Chapter 3:


Annika Says No!

This can’t be real………this can’t be real!

Why is Annika here?

Beads of sweat flew off from my face as I sprinted through the riverbank. A tightness persisted on my chest, and my breathing had become erratic, bursting out short shaky puffs of air from my mouth. Cramping pains tormented the back of my legs. They screamed at me to stop, but I screamed at them back.

I won’t let her see me again, no matter what!

“Get back here, Kwan!”


I looked back in horror, as the white-haired lady chased right behind my tail.

“G-Get away from me, I’m not the one you’re looking for! Who the hell is that Kwan guy anyway?!”

“Stop lying! You’re definitely Kwan!”

“No way!”

The next thing I knew, a white blur zoomed past my side and blocked my path. I screamed as I saw her figure in front of me and came to a full stop. Just as I was about to take a step back and turn around, she yelled at me.

“Are you really just going to leave me again?!”

My body froze. I quivered my lips and sighed. I slowly turned my head back to look at her face, only to be run over by a train of guilt. Her eyes had turned into a misty crystal blue, clearly on the verge of breaking into tears. She grasped her fists and trembled in place.

“Are we just supposed to pretend,” her voice softened. “that there was never anything special between us?”

I looked down in silence.

What am I doing? Why am I running away? She’s the most amazing girl I’ve ever met, she doesn’t deserve to be treated like this.

I gritted my teeth and slapped myself in the face.


“I’m sorry, Annika,” I prostrated myself on the floor. “But I don’t deserve your attention anymore!”

Annika responded with a wave of silence. Then, I heard the sound of footsteps grow closer to me. Leaning my head a little bit upwards, I came face to face with her white rubber shoes.

“I broke our promise. There’s no point in wasting your time with me,” I muttered.

“Please get up, the floor is dirty,” she said.

“It’s all right. I’ve become dirty anyway. I am one with the dirt.”

“Can you please just stand up already?”

“You don’t get it, Annika!” I shook my head vigorously. “It wasn’t just one girl! Not two, not three or even four. I’ve slept with one hundred girls! One! Hundred!”

I squeezed my eyes shut. The air between us fell silent, which was definitely not a good sign. She’s probably going to lash out at me any second now……..

Any second now……

No response?

“Stand. Up.”

I instantly stood up, which showed a clear difference in height. Her forehead barely reached the tip of my chin, which was rather convenient for me, since our eye levels didn’t meet. I expected her to scream at my face, but instead, she tried to reach my head with her hand. I watched her struggle as she tipped her toes to get her hand up, before finally sticking the landing.

“Look at you,” she patted my head. “You’ve grown so tall. I can’t believe it!”

“Stop babying me like that, I’m not your little brother….” I blushed.

“Sorry, I just can’t help it!” Annika let out an innocent smile.

I guess this isn’t so bad.

Just when I was about to let out a smile, my brain decided to snap me back to reality.

I moved her hand away and stepped back.

“N-No! Stop! Didn’t you hear what I just said?”

She winced. “I heard you.”

Despite saying those words, she closed in and gave me a hug.

“Even so, I still missed you.”

Annika’s actions startled me, but I began to feel a hit of nostalgia. Her body gave off a welcoming warmth, surrounding me with a loving embrace. It was just like how we used to be back then. I awkwardly placed my hands around her back and grinned.

“I…..missed you too.”

But I frowned shortly after and gently pushed her away.

“I’ll be going now,” I hung my head down and turned away.


It’s better this way. I don’t deserve to be in her life. Not after what I have become. Not after how I wronged her. She’s better off without me.

“Don’t go….”

There’s no turning back now. What’s done is done. I can’t change the pas-


I felt two fingers squeeze my left cheek from behind.

“Get back here, you stupid Kwan!” Annika said, dragging me back with her grip.

“T-That hurts! Let go!”

“I’m not letting go until you stop leaving!”


I grabbed her arm and pulled it away. Annika’s face squirmed and her body leaned back in response. I was wondering why she gave me such a reaction, then I realized that my hand had squeezed her arm too tightly.

“Sorry!” I let go of her arm.

Annika looked away from me and massaged her hurt arm. Her lips tucked together, not giving off a single word. Why did she still drag me back here? Does she not get it?

I gritted my teeth and inhaled deeply.

“I’m not the same good boy Kwan you used to know!” I gave her the biggest smile I could muster. “I’ve smoked packs everyday, played with the feelings of many women, drunk myself to a hangover several times, sent a bunch of people to the hospital, and even tried out some illegal drugs! Your parents were right. I’ve become wicked, Annika. And I love it!”

I confessed all my sins to her like she was a priest and roared with immense laughter.

“And what are you going to do about it now?” she responded in a nonchalant tone.


A monster slap smacked against my cheek. It was no ordinary slap. It was Annika’s signature slap. Her hand swung with a solid force strong enough to bend my chest over. To think that she would actually use it on me for the first time, I truly have fallen so far. My head spun around from the powerful blow, and an aching handmark probably left its imprint on my face.

“Are you telling me that you’re going to stay like this forever?!”

“What can I do? It’s too late for me now,” I said as I caressed my cheek.

“Shut up!” she yelled at me. “It’s never too late to change!”

She stomped her way closer to me and grabbed my chin.

“I won’t ever forgive you for what you’ve done….” she glared at my face, her crystal blue eyes on the verge of tears.

I looked away in shame.

“Look me in the eyes, Kwan!”

I forced myself to drag my eyes over to her own, but instead, they went over to her chest.

“Wrong way, idiot!” she squished my face with her hands and dragged it just an inch close to her own face. Now, my eyes had nowhere to go.

“I-Isn’t it a bit too close?” I felt heat building up on my cheeks.

“I don’t care. Just look at me, Kwan. I won’t let you get away from this unpunished.”

I see how it is. She wants revenge. I don’t blame her. If we had switched roles, I would have done the same. I deserve whatever happens to me.

“Listen up. As punishment for breaking our promise, there is only one thing I ask of you.”

“I’ll do whatever you say,” I said. “Hurt me however you like. I can take it.”

“Whatever I say?” Annika raised an eyebrow.

I nodded. “Whatever you say.”

“Ok then. Look me in the eyes and promise me to abstain from all vices.”

“All right-wait what?!”

“Yes,” Annika gave me a smug grin and whispered into my ears. “That includes everything. Sex, drugs, smoking, violence, alcohol and whatever devious stuff you’ve been doing for the past years.”

I looked away and gulped down my throat. “W-Well, ya know…..promises aren’t exactly reliable so, what’s the point?”

“Then swear it.”

“S-Swear? That still counts as a promise!”

“Why are you being so stubborn?” She tightened her squeeze on my face.


“Can’t you do it…..just for me?”

Blue eyes. I can’t help but sink under those deep, precious blue eyes. She was practically begging for it at this point. Biting my lip, I decided to strengthen my resolve.

Man up, Kwan! Have you forgotten who you are? You’re The Kwan Kalor! The man who’s ready to take on all of UniverCity! I’m HIM! I have to be!

“I’ll do it! I swear to abstain from all vices!” I set one knee on the floor and placed my arms on my chest.

“Very good,” Annika nodded.

“Tomorrow!” I exclaimed.

Annika squinted her eyes towards me and crossed her hands on her chest.


Mario Nakano 64
Syed Al Wasee
F.C Fondness