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Chapter 2: The Life I Want To Leave

My name is Nicholas Carson. I am 24 years old. I work at Eventide Studio as a manga artist for two years now.

Stable salary for a small apartment is good enough for me to live my lonely life.

Oh yeah, and I don't have a girlfriend either. Not a single one before or after I graduated.

If my co-workers ask me why I am still single, I just tell them I am reserving myself for someone I loved for a long time.

I didn't get to see Jensen for the past four months since our last collaboration with her company and it's really life-draining for me not to see her because she's my only lifeline.

Now I walk home from work more tired than I usually do. I am so bored of my life.

No money for more games, not enough money for expensive food, not handsome enough to attract women, not confident enough to showcase my personality... the list goes on.

I enter my apartment defeated from today's usual routine. I turn the lights on, my head down as I sigh.

"Nico, why can't you buy new games? This is getting old."

Startled by the voice, I looked up and see Alexander Calixto in my apartment.

He sat on my carpet, my old console setup and my old game collection I used to play with Kate scattered on the floor.

Ah yes this guy. He used to be in my high school class.

I never cared about him just as the rest of the class didn't care about me.

But I did notice that he's been tailing me around ever since Kate and I became the best of friends.

Oddly enough, even after Kate is gone, he is still showing up in my life. Like right now.

"It's Nicholas. And no, I don't have the luxury to buy games." I tell him in a surly tone. No one calls me Nico but Kate. She's the only best friend I had and ever will have.

"Right okay, I will bring a game next time." he offers but I wasn't really asking.

"Why are you here, Alex?" I asked to change the topic. "Wait, how did you even get in?" I changed the question.

"You always leave your key underneath the welcome mat." he tells me like it is the most common thing in the world.

I unlock the door and peek outside to check if there are people around before I lift the mat to take the emergency key I leave there.

"Flower pots is a better idea to hide your key. Some people doesn't like to get their hands dirty." he suggests, eyes glued on my TV as he played.

"Okay back to my real question, why are you really here man?"

He pauses the game and turns to me. "Listen Nico-"

"It's Nicholas." I correct him again.

"Nicholas," he repeats with more sarcasm, "I know we didn't start off as best friends like you and Kate did but I want to pick up where she left off."

"What? Like start a friendship with me out of pity?" I felt offended.

Using Kate to get to me even.

"That's not what I mean..."

"But that's what it sounds like, Alex."

I push Alex out of my apartment. The only company I want and appreciate right now is my loneliness.

People are users. Such selfish users.

************

Another day but the same life.

My hand doesn't move to draw anything.

I have the script and the notes and the outlines but I couldn't bring myself to start tracing it. I feel so empty.

"Nicholas, can you go buy some coffee for us?"

I could be a walking zombie at this point. I want to see Jensen again.

"Sure."

"Thanks, we'll pay you later!"

They won't pay me later.

It means they already spent their cash or don't want to spend what they have, it's why they ask me to buy coffee for them.

Greedy fools.

Not like I have anything better to do so I stand from my seat and take my coat and head outside.

I take a shortcut in the alleys, not expecting to see a mugging going on.

"Help me!" the woman yelled to get my attention. I ignore her.

I turn my back on her like the coward I am, I pretend that I didn't see anything.

"Please help me!" she called again.

"Hey you!" this time it was the mugger that called my attention.

"I didn't see anything." I tell him so he does not bother to chase me.

Maybe it was a fair deal that I let him commit the crime and he leaves me alone.

He didn't bother me afterwards.

I walk away but the next thing I heard is the sound of clothes ripping, the woman's screams muffled.

That didn't bode well with me.

'So what, stealing is okay but this isn't?' I question myself. 'It's not like that! It just feels lighter to turn my back on her losing money, not this.'

It's not like this debate made any sense even to me. A crime is a crime and this mugger is a bum for doing this.

My body then moved on its own, running back to land my fist into his face.

Right in the face!

I heard his nose crack in contact with my tight fist.

"Run!" I yell at the woman and she picks up her purse, closing her ripped blouse and running away.

It all happened so fast. His fist is now pressed on my cheek and I'm not fast enough to dodge it.

I'm about to stumble back but he didn't let me. He grabs me by the collar of my shirt.

Pulling me closer to him, a second punch lands fair and square to my jaw and I felt my head spin in the second punch.

His knee touched base with my stomach and now I start seeing stars, the world I see started to blur as my head throbbed.

"You little rat! I'll show you!" he sounds really angry.

I am still recovering when he pushed me and my back hits the wall hard. I tried to punch him again, aiming at his blurred figure but I missed him.

He gave me a combo in my left and right cheek.

I thought it's his knee that hit my stomach but then it twists and I couldn't curl my body, I felt something warm and liquid rising from my throat.

I looked down realizing he had stabbed me with his knife.

"You did this!" he blamed me but he's the one holding the knife.

He ran leaving the knife still like a sword in the stone in my stomach.

I couldn't move my limbs, my mouth wouldn't open to call for help.

I croaked in an attempt to call someone, even if it's just that woman from earlier to aid me.

No word came from my lips. Just sounds of blood gurgling from my throat.

'Somebody help me.'


CREATORS' THOUGHTS
_jessitayylor _jessitayylor

"She's the only best friend I had and ever will have."

Why so sour?

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