“Text”= Japanese talking

“/Text/”= English talking

“+Text+”= American talking

“#Text#”= Australian talking

Lexie has gotten worse lately. Lucas couldn’t figure out why. He dialed up a good number for the problem.

“Hello?” Shuichi asked.

“+Hey, it’s me,+” he said.

“Luke? What’s the matter?”

“+Has… Lexie been acting strange lately?+”


“+Well, stranger than usual?+”

“Ah. I don’t really know. Why?”

Lucas sighed. “+Well… it’s kind of hard to explain, really.+”


“+What should I do?+”

“Have you talked to her?”

“+About what?+”

“I don’t know. Anything, I guess…”


“Anything else?”

Lucas shook his head. “+Nah. Thanks man.+” Then, he heard the front door close behind him. “+Oh. Gonna go. Lexie just walked in, I think.+”

“Say what? What do you mean, you think?”

Lucas hung up the phone and turned to see his girlfriend looking at him with a blank face.

“+Hi…+” he mumbled. Lexie blinked at him.

“+Who were you talking to?+” she asked. Her boyfriend shook his head.

Subject: Lucas

Things felt too isolated in the apartment. Usually, they would talk a little bit. But over the past couple of weeks, Lexie seemed locked inside her head. Lucas didn’t like this at all.

I have to do something. But what exactly?

Lucas looked up at his girlfriend. “+Hey Lexie.+” No response.

“+How was your day?+” No response. Her boyfriend gave off a nervous chuckle. Oh boy…

“+Hey, you want to go out somewhere?+” he asked. Still silence, at first. But then, Lexie looked up at him.

“+Go where?+” she asked. Her boyfriend shrugged.

“+I don’t know,+” he said. “+Anywhere…+” She completely turned to him.


Lucas blinked at her. Just like that…

They headed out of the apartment. Lucas noticed that Lexie kept her hands in her pockets the whole time.

“+Are you cold?+” he asked. His girlfriend gave him a lost look.

“+Huh?+” she asked.

“+Why do you have your hands in your pockets?+”

Lexie looked down and noticed that her hands were stuffed in her shorts pockets. “+Oh… It’s just… It’s nothing.+”

Lucas didn’t seemed to believe her. Lexie clapped her hands together hard.

“+Okay! Where to now?+”


She got in really close to his face. “+Have you eaten yet?+”


“+Have you eaten yet?+”

“+No, why?+”

“+We coworkers found this nice little place downtown, yesterday!+”

“+But, it’s too early to eat.+”

“+So? We can still check it out, right?+”

+Uh… well…+”


She gave him cute little puppy eyes the whole time. Lucas shut his eyes tightly to try and ignore them.

Guess who won?

Chika’s looked busy this morning. Lucas’s eyes wandered around the whole setting. These people seemed so young. Middle school kids, mostly. The man blinked in discomfort.

“+What is this?+” he asked. Lexie gave him a little smile.

“+A friend of one of my coworkers works here,+” she said. “+She’s really nice.+” One girl looked up at them and waved.

“Lexie-san!” she cheered. Lexie smiled and waved back.

“+Hey!+” she said as she raced over to the girl and her friends. Lucas gave her an awkward wave as well.

Hi… Lexie sat at the table with the girls, talking. Lucas kept his eyes on his girlfriend. She kept her hands in her pockets still. He tried to piece it together.

She hasn’t taken her hands out of her pockets yet? That can’t be good.

Lucas slipped outside to make another call.



“What’s the problem now?”

“+Well, I have noticed that Lexie has been keeping her hands in her pockets lately.+”


“+No, I meant it!+”


“+Haven’t you noticed it?+”

“Not really…”

Lucas sighed. “+Forget it.+”

“Luke!” Click. Lucas looked at his phone.

“+Gee, thanks for the help,+” he muttered. Not! He walked back into the restaurant.

Lexie still sat at the table talking to her friends. They looked up and saw him walking in. Lexie waved over at him.

“+Oh Luke!+” she said. “+Come meet my friends!+” Lucas tried to smile as he walked over to their table. The teenage girls giggled and smiled at him.

“He’s so cute,” a girl whispered. Luke only waved at her. Lexie pulled out a seat for him.

“+Come on, Luke!+” she said. “+Have a seat with us!+” Her boyfriend sighed and dropped his shoulders.

Might as well…

Lucas sat down next to his girlfriend. Lexie turned back to her friends, talking. Lucas still couldn’t get it what was going on between them. This was just avoidance now. She clearly was hiding something from him.

How can I break it to her without accusing her?

Something, Lucas felt someone tap her on the arm. He looked up to see all eyes on him.

“+Yeah?+” he asked. One of the girls leaned in closer to him.

“Do you play basketball?” she asked. Lucas blinked at her.

“+Yes…+” he mumbled. “+Why?+” Lexie grabbed onto his arm.

“+Oh yes!+” she cheered. “+He’s really great!+” Lucas clenched his teeth tightly.

“+Enough already,+” he muttered. Lexie glanced up at him.


Lucas clenched his fists. “+Stop playing this stupid game, Lexie!+”

She looked at him with confusion. “+What are you talking about?+”

Lucas slammed his fists against the table. “+I’m sick of this!+”


“+We barely talk anymore!+”

“+But, we’re talking now.+”

Lucas turned and grabbed her by the shoulders. “+No! We barely talk about anything serious anymore. I know something is wrong with you. Why wouldn’t you tell me?!?+”

Lexie tried to look the other way. “+Uh… well…+”

“+Why do you keep your hands in your pockets?+”


Lucas let go of her, frowning. “+Forget it.+” Then, he stood up and walked out of the restaurant. All eyes fell upon Lexie.

“+Lucas, wait!+” she cried out. She stood up and raced after her boyfriend. Her table just sat there in silence.

Lexie managed to catch up with Lucas in front of a closed down shop. “+Luke! What’s the matter? What’s on your mind?+”

Lucas didn’t speak. Lexie sped up her pace.

“+Answer me! Is it something I did?+”

Her boyfriend stopped in his tracks. Lexie paused. Lucas clenched his fists.

“+I miss just how we talk.+”


“+I hate when you try and pretend everything is fine. I know otherwise.+”

“+But Luke…+”

“+Let me help you, okay?+”

Lexie froze and trembled. “+What else am I supposed to do? You won’t tell me anything that’s wrong with me!+”

“+That’s not true.+”

“+Then what is?!? Tell me, what?!?+”

Luke turned around and grabbed her by the waist. He gave her a hard kiss on the lips. Lexie stood there in shock for a few seconds before closing her eyes and kissing back. From then on, Lucas made his own resolve.

No more silence! I will try to talk to her more often!

Too bad he didn’t notice a secret problem that Lexie had developed herself of the past couple of weeks. She kept her hands balled up into fists behind her back.

He can’t know this. This is my problem alone. I won’t tell him. I won’t!

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