My New Neighbour

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Chapter 72

I slowly opened my eyes and found myself lying on the floor. My head somehow aches. I was just about to get up but I couldn’t. It was then that I realized that my hands and feet were tied up with ropes. I pushed myself up and leaned my back against the cold wall. I looked around but could barely see anything. It was dark and only the beam of the moon penetrating through the window served as my light from where I was.

I coughed and winced slightly at my dried throat. I need water. I gulped slowly but in vain. All of a sudden, I heard a door opening and closing after a while. I froze, trying to hear every single slight sound echoing around the square and then, it happened, footsteps.

Tap, tap, tap, tap

A figure was soon standing in front of me. Just two more steps and he’ll reveal his face. I took a long deep breath and leaned back, burrowing my back in the wall, trying to get away but well, I couldn’t.

A man, in his late forties came into view and smiled. Those smiles that you would always see in a horror movie? Well, that’s the one which was being thrown my way right now. I couldn’t help but feel disoriented. I wanted to get away, please. Just get me the hell away from here. Anyone.

He bent down slowly so that his face was leveled with mine. I shrunk back in fright. His breath was fanning my face, almost making my stomach churned at the smell. Ew! I could feel the lunch that I had at school almost reaching my throat but I swallowed my saliva to stop myself from vomiting everything out in front of him. He smelled deeply like cigarettes and something else! Something I couldn’t pinpoint in my mind at the moment.

“Let us say that you are the ultimate key in getting what I want.”, he slowly rasped out, his voice sending a shiver go down my backbone spine and then, something flicked across my face and I fell sideways, moaning in pain. It hurts like hell, tears overflowed the brims of my eyes almost immediately.

That was a punch. I thought before blacking out once again.

Max’s point of view;

“So, what’s the plan?“, Jason, the police officer questioned Blake while fixing his pistols in his jeans and shoes, carefully hiding them away.

“Have you called the other forces already?", Blake asked him without giving him an answer to his question.

“I’ve already told you that I don’t like it when someone gives me another f-f question as a response -

“And I’ve told you since the beginning that I don’t want you questioning me like that, I’m not your underline and I’m not your fucking slave, so save your bloody questions for yourself, you get that?", Blake yelled out in frustration after punching the table angrily.

“Do you get that or -

“I g-get it...", I could tell that Jason was getting angry but was clearly too afraid to stand up against Blake. Even if Jason was a police officer, he does not stand a chance in front of Blake, well, quite a lot of officers fear him.

Blake smirked at him and flicked his right hand up in the air, dismissing him, the latter bowed down, as a sign of apology and scrambled outside, closing the door behind him.

I did not utter any words, since I’ve stepped inside, I haven’t said something and Blake couldn’t bare that. I just felt very uneasy at the moment. Blake simply thrust all that fury on him for nothing.

“If you’re not gonna say something, then get out.”, he grumbled silently but I was close enough to hear his voice.

I made a move to go outside when I heard him sighed.

“Phew, this kid.", he grabbed my shoulders from behind and turned me around while pulling me in front of him.

I looked at him, without any fright to stare directly in his dark eyes. Sure, Blake is only one year older than me, but he is not like us. Any person who has ever came across Blake, would know better before doing even a slightest bit move against him. Well, he’s that dangerous but he won’t mess with you if you don’t mess with him, so better stay within your limits.

“Hey, listen. I know you’re still angry at me but ....", I removed his hands from atop my shoulders but he tightened his grasp on them. “Please. Okay. I’m s- I’m so... I’m sorry, bro.", he finally apologized. Is it that hard to say sorry? Well, apologizing isn’t that difficult for me.

“I just want to hold Shelly in my arms.”, I mumbled, not really commenting on his first ever apology. He just rolled his eyes at me and chuckled.

“I know and this is why we’re doing this.", he explained but I knew just what he wants.

“No, you just want to take your revenge and that’s it. You won’t care if Shelly dies or if any of us die too -

“I seriously do not want anyone dying, okay? And it’s true, yes, I do want to take my revenge, that’s why I’m going through my already planned -

“That’s what you don’t understand, Blake. That bastard told me to come alone and not to forget, no police. How am I gonna not worry like this? I have to go there alone -

“Don’t you dare try that -

“We need to change the plan.”, I continued on rambling on, not paying any attention to what Blake was saying but I flinched when I suddenly felt a hot sharp stinging pain shot up on my left cheek.

“What the fuck -

“Shut your shitty mouth. We’re gonna do this, Max. We can’t let our plan go to waste and we need to avenge ourselves and think about Shelly, Max. Do you want to go there, fall into their trap and watch them torture Shelly while they hold you down or do you wanna go there and beat their asses to get out of there alive, with Shelly?", Blake reasoned and shook me.

“You’re right.”, I nodded while I thought about what Blake had just said, knowing my father, he would go to any extent just to get what he wants. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would kill me, his own son.

“Don’t worry. We’ll get her.”, Blake reassured me but I gulped hard, frowning while squeezing my eyes tightly shut.

“Let’s do this, okay?", Blake nodded, his lips pressed together in a thin line. I nodded and hugged him.

“Yah, you! Leave me, I’m not Shelly. Go hug -

“Thanks for everything, bro.", I whispered sincerely, making him stop from trying to push me away. I would have laughed in such a situation but well, considering our problem, I did not. He would always feel awkward in such situations. He hesitantly hugged me back and then tightened his hold.


“You’re here, finally.", I heard a familiar gruff voice echoed around the empty valley.

“Where’s Shelly?", I jumped right to the point while glaring at him.

“Aw, don’t be like that. We’ve met after such a long time and -

“Where’s Shelly?", I repeated once again and stood right where I was.

“Straight to the point, huh? Well, like father like son -

“Just shut up.", I yelled out in anger while running my right hand through my hair, messing it up, as if it wasn’t already messed up.

“Watch your tongue, you spoiled brat.", he screamed at me while stepping forward making me take a few steps backwards, his face glistening with the moonlight.

His face. So much dark and pained memories flickered through my mind and I tried my level best not to wince. The corners of his mouth quirked up, clearly appreciating my reaction to his actions. I clenched my teeth together, my jaw line hardening but I stayed quiet. I need to be strong, for Shelly, for my mom, for my sister and for myself.

“If only you hadn’t been such a tattler that night -

“What did you expect? That I would just shut my mouth and let you betray your own wife behind her back? Huh! I’m not that cruel, you bastard -

“Stop calling me names. I’m your father -

“You’re not my father -

“That bitch did not give you the proper upbringing -

“Well, that’s not her fault because the one who should have been doing that, was busy fooling around like an adulterer -

“You little sucker -

“Hmm. Getting angry, aren’t we?“, my fingernails dug into my palms as the urge to punch something or someone increased.

“Just shut your mouth, you -

“Sir, she’s up,", someone interrupted us but I could not see his face.

“Let Matt handle her for now -

“Matt.”, I whispered in a raucous tone without thinking.

“Ooh yes! I guess since you’ve angered me more, I should let Matt do what he couldn’t do before. What do you think? Let the boy fulfill his dreams, right? He -

Within seconds, I had him pinned to the side with a boom echoing around when his back came into contact with the wall, my arm on his neck, cutting off his air supply but he just laughed, even though it was getting hard to breathe. I smirked when I noticed something in his eyes. Something that I’ve never seen before, a small ounce of fear. That laugh was only a façade that he was trying to show me. I chuckled darkly, well, I would always win when it comes to situations like this.

“I can read your body language, father!“, I told him slowly, my voice icy cold.

“As if.", he retorted, despite his fear.

“Well, I should praise you for that -

“Get off me you -

I dug my arm more onto his neck, cutting him off. His face was already red from trying to sustain the pressure for so long but he still forced his body. Such a hardworking man.

“Bang!", a gunshot was heard and I gradually felt the pain.

A pain which spread like wildfire over my whole body. I felt my body weakened and I stumbled backwards, releasing him even though I did not want to. I sunk down and I slowly fell on my knees. My father merely stood there, smirking devilishly at me while fixing his collar. Rot in hell, I thought while still staring at him with my glossy eyes. The pain was unbearable. I have to kill him! There’s no way he’s gonna live. I raised my right hand while reaching out for him but he just flicked my hand away with the tip of his index finger and my arm fell by my side, causing even more pain to spread over my body when it came into contact with my right side.

When I felt myself falling forward, I pressed my palms firmly on the ground and held myself up. I took a deep shallow breath and tried to breathe in and out. That’s when everything turned topsy turvy, it felt like chaos. Blake had came in from his hide out along with the other guys while shooting out each guy who ran in their direction without hesitation. I wanted to stop them as Shelly was still in their captive but a spasm of pain shooting throughout my whole body made me wheeze out in pain.

“Do you even know why I cheated on your mother? It’s because a cheater needs to be cheated on -

“What?“, I gaped at him in disbelief.

How could he say this?

“Hard to believe? That’s how I felt when I learned about your mother doing it behind my back. She -

“Stop.", I shouted all of a sudden.

I could not bare hear him spit out nonsense about my mother like that. If that was the case, then my mother would have clearly moved on after my father ran away, right? But no, she did not. It’s been five years since, so?

“Impossible", I shook my head negatively.

“Why impossible? Am I the only bastard? What about your mother then? Isn’t she a bitch? Did you think she is as pure and chaste like she pretends to be? You’re wrong -

I shook my head negatively.

He raised one of his eyebrows questioningly at me.

“Who told you this?“, I asked him while glaring furiously.

“That’s none of your fucking business.", he exclaimed, like he wasn’t expecting this question being thrown his way.

Huh! He must have been lying.

Or he does not want you to know about the one who destroyed your family.

I frowned when that thought crossed my mind. No way.

“You won’t believe me? Oh, I see, you’re a mama boy, yeah? She got you on a leash like a little dog. She manipulated you against me. She knew that I’ll be back but you know what? I’ll kill everyone dear to her and isolate her like a fucking slut. Oh! That sister of yours, do you think she’s your real blood related sister? -

“That’s enough!“, I rose up and gritted my teeth together to overcome the pain flooding all over my body.

“What are you barking about? You’re the one who’s trying to manipulate me. And then, who are you to punish your own wife? You're nothing!", I yelled at him and clenched my teeth out of anger, gritting out once in a while because of the pain shooting the most through the left side of my stomach. No, Max, forget the pain. It’s now or never, I thought while standing up more properly, holding myself up straight while snickering darkly at him.

“I had the right because I - ", he froze midway when his eyes fell on me.

“Thought you could get rid of me that easily?“, I smirked and fisted my hands tightly into punches while mentally cackling when his mouth felt opened in shock and disbelief.

“H-How -

“What? Shocked?“, I snorted and shrug my right shoulder arrogantly.

He tsked and shook his head, quickly smirking at me to hide his fear. He flicked his hand in the air and every man who was by his side, stopped fighting right away and stood up straight, facing him. Blake and his men also stopped after seeing how every man dropped their weapons down on the ground and stared confusingly at us.

“How about we do this rightly? One fight? Only between two men and we finish this in peace, without any innocent person dying because of us? Huh? What do you say?", he raised one of his eyebrows questioningly at me while raising both his arms by his side.

“Look who’s talking. After having fired like a bloody coward at me -

“Coward? What the -

“Only a coward would attack from the back and you... are one.", I smirked at him when I saw his face become paper white and then slowly, his face grew red in anger.

“You know what? I really want to laugh, like laugh my heart out at your plight because this is how I wanted to defeat you and I truly want to do even more right now but I know, I shouldn’t take matters in my hands as I have a family to protect, you know, I’m the only man in my house, so I’ll leave it to the rest, yeah?", I shook my head negatively slowly, like I was bored.

“That’s like my son. You -

“I’m not your son.", I snapped and took a step forward in rage.

“Seemed like I’ve woken up the monster sleeping inside you. Why not take out your anger on someone who’s at the same level as you?", he tried his level best to look composed but I knew that he was already deeply affected and he knew that he’ll be losing but he can’t just run away, I mean, that will just confirm that he’s a coward, right? Thought so...

“And who might that be?", I chuckled and looked sideways.

“Your brother.", he puffed out his chest like he was showing off his winning trophy while jamming his thumb over his right shoulder. I followed the line of direction and soon, a dark shadow was slowly coming out of the dark from the other side of the tunnel.

I clenched my teeth in anger after realizing that I’ve been compared by such an asshole who goes around flaunting like a crazy bitch.

“You mean... my step-brother?“, I grunted out in annoyance and fisted my hands tightly.

“Aha! That’s right.”, the old man nodded slowly while running one of his hands along his stubble covered cheeks and turned around to look at the figure who was soon approaching us and then, walked up the remaining steps to join the bastard midway.

“Long time, no see..... brother.", the scoundrel raised up his right hand for a shake but I snickered while taking his hand and pulled him towards me, making him collide with my chest.

“Indeed.... Aiden.", I slowly whispered in his left ear and then, without further ado, I raised up my right leg while lowering him downwards and kneed him in the chest. He hissed out in pain and tried to push me away but I kept him down and continued to kick him repeatedly. I smiled in satisfaction and stared directly into the eyes of my so-called father.

“Is he the one who you believe will be able to take me down?“, I chuckled and kicked Aiden once again, this time more harshly.

He looked away but I could tell, just how pained he was, just by watching the end of everything, ending with his lost. He’ll be defeated and I know just how much he hates being defeated.

“Afraid? But I know that you wouldn’t even care if I kill your son right now, right? I mean, who are you to care for others? You only care for yourself, right? Such a selfish person.", I shook my head dejectedly at him.

That’s when he looked at me, staring deeply into my eyes and I kindly returned the gesture.

“Look at your son, father!", I sneered at him and kicked Aiden again, by now, the latter was already swaying on his weakening legs and I could feel his body weight becoming heavier and heavier.

“Look at him. Just once, you’ll see who has the upper hand over here -

“Leave him....“, Aiden’s father cut me off when the former began spitting out blood like saliva.

“You care? Why am I so shocked? See, what has become of your loving son.", I shook Aiden’s upper body and his arms hung lifelessly by his sides.

“Leave him, please -

I interrupted him again but this time by throwing a kick on Aiden’s side, knocking him off completely.

“Here, take your son.", I grabbed Aiden’s collar to steady him up but he kept swaying on his feet while groaning in pain, so I pushed him towards his father like a rag doll but due to his weight, the old man let Aiden slide down to the ground. He curled up into a ball and heaved out slow breaths.

“Get lost.", I snapped at him while shaking my right palm in front of my face.

“This is not over.", my father threatened but I just rolled my eyes at him and let the police officers cuff his hands and take him away.

“Max, Alex found Shelly -

“Where is she?", I turned to look at Ryder who had a deep cut on his right upper hand but he paid no heed to it and jutted his chin towards the end of the tunnel.

“The bastard kept her in one of the underground rooms -

I began rushing towards the underground compound in a hurry with only one thing in my mind, Shelly.

Shelly’s point of view;

Ice cold liquid was dumped onto me harshly, bringing me back from my unconscious state. My eyes flew opened as my body lurches forward, reeling for the second time today as my mind spins in circles. I gasped in shock and squeezed my eyes shut, letting the dizziness in my brain calm down for a moment before slowly squinting my eyes open again. Pain stroke the back of my head immediately as the water sliced pass. I guessed I hit my head earlier after receiving that punch on my face.

“Wakie, wakie!", a familiar voice echoed at the back.

“Matt.", I gasped when I saw his face glowing in the dark.

“Surprise, aren’t you? I withdrew back when I saw that you got yourself a tough guy but what did you think? That I would step back? Hah! I don’t accept defeat, babe. Never...” he trailed off and then, grinned darkly at me.

I looked down, and squeezed my eyes shut tightly, images of that night flashing quicker than I thought in my mind. I could not bear look at him. He sighed and I could hear him coming nearer to me, while tapping the back of the chair that I was seated in. At least, they provided me with a chair, but my ass was still aching from having to sit on that hard concrete floor earlier. When I felt him leaning even more closer to me, I tried to make a sound but my throat felt sore. I flinched in fear when he grabbed my shoulders and came dangerously close to my face. I could feel his breathe fanning over my....... lips. If he moved forward now, like right now, his lips would be on mine.

“Don’t touch her.", shouted a familiar voice which I’ve been dying to hear.

I heaved out a long breath in relief when Matt was sent sprawling on the floor. He landed on his back and groaned in anger. Phew! As long as he’s away from me, I thought and smiled when I saw Max leaning over me.

“Are you alright?", Max whispered, his voice sounding so weak and his eyes blooded red, almost as if he was desperately trying his level best not to cry. I gulped hard and nodded.

“Sure?", Max cupped my face with his two outstretched palms. I was enveloped in his warmth.... his love and I could feel my eyes filling up with unshed tears right away but I flickered my eyes shut once before pecking him on the lips softly.

“I am!", I nodded once again in spite of knowing that I was far from being alright, that single punch from earlier was killing me, I am definitely sure that I’ll be getting a bruise on my face by tomorrow.

It was then that I noticed the large red spot covering his white T-shirt. Blood.

“M-Max, you’re h-hurt.", I slowly said while he was untying the knots tied from around my wrists and ankles. As soon as my hands were freed, I leaned forward to lift up his T-shirt but he stopped me right away.

“Don’t -

“Is it your f-father? He -

“Yes!", Max sighed and hugged me tightly.

I felt tears rise up in my eyes but this time not because of sadness but because of anger. I wish I could suffocate that old geezer, I thought while hugging him back, ignoring the flicker of pain shooting around my wrists. His pain is much more than what I’m feeling right now, both physically and mentally.

How could a father do that much to his own son?

“Hey", Matt yelled out in anger, making me jump out of fright.

Max turned around immediately and stopped Matt’s right punch right on time by wrapping his left palm around it but unexpectedly, the latter raised his other arm, grasping tightly on the long piece of wood in his left hand and flunked it on Max’s right side, breaking it into pieces.

“No!", I screamed and gasped.

“Max", my voice broke when I saw him whizzing out in pain but he stood his ground and grabbed the back of Matt’s neck and flunked him aside angrily, cracking his head to against the wall. Matt dizzily got up, swaying from side to side while shaking his head slowly. I thought Matt would step back but then without hesitation, his fist landed on Max’s jaw, causing his face to flip sideways. Max hissed and groaned in anger as blood was gushing out in the right corner of his lips but he still glared at Matt with fury eyes. Max kicked him in the chest and the latter went down on his knees, grumbling in pain. However, Max did not stop there, he jabbed Matt’s rib to keep him down and raised his right knee, kicking Matt in the face, making his nose bleed. Max, then wiped the blood at the corner of his lips with the back of his right hand. Matt was already busted, so down that he kept moaning in pain.

“M-Max!", I stuttered and gulped hard.

Max smiled cheekily at me and I giggled at his cute boyish face.

“Are you okay?", I asked him but he just wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into an embrace, I hugged him back and closed my eyes while sighing in relief.

“Now, I’m okay.", he said and I hit him on the back for being cheesy but I bit my lower lip when he hissed out in pain.

“Sorry, sorry, sorry!", I apologized quickly.

“Seriously, babe?", he pulled away and looked at me while grimacing in pain.

“I’m sorry. Is it hurting a lot?“, I asked him worriedly.

“No, it doesn’t. Can’t you see, I’m enjoying myself so much right now.", he replied with sarcasm but when I looked up at him with puppy eyes, he couldn’t stop himself from rolling his eyes at me while chuckling slowly.

“I guess, you can just kiss the pain away then, right? Since you hurt me.", he questioned me while pouting too and just like I’ve always done, I kissed his pout away.

What? It comes naturally.

Just then, a sickening dark loud laugh was heard and I pulled away from Max to see where it was coming from but before I could even see, Max got protectively in front of me, blocking my line of sight.

“Thought that I’ll just let you get away while I got locked away?", I heard a familiar voice sneered...... Aiden?

Max’s point of view;

“What the -

“- fuck is going on?“, he cackled and wiped his bloody mouth with his left long sleeve hastily while pinpointing me with a gun.

“If I’m going down, you’re also going down, brother.", he slurred out slowly, almost like he was about to lose consciousness but I knew him, he wasn’t someone who would back off this easily and looking at the situation, I knew that I was dead meat at the moment.

I could feel Shelly’s squeezing the back of my shirt with her fists and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do something because he had the upper hand right now. Even the slightest mistake on my part and both Shelly and I might get hurt.

Adrenaline was rushing through my whole body and the panic that set free in my brain made me realize what I needed to do. I stood still, like a shield in front of Shelly and waited like an idiot.

When Aiden stared at me with a fierce look, I knew that it was the end for me but at least, Shelly will be safe. I turned around and pulled her into my arms, hugging her tightly, burrowing her face in the crook of my neck and inhaling her scent deeply before sighing in relief.

“Max, what are you - ", she struggled to break free.

" - shh... Everything’s gonna be okay.", I whispered calmly and kissed her forehead softly.

That’s when I heard the gunshot and I clung onto Shelly, waiting for the blow. I gasped in pain, my eyes widening when it stroke me, like lighting. I choked and clenched my teeth when I felt black dots floating around in my head, clearly at the brink of losing consciousness but I held on, tightening my arms around the only thing preventing me from falling into the dark, my only source of light, the one and only girl who changed my life and made me become a better man, my first and only crush, my cute neighbor, my girl...

“Shelly.....“, I tried to speak when she held me at an arm distance but I ended up wheezing in pain. Our eyes met halfway and I looked down on myself. Blood was gushing out from the wound but I shook my head slowly from side to side and motioned for her to keep quiet.

I heard footsteps, advancing steps closing in on us, approaching us quickly and I pulled Shelly closely against my chest once again and clasped more tightly onto her, if that was even possible, hiding her away from the sickening bastard. I could feel my t-shirt getting more wet from the blood coating it more rapidly like wild fire catching up on a trail of petrol. I could feel myself going weaker as the time ticked by but I tried to control my breathing. I closed my eyes when Aiden pressed his gun harder onto my head from behind which made me gulp in panic. No, I needed to do something, anything...

Without wasting another second, I loosened my arms from around Shelly and swung around with the little energy left in me, swinging my right arm high up in the air, knocking Aiden in the face, completely thrown off guard, he yelled out in pain and clutched his head in his arms while perching down low, hiding his face away. I staggered over and over again like a drunkard but I tried to stand upright and toddled up to him slowly. I perched down while shouting in pain when I felt my insides hardening with the slight pressure but I still lifted him up and kicked him in the guts. I pushed him against the wall, knocking his head against the hard concrete again and again. That bastard deserves to die, like the dickhead that he is! I could feel my body screaming, my muscles tightening like serpents coiling around their preys but I gritted my teeth together. It was getting hard to breathe but I only stopped when Aiden’s body went lifeless.

I stepped one step backwards and stumbled on my own two feet when I felt becoming more heavier. More black dots covered up my vision and I could feel myself falling...

“No - " I heard her voice, her beautiful voice echoing from around me. I felt arms grabbing me before my body could collapse on the hard cold floor but I couldn’t see anymore since I was sent spiraling into complete darkness.

Shelly’s point of view;

“Noooo....“, I screamed and rushed towards him when he stumbled. I could see the color fading from his face. Slowly, his body tilted backwards but I wounded my arms around his body, catching him cautiously and carefully, afraid of injuring him even more while lowering him on the ground until he was lying right in my lap.

“No.. no - no", I shouted in despair and whimpered with tears all over my face. I shook my head violently. I could not describe what was going on through my mind right now. All I know is that Max was lying lifelessly, right here, in front of me, in front of my eyes, and I could not think straight. I felt like I was being sucked out of my life and soul, like I forgot how to breathe, like I was dying. My belly kept on churning with all sorts of emotions and I just couldn’t explain what was going on but I did not want to go through this kind of feelings once again. I just couldn’t. This is pure torture. Dying will be a better option for me right now because what I was feeling was much more worse than death. The smell of burnt flesh was strangling me and I just couldn’t watch Max lying down here like this.

“Nooo - no!“, I sobbed and choked breathlessly. Like on instinct, I slung my arms around him and hugged his upper body. No, you can’t leave me, Max. I won’t let you go. I was looking blankly at the scenery in front of me, my cheeks soaked up with dried tears and with fresh ones flowing down again and again, like a dam exploding in halves, no longer being able to sustain the tears while I kept on bawling my eyes out. Slowly, it was getting blurry, everything felt so light, so blurry. I want to keep on holding onto Max, keep him in my arms, be with him forever...

These were my last thoughts before I could feel myself falling, letting myself lean forward... I felt my body collapsing on top of something soft before everything around me fell into pitch darkness..........

A few weeks later;

The mysterious man wearing a black hoodie with his face half covered, punched the boot of his car when he saw Max kissing Shelly lightly on the lips from afar.

“This isn't over. I’ll be back.....", he sneered through clenched teeth and with one last look at the couple, he retreated inside his car, pressing on the accelerator and drove out of there, out of the town and out of Max’s and Shelly’s lives but he will be back to avenge himself...


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