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Yuki and The Devil's Choice

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"VROOM!" That night, people couldn't sleep due to the loud motorbike noise. The lights shining on the road, that was where Yuki was in. The chest was facing the wild wind, the right hand was tightly holding the throttle, and the head was sweating inside the helmet. Yuki's whole body was thinking only about the rush. But that didn't always mean that everything went well. "Elizabeth! Achieves the crown! Come next, Indigo, Justice, Black Buzz, and Yuki!" It was 5th place. On one night in June, the urban racing of town_aab1 was ending.

"When are you gonna fix your damn bike?" "I said it's you who got the 5th place, not the bike! You borrow my bike and you say shit?" Yuki and Mentari were talking on the pub street of town_aab1. "I swear, if I had my bike I would be the first." "That's neat. Is that your last word? Anyway, take care. I'm going, Yuki." Mentari disappeared in the dark, riding her bike.

Yuki returned to her home at midnight. Lights were on, and there were messy clothes around the house. 'pitter-patter...' After taking a shower, Yuki counted the money she got from racing. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Just 50 dollars." It was 50 dollars. She thought it was enough until the racing next week if she only eat noodles. Yuki turned on the video app. The recommended videos were full of motorbikes since that's the only thing she watched. When she rode a motorbike, or when she had painkillers, Yuki could concentrate on the present. There were no more painkillers, so the bike was the only escape for Yuki. Yuki watched the short videos. As much as she wanted.

About two hours later, when she was about to sleep, one video caught her mind. A black motorbike was slowly spinning under the violet neon light. 'fast as the devil! Reviewing the new motorbike AKUMA' She knew that it was bragging, but she couldn't turn it off. It was the bike that she always dreamed of. "I need my bike." Yuki told to herself.

"I got a job." "You call part-time jobs a job?" Yuki and Mentari were eating ramen in the convenience store. In the last week, Yuki made a hard decision. She decided to do a part-time job until she gets AKUMA. But also in this time, that didn't always mean that everything went well. She broke a dish in the restaurant. She dropped meat in the meat buffet. She missed the calculation in the conveni. "So, what's your job this time?" "Box stacking in the warehouse." "Stacking what!? But you are weak as hell!" "Shut up. I'll do it even if I break my bone. I'll give up if the warehouse kicks me out though." "Does AKUMA matter to you that much?" "Now you realize that you should have fixed the bike earlier." Yuki's phone rang. "Time to go to work. See ya." Yuki headed to the warehouse. Then the supervisor told Yuki. "Yuki, I've been thinking about it... I hope you find another job." This was the fourth time already.

She couldn't even start the delivery job in which she was the most confident. It was because she couldn't borrow the motorbike because of her low credit level. "You can still borrow the bicycle, ma'am." "No, it's okay." Holding a small amount of salary she got in her hand, Yuki returned to her home.

'Boom!' Yuki hit her head on something. There was a big flower wreath when she looked up. That place was my shop, yuaeyin. The big wreath was the gift I got for opening the shop. Yes, it was the first day that I opened the shop. "Are you okay?" I ran towards Yuki, sitting on the road. Yuki seemed so surprised. Opening her eyes wide, she didn't say anything. Then she started to drop the tears that she was holding. Yuki cried like a baby. In front of my shop. No matter if people care or not, she cried loudly, and I comforted her by crawling next to her. There was no customer that day.

"Do you want to work here?" I asked Yuki. Yuki was sitting on the sofa in my shop, and drinking a cup of coffee that I brew. Yuki answered, "I'd like to, but this is the flower shop. Do I suit for that?" "There's no style at flowers. It just depends on whose hands." Yuki looked at me like I am a weirdo. "Yuki, you said you majored in horticulture." "I barely graduated." "Then that's enough! I'd be glad if you work in my shop. It's minimum wage, though." Yuki looked at me like I am a real weirdo. "Why?" "Sorry?" "You can get better people with that money! Why me?" I thought for a minute and answered, "To be honest there must be many people better than Yuki." "Yea." "And there must be much more people better than those." I leaned my body toward her a bit and looked into her eyes. "It's pointless to compare to others. It will be endless if you start to think so. If you do just as much as I want, then that's enough. It will be easier than you think."

There was a moment of quiet.

"What should I do?" "Chores, and Studying license of the florist. I'll pay more if you get the license." Yuki looked at me for a while, then answered, "Give me the contract."

"Yuki! Can you make a bouquet for this ma'am?" "On my way!" Yuki adjusted to the job faster than I thought. Splitting the pot, making a bouquet, and facing customers, she was getting used to them. "Here it is, Ma'am." "Thank you! It's really pretty." Soon I realized that Yuki is a genius at flowers. "See you later!" Yuki got the confidence. Maybe it was because she finally found what she is good at. Yuki was a quiet person, but her emotions started to bloom.

Then today has come. August 11th. Yuki already has become professional. Also, a hoverfly started to live in the shop. (We will talk about her later.) "Hey, Mentari. How are you? Did you fix the bike?" "Shut up, Yuki. Didn't you get hurt?" "I got another job. I'll call you later." Everything looked good.

"Yuki, there must be many people who want flowers for the next holiday. Let's make some bouquets in advance." "Wait, you sure you wanna do this much?" "If there was only me, I would have to make it all on my own." We were making bouquets. One hour later, when our waist started to ache, Yuki's phone rang. "Just a minute, boss." Yuki went outside and got the call. It was Mentari. "What? I said I am working, Mentari." "I got hit by a car." Yuki felt like a giant truck hit her. "You were right... My bike was broken. I visited the garage but a car rushed to me." "You idiot! Why did you try to fix it? It worked so well!" "You got 5th place because of the bike... You said so. Hehe." Mentari coughed for a while. "Now... You can win today's racing. Don't buy another bike. But the money is...mine. I need it for surgery." The call had taken off.

Yuki returned to the shop. She looked pale. "Boss, May I..." "You can go." "Sorry?" "If you have some work, then you should go. I'll make these bouquets." Yuki hesitated a bit, but soon she rushed out of the shop. Yuki got in the taxi quickly. "Hey, be careful! Where to?" "To the hospital...!" Yuki thought for a second. What does Mentari want?

"Ma'am?" "To the garage!"

"Welcome. Are you looking for the bike?" "Yes...yes. where is it?" "Right there. Your friend paid in advance, so you can just go." "Thank you." Riding the bike, Yuki headed to the starting point of the racing.

"Ladies and gentlemen! The racing is about to begin!" "I believe in you, Elizabeth!" "Go, Black Buzz, Go!" "Yuki again!? Give me back my money!" It was so noisy. The summer night was so hot, and there was no air conditioner. But nothing bothered Yuki at the moment. She only thought about the crown. With the most burning spirit Yuki ever had, she wore a helmet.

'BANG!' 'VROOOM!' Motorbikes ran at the same time. Loud motorbike noise rang the city again. Yuki held the throttle and sped up the motorbike.

Something was different than before. The motorbike sped up unexpectedly fast. Yuki's motorbike passed the opponents at a twice faster speed than before. 'VROOM!' 6th,5th,4th... Yuki was running in 3rd place already. Then the 1st and 2nd opponents blocked her way. "Elizabeth and Indigo!" They teamed up when Yuki was chasing them. But Yuki was ready for it. 'I've been waiting for this moment. The moment that switches the crown! Now is the chance!' There was a U-turn track ahead of them. "Now!" 'BANG!' She held the brake. Yuki's bike got thrown out of the track. Elizabeth saw her in the back mirror. Yuki's bike was flying in the air. Then it wildly landed on the opposite road. It rotated big and left a circle skid mark. Elizabeth and Indigo were frustrated. Yuki smiled and passed them. "Yuki! Yuki! Yuki achieves the crown! Can't believe it!" So this is the sense of achievement, Yuki thought so.

"Ms.Mentari registered no insurances. Maybe the surgery will cost quite much." Yuki and the doctor were talking in front of the surgery room. The 1st prize money was not enough for it. Yuki had the salary that she got from me, but it was the money for AKUMA. Yuki had a moment of thinking. 'She lend me her bike, even when she was as poor as me.' 'She always talked with me about what happened every day, eating cheap noodles.' 'She went to the garage to fix the bike, just for me.' Yuki decided. "I'll pay for the surgery." Yuki didn't choose AKUMA.

For the whole next week, Yuki visited the hospital to meet Mentari. "Yuki, please cut the apple next to you." "Shut up, Mentari. Only this time."

I somehow finished making all bouquets on that day. I just had a cold the next day. Ms.hoverfly greeted Yuki. This time, everything went well.

"Don't you feel sad about the bike?" "I do." After having lunch, I and Yuki walked toward the shop. "Mentari has a good friend anyway." "Nah, she will have to pay me forever." "Friends do not owe each other. Let me pay you instead." "What do you mean?" An AKUMA with a delivery case was parked in front of my shop. "I'm thinking about flower delivery service, but I don't have a driver's license. You know what I mean?" I saw Yuki's face. It was an embarrassing, surprising, and pleasing face at the same time.

Thanks for reading! Since it is my first novel, I had to study a bit.

But it was so cool experience, and I am glad that I can step forward to my dream.

Special Thanks to Paragraph team, Mr. Colin Armstrong, and Unlock protocol.

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