Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Common ❯ Part II: End of Innocence: Chapter Three: Happy Maze ( Chapter 16 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Three: Happy Maze:

Love is not planned. It just jumps out of nowhere. Atticus didn't stop thinking about Aoi before. Lately, he's thought of her in a different way. She was as a little girl. The years had been so kind to her. Her smile made his heart race. Were those angels singing around her? Atticus couldn't be sure.

But did she feel the same?

“Grandma,” Atticus said on a Sunday.

“Hm?” the old lady asked. The boy leaned over on the counter.

“How do you know when you are in love?” he asked. His grandmother turned to him with a curious look on her face.

“Who's the lucky girl?” she asked. “Is it Aoi-chan?” The boy about fell backwards.

“How did you know?” he asked. The boy's face was bright tomato red. His grandmother laughed.

“Call it a hutch,” she said. “You want to know if you like her or not.” Atticus nodded once.

“Aw,” she said. The old lady put down her chopsticks.

“Love is not an easy thing to navigate,” she said. “Sometimes it finds you and sometimes it finds and sometimes you find it.” She looked him in the eye.

“Does your heart race when you see her?” she asked. Atticus slowly nodded. He looked down at his hands.

“I did kiss her,” he said. “Here.” The boy tapped his right cheek.

“Oh!” she said. Atticus turned his head. His mind replayed that moment.

“I don't know why I did that. It just happened,” he admitted. Atticus rubbed the back of his head.

“How did she react?” his grandma asked.

“Surprised,” the boy said. “She asked me why I did that.” The old lady patted him on the head.

“I understand the gesture,” she said. “But try to talk to her first.” Atticus looked up at her.

“How do I do that?” he asked.

“Start by saying hello and how are you,” the grandma said.

“Like that?” the boy asked.

“That's one way,” she said. “Do what you feel comfortable with.” Her grandson perked up.

“Thanks, grandma,” he said. The old lady returned to her cooking.


But, love is not easy. Little distractions can pop up in the way. They had been in his path all of his life. Before, he didn't see most of them.

This morning would change that.

Atticus came to school early on a Wednesday. Three days passed and he had nothing to say. But today had to be different. Atticus took a deep breath as he walked down the street.

“Aoi-chan,” he began. “Um…” The boy paused and thought about what he wanted to say. He got distracted by seeing Aoi's face in his head. Atticus shook himself back into realty.

“Aoi-chan,” he began again. “I like you. I think you are really pretty. Can we date?” Maybe leave off the date part. Everything should be fine. Atticus made himself smile.

The wait was cut short when he spotted Aoi up ahead. The boy's heart raced as he picked up the pace. Today was going to be the day. He can do this. He can do this!

But then, a male classmate walked up to Aoi and started talking to her. Atticus froze. Who was this? The boy took a step back. I don't like this…

Maybe it wasn't that bad. But, why wouldn't this sinking feeling go away?