Chapter 12:

A Long Night

Would You Paint My Dunk

With embarrassment overwhelming me, I put my left hand on my chest, trying to calm down. I’m struggling to control my breath as I’m replying to her.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize I was being unmindful of you. I’m even embarrassed right now after I know what I just did.”

“I don’t know where to look. You and your abs. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!”

Following her reply, she also sent an emoticon of a bunny character mascot blushing. I just felt like I just got a jab in my chest.

I would die from a heart attack at this point.

Taking some deep breaths, I tried to calm myself down as I replied to her.

“Again, I’m sorry. Just delete the picture I sent you.”

I thought that would be the end of my suffering, but her next reply proved otherwise.

“No way! I’m saving it!”


The shock of reading her reply made me feel like I just received a finishing uppercut move in my chin. I tried to retaliate back by texting her back.

“No, no, no. Please delete it, I beg you!”

However, I didn’t realize that I had no chance from the beginning. She had me in the palm of her hand.

“Not by chance! I’ll treasure it!”


The boxing bell rang in my head as she knocked me out, the bed cushioned me as I laid my whole body in a resting posture.

I got up and sat on the bed, diverting the topic before my embarrassment escalated further.

“By the way, how is it for your first day of school?”

She quickly replied with an emoticon of a bunny character mascot shrugging, followed by this message:

“Well, not much. I had a few classes with the honor student. Every time the lecturer raises a question, she swiftly raises her hands and answers them all. I didn’t even have the time to think. Agh! But well, whatever, it’s nothing much.”

She chained her message with another.


“How about you? Come on, it isn't fair for me if I’m the only one sharing. Spill it to me. XD”

I pressed on an emoticon of a bear character mascot, sighing as I texted her back.

“It’s not my best day tbh, but not the worst either. I managed to slip into the basketball team, but only as a reserve player.”

She sent a bunny character mascot emoticon with a big ‘?’ text. The character’s eyes looked upward, and her right finger and thumb rested on her chin.

“What’s a reserve player? Sorry, I don’t know much about basketball.”

“Oh, it’s a position where a player is considered to have potential but not enough to play on the court. They will only play that player if one of the upper-rotation players cannot play in the match.”


She sent the same emoticon of a bunny character mascot with a big “?” text. Thinking she probably won’t understand basketball terms, I told her an analogy.

“To make it easier for you, think of a reserve player as an emergency consumable, ex: an emergency food in the fridge. You won’t eat it unless you have nothing to eat, right? So, reserve players also won’t play until an emergency happens.”

“Oh, sorry to hear that. I believe you were such a fit for the team. How come you didn’t make it, Keith?”

“You know, the competition was tight, I was overshadowed by more skilled players. If I want to move up on the rotation, either I have to beat a freshman who is taller and has more skill than me or my upperclassmen. It’s not easy.”

She sent an emoticon of a bunny character mascot, shocking. It seemed that she was shocked as well, sending a follow-up message quickly.

“What?! A freshman is even taller than you?! How tall is he?!”

“He is 6 foot 8 inches, while I’m 6 foot 6 inches, two inches short.”

“OMG! He is so tall.”

“Yeah, kind of. He even made me change my position in basketball. Well, it can’t be helped. I guess I have to practice more. Who knows? Maybe I can get to the bench before the regional competition roster that will be announced later.”

“Keith, I’ll root for you. Good luck! You can make it!”

I snorted, giggling at the fact that she supported me even though she didn’t know many things about basketball. Feeling her sincerity, I sent an emoticon with a big “Thank You!” text.

Considering that this conversation was only about my basketball club, I quickly steered away from the topic.

“Jessica, how about you? Do you have something interesting to tell me? Well, if you don’t mind, of course.”

“Sure, I don’t mind. I’m actually glad that I have someone to dump my rants into.”

“Ha-ha-ha. Feel free to tell me. It will relieve your stress to some extent, at least.”

“So, imagine that the girls in my class were discussing discotic bars, nightclubs, or something. I heard they wanted to try hooking up with some handsome men.”


I was shocked by this revelation. Never once had I imagined that the girls could be wild like this. Before I could finish my reply, she sent another message to me.

“I mean, I get it. We are already at a drinking age, and they wanted some fun, but talking in the class about that… Oh, my gawd. So shameless, lol.”

“Really? Did the girls in your class really say that? I thought only boys do that, trying to hook up in those kinds of bars and nightclubs.”

“YES! That’s exactly what I thought too! I thought that only playboys would get to the nightclub to hook up, but us girls as well? Ew! Even I wouldn’t imagine myself going there. Seriously, I can’t fathom why they would do that.”

“Ha-ha-ha. Oh, well. Jessica, I don’t think we should judge them. It’s safe for me to say that unless it involves you, you shouldn’t worry about that. Well, unless you are like them, which I don’t think you are.”

“OMG! If I just like them, I’m probably already drunk and wasted there, unable to text you like this.”

“Oh, you actually imagine yourself going there for once.”

“Ah, no! Now I can't stop imagining. This is your fault! Asdasdasd”

I laughed as we kept texting each other in the night, talking about random stuff.

Unbeknownst to me, the moon has reached its apex in the midst of midnight.

As we were texting each other, I glanced at the phone clock.

Holy Crap! It’s already Tuesday! I need to sleep ASAP!

Feeling the need to end our chat here and call it a day, I texted her.

“Hey, we are texting too much now. It’s already Tuesday!”

“Oh, Keith, you are right! I have to go now. Cya, Keith!”

Following that message, she sent an emoticon of a bunny character mascot waving goodbye.


Knowing that I probably can’t wake up tomorrow, I set my phone alarm to six o’clock, five past six, and ten past six, respectively. In the case I slept through one, I’d have two more to wake me up. That’s what I thought.

Under the radiance of the full-bloomed moon, I laid my head on my bed and closed my eyes, attempting to sleep. Slowly, I dozed off, entering the realm of dreams.

It was a long night, indeed.

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