She slowly sways from shore to shore under the touch of his silver rays; fingers of foam reach out, rolling the shimmering sparks over the tip of each wave. From the heights of the deep velvet sky he showers her with elusive laces of moonlight. She’s captured and enchanted; he has a power she cannot resist. Invisible threads connect them through the hollow space, subtle energies flow back and forth as he pulls her up then releases her….He’s always there; even when the rising sun washes away the thoughtful image of his face, shunning the shades of night, repainting the canopy of air in bright azure, she cannot leave his magic circle, she cannot forget the intensity of his touch.
She splashes out in sparkles of rainbow over the white sands just to recede into a distance within herself, lifted by the same gentle power that moves her constantly. She swirls and twists, she runs around the tiny globe, chasing ribbons of white froth, she soars against the tempests, and then calms down softly whispering while the sun dies in crimson and gold in her outstretched arms of horizons.
Invisible to the eyes but eternally engraved in her translucent soul, he reaches through the ever moving layers of water until he touches the core that echoes his name. She opens the gates of her world and fills up her pathways with his light. She’ll keep it to glow and blaze during the nights when he fades out and leaves the skies.
Those are hollow and lonely moments when everything seem to crumble inside…She washes the ragged coastal lines, the silky sands, she rolls and whispers and cries out in the anguish of loss…She calms in the arms of the solid land embracing her, the one that is her longtime stronghold and protector. She closes her eyes of turquoise waters, dreaming of the silver god, the Moon, eternal traveler of the waters of Earth and Sky, key holder of her magic driven soul…
……….It’s a swirl of fire and ice running over the plain, setting the pathway in flames, charring the land, turning the swinging, long-stemmed grass into soft, silver ash….it’s a pain so deep as high is the exhilarating lift of blazing feelings rushing through the same veins, the same heart, ravaging the same soul….it’s a wild blast of wind, shattering mirror after mirror, spreading bright shards of glass all over the place…..it’s dark yet flaming…..deep, deep…cutting, digging, seeping through every crack of the finely broken surface of the soul….unstoppable, bitter-sweet destruction….a point of no return…a mirror in the abyss….a labyrinth that hides a deadly secret………………………
LJ started the day with a minor headache; the previous day has been an overcrowded one with all kind of meetings and an endless pile of paperwork towering on his desk. Though he liked his work and the occurring responsibilities, he longed for more free time. As a bachelor he has allowed work to invade his personal time. Now it was hard to get it back.
But having a pool all for him in the basement of his house, he could enjoy his favorite sport: swimming. The place was comfortable, air conditioned and pleasantly lit. It was a quiet and undisturbed space that belonged only to him. So he started the day descending in this peaceful spot; he immersed in the cool liquid and swam up and down the length of the pool until the pressure in his skull subsided.
Now that his mind has cleared, he came out and leaned on a couch trying to gather his thoughts for the challenges of the new day. Something was bothering him. At the age of 30 LJ was a handsome guy, clever and well placed, an eligible bachelor, courted by many ladies.
He was tall (1.9m), athletic with a pleasant, manly face, slightly exotic due to his native ancestors. The high cheekbones gave an interesting shape to the dark-brown eyes. He had a straight nose and nice, full lips. His skin was light-amber and his thick black hair was cropped short above his neck. By the whole he gave the impression of a powerful, big cat something like a mountain lion.
His co-workers liked him because he was reliable and dedicated. He had a well developed sense of humor but he wasn’t joking about his tasks. The one who seemed to give him headaches in the future was the new guy employed at the Art department.
It looked that he was quite blasé, totally unimpressed by those working beside him. He seemed to live in a world of his own; he was polite but out of reach except for a limited amount of sentences. They haven’t met yet face to face. All that LJ knew about him came from his colleagues working with him.
“ Artists…”mumbled LJ and stood up. It was time to go to work. He dressed up and eat something; he then took his car and left for work.
He left his car in the parking lot and quickly headed to the elevator, his mind wandering. As the automatic door opened he almost bumped into a person has just arrived from the opposite side. He let him in, mumbling some apologies; the other guy nodded curtly but said nothing and turned his back on LJ. It looked that he wasn’t in a mood to socialize.
He was almost as tall as LJ /around 1.8m/ slender with long limbs. The medium long rebellious black hair was tied in a short ponytail. As they stopped at their floor the silent guy took left and headed to the Art department. LJ watched him departing; so this was the odd new guy; he made a mental note and turned to his own headquarters.
After a brief look over the daily duties he called for Eric Rocha, his friend from the Art Department. They both took a cup of coffee and stood to talk about some new developments.
-By the way-said LJ casually. I think I just bumped into the new member of your crew. He wasn’t very talkative; all I could see from him was his back.
-Well, usually it’s the best you can get from him if it’s not about work-chuckled Eric. He’s not a bad guy; he’s just very private. He has already helped a lot with the art-work and the younger ones like him. But he hates small talk.
By the way, have you ever seen his works? No? Let me show you; he’s quite impressive.
Eric’s fingers flew over the keyboard and there were lots of artworks signed simply “FB”. LJ watched intently and he had to agree that the guy was talented. His works were powerful but filled with a sensitive mystery that was quite elusive. Oddly enough LJ had a familiar feeling looking at the works…
-You’re right-he said to Eric. But what made him to come and work for us? He was already famous as a freelancer.
-He said something about personal issues and that he needed a permanent job. On the other hand we needed a fresh view and a personality like him came at hand.
LJ turned his head thoughtfully.
-I hope that in time we’ll find a way to communicate. Until then we have to work.
They both laughed and returned to their offices. The days went on uneventful until LJ got himself buried under a load of urgent matters so he decided to stay at the office late. It was quiet around as the evening was setting on the city. The building looked deserted except for the caretakers and those cleaning the offices.
LJ stretched and turned off the computer, locked up his things and took his coat. He locked the office and headed to the elevator when he spotted a dim light coming from the Art Department. Surprised he turned back and headed there to see who else was still working at that hour. The new guy was working on the computer, his back turned at the door. LJ hesitated for a moment but curiosity got the best of him. He knocked and stepped inside. The young man didn’t seem to notice; he was changing and twisting some images with the ease of a magician.
-Good evening-said LJ as he came closer. I thought I was alone on this floor…
-Creative work requires some intimacy-came the reply in a soft voice. I’m still adjusting to the work in a crowded office.
The young man kept working while he was talking; LJ couldn’t see much of his face. Some of the rebellious black strands were falling forward, hiding him from the viewer.
-I’m LJ White-said him hoping to capture the young man’s attention.
The latter gave a small nod and kept focusing on his work.
-I know. And you know me to. I’m FB, the new guy from the Art Dept.
Suddenly he raised his face and took LJ by surprise. The young man was stunningly beautiful. He was in his mid-twenties; there was a sweet softness lingering in the oval of his face, in the fine line of the jaw, in the fresh, nicely curved lips… But the straight nose had fine, nervous nostrils and above all, he had mesmerizing lavender eyes, underlined by thick, black eyelashes. Those eyes were clear but deep like the water of a glacier lake high in the mountains.
LJ saw a quick flicker in those eyes as they connected with his eyes but it died out almost instantly. LJ stared at the young man, unable to utter a sound until the latter turned pink under his gaze.
-I’d rather you don’t stare at me. I’m not some freak of Nature-he whispered and turned back to work.
Surprised and embarrassed LJ said a short “Sorry” and left in a hurry. He felt stupid…yet he captured a faint comment that lately kept nagging him:
“ Cocky as usual…watching but not seeing.”
At home he took a shower and then sat on the top of the bed, recounting all that happened. The beauty of that face took him by surprise but he found those eyes the most disturbing feature. He felt that there was some kind of expectation in their look that it faded into…disappointment. LJ felt angry, confused and discomforted.
What was that youth thinking? Was he testing him? How dared he?
As days passed by Fuyuki was slowly recovering; yet one day the doctor called Yoshiasu for a close talk. He was worried about Fuyuki’s state of mind.
-Mr. Tanaka-he said. We face a very serious problem; despite his very mild and kind personality, for the first time in his life Fuyuki hates somebody. Unfortunately he hates himself. If you hate somebody else it is easy to demonize him and to prove yourself that the person deserves your negative feelings. You can more easily dismiss him.
But once you hate yourself, the problem becomes more complicated. If you end up feeling guilty, worthless and despicable it’s hard to find the necessary strength to forgive yourself and heal.
If you will not succeed in proving Fuyuki that he is wrong about himself, he’ll try to end up his life until he’ll succeed.
The doctor left, letting Yoshiasu to think it over; he knew Fuyuki was on the edge. Despite the best efforts he was fading away slowly but steadily. Just like the young martian of Ray Bradbury’s story, he was about to die trying to make happy the humans who fought over him. Fuyuki was torn apart by the fact that he wanted to help his crazed friend get over his obsession and he sacrificed his peace of mind. He couldn’t believe that his companion would accept that without resentment and he hated himself for betraying the one and only person he was in love with. And Yoshiasu knew that all arguments were futile; he had to act quickly, before it was too late.
So at the end of the week he came for Fuyuki. He thanked to the doctor and took his love away. There was a cab waiting for them at the rear door; Yoshiasu did his best to avoid the eager eye of the press. They’ve already learned about the young artist’s gesture and were ready to make it front page news. So Yoshiasu luckily skipped them and got his love into the car. The young man looked a little bit surprised but he couldn’t find the necessary strength to react. He was just tired, hopelessly tired. He closed his eyes and leaned against his companion. The cab stopped at the airport and they quickly embarked on a plane.
They ended up in a quiet resort with small, pleasant houses, a nice forest surrounding the place and clean, crispy air. Yoshiasu quickly unpacked then took Fuyuki by the hand and left the house. They took a narrow pathway and after a while they ended up in a small, sunny clearing. They sat in a half-shaded spot, Fuyuki leaning against Yoshiasu, eyes closed. He still looked fragile and pale but there was a shade of pink in his cheeks after the walk.
Yoshiasu un-tied the short ponytail and let the silky, black strands fall freely and frame the delicate oval of the face. A small smile crossed Fuyuki’s lips at Yoshiasu’s touch over his hair and his neck. He sighed and cuddled in his arms.
“Fuyuki”…whispered Yoshiasu and the young man opened his eyes, looking at him. The sun sparkled through the foliage above them and lighted the deep, pure amethyst irises. They were beautiful and spotless. Yoshiasu bent closer to him and felt Fuyuki’s breath speeding up. He kissed him gently and Fuyuki’s stiffness was slowly melting. He moved carefully, not to scare him away. He unbuttoned Fuyuki’s shirt and kissed the soft curve of the neck; Fuyuki moaned and closed his eyes, leaning against Yoshiasu. He caressed and kissed his fragile love until all the bad memories were washed away.
During that week of rest and recovery, they talked less but held each other closer and closer, bonding again, entwining intimately as they always were. Their deepest ties, not severed by all the external pressures and misshappennings, got even stronger. Lovingly and patiently, Yoshiasu rebuilt Fuyuki’s broken inner world and trust. Step by step, with each gentle touch and kiss, with each passionate night of love he re-conquered his lost butterfly and mended his shredded wings.
As they returned to the city, Yoshiasu reconsidered his priorities; he never again allowed his work to take him away from Fuyuki.
The cycle ended without any more unpredicted trouble; at least that’s what the creatures of light thought so. But they were completely wrong; the moment the Child had to part from his human companion and leave him in the stasis he suffered a real heartbreak. In a split second all his memories were completely restored and he had to face so many hurtful and contradicting facts that he almost collapsed.
He found himself in the middle of a crowd of curious light creatures who were, in a way his closest relatives. At the same time he has been separated from the humans who were equally his…relatives and, unlike the other Children, he was the only one that still looked and…felt like a human. He felt alienated and lost; he soon also realized that all his sufferance came from these curious creatures who had already gathered a lot of data about humans but were unable to really understand not only the mind but the heart of the humans.
His life throughout the cycle turned out well but there was a part of him that was connected secretly and intimately to another human. By a twist of fortune their souls connected for a moment only to be separated again by fate. It had hurt both of them and they longed for another chance. The spirit of that human was stubborn and passionate, unwilling to give up on that short connection. Just like the creatures of light who were driven by an insatiable curiosity to get a deeper knowledge of other intelligent life-forms, the human was driven by the strong curiosity about the Child, that particular Child.
The Child was unhappy and lonely; he was trapped between worlds and there was nothing he could do to end that. He sat on a corner, leaned against the wall and shut his eyes. The tears were slowly seeping through and running down his cheeks; at first he cried silently but he ended up curled in fetal position, crying desperately like a human child lost among the stars… The other light creatures were deeply disturbed; they called his…parents and showed them what was happening. The taller one picked up the Child and carried him to their rooms. The thinner one followed, shaking his head in disbelief.
“This is what humans call “a narrow escape”. What are we going to do now?-asked the first shape of light.
He gave a short look at the Child that was sitting in a corner of the room, looking out silently to the stars. They have tried to talk to him but he was constantly ignoring them.
“His whole memory is back and he’s unhappy. We have to put them together somehow. Maybe if they spend a cycle together, he’ll get over his pain.
“And what if he won’t?
“Then we’ll reconsider things as they’d be at the time. The Child has become unpredictable too…-said the second creature of light.
“We’re walking on thin ice…Well, maybe you’re right; let’s see what happens this time. After all we have collected a huge amount of priceless data due to our Child. He deserves a little happiness of his own…
“And what about the first, Yoshiasu?
“He’s almost ready but he’s in standby. We can’t let them mix again. He might join us into the light; amazing how the Child has changed his whole life-cycle…”
“I know he is the most talented Child ever…But his second choice gives me the creeps; he’s too powerful.
“Listen to yourself…you are talking like the humans: the creeps, you say?
-This proved to be our most challenging assignment until now; I’ll ask for a vacation at home…This Child wore me out!
-Don’t complain-said the other. He’s our Child and that makes him…special!
-Now, you are talking like humans!
-I’ve told you, he’s talented; he’s affected even the two of us…
They walked away to start the preparations for the Child’s returning to Earth; the thinner one gave a look to the Child. He was sleeping quietly in his corner…the creature sighed and closed the door.