Disclaimer: I don't own DOA. Read & enjoy for God's sake.
I had gotten dressed & headed out into the city that morning. It was a big city so I had to ask for directions. I had found a food court after walking about four blocks & ate there. It was a hot morning. The sun was out & so were the cars & crowd of people. There was traffic wherever you went. I frequently looked up at the skyscrapers. There were more tall buildings in New York than in Hong Kong. Each with their own little unique structure. The parks were the only getaway from the big city. You would go there if you wanted peace from the traffic, sun, or throngs of people constantly bumping into each other. I probably consumed twenty ‘Excuse me’s from these people. But you would have to wait for the light to turn red & the hand to turn green before you could enter that paradise.
I got dressed in my white pants with the red dragons on the sides & my red sneakers then headed down to the gym. It was the outfit I became so fond of since the tournament started. Probably because I loved red as a color. I was told it meant determination & courage back when I was young. And that was exactly how I felt.
Well anyway, I was heading down to the gym. If I were lucky, I wouldn’t be the only one there. Maybe a few of the guys would be there, if they weren’t interested in looking around the city just yet. And I was right. There was Leon there, so was Bass & Brad & also Hayate. Brad was sitting on the balcony, meditating. Bass & Leon were talking to each other while they sat on some exercising machines. And Hayate was lying flat on a bench in the corner of the room.
What’s wrong with him?
Leon & Bass looked my way after hearing the door shut. I acknowledged them then went about my business. I would have gone over to Brad first, but I didn’t want to disturb the new guy’s meditation. So I went over to Hayate instead. I stood over him for a few seconds. After realizing he wasn’t gonna move, I tapped him on his back. He slowly & I mean slowly turned his head to look at me. From the expression on his face, he must have been really tired or just irritated.
Was he sleeping?
“What’re you doing?” I asked him.
He rubbed his face then sat up.
“I was napping,” he told me with a half smile on his face.
He was probably mad I disturbed him.
I sat down next to him & asked, “What? You didn’t get any sleep last night?”
“No. I couldn’t sleep, because I was so depressed . . .”
He gave me an irritated look. I must have been asking too many questions. But he told me anyway.
“My own sister is afraid of me, because of something I have no control over. She runs away everytime I’m near her. That look on her face tells it all. And Ayane is questioning my authority as the leader of the clan & so is Ryu. I had no idea what point he was trying to make, but Ayane wants me to do things her way. I told her I was the damn leader & I wasn’t going to hand my responsibilities over to someone lower than me . . . And she hates me for it. And above that, Ryu challenged me & beat me into the ground. I wasn’t putting up much of a fight, because I wasn’t in the mood. Now he thinks I’m not worthy.”
Unfortunate . . .
He buried his face in his hands.
But what I realized was if Kasumi hadn’t ran away, none of it would have ever happened. And I felt a bit of remorse for him. He has to prove himself to his clan by hunting down his own sister for a living. And me, I beat the shit out of lowlifes for a living.
And I thought I had it bad . . .
“At least, you’re still winning all your matches,” I said.
He looked up at me & smiled a little. Yeah, it was the least I could do to cheer him up. Praise him. He couldn’t stay depressed forever. He would have to get over it sooner or later. Sooner being the best choice. Would hate to see a melancholic Hayate, walking around the hotel.
“And you,” he began to say.
“What about me?”
“You & Lei have been having bad luck lately?”
Oh, boy . . .
I sighed & got ready to slap myself in the face with blame once again.
“It was all my fault. I’m not going to accuse Lei, too. I was the one who persisted on staying in, thinking I had a chance.”
“. . . Don’t beat yourself up.”
Don’t beat yourself up . . .
That was probably one of the best advices ever given to me.
Shut up, Jann Lee, it’s just four everyday words.
Yeah, well, four everyday words can mean a lot sometimes. Especially when it’s coming from a certain someone who knows best . . .
Beating myself up was exactly what I was doing for about an hour.
“Thanks, I won’t.”
Hayate stood up off the bench, “I need a break.”
I asked him where he was going. He just said he was going to walk around for awhile until he gets over all that happened.
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