her.

“Now it’s my turn.”

Shit, here it comes!

“Stay as Raijin Ayasaki, the introvert, okay?”

She hates me now. She didn’t like what I did on impulse and – wait what?

“Huh?”

“I don’t want you to talk to any other girl besides me unless I say so!”

“Why?”

“Because I told you so.”

That’s weird. I’m happy that she was depriving me the right to talk to any other girl since it was a pain. And I was also happy that she wanted me for herself. Why am I happy?

“Goodnight.”

“Ah, wait –”

She already hung up before I could talk.

I unlocked my phone and texted her instead.

“Goodnight. Sweet dreams.”

I place my phone on the floor and hugged my pillow tightly. Is this what they really call friendship? Hey, I like it!

I want Lisa to stay by my side forever. Is that okay?

I sense a shitty future.

Everything in life is shitty.

Fair point.

Playing Cupids

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