COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
“W-what?! Pull out all your money?!” The man on the other line nearly had a heart attack.
“No need to shout, Mr. Chu. I can hear you just fine.” Evangeline stroke Fall’s soft coat alternating between rubbing Spring and Summer’s chin. They were laying on her bed, ready to sleep.
“M-miss Heart, why so sudden? This collaboration is already set on stone a month ago between two companies. To withdraw . . . Does your father know about this?”
“Mr. Chu, I think you don’t know who it is you’re talking to. I will have my lawyers attend to you tomorrow morning. I want the papers finalized and my money back by the end of the week.”
“B-but . . . Why?! Without this collaboration, my company might go bankrupt! We already bought the materials and equipment. Miss Heart, please––”
“Not my problem. If you want to blame someone. Go blame your daughter.”
Turning off her phone, she placed it on the bedside table and snuggled herself on her pillows. Ready to sleep.
. . .
. . .
But no matter how hard she tried, she kept tossing and turning as Eric’s lovely face continuously appeared in her mind.
In an old looking apartment on the second floor, it was already two in the morning when Eric got home.
After he finished taking another bath, he slumped his tired body on his bed.
He was soaked under the rain two times in one day. It was no wonder that his body was heavy. Not to mention he did his part-time job under an air-conditioned room.
He drifted to sleep, not minding his wet hair, but the telephone in the hallway near the foyer rang and rang nonstop.
Groaning, he grumpily stood to his feet, ignoring the pounding of his head.
He cleared his burning throat before he answered the phone, “Hello?”
His back flinched straight at the sound of that throaty voice. Deep and powerful.
“I called to congratulate you on a job well done. I bet with the speed of your progress, it’ll only be two years until you achieve your quota . . . Then you can come home.”
“. . .”
“Not bad indeed.”
“. . .”
“I won’t hold you any longer. Keep it up . . . Son.”
Tut . . . Tut . . .
*sigh . . .
Eric took a deep breath and slowly released it through his mouth. He went back to bed and closed his eyes.
He was exhausted, to say the least. His body was already reaching its limit and his consciousness gradually fade. His mind wondered into the foggy forest of dreams. Dreaming of that time.
A distant memory under the rain and thunder.
A year and a half ago
It was raining, the morning sky felt like evening as he got off the plane. He just arrived in Burberry country.
After settling everything in his not so shabby apartment, he went to find part time jobs that were not affiliated to his family.
All day with just his raincoat and a few dollars for food, he went in all places that were near his apartment and soon to be school, inquiring for part-time jobs as well as familiarizing himself with his new environment.
And that was when he heard a cry.
Whimper . . . Whimper . . .
Glancing left and right, he searched for the sound and his eyes zoomed on a small soaked cartoon box in a dark alleyway.
Without thinking, his feet led him in front of the box. He squatted and uncover what was inside.
To his surprised, a wiggling white furball jumped to his knee, wagging its tail.
“Hey, little guy . . . What’re you doing out here?”
He extended his raincoat to protect the puppy from the rain.
Arf! Whimper . . .
He swept his surroundings, hoping to see if an owner would come. But a long time had passed and still no one claim the pup. He was contemplating whether to take the puppy with him or not. It took a long time for him to contemplate as his legs went numb from crouching for too long.
“I can’t take you. My apartment doesn’t allow pets.”
Eric wanted to walk away and pretend that he didn’t see anything. Pretended he didn’t encounter an abandoned puppy along the way. He couldn’t afford to take care nor bring the guy home. He didn’t have the time to take care of him.
“I’m sorry . . .”
Forehead scrunching, he stood and walked ahead, leaving the little guy there.
Whimper . . .
Whimper . . .
Eric ran his teeth over his lower lip as he reminded himself not to turn around.
But his body betrayed him.
Watching the little guy there, sitting alone under the rain as he watched him leave with its round innocent eyes while it whimpered desolately . . .
He was reminded of himself.
With a decisive action, he grabbed the pup. Embracing him closer to his chest, protecting him from the rain.
“I’ll take care of you until I find you an owner,” Eric muttered to himself, watching the little furball laying on his back against his arms.
“Oh . . . so you’re a girl.” He chuckled.
“I’ll call you Snow then.” He rubbed the little girl’s tummy as it wiggled and barked happily.
Days passed and Eric managed to hide the puppy from the landlord. He could only sigh in relief that the little girl was obedient and didn’t cause too much ruckus when he was not around.
It was already the second month of school. Eric woke up as usual on a Monday morning, but this time, he woke up late.
He did his morning routine in a rush and after making sure he left enough food for Snow to eat, he left for school, riding his secondhand bike.
Though it was already two months, Eric didn’t have a single friend in the Academy. Because of his nerdy image and poor upbringing, he was quickly isolated by his peers. He didn’t feel anything about it since he was used to it already.
He sat in his usual seat near the window and watched as the heavy rain fell. He listened to the lectures and played his role as an honor student. He even applied for a job in the cafeteria so he could eat free food. He also worked as a janitor after class for the extra money to pay his school related stuffs. Like projects and other miscellaneous fees.
Maybe because of this that the students mocked him until it turned to outright bullying. But no matter how the students oppressed him, he didn’t retaliate nor submit.
He was used to it.
And like the usual day, Eric laid on the ground with wounds and bruises scattered on his face, yet he didn’t grunt nor cried in pain. He simply scrambled to his feet, arranged his broken glasses on his nose and wiped away the blood from his busted lips. He reached for his broom and resume cleaning the garden that was more like a forest.
And that was when it happened.
“Please, go out with me.”
Daniel Richardson, the heartthrob and number one sought-after bachelor in the entire Academy, and Evangeline Heart, number one on the hate list of women and number one on the fuck list of men, were standing at a corner of the dense bushes and trees.
“Alright . . .”
The two were at a distance from Eric, so they didn’t notice him.
Eric watched as Evangeline smiled, yet the only feeling he got was coldness.
Such a cold woman.
Resuming his job, he didn’t bother them anymore.
He heard many rumors about Evangeline Heart, and it hadn’t been all pretty. He wasn’t concerned about it since it was none of his business. But it was always the favorite topic of his classmates. Even though Evangeline was in another class, it didn’t stop his peers from discussing her.
Days past by like that for Eric. Wake up, go to school, if he was lucky, he wouldn’t get beaten up, which not often happened. He went to his part-time jobs, and if he had the time, he would walk Snow around.
As his mundane life continued its usual course, something unexpected occurred on a rainy day.
When he returned home, Snow was no longer inside his apartment. It was raining hard outside and this added to his worry as many unfortunate things flashed inside his mind from Snow’s disappearance.
Without wasting another second, he stormed the rain to find Snow with only his raincoat and flashlight. He ran and ran around for two hours, searching every nook and cranny. He didn’t notice that he was already meters away from his apartment going in Unmei Academy’s direction.
And then he saw Snow. The little pup was shaking, hiding in the bushes near a shed.
His eyes close and he breathed a big sigh of relief. Catching his breath, he approached her, a relieved smile on his lips. But when someone appeared in his line of sight, he stopped moving.
“Well, hello there, little guy . . . What are you doing there under the rain?”
Eric watched as Evangeline bent down and grabbed Snow into her embrace.
He forgot to breathe as he watched the woman –– dubbed as a vicious, cruel, pompous Queen –– protectively embraced Snow in her arms.
“Did you run away from home? I don’t see a collar though . . . ,” Evangeline murmured. She swept Snow with her lilac eyes and her pouty lips stretched wide in a smile.
Eric was loss for words. He even forgot about Snow as he was utterly captivated by the woman’s sudden smile. It was a smile that filled him with warmth by just looking at it.
“You’re shaking so much.” Evangeline hugged the puppy closer to her, giving her heat to the little guy. Not minding that her designer dress was drenched and stained from the wet and mud coming from the pup.
“Come on, let’s get you home.”
Evangeline hailed a cab, and that was when Eric snapped out from his reverie. He ran to her but stopped when a gush of wind almost blew him off course.
It was Daniel Richardson . . . and he was soaking wet, holding an umbrella.
Eric didn’t move on his spot as he stared at the couple as they got in the cab together with Snow until the car left. His eyes remained fixed on the cab, searching for someone inside. As to who exactly . . . only he knew.
It could be said, that day was deeply imprinted in his mind. And unknowingly . . . whether he admitted to it or not, he too fixed his eyes and ears for Evangeline Heart.
And without even thinking about why, he decided to apply to places where she often visit.
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