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44 Birds of the Same Feather

 "Why is she crying?"

Ange could not hold her curiosity and worry anymore and asked. Paula was rather confused too.

"Paula, one of your questions should be why I saved her right?"

Mark asked while stroking Mei's hair.

"Yes. You have been staying away from that topic. I don't mean it in a bad way but even with what you said earlier, we did something worthy of being saved so you saved us but that reason does't apply to her. Also, we knew that you two just met when you saved her but the affection you two are giving each other is rather unusual."

Mark nodded understanding her question.

"Normally, any man will have the reason to save her mainly because she is beautiful. I'm different though, the reason I saved her is because she is like me."

"Like you?"

The two girls was confused as they did not understand how he could say that.

"Yep, we're birds of the same feathers you see. I just said it right? I'm a person that had no place to belong to before the outbreak. Mei'er is the same."

"How can you be sure about that?"

Paula asked and Ange had the same question.

"You don't believe me?"

Mark raised an eyebrow towards the two girls.

"If you don't believe me, you can ask her."

The two girls looked at Mei and asked.

"Mei, is what he said true?"

Mei did not immediately answer, she wiped her tears with her hands first before she nodded.

Seeing her nod made the two girls surprised. This beautiful girl actually felt that she don't have a place to belong to? It was kind of hard for the two to accept.

"Can you tell us the reason?"

Paula tried to probe further. As Mark also wanted to know, he also asked her.

"Mei'er, I also wanted to know your reason but if it's not convenient for you, it's also fine."

Mei looked at her Gege then at Paula and Ange. She started speaking.

"I was born in a business family. Have you heard of Xiao Industries? My family was the founder and the major shareholder of that company."

The three was surprised. Xiao Industries was one of the largest engineering, construction and land development company in the country. It was the major general building contractor of the government before the outbreak.

That company was a very large one. They did not expect that the princess of that company was the beautiful girl in front of them.

"If your family is that rich, shouldn't you be happy living in riches."

Ange asked with the shock in her face apparent. And to her question, Mei reacted negatively and looked down.

"Yes, we are rich but I never had any good relation with them. From the time I remember, it was the maids who took care of me the most. And for my family, I'm just a tool for expanding their business."

Hearing that, Mark and Paula immediately understood it was a common circumstance for nobles, rich and influential people. Mark then spoke.

"So, your duty is to marry someone your family chose for you right?"

Mei nodded in reply.

"Gege, did you see Henry- the dead student in the cinema when you saved me?"

"He is the one huh?"

"What are you two talking about?"

Paula interjected and Mark replied to her question.

"You two did not see him but there is a dead student there in the cinema dumped in the last row of chairs. The gangsters should be the ones who killed him. What Mei is saying is that student was the fiancé arranged by her family."

Mei nodded to confirm what Mark said and continued.

"He is the son of one of our family's richest business partners. Still, that person was a lecher. I knew that he had other women despite being arranged by our families. He also tried advances of me many times but he can't force me to do what I don't want because of my family. Furthermore, he bought all of my friends for them to push me to him."

Dumbfounded, Ange and Paula looked at each other.

"If I were to choose, I'd rather have my freedom than the riches of my family. Because I'm rich, I had no real friends. Those who tried to befriend me are those who were after the personal connections they can make and those who were paid by Henry. Most men were only after my looks, and their eyes were always looking at me like I'm naked."

Right now, there was a tinge of resentment in her voice.

"Then, that happened to me. It was Henry's fault."

She started crying again and her tears carried heavier weight.

"Those boys... Those gangsters had been eyeing me for some time already."

Mark was surprised.

"I had been seeing them for the last week hanging around the convenience store outside my school. Every time they saw me, they looked like drooling dogs. I just let them be since I had my guards and driver every time I go home from school. I did not expect I would encounter them in the mall when I and Henry were being chased by a Biter. I didn't want to go with them but Henry pulled me and I can't do anything. Then- Then-"

Mark pulled Mei into his embrace and let her cry on his shoulder. He patted her back before looking at the two girls who already stood up wanting to stop her from speaking anymore and comfort her.

"I did not expect that. I should have killed that other guy."

Mark helplessly sighed but his eyes were filled with killing intent. Paula and Ange already approached Mei and patting her back and shoulder.

"What do you two think? Is there a place for her to belong?"

The two girls could not say anything about it anymore.

"I haven't thought that she would have these circumstances."

Paula droop her shoulders.

"Still, I understand that her fear of men now was because of the trauma she received but it's kind of strange how she is too attached to you. I don't think Mei likes you or something within that. I also don't think she will behave like that even if you was the one who saved her."

"Maybe, it's because of what I said to her."

"What did you say?"

"When I saved her, she was already in the estate that she did not care whether she will still live or die. She did not even respond to me when I approached her. So, told her that it's fine already. Then she somehow recovered a little and started crying. I already thought about it but maybe, Mei'er felt that nothing is fine in her life and I was the one who said the opposite to her."

Paula looked at Mei who calmed down a little while still in Mark's embrace. She was listening to what her Gege was saying.

"Mei, is he right?"

Mei weakly nodded in reply before she slowly got out of Mark's embrace red faced.

"Geez, you're really a crybaby."

Mark took out a clean handkerchief from his pocket and wiped Mei's face. It was lucky that he thought of getting new handkerchiefs from that clothing store.

"So, that's the reason you saved her?"

Paula asked Mark.

"That's it, it was because I understand how being like that felt. I also knew the feelings of a person wanting to die you see. I was the same before. If you realized that there is no place for you to belong in the world, you will start to see that there is no point in living. For me, I also stopped thinking too much about the importance of life be it be mine or others. I managed to thwart myself from the suicidal feelings on my own but not everyone in the same situation would be able to."

Ange and Paula was dumbfounded, they did not think that it would be that severe. It would be really hard for people to fully understand their feelings and emotion unless they experienced it themselves.

"Then, how did you take yourself away from wanting to die."

"I became an Otaku and a gamer."

"What?!"

"You see, I immerse myself in the plot and eagerly wanting to finish the story be it be Anime, Light Novels or Video Games. There, most anime had stories that were not concluded easily and novels even more. I needed to wait for the stories to conclude or I won't be satisfied before dying. Well, in summary, it's just Escapism."

Mark casually finished his sentence while shrugging his shoulders which made the two girls feel bitter. Still, Paula was satisfied with his answers and how honest he had been.

"It should be time for your next question right?"

Mark asked. Then, Paula turned serious once more as she asked her next question.

"Yes. For the next question. This one, I really want you to answer."

"I can't back out?"

"Please answer it since I'm really curious about it and it might affect our interactions in the future."

"That's kind of heavy isn't it? Okay, I'll try to answer."

Paula breathed in and out deeply.

"Are you a Psychic? Can you read minds of people?"

Mark was surprised. He did not expect her to ask this question.