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 Season 8

Episode 3

(Extra story 14 of Sean and Cloris)

Because of the painful memories that he left her years ago, Cloris extremely disliked Leon.    

Although Cloris no longer loved Charley, the shame she suffered because of Leon was like a scar in her heart. So every time she saw the man, that old wound was reopened, and the pain was as fresh as before. It was the root of her hatred for Leon.    

She understood and accepted that Leon had struggles of his own, and that he never meant to hurt her. Still, Cloris hated him for his actions that resulted in harmful consequences to her. At that time, she had sworn to never see him for the rest of her life.   

 However, there was a saying that "One often meets his destiny on the road that he takes to avoid it." And the more Cloris tried to avoid Leon, the more frequent she would run into him. There didn't seem to be a way to get rid of him because he was like a ghost that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. What surprised Cloris more was the fact that Leon was studying in the same school. 

 It was a well-known exclusive school where all the students were either the brightest or those who are from rich and powerful families. Because of the fierce competition to get into the institution, Cloris was one of those who entered through backdoor channels, although she did excel in her former alma mater.

 Cloris knew Leon's family was not well-to-do. Therefore, academic excellence was most likely the reason for the boy's acceptance in the school. His family certainly wouldn't have backdoor access for him to get in.   

 It was quite clear to Cloris that Leon was enrolled there because of his innate intelligence and hard work.    

Guilt was the main reason why Leon kept seeking out Cloris. The boy knew he had hurt her before, but at that time, he had no choice. Since the death of his mother, Leon had changed a lot and became a cold person.  

The changes in him meant he was no longer easily influenced by others. However, it was undeniable that Cloris had touched his heart.    

It was Leon himself who shouldered the expensive tuition to get himself into the school. And the boy also had to rely on his efforts to support himself through school. To demonstrate his sincerity to Cloris, Leon used most of his money earned through part-time jobs to buy her all kinds of presents as his way of apologizing. But Cloris never accepted any of them. Instead, she tossed them in the garbage bin without even looking at them.   

 She ignored Leon's apology and thought he was a very annoying boy.   

 How many times had she told Leon that she didn't want to see him again? But why doesn't he listen and insists on making trouble for her? Is he doing that on purpose? Did he want to get her attention by sending her presents? If that was his intention, then it was wishful thinking.  

All of Cloris' friends already noticed that a boy kept sending her presents. So, they were eager to figure out who her secret admirer was.    

"Tell us, Cloris. Is that boy chasing you?" one of her friends asked when they gathered together one day.  

  "He must be chasing after you! Every one of us can see this. I think that boy is handsome and kind. So, why don't you pay attention to him, Cloris?" another girl suggested.   

 "I totally agree!" another girl added. "I also think he's very handsome and charming. Look, he seems very sincere. He even used all his money to please you."  

"Oh, come off it! Stop gossiping or talking nonsense,"  Cloris interrupted. 

She kept denying how she felt about Leon. "What he did was for atonement because he did something to harm me before."  And Cloris tried hard to sound convincing.    

But she could tell from the look in her friends' eyes that they didn't believe her. 

They thought she was only making up excuses to cover up the situation. Cloris was well aware that her awkward attempt to clarify things only fueled their suspicions, so she decided it was best to stop explaining.    

When Cloris' friends were about to prod her for more details about this secret, Leon showed up. Confidently, he walked up to Cloris, holding a delicately wrapped cake in his hand.   

 He had a part-time job at a cake shop and could purchase any of their products at a huge discount. So, he selected the most expensive cake for Cloris, and this nearly cost him every cent of his earnings today.  

At the sight of the cake, the girls began heckling Leon, which embarrassed Cloris big time. The awkwardness turned into anger and she vented her ire on Leon, who was the source of this farce. 

Releasing all her anger towards the guy, Cloris screamed, "What do you keep coming here? Haven't I told you many times that I don't want to see your face any more? Please, go away!"  

  Slowly, Leon said, "I only wanted to give you this cake. I was going to leave immediately after you accept it." He didn't seem to mind that she publicly brushed him off, and handed the cake to Cloris.    

Snatching the cake angrily from Leon's hand, Cloris threw it down to the ground. "I told you, don't send me any presents! I don't like it! What I have is so much better than whatever you can give me! I despise you, and hate everything you ever sent me!" Cloris screamed at him.  

There was dead silence after her ranting. For several minutes, there was stillness everywhere. Cloris' friends were stunned by her explosion.    

Her sharp words hurt Leon, but he quickly recovered and returned to normal. Smiling, he said, "I'm sorry, Cloris."    

"Why are you smiling? Didn't you hear me? Only a shameless person would behave this way!" Cloris said coldly. She didn't mean to hurt him, but Cloris had to publicly make a clean break about Leon to end rumors about them. Otherwise, a relationship between the two of them would quickly spread all over the school. 

   Quickly, Cloris strode off without giving Leon a backward glance. Her girlfriends looked at the guy with pity, then hurried after Cloris.   

 After making sure that she had finally gotten rid of Leon, Cloris slowed down her pace. Her friends, who were all out of breath, finally caught up with her. One of them said, "Thank God, Cloris, for finally slowing down! Don't you like that boy? 

Why were you so cruel to him back there? If you're not interested in him, can I have him? He's so sweet!" she giggled. 

 "No!" Cloris nearly shouted.   

She herself was shocked by her reaction. Was that her almost saying Leon was off-limits?    

The girl who teased Cloris was startled by her overreaction. Quickly recovering, she said, "You scared me, Cloris! Why did you say no to me? Oh, I know. You must like him, too. Don't you?"   

 After a deep breath, Cloris snapped. "Of course not! I don't like him at all. Well, I just..."  She didn't have to explain herself. 

Cloris knew she overreacted and was trying to make excuses to cover this up. "He's not a good guy. I don't want you to get hurt, that's all. That's why I said no,"  she said.    

She took a deep breath, and mentally crossed her fingers, hoping her friends would believe her. Cloris didn't know why she lied. She also couldn't figure out what her feelings for Leon were. There were so many thoughts and feeling tugging at her heart that made it challenging to settle down.  

After saying goodbye to her friends, Cloris found herself walking back to that place to check if Leon was still there or had left. She saw him bent over, about to pick up a crushed cake box so he could eat it.    

"Hey, what are you doing?" Cloris shouted as she rushed toward Leon.    He turned at the sound and saw it was Cloris. Delighted to see her again, it touched Leon to hear the concern in her voice.    

"I was going to have this for dinner. It's such a pity to waste it. I used all that I earned today to buy it for you, thinking you'd like it.'s my fault,"  Leon mumbled and smiled bitterly.  

His quiet admission about not having enough money embarrassed Cloris. She suddenly remembered that Leon's family was not well-off, so he had to support himself by doing part-time jobs. There was probably no more extra money for dinner because Leon spent the little he had to buy the cake.    

And what did she do? She tossed the cake to the ground. She was so cruel! Did she behave that way to hurt him?   

 At that moment, Cloris felt very guilty and knew she had behaved willfully and thoughtlessly.    

She felt ashamed of herself and didn't know how to make it up to Leon.    

As he watched Cloris standing in front of him without speaking, Leon carefully suggested, " you want to have a taste?"   

 The moment the words slipped out of his tongue, Leon was immediately regretful. Before Cloris could say anything, he quickly said, "Sorry! I shouldn't have said that. It was wrong to ask you to eat a damaged cake. I know you're not supposed to eat that rubbish I picked up from the floor." His apologetic tone was so humble. The guy feared Cloris would be angry with him again.  

She already refused the cake when it was whole. Why would she be willing to share the damaged one? Leon knew his suggestion was ridiculous!    

But Cloris didn't appreciate being looked at with disdain. Slightly pissed, she declared, "Well, you're wrong! I'm going to have a taste of that cake!"    

Surprised, Leon asked, "Are you sure, Miss Cloris?"    

She didn't answer but bent over to take the fork, knife, and plate. Then she sliced a large piece of cake and brought it straight to her mouth.    

Although it was already crumbled and looked disgusting, the cake still tasted sweetly delicious.  

"So, what do you think? Do you like it?" Leon asked. He peered at her cautiously.    Avoiding his eyes. Cloris replied, "Not bad."    

"Really? You like it! Let me try it!" Leon said and cut himself a piece. After enjoying the cake for a few seconds, he sighed in contentment and agreed, "Yeah, it's very good!"    

Then he noticed Cloris looking at him strangely, with her face flushed. Immediately concerned, he asked,"  What's wrong?"   

 Quietly flustered and her face now beet-red, Cloris murmured shyly, " used my fork."    

He realized that he had unconsciously picked up Cloris' fork and used it to eat the cake. Would that count as an indirect kiss?  

"Oh, I'm so sorry! I didn't notice it was yours. I'll find you a new one." After looking around, he faltered a bit and said, "Errr...well. It seems this is the only fork here. I have to remember to get more from the cake shop. I don't care about these things because, during hard times in my life, I learned to forage for food in garbage cans and had no need for utensils. But if you mind sharing, I will go find another one for you,"  Leon offered. 

   His admission about going through tough times was a surprise for Cloris. 

"It's okay. I've eaten enough,"  she assured him. "I can't imagine how much you suffered before. Why haven't you asked for support from the Ji family?" Cloris inquired.    

She never had to worry about food or other necessities because she was born rich. So, Cloris had no idea about how poor people survived.    

After swallowing a mouthful of cake, Leon asked, "Are you really interested to hear my story?"  

Nodding, Cloris replied, "Yes, I do want to know." She was like a well-behaved little girl eager to listen to a story.   

 "So, you don't hate me now?" Leon teased with a smile.   

 Pretending to be annoyed, Cloris stood up to leave.    

Seeing that she was about to leave, Leon quickly stopped her. "All right! I promise not to ask anymore. But please don't go. I'm begging you. Please don't be angry with me,"  he appealed.    

Without saying a word, Cloris turned around quietly, her face ready to listen to his story.   

 Inhaling deeply, Leon told her about his childhood and his life up to the present. Some of his stories were touching, others were sweet, some were interesting, and others sad. It was hard for Cloris not to laugh as Leon shared a funny experience, and cry when he recounted a bitter memory.  

"Your father is horrible! How could he treat you that way!" Cloris said furiously after hearing Leon's story about his relationship with his dad.    

Leon calmly replied. "Do you think I should hate him because of how he treated me? If a man has thoroughly disappointed you, yet you never expected anything good to come from him, you won't get mad at that person. You know why? Because you don't care for him regardless of the kind of person he is,"  he further explained.  

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