Chapter 8

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  Karma kept true to his word; your eyes had scanned the colorfully-decorated-karaoke-room several times and yet the sadistic redhead was nowhere to be found... and his absence from the party only made guilt grow within you and it tormented your fragile soul until it was only little more from withering away completely.

You breathed out a silent sigh and tried your best to crack a smile for the sake of your friends who seemed to be enjoying the party like there was no tomorrow. You were seated alone at one of the small tables in the rather large karaoke room(Maehara had decided to rent the biggest one in the whole bar) as your gaze darted around, taking in the beaming faces of your dear friends whom you'd be leaving in a day; Isogai and Nakamura were both erupting into paroxysms of laughter, probably from a joke that Maehara had told while Terasaka and his gang were attempting to stop Koro-sensei from devouring the giant bowl of pudding laid on another table that held all the snacks and refreshments. You couldn't help but smile at the sight, not the kind of scowl-like smile that you tried to force earlier but a genuine smile that held amusement; guess the key to your happiness was your friends, you wonder how in the world you were going to survive once you leave... it sickened you how unfair life could be.

But that depressing thought aside, all of your friends and Koro-sensei had been really supportive to you; telling you that they'd all try their best to talk to you every day, either through the phone or via the Internet, and Koro-sensei was even generous enough as to promise that he'd visit you as much as he could to report to you on everyone's states on a weekly basis.

"Hey, (Y/ N)-chan!" you escaped from your train of thought as you heard a familiar high-pitched voice called aloud to you. You reflexively tore your eyes away from Koro-sensei and the others at the refreshments table opposite yours and looked up to meet Kayano's bright and cheery face.

"Hi, Kayano-chan." You replied with a weak smile. "Are you enjoying the party so far?"

"Well, Maehara-kun does know how to throw a good party, and everyone seems to be having fun," she said which was answer enough and then turned her big, green eyes on you and the ends of her lips were tugged down into a frown. "That is everyone except you."

The weak smile that you'd taken some effort to muster faltered immediately and you bit on your bottom lip as you began to feel vaguely uncomfortable under the green-haired-girl's unwavering gaze. You then heard a sigh and saw that she'd taken the empty seat opposite you at the table. "You do know that this party was thrown in your honor, right?" she inquired not impolitely but her tone held a bit of exasperation.

You gave a light nod.

"Then it should only be right that you're the one enjoying it the most," she stated. "But you're not, instead, you're sitting here all alone and sulking." She paused for a second before continuing to ask, "What's wrong? ...Besides the whole moving to America thing and leaving everything behind of course."

You chewed on your bottom lip and held your gaze on Kayano as she'd been doing with you as you contemplated whether or not you should tell her about your problems with Karma. But after a few moments of staring at each other and Kayano giving you her best puppy-dog-eyes, you gave in with a defeated sigh.

So you then straightened up in your seat and collected your scattered thoughts before parting your lips and letting the whole story of you and Karma tumble out without much thought. You were so very thankful that Kayano kept silent and paid you her absolute attention as you spoke, giving you a few frequent nods to ensure that she'd registered your words.

You didn't realize how parched you'd become until you'd finished speaking and you were grateful for your green-haired-friend as she passed you her cup of fruit punch, probably sensing your thirst. "Arigatou." You mumbled before accepting the small plastic cup and brought it up to your lips for a sip.

"From all that you'd just told me," Kayano then spoke. "I can without a doubt confirm that you're in love with Karma-kun, head over heels for him to be exact."

You nearly choked on the fruit punch as her words sunk into your brain. Your eyes widened as you looked at your friend; sure, you'd already came to that assumption once but hearing it spoken aloud from someone else's lips made your face flushed with a suffusion that crimsoned your entire countenance and your grip on the plastic cup in your hand tightened absentmindedly.

"I..." you wanted to protest, you wanted so badly to deny her claim, but... you couldn't, because you knew that she was right. Your shoulders slumped back as you let out an exhausted sigh. "I guess I am..." you mumbled.

"Well, that's good," Kayano chirped with a slight smirk playing on her lips. "You finally admitted to having romantic feelings for Karma-kun! It's a miracle given how much of a tsundere you are, (Y/ N)-chan! I thought for sure that-" she went on but you cut her off, vaguely irritated.

"Please, stop, I don't need to hear any lecturing or anything of the sorts right now." You started and sucked in a deep breath. "What I need now is... advice, Kayano-chan, what can I do? I've messed up so much and I..." you trailed off; guilt was consuming you little by little and soon enough you would be devoured by it completely.

You were instantly pulled away from your guilty thoughts when you felt Kayano's hand upon yours, giving it a reassuring squeeze. You smiled at the insignificant yet comforting gesture and met Kayano's face which held a smile of her own. "You said that you were afraid to admit to yourself that you're in love with Karma-kun because you weren't prepared love to someone like him, right? Because you weren't ready to give your heart to someone who seems very likely to break it-"

"I'm still not ready." You interjected without thinking.

"Yea," Kayano nodded but her warm smile still remained intact. "I know, but let me tell you something, (Y/ N)-chan, love is all about taking risks, so you need to take a few risks if you ever want to find love, the type of love that will always be more than enough for you. And honestly, I don't think it's too late to fix this mess of yours, so if you want to take a risk on loving Karma-kun, then get out your phone right now and call him."

"Since when did you become so wise about love, Kayano-chan?" you inquired your friend with a soft smile.

"Let's just say I'd learnt from experience..." she murmured then added, "And I'm still learning through experience now."

You looked at her in the eyes and you couldn't have wished for a better friend at than her at that moment. "I hope Nagisa-kun will eventually come to his senses and take his own risks at love."

Kayano's smile grew slightly. "I hope so too."

You gave her one last smile before standing up from your seat. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a call to make." You said with a cheeky smile which received an encouraging cheer from your green-haired-friend.

You simply laughed and shook your head at her and made your way towards the exit.

You'd closed the door to the exit and you were about to head to the nearest deserted corner to make a call to Karma with your phone which you'd taken out from your pocket a few moments ago clutched in your hand when you heard abrupt footsteps breaking the silence of the empty hallway. You spared a glance behind you but saw no one, not even a shadow. Assuming that it was your mind playing tricks with you, you shook your head and shifted your gaze forward.

You were just about to take a step forward when you suddenly felt your mouth being covered by something and a pair of arms wrap around you, forcing you in place. Your eyes shot wide as panic began to rise within you. Your body writhed vigorously, attempting to free yourself from your attacker's vise grip. But your struggling only made the arms around you tightened their grip on you and made it difficult for you to get air into your lungs.

A wave of calm then spread across your mind and your body halted with its fruitless attempts at escaping; you remembered how Koro-sensei had taught you to calm your mind once when you were suffering from panic attacks before an exam, 'A calm and clear mind is a brilliant and strategic mind' he had said and you knew that he'd taught you that method not only for studying purposes but for assassination purposes as well. "Now that's more like it." You heard your male attacker murmured into your ear. Your face scowled in disgust by the close proximity between you two under whatever he'd used to cover your mouth and keep your silent.

You took in a slow and calm breath and within a blink of an eye, your elbow shot back and jutted your attacker in his stomach causing a grunt of pain to erupt from his lips from the brutal contact. His hold on you loosened slightly but it was still too strong for you to escape with your own strength, so wasting no time, you instantly lifted your right leg up before stomping down on your attacker's foot as hard as you could. This time, his arms slid away from you as he howled in pain from your unexpected assault.

Using your attacker's moment of weakness to your advantage, you immediately latched your hand on the door handle of the karaoke room exit which you'd just came out of. But before you could even make another movement, someone grabbed your arm which was on the door handle and twisted it harshly causing you to wince in pain.

The pain was excruciating but you wouldn't allow yourself to fall into their hands just because of a few hits and bruises, so thinking fast, you swung your leg up into a swift kick and aimed it at new attacker. You heard a loud 'thump' and a deep groan before you felt the painful grip on your arm vanish and you instantly straightened yourself and looked up to see that you'd struck his jaw as he was holding it with his gloved hand. You would've taken a good look at your attacker's features before you made a break for it but the ski mask that he had on crushed any of your chances at getting a glimpse of his identity.

You reached for the door handle once again but you were pulled back by a strong tug on the back of your shirt and your nose and mouth were covered once again by an unknown material. Your eyes went immensely wide as your nose took in the familiar sweet smell of chloroform.

Your eyelids became unusually heavy and it didn't take long until your eyes fell instantly shut and allowed darkness to engulf your being entirely.  

Am I in Love with You? ~Karma Akabane X Reader~Read this story for FREE!