Chapter 21:

One piece of the puzzle

The Day I Forgot About You

The two brothers walked side by side, the night colder than before when Neo was heading to the party, their breaths visible in the frigid air, the cutting wind whistling. The sky shone with various sparkling stars. Only the sound of their footsteps could be heard. The lack of other sounds made Neo feel as if he were alone in the entire world; it was just him and Leo in that exact moment.

"I saw you dancing; I didn't imagine you would win, but still, congratulations!" Leo said, lightly applauding him.

"All thanks to the training I did with our sister, do you remember?" Neo asked.

"Yeah, I laughed a lot at the beginning, you guys were stumbling like crazy." Leo chuckled softly, remembering those special moments.

"But we got good quickly, at least. Maybe I have a natural talent for dancing that I didn't know about," Neo joked.

As his brother remembered Neo dancing, he recalled something that he hadn't been aware of.

"About the dance, I was curious about something. Who was the blonde girl? I don't know her, and I don't remember you talking to her before."

Neo smiled, a little embarrassed, as he thought about all the moments he had spent with her. When she sang in the infirmary. When she made that gesture on his first day of class. When he had dinner at her house. And now when they were dancing.

"Her name is Saya, she's in my class. I never imagined I would meet a girl as sweet as her."

Leo smiled, seeing that his brother was happy. But slowly, his expression changed to one of confusion.

"I thought you were going to marry Yume."

Neo mirrored Leo's expression of confusion and asked, "Who is Yume?"

"It seems you don't remember, this is going to be a real problem."

"Leo, who is Yume?" Neo asked, frustrated.

"Before you lost your memories, I think you were in love with her. Well, you never told me anything, but I deduced it over time."

Neo felt a void in his chest; Professor Rogério's words came to his mind. Without his memories, he was a shell of what he had been before. Would that mean that if he remembered what he had lived before everything, he would stop loving Saya?

Silence hung in the air as Neo thought about his past and realized he needed to say something to his brother, something he had promised a long time ago.

"Leo, thank you for helping me before by giving me the keys to the school."

His younger brother's eyes widened upon hearing the gratitude. At first, he didn't understand why he was receiving it, but gradually he remembered that day.

"It was nothing; I couldn't let my brother sleep in the rain. I'm sorry I can't help you more."

"I think what you did is enough. Look at me, I'm here, doing well and prospering." Neo said, filling his lungs with air and opening his arms as if he were grandiose.

Leo, on the other hand, looked at him with suspicion instead of admiration. "And how's the job going?"

Neo exhaled and dropped his arms as his charade was discovered. "Okay, that's a problem..." He felt a pang of sadness, realizing that the money Karine had given him would only last a few more weeks.

"If you want, I can help you with that. There's an old family friend who needs help with his restaurant, and you can work there."

Neo thought carefully about what he had heard and asked, "Hey, wait, how do you know I'm looking for a job?"

Leo sighed, preparing to tell him the truth, choosing his words carefully. "Our father asked me to keep an eye on you, but he didn't allow me to have contact with you."

"What do you mean?"

"I helped you behind his back, even today's conversation is theoretically hidden from him. Our father can't know we're talking." Leo requested.


"It seems you don't remember him, do you?"

As Neo thought about his father, he felt a mild sense of disdain. But beyond that, he couldn't remember his face or what he was like.


Leo sighed again. "Maybe it's better that way. You don't get along very well, especially after what happened."

"Can't you tell me everything that happened?"

Leo's eyes grew distant as he thought about the past. "I want to tell you everything, you have no idea, just like I did last time." His eyes welled up with tears as he tightly closed his lips. "But I don't want you to disappear again."

"I won't disappear," Neo said, placing a hand on his brother's shoulder.

He then removed his hand gently. "You don't understand, every time someone tried to tell you the truth, you couldn't handle it and disappeared, for weeks."

"That's not true." Neo said with absolute conviction that he was right, but deep down, he began to doubt himself. His tense shoulders relaxed in protest as he spoke, "Isn't it?"

Leo shook his head negatively.

"Carolina said the shock was so great that you still haven't accepted what happened and that you need time. The gradual return of your memories would be a way for your body to slowly heal from the psychological damage."

The two stopped walking when they reached the dormitory. Neo realized he wouldn't get many answers from his brother, so he returned to the question that had initiated the conversation in the first place.

"If you can't answer about that, then what did you come to ask me?"

Leo thought for a moment before asking, choosing his words carefully.

"Do you know anything about a code?"

"A code?" Neo asked, confused.

"Yeah, Dad is looking for something like a code. He expects that we, his children, know something about it."

"Unfortunately, I don't know anything."

Leo still wasn't sure about what he would hear. "Are you sure? Code, clue, any key? Anything?"

Neo thought if anything was different with him when he woke up, his mind wandered, searching and searching, but failed to find anything.


Leo visibly relaxed.

"Better that way. I don't know anything, and it seems our sister doesn't either. He hasn't been convinced of that yet."

"So, do you think he'd come after me?"

"Exactly. And his methods are questionable, so I came to warn you."

"Got it, thanks."

"He's starting to lose patience. If he considers you as an option, I'll try to convince him that you don't know anything."

Leo hugged his brother before leaving.

"Good to see you, Brother."

"I feel the same."

He smiled and turned his back, taking three steps toward the street. Neo turned to enter the dormitory when he felt that a missing piece of the puzzle was still there.

"Wait, Leo. There's one more thing I wanted to ask."

He turned to Neo, smiling. "What?"

"You've talked so much about our father, and it made me think of something. Where is our mother?"

Leo's smile quickly faded with the question, while Neo looked on with curious eyes. Leo's expression turned to one of pain. He turned away and disappeared into the darkness of the night.

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