Zantheus is a boy who comes from a well-to-do family, but his parents are often absent, either away on business trips or returning late at night to leaving early the next morning. Neglected, Zantheus hates being in the empty house that only serves to remind him of his loneliness. He finds comfort in his “friends” and keeps up with his tough frontier to fit in but deep down, he is unsure of what he really wants. Anything, but his loneliness, he’ll do it. He wants to be in, to belong somewhere.
One day, he is tasked to ruin someone’s life as revenge for his “friends”. Their target, Scarlet. Accepting the challenge, he initiates an conversation with her online. As he learn more about her pitiful past, he unexpectedly finds himself sharing about his as well. They sympathize and confide in each other. As their virtual relationship grows closer, Scarlet decides to try and solve his problems by searching and calling his mother’s office, hoping to enlighten his parents of his predicament that they are unaware of. Zantheus faces some slight hesitation about hurting her as he felt that she cares and listens to his woes more than others ever did.
They decide to meet for the first time.
Scarlet is infatuated and falls under his charm. That night, while he is sending her home, the sudden rain drenches them. Zantheus is extremely restless as he ponders over his agenda and is aroused at how alluring she looked with the bits of drench clothing that clung onto her body. He leads her to a dark alley.
He lunges at her. She struggles, begging repeatedly for him to stop. He doesn’t. She gives up struggling. Realising her lack of movement, he is confused and finds himself stopping just before tearing her clothes. So close to his goal, he hesitates because he realizes he is making her relive her ugly past in the worst way. He fights a dilemma between his conscience and pleasing his bunch of “friends”. He decides to give up on the task. Fortunately, Scarlet’s neighbor on the way home hears the noise and comes to check before escorting her home. Zantheus is long gone.
Zantheus is enlightened to whom his true friend is when he thinks back. He is horrified at the person he has turned into just to please others and decides to sever ties with his “friends”. Nightmares sourcing from his guilt and regret from all the past deeds that he had done for his friends gives him trouble sleeping. He apologizes to Scarlet by text to try to make things better.
He awakes the next day to someone brushing his hair. He thinks it was Scarlet but realized it is his mother, who was back from her business trip. This time for good after hearing from Scarlet a few days back. His father has also taken a day off. His mother hands Zantheus his phone before leaving to join his father in setting up for breakfast. Beneath the numerous miss calls and texts from his old “friends” is a text from Scarlet. He deletes everything except for Scarlet’s. As his parents calls for him to join in on their first breakfast together, he knows this is the fresh start he needs.
Based on: The Little Red Riding Hood
This is a story told from my perspective. Its a typical family. No matter in the end, we’ll get through troubles together and we’re always go back to one another. However, does technology actually brings us together or pull us further apart?