December 12, 2010

Ch. 9: The Emergence of The Past

Young Valentin ran hastily along the dark alley to find the man he had observed carefully for days.  He stopped at the dead end. With panting breaths, he bowed and leaned on his knees. His  shuddering palm  pressed against his chest to avoid a chance of his heart blowing up in a second Of course, it was only in his mind, but the most frightening part was about to happen. 

Young Valentin stepped toward the man curling up on the ground and next to the dumpster with a long brown rumpled coat covering the man's back while his face was facing the dirty brick wall. He grabbed the tip of the man's coat and with all the courage hidden in his stuttered voice, he woke him up. "S-Sir -"

December 2, 2010

Ch. 8: A Heartbreak

"Mom, Dad, could you believe it? I've finally said those words.

Yeah, I broke my promise, Mom, but as you've known, she has the right to know. I'm just feeling sorry that she has to figure everything out this way. She must be feeling confused. Tell me that I'm selfish, still, I'm not regretting of telling her this and telling her my true feelings for her.

Just take a look at her, Mom, Dad.  She's the sweetest thing on earth -- at least she is in my life. Her breathing is so soft and could not be heard. It's probably the most beautiful gift the heaven had given to me. Each of her heart beats is so precious -- I don't know what I would do, and I could not even imagine if it stops. I pray for her more than for my own life. She's my treasure, my only one, and  as I've finally said those words, I've let her know.

I just hope that she won't feel scared of me for knowing my true feelings for her.

You both can count on me that I'll be there for her. Whatever will happen nothing will keep us apart, ever."

He covered her feet with a blanket to make sure that she would get enough warmth. The air was quite chilly that night.

He fixed her pillows, so she wouldn't have a sore neck in the morning. 

He stopped for a glance, seeing her sleeping face,  and... in a blink of an eye, he bent closer.

Closer than ever, just like what had happened in the afternoon. Only that night, she had not aware of any of  it.

"Val!" She rose up from the bed and stared at her surroundings. There was no one else in the room, but the door was slightly opened. Maybe, it was the wind and it was only a dream; so real and vivid that she could smell the aroma of his shampoo around the room.

Throwing herself onto her bed, she shut her eyes tightly. Yet, it was  hard for her to fall asleep again. Tossing and turning around on the bed, her effort to sleep again were useless.  The air was quite cold, but her heart burnt with tons of heavy thoughts. The memory of the warm afternoon lingered in her mind -- so clear that she could not bear the tension it  caused as the hot temperature under the blanket burned her skin while she was hiding from thinking about it.

Harshly, she pushed her blanket aside as hard as she could. She couldn't get back to sleep and there's no use of doing it. In a few minutes, the sun would rise. So, instead of going back to her bed, she threw her feet onto the wooden floor. 

 "I hope he isn't here." She murmured as she tiptoed down the stairs. Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath --  gathering all of her courage to walk across the living room. After the distance between her and the door was only a few steps away, she sped up her pace to find her gateway to escape... to be alone and to think about everything.


"What  do you think I should do, Mr. Apple?" Rosaline mumbled to herself.

She was standing barefooted in her small garden, ignoring the chill pricking her bones. She shivered and soon her breaths formed into a group of  white clouds up in the air.

"I know I should have faced him and talked to him, but after what had happened. He-" She shook her head. " He and I... We- we kissed."

Her words stabbed her like a sharp knife on her tounge. 

"What should I do?"

She stared at the apple and magically -- and only her  who knew  the truth whether a plant could talk or not-- it seemed to understand her.

"I know I shouldn't have avoided him, but every time I saw him, I remembered about the kiss and I...."

She bowed her head, staring down to the ground.   "He told me that he loved me. He loves me...  as a boy... to a girl."  

Silence walked past by her.

She waited, but this time, there was no answer -- only whispers of the winds rustling between the apple leaves. Standing still, she  thought about her own feelings. She perfectly understood and acknowledged well  that it wasn't only him. She also did something unpredictable, something that she had never thought about -- the fact that she kissed him back.

Tears stagnated at the corner of her eyes. Feeling so confused and afraid to hurt the feeling of the person she cared the most, she wiped them off immediately. The leaves moved gently as they were being blown by the breeze. Some of the plants had bent their stem. If they could speak, they were probably trying to tell her not to cry. An apple leaf flew and patted her on her cheek. It fell down onto her palms as she opened up her hands. Under the moonlight,
the green leaf appeared  delicate, small and fragile.  Her memories returned to the days she and Val had spent together-- to the way they had undergone their difficulties. Should everything be different over a kiss? Should his confession and her confusion tear them apart? Thinking about it, she smiled softly. "I know, Mr. Apple. Thank you for reminding me. " Carefully, she put the leaf inside her pocket. She would keep it to remind herself about that night.

Soon, her heart cheered again and as she walked steadily into the kitchen, she sang a cheerful folk song. She took a fish from a refrigerator and in a swift, she chopped the fish into small pieces. "What's next?" She mumbled as she was preparing other ingredients needed to make that special breakfast.

She knew  Val had cleaned the fish because she could barely hurt or kill it. She couldn't even hurt a cockroach or an ant. When she found a mouse being trapped in the bath tub, she told Val to help it and then to let it go. She didn't know that Val eventually killed the poor mouse. Val would never let her know about that. He had to do that or their house would soon be filled with those little creatures. One thing he didn't know that she had already found out about it.

The fish was ready to be cooked, and so she put those pieces inside the pan. She stirred the soup several times, but the memory of his kiss flashed upon her thoughts again.

"Oh-" She cried over her singed soup.   The cloud of smoke made her sigh. She shouldn't have wasted it. She knew how hard it was for Val to catch the fish.

Still, she served the soup in a bowl and with her face crinkled for knowing how bad the taste really was, she smelled something unpleasant near her. It was her. It must have been the smell from the fish.  She grabbed a towel and then headed to the bathroom.

Lying down in a  tub, she felt nothing but comfort and relaxation. Her head rested on  the edges. The bath tub was quite old and it often got broke, but she felt calm while drowning herself in it. Emptying her mind, she tried to focus on what she must do at school that day.

Her first class would be the piano lesson. She loved piano and she loved art class, even though her drawings were ordinary ones and the strokes from her brush were still rough -- even Val and Pierre's paintings were better than her.

In fact, Pierre's paintings were better than anyone else in the class.

She realized that she was thinking about them again: about Pierre's confession and Val's feelings toward her.   She brushed her skin harder until someone, unexpectedly, entered the bathroom.

"Vaaal!" She covered her body, ducking her head down into the bath tub -- hiding her bare skin underneath the water filled with foams.

"I- I didn't see you. Sorry.  I'm... I'm going out now."

No matter what he said, she knew he was lying, and it wasn't for the first time. Her heart beat like an Olympic runner. She reminded herself to remind him again to fix the door key... once she managed to get out of the tub and found the courage to face him. 


 After getting dressed, she strolled in her room and mumbled indefinitely. "What should I do? What if he's still downstairs?"

For  ten minutes, she realized how long she had wasted her time. The class was about to begin at eight, and it was almost 7.45  a.m. already.  She must go downstairs no matter what.   " If you see him, just say hi, Rose! Simple as that."

She smiled, with her mouth was widely opened and her  bunny teeth were clearly able to be seen in the mirror.

"That should do it!"

But what happened next was a different case. As she opened the door, her heart stopped.  She found him in front of her, still in his green pajamas.

Bang! She slammed the door in his face.

 She shook her hands.  Her fingers suffered from insensible numb after it got stuck between the door frames.

"No." She scolded at herself. "No matter what, you've got to face him!"

Slowly, she grabbed the door handle and opened it.

It was ridiculous and childish, she realized it. Her behaviors would only lead him into confusion and would eventually hurt his feelings.  

"Rose, about what happened..."

"No." She cut him off.  "Let me say it first.  I'm sorry... about the door, about what happened.... my attitudes. I'm ...  I'm confused. I need time."

"I-I don't want this to change us. I don't want ... what happened between us  change our relationship. I love you ... I love you as a brother and I don't want  this to tear us apart. I hope you'll understand. I-"

"Ssh – " Valentin placed his index finger upon her lips. " I don't want to force you with my feelings.  I just want you to know this. Even though -" His voice trembled. "Even if you don't love me the same way. I'll understand. No matter what, I'll be your brother. I promise."

He pulled her closer and hugged her, but still ... there was a distance between them. Over his chest, she cried …. and so did him.

To be continued

Theme song: "Breathing" by Lifehouse