Peanut Butter Kisses

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Chapter 21 - Mediator's Side of the Story


~❧ Kristina

"Dear..." mom sighed worriedly after she checked my temperature. "You have a fever. What happened to you?"

I hid half my face in my blanket and averted my eyes. My head is so heavy. My nose is so stuffy.

What happened to me? That butthead happened, that's what.

I couldn't sleep last night because I kept replaying that event in his car.

Did he just confess to me?

Did I just confess to him?

I don't get it. I'm so confused. The words we exchanged were so indirect, so safe. I don't understand at all. One thing I'm sure of though, is that we both like each other.

We like each other.

My heart sped up with that thought. I breathed deeply and winced. Oh my God. I can't believe what's happening. Is it just me thinking this way? Am I creating a major assumption?

The sensation of my mom's cold hand brought me back to reality. "Honey, your face is red. And you're burning. I'm gonna make you some soup and get you some medicine. You should rest for today."

"I'm not that sick." I said, just noticing how my voice changed due to the cold. Ugh.

This is all his fault.

"I'll call your school if you're so worried about it." She said, knowing me all too well. I reluctantly nodded.

This is crazy. Just because I kept thinking and thinking and thinking last night, I got sick? I haven't been sick since I was ten. What was wrong with me?

I wanted to go to school but my whole body refused to leave my bed. I felt dizzy too. Maybe I should just rest for today. I'll get better faster.

I should text Daniel and tell him I'm not going in today. I don't want him to go all the way here and see me like this. He'll think it had something to do with yesterday.

Oh my God now that I think about it, how am I gonna face him now? How do I act around him? This is gonna be so damn awkward.

"Mom," I mumbled, holding back a whine. "Can you tell Daniel I'm not going in today? Just tell him to go straight to school."

He picks me up every morning. I don't want him to waste his time and stop by my house when I wasn't even going to school.

A sheepish grin formed on my mother's face, and I already knew she had something annoying in her mind.

"I already did." She suppressed her giggle. "He's on his way here. Right now."

"Mom..." I groaned. My head's getting heavier. I feel like my head's sinking in my pillow. "What'd you tell him?"

And when did she get his number?

"That you're sick in bed." She replied innocently.

I shifted from my bed and wrapped myself with my blanket completely. "Don't let him in here. I look horrible."

"I'm sure he thinks you're beautiful," she laughed, poking my hip. I whined.

"Leave me alone."

I needed some time to think. I thought about a lot of things last night, but I haven't reached a conclusion just yet. Mom's making this harder for me, seriously.

After a couple of minutes of arguing with my child of a mother, Daniel arrived.

"May I come in?"

When I heard his deep voice, I flinched and tightened my grip on my blanket, making sure I was completely concealed.

I haven't washed my face, my hair's a mess, my breath probably stinks and I wasn't wearing a bra.

Ahh I think I left my bra hanging on my chair--what if he sees it?!

"Go away!" I yelled, digging my head deeper into my pillow. I hope my bed swallows me up after I wrap my whole existence in this blanket.

"I'll leave you two alone for a minute." My mom said, already leaving the room.

"Nooo." I whined again.

Cry.

It was quiet for a bit, and I even wondered if he was still in the room. This is so awkward. I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

I felt the mattress sink a bit beside me and I knew he was already sitting in that spot. I held my breath as I waited for what he was about to say.

"Oi." He said.

Oi?

He found my shoulder and forced me to lie on my back since I wasn't facing him. I resisted.

"Let me see you."

"No." I quickly replied.

I can't take this. I can't breathe. What's he gonna do? What's he gonna say?

"Poopy." He poked me. I ignored him. "Tinz." He poked me again. "Tina." And again. "Kristina."

When he said my real name, I flinched. I don't know why though.

Since I kept ignoring him and pretended I was asleep, he suddenly pulled my blanket down and exposed my horrid appearance.

When our eyes met, the corners of his mouth curled up and I immediately covered my face with my hands.

"Damn you!" I yelled, turning to my side and curling into a ball to somehow hide. Escape.

It was a futile attempt.

"Good morning." He said, sounding so smug. I blindly took my blanket back and covered up. "Stop hiding."

"Shut up." I replied, hating the powerlessness in my voice. "What are you still doing here? Go to school."

"Heard you were sick." He said, casually. Then I felt the bed shift. He was moving closer.

"Go away." I tried to kick him but he wouldn't budge. I didn't have much power in my kick anyway. "You'll catch my cold."

He was quiet for a while and I had no idea what to expect. He's making me dizzier.

Slowly, as if to torture me, his weight shifted the bed again. He was lying right next to me, his lips poking my ear with only my blanket in between.

"You've fallen for me."

I shivered.

I didn't know what to feel. Embarrassed, annoyed, mad, faint--but I definitely wanted to punch him right now.

I slid the blanket down a bit, just enough for me to see him. He was already waiting for me to do that. I glared at him as he released a chuckle.

"Fallen in hate with you, yeah, since a long time ago."

I knew he was just teasing me, with a bit of a truth. With a bit of hope.

Not yet, please.

He smiled, pushing the awkward tangles of hair away from my face. "Okay."

Well didn't he look so happy?

Let me punch that smile. Just let me.

Ahh damn it, my traitorous mouth is twitching up damn it. Damn it. Don't smile back. Don't give in.

I cleared my throat as I covered my face with my blanket again, disappearing from his view. His smile was giving me breathing problems.

I cleared my throat. "What time is it? You should be going now, or else you'll be late."

"I think I'm gonna skip." He simply said, sitting up again. I sighed in relief. Good. He wasn't so close anymore. "You won't be there, so what's the point."

Excuses.

"Go to school." I said, seriously. "Make up with Kristopher."

His silence was a sign that he was surprised I knew, or that he wasn't expecting I'd tell him that.

"I know." I said again, since he wasn't saying anything. "He told me. Not everything, and it was only his side of the story. I don't know yours."

It was a double message. I was silently telling him that I knew absolutely nothing about him, and I was asking him if he would tell me.

I think he got the message.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you." Was his quick reply. "I'll tell you all about it... later... soon?" He mumbled in a panicked, guilty tone. I shook my head, hiding a smile.

"Don't worry about it. Now just go to school."

I heard him say a quiet okay before he stood up. I think I just made him feel guilty. I don't know why I feel somehow satisfied about it.

"I'll come by again later. I'm sure Ella's gonna tag along too when she hears you're sick."

I laughed. "I apologize for my best friend in advance."

We heard squealing just outside the door and we were sure it was my mother. Of course. Who else could it be.

Daniel chuckled as he opened the door, preparing to leave. "Get better. We still need to talk about... that."

I gulped, calming down my heart. I didn't want to talk about that just yet.




~❧ Daniel

I am highly unmotivated to go to school now.

Aunt Lizzy gave me a wide smile as I left her daughter's room. I didn't say anything and just returned her smile.

As soon as I stepped within school grounds, students stared at me, and a few of them even approached me.

"Why are you alone?"

"Where's Tina?"

"Did something happen?"

"Did you guys fight or break up?"

Oh wow. It's like the student-version of the press. I looked at all of them quietly before giving one word that answered all. "Sick."

And then I walked away. I didn't want to explain any further. My energy's gonna run out.

When I arrived in our classroom, I immediately looked at her empty desk. Strange. I just saw her this morning and now I already want to see her again.

"Hey," I heard a familiar voice as soon as I sat down. I looked up smugly, knowing it was Tops. Hmph. I'm not bothered about you anymore. "Where's Tinz?"

"Sick." I replied.

He nodded slowly, looking at his feet. He heard what he wanted to hear, but I wonder why he wasn't leaving yet.

He was acting strange yesterday too. It was just for a second, but I felt something weird. Like he was being careful around me or something.

"Listen," he mumbled, holding the back of his head, looking around the room. "Can we talk?"

I blinked.

"Excuse me?" I said, turning in my seat to look at him directly. "You want to talk? To me?"

He nodded reluctantly.

I blinked again. "Are you sick too?"

He finally looked at me. Well, glared at me. He was annoyed. Good. He sighed heavily before looking around the room again. He was restless. Did someone force him to do this or something?

"Just have lunch with me." He said, scoffing.

"Not with that attitude." I replied.

"Ooh. A lunch date?" Sean suddenly appeared and butt in like it was the natural thing to do. He winked at me before snorting. "You two sneaking around since Tina's not around?"

Both Tops and I looked at him wearily. Seriously?

But Tops, being Tops, quickly turned the tables and gave the guy a smirk. He put an arm around Sean's shoulder, and then tilted his chin up with his finger. Sean's horrified expression said it all.

"Care to join us? The more the merrier, hm?" He asked, tickling his chin and giving the girls in our class an exclusive fan service. The squeals were horrible. Ella's chortles overpowered them though.

I snorted, preventing myself from laughing too loud. That's what Sean gets for messing around at the wrong time.

"I-I-I don't swing that way dude..." He stuttered, trying to escape. Tops rolled his eyes before he released him. Then he smacked the back of Sean's head, forcing him to piss off.

"Of course you don't."

Sean went back to his group of friends, where he was greeted with loud laughter and deep howls. He got owned. It was so cringe-worthy too.

Tops sighed before looking at me again. I forced a calm face.

"Just meet me at the rooftop. I'll bring the food."

"So it really is a date?" I asked, my eyes doe. He didn't seem affected.

"Yes, it is a date, you jerk." He rolled his eyes as he said this, sarcasm dripping from every word. "Now shut up and meet me because there's free food. I'll order an extra one for Tinz too so bring it to her house later."

I shivered. He was acting so weird.

With one last look, he went back to his seat. I just stared at the board, in awe.

I can't believe it. I can't believe it. After three long years.

Tops...

Was gonna give me free food...




Lunch time.

I went to the rooftop since there was free food there and I honestly had no where else to go.

Tops was already sitting in the usual spot, three take-out bags in front of him. His arms were folded against his chest and his eyes were closed. He didn't hear me approach.

I scoffed when I was already standing in front of him. "You meditating?"

His eyes opened slowly. "I was sleeping. What took you so long?"

I sat down in front of him and shrugged my shoulders. "Stopped by the council room in Poopy's stead."

Tops just nodded.

Silence passed, and I did nothing to stop it. I just took my share of the food and started eating without a care. He looked like he was thinking hard, and that he was still hesitating whether to say something or not.

After a while, he finally got the guts to speak.

"Sorry." He mumbled.

I raised a brow, continuing to chew my food. The chicken was pretty good.

"About what happened," his words were trailing off. I sipped on my drink as I stared at him. I wonder what Poopy told him to make him change his mind and talk to me.

"It took you three long years to talk about this?" I interrupted. He winced, but then recovered by glaring at me.

"Shut it. I was heartbroken."

"You were brainbroken." I pointed out.

"Do you wanna talk about this or not?" Tops sighed heavily, irritated. I snickered.

Well at least he was making an effort. And I wanted to resolve this issue that dragged on for a long time. That's why I came here. That's why he came here.

The first step will begin with a clearing of previous misunderstandings. I set my drink on the ground as I looked at him seriously. "Will you listen to me this time?"

Tops was quiet for a few seconds, and then he nodded. He took a deep breath and released it at once-- preparing himself, probably.

And then, I told him my side of the story.


• 3 Years Ago •

"Can you believe him?" Anne said exasperatedly as she walked back and forth in front of me. I was sitting in Tops' guest room, reading my manga when she suddenly barged in, destroying the peace. "Tops kicked me out of his room!"

Well, duh.

He would've died of excitement if you stayed there any longer.

"And listen to this!" She flailed her arms up wildly as she continued to rage on. "After he told us about that agent's offer, he's been moody for weeks! I mean, it was too awkward so I tried starting a casual conversation like I always did. Usually we talked about the girl he liked whenever it was just the two of us, so I decided on that subject. And when I opened up that same subject, he got upset and told me to mind my own business! What the hell Danny?!"

Well, duh.

You're the girl he likes.

He's just too stupid to tell you that directly. He's a wuss. Sometimes I wonder how we're blood-related at all.

I sighed as I closed my manga, knowing I won't be able to concentrate reading with this girl venting out all her frustration on me. Again.

"Just give him time." I said, climbing up my bed to lie down. I need a nap. "He's probably thinking."

"Thinking?" She scoffed. "About what?"

"You, maybe?" I inquired. She should at least have a hint right? Nobody can be this dense. Tops' crush on her was so obvious to everybody in this manor.

She rolled her eyes in disbelief. "Stop kidding around Danny! I'm telling you, he's been acting weird since that agent's offer! Maybe he wants to accept it after all?"

"Maybe." I replied. "Why don't you ask him yourself?"

"No way. You ask him."

"Why me? I'm not the curious one here. I just want a nap."

Anne scoffed loudly and groaned after walking backing and forth impatiently. "You lazy arse, help me out here."

I sighed as I exerted all my strength to sit up and open my eyes. I'm that tired of her whining, and Tops' whining. Why am I these two's mediator?

"What do you want me to do?"

She bit her lip as she looked up as if to think. After a while, her eyes lit up and a grin formed on her face. Oh no.

I feel like she's gonna drag me into something tiring again.

"Help me pick a present for him."

"I don't wanna go out. It's hot outside." I quickly replied, but she wasn't listening.

"You're a guy, I'm sure you'd know what he likes. A present will make him feel better." She said.

I was groaning and sighing the whole time until we arrived at the mall. No, even when we were already inside the mall and the air-conditioner lifted my spirits a bit, I still kept sighing. I hated going outside.

People kept taking pictures of us.

But Anne didn't care. Her excitement got the best of her. She pulled my hand and dragged me to a lot of stores; I don't even remember most of them.

When I told her a shirt would be fine, we went to the department store and spent an hour looking for a shirt.

A whole hour.

For a shirt.

I saw one that caught my eye and I was sure Tops would like it. It was a Dark Magician printed shirt, a limited edition one.

Anne saw this and smiled so widely. She looked for his size and brought it to the cashier immediately. We even stopped by the gift-wrapping section to have it wrapped.

After it was done, I was relieved. I wanted to go back already but Anne insisted on having a snack at the mall's rooftop cafe. I refused, but after she said it was her treat, I gave in.

I am easily bribed by food it's not even a joking matter anymore.

"I've been meaning to ask you this for a while," I started as we walked back to my car. It was getting dark, I was full and my palate was satisfied. She was beaming as she hugged the present on her chest. "Do you like Tops?"

"Well, yeah." She casually replied. I sighed. I think she didn't understand what I meant by like. Or maybe she was trying to play it cool?

I nodded without a care and drove back to Tops' house.

As soon as we arrived, we saw him in the living room, watching the local news. It was that annoying part of the news that showed all those celebrity gossip and stuff.

And conveniently enough, Anne and I were the featured couple for tonight.

Videos of Anne dragging me everywhere in the mall appeared in the screen, and then stolen shots from when we were taking a break at that cafe.

When the part where Anne was holding up the Dark Magician shirt was about to come next, she hurriedly grabbed the remote from Tops' hand and shut the thing off.

She hid the present behind her back and looked down. I knew she did that so the present wouldn't be exposed, but Tops misunderstood her actions completely.

"You two look nice together," he forced a smile as he stared at his feet. "If you and Danny are really going out, you don't have to hide it from me, you know."

I almost scoffed. Where was this coming from? The way he said that wasn't even in a teasing manner. He was dead-serious, and that ticked me off.

"Excuse me?" Anne took a step forward, sounding like she heard wrong. "You know the news twists stories. You know it's just gossip. Why the hell are you saying that?"

"But you like him, don't you?" His voice came out in a rush, almost impatient as he stared at her intensely. "You like Danny."

I wanted to argue too but judging by the atmosphere, this discussion was just for the two of them.

Anne scoffed, gripping the present behind her. I knitted my brows. "What's the matter with you?"

"I'm just stating the facts."

"Or jumping into conclusions?" She challenged. "You don't know anything at all."

"Of course I don't!" Tops suddenly burst out, surprising us. His face was completely red. It was the first time we saw him this agitated. I admit, he even scared me there for a moment.

"Of course I don't know anything! I'm stupid, remember?! Because you and Danny are so smart, because you two know everything! You guys are famous! Talented! Everything! Everybody wants to be you two! And because I don't have the same qualities, you always leave me out! Always! I'm sure you laugh about how stupid I am behind my back!"

The sarcasm dripped from his words like venom, and it triggered Anne's frustration that will eventually reach boiling point. Her temper was shorter than Tops' after all.

I knew he was just frustrated, I tried to understand him, his situation, but I wasn't sure if he meant what he said. My heart was beating really fast, my knuckles were turning white. I was mad, annoyed, and felt just a little bit hurt.

Were those his true feelings?

The silence itself had a huge impact. The silence left a huge dent on the years the three of us spent together.

"Do you really see us that way?" She asked, keeping her breathing steady. "After all this time?"

I was still debating when I should step in-- or if I should step in. But I wanted to hear this. I wanted to hear his answer.

Tops looked like he regret what he said. The guilt-stricken expression he had on said everything. But he refused to take his words back. He held on to his pride and made the situation worse.

"Yes."

That one word was powerful enough to bring the strong and willful Anne into the verge of tears. She tried her hardest to blink them back, and fortunately for her, she was able to hold it. But not for long.

"I can't believe you."

Knowing Anne, she was too worked up to explain. Both of them were staring solemnly at the floor. This was so crazy. How did we get into this argument? How did it start? Because of the news? That's it?

This can't be happening.

Anne's mock laughter made Tops' weary expression even worse. I thought she'd understand him like she always did, but I wonder why she got so worked up over something like this?

Was there something about these two that I didn't know?

She revealed the present she kept hiding behind her back the whole argument. The wrapper was already crinkled and full of rips, the shirt inside was peeking slightly. In short, it wasn't very presentable anymore.

Tops raised his head only for a bit to see it, and just a flicker of distress appeared in his eyes, but only for a moment. She gripped the present with all her strength before throwing it at his face.

It hit him before it fell on the floor. He made no move to pick it up.

"I bought that for you, you idiot."

Tops' eyes were already narrow, and they seemed to have lost the light they always had ever since I've met him.

Right now they were dull, expressionless and dead.

Who was this person? Was this really my cousin? Was this really my best friend?

After a while, he picked it up and threw it to the far side of the room. This isn't happening. "I don't want it. I don't want to receive anything from someone like you."

Anne's voice was starting to tremble, but she forced herself to sound unaffected. Her flustered face gave it away. "Someone like me?"

Tops met her fiery eyes with his dull ones. "Someone who doesn't listen, who thinks she's always right, who drags others around without thinking about their feelings. Someone who's selfish, a liar and a fake. Someone like you."

A heard Anne release a short whimper. "Stop."

He didn't.

"You are a terrible person, do you know that?" Tops continued, raising his voice, his composure completely gone. "You have no idea what you made me go through. I can't breathe whenever you're around."

"Stop." She said again, taking an unstable step back.

"Why do you even come here? Why do you always tag along with your mom? Is it because you have nothing else to do? Is it so you can judge me and feel better about yourself? Is it because Danny's here? You just come here to see him, huh? You--"

His nonsense was forcefully stopped when Anne stepped forward and slapped him hard across the cheek. She was strong, and her anger just amplified that strength.

Tops lost his balance and fell down. His eyes were wide as his hand traveled up to his cheek. The impact woke him up, probably, hopefully.

He looked up to see Anne's face. He was horrified at what he had done.

She was crying; breathing heavily as the tears she tried so hard to hold back raced down her cheeks. The hurt, disappointment, anger and confusion in her face had a lot of impact on us.

If anything, seeing her in that state probably broke our hearts as well.

Anne never cried. But here she was, doing what we never thought she was capable of doing.

With one last look, she left the room.

Tops was still on the floor, wondering if that really happened. I didn't bother helping him up. He deserved it for being a jerk. He should've tasted his words before spitting them out. How were we gonna fix this now?

Knowing it'd take him a while to clear his head, I went after Anne.

I looked all over the manor for half an hour and I finally found her in the garden. Of course.

She was sniffling as I approached her. She turned her head when she saw me, not even bothering to hide her tears anymore.

I didn't know what to tell her. I knew she was hurt. Tops was a damn jerk. I have no idea what came over him and why he suddenly burst out. I held her shoulder and after a few awkward attempts to pull her face away from her hands, I hugged her.

Her sniffles turned into sobs, her sobs turned into wails, her wails turned into screams, and her screams fell into silence.

She gripped my sleeve tighter as her hiccups prevented her from saying anything coherent. When she calmed down a bit, she rested her head on my shoulder.

"He hates me." She said.

That's impossible. He probably hates himself at the moment.

"He doesn't. He's just bad with words." I tried to sound comforting, but it didn't work. My tone didn't even sound so convincing since I myself didn't believe it anymore.

"Did he mean it?" She cried, taking a deep breath and releasing it harshly. "Did he mean all those things?"

I don't know.

"I don't know what to do Danny." Anne groaned helplessly, her grip loosening. "Tops and I have known each other longer, but why is it that you understand me better than him?"

"That's because you don't talk to him as much as you talk to me." I said, patting her head.

Maybe she hasn't noticed, but every time she rants, vents and complains... they're mostly about Tops. Does she even realize that?

Given the situation, I didn't mention it. I had a strong feeling these two had mutual feelings for each other, but they were both too stubborn or too dense to admit it.

"You okay now?" I asked. I hope I helped calm her down a bit. I had no idea what to say. She nodded, I sighed. "Okay. I'm gonna go talk to him. I'll act as the mediator for you two, as always."

She gave me a tired smile as we both broke the hug. "Thanks, Danny. But I don't think I want to see him right now. I should maybe go home."

"I'll drive you back." I offered. She weakly accepted my offer.

After I drove her to her house, I went back to Tops' manor to talk to him. To smack some sense into him.

As soon as I got out of the car, I saw Tops already waiting for me, wearing that exhausted expression on his face. When he saw me, his eyes were back to life.

Too much life, I suppose.

"You snake." He said through gritted teeth as he charged towards me. "You bloody snake! I thought you were my best friend."

He grabbed me by the collar and I was too shocked to react or even defend myself. "What are you--"

"Stop pretending like you don't know!" He yelled, his voice cracking mid-sentence. After breathing heavily for a few seconds, he calmed down and released my shirt.

He weakly punched my shoulder. "You knew how much I liked her. You knew. So how could you?"

"What the hell did I do?" I asked, grabbing his fist and pushing him back forcefully. I wanted to tackle him down and punch him. I thought he'd calmed down by now, but he's still holding on to his ridiculous assumptions?

He stepped back only to avoid my attempts to hit him. And by the way he looked at me, I knew he had already given up.

It was impossible for our voices to reach him now. He's shut himself off.

"Betrayal is just sad. You know why?" I held my anger, knowing where he was going. When the hell did I betray him? "It's because it never comes from an enemy."

"Who the hell are you?" I said. He looked away. This is just stupid. "Anne and I aren't--"

"Leave, Danny." He said quietly as he turned his back, not even listening to what I had to say. "Get out of my house. Don't come back anymore."

I was pissed. How could he just end things like this? After one small matter?

His moodiness these past few weeks affected all of us. And now, the big blow had been delivered. And sadly, he delivered it himself, this fool.

We tried to understand him, but his words were just too hard to accept, even when part of us knew he didn't mean it. Our problem is, we can't take that much time to try and understand one another. We just persistently exchange a bunch of assumptions and attitudes. We're too impatient.

And look where that got us? Nowhere. No results. Just confusion and anger.

I think we knew in our heads that we could fix this, but our prides held us back.

Without another word, I left. And true enough, I never came back. The next thing I knew, Anne was in my house, crying. She told me that Tops had already packed his bags and went to New York without telling us.

I held my head and glared at my feet.

He had no intention of fixing this at all. He chose to run away. He just left us.

Coward.

After mulling over it for a few months, Anne and I lost hope, and later, completely lost touch. It just didn't feel right with just the two of us, after what happened.

My usual routine of going to Tops' house was now a vague memory, and I was stuck in my empty and stuffy house.

I had nothing else to do, so I told my dad I wanted to start working in our company as an official employee. I already graduated anyway, and I didn't want to go to college and listen to people tell me things I already know.

Dad accepted without question, and since I did too well, he gave me the position as Chief Operating Officer. Despite my age, nobody objected since I've already proven my credibility. And that position just boosted my unwanted fame. It was a bother.

I buried myself in my work to get a grip. Months flew by again. While I was doing some paperwork in my office, dad sent me a box of my old stuff since he was cleaning up the house.

I left it unopened for weeks. I had no time to open it. It was during that time that the infamous Japanese tycoon named Richard Watanabe kept giving us a hard time.

Anne's uncle.

My frustration was building up. He's a major shareholder in our company, but he keeps demanding that he take over completely to expand his empire. He was known to have absorbed a lot of businesses throughout the UK, and now, we were in his sights.

I invested in my own controlling interest as part-owner of the company, but it wasn't enough. He was dominating us. Uncle Seth, Tops' dad lent us a hand and bought enough shares for us to keep our interests, but put everything in his son's name.

Just seeing Tops' name as I did my paperwork agitated me.

I thought I needed a break for a while. Why was I worrying about this? I'm fifteen years old. I should be worrying about what normal fifteen year-olds worry about, not this.

I saw the box and thought I should probably open it now, to clear my head and reminisce and stuff. Anything to get away from this pressure.

There was a lot of dust and I distractedly inhaled all of it when I saw a familiar picture stuck under a pile of old encyclopedias. I made a very attractive face before I sneezed.

I took it out and just stared at the photograph. I forgot this even existed. I brushed my thumb over it as I recalled our silly childhood promise and how I reacted back then. I held back a laugh.

It was me and Poopy.

It was nostalgic just looking at the photo, but my memories of being with her were scattered in my mind. But despite this, I rubbed the photo clean on my shirt and kept it inside my wallet.

It was nostalgic, and those memories calmed me down just a bit. It did for a moment, until the weight of reality fell in my chest.

Too bad we couldn't keep that promise.

Too bad I can't see her anymore.

Too bad I lost my connections with the very few people I care about.

Too bad I decided to be an adult already.

I sighed, as an explosion of memories fleeted into my brain. An explosion of the worst memories I have ever owned.

Too bad.



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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.