Episode 1: Unforeseen Circumstances

I hate people. All human contact is superfluous. Social interactions are merely whimsical social rules and conventions created by a pathetic excuse of a person who is too psychologically unsound to appreciate the delicious peace of solitude. For example right now, my private tutor, Mr R. is in the midst of explaining a Shakespearean quote “All the world’s a stage, and all men and women are merely players” while perfectly illustrating the self-referential irony of the quote by adopting a half-assed expression of interest for his teaching and his student, myself, or otherwise known as his only source of livelihood.

“Poppy, please pay attention. Your education matters when the future you step into society. If not for your sake, at least for the sake of your future self. Pay attention.” Mr R. looks up from the book he’s holding and says, drawing out his syllables at every word. At that moment in time, he exudes an air of icy disinterest, as if he has almost anticipated the rebellious reply that will be coming at him in a matter of seconds.

“But that’s the thing, sir. I won’t ever step into society. In fact, I will step away from it. And step as far away as I possibly can.”

Mr R. lets out an especially audible sigh. His messily maintained stubble moves lightly when he purses his lips into a thin line. The small piece of chalk that has been abused too many a times now rests upon the tray ledge, its conspicuous whiteness a silent protest of it having endured forced labour and rough use.

“Listen, Poppy. I would rather you not take this as a compliment, but you are a smart individual. You are not the only one who dislikes social conventions. I, for one, am labelled a maverick by society’s standards of today, for better or for worse. That is why if you could spare me a bit of your attention, you will realise that we are really one and the same. Well, shall we continue our lesson?” Mr R. offers a rare glimpse of a sincere smile. 

Back then, I was too naive to think that I could stand above everyone else and scorn at people who repeat their mundane daily affairs chasing after shadows. I was too naive to think that I could see everything for what it truly was. And I was too naive to think that I understood the operations of the human heart, whose only fuel was self-interest and egomania. I was too naive until true evil arrives at my doorstep. 

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