Chapter 5:

A Fateful Encounter

My Three Dying Rules

Setting: At the psychologist

Doctor: Just for my understanding, was the Student Council President a ninth or tenth pillar?

Pandora: Ninth, I already included her when I mentioned the nine pillars.

Doctor: Understood. So she can be considered your rival, not exactly a friend. Do you care about her? Or did you, in the past, at least?

Pandora: She proved to be someone who deeply cares about me. And it’s not like I didn’t like her or anything. Most of the time she was friendly and caring. Only I knew her real face.

Doctor: And maybe the poor guy that confessed to you she completely canceled…

Pandora: Yeah. But I am grateful. He might have become another pillar had we become good friends.

Doctor: So how did you deal with the President?

Pandora: Spoilers. Before that, I need to tell you a different story.

Setting: Pandora’s high school, schoolyard / 25th June 2021

All female students are wearing sports uniforms and are grouped together, their teacher is holding a whistle. Among the students, we can see Pandora, Alyssa and the Student Council President.

Teacher: Alright ladies, we will test your running speed! Last time, Pandora was the fastest, will anybody defeat her?

Student Council President: I don’t think we can, she is untouchable! Hihi.

Pandora: You’re pretty athletic yourself, President!

Alyssa: Am I gonna finish last again? (She cries ‘fake tears’.)

Pandora: Noo, you won’t, don’t worry babe. (She pinches Alyssa’s cheek.)

Teacher: Okay, let’s make pairs! Pandora! You and the president will go against each other. You are too far ahead from the rest of the class.

Pandora: Yes, sir!

Some other students are doing their sprints. Alyssa barely got to the goal line, she falls on her knees and cries. It is finally time for the race between Pandora and President.

Pandora: I won’t lose to you, President.

Student Council President: You better not.

The race is over, with Pandora being victorious but only by a hair. Her time is just slightly better than President’s. Pandora talks to Alyssa.

Pandora: I almost lost. What is going on with me?

Alyssa: I… didn’t want to say this but… didn’t you gain some weight?

Pandora: Huh? (Surprised as if not expecting such a comment from Alyssa.) 

Alyssa:  I’m sorry that I said this!! You’re not fat, please don’t stop loving me!

Pandora: Ahahah, no worries baby. But… you might be right about that. (She grabs the ‘fat’ on her waist.) I gotta get rid of this… but how. I don’t like running that much. It’s boring.

Alyssa: Hmm maybe you could try some martial arts, then?

Pandora: Martial arts??

Alyssa: Yeah! I am thinking box! My friend I told you about has recently become a member and he can’t stop talking about how amazing it is!

Setting: Boxing Club Gym / 28th June 2021

Pandora comes to a gym where multiple people, mainly male, are working out and sparring against each other. She immediately notices the coach.

Pandora: Hello! My friend Alyssa sent me here, I’m the new recruit! My name is Pandora.

Coach: Oh hello, Pandora! Yes, we were expecting you. Alyssa tried this once but then never showed up again, ahahah. Hopefully it will be different with you!

The Coach was an older looking muscular man. He had short grey hair and strict eyes. He was wearing a tank top, revealing a tattoo on his right arm.

Pandora: I am honored to be here!

Coach: Wait… Hmm… Pandora… Pandora… isn’t your dad a politician?

Pandora: He is, why?

Coach: I knew it!! How has he been? I was his bodyguard a few years back! I even remember you as a little child!

Pandora: Oh really? What a small world!

Coach: Please do tell him to stop by in the gym on one of your trainings, I’d love to see him!

Pandora: Sure, I’d be happy to! So… when can I start?

Coach: Once you have all your equipment, especially the mouth guard and gloves, you are all set.

Pandora: I already have it all. Can we start today?

Coach: Oh, quite impatient. But of course we can. I’ll have one of my boys show you some beginner's tricks, I’ll get back to you later, is that okay?

Pandora: Of course!

Pandora seems really pleased and excited. The Coach waves at somebody from the members who are sparring.

Coach: Hey, rookie! Come here!

A rather obese guy comes their way, he is seen from behind. His clothes are completely soaked by his sweat.

Coach: I know you have been here for a couple of months only but I want you to be always with her and teach her the basics, okay?

The young fat man turns out to be Vulcan.

Vulcan: Of course, coach.

Vulcan and Pandora are in front of a mirror where Vulcan shows Pandora basic footwork.

Vulcan: So whenever you go with your front foot a step forward, your rear foot must follow by the same amount of space.

Despite Vulcan’s chubby body, he was doing a good job with the footwork, he was springing on his toes as if he were a third of his actual weight.

Pandora: Wow, you’re really good at this! So… like this?

Pandora copies his movements perfectly.

Vulcan: Oh yes, that was very good! Are you sure you are a beginner?

Pandora: What can I say? I’m just a natural talent for everything, haha! (She focuses on her mirror image and continues practicing the footwork.)

Vulcan blushes as he keeps watching her.

Vulcan: Alyssa told me a lot about you. Now I understand what she meant when she said you were the most amazing person in the universe. I have been with you just for a couple of minutes and yet I can feel your warm aura already.

Pandora: Huh? (She blushes.)

Vulcan: U-uhm… a-are you free after the training? Maybe we could grab a drink and get to know each other…

After that, Pandora and Vulcan keep training together. At first, he overpowers her in every sparring match they do. They spend time after the training together, having some drinks, snacks or dinner. A couple of months have passed and Pandora finally beats Vulcan. And everybody else in the gym. The Coach seems very proud, he messes up her hair by patting her on head much to Pandora’s annoyance. Vulcan and Pandora continue seeing each other and Vulcan has visibly lost some weight. One evening after the practice when Pandora managed to give Vulcan a bruise on his left eye, they walk together from the gym.

Pandora: I’m so sorry about that last punch! I felt I’d lose if I didn’t heat it up, hehe!

Vulcan: Ahahah, no, it’s okay. This is what the boxing is about, after all.

Pandora: You’re just playing the tough guy, aren’t you~?

Vulcan: Stop teasing me again! (He says playfully as he giggles.) It’s just that you’re such a monster! You won at your very first debut match and then won every single league match by now. How are you doing that?

Pandora: As I told you before, I must be a natural. Hehe.

Vulcan: (Smiles gently and stops) Pandora…

Pandora: Yeah?

Vulcan: Maybe it’s my beaten up brain that speaks up for me, and maybe you knocked me out to a parallel universe and another Vulcan, much braver, has switched with me, but… I just wanna say that I really enjoy spending time with you.

Pandora: Oh, is that so~?

Vulcan: You make me want to be the best version of myself. I started to take this seriously, changed my diet so I could actually lose some weight. And I wanna get stronger in order to protect you. Even though you don’t need any protection at all. But if a group of evil guys started threatening you, I want to be right there, by your side, and at least watch you defend yourself. Maybe I can even help a little. So please… go out with me.

Pandora is surprised and she stays silent.

Vulcan: W-wait, did I screw it up?! Forget about it! Ahhh, it’s the eye, the pain is killing me!!

Pandora: Vulcan.

Vulcan: Yes?!

Pandora: I am glad you want to live healthier but to be honest. I like you just the way you are. So you don’t need to push yourself with the diet just to charm me. You are charming enough.

She holds his hand and looks him in the eye.

Pandora: I guess, this means we’re dating now?

Vulcan’s right eye starts sparkling, the other one is closed because of the swollen bruise he received from Pandora.

Setting: At the psychologist / back to present

Pandora: Alyssa was so shocked when I told her I had started dating Vulcan. She was all like “Whaat? I thought he already had a girlfriend!”

Doctor: Boooringg…

Pandora: Hey, I thought you wanted to know how my bonds were created and what was happening in my life.

Doctor: Of course I did, that’s my job. But why does nobody care about what I want? I want more thrilling stories!

Pandora: Wanna switch chairs?

Doctor: Nope, I am comfortable with this one.

Pandora: After me and Vulcan started dating, the thoughts inside of my head started screaming louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore them anymore.

Doctor: Looks like you subconsciously persuaded yourself that with your school, idol career, boxing, family, friends and now even a boyfriend, your life has been fulfilled and so the last one thing that could complete you would be your death.

Pandora: And maybe I just started to be fed up with how many people were idealizing me. I dunno. But what I do know is that it was also around this time that my boxing coach has started to care for me a little bit too much.

In the fantasy, Pandora reveals a statue of herself that wears boxing gloves.


B Kiddo