The worn man rolled off the side of the bed, lazily falling onto the plush carpet that furbished the floor of the velvet red room.


“Ahhh, damn,” he moaned. “I’m gonna be late.”


He felt the area around him, looking for his clothes and putting them on one piece at a time. His dress shirt clearly labeled him as a prominent white collared worker, while his tie and accessories looked expensive enough that anyone would think him in a preeminent position. When he tried putting on his pants, however, a merry laugh escaped his lips.


“My legs are covered in sweat, ahahah I-I can’t get them through hahaha!”


He tried forcing his way in, but the coarse fabric on the inside stuck to his body like wet glue. Giving into frustration, he tossed them to the side and jumped back into the bed, wrinkling the already shriveled up shirt.


“Since I’m going to be late anyway,” he said, pulling back the sheets, “what do you say we go for round three?”


While the man did indeed rip back the blankets, the girl already wore a small one that barely covered the most desirable parts of her body. The back of her hand was to her forehead, as though taking her own temperature, and panted breaths escaped her lips. Curly, dark brown hair decorated the pillows around her and even hid her eyes. But upon hearing the man’s request, she raised her hand slowly, removing the messy bangs.


“You shouldn’t take on more risk than you can handle mister.” she teased in a voice that was as smooth as the velvet around them. “Besides, round three is much more, and it seems you’re running on empty.”

“Give me ten minutes and I’ll be running a full tank!”


“If only that were what I was referring to.” she smirked.


She got up, wrapping the blanket around herself while letting it hug the contours of her body; this was arguably the most important part, the one that would secure him.


While walking away, she turned around, letting her disheveled appearance do the work for her as she held up her phone and gave the old man a wink.


“Next time, have enough for round four.”


And with that, she entered the bathroom and locked the door; the blanket immediately fell around her as bustling sounds were heard from beyond the small room. All of a sudden, a thick wad of bills slid underneath the door.


“Think of it as a tip for your exceptional service, we’ll talk soon.”


And just like that, she heard the door to the hotel room open and close with a precise *thump*. She knelt down, picking up the stack of bills— it was more than she was expecting.


Much, much more.


A wave of nausea hit her like a bus, she threw the bills against the wall and nearly collapsed into the toilet; horrible retching sounds could be heard echoing from the ceramic as she forced herself to expel the contents of her stomach. The breakfast from this morning, the lunch he paid for, and the horrible liquids that had entered her earlier.


She stayed like that for the next fifteen minutes, letting her tears stream alongside the sides of the bowl until all evidence was erased with a single flush. Without pausing to breathe, she drained the small bottle of mouthwash that lay next to the complementary scented soap and finely knit towels. She didn’t know how much time had passed, it was only when her tongue and gums burned from the pain did she cough up the purple liquid— thick white bubbles of saliva forming in the sink.


She didn’t feel any cleaner, as expected, but comforted in knowing the only thing left was a shower.


She looked up, into the eyes of the girl staring back at her. The little girl who tugged at her parents clothes and told them all about her dreams was nowhere to be found in the reflection. And perhaps it was her mentality, but even the little girl who was so close to her younger siblings just a year prior had also disappeared.


But the people who supported her still do. So what is she looking for?


Everyone in the first row already has one, and the last person I gave one to…… I think his name was Luka? That means tomorrow it’ll be that boy’s turn.


The bags underneath her eyes were fully visible in the brightness of the light.


If I remember right……I think his name is Yuuko.

A note from OceansInTheSky

Hello everyone, thank you so much for reading the third volume of The Promise of Yuuko Asahino.

I normally put author's notes at the end of my volumes, and this one isn't much of an exception as there are a few things I'd like to talk about.

Firstly, thank you again for reading, I hope you enjoyed this volume. Personally I think this one was not my strongest work (with the exception of this epilogue which I'll talk about in a moment), but there were many things that happened. This was the first volume I tried publishing on a chapter by chapter basis, which was new to me at the time of writing it. Coupled with the fact a few personal things were going on, and I'm not 100% satisfied with the volume, though overall I still enjoy it.

Which brings me to this epilogue.

I'm so very excited to write the fourth volume, as you already saw, it will be about a young girl in "compensated dating." I tried posting this on a separate site, and while it didn't get much reception, I'm happy that the attention it did get was positive (in the sense it struck at peoples' feelings and garnered their interest). If the same thing happened with you with this epilogue, please look forward to the fourth volume.

Also - I would truly appreciate any feedback over the volume or writing itself; whether you enjoyed or disliked it, I would like to know if you would like to share.

Finally, I hope this author's note finds you well, and I hope my writing and Yuuko's story can impact your life in a positive way.

Godspeed, and God bless.

- Oceans

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About the author


Bio: Author of The Promise of Yuuko Asahino and The Aspects, but the former is my passion.
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