Chapter 28:


The Day I Forgot About You

A skinny, average-height boy with short dark brown hair and a quiff walked into the room and exclaimed loudly, "NICE TO MEET YOU ALL! MY NAME IS KENSUKE!"

"Kensuke? What are you doing here?" Saya asked, surprised.

"I'm in the same class as you? That's great," he responded, also surprised. "I came to study at the same school as you."

Saya felt indignant. The teacher was in a hurry and decided to cut the conversation short, asking Kensuke to take a seat. He went to the back of the room and stared challenging Neo. That boy was trouble.

As soon as the break bell rang, Neo was near Saya, Len, and Sunny when Kensuke suddenly appeared. He invited everyone present to watch him do kendo.

Saya sighed in annoyance. The boy was relentless and really wanted them to watch. So, in order to get him off her back, she agreed.

After classes, Neo went to the Kendo club. He didn't even know there was one in the school, let alone that they practiced regularly. Saya was there, and he sat down beside her. Len and Sunny were also there with them.

This was the first time he had seen a kendo match. He wasn't very interested in fights; he preferred less aggressive sports, so he had no idea how it worked.

In the center of the mat, there were two masked men sitting facing each other, wearing outfits that covered almost everything. The one on the left seemed much younger than the one on the right, indicating he had less experience, although that couldn't be decided until they began.

Another man appeared in the same outfit as the other two, but he was holding two flags, one red and one white. He could be identified as the referee, signaling that the match was about to start.

"Five points! The winner is the one who reaches this score. Two points if the strike hits the head, and one point for the rest of the body. You may begin!"

The two men stood up and greeted each other as tradition dictated. They assumed their stances, and a silence fell as they concentrated. It seemed as though they were analyzing and searching for openings.

That's when the younger one decided to take the initiative with a lateral strike, which was easily deflected by the older one. In response, the older one delivered a strike from the opposite side he had defended, causing the attacker to lose balance and struggle to defend. Seeing this, the older one took advantage and landed a blow to the head, which the younger one couldn't defend against.

After several points on both sides, the younger one was falling behind, and the score was 3 to 4. It was down to the last point, and it seemed like the game was over. However, even in those challenging circumstances, the younger one didn't give up easily. His posture exuded confidence, enough to intimidate anyone, but the older one didn't seem intimidated. His experience showed. The atmosphere was tense, and everyone awaited the outcome with bated breath.

When the referee signaled to start, the younger one quickly executed the same move he had used before. The older one had easily defended against it previously and smiled as he made a slight motion to defend once more. However, he was surprised when, with a wrist twist, the trajectory of the sword changed, aiming for the opponent's head. Caught off guard, he took the blow, giving two points to the younger one.

Everyone was astonished; it happened so fast that they only realized what had transpired when the referee raised the flag, indicating a point.

"Not bad. Looks like I underestimated you in the last second, and that was my downfall," said the older one as he removed his helmet.

"'Never underestimate your opponent, it can cost you dearly.' Wasn't that what they said?" responded the younger one.

Neo didn't recognize the older one, but the younger one's voice could only belong to Kensuke. He became even more certain when Kensuke removed his helmet.

"Yeah, you're right. I should have expected more from someone who loves kendo. You've proven your worth."

"But, Miguel, you fought well. I almost lost."

Afterwards, Kensuke approached Neo when he saw he was among the spectators.

"Did you see that? Kendo is way better than baseball."

Neo didn't respond. In his mind, both were cool. Sure, he liked baseball a lot more, but he didn't think it was fair to belittle others' interests.

The next day, Neo was eating alone during the break, sitting on a bench near the flowers, while Kensuke continued to hang around Saya. It was starting to get irritating for Neo. He couldn't properly approach with that guy taking up so much space, so he decided to take a break.

Lenner approached Neo.

"Can I talk to you?"

Neo was surprised but didn't refuse.


"If I were you, I'd be a little wary of that Kensuke."

"Why should I?" Neo asked, looking at him suspiciously.

The boy looked down, clasping his hands and rubbing his fingers together. He was visibly nervous, sweating profusely.

"Because my girlfriend already cheated on me with a childhood friend."


"She said she really liked him when they were kids, and when she met him again, she couldn't resist."

"Man, that's rough," Neo said, placing his hand on the boy's shoulder as he fought back tears, trying to comfort him.

He was opening up truly, genuinely concerned for his friend.

"It's okay. She promised she'd never do it again. That she loves me more than that friend."

Neo remained suspicious of that claim. If she had cheated so easily before, could she really be trusted to maintain their relationship? Especially seeing how devastated the boy was about it.

"And did she keep that promise?"

"Yeah, she never spoke to that guy again."

"At least that."

Lenner clenched his teeth. He seemed to be telling the truth, but there was an important part missing from what he was saying.

"I don't care about myself. Neo, I've been observing you, and you're really cool. I envy you and Saya. I wish my girlfriend and I were like that. That's why I'm giving you this warning, so the same thing doesn't happen to you."

Neo felt pleased with the compliment.

"Thank you, seriously. I haven't had much time to hang out with you yet, but I'm glad when you and your girlfriend get along. You guys were really cool at the party."

Lenner smiled, something Neo had never expected to see. It was a tired smile, much dimmer compared to other smiles, but it meant he was at least a little happy.

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