Chapter 8:


My Three Dying Rules

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Doctor: …you can see my confusion, right?

Pandora: You always look confused and as if you wanted to go home already.

Doctor: Does that mean your friends Maria and Cowie-

Pandora: Marina and Chloe.

Doctor: …Marina and Chloe knew about your intentions all along?

Pandora: No… well… this is kinda difficult to explain. We were discussing suicide, the inequality and injustice of the world and other hard topics a lot. We always thought we were the conscious ones, that we somehow were focusing our minds only on the important stuff. And we joked about killing ourselves.

Doctor: … (Doctor just stares at Pandora with a blank look.)

Pandora: Don’t look at me like that.

Setting: At a café / 20th June 2022

Pandora: I feel like I’d be the only one to have guts to do it.

Marina: Aaachoo!! (sneezes) Eh, sorry. It starts again… anyway, it’s not like I’d miss you if you committed suicide! …But I don’t want you to do it. I shall do it!

Chloe: No, none of you can go sooner than me. In fact, I’m the only one without a boyfriend, I have no future.

Pandora: Maybe if you stopped being so cold all the time, boys wouldn’t be afraid of you.

Marina: Aachooo!! (sneezes again) Sorry! I’d better go fix myself to the toilet… (stands up and leaves)

Pandora: So would you ice queen like some cute boyfriends like my Vulcan or Yuuji~?

Chloe: Vulcan indeed is a sweet boy. And Marina’s Yuuji is … goddamn hot. I don’t understand how she got him, I’d be a much better suit. Too bad he smokes that stuff though…

Pandora: Oh my~. (She takes out her phone.)

Chloe: (gets embarrassed, stands up and slams at the table) If you say one word to Marina-

Pandora is typing on her phone. Vulcan is asking her in a message when she will be home today as he wants to see her. She replies with “I told you I’d be with the girls. Stop butting into my time with friends so much, geez.”

Pandora: (Still typing and looking into her phone.) Don’t worry, we’re all friends here, ahahah. I am sure she will play it as a joke~.

Chloe: I always say embarrassing stuff in front of you… you’re the only person in the world I trust 100%. Marina is close second. (winks)

Pandora: Hmmm, good to know.

Pandora closes the chatting window with Vulcan on her phone. The phone shows 13 unread messages from Alyssa, a 14th message pops up on her display where Alyssa texts: “Why are you ignoring me?” with a crying emoticon. Pandora just swipes the message away.

Chloe: But seriously. How come I never got a chance to date anybody during high school? It’s not fair…

Pandora: I mean, you have a pretty face. But your personality is trash.

Chloe: Huh? (surprised)

Pandora: If I were a boy, I’d never want to date you either. (inner monologue) I’m sorry Chloe, I don’t think this is the case at all. But it’s for your sake.

Chloe: Damn, have some chill, Pandora.

Marina: (comes back) Sooo, what’d I miss?

Chloe: Oh, nothing particular. Pandora is just being very rude today. More than usual.

Marina: What’d you say before to me? She’s just teasing you? Haha, now you see how I felt!

Chloe: Btw, isn’t your sickness getting worse lately?

Marina: Yeah… the doctors still don’t know what’s causing it… to be honest, I am kinda scared.

Waiter: Here you go, ladies. (He puts cappuccino in front of Chloe, ice-cream glass in front of Marina and a coke in front of Pandora.)

Pandora: And where is my water? I didn’t want coke.

Waiter: Oh, I’m sorry miss, I’ll get it right away!

Pandora: (annoyed) Can’t you just do your job properly? It’s not like I ordered anything special, geez!

Marina and Chloe look at each other with a worried look.

Waiter: Y-yes, I truly apologize! (he leaves)

Chloe: What’s gotten into you? That was quite unnecessary.

Marina: Yeah, totally uncool…!

Pandora: I’ve had a bad day. (gentle smile)

Chloe: But still… the guy just made a simple mistake.

Pandora: So? I am a psychologist in training. What if I made a ‘simple mistake’ with my client and because of my advice they end up taking their life?

Marina: That’s a little extreme though…

Chloe: Yeah, I could have asked him for a number but you ruined it.

Pandora: I don’t need to help you with ruining anything, you are perfectly capable of doing that yourself, haha.

Marina: Pandora! Just stop already, what’s gotten into you?

Waiter: H-here is your water miss, apologies once again. (He puts the bottle of water in front of Pandora.)

Pandora: Uhm, I don’t want it anymore. I’m leaving for today. It was lovely seeing you girls! See you at the cinema on Wednesday~! (She stands up and leaves.)

Chloe: (talking to the speechless waiter) It’s okay, we’ll pay for the water.

Marina: What was that all about? She was being really annoying today.

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Doctor: That was so cheap.

Pandora: I got there earlier because I wanted to ask the waiter for a favor. I wanted him to mess up my order on purpose and endure my bitching. He was a nice guy, he didn’t understand but he complied.

Doctor: Your pretty face works like a charm.

Pandora: I have no compliment for you in return but thanks. I was planning to do these annoying things more but it seemed like it didn’t move them that much.

Doctor: It’s actually a situation that can go both ways. If you say they were the easiest pillar, that must mean you weren’t as good friends with Harima and Lowie as with Ashley.

Pandora: … (annoyed look)

Doctor: Hey, I am not paid for remembering names.

Pandora: OK, close enough though.

Doctor: So what I was saying was that… if people are just casual friends, it could be that 1. they don’t actually care how you behave and so they keep you around only for convenience, or 2. they don’t care but they ditch you for the smallest thing. Looks like the first option was applied here.

Pandora: You make it sound as if we weren’t even friends. But we were. So I needed to go harder.

Setting: In front of cinema / 22th June 2022

Pandora, Chloe and Marina are coming outside of a cinema, each of them are holding some soft drinks and popcorn. The name of the movie is seen on a poster, the movie is called “Love Dramatic”. They walk away from the cinema.

Marina: Wooo, that movie was so amazing!!

Chloe: It was alright. I guess.

Pandora: I loooved it! The MC was reminding me of Vulcan all the time~.

Chloe: The MC reminded me of this one guy I once stared at in a book store. I think it was 2019?

Marina: Wow girl, you truly have no luck with boys, ahaha!

Pandora: I love it when Vulcan also plays a ‘bad boy’ and kisses me like the MC was kissing the heroine on that rooftop! I am shivering just thinking about it~.

Marina: You’re pretty annoying with that fangirling, you know that? Hahah.

Chloe: You’re the one to talk.

Pandora: Oh come on, don’t you want to see your beloved Yuuji right away after this experience? I kinda wish Vulcan was there with me, holding my hand the whole time~.

Marina: N-no, it’s not like I’m thinking of him all the time like that! S-stop it, you idiot!

Pandora: I don’t know girl, you should be more concerned about your boyfriend’s needs~.

Marina: What?

Pandora: You know, there might be a predator lurking in the shadows who secretly has a crush on him~.

Chloe’s facial expressions freeze more than usual and she looks straight in front of her not noticing what Pandora and Marina are talking about anymore, increasing the tempo of her walk.

Marina: There’s nobody else that wants Yuuji! I am his girlfriend!

Pandora: I don’t know about that~. There is a girl that always tries to look for a boyfriend and gets lonely every time.

Chloe tries to mind her own business and she keeps walking in front of them.

Marina: If you mean Chloe then you have absolutely no idea how ugly Yuuji seems to her, ahaha!

Pandora: Ugly? I mean, he’s no Prince Charming but somebody who got only a gaze at a stranger three years ago, even a 5 like Yuuji would suffice.

Marina: Hey! He’s not a 5! He’s at least an 8!

Pandora: Chloe~? How would you rate Yuuji out of 10 purely by his looks?

Chloe stops and ‘recovers’ from the freezing state.

Chloe: A solid 3. Maybe a 3.5.

Pandora: Whaaat? But I am so confused, Chloe. (Tries to play dumb, puts her finger on her bottom lip.) I’d swear you said he was hot and you have no idea how such a guy ended up with a girl that has such a fat ass.

Chloe: P-Pandora?! What the hell?! I never said that! (Chloe bursts out.)

Marina: What? Is that true, Chloe?

Chloe: Of course not! I don’t know why she’s lying like that! Pandora, you’ve been really weird lately!

Pandora: Wait, Chloe. How am I a liar? Didn’t you say that on Monday while Marina was using the restroom?

Chloe: T-that’s not…

Marina: Chloe?!

Chloe: Pandora, how could you?!

Pandora: What? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m just saying the truth.

Marina: Aachooo! (She sneezes and starts coughing.) C-Chloe… so you were jealous of my boyfriend this whole time? And you don’t understand how he ended up with me…?

Pandora: Hmm, maybe she didn’t say because she doesn’t trust you 100%...

Chloe: That’s enough, Pandora! I’m leaving!

Marina: I thought we were better friends… but to lie right into my eyes about my boyfriend and say such awful things behind my back… (She starts to cry and run away.) I hate you!!!

Pandora and Chloe watch her run away from them. Marina then stops for a while in a distance and it looks like she starts coughing again. She then goes back to running.

Chloe: Pandora!

Pandora: Hm? (Smiles.)

Chloe: I specifically asked you to not say a word to Marina, I don’t understand. Why would you do this to me and to her?

Pandora: Oh, you did? I don’t remember hearing such things from you~.

Chloe looks surprised but then she has a short flashback of Pandora how she was typing into her phone and not paying attention to what Chloe was saying. She understood it was her way of saying she never intended to keep the secret.

Chloe: Wow. Now I understand. And to think that you’re always boasting about Vulcan in front of me even though you are well aware how anxious I am about not having a relationship… Looks like compassion and trust among friends is something that is no more relevant in this world. (She walks away.)

Pandora keeps smiling at her while she leaves. A tear is starting to roll down on her left cheek. In a fantasy, the two figurines that her statue is holding have cracked and so did the pillar below the platform holding the statue.

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Pandora: Breaking someone’s heart comes in different shapes or forms. The pillar was damaged by hurting Chloe, but it was still Marina’s turn.

Setting: At a club, disco / 24th June 2022

Pandora, Marina and Yuuji are sitting at a table in a club where music plays loudly and people are dancing. Yuuji seems like a clean boy, wearing a hip-hop cap, he is quite muscular for a 17 year old boy.

Marina: Thank you Pandora for coming here with us. I was talking to Yuuji about what happened the other day. I needed to reset my head… I don’t want to cut Chloe off entirely… We still need to do that thing.

Pandora: Right.

Marina: Aaachoo!! (She sneezes and starts coughing.) I g-gotta go fix myself on the toilet, cough… e-excuse me… cough… (She speaks with a difficulty through the coughing and leaves the table.)

Pandora: So, Yuuji. Will you stop staring at me? You’ve got a girlfriend here.

Yuuji: O-oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!

Pandora: Then again, I am quite a hottie compared to Marina, right~?

Yuuji: N-no, I am not implying anything!

Pandora: (Gets closer to him and ‘accidentally’ touches his hand while she reaches out for a glass of water.) I am so thirsty, this heat is killing me. (Pandora sticks out her chest in a nice dress she wears. Yuuji sees her exposed cleavage and gulps.) You know… I’ve always noticed how you were staring at my breasts every time you had the chance. Wanna touch them?