Chapter 39:

Would You Paint My Dunk

Would You Paint My Dunk

Soon, it was time for me to give her my response. It would be rude of me if I just left her hanging like that. I took her hands and looked at her.

“Jess, it’s alright. I don’t think much of what already happened. It’s already turned into history. What matters is what you will do from now on. You have already taken my heart away since the Halloween event, and I hope you continue to do so.”

Her eyes were brimming with happiness. She held my hand back and gently shook them once.

“Keith, I promise you that I will do my best. While I’m inexperienced in this thing, I promise that I’ll love you forever.”

“Hmm… Jess, I thought you are experienced with this. And here I am expecting you to teach me about love...”

Before I could finish my sentence, she snorted.

“Lol. I guess birds of a feather flock together, huh?”

We laughed out loudly, ignoring everyone around us.

After a while, we calmed down, and I remembered about my own commitment to confess to her.

But the thing is, she went first, and I already accepted her confession. So now, it would be pointless to make another confession, unless…

Well, better to be embarrassed than to have a regret. I have to do it.

“Jess, I know that you already confessed, but I wouldn’t be satisfied if I didn’t say my piece.”

“Men’s pride, huh? Okay, just say whatever and be done with it.”

“Okay. Here it goes.”

I took a deep breath before continuing.

“Jess, would you… Paint my dunk?”

“Yes… Wait WHAT?!? What are you saying?”

She looked completely shocked. Her eyes were wide open as she looked at me. Meanwhile, I tried to make her calm down before explaining everything to her.

“Jess, I couldn’t say ‘Would you be my girlfriend’ when we already became a couple, right? Considering you sought painting so much, I thought you wanted to be a painter as your career, so let me...”

Before I could finish my sentence, she interrupted again. It seems it's not easy to change her old habits.

“Keith, I'll gladly paint your striking pose anytime. You didn’t have to ask me this.”

“Right,” I nodded. “But what I’m trying to imply is, I want to support your career as a man. So, I’m proposing that you should keep pursuing your career while I pursue mine. I promise you this: Once I get drafted and signed a professional contract, I’ll court you. That way, I could support you financially as you can keep painting without worries...”

“Hold on, hold on!” She gave me a stop sign. “Keith, we barely just started, and you already thought of marriage? We even didn’t introduce each other to our parents, and here you are jumping the gun. Talk about being extreme.”

“Ha-ha. Well, I am thinking about our future. I want to make you happy, now and then. So yeah…”

“Seriously Keith, you are being unfair. That’s it! I can’t hold back anymore.”

“What do you mean by hol…”

Suddenly, she grabbed my cheeks and pulled my head closer to her. And as you guessed, she went for a kiss.

Under the feeling of her soft and delicate lips, there was a huge firework exploding behind us, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. It’s precisely like the romance scenes in movies, as if the entire universe is cheering us with their own ways.

With the mood swinging that way, she embraced me passionately, just as if she was in a heat. I couldn’t help but to give in and embraced her back.

As we are continuing our affection toward each other, I suddenly came to a realization. From reasons, place, and even time, everything had fallen into their place. I can’t help but to wonder if God is the one who planned all of this, just like a maestro conducting an orchestra.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Seeing that my prayer finally got answered, I silently thanked God for His help.

A few minutes had passed, and she finally backed down. She wiped her mouth with her wrist before smiling at me.

“Keith, let’s do this another time. I’m quite hungry. Let’s go around and get some bites.”

“Alright, what direction should we go now?”

“I’ll lead the way. Follow me.”

From stalls into stores, we walked around, eating snacks and laughing in the middle of the crowd. Soon, the sun completely sunk into the horizon, turning the scenery dark. Street lamps started popping left and right, illuminating the scenery.

Not to forget, the red lanterns across the path are enriching the vibe of the Chinese New Year Festival. Apparently, the festival was just getting started.

A parade in red color marched in front of us. The quick beats of drums and gongs they carried became music to our ears. While looking at the spectacle in front of us, we slowly took each other's hand.

For the remainder of the event, we never let it go, even for a split second. The moon acted as a witness as we took our step forward for our relationship. As the night was still young, we enjoyed the festivities and strolled around.

With how we enjoyed our time in the festival, I felt that I used all my luck in that event. I didn’t realize that Valentine is right up next.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024. It had just been four days since we experienced the festival together. Spending my days like I used to, I never expected that she would hand a paper bag on lunch break.

“Keith, Here’s some chocolate for you. Eat it, alright?”

I took the bag out of her hands.

“Jess, thank you. But why are you giving me chocolate? I’m an athlete you know?”

“Keith, don’t tell me you forgot that it’s Valentine's Day today? I don’t have to tell you why I’m giving this to you, right?”

“Ah, I see. Thanks again.”

“Sure, happy Valentine, Keith!”

“For you as well. Happy Valentine, Jess.”

Finishing my classes, I decided to eat some chocolate before the practice began. Sitting on the bench, I opened the plaster and took the casing inside. And soon, I was shocked to see what’s inside.

It was wrapped in pink gift paper with red hearts pattern all over the place.

Shit, it’s so embarrassing. I guess I should eat it alone later for a midnight snack. I don’t want anyone to see this.

Deciding to hide it right away, I put the paper bag inside my backpack before joining the basketball practice.

As usual, the club came to an end at seven PM. I took my bag and went straight home. After a quick bath and dinner, I went upstairs and opened the package.

Inside, there existed a common chocolate ball product that you can easily spot in any convenience store, but it somehow held a different meaning as she was the one who gave it to me.

I took one ball out of the box and munched it, only to be surprised that it had a bitter taste. I took the box again, only to overlook a text below it that wrote: “Dark Chocolate”.

Slowly, the chocolate started to act like glue, sticking out to my teeth and my mouth’s palate. As a result, not only did I become uncomfortable with the stickiness, but I also had to taste something bitter over a prolonged period of time.

As I was chewing, my phone rang. Knowing for sure that it would be her, I picked it up and immediately answered.

“Helwo, Jesh…”

I stopped. I realized that my own voice is muffled because of my sticky mouth.

Damn, this is because of the fucking chocolate. I can’t even spell correctly.

Meanwhile, she burst into laughter.

“Keith, your sound. Oh my God. It’s so funny, lol.”

“Well, whu gaeve meh thesh steckey chocoletes to begen weth?”

She laughed for a bit before she responded back.

“Keith, it’s Valentine, of course I’m going to give you chocolate.”

“But stell, you dedent haeve to gaeve meh the steckey and better wones, wright? Thes better taeste dosun go aewue as et glued on mai mauth.”

“Well, Keith, I decided to give you a dark chocolate because I was worried about your diet, but I didn’t know it was a sticky one. Oh, my stomach.”

I could only stay silent as she went into another series of laughter. After she calmed down, she went on.

“Ha-ha. Anyway Keith, I believe that there are a lot of those chocolates left, why don’t we give them to your basketball teammates after practice? You know, they won’t refuse chocolate from girls, and it’s just one day after Valentine. What do you think? It’s going to be fun.”

Hearing her mischievous plan, I got reminded once again of the character of the girl I fell in love with. She is such a cheerful and playful girl at heart... Well, with a little touch of mischief.

Without knowing it, I started being influenced by her. The images of her laughing while pranking my teammates went across my mind, and I somehow wanted to see it happen with my eyes.

And so, I decided to tag along.

“Shure, thets sownds fun. Whet I haeve to doe?”

“Great! All you need to do is to give me the rest of the chocolate before the practice begins, and I will hand the chocolate to them along with Grace and Maria. Let’s hear the orchestra of muffled sounds, ha-ha.”

We continued our conversation for hours. Slowly, my voice became clearer and clearer as the chocolate gradually lost its stickiness.

At ten PM, we ended the call. However, I couldn’t rest before I took care of this ‘chocolate’ problem.

A while later, I was finally able to gulp the chocolate down my throat. After I swallowed the chocolate whole, I took my water bottle and drank from it.

The gush of the water stream broke the brown beaver’s nest on my throat, leaving behind a clean pathway on its trail. And just like that, all the chocolate debris on my throat went down into my stomach.

Feeling relieved, I laid myself on the bed as it was getting late. Somehow, I was looking forward to tomorrow’s prank.

Tomorrow, it’s going to be wild.

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