Wednesday, December 29, 2010

chaptre 14

The days that I spent here was like a dream. A dream I could have never imagined of becoming true. Spending my days with the one I cared and love, you and grandfather. I was surprised how well you could get along with grandfather, and those days had brought me closer in knowing you better. As I had imagined, you have a gentle heart, and the warmth that could easily melt away any walls I built.

But those days weren’t always bright and shiny. I could see that Cornelius was trying to get closer to you. Though I didn’t know his intention was, but I felt an air of amiss around him. Over and over again I warned you of him, but you brushed it off so easily, saying that there was nothing to be afraid of. But you didn’t know him like I do. So I asked Kazuki to keep an eye on you whenever I was not around.

As I had finished having dinner with grandfather, we took a stroll down the bay. The view was out of this world, especially when it was twilight. You weren’t there as grandfather had insisted that he and I were to discuss something private. My anticipation was growing. And so did my anxiety for your safety. Leaving you alone with Cornelius was not a very pleasant idea.

“Are you worried about your friend?” grandfather’s voice brought me back to reality as I focused my eyes on him. He was looking over the bay. Lights of whatever left of the sun basked his wrinkled face, showing me that his time was almost up. Suddenly my heart was wrenched with dishearten. To his question earlier, I answered it with silence, though when he took a glimpse of me, he already knew the answer.

“Aren’t you worrying too much? He’s not a woman. He’s a man, for goodness sake. A man should be able to stand on his own.”

“And a woman should be by the man that he loves?” I remarked. He gave me a scornful look, a sign that he was annoyed. I smiled at him nevertheless.

“Do not mock me, child.” He said with a stern voice. “How could you have fallen in love with such a weak man?”

Grandfather’s definition of a man was very old fashion, so you were probably a little bit off in his type of a man. I held his hands and made him look at me, instead of that scenery.

“He’s a man that I fell in love with.”

He let out a sigh.

“There are things in this world that I just can’t do anything about,” he was saying that as if it was directed to himself, “so I can’t really accuse you.” He chuckled. It seemed I had amused him so.

“So, what do you want to talk to me about, until nobody can’t even hear us?” I looked around as I was saying this. The driver was sent to take a cruise until grandfather gave the signal.

“May I ask of you,” he started after a long silence, “why the disappearance act? And why changing your name? Are you ashamed of this family?”

I closed my eyes. I knew sooner or later he would ask me of this. But should I tell him the truth?


He looked up at the darken sky, signaling that night had taken over. His face seemed to have darkened.

“May I know the reason for your hatred?”

 I stood up, looking ahead of me. Lights from the fishermen’s boat filling the darkness of the river. The breeze from a spring air still bit me a little cold, so I hugged my jacket tighter around me.

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t tell you the reason.” I looked at grandfather with a solemn smile I mustered. He looked at me with sadness, and looked away again.

“Is it because of Cornelius?”

I was silence, but one look on my face, he knew the answer right away.

“He did something to you, didn’t he?” he kept pounding me with questions. Questions that I have no intentions of answering.

“I’m sorry I didn’t realize it sooner. I should’ve known…” he covered his face with his hands. I slowly approached him, gently pushing his hands from his face. Tears were rolling down on his cheeks. I caressed it away and looked at him lovingly.

“You couldn’t have known.” I smiled. He held me close and hugged me, as if asking for my forgiveness for something that he didn’t do.

# # #

As we returned to the mansion, Cornelius greeted us.

“Having fun?” an arrogant look was on his face. Something didn’t feel right. I tried to remain calm, but he probably saw the uneasiness in my eyes. As he walked pass me, he whispered, “I had fun with your friend too.” And he left me there with his satisfactory look.

Fearing for the worst, I dashed to your room. It was so dark inside and the room was a mess.

“Adrian.” No one answer.

“Adrian, are you here?” silence.

“Adrian, answer me, dammit!”

There was a cry, but it was faint. I tried to find the switch and as the light was turned on, I was bewildered by what I saw. 

“Turn off the light!” you shouted. You were bare, with semen oozing out from you. Your clothes were ripped when I tried to pick them up. I closed the door and locked it. I looked around to make sure that no one was here. I checked every corner for any hidden camera. The drapes were pulled down so that none could see us, though it couldn’t do much since it was torn in several places.  As I hurried to you, “don’t come near me! Don’t look!” were all what you said to me. But despite your warning, I got closer to you anyway. I covered your bruised body with a blanket.

You jolted, and pushed me down. I was surprised by it, but I could see you were crying.

“Cornelius…” you whispered. So he was behind this after all. You started to hit my face. I was taken aback. When I looked at you, all you could ever say was his name. You were delusional. I tried to bring some sense to you, and when all was in vein, I deliberately slapped you hard and pushed you away. You were panting, gasping for air.

“Jo?” you looked at me. I came closer to you with precautions, afraid that you were still delusional. But it seemed that your mind was a little clearer than before. Tears were running through your cheeks. “Cornelius, he…” you covered your face between your legs as you brought them closer to you.

“He’s gonna pay for this!” I shouted. Fire of anger was developing inside of me.

“No, wait, Jo.” You grabbed me by the wrist. “Don’t go.”

“What? Are you saying that I should just let him go? After what he did to you? It was me, then you? How much further he wanna ruin my life?” I bashed out everything. I felt like I was crumbling down, bit by bit. I thought I was able to get over it. But clearly I couldn’t. And after what happened, how could I?

I looked at you. Though you must’ve had it hard on you, you still made that face. That sad face. Was it sympathy for me?

“I’m sorry I dragged you into this.” I couldn’t bring myself to face you. After all, he is my family member.

“You didn’t know it’ll happen.” That’s where you’re wrong. Somehow, I knew it was going to happen. That was why I couldn’t bring you along in the first place.

“Jo, I feel weird. I… it hurts, Jo.” You were trembling on the floor. I had seen this before. So he did the same to you what he did to me. He’s really gonna pay for this.

“Come, I’ll help you.”
# # #

Cornelius opened his eyes. His head was sore and his vision was a blur. When his hands tried to touch his head, he felt a tug. He was unable to move his hands. They were tied to the head of the bed. To his surprise, his garments were gone as well. And he was in a shameful position, with his legs spread wide open. He tried to struggle, but it was all in vain. The cuffs were too tight.

“Are you awake, Cornelius?” I merged from the dark corner of his room. He was surprised to see me there. But he still had an arrogant face.

“Well, well. I thought it was your doing.” He snickered at the idea that I could pull this off. Of course, nobody would ever suspect that a woman could carry a full grown man up to his bedroom all by himself. But he seemed to forget something.

Since I was young, I was trained by my father to be stronger than the boys. He said that it was to protect myself. So I got stronger over the years, until my strength matched to a man. That was probably why I carry an attitude almost the same of an opposite sex as well.

“Well, I had a little help. With these.” I showed him one of the pills that I used. He was completely bewildered by what he saw.

“Where did you get those?” he was struggling hard to take it from me. But it was hopeless. I smiled at his hopelessness.

“I found it in your room. Since you used it on me and Adrian, figured if I could use it on you. I’m surprised at how quickly it kicked in.” I lean over him. “Or was it you that was intolerable with it?”

He spit on my face with all his might. Of course I was furious. But I stopped myself from acting foolish. I wiped it clean with the towel nearby. Don’t worry Cornelius, I said to myself, you’re gonna pay for everything.

I wore a latex glove on both of my hands and grabbed the pill. Cornelius was anxious when he saw that I was sitting at the end of the bed, doing nothing but stare.

“What? Are you just gonna sit there?” he tried to mock me. He was sweating uncontrollably, probably due to the drug I slipped in his drink earlier. I could see that his body was trembling, though he tried to control it.

“Do you feel pain, Cornelius?” I ran down my finger on his torso. He flinched at my touch. As I went further down, he couldn’t control his tremble.

“What do you want?” his breathing was out of control.

“To make you feel the same way Adrian and I felt. And god knows who else.” I said bluntly. I took one pill and snuck it inside of him. His back was lifted as he cringed. “You’re sensitive.”

His eyes showed me that he was mad, but there was nothing he could do about it. If he screamed, people of this mansion would find him in this situation. So he bit his tongue, until blood was oozing out from it. I pulled his jaw so that he couldn’t hurt himself that way. “Don’t want you to die that early.” I took a bracelet and tied around his mouth. He was hopeless, and at my mercy.

I took my camera out and snapped a picture or two of his. He was still struggling, so it was hard to capture a good one. No matter, it’s for a personal collection anyway. Blood was coming out from his mouth, where his wound had been. I untied the bracelet and checked the gash inside his mouth, while holding his jaw with my hand. Nothing serious. So I put the bracelet on.

I examined at the items lying on the table. “I didn’t know you like to play with yourself.” I took the smallest top I could find in the bunch. “Let me see it.”

More pictures were being taken as Cornelius shamelessly gave out a moan. “I wonder if your daughter have seen you like this.” My hands were busy between pushing the shutter of my camera and pushing the toy inside his n=body. “Or did you play with her too.”

He was screaming between the bracelets. I looked at him seriously. “Do you want to wake the whole house?” my camera continued its job. Tears started to roll down from his eyes. I opened the bracelet to hear him out, to give him a little bit of hope.

“Please… don’t do this.” He begged disgracefully.

“You should’ve thought about it before you started attacking me years ago.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll do whatever you say. Just please… leave Anastasia out of this.” I looked at him with disgust. But upon hearing those words, I couldn’t help but stop what I was doing. I let out a sigh and grabbed a chair to sit beside the bed, where I could see his dismayed face.

“Why me?” it’s time to know the answer.

“Because you were the daughter of my brother.” He looked away, but I grabbed him so he could look at me, whether he wanted to or not. He was struggling but to no avail, as the drug was too strong for him to resist.

“Is it because of the fortune?” He was silence. “Answer me!” I gave him a little shock with one of the toys. It was too deep in his body and it must have hurt, as he was struggling more viciously.

“Yes! Yes!” I turned down the volume, but didn’t exactly turn it off. I was waiting for more. He was gasping for air as his breathing was out of rhythm. He looked at me like a dog begging his master not to hurt him anymore. But my heart was too content to forgive him so easily.

“You know I never wanted the fortune.” I looked at those pleading eyes. “But why…”

“Still attack your beloved?” he was laughing. “Because I hate you. You were never supposed to exist!” he was lunging himself at me, though his effort was in vein. I didn’t move from where I stand, looking down at him. He was panting as he continued, “if only you died in that accident, along with my useless brother.”

“Was the accident your doing?”

He smiled and looked at me arrogantly. He still had his pride above him, even though he was chained like that. “What do you think?”

At that moment, I felt like killing him, but think better of it. It’s useless to kill such a low-life.

“Are you done taking your sweet little revenge?” he still had an arrogant look on his face. The drug must have been worn off. I looked at him.  I knew that he was trying to read my expression, but I made sure he couldn’t.

“This is only the beginning, uncle.” I was sickened when that word came out of my mouth. And smiled ferociously at him.

As I untied one of his hands and left him to cater himself, I made a new plan for my next move.   

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

chaptre 13

Here lies
Josephine and Marshall
Loving children, parents and friends

I looked at the tomb where my parents lied. It’s been so long that I visited here. The flowers were still fresh. Had somebody come here before, I wondered. I put down the white lilies that I bought just now. It was mama’s favorite. I breathing became heavy as I touched the cold stone that bore my parents’ name. You were standing beside me, with your eyes closed. I pondered myself if you were offering a prayer in your silent. I kissed the tomb once, as I had done when I visited here. Then I got up from my knees.

“Are you okay?” you rested your hand on my shoulder, as if reassuring that you were there. But I hate the sad look you had, though I said nothing of it. So I gave a nod. You looked at the tomb.

“So your name, Jo Marshal, was the combination of your parents’ name.” you said matter-of-factly. I just smiled at your remark.

“How…” you stopped halfway. You seemed uncertain of something. But I knew what it was.

“They had an accident.” You looked at me. “We were on our way to a holiday when it happened. I was in comatose for a week after the accident. When I woke up, the funeral was already done.” My throat suddenly became sore and tears were starting to build up. I looked up at you and smiled. “It gave me a huge scar.”

When I said huge, it covered most part of my body. Every time I wasn’t wearing anything and stared myself into the mirror, the scar reminded me that what happen wasn’t a dream. The accident made my life changed my life drastically, turning my life upside down. The dream I had, night after night, kept haunting me till this day. Does mama blame me for everything? Because…

“Jo…” you touched my cheek. Tears were rolling down and you wiped it gently. Then you held me in your arms tightly. You felt so warm.

“They had a fight before they died.” I buried myself in your chest. It felt good as you warmth slowly heated my skin. “Of me.”

You hugged me even tighter, until there was no room between us.

“It’s not your fault…” time and time again I’ve told myself this. But somehow, this heart of mine couldn’t seem to see it. But hearing you said that, I felt somehow relieved.

# # #

“Welcome home, Lady Annabelle.” A middle aged man in a butler suit greeted us. “Master is waiting for you inside.”

As the butler ushered us in, I took a glimpse at the mansion. It hasn’t change since the day I left. Portraits of the previous head of this family were looking down at us, as if eyeing us with their eyes as we walk down the hallway. The gloomy atmosphere was suffocating like usual. The expensive decorations only made my eyes hurt.

“Well, if it isn’t the long awaited heir.” A familiar voice. As I looked up ahead there he was, standing with his hands crossed with his arrogant smiling face, looking at me. Cornelius. He was tall and had a good physic even though he was already middle aged.  Suddenly, my temperature started to boil. I couldn’t forgive what he had done to me last time. The real reason why I left this mansion in the first place. He came closer and stopped, barely two steps away from me. I could smell his cologne, and it was more suffocating than the air before.

“I see you haven’t change.” I said monotonously. God knows how badly I wanted to punch this bastard in front of me. He looked away with a smile, focusing on you.

“Can’t say the same for you, Annabelle. And who might this be?” he came closer to you and stared at you from top to bottom, as if you were an interesting species that he can keep as a pet.

“He’s a friend.” I shoved him away from you, giving him a glare.

“Now, now, is that any way to treat your uncle?”

“You…!” I couldn’t finish my sentence as I was interrupted.

“Papa!” a girl wearing a lovely flowing gown, with her long hair braided, lunged herself at Cornelius. When she noticed me, she hid behind Cornelius.

“Anastasia. Have you finished your work?” a gentle smile was fixed on Cornelius’ face. I never knew that he could pull that kind of face. But this man was capable of anything once he put up his mind into it.

“Lady Annabelle, master is waiting.” The butler interrupted. I held your hand and passed through them. You were stumbling as I was tugging you so hard. When we were far enough and they couldn’t be seen, I let you go.

“Stay away from him. He’s a dangerous man.” I gave you a hard look. You looked terrified when you saw my face. I let out a sigh before I enter the room of the current heir. My grandfather.

As the butler opened the door, the room inside was visible. It was surprisingly a simple room, compared to the other decorations in this mansion. There was a lazy chair near the fireplace, complete with its one-of-a-kind coffee table. Shelves filled with books of all themes lined up at one side of the room. I let out a sigh and a smile. This one place really hadn’t change much.

“Annabelle…” someone called out. As I looked at the oversized bed, there he was, with a family doctor. “Come, my dear.”

I got closer to grandfather. He looked thinner, and very unwell. I knew that grandfather had a frail condition, seeing him again after all these years in that condition, really took a toll on me.

“Gramps.” I gave him a tight hug. He smelled of medicine. I looked at the doctor with a worried look. Out of all people in this fake world, I love grandfather the most. He took me in when I lost both of my parents, even though I was only the mistress child.

 My father’s first wife couldn’t bear a child so my father was to be remarried. Even so, he was cut from the line and ran away with my mother because my mother was not up to the Blakewood status, and the one who broke it was Cornelius, the supposedly next heir to the fortune after father. My mother was actually my father’s lover long before he was married to the first wife. I heard that the first wife committed suicide after going senile, probably due to the testament of others of my father.

The fortune wasn’t what I after when I found out that I was related to this noble family. All their fortune couldn’t turn back time and made my parents alive again. I just wanted somewhere to call home, a person to love and to be loved unconditionally. A family of my own. And I was forever grateful for grandfather’s kindness to name me the heir, though I had repeatedly decline. But Cornelius misunderstood my closeness to grandfather, and he did something to me. Something unforgivable.

“You’ve returned.” Tears were building up in grandfather’s eyes. He looked hurt. I never wanted to hurt him like this. But I guess I come with the ‘running away’ territory.

“I’m sorry.” I gently caressed his cheek. He held my hand with his.

“A tearful reunion, I should say.” I was surprised by that voice. It was Kazuki’s. When I looked around, he was standing next to you, pretending to be crying. You were uncertain of what to do with him when he started to hugged you. Irritated by that, I quickly jump off the bed and pulled him aside.

“Glad you could make it safely.” Was all he could say?

“Don’t you dare touch him like that.”

“You’re still headstrong as usual, I see.” Grandfather gave a little chuckle. “I see you have made friends with my close friend’s son.”

“Friend? Isn’t he the spy that you sent?” I looked at grandfather for answer.

“True. He works as a private investigator, taking over Mr. Katsuragi’s job. You remember him don’t you?” Now that he mentioned it, kazuki really did resemble that man grandfather talked about. “And may I ask who might this be?”
He was referring to you. You looked agitated. I came closer to you, and held your hand tight. You looked at me and I smiled, signaling that it’s okay. That I’m here, together, with you.

“This is my partner.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

chaptre 12

We arrived at our destination after half of our day spent on the train. We went to buy your clothes during stops. When we were on the train, we didn’t speak to each other, nor look at each other’s eyes. When I glanced at you, I saw you looked away immediately. I was irritated, because I couldn’t ask you things. When I did, you would reply with so few words, with your voice really down and I barely could hear you. So I gave up talking totally.

“Erm, where are we exactly?” you were looking around. Probably you never went this far. When you noticed that I was looking, you quickly looked down on the pave way, with your face flustered.

“Having second thoughts?” I walked pass the station. If I remembered correctly, we should arrive at that house after 20 minutes walk from the station.

“N... no…” you were trotting behind me, so I slowed down for you to catch up.

“You know, it’s still not too late to turn back.” I stopped on my track, not looking back. If I did, I would have to look at you looking at that interesting pave way again.

“I’m not!” your determination startled me, so I turned around. As expected, you quickly turned your gaze on the ground, which fury me more. “I’m not leaving you.”

I let out a sigh. “I’m not saying you would. Just saying that you should just wait for me there.”

You finally looked at me, with anxious. “Till when.”

“I don’t know.” I walked away.

You passed me and stood me. Though we were of the same height, it felt as if you were towering me. I was taken by surprise by your sudden movement. But then you cowered, and took a step back.

“I don’t want to wait.”

“If you don’t want to, you should find someone else. I’m sure Adam can find you someone better, since your phobia already cured.” I walked passed you.

You jumped at me from behind, stopping me from taking another step. You shuddered in the midst of coldness. It seemed that ever since, I only made you in a mess.

“Why? I thought you knew my feelings.” Your voice sounded choked. I couldn’t answer to your question. But I let you stayed that way. I wanted really badly to touch you, but restrained myself from doing so. “And I thought you feel the same way too.”

I do. I really do. It’s just…

“Tell me a reason. If it’s good enough, I’ll leave.” You weren’t planning of letting me go, as you tighten your clasp around my neck. I let out a heavy sigh.

“I’m used to being alone, having to be in control of my life. I’ve been putting walls around me so that nobody dares to enter. And having you around me, I really… don’t know what to do.” Even I didn’t know what I was saying all of a sudden. It was just an excuse I was trying to come up with. Mama, you never told me that falling in love can be this hard.

You let me go and sat on a nearby bench. You looked dazed, with your face still bright red. I guess with your porcelain skin, it would be easy to see your face change color. Unlike you, I had a sun-kissed skin with a black hair and a blue sky eyes. You could say that I was an ugly duckling who grew to be an ugly swan.

“You know…” you seemed to struggle to find the right words. So I kept quiet and sat beside you, looking out at the scenery in front. Since we were in the countryside, it was a breathtaking panorama. The snow was melting as a sign that spring would come. The breeze was somewhat refreshing. I took my camera out and snapped a few pictures. A gift for my professor who loves sceneries.

 “It’s the first time I felt like this.” I glanced at you. “And I never did go this far… you know… like this.” you were mumbling your words, so I couldn’t hear what you were saying.

“So please,” you looked at me pleadingly, “don’t turn me away. I want to see this through. I… I’ll do anything.”

“Anything?” I eyed you suspiciously. You realized my sly smile, but you knew you couldn’t take back what you said. Then you looked down and nodded.

“Rule one,” I tilted your head so that I could see you properly, “no looking away when talking.” You seemed hesitated, but agreed to that condition.

“What’s rule two?”

“I’ll think about it along the way.”  I smiled at you. “Now, will you kiss me? As a sign for your promise?”

You looked uncertain. Your face was redder than before. But you got close to me and give me a kiss. Well, I wouldn’t call it a kiss. It was so brief that I couldn’t even enjoy it. In fact, it was only a touch on both of our lips. I looked at you. You were looking down again, with your hair slightly covering part of your face. I might as well guess that was your first kiss.

“Have you ever kissed before?” I looked at you with a witty smile. It was high time for amusing me.

“Of course I have!” you looked at me. Though, you looked confident, your voice were a little off, a little shrieking I should say, as if you were forcing your voice. That only made my assumption correct, is it not?

“With who? Your uncle?”


“A real kiss should be something like this.”

I got close to you and touch you gently as your slightly parted lips meeting mine. I gave you a deep kiss, frenching you all the way. It was long, hard and deep. As I was done with the kiss, you seemed to be still in the daze. Without wasting any time, I grabbed hold of my camera and took a picture of you. As you heard the shutter being pressed, you opened your eyes with a surprise and covered your mouth.

“That’s not fair.” You sulked and turned away out of embarrassment. Once again, I snapped your picture.

“Enough already.” You were about to cry. But with that adorable expression, how could I ever resist. Another shot was taken. You tried to grab the camera, but I was already jumped from my seat. I took another shot of you.

“Didn’t you say you’ll be my model?” I kept pressing the shutter.

“But I wasn’t ready! Jo, stop it.” You covered your face. So I stopped, annoyed at what you did. I put away my camera, but the fun time was far from over.

“How was your first kiss?” I took a step closer to you. You were clearly blushing, though you tried to hide it.

“You… really have experiences.” Your voice was barely heard. It took me long enough to comprehend what you were saying. When I finally did, I got embarrassed myself. But you were looking elsewhere, so you probably didn’t see it.

“Anyway, let’s continue on shall we? We need to make a few stop before we arrived at the house.” I walked away from you, knowing that you would follow suit.

“You won’t even tell me where we’re going.” Again with the sulking. Baby boy. Maybe I should call you that when you did. That would be interesting.

“If you’re not coming, then you can stay here.” I fastened my steps.

“Wait!” you quickly followed behind and managed to catch up on me. “At least tell me where are we going?”

Since you were so persistent…

“To my parents’ grave…”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

chaptre 11

The day was as cold as the night. I was laying my back against the wall at the subway while waiting for the train to arrive. Kazuki had met up with me yesterday, and we talked over about a few things. It seemed that Kazuki was tracking me for years, ever since the day I made myself disappeared. He was about to give up hope, until he saw me that night with you.

The past seemed overflowed within me as I stared emptily at the railway in front of me. The bustling of people swarming this place didn’t seem to affect me. My mind was too preoccupied. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, as it was supposed to calm me down a little. But to no avail. I had brought this upon myself. It is explicable that such day would come forth on my doorstep.

A train had stopped, dropping and picking up passengers. I watched blankly at the rushing passengers who were trying to abort the train. Then my gaze shifted to the saxophone player not far from where I was standing. He was skilled, too bad on his luck that the world did not favor him for a better living. He seemed to love what he was doing, so I guess he didn’t really care about the wealth the saxophone could bring. Just a couple of dough to let him passed the day without getting starved.

As I looked at him, I wished that you were here to hear this tune as well. But of course you wouldn’t come here. I didn’t tell you I was leaving. It was just too painful for me. I was never good at goodbyes. Because I couldn’t bring myself to see that smile you had when you saw me at my apartment. When I saw you smile back then, I felt like there was some dim shadow lying over your face. It made my heart ached to see it there. When I held my chest, it felt tight and it was hard to breathe.

“Something bugging you?” Kazuki was right beside me, eyeing at me curiously. He gave me the drink I asked for. I took it without question and slowly drank it. I still could see that Kazuki was watching me, waiting for my answer.

“Nothing much. Just thinking that I never would’ve thought that I’m gonna go back there.” I smiled weakly. Then I looked at him. “You don’t have to see me off.”

“Nah, it’s okay. I got nothing to do anyway. Your case got close. So I got some free time.”

I chuckled, just to feel the atmosphere. I put a cigarette on my mouth and search for a lighter. Suddenly, Kazuki was offering his. So I took it with gratitude, then he lit his cigarette as well. As I let out the smoke, I looked at my cigarette blankly.

“Where’s that kid from the other day?” apparently, Kazuki was much older than you, though he didn’t seem like it. His attire was a little odd, with a floral shirt inside his long, worn out brown trench coat. He also wore a dark sunglass even though we were indoors. And when he talked, his accent could still be heard.

“Oy, are you even listening?” he was looking at me with his sunglass rested on his lower part of his nose. Kind of like a delinquent?

“Yeah, I hear you.” I breathe in another smoke. “He’s not coming. He didn’t even know I’m leaving.” I prayed that maybe one day, that you could find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you like this.

“What? I thought you like this kid.” I looked at him. He realized something that shouldn’t be said, even though I knew it was true. “sorry.” He continued to smoke his cigarette.

I shrugged it off. I looked at the wound on his neck. It was barely visible because the cut wasn’t deep enough, though he did complain “I could die!” every time we met. Without realizing it, my hand reached for his neck, tracing the scar. He was taken aback, but didn’t move away my hand, but he did seem a little agitated.

“Does it hurt anymore?”

“No. it’s healed.”

“Sorry. I got carried away.” I let go of his neck.  I looked at my hand. His neck was pretty small, as if a person could break it easily with its bare hands.

“No biggie. Got to threaten him for extra money.” Kazuki gave me a smile with a wink.

I chuckled. Figured you would use it that way, I said it secretly.

“You’re not gonna regret it?” he continued.

I stayed silent for a moment. “It was for the best.”

I heard that my train was approaching. “So I guess this is it.” I looked at Kazuki, offering a handshake. He shook it firm, like a gentleman would. “Till we meet again.”

Kazuki looked at me. Then he grabbed me close and hugged me tight. I was obviously surprised by his action. But I could hear a sniffle or two. So I forgave him for doing so. I ruffled his hair and returned his hug.

“What? We’re getting emo now??” I chuckled. He pushed me away and rubbed his nose. He seemed to amuse me with queer attitude.

“Shouldn’t you be going now?” he cleared his throat. I still smiled at him.  As I headed for the train, I waved at him goodbye.

“Jo!” I stopped. No it couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It must have been my imagination. So I rushed into the train. I was such in a hurry that I bumped into a lady. As I said I was sorry, I quickly entered the train. The door of the train was closing. So I let out a sigh a relief.

I guess it was too soon to be relieved. You yanked that door open and jumped into the train. Seemed that I was right in front of the door, you stumbled on me and we both fell down. You were surprising light, so it was easy to push you aside. You were panting, holding your chest like it hurts too much.

“What the hell you were thinking? You could get hurt.” I grabbed your shirt. Seeing your painful expression, I let you go and let out a sigh. I sat back against the wall of the train, opposite you. “How did you know?”

“A hunch. I tried to look at your house because I was worried. Since you weren’t there, I figured that you would be at the bar. But Mr. Randevou said you quit this morning.” You stopped to catch a breath before you continued on. “I panicked. I thought I wouldn’t see you again.”

You looked at me sincerely. I don’t know what kind of expression I was putting but you looked away. Looking at you like that, I didn’t know how to react. So I just got up and gave you a hand. You were hesitant and looked at worriedly.

“Well, we can’t stay here on the floor, right? And you don’t have anything besides your cloth you’re wearing right now. Not to mention you don’t have a ticket with you.” I lamented out at you. I know that I had a scary face, and this just added to my scariness.

“Sorry.” You looked down, like you always did when you felt remorse. You must felt like an idiot. Well, that’s how I saw you then anyway. But I couldn’t bring myself to be angry for too long. I took a step ahead, standing right in front of you. This reminded me of the first time I tried to touch you.

“Jo?” you were surprised when I threw myself at you. I squeezed so tight, as if I was trying to break you. “Jo, you’re hurting Me.” though you said that, you didn’t let go of me.

“I thought,” I whispered. “I could runaway like I used to. But it was too painful when I thought I won’t see you again.” Tears had build up and I didn’t know how long I could hold it in any longer.

You brought me closer to you with your hug. “I’m crazily in love with you, Jo.”

I remembered that my mama once said that falling in love is not something you think with your head. It’s an urge you can’t help. Don’t find love, let love find you. That’s why it’s called falling in love. Because you don’t force yourself to fall, you just… fall.

“Yeah, me too” I guess love had found me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

chaptre 10

“I think I’m in love with you.”

Those words were still lingering in my mind. Trying as I might, I could never bring myself to believe it. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

I let out a sigh. A loud one.

“That’s a record.” I forgot that Adam was at the bar at this time. Apparently, you weren’t there. Instead, Gemma was there, replacing you. Were you avoiding me?

“Yeah, Jo.” Gemma interrupted. “I’ve never seen you this down. You’re scaring the customers.”

“I wish I could scare you away,” I said in a very straight face.  

“Hey, I’m a customer too, you know.” Gemma pouted.

Adam had been looking at me for a long time. I shouldn’t say that staring is rude, since I always did it at you. But it did irritate me.

“Is there something wrong with my face?” I looked at him.

“nope.” He casually sipped his drink. “Just been wondering.” He put his glass down. I had a bad feeling about this.

“About what?” I stopped what I was doing and gave him my fullest attention. Somehow, my heart couldn’t take the excitement and adrenalin started to pump through my entire body, making me feel agitated.

“You’ve been fighting with Adrian for too long now. Don’t you think that it’s time to make up already? Honestly, stop acting like you’re kids.” He started to drink his gimlet, a two liquor drink. So the uncle has spoken, I told myself secretly. I scratch my head, and only looked at the Golden Cadillac I was making. After I let out a sigh, I continued my work.

“Hey, don’t ignore me!” his shout was heard across the bar and everybody was looking at us.

“Calm down. I’m not ignoring you. I’m working. Can’t you see?” I gave Adam a glare while signaling Gemma to control his attitude. Gemma tried to calm him down, but he lashed out Gemma’s help. Gemma was taken aback and distant himself a little. An angry man does not go well with alcohol. So I gave him something softer.

“It’s on me.” he gulped it down hard and stared at me. –Sigh- this is not something I wanted to handle. “Look, we’re not fighting. It’s just a misunderstanding.” I took a look at Adam. He was still with his blazing glare throwing at me.

“Right. A misunderstanding. Then care to explain to me why Adrian been kinda down lately? Ever since that party at my house the other night. What really happen between you two?” like an interrogator demanding an answer Adam was. But the answer he seeks I couldn’t give, as I didn’t have any.

“You’re in love with him, aren’t you?” my gaze and Adam’s were focusing on Gemma, who suddenly spoke. He looked at me gently, as if he pitied on me. “I saw the way you both look at each other.” He continued so casually, while sipping his champagne cocktail. “You were in the world of your own, aren’t you?”

I was quiet as two pair of eyes was staring at me.

“So my guess was right.” It was Adam’s turn to surprise me. I looked at him directly, bewildered at what I was hearing. “He never ever goes near to women before because of his fear. But he kept talking about you. Even the most trivial stuff about you excites him.” He stopped and looked at me. I was ready for whatever tantrum he was about to throw at me.

“Do you, Jo…” he pointed at me, “love my nephew?”

My face was covered with both of my hands as I dropped it at the counter. Somehow it felt really heavy. Why I was cornered like this again?

“I don’t know.” That was an honest from me. I didn’t dare to look up at them. “I’m leaving anyway. He knows that.”

It seemed that I hit a bomb shell on both of them as Adam got up and jump across the counter. He grabbed my vest and gripped it tight. He was probably drunk by then. The bar was filled with clamor. Drunkards who were too excited to see something so lively.

“Say that again.” He looked down on me. With his size, he could take me easily. And I didn’t think I was going to put up a fight. If this going to end things here, then so be it.

“Adam, let Jo go!” Gemma begged. He was teary. Such a compassionate soul. I gave him a sign not to interfere.

“Why don’t we talk outside? I’ll tell Mr. Randevou that I’m taking a break.” Once Adam let go, I walked pass him.


It was three in the morning. I was awaken by the banging on my door. What kind of an idiot that knocks on somebody’s door in the middle of the night? I tried to ignore it, hoping that whoever it was would just leave. But apparently the banging just grew louder and louder. So I had to drag my feet to the door.

“I’m coming! I’m coming! Stop pounding already. You’ll disturb the neighbors, dammit!” I yelled. The banging stop as I unlocked the door. As I opened the door, I saw you were standing there, out of breath. Were you just finished a marathon or something?

“How’d you know my place?” the door was half opened. As far as I know, I never did tell anyone where I live.

“I asked the manager.” You sounded so desperately gasping for air. You looked at me with those eyes that were red. “Are you gonna let me in?”

“No. I need to sleep.” With that, I closed the door. But you managed to stop me and barged in. I had no choice but to let you in.

“Is there any reason why I shouldn’t be mad right now?” I asked furiously. My sleeping time is not something to be disturbed with.

“You had a fight with Adam, didn’t you?” you looked at me. We didn’t even step away from the front door. You were still with your shoes on.

“So what?” I walked passed you and headed for the beer in the fridge and took two, giving the other one to you. You accepted it with hesitation. You put down the beer and came closer to me.

“Let me see.” You touched my face and trace the bruise at my left cheek. I yanked your hand away and distant myself from you. I drank my beer facing my back at you, but I could feel you were watching me.

You looked around at my apartment. It was a two bedroom apartment. The second room I made it into a red room for processing my photos. It’s a little bit old fashion, but I like the process. You were looking at some of the finished projects that I kept in one of the album. I took a seat at the dining table, taking a glimpse at you. You looked like you’ve lost weight, and you seemed … miserable. Did I do this to you? No wonder Adam threw his tantrum at me. I was to be blame. I really was.

You noticed me, thus took the steps to come closer to me. You were on your knees and held out my face. I must had look so pathetic for you to have such expression on your face.

“Does it still hurt?”

“no.” it was a lie, of course. But it hurts even more when you saw me like this. I held your hand and let it go, getting up from my seat.

“If you’re done, please leave. I need my sleep.” I said without even looking at you.

“Annabelle Blakewood.” You called that name. My heartbeats went wild hearing that name. All those memory that I wanted to bury deep inside, were overflowing in my mind. My vision started to blur. My breathing weren’t synchronized. There was something that gripped my chest so tight, that I barely breathe. Stop this insanity!

I dropped on the floor with my hands holding my head. Tears started welled up. You reached for me with your concerned face, trying to calm me down.

“Get away from me!” it was my time to be in fear. A grave that I dug out long ago. And it was haunting me again when you blurted out that name. I was trembling so hard. But you could only look.

“Please, leave.” I buried my head between my legs, not daring to even look at you. I wondered what kind of expression you were wearing.

Aside from my cry, I heard the door was being shut slowly. When I looked up, you were gone. And I was… alone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

chaptre 9

“Meet me at my workplace.”

That was the message that I received from you. But you didn’t deliver it yourself. Of course you couldn’t. I’ve been avoiding you since that night. I was afraid to involve you in this. Too many terrible things could happen to you.

“Ya should giv’ ‘im a chance, Jo,” the manager suddenly came up to me. I was clearly dazed at that moment and when I snapped back at reality, the glass in my hand slipped and crashed to the ground.

“Shit. I’m sorry, Mr. Randevou. I’ll clean it up right away.” how clumsy I could be.

“Leave it.” He held my hand to stop me from running away. He was looking at me with his gentle blue eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to meet his gaze, so just looked down on the wooden floor.

The bar was almost empty. It was that day where people weren’t swarming this place. Though it’s a gay bar, a lot of people just came here to enjoy a good drink. A place for them to be whoever they really wanted to be without the worries of being labeled. I guess that includes me as well. When I first came here, Mr. Randevou let me work here without asking for my past. He showed me kindness as a friend and as a father. Once I asked him why he opened this bar, he simply said ‘to receive someone like you’. A man with heart indeed, he is.

“Here. Take this.” He handed me a glass of wine. I was hesitant to take it. It was one of the finest wine that only be served for the rich. “It’s on the house.” He winked at me playfully, and poured himself a glass too. Samuel was out somewhere.

“So…” Mr. Randevou started the conversion as I gobbled down my drink. I could see he disapproved of my action, but he ignored it since he knew I could tolerate well with drinks. It’s just that means I won’t be focusing on what he was about to say.

“I don’t think I wanna see him.” I still couldn’t bring my eyes to face him.

“I dunno wha’ ‘appen to ya kids. But ya shud made up o’ready. It’s no fun seein’ ya two figh’ing.” He had a fatherly kindness in his voice. I looked up to him, and I lost it. I covered my face and sobbed silently. He held me gently in his arms. I was like a lost child. I was. And it was a feeling of relief when he patiently waited for me to calm down. I cried silently, taking the advantage of his warmth and kindness. It’s been so long I’ve been this childish.

“It’s been a while since I last cried.” Mr. Randevou let go of me and smile.

“sometimes it’s a good thin’ to cry ya ‘eart out.” He took another sip from his drink and poured me another. I took my time to enjoy the drink as I sat across the counter in front of Mr. Randevou. I took a glimpse of him. He had a Santa-like figure, I should say, with his round belly and his well-kept beard. Lines were visible around his eyes, showing his age.

I let out a sigh. Mr. Randevou looked me. “ ya kno’…” he silenced for a moment, wanting to read my expression before he continued. “Tha’ Adrian kid sure look pre’ey down when ‘e saw me.”

I let out another sigh. I was really at my end.

“go ‘n see ‘im, kid. Straigh’ thin’s out. Before it’s too late.” He spoke as if he could read my mind.

Here I was, standing in front of Hokka, one of the most elite host clubs in this district. I was unsure if I had it wrong, looking at the direction that Mr. Randevou gave me. I hesitated to enter. I still thought it was a bad idea to meet you here. So I turned away from this place.

“Jo? Jo, is that you?!” Gemma caught up with me before I could run away. He hugged me from behind with such enthusiast.

“Hey there, big guy.”  I ruffled his hair. He seemed to like it, like a puppy. A big one at that too.

“What are you doing here? Did you miss me that much?” he giggled. He seemed to be in a good mood. “Come on in. it’s my treat.”

“No thanks. I was just passing by.” Quick, before you see me, I said in my heart.

“Oh, c’mon. It’ll be fun. I’ll introduce you to a lot of people.”

He kept dragging me into the club. As I entered it, it felt like I just stepped into a whole new different world. The interior was lavishly designed and furnished, and the group of people there were amazingly well suit up. As expected from a host club for the riches.

‘Jo?” I heard you. But I couldn’t bring myself to even look at you. I looked down at the marbled floor that had my reflection. I was really terrible, and even I couldn’t bear to look at myself, so I looked at something else. Anything else but you.

“I’m glad you could make it.” We were out from that club. Its lavishness seemed to suffocate me. I lighted a cigarette. We were distant and my eyes wouldn’t even meet yours. You were anxious with my childish deed.

“I came here to say goodbye.”

We sat on the bench on the park. It was quiet at this time of the night. You looked down at your hands. I only took a glimpse at you then look at the playground ahead. My cigarette already burnt out a while ago. So I was left with nothing practical to do. Right, like smoking is something to do. But still, it gave me something to do.

“When are you leaving?”

“As soon as I got news from Kazuki.”

There was silence.

“Are you… gonna come back?”

I got up.

“I don’t think so.”

“Wait!” you grabbed my hand and forced me to turned and looked at you. I didn’t retaliate, but you let go of my hand and looked away. I wondered what you were thinking back then. You were trembling in front of me. The same when I first touched you. Were you in so much pain? I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. As I said these words, my hands moved to touched you, to hug you tightly. But I stopped halfway. I turned away again, and that was when you hugged me. I was bewildered and stood there, letting you embrace me that way. You put your head on my shoulder. Minutes passed by and we just stood there. Like idiots.

“Promise me something.”


“Please come back here.”

“Give me one good reason.”

You were quiet, but you refused to let me go. So I just let you be. Honestly, I never wanted to leave. This was never my intention.


You were trembling. I could feel my shoulder was a little wet. So I tilted your head so that I could see your face. Tears are streaming down on your cheeks. I wiped it with my hands. You kissed my hand, which took me surprised. Mever knew you were bold. Then you looked at me straight in the eyes.

“I think I’m in love with you.”

Sunday, December 19, 2010

chaptre 8

“So… you’re a photographer?” you walked besides me as I was on my way to my apartment. It seemed that we both were too drunk to be able to drive. It was all due to the wine we shared with Adam on tow. He was the one that insisted that I was to be escorted back home, though I was pretty fine by myself. But it was a good opportunity to spend more time with you.

“Well, I’m not a professional yet. I’m still learning.” I lighted a smoke. The cold night breeze felt warm again.

“You know, you should quit smoking.”

I looked at you questioningly. Thank you for pointing out the obvious.

“Give me one good reason.” I let out a smoke from my mouth as I speak, looking at you. You gave me a glimpse and turned away quickly. Your eyebrows were knitted together, like the weight of the world rested on your shoulder. I let out a sigh.

“Do you like to frown so much? You look way older that you are, you know.” Honestly. I still couldn’t believe it when Adam told me you were only 24, four years younger than me.

“Same goes to you if you keep smoking.” You smiled at me. Somehow, it seemed very… unjoyful. Quite evil I should say?

“Right. Smoke takes 10 years from you.” I chuckled at that fact.

“Then stop it already. You said you’ve been smoking since you were 15. So that’s like... a lot of years have been taking away from you.” You started nagging. I look at you, displeased.

“Didn’t know you like to nag. Really like old people.”

“If you’re living with a laid back uncle, you’ll become like me. A very responsible adult.” Your hands were crossed and you had a proud expression on your face. Right then you was more like a child than an adult. I couldn’t help but to amuse myself, which probably made you irritated. Then you briskly walk ahead. I see that it was a habit of yours when you were taunting.

“Where are you going too fast?”

“To take you home of course. I can’t stand the cold. So I wanna hurry home so that I could warm myself up.” You were walking ahead of me, so I couldn’t tell what kind of expression you were wearing.

“Then why don’t you come to my house. You see the work I’ve done. That might give you some confidence that I’m very talented at what I do.”

You spun around, looking at me with uncertainty in your eyes. I stood there, smiling at you. I meant what I said that day. I am good with EVERYTHING.

Out of the blue, a dark figure was looming over a few blocks ahead. He wore his coat up so that half of his face couldn’t be seen. Though I couldn’t see clearly, I was sure that his eyes were directing at us. But which one he was targeting?

“Are you okay?” you looked at me, worried. Should I tell you?

“Yup. Never better. So you wanna come over?” I smiled at you. Though my eyes couldn’t see, but I could tell that we were being watched. This is bad.

“Well, it’s pretty late. I’m kinda worry about Adam. He was pretty wasted back then.” You smiled apologetically.

  “Well, if that’s the case. Next time then. You can drop me here.” There goes my chance, I said in my heart.

“But I really should …”

“Send me until we’ve arrive in front of my door? What century do you live in anyway?” I cut your sentence and walked pass you.

“These are the dangerous streets. Especially in the middle of the night.” Your voice was firm. I chuckled and looked at you, smiling.

“I think you should worry about yourself. I can survive.” I’ve been through much worse than these streets could offer. Then I turned around. And there he was. That overcoat man. He was snapping our picture. Dammit, this is definitely bad!

He seemed to notice that I was looking at him. So he started running. That really confirmed my suspicions. I started to chase after him, leaving you clueless. I focused all my might on chasing that man. It had been so long since the adrenaline pumped this hard. My heart was racing with me. He was cunning, finding every shortcut he could find to shake me off. But I know these streets better than he did. So I surpassed him, managed to catch up on him at the end of the road. He stumbled and the camera was broken. A professional camera. That must’ve cost him. But that was the least of his problem. I took the camera before he managed to grab it, pulled the memory card out. And tossed the camera away. I heard the lens broken. He was taken aback at what I did. He looked at me with anger.


“Stay down!” I pointed an army knife that I always carried around at his neck. He was trying to calm down, but I was so near, that I could hear his heart beating wildly in his chest and his breathing was short and fast. Probably due to the running.

“What were planning to do with these?” I squeezed the memory card in my hand, showing it to him. He stared at it for a moment and looked at me, but words didn’t come out from his mouth.

“Tell, or you’ll die.” The knife was closing in, right below the Adam’s apple. A thin slice of red was visible underneath it. I didn’t stop. I pushed it deeper into his throat.

“Stop it, Jo. You’ll kill him.” You appeared. You were panting. Gasping for breath.

“Don’t come any closer.” You stopped on your track, surprised at the voice I had. It wasn’t the usual voice, I know. It was a desperate one. And it scares you. I could tell by the look you gave me. I loomed over him with my gaze. It didn’t leave him for a second. He looked at me then at you, one at a time. Then he let out a sigh.

“I’ll talk,” he finally said.


“So, that’s practically the whole story.” You looked at me after that man, Kazuki, finished his story. He was looking at me too.

“Could you untie me now? Promise I won’t run away.”  I looked at him, and he was startled. And quickly turned away.

I walked towards him. His throat was covered with white cloth. I traced it with my thumb. He was surprised, but didn’t back away. He let me do whatever I please. I took a glimpse at his face. He was as red as his blood. When he noticed I was looking, he looked away, trying to hide his face. I chuckled at his reaction.

“Hey!” he was startled when I tried to reach his tied hands from the front. I knew that it was easier to do it at the back, but seeing his reaction made the teasing came to me.

“there.” I released him as I was done untying him. I smiled at him coldly. He was hesitant, and sat there like a good boy. He rubbed his sore hands. There were marks where the rope had been tied. I tossed him the memory card.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked me after a long look at the memory card I just gave him.

“What you’re supposed to do, I guess.” I lighted a cigarette. You looked at me solemnly. I’m sorry to bring such trouble at your doorsteps.

“You’re fine with it?” he tried to read what I was thinking, but I made sure he couldn’t.

“If you’re not gonna do it, he’s gonna find somebody else to do it.” I said so casually. I’ve dealt with this before. I thought after coming here, things would change. But it seemed that was impossible. I have to change my tactics then. “What he doesn’t know is you’ll be working with me.” I looked at him, piercing into his gaze with my determination. I won’t runaway again. I’ll stand and fight!

“You’re one sly fox. Are you sure I’m that trustworthy?” he was trying a little game with me. A game of trust. I like that. He made me exited once again. It had been so long I felt this way. Then I’ll play along.

“No, you’re not.” I took a quick look at Kazuki. He’s yellow skin, with a little sun tan. He’s no taller than me, but quite well-built. Then he looked up at me. His dark brown eyes were beautiful. If only he didn’t dye his hair blonde, it would go well with his natural black hair. “That’s why you’re gonna meet me before reporting anything to him. And don’t worry about the pay. Ask him to double up. He’s a cheapskate, but I think he can do that.”

You were quiet. What were you thinking? I really wanted to know…

“What about now?” I looked back at Kazuki. He was waiting for my answer.

“Just give him the pictures. With me alone. If I found out anyone that I know is leaked out to him, I’ll drag you with me to hell,” I said with a smiled while ruffling his hair, which was surprisingly soft. Seeing me calm probably surprised him, but he did nothing, letting me do what I want. Was he too afraid to retaliate?

“What should I say to him?” he asked without looking at me. I continued to mess his hair, while finishing the last bit of my smoke.

“Tell him, I’ll be waiting.”