We found Axel Hahn in Windenburg on a crisp day. He still wore only a t-shirt and striped pants. Recently we wanted to cover the changes made at Cote & Savoie, only to find some much more interesting players in it who were far more tangential. Axel was the reported lover of former CEO Thu Duong, and at age 23, has likely had more to experience than any other man his age.
We met him outside, near the Windenburg Seaport and Old Town.
What is your name?
“Axel Minh Hahn.”
Do you know why you were named that?
“I used to stop and think as to why my mẹ chose “Minh” of all names. Like Ho Chi Minh? A man whose philosophies you actively rejected and ran away from? But she didn’t want to let one person and an ideology ruin a name she liked.”
But I mean, like, “Axel”.
“My Oma made that choice. It was her favorite Onkel’s name.”
It certainly rolls off my tongue too. Single or taken?
(Axel was notably silent)
“My heart’s taken by the world’s most perfect woman, but I’m having trouble telling her that.”
Stop being a Mary Sue!
“Are you saying that about my perfect Thu?”
So that’s her name, huh.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s true, I can’t ever leave her. I could stare into her deep brown eyes all day.”
Yeah, but what’s your eye color?
“Are you fucking blind?”
How about hair color?
(Axel rolled his eyes at me. They’re a lovely shade of umber brown but not particularly dark. They match his curly hair)
Has it always been that way?
“I dyed it purple for a couple of years.”
(We both laugh together)
“I’m not kidding! I even shaved a side too. It actually felt a lot better on hot days.”
Have you any family members?
“No, they’re all dead to me, except for my Oma.”
Oh, how about pets?
“Not yet, but I always wanted to get Thu a dog that represents her.”
“A sickly, nervous Chihuahua that’s carried around in a purse.”
You’re quite comfortable saying that…that’s cool, I guess. (I wanted to segue into the next question, and maybe hear about something that isn’t Thu) Tell me something you don’t like.
“It’s a long list.”
But what do you hate the most? One thing.
“I guess you could call him my father-in-law?”
Oh right, because you’re not married–
“And he’s not really Thu’s dad. Her legal guardian of sorts, for a lot of reasons. I think he’s a selfish, angry, cuckolded old man who craves control over her. I thought I could save her, but I couldn’t.”
What did you try?
Is that a hobby you like to do?
“I’ve been a programmer since I was 11. It’s hard to keep doing it when my mind is on Thu, though. She makes me want to retire and care for her…or tend a garden together.”
Do you garden now?
But then you could ward off her…guardian with a spade.
“I love the idea, thanks.”
Have you ever hurt him before?
“He’s hard to hurt, because he’s so much taller than me. But I still knocked out his front teeth with a lucky shot.”
What about anyone else?
“No one who didn’t deserve it…besides Thu.”
Oh…you must have–
“Don’t assume. It was all unintentional, or stuff I’ve fixed entirely. I still think she forgives me for everything.”
Ever… killed anyone before?
“There are a lot of people I want to.”
You’re a fucking animal…what kind of animal are you anyways?
“A sly little wild cat.”
Name your worst weaknesses.
Do you look up to anyone at all?
“I feel like I look up to Thu, in a way. Or I did, because I thought she was the pinnacle of everything. She had wealth and beauty and wasn’t even thirty yet…but she’s so broken and easing her pain was just…I need a chance to try harder.”
(This prompted some awkward silence)
Are you straight, gay, or bi?
“It’s a funny story.”
One we need to hear, of course.
“I sucked a guy’s dick at a party and kind of liked it…but it was in a dark closet. I’m not interested in finding out if it means anything, though my ex tried to see if it did.”
That’s wild, why would she care?
“Well, she is bi too and knows it. She said it was because she felt lonely, but I knew the reason.”
“She’s a whore who didn’t want to settle down with me. It obviously meant swinging and groups.”
She sounds like a mess.
“Probably, but she’s a smart mess too. She’s very…sly with problem-solving in the field and in classes but never in real life. It wouldn’t work out anyways.”
Speaking of classes, do you still go to school?
“I applied to the Morterero Institute of Technology in America for my master’s, but it didn’t work out.”
“Don’t be. It’s why I met Thu instead.”
Ever want to marry her and have kids one day?
“Absolutely. I add to my plans every day.”
How many kids?
“As many as she wants, and I know what she wants. She wants enough kids to fill the void that all her losses left her with.”
Awk-ward….uh…do you have fangirls/fanboys?
“What kind of a question is that?”
One to lighten the mood with.
“Okay, because god, no. I feel like everyone hates me now.”
What are you most afraid of?
“What I just said.”
…what do you usually wear?
(Axel silently gestured down to his pants)
Where do you even buy those?
“I’m not even sure. I’m a difficult man to fit clothes for. No one expects a market for short, skinny goths quite like me.”
You are quite skinny.
“Well…I don’t eat much.”
But is there one food that tempts you?
“The easy answer is a delicious bowl of pho.”
And there’s a hard answer?
“If you’re not a Viet, there is. It’s a big country and they eat much more than soup.”
Am I annoying you?
Well, it’s not over! What class are you (low class, middle class, high class)?
“See, now this question is annoying.”
Sorry. I truly can’t pin what you are, though.
“Does it matter?”
Maybe a little…for context.
“Windenburg is just a city of millionaires anyways. Rich doctors like my mẹ and rich athletes like my friend’s Onkel. Do I really count as upper class just for being a millionaire?”
But you mentioned a friend. How many friends do you have?
“Now or in general?”
“Plenty. I don’t know who’s left, but I’m supposed to go to a wedding this weekend to find out.”
Anyone you hope still likes you?
“The couple of course, and Zayne…it’s really just for his cakes.”
What are your thoughts on pie, though?
“Zayne isn’t a pie-maker and I’m not either.”
“I’m not supposed to drink now.”
“And while I’m without Thu? It sucks so fucking much.”
But would you still recommend any German beer?
“Well…any Schwarzbier with a pretty label will always tempt me.”
What’s your favorite place?
“The Bluffs on Insel Kiefer. It’s a popular place to…well…”
“Get high and lose your virginity of course.”
I get the feeling you might need one of those again.
“I never smoked weed…my lungs are too weak for that.”
But getting laid again.
“Seriously, I’m waiting for Thu.”
Are you interested in anyone else?
That was a stupid question.
“You bet it was.”
I can do better.
…would you rather swim in a lake or the ocean?
“I can do both here, thankfully.”
What’s your type?
“You never asked me how Thu looks…I never dated anyone like her before though.”
What does she look like?
“She’s really short, like less than one and a half meters. It’s not like puberty skipped past her, and she’s older than me anyways, but she’s very…”
“Don’t call her that.”
Like small boobs.
“She’s petite. My other girlfriends all had big ones though.”
Is that a fetish?
“Tits are sexy, everyone knows that.”
Any REAL fetishes?
“I’ve tried food play.”
“Not just her.”
Where is the weirdest place you’ve fucked, a kitchen? A walk-in fridge?
“I told you, lost my virginity outside at the bluffs.”
Camping or indoors?
Not just for fucking.
“Indoors. I’m not even comfortable out here.”