Chapter 16:

Traumatic Birthday

My Three Dying Rules

Setting: Pandora’s high school, classroom / 16th September 2020

Pandora and Alyssa chit-chat in the classroom, Student Council President comes towards them and starts a conversation.

Pandora: Oh, President, congratulations to your new position! I hope we could be friends. (Smiles)

Alyssa: Yes, congrats, good job on getting this highly valued position even though you are still a first year!

Student Council President: Oh, no, no, actually I got this just because Ms. Pandora had rejected the position after acing all the tests! So I came to thank you for this opportunity and I also hope we could be good friends!

Pandora: We’ll be counting on you from now on, Prez!

Student Council President bows down to Pandora and leaves for her desk but Pandora stops her.

Pandora: Prez? If we wanna become friends, I guess I need to know your first name as well!

Student Council President: (As the President smiles warmly, the scene around her feels as if sakura trees started blooming.) The name’s Nessa.

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Doctor: Awww, how poetic.

Pandora: If you say so.

Doctor: Why else would you bring up this scene now? Obviously its only meaning is to address the poetic meaning behind her character and name.

Pandora: So… did you catch on with another rumor being actually half-true?

Setting: Pandora’s high school, rooftop / 2nd September 2022

Student Council President (Nessa): But… if you’re not perfect… (she starts crying) just what have I been competing for with you?! If the only person in the world who defeats me every single time in everything is not perfect, then what does it make me?? I am nothing but a human trash!

Pandora: (She pats her head as she embraces her with her upper part of the body still naked.) You don’t need to be perfect. Because neither am I. Nor anybody else. You’re an amazing person, you don’t need a failure like me in your life.

Student Council President (Nessa): (Ugly sobbing) Waaaaghhh!!! Pandoraaaa!!

Pandora: Sshhhhh, it’s okay… it’s okay, Nessa.

Student Council President (Nessa): Haha… ahahah… (She pushes Pandora away) AHAHAHAHAHAHA!! (She starts laughing hysterically) So you were actually never a rival to me!!! You’re not that strong in sports anymore, your grades are on average not better than mine anymore, I have no scar on my beautiful body contrary to you and on top of that, you are going to rot because of your health condition! I could never consider you my equal or superior, you weak creature! And yet another rumor is proven to be true! You did get the plastic surgery, because of (she touches her left breast again) … THIS!

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Pandora: I had a terrible accident when I was younger, they saved my life but at the cost of this scar after the plastic surgery I needed to undergo after that. President stopped bothering me after the rooftop incident and I never ‘met’ her crazy personality again.

Doctor: Ew, the best and my favorite character from your story is no longer going to be relevant… what a bummer.

Pandora: But you don’t know who the ‘final villain’ of this story is yet. So please keep listening to me~.

Doctor: Okay, what do we have next?

Pandora: My parents finally sold our house and so we needed to move out, which brought me to one point that was a little discomforting for me.

Setting: Pandora’s family’s new flat / 3rd September 2022

The family is sitting in a living room of a smaller apartment flat. It is still big enough for 4 people but it is no villa that they used to live in before. The family dog is sleeping in a corner.

Father: Pandora, we have the one million in cash as you needed. Come Monday, I will go with you to speak to the doctor.

Pandora: No dad, I am sorry. But doctor specifically asked me to keep all the procedures secret. Therefore I need to go there with the cash money and give it to the doctor. In December, the surgery will take place in the Capital of the neighboring country. I can come only alone. They will transfer me with a helicopter.

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Doctor: That was just pure overkill… no way they would believe a fairy tale like that. (Pandora stares at her with a smile.) Oh no.

Setting: At Pandora’s doctor, Shinzo’s dad / 5th September 2022

Pandora sits at the Doctor’s office. Shinzo sits in another guest chair right next to her, in front of his father, Pandora’s pretend doctor.

Pandora: (slides an envelope to Shinzo’s dad) Here. 1,000,000 in cash. This should be enough for your daughter to be treated for now, right? I know the total cost is 1.5 million but I will give you the rest later. Just give me some time.

Shinzo’s dad opens the envelope and his eyes start to get wet.

Shinzo’s dad: I don’t understand, why are you helping us so much? I know I completely broke the rules, I betrayed my mission as a doctor. And I signed my soul to a devil. But still… this is…

Shinzo: Dad, doesn’t matter where she got the money from. All I care about is my little sister. If we can help her, I will suck up to this heartless bitch for as long as is humanly possible!

Pandora: Good doggy~. Now bark for me.

Shinzo: In front of my dad?! (She stares at him with ‘evil look’.) Dammit! Woof, woof! You truly are a devil!

Pandora: And don’t forget to keep feeding rumors about me, little doggy~.

Shinzo’s dad: (falls down to his knees on the floor and bows deeply) Our family will be forever grateful for what you have done for us!

Pandora: Hmph. (she turns away from him cockily)

Pandora leaves the office and comes out of the hospital on the street. As she walks on the pathway, she notices somebody is following her. She takes out her phone and makes a call.

Pandora: (talking to the phone) There has been a minor miscalculation. The address I gave you is no longer valid, I will send you a new one.

Benimaru: (on the other side of the line) Good to know, I was planning to give you a little visit. Come to think of it, your birthday is coming, right?

Pandora: It’s creepy that you know that.

Benimaru: Don’t worry, I’ll make it nice for you. (he sticks out his tongue and licks his lips) I’d like to invite you to a dinner on your b-day.

Pandora: Listen, I am not planning to- (she realizes something) I’ll GLADLY come~! (Pandora hangs up the phone.) You can come out now. (she says out loud)

A certain male is revealed to have been tailing her. He has a camera hanging from his neck and a certain device in his hands.

The man: How did you know?

Pandora: Oh please, if you wanted to play ninja, I’d recommend you a certain anime. So, what does a journalist want with me?

The journalist: We journalists are legal information brokers. So it is obvious what I’d like, missy.

The scene turns black and white and a familiar thought pops up in Pandora’s mind.

Pandora: (inner monologue as she describes what is happening on the scene) If only it was a real stalker, murderer or a thief. I can see it now. I walk through a dark alley and suddenly somebody jumps at me with a knife in their hands. No matter how skilled of a fighter you are, you are certain to get cut. He would say “give me all your money and I’ll let you live”. Naturally, having given all the money I had to Shinzo’s family, I would reply with “I don’t have anything on me!”. Pissed off, the man would continue with: “Hmph, looking at you, you’re quite a cutie. Strip for me.” He would come close to me and rip apart my t-shirt with his knife, unfortunately cutting me in the process. I start bleeding from my tummy but he doesn’t care. He tells me to turn around. And then he tastes the fruit from my forbidden, untouched garden. Paralyzed by fear of what is going on, I just silently comply with whatever he does. He takes his belt off and he starts choking me from behind with it. As I lose my breath and will to fight back, I collapse. He chokes me to death while tasting the fruit of my forbidden garden. Would Vulcan be jealous that somebody kept enjoying my body even when I was a corpse?

Pandora: Don’t call me that, arrogant boy. The name’s Pandora. Is this about my Father? (The Journalist smirks.)

Setting: At Pandora’s flat / 10th September 2022

Pandora and her parents are sitting in a living room. Mother brings a birthday cake and the whole family sings Happy Birthday song to Pandora. Pandora blows the candles that are in a shape of 17.

Pandora: Thank you very much! So? What’d you get me??

Father: You know, my political opponents are throwing dirt on my name and they ask for my resignation from the Ministry of Education. If they succeed in destroying my career, we will need to start living a humble life.

Mother: What your father is trying to say is that until you are completely healthy again, we will not spend money on needless things.

Pandora: Is my birthday a ‘needless thing’ to you?

Mother: No, sweetie. We just figured we would save the money on our reserve bank account for you and when the time comes, we will use it for your surgery, medicine, etc.

Pandora: Well, OK, I guess. Even though it is a little pathetic.

Mother: Honey, we-

Father: No, she is right. I am a failure as a Father. I hope your 18 birthday is much a bigger deal!

Pandora: And where’s Leon? Does big bro not care about his little sister’s birthday?

Mother: No, he needed to work. There was an issue with his partner so he went to the office in order to fix it.

Father: Your brother loves you very much even if he doesn’t show it. He gave us this letter that he wanted you to get on your birthday.

He passes a letter written by Leon to Pandora. She immediately starts to read it. As she reads it, she stands up and walks towards her room. She notices another writing on her door, similar to what she had in their old villa: “Pandora Box”. She continues reading the letter and a tear rolls down her cheek. Her Father shouts at her suddenly.

Father: Pandora!! Come here!

She wipes up her tears and comes back to the living room. There, Father and Mother are watching the TV. There is a reportage from the journalist that Pandora met and there is a small interview shown between him and Pandora. The title below says: “Minister of Education: loyal to the country’s law and citizens or loyal only to his daughter?” Pandora is asked questions.

Journalist: (in the TV) Does your father interfere with your studies in any way?

Pandora: Of course he does! He is my beloved daddy after all! He would do anything for me!

Journalist: What do you mean? Can you give me an example?

Pandora: Once he went to my school talking to my homeroom teacher because my grades were bad and I kept failing important tests. So after my daddy talked to my teacher, I don’t know how to explain it, but I aced the test even without studying! I was at the top of my class!

Father: Pandora, how could you???

In a fantasy, Pandora watches the iron-clad pillar representing her parents, the one that is connected to the statue where Pandora is shown as a little girl. There is not a single crack. A thunder tries to hit the pillar but nothing sways it. She tries to damage it by her bare hands but is unable to punch through the steel.

Pandora: I don’t know, they asked questions, I gave the answers.

Father’s phone starts ‘burning’ from all the phone calls he starts getting from his colleagues and journalists.

Father: This is bad… we’ll talk later, I gotta calm down the situation!

Pandora: Now or never~. Going out for a little while.

Setting: At the psychologist / present

Pandora: After that, I met with Benimaru in a restaurant. What a traumatic experience…

Setting: At the restaurant / 10th September 2022

Pandora comes to the very top of a fancy restaurant with an elevator. When she comes out, she immediately notices a chilling gaze with a creepy smile from across the room. Benimaru was waiting at the table already.

Pandora: Not sorry to keep you waiting~.

Benimaru: What a cheeky little girl. Please, have a seat. We have a lot to catch up on.

Pandora sits down and puts a tear gas on the table. Benimaru flinches upon seeing it.

Pandora: I won’t hesitate to use it~.

Benimaru: Tell me, why did you come looking for me after so long?

Pandora: It’s quite simple. I want you to get back together with my Mother.


B Kiddo