Chapter 2:

Nine Pillars

My Three Dying Rules

Setting: At the psychologist

Doctor: So you want to sever the bonds with all your close ones?

Pandora: I already did.

Doctor: Ah, of course you did.

Pandora: There are nine pillars in my life.

Pandora fantasizes in her head as she explains this. In the fantasy that looks like a dream, she walks in a white dress, barefoot, on a platform that is held from below by nine pillars. On the platform, above each pillar, there is a stone statue of Pandora, chained.

Pandora: The people I cherish the most. None of them deserve to lose a loved one.

Doctor: I already know the answer to this question but as your psychologist and a consultant, I need to ask. Why do you want them to experience the loss of a loved one then?

Pandora: Were you even listening to me, woman? They won’t lose a loved one in the end. They will lose a person they hate. I made sure none of them care about me now.

The Doctor takes a few notes and then breathes in and breathes out.

Doctor: You can continue.

Pandora: Why do I feel like you are already fed up with me?

Doctor: You’re a tough personality.

Pandora: Heh. So anyways. When I came home…

Setting: Pandora’s house, living room / 3rd June 2022

Pandora’s house looks like a luxurious villa. There are two expensive-looking cars parked in front of the garage. Truly a jealousy attracting environment for a young teenager. A dog barking from the garden behind the house can be heard. Pandora comes home and enters the living room.

Pandora: I’m home~!

Father: Aaah, here’s my little tough princess!

Pandora’s Father is a well-built man, always smiling. He has his shirt on but he sits on a couch just in his underwear. The usual sight during the evenings.

Mother: Didn’t you go training today?

Pandora is a carbon copy of her Mother, who also has nice long white hair and green eyes. She is more like a friend to her, than a mother. Their relationship is rather unique.

Pandora: No, I was hitting the gym till late evening yesterday, I wanted to skip the training today so I could go see Vulcan.

Mother: And why aren’t you seeing him then?

Pandora: I remembered I had something to do… I’ll be upstairs.

Pandora starts walking upstairs. Her Father yells something from the living room.

Father: Your brother will not be coming home tonight, so you can take his laptop if you want to practice singing today~!

Pandora: Right~.

Setting: Pandora’s house, Pandora’s room

Pandora opens the door that have “Pandora Box” written on them. Her Brother has written it there and so she is reminded of him every time she enters her own room. She often wondered why he did it but he wouldn’t say. Inside of her room, everything looks pink and girly.

Pandora: Yeah, as if I had mood to sing right now…

Pandora reaches out for her backpack and she takes out a rope. She has a giant teddy bear next to her bed. Pandora got it from her boyfriend Vulcan. She looks at the watch. It shows 5:04 p.m.

Pandora: I guess Vulcan is already at the agreed meeting place. Should I call him? No. This is better. I didn’t want to say goodbye to him. Goodbyes always hurt. I’ll just hang myself here.

Suddenly, somebody knocks on her door. A male voice is heard from behind. Being flustered, she hides the rope under her bed.

Father: Pandora~. Mother is asking whether you’ll eat with us.

Pandora: Y-yes! I will! I’ll be there in a few minutes!

She throws herself on the bed and shoves her head between the pillows.

Pandora: I’m so stupid… why did I even buy the rope?

Pandora starts to imagine a black and white scene again. She is putting her head inside of the sling and she reluctantly kicks the chair from below her.

Pandora: I can see quite vividly how I am kicking my legs in the air as I try to catch a breath. I’d probably piss myself. Would it be nostalgic for my parents? Finding their child pissed during the sleep? Only the sleep would be eternal this time. Mom is tough but I guess it’d break even a strong woman like her. And my dad… I don’t think he’d ever recover from the shock. Maybe he wouldn’t be able to work anymore. He’s a politician. But not a corrupt one. This house was built from the scratch, my parents needed to take a mortgage…

Pandora gets up and sits on the bed, looking sad. Tears start flowing down her cheeks.

Pandora: No… today is not the day. I don’t want to hurt them. Mom, dad, Vulcan… Alyssa…

Setting: Pandora’s house, living room

Pandora has taken off her school uniform and now wears blue summer dress, her hair is in a ponytail. She comes down the stairs and enters the living room where her Father is.

Pandora: I’m sorry dad, I’m not gonna eat after all. And I’m not gonna sing today either, you can tell Leon when he’s back!

Father: And where are you going?

Pandora: I’m gonna meet Vulcan tonight! Later~!

Pandora runs off the house before her Father can say anything to her.

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Doctor: So that was it?

Pandora: Dissatisfied I didn’t take my life?

Doctor: As a listener, yes. As a doctor, of course not.

Pandora: When did you start being so sarcastic?

Doctor: I’m just matching your tone. So you didn’t hang yourself, obviously. Did you realize you were too weak to commit suicide?

Pandora: No, that was not it. I just realized it wouldn’t hurt to spend one more date with my ex.

Doctor: Your ex?

Pandora: The boyfriend I keep talking about. Vulcan. He is my ex now.

Doctor: I see. Pandora, let’s take a step back. Tell me about how you ended up in this place. What lead you to the decision to take your own life? What happened?

Pandora: Nahh, let’s not. You have many case studies about that. And it’s not that important. What happened, happened. Wait, what am I saying. Nothing actually happened. I just want to showcase how it feels after you decide to kill yourself. On top of that, I don’t know why I wanna die. It’s just a more natural option to die than to age, for me.

Doctor: Okay, so the date with Volsan.

Pandora: Vulcan.

Doctor: Right.

Setting: At a park / 3rd June 2022

Pandora is running through the streets until she finally reaches a certain bench in a park.

Pandora: Vulcan!! I’m so sorry for being so late, darling!

Vulcan: I’m just glad you made it, princess.

Vulcan smiles gently and comes forward to hug her. He is a little shorter than Pandora, has short black hair, blue eyes. He is slightly overweight and not that good-looking.

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Pandora: Don’t look at me like that, he was no model but I loved him.

Doctor: I’m not saying anything.

The Doctor starts to keep her face hidden behind her notebook.

Setting: At a park / 3rd June 2022

Pandora and Vulcan are holding hands. Some delinquent looking boys riding their bicycles look at them and start circling around them.

Bike Guy #1: Wooohooo, look at this chick!!

Bike Guy #2: What a sexy bitch.

Bike Guy #3: Is this chubby pig your boyfriend? Come with us girlie, we promise to take better care of you~!

Pandora is looking irritated but Vulcan still holds her tight with his hand despite looking scared. He gulps and says to Pandora.

Vulcan: Don’t worry, let’s just ignore them.

Pandora: They just called you a chubby pig. I’ll never forgive them!

Vulcan: No, don’t do this! You’re a boxer, you can’t hurt ordinary people!

Bike Guy #1: A boxer? Are you hiding behind your girl like a chicken? Ahahahah!!

Bike Guy #2 gets down from his bike and approaches them. Pandora gets serious. Her veins on her forehead are visible and she grits her teeth.

Pandora: Do you have something to say, punk?

Bike Guy #2: Ehehehe, kitty cat shows her claws-

As soon as he comes closer with that remark, Pandora assumes a battle stance and sends him to the ground with a single uppercut right to his chin.

Bike Guy #1: You stupid bitch!

Bike Guy #1 comes running from behind Pandora but he is punched heavily by Vulcan to his jaw, sending him flying.

Bike Guy #3: What the hell??

Vulcan glares at the Guy #3 as he resets his stance.

Vulcan: Where do you think I met her?

Bike Guy #3: Tsk!

All of them stand up and start running away on their bikes. Pandora comes to Vulcan and kisses him on a cheek.

Pandora: You’re my most handsome knight!

Vulcan: You know I don’t like resorting to violence but it’s a different story when you’re involved!

Pandora: Sooo, should we go eat now?

Vulcan: Yeah, let’s go. It’s my treat!

Pandora: Darling, you know you don’t have to treat me, my family has enough money. While you need to work hard in your part time job.

Vulcan: But if it’s with you, it’s money well spent! I won’t allow you to pay just because your family happens to have more money! The man provides! Hahah!

Pandora: Hehe, you’re truly kind. I am so happy to have you! (inner monologue) And yet I wish you would be more cowardly and run away. I wish those guys were so pissed off they would just grab me by my hair and jump on my head. I’m sure they’d use me as a plaything. They could even run me over with their bicycles. That wouldn’t be a suicide, it would be a murder. Wait, isn’t that actually a good idea? I just wanna die, it doesn’t matter how, right?

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Doctor: Your fantasies are quite disturbing, to be honest.

Pandora: Thank you, I try my best to describe what I feel and think inside.

Doctor: Was he the ‘first pillar’ that you needed to get rid of?

Pandora: No. A week later, on Saturday, our school organized a cultural festival. I was performing there with my songs. There is a group of fans that I have, who worship me as a goddess. It was during the date with Vulcan that I decided to ease their sorrow.

In a fantasy, Pandora continues walking on the platform above the pillars. She stops in front of one of her statues that is holding a microphone.

Pandora: And so the first pillar to suffer…

As she touches the statue, a small crack on the stone pillar below her appears.

Pandora: …would be my fandom.