Mark was now staying with Ilyssa. They would walk together as their college and Undercity were nearby. Ilyssa was doing a double major; science and English lit. She had all the science classes today except for the last hour. There were a lot of people who approached her to be friends but Ilyssa had no interest in them. She wanted to complete her double major and fly away from the county or just run away from her father. She could have done that earlier itself but she used the degree as an excuse to stay and protect her brother.
Prof Albert was ready with his completely disturbed class.
“Settle down already!”, screamed Albert. The students went back to their seats. Jin sat next to Ilyssa as usual. He stared at Ilyssa as if it was going to be his last to see her. Ilyssa ignored him and listened to Albert’s class. Just before a few minutes for the bell, Albert spoke, “I have a group project to you guys. I have selected your partners personally and don’t even think of changing your groups or else you will F. You need to submit them by the end of this month.” Prof Albert began calling out students and made a group of four. And then he stopped suddenly looking at Ilyssa’s devasted face.
“I don’t want a team.”, said Ilyssa with a blank face.
“Well you don’t have a lot of people in your team.”, said Albert smiling.
“Exactly! Why do I have only Jin as my group member?”, said Ilyssa angrily.
“After a lot of hard work of dividing the class into teams according to their class presence, I was left out with you two. You two never miss your philosophy or lit classes and you two are always each other’s bench mates. For some reason, my math went wrong and I could divide the team properly so I thought of teaming you tow with each other. Isn’t that good? Especially to you Ilyssa, you don’t like many people surrounding you so now you just have one person.”, said Professor laughing.
“If I am with him there, I will be surrounded by more people than just being in the team of four!”
“Ilyssa, who is the professor?”, asked Albert.
“Exactly. Now, who is going to grade your project?”
“Then I hope you got answers for your questions and problems.”, said Albert and left the class as the bell rang. The entire class began their talk.
“Hey, chill I don’t bite.”, said Jin leaning on his desk.
“No, you won’t but your fans will!”, said Ilyssa and walked out.
Mark was waiting for Ilyssa at the university gate. Ilyssa felt happy after seeing her brother’s face and they walked home. Jin was looking at Ilyssa from far with his business class friends.
“Kenny, do you happened to know that guy next to Ilyssa?”, asked Jin.
“I don’t know him. He doesn’t look like one of our university students.”, said Kenny.
“That’s the Grant College’s junior year uniform.”, said one of Jin’s friends.
“Oh… is it? Is she dating that younger guy?”
“Who? Ilyssa?”, asked Kenny.
“Wait she is also majoring in English lit right?”
“She isn’t the dating type. I wonder how that kid even like someone weird like her?”
Mark said, “I think I like a girl in our class, sis!”
“Really? Good for you! Make sure you behave.”
“Of course, who do you think raised me?”, said Mark laughing.
“I don’t think its dad.”, Ilyssa mocking at Mark as he used to like his dad a lot when he was a kid.
“Oh, come on. don’t ruin the mood by calling out that man’s name. It’s you, Ilyssa.”
“I know right.”, said Ilyssa smiling.
There was a pause. They were walking silently to their home. But then Mark spoke, “Did you come across Aldon?”
“Did he do anything?”, asked Mark worrying.
“Let’s think positive and say never or no rather than not yet.”
“Okay. What do you want to eat tonight? I need to pick some vegetables before I go to work.”
“I am okay with anything. And I was also planning to get a job.”
“Because you are going to use all of your time to study and enjoy your life. I don’t want you to live the life that I am living in. I want you to have all the happiness.”
“But what about you? Huh? Don’t you deserve happiness?”
“It doesn’t matter because I have no future until my dad’s around.”
Mark remained silent.
Ilyssa went to work after changing into her café outfit. When she was going to the café someone grabbed her hair from the back and pulled her to a dark corner.
“AHA! Who are you?!”
“Who do you think?”, said a male voice.
Ilyssa looked at the man. “Aldon!”
“What? How dare you ignore my text?”
“Because your girlfriend said to me not to go to meet you.”
“Julia would never do that.”, said Aldon releasing Ilyssa. Someone suddenly came out of know where and punched at Aldon. It was Jin.
“Are you okay, Ilyssa?”, asked Jin.
“I don’t think so.”, said Ilyssa.
“Who are you?”, screamed Aldon getting up. He grabbed Ilyssa’s hair and pulled her back. “Do you know him?”, asked Aldon holding Ilyssa’s jaws.
“No, no, let go of me!”, said Ilyssa losing her breath.
“Hey!”, screamed Jin. He held Ilyssa’s Café shirt and pulled her towards him and said, “You wait here!” Jin glared at Aldon and smacked him down.
“Know your place senior!”, said Jin and held Ilyssa’s sleeves and dragged her out of there.
Ilyssa was still scared about what happened. Jin had come with his motorbike.
“Hop on.”, said Jin. Ilyssa sat on his motorbike.
“Ride as fast as possible.”
“Then you hold my jacket tightly. Okay?”
Ilyssa held Jin’s Jacket as the answer. Jin rode at full speed. Ilyssa cried a lot on the way. She screamed about Aldon and her dad Cristiano. Jin rode the bike for an hour and took Ilyssa towards a big building. It was dark already and Ilyssa hadn’t sorted her mind yet. Jin stopped.
“What happened?”, asked Ilyssa.
“Nothing. Get down, I will take you somewhere where you can calm down.”
Ilyssa got down and saw a very tall building. She read the Building name loud, “Brown Telecommunications” she thought for a second and said, “Oh this is the tallest building in the country!”
“Yeah! It’s my mother’s company.”
“Your surname is Brown?”
“Yeah, did you not know?”
“Oh... however come inside with me.”
“Why, to see your mom?”
“Of course not!”, screamed Jin and pulled Ilyssa with her sleeves, and took her in an elevator. He pressed for the top floor. Ilyssa stood quiet. After some time, the elevator opened.
“Welcome to the best view spot!”, said Jin inviting Ilyssa to the terrace.
“Are we allowed to be here?”
“Only a few exclusive people can.”
“Okay. I hope you won’t get into any trouble.”, said Ilyssa and followed Jin. “Wow! It is so beautiful.”
“Oh yeah, it is!”
Ilyssa felt happy. She was breathing the fresh air under the moon and stars. She felt that all of her sorrows had disappeared. But soon her happiness disappeared.
“What happened?”, asked Jin.
“That’s my dad’s buildings.”, said Ilyssa pointing at the buildings which were too far.
“So, your dad is Cristiano Agnello?”
“The mafia don?”
“Yes, that’s my dad. Do you know him?”
“Then do you know Aldon Banu?”
“I don’t think I know him well.”
“He is my fiancé, son of Allen Banu.”