Chapter 34:


Pandora's Box

Today was a Saturday and Akari and I were out and about on a date. We just finished eating lunch at our local mall's food court, when she pointed out the bookstore.

"There's a book I've been meaning to pick up. Do you mind if we stop by there?"

"That's fine. I've been meaning to pick up some new manga anyways." I responded.

It was nice to finally have a bit of leisure time to spend with Akari. I've been extremely busy with the student council and a number of other affairs this past month.

Everyone on the student council was settling into their roles quite nicely. Ryo as vice president, Rin as treasurer, Kanna as secretary, and of course me as president.

Ryo seemed to really be coming into his own as vice president. He's been really active in meeting with representatives from different clubs as well as with faculty. Then there's also his weekly opinion column. He's managed to bribe Yori with cookies to the point we're he can literally publish anything he wants in the school paper, and when I say anything, I mean it... He's been publishing some really outlandish theories lately.

Then there's Rin. She still isn't exactly a great treasurer, but she's been giving it her all. Of course she's still extremely involved in tennis and despite her objections, she still is very much a tsundere.

Having Kanna on the student council has been... let’s just say interesting. She is still completely unaware of the fact that Akari and I are dating and she's still madly in love with me. All of us have decided it's probably best to just keep it that way. We're a little scared that she might do something insane if she found out I was with Akari.

Mei was no longer part of the student council, but her and I were back on friendly terms. Lately though she's been making it a habit to tag along with me on our way to school in the morning. Despite knowing I have a girlfriend, that hasn't stopped her from trying to make subtle passes at me. It makes me a bit uncomfortable at times and I'm afraid people are going to get the impression that I'm a two timer.

As for Sato, I haven't seen her in over a month due to her suspension. It's been nice not having to watch over my shoulder. She's returning this coming Monday though, so I'm going to have to be on my guard for her schemes once again.

Finally is Akari. She still goes to another school of course, but she hangs out with us all in the student council room after school everyday. I actually made up an ambassador position, so that she could be involved with us too. Relationship wise, things have been going great between us. It's been an entire month already and we pretty much spend all our free time together.

As the two of us entered the bookstore, something instantly caught my eye.

"Is!?" I said.

Set up on the new releases table was a manga that had a character standing in a cardboard box that very much resembled me on the cover. Not only that, there were other characters too that resembled Sato, Mei, Akari, and Rin.

Akari giggled.

"Looks like Red really did end up getting his manga published."

I looked closer and sure enough the pen name was "R. Devil". There was no doubt it was him. He had chosen the title Pandora's Box, which reminded me of something...

I think my original assessment of the Pandora's Box myth was a bit off. Pandora made the conscious choice to open the box of her own freewill. It was unfair of me to group all women together as agents of chaos. Sure there are some girls that are crazier than others, but at the end of the day everyone is their own person.

I started paging through the manga. It was actually pretty impressive how accurate everything was. I had to admit he was a pretty good artist too.

"I can't believe I have to buy my own story. I really should have negotiated some kind of royalties." I joked.

The two of us laughed together as I purchased the manga. After that we proceeded with our afternoon together.

The End!


Note from author:

Thanks to everyone for reading. I am truly grateful to all of you from the bottom of my heart. I had a ton of fun writing this story these past few months. To be honest, I didn't think this would get as much engagement as it did. I really enjoyed everyone's comments and feedback. I wish you all the best!

Your friendly neighborhood skeleton,

SkeletonIdiot 💀

Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64