From Vain to Dandy Chapter 25

Chapter 25
Right when Harvey Hunt strolled off the plane with his younger companion by his side, he switched off the flight mode on his cell phone !n a matter of seconds, he s"immed through various e#mails and te$t messages from his %ne Heart branch manager, &illian 'eDu"e, as well as his devoted members of a year, before he noticed the latest te$t message he received was from none other than (a"e )ar"e *s e$pected of the romantic Californian conversationalist, the te$t message was long and wordy +ut Harvey could sum up the message in one sentence, +e mentally prepared for all the conversationalists at the California +ranch e$cept for the young Darren Christie, who needed to attend school at this hour -ith a toothy grin on his face, Harvey dialed (a"e.s number /*re you getting off the plane01 (a"e as"ed instantly after he pic"ed up -al"ing down the ramp slower than before, Harvey sensed the an$iety from (a"e and chuc"led /2o hello0 2o than" you0 -here are your manners01 / almost here, right01 /3es, (ac4uie and ! are almost out in the open 1 %n purpose, Harvey held his arm out and "ept his young companion from ta"ing a step further /%ne 4uic" 4uestion though, (a"e 1 /3eah01 /!s +laine -est with you01 (a"e released a long sigh since he should have e$pected as much, especially from another %ne Heart conversationalist /-hy don.t you pic" him out from the masses for yourself0 %r are you going to hold my daughter hostage until you meet him01 /! accept the challenge,1 Harvey said, gleeful /! was "idding51 /! should be more than capable to locate him in a crowd 1

6he shorter companion tugged onto Harvey.s sleeve, interrupting his conversation with her father /7ay !, Harvey01 Harvey loo"ed down and understood her immediately /Hold on (ac4uie wants to tal" to you for a second, (a"e 1 6han"ing Harvey first, (ac4uie )ar"e then held the cell phone carefully to her right ear /8ood morning, Father How many people are with you01 /Really, (ac4uie0 going to play this game, too01 (ac4uie e$changed a loo" with Harvey /!f my guardian is prepared to test out his abilities, ! may as well employ mine *n idle brain is no good 1 /! want to see you so 9ust come out already 1 !n (ac4uie )ar"e.s eyes, there was no living man more than handsome than her father %b9ectively spea"ing, she "new this was not the case, but sometimes, she reasoned that it was better to not be ob9ective about something li"e beauty :till, (ac4uie.s eyes were drawn to the redhead standing not too far behind her father 3es, there was no 4uestion about it 6hat handsome man was the person Harvey had told her about recently :econd to only her father, (ac4uie had yearned to meet +laine -est, the man with the unlimited potential, the most From her perspective, he was also the one responsible for ta"ing her mother away from her /Father51 (ac4uie cried and ran over in (a"e.s direction 6he other members of the %ne Heart watched in awe as she pic"ed up speed at an unbelievable rate and leaped over the tape between her and her father without much effort 6han"fully, (a"e managed to catch her in time as she wrapped her arms snugly around his nec" and "issed his chec" several times /Have you not been eating well, Father0 3ou have lost at least twenty pounds51 /-hen.s the last time you last visited your father, 7iss (ac4uie )ar"e0 He.s been li"e this for a while now,1 (oel said to (ac4uie before he held his palm out to her /7y name is;1 /7ister (oel <duardo51 (ac4uie finished for the branch manager, who confirmed her

deduction :he shoo" his hand and beamed at him in response /2ice to meet you at last5 *nd ! haven.t seen my father in two years, but even before that, ! only stayed with him for short periods of time 1 /-hy is that01 'iam 9oined in /!sn.t it sad to be away from your father01 (ac4uie reached out and shoo" 'iam.s hand, too /6his must be the &ing51 'iam also confirmed for her /3es, ! miss Father, but there.s nothing ! can do about it ! attended boarding school before ! studied abroad in <ngland and 8ermany two years ago *fter ! graduated last year, Father and ! decided it was best that ! too" a year off to travel all over <urope5 Harvey too" care of me51 /+ut only twelve years old01 &enichi 4uestioned, observing the girl with

sil"y, straight blac" hair that reached her shoulders and e4ually blac" eyes from top to bottom :he had the longest eyelashes for a child /Correct5 *nd is this the 4uir"y &enichi :a"urada01 /3ou may call me =<tchi., 7iss (ac4uie )ar"e,1 &enichi said as he accepted her hand and "issed it with a sweet, dashing grin on his face (ac4uie shoo" her head /3ou can.t win me over, <tchi ! won.t become one of your members 1 2oticing the curious loo"s surrounding her, (ac4uie understood that she became a celebrity of some sort and continued to address the rest of them /%h, yes ! graduated prematurely for students my age, but ! am very happy for the opportunity to admire the bright lights of )aris and the waterfalls of the 'auterbrunnen Valley5 *ll the la"es and mountains that are within my grasp put me in such a stupor and inspire me to maybe reprint them for the world to behold, albeit never as perfect as the original 1 /!ncredible,1 'ogan said in ama>ement /3ou sound similar to (a"e 1 /-hat do you mean by that01 (a"e as"ed 'ogan with a grin (ac4uie gasped and shoo" 'ogan.s hand ne$t /'ogan Holly, it is an honor to meet you5 ! love reading your forum.s posts 1 (ac4uie could not contain her e$citement as she turned to -eston and switched over to grip his hands /6his must be -eston *ndrews5 )lease forgive me for ta"ing a while to reason out who you are from a different

branch so it threw me off for a bit 1 /:he loo"s identical to 7andy,1 -eston mused /!t.s incredible 1 /:ame with <lliot Dawson, right01 (ac4uie as"ed the ne$t man in line and proceeded to sha"e his hands as well /! never would have imagined the manager of the 2ew 3or" branch to be here to greet me51 /*ctually, 7iss )ar"e,1 <lliot said with a grin /! transferred to the branch in California not too long ago 1 /3ou gave up your position01 <lliot nodded /3es, but it.s for a worthwhile cause, ! assure you 1 /%h, yes, yes,1 (ac4uie said with a firm nod Her eyes landed on +laine briefly before she motioned for Harvey to move in closer to her /Harvey wants to meet you for a while now, +laine -est ! hope you guys treat each other with a reasonable amount of respect 1 -ithout (ac4uie.s help, Harvey e$tended his hand to +laine, who accepted it /! already "now everyone else here, but this is my first time meeting you in person, +laine -est 7y name is Harvey Hunt !t is a pleasure 1 +laine gave Harvey his perfect smile /3es, it is an honor to meet you too, Harvey Hunt ! assume you are not an ordinary babysitter0 +y the way you 4uic"ly pic"ed me out as +laine -est from everyone else, it is reasonable to conclude that a %ne Heart conversationalist 1 /Correct, as e$pected,1 Harvey said, pulling his hand away from +laine and helping (ac4uie down to her feet instead /6echnically, unli"e the rest of you, ! am on the 9ob right now 1 /*n away mission01 +laine as"ed immediately Harvey nodded /)recisely * year long one 1 /6hen,1 +laine turned and finally shoo" (ac4uie.s tiny hands in his /7iss (ac4uie )ar" is a %ne Heart member 1 (ac4uie giggled, gaining +laine.s attention /3es and no 1 /*h, so that.s what happened,1 (oel said <veryone e$cept for the guilty ones in

4uestion turned to (oel for the answer /! remember this away mission very well actually !t.s not often that a member re4uests a year#long away mission with such specific details 1 /! recall it, too, because it was so unusual,1 <lliot 9oined in His memory may not be as perfect as (oel.s, but it was ade4uate enough for this 9ob /?sually, a member would re4uest their favorite conversationalist on e$pensive, away missions li"e this 1 /:uch as your current one, right &enichi :a"urada01 +laine as"ed &enichi nodded /3eah 7ine.s a pretty uni4ue case, too 1 /+ut in this particular case,1 <lliot continued /6he girl in 4uestion was a new member and she re4uested all conversationalists available who were interested in this away mission to ta"e a survey and then, she would pic" the winner herself 1 /-hich is Harvey Hunt here,1 (a"e said, indicating at the man in 4uestion /! am interested in seeing this survey sometime,1 +laine said /-hy01 <lliot as"ed +laine /:o, you can get a perfect score on it01 +laine smiled, amused /)artly, yes, though ! doubt there.s a perfect score 6he young lady here was probably optimi>ing the chances of claiming the perfect comrade for a long trip by using a logical and efficient method 1 /2ot bad, +laine -est,1 (ac4uie said, delighted /3ou really are 7iss 7andy.s daughter,1 'ogan said in awe /! might have written the survey,1 (ac4uie said with a proud loo" on her face /+ut Father is the one who too" advantage of the %ne Heart system and gave me a pseudonym in the first place 1 /%f course, he had to,1 (oel said as if it was the most reasonable course of action in the world /*nyone would have 4uestioned a member with his last name@ it is not a common one <ven if it is, people will wonder 1 /Harvey, will you be a dear and pic" up our luggage01 (ac4uie as"ed Harvey sweetly <veryone watched at such a manipulative 4uestion as Harvey simply smiled at her /Certainly <veryone please e$cuse me for a moment 1 /6here.s no need for you to come bac" here,1 (ac4uie continued in that same sweet

voice /-e don.t have time to waste )lease call Father or me when you are done and we will tell you our location 1 Harvey laughed /3eah, ! get it 1 He win"ed at (a"e /:ee you later 1 /(ac4uie,1 (a"e said, frowning at her /Do you usually order Harvey Hunt around li"e that0 Haven.t we gone over how you shouldn.t have such a strong sense of entitlement01 *t the moment, everyone thought of 7andy 7onroe (ac4uie grabbed her father.s hand and started pulling him toward the direction of the e$it /Father, please, not in front of so many handsome men 1 (ac4uie glanced over her shoulder at everyone /6han" you so much for seeing me5 ! feel so happy51 /:hould we leave01 'ogan as"ed, confused /)lease, no :tay with me for a while longer 1 (ac4uie answered instead of her father /! have a serious 4uestion for all of you 1 /8o ahead,1 (oel said (ac4uie too" a deep breath before her eyes spar"led and her chee"s flushed a bright red /:o, what are the chances Harvey will wait for me until !.m legally old enough to be officially together with him01 /! don.t "now about the rest of you guys,1 <lliot said to his fellow co#wor"ers /+ut ! did not see that coming 1 /'et.s not tal" about this,1 said (a"e curtly /! guess (a"e didn.t either,1 'ogan said /2o father wants to hear that,1 said 'iam with a sha"e of his head /How cute,1 &enichi said, smir"ing He hunched down and wrapped his arm across her shoulders /! can see why him though ! mean, Harvey Hunt is only nineteen and you spent a whole year with him, surrounded by the most beautiful sights of <urope 1 /He is only nineteen,1 +laine repeated, more interested in both (ac4uie and Harvey as individuals /2o wonder ! thought he loo"ed a tad young for a conversationalist 1 /!f ! recall correctly,1 said (oel with his abundant "nowledge /Harvey Hunt dropped out of high school at the age of si$teen and 9oined %ne Heart as a conversationalist around

seventeen years old 7iss 7andy 7onroe trained him and then, placed him under the supervision of &illian 'eDu"e *ctually, ! recalled how relieved both 6imothy )atric" and ! were when Harvey Hunt was announced to ta"e on this year#long mission 6imothy )atric".s branch was too busy to lose a conversationalist for a year and my branch was short on staff 7oreover, both of us agreed that the young Harvey Hunt was so new to the 9ob that this mission would be both a learning e$perience for him and be less of a burden on the 2ew 7e$ico branch !t was the ideal situation for everyone 1 /*sia didn.t care either way,1 <lliot 9oined in /*nd ! had more than enough conversationalists at my branch to lose one for this mission 1 /%h,1 (ac4uie said /7y mission troubled so many people !.m sorry, then 1 (ac4uie released a sigh /! always assumed that %ne Heart was a perfect utopia where something li"e this wasn.t enough to bother anyone 1 (ac4uie peered up at her father /+esides, Father made it sound li"e my mission was no big deal 1 /!n a way,1 said 'ogan in a gentle voice /3ou are also li"e your father, 7iss (ac4uie 1 *t (ac4uie.s tilting head, 'ogan chuc"led to himself /3ou are sensitive to other people.s feelings and needs, something your mother is naturally devoid of 1 /Honestly, ?ncle 'ogan,1 (ac4uie said /! don.t "now 7other that well because ! have never seen or tal"ed to her before, but ! "now that Father and ! get along splendidly whenever we visited each other 1 /3ou "now,1 said (oel, patting the girl on top of the head /Despite you inheriting the genes of two people ! loathe to a certain e$tent;1 (a"e frowned at (oel /-e get along fine, +oss51 /;! 4uite li"e you, 7iss (ac4uie )ar"e 1 /6hat means a lot coming from you, ?ncle (oel,1 (ac4uie said with a bright smile :he used her other hand to hold onto his, much to his surprise /3ou may not always get along with Father, but ! respect you all the same 1 /?ncle (oel is not allowed,1 (oel said calmly He coughed at how uncomfortable he was with her hand holding /! am than"ful you inherited none of the vices from your

parents from how ! perceived you thus far 1 /-hich is01 (ac4uie as"ed, curious /His la>iness,1 (oel said, nodding in (a"e.s direction /*nd her seemingly childli"e personality 1 /Hm,1 (ac4uie said with a thoughtful loo" on his face /*nyways,1 (a"e said with a loud growl 6hen, he peered down at his daughter with a frown /3ou really li"e Harvey Hunt that much, (ac4uie01 /6hat.s a secret,1 (ac4uie said with a wide smile /Really, (ac4uie0 3ou are going to play this game with me, too01 (a"e cried and everyone else in the group thought of 7andy once again /%h, right, your 4uestion,1 <lliot said /! say if he returns your feelings, your chances are pretty high For one, obviously cute and well#behaved 1 / devilishly smart, too,1 &enichi said /Harvey li"es smart girls 1 /! agree,1 'iam 9oined in /6hough ! am a father myself and ! personally do not approve of supporting another man.s daughter by handing her advice about her love life, ! am a conversationalist first, especially since ! should be at wor" right now 1 (oel grumbled at 'iam.s words /*nd from that angle, ! can definitely see this relationship being in your favor as well ! can tell that despite being seven years his 9unior, he values your opinion and cares about you a lot 1 /'et.s not forget that he.s a conversationalist,1 <lliot said with a firm nod /6herefore, he doesn.t have the time to see other women outside of his 9ob and we all "now not allowed to date our clients 1 /7ost of us are single,1 'ogan agreed immediately with <lliot /Harvey and ! are actually relatively good friends,1 -eston spo"e up, surprising everyone since he chose to stay 4uiet /-e message each other a lot because both relatively new conversationalists to our respective centers 6he other conversationalists don.t ta"e us as seriously as everyone else ! say that based on how well he treats you and loo"s out for your well#being, you are definitely in the top ten girls he would date despite

the age difference 1 /6he age difference is not an issue with Harvey Hunt at all,1 (oel said, at least managing to free himself from (ac4uie.s grasp /Harvey Hunt is a young, ambitious man himself and wor"s together with those much older than him, but he handles his 9ob with promise li"e a veteran 3ou are similar to him 6hough you are a pre#teen, you not only graduated with a degree already, but you are wise and mature beyond your years 2ot many girls your age can fully appreciate the sights of <urope li"e you 1 (oel paused and smir"ed at annoyed (a"e loo"ed /!f anything, ! would dare to say that your chances of Harvey Hunt waiting for you to be legal is around eighty to ninety percent, "eeping in mind that you retain some abilities and physical traits from your mother 1 /3ou guys should stop analy>ing my daughter.s love life,1 (a"e reminded (ac4uie s4uee>ed her father.s hand and nodded in understanding, ta"ing in all the information everyone gave her However, she said nothing until she noticed that +laine remained silent behind her /-hat do you thin", ?ncle +laine0 Do you agree with everyone else01 /! do not have ade4uate "nowledge on Harvey Hunt to arrive at a sold conclusion li"e everyone else,1 said +laine /+ut +laine -est,1 (ac4uie said in awe /! want to hear your thoughts so please share them with me 1 +laine glanced at the rest of his co#wor"ers /From my perspective, your chances are not as high as (oel <duardo previously asserted 1 /%h01 /For Harvey Hunt, si$ years may not be a long time,1 +laine said carefully, /but for someone of your age, si$ years will feel li"e forever 6hough the number of days are the same for both of you and everyone else, your sense of time are different 3es, ! "now you are mentally his age, but you are still physically a child 1 +laine could feel everyone waiting patiently for his assessment :ince when was he so valued0 :ince everyone in %ne Heart was aware of his e$istence0 /During those si$ years, you will meet more people who you

can possibly date than he 3our emotional capacity will grow with time as well 6here is always a chance that you will grow apart from him, not the other way around ! guess what !.m trying to say is 1 +laine switched his attention to (a"e instead /?nless really that similar to your father, you won.t stay loyal to Harvey Hunt 6he more important 4uestion than is# what are the chances you will wait for him to be able to hold your hand in public01 / brilliant, ?ncle +laine,1 (ac4uie said in awe :he released her father.s hand and whirled around, facing everyone /<very one of you are brilliant ! have never met so many brilliant people in my life before51 /+ut you went to the top university, right01 (oel in4uired /3es5 +ut those people are intelligent in terms of academics, similar to myself 6hey may one day win 2oble )ri>es, but they cannot adapt to a social world as easily as any of you guys 1 (ac4uie beamed at all of them /!, myself, cannot hold a candle to any one of you either5 %ne Heart is such a curious place51 (ac4uie ran over to (a"e with wide, e$cited eyes /7ay ! visit the center sometime, Father0 )lease do not deny me such a right51 /! told you that you can.t become a member, remember01 /! "now because then, Harvey can.t be with me 1 (a"e sighed /6hat.s not the point 1 /3ou have reminded me of the point many times, Father,1 (ac4uie reassured with a teasing smile /3ou need to be a little faster to catch up to your co#wor"ers 6heir minds wor" so 4uic"ly li"e Harvey.s 1 /*s the branch manager of the California branch,1 (oel said, smir"ing at how miserable (a"e loo"ed right now /! invite you to stop by our center anytime even if you aren.t one of our members 3ou can actually "eep using your pseudonym around our center if you li"e 1 (ac4uie gasped /6ruly, ?ncle (oel0 3ou.ll do that for me0 ! "now you are usually very strict with rules51 (oel.s smir" widened /?sually, yes +ut ! can ma"e an e$ception 1

2oticing how much (oel was en9oying this, (a"e shot a loo" in his direction /! won.t wor" harder with (ac4uie around 1 /%f course, because ! am certain you are so accustomed to letting your daughter down plenty of times by now 1 /:ee01 (a"e grumbled to (ac4uie /6his is why ! hate my life 1 /%h01 (oel feigned surprise /! have risen past the levels of 7iss 7andy 7onroe.s emotional and psychological warfare on your heart and soul0 *re you going to stop sleeping now, too01 /7a"e him stop, 'ogan,1 (a"e said, grabbing a hold of 'ogan.s arm (ac4uie patted his bac" /6here, there, Father 1 +efore she could continue comforting him, she 9umped at her vibrating cell phone and chec"ed her messages :he too" a moment to observe her surroundings 6hey were right by the e$it where numerous cars drove by to pic" up their loved ones *fter she typed a te$t bac" to Harvey at a furious pace, (ac4uie loo"ed into the faces of everyone who came to greet her /*h, the center is rarely closed, no0 ! shouldn.t ta"e any more of your time 6han" you for spending time with me51 /-ow, a )ar"e and 7onroe combo who shows sensitivity for other people.s time# did ! die and stand before the heaven.s gate01 (oel remar"ed /:houldn.t you mean the fires of hell01 (a"e as"ed with a la>y smile /*nyways, welcome, little missy,1 'ogan said, fond of her already :ince (oel usually opened the center, he was the first to say good#bye to (ac4uie and head over to his car immediately 6o save gas, (oel actually drove 'iam, 'ogan, and &enichi with him so the three of them also parted with (a"e.s daughter with smiles and "ind words <lliot and -eston too" off ne$t because they were on duty today at the center as well However, right when +laine attempted to e$change his last words with (ac4uie, she grabbed a hold of his sleeve and gave him a beautiful smile /?ncle +laine, may ! borrow one more moment of your time or do you also need to be bac" at the center01

+laine shoo" his head /!.m still in training so not today 1 /Convenient51 /Come on now, (ac4uie,1 (a"e said with a tired loo" on his face He dealt with (oel and the rest of %ne Heart for more hours than he would have li"ed /-e should hurry home and unpac" your belongings 1 /Father, ! believe you have wor" today,1 (ac4uie reminded /!.m not going to wor" 1 /Harvey can drive me 1 /! don.t want him to 1 (ac4uie attached herself to (a"e by the side /! am so very fond of Harvey, Father, and you "now he.s a good person He has to be to wor" at %ne Heart *lso, you tal" favorably of him when we pic"ed him for my escort 1 /!t.s not that,1 (a"e said, still depressed /+laine -est, please help me,1 (ac4uie said in a pleading tone /! am not the best at reading people li"e conversationalists at %ne Heart and sadly, ! don.t "now Father as well as ! should because of my constant absence from home 1 /3ou don.t need him to analy>e,1 (a"e said 4uic"ly /!t.s 9ust ! would rather spend time with you than those guys at %ne Heart 1 /+ut they are so endearing and enlightening 1 /<ven so, my daughter, not them 1 6ouched, (ac4uie hugged her father even closer to her /!.ll be staying with you for a long time so please, do not s"ip wor" because of me ! don.t want to feel guilt and shame when ! see your co#wor"ers again 1 /Fine,1 (a"e said, giving in faster than +laine e$pected /+ut under one condition, (ac4uie 1 /3es, Father01 /+laine drives you bac", not Harvey 1 (ac4uie loo"ed disappointed, but she nodded /! understand 1 it.s been so long and

/6han"s for this,1 (a"e said, patting +laine on the shoulder /6han"s for trusting me with your daughter,1 +laine said /Despite our differences and you not being fond of me in general since the beginning 1 (a"e shrugged /! mean, you and your e$#wife, man 2ow that probably not sleeping with 7andy again, ! have nothing against you 1 / too simple at times, (a"e )ar"e 1 6a"ing that as a compliment, (a"e grinned and went on his way toward his car as well He loo"ed forward to driving (ac4uie.s luggage bac" to their home and discussing her adventures together while they unpac"ed, but that would have to wait until after center wor" hours !n the meantime, +laine noticed that (ac4uie was carefully observing him !n return, he chec"ed her out as well For someone who loo"ed very similar to 7andy, +laine admitted that she lost some of 7andy.s spar"le !t was hard to e$plain 7andy.s spar"le was what drew him to her %nce he saw her, he could never loo" away again, something (ac4uie did not possess 6hen again, 7andy.s daughter was only twelve /:o, you slept with 7other, huh01 +laine assessed the situation 4uic"ly in his head before he as"ed, /How aware are you of your parents. current situation01 /! "now that she should not "now of my current whereabouts and that Father is not 7other.s current romantic partner,1 (ac4uie answered /-ell, technically, they are, but ! guess not in the (a"e )ar"e sense 1 /! don.t understand 1 /3ou shouldn.t,1 +laine said /! was tal"ing to myself 1 7uch to +laine.s surprise, (ac4uie giggled at his reply /3ou are a careful man, aren.t you0 ! as"ed you a relatively tric"y 4uestion on purpose and yet, you handled it well, much li"e how you answered my previous 4uestion without any prior "nowledge of Harvey and me, especially of our relationship and individual personalities ! was impressed 1 /6han" you, 7iss (ac4uie )ar"e 1 /+ut the reason why ! as" you to remain here with me is to tell you that wrong

about one thing 1 6he word was foreign to +laine so it too" him a moment to comprehend /How am ! wrong0 )lease e$plain 1 :uddenly, (ac4uie.s face fell /3ou are similar to me, ?ncle +laine, so you might be able to empathi>e with my concerns 1 (ac4uie paused /6he proportion of the population who ! will meet and find suitable as a mate within seven years is e$ceptionally low 1 +laine could sense the disappointment from the girl /+ased on what01 /+ased on how fascinating and attractive they are to me 1 /!s Harvey Hunt li"e that to you01 /3es, to a certain e$tent 1 /*nyone else01 +laine as"ed out of mild interest /3es, people li"e :ha"espeare, Fran"lin, Da Vinci, 7ilton, :ocrates, 2iet>sche, and <instein 1 /! understand now, said +laine, amused /6hen you are also wrong about me, 7iss (ac4uie 1 (ac4uie tilted her head /! am01 /! can.t empathi>e with you on that,1 +laine e$plained /! don.t "now what Harvey Hunt or your father has said about me to you, but the person probably imagining me to be is your mother, 7iss 7andy 7onroe -e are similar, that is true, but completely different as well 1 (ac4uie thought about it for a second /3ou might be right there 1 /! really want to "now,1 said +laine, feeling a strong sense of curiosity bubbling within him 6his was a once in a lifetime opportunity /-hat is it li"e being you0 3ou are a child prodigy at twelve 3ou may grow up to be one of the most intelligent people to wal" this planet of your generation %n top of that, you will most li"ely grow up to loo" identical to your mother, whose beauty has no glaring faults Do you feel pressured by the e$pectations at all01 6he pre#teen too" a considerate amount of time to answer as she played with her

hair shyly and "ept her eyes on the floor +ehind her, Harvey arrived with their luggage and approached +laine -est once more with a greeting However, (ac4uie chose not to turn around to face Harvey and instead, pic"ed up her eyes and loo"ed at +laine properly /Rather than feeling pressured,1 (ac4uie answered as slow as she could possibly could /! am afraid of myself 1 /*fraid01 +laine as"ed, as if the word was foreign to him (ac4uie glanced in Harvey.s direction once before she sighed /!f ! had a choice, ! would rather not "now that similar to 7other, ! have no limitations besides the physical 1 6he dar"#haired girl reached for luggage and dragged it close to her /+ecause it is truly frightening to thin" and "now that there might not be another person li"e me nearby ! may never come across my e4ual in this lifetime 2o one ! can tal" to really understands what !.m going through 1 /'oneliness is your fear,1 +laine stated /3es, and not having a limit as well,1 (ac4uie said +laine accidentally laughed /! understand that one well 1 Her eyes widened /3ou do, ?ncle +laine01 /-hen you "now you have hit your capacity for something and that.s the farthest you can go, a lot of people feel fulfilled they feel li"e tried their best and

accomplished something worthwhile 1 +laine paused because for a moment, he remembered his father /6here.s actually a ceiling you can reach and touch !t.s there, it.s safe, and it protects you +ut for us 1 :taring out at the s"y beyond the doors of the airport, +laine noticed a couple of airplanes flying from a distant /-e will never be able to feel that way because that invisible, non#e$istent ceiling opens up a million possibilities and we chase after them all and nothing will ever be enough or the end to us and that in itself is truly frightening 1 /+ut it.s also the precise reason why ! hate it when 7iss 7andy or anyone else claims that she.s perfect,1 Harvey said in a bitter tone +laine smiled at the other male /3es, Harvey Hunt01

/3ou people are truly frightening creatures and you may be the best of the best, but not perfect )erfect implies that everything is set, li"e ABBC on a test 1 Harvey briefly scanned the people wal"ing bac" and forth, passing the three /+ut that.s not the case, is it0 )eople wanted to fly so we built airplanes 6hen, what did we do ne$t0 -e built roc"ets and spaceships for space travel ! doubt that.s the end of it 1 Harvey tossed the other two a loo" /6here will always be progress 6hough 7iss 7andy may be perfect for a temporary period of time, once something new pops up, she will have to master that, too, and then, another !t will never end and therefore, in a way, if she li"es to flaunt that she is perfect, she is building a ceiling for her and that is not very li"e her 1 /Harvey isn.t too fond of 7other.s mindset,1 (ac4uie e$plained to +laine /! can see that,1 +laine said, amused /! thought the same, though ! "now she is perfect in a different sense :till, that.s why ! will surpass her one day 1 Harvey grinned /! can.t wait for that day, then 1 Harvey leaned over to (ac4uie and flic"ed her forehead /*s for you, you shouldn.t fear such things either and !.ll tell you why 1 Rubbing her forehead, (ac4uie lifted a brow /-hy, Harvey01 /<ven if by some off#chance you.ll never encounter your so#called e4ual, you will never be alone because one, ! won.t let you,1 Harvey grimaced, /and two, even if those around you are not your e4ual in terms of intelligence, they can still be fascinating and attractive in other ways 1 +laine nodded /6hat.s true 7y e$#wife is a good e$ample of that 1 /How so, Harvey0 ?ncle +laine01 /!t.s probably best if ! don.t tal" about her,1 said +laine 4uic"ly /'i"e your father, (a"e )ar"e,1 Harvey pointed out +laine laughed, but 4uic"ly agreed /3ou love him and thin" he.s an attractive person, ob9ectively spea"ing He.s an e$treme romantic and though you also have a high sense of attraction to the world around you, you are nothing compared to him ! "now !.ve interacted with him for a while now 1 /:ame,1 +laine said /6hough ! cannot claim ! "now him as long as you, Harvey

Hunt, ! can already point out that same difference between the father and daughter duo 1 +laine indicated at the mountains from a distance /-hile you stand before them, you may be inspired by their beauty 3ou may lose yourself in how breathta"ing the sight is to behold 3ou may even go a step further and paint those mountains on a canvas for yourself +ut (a"e )ar"e is beyond that 1 (ac4uie per"ed up even more /%h01 /!ndeed,1 Harvey agreed /(a"e can view those mountains and love their sight so much that he will loc" himself in his room, ignore sleep and food until he is done e$pressing how he feels about them either on paper or on canvas, visit them over and over again, and sleep with those mountains haunting his dreams 1 /*nd for you, 7iss (ac4uie )ar",1 +laine added, /it may last for a wee" at most, but he can spend years on this 1 (ac4uie blin"ed at them /! have a feeling both of you stopped tal"ing about mountains a while bac" 1 /6he point is,1 Harvey said /3ou can still be interested in someone for being different from you for bringing something new to the table, too 1

(ac4uie smiled at Harvey /'i"e you, Harvey01 /-ell, ! have been attending to you for a year now,1 said Harvey, glancing at +laine in anticipation +laine caught Harvey.s an$iety and smiled broadly /! "now about you and 7iss (ac4uie )ar" and so does her father 1 /! wonder how,1 Harvey said, frowning at (ac4uie /!t.s probably why ! am assigned the tas" of driving her home 1 /-ait,1 Harvey said 4uic"ly when he noticed +laine ta"ing charge of (ac4uie.s luggage now /!t.s not that ! don.t trust you or your probably perfect driving abilities, +laine -est 1 / right,1 +laine said /! got a perfect on my driving test 1 Harvey glanced away /+ut it would put my heart at ease if ! can see for myself that

(ac4uie enters her home safely !t is part of my 9ob 1 +laine noticed that (ac4uie begged him with her eyes, too /Very well ! see no harm in that 'et.s be on our way now Follow me 1 6hough on the outside, +laine appeared calm and collected as usual, he had one thought on his mind for a while now# was it possible that 7andy 7onroe also shared similar fears to her daughter0

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