PROLOGUE: “NEVER AGAIN”

Author’s Note: Its my first time writing, much less a whole story, so I hope its satisfactory.


 

It was finally over, the endless speeches, the waiting as everyone was called up, the constant pictures with family and friends and the night eating out in a restaurant that is fully occupied by your family tree with branches that you had no idea even existed. After what seemed an eternity, Adam’s graduation was finally over. It was 1:00 AM and there he was, laying on his bed with a somber expression staring at the ceiling reminiscing his last four years in an institute, otherwise known as Blue Lake High School.



 

HIGH SCHOOL LIFE {START}
To say that the last four years were nothing but good memories would be.. well, simply a lie. His first year went rather well, he joined the soccer team which ranked 9th in state, chilled with his life-long friend Liam who was oddly acting different, and found the one girl that he could crush on.


 

Adam’s Past
Adam was born in Louisiana, New Orleans or to be exact, he was born in Metaire, East Jefferson Hospital. Adam’s family was pretty well off; his father was the CEO of a pharmaceutical company and his mother was a seamstress who owned several dry-cleaning shops around town…. Okay they were plenty well off. Even though his family had plenty of leeway when it came down to money-related situations, they never actually gave anything for free to Adam. He always had to work for what he wanted. One time when Adam was 14 he asked his father for a psX and his father replied “okay, I’ll give you $400, but only if you come and help at work.” Thinking that he only had to carry around some heavy boxes or clean the tubes, vials and etc, Adam replied enthusiastically with a “Sure”. The next day he found himself in his father’s company creating ibuprofen tablets, which took him 2 whole weeks to make (lots of precise measurements). Adam protested with his dad that he deserved more than just $400, but his dad smiled, and said “A deals a deal, so you won’t get one cent more.” Adam then went to his mother when he realized he still needed money to buy games, hoping it would be easier this time. But unfortunately the same thing happened, except this time he was sewing buttons back on clothes for the whole week.

Other than the work Adam had to do for his own money, he was free to do whatever else he wanted. He loved to play soccer, and more than that he loved his family, or should I say younger sisters instead. He doted on them all the time. He always let his two younger twin sisters (by 2 years) get away with anything and everything. When he learned they loved to eat peach pecan pie, he spent a whole month perfecting a recipe just for them. Soon it became customary for him to cook his family all their meals, and even his mother started teaching him her family’s traditional cooking. His older sister (by 4 years) on the other hand scared him shitless. She was a huge martial artist advocate who loved to fight and she would always use Adam as a sparring partner (against his will) until finally she left for China when she graduated from high-school. Adam had many other family member’s he was close to. Since his mother’s two sister’s married his father’s two brother’s, he considered his cousins as brothers and sisters, but we’ll talk about them later. Now you should know that Adam only ever had one close friend that he was not related to and his name as you already know is Liam.


 

Liam’s Past
Liam was an only child and also Adam’s best friend ever since they met each other during 4th grade (elementary school). Liam’s parents were tycoons, but they had a close relationship with Adam’s parents. They owned many factories that produced that latest and most advanced technological hardware, such as semiconductor chips for computers, or the touch screen on phones. Their company also made many different softwares, but they only created one that was really popular and efficient. Their greatest source of income was making unique hardware that is custom ordered from different companies in order to go along with their innovative inventions.

It’s suffice to say that Liam was set for life, but his parents still wanted him to attend public schools in order to interact and observe how the “commoners” lived. He was after all the heir to their business. Even though he went to school, his real education was at home. Liam’s parents hired the best tutors in every subject possible. He learned five different languages, knew calculus before high school even started, and he was even tutored on how to flirt with girls (His dad hired the tutor in secret without his mom knowing). His favorite subject was Logic, and his class was called “Reasoning and Argumentation”. He loved the simplicity but what he loved more about it was that logic had a more mathematical/scientific outlook on the world with no emotions involved.

To say the least Liam was intelligent, but when he met Adam he was appalled at how little he knew of people. He was surprised at how erratic Adam was when he would always follow his feelings and how quick he adapted his feelings to certain situations. One moment he was trying to mediate a fight between two kids when one of them got annoyed and insulted Adam’s sisters (they were in the same elementary school and everyone knew them), the next thing Liam saw was the other kid on the floor with a bloody nose crying for his mommy. Adam’s quick change appalled Liam but what surprised him even more was when Adam walked up to Liam with a perfectly genuine smile and said let’s go play soccer as if nothing happened. (Liam also took notice to never make fun of Adam’s sisters). Liam always used reason devoid of emotion whenever he had an objective or goal in mind, and all of them led to his final objective (owning the biggest business and becoming an entrepreneur). But Adam had many separate goals and they would change without a moments notice as if he was living in the moment, while Liam was living for the future. Liam decided the next logical step would be for him to befriend Adam in order to observe him up close. If you’re wondering why he wanted to observe Adam, it’s because his parents taught him that every business starts with the people (commoners). Without learning how they lived and adapted themselves to their everyday lives, you wouldn’t know which direction to steer your business. Liam took his parent’s advice very seriously and he set out to learn even more about his future customers.

Liam took an indifferent attitude towards everyone but somehow Adam always seemed to slide through his defenses, and before Liam knew it, he genuinely started to like Adam as a friend. As they grew up together Liam adapted to Adam’s emotional fluctuations, and Adam adapted to Liam’s cold reasoning. They complimented each other’s shortcomings, and they knew it, but what Adam didn’t know later on was that Liam also started feeling something during his freshmen year, and it was for the same person.


 

Adam’s POV
Sophmore year was the same as the last, the only difference in being that he joined the student council…. If u were to ask him why he joined he would spit out some BS about making the school more lively and fun for his fellow peers, and how much he loved being in charge of all the music-related events in school, when in actuality all you needed to know was that Kandy was in the student council.

Yes, just as her name implies, Kandy was just like a piece of candy. She was sweet, with a rather attractive body to go along with her pristine appearance. She was the that one girl every guy at school would look at with longing, but deep inside they knew she would only be that item you saw from across the street behind the glass window on display with a price tag that read “priceless”. But to the naive, inexperienced Adam, she was just short of perfect. She was beautiful, with her long blonde hair resting perfectly on her heart-faced shape. Her eyes were neither too big nor small, with a noticeable glint in her light green irises. Her lips were full, and shaped just right for kissing, and her smile just lit up the world. To Adam she was his sun, the thought of her would make him smile for hours until his face would start cramping, her existence was the morning rays of sunlight that would wake him up with anticipation for the new day.

Now you should know that Adam has no real experience with girls and even less so with love, other than books he has read and movies he’s forced to watch with his sisters. In middle school he was a brat that only cared about soccer, video games, and trying to beat his friends at Yo-Mama. He didn’t even know how to kiss a girl much less anything past that, so his sense of caution when it came to girls was also negligible. When he saw Kandy, he never thought ‘she’s too good for me’ or ‘there’s no way she would like me’. He just felt and knew that he had to grab her attention somehow. While Adam was a complete recluse when it came to courting, or flirting with a girl, he did however know that you don’t simply jump in unarmed with no armor. It was like finding a dungeon and going in without any food, weapons or armor. So he planned and he planned and planned some more and without realizing it, his freshman year flew by. Adam steeled himself and went over to his best friend to discuss his decision, resulting from endless months of planning. His best and final scenario was to join the student council, which she was actively a part of, and try to integrate himself into her clique. Adam kneeled in front Liam on the floor in a dogeza begging Liam to help him by join the student council with him.


Liam’s POV                                                                                                                                 Liam was conflicted for a while (5min) when Adam asked for his help because he knew he felt something for Kandy but he didn’t know what exactly. So Liam came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t act until he found out more about what he was feeling. That was the logical choice after all, so he decided to help Adam until then.


 

Adam’s POV (continuation)
Adam’s efforts paid off, by the end of his Sophmore year, he was on good-terms with Kandy to the point where he would hangout with her and her friends during lunch and after school. After getting to know Kandy and her friends some more Adam fell even more in love with Kandy, until one day his desires reached the bottleneck point. His feeling for her grew so out of control that he almost went up to Kandy with a “I love you” box and a bouquet of roses trying to proclaim his love for her in a poem that took him 2 weeks to write. Luckily, Liam was there to hold him back at the last-minute and logically explain why it was a bad idea to confess right after Adam got to know her. Liam was doing that a lot these day. He always referred to logic whenever he argued a point with anyone, and Adam would have been okay with it if only he didn’t sound cold whenever he beat someone down with his impeccable logic. But Adam knew that Liam was the “all-wise one” when it came to girls, after all, Liam was the number 1 player in school, (he did get tutored in the arts of seducing women lol) breaking hearts left and right, so he regretfully but thankfully resigned himself to his unfortunate fate and waited until his junior year before confessing. Yes, his most blissful and eventful year that made him the happiest guy in the world. If I was too sum up that year in five words it would be: “Too good to be true”

Adam was at the highlight of his high school carrier during his junior year, he was insanely popular (because of his friendly nature), he was on the executive board with Liam in the student council, he was captain of his soccer team, and he was on really good-terms with Kandy, the now acting VP of the exec board in the SC. Kandy and Adam would constantly text each other everyday, or rather it was Adam who would always text Kandy and she would sometimes reply. They went out almost every weekend and would constantly keep each other company whenever possible. Adam just needed that one push that would make him not only the luckiest guy to be alive, but ultimately Kandy’s boyfriend

The final push that made Adam so happy that every person in the vicinity of 5 meters from him would just burst out with smiles (AoE: Smiles, LOL) was the night of the day his team won the state championship and everyone was at Liam’s rich parent’s house partying. There in Liam’s humongous garden, Adam was alone with Kandy walking along the path with bushes that sprouted blood red roses on both sided of the path that seemed to suck in the moonlight making the roses strive higher in order to reach the moon. It was then that Adam confessed, his heart naked to its core in front of the one love he has ever known to love hoping against all odds that she would trade her heart for his, and when she replied the world stood still, the night air hung, and the sound of all life went silent. One heartbeat later, the world began to move, but this time it danced in joy, the night air rushed out through the garden in a sudden burst, and every creature big or small that lived in the garden began singing out loud in a chorus of delight. Hearing Kandy’s response filled Adam’s world with true magic, and it sent shivers of euphoria throughout his body. So much so, that he couldn’t help but kiss her, and after that…. well, I’ll leave that to your imagination…. Actually nothing sexual happened.

Ever since that memorable night, Adam and Kandy become what everyone called the perfect couple and in the eyes of the school populace they fit together pretty well. Even though Kandy was a knockout beauty, it didn’t mean Adam was below her in appearances. Adam was actually held in high regards with the female population in school. His dark, almost violet, red short hair was unique and coupled with his boyish face, he was handsome. His light brown eyes made his smile playful, and he was always good-natured with everyone. The rest of his junior year passed by quickly, and before Adam knew it, he was soon about to be a senior, and closer to the event that would change him in profound ways.

Senior year started with a bang, when it was reported that some company called INTERACT located in Japan, Tokyo introduced NLR (New Life: Reborn), a Virtual-Reality game to the world. At first everyone was skeptical, saying that there was no way technology advanced that far, and if it ever did, there would be no way it would come out of Japan of all places. The next day everyone was proved wrong when live footage of the beta-testers began streaming of them actually maneuvering their body with all of their senses intact in a new world just like anyone else did in real life. It created a huge commotion which resulted with many scientists trying to disclaim Interact corps. by saying there would be health risks and all that BS, and because of that BS otherwise known as “health-risks” it was reported that it would take at least a year of investigation before Americans could start using capsules for VR. The whole country was in an uproar when the announcement first came out, but eventually everyone resigned himself or herself to the wait. Adam was especially excited. He loved rpg & mmorpg games so he would go home everyday and check up on the latest new regarding NLR. Other than the news of NLR his senior year went by smoothly until the most tragic and memorable moment occurred.

It was spring break and Adam and his whole class was on their graduation trip to Spain, Cordoba where they would sightsee for the whole week. It was decided by majority vote. As soon as the class arrived they went directly to the hotel by bus where it was decided that it was going to be 3 people per bedroom, unless you were rich enough to pay for your own room. Liam and a couple of other people fell into that category, thankfully so did Adam. (His past 2 months were spent working for his dad and mom). Of course the teacher’s ironclad rules were that no boys and girls in the same room past 9:30, curfew after 10:00, and no one could leave the hotel without being in a group of at least 10. Everyone was put into groups of 10, and of course Adam, Liam, and Kandy were all in the same group. Liam and Kandy seemed to be closer than before which made Adam happy. He wanted the two most important people (other than his family) to him to be friends.

After everyone was situated, the class left the hotel in a steady stream of groups of 10. Adam enjoyed Cordoba; his most favorite place was the Cathedral/Mosque of Cordoba. It made Adam feel small and unimportant, which actually didn’t make him sad, he just acknowledged the fact that he was a nobody in the eyes of the world, but he knew he could change that, and NLR would be his stage to perform.

The week passed by fast with most of the groups eating out, sight-seeing, trying to converse with the locals, hosting pillow fights, breaking curfew, pulling pranks on the teachers, getting complaints from the hotel managements, and overall just having fun. Simply put, Adam was having the time of his life. The last day was approaching and everyone had to turn in before 9:00 PM since tomorrow they would have to leave. It was 3:00 PM and Adam was on his way out with his 9 buddies. They were all guys but Liam wasn’t with him, he said he wanted to chill with some of the other girls in the hotel jacuzzi, and Adam didn’t think much about it. One hour later Adam and his friends discovered a group of Spaniard guys who were about his age. They were playing soccer on a field that was enclosed in a metal fence like the ones you saw in a park. Adam’s group consisted of players from his soccer team so they all decided to ask if they could join in. The Spaniards agreed, but Adam’s group was one man short since they only had 10 plays and the other team had 11, so Adam decided to go back to the hotel, which was only 2 blocks away to get Liam to come and join. On his way in to the Jacuzzi area Adam spotted the group of girls from his class leaving.

“Hey guys, I mean girls. Do you all know where Liam is”? Adam asked.

They all looked towards Adam and one of them stepped forward and answered

“He just left like 5 minutes ago he said he was going to his room to dry up and change, but forget about him Adam. We’re about to go to Stephanie’s room to play truth or dare, you wanna join”? She smiles seductively when she asked him and even put her hand on Adam’s chest, but Adam just smiled and replied

“I’m in a hurry right now, but maybe me and Kandy could join y’all later before curfew.” Before the girl could say anything else, Adam was on his way to his room.

Adam reached his room in 5 minutes. His room was pretty big, with a walk in kitchen, and living room. But towards the back of his living room was a door that led to Liam’s room. Liam and Adam both planned ahead of time to have conjoined rooms in order to hang out after curfew so they’ve been using the door this past week. Adam quickly opened the door and walked through the living room until he heard noises. It sounded like two people kissing each other. Adam froze.

He knew he came back at a bad time and that it wasn’t right to peep, but Adam’s mischievous side kicked in. He slowly tiptoed to Liam’s bedroom door and realized it was still slightly open. He took a small peek through the crack wondering who Liam was having fun with this time, and when Adam’s eyes fell upon the girl his whole world fell silent.

“No way….. Kandy?” whispered Adam. He couldn’t realistically register what he was seeing. ‘It’s impossible, the two most important people to me would never do this me…..right?’

After a couple of seconds which felt like hours, Reality came crashing down and Adam realized it was indeed Kandy, the girl he loved, and it was indeed Liam, his best friend, that were sucking each other’s faces. They were both slowly undressing while continually making out, he even saw some tongue action.

Something inside of him boiled, a wave of anger started to spread throughout his body, until finally he ticked. His face contorted in rage and his hands curled up into fists.

Full of indignation, Adam kicked down the door and ran straight to Liam who separated from Kandy and was looking at the noise which turned out to be Adam with surprise. Without thinking Adam swung his fist straight into Liam face with such force that Adam could actually feel his bones in his fist breaking during those few seconds when it stuck to Liam face. Liam stayed down on the floor when he fell. Whether he was passed out or just cringed in pain unable to move, Adam didn’t care. His friendship with Liam was now over. He would never forgive nor forget the atrocity that Liam committed against him.

He turned around and saw Kandy running to Liam and covering his body that was on the floor all the while crying and barely managing to say “I’m sorry Adam, please don’t hurt Liam. I’m sorry.” She hid her face in shame and didn’t try to meet Adam’s face.

Disgusting Adam thought. How could she care about him more when I her freaking boyfriend just caught her cheating!! Adam couldn’t understand anything anymore, and it just made him angrier. WHY!! he thought, and without realizing he whispered fiercely “Why”.

Kandy managed to stop crying and looked up at him in vexation, as if Adam was stupid for asking such an obvious question. “Because Liam’s better than you!!” she finally yelled, “He has more money than you, he’s an heir to a tycoon, a car, everything you don’t have he does!!” She inhaled to catch her breath and a sob escaped from her mouth. Then she set a heart-wrenching look towards Adam, “and most of all, he’s not a coward. He’s not afraid to love me unlike you!!”

Adam flinched, as if he had been the one that was punched instead. He had no idea Kandy felt that way. His mind swirled in confusion. She never acted like she was unhappy… Did I miss anything. But the confusion only lasted for a second. How was he supposed to know what she never told him! His anger replaced his hesitation and he clarified out loud more to himself than to Kandy, “It’s over.”

He quickly left the room without looking at Kandy or Liam again, and left the hotel in a blur. He ran and ran until he found a secluded place in the city alleys devoid of any human life. He broke down and fell to his knees and cried. He cried for a long time. The betrayal from Kandy did catch him off guard and cut him deep but it was the betrayal from his best friend that shattered him the most. His heart felt like it was crumbling into small pieces, and when he finally did stop crying his chest felt empty.

When he decided to slowly make his way back to the hotel, the moon and the stars were the only lights in the sky. On the way back to his room, Adam steeled whatever was left of his heart. Never Again he thought, never will I trust someone else, and I will never give someone else the chance to hurt me.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. Adam never again saw nor looked for Liam or Kandy the next day or on the trip back home. When Spring break came to an end, and the last months of school started, Adam intentionally made sure to ignore Liam and Kandy. He ignored their texts, and all their attempts at reconciling. The whole school was alight with news about Adam’s breakup with Kandy. Not everyone knew why the breakup occurred but anyone walking down the halls could hear whispers about how Liam and Kandy were now a lot closer than before.

Many of Adam’s friends noticed his anger and sadness and most of them tried to broach the matter. However regardless of their attempts Adam would refuse to open up. Adam’s change slowly began to become more significant. He would always be found brooding by himself in a dark mood, and whenever anyone would approach, his dark demeanor would chase them away. He never striked up conversations unless he was duty-bound, and his laughter was but a memory to all. His replies were always curt, and his opinions never left his mouth. Inevitably, Adam became a loner.

Distrusting to all but himself he refused to interact with even his own family. His sisters could tell something was wrong but the could only watch in agony. His mother especially worried after him. She would always ask him typical parent questions such as “whats wrong” or “Tell me what happened”. Adam always respond with a “nothing”. His father on the other hand left him alone. He perhaps realized that all Adam needed was time, and he had plenty of it.

The last months of school passed by without any major incident, and finally the graduation was upon them.
HIGH SCHOOL LIFE {END}



After reminiscing how his last four years in high school played out, Adam’s heart ached in remembrance of the days he spent with Liam but it trembled in anger when he remembered Kandy how they both betrayed him. “Never Again” he whispered fiercely to himself. He’s been saying that a lot whenever he was lost deep in thought. It was a promise to himself, and Adam never broke his promises.

Adam turned his attention to his graduation present lying in the corner of his room. The silver capsule was sitting there waiting to be used. It was released early in the US, due to the lack of evidence regarding the un-healthy risks that all the scientists claimed it had. It was also the reason why his parents kept him out all day long. It apparently took forever to set up and they wanted him to be surprised. Adam wanted to jump in there right this minute and leave all the real world that hurt him so much, but he had to wait for it to load. It would only take 30 more minutes or so. Adam decided to lay down and wait and think even more..

30 minutes later………

Adam finally got up from his bed after the capsule’s programmed voce stated “Setup Complete”. He practically ran himself straight into the capsule. He lied his head on the head rest within the capsule and the lid automatically closed. The screen clear screen began to turn black until Adam couldn’t see through it anymore. He didn’t have to wait long before he was enveloped in total darkness and the first the message appeared. For the first time in months Adam smiled.

Connect to New Life: Reborn?
Yes
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About tmbrakta

Just wanna write about what I always daydream when I'm sitting in class bored staring at the ceiling or on my way back home on the crowded public bus. Imagination grows off my boredom, and now its grown to the point where I'll forget it all unless I get it on paper or in this case, on a blog. Hope you Enjoy.
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