Chapter 0:


The Ballad of the School Hallways

It was something that he didn’t wish for. If possible, he would like to go back to the solace of his home; however, he couldn’t leave those honest smiles behind.

“Please dance with me tonight, once the dance starts.”

“Yes, I will. No problem,” he faked his smile, but in all honesty, he couldn’t bring himself to dance. Not even when his students asked him to.

Why did he even come to this place, anyway?

Ah yes, he remembered. His students wished for him to appear. It was the school’s prom, something that he shouldn’t get himself into. He was way past that age, when all the young innocence and sweet infatuations displayed all their glory. He was just a husk of his former self—a bitter, cynical person born after all those rejections and frustrations that peppered his life from his past to the present.


However, if there’s one thing that he couldn’t do, that was, to make his students sad. If they’d be happy just for him to attend their prom, then by all means, he’d do it anyway…even if he ended up hurting himself in the process.

Yes, ‘hurt’ himself. He knew he shouldn’t have done it in the first place, but well, one day he just found himself falling for that one person…who turned out to be his student. She was lovely as she was smart, but more than that, he fell for her grace and charm. But well, as Fate cruelly played with them, he was her teacher, and she was his student.

And he knows he can’t be with her, no matter how long should he wait.

Besides, it’s not as if that girl would love him back once she learned of his true self. He pretended to be strong when in reality he was as weak as anyone else. He said the wisest things, but he couldn’t tell those words to himself. Heck, his face was also a wreck! For short, he’s something that even the ugliest lady in the world wouldn’t take in for a lover.

The only thing that he takes pride in is his faithfulness to that one person he loves.

But well, as most say that age didn’t matter, in reality, they look at those relationships with disdain. And as her teacher, he wouldn’t dare to create a relationship with her, aside from being friends. No, just as how much he loved her, he resolved to respect her dignity and his profession.

Nevertheless, no matter how hard he tried to be, he was getting hurt each time he sees her dance with another person. He’d like to ask her for a dance, too. But no, he wouldn’t use his position to get what he wanted.


Time was slowly wasting away, with only fifteen minutes before the end of the party. He wished he could hold those beautiful, delicate hands of hers and swing with her on the floor, never minding the world around them…

However, it was just hopeless. No matter how much he desired, he’d just be an old guy watching from the side.


And he had enough.

“Well, I think this is the moment where I should head home?” he asked himself, and looking at his watch, he treaded his way back, carefully making himself inconspicuous.

However, someone called out to him, “Excuse me? I think you’ll be needing this.”

“Hm?” he stopped on his tracks, and turned around. A person he wasn’t familiar with suddenly grabbed his hand, and put something like an hourglass. He was taken aback by the gesture, but just as he was about to question the individual, the individual was gone.

Curious with the mysterious item on his hand, he tilted the hourglass…


It was then that a bright white light started to shine and blind him for a bit. His eyes squinted for a while, but then it adjusted slowly, only to see that he was nowhere near the prom. The cheerful, brightly-lit dance hall changed into the homely glow of his room, and there he was, sitting on the edge of his bed.

“What?” he stared at his hand. “Am I supposed to be holding something?”