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CHAPTER 1 (SN)

CHAPTER 1 (SN)

Aug 09, 2023

CHAPTER 1 — Ken

It has been almost six months since I joined university and I still can’t tell if it was a good decision or an absolutely stupid decision on my part. Maybe I should have joined my father’s workshop like my brothers. But I know I would have hated that too. 

Hate is a strong word  — more like dislike, I wouldn’t have known my place with my father and my brothers and I would have definitely felt trapped. That is the main reason why I worked and studied hard and jumped at the first chance of university. I needed to get away from my family for a while. They are good people, but sometimes they can be a bit too much. 

University’s alright, more than alright really. I’m just being self-pitying at the moment because of my semester exams which start tomorrow. My first semester exams — the pressure to perform well is really on, my scholarship depends on it. It’s not that my family cannot afford to pay for my studies but it’s more that I don’t want them to. I am trying to be on my own as much as possible, and that’s for a good reason too. 

“A-man, you still alive?” Jomar, my roommate calls out. 

I give him a thumbs up, my face still planted on top of my books. We’ve been hitting the books for the past — I don’t even know how long. 

He lets out a small laugh and then I hear his chair scraping and footsteps. Maybe he’s done with his revision. I, on the other hand, am not even halfway done. I still have to–

“C’mon, get up,” I feel him standing right behind me. 

“No,” I groan, “I’m not done yet,” 

“Neither am I, but my back’s hurting, and I’m starving. Let’s go get something to eat first,” 

“No, not hungry,” that’s a lie; my stomach has started groaning since the past hour, “You go,” 

Jomar sighs and pulls me back by the shoulders as I resist although not very forcefully. 

“Noooo. You’re disrupting my process I’m totally going to blame you now if I flunk my exams,” 

“Sure,” he leans me back against the chair and doesn’t let me go because he knows I would plant my face on top of my books once again, “If you fail, I’m pretty sure 90% of your class would fail too. So, shut up and just come to lunch with me. I need the break and definitely so do you,” 

If only I could have the confidence in me that Jomar has. 

Knowing him, he’s not going to leave without me, so begrudgingly I nod and stand up. 

“That’s my man,” Jomar pats my shoulder before going to collect his wallet and phone. 

To be honest, Jomar is the sole reason I even have some semblance of a social life in university. He practically adopted me the first day we met and haven’t let go of me ever since then. He drags me to every gatherings and parties that he gets invited to (and he gets invited to lots of them) and has introduced me to a lot of his friends, who have since then grown to be my friends as well. 

I’m not a very social person clearly; but I get by somehow. 

“Good to go?” Jomar asks, once I’ve changed out of my ratty t-shirt and I nod. 

“We have to be back in an hour, okay? I still have–” I start putting out my conditions before stepping out of our room, but Jomar just gets behind me and pushes me out, clicking his tongue. 

“We’re relaxing. We’re not thinking about anything else,” 

“But–,” 

“Nope,”

Huffing, I don’t say anything more. Jomar loves to have the last word, and I’m too tired to argue anyways. I’ll just sneak back later if he plans to stay out longer. 

It’s weird. Jomar and I have only known each other for months but he treats me as if he’s known for way longer than that, and I weirdly feel the same way too. I’ve heard stories of having shitty roommates but thankfully mine turned out to be a really good one. 

We walk towards the cafeteria and Jomar fills me in on something funny that happened at his last lecture with his professor. And of course, I should have expected it. Sun Ling, Jomar’s girlfriend, is there as well — she is standing right at the entrance so it’s hard to miss her. And with her is Ken — fuck

I side-eye Jomar, but of course he is oblivious to my silent signal, not only because he only has eyes for his new girlfriend, but because he doesn’t know. No one knows except me. 

Jomar started dating Sun Ling around two months back and she is a sweet girl. I like her for my roommate. Jomar is a very lively guy and that sometimes can turn out to be a negative thing, because he fails to recognise when he becomes annoying. I have become used to telling him off, but the same can’t be said for everyone. Sun Ling is a rational-minded person and that sort of balances Jomar out. They are both mathematics majors and after working together on a group project, Jomar was unbelievably taken with her and one thing led to another and now they’re together. 

It’s a good thing. Or at least it was for a while until Sun Ling brought Ken around one day and he began to hang around a lot as well. That has not been a good thing for me

Ken Barrett. 

My life made sense before Ken Barrett. 

I have come as far as university. All that is left for me to do is ace all of my classes, get a degree, get a job, get salary, save money, move out of my house. Only then can I even afford to even acknowledge anything else. And it was fine. I was not complaining. I understood my situation and it was the only way. 

This was before my eyes laid eyes on this particular creature called Ken Barrett. That’s when my brain decided to lose all sort of rationality when it came to matters concerning Ken and I started finding it hard to think straight. I started to resent my life, to resent my situation, to resent my family, even when there’s no one to blame or anything. It’s just the way everything is and it hasn’t bothered me before. So, why now? 

I cast a glance towards the very reason for my current turmoil and immediately look away, fearing that any of them may notice anything off about me — although I’m very aware of the fact that the way I’m acting now is probably what going to tick them off. 

“Hey, Aarvin,” Sun Ling says, before throwing her arms around me in a hug — in a way, she’s like Jomar as well. 

I pat her back, “Hey, Sun Ling,” then moving back, I nod towards the other single person who I wasn’t really planning to meet today or ever really, “Ken,” 

“Hey, Aarvin,” 

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a/n: hello !!! so the first chapter of the new story. hope you liked it, and very much hoping to hear your thoughts. also, i'm 100% not going to apologise for the name 'Ken' 😗 anyways, really let me know what you think about the chapter so far 💕💕💕💕

(for now, this will be the only free chapter of this story; kinda wanted to give you guys a rough feel of the story to give you the choice to decide if it's something you'd wanna read. maybe after completing the story, i'll make more chapters free — maybe)

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