I'm just putting a little pre-fiction ramble here for my thoughts.
First to note, this is my first work I've ever written. So please...don't go easy on me and tell me every basic writing…thing that I might be missing. I'll appreciate constructive reviews.
Next, about this story, my goal with this story is to make it as enjoyable and touching as I can manage. Anyway, I'll put my feelings and thoughts at the end of each chapter so that anyone who isn't interested can just skip.
Chapter 1 – Confession
Aila yawned as she walked out of her house. As usual, she was still drowsy and half-asleep on her way to school. Aila was an average, plain girl.
She liked romance just as much as any other girl and she was a bit lazy and wanted to have fun with her life, though she didn't have any particular dream; there were no traits that stood out particularly.
Outside her home stood Joi, her old friend, who waited for her as the daily routine went.
He smiled. "Good morning Aila. Still tired?"
Joi was, in a single word, warm. In contrast to Aila, he was an unusually bright and mellow guy, consistently holding a gentle smile.
"Yaah…." The girl in question yawned out her response. "It's too early for school. Why can't it be arranged to start late and finish late? Then I could sleep in all I wanted."
"Haha…" Joi shrugged. "I suppose the answer would be something about teaching us to be productive members of society? Open jobs probably demand workers who can take jobs early in the morning."
Aila stared over to Joi dully. "….Why do you always have to give such realistic and boring answers?"
He blinked. "H…haa…?"
She walked ahead. "Whatever. I guess you wouldn't be Joi if you didn't give off that economic housewife feeling all the time."
"...A housewife…? W…wait..!"
"C'mon! It also sucks that school starts early since we have to walk for five minutes instead of ride a car for two."
It was how their daily routines went. Every day, rain or shine, Joi would walk up the street and be waiting for Aila outside the fence by the time she came out. Once she did, they would walk together to school and, in the same way, walk back. Furthermore, Joi and Aila spent most of their time at school together. They've stuck with each other between classes at school and usually sat adjacent to each other in some way at classes they shared. This was simply the most natural thing for the two to do.
Joi and Aila have known each other since they were young children at the age of seven-for almost a decade now and had stuck together since.
"…Are you sleeping early enough? If you're this tired, you shouldn't stay up too late reading those novels or playing games." Joi noted as he opened the school door for her.
Aila froze briefly. "...How did you know? Were you peeking?"
He laughed lightly. "I guessed. I know you well enough to know what you do."
Her face tinted red and she looked away. "You're weird. And don't make it sound like such a bad thing." She was pouting lightly.
"Mmm...I didn't mean it like that...I have fun reading and playing with you too." He smiled again.
Aila grinned. "You know, it's been a while since you last came over for that stuff. You should come over sometime."
"Mmm...Well don't we have homework from all our classes assigned for the week today? I'll visit tomorrow and we can do it together."
Aila looked at him disappointedly. "Aww...do you have to come on such a depressing note?"
He smiled weakly. "Homework isn't that depressing. You just need to get it out of the way quickly and put a little energy into it."
"Leave it to Joi…" She sighed. "Why tomorrow anyway? Wouldn't today be better?"
"Mmm..." Joi shook his head. "It's too soon and you don't know what your parents have planned. Tomorrow gives us a little more notice. Besides, it's better if I let you review your notes for a day first so we're ready."
Aila's face reddened. 'He's basically saying I'm stupid in his own way right?' She huffed and ran ahead when the school came into view.
"A-ah! W-wait for me Aila..."
They were outside their English class.
Aila paused outside it and turned around. "Okay. Check me." Joi took out his notebook...
"Writing utensils for the in-class assignments?"
"Pencils, pens, erasers, markers, and...anything but crayons."
"Okay...The lineless blank papers for today's exercise?"
"Umm..." Joi smiled and took two blank sheets out of a folder in his backpack.
"What does that include?"
"The draft for that paper."
"The little work-packet."
"The corresponding three pages in the workbook?"
"The extra credit draft to that creative story for the drama club?"
"No, but it was optional."
Joi smiled. "That's everything then."
"Yay." Aila went into the class.
"Heh. Just in time too." Lauren grinned.
Lauren was a classmate and friend of Joi and Aila. She met them when they first started school and Joi asked her to tutor him. For all her lack of effort and care, Lauren was an excellent student-the kind that would annoy everyone around her with how easy she goes through her education.
"What were you two busy with~?" Lauren devoted a large portion of her time and effort into teasing Joi and Aila about the close friendship they have.
Aila rolled her eyes. "Lauren, we're NOT going out and we won't ever go out. I tell you this every day."
"..." Joi quickly seated. His infatuation towards Aila wasn't particularly well-hidden. On the contrary, it was more or less one of the most well-known things about him that more or less every classmate and friend was aware of. As a matter of fact, Joi was noted to proudly confirm this fact when inquired.
Lauren shook her head. "Such harsh rejection, you're so cruel Aila~ A sharp rebuff without him even proposing it?"
Aila scoffed, deciding it wasn't worth retorting to.
She made the excuse that their English teacher had just arrived. "Now everyone, before we do anything, why don't you turn in the novel submission drafts?" She smiled widely. "Remember, one of these submissions will be selected three weeks from now will be used as the setting for a school play!"
"Ah..." Joi dug into his backpack and fished for the homework. Aila noted that almost everyone in class had submissions. 'Does everyone want to start a play?' She blinked.
"Ah. And it looks like we're out of time." Mrs. Leed, the late-morning math teacher smiled as all the students began closing and putting away their books. "Ah, Joi?"
"...?" The boy in question looked up to her.
"The drama club asked for you earlier. They said something about needing you to volunteer for something."
Joi blinked. "Oh? Okay. I'll visit them for lunch." He turned to Aila and smiled. "You go ahead without me."
She nodded back.
"Aww...letting your girlfriend know so she won't feel left out~?" Lauren grinned at Aila's sigh.
The two girls walked out on their way to the cafeteria.
"What is your problem with Joi?" Aila asked dully. "Why can't you just get it into your thick skull that we're just childhood friends and nothing else?"
"Oh yeah? So you fine with, say…inviting him into your room with your clothes laying everywhere just to play games? And you don't feel anything?"
"We're going to do that tomorrow."
"..." Lauren shook her head. 'Poor Joi...'
"Are you sure you and Joi wouldn't work out? He's a good guy, isn't he?"
Aila laughed. "More than 'good'. He's an awesome guy. Have you tasted his food? It's casually gourmet. And he's a romantic that would do his best to set a good mood, and he has nice habits, and he's the type to stay loyal to a single girl..."
"...Then why don't you go out with him?" Lauren stared, her expression a little annoyed.
Aila laughed once more. "Because it'd be too weird! Can you imagine Joi kissing you? It's just...unnatural." She shook her head.
"..." Lauren sighed.
"Why is it such a big deal?"
"You know what? Nevermind."
"Excuse me! Is Aila here?" A student came in.
She glanced over at him. "...? That's me. What is it?"
"Umm...we need your help with Joi. something happened."
Over in the locker room, Joi was behind a curtain.
"Come on Joi!"
"It isn't so bad..."
The member brought Aila over. "Alright everyone, she's here."
Aila was confused. "What's going on...?"
Joi let out a shaken voice. "A-Aila...?" His tone sounded very flustered.
She blinked. "Joi, what's wrong? Come out."
"Joi..." Aila furrowed her brows and grabbed the curtain. She pulled it aside to help her get a good view of Joi.
"ACK!" He grabbed the other end and pulled in the opposite direction. "S-stop it!"
Aila sighed. "Come out Joi..." She mustered the cutest voice she could and cooed. "Pwease Joi...?"
"Nnng..." Joi whimpered.
She added a little motion that made the onlookers snicker. Ignoring them, Aila continued. "You make me feel so sad..."
"T-that's not fair Aila...You're not eight anymore..."
Aila grinned. It was working, as usual. "Aww...Joi...pweeeeeeze...? I want to see you right now..."
Joi cringed again. "...P...promise not to laugh?"
'Success.' She beamed. "Sure! We've known each other so long; whatever weird position you're in now, it doesn't matter."
"..." He slowly pulled the curtains back.
Aila blinked. "..." Following the next three three seconds, she burst out in a gut-bursting laughter on the floor. "HEEHEEHAHAHAHA...ACK...I can't breathe..."
Joi blushed and stared at his feet. "You said..." Joi was wearing a long, tied up blond wig and a large fancy pink dress layered with frills in the bottom. He was in heels, covered in full make-up and had the cutest blush you could imagine on a girl. Altogether, he looked like an heiress-some would even say a traditional princess.
"Fuu...haha..." Aila slowly caught her breath. Very slowly. "Why are you wearing THAT?"
He blushed deep red. "T-they said they needed to test how quickly someone could change into this costume, but couldn't ask a girl to do it..."
She burst out in laughter once more. "Well...it suits you!" Joi was, by nature, effeminate. He was relatively petite, had smooth, clean skin and hair, a soft-spoken higher-pitched voice, a cute baby-face, and above all a delicate nature.
"Heheh...You're adorable Joi!"
"L-leave me alone..."
"Where are your clothes?"
"They were taken..." He stared over at the club members with an annoyed expression, who grinned and expressed their approval at his appearance. For the rest of the day, everyone called him Lady Joy, especially Aila and Lauren.
The final bell rang as school concluded for the day. Joi walked out into the street with Aila silently.
She yawned. "What's wrong Joi? Does it bug you that much?" She glanced over to her friend. "C'mon…I said sorry already." She put an arm around him in an apologetic half-hug, and then clung to his arm. "You were just so cute "
Joi blushed and looked away. "No…I said it was okay already…I'm not mad about that…" He mumbled.
"Yay!" Aila made a fake energetic cheer and hugged him. "As long as you forgive me…" She said in a baby voice before yawning once more.
He shook his head and smiled. "You're still yawning Aila?"
"Yeah...School is boring and I need more beauty sleep than this..."
"I think you look quite nice already." Joi assured her as he resumed walking.
Aila blushed lightly. "It's because of how you put that...Lauren always calls us a couple because you're like that you know."
"Ah...Really...?" He looked down. "I guess so...sorry…it's how I am though..."
She sighed. "You can't just say that...Neither of us will ever start dating if you stay that way you know."
They arrived at Aila's home. "Well, here's my stop." Aila paused as she stepped through fence towards the door and waved at Joi.
Her home was what you would expect from an ordinary family. It was nicer than most, but not luxurious or extravagant in any way. The only thing that really stood out about it was that it was at the corner of a neighborhood intersection. Even the fence around it was a simple white fence that did little more than look like a 4 foot fence. Joi smiled and waved back as he walked with her towards her door parallel outside the fence once he turned the corner. He lived in a room in an apartment owned by his relatives that was located further down the street around the corner.
Aila stopped by her door to smile and wave. "See you tomorrow Joi! Thanks for the notes!"
Joi smiled. "Of course."
"Oh." She paused and grinned just before she opened the door. "And you look good in a dress "
Joi's eyes widened and he blushed. "I-I..."
Aila giggled. "Relax, I mean it. I'd say you're probably cuter than me."
"...I love you."
Aila froze with her hand on the knob of her front door. "W..."
When she looked over, Joi was standing just before the area next to her home where he was out of view. His expression was definitely serious.
"W-where did that come from? Y...you're joking, right...?" Aila laughed humorlessly.
Her face slowly reddened when he didn't respond. "...Oh."
She scratched her head. "Umm...umm..." 'Geez...this is awkward...'
"Err..." She blushed. "I-I don't know how to respond...U-umm..." She didn't want to ignore him or insult him, but Aila didn't really have a response either. Joi liked me? Me? And it's Joi! It's like everything is backwards. She was getting a headache just thinking about it, but he deserved an answer.
"..." Joi sighed and shook his head at her distress. "It's okay." He said, snapping her back to reality.
"H-huh?" When she looked over at him, he was smiling warmly at her, just like he always did.
Joi looked away and scratched his head. "I don't expect an answer or anything. I know..."
He smiled up once more at Aila's surprised expression. "...We can just forget it if you prefer that."
Aila's eyes widened slightly. 'T...that's an option...?'
Joi waved to her. "Goodnight Aila. Remember to finish your homework by tomorrow."
"A-ah...?" He smiled one last time before turning to leave. "I'll forget it then…"
She stopped herself from calling out to him when he started walking. 'It's not like I have anything I can say to him...'
She hurried inside and closed the door behind her. "..."
Later that night...
Joi closed his books and slipped them into his backpack. He sighed and rubbed his eyes tiredly. Homework's done...shower's done…almost time for bed...
He grabbed a notebook from a shelf of similar journals and sat back down by his desk.
Once upon a time, a girl woke up in a hospital from a coma. Half a year ago, she had been in a traffic accident and lost consciousness. Worse yet, she had lost all memory of her prior life and her family, whom had given up on her, couldn't be contacted. Her only lead towards her old life and memory was through a friend she made who was hospitalized in the bed next to her. He was in the same accident as her and knew her parents from when they had still visited.
Before they could even begin searching for her memory however, the two both needed rehabilitation. For another several months, they kept each other's company as they both got back on their feet. The girl found herself getting more and more attached to him, but restrained herself from saying anything as he began telling her about an old romance that deeply affected him. Once they were both released, they began visiting areas that would refresh her memory, which succeeded in small cases. Over the next few weeks, their relationship blossomed further until they eventually became romantically involved.
Suddenly, her friend revealed that he was, in fact, a friend and admirer of her long before her accident. Although he claimed to have a way to jog her memory, the boy was hesitant. He was afraid that once she regained her memory, her old feelings would resurface to replace her new ones. When the girl pushed him to return her memory and assured him that nothing would change, he reluctantly agreed. When she recovered her memory, the girl really did recieve a rush of her old emotions. She felt conflicted. After days of thought, she resolved to...
Joi shut his book and sighed. He slipped it into his shelf with the others. "What happens next...?"
He laughed emptily before slipping into his bed and closing his eyes. "I suppose I'll never know. Goodnight...Aila..."
End of Chapter
And that's the conclusion of chapter 1 of Limerence. How was it? Too long? Too short? Either way, I hope you enjoyed it. For those who don't care for the after-chapter commentary, as mentioned before, you can skip through this now. This is just an extra thing for me to discuss what I've written.
To me, the most important and my favorite part of this chapter is, as the name implies, Joi's confession. I think it should be safe to say that the storyline for this story is actually pretty basic-a standard love story in which a boy likes a girl. However, I also want Joi to break an old romantic style at the same time; the standard being that the protagonists struggles to confess his or her feelings which drag on until the end of the story.
Joi's confession was at least made to be unspectacular, natural, brief, and most importantly, he isn't shy about it. Without beating around the bush or letting anything interrupt, Joi came out and said it.
Joi. I like Joi. When I first created him, I wanted Joi to be my ideal romance protagonist. In the end, this meant changing him from the classical romantic character though. "Joi" seriously wants a realistic relationship with his object of affection, and when I thought about it that way, a shy approach had to go; the way I see love, Joi needed to be very comfortable with Aila instead of having a dramatized raised heart rate and blood pressure every time they're in the same room.
Moreover, he had to really understand Aila's thoughts and feelings, which also showed during his confession. Presumably, Joi understood that Aila was too embarrassed and confused to say anything to him, which is why he proposed to let it slide and offer her a way out.
I think that'll do for post-chapter talk for now. Thanks to anyone who had the patience to put up with my ranting for so long and I sincerely hope you offer me your perspective in a review.
That's the last thing. I would like to thank anyone who cared enough to review this newbie's story, so I want to make an effort to respond to any notable reviews at either the beginning or end of every chapter henceforth.
I don't know you guys, but you all rock anyway and thanks a lot for reading.