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.

Walk a Dream-Chapter 10. Epilogue

Chapter 10.

  She was shivering, shaken by an inner fever. The memory of the night was still fresh in her mind and as she pushed herself slowly off the cold surface, conflicting emotions washed over her. For long minutes, she was penduling between an intoxicating elation and an unexplainable panic. She has fallen in love and that love lived in the no man’s land between dream and reality. How can anyone keep its sound mind in such circumstances?

   But this love wasn’t meant to last; Kai knew it well. The more she learned about Jordan, the clearer it became that she, the average girl in front of a mirror was meant only to be the dream-holder and rememberer. Something was abruptly changing in the life of her unexpected soul-twin and they were both running out of time.  “But what was that change?”-wondered Kai. There was no one to answer that question now… Kai took a deep breath and decided to join the reality of the morning.

   The night came under the auspices  of the Peach Moon. I saw it rising cautiously above the dark line of the hills. The sky was spotless and deep blue. The faintly glowing pink contour emerged gradually and soon we were facing each other, the Moon and I. It looked at me with its saddened face, with that silent cry frozen on its face for eons. Its eyes were crying invisible tears and my heart sank in despair.

I’ve ran to the gates breathlessly! The world behind them was dead silent and hollow. The forest was emptied of footprint memories, emptied of laughter echoes, emptied of innocence…The spells of the Wizard had been scattered by a chilling wind of forgetfulness. Gone were the mermaids and shores, gone the stellar abyss of swirling light and love….The leaves of poetry were growing only in my heart by now. The Blue trees retracted in the void and I couldn’t reach them anymore. I fell to my knees crying…Then I remembered the house. Maybe, just maybe Joren was still there! I jumped to my feet and sped towards the house in the mist.

 As soon as she reached the premises, Kai knew that hopes for finding anyone around were thin. The house felt just as empty as the space surrounding it. The girl cautiously opened the door and passed along the corridors until she reached that special door. Before she could touch it, the door flew open and Tyler’s angry face looked at Kai, shouting:

-You’re late! They’re all gone!!! No one is here anymore!! No one!!!

His breath was freezing cold and Kai stepped back for a moment. The pain inside, the sense of loss built up inside her pushed to the surface and she felt her entire being crack under the pressure. Her final armor shattered, liberating her true being. Tyler had already vanished into thin air and all she was left with was à dim glow in the distance and the sound of little ringing bell. Jordie’s bell. The girl launched herself towards that spot of light, flying with wings of flames like a Phoenix.

-Jordie! -she shouted. Wait for me!

Fueled by her heated emotions, she crossed the warping space and caught the globe of light before it reached the wormhole between the two connected worlds.

-Stop! -she yelled. Stay for a moment! Talk to me! Don’t leave all my questions unanswered!

Cling! Cling! The little bell echoed in her ears and for à moment, she felt  two small arms encircling her neck.

-Don’t be upset, nice Kai! I have to go now! They are waiting for me.

Kai held him till he dissipated, giggling and Joren’s face emerged in the light.

-We have to go, Kai. Jordan is about to wake up. Hisher healing journey is now complete, thanks to your help too. We were all bits and pieces painstakingly brought together in long time, to mend the spirit of Jordan. Himher will be whole again as heshe will regain consciousness. Remember us, Kai! When the dream will end, nothing and no one will be the same as before.

As the last words reverberated in the space, an invisible hand touched gently Kai’s tearful face. She recognised the touch and she recognised the kiss. It tasted like summer vine.

“ Goodbye, girl”-whispered the voice inside her mind. “Don’t forget me…”

The ball of light touched the boundary of worlds and exploded with a thunderous blast. The connection collapsed and Kai crash landed in her bed. On the other side of the world, a young woman woke up all of a sudden in her hospital bed.

  She gasped and shook her head, then relaxed. She recognised her family members and her doctor. She couldn’t remember the reason of being in hospital; she was feeling well and in one piece.

-Did I miss something?-asked Jordan, raising an eyebrow. I feel like I slept for a hundred years. It was fine but I would like to go home now. May I, doctor?

   Everyone burst into relieved laughter; Jordan was himherself again.

 

EPILOGUE

    I have walked a dream like no other and my heart was captured, my spirit released and liberated. I am myself more than I ever was. The love I encountered was brief but intense and it lives inside me, imprinted deeply in my soul along with all the magic it carried. I am a rememberer, a storyteller and a dreamer.

I’m not an ordinary girl anymore.

 Do I remember you? Of course I do! You’re the Magician who released the Wild Girl from my inner world. You found her, hiding in her Secret Garden and you opened the door, showing her the way. You’ve let her follow you, believe in you, trust you and in the end, fall in love with you. Was it something planned? I doubt….But you and I, we got caught up in our entangled wild dream. You and I, we found a love that could’ve been…if only we would’ve met in real life. So You have dreamt me and I continued that dream, finding you.

   Our love was swift, passionate, fiery, creative, all consuming….despite its illusory existence. You have broadened my horizon, deepened my inner world, enriched my emotional life. We have built a love like no other: both incredibly beautiful and maddeningly painful. This love cannot die. This love doesn’t want to die. This love is so much a part of me that denying it would mean to deny myself. I didn’t know how much of you has built itself inside me, until we both woke up and the wandering in our connected dream was over.

 After picking up all her shattered bits and pieces, the Wild Girl banged the gates of the Secret garden behind her and locked them. She lives there, wandering on the shores of the Ocean of Memories. I visit her sometimes and we talk through the bars of the gates. With you gone forever, she won’t come out anymore. But we both miss you sometimes; so we recall your face, the sound of your laughter, the  softness in your eyes….

   Dream over.

The Lost Butterfly-revised (1d)

Chapter 1d.

He had barely finished the notes and was looking at the two drawings, when Fuyuki stirred under the blanket and opened his eyes.

-You’re here-he whispered and sighed.

-I am- said Yoshiasu firmly. Wake up and let’s go out. We still have half of Sunday left.

Fuyuki complied and dressed up. For the moment he was wearing some of Yoshiasu’s clothes but they were planning to go out shopping.  A chilling wind was blowing outside so both of them were wearing anoraks, jeans and boots. Fuyuki’s shoulder long hair was tied in a lose pony-tail, a few strands floating freely around his face. Despite his attire, he looked deceptively feminine. His beauty was misleading almost everyone. As they were descending a long row of stairs, walking hand in hand, they heard a group of youngsters whistling after Fuyuki. They both burst into laughter.

On a spur of a moment Yoshiasu turned towards Fuyuki and kissed him. Surprised, Fuyuki blinked and returned the kiss.

-I’m …sorry-mumbled Yoshiasu, slightly enbarassed.

-Why?

-I don’t want to put any pressure on you…

-You’re not-said Fuyuki. I like when YOU kiss me- he added smiling shyly.

Yoshiasu sighed and held him closer. They strolled among the bony, black shapes of the trees, under the heavily clouded sky. Autumn fell on their steps, rolling golden leaves and raindrops up and down the lane. Younger and older couples were walking slowly on the alleys, enjoying the final hours of the week-end. The evening enveloped the city peacefully.

The two young men turned home refreshed and happy. After the autumn chill, the warmth of the flat was welcome. They both undressed from the heavy outfits and made themselves comfortable. As usual, Yoshiasu cooked the dinner while Fuyuki set the table. They ate all to the last crumb and after washing the dishes they moved to the bedroom and turned on the TV.

Fuyuki leaned against his friend, with head resting on his shoulder. He loved to listen to his velvety baritone, recounting school years with fun. He snuggled in his arms while Yoshiasu was fighting his inner feelings.

Spending most of his time with Fuyuki,  Yoshiasu declined most of his friends’ invitations out. Fuyuki was still very shy and recovering, so he didn’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on him. Intrigued by his long absence and the wild gossips about her good friend, Angela Bennett decided to pay him a visit. She came unannounced and on a late afternoon Yoshiasu found himself face to face with her at the door.

-I’ve been told that you became a hermit so I came to check on this wild story myself. I hope I’m not intruding?-she asked with a playful smile.

Yoshiasu chuckled; he was happy to see her. Angela was a long time friend and they shared a lot, beginning with the level-headedness and the considerate manner towards the others. He let her in, took off her coat and invited her in the living.

-I’m going to fix a drink; make you comfortable. What gossips have you heard about me?

Angela looked around with interest. She was well accustomed to this place and she knew her old friend’s taste. She noticed some small changes but there was one particular thing that drew her attention. She saw a new painting on the wall: a colorful butterfly on an intricate background. It wasn’t a reproduction; the picture was genuine. She stood up and took a closer look. She was surprised to find something so poetic and delicate in the house of a computer analyst.

-You like it?-asked Yoshiasu and handed her a frosty glass.

-It’s beautiful! I must admit that I’ve never expected to find something like this hanging on your wall. Is this a recent purchase?

The young man smiled secretively.

-It’s a gift from the artist himself- he said. But let me introduce him to you. Wait a minute…

He left for the bedroom where Fuyuki was reading.

-I have a very good friend of mine visiting us. She would like to know you. Her name is Angela Bennett and you can trust her. Come, let me introduce you.

Fuyuki’s eyes rounded in surprise but took Yoshiasu’s hand and followed him. Hearing footsteps, Angela turned and remained speechless. Half step behind her friend there was a tall and slender young man, clinging almost desperately to Yoshiasu’s hand. The newcomer was a striking beauty, with a fragile look and very shy. His unusual amethyst colored eyes looked at her with the innocence of a child. Yoshiasu gently pushed him towards her.

-Angela, let me introduce you the artist you have asked about: he is my friend, Fuyuki.

-Pleased to meet you-said the young man.

They shook hands and Angela looked at him closely. Fuyuki blushed under her scrutinizing gaze and she found him lovely.

-You’re awfully talented; I like very much your painting. Yoshiasu is very lucky to receive such a beautiful gift from you-she said.

-I am the lucky one to have such a good friend-answered Fuyuki with a small smile.

-Well, since I am blessed with both of you let’s have a drink and let Angela to deliver us the latest gossips about our mutual friends. This way you can make their ”acquaintance” long before they know you.

Just like Yoshiasu, Angela had a healthy sense of humor so in less then half an hour they were all laughing and enjoying her company. Angela took an instant like on Fuyuki. She even warned her old friend while the young artist left the room:

-He is a rare gem, Yoshiasu. Take care of him.

-I know-said Yoshiasu-but thanks anyway. Tell the others that we still need some time to adjust but we’re fine.

The Lost Butterfly-revised (1c)

Chapter 1c.

At the end of the week Yoshiasu took Fuyuki home. He called a cab, took the papers allowing him to become Fuyuki’s legal guardian and they both left the hospital. As they stepped out under the high sky, Fuyuki stiffened and squeezed Yoshiasu’s hand.

-I’ve never seen so much sky above me since my childhood-he whispered. I’ve always dreamed about it but now, it feels so overwhelming…

Yoshiasu held him by the shoulders and squeezed him gently.

-I’m here, don’t worry. It won’t fall on our head while I’m here. Let’s get into the car and go home.

Fuyuki leaned against him confidently. They took the cab and left for home.

Fuyuki took an instant like on Yoshiasu’s flat. He wandered around the house, touched the walls, peered through the curtains and finally, exhausted fell on the bed.

-It’s so peaceful here-he sighed. I feel free…Are you sure you want me to be here with you?-he asked anxiously.

-I’m positive-came the amused answer from the kitchen. The only problem is that you have to get used with my cooking. I hope you’ll survive…

-If you’re around I don’t even need food-said Fuyuki in a muffled voice. He then curled up in bed and shortly after, he fell asleep.

Yoshiasu cooked some fresh meal for supper then came back to the room to look for Fuyuki. He saw him sleeping relaxed and peaceful just like a child. He took a blanket and covered his protégée. He gently caressed the soft cheeks and the rebellious black hair.

Fuyuki stirred and sighed. “Yoshiasu…”he mumbled in his sleep. Yoshiasu blushed and swallowed the lump in his throat. He stood up and returned to the kitchen.

Fuyuki slept for hours; he woke up relaxed and hungry. The home-cooked meal proved to be a real treat for him. He started to look livelier and there was even a shade of pink in his cheeks. A small glass of wine lifted the spirits and the two young men spent the evening laughing a lot.

Yoshiasu’s humor suited well Fuyuki as he was both bright and very perceptive. His beautiful violet eyes were sparkling while he fully enjoyed Yoshiasu’s story telling. They ended the night watching TV side by side on top of the bed and they both fell asleep during the late-night movie.

Yoshiasu woke up suddenly: Fuyuki was crying in his sleep. He was pleading with somebody and the pain in his voice was simply heartbreaking. He was writhing, trying to escape from an unseen enemy.

“Father, please! Don’t…don’t hurt me! I’ll do whatever you want! Please, don’t…Why?!”

Unable to bear his friend’s sufferance Yoshiasu shook him vigorously and shouted:

-Fuyuki! Fuyuki, wake up! It’s only a dream! Please, open your eyes Fuyuki!

The troubled young man shivered but finally woke up. It took him a few moments to realize where he was and with whom. He cuddled up in Yoshiasu’s arms looking for protection.

-Yoshiasu! Yoshiasu, don’t let him take me! Please!

Yoshiasu embraced him and wiped off his tears. He caressed Fuyuki back to sleep, holding him tight. After that they slept till morning without any more incidents. When he woke up, Yoshiasu saw Fuyuki sitting at the window, gaze lost in the ragged pattern of rain-clouds.

-Are you ok?-he asked.

-Uhm…I think so. Sorry for being such a nuisance.

-You’re not-protested Yoshiasu. Don’t you want to talk about? –he asked tentatively.

Fuyuki shook his head; his breath sped up and he braced himself. It was too early for that. He wasn’t ready to open up or to release the monsters populating his thoughts at night. Yoshiasu dropped the topic and decided to keep his friend’s mind busy with more pleasant things.

-I’m going to take a shower and fix something for breakfast until you shower to. We can then go out in the park if you’d like that. What do you say?

-It’s…fine. I’ll set the room in order. Don’t worry; I’m quite handy-said Fuyuki seeing Yoshiasu’s incredulous face.

They’ve finished the house chores quickly. After the shower Fuyuki looked much better. The large scratch from his cheek washed up entirely and physically he was getting better with each moment. The more he looked at him, the more attractive Yoshiasu found him. This was a troubling discovery for him but for the moment he decided to ignore this new feeling. He has never thought before that he could fall for another…man.

Well, Fuyuki wasn’t an ordinary man; he was a disturbing enigma, frightening yet desirable, almost untouchable yet heartbreakingly beautiful and fragile. The image of the torn butterfly kept overlapping  the mental image Yoshiasu was having about him.

-Yoshiasu? Anything wrong?-came a concerned question from the sudden silence of the room.

-No. I’ve just let my mind wander a little. Tell me, Fuyuki: don’t you have any happy memories at all? From your childhood maybe…

The young man leant back on the chair and closed his eyes for a moment.

-I’m not sure what do you mean by “happy memories” but I have a few things in my mind that they weren’t able to take away from me. Do you have a pencil and a piece of paper here?

Yoshiasu fumbled through his desk for a while and then he came back with a black ink-pencil and some paper that he handed to Fuyuki. He cleaned the table to make way for him. Fuyuki leaned over the paper and started to draw; his hand was moving quickly and with ease across the paper, while the intricate drawing was slowly emerging from it. A few moments later, he handed it to Yoshiasu and watched him silently.

The young analyst was amazed; the swarm of butterflies over a pattern of wild-flowers was beautiful and highly artistic. The butterflies looked so lively that for a moment he was afraid they might take off. Butterflies…Yoshiasu looked at Fuyuki like he was seeing him for the first time: a butterfly dreaming and drawing butterflies…

-We had a wild spot in our courtyard; it was overgrown with high grass and wild-flowers. I used to hide in the grass and wait for the butterflies to come. They were so many and so beautiful…

Later, when Father locked me up in the room, all I could remember were the butterflies. I kept on drawing them day by day, afraid that I might forget them and then lose all that was mine.

Fuyuki’s voice choked and his eyes filled with tears. He stood up, pacing up and down in the room, gaze lost in the past.

-The room had a very high ceiling and for me the small window was unreachable. All I could see was the changing of light or a small piece of the sky. Then, one day father forgot to shut the window and a butterfly came into the room.

It was a new one, something even more beautiful than what I had seen before. He came close to me and sat on my shoulder. He stayed there while I stood up to take a pencil and paper to draw him. He stayed with me for days. He always hid when Father was in but came out whenever I was alone. Then one day I couldn’t find him. All my hope was that he got out safely from the prison cell…

Fuyuki resumed his pacing and sat to the table. He took another paper and began tracing a new drawing. It took him a little more but the butterfly was really beautiful.

-This is the lost butterfly. I’ve never shown him to anybody before. I want you to have it-he added, his violet-blue eyes looking deeply into the dark-brown ones.

Yoshiasu was overwhelmed.

-Why?-he asked in a restraint voice, unable to add more.

-Because when I am with you I feel that I actually EXIST.

Fuyuki’s shoulders sagged.

-I have been INVISIBLE for twenty years…-he whispered and tears were running down his face. I kept waking up each morning wondering if I was REAL, a REAL PERSON. Except for the butterflies, all I could remember was the PAIN….

Yoshiasu jumped to his feet and hugged him while Fuyuki buried his face in his shoulder. He was shaking uncontrollably.

-Yoshiasu…don’t …let…me…fade- he managed to whisper before losing consciousness.

Yoshiasu lifted him and put him in bed, tugging the young man under a warm blanket. He decided to let him sleep off the burden of the long confession. He then poured himself a glass of wine and sat in bed next to Fuyuki. He picked the drawings and a notebook. Took a sip of wine, gently stroke the sleeping man’s hair and started to write down the things told by Fuyuki. Yoshiasu prepared the notes for detective Harrows.

THE FALL

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Minutes, seconds, days,hours, years and millenia were falling scattered with the sound of a thousand wind-chimes. The last tick of the clock tore the fabric of the Universe, dismantling Time.

   Ground vanished under his feet and he fell backwards. Slowly. He was falling for an eternity when he finally reached the surface of the primeval ocean. He splashed into the deep blue surface, breaking the thin layers of water. Gloub, gloub….The Ocean opened its mouth, swallowing him. He continued to fall, sinking deeper and deeper inside a history larger than life.

   It was an endless, dense blue of nameless particles, the incipient plasma of atoms and eons. The silence  surrounded him like a cocoon and his limbs slowly relaxed, as he kept floating into the  blue abyss.

   Was he still existing? He couldn’t say for sure and right now, the answer itself seemed senseless and futile. His mind reached out to his extremities, somewhere far, far away and he called them back, curling up into fetal position.He closed his eyes.

    The child was peacefully sleeping in the warm, calm waters of the womb, suckling his thumb. It was all quiet and peaceful in the point of singularity.

    The Universe was not born yet.

 

(Photo credit: via Poullo Occone, artist/FB)

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.