Chapter 23:

Back to being strangers

who I am is not who I want to be


LADY: HEY ZACK....

LADY: LET ME SHOW YOU......Bookmark here

“NO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO. WE SHOULD GET BACK TO BEING STRANGERS. I LIKE ME BETTER WHEN I AM A STRANGER TO YOU.” I said in a disgust voice.Bookmark here

Year 2030Bookmark here

She has been gone for almost ten years now and I can’t be upset over that. I’m not upset over that She had to move on; I get it. Soon it will be my turn to leave this small town we both called home. She had a great opportunity to escape from trouble she had to take it and I was so happy for her, even though it killed me. Bookmark here

The person I used to know was so fun. I used to put my friends before everything. She was one of the best things that ever happened to me in this town.Bookmark here

It’s been 2 years my punishment has came to an end. After being free from prison I felt like I have a generation gap with my own generation.Bookmark here

I was not able to complete my certified ethical hacker training. I was not awarded with any degree as I went to jail as a punishment for killing Saho. Rin and Haru tried their best to prove my innocence but nothing worked. My mom passed away a year ago. Haru and Rin got married. They are living a happy life.Bookmark here

Akane before escaping from the crime scene she managed to delete all the chat history with me and got rid of the evidences that could cause her harm. She got rid of everything. I thought it was love. But that love was an ache I still remember. Bookmark here



Once again Eiji appeared to help Akane. He wanted to remove his guilt so he helped her every time she needed it. Saho died and I do not have any regret for this as he is a murder to me. Who knew Saho and Akane were two best friends they ate together they played together. I visited the place where Akane used to live it was turned into a small pizza shop. Past was played before my eyes, me and Akane standing outside her home. I found out that Karma was living with a fake identity her real name is AKANE TORU. I admitted that I was glad it was over because I realized she never cared for me. Bookmark here

Akane Toru: the murderer of her own mother. I am just like her a murderer. I admit that I was glad after Saho’s death was confirmed although I did not mean to kill him. Bookmark here

Another Akane Toru who wants to become rich to solve her problems. Money could have saved me from being punished. Money is the solution of everything. Bookmark here

Sometimes I think I am just another her and I am actually afraid of my own shadows.Bookmark here

A selfish Akane Toru who just uses people to get what she wants. Bookmark here

I admit I became selfish to get Akane and remove Saho from my path. Everything she did I did the same.Bookmark here

Sometimes I still wonder if she cared for me or not, but I am fooling myself, obviously she did not. Because if she did care for me then she didn't have to cut me off.Bookmark here

She Made it like it never happened and that I was nothing.Bookmark here

I did not had any clue where did she went. I didn’t know anything. Bookmark here

Although it’s been almost ten year that I haven’t seen her nor I wish to see a murderer like her again. She manipulated me and made me a murderer just like her. I did evolved into AKANE TORU.Bookmark here

A murderer.Bookmark here

A damn murderer.Bookmark here

Why did she kill her mother?Bookmark here

The thought of her killing her mother petrified me!Bookmark here

I was continuously trying to move on and start a new life but I thought that city Kyoto is continually reminding me of her and I cannot stay here. It felt like I was always waiting for something. I don’t know what the thing was that I was waiting for. I did not want revenge. I just wanted to start a new life. I was even confused what does a new life means?Bookmark here

What does it mean to start anew life?Bookmark here

Does it mean to replace all the people around you and the things and place where you live?Bookmark here

If that so then I was going to leave that place.Bookmark here

City Kyoto it made me sick. I could smell her everywhere. Those streets smell like her.Bookmark here

June 2030:Bookmark here

I decided to move abroad to get rid of that sick feeling. I was pretty sure once I will leave this city her memories won’t haunt me down. I wanted to start a new life and I did not had a clue how to start again. I was wandering here and there doing some minor jobs.Bookmark here


After moving to Australia, I started my new life in the city of Perth. I replaced all the people around me. Those streets did not haunt me down. Everything seemed new but except one thing. I still felt like that I was waiting for something I was unable to replace this feeling.Bookmark here

Rin and Haru had to stay in Kyoto. I was trying my best to get rid of her. I started to earn well because of my skills but I was not in love with my work it was just like I was a robot who was assigned some work.Bookmark here

I did find a nice job in Perth and I was progressing day by day. A girl in my office I could feel it. She was interested in me. Juliet she often shied in front of me and tried to look cute whenever I was around her. Her hair are really beautiful. Bookmark here

Even though she was pretty but I felt nothing toward her. Even though I moved abroad still I never payed attention to Australia. I was always busy in finding job and working hard.Bookmark here

I just wanted to see how Australia really is. I really did not pay attention to the things around me. I took a leave from my office and went on a trip. Bookmark here

Juliet wanted to join me for the trip but I wanted to go alone. I was sure even if I won’t allow her to join me, she’ll still follow me.Bookmark here

20 August 2031Bookmark here

Now and then I thought of where I went wrong. I needed a miracle to start a new life. I was just not able to get rid of it. The streets were again killing me. Bookmark here

The Café.Bookmark here

The ice cream parlor.Bookmark here

The coffee shops.Bookmark here

All the cats around me.Bookmark here

Everything made me want to see her.Bookmark here

I wished I had allowed Juliet to join me at least I would have felt distracted. She talks a lot.Bookmark here

(Zack running in circles around a fountain)Bookmark here

I was able to hear footsteps coming closer and closer. It sounded like if someone was chasing me.Bookmark here

I was staring at the fountain and a girl wrapped her arms around me from the backside. Bookmark here

Someone wrapped her arms around me like chains. She clasped me so tightly we were nearly one person. She wrapped her arms around me and whispered in my ear. Bookmark here

“He told me that you’ll be somewhere here."Bookmark here

I can feel her heart beating. Bookmark here

Juliet I was just thinking….Bookmark here

Juliet you reached out for me!!Bookmark here

HEY, JUL...IET…!!Bookmark here

As I turned around my eyes I could not believe it. Bookmark here

My vision was lying to me. Bookmark here

She looked at me and I looked at her and there was just nothing. It breaks my heart; I used to know everything about her.Bookmark here

She used to come back home and surprise me, every time.Bookmark here

It was not true. Bookmark here

NOT TRUE!!!!Bookmark here

There was an awkward silence between us. Bookmark here

It is true. It’s me Karma. She said to me in a calm voice.Bookmark here

I felt unpleasant and pleasant after seeing her. Bookmark here

W...HO?Bookmark here

WHO? I don’t recognize any Karma. I said to her in a disgust voice.Bookmark here

AKANE: OHHH!! Then you probably know about Akane Toru. Don’t you?Bookmark here

She asked me one simple question and I was like that I might bite her head off.Bookmark here

YOU DAMN MURDERER!!Bookmark here

YOU KILLED YOUR MOTHER!!Bookmark here

Before I said anything else she put her finger on my lips and made me silent.Bookmark here

AKANE: LIAR!! I did not do it. I never killed anyone. It was just a false rumor and my father defamed me for it.Bookmark here

“Who? Who told you? That I am here. Why? Why are you here?” I said to her.Bookmark here

Eiji my uncle. I always asked him to keep an eye on you. I was worried when you fall from the rooftop. I thought you might not be able to survive. I came to hospital to see how you were.Bookmark here

She told me everything that happened how, when and why she planned it.Bookmark here

How did she approached me through Haru? Saho did not murdered her grandma. She lied to me. She told me everything. Bookmark here

All the puzzles in my mind were being solved. Bookmark here


....... Anyhow Akane made me believe in it that she is not a murderer.Bookmark here

I have already met several men who told horrible lies. They were clearly looking for someone that they can use for their profit.Bookmark here

The ones I met had all something similar in their eyes, on their face… it's striking. It's like an absence of love. My guess is, they had all a childhood with a totally loveless parent maybe. We all need to protect ourselves from manipulators.Bookmark here

I think the proper response would be to ignore her and walk away. Because, how could anything I say or do, have any effect on her mean behaviors on the long term? I don't think so. Even if I fight her and win, she will just want to become stronger to win her next fight… Bookmark here

I have realized now that even if my hearts want someone who wants to manipulate me then it’s my own duty to protect myself rather than blaming anyone else.Bookmark here

And the last time I shouted very loudly at her, something like ‘’stop it right now!’’ and I saw it frightened her a little. But it was a waste of time in the end. It's really hard to ignore grown up manipulators, but we definitely should stop such people.Bookmark here

I made everything clear to her.Bookmark here

“If you and I were true friends, I wouldn't need to tell you.Bookmark here

Instead I would say ‘Hey, Akane let’s go hang out. And I would meet you there and we wouldn't really do anything. Just lie on the grass.Bookmark here

And then as I lay on the grass next to you looking at the clouds, I would say…Bookmark here

‘So I heard this saying the other day. True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.’Bookmark here

And you wouldn't say anything.Bookmark here

You would just look at me.Bookmark here

You have lied to me so many times and now I can’t even believe in you.Bookmark here

Akane: HEY ZACK....

Akane: LET ME SHOW YOU......Bookmark here

“NO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO. WE SHOULD GET BACK TO BEING STRANGERS. I LIKE ME BETTER WHEN I AM A STRANGER TO YOU.” I said in a disgust voice.Bookmark here

I moved away from her and found Juliet waiting for me. I turned around to see if Akane was still there.Bookmark here

But she wasn’t.Bookmark here

It was best for us to become strangers.Bookmark here

Existence of Juliet made me realized that life never stops it’s just us trying to blind ourselves and relying on a single person. Bookmark here

Initially I felt Guilty when I started treating Akane like a stranger. Was it my fault? What could I have done differently/better? Was I a terrible friend?Bookmark here

Later, sad and insecure. I wondered if I had just tolerated her all. I wondered if she genuinely liked me as a person.Bookmark here

Eventually, I realized nothing changed and nothing was really wrong except that my personalities had evolved into her. Just like her I only wanted those who people who could give me benefit.Bookmark here

There was a weird confusing feeling that came with losing a friend like her because I can’t really explain why and I felt like a quitter for not “saving” the friendship. Bookmark here

Also kind of uncomfortable when literally everybody who has ever known me at some point in my life, knows about her but now I don’t know what she is doing and where is she.Bookmark here

I want her to know I’m thankful for the person she was; the person I spent nearly every day with. She was incredible and I’ll always miss the old her. I’ll always remember the old her that did not lied to me. Bookmark here

I’ve always got the memories of who we used to be and those are the memories I’ll cherish.Bookmark here

(Features of Eiji:Bookmark here

Height: 5'7'' Bookmark here

Hair: He had rough, brown hair. His hair was resting on the top of the ears, come to both sides, split over the right eye with some lonely straws pinching his nose.Bookmark here

Hair Texture: RoughBookmark here

Descriptive Hair Color: Burnt umber/brownBookmark here

Skin Tone: IvoryBookmark here

Characteristics of skin tone: Porcelain to light skin color, without or with minor imperfections, sensitive, and could easily burn under the sunBookmark here

Nose: SharpBookmark here

Eyes: brownBookmark here

Cheeks: rough cheeksBookmark here

Chin: Cleft chinBookmark here

Jaw: Jaw narrowed)Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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