Chapter 32
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The afternoon sun hangs high in the sky. There is a crowd of people on the street looking for lunch. Thankfully, I have eaten my lunch before I head out today so I don’t need to fight with others for a seat.

I stare at the stairs heading downwards to Mama’s bar. I haven’t been back here ever since the first time I came after becoming the person I am. A lot of things have happened since then. I wonder if I have changed and would Mama notice.

My mind starts imagining possibilities but it only increases my nervousness. I shake it off and tell myself that I can know if I enter the bar. It’s useless to think about it right now.

I take a deep breath and start heading towards the door. I stare at the signboard for a moment before finally putting down my hand on the handle. I take another deep breath and push the door open.

The interior of the bar remains the same as I last visited. I take a look around and realise that no one is here. I walk towards the counter while wondering where he is. I take a seat on the barstool while I blankly stare at the clean glasses lined up at the back.

The staff door opens and the sound captures my attention. Leon walks out and immediately notices me. He greets me with a gentle smile, “You’re here.”

“Where’s Mama?”

 “He’s waiting for you. I’ll take you there.”

Leon opens the small door of the bar counter and heads straight to the front door. I follow him out of the door. He swiftly pushes his keys in to lock the door and tested the doorknob to make sure that it’s properly locked. He then gestures to me to continue following him.

He takes me to the parking spaces and starts unlocking a silver car. The car looks expensive but I’m not sure of its brand. Ryan might know of it seeing as he also own a similar type of car.

“Get in,” Leon says as he swiftly enters the driver’s seat.

I open the passenger’s door and go in awkwardly as this is my first time riding the car. In order to make myself comfortable, I try to take my mind off other things and glance at the interior of the car. I can see that it’s clean without a hint of trash, unlike Ryan’s car.

“You like?” Leon asks.

I don’t know what to say so I nod while examining every detail of the interior.

“I bought it for Ruby’s birthday last year but he refused to take it. He refused to ride in it too so I thought I might take you for a spin instead.”

I nod to show him that I was listening before asking, “Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.” Leon doesn’t say anything more as he drives away from Mama’s bar.

I give him an “Okay” as I slowly ease myself onto the seat. I turn to look at Leon as he drives. Although their hair is a similar golden shade, for some reason, Ryan’s hair seems to always shine brighter in the sunlight.

“What’s wrong?” Leon’s voice snaps me out of my trance and I realise I was staring while thinking of Ryan.

I shake my head and tell him “it's nothing” before turning to stare out of the window.

The scenery is changing to a more suburban district. It’s a little weird as we are going further away from our original location. I don’t ask about it though, because I trust Leon enough to allow him to take me wherever he needed to. He won’t take me to somewhere dangerous. 

If he ever did, he will get in trouble with Mama. That’s the last thing he wants.

The drive feels long as neither of us talks that much. It’s not like Leon doesn’t make any effort but I haven’t felt like answering his questions properly. He seems to have noticed that so after a few basic questions about myself, he stopped asking anything else.

When the car finally pulls up in front of a large villa located at the edge of the suburbs we’re in, I readjust myself on the seat.

“Where are we?” I ask Leon as he drives the car closer to this vintage villa that’s surrounded by a large lawn and greeneries around it.

“Ruby’s villa. I bought it for him years ago as a betrothal gift but he rarely stays here,” Leon explains as he parks the car to the side of the villa and turns off the engine.

I follow Leon to exit the car and continue asking, “Why are we here?”

“We feel like this is the best location since it’s quiet.” He says as he heads toward the villa.

“Location for what?” I try to catch up to him but his long legs are making me fall a few steps behind him.

Leon finally stops in front of the door to the villa and places his hand on the handle. He turns to me and says, “You’ll see.”

He opens the door and reveals the sparsely decorated interior of the villa. I enter with confusion after Leon tells me to go in. There is nothing remarkable about the interior but it does tell me that no one really lives here.

Then, my attention is drawn by the echoey footsteps coming from the drawing-room. I turn to look at the emerging figure and my eyes catch the sight of the flaming red hair first before his full slender figure comes into view. He smiles at me and I feel as if I’m back as a kid so I ran into his arms.

We hug for a moment until someone next to us starts coughing out of jealousy.

I look at Leon while still in the arms of Mama and his jealousy is the same as before. He never likes my proximity with Mama but he knows better than to force us to separate. The best he could do is interrupt our moment.

“How are you?” Mama’s voice always soothes my heart.

“I’m better… I suppose,” I answer sheepishly.

“I take it that Leon has explained a lot to you?”

I glance at Leon who only smiles at me and then turns to Mama to nod.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you anything.” Mama sounds truly remorseful.

“It’s part of your work right?”

Mama nods at my question so I continue, “Then, it’s fine. It can’t be helped. I suppose the effect would be grave if you did end up telling me.”

Mama nods again and says, “I didn’t want to take your chance away from you. I wished I could’ve helped you sooner but I’m not alone here.”

“What do you mean you’re not alone?” I ask with furrowed brows.

“Someone from the other side was also given my level of authority here. He no longer has any powers in my jurisdiction since both of you have returned to your rightful place.” He explains to me.

“Rightful place?”

“Home. Both of you are home.”

“Home… I see...” I repeat his words while thinking to myself that I suppose it’s correct to say that I’m now home… 

I continue to ask, “Is that good?”

“I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for that because the world has been in chaos for many years. We can only let it take its course on its own. You shouldn’t worry about it though. Everyone is limited by the rules the world has set on its own. Though the rules will slowly change over time to adapt to its new way of life, it won’t affect how you live yours.”

“Will it affect yours?”

“It’s just my job. Don’t worry about me either. I’m good at my job as long as I get to do it my way. It’ll be easier because the other one no longer has authority here.”

“Oh,” I’m not sure if I fully comprehend it but a different question pops up in my head, “Do I know that person?”

“Hm, I suppose I can tell you. Yes, you do and both of us cares about you," Mama ends his words there and changes the topic as he requests that I walk with him.

"I asked Leon to bring you here because I believe you should take a visit to your past self." Mama opens a side door exit next to the drawing-room.

It reveals a huge garden with an abundance of red flower beds. The scenery is breathtaking.

However, my eyes are drawn toward one spot underneath a tree. I turn to Mama and he smiles at me. He pats my back and says, "Go. I will be here when you come back."

I can see that he intends for me to go alone. My gaze falls back onto the destination Mama wants me to go to. I swallow my saliva and take a step forward as I breathe out.

I continue to take each step forward. Time feels slow. The distance feels far but I keep going.

My heart is beating so loud that it rings in my ears. I have to keep reminding myself once in a while to continue breathing. I don't even look back as my eyes are glued to the place I'm heading towards.

I'm getting closer. I'm afraid but I do know I need to face it. I need to look at the truth straight into its eyes.

I stop a few steps away and stare at the headstone. The only thing engraved on it is ‘Love’ in cursive.

I stare at it for a long time. 

A bunch of past memories flurry by and are slowly replaced by the memories I have made recently. A lot of things have happened and it feels bittersweet right now. The old me tried to survive while the current me…

Wonder if I can be happy?

“You can,” A familiar voice takes me by surprise.

I turn around to see the familiar golden hair that glitters under the sun and the deep ocean-like blue eyes staring back into mine.

He walks closer and continues saying, “You should be happy. Happy Is all that everyone around you wishes for you.”

“Why are you here?” I ask while watching him approach the headstone.

He kneels down on the side and rummages in his pocket, “I thought I should bring something.” 

He pulls out a folded paper and slowly unfolds it. He places it down and takes a few stones nearby to weigh it down. I move closer to look at it and realise that it is a child’s painting.

“Did Aiden draw that?” I can see three stick figures with varying heights. In the middle is the shortest which should symbolise Aiden, himself.

“Yes, he drew us.”


Ryan nods and explains, “He said to himself that this is you and this is me. Of course, in the middle is Aiden.”

“Why… did you bring it here then?”

“I thought that I should show the old you that you’re happier now and life will get better from now on,” Ryan answers as he brushes away the dead leaves and twigs off the headstone.


Ryan rises up and stops me from continuing, “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t know what to say. I just wanted you to know that from now on, you’ll have me and I’ll protect your happiness.”

We stare into each other for what feels like an eternity until I turn to look at the engraving on the stone.

“He said that he chose the best word to describe you to us,” Ryan’s voice is low but I hear him clearly under the windy breeze.

“You mean Mama?” and Ryan nods at that.

My mind quickly recalls what Mama once told me after a customer drank himself after his wife's death. "Love won't die. It lives on. It lives on in here," He pointed to my heart.

I start chuckling to myself as if I come to a realisation.

I’m still alive and wherever the previous Luke is, I hope he is still alive. I hope that we're both still very much alive and very much loved.



“Why did you come here… really?” At my questioning, Ryan pauses for a moment before ruffling his golden hair into a bird’s nest.

“I just thought it was a pity… that I didn’t meet you sooner. I know we can’t turn back time but I felt that even if I met the previous you, I would have still fallen for you.”

The wind begins to rustle the trees so loud that it makes me gaze at the leaves fluttering away as it is carried away from here. I can feel myself turning red and silently hoping he can’t see it.

“I end up coming here often to remind myself to cherish you. Cherish the time I have with you even if you don’t choose me in the end.”

My eyes grow wide at Ryan’s declaration. I don’t understand how he can say this so easily.

“Why me?”

Ryan starts walking toward me and stops when we are an inch away from each other. He says softly, “Why can’t it be you?

“My heart chose you and I’m willing to wait until you have me in yours too.”

His eyes are staring straight into mine.


“Why are you crying?” Ryan reaches out to wipe the tears I don’t even notice falling out of my eyes.

I close my eyes as I feel his hand on my cheek. His thumb lightly slides under my eyes to wipe away the tears.

“I don’t know if I feel the same way as you but I do know… that I like you,” I hold his hand that is on my cheek.

“That’s okay. I’ve already said I’m willing to wait,” Ryan smiles softly as he tenderly returns my gaze.

The quietness lingers but his eyes are overflowing with a warm tender adoration reflecting me. I lower my gaze, slowly trailing every feature of his face but pauses on his plump lips. 

My throat feels dry as I start to wonder if we kiss… would I know?

“What are you thinking?” 

“Kiss…” I swallow the rest of my words as it is a slip of my tongue to answer.

I hear Ryan chuckled as his lips rise into his signature smirk. “What about it?”

I clamp my lips as I turn away but Ryan places his hand on my chin and gently turns me to look at him.

He urges lightly, “Come on. Tell me.”

“I… I…” My words are stuck in my throat but Ryan doesn’t interrupt.

I know that he is waiting for me to continue so I do my best to hold back my embarrassment and say quietly, “I want to… kiss... you.”

“Hmm, what did you say?” He raises an eyebrow.

I can feel my cheeks burning and I want to hide away but his hand is holding my chin. I brave myself to look at him while slightly increasing the volume of my voice.

“Kiss me.” I realise that it is so embarrassing to say it out loud so I try to turn away but Ryan suddenly cups my face.

He leans over and as our lips almost touch. I can feel his breath against my cheek but he hovers and his voice comes out as a whisper when he asks, “Can I?”

Before I can finish my “Yeah”, he presses our lips together. He pulls away after a short second and presses his forehead on mine. Yet my eyes continue to stare at his lips as I want more.

I reach out to hold the back of his head and use the momentum of pushing forward to let our lips touch again. Ryan immediately swings his arm to hold me and pulls me toward him. It takes me by surprise as I gasp and he slides his tongue forward as he deepens the kiss. 

This makes me embarrassed enough to try and turn away but he continues to suck on my lips. His tongue entangles mine as I feel him tightening his hold on me as if he can’t bear even a centimetre apart. 

Meanwhile, my beating heart rings in my ear as if screaming at me to not let him go. My hand clutches on his shirt as I let him have his way with me.

He releases my lips and I can see a string of saliva connecting ours before it disappears.

“How was it?” His voice is huskier now which adds the intensity of my blushing.

I lean to lay on his shoulder as I whisper, “I like it.”

Our eyes meet.

“I like you.”

The end.


Main story has ended but there will be an epilogue and 2 extras to be released.

Thank you everyone for your support!!! I hope you have enjoyed the and don't forget to leave a review of what you think about this book. I don't know what else to say so I leave you with all my heart ♥

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