Chapter 16:

The Girl With The Curves

Corruptions Are Best Exposed In The Autumn!

“Hey Kai, mind if you look after Sesame for tonight?” Lora asked while putting her coat on.

“Sure!” I bluntly replied without even processing her words. I couldn’t stop shaking, thinking about the surprise I was going to show Rin tonight; every goosebump on my body was activated.


“What?!” I jolted up after taking out the muffins from the oven. “Wait, Lora, I-”

“Honey, Kai said that he’ll take care of Sesame tonight!” Lora was already over at the front door, telling Julian who was wiping the tables.

“Great, thanks Kai.”

“Wait, where are you two going?!” I asked, walking out to the front to give chase. I can’t take care of this stupid cat tonight!

“Meow!” Sesame slashed against my ankle, as if he read my mind.

“Ugh, quit it, you little shit!”

“Meeeoooww!” The cat then pounced against the back of my legs, throwing me head-first into the hot muffins on the counter.

“Shit!” I screamed as the sizzling heat of the treats scorched my face. “That hurts! Stupid cat, why are you so-”

“Jeez, Kai, what’s going on here?” Lily emerged from the restroom, and picked Sesame up from the ground, who purred in joy. “Lora, you said you and Julian are planning to go on a small trip?”

“We’re going on a small trip to the hot springs tonight for our honeymoon!” Lora explained with her mittens caressing her cheeks. I had never seen such a large smile on her face before.

“Oh,” I muttered and held my hands together in front. “I see, that’s great! Hope you two enjoy it!”

While the grin between my cheeks shined strongly at Lora and Julian, the only question boggling my mind was:

Fuck, how am I going to take care of this stupid cat?!

“Sesame’s cage is in the storage room as usual,” Julian instructed. He walked over with his arms crossed and towered over me like a dinosaur. “We left a litter box for you to use next to it. Don’t forget to feed him later tonight, okay?”

“Okay,” I muttered, unable to refuse once Julian’s piercing glare reached the edges of my soul.

“Kai, where’s the new bag of coffee beans I brought out earlier?” Lily asked while tapping my shoulder.

“Oh, it’s right…” I paced over to the espresso counter, but just when I hovered my head over the opening, a weird smell seeped out. “Are you fucking kidding me.”

Another cinnamon swirl-shaped piece of poo sat right in the middle, causing me to clog my nose.

“Meeoooow,” Sesame hopped on the counter next to me, his eyes sparkling under the café chandeliers. I could see a smile just hiding beneath those cheeky whiskers.

“Goddammit Sesame, not again.”

Glancing around the kitchen, I breathed a sigh of relief as I confirmed that no new brews of coffee were made within the last hour. It was only minutes from closing time in the shop, and since it was a Friday, the café was empty.

“Welp, today’s the day, huh?” Lily placed her hand on my shoulder after taking off her apron. “I’d come, but I have to study for a midterm next week.”

“No problem, I’ll tell you how it goes after,” I replied, picking Sesame up and scratching behind his ears and petting his back.

“Still…” Lily petted Sesame together with me. “I can’t believe that Gio guy used to operate the physio clinic for the Febai women’s soccer team. No wonder you’ve been begging him to borrow his phone and everything.”

Before I could answer, the bells above our café door chimed one last time and the door slammed shut. Lora and Julian had left without even saying goodbye. One second after another, my worries piled up.

“Fuck, how am I going to take care of Sesame?!” I glared down at the cat, whose orange eyes glistened under the hanging light.

“Dude, don’t be stupid. Just leave him here,” Lily smirked. “Aren’t cats pretty independent anyways?”

“Are you kidding me?!” I retaliated. “If Julian found out, he’d kill me! Besides, why can’t you guys just help take care of -”

“My mom is allergic,” Lily interrupted while flicking my forehead. “No can do.”

“Ow! Ugh, fine.”

I got back to cleaning the poo out of the new bag of beans while letting out endless sighs. If I were to make it on time for my rendezvous tonight, I would have to hurry up.

“Well, I’ll be off first. See ya.”

“Wait, Lily!” I placed Sesame on the ground, letting him dart out of the kitchen. “I have to tell you something.”

“Hmm?” Lily already had her black beanie and coat on, ready to skedaddle. “You sure know how to keep people hostage.”

Grabbing my phone and loading up an email which Gio sent me, I walked out of the counter to where she was waiting. “You’re studying for med school, right? Do you want to volunteer for one of Gio’s physio clinics to gain some experience?”

I flashed out the screen of my phone at her, showing the email.

“Wait,” Lily, blinking rapidly while staring at my phone, had her jaw drop to the floor. “Are…are you serious?!”

“Yeah,” I slotted my phone back into my pocket. “Just send him your resume and transcript. I’ll forward you the email later.”

Screaming at the top of her lungs, Lily jumped for joy, banging her shoulder against the door. The jingle bells fell from the top -


- and shattered all over the café floor into a million pieces, flying as far as the opposite wall. Even Sesame shrieked a loud meow from behind the counter.

“Shit!” Lily shouted. “Lora’s going to kill me for this.”

“Fucking hell!” I pushed aside several tables and chairs and grabbed the broom. “I’ll clean this, don’t worry.”

“Wait, are you sure?! I can help-”

“Yeah, it’s fine, I still have an hour from my meeting time. I can take the bus.”

“Well, o-okay then,” Lily glanced at me one more time before leaving. “You’re quite the opposite of the bad person I thought you were when we first met. I take back everything bad I’ve said about you. I’m sorry for all that.”

I couldn’t help but grin while brushing the wooden floor. “Jeez, just get a move on, already.”

After Lily left the café, I made sure to brush every inch of the floor; our jingle bell was engulfed by a thin glass globe, which was why it was so fragile. Finally, once I poured the pieces from the dustpan to the trash, someone knocked on the door.

Hmm? I thought, scratching my head. The café is already closed, who could it be?

I walked out of the kitchen and saw who was there through the windows.

“Wait, why are they here?!”

If it were normal customers, I would have shooed them away. I ran to the door to let my temporary roommates into the café: Eleanor and Leo.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked. They’ve never visited me at my workplace before, so their appearance was old.

“Ah, so this is where you work,” Eleanor rubbed her chin with her fingers, observing the interior. I swear, every gesture she did was weird, considering her quiet voice. “We came to let you know that as of today, we’re moving out of your room.”

It was my time to jump for joy. “You are?!”

“Stop getting excited, you moron!” yelled Leo, who karate kicked my stomach, causing me to slam into a nearby table and knocking it down.


“By the way,” Eleanor, with her hands behind her back as usual, smiled back at me. “I came to tell you that my father owns all the companies who manufacture the coffee machines here. He also owns the companies who import the coffee beans used in your drinks.”

“Huh?” I froze while struggling up. “Wait, what?!”

“You heard me,” she continued. “My father’s company basically has a monopoly over all the coffee supply chains in Febai, which your café relies on.”

“But don’t worry, we won’t do anything bad!” Leo added with a wide smirk across his face. His snapback made him look like your typical grade school bully.

“Jeez…” I finally got back on my feet and massaged my lower back, noticing a small bruise. “Well, okay then, as long as nothing happens.”

“The sun sure has been setting quite early these days,” Eleanor grabbed Leo by the hand and opened the door. “Well, even though we won’t be living with you anymore, we will definitely see each other again. Until next time.”

The door then slammed shut as the two siblings exited the café. Not a moment during her visit did Eleanor show a frown.

Just what is she planning? I thought, and then glanced up at the clock on the wall, which was in-between various hanging plants.

Wait, it’s 6 PM already?!

“Shoot, I’m going to be late!”

I dashed back to the storage room to grab my coat and my backpack, which was more filled than usual. Before I could dart past the counter, my eyes thankfully caught the open bag of coffee beans, which was still home to Sesame’s shit.

“God, fucking hell,” I cursed under my breath while tying the bag up and dragging it from behind to the back door where the trash was. I then ran back inside and found Sesame who was curled up in a ball in the corner of the storage room next to his cage and litter box.

“Okay buddy,” I leaned down next to him, and opened the cage. “I guess I have no choice but to take you with me tonight.”

Sesame tilted his head at me and hissed. He then dashed away into the kitchen, prompting me to give chase.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing, stupid furball!”

In every spot I searched in the café, all I could find was Sesame’s wagging tail or long whiskers poking out from random corners. “Ugh, I don’t have time for this!”

My head was getting dizzy from all the spinning around as I gave chase, as if I had just come out of a rollercoaster. Soon, his tail had disappeared.

“Shit, where did you go now?!”

Instead of going back to the kitchen, I turned around at the windows next to the entrance, hoping to find him hidden behind the curtains.

“Hey, how did you…”

Instead, Sesame was outside, staring back at me through the glass door. I glanced at the closest possible answer:

Oh shit.

One of the windows was still open.

“Just what kind of customer would open this window when it’s been so cold outside?!”

Grabbing my coat and flipping my bag onto my back, I stormed out the door to chase Sesame, who ran down the crosswalk leading into Febai Park.

“Sesame, stop! It’s dangerous!” I yelled, but to no avail.

Wait, I got an idea!

Taking off my bag and unzipping it, I took out a black and white soccer ball.

“Here, chase this!” I yelled, throwing the ball down the patches of grass near the park entrance, where I hoped Sesame would run.

“Meow!” he shouted and pounced at the ball.

I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. This was my only chance of making it to the stadium on time.

Despite it only being 6 PM, the sky was already filled by a blanket of darkness, with twinkling dots spreading across the horizon. Sesame trampled down the grass of Febai park, where I continuously kicked the ball.

“Meow meow!” shrieked Sesame again, dashing past various trees and crowds of people, who directed their eyes at us. All I could do was ignore the constant gazes while chasing the cat, letting Sesame claw at it like a ball of yarn.

“We’re going to be barely on time!” I yelled while running as fast as I could. If only I exercised more…

From one block to another, Sesame and I barely dodged the various branches and cars which filled most of our path to Febai College. Occasionally, I would slow down my pace to catch my breath, but as soon as I saw Sesame diverting away from the path, I had no choice but to run like the wind again.

Ugh, c’mon, we’re almost there!

Finally after the marathon, the cat and I made it into the campus grounds of Febai College, where I saw Rin waiting in front of the tall black gate. My lungs and heart were about to explode, and I leaned against the brick walls next to the gate while trudging my feet.

As expected, Rin was wearing her usual brown coat and black leggings. This time, instead of boots, she donned a pair of white running shoes. Her eyes stuck to her wrist, probably checking her watch. The way she was dressed made me guess she came from her own home for this rendezvous I planned.

Once Sesame and I finally reached only a few yards away, I caught the corner of her view, and I knew what she was about to say.

“You’re late!” shouted Rin, with her hands gripping her hips in disapproval. “Care to explain what you’re trying to do?”

Every time I saw her, no matter what face she wore, I couldn’t help but smile. Kicking the ball through the gate -

“Follow me and the cat!” I replied in-between my panting, grabbing her hand. “I have something to show you at the stadium field.”

It was time to show her my surprise.

“Wait, why do you have a soccer ball?!” she asked while letting me hold her hand while running. This time, I didn’t glance back at her to see if she was blushing or not. “And isn’t that the cat from your café?!”

“It’s mine! I thought I’d bring it with me on this occasion!”

“The cat is yours?!”

“No!” I laughed as we headed closer to the stadium. “I meant the ball!”

Campus appeared emptier than last time I visited; Rin told me that exam season had just started, so most students were studying at home since classes were finished. The lack of students across the stone pathways made the various castle-like buildings look ancient and uninhabitable. Even the main tower in the center seemed lifeless, without a single spark of light shining from inside.

The soccer field itself was always covered by its four stadium lights until midnight, so its lime grass was glowing as brightly as when I last saw it.

Except this time -

“Wait, what’s that noise and laughter?” asked Rin as we neared the same white building next to the field, which contained the dugout.

I grinned, hardly containing my excitement. Instead of answering, I replied with:

“Why don’t you shoot the ball over into the field? That way the cat will chase it, and we won’t lose him.”

“S-Sure…” she answered, and I passed the ball to her feet with Sesame watching intensely, keeping his legs tight against his body to ready another pounce.

Taking a few steps back from the ball, Rin then leaped forward with her left foot while lifting her right foot behind. She then stomped her left foot onto the stone pavement and struck the ball with her right.

Wait, why is she aiming for the wall and not the entrance to the dugout? I thought, watching from the side. But perhaps that thought lurked within my mind too soon; the ball curved as it launched into the air like a shooting star traveling across the sky, and what seemed like too right of a shot ended up being the perfect angle. Did I mention that despite the curve the shot produced, the ball blasted through the air like a bullet?

“There, now are you happy?” Rin asked with a hand on her waist.

A drop of sweat fell from my head. I could hardly react. “Ahaha yup, that’s the shot of a women’s team captain, alright.”

“Well, I play professionally, and you don’t,” Rin muttered with a flush of red across her cheeks and nose. “Anyways, why are you making me do -”

Her voice drifted into the air, perhaps frozen in shock from who appeared from the entrance of the dugout.

Holding the ball in his hands was Mr. Meyer, who donned his old jersey which I gave him the other night. With enough light coming from the stadium, I could make out his signature on the bottom.

Out followed 8 more women, all sporting the same red jersey as Mr. Meyer, but each with their individual numbers behind their back and on their black shorts. Everyone had long black socks with shin pads underneath, and colorful soccer boots ranging from sky blue to pink.

“Everyone... Coach Meyer, Rose, Jade… why are you all back here?”

“Rin!” Rose waved her hand in the air as she emerged from the dugout. “Let’s play a game. There’s 10 of us, so we can play five-a-side!”

“But why are you here just to play a simple game?”

“Well…” Rose pointed at me. “This guy dialed us in a borderline illegal way, and found Coach Meyer somehow as well. He begged us to come back to play one more game to cheer you up, Rin.”

Rin brought both hands to her face, covering half of it as tears began forming around her eyes. Her knees were bent, and I swear they would’ve dropped if I just touched them.

Instead, I tapped her shoulders, which were shrugged as she cried. “Care to play a match in the Park of Life?” I asked, holding out my whistle. “I’m sure it’ll knock some life back into you. I'll ref this game, and make sure it’s done fairly this time.”