Early in the morning—on a Sunday, Kenzo had been peacefully shopping. With the sun still rising, he was the only customer in store.
However, there was someone else in the store with him. It was an employee—a girl who usually worked the morning shifts.
Kenzo mostly shopped in the mornings, so he would often encounter her. Just like him, she would mostly keep to herself.
But as time went on, he would often catch her staring.
Twice, he had caught her today, and each time she would nervously look away. His peaceful shopping days were now becoming quite annoying.
As he tried his best to ignore her, his pocket began to vibrate. It was his phone, and he had received a message:
Kenzo, just reminding you to get the bath bombs we talked about.
Oh yes, the bath bombs, he had almost forgotten.
While he searched for them, a shoddy looking man walked into the store. He went straight to the counter where the girl was stationed, and pulled out money from his jacket.
“Hey miss, where is the rest?” He said.
The girl looked at the money in his palm.
“The rest? What do you mean?”
“My change! Where is the rest?!”
Kenzo looked toward the counter as the man began to shout.
Suddenly, he smelt something really unpleasant. It was a mix of the mans odour and very strong alcohol. The man was clearly drunk.
“Look! You gave me the wrong change for this bottle!” The man said as he dropped the money on the counter.
The girl started to nervously count the money.
“Sir..that looks like…the correct…amount,” she said, taking frequent pauses when talking.
Kenzo noticed the uncomfortable look on her face and realised the smell from that distance must have been vile.
Still angry, the drunken man grabbed the money he placed down and aggressively waved it in her face.
“Girl, do you think I’m stupid?! You’ve given me half the change from what I gave you!”
And it was at this moment, that the one thing Kenzo didn’t want to happen, happened. He had accidentally made eye contact with the girl.
There she stood, with a helpless stare—and in her eyes he could see a silent cry for help. Kenzo knew she probably couldn’t reason with someone so drunk.
But even with her desperate stare, he had one rule in these situations.
Do not get involved.
So he looked away, and continued shopping.
A few moments passed and the commotion had ended. The man left happy, drinking from his bottle and with more money in his pocket. The girl stood there, defeated, with the cash machine open.
However, Kenzo was more fortunate as he had finally found the bath bombs. Everything he needed was now in his basket, so he made his way to the counter. But before he got there, a door opened at the back of the store.
Kenzo recognised the man who walked out.
It was the manager of the store.
“Rachel, I heard some noise while I was on the phone. Did something happen?” the manager asked.
“A man came in saying he had gotten the wrong change,” she replied.
“It wasn’t the drunk—was it?”
“Yes, it was him.”
She began to look nervous and hesitated to say her next sentence.
“I gave him the change he wanted since he was getting really aggres—”
Anger filled the managers face as he looked toward the opened cash machine. The girl stepped out the way as he began searching for something inside. He soon pulled out a crumbled up note and brought it to his nose.
The smell made him flinch.
There was a building tension as the manager looked silently at the girl. But as he was about to say something, Kenzo approached the counter.
“Sorry, can you give me a minute with her,” the manager said.
As he turned back to talk to her, Kenzo placed his shopping on the counter.
“I’d rather pay for my things now,” he replied.
The manager turned back round, but this time had to immediately look up as Kenzo was now towering over the counter. The man took a moments pause, clearly intimidated by the sheer height of him.
He then took the crumbled note, told the girl they would talk later, and silently retreated into the back room.
“Sorry about that,” the girl said as she began to scan Kenzo’s shopping.
Kenzo didn’t reply.
However, to receive an apology after not helping her earlier—it was impossible for him not to feel some guilt. But even so, he believed he made the correct choice.
After all the items were scanned, Kenzo took out the money he brought with him. After counting it, he soon realised he hadn’t brought enough as he had forgotten about the bath bombs.
“Sorry. I’m gonna put these back,” he said as he reached for them.
But the girl suddenly placed her hand over them.
“No, It’s okay. You can take them as well,” she said.
Kenzo was confused.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
She looked at a can of soup he bought—as well as the bath bombs.
“The things that you buy….they don’t seem like things you would buy for yourself,” she said.
After taking the money, she pushed the items toward him.
“It’s okay, really. You can put them in your bag.”
After taking a moment to think about it, he went ahead and put them in his backpack.
“I hope she gets better,” she said with a smile.
Deciding to go with it, Kenzo took his bag and thanked her.
When he left the store, he could hear the manager talking to the girl again. Kenzo decided not to overthink everything that had just happened and went on his way.
It was a quiet journey on the way back. The silence and emptiness of the streets was something Kenzo enjoyed.
He decided to double check his bag to make sure he got all he needed. But while he checked, he accidentally bumped into someone.
It was a pink haired girl in a long skirt.
“Oh! I’m really sorry. It’s my fault, I wasn’t paying attention,” she said.
It was a brief interaction as she immediately walked off.
He didn’t know if he was seeing things but it looked like she had been crying. Well, It wasn’t any of his business, so he also continued to walk on.
When he arrived home, he put all of the shopping away—apart from the bath bombs. He then took them upstairs and placed them in the bathroom. After leaving, he walked to one of the other rooms and quietly opened the door.
The dark room had a large bed and a woman laying down facing away from the door.
“I wonder who’s tall shadow this is?” she said, as the light behind him caused his shadow to cast over the wall.
She then turned around and looked at Kenzo.
It was his mother.
“Welcome back Kenny,” she said while lightly stretching.
“I’ll come back with some food,” he replied.
Kenzo left the door slightly ajar and went downstairs to make some food. After a few minutes, he came back carrying a tray with a bowl of oats. His mother sat up on her stack of pillows and he placed it on her lap.
“It’s hot, so you should eat it slow,” he said.
“Thank you. It smells really good,” she replied.
After opening her windows to let some air and light in, Kenzo briefly stood there while she blew on her food. She then patted on the side of her bed, gesturing for him to sit down.
He didn’t move at first, but she continued to pat the bed—so he eventually sat.
“Don’t you think it’s time to wash this hoody?” she said, as she rubbed it between her fingers.
“I’ll do it later,” Kenzo replied.
His mother blew on the hot bowl some more.
“Oh, did you get the bath bombs?” she asked.
“They are in the bathroom.”
“Thank you. Look’s like I’ll be taking an extra long bath today,” she said, as she lifted her spoon from the bowl.
While she began to eat, Kenzo quietly played with his thumbs. Even if it was his mother, he still felt uncomfortable being in the presence of someone else for too long.
He then yawned, clearly still tired from getting up so early. His mother stopped eating right after and he knew she was about to start asking questions like usual.
“Have you been leaving your curtains open?”
“Yeah, but I still feel tired.”
“Kenny, you probably need more sunlight. There’s always that quiet park nearby you could visit.”
Kenzo didn’t respond.
His mother then looked down as if contemplating on what to say.
“Has everything been alright? Not missing school yet?” she asked.
“Yes. And no, not really,” he said.
Some seconds went by.
“Anything happen at the store today?”
Some more seconds when by but not much more was said. Soon after, she had finished eating and placed her hand on his back while smiling.
“Breakfast was nice today,” she said.
Kenzo knew she was just being nice, since oats wasn’t that impressive of a breakfast. But seeing as she had finished, he grabbed her tray and walked to the door.
“Let me know if you need anything else,” he said.
“Kenzo,” she said, as he started to close the door.
He stopped and looked at her.
“I know how bothersome this must be,” she said. “I’m…I-I’ll….I’ll text you if I need you.”
He nodded and walked out, leaving her door slightly opened.
Soon he was back in his room and on his bed. It was normal for Kenzo to still feel sleepy even if he had slept all night.
He had recently been keeping his curtains open—following his mothers advice. But because the sun from it hadn’t helped so far, he usually still needed to nap.
So after closing his curtains, he laid back down on his bed and slowly fell asleep.
A few hours later, he woke up.
Feeling much more rested, Kenzo stood up and logged onto his computer. It was time to see if anything interesting was happening online.
On the front page of his browser, there were news headlines that caught his attention.
‘1 IN 4 PEOPLE FEEL ISOLATED’ “Why the rise in loneliness is a concern.”
One article talked about how the amount of people who felt lonely had rapidly increased over the last few months. Another mentioned how alcohol consumption was on the rise and how it may be linked to loneliness.
Kenzo clicked off the page—wondering why he’d been seeing so many of these types of articles recently. Usually he didn’t read them, as loneliness wasn’t a concern of his.
To him—If you felt lonely, it was probably because you still wanted to become apart of society. But that was a mistake he no longer made.
Kenzo looked over to his backpack next to his bed. The memories he felt from it reinforced how he felt.
Solitude was the solution for everything wrong in his life. Well—that and one other thing.
Games. Lot’s of games.
He had a new favourite game. It was an online shooting game that allowed him to flex his naturally fast reflexes.
Before loading it up, he checked his phone but didn’t see any messages. He then started the game and went down to the kitchen.
In the fridge he grabbed an energy drink—snapped it open and went back upstairs. But before he got to his room, he heard his mother humming in the bathroom.
He knocked twice on the door.
“Oh! Yes Kenny, I’m okay don’t worry,” she said.
Hearing that, he promptly returned to his room.
After cracking his fingers and sipping his drink, it was now time to begin his gaming session. To him, this was when his day really started.
After a few hours of wrist flicks and keyboard bashing—he was now on the verge of falling asleep.
It wasn’t a habit of his to fall asleep at his desk, but today was one of those days that he couldn’t help himself—as he had gotten a bit carried away with the win streaks.
As the sun went down, he decided to lay his head on the desk for a short while.
After a few minutes passed, his monitor had entered sleep mode. But it wasn’t the only one.
With drool running down his mouth, Kenzo too—was now asleep.
But, as he slept—he began to feel an odd sensation.
It felt wet, like water dripping on his head.
Even if it was a dream, the feeling became rather annoying. So out of frustration, Kenzo opened his eyes.
For some reason, he woke up in the dark—on his back.
Even stranger, there was something above him—dripping liquid onto his forehead. So he got up—wiped his head with his arm and wondered if he’d spilt his energy drink.
But he noticed it had a funny smell, so he brought his arm to his nose and sniffed.
It smelt like alcohol.
Kenzo looked around—wondering why there was alcohol in his room.
Social, Romance, Confidence, Self-Awareness, Emotional & Logical Intelligence. These are the fundamental weaknesses of the six main cast.
The story follows two simultaneous tales for each character.
The first, takes place in their own world where they have come to accept their fundamental weakness and must deal with it's affect on their personal life.
The second, takes place when each character awakens in six separate worlds. Here, they come to face their polar opposites who each have a special plan for the world they live in.
This is a story of growth. This, is a story of The Fundamentals.