Chapter 16:

1.16. Secret Crush

The Writer's Illustrator is Stuck in Cookie Cult (LN)

Today, my aei brought me to eat out, yay!Bookmark here

Since it was a Friday, no school tomorrow, aei and I eat out every so often. Today was one of these days.Bookmark here

After this, aei still has work to do.Bookmark here

“Did anything happen in school? You look down.”Bookmark here

“No big deal. I can handle it.”Bookmark here

I dug into the burger with my fingers.Bookmark here

“If you say so.”Bookmark here

Aei is not in a good mood. Xe’s superficial miasma is high, but deep miasma decreased from yesterday’s level.Bookmark here

Was it true that almost all high school love fails? I don’t believe it. There must be some success. I’ve heard many stories of people marrying their childhood friend online.. but most say that it’s incredibly rare..Bookmark here

I know! Today’s blog will be about the difference between the way adults and teenagers think. Adults always say that we teenagers don’t understand because we haven't experienced what they’ve experienced. The way I see it, it’s the adults who don’t understand. We’re living in a different generation, things change.Bookmark here

With VR and AR, many couples stay in touch even after they part from highschool.Bookmark here

Yes. That’s it. I’ll use the two and a half years left in high school to build up my relationship with Avner, that way, our chances of being together will increase even after we leave high school.Bookmark here

Then that means.. I’ll have to confess to him? Why can’t he be the one to confess to me!Bookmark here

“Eat your food and stop thinking already.”Bookmark here

“Ah, sorry.”Bookmark here

I bit into the burger out of conditional reflex.Bookmark here

I looked around the fast food chain. I saw a family here, a family there. There’s this college lovebird flirting with each other. Bookmark here

College.Bookmark here

What if we go to the same college after highschool?Bookmark here

“Aei, is that, ‘if I get all As for my exam I can ask for anything I want’ still valid?”Bookmark here

“Yes dear.”Bookmark here

I can consider that.. but.. I already have something in mind. I don’t know which is more important..Bookmark here

“Will there be a next time?”Bookmark here

“If you can get all As first?” Aei grinned.Bookmark here

“Okay!”Bookmark here

I’ll definitely make it. For love!Bookmark here

[I have some sad news.]Bookmark here

“Sad news?”Bookmark here

“Ah. Wait, no. It’s not what you’re thinking!”Bookmark here

I forgot to put Lily on private mode!Bookmark here

“What happened?”Bookmark here

“Nothing, nothing. I said I can handle it.”Bookmark here

“Then come on, quickly finish, I still have work I need to do.”Bookmark here

“Y-yes..”Bookmark here

Aei finished hirs basket of cheese fries and began to wipe hirs mouth. Xe would’ve normally ordered a proper lunch.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

If you ask me whether I prefer to stay at home or at school, it would be at school. To me, school is a safe haven. I don’t mean to demean those that stay at home, it's just.. everyone has their own reason. As for myself, it’s a sensitive topic. Though I would be glad to have an open discussion about it.Bookmark here

It’s my parents. Aei and mom don’t get along. They often argue, because of it. There’s almost no peace at home.Bookmark here

I play the role of preventing the arguments. I’m responsible, but I sometimes feel that it’s their fault for being angry. I’m the only reason why they hadn’t divorced, is something my mom repeats often. Bookmark here

And today, the tension in the house is much heavier than usual. Bookmark here

I always wonder how people that don’t go to school live? It’s a fact that most people work from home these days, same with children.Bookmark here

The minority like myself are still going to school. My mom and aei always say that formal education is an advantage.Bookmark here

Their advice feels more like placattes though. There is no advantage in graduating. With technology overruling humans, there will come a day when high paying employees are no longer needed. Bookmark here

Even now, I’m seeing my parents struggling with finances. It’s a topic that comes up often.Bookmark here

“Done~” I weaved my fingers together and stretched them forward.Bookmark here

[Congratulations Pu’er, you’ve completed your 132nd article! Keep it up!]Bookmark here

“Thank you Lily.”
That’s why. I’m trying to make money online.Bookmark here

I don’t know how exactly one does it, but statistics say that more than 30 percent of the population earn their money through running a gig. Which is simpler said as being your own boss. It also states that the number of people shifting towards creating an income source for themselves will double in the next decade.Bookmark here

That’s big news.Bookmark here

“How many people read my previous blog?”Bookmark here

[7 people.]Bookmark here

“7. That’s not a lot..”Bookmark here

[Pu’er, your total readership is 2023, with 12 subscribers.]Bookmark here

Hehe. I know it takes time. I’ve been blogging for half a year now, but I’m worried that I’m doing it wrong.Bookmark here

Many stars out there get thousands of reads each article, and compare that to mine..Bookmark here

[Patients is virtue. Please don’t be discouraged.]Bookmark here

Lily’s avatar, a white lily twirled around my head.Bookmark here

“I know. Now then, the news.”Bookmark here

[The person who put up this clip on feed was by Franca, a classmate of yours.]Bookmark here

These people.. do they hold a grudge against me or something?Bookmark here

It was me taking a seat beside Avner. A bubble heart filter encompassing the entire scene.Bookmark here

I reported the post, classified it as sensitive. I can only hope that it doesn’t reach more people, especially Avner.Bookmark here

Actually, he hasn’t even logged into ShareWiw for more than a month now. What are the chances of him noticing, right?Bookmark here

[“We don’t have that kind of relationship.”] Bookmark here

I commented.Bookmark here

[“Really? I thought you two were close?”]Bookmark here

[“I noticed that he’s been hinting that he likes you.”]Bookmark here

[“I saw him hit on some girl in the bakery club. I really don’t have that kind of relationship with him! Here: /{LINK}”]Bookmark here

There. That’ll shut them up.Bookmark here

[Pu’er, what if those classmates of yours told Avner about this?]Bookmark here

“I don’t think they’ll do that. There’s no way.”Bookmark here

In that baking club clip, when Brunette asked if Avner liked me, he gave a vague response. That proves that he’s embarrassed to admit it.. right? Speaking of Brunette.Bookmark here

[Pu’er, you also have unviewed messages from Brunette.]Bookmark here

I tapped on the notification.Bookmark here

[“Bad news Pu’er. I think Avner might have misunderstood you!”]Bookmark here

Misunderstood? Bookmark here

[“What?”]Bookmark here

Xe replied quickly.Bookmark here

[“Maybe he thinks you don’t like him because you’re being hard on him. He got annoyed when I brought up your name.”]
He cursed because he was annoyed? Come on, don’t tell me the guide on how to woo a man is a big fat lie!Bookmark here

[“He’s the one avoiding me, not me. I kept trying to find an opportunity to lock onto his gaze but he doesn't even try to look my way.”]Bookmark here

[“Are you sure?”]Bookmark here

[“I’m very sure.”]Bookmark here

[“I don’t know. He’s really suspicious. Then.. what if it’s NtBM? What would you do?”]Bookmark here

If he’s a vampire.. Bookmark here

[“Let’s not think about it. We’ll see what we can do when the time come.”]Bookmark here

[“You’re right.”]Bookmark here

[“I have another hypothesis though.”]Bookmark here

[“What’s that?”]Bookmark here

[“He’s purposely making you jealous.”]Bookmark here

Jealous? Me?Bookmark here

[“I think he’s trying to fake the fact that he’s not interested in you. And maybe he went to the baking club to trick Ares.”]Bookmark here

Right. What if he’s aware that I’m playing hard to get? Uwa.. don’t tell me it’s a reversal?!Bookmark here

I quickly texted Ares.Bookmark here

[“Ares, are you on?”]Bookmark here

[“What?”]Bookmark here

Good, he’s online.Bookmark here

[“Did something happen to Avner?”]Bookmark here

[“Him again? I think he’s given up on you.”]Bookmark here

[“Eh? Are you sure.”]Bookmark here

My heart is sinking..Bookmark here

[“I don’t know. But the way I see it, it feels like he’s always worrying about something.”]Bookmark here

[“Worrying about?”]Bookmark here

[“I don’t know.. maybe he’s trying to sort out his feelings. I’ll help you ask him about it next Monday. Will pass you the info when I get it.”]Bookmark here

[“Don’t make it too obvious okay?”]Bookmark here

[“Alright.”]Bookmark here

Avner, I’m sorry I made you misunderstan..Bookmark here

“No wait. Something doesn’t add up.”Bookmark here

The chances of Avner contracting NtBM is.. very unlikely. Bookmark here

Or, he could have realized that I was playing hard to get so he was trying to get revenge?Bookmark here

If that’s not it then, he thinks that I don’t like him and that’s why he gave up?Bookmark here

“Ugh.. I don’t know.. why is love so hard..”Bookmark here

[Pu’er, I’m rooting for you. You can do it. Don’t give up!]Bookmark here

My heart is broken.Bookmark here

The third one, where he thinks I don’t like him, seems most plausible. But what if he’s playing hard to get? In the video he was doing research. Research on me?Bookmark here

But.. why would he need to go meet that girl at the baking club then? What’s his relationship with her?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

There’s a fourth possibility.Bookmark here

Both Avner’s miasma gauges fell, which means he became calmer.Bookmark here

Add on top of the fact that Ares is his closer buddy and may be lying..Bookmark here

Not to mention, he already knows that I like him..Bookmark here

“He’s planning to ask another girl to mess with me?”Bookmark here

If I have an intelligence network where Ares and Brunette send information about Avner to me..Bookmark here

Isn’t there a chance he has one too?Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

dotturndot: Trying to touch on a little perspective here. The same weather can both be described as hot and cold, by two different people. Everyone can be right and wrong at the same time.Bookmark here

Pu’er misunderstanding is cute, ain’t it? Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.