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Pen Your Pride


The last time I'd talked to Jace was when I half-heartedly saw him off before he left for college. I grudgingly went along with the request of our parents. I thought of it as me bidding my bad luck goodbye. Well, maybe it was actually a good thing, since it turned out that it felt so good seeing him go away.

However, our parents weren't satisfied with just me telling him goodbye. They wanted us to talk and fix things, like the way good neighbors and used to be friends should do.

But then, what we did was far from being called as reconciliation. What had happened before he left was a firm declaration of an all out war. That day, he had clearly implied that I would get my revenge the moment that he came back.

A day I'd always been afraid of.

And to think that I'd never been afraid of Jace. Around two years ago, after that sleazy thing—also known as the second incident—I did to get back at him, as much as I had predicted him to, Jace Hamilton never did anything to me. Directly, that is. Only his friends and the rest of the school pulled pranks on me.

Back then, I started to see him in a new light. That somehow, he was compassionate enough to spare me. Or maybe he was also apologetic for what he had done. I couldn't guess which one. But all that had changed, or rather, let me say that the thought had been quickly pulled away from my mind the day he left for college.

"I will get my revenge, I promise you that. So wait for me until then. We're not yet through," were his last words to me. Suddenly, he was clothed in black cape, holding a sharp scythe in hand.

He and I realized that we were meant to be sworn enemies instead. It was our fate. I loathed him to the core, with every single piece of me despising him. I couldn't stand the sight of him, and he shared that same mutual feeling.

And even though he didn't tell anyone, I was certain that I was the reason why he had chosen to go to a university at the far side of the globe. Or maybe it wasn't really that far. But it was certainly far from our place—the never heard of, Turtle Bay Island.

Our place was not an island located in the middle of nowhere. But a distinct quality of it was that the island was sort of protruded from a mainland. And in between the two, there was an ample amount of land that acted like a bridge, connecting the contradictory masses of land together. And from the visitors of the moon, our island totally looked like a turtle, thus the name. Furthermore, if anyone would really ask, there were turtles inhabiting the coast.

And he was here once again. He was back in town.

I was stunned, dead on the spot. It was like I was the one who drowned and never saw the light again. I couldn't believe that right here, in front of my eyes, Jace Hamilton was sitting. A good distance of about three feet was placed in between us, but that wasn't good enough. I needed miles in order for me to be okay. I wanted him oceans, mountains, deserts, and plane rides away from me.

He pulled his hair back, dusted the sand off his arms, and leaned on his palms as he kept his stare at me. I held my face straight. It felt, like, if I would turn away, I would lose to him.

"He's alive," a man at my right uttered. Then he patted my back, and said, "Good job."

Thinking that it would be too rude if I would continue the staring contest with Jace, I lifted my head and turned to the man. I watched as the tint of happiness slowly crept on his face. But he had no clue what had really happened. It was now game on, sir! What Jace did was his first move. The first piece was touched, opening the chess game. The starting pistol had been fired, and the runners dashed away from the starting line. It was now officially starting—the game of revenge.

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