Chapter 17:

Steady Momentum

Annika Says No!

“Life’s tough. You must be going through a lot of things, aren’t you? I may not know what your problems are, but just know that I’m cheering you on. For now, it’s time for you to forget about it for a while and take a rest. Allow me to comfort your soul. I’ll do my best to soothe your stress.”

“Thank you, ‘The Girl and the ASMR’.”

I've had countless sleepless nights for the past few weeks. The agony of having to get through the day without any vices was almost unbearable. Deep down inside, my very own body had long craved to indulge in those things again. My tongue craved for the taste of alcohol, my nostrils yearned for the smell of tobacco, and the monster hidden deep beneath my pants had long desired to be unleashed.

If it were not for her gentle whispers, I might have lost my mind by now.

As usual, the lady proceeded to use her tools to create the most mesmerizing sounds. Ever since I made it a habit to listen to her videos every night, I had repeatedly familiarized myself with most of the items she used. I’ve done it so frequently to the point where I could recognize which item she used based on the sound it made.

The brushing of a fluffy microphone, the gentle splashes of water from a container, clicky taps from pieces of wood, cotton swabs that seemed to penetrate through my ears, the crunches of a sponge, and the occasional subtle breaths of air, all these sounds flowed into my ears like a sea of varying waves, but what always stood out the most to me was the sound of her fluttering heartbeat.

It was truly as if I could hear her very soul, like we had formed a connection with each other.

I’ve thought about this for a long time.

The biggest reason behind why I only listened to videos from ‘The Girl and the ASMR’.

Her voice greatly resembled that of Annika’s. Frighteningly so. It took me back to the old days, where I used to fall asleep on her soft lap, and she would whisper sweet nothings to me as she caressed my hair. The further I progressed through my journey of abstinence, the more core memories of the past had resurfaced back into the open.

It was as if the vices had blinded me from the reality of my life. All the drinking parties, the smoking sessions, the sexual conquests, they had all distracted me from what truly mattered in my life.

When exactly did I become this way? Why did I change? Why did I stop being the little Kwan that she loved? Why did I break that promise? How did it all begin?

All these questions were pointless to ask. I know the answers. I know exactly where it started. But there’s no point in dwelling in the past.

I won’t ever see ‘her’ again.

I’m moving on to the future and I’m going to be a better man for Annika!

And so I did.

In the morning, I jumped out of bed and immediately started taking a shower. The cold water rained down on my skin like a rushing blizzard, which got my blood pumping and my mind ready to start a new day. After getting dressed, I fixed my hair and waited for a few minutes until a knock on my door came.


I let out my usual cocky grin and proceeded to open the door.

“Good morning…..Kwan….?”

The angelic beauty greeted me on the doorstep with her mouth agape.

“What is it? Have you finally fallen for me again?” I rested my forearm on the door frame.

“No.” She gave me a look of annoyance. “It’s just….you’re usually gloomy in the morning.”

“Well,” I placed my finger on my chin. “I realized that a pretty girl like you always greets me every morning and I’m always taking it for granted. You’ve given me a reason to smile more, Annika.”

Annika looked away and pouted. “Q-Quit teasing. Why are you suddenly like this?”

“It’s in my nature to be this charming. Don’t question it.” I winked at her.

“You mischievous brat,” she muttered.

During my classes, I figured out a way to take notes without losing my attention. Instead of the traditional way of writing down notes with a pen and paper, I decided to invest in a tablet and brought my mechanical keyboard to take notes instead.

“Woah…it really does work wonders for someone like you,” Annika said.

“You should try it.” I smiled as I made clicking sounds with the keyboard. “It’s really satisfying to the ears.”

“I’m fine with doing things old-school.”

“Ok, granny.”

Annika rolled her eyes and looked away.

The rest of the day had pretty much been smooth-sailing so far. Time seemed to pass by without any issue, and before I knew it, we were dismissed.

“Kwan!” Max skipped towards me and Annika. “Why don’t we all eat out at the Lyons Mall for tonight?”

“I haven’t been there before, but I heard the place was one of the biggest wonders of UniverCity!” I said. “We don’t have any assignments for the day, so now would be a great time to visit. What do you think, Annika?”

“I’d like to go there as well. It would be nice if we could go on a shopping spree!”

I grimaced. I forget women are creatures who are into that sort of thing.

“Hey, what’s with that look on your face?” Annika tugged on my shirt.

“Shopping is….not really my specialty.”

“Yeah.” Max shrugged. “The guy would rather bring a girl to the bedroom than bring her to a shopping mall.”

True. But please shut up.

“What?” Annika tilted her head.

“I-I don’t really mind, as long as you enjoy yourself!” I chuckled, before giving Max a sharp glare.

“All right. Let’s get going then! Since you’re both gonna go shop with me, I’ll pay for your dinners!”

“Huh?!” Max and I said in unison.

Annika walked past us with a humming tune.

“The boss is quite generous, don’t you think?” Max laughed.

“She doesn’t have to go out of her way to do that all the time…..”

F.C Fondness