Kinda saaaaad. :( Not more than one person reviewed this story yet... :'( No one read chapter two. I guess I will just upload chapter 3 for now so that someone...SOMEONE in this site might see this if I update. PLEASE READ PEOPLE! I really want people to enjoy my work and give some feedback :)
Chapter 3: Escape
"It's just me!" Sam chuckled as soon as he saw the scared expression on MNM's face which was wet with tears. "Don't surprise me like that!" MNM said while sighing. "Boy, I thought I was done for…" "Come here…" Sam motioned him to a nearby toilet and both of them entered in one of the stalls and hid there. As soon as the door of the stall was closed and locked, Sam asked. "So… bro, what do you plan to do now?" "Actually, I have no clue… I'm so confused right now." MNM said weakly. "You want to escape this life, right?" Sam asked for reassurance. "Well… yea… but how?" MNM inquired in reply. "I'll help you. I also got no clue, actually. But we'll pull through… just trust yourself. Let's go!" He said while pulling his hand and leaving the stall.
"Wha…what? Where on earth are we going?" MNM asked while discreetly walking with Sam. "Listen, according to my sixth sense, those stupid men must still be downstairs finding you. Later on, the media might get the news that you've gone missing… and there! You'll be like a fugitive!" Sam said while laughing. "Are you serious? You want me to hide like I'm a wanted suspect or something, huh?" "Well… that's why you have to be good in disguise!" Sam said. "C'mon! This room's empty." He said as he pushed the door of one of the rooms and both of them entered there.
"There are clothes here…" "Why?" "Uh… dunno… I think the hotel provides some, I guess. I'm taking this, it will be of help." "Hey… how come I don't have these in my room?" "You do, you just never checked though. But I really don't wanna go all the way back to your room, so… these will do." Sam said with a grin as he was fishing out more clothes in the closet. "Won't that be stealing?" "Stealing my ass, you're already wanted you know? You still care about whether you're stealing or not? Trust me, God will forgive you! This is crucial, I mean, what choice do you have? My clothes are way too flashy, they'll attract attention. Wear this!"
"Ugh… but won't they find out that these are hotel clothes?" MNM asked worriedly. "It's just temporary! And besides, those guys aren't as witty as you think." "Fine…" MNM reluctantly entered the toilet inside the room and closed the door. From the inside, he asked Sam with a holler. "You sure about what we're doing?" Sam simply laughed and said. "Not really… Come, what may." MNM groaned and heaved a sigh. MNM was thoughtful enough to remember the antique bracelet that he found and brought it along with him.
After MNM changed into casual clothes, he and Sam used the fire exit to escape from the hotel. The back of the hotel, which is also the location of the fireplace, is a very narrow alley where there's not a person in it. They were on the fifth floor, and so, they ran through the small staircase to reach the 2nd floor. "Ok, what do we do now?" MNM asked. "We go down, duh?" Sam responded. "Are you nuts? You want us to jump from here, seriously? You want broken bones? I don't." MNM said. "'Course not, so happens that you have a really smart best friend who is oh-so innovative." "Oh really now…" MNM said sarcastically, not being convinced. "Here! Didn't you notice that I was bringing this along?" Sam asked cockily while getting something from his huge backpack. "Hey! That's the blanket on the bed from the hotel room!" MNM gasped in realization. "You're a genius!" "Tell me something I don't know." He said while chuckling.
And so, the two boys helped each other hand-in-hand to go down from the staircase of the fire exit using the bed sheet that they tore and firmly tied to the railings of the stairs. Thank God, both of them were successfully able to get down and step on the ground. "We gotta get outa' here. We've left a trace, that blanket… They will find us sooner or later, so let's hurry!" Sam said. "Yeah, let's go, Sam." MNM said with a grin. However, they weren't so lucky; Sam and MNM eventually were tracked down by the bodyguards. This time, MNM was about to cry again.
"Go! Run! I'll stall! Leave me!" Sam said in a panic, his voice, trembling. "We're in this together, I can't leave you here." MNM said worriedly while his tears were at the brim. "They're here! Go! Hide!" Sam screamed, then, he pushed MNM hard and started to run. "You can do it! Escape, for me…" Sam said… his last words, before they parted ways. From afar, the bodyguards and Mr. Carlson were able to get hold of Sam and dragged him away. MNM watched in horror; he felt severe guilt since Sam would be held responsible for his disappearance, but, Sam's words rang in his mind. "Escape, for me…"
MNM crouched down behind a large box and sobbed helplessly. He was so worried of his friend, Sam. But, he knew that he had to escape, too. By this time, Mr. Carlson must already have scolded Sam and the news of his disappearance will soon break out. Then, he stood up and since he was wearing a jacket, he wore the hood and wore his pair of black shades to be incognito. However, while he was making a run for it, suddenly, he accidentally collided with a girl and both parties fell hard on the ground. MNM's shades fell off.
"Oh! I'm so sorry!" The girl apologized sincerely. "I'm sorry, too…" MNM replied while pulling her up. "Oh, my gosh! You're…" MNM closed the girl's mouth with his palm and pleaded. "Shhhh… please. Don't tell anyone I'm here, I'm BEGGINGyou. I'm begging you, please… Don't tell anyone, ok?" The girl nodded her head and MNM released his hands. The girl gasped audibly and asked in a whisper. "MNM… can I ask… what are you doing in a place like this? And why are you crying? You're an American superstar!" MNM sighed and dragged her into a corner of the alley and started talking with her. "You know, it isn't really as fun as what others think it is." "What?" The girl asked curiously. "Fame. Being a superstar." "Really? What happened? You look troubled…" The girl asked, filled with concern. "Promise, I won't tell anyone."
"You're really nice…" MNM said with a smile. "Can I really trust you?" The girl nodded. "A bad rumor about me has spread…" "Oh, I saw that in this morning's paper." The girl said timidly. "Ugh, but it's not true!" MNM defended himself and said. "Not true?" The girl questioned in a soft voice. "There's someone who's trying to sabotage my reputation… at this rate, my next week's concert will be cancelled." "No… that's terrible… I'm sorry." The girl expressed sadly. Then she thoughtfully added. "By the way… I… I was in your concert last night." "Oh! Wow, then you must be a fan, then. Were you one of the screaming fans?" MNM asked with a smile, his mood lightening up. "Uh… yes." The girl replied shyly while blushing slightly.
"I'm sorry… right now I have to leave. The media is after me again and everything has gotten out of control, crazy and I'm so confused right now…" MNM said in a rush. "So, where will you hide?" The girl queried anxiously. "Frankly, I really don't know." MNM said grimly. "Do… do you want me to help you? For the meantime, I mean." The girl asked shyly. "Help me, but how? Can you really?" MNM asked desperately. "Um… my family's really nice, and we're all fans of you. So…" "You'll let me hide in your house?" MNM guessed. "Y…Yes." The girl nodded nervously. "I feel like you're in a tight situation, and I just want to help. I will help you, promise…" "Wow… thanks. You're sweet. Usually, I won't accept such offer… but I'm really in need of help right now, I don't really have much of a choice." MNM said with a grin. "Thanks a lot."
MNM wore his shades and hood again, to look discreet, then, he said. "Hey, can we hold hands?" "Uh… what, but why?" The timid girl was so shocked with what he said. "No, it's not what you think… I just think that, you know, if we hold hands, people would think that we're a couple, and they won't suspect me being MNM. Plus, I'm a foreigner… so I really stand out." "Oh… uh, ok." The girl responded shyly while MNM gently held her hand. "I'm really sorry. I know this is awkward for you." "It's ok…" The girl whispered with a smile with a slight tint of red on her cheeks.
While they were walking in the street, they started to talk and get to know each other. "So… what's your name?" MNM asked with his soothing voice. "I'm… I'm Ginfuko Sheh." She said with a modest grin. "Your name doesn't sound Malay… or Muslim… and, you're so fair. You have really small eyes… you don't look like a local Bruneian… you're more of… Korean? Aren't you from here?" "Oh! I'm half-Japanese, half-Chinese. My dad's Chinese, more specifically a Hokkiense, and my mom's Japanese, an Osakan. My surname, Sheh, is Chinese, while my name, Ginfuko, which is literally 'golden luck' in Japanese. But it can also be pronounced as Jinfu in Chinese." "Oh… I see, how interesting! I'm actually a quarter Chinese, Cantonese, actually. My mom's dad's a Cantonese, while the rest is just… well, European blood." MNM said with a smile. "Oh, my best friend's a Cantonese, too!" Ginfuko said cheerfully. "How old are you?" MNM asked curiously. "You look like… about eleven?" "I…I'm fourteen, like you." Ginfuko said with a laugh. "Do I look that young?"
MNM was so surprised. In America, fourteen year old girls wouldn't be this conservative, and Caucasians were really tall, too, in contrast to Ginfuko's short stature. Ginfuko has a very innocent and sweet face that she looked too young to even be fourteen. "Wow! You don't look fourteen! Yah, you do look very young!" MNM said in shock. "By the way, you can also call me Nathan." "Oh… ok Nathan." Ginfuko said with a small yet sweet smile. Ginfuko's head was spinning; she couldn't believe that the young boy she idolized dearly was walking right beside her while holding her hand.
"By the way, why were you walking by yourself in that narrow alley? It's kinda dangerous for a girl like you, you know…" MNM told her with a hint of worry in his voice. "Oh, don't worry, Brunei's really safe and it's broad daylight. I just got home from my favorite Misua shop, I ate breakfast there today." Ginfuko said with a bright smile. "It's so delicious!" "Really? What's Misua?" MNM asked, intrigued. "It's a Hokkien word which literally means 'noodle strands'. It's a warm soup with fine and thin noodles which has assorted vegetables and garlic! It's really good for the body. It's said as 'mien sien' in Mandarin." Ginfuko replied merrily while imagining the mouthwatering Chinese delicacy. "Wow… that does sound delicious. My grandpa's Chinese, but I rarely, actually almost never get to eat Chinese food." "Well, you should! Chinese cuisine's one of the best in the world!" Ginfuko said energetically while giving a 'thumbs up' to him.
"You want to go there now?" MNM asked excitedly. "Where, is it to the Misua shop? But I just got there…" Ginfuko said, and then finally realized that he might want to taste it, too. "Ah! I know, you wanna eat, don't you?" She said cheerfully. "Yep! I had only two hours of sleep and I suddenly get this terrible rumor about spreading just right after they barge into my room and wake me up so rudely! I haven't had breakfast at all… and I had all that adrenaline rush, too. I had to run and escape with my best friend, but then he stalled for me and finally got tracked down by my manager… It's really bad, so much drama in just one morning! Anyway, I'm dying of hunger!" MNM narrated in a quick pace.
"Wow… you've been through so much. You must be really tired then. Okay, I'll go with you! Let's go!" Ginfuko said while marching in front of him childishly. MNM started to laugh, a very beautiful and sincere laugh, a laugh that he hasn't done in ages. "You're cute." MNM complimented while grabbing hold of her hand as she started to blush beat red. "Let's be friends from now on, ok? Don't think of me as 'the superstar'. Think of me as an ordinary kid, just like you, okay?" While blushing shyly, Ginfuko nodded her head while her long bangs covered the huge smile on her face.
Everything that happened to Ginfuko that day still felt like a dream to her. It was just the day before when Ginfuko went to her most favorite pop superstar's grand concert, and at that time, she was able to grab hold of his hand as he sang marvelously with his handsome countenance on stage. Ginfuko thought that it was the greatest miracle that happened to her. She didn't really expect more from that. But now, he, the world-renowned young singer who she idolized and admired a lot, was standing right beside her, talking to her as carefree as can be while holding her dainty hands. And to think that she was walking with him to her favorite Misua shop! In addition to that, he, the most popular superstar who seemed almost unreachable to the public, wanted to be friends with her and called her cute. He was going to her house!
Was this for real? Should she hope for more? She decided not to, since she knew that it most likely won't last forever. This was enough to make her happy. This was just transient, and soon enough he will return to the world where he truly belongs to. She didn't want to cling on any other wish, since, if she did, her heart will soon be broken in the long run. This was all a temporary fairytale dream… and soon, she will wake up from it. If only it could last longer… But she knew that this was one of the best days of her life. It will end soon, so she chose to make the best out of it.
They had a lot of fun eating in the Misua shop. Ginfuko ate a second, then a third bowl. MNM felt as though it was the best day he's ever had ever since he became famous even if he had a rough start that morning. That's because today, he didn't have to pretend, didn't have to live up to others' expectations, didn't have to be criticized or spied on and he could just simply be himself, a young boy enjoying an incredibly delectable Chinese delicacy without being so concerned about his appearance. He didn't have to look neat and clean; he could messily eat the noodles, allow some soup to spill on his gorgeous face, make loud sipping sounds, and laugh even when the noodles were coming out of his mouth without even caring at all. The girl who ate noodles beside him accepted him for who he was and didn't seem to judge or compare him with anything else. He could relax, could cry, could scream, and could do anything without the clinging fear of disparagement. He realized that this might actually be the life that he wants to have.
He can hear the melodious laughter of the sweet Chinese-Japanese girl beside him. The hot soup warmed his chest as he swallowed, stimulating his palate. Ginfuko ordered two huge glasses of cold succulent fruit shakes which perfectly matched their meal. MNM realized that Ginfuko opened his eyes to see another world that he has never dreamed of, and it felt like the best world… an oasis to his scorching problems and tumultuous lifestyle.
After that, Ginfuko and MNM walked hand in hand towards her home. Ginfuko was still quite nervous and worried about what her family's reaction would be if they saw her alongside a pop superstar. Suddenly, with a smile on her face, Ginfuko asked. "Did you have fun today?" "Yeah, yeah I did. I had the greatest time, thanks!" MNM told her happily. "From the bottom of my heart, thanks again." Hearing this, Ginfuko couldn't help but laugh. "A super star like you must've eaten better dishes than that Misua." MNM shook his head and honestly said. "No, I've never tasted anything like it. It's very simple, yet it's more appealing than other foods I've eaten. I might never get tired of eating that. It's a good thing that the old lady there didn't recognize me. Let's go there again, ok?" "I'm glad with what you said. And sure, let's go again!" Ginfuko replied as they neared the house.
"I'm ho—ome!" Ginfuko called out as soon as she opened the door. "Oh, please leave your shoes here and get our slippers for visitors at that cabinet over there." Ginfuko whispered to MNM while kneeling to untie her rubber shoes. He nodded and off he went to change his footwear as instructed. Ginfuko entered the sala which was just near the front door and noticed that her whole family was there. Uh oh. Ginfuko was planning to tell her elder sister Ayu about MNM's presence first before telling the rest, but now, the whole family was there and saw her. Ginfuko stood on cold feet as she shifted them nervously.
"Ginfuko! Finally! You're home! What took you so long in that Misua shop?" Nina, her mom, asked worriedly. Then, jokingly, Yoshiro, her younger brother, added. "Neechan, you must've eaten lots! Admit it! How many bowls did you consume?" "Four…" Ginfuko said with a sheepish smile. "Woah! The large sized ones?" Moto, her elder brother, was still in shock as to how her little sister can fill her stomach with that much calorie.
Almost fainting due to uneasiness, Ginfuko inhaled and was about to open her mouth when her dad asked. "I know you, dear; when you're troubled, you act like this… what's wrong?" "Yeah, what's up, sis? You look tensed…" Ayu queried curiously. "I…" Then, suddenly, before she could say anything more, MNM's shadow started to appear behind Ginfuko. MNM was wearing the grey jacket with his hood on hood and wore thick black shades so he was hard to recognize at first. However, he slowly showed himself shyly with his head bowed low.
At that moment, you could feel the uncomfortable aura inside the living room. There was a very long pause, the deafening silence. The whole family was silent while staring at the two teens with shocked faces. They were way too surprised to even utter a single statement. They didn't know how to respond at all. After all, it wasn't something that just happen everyday. It's not everyday that you see your favorite teen idol right at your very doorstep without his killer smile and just bashfully standing there.
Their mother Nina, who wasn't able to identify MNM just because she wasn't a huge fan, glared at Ginfuko and MNM standing beside her and said with an angry tone. "Ginfuko… don't tell me you're pregnant with this foreigner." Ginfuko and MNM stiffened while their cheeks were painted with crimson red. Ginfuko and MNM shook their heads furiously in shame. Then, the other four siblings started to burst in laughter before Ayu opened her mouth to speak.
"I'm still in shock, big shock. But anyway…what is MNM, the famous pop superstar, doing in our house?" At first, Ayu started off calmly, but soon enough, she couldn't control her bottled emotions from coming out and her voice turned into a loud, high-pitched scream. "What? That's who?" Nina expressed with obvious shock in her voice. "What…?" Their father was just as shocked after his realization, seeming to panic deliriously. Sawana, with her huge and cute black eyes, just blinked them repeatedly while grinning at the blushing American. The scene after that was hilarious, kinda awkward, but ended well anyway. Poor family, you could just imagine the psychological shock that it caused them. A famous pop superstar was brought home by their daughter. Wow. That's definitely a first.
Of course, slight fainting did happen on the scene, due to hyperventilation or a very mild case of nervous breakdown. But soon after some fanning and ice packs, they got over it and chose to act rationally. First thing's first. Ginfuko and MNM had to explain the whole saga as to why MNM, the unreachable heartthrob of USA, was at their house begging them for shelter, and as to how Ginfuko met him. Of course, MNM had to disclose it to them whether he liked it or not. The discussion took quite a while, and it even extended until the Sheh family's lunchtime at eleven A.M. MNM humbly accepted the food in front of him as he started to dig in, but then sincerely apologized after having realized that a prayer should be said first.
MNM enjoyed the meal a lot. It was a combination of Bruneian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine which excited his palate once again just like how that early morning's Misua did. It was his first time to eat with a huge and warm family that he never experienced since he was an only kid. He felt really happy that he was temporarily accepted. But, he had to promise them that he will not cause them any trouble and will not disclose the Sheh family's identity. Everyone had to admit that this all felt just like a dream, but once they pinched themselves, it would soon come to mind that this was no illusion.
While they were chewing on their sumptuous meal, all of them suddenly remembered something. Their mom spoke up. "Hey, Meili's wedding! We almost forgot!" "Oh yeah! So… kids, are we going or not?" Their dad asked while looking at each one of them. "'Course we are, 'tousan!" Moto said while standing up from the chair after praying. "I'ma go change now." "But how about…" Ayu asked as her voice trailed off while looking at MNM innocently drinking his fresh bowl of sharks' fin soup. MNM realized that everyone was looking at him and that he seemed to have been a barrier in their plans for the day. It's obvious that he can't tag along in the wedding since he will sooner or later be seen again by the media. Actually, he had no idea what his next step was going to be and he didn't know his future, but he just thought of the what Sam said- 'come what may', and tried to lax a bit for now.
"Um… is there something wrong?" MNM asked while finishing the rice. "That's alright, dad, he can stay home!" Yoshiro suggested. "You'll guard the house, right?" "Uh… yeah, that's cool with me. No problem. I mean, it's the least I can do… I've bothered you guys enough, I'm really sorry; I'm still in confusion 'til now." For a second, Kua Lo and Nina had a mistrusting look on MNM but in the end, chose to believe in the boy. "Ok then! We're going to attend a wedding. We'll be back at about… oh, dear. We might be back at late night. Will you be alright here all by yourself, dear?" She asked MNM with a motherly and caring voice which MNM oh-so missed very much. "Yah, ma'am, I'll be totally fine. I'll watch the house for ya' guys." MNM pledged with a smile on his face.
Kua Lo and Nina led MNM to their visitor's room and told him that it would be his for the time being. "You can stay here and rest, ok? We've placed some of Moto's clothes here... extra toothbrushes... and towels and you're free to use them. Just feel at home." Nina told him with a smile. "Thank you, sir, ma'am; I don't know how I can repay you... really. I have nothing to give." MNM said gratefully with a grin. "There's no need." Kua Lo said generously. "I just hope this bad rumor of yours will soon be cleared. I know it's hard for you." "Thanks, sir, thanks." MNM said with heartfelt gratitude. He excitedly ran inside his new room and happily looked around. He lay on the soft bed and swayed his legs freely while looking at the empty ceiling.
Suddenly, Ginfuko entered his room. "Hi! Um...I hope you don't mind me entering. The door was opened." Hearing her voice, MNM responded while still looking at the ceiling. "Oh, it's fine. This is your house after all." Then, he got up from the bed to look at her. He was stunned. She wore a pretty pink knee-height dress which showed her bare shoulders and curvaceous figure. She wore shimmering silver heels which perfectly fit her dainty pair of feet. She only had light make-up but it was so nicely made. It brought out the attractive features of her face and the fairness of her skin. Only then did he realize that her black hair had shades of brunette when it was under light. Her hair was done into striking curled locks. "Gosh... she's beautiful, so beautiful... She was such a cute girl a while ago... but now..." MNM thought while swallowing audibly, not being able to control staring at her. He was helplessly pulled towards her.
"I just came here to say good-bye. We're going to the wedding now, ok? Bye-bye!" She said sweetly while walking away. "Ah...ok, bye! Take care..." MNM still wasn't able to get over with what happened. He lay back on the bed and imagined her endearing visage. He felt his heart continue beating fast when he put his palm on his chest. He suddenly couldn't breathe and he felt warm inside. He didn't know why. He subconsciously imagined her again. Instincts acted faster than thought when he quickly ran out of the room to get a glimpse of her again downstairs.
And so, after getting the beautifully wrapped gift and getting all dressed up for the event, the family left the house and went to the church while MNM was left at home. Before they left, MNM yelled a "Good bye, take care!" to them. Ginfuko told him that he could eat the delicious canned tuna from inside the fridge which he would just have to heat up. He could also opt to have packed noodles, or if his stomach could consume, then both. He felt a tingling sensation inside again when Ginfuko talked to him and the reason behind it was a mystery to him. He simply nodded at her with his eyes avoiding hers.
After the family left, MNM wandered around his new home and looked around. He went back to his room and relaxed on the bed while squeezing the soft pillow. "Just like home..." He muttered with a small smile. He got out the bracelet from his pocket and looked at it while twirling it around playfully with his fingers. "I wonder who your owner is... Is she a girl? What is she like? Is she as nice as Ginfuko? I'll keep you until I return you to your rightful owner... if ever... somehow, I see her."
And so… that night, when the family went home at about nine in the evening, they found the exhausted looking American boy who was undeniably handsome lying on the couch fast asleep with the television set opened on the American satellite channel wherein the news was all about him being-missing. "He must have had a tough time with the paparazzi this morning since he looks really drained." Ginfuko thought, taking one of the visitors' blankets and affectionately covered him with it since the air-conditioning unit at night was quite chilly.
Soon, three days already passed by ever since MNM took refuge in the Sheh family's domicile. MNM and Ginfuko grew closer with each other as the days went by. MNM temporarily stayed inside the visitors' room which was beside Ginfuko's. One morning, MNM humbly knocked at Ginfuko's door. She opened the door in response and found out that MNM just felt like talking. With a welcoming smile, Ginfuko said. "Um… sure, come in." Then, she left the door ajar.
Please review and tell me what you think! If you want this to be updated more frequently, then I NEED MOTIVATION :)