Meet Michelle Cho our 2017 Carol Phan College Scholarship winner. Congratulations! 🙂
Michelle will be attending Brandeis University majoring in Biology.
She submitted the following original fiction short story for her scholarship application.
Tears were running freely down her face. She knew everyone was staring but she didn’t care. Chloe’s last words were barely a whisper, “Don’t get in too much trouble without me…” Then her voice drifted off and was lost forever. The light in her eyes faded away and her chest stopped heaving for breath. Sukimi screamed out her name crying. But she knew Chloe was gone. She gently placed her body on the concrete ground and stood slowly and turned. The emperor’s eyes were wide with fear and disbelief. “Y-you r-remember?” Sukimi slowly walked towards him. -and out of the corner of her eye she could see the guild Phoenix sneaking into the crowd. The emperor was relentlessly trying to push himself further back into his chair now. Sukimi stopped before him. The guards flinched. They were afraid too. Then she did something no one expected. She kneeled before him. “Although I have regained my memories, my loyalty still lies with the kingdom.” The emperor then let his guard down. He even smiled. “Good. I knew you were a sensible person.” He approached Sukimi and extended a hand to motion her to rise. Sukimi did. But in a matter of seconds she flipped around him and had a sword pressed to his throat. “And with that loyalty to the kingdom it is my responsibility to make sure no harm comes to it. In whatever form: dark mages, dark guilds, demons, monsters, or even man.” And Sukimi slit his throat. Not too deep though. She wanted him to bleed out and suffer as he made Chloe suffer. She stared disgustedly down at his struggling body. “You disgust me. You made me kill good people over the last ten years. You made me a mercenary. You had me attack my friends. And all the while, you knew exactly who I was.” The guards ran and attacked Sukimi. She unsheathed her swords and stood ready. But then Phoenix came to help. The battle was quick with all the powerful mages fighting side-by-side. And afterwards, they all worked together to lock up the guards and others loyal to the emperor in the dungeons. Sukimi gave Laxus, the new agreed upon guild master of Phoenix, the honors of raising the flag of Fiore on the castle’s tower once again.
That night the kingdom celebrated, but the guild grieved. They held a small funeral for Chloe in the backyard of the new guild headquarters. They had renovated it into a large building with at least a 3 acre yard. Chloe was given the title of first guild master and savior of Fiore. Sukimi, with the help of Yuuki (nice boy) carved a statue out of marble depicting her and placed it in the guild courtyard as her’s had before. That night, Sukimi didn’t sleep. She instead watched the stars out in the backyard as she had done with Chloe hundreds of times before with Chloe as kids. She heard the guild door open and shut and soon a body lay next to her. Grey. “Hey.” “Hey.” “We all miss her too you know. You don’t have to be all alone out here.” Sukimi sighed. “Yes I do. It was my fault she died. I turned her in. I caught her. I was-was serving that goddamned guy. In her last moments, I was the one who stood by and did nothing.” Tears started to fall again. She sat up and turned away as she wiped them off. Then Sukimi apologized, thanked Grey and walked back inside the guild. She was given a large room on the top floor. She went up and sat on the bed. She unbuckled her belt of swords and untied her hair. She was just going through her old memories when a knock came at the door. “Come in.” Yuuki stepped in. He was carrying something. “Oh, hi Yuuki.” He looked a little hesitant, and sad of course. “Uhm. I came to give this back to you,” he said as he held out the object to her. She carefully unwrapped it. Her old sword. The one Chloe had used to defeat Hugin. The one Sukimi had “died” for. Sukimi stared at it for a minute and Yuuki turned to leave, but Sukimi caught his hand. He turned back around. Sukimi took both his hands and placed the sword back into them. Yuuki looked a little confused. “For Chloe to have given this to you, means a lot. I understand you think it belongs to me, but it doesn’t. It’s yours now. She must have really believed in you, seen something in you, for her to give this to you. Use it well. I know one day you will be able to wield it better than I ever could. I can see it.” Yuuki’s eyes were big, staring at the sword. “T-thank you. This-this is-I mean wow. Thank you.” He bowed to Sukimi and she patted his back. Yuuki then left without another word.
The guild stayed downstairs doing normal activities for a while. Sukimi looked down the balcony and noticed one face was missing. Sukimi knew where to find him. She went downstairs to the old original headquarters, the little room hidden in the wall. She opened it, and sure enough, there he was. Sting. He was looking at the map lain on the table. Sukimi walked up to him. She knew he knew she was there, but he didn’t acknowledge her. “I miss her too you know.” She noticed the map below his hanging face was wet. And another tear joined it. Sukimi placed a hand on his back, but he whirled around and lifted her by her collar. “Don’t you dare touch me! Y-you did this! Y-you took her there! Y-you helped the emperor!” Sting’s eyes were full of anger and sorrow and confusion. Sukimi only looked down at him with her grim face. “I know.” Sting dropped her then and grabbed the ends of the small table. His knuckles were turning white. “I-I was the one who promised to protect her…I promised…and I couldn’t…” Tears were now frequently falling onto the map below. Sukimi placed her hand on Sting’s back again. This time he did nothing. “I know. We all wish we could’ve done something, me included. You can’t blame yourself. There was nothing you could’ve done.” Sting jumped up again, “THERE WAS EVERYTHING I COULD’VE DONE! I COULD’VE SAVED HER!” Sukimi shook her head. “No. And what she did was because she wanted to protect all of you. The guild. And especially you. Don’t throw that away.” Sting turned back to the map. Chloe’s dot was now a dull grey, located in the backyard. Sukimi left the room and went back upstairs. She fell on the bed and stared at the ceiling. Soon she found herself drifting off into a deep sleep. She dreamt of Chloe and when they were kids. They were still at Father’s house. Chloe and Sukimi were playing in the back but then a knock on the door came and father hid them in the upstairs bedroom. They listened to the conversation below. “Oh. Officers. What can I do for you?” “We need the girl. Give her to us.” “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Don’t play dumb. We all know. That girl must die. Now hand her over.” “I’m afraid I can’t help you.” There was shuffling and then footsteps coming closer and closer to the bedroom door. They heard father scream, “RUN.” Chloe started for the window. But suddenly Sukimi grabbed the back of her shirt. Chloe fell backwards. And when she looked at Sukimi, all she saw was a demons face. The men ran in and then took Chloe away. Chloe, who would’ve escaped if it wasn’t for Sukimi. Then father ran in and saw Sukimi. He grew very angry and scared at the same time. “Demon! GET OUT! What have you done?!” Sukimi sat up in bed, she woke up drenched in sweat and gasping for breath. It was near morning now. Sukimi decided not to go back to sleep. She changed back into her old clothes, then grabbed her weapons and mask. She put the mask over her face and her hair covered one of her eyes. Sukimi was almost out the guild doors when she heard a shuffling behind her. She turned around and saw Grey. “You’re leaving. I knew it…” She sighed and took off the mask. “I have to. I’m a wanted fugitive now. I served the emperor. I need to go or put all of you at risk.” Grey shook his head. “No. Don’t leave us again. You don’t have to. What’s a life without a little risk? Stay. Please…” Sukimi shook her head. “I can’t. And you know that. I promise to come back one day, but for now I have to go.” Grey grabbed her hand, but this time pulled her into a hug. “No. Please don’t. You belong where we are. And we belong where you are. The king will understand but if he doesn’t, we will fight for you. Just stay.” “You would all become fugitives too. And making you fight would cause more deaths and I can bear to lose anyone else. Please. Let me go…” Sukimi tried to pull away, but he held her tighter. “I can’t. I lived thinking you were dead for ten years. Now that I know you’re alive, I won’t let you go ever again. I thought I’d lost you…” “You know I have to go.” Sukimi pulled away and this time, he let her. She walked back to the door and grabbed the door handle. “Wait. What if-what if I go with you?” Sukimi looked back at him. He was serious. Sukimi smiled. She walked back. “Nothing would make me happier. But I have to go alone.” She hugged him one last time. Then she quickly put her mask on and left before he could say another word.
She would live like Chloe did the past ten years. Sukimi looked at the guild building one last time. It was tall and great. It would serve well as the king’s new head guild. Sukimi smiled and walked off the road, looking at the dull blue sky, not knowing where she would go or end up. But that was okay she guessed.
Drive Safe! Never Forget (Carol, Chris, Kassy, and Bobby)