The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1h)

Chapter 1h.

 

On the other side, Fuyuki was growing more and more concerned about the publicity around him. His talent paid well and people grew increasingly curious about the identity of the emerging artist. The fact that he was rejecting the interviews and kept secret any personal data just added to their curiosity. It was a constant game of hide-and-seek with the press; Fuyuki couldn’t come out because of his fear that his past might catch up with him and shatter his fragile happiness. He kept his anxiety and bad feelings hidden from Yoshiasu; his lover was working hard and they both cherished the moments spent together. As Angela was spending her own moments of happiness, Fuyuki turned to the only person he trusted beside his friends: detective John Harrows. He visited the detective at the police station once or twice, confessing him his fears and desperately trying to remember something useful from his past.

Things turned  bad after a few persistent journalists/paparazzi followed him and took some snapshots. The photos were published by a nationwide journal and “The Butterfly Artist” got all the publicity he didn’t need. Yoshiasu was angry; Fuyuki was still very vulnerable. They both agreed  on asking for the detective’s assistance to keep a discreet eye on their home. By the end of May, Fuyuki called the detective and complained about being stalked. For almost a week, somebody was following him; he couldn’t spot him but the feeling was strong and the young man was desperate.

The detective took him seriously but he couldn’t attend Fuyuki right at that moment,  so they agreed that he would pay a visit at home  next morning.  Arriving at the building, the detective had a bad feeling; he took the stairs two by two and found the apartment door cracked. With  the gun in one hand he stepped in cautiously; the house was empty and Fuyuki was nowhere to be seen. But the bedroom was ravaged and there were blood stains and some body fluid scattered over the bed cover. The detective called for the crime lab and then put out a phone call to Yoshiasu.

-Mr. Tanaka –he said in a restrained voice. You have to come home; I’m afraid  Fuyuki has been abducted.

***

The man at the door was Fuyuki’s worst nightmare: Father. Jack Roger was a well built, powerful man in his early sixties. A former soldier in his youth, also an amateur boxer, he was a bully. He’s been an abusive tyrant all his life and a constant tormentor for the mild and sensitive Fuyuki.

The young man’s heart sank as found himself face-to face with Father; all the horror built up and locked away in the depths of his memory washed over him and he wasn’t able to make any move. Jack Roger pushed him back to the house and slammed the door behind. He threw a short glance around then he turned his attention to Fuyuki.

-So-he said venom filling his voice. You thought you’ve escaped from me. How unwise…I saw your pretty face in the newspaper! I came as soon as possible to collect what’s mine…

Fuyuki collapsed on the bed, tears filling his eyes.

-What do you want from me?-he asked in a broken voice.

-Dress up and get back to work. You still have unpaid debts. Have you forgotten that you belong to me?

Roger pushed Fuyuki on his back and stripped away his clothes. The young man fought back but Roger slapped him hard.

-You won’t disobey me!-he hissed and forced himself upon Fuyuki.

The pain tore him from inside like a knife and Fuyuki cried out in agony. As the response was even more brutal, Fuyuki passed out.

Hours later he woke up hurt and dizzy in a dark room; he was tied to the bed. After moments of confusion memories came back forcefully; his whole body ached and his lower lip was split. The air around was stale and smelled like a cellar. He quickly guessed that the room was somewhere underground. He couldn’t do anything; at least for the moment he was helpless.

Father came and untied him, leaving him a few moments to stretch his limbs. He then grabbed him by the elbow and dragged the reluctant young man along a dimly lit corridor. They climbed a row of stairs and got…into the old house. Again and again memories came back and Fuyuki shuddered. Father pushed him in the shower, handing a set of clean clothes. Fuyuki undressed and started the water; he stood under the brisk flow and closed his eyes. Panic erupted from his inner self and he burst into tears, sobbing helplessly. Shaking wildly, he could hardly wash himself. It took him almost half an hour to calm down and get dressed. Leaving the shower he found some food set on a table but he was unable to swallow even a morsel. He hid his face in his hands, trying to scrape up some hope to survive to the oncoming ordeal.

What was about to come was  even harder to bear than before. For twenty years he  had just scarce hopes that he might be an individual and not just an object used at will for others pleasure. But now…now he was loved and he was in love. He became a PERSON, only to find himself stranded in a nightmare.

As Father walked in, Fuyuki shut his mind; he stood up and followed him at the end of the corridor. He entered, shut the door and sat on the bed. The smell around him made his body cringe. Beyond the scent of the burning incense, he could detect the well-known acrid smell of sweat and sex. He took a deep breath to calm down while the door cracked and a stranger entered the room.

Fuyuki complied with his demands avoiding to look into his face. He  shut off his spirit as the stranger took over his body.  He’d  lost the battle between his body and mind over and over again, day after day, night after night until his shattered spirit became just a shimmering light in the night of misery.

Locked up in the underground room, he cried for hours until his stomach revolted. Father forced him to eat and ended up tying him down to the bed to prevent him from killing himself.

On another location a young man was pacing up and down in his hollowed location. Space suddenly dilated around him and from one end to the other of the house there was only a void of dead silence and loneliness. For the first time of his adult life Yoshiasu was completely shattered by the sense of loss. The flat that was once his home was crushing him down with its emptiness.  He roamed around the house over and over again, touching every item that belonged to Fuyuki. He took out the drawing of “The Lost Butterfly” and watched it intently like he was trying to get in touch with his lost love.

He could barely eat but forced himself to do it in order to preserve his strength and the sharpness of his mind. He wasn’t going to give up on Fuyuki but the pain of losing him, the faceless fear of not knowing his whereabouts were cutting deep.

At night he fell into bed completely exhausted but moved on Fuyuki’s spot. He forcefully shut his eyes recalling the soothing warmth of the slender body cuddled in his arms. And he cried, broken and helpless with no one around to soothe him except maybe the faint scent of wildflowers left by his lost butterfly.

The Lost Butterfly-a story of aliens, love and humans (1g)

Chapter 1g.

They all returned to the city in high spirits. They barely had time to rest. New Year’s Eve was closing and everybody looked forward to the Masque Party.

Yoshiasu was slightly reluctant to the idea of dressing up but he gave in to Angela. After all she has done for them, he didn’t have the heart to ruin the fun! He agreed on letting her to pick whatever she thought it would suit them for the party. He was pleased to know that George was joining them.

George Brown, Angela’s fiancé was a good-looking, pleasant and reliable man. He was totally besotted with her and she was radiant in his company. Yoshiasu and George used to get well along and George was increasingly curious about Fuyuki. He treated Angela’s enthusiastic description with slight disbelief, but he had to put aside his curiosity for the moment. As soon as they arrived at the hotel, Angela handed the costumes to the boys and sent them to get dressed while she locked herself up in the other room with Fuyuki.

Puzzled but amused, George and Yoshiasu dressed up, laughed as they saw each-other

“ changed” into a samurai and a knight and decided to wait for their companions in the lobby. Some of their mutual friends were already there and the party was gradually gathering glitz and fun.

The girl in the mirror was incredibly beautiful. She had a delicate, oval face with soft skin like cherry blossoms. Her nose was straight, with nicely curved nostrils. The almond-shaped amethyst eyes were underlined by heavy black eyelashes and she had thin, well-shaped eyebrows.

The young auburn haired woman took a small brush and toned the delicately curved lips with a touch of crimson lip-gloss. She helped the girl to comb her silky black hair into a simple but elegant shape held up by hair-pins hid under cherry blossoms.

She then helped her into a red kimono decorated with silver and gold butterflies and tied the obi around her slim waist. She took two steps behind and looked at the young girl; she was pleased with the result.

-Gods, Fuyuki, you are too beautiful to be true!-she said.

-For me beauty has always meant trouble-replied Fuyuki.

-Come on, let’s go-said Angela. I’m sure that down there’s no girl more beautiful than you.  George and Yoshiasu are waiting for us in the hall. I want to see their faces when they’ll see you.

-I’m not so sure-sighed Fuyuki but followed her.

Angela was looking sparkling in her moss-green velvet dress that underlined her appealing curves. She took Fuyuki by the hand and descended in the large hall. The party was just starting. Their partners were easy to point out: the handsome samurai and the good-looking knight were surrounded by happily chatting young ladies. Music, laughter and chatter filled the lobby as Angela and Fuyuki crossed the crowd. Though people around them were all looking great and having fun, slowly, people were making way to the fiery princess and the butterfly-girl.

They stopped next to Yoshiasu and George; the talking stopped abruptly. George’s eyes rounded as he spotted the two girls; Angela raised a finger meaning “Don’t ruin the surprise” and waited for Yoshiasu to react.

-Mr. Tanaka- she said. I think I found your lost butterfly.

Yoshiasu turned brusquely and stood still. Mesmerized by the look of the girl in red kimono he was unable to utter a sound. She looked like she just stepped out of a Japanese stamp. Under the intense scrutiny Fuyuki turned pink. He gazed slightly panicked into Yoshiasu’s eyes; the samurai smiled and whispered: “I love you. You are so beautiful…”.

He took the butterfly-girl by the hand and turned towards Angela’s fiancé:

-George, this is Fuyuki.

-You’re gorgeous-said George and they shook hands.

-Thank you-said Fuyuki with a shy smile.

-Ladies-turned Yoshiasu around-you have to excuse us. Angela, George let’s pick a drink.

The four of them left the premises followed by amazed or envious looks. George affectionately kissed his bride. “ You’re great!-he whispered in her ears. How on earth did you do this?-he asked incredulously.

-I’ve done nothing special-laughed Angela. I’ve just followed his natural beauty. They look great together, isn’t it?

The tall and erect samurai was moving ahead with dignity firmly holding the hand of his blushing butterfly. Together with Angela and George they chose a remote table in a quieter corner and the night went on pleasantly. Fuyuki relaxed and enjoyed himself with his friends. When the clock turned twelve and New Year arrived, Yoshiasu took Fuyuki in his arms and they kissed passionately in the middle of the cheering crowd.

By one in the morning they left the party along with their friends. Yoshiasu whispered a warm “Thank you” in Angela’s ear and hugged her. He then took Fuyuki and they disappeared in their room.

-I like Fuyuki-said George-but I would have never guessed that SHE is a man.

-He’s definitely a man, but he’s a milder, gentle one-said Angela.

-He’s a good addition to the strong-willed Yoshiasu-agreed George.

-And Yoshiasu is madly in love with him-laughed Angela.

-It’s written all over his face-chuckled George. I thought he might faint when he saw him tonight. I also saw a lot of envious or puzzled faces around; it was fun.

-Shame on you, George Brown-said Angela and kissed her fiancé.

They shut the door behind them laughing whole heartedly. In their own room, Yoshiasu and Fuyuki were getting off their costumes. Yoshiasu undressed easily but Fuyuki needed help. He turned his back to Yoshiasu:

-You have to help me out; I don’t think I can ask Angela now…

Yoshiasu grinned and untied the obi, letting loose the kimono. He bent over Fuyuki and kissed the soft skin of the neck; he then pushed down the kimono and took the younger man in his arms. Fuyuki’s breath hitched as Yoshiasu kissed his earlobe and lovingly laid him down on the bed. He slowly melted under the passionate kisses and Yoshiasu’s eager touch. They made love and they fell asleep tangled in each-other’s arms.

As holidays ended, life turned back to normal. Yoshiasu was quite busy at work and Fuyuki was working on his art projects; he was doing it successfully.

Winter was swept away by the warmth of spring and Nature came alive in full blossom. People themselves were changing along with the newly buzzing life. Fuyuki shortened his hair leaving it just a little over his neck but his natural beauty remained unchanged. Though he had gained a lot more confidence and it looked like that for now he could stand up for himself, he was still the same mild and sensitive person.

Angela and George got married in April and as their close friends, Yoshiasu and Fuyuki attended the wedding. They were more than happy to share their friends’ moment of utmost happiness. The messages they sent home from honeymoon spoke about the same state of bliss.

The Lost Butterfly-revised. Ch. 1e

Chapter 1e.

Angela soon became a regular to their house. Yoshiasu had to return to work so he asked his long-time friend to look after Fuyuki. She happily complied; she liked the young artist so she took him under her wings.

She took him out shopping and helped him to buy his own clothes. Yoshiasu was earning well so money was not a problem. Angela also bought colors and all the material he needed for his art and encouraged him to draw and paint. Not surprisingly, Fuyuki’s artworks sold well; though the first buyers were mostly from their close circle of friends, soon the outsiders got to know about his art  and liked it too.

It was Angela who introduced the young artist to the world of computers and Internet and she was pleasantly surprised by the quick progresses made by her apprentice. Getting in closer touch with the real world, helped Fuyuki to build up some confidence and a protective wall. He was still very vulnerable on the inside but this was known only by Yoshiasu and Angela. But being so much around them, made Angela aware that tension was building up under the surface in the life of the two young men.

As Fuyuki seemed to become more independent, Yoshiasu was  becaming more and more distant and busy. He even refused to go out with the two of them, pretending that he had urgent work to do. This particular change in his behavior hurt and puzzled Fuyuki. Though he did his best not to show, a veil of sadness started to dim the light in his eyes. One day, he finally burst out:

-Angela! Please talk to Yoshiasu! He is constantly avoiding me. I must have done something wrong that he doesn’t want me around…

-You did nothing wrong-she said, trying to comfort him. He is just tired and jumpy because of his work.

Fuyuki shuddered.

-I hope you’re right- he said in a small voice. Because I have no reason to live if he doesn’t want me anymore…

-Fuyuki!-protested Angela but the young man has already shut the bedroom door behind him.

Despite her best efforts to get Yoshiasu to talk to her, things were just not adding up. There were days when Yoshiasu was becoming almost monosyllabic, while Fuyuki was trying to put up a brave face. This went on until one day, when Angela showed up right in the middle of the storm. Looking at them, it became obvious for her that the two men had recently fought over something.

Yoshiasu quickly disappeared in the kitchen. “I’m making a coffee”-he said, while Fuyuki’s eyes were red and his voice broke as he spoke to her.

-He’s angry; help him, please. I’ll be fine…-he said though  obviously he wasn’t.

Angela patted him on the shoulder and went to the kitchen where Yoshiasu was fumbling with the coffee pot.

-Why is Fuyuki crying? What have you done to him?-asked Angela.

-Nothing-mumbled the other.

-Yoshiasu, what are you doing?-Angela was getting angry. Why are you pushing him away? It’s so obvious that you’re in love with Fuyuki.

Yoshiasu slammed the pot.

-This is exactly why I don’t want to tie him down to me. I can see that he is getting better and for the first time in his life, he can make a choice for himself. I don’t want him to stay with me simply because I was the one that nurtured him back to life. It wouldn’t be fair to him.

Angela shook her head in disbelief; she then grabbed Yoshiasu by the shoulders, shaking him vigorously.

-My friend, you are a fool! You are an even bigger fool that I’ve expected. I can understand your moral concerns but it didn’t cross your mind that maybe Fuyuki has already made his choice and that is you?!

-How would I know?!-shouted Yoshiasu.

Angela slammed her palm to the table.

-What do you expect from him, a solemn declaration, written down or what? For God’s sake, you don’t even realize how lucky you are! Here is this sophisticated, beautiful young man who sees no one but you and you’re uncertain…About what are you uncertain? Let me tell you something as a good friend: I can vouch for Fuyuki’s feelings. He loves YOU, that’s for sure! But seeing how you treat him I come to doubt YOUR feelings towards him: is this really LOVE as you pretend or just infatuation? Make up your mind, man, before it’s too late! After all he has been through, Fuyuki doesn’t deserve this!

There was a moment of deep silence. Angela poured the coffee in three mugs while Yoshiasu stood there, bent over the kitchen table and head in his palms. There was a soft rustle at the door. As they both turned, they saw a pale and shaken Fuyuki leaning against the door frame.

-Yoshiasu, I cannot tell you if this is love-he said in a soft voice. I have never known love before. All I know is that I don’t want to go on without you. Don’t let me go! Please…

Yoshiasu pushed everything aside and quickly closed the distance between them. He cupped the young man’s face with both hands and looked deep into those beautiful lilac eyes.

-Forgive me-he said in a coarse voice. I love you so much…I’ll never let you go. Never!

As Fuyuki folded in his arms, he buried his face in his hair.

-Hmph…That’s better-coughed amusedly Angela. Now let’s have that coffee and talk about the plans for the winter holidays.

The evening turned up fine and they all agreed in spending Christmas together with their friends at an inn in the nearby mountains.

The Lost Butterfly-revised (1b)

Chapter 1b.

The flat was spacious and comfortable. The modern, almost minimalist furniture allowed enough free space and the rising sun always lit up well the entire house.

Yoshiasu undressed, showered and quickly cooked something for the evening. He ate and washed the dishes, then took a beer from the fridge and sat at the window. The city was twinkling and buzzing in the night. The young analyst took a sip from the beer and watched thoughtfully the endless swarming of the city below. His mind was wandering as usual; just this time it wasn’t something leisurely done. He was back at the hospital, running over again and again all that has happened or it has been said.

“ Why? Why are you helping me?” Fuyuki’s question hung in the air and Yoshiasu still wasn’t able to find a logical explanation for his deep commitment towards the young stranger.

It was like some obscure force pushing him from behind towards an unforeseen future. He came to the sudden realization that he didn’t know everything about himself. He’s been always a well balanced, logical person, keeping his life in order. His parents died long time before and he took care for himself. He was intelligent and handy so he managed well in life. Good humored and considerate, he was liked at work and in society.

He had a small but close circle of friends, men and women mainly his age. He even dated a few girls but very soon he discovered that he didn’t feel compelled to go further into the relationships. He just shrugged and let the topic die out. He was never bored or lonely.

But ever since he stumbled upon Fuyuki his feelings stormed out and took over any logic. He wasn’t going to let the young man to fade out in an asylum; he was determined to take him in his care, even at the cost of turning his own life upside down. There was no logical explanation for the way he felt but he knew for sure that he would’ve died of heartbreak if he would’ve give up on Fuyuki. Those desperate violet-blue eyes, the eerie beauty of that face, the warm, slender body trembling under his touch were haunting him.

Yoshiasu shook his head; he felt drained, exhausted. He turned off the light and went to sleep. The night was short and restless. Fuyuki’s eyes filled his dreams…Yoshiasu showered, dressed up and cooked some eggs and vegetables for the breakfast. He was in a hurry; he had an appointment with detective Harrows at the police station. He took a cab and left.

John Harrows was a mild tempered person, a patient one but this particular case was getting on his nerves. Despite his best efforts he had only a scrap of clues. The victim was a total mess so his only hope was  the relationship that build up between the young analyst and the victim. He hoped that it  would help the latter to open up and give some tangible information about himself. So now, the detective eagerly waited to meet with Mr. Tanaka.

Yoshiasu arrived in time and the two men shook hands; they grabbed a coffee and sat down to talk over the data.

-I visited him yesterday and we talked a bit-said Yoshiasu. His name is Fuyuki and I’m very sure that he has close relatives somewhere. I’ve asked him about them but he reacted badly so I assume that they weren’t on good terms. I know this isn’t much but he is still very troubled and I don’t want to push him over the edge.

-Mr. Tanaka, you are most helpful. I can see that you are deeply involved in this. Mind you, this might become a heavy burden for you on long term…But getting back to Mr. Fuyuki, I have all the reasons to believe that his family sold him as a male prostitute to one of the wealthy…collectors. When the latter got bored, gave him away to a gang and finally he was dumped and let to die. He probably didn’t want to comply with all their requests. If we find his family, we might have a starting point. Until then, I’ll keep on looking into the branch of prostitution.

Yoshiasu sighed.

-I’ll do my best to help you but it will take time.

-Thank you for coming, Mr. Tanaka. We’ll keep in touch anyway.

The two men parted in good terms. Detective Harrows had a feeling that this case will cause a lot of commotion in the future. He wondered for a moment about the strange bond between Tanaka and Fuyuki; well, who knows what might come out of that? He sat to his desk and started the computer.

Yoshiasu headed to the hospital and looked again for Fuyuki’s doctor. Fortunately he was available and helpful as ever. They went to his room and sat to talk.

-Doctor, how long will Fuyuki stay in your care?-asked Yoshiasu directly.

The doctor fumbled through his papers for a moment than turned to him.

-I expect to release him at the end of this week. He is getting stronger and his bruises are fading and healing. Why do you ask?

-I want to take him in my care. I don’t want him to end up alone in an asylum. I take full responsibility for him and it looks like detective Harrows is supporting me in this. He hopes for some data due to our mutual trust. Can you help me with the papers?

The doctor was stunned; he didn’t expected this..

-Are you sure you’re willing to dedicate your future to the care of such a scarred and troubled person? This might prove to be very tricky!

Yoshiasu shook his head.

-My mind is set and I can manage with him. Please, don’t make me move with him to the asylum. I’m not superstitious, I’m quite level-headed but I have a feeling that it was meant for me to stumble upon him. So would you help us?

The doctor shrugged.

-It is most unusual but somehow I agree that it is in the best interest of the patient. I’ll talk to the Social Services and by the end of the week you’ll have both Fuyuki and the papers.

-Thank you!

Fuyuki was awake and dressed up. He was sitting at the window, watching the clouds running wild over the strong-blue October sky. Outside, the turbulent wind was scattering golden leaves all over the place and was pushing dark-grey cloud shreds in front of the sun. The youth was fumbling with an orange, trying to peel it.  He saw Yoshiasu coming and his whole person lit up.

-Yoshiasu…-he whispered. Help me with this-he laughed softly, handing the orange to him.

-I’m glad you like it-laughed Yoshiasu and quickly finished the task. He gave the fruit to Fuyuki but he handed half of it back.

-You too-he said and smiled.

Yoshiasu took his share of orange and sat next to Fuyuki. He watched him silently for a moment; he pushed a strand of hair from his face and rested a hand on his shoulder. Fuyuki looked up, eyes filled with unspoken questions. They stood there looking intently in each- other’s eyes, like trying to read the other one’s mind; then Yoshiasu broke the silence.

-Fuyuki, would you like to stay with me? You’re leaving the hospital by the end of this week and I have plenty of place for both of us…You can stay as much as you want.

There was a moment of deep silence then came a trembling “Yes.”

-But why?! Why are you doing this for me?!-cried out suddenly Fuyuki. He jumped to his feet, turning up the chair and buried his face into his hands. Tears were running down his face as he shouted:

-I am nothing!!! I am damaged goods! Why?! Why would you do so much for me?!

Yoshiasu was taken aback by the amount of pain and angst pouring from the young man. He embraced him, holding him close and whispered:

-I’ve told you before: I don’t know, but you can help me find out. But I’m sure like hell that I don’t want to leave you alone.

Slowly Fuyuki’s hands held to Yoshiasu’s arms encircling his shoulders. They stood there embraced, watching the autumn unleash its horses of rain over the streets.

The Lost Butterfly-revised (1a)

Chapter 1a.

Yoshiasu  decided to let him rest.  He stood up and left to look for Fuyuki’s doctor. He found him in the office.

-Good day, doctor. May I ask à bit about the young man I’ve found in the park? I’ve just learned his name :Fuyuki.

The doctor was taken aback.

-How did you manage to find out his name? He wasn’t speaking to any of us, no matter how hard we tried?

-I guess he remembers me saving him. Anyway, I would love to know about his condition, if you can share with me.

The doctor looked at him thoughtfully, then sighed.

-I admit I didn’t expected such an interest from à mere stranger but since the patient seem to trust you, it’s fine with me. The detective working on his case called me previously and asked me to help you. Maybe with some conjured effort, we can crack this case and help this unfortunate youth.

-I feel some kind of responsibility for him-said Yoshiasu, sensing the disbelief in the voice of the doctor . I must confess that finding a person of my age in such a situation shook me profoundly. Can you tell me something about him?

-I can assure you that his life is not in immediate danger-said the doctor.  He has no internal injuries but he is badly bruised and most of all, there are proofs that he’s been subjected to torture and he’s been raped repeatedly. My opinion is ,that even after he recovers from his physical injuries, he’ll have problems in recovering from the constant abuse. I’ve sent my observations to the police and they are searching for those responsible for these atrocities.

Yoshiasu was shocked by the doctor’s recount ; not that he couldn’t imagine what caused the extensive bruises he had seen covering Fuyuki’s body. But hearing it delivered so bluntly just added to the horror of the facts. He stared into the nothingness for a moment, then turned to the doctor, questioningly.

-So…what happens  with him if police cannot find his relatives? Do you think he could manage by himself?

-No-said the doctor, shaking vigorously his head- I don’t think so. He’ll be probably sent to some sort of asylum. He’s a total mess for now; but recovering in a  caring and secure environment might help him to get back on track.

Yoshiasu stood up with a small sense of relief.

-Thank you for your time, doctor-he said, shaking hands. I’m going  back to him, in case he’s awakening…

Fuyuki was half dazed when Yoshiasu returned but he became alert as soon as he sensed him entering the room. He even sat up in bed and watched Yoshiasu peeling off an orange and handing it to him. Fuyuki took the fruit and stared at it just like a child who had never seen such thing before. He smelled it carefully, then gave an inquisitive look to Yoshiasu. The young analyst watched him in disbelief; Fuyuki didn’t know what an orange was. So he gently took it back, tearing up the slices. He then took a slice and bit it while handing another to Fuyuki.

The young man watched him intently, then tasted the slice of orange. The sweet-sour juice exploded in his mouth, taking him by surprise; Fuyuki made a funny face, making Yoshiasu laugh. Fuyuki swallowed the orange and laughed too; he laughed almost inaudibly but he was surely enjoying himself. The rest of the orange quickly disappeared and he whispered “thank you”. Life and color were gradually turning back to him. There was even a new spark in those incredible eyes. Yoshiasu was wondering where this out of ordinary guy could come from. He definitely wasn’t from the neighborhood; Yoshiasu had a good memory of  faces and Fuyuki wasn’t in the“data base”. Probably those who dumped him in the park thought that  it would be more difficult to identify the corpse. Yoshiasu shuddered at the thought of a lifeless body; he turned to the very much alive young man and asked him:

-Fuyuki, don’t you remember your family name or the name of a relative?

A sharp pain crossed Fuyuki’s face; he averted his eyes as he shouted:

-No!!!

He buried his face in the blanket, his body shaking as he started to cry. Shocked by the sudden change in reactions, Yoshiasu tried to calm him down; but Fuyuki curled up in fetal position and kept sobbing wildly. Yoshiasu decided to call à nurse. She came quickly.  Assessing the situation, she returned with a calming injection but things weren’t going smoothly. The sight of the nurse with the needle in her hands made Fuyuki jump. Eyes rounded in horror, he fled the bed but collapsed on the floor after a few steps. He cuddled there screaming:

-No!!! Please, don’t…don’t hurt me! I’ll do what you want! Please…-his voice trailed and ended in sobs.

Yoshiasu and the nurse were shocked. It was very clear that Fuyuki was re- living one of the previous brutal events he had been subjected to. The nurse put aside the injection and turned to Yoshiasu:

-I think it would be better if you’ll try to calm him down. He seems to trust you. I don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on him. She silently left the room, closing the door behind her.

Yoshiasu kneeled next to Fuyuki and touched him lightly.

-Fuyuki…Fuyuki-he called in a soft voice. Listen to me. I’m here with you and I won’t let anybody hurt you. Fuyuki, can you hear me?

He gently rubbed the shaking back of the young man until the sobs subsided and then stopped. The tension eased in the curved shoulders and Fuyuki sat up slowly, turning his face towards Yoshiasu:

-I’m sorry-he whispered. Suddenly those memories came back…

Yoshiasu helped him up to his feet. They were almost the same height. Fuyuki seemed a little bit smaller and thinner than him. Yoshiasu was tall and well built with a bony structure and slender muscles. He was a good swimmer and spent most of his free time roaming the natural sceneries. Fuyuki’s body felt fragile under his firm hand but the young man was slender and gracious. Yoshiasu helped him back into the bed and sat on the rim to be closer to him.

-I am sorry for questioning you. I should have known that you had not ended up like this by accident. But you have to know that the police would ask the same from you sooner or later. They are trying to trace down the perpetrators.

Fuyuki sighed.

-I know-he murmured. But I’m not so sure that I could ever face them…-his voice trembled.

Yoshiasu grabbed his hands.

-Fuyuki, look at me!- he said. I’ll be here for you whenever you need it.

The young man raised his head and looked into his eyes. The deep violet pools were filled with pain and sadness.

-Will you?- he whispered. But…it’s too much. Why? Why would you help me?

Yoshiasu’s dark- brown eyes looked back intently.

-I cannot explain it but I KNOW that this is what I WANT. Please, let me help…

-Thank you…murmured Fuyuki and feebly squeezed Yoshiasu’s hands. As he relaxed, his eyes slowly closed and he fell asleep.

Yoshiasu watched him sleeping. With his delicate face, the black strands of hair falling around, the fragile, tortured frame Fuyuki reminded him of a butterfly with shredded, torn wings. He rose to his feet and took the road home.

Walk a Dream-Chapter 9.

Chapter 9.

They both landed on the sands of a large shore washed by the waves of an ocean hidden in mist. They could hear her breathing in and out slowly, her voice mixing with the rasping sound of the breeze rolling the bits of sand along the shore. Moonstone tiles lay scattered around, like remnants of a pathway long lost.

Holding hands, Jordan and Kai ran ahead, laughing happily. The salty mist curtain opened before them…then closed silently after, hiding the two silhouettes from the view of any unexpected pursuer. As they reached the swaying expanse of turquoise waters, Kai closed her eyes for à moment, breathing in the scent of the Ocean.  

-I knew you would like it-murmured Jordan. I’ve read it inside you. You and I, we  seem to share so many secret dreams and wishes… Maybe this was the reason why I stumbled upon you and the door of my world opened to your touch…

Sensing the warmth of hisher hands seeping through my palms, I felt the same deep connection. My  own thoughts were echoing in hisher words. In that elusive, mysterious space where dreams are born, our  two worlds  have met and got entangled. By now, it was difficult to say where one of us was ending  and  where the other one was beginning. We seemed to have merged like two galaxies full of stars and  we were about to build new starscapes.

Open your eyes, girl-said Jordan. Look! What do you see?-she asked.

Kai’s eyes popped open and she stared into the space before her. The Ocean had come closer, its refreshing waves embracing, caressing the girls’ feet, while in the distance, the waters have turned into translucent mist. From that glowing haze, mermaids and mermen came splashing joyfully, surrounding them for a moment and vanishing seconds later.

-Wow!….-that was all Kai could say. Jordan grabbed her hand and they walked through the oceanic vapors, till they reached an even stranger place. The chirpy chat and frenzied splash of the inhabitants of the Ocean was long lost in the distance and was replaced  by the hollowness of the new space where they stopped.

  Like a world locked in a crystal ball, this was a real dream sighting. Huge, elongated blue trees were soaring above, rooted in an untouchable depth. Older or younger, all the trees were swaying to the rhythm of a music only they could hear. The thin, silky leaves growing on the tips if the branches were filled with lines of various inscriptions. They were pieces of poetry, captured on each leaf. Rain drops were falling from the infinite sky, splashing the leaves, scattering the letters and words, carrying them to the equally infinite, translucent depth.

  Jordan stepped forward and touched the surface of that space, sending a shock-wave of emotions through the blue forest. The trees leaned towards her, trying to touch hisher palms, eager to receive a droplet of hisher feelings and turn it into new pieces of poetry leaves.

-These are my poems, my heartfelt teardrops that never reach the bottom of that inner land. My dreams, my pains, my hopes and fears, my moments of light, my loves and disillusions, my nightmares and rages, all the echoes of  the numerous, fragmented myselves. I brought you here, girl because I need you to remember them…for the time when  I could not.

How would I remember them all ?!-I asked, concerned by the unexpected task. They are part of you and I don’t want to lose even à line…

-Don’t worry! Just relax and let me guide you.

       Heshe took my hand and we jumped into that eerie space, flying through the lively blue forest of poetry. Like swimming through à powerful torrent, I was caught, pushed forward, sucked in and permeated by dazzling , conflicting, elating or shattering emotions. Words, hundred of words clung to my skin, my heart, my mind, rushing to find à place in the corridors of my memory. They carried me through Jordan’s life and under their touch I witnessed the birth and rise of all hisher embodiments. We flew through this blizzard till each and every letter or word fell into position, leaving behind an emptied space, with those strange blue trees finally at peace with themselves.

   As we left that space bubble, I fell off my feet, exhausted. We were standing  now on a hilltop, under the green dome of a lime tree. Jordan helped me up and as I leaned my back against the trunk, heshe asked worriedly:

-Are you ok, girl?

  I gazed in those dark brown eyes, wonderingly….Why did heshe want me to remember ? What was happening? Before I could answer the question,space shifted position and  we found ourselves one atop the other. Lying on my back, I held himher closer and we kissed…long…passionately…desperately….breathlessly. That eternity of a kiss tasted like summer wine, exploding in my mouth in taste of love and fragility. In the embrace following the kiss, we’ve lost boundaries and we fell slowly, swirling in circles of light into the abyss of stars opening acquiring below us….

 Kai woke up in front of the mirror, her forehead touching the cold, smooth surface.

The Lost Butterfly -revised. (1)

Prologue: A confession.

 

“ We were here for almost a cycle studying you from a safe distance when I had a dream. Somebody touched me, trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes and saw him. He was beautiful but looked sad.

-Release me-he whispered. Please! I’m choking…

-Who are you?-I asked in amazement.

-I’m inside you…Let me go…I need to fly…Please!

As I watched his luminous eyes I felt something moving inside me. I woke up suddenly; he was the first Child who asked to be born. It never happened before; that’s why we decided to give him this special assignment: to be born human.”

 

CHAPTER 1.

It was a mid-October morning with long streaks of chilling fog crawling over the glossy layer of dead leaves piling up under the trees. The sun was just a sick, pale spot in the twirling grey atmosphere.

The alleys of the Central Park were almost deserted; only a few courageous ones were taking on their daily routine of jogging. There were also some sleepy dog owners on a short stroll with their pets and some early workers shortening their way through the crooked shapes of the trees in the park.

Despite the desolate air of the early hour, Yoshiasu Tanaka, a 28 years old computer analyst who lived in a flat nearby, enjoyed to take a short walk before starting work. It was a moment of silent reflection spent in the middle of this priceless natural spot trapped in the core of the huge city.

Yoshiasu left the alley and walked slowly through the dense cluster of trees and bushes. He liked the soft rustle of leaves under his feet, the way the smooth brown carpet gave in under his weight, the yellow leaves swirling graciously in the autumn wind and the bitter-sweet taste of the mist in the air…He emptied his mind and let his inner self float adrift into blissful nothingness. Only his peripheral vision saved him from tripping over the dark-brown mass of dead leaves right in front of him. His foot touched something compact inside the heap of leaves and that feeling made him stop and take a closer look. It wasn’t a tree-root ‘cause it felt softer. Yoshiasu bent and cautiously scattered the leaves from the surface and …he almost fell backwards. A human hand appeared. It was a slim hand with long, delicate fingers and it looked lively. Yoshiasu swallowed hard then touched the hand. It was cold but soft; he checked further and felt the wrist hidden into the leaves. There was a faint movement under the cold skin; the heart of someone hidden in was still beating. Yoshiasu frantically pushed away the leaves, trying to dig out the buried person.

After some frenzied moments he found a badly bruised young man lying unconscious on the ground. He was alive but it looked like his life was hanging on a thread. Yoshiasu took off his coat and covered the injured young man and quickly dialed 911. He then turned back to him and tried to warm up his hands and get him back to consciousness. The young man moaned and stirred under his touch. Yoshiasu bent closer and asked him:

-Hey! Can you hear me?

He repeated his question a few times before getting any answer. Finally, the young man opened his eyes and looked into Yoshiasu’s eyes, much to the latter’s surprise. Though those eyes were clouded by pain, they had the most unusual color: a deep, velvety violet just like the petals of the forest violet in early spring. Thick black eyelashes were underlying those intent, troubled eyes. A wide purple scratch was covering almost all of his left cheek and his black hair was matted and filled with leaf scraps. There was freshly dried blood on his bruised lower lip. His clothes were torn and ripped apart, uncovering older or more recent bruises all over his body.

Yoshiasu was shocked by the extent of the injuries and of the fact that this human being was deliberately buried and left to die. He took out his handkerchief and gingerly wiped away the blood from the young’s lips and the dirt from his face. He felt him shivering under the touch.

-The ambulance will be here in any minute, hang on; you’ll be fine- he said in a reassuring voice. He then took again the young man’s hands and rubbed them to warm him up. He felt the other one gripping his hands. He looked back into his face.

-Don’t be afraid-he said and smiled. I won’t leave you.

The injured man sighed and closed his eyes. Right then the paramedics arrived and took him into their care. In a few moments the police arrived to and questioned Yoshiasu about his finding. They took pictures of the place and of the victim and agreed with Yoshiasu about a further meeting at the police station. The ambulance departed in a hurry, the sirens ripping off the seemingly peaceful atmosphere of the park. Yoshiasu slowly turned back home, his mind trying to asses the recent events.

Fortunately for him, he was very busy at work so he had to adjust to something more peaceful and tangible throughout the day. He left his office, declined some invitations for a drink and headed home. He felt exhausted and he was still shaken. He undressed and took a shower and sat on the bed with a Coke in his hand. His mind wandered back to the morning’s events…He took out his cell phone and dialed the number of the Central Hospital. He asked about the injured young man brought in during the morning. He was slowly recovering-they said-but he wasn’t speaking yet so they weren’t able to contact any relatives. No, he had no papers to indicate his identity but the police was working on the case. Yes, he could visit him if he wanted; they hoped that a familiar face could bring a breakthrough in this case. Yoshiasu thanked for the information and hung up. He lay down in his bed, fixing the ceiling while his mind wandered.

After a while he sat up again and dialed the police station number and asked to talk with the officer in charge with the young man’s case. He asked for permission to visit the victim the next day. The detective agreed, expressing the same hopes that Yoshiasu’s sighting might bring up some positive development in the victim’s behavior. The young analyst slept badly all night. Those painful, violet-blue eyes were haunting him even in his dreams. He woke up troubled and restless; only after a shower and a full mug of steaming coffee was he finally ready to begin another day. He finalized his work earlier and asked for the next day off.  He then left for the hospital. He bought a few oranges at a store and hurried up the stairs. The receptionist was aware of his coming so she helped him quickly to the “John Doe’s” reserve.

Yoshiasu saw that the young man was sleeping so he did his best not to disturb him. He put the oranges on the table next to the bed and sat on a chair and looked close at him for the first time. The young man was in his early twenties, no more than 25.  Despite the scratches and the bruises on his face, he looked handsome. It was an almost feminine beauty; an oval face with large eyes, a straight, thin nose and nicely curved pink lips. His shoulder long black hair was thick and silky and his skin, wherever was not bruised into bluish tones, looked smooth. The hands resting on the blanket were long, with delicate, mobile fingers- the hands of an artist, a musician or a painter perhaps. Resting on the hospital bed among tubes and beeping instruments he looked fragile. Yoshiasu felt a pang in his heart. He stood up and turned when he heard the young man stir in the bed. Yoshiasu turned and found itself peering into the same mesmerizing violet-blue eyes.

-Hey. You’re awake. I came to see how you are – he said. Can you speak now?-asked Yoshiasu.

The answer was a muffled, pained mumbling but it was at last a small result. Yoshiasu patted the young man’s hands and followed:

-I’m Yoshiasu. Yoshiasu Tanaka. Do you have a name? We couldn’t find any paper indicating your identity…

The young man closed his eyes for a moment and it looked like he was searching his memory for an answer; he finally opened up his eyes and whispered:

-Fuyuki…

-Hm. It’s a beautiful name and it suits you-said Yoshiasu with a smile. Is that all you can remember about yourself?

The answer was a small nod. Fuyuki closed his eyes and he fell asleep in an instant. He was still very weak and the effort of remembering his identity exhausted him easily.