Chapter 3:

Chokers and Cup Sizes

With Oasis (Vol. 1)

If you had to ask me what my favorite class at school is, I’d say lunch. It’s the obvious joke answer that everyone gives upon hearing this question. However, if you were to ask me for my true answer to the question, it’d be lunch. Every other class is completely and equally dull.

Well, it’s not like I love lunch or anything. It’s still pretty boring, all things considered. But even though the school food is the type so bad you’d rather it be tasteless, as a human being, it still basically feels good to fill my gut, not to mention that simply eating leaves me far less wiped than having to pay attention to the stalest lecture in the universe while scribbling notes until my hand cramps. So yeah, lunch is the best class by far.

I sat down at me and Lou’s lunch table with a styrofoam tray in my hands. On it were beans that somehow reminded me of grey matter in the brain, a sandwich with bread that felt more like a communion wafer than the stuff you find at the supermarket, and an apple so bruised I almost felt sympathy for it. Not five star dining for sure, but whatever.

And then Lou sat down next to me.

No, that doesn’t really describe what she did in any proper fashion.

She made a massive leap onto her seat, landed on it feet first, stood straight up, bowed, then finally actually put her butt on the seat and her lunchbox on the table.

But really, she just sat down. That’s simply Lou’s conception of sitting down.

At this point, I’m tempted to describe all her actions like ‘Lou [verb]ed in a Lou-esque fashion’. I feel like that’ll save me a lot of words, and get the point across just as well.

It was after that feat that Lou asked me the question.

“Rocco, what’s different about me today?”

“You’re even more idiotic than usual?”

Lou unzipped her lunchbox, before answering me with an amused and arrogant tone. “Jeez, Rocco, what’ll I do with you? You’re such a perv! You really make your degradation fetish obvious whenever you’re with me. I mean, we’re in public you know.”

“I don’t call you an idiot because it’s a fetish; it’s simply true.”

Her self satisfied grin took an even more annoying turn. “I do appreciate you finding me attractive in that way, but you can’t just foist your desires on me at all times.”

“I’m sure I can get a lunch detention right now if I try.”

“PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME ROCCO!” What an astonishing woman. “Anyway,” Lou continued. “You still haven’t guessed what’s different about me today.”

“Could you at least give me a hint?” I asked, after eating a spoonful of my you’d-have-to-be-a-zombie-to-enjoy-this beans.

“Your hint is… I’m 12% badder than usual today.”

“Why 12%?” I answered dryly.

Lou didn’t respond, so I'm guessing there is no why.

Hmm… I have a feeling thinking about this is pointless, but I wonder… I scanned what I could see of Lou, namely her head and shoulders, trying to find anything in her attire out of place.

“I painted my toenails black last night!” Lou exclaimed with ecstasy.

“You didn’t give me a chance to answer the question,” I protested. "Plus, how would I possibly have guessed you painted your toenails black when you have shoes and socks on?"

“I’ve truly become the baddest of the bad, completely reprehensible. Look what you’ve done to me, Rocco!” Her eyes were twinkling.

“I don’t think I’ve done anything to you…”

That was how lunch period started that day. A completely ordinary beginning to a completely ordinary lunch period.

At least, ordinary when you’re eating with Lou.

The next day, the school lunch looked like something they’d serve at the Chum Bucket, with some garlic bread that had the texture of rotted bark, and raisins that were hard as pebbles. I sat down at the lunch table, and began (somewhat begrudgingly) eating.

And then Lou sat down.

No, that doesn’t really describe what she did in any proper fashion.

She made a massive leap onto her seat, the type where you run fast as hell in order to go as far as possible, and she landed on the seat— butt first. “OW!!” she exclaimed, before slamming her eyes shut, putting her head against the table with her arm cushioning her forehead, and pounding the table with her other fist in a display of unadulterated agony. “MY TAILBONE!!”

I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit of sympathy for this dunce. So, I got out of my seat, took a couple steps to get closer to hers, knelt down, and caressed her back.

“I think I broke my butt, Rocco…” she said, in between sobs.

“My condolences.”

“Why are you rubbing my back, Rocco?? It’s my butt that’s hurt!”

“Are you trying to tell me to rub your butt?”


“But we’re at school,” I parried, unfazed.

“But you’re a delinquent.”

“But rubbing it would make it hurt more.”

“But you’re a perverted sadist so you should enjoy it.”

I flashed her a nettled look. “You literally just told me to rub your ass, I don’t wanna be called a pervert by you.”

“Rocco, this is my dying wish. Please touch my butt!”

“You’re not gonna die.”

“But what if I died tomorrow? Wouldn’t you feel guilty then for not touching my butt?”

“If you died tomorrow, touching your butt would be the last thing on my mind.”

“I’m a dainty little damsel in distress, and the only way to save me is to touch my butt!”

“Lou…” I stood up, and put my hand on her shoulder, keeping my face as emotionless as ever. However, while my expression was neutral, I tried to imbue my tone of voice with some level of sincerity as I said my next words. “Congratulations,” I said.

“Huh?” Lou lifted her head from the table and peeked over her arm to look up at me. “What for?”

“Congratulations on becoming a fanservice character.”

Lou’s inquisitive expression exploded— into a bout of laughter that had Lou clutching her sides for a full thirty seconds. The laughter petered out over time, as a few ginger “Ow”s were finding their way in the mix. “Rocco,” she said after she finally managed to regain control of her breath. “You’re really serious, but sometimes you can be really funny!”

…Huh? Did I really say something that funny? Well… Lou laughed at it, so I guess my retort was a hit with its target audience.

I think I might’ve felt a little satisfied having made Lou laugh, but the feeling was in some faraway corner of my heart, if I even did feel it in the first place.

It seemed Lou had mostly recovered from the whole sending her tailbone hurtling into hard plastic incident, so I returned to my seat at the lunch table right next to Lou, without any lewd butt-related incidents occurring. Or any lewd incidents in general for that matter.

Although, as I was sitting down, I couldn’t help but think… I assumed Lou was joking when she said to touch her butt, so I replied with my usual sort of quip, but was it actually a serious offer? She went on asking me to touch her butt for like a minute. That doesn’t seem like something anyone would do if they weren’t at least a little serious about it. And if it was serious, should I have gone ahead and done it?

I didn’t show any interest in touching her sexually back there. In fact, I kinda made fun of the whole idea of touching her by calling her a fanservice character as a joke. Did I offend her by not showing any sexual feelings for her? Should I be more forwardly sexual with her? If I want this relationship to last, I should probably at least look like I have some sort of libido, and maybe hint at wanting to touch her… No, I’m being silly right now.

It’s pointless to fake interest in her in order to keep this relationship going when in reality its collapse is basically set in stone. All pretending would do is delay the inevitable.

“So, Rocco,” Lou said after I sat down. “What’s different about me today?”

“This again?” I muttered.


“Is it something regarding your feet?”

I could visibly see it in Lou’s eyes. I saw the brief flash of consideration, and the negative decision. I saw her consider making a joke about foot fetishes, and choose not to pursue that path of conversation. What a scary woman.

Instead, she put her arm on the table, then flipped it upside down. Upon her upturned wrist, rendered in black marker with drawing skills as untidy as her hair, was a bunch of hearts she drew on herself. “I drew black hearts on myself, Rocco! Can you believe it?? Fufu…” Lou’s expression showed intense delight. “I’m like icarus, flying too close to the sun. Like, black hearts? Can you believe that?? Is there anything badder than that??? It’s like I gave myself a tattoo!”

“Hearts are, like, the least bad thing I can think of,” I rebutted. “They literally symbolize love.”

“But Rocco… jeez, I thought you’d know, being a ‘bad’ aficionado yourself, but these aren’t just ordinary hearts. These are black hearts, Rocco! This isn’t just love; this is perverse, twisted love. This is something far darker, far more ominous, Rocco!”

“I can’t take your claims about black hearts being ‘ominous’ seriously when you look so excited about them.”

“Oops!” Lou stuck her tongue out and bopped herself on the head with an honest to god “Tee-hee~!”. I decided to join in on the fun. “ACK!”

The next day, the school lunch was the type that deserved to either be pixelated or outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. Honestly, the only food on there I recognized was the broccoli, which looked wilted and depressed. I sat down at the lunch table, and began (somewhat begrudgingly) eating.

And then Lou sat down.

Like a normal fucking person.

Then, as she opened her lunchbox and pulled out a danish, she asked me for the third time this week: “What’s different about me today?

“Let me guess. It’s something stupid,” I said with an indifferent tone.

“It’s not stupid. It’s never stupid when it’s bad!”

“When it’s you, bad means stupid.”

Lou raised her hand high in the air, like she wanted to be called on in class. “Rocco… I’ve hit peak bad today.” And then she smacked said hand against the table. “I’ve left my shoes untied all day!”

There was an extended period of silence, only filled by the background noise of the lunchroom, which as far as I can tell is a noxious mix of gossip and yelps of fear and disgust at today’s sad excuse for food. “Lou,” I began darkly. “That surprised me. After dating you for a month, I thought I’d already seen the peak of your stupidity. I thought nothing you did would surprise me anymore, because I’m so used to your ridiculous antics at this point. But somehow, you surprised me right there. I’m honestly not sure whether to be impressed or not.”

“That’s not all, though!” Lou continued boldly. She unzipped her backpack and fished around for a bit, before withdrawing her hand and placing an object onto the table. It was a small, black cylinder… wait. I didn’t recognize it immediately, being a man, but I think I know what it is. “I bought black lipstick, Rocco!”

“After that thing about leaving your shoes untied, I expected something really dumb, but maybe you haven’t completely lost it yet.”

“I was planning on wearing this lipstick today, actually, but I think I wanna save it for our first date instead.”

If we have a first date.

“I also,” Lou continued, “was considering buying a choker online. You know, peak bad girl attire!”

“Huh… You know…” I took a good look at Lou, dressed in her light pink hoodie paired with a floral patterned skirt, with pink socks and untied shoelaces and faded black hearts on her right wrist. Then I imagined it… if there was black lipstick on her sunny-smiling lips, and a choker on her neck, and maybe black nail polish on her fingernails. “On second thought, maybe someday you’ll look like a bad girl, but right now I can’t imagine it.”

Lou gave me a determined look. “I’m taking this as a challenge.”

“Go ahead and take it as one.”

“Hey, Rocco.” Lou put her finger to her bottom lip, and her cheeks gained a pinkish tint. “Do you think a choker would look good on me?”

“Hmmm…” I set my head down against my arm, which was lying on the table. “I definitely don’t dislike ‘em. But they seem, I dunno… They have sexy vibes, at least the type of choker I’m thinking of right now. But you have more pretty vibes, Lou. So I think there’d be a clash, or something. Then again, you do you man. I don’t know fashion that well, and I don’t really care if you do or don’t have a choker.”

“That’s interesting…” Lou seemed deep in thought for a moment. “I have pretty vibes…” Suddenly, Lou realized. With a movement quick enough that it looked like some sort of jumpcut had occured in real life, Lou’s back went from slightly slouched to completely straight, then she smacked her hand against the table five times in rapid succession while exclaiming with Lou-like excitement, “YOU CALLED ME PRETTY!”

“So I did,” I replied simply.

“YES!” Lou did a fist pump, her eyes glistening like a river in the sun. “Oh, and also, there are chokers with pretty vibes out there, Rocco, so I can get one of those.”

“Get whichever one you like the most.”

“I mean hey…” Lou put her hands together. “Even if I get a choker with pretty vibes, it’s still a choker, so it still makes me badder.”

“I don’t understand your logic at all… Actually, I don’t think there was any logic in that statement to begin with.”

“Rocco, how do you feel about having dragged your girlfriend to the dark side?”

“If you’re on the dark side, then most of humanity is evil.”

“How does it feel to have turned your girl’s heart black??”

“If your heart suddenly turns black, I feel like that’s a wee bit of a medical emergency.”

“Why did you do this to me Rocco? Is it a fetish of yours, to so thoroughly sully such a pure damsel??”

“If it's anyone’s fetish, it’s yours considering how often you bring this whole ‘defiling women’ thing up.”

Lou clasped my left hand with both of hers. “Take responsibility, Rocco! Take responsibility for turning me rotten!”

“That’s not something you take responsibility for.”

“Rocco, last week I was at church, and I considered turning one of the bibles upside-down! Look what you’ve done to me, Rocco! Ever since I started dating you, my confessions to the priest have gotten so long that he had to pull out his phone and scroll twitter halfway through the confession because he was getting bored of hearing all my crimes!”

“Then he should have his status as a priest revoked.”

“Rocco, take responsibility for the horrible things you’ve done to me!”

“No.” And with that statement, I sent a karate chop flying towards Lou’s forehead. However, as my right hand came down, I felt Lou let go of my left. She swiftly dodged to the side, away from the table. The dodge was quick enough that when Lou came to a stop, she almost tipped over from the momentum and fell onto the ground ass-first, but she just barely managed to stay upright. Then, she made another quick movement in my direction, and—

“Gotcha!” Lou exclaimed. I felt a tap on my own forehead. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Lou’s arm extended towards my head. She’d turned the tables on me. “Fufu~! As you were busy living your life in complacency, I was training relentlessly. You thought I’d never even try to give you a taste of your own medicine, or attempt to dodge your blows, so lived your life lazily, never sharpening your blade, never strategizing, never trying. Meanwhile, I was training endlessly, the machinations in my mind constantly being executed upon, my emotions, my muscles, my very soul being honed to be as sharp as possible-”

While Lou was busy bragging (or at least, I think that was an attempt at bragging), what she failed to realize is that in staying still in order to talk, she had left herself completely open to a second attack. While it was possible for her to dodge, her head had gotten big. She was so absorbed by her gloating that there was no way she’d be able to react in time to dodge my strike. This isn’t anime, Lou. You can’t halt a fight scene in order to exposit paragraphs of dialogue about all the training you’ve done. This is the real world, Lou. And the real world is cruel.



The next day, on a Saturday evening, I was in the living room, laying on the couch, mindlessly scrolling social media. My Mom, meanwhile, was across the room, laying on the floor with her stomach to the carpet, bouncing her legs up and down while humming ‘The Rising of the Moon’ and reading ‘The Way of the Househusband’. My proudest achievement in life is getting my Mom into animanga. In fact, she’s probably more of an otaku than I am at this point. I still occasionally watch anime, but since I find everything boring, well, there’s no real reason to watch anime anymore.


Real name: Bianca Fey.

I guess most people would consider her a decently young woman, though she’s over thirty now. Apparently I get my black hair from my Dad (Mom's is blonde), but I definitely get the curls from Mom. Her hair is curlier than mine even, and also comically long. Like, her hair goes all the way down to her upper legs when she lets it down, it’s insane. Although normally she puts it up in a bun.

I have crystal clear memories of being a kid and Mom letting me use her hair as a sort of blanket. Right now, as she layed on the living room floor, her hair was indeed down.

Mom’s eyes remind me of crescent moons, so much so that when I was young, I liked the moon just because it made me think of Mom. I don’t know what about her eyes remind me of the moon, much less why they specifically remind me of a crescent, but maybe it’s just that her entire being reminds me of nighttime. Her movements are slow and flowy like ripples in a creek lit by the moonlight. Her voice is as distant as the stars yet as close as sand cooled by darkness. And her skin is far paler than mine, so pale that at night she looks like a ghost.

I dunno, I sound weird right now.

Suddenly, my repetitive scrolling was interrupted by a vibration and a notification. Lou had texted me.

my mom is making me give kids candy for halloween, i cant tp houses :,(((((( PLS DONT TP THEM WITHOUT ME ILL CRY

I responded to her. lel. i wont do anything without you, dw.

ARIGATO!!! btw, is it ok if i call u?

after i get back to my bedroom.

why do you need to go to your bedroom?

because i doubt my mom needs to hear whatever you’re gonna tell me.

oooo! tru! ill be able to flirt with you with ur mom out of the picture

ight brb. With that text sent, I got up off the couch and headed for the stairs.

As I climbed the first step, Mom ceased her humming and asked me a question. “Hey, Rocco, when do you think you’ll get a girlfriend?”

I stopped climbing, and peered back at her. “Why are you so obsessed with me getting a girlfriend?” I asked.

“Because you’re at that age.”

“And what would happen if I got one?”

Mom flipped herself over so that she stared up at me from across the room, with her hair smushed against her back and her book pressed open against her stomach. “I’d be happy for you, and I’d welcome her as part of the family.”

“Don’t get your hopes up,” I responded. Then, I continued climbing the stairs.

—Don’t get your hopes up… I think I’ll refrain from telling her about a most likely doomed relationship.

“ROCCO!” Lou exclaimed.

I like my room to be as dark as possible. I’ve preferred it this way since I was a little kid. So, when I was about nine or ten years old, I covered my bedroom window with a blanket— and kept it there. How did I put a blanket over my window, one may ask? A lot of duct tape. Like, a lot of duct tape. My Mom finds my decision to stomp out all the sunlight from my room bizarre, but I just prefer things this way.

So, when Lou hollered my name like she always does, I was laying on my bed, head to pillow, face up, surrounded by near-total darkness, save for the glow of my cell phone’s screen, which lit my face white.

“Yo,” I replied to her. “What did you want to call me for?”

“Fufu…” Lou laughed all sinister-like, her voice distorted by its journey through landlines. “Let’s have a sexually charged conversation!”

“You’re the first person on earth to preface dirty talk with ‘let’s have a sexually charged conversation’. And like, don’t we have a lot of those? Didn’t you tell me to touch your butt not even a week ago?”

“Let’s have another one though! And besides, if we’re the first couple to preface our sex talk with ‘let’s have a sexually charged conversation’, then by having said conversation, we’d be setting a world record!”

Then… does this mean that Lou wants to progress our relationship to a sexual level? Does she want me to talk about her in sexual terms, and does she want to do the same for me? I've never talked dirty with a girl before though… well, me and Lou have dirty banter, but we’ve never talked about wanting to do lewd things to each other, nor have we ever tried to turn each other on with the sexual things we say. I've never been in a position where I’ve needed to say stuff like "oh, I think your boobs are hot". Although I think if I said something like that Lou would bully me relentlessly for it.

“...I guess we can do that then.” We have been dating for a month after all.

“Here, I’ll start!” Lou declared. “Boobs!”


“Now it’s your turn to say something sexual, Rocco.”

I think the joke’s on me here. The joke is absolutely on me for even considering the possibility that anything Lou says is in any way, shape, or form the slightest bit serious. I sighed. “Penis.”







“Pubic hair!”

“How long are we gonna keep listing body parts for?...” I asked.

“You sound disgruntled,” Lou noted. Then, in her irritating teasing tone she continued. “What, did you want to have a different kind of sexual conversation? Fufu~ You’re such a bad boy, Rocco!”


“Oh, by the way, it’s still your turn to list a body part, Rocco.”

I sighed again. “Hair.”





“Spinal cord!”

“I want to meet the person who has a thing for spinal cords,” I commented wryly. “Actually, on second thought, I don’t want to meet them. But you know, if we’re trying to make a list of every sexual body part, we’ll be here all day. Every body part can be sexualized with enough creativity.”

“Hmmm, true… I guess I didn’t account for fetishes when I started this conversation. But wait, is our conversation even limited to the human body?” Lou asked. “Otaku have sexual attractions to the characters in the shows they watch, after all. Like, I used to be really attracted to Tanaka from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless.”

“Of all the male characters you could pick, you chose Tanaka…”

“I mean, Rocco, you’re just as deadpan as Tanaka.”

“I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not… Oh, but you’re right. 2D characters would be included in this conversation. Objects like sex toys would have to be included too.”

“What other things would be included?” Lou asked. “Well, we obviously can’t include animals. That’d be disgusting.”

“Are we sure we can’t include animals though? Because after all, if a human were to view an animal like that, it’d be awful, but if an animal were to view another animal of the same species in a sexual way, it’d be completely natural.”

“I guess that’s true… Oh, and also, wouldn’t certain parts of the alphabet also be sexual? You know, because of cup sizes.”


“Actually,” Lou said, “I wonder how much of the alphabet would have to be included in this conversation. What’s the biggest cup size?”

“You’re asking a man that question,” I answered with an amused tone. “Although, a letter doesn’t have to be a real life cup size to be included in this conversation. Going back to 2D women, you could theoretically draw a woman with Z cup breasts. So because Z cup breasts can theoretically exist, and most certainly do exist in the realm of 2D, they’d have to be included in this sexual conversation.”

“And hold on,” Lou continued. “If letters have to be included, then don’t numbers also have to as well? After all, people measure their busts and dicks with numbered units of measurement. But the question is: how many numbers do we include in this conversation? You can conceive of Z cups and draw them on a 2D girl, but you can’t draw an infinitely long penis, and the human brain fundamentally can’t even visualize infinity.”

“Well,” I responded, “that is true. However, while you can’t draw an infinitely long penis, you can alter the unit of measurement. You don’t have to measure it in, let’s say, inches. You can instead use centimeters, or millimeters, or picometers. Eventually, you’ll get all the way down to measuring it with atoms, then quarks, then half a quark, an eighth of a quark, etc. You can always create a smaller unit of measurement. So, even an AAA cup sized boob has an infinity in it somewhere.”

“So… all numbers are sexual, all letters are sexual… Wait, Rocco. Can’t literally anything be sexual? As long as you’re creative enough, can’t you find a way to relate everything back to sex and sexuality???”

I nodded. Even though she couldn’t see me. “Uh huh.”

“Then… Rocco, doesn’t that mean… that everything in the world revolves around sex???”

“You’re finally catching on.”

Lou gasped. “THAT’S AWESOME!”

“I’m glad someone enjoys that realization.” What a perv.

Me and Lou talked for some time after that about things equally as pointless as our so-called “sexually charged conversation”. On and on about the mundane, meaningless nothing burgers life has to offer. But throughout that conversation, I found myself feeling something odd. Yes, I felt something. Granted, I was bored senseless throughout all our various tangents, but I did in fact feel something else buried deep under that boredom.

A deep admiration.

Towards Lou.

I admired her for finding a way to be entertained by such asinine, winding, pointless small talk. I admired her because she had a talent I wish I had.

I couldn’t help but wonder, constantly, during that talk on the phone. How does she do it? How is this fun for her? And can you tell me the secret to finding this fun?

After much had been said, Lou yawned. “I think I’m ‘bout ready to hit the hay for tonight, Rocco. I need to wake up early for church tomorrow.”

“I’m about ready to sleep too,” I replied.

“Before you go though… Hey, remember our sexual conversation from earlier?”

“All too well.”

“There was a question I was hoping you’d ask me.”

“What kind of question?”

“Well, it was around the point where I was talking about how the alphabet is sexual,” Lou said.

“...What was the question?”

Through some miracle not of telephone communication but of the very fabric of reality… I could just tell, really. Lou was blushing. “How about I just tell you the answer to the question?”

I sat up on my bed cross-legged. “Sure, lay it on me.”

… “I’m a B cup. Goodnight, I love you.” And with that, she hung up quickly. Which secretly, I was very very thankful for. Not even necessarily because I disliked talking to Lou, but because I didn’t want to feel pressured to give a response to such a revelation. What even is the proper way to respond to hearing what your girlfriend’s cup size is for the first time? What, do I say “good job”? “Congratulations”?

I let the knowledge roll around in my head for a bit. I chewed on that letter mentally. B. What does that mean… How big is that, really… Well, it’s bigger than A, for sure. I thought of all the times the side of my hand had been against her breast while she was laying on me, and all the times I had looked at her chest, not intentionally, but just sorta naturally from spending so much time with her. And I tried to consider what that letter meant given what I knew about her chest from visually looking at it and from the brief times I’ve sorta-ish touched it.

I flopped onto my bed.

Damn. Knowing your girlfriend’s cup size is actually kinda hot.


A week later, Lou would come to school wearing a choker. It was the pretty type, the type reminiscent of pressed flowers. The type with a pink, bright jewel in the middle. The type you could wear to church without committing sacrilege. It had not a single sexy implication to it, and upon seeing I couldn’t help but think to myself—

Yep. Pretty vibes all the way.