4 Too much free time

Lying his head on his Aunt's lap, Zayd felt his mood uplifting. Her hand stroking through his hair, making him feel at peace, even if only temporarily.

"Zayd, I think you should be okay with talking about it now. What happened?" Aunt Naomi was asking for curiosity sake. She knew he'd gotten into a fight, but the process leading up to it was unknown.

Nodding internally, Zayd thought about his words for a moment. He'd always been rather well-spoken. Using few words to get his meaning across sometimes.

"I got involved in something that wasn't any of my business." Breathing through his nose, he calmed himself further. "3 guys surrounded some girl. They seemed like scumbags. Anyway, I dealt with those three easily. It was some other guy that came who got me. It was weird because at that moment I didn't realise it, but he was trained. He was a fighter." He turned his head and looked his Aunt in the eye, and she was looking with a gaze full of care.

She had always been a good listener. Someone that Zayd never shied to vent his thoughts to whenever things felt like they were too much.

Now that he had been 16 since the 3rd of January, it had been about 10 years since he came to Japan?

It was now the 16th of April.

"I think that..." His Aunt began speaking, "you've always been that way, reckless in a good way, of course. You remind me of grandpa in so many ways. You look similar to him for one - more than your mother or me." Her hand moved to his face from his hair. Delicately stroking the surface of his skin.

Suddenly yawning, Zayd felt his eyes grow heavy.

"I think I'm going to go to bed now." With that, he slowly got up, and Aunt Naomi had already supported his body with her own.

"Alright, come on."

---

As he laid in bed, Zayd could not help as his mind drifted back to the guy with the cap. The technique within everything had overwhelmed Zayd completely. Imagining the range of motion required, Zayd ended up falling asleep before he knew it.

---

Iridescent beams poured into Zayd's room through his window. Illuminating his face a brilliant yellow-gold.

Zayd looked at his chest and saw that the bruises were abnormally different. Trying a small movement to test his limits, he got further than he could last night before the pain started.

His left calf had turned a darker shade. Purple having become blue. Placing his feet on the floor, Zayd pushed up, testing his ability to use his leg.

Finally, he stood up, and he had a slight limp as he walked in circles around his bedroom of mediocre size.

---

"Wow! You look... worse? I mean, I'm not a doctor. If you feel better, then that's good." Aunt Naomi exclaimed as she rechecked Zayd's previous injuries.

"You know I've always healed quickly," Zayd said concisely.

"Excuse me? That's because you're still young. Look at that baby face." Aunt Naomi chuckled as she pinched his uninjured cheek with a smile on her face.

"...You're looking a little fat recently. Did you know that."

"Hahaha... awww, still not even a hint of a hair follicle."

"Still not even a hint of weight loss," Zayd tempted fate. A woman and their weight are two things that can't be mentioned in the same sentence. The madman did it anyway.

Aunt Naomi didn't respond this time. Her smile grew increasingly demonic, and she pinched Zayd's cheek harder. Eventually twisting.

"Okay, okay, okay, stop! Stop! OWWWWWW!" Zayd yelped in pain. Somehow, that pinch had greater strength than the cap guy's kicks.

Letting go of his cheek, Aunt Naomi finally felt he had tasted enough punishment.

"Eat your breakfast. It's time for me to go to work." With Aunt Naomi getting up from the table, the light-hearted mood began to disperse.

As she turned her key in the door to open it, Zayd called out to her.

"Aunt Naomi?"

"Yeah?"

"I was just kidding earlier. You look flawless. Perfect. Impeccable. Stupend-"

"Okay, Zayd. See you later." She interrupted, saying something under her breath with a smile, "you glib tongued boy."

---

"Ugh. I'm so bored." Not having to go to school, Zayd wondered what to do for the next 8 or so hours. See, that's the problem with having free time, not knowing how to spend it.

'I'll just clean my room up first.'

Entering his room once again, Zayd looked at his room.

Spotting a T-shirt on the floor, he picked it up, hanging it up in his wardrobe.

'Okay, done. This was a terrible idea.'

"Why don't I... clean the house? No, too much effort." Zayd said to nobody in particular.

---

Having sat down on the couch watching movies for the last four hours, Zayd felt his stomach rumble with ravenous sounds constantly emanating from it.

Scratching his lower abdomen as he trodded into the kitchen, a quick analysis of the stock gave him some ideas.

'We have chicken. We have rice. Great.'

Getting his phone out, he searched online for the perfect recipe to satiate his appetite. Upon finding what he wanted, he remembered there was lunch prepared in the fridge anyway.

'I'll just make dinner later.'

Sparing himself the effort, Zayd put the food in the microwave. Consisting of rice, an omelette, and some shredded chicken.

Pressing the button a couple of times, Zayd watched the interior of the microwave turning slowly, his food creating a mesmerising pattern of movements. Zayd salivated so much it ran off his bottom lip -he was in a trance smelling the deliciousness in the air.

---

Zayd stood with a pink chef's apron on, pots and pans on the countertop before him were ready for usage. Ingredients were laid out in front of him, bracing themselves for the imminent procedure.

A chicken and rice recipe was open on his phone, and all that was left was to begin.

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